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Sample records for understand brain function

  1. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2010-01-08

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

  2. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

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

  3. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Understanding entangled cerebral networks: a prerequisite for restoring brain function with brain-computer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

    Historically, cerebral processing has been conceptualized as a framework based on statically localized functions. However, a growing amount of evidence supports a hodotopical (delocalized) and flexible organization. A number of studies have reported absence of a permanent neurological deficit after massive surgical resections of eloquent brain tissue. These results highlight the tremendous plastic potential of the brain. Understanding anatomo-functional correlates underlying this cerebral reorganization is a prerequisite to restore brain functions through brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in patients with cerebral diseases, or even to potentiate brain functions in healthy individuals. Here, we review current knowledge of neural networks that could be utilized in the BCIs that enable movements and language. To this end, intraoperative electrical stimulation in awake patients provides valuable information on the cerebral functional maps, their connectomics and plasticity. Overall, these studies indicate that the complex cerebral circuitry that underpins interactions between action, cognition and behavior should be throughly investigated before progress in BCI approaches can be achieved. PMID:24834030

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressler, Steven L.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Understanding the potency of stressful early life experiences on brain and body function.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S

    2008-10-01

    Early life experiences have powerful effects on the brain and body lasting throughout the entire life span and influencing brain function, behavior, and the risk for a number of systemic and mental disorders. Animal models of early life adversity are providing mechanistic insights, including glimpses into the fascinating world that is now called "epigenetics" as well as the role of naturally occurring alleles of a number of genes. These studies also provide insights into the adaptive value as well as the negative consequences, of early life stress, exposure to novelty, and poor-quality vs good-quality maternal care. Animal models begin to provide a mechanistic basis for understanding how brain development and physiological functioning is affected in children exposed to early life abuse and neglect, where there is a burgeoning literature on the consequences for physical health and emotional and cognitive development. An important goal is to identify interventions that are likely to be most effective in early life and some guidelines are provided. PMID:18803958

  10. Understanding the potency of stressful early life experiences on brain and body function

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.

    2008-01-01

    Early life experiences have powerful effects on the brain and body lasting throughout the entire lifespan and influencing brain function, behavior and the risk for a number of systemic and mental disorders. Animal models of early life adversity are providing mechanistic insights, including glimpses into the fascinating world that is now called “epigenetics” as well as the role of naturally occurring alleles of a number of genes. These studies also provide insights into the adaptive value, as well as the negative consequences, of early life stress, exposure to novelty, and poor vs good quality maternal care. Animal models begin to provide a mechanistic basis for understanding how brain development and physiological functioning is affected in children exposed to early life abuse and neglect, where there is a burgeoning literature on the consequences for physical health and emotional and cognitive development. An important goal is to identify interventions that are likely to be most effective in early life and some guidelines are provided. PMID:18803958

  11. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-09-01

    What is the relationship between brain and behavior? The answer to this question necessitates characterizing the mapping between structure and function. The aim of this paper is to discuss broad issues surrounding the link between structure and function in the brain that will motivate a network perspective to understanding this question. However, as others in the past, I argue that a network perspective should supplant the common strategy of understanding the brain in terms of individual regions. Whereas this perspective is needed for a fuller characterization of the mind-brain, it should not be viewed as panacea. For one, the challenges posed by the many-to-many mapping between regions and functions is not dissolved by the network perspective. Although the problem is ameliorated, one should not anticipate a one-to-one mapping when the network approach is adopted. Furthermore, decomposition of the brain network in terms of meaningful clusters of regions, such as the ones generated by community-finding algorithms, does not by itself reveal "true" subnetworks. Given the hierarchical and multi-relational relationship between regions, multiple decompositions will offer different "slices" of a broader landscape of networks within the brain. Finally, I described how the function of brain regions can be characterized in a multidimensional manner via the idea of diversity profiles. The concept can also be used to describe the way different brain regions participate in networks.

  12. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    PubMed Central

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-01-01

    What is the relationship between brain and behavior? The answer to this question necessitates characterizing the mapping between structure and function. The aim of this paper is to discuss broad issues surrounding the link between structure and function in the brain that will motivate a network perspective to understanding this question. As others in the past, I argue that a network perspective should supplant the common strategy of understanding the brain in terms of individual regions. Whereas this perspective is needed for a fuller characterization of the mind-brain, it should not be viewed as panacea. For one, the challenges posed by the many-to-many mapping between regions and functions is not dissolved by the network perspective. Although the problem is ameliorated, one should not anticipate a one-to-one mapping when the network approach is adopted. Furthermore, decomposition of the brain network in terms of meaningful clusters of regions, such as the ones generated by community-finding algorithms, does not by itself reveal “true” subnetworks. Given the hierarchical and multi-relational relationship between regions, multiple decompositions will offer different “slices” of a broader landscape of networks within the brain. Finally, I described how the function of brain regions can be characterized in a multidimensional manner via the idea of diversity profiles. The concept can also be used to describe the way different brain regions participate in networks. PMID:24819881

  13. Understanding Brain Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Know About Brain Tumors . What is a Brain Tumor? A brain tumor is an abnormal growth
 ... Tumors” from Frankly Speaking Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Brain Tumors Download the full book Questions to ask ...

  14. Task-switching Cost and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain: Toward Understanding Individual Differences in Cognitive Flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shouhang; Wang, Ting; Pan, Weigang; Liu, Yijun; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The human ability to flexibly alternate between tasks (i.e., task-switching) represents a critical component of cognitive control. Many functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have explored the neural basis of the task-switching. However, no study to date has examined how individual differences in intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain are related to that of the task-switching. In the present study, we took 11 task-switching relevant areas from a meta-analysis study as the regions of interests (ROIs) and estimated their intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) with the whole brain. This procedure was repeated for 32 healthy adults based upon their fMRI scans during resting-state (rfMRI) to investigate the correlations between switching cost and the iFC strength across these participants. This analysis found that switch cost was negatively correlated with a set of iFC involved ROIs including left inferior frontal junction, bilateral superior posterior parietal cortex, left precuneus, bilateral inferior parietal lobule, right middle frontal gyrus and bilateral middle occipital gyrus. These connectivity profiles represent an intrinsic functional architecture of task-switching where the left inferior frontal junction plays a hub role in this brain-behavior association. These findings are highly reproducible in another validation independent sample and provide a novel perspective for understanding the neural basis of individual differences in task-switching behaviors reflected in the intrinsic architecture of the human brain. PMID:26716447

  15. How Can Studies of Resting-state Functional Connectivity Help Us Understand Psychosis as a Disorder of Brain Development?

    PubMed Central

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D.; Baker, Justin T.

    2014-01-01

    Psychosis is increasingly being understood as a neurodevelopmental “dysconnection” syndrome, in which neural connectivity – at both microscopic and macroscopic levels of brain organization – becomes disrupted during late adolescence and early adulthood. Tools to quantify normative brain development and identify individuals at risk are urgently needed to tailor appropriate strategies for prevention and intervention, and could substantially improve clinical outcomes. Resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rsfc-MRI) provides a rich, functional description of the brain’s macroscopic connectivity structure. Over the past several years, rsfc-MRI has evolved to be a powerful tool for studying both normal brain development and abnormalities associated with psychosis. Several recent advances highlight intriguing and potentially significant parallels between these two lines of research. For instance, rsfc-MRI work suggests that psychosis is accompanied by loss of segregation between large-scale brain association networks, a pattern that is normal in early life but typically matures into more segregated systems by young adulthood. Coupled with data sharing across large-scale neuroimaging studies, longitudinal assessments using rsfc-MRI in patients and those at risk will be essential for improving our biological understanding of psychosis and will help inform diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical decision-making. PMID:25464373

  16. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Kristine; Salzman, C. Daniel; Waddell, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Causal methods to interrogate brain function have been employed since the advent of modern neuroscience in the nineteenth century. Initially, randomly placed electrodes and stimulation of parts of the living brain were used to localize specific functions to these areas. Recent technical developments have rejuvenated this approach by providing more precise tools to dissect the neural circuits underlying behaviour, perception and cognition. Carefully controlled behavioural experiments have been combined with electrical devices, targeted genetically encoded tools and neurochemical approaches to manipulate information processing in the brain. The ability to control brain activity in these ways not only deepens our understanding of brain function but also provides new avenues for clinical intervention, particularly in conditions where brain processing has gone awry. PMID:26240417

  17. The Little Brain That Could: Understanding Executive Function in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blasco, Patricia M.; Saxton, Sage; Gerrie, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) involve a number of interconnected systems that, when compromised, can result in difficulties that affect a child's ability to perform tasks across early childhood settings, including the home and community-based settings. In retrospective research studies, researchers have found that a young child's…

  18. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

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

  19. Neural stem cells and neuro/gliogenesis in the central nervous system: understanding the structural and functional plasticity of the developing, mature, and diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Seki, Tatsunori; Imayoshi, Itaru; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Hayashi, Yoshitaka; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Hitoshi, Seiji

    2016-05-01

    Neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) originate from neural stem cells (NSCs). Knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is fundamental to our understanding of how complex brain architecture and function develop. NSCs are present not only in the developing brain but also in the mature brain in adults. Adult neurogenesis likely provides remarkable plasticity to the mature brain. In addition, recent progress in basic research in mental disorders suggests an etiological link with impaired neuro/gliogenesis in particular brain regions. Here, we review the recent progress and discuss future directions in stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology by introducing several topics presented at a joint meeting of the Japanese Association of Anatomists and the Physiological Society of Japan in 2015. Collectively, these topics indicated that neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is a common event occurring in many brain regions at various ages in animals. Given that significant structural and functional changes in cells and neural networks are accompanied by neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs and the integration of newly generated cells into the network, stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology provides a good platform from which to develop an integrated understanding of the structural and functional plasticity that underlies the development of the CNS, its remodeling in adulthood, and the recovery from diseases that affect it. PMID:26578509

  20. Understanding complexity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Although the ultimate aim of neuroscientific enquiry is to gain an understanding of the brain and how its workings relate to the mind, the majority of current efforts are largely focused on small questions using increasingly detailed data. However, it might be possible to successfully address the larger question of mind–brain mechanisms if the cumulative findings from these neuroscientific studies are coupled with complementary approaches from physics and philosophy. The brain, we argue, can be understood as a complex system or network, in which mental states emerge from the interaction between multiple physical and functional levels. Achieving further conceptual progress will crucially depend on broad-scale discussions regarding the properties of cognition and the tools that are currently available or must be developed in order to study mind–brain mechanisms. PMID:21497128

  1. Split Brain Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassel, Russell N.

    1978-01-01

    Summarizing recent research, this article defines the functions performed by the left and right sides of the human brain. Attention is given to the right side, or the nondominant side, of the brain and its potential in terms of perception of the environment, music, art, geometry, and the aesthetics. (JC)

  2. COPPER AND BRAIN FUNCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Understanding the brain through its spatial structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Will Zachary

    The spatial location of cells in neural tissue can be easily extracted from many imaging modalities, but the information contained in spatial relationships between cells is seldom utilized. This is because of a lack of recognition of the importance of spatial relationships to some aspects of brain function, and the reflection in spatial statistics of other types of information. The mathematical tools necessary to describe spatial relationships are also unknown to many neuroscientists, and biologists in general. We analyze two cases, and show that spatial relationships can be used to understand the role of a particular type of cell, the astrocyte, in Alzheimer's disease, and that the geometry of axons in the brain's white matter sheds light on the process of establishing connectivity between areas of the brain. Astrocytes provide nutrients for neuronal metabolism, and regulate the chemical environment of the brain, activities that require manipulation of spatial distributions (of neurotransmitters, for example). We first show, through the use of a correlation function, that inter-astrocyte forces determine the size of independent regulatory domains in the cortex. By examining the spatial distribution of astrocytes in a mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease, we determine that astrocytes are not actively transported to fight the disease, as was previously thought. The paths axons take through the white matter determine which parts of the brain are connected, and how quickly signals are transmitted. The rules that determine these paths (i.e. shortest distance) are currently unknown. By measurement of axon orientation distributions using three-point correlation functions and the statistics of axon turning and branching, we reveal that axons are restricted to growth in three directions, like a taxicab traversing city blocks, albeit in three-dimensions. We show how geometric restrictions at the small scale are related to large-scale trajectories. Finally we discuss the

  4. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Brain Hemispheric Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roeper Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Four articles consider brain hemisphere functioning of gifted students as it relates to gifted programs; alternation of education methodologies; spatial ability as an element of intellectual gifted functioning; and the interaction between hemisphere specialization, imagery, creative imagination, and sex differentiation. (SB)

  6. Bridging the gap between theory and practice: dynamic systems theory as a framework for understanding and promoting recovery of function in children and youth with acquired brain injuries.

    PubMed

    Levac, Danielle; DeMatteo, Carol

    2009-11-01

    A theoretical framework can help physiotherapists understand and promote recovery of function in children and youth with acquired brain injuries (ABI). Physiotherapy interventions for this population have traditionally been based in hierarchical-maturational theories of motor development emphasizing the role of the central nervous system (CNS) in controlling motor behaviour. In contrast, Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) views movement as resulting from the interaction of many subsystems within the individual, features of the functional task to be accomplished, and the environmental context in which the movement takes place. DST is now a predominant theoretical framework in pediatric physiotherapy. The purpose of this article is to describe how DST can be used to understand and promote recovery of function after pediatric ABI. A DST-based approach for children and youth with ABI does not treat the impaired CNS in isolation but rather emphasizes the role of all subsystems, including the family and the environment, in influencing recovery. The emphasis is on exploration, problem solving, and practice of functional tasks. A case scenario provides practical recommendations for the use of DST to inform physiotherapy interventions and clinical decision making in the acute phase of recovery from ABI. Future research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions based in this theoretical framework. PMID:19925262

  7. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary Objective The objective of this analysis is to review a spectrum of functional brain imaging technologies to identify whether there are any imaging modalities that are more effective than others for various brain pathology conditions. This evidence-based analysis reviews magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for the diagnosis or surgical management of the following conditions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative, neurologic condition characterized by cognitive impairment and memory loss. The Canadian Study on Health and Aging estimated that there will be 97,000 incident cases (about 60,000 women) of dementia (including AD) in Canada in 2006. In Ontario, there will be an estimated 950 new cases and 580 deaths due to brain cancer in 2006. Treatments for brain tumours include surgery and radiation therapy. However, one of the limitations of radiation therapy is that it damages tissue though necrosis and scarring. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not distinguish between radiation effects and resistant tissue, creating a potential role for functional brain imaging. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that provokes repetitive seizures. In Ontario, the rate of epilepsy is estimated to be 5 cases per 1,000 people. Most people with epilepsy are effectively managed with drug therapy; but about 50% do not respond to drug therapy. Surgical resection of the seizure foci may be considered in these patients, and functional brain imaging may play a role in localizing the seizure foci. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The cause of MS is unknown; however, it is thought to be

  8. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Development of the Brain's Functional Network Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D.; Petersen, Steven E.; Schlaggar, Bradley L.

    2013-01-01

    A full understanding of the development of the brain's functional network architecture requires not only an understanding of developmental changes in neural processing in individual brain regions but also an understanding of changes in inter-regional interactions. Resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) is increasingly being used to study functional interactions between brain regions in both adults and children. We briefly review methods used to study functional interactions and networks with rs-fcMRI and how these methods have been used to define developmental changes in network functional connectivity. The developmental rs-fcMRI studies to date have found two general properties. First, regional interactions change from being predominately anatomically local in children to interactions spanning longer cortical distances in young adults. Second, this developmental change in functional connectivity occurs, in general, via mechanisms of segregation of local regions and integration of distant regions into disparate subnetworks. PMID:20976563

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

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Functional Lateralization of the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Raymond S.

    1984-01-01

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

  15. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  16. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  17. Students' understanding of trigonometric functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Keith

    2005-10-01

    In this article students' understanding of trigonometric functions in the context of two college trigonometry courses is investigated. The first course was taught by a professor unaffiliated with the study in a lecture-based course, while the second was taught using an experimental instruction paradigm based on Gray and Tall's (1994) notion of procept and current process-object theories of learning. Via interviews and a paper-and-pencil test, I examined students' understanding of trigonometric functions for both classes. The results indicate that the students who were taught in the lecture-based course developed a very limited understanding of these functions. Students who received the experimental instruction developed a deep understanding of trigonometric functions.

  18. Brain, Mind and Language Functional Architectures

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Understanding Brain, Mind and Soul: Contributions from Neurology and Neurosurgery

    PubMed Central

    Pandya, Sunil K.

    2011-01-01

    Treatment of diseases of the brain by drugs or surgery necessitates an understanding of its structure and functions. The philosophical neurosurgeon soon encounters difficulties when localising the abstract concepts of mind and soul within the tangible 1300-gram organ containing 100 billion neurones. Hippocrates had focused attention on the brain as the seat of the mind. The tabula rasa postulated by Aristotle cannot be localised to a particular part of the brain with the confidence that we can localise spoken speech to Broca’s area or the movement of limbs to the contralateral motor cortex. Galen’s localisation of imagination, reasoning, judgement and memory in the cerebral ventricles collapsed once it was evident that the functional units–neurones–lay in the parenchyma of the brain. Experiences gained from accidental injuries (Phineas Gage) or temporal lobe resection (William Beecher Scoville); studies on how we see and hear and more recent data from functional magnetic resonance studies have made us aware of the extensive network of neurones in the cerebral hemispheres that subserve the functions of the mind. The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland (Descartes), and generally in the brain. When the deeper parts of the brain came within the reach of neurosurgeons, the brainstem proved exceptionally delicate and vulnerable. The concept of brain death after irreversible damage to it has made all of us aware of ‘the cocktail of brain soup and spark’ in the brainstem so necessary for life. If there be a soul in each of us, surely, it is enshrined here. PMID:21694966

  20. Fostering Literacy through Understanding Brain Mechanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCandliss, Bruce D.; Posner, Michael I.

    2003-01-01

    Some current ideas concerning the brain mechanisms of reading are presented. An impediment to educational applications of brain research is the remoteness of the classroom from brain research laboratories. An international plan is outlined to bring scientists and educators together to examine current knowledge about brain mechanisms involved in…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meeker, Mary

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

  2. Students' Understanding of Trigonometric Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2005-01-01

    In this article students' understanding of trigonometric functions in the context of two college trigonometry courses is investigated. The first course was taught by a professor unaffiliated with the study in a lecture-based course, while the second was taught using an experimental instruction paradigm based on Gray and Tall's (1994) notion of…

  3. Natriuretic Hormones in Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Hodes, Anastasia; Lichtstein, David

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Elisabeth L; Frith, Uta

    2003-01-01

    Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication as well as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests. The consequences of this disorder for everyday life adaptation are extremely variable. The general public is now more aware of the high prevalence of this lifelong disorder, with ca. 0.6% of the population being affected. However, the signs and symptoms of autism are still puzzling. Since a biological basis of autism was accepted, approaches from developmental cognitive neuroscience have been applied to further our understanding of the autism spectrum. The study of the behavioural and underlying cognitive deficits in autism has advanced ahead of the study of the underlying brain abnormalities and of the putative genetic mechanisms. However, advances in these fields are expected as methodological difficulties are overcome. In this paper, recent developments in the field of autism are outlined. In particular, we review the findings of the three main neuro-cognitive theories of autism: theory-of-mind deficit, weak central coherence and executive dysfunction. PMID:12639326

  6. Creating the brain and interacting with the brain: an integrated approach to understanding the brain.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-03-01

    In the past two decades, brain science and robotics have made gigantic advances in their own fields, and their interactions have generated several interdisciplinary research fields. First, in the 'understanding the brain by creating the brain' approach, computational neuroscience models have been applied to many robotics problems. Second, such brain-motivated fields as cognitive robotics and developmental robotics have emerged as interdisciplinary areas among robotics, neuroscience and cognitive science with special emphasis on humanoid robots. Third, in brain-machine interface research, a brain and a robot are mutually connected within a closed loop. In this paper, we review the theoretical backgrounds of these three interdisciplinary fields and their recent progress. Then, we introduce recent efforts to reintegrate these research fields into a coherent perspective and propose a new direction that integrates brain science and robotics where the decoding of information from the brain, robot control based on the decoded information and multimodal feedback to the brain from the robot are carried out in real time and in a closed loop. PMID:25589568

  7. The Energetic Brain: Understanding and Managing ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Cecil R.; Vannest, Kimberly J.; Harrison, Judith R.

    2012-01-01

    ADHD affects millions of people-some 3 to 5% of the general population. Written by a neuroscientist who has studied ADHD, a clinician who has diagnosed and treated it for 30 years, and a special educator who sees it daily, "The Energetic Brain" provides the latest information from neuroscience on how the ADHD brain works and shows how to harness…

  8. Analysis of connectivity in NeuCube spiking neural network models trained on EEG data for the understanding of functional changes in the brain: A case study on opiate dependence treatment.

    PubMed

    Capecci, Elisa; Kasabov, Nikola; Wang, Grace Y

    2015-08-01

    The paper presents a methodology for the analysis of functional changes in brain activity across different conditions and different groups of subjects. This analysis is based on the recently proposed NeuCube spiking neural network (SNN) framework and more specifically on the analysis of the connectivity of a NeuCube model trained with electroencephalography (EEG) data. The case study data used to illustrate this method is EEG data collected from three groups-subjects with opiate addiction, patients undertaking methadone maintenance treatment, and non-drug users/healthy control group. The proposed method classifies more accurately the EEG data than traditional statistical and artificial intelligence (AI) methods and can be used to predict response to treatment and dose-related drug effect. But more importantly, the method can be used to compare functional brain activities of different subjects and the changes of these activities as a result of treatment, which is a step towards a better understanding of both the EEG data and the brain processes that generated it. The method can also be used for a wide range of applications, such as a better understanding of disease progression or aging. PMID:26000776

  9. Creating the brain and interacting with the brain: an integrated approach to understanding the brain

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-01-01

    In the past two decades, brain science and robotics have made gigantic advances in their own fields, and their interactions have generated several interdisciplinary research fields. First, in the ‘understanding the brain by creating the brain’ approach, computational neuroscience models have been applied to many robotics problems. Second, such brain-motivated fields as cognitive robotics and developmental robotics have emerged as interdisciplinary areas among robotics, neuroscience and cognitive science with special emphasis on humanoid robots. Third, in brain–machine interface research, a brain and a robot are mutually connected within a closed loop. In this paper, we review the theoretical backgrounds of these three interdisciplinary fields and their recent progress. Then, we introduce recent efforts to reintegrate these research fields into a coherent perspective and propose a new direction that integrates brain science and robotics where the decoding of information from the brain, robot control based on the decoded information and multimodal feedback to the brain from the robot are carried out in real time and in a closed loop. PMID:25589568

  10. Minds, Brains, and Difference in Personal Understandings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sankey, Derek

    2007-01-01

    If education is to make a difference it is widely acknowledged that we must aim to educate for understanding, but this means being clear about what we mean by understanding. This paper argues for a concept of personal understanding, recognising both the commonality and individuality of each pupil's understandings, and the relationship between…

  11. The elusive concept of brain network. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    2014-09-01

    As the poet John Donne said of man - "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." - so the neuroscience research community now says of brain areas. This is the topic that Luiz Pessoa expands upon in his thorough review of the paradigm shift that has occurred in much of brain research, especially in cognitive neuroscience [1]. His key point is made explicitly in the Abstract: "I argue that a network perspective should supplement the common strategy of understanding the brain in terms of individual regions." In his review, Pessoa covers a large range of topics, including how the network perspective changes the way in which one views the structure-function relationship between brain and behavior, the importance of context in ascertaining how a brain region functions, and the notion of emergent properties as a network feature. Also discussed is graph theory, one of the important mathematical methods used to analyze and describe network structure and function.

  12. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    On average, brain network economy represents a trade-off between communication efficiency, robustness and connection cost, though, an analogous understanding on an individual level is largely missing. Evaluating resting-state networks of 42 healthy participants with 7 Tesla functional MRI and graph theory revealed that not even half of all possible connections were common across subjects. The strongest similarities among individuals were observed for interhemispheric and/or short-range connections, which may relate to the essential feature of the human brain to develop specialized systems within each hemisphere. Despite this marked variability in individual network architecture, all subjects exhibited equal small-world properties. Furthermore, interdependency between four major network economy metrics was observed across healthy individuals. The characteristic path length was associated with the clustering coefficient (peak correlation r=0.93), the response to network attacks (r=−0.97) and the physical connection cost in 3D space (r=−0.62). On the other hand, clustering was negatively related to attack response (r=−0.75) and connection cost (r=-0.59). Finally, increased connection cost was associated with better response to attacks (r=0.65). This indicates that functional brain networks with high global information transfer also exhibit strong network resilience. However, it seems that these advantages come at the cost of decreased local communication efficiency and increased physical connection cost. Except for wiring length, the results were replicated on a subsample at 3 Tesla (n=20). These findings highlight the finely tuned interrelationships between different parameters of brain network economy. Moreover, the understanding of the individual diversity of functional brain network economy may provide further insights in the vulnerability to mental and neurological disorders. PMID:25411715

  13. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: An Introduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trudel, Tina M.; Scherer, Marcia J.; Elias, Eileen

    2009-01-01

    This article is the first of a multi-part series on traumatic brain injury (TBI). Historically, TBI has received very limited national public policy attention and support. However since it has become the signature injury of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, TBI has gained the attention of elected officials, military leaders,…

  15. The Brain as a Complex System: Using Network Science as a Tool for Understanding the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Sean L.; Burdette, Jonathan H.; Hayasaka, Satoru; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Although graph theory has been around since the 18th century, the field of network science is more recent and continues to gain popularity, particularly in the field of neuroimaging. The field was propelled forward when Watts and Strogatz introduced their small-world network model, which described a network that provided regional specialization with efficient global information transfer. This model is appealing to the study of brain connectivity, as the brain can be viewed as a system with various interacting regions that produce complex behaviors. In practice, graph metrics such as clustering coefficient, path length, and efficiency measures are often used to characterize system properties. Centrality metrics such as degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector centrality determine critical areas within the network. Community structure is also essential for understanding network organization and topology. Network science has led to a paradigm shift in the neuroscientific community, but it should be viewed as more than a simple “tool du jour.” To fully appreciate the utility of network science, a greater understanding of how network models apply to the brain is needed. An integrated appraisal of multiple network analyses should be performed to better understand network structure rather than focusing on univariate comparisons to find significant group differences; indeed, such comparisons, popular with traditional functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses, are arguably no longer relevant with graph-theory based approaches. These methods necessitate a philosophical shift toward complexity science. In this context, when correctly applied and interpreted, network scientific methods have a chance to revolutionize the understanding of brain function. PMID:22432419

  16. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Dynamic geometry, brain function modeling, and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Roy, Sisir; Llinás, Rodolfo

    2008-01-01

    Pellionisz and Llinás proposed, years ago, a geometric interpretation towards understanding brain function. This interpretation assumes that the relation between the brain and the external world is determined by the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to construct an internal model of the external world using an interactive geometrical relationship between sensory and motor expression. This approach opened new vistas not only in brain research but also in understanding the foundations of geometry itself. The approach named tensor network theory is sufficiently rich to allow specific computational modeling and addressed the issue of prediction, based on Taylor series expansion properties of the system, at the neuronal level, as a basic property of brain function. It was actually proposed that the evolutionary realm is the backbone for the development of an internal functional space that, while being purely representational, can interact successfully with the totally different world of the so-called "external reality". Now if the internal space or functional space is endowed with stochastic metric tensor properties, then there will be a dynamic correspondence between events in the external world and their specification in the internal space. We shall call this dynamic geometry since the minimal time resolution of the brain (10-15 ms), associated with 40 Hz oscillations of neurons and their network dynamics, is considered to be responsible for recognizing external events and generating the concept of simultaneity. The stochastic metric tensor in dynamic geometry can be written as five-dimensional space-time where the fifth dimension is a probability space as well as a metric space. This extra dimension is considered an imbedded degree of freedom. It is worth noticing that the above-mentioned 40 Hz oscillation is present both in awake and dream states where the central difference is the inability of phase resetting in the latter. This framework of dynamic

  18. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Conceptual Alignment: How Brains Achieve Mutual Understanding.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Arjen; Verhagen, Lennart; Toni, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    We share our thoughts with other minds, but we do not understand how. Having a common language certainly helps, but infants' and tourists' communicative success clearly illustrates that sharing thoughts does not require signals with a pre-assigned meaning. In fact, human communicators jointly build a fleeting conceptual space in which signals are a means to seek and provide evidence for mutual understanding. Recent work has started to capture the neural mechanisms supporting those fleeting conceptual alignments. The evidence suggests that communicators and addressees achieve mutual understanding by using the same computational procedures, implemented in the same neuronal substrate, and operating over temporal scales independent from the signals' occurrences. PMID:26792458

  20. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Robust transient dynamics and brain functions.

    PubMed

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-11

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

  4. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Davila, David; Thibault, Karine; Fiacco, Todd A.; Agulhon, Cendra

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes – with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling – in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions. PMID:24399932

  5. Dolichol alters brain membrane functions

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, G.Y.; Sun, A.Y.; Schroeder, F.; Wood, G.; Strong, R.

    1986-03-05

    It has been well demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between increase in dolichol level in brain and aging. An abnormally high level of dolichol was found in brain tissue of patients with pathological aging disorders. The aim of this study is to examine the physiological significance of dolichol affecting membrane transport activity and phospholipid acyl group turnover. Dolichol added to synaptic plasma membranes resulted in a biphasic effect on (Na/sup +/, K/sup +/)-ATPase, i.e., an enhancement of activity at low concentrations (5 ..mu..g/125 mg protein) and an inhibition of activity at high concentrations (40-100 ..mu..g). To probe the membrane acyl group turnover, the incorporation of (/sup 14/C)-arachidonate into plasma membrane phospholipids was examined in the presence and absence of dolichol. Dolichol elicited an increase in the incorporation of label into phospholipids. However, the effects varied depending on whether BSA is present. In the absence of BSA, the increase in labeling of phosphatidylinositols is higher than that of phosphatidylcholines. These results suggest that dolichols, when inserted into membranes, may alter membrane functions.

  6. How Brain Research Has Changed Our Understanding of Giftedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Understanding brain development and its relationship to intelligence promotes a clearer understanding of giftedness. Children are born with unique patterns and pathways which provide potential for high levels of intelligence. Parents and teachers contribute to the development of giftedness with experiences that are appropriately stimulating. It is…

  7. Advances in understanding colonic function.

    PubMed

    Milla, Peter J

    2009-04-01

    The colon is an organ of conservation that salvages water, electrolytes, and energy. The organization of colonic function is determined by the roles played by the luminal flora, the function of the different mucosal epithelial cell types, immunocompetent cells, and the neuromusculature. These different components of the colon interact with one another and with the colonic flora, and different areas of the colon serve different functions. In the normal adult during the course of a day the colon absorbs approximately 1.5 L of fluid, but under the influence of aldosterone increases up to 5 to 6 L. Diarrhoea occurs when secretion exceeds absorptive processes by either small intestinal secretion overwhelming colonic salvage or salvage being impaired by reduced colonic absorption or increased colonic secretion. PMID:19300122

  8. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by heterogeneous brain abnormalities involving cerebral regions implied in the executive functioning. The dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most prominent and functionally cognitive features of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is not clear to what extend executive deficits are heterogeneous in schizophrenia…

  9. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Promoting Motor Function by Exercising the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

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

  11. The functional brain connectome of the child and autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Mevel, Katell; Fransson, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Brain connectomics is a relatively new field of research that maps the brain's large-scale structural and functional networks at rest. The connectome of the human brain develops progressively from early infancy to late adolescence, and this review describes the theory behind the concept and its applicability to studying the development and dynamics of brain networks through graph theoretical metrics. We also describe how the brain connectome concept could further our understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) CONCLUSION: Further research into the functional child brain connectome concept could enhance our understanding of atypical brain connectivity patterns presumed to be linked to ASD. PMID:27228241

  12. Novel Neuroimaging Methods to Understand How HIV Affects the Brain.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Paul M; Jahanshad, Neda

    2015-06-01

    In much of the developed world, the HIV epidemic has largely been controlled by antiretroviral treatment. Even so, there is growing concern that HIV-infected individuals may be at risk for accelerated brain aging and a range of cognitive impairments. What promotes or resists these changes is largely unknown. There is also interest in discovering factors that promote resilience to HIV and combat its adverse effects in children. Here, we review recent developments in brain imaging that reveal how the virus affects the brain. We relate these brain changes to changes in blood markers, cognitive function, and other patient outcomes or symptoms, such as apathy or neuropathic pain. We focus on new and emerging techniques, including new variants of brain MRI. Diffusion tensor imaging, for example, can map the brain's structural connections, while fMRI can uncover functional connections. Finally, we suggest how large-scale global research alliances, such as ENIGMA, may resolve controversies over effects where evidence is now lacking. These efforts pool scans from tens of thousands of individuals and offer a source of power not previously imaginable for brain imaging studies. PMID:25902966

  13. David's Understanding of Functions and Periodicity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerson, Hope

    2008-01-01

    This is a study of David, a senior enrolled in a high school precalculus course. David's understandings of functions and periodicity was explored, through clinical interviews and contextualized through classroom observations. Although David's precalculus class was traditional his understanding of periodic functions was unconventional David engaged…

  14. Connectomics: a new paradigm for understanding brain disease.

    PubMed

    Fornito, Alex; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-05-01

    In recent years, pathophysiological models of brain disorders have shifted from an emphasis on understanding pathology in specific brain regions to characterizing disturbances of interconnected neural systems. This shift has paralleled rapid advances in connectomics, a field concerned with comprehensively mapping the neural elements and inter-connections that constitute the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has played a central role in these efforts, as it allows relatively cost-effective in vivo assessment of the macro-scale architecture of brain network connectivity. In this paper, we provide a brief introduction to some of the basic concepts in the field and review how recent developments in imaging connectomics are yielding new insights into brain disease, with a particular focus on Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Specifically, we consider how research into circuit-level, connectome-wide and topological changes is stimulating the development of new aetiopathological theories and biomarkers with potential for clinical translation. The findings highlight the advantage of conceptualizing brain disease as a result of disturbances in an interconnected complex system, rather than discrete pathology in isolated sub-sets of brain regions. PMID:24726580

  15. Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Understanding Brain Development in Early Life

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Anqi; Mori, Susumu; Miller, Michael I.

    2015-01-01

    The human brain rapidly develops during the final weeks of gestation and in the first two years following birth. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a unique in vivo imaging technique that allows three-dimensional visualization of the white matter anatomy in the brain. It has been considered to be a valuable tool for studying brain development in early life. In this review, we first introduce the DTI technique. We then review DTI findings on white matter development at the fetal stage and in infancy as well as DTI applications for understanding neurocognitive development and brain abnormalities in preterm infants. Finally, we discuss limitations of DTI and potential valuable imaging techniques for studying white matter myelination. PMID:25559117

  16. Energetic cost of brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Tomasi, Dardo; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.

    2013-01-01

    The brain's functional connectivity is complex, has high energetic cost, and requires efficient use of glucose, the brain's main energy source. It has been proposed that regions with a high degree of functional connectivity are energy efficient and can minimize consumption of glucose. However, the relationship between functional connectivity and energy consumption in the brain is poorly understood. To address this neglect, here we propose a simple model for the energy demands of brain functional connectivity, which we tested with positron emission tomography and MRI in 54 healthy volunteers at rest. Higher glucose metabolism was associated with proportionally larger MRI signal amplitudes, and a higher degree of connectivity was associated with nonlinear increases in metabolism, supporting our hypothesis for the energy efficiency of the connectivity hubs. Basal metabolism (in the absence of connectivity) accounted for 30% of brain glucose utilization, which suggests that the spontaneous brain activity accounts for 70% of the energy consumed by the brain. The energy efficiency of the connectivity hubs was higher for ventral precuneus, cerebellum, and subcortical hubs than for cortical hubs. The higher energy demands of brain communication that hinges upon higher connectivity could render brain hubs more vulnerable to deficits in energy delivery or utilization and help explain their sensitivity to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:23898179

  17. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

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

  18. Novel Neuroimaging Methods to Understand How HIV Affects the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Paul

    2015-01-01

    In much of the developed world, the HIV epidemic has largely been controlled by anti-retroviral treatment. Even so, there is growing concern that HIV-infected individuals may be at risk for accelerated brain aging, and a range of cognitive impairments. What promotes or resists these changes is largely unknown. There is also interest in discovering factors that promote resilience to HIV, and combat its adverse effects in children. Here we review recent developments in brain imaging that reveal how the virus affects the brain. We relate these brain changes to changes in blood markers, cognitive function, and other patient outcomes or symptoms, such as apathy or neuropathic pain. We focus on new and emerging techniques, including new variants of brain MRI. Diffusion tensor imaging, for example, can map the brain’s structural connections while fMRI can uncover functional connections. Finally, we suggest how large-scale global research alliances, such as ENIGMA, may resolve controversies over effects where evidence is now lacking. These efforts pool scans from tens of thousands of individuals, and offer a source of power not previously imaginable for brain imaging studies. PMID:25902966

  19. Immune responses at brain barriers and implications for brain development and neurological function in later life

    PubMed Central

    Stolp, Helen B.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Sá-Pereira, Inês; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2013-01-01

    For a long time the brain has been considered an immune-privileged site due to a muted inflammatory response and the presence of protective brain barriers. It is now recognized that neuroinflammation may play an important role in almost all neurological disorders and that the brain barriers may be contributing through either normal immune signaling or disruption of their basic physiological mechanisms. The distinction between normal function and dysfunction at the barriers is difficult to dissect, partly due to a lack of understanding of normal barrier function and partly because of physiological changes that occur as part of normal development and ageing. Brain barriers consist of a number of interacting structural and physiological elements including tight junctions between adjacent barrier cells and an array of influx and efflux transporters. Despite these protective mechanisms, the capacity for immune-surveillance of the brain is maintained, and there is evidence of inflammatory signaling at the brain barriers that may be an important part of the body's response to damage or infection. This signaling system appears to change both with normal ageing, and during disease. Changes may affect diapedesis of immune cells and active molecular transfer, or cause rearrangement of the tight junctions and an increase in passive permeability across barrier interfaces. Here we review the many elements that contribute to brain barrier functions and how they respond to inflammation, particularly during development and aging. The implications of inflammation–induced barrier dysfunction for brain development and subsequent neurological function are also discussed. PMID:23986663

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Towards a comprehensive understanding of brain machinery by correlative microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allegra Mascaro, Anna Letizia; Silvestri, Ludovico; Sacconi, Leonardo; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2015-06-01

    Unraveling the complexity of brain structure and function is the biggest challenge of contemporary science. Due to their flexibility, optical techniques are the key to exploring this intricate network. However, a single imaging technique can reveal only a small part of this machinery due to its inherent multilevel organization. To obtain a more comprehensive view of brain functionality, complementary approaches have been combined. For instance, brain activity was monitored simultaneously on different spatiotemporal scales with functional magnetic resonance imaging and calcium imaging. On the other hand, dynamic information on the structural plasticity of neuronal networks has been contextualized in a wider framework combining two-photon and light-sheet microscopy. Finally, synaptic features have been revealed on previously in vivo imaged samples by correlative light-electron microscopy. Although these approaches have revealed important features of brain machinery, they provided small bridges between specific spatiotemporal scales, lacking an omni-comprehensive view. In this perspective, we briefly review the state of the art of correlative techniques and propose a wider methodological framework fusing multiple levels of brain investigation.

  2. Art Therapy and the Brain: An Attempt to Understand the Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lusebrink, Vija B.

    2004-01-01

    The application of new techniques in brain imaging has expanded the understanding of the different functions and structures of the brain involved in information processing. This paper presents the main areas and functions activated in emotional states, the formation of memories, and the processing of motor, visual, and somatosensory information.…

  3. Order and disorder in the brain function.

    PubMed

    Quadens, Olga

    2003-01-01

    The interest in studying the brain electrical activity as a function of the development of intelligence has been spurred by the need to understand how the brain responds to environmental information. The description of sleep in mentally retarded children reveals deviant patterns of the EEG-spindles and of the eye movement activity (REM sleep) when compared to normal children. The patterns may be considered as a valuable index of mental function. According to experimental evidence, the distribution of the eye movements of sleep appears either as random or ordered. The latter are altered in the mentally handicapped in whom the appearance out of chaos, of the order which is needed for intelligence and memory to function, is altered. The sleep signs are redundant as from birth. Their pattern is also related to the psychomotor development of the infant. If their distribution remains random, or appears in long uninterrupted sequences of waves as in epilepsy, intelligence does not develop. A similar strategy appears to function in the foetus when nature organizes the structures that will lead to the development of intelligence. The eye movement patterns of sleep change in the pregnant women as a function of term and resemble those of premature babies of a similar gestational age. They also change as a function of the menstrual cycle and more generally as a function of age. The hypothesis that attention is the diurnal equivalent of REM sleep is discussed. Attempts at modelling the eye movement patterns of REM sleep as a function of near zero gravity environments have been made. 1) By means of a Montecarlo simulation using the semi Markov model during the Spacelab 1 flight. 2) With the method of the single and multiple g-phase transition analysis of the strange attractor dimension (d) during parabolic flights. The implication of the latter for the neural processes involved in learning is that the central nervous system can preserve intact, from input to output, over a

  4. Hyper-connectivity of functional networks for brain disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Jie, Biao; Wee, Chong-Yaw; Shen, Dinggang; Zhang, Daoqiang

    2016-08-01

    Exploring structural and functional interactions among various brain regions enables better understanding of pathological underpinnings of neurological disorders. Brain connectivity network, as a simplified representation of those structural and functional interactions, has been widely used for diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases, especially for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its early stage - mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the conventional functional connectivity network is usually constructed based on the pairwise correlation among different brain regions and thus ignores their higher-order relationships. Such loss of high-order information could be important for disease diagnosis, since neurologically a brain region predominantly interacts with more than one other brain regions. Accordingly, in this paper, we propose a novel framework for estimating the hyper-connectivity network of brain functions and then use this hyper-network for brain disease diagnosis. Here, the functional connectivity hyper-network denotes a network where each of its edges representing the interactions among multiple brain regions (i.e., an edge can connect with more than two brain regions), which can be naturally represented by a hyper-graph. Specifically, we first construct connectivity hyper-networks from the resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) time series by using sparse representation. Then, we extract three sets of brain-region specific features from the connectivity hyper-networks, and further exploit a manifold regularized multi-task feature selection method to jointly select the most discriminative features. Finally, we use multi-kernel support vector machine (SVM) for classification. The experimental results on both MCI dataset and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) dataset demonstrate that, compared with the conventional connectivity network-based methods, the proposed method can not only improve the classification performance, but also help

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

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Neural murmurations. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-09-01

    If not the last frontier, understanding the human brain is certainly one of the last. Over the past decade there has been a shift in the focus of neuroscience. The concept of the brain as a network is gaining traction and is rapidly becoming a dominant perspective [1]. In the target article [2], Luiz Pessoa discusses major conceptual shifts that must accompany the methodological changes associated with network science applications to the brain. The software, algorithms, and computational power needed to perform network analyses are now at the fingertips of all neuroscientists. But, this places us at a fork in the road. Will these tools be used to substantiate what has already been discovered, or will we seek a totally new and improved understanding of the brain?

  7. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

  8. From 'understanding the brain by creating the brain' towards manipulative neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Kawato, Mitsuo

    2008-06-27

    Ten years have passed since the Japanese 'Century of the Brain' was promoted, and its most notable objective, the unique 'creating the brain' approach, has led us to apply a humanoid robot as a neuroscience tool. Here, we aim to understand the brain to the extent that we can make humanoid robots solve tasks typically solved by the human brain by essentially the same principles. I postulate that this 'Understanding the Brain by Creating the Brain' approach is the only way to fully understand neural mechanisms in a rigorous sense. Several humanoid robots and their demonstrations are introduced. A theory of cerebellar internal models and a systems biology model of cerebellar synaptic plasticity is discussed. Both models are experimentally supported, but the latter is more easily verifiable while the former is still controversial. I argue that the major reason for this difference is that essential information can be experimentally manipulated in molecular and cellular neuroscience while it cannot be manipulated at the system level. I propose a new experimental paradigm, manipulative neuroscience, to overcome this difficulty and allow us to prove cause-and-effect relationships even at the system level. PMID:18375374

  9. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

    The richness and complexity of data sets obtained from functional neuroimaging studies of human cognitive behavior, using techniques such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, have until recently not been exploited by computational neural modeling methods. In this article, following a brief introduction to functional neuroimaging methodology, two neural modeling approaches for use with functional brain imaging data are described. One, which uses structural equation modeling, examines the effective functional connections between various brain regions during specific cognitive tasks. The second employs large-scale neural modeling to relate functional neuroimaging signals in multiple, interconnected brain regions to the underlying neurobiological time-varying activities in each region. These two modeling procedures are illustrated using a visual processing paradigm.

  10. Ad cerebrum per scientia: Ira Hirsh, psychoacoustics, and new approaches to understanding the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauter, Judith

    2002-05-01

    As Research Director of CID, Ira emphasized the importance of combining information from biology with rigorous studies of behavior, such as psychophysics, to better understand how the brain and body accomplish the goals of everyday life. In line with this philosophy, my doctoral dissertation sought to explain brain functional asymmetries (studied with dichotic listening) in terms of the physical dimensions of a library of test sounds designed to represent a speech-music continuum. Results highlighted individual differences plus similarities in terms of patterns of relative ear advantages, suggesting an organizational basis for brain asymmetries depending on physical dimensions of stimulus and gesture with analogs in auditory, visual, somatosensory, and motor systems. My subsequent work has employed a number of noninvasive methods (OAEs, EPs, qEEG, PET, MRI) to explore the neurobiological bases of individual differences in general and functional asymmetries in particular. This research has led to (1) the AXS test battery for assessing the neurobiology of human sensory-motor function; (2) the handshaking model of brain function, describing dynamic relations along all three body/brain axes; (3) the four-domain EPIC model of functional asymmetries; and (4) the trimodal brain, a new model of individual differences based on psychoimmunoneuroendocrinology.

  11. Understanding the biophysical effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on brain tissue: the bridge between brain stimulation and cognition.

    PubMed

    Neggers, Sebastiaan F W; Petrov, Petar I; Mandija, Stefano; Sommer, Iris E C; van den Berg, Nico A T

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly being adopted in neuroscience, medicine, psychology, and biology, for basic research purposes, diagnosis, and therapy. However, a coherent picture of how TMS affects neuronal processing, and especially how this in turn influences behavior, is still largely unavailable despite several studies that investigated aspects of the underlying neurophysiological effects of TMS. Perhaps as a result from this "black box approach," TMS studies show a large interindividual variability in applied paradigms and TMS treatment outcome can be quite variable, hampering its general efficacy and introduction into the clinic. A better insight into the biophysical, neuronal, and cognitive mechanisms underlying TMS is crucial in order to apply it effectively in the clinic and to increase our understanding of brain-behavior relationship. Therefore, computational and experimental efforts have been started recently to understand and control the effect TMS has on neuronal functioning. Especially, how the brain shapes magnetic fields induced by a TMS coil, how currents are generated locally in the cortical surface, and how they interact with complex functional neuronal circuits within and between brain areas are crucial to understand the observed behavioral changes and potential therapeutic effects resulting from TMS. Here, we review the current knowledge about the biophysical underpinnings of single-pulse TMS and argue how to move forward to fully understand and exploit the powerful technique that TMS can be. PMID:26541383

  12. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, Daniel P.; Maarek, Jean-Michel I.

    2014-01-01

    Expression of many fundamental mammalian behaviors such as, for example, aggression, mating, foraging or social behaviors, depend on locomotor activity. A central dilemma in the functional neuroimaging of these behaviors has been the fact that conventional neuroimaging techniques generally rely on immobilization of the subject, which extinguishes all but the simplest activity. Ideally, imaging could occur in freely moving subjects, while presenting minimal interference with the subject’s natural behavior. Here we provide an overview of several approaches that have been undertaken in the past to achieve this aim in both tethered and freely moving animals, as well as in nonrestrained human subjects. Applications of specific radiotracers to single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography are discussed in which brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavioral task and capture of the tracer. Potential applications to clinical neuropsychiatry are discussed, as well as challenges inherent to constraint-free functional neuroimaging. Future applications of these methods promise to increase our understanding of the neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior in health and disease. PMID:15465134

  13. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Dou, Xin; Li, Jun-Fa; Luo, Yan-Lin

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we reviewed the brain imaging studies of male sexual function in recent years from three aspects: the brain mechanism of normal sexual function, the brain mechanism of sexual dysfunction, and the mechanism of drug therapy for sexual dysfunction. Studies show that the development stages of male sexual activities, such as the excitement phase, plateau phase and orgasm phase, are controlled by different neural networks. The mesodiencephalic transition zone may play an important role in the start up of male ejaculation. There are significant differences between sexual dysfunction males and normal males in activation patterns of the brain in sexual arousal. The medial orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in the abnormal activation pattern are correlated with sexual dysfunction males in sexual arousal. Serum testosterone and morphine are commonly used drugs for male sexual dysfunction, whose mechanisms are to alter the activating levels of the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, claustrum and inferior temporal gyrus. PMID:21899000

  14. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, G.W. Kennedy Institute, Baltimore, MD )

    1990-11-01

    Exposure to excessive amounts of inorganic lead during the toddler years may produce lasting adverse effects upon brain function. Maximal ingestion of lead occurs at an age when major changes are occurring in the density of brain synaptic connections. The developmental reorganization of synapses is, in part, mediated by protein kinases, and these enzymes are particularly sensitive to stimulation by lead. By inappropriately activating specific protein kinases, lead poisoning may disrupt the development of neural networks without producing overt pathological alterations. The blood-brain barrier is another potential vulnerable site for the neurotoxic action of lead. protein kinases appear to regulate the development of brain capillaries and the expression of the blood-brain barrier properties. Stimulation of protein kinase by lead may disrupt barrier development and alter the precise regulation of the neuronal environment that is required for normal brain function. Together, these findings suggest that the sensitivity of protein kinases to lead may in part underlie the brain dysfunction observed in children poisoned by this toxicant.

  15. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Studying small brains to understand the building blocks of cognition.

    PubMed

    Haberkern, Hannah; Jayaraman, Vivek

    2016-04-01

    Cognition encompasses a range of higher-order mental processes, such as attention, working memory, and model-based decision-making. These processes are thought to involve the dynamic interaction of multiple central brain regions. A mechanistic understanding of such computations requires not only monitoring and manipulating specific neural populations during behavior, but also knowing the connectivity of the underlying circuitry. These goals are experimentally challenging in mammals, but are feasible in numerically simpler insect brains. In Drosophila melanogaster in particular, genetic tools enable precisely targeted physiology and optogenetics in actively behaving animals. In this article we discuss how these advantages are increasingly being leveraged to study abstract neural representations and sensorimotor computations that may be relevant for cognition in both insects and mammals. PMID:26826948

  18. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

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

  20. Resiliency of EEG-Based Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Hepatic encephalopathy: effects of liver failure on brain function.

    PubMed

    Felipo, Vicente

    2013-12-01

    Liver failure affects brain function, leading to neurological and psychiatric alterations; such alterations are referred to as hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Early diagnosis of minimal HE reveals an unexpectedly high incidence of mild cognitive impairment and psychomotor slowing in patients with liver cirrhosis - conditions that have serious health, social and economic consequences. The mechanisms responsible for the neurological alterations in HE are beginning to emerge. New therapeutic strategies acting on specific targets in the brain (phosphodiesterase 5, type A GABA receptors, cyclooxygenase and mitogen-activated protein kinase p38) have been shown to restore cognitive and motor function in animal models of chronic HE, and NMDA receptor antagonists have been shown to increase survival in acute liver failure. This article reviews the latest studies aimed at understanding how liver failure affects brain function and potential ways to ameliorate these effects. PMID:24149188

  2. [Localization of language function in the brain].

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Hiroyuki; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2011-12-01

    Since the first report of an aphasic patient by Paul Broca, the localization of brain function has been disputed for 150 years. In lesion studies, double dissociation has been a key concept to show the localization of particular cognitive functions. The advancement of non-invasive brain imaging methods enables us to investigate the brain activities under well-controlled conditions, further promoting the studies on the localization of the cognitive functions, including language function. Brain imaging studies, together with subtraction and correlation analyses, have accumulated evidence that syntax, phonology, and sentence comprehension are separately processed by modules in different cortical regions. More specifically, it has been clarified that the module for syntax localizes in the left lateral premotor cortex and the opercular/triangular parts of the left inferior frontal gyrus. This modular structure further suggests that aphasia is interpreted as deficits in either syntactic or phonological processing. Therefore, the classical model of contrasting speech production and comprehension should be updated. According to theoretical linguistics, on the other hand, the recursive computation of syntactic structures is an essential feature of human language faculty. One direction of research would be to contrast human beings and animals for the abilities of processing symbolic sequences. Another direction is to clarify that the human brain is indeed specialized in language processing, which can be revealed by well-controlled language tasks and functional imaging techniques. Here we will review recent studies that demonstrate the existence of grammar center in the left frontal cortex. The future studies in the neuroscience of language will eventually elucidate the cortical localization of language function in a more precise way, i.e., what is really computed in the human brain. PMID:22147453

  3. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Estrogen treatment affects brain functioning after menopause.

    PubMed

    Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2011-12-01

    Sex hormones have powerful neuromodulatory effects on functional brain organization and cognitive functioning. This paper reviews findings from studies investigating the influence of sex hormones in postmenopausal women with and without hormone therapy (HT). Functional brain organization was investigated using different behavioural tasks in postmenopausal women using either estrogen therapy or combined estrogen plus gestagen therapy and age- and IQ-matched postmenopausal women not taking HT. The results revealed HT-related modulations in specific aspects of functional brain organization including functional cerebral asymmetries and interhemispheric interaction. In contrast to younger women during the menstrual cycle, however, it seems that HT, and especially estrogen therapy, after menopause affects intrahemispheric processing rather than interhemispheric interaction. This might be explained by a faster and more pronounced age-related decline in intrahemispheric relative to interhemispheric functioning, which might be associated with higher sensitivity to HT. Taken together, the findings suggest that the female brain retains its plasticity even after reproductive age and remains susceptible to the effects of sex hormones throughout the lifetime, which might help to discover new clinical approaches in the hormonal treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:22120942

  5. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Why network neuroscience? Compelling evidence and current frontiers. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muldoon, Sarah Feldt; Bassett, Danielle S.

    2014-09-01

    The recent application of network theory to neuroscience has brought new insights into understanding the relationship between brain structure and function [1]. As Pessoa describes in his extensive review [2], the organization of the brain can be viewed as a complex system of connected components that interact at many scales [3], both in the underlying structural architecture and through temporal functional relationships. Importantly, he emphasizes that we must shed the view that a specific brain region can be tied to a specific function and instead view the brain as a dynamic and evolving network in which overlapping sub-networks of brain regions work together to produce different functions. In fact, the complexity of these evolving interactions is now driving the future of network science [4], as efforts focus on developing novel metrics to capture the dynamic essence of these interconnected networks.

  7. The challenge of understanding the brain: where we stand in 2015

    PubMed Central

    Lisman, John

    2015-01-01

    Starting with the work of Cajal more than 100 years ago, neuroscience has sought to understand how the cells of the brain give rise to cognitive functions. How far has neuroscience progressed in this endeavor? This Perspective assesses progress in elucidating five basic brain processes: visual recognition, long-term memory, short-term memory, action selection, and motor control. Each of these processes entails several levels of analysis: the behavioral properties, the underlying computational algorithm, and the cellular/network mechanisms that implement that algorithm. At this juncture, while many questions remain unanswered, achievements in several areas of research have made it possible to relate specific properties of brain networks to cognitive functions. What has been learned reveals, at least in rough outline, how cognitive processes can be an emergent property of neurons and their connections. PMID:25996132

  8. Neuroimaging Studies of Normal Brain Development and Their Relevance for Understanding Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Rachel; Gerber, Andrew J.; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2009-01-01

    Objective To review the maturational events that occur during prenatal and postnatal brain development and to present neuroimaging findings from studies of healthy individuals that identify the trajectories of normal brain development. Method Histological and postmortem findings of early brain development are presented, followed by a discussion of anatomical, diffusion tensor, proton spectroscopy, and functional imaging findings from studies of healthy individuals, with special emphasis on longitudinal data. Results Early brain development occurs through a sequence of major events, beginning with the formation of the neural tube and ending with myelination. Brain development at a macroscopic level typically proceeds first in sensorimotor areas, spreading subsequently and progressively into dorsal and parietal, superior temporal, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices throughout later childhood and adolescence. These patterns of anatomical development parallel increasing activity in frontal cortices that subserves the development of higher-order cognitive functions during late childhood and adolescence. Disturbances in these developmental patterns seem to be involved centrally in the pathogenesis of various childhood psychiatric disorders including childhood-onset schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, and bipolar disorder. Conclusions Advances in imaging techniques have enhanced our understanding of normal developmental trajectories in the brain, which may improve insight into the abnormal patterns of development in various childhood psychiatric disorders. PMID:18833009

  9. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

  10. An Adaptive Complex Network Model for Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Gomez Portillo, Ignacio J.; Gleiser, Pablo M.

    2009-01-01

    Brain functional networks are graph representations of activity in the brain, where the vertices represent anatomical regions and the edges their functional connectivity. These networks present a robust small world topological structure, characterized by highly integrated modules connected sparsely by long range links. Recent studies showed that other topological properties such as the degree distribution and the presence (or absence) of a hierarchical structure are not robust, and show different intriguing behaviors. In order to understand the basic ingredients necessary for the emergence of these complex network structures we present an adaptive complex network model for human brain functional networks. The microscopic units of the model are dynamical nodes that represent active regions of the brain, whose interaction gives rise to complex network structures. The links between the nodes are chosen following an adaptive algorithm that establishes connections between dynamical elements with similar internal states. We show that the model is able to describe topological characteristics of human brain networks obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. In particular, when the dynamical rules of the model allow for integrated processing over the entire network scale-free non-hierarchical networks with well defined communities emerge. On the other hand, when the dynamical rules restrict the information to a local neighborhood, communities cluster together into larger ones, giving rise to a hierarchical structure, with a truncated power law degree distribution. PMID:19738902

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The Brain and Development of Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Touwen, Bert C. L.

    1998-01-01

    Examines the weak relationship between structural and functional brain development. Maintains that variability is the basic characteristic of normal development, and that involves the ability to construct pluriform strategies and to select the proper strategy in any particular situation. Argues that McGraw recognized intra- and inter-individual…

  13. Classroom Seating and Functional Brain Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gur, Raquel E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between functional brain assymetry, as measured by the characteristic direction of eye movements in response to face-to-face questioning, and sitting on the left or right side of a classroom. Results are congruent with other findings comparing right and left movers. (Author/BJG)

  14. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Functional neuroimaging can support causal claims about brain function

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Matthew J.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists habitually deny that functional neuroimaging can furnish causal information about the relationship between brain events and behavior. However, imaging studies do provide causal information about those relationships—though not causal certainty. Although popular portrayals of functional neuroimaging tend to attribute too much inferential power to the technique, we should restrain ourselves from ascribing it too little. PMID:20201629

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    Estimating brain wiring patterns is critical to better understand the brain organization and function. Anatomical brain connectivity models axonal pathways, while the functional brain connectivity characterizes the statistical dependencies and correlation between the activities of various brain regions. The synchronization of brain activity can be inferred through the variation of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal from functional MRI (fMRI) and the neural connections can be estimated using tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI). Functional connections between brain regions are supported by anatomical connections, and the synchronization of brain activities arises through sharing of information in the form of electro-chemical signals on axon pathways. Jointly modeling fMRI and dMRI data may improve the accuracy in constructing anatomical connectivity as well as functional connectivity. Such an approach may lead to novel multimodal biomarkers potentially able to better capture functional and anatomical connectivity variations. We present a novel brain network model which jointly models the dMRI and fMRI data to improve the anatomical connectivity estimation and extract the anatomical subnetworks associated with specific functional modes by constraining the anatomical connections as structural supports to the functional connections. The key idea is similar to a multi-commodity flow optimization problem that minimizes the cost or maximizes the efficiency for flow configuration and simultaneously fulfills the supply-demand constraint for each commodity. In the proposed network, the nodes represent the grey matter (GM) regions providing brain functionality, and the links represent white matter (WM) fiber bundles connecting those regions and delivering information. The commodities can be thought of as the information corresponding to brain activity patterns as obtained for instance by independent component analysis (ICA) of fMRI data. The concept of information

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    Estimating brain wiring patterns is critical to better understand the brain organization and function. Anatomical brain connectivity models axonal pathways, while the functional brain connectivity characterizes the statistical dependencies and correlation between the activities of various brain regions. The synchronization of brain activity can be inferred through the variation of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal from functional MRI (fMRI) and the neural connections can be estimated using tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI). Functional connections between brain regions are supported by anatomical connections, and the synchronization of brain activities arises through sharing of information in the form of electro-chemical signals on axon pathways. Jointly modeling fMRI and dMRI data may improve the accuracy in constructing anatomical connectivity as well as functional connectivity. Such an approach may lead to novel multimodal biomarkers potentially able to better capture functional and anatomical connectivity variations. We present a novel brain network model which jointly models the dMRI and fMRI data to improve the anatomical connectivity estimation and extract the anatomical subnetworks associated with specific functional modes by constraining the anatomical connections as structural supports to the functional connections. The key idea is similar to a multi-commodity flow optimization problem that minimizes the cost or maximizes the efficiency for flow configuration and simultaneously fulfills the supply-demand constraint for each commodity. In the proposed network, the nodes represent the grey matter (GM) regions providing brain functionality, and the links represent white matter (WM) fiber bundles connecting those regions and delivering information. The commodities can be thought of as the information corresponding to brain activity patterns as obtained for instance by independent component analysis (ICA) of fMRI data. The concept of information

  20. Brain networks and their origins. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisek, Paul

    2014-09-01

    Nearly every textbook on psychology or neuroscience contains theories of function described with box and arrow diagrams. Sometimes, the boxes stand for purely theoretical constructs, such as attention or working memory, and sometimes they also correspond to specific brain regions or systems, such as parietal or prefrontal cortex, and the arrows between them to known anatomical pathways. It is common for scientists (present company included) to summarize their theories in this way and to think of the brain as a set of interacting modules with clearly distinguishable functions.

  1. [On the question of the organization of brain function: cortical associations, «disconnection» syndrome and higher brain functions].

    PubMed

    Damulin, I V

    2015-01-01

    The review considers the structural/functional brain organization, the disturbance of which is accompanied by the development of cognitive and behavioral disorders. The significance of the disruption of parallel circuits connecting frontal lobes with subcortical structures (the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum) is highlighted. This disruption is clinically described as "disconnection" syndrome. The associations between the basal ganglia and the cortex of the large cerebral hemispheres responsible for motor, cognitive and emotional/behavioral functions do not restricted to these spheres and is characteristic not only of frontal brain areas. There are circuits connecting other brain compartments and the basal ganglia that provide perception, and are involved in decision making on the basis of input information of different modalities.The improvement of understanding of the pathophysiology and neurochemistry of these structures opens new possibilities for selective action on some or other circuit to achieve the best therapeutic result. PMID:26978059

  2. The brain's default network: anatomy, function, and relevance to disease.

    PubMed

    Buckner, Randy L; Andrews-Hanna, Jessica R; Schacter, Daniel L

    2008-03-01

    Thirty years of brain imaging research has converged to define the brain's default network-a novel and only recently appreciated brain system that participates in internal modes of cognition. Here we synthesize past observations to provide strong evidence that the default network is a specific, anatomically defined brain system preferentially active when individuals are not focused on the external environment. Analysis of connectional anatomy in the monkey supports the presence of an interconnected brain system. Providing insight into function, the default network is active when individuals are engaged in internally focused tasks including autobiographical memory retrieval, envisioning the future, and conceiving the perspectives of others. Probing the functional anatomy of the network in detail reveals that it is best understood as multiple interacting subsystems. The medial temporal lobe subsystem provides information from prior experiences in the form of memories and associations that are the building blocks of mental simulation. The medial prefrontal subsystem facilitates the flexible use of this information during the construction of self-relevant mental simulations. These two subsystems converge on important nodes of integration including the posterior cingulate cortex. The implications of these functional and anatomical observations are discussed in relation to possible adaptive roles of the default network for using past experiences to plan for the future, navigate social interactions, and maximize the utility of moments when we are not otherwise engaged by the external world. We conclude by discussing the relevance of the default network for understanding mental disorders including autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:18400922

  3. SPECT functional brain imaging. Technical considerations.

    PubMed

    Devous, M D

    1995-07-01

    The technical aspects of functional brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, referring primarily to the most common SPECT brain function measure--regional cerebral blood flow--are reviewed. SPECT images of regional cerebral blood flow are influenced by a number of factors unrelated to pathology, including tomographic quality, radiopharmaceuticals, environmental conditions at the time of radiotracer administration, characteristics of the subject (e.g., age, sex), image presentation, and image processing techniques. Modern SPECT scans yield excellent image quality, and instrumentation continues to improve. The armamentarium of regional cerebral blood flow and receptor radiopharmaceuticals is rapidly expanding. Standards regarding the environment for patient imaging and image presentation are emerging. However, there is still much to learn about the circumstances for performances and evaluation of SPECT functional brain imaging. Challenge tests, primarily established in cerebrovascular disease (i.e., the acetazolamide test), offer great promise in defining the extent and nature of disease, as well as predicting therapeutic responses. Clearly, SPECT brain imaging is a powerful clinical and research tool. However, SPECT will only achieve its full potential in the management of patients with cerebral pathology through close cooperation among members of the nuclear medicine, neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, and internal medicine specialties. PMID:7626833

  4. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

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

  6. [Contribution of functional neuroimaging studies to the understanding of the mechanisms of general anesthesia].

    PubMed

    Boveroux, P; Bonhomme, V; Kirsch, M; Noirhomme, Q; Ledoux, D; Hans, G; Laureys, S; Luxen, A; Brichant, J F

    2009-01-01

    Since the early beginning of anesthesia, almost 2 centuries ago, ignorance has prevailed regarding the cerebral mechanisms of the loss of consciousness induced by general anesthesia. The recent contribution of functional brain imaging studies has allowed considerable progress in that domain. Similarly, the study of brain function under general anesthesia is currently a major tool for the understanding of conscious phenomena. This functional approach leads to conceptual changes about the functioning brain and may ultimately provide tracks for new treatments and practical applications. All these aspects are reviewed in this paper, at the light of the most recent literature. PMID:20085014

  7. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Understanding human functioning using graphical models

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Functioning and disability are universal human experiences. However, our current understanding of functioning from a comprehensive perspective is limited. The development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) on the one hand and recent developments in graphical modeling on the other hand might be combined and open the door to a more comprehensive understanding of human functioning. The objective of our paper therefore is to explore how graphical models can be used in the study of ICF data for a range of applications. Methods We show the applicability of graphical models on ICF data for different tasks: Visualization of the dependence structure of the data set, dimension reduction and comparison of subpopulations. Moreover, we further developed and applied recent findings in causal inference using graphical models to estimate bounds on intervention effects in an observational study with many variables and without knowing the underlying causal structure. Results In each field, graphical models could be applied giving results of high face-validity. In particular, graphical models could be used for visualization of functioning in patients with spinal cord injury. The resulting graph consisted of several connected components which can be used for dimension reduction. Moreover, we found that the differences in the dependence structures between subpopulations were relevant and could be systematically analyzed using graphical models. Finally, when estimating bounds on causal effects of ICF categories on general health perceptions among patients with chronic health conditions, we found that the five ICF categories that showed the strongest effect were plausible. Conclusions Graphical Models are a flexible tool and lend themselves for a wide range of applications. In particular, studies involving ICF data seem to be suited for analysis using graphical models. PMID:20149230

  11. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis and Function in the Brain of Domestic Birds

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    It is now established that the brain and other nervous systems have the capability of forming steroids de novo, the so-called “neurosteroids.” The pioneering discovery of Baulieu and his colleagues, using rodents, has opened the door to a new research field of “neurosteroids.” In contrast to mammalian vertebrates, little has been known regarding de novo neurosteroidogenesis in the brain of birds. We therefore investigated neurosteroid formation and metabolism in the brain of quail, a domestic bird. Our studies over the past two decades demonstrated that the quail brain possesses cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5-Δ4-isomerase (3β-HSD), 5β-reductase, cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/c17,20-lyase (P45017α,lyase), 17β-HSD, etc., and produces pregnenolone, progesterone, 5β-dihydroprogesterone (5β-DHP), 3β, 5β-tetrahydroprogesterone (3β, 5β-THP), androstenedione, testosterone, and estradiol from cholesterol. Independently, Schlinger’s laboratory demonstrated that the brain of zebra finch, a songbird, also produces various neurosteroids. Thus, the formation and metabolism of neurosteroids from cholesterol is now known to occur in the brain of birds. In addition, we recently found that the quail brain expresses cytochrome P4507α and produces 7α- and 7β-hydroxypregnenolone, previously undescribed avian neurosteroids, from pregnenolone. This paper summarizes the advances made in our understanding of neurosteroid formation and metabolism in the brain of domestic birds. This paper also describes what are currently known about physiological changes in neurosteroid formation and biological functions of neurosteroids in the brain of domestic and other birds. PMID:22645509

  12. Modulatory Interactions of Resting-State Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2010-01-01

    Cross-species affective neuroscience studies confirm that primary-process emotional feelings are organized within primitive subcortical regions of the brain that are anatomically, neurochemically, and functionally homologous in all mammals that have been studied. Emotional feelings (affects) are intrinsic values that inform animals how they are faring in the quest to survive. The various positive affects indicate that animals are returning to "comfort zones" that support survival, and negative affects reflect "discomfort zones" that indicate that animals are in situations that may impair survival. They are ancestral tools for living--evolutionary memories of such importance that they were coded into the genome in rough form (as primary brain processes), which are refined by basic learning mechanisms (secondary processes) as well as by higher-order cognitions/thoughts (tertiary processes). To understand why depression feels horrible, we must fathom the affective infrastructure of the mammalian brain. Advances in our understanding of the nature of primary-process emotional affects can promote the development of better preclinical models of psychiatric disorders and thereby also allow clinicians new and useful ways to understand the foundational aspects of their clients' problems. These networks are of clear importance for understanding psychiatric disorders and advancing psychiatric practice. PMID:21319497

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanches, Mary

    1979-01-01

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

  17. Brain networks: The next steps. Comment on: “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calhoun, Vince D.

    2014-09-01

    The study of brain function from the perspective of whole brain networks has been a focus within the brain imaging community for many years, but has not yet overtaken the traditional approach of focusing on a specific region or set of regions. Pessoa [1] provides a very nice summary of the many reasons why network-based approaches should be used more commonly while also outlining the open questions and challenges, many of which also exist for the predominant region-based approach. One important point to frame the problem well, however, is to define carefully what is meant by the term network, which can be used in many different ways. Pessoa's definition is consistent with that used in the network science field, that is, a graph theoretical perspective based on nodes and edges, though other (useful) definitions are also quite widely used in the brain imaging community and should not be discounted [2]. The concept of networks is a very powerful tool for studying the brain, and also for potentially pointing us to regions that are at high-risk or potentially especially important to protect (or the oft undervalued weak but wide-spread connections as Pessoa points out).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. What is feasible with imaging human brain function and connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

    When we consider all of the methods we employ to detect brain function, from electrophysiology to optical techniques to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we do not really have a 'golden technique' that meets all of the needs for studying the brain. We have methods, each of which has significant limitations but provide often complimentary information. Clearly, there are many questions that need to be answered about fMRI, which unlike other methods, allows us to study the human brain. However, there are also extraordinary accomplishments or demonstration of the feasibility of reaching new and previously unexpected scales of function in the human brain. This article reviews some of the work we have pursued, often with extensive collaborations with other co-workers, towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of the methodology, defining its limitations, and developing solutions to advance it. No doubt, our knowledge of human brain function has vastly expanded since the introduction of fMRI. However, methods and instrumentation in this dynamic field have evolved to a state that discoveries about the human brain based on fMRI principles, together with information garnered at a much finer spatial and temporal scale through other methods, are poised to significantly accelerate in the next decade.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574313

  20. Understanding paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Kimberly S.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH) is a condition occurring in a small percentage of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is characterized by a constellation of symptoms associated with excessive adrenergic output, including tachycardia, hypertension, tachypnea, and diaphoresis. Diagnosis is one of exclusion and, therefore, is often delayed. Treatment is aimed at minimizing triggers and pharmacologic management of symptoms. Methods: A literature review using medline and cinahl was conducted to identify articles related to PSH. Search terms included paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity, autonomic storming, diencephalic seizures, and sympathetic storming. Reference lists of pertinent articles were also reviewed and these additional papers were included. Results: The literature indicates that the understanding of PSH following TBI is in its infancy. The majority of information is based on small case series. The review revealed treatments that may be useful in treating PSH. Conclusions: Nurses play a critical role in the identification of at-risk patients, symptom complexes, and in the education of family. Early detection and treatment is likely to decrease overall morbidity and facilitate recovery. Further research is needed to establish screening tools and treatment algorithms for PSH. PMID:25506508

  1. Accessory food factors: understanding the catalytic function.

    PubMed

    Braun, Robyn

    2011-01-01

    Despite the practical knowledge throughout the nineteenth century that citrus fruit cured scurvy, and that rickets and beriberi were diseases caused by poor diet, it was not until 1901 that animal feeding experiments led one investigator to propose the existence of 'accessory food factors,' a lack of which was determined to be the cause of some illnesses (Hopkins, 1949. In Joseph Needham and E. Baldwin (eds.), Hopkins and Biochemistry, 1861-1947: Papers Concerning Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, O.M., P.R.S., with a Selection of His Addresses and a Bibliography of His Publications. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons Ltd). The discovery of vitamins has long been considered as a delayed discovery. This delay has been attributed to the power of the germ theory in physiology at the time. While the germ theory and theories of auto-intoxication certainly played a role in delaying the discovery of vitamins, I argue further that it is important to consider the difference made to physiology by understanding the vitamins' catalytic function. The profound difference made to physiology by the vitamins' catalytic function suggests that a vitamin concept had previously been systematically inaccessible to researchers working within the conceptual framework of Bernardian physiology. PMID:21069437

  2. Effect of tumor resection on the characteristics of functional brain networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Douw, L.; Hernández, J. M.; Reijneveld, J. C.; Stam, C. J.; van Mieghem, P.

    2010-08-01

    Brain functioning such as cognitive performance depends on the functional interactions between brain areas, namely, the functional brain networks. The functional brain networks of a group of patients with brain tumors are measured before and after tumor resection. In this work, we perform a weighted network analysis to understand the effect of neurosurgery on the characteristics of functional brain networks. Statistically significant changes in network features have been discovered in the beta (13-30 Hz) band after neurosurgery: the link weight correlation around nodes and within triangles increases which implies improvement in local efficiency of information transfer and robustness; the clustering of high link weights in a subgraph becomes stronger, which enhances the global transport capability; and the decrease in the synchronization or virus spreading threshold, revealed by the increase in the largest eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix, which suggests again the improvement of information dissemination.

  3. Effect of tumor resection on the characteristics of functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Douw, L; Hernández, J M; Reijneveld, J C; Stam, C J; Van Mieghem, P

    2010-08-01

    Brain functioning such as cognitive performance depends on the functional interactions between brain areas, namely, the functional brain networks. The functional brain networks of a group of patients with brain tumors are measured before and after tumor resection. In this work, we perform a weighted network analysis to understand the effect of neurosurgery on the characteristics of functional brain networks. Statistically significant changes in network features have been discovered in the beta (13-30 Hz) band after neurosurgery: the link weight correlation around nodes and within triangles increases which implies improvement in local efficiency of information transfer and robustness; the clustering of high link weights in a subgraph becomes stronger, which enhances the global transport capability; and the decrease in the synchronization or virus spreading threshold, revealed by the increase in the largest eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix, which suggests again the improvement of information dissemination. PMID:20866854

  4. Control of Brain Development, Function, and Behavior by the Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Timothy R.; Mazmanian, Sarkis K.

    2015-01-01

    Animals share an intimate and life-long partnership with a myriad of resident microbial species, collectively referred to as the microbiota. Symbiotic microbes have been shown to regulate nutrition and metabolism, and are critical for the development and function of the immune system. More recently, studies have suggested that gut bacteria can impact neurological outcomes – altering behavior and potentially affecting the onset and/or severity of nervous system disorders. In this review, we highlight emerging evidence that the microbiome extends its influence to the brain via various pathways connecting the gut to the central nervous system. While understanding and appreciation of a gut microbial impact on neurological function is nascent, unraveling gut-microbiome-brain connections holds the promise of transforming the neurosciences and revealing potentially novel etiologies for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25974299

  5. Is the brain a decomposable or nondecomposable system?. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Evan

    2014-09-01

    Pessoa's review [4] casts new light on a deep and difficult question: is the brain a "decomposable" or "nondecomposable" system [1,5,7]? This question pertains to the functional organization of the brain as a cognitive system. In a decomposable system, each subsystem's operation is determined by the subsystem's intrinsic properties independent of the other subsystems, making the system's organization strongly modular. Modularity decreases depending on how strongly the subsystems interact, especially through feedback and reentrant or recursive processes. If the subsystems are only weakly coupled, such that the causal interactions within a subsystem play a stronger role in determining its operation than do the causal interactions between it and other subsystems, then the system is "nearly decomposable." If the subsystems are strongly coupled, then the functional organization of the system becomes less governed by the intrinsic properties of its subsystems and more governed by the ways the subsystems interact, making the system "minimally decomposable." In a "nondecomposable" system, the coupling is such that the subsystems no longer have clearly separable operations apart from the larger context of their interdependent operation. (Note that such strong coupling can involve weak local connections, as Pessoa discusses in Section 9.1.) The current debate about whether cognitive functions can be localized to specific brain regions [2], or whether cognitive functions need to be mapped onto dynamic networks instantiated in shifting coalitions or assemblies of regions [3,6], can be regarded also as a debate about the extent to which the brain's cognitive organization is decomposable (modular) or nondecomposable (nonmodular).

  6. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26590911

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

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Approaches to Modelling the Dynamical Activity of Brain Function Based on the Electroencephalogram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liley, David T. J.; Frascoli, Federico

    The brain is arguably the quintessential complex system as indicated by the patterns of behaviour it produces. Despite many decades of concentrated research efforts, we remain largely ignorant regarding the essential processes that regulate and define its function. While advances in functional neuroimaging have provided welcome windows into the coarse organisation of the neuronal networks that underlie a range of cognitive functions, they have largely ignored the fact that behaviour, and by inference brain function, unfolds dynamically. Modelling the brain's dynamics is therefore a critical step towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of its functioning. To date, models have concentrated on describing the sequential organisation of either abstract mental states (functionalism, hard AI) or the objectively measurable manifestations of the brain's ongoing activity (rCBF, EEG, MEG). While the former types of modelling approach may seem to better characterise brain function, they do so at the expense of not making a definite connection with the actual physical brain. Of the latter, only models of the EEG (or MEG) offer a temporal resolution well matched to the anticipated temporal scales of brain (mental processes) function. This chapter will outline the most pertinent of these modelling approaches, and illustrate, using the electrocortical model of Liley et al, how the detailed application of the methods of nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation theory is central to exploring and characterising their various dynamical features. The rich repertoire of dynamics revealed by such dynamical systems approaches arguably represents a critical step towards an understanding of the complexity of brain function.

  10. Famous Russian brains: historical attempts to understand intelligence.

    PubMed

    Vein, Alla A; Maat-Schieman, Marion L C

    2008-02-01

    Russian scientists are certainly among those who contributed actively to the search for the neuroanatomical basis of exceptional mental capacity and talent. Research into brain anatomy was one of the topics of special interest in various Russian universities. A number of independent reports on the study of famous Russian brains appeared both in Russia and abroad. Collecting and mapping brains of elite Russians in a structured manner began in Moscow in 1924 with the brain of V. I. Lenin. In 1928, the Moscow Brain Research Institute was founded, the collection of which includes the brains of several prominent Russian neuroscientists, including V. M. Bekhterev, G. I. Rossolimo, L. S. Vygotsky and I. P. Pavlov. The fact that the brain of two of the most outstanding scholars of Russian neurology and psychiatry, A. Ya. Kozhevnikov (1836-1902) and S. S. Korsakov (1854-1900), have been studied is largely unknown. A report of the results of this study was published by A. A. Kaputsin in 1925 providing a detailed neuroanatomical assessment of the brains. A considerable weight, a predominance of the left hemisphere and a particularly complex convolution of the frontal and parietal lobes of both brains were reported, the assumption being that these brain parameters can serve as an indicator of mental capacity. The names Kozhevnikov and Korsakov are among those most cherished by Russian neuroscientists; they are also familiar to Western colleagues. The (re)discovery of the records of the brain autopsies is meaningful, maybe not so much from a neuroanatomical point of view as from a historical perspective. PMID:18182419

  11. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. Understanding the Role of Neuroscience in Brain Based Products: A Guide for Educators and Consumers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylvan, Lesley J.; Christodoulou, Joanna A.

    2010-01-01

    The term "brain" based is often used to describe learning theories, principles, and products. Although there have been calls urging educators to be cautious in interpreting and using such material, consumers may find it challenging to understand the role of the brain and to discriminate among brain based products to determine which would be…

  14. Changes in Connectivity after Visual Cortical Brain Damage Underlie Altered Visual Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen; Jbabdi, Saad; Cowey, Alan

    2008-01-01

    The full extent of the brain's ability to compensate for damage or changed experience is yet to be established. One question particularly important for evaluating and understanding rehabilitation following brain damage is whether recovery involves new and aberrant neural connections or whether any change in function is due to the functional…

  15. Integrating Functional Brain Neuroimaging and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in Child Psychiatry Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

    The use of cognitive neuroscience and functional brain neuroimaging to understand brain dysfunction in pediatric psychiatric disorders is discussed. Results show that bipolar youths demonstrate impairment in affective and cognitive neural systems and in these two circuits' interface. Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric…

  16. Functional brain correlates of heterosexual paedophilia.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-15

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

  17. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Voltage imaging to understand connections and functions of neuronal circuits.

    PubMed

    Antic, Srdjan D; Empson, Ruth M; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying brain functions such as cognition and emotions requires monitoring of membrane voltage at the cellular, circuit, and system levels. Seminal voltage-sensitive dye and calcium-sensitive dye imaging studies have demonstrated parallel detection of electrical activity across populations of interconnected neurons in a variety of preparations. A game-changing advance made in recent years has been the conceptualization and development of optogenetic tools, including genetically encoded indicators of voltage (GEVIs) or calcium (GECIs) and genetically encoded light-gated ion channels (actuators, e.g., channelrhodopsin2). Compared with low-molecular-weight calcium and voltage indicators (dyes), the optogenetic imaging approaches are 1) cell type specific, 2) less invasive, 3) able to relate activity and anatomy, and 4) facilitate long-term recordings of individual cells' activities over weeks, thereby allowing direct monitoring of the emergence of learned behaviors and underlying circuit mechanisms. We highlight the potential of novel approaches based on GEVIs and compare those to calcium imaging approaches. We also discuss how novel approaches based on GEVIs (and GECIs) coupled with genetically encoded actuators will promote progress in our knowledge of brain circuits and systems. PMID:27075539

  19. Experience-Dependent Brain Development as a Key to Understanding the Language System.

    PubMed

    Westermann, Gert

    2016-04-01

    An influential view of the nature of the language system is that of an evolved biological system in which a set of rules is combined with a lexicon that contains the words of the language together with a representation of their context. Alternative views, usually based on connectionist modeling, attempt to explain the structure of language on the basis of complex associative processes. Here, I put forward a third view that stresses experience-dependent structural development of the brain circuits supporting language as a core principle of the organization of the language system. In this view, embodied in a recent neuroconstructivist neural network of past tense development and processing, initial domain-general predispositions enable the development of functionally specialized brain structures through interactions between experience-dependent brain development and statistical learning in a structured environment. Together, these processes shape a biological adult language system that appears to separate into distinct mechanism for processing rules and exceptions, whereas in reality those subsystems co-develop and interact closely. This view puts experience-dependent brain development in response to a specific language environment at the heart of understanding not only language development but adult language processing as well. PMID:26936770

  20. Understanding Brain Injury and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in the Preterm Infant: The Evolving Role of Advanced MRI

    PubMed Central

    Mathur, Amit M.; Neil, Jeffrey J.; Inder, Terrie E.

    2010-01-01

    The high incidence of neurodevelopmental disability in premature infants requires continued efforts at understanding the underlying microstructural changes in the brain that cause this perturbation in normal development. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods offer great potential to fulfill this need. Serial MR imaging and the application of newer analysis techniques such as, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), volumetric MR analysis, cortical surface analysis, functional connectivity (fcMRI) and diffusion tractography, provide important insights into the trajectory of brain development in the premature infant and the impact of injury on this developmental trajectory. While some of these imaging techniques are currently available in the research setting only, other measures such as DTI and brain metric measures can be used clinically. MR imaging also has enormous potential to be used as a surrogate, short-term outcome measure in clinical studies evaluating new therapeutic interventions of neuroprotection of the developing brain. In this article we review the current status of these advanced MR imaging techniques. PMID:20109973

  1. Dynamic connectivity and dynamic affiliation. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by L. Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uddin, Lucina Q.

    2014-09-01

    Structure-function mapping in the human brain is a non-trivial endeavor that has occupied neuroscientists for many years. While a network approach, elegantly summarized by Pessoa [1], has for the most part supplanted simple one-to-one mapping schemes, several outstanding issues remain. The concept of "dynamic affiliation" of a particular brain region with a network in a certain context goes a long way towards providing a more sophisticated description of how any given region may participate in multiple cognitive processes. Despite the considerable insights into brain function provided by the network perspectives summarized by Pessoa, it is apparent that "rigorous characterization of brain networks is in its infancy".

  2. Toward Understanding How Early-Life Stress Reprograms Cognitive and Emotional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuncai; Baram, Tallie Z

    2016-01-01

    Vulnerability to emotional disorders including depression derives from interactions between genes and environment, especially during sensitive developmental periods. Adverse early-life experiences provoke the release and modify the expression of several stress mediators and neurotransmitters within specific brain regions. The interaction of these mediators with developing neurons and neuronal networks may lead to long-lasting structural and functional alterations associated with cognitive and emotional consequences. Although a vast body of work has linked quantitative and qualitative aspects of stress to adolescent and adult outcomes, a number of questions are unclear. What distinguishes 'normal' from pathologic or toxic stress? How are the effects of stress transformed into structural and functional changes in individual neurons and neuronal networks? Which ones are affected? We review these questions in the context of established and emerging studies. We introduce a novel concept regarding the origin of toxic early-life stress, stating that it may derive from specific patterns of environmental signals, especially those derived from the mother or caretaker. Fragmented and unpredictable patterns of maternal care behaviors induce a profound chronic stress. The aberrant patterns and rhythms of early-life sensory input might also directly and adversely influence the maturation of cognitive and emotional brain circuits, in analogy to visual and auditory brain systems. Thus, unpredictable, stress-provoking early-life experiences may influence adolescent cognitive and emotional outcomes by disrupting the maturation of the underlying brain networks. Comprehensive approaches and multiple levels of analysis are required to probe the protean consequences of early-life adversity on the developing brain. These involve integrated human and animal-model studies, and approaches ranging from in vivo imaging to novel neuroanatomical, molecular, epigenomic, and computational

  3. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy of human brain function.

    PubMed Central

    Shulman, R G; Blamire, A M; Rothman, D L; McCarthy, G

    1993-01-01

    The techniques of in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy have been established over the past two decades. Recent applications of these methods to study human brain function have become a rapidly growing area of research. The development of methods using standard MR contrast agents within the cerebral vasculature has allowed measurements of regional cerebral blood volume (rCBV), which are activity dependent. Subsequent investigations linked the MR relaxation properties of brain tissue to blood oxygenation levels which are also modulated by consumption and blood flow (rCBF). These methods have allowed mapping of brain activity in human visual and motor cortex as well as in areas of the frontal lobe involved in language. The methods have high enough spatial and temporal sensitivity to be used in individual subjects. MR spectroscopy of proton and carbon-13 nuclei has been used to measure rates of glucose transport and metabolism in the human brain. The steady-state measurements of brain glucose concentrations can be used to monitor the glycolytic flux, whereas subsequent glucose metabolism--i.e., the flux into the cerebral glutamate pool--can be used to measure tricarboxylic acid cycle flux. Under visual stimulation the concentration of lactate in the visual cortex has been shown to increase by MR spectroscopy. This increase is compatible with an increase of anaerobic glycolysis under these conditions as earlier proposed from positron emission tomography studies. It is shown how MR spectroscopy can extend this understanding of brain metabolism. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8475050

  4. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

    Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social experience while the reciprocal relationship between the mother and her infant forms and develops. These alterations account for the remarkable behavioral plasticity of mothers. This review will examine the molecular and neurobiological modulation and plasticity through which parenting develops and adjusts in new mothers, primarily discussing recent findings in nonhuman animals. A better understanding of how parenting impacts the brain at the molecular, cellular, systems/network, and behavioral levels is likely to significantly contribute to novel strategies for treating postpartum neuropsychiatric disorders in new mothers, and critical for both the mother's physiological and mental health and the development and well-being of her young. PMID:27589496

  5. Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Weihong; Stone, Kirsten P.; Hsuchou, Hung; Manda, Vamshi K.; Zhang, Yan; Kastin, Abba J.

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a vast interface for cytokines to affect CNS function. The BBB is a target for therapeutic intervention. It is essential, therefore, to understand how cytokines interact with each other at the level of the BBB and how secondary signals modulate CNS functions beyond the BBB. The interactions between cytokines and lipids, however, have not been fully addressed at the level of the BBB. Here, we summarize current understanding of the localization of cytokine receptors and transporters in specific membrane microdomains, particularly lipid rafts, on the luminal (apical) surface of the microvascular endothelial cells composing the BBB. We then illustrate the clinical context of cytokine effects on the BBB by neuroendocrine regulation and amplification of inflammatory signals. Two unusual aspects discussed are signaling crosstalk by different classes of cytokines and genetic regulation of drug efflux transporters. We also introduce a novel area of focus on how cytokines may act through nuclear hormone receptors to modulate efflux transporters and other targets. A specific example discussed is the ATP-binding cassette transporter-1 (ABCA-1) that regulates lipid metabolism. Overall, cytokine signaling at the level of the BBB is a crucial feature of the dynamic regulation that can rapidly change BBB function and affect brain health and disease. PMID:21834767

  6. A Multivariate Granger Causality Concept towards Full Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Schmid-Hertel, Nicole; Witte, Herbert; Wismüller, Axel; Leistritz, Lutz

    2016-01-01

    Detecting changes of spatially high-resolution functional connectivity patterns in the brain is crucial for improving the fundamental understanding of brain function in both health and disease, yet still poses one of the biggest challenges in computational neuroscience. Currently, classical multivariate Granger Causality analyses of directed interactions between single process components in coupled systems are commonly restricted to spatially low- dimensional data, which requires a pre-selection or aggregation of time series as a preprocessing step. In this paper we propose a new fully multivariate Granger Causality approach with embedded dimension reduction that makes it possible to obtain a representation of functional connectivity for spatially high-dimensional data. The resulting functional connectivity networks may consist of several thousand vertices and thus contain more detailed information compared to connectivity networks obtained from approaches based on particular regions of interest. Our large scale Granger Causality approach is applied to synthetic and resting state fMRI data with a focus on how well network community structure, which represents a functional segmentation of the network, is preserved. It is demonstrated that a number of different community detection algorithms, which utilize a variety of algorithmic strategies and exploit topological features differently, reveal meaningful information on the underlying network module structure. PMID:27064897

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  8. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance. PMID:24371130

  9. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

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

  10. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

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

  11. Chemotherapy Altered Brain Functional Connectivity in Women with Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, Julie A.; Makarewicz, Jenna; Schaubhut, Geoffrey J.; Devins, Robert; Albert, Kimberly; Dittus, Kim; Newhouse, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improvements in long-term cancer survival. However, reports of cognitive impairment following treatment emphasize the importance of understanding the long-term effects of chemotherapy on brain functioning. Cognitive deficits found in chemotherapy patients suggest a change in brain functioning that affects specific cognitive domains such as attentional processing and executive functioning. This study examined the processes potentially underlying these changes in cognition by examining brain functional connectivity pre- and post-chemotherapy in women with breast cancer. Functional connectivity examines the temporal correlation between spatially remote brain regions in an effort to understand how brain networks support specific cognitive functions. Nine women diagnosed with breast cancer completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session before chemotherapy, one month after, and one year after the completion of chemotherapy. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses were completed using seeds in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to examine connectivity in the dorsal anterior attention network and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to examine connectivity in the default mode network. Results showed decreased functional connectivity one month after chemotherapy that partially returned to baseline at one year in the dorsal attention network. Decreased connectivity was seen in the default mode network at one month and one year following chemotherapy. In addition, increased subjective memory complaints were noted at one month and one year post-chemotherapy. These findings suggest a detrimental effect of chemotherapy on brain functional connectivity that is potentially related to subjective cognitive assessment. PMID:23852814

  12. Inability to empathize: brain lesions that disrupt sharing and understanding another’s emotions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Emotional empathy—the ability to recognize, share in, and make inferences about another person’s emotional state—is critical for all social interactions. The neural mechanisms underlying emotional empathy have been widely studied with functional imaging of healthy participants. However, functional imaging studies reveal correlations between areas of activation and performance of a task, so that they can only reveal areas engaged in a task, rather than areas of the brain that are critical for the task. Lesion studies complement functional imaging, to identify areas necessary for a task. Impairments in emotional empathy have been mostly studied in neurological diseases with fairly diffuse injury, such as traumatic brain injury, autism and dementia. The classic ‘focal lesion’ is stroke. There have been scattered studies of patients with impaired empathy after stroke and other focal injury, but these studies have included small numbers of patients. This review will bring together data from these studies, to complement evidence from functional imaging. Here I review how focal lesions affect emotional empathy. I will show how lesion studies contribute to the understanding of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying emotional empathy, and how they contribute to the management of patients with impaired emotional empathy. PMID:24293265

  13. Understanding Linear Functions and Their Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Pamela J.

    2015-01-01

    Linear functions are an important part of the middle school mathematics curriculum. Students in the middle grades gain fluency by working with linear functions in a variety of representations (NCTM 2001). Presented in this article is an activity that was used with five eighth-grade classes at three different schools. The activity contains 15 cards…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  16. Cognitive neuroscience 2.0: building a cumulative science of human brain function

    PubMed Central

    Yarkoni, Tal; Poldrack, Russell A.; Van Essen, David C.; Wager, Tor D.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly recognize that continued progress in understanding human brain function will require not only the acquisition of new data, but also the synthesis and integration of data across studies and laboratories. Here we review ongoing efforts to develop a more cumulative science of human brain function. We discuss the rationale for an increased focus on formal synthesis of the cognitive neuroscience literature, provide an overview of recently developed tools and platforms designed to facilitate the sharing and integration of neuroimaging data, and conclude with a discussion of several emerging developments that hold even greater promise in advancing the study of human brain function. PMID:20884276

  17. An Annotated Bibliography of Literature Dealing with Brain Functions and Brain Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kryder, James S.

    This document discusses the problem of teachers who teach primarily to the left hemisphere of the brain, not allowing the right-brain dominant student to expand his creative ability. It presents information about brain structure and function for educators. A glossary of 25 terms is provided with sources of the definitions. Annotations summarizing…

  18. Kappa-opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Chemical Biology for Understanding Matrix Metalloproteinase Function

    PubMed Central

    Knapinska, Anna; Fields, Gregg B.

    2013-01-01

    The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family has long been associated with normal physiological processes such as embryonic implantation, tissue remodeling, organ development, and wound healing, as well as multiple aspects of cancer initiation and progression, osteoarthritis, inflammatory and vascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The development of chemically designed MMP probes has advanced our understanding of the roles of MMPs in disease in addition to shedding considerable light on the mechanisms of MMP action. The first generation of protease-activated agents has demonstrated proof of principle as well as providing impetus for in vivo applications. One common problem has been a lack of agent stability at nontargeted tissues and organs due to activation by multiple proteases. The present review considers how chemical biology has impacted the progress made in understanding the roles of MMPs in disease and the basic mechanisms of MMP action. PMID:22933318

  20. BrainKnowledge: a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Mei-Yu; Chen, Chien-Chung; Chen, Jyh-Horng

    2011-03-01

    Associating fMRI image datasets with the available literature is crucial for the analysis and interpretation of fMRI data. Here, we present a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system (BrainKnowledge) that associates fMRI data analysis and literature search functions. BrainKnowledge not only contains indexed literature, but also provides the ability to compare experimental data with those derived from the literature. BrainKnowledge provides three major functions: (1) to search for brain activation models by selecting a particular brain function; (2) to query functions by brain structure; (3) to compare the fMRI data with data extracted from the literature. All these functions are based on our literature extraction and mining module developed earlier (Hsiao, Chen, Chen. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 42, 912-922, 2009), which automatically downloads and extracts information from a vast amount of fMRI literature and generates co-occurrence models and brain association patterns to illustrate the relevance of brain structures and functions. BrainKnowledge currently provides three co-occurrence models: (1) a structure-to-function co-occurrence model; (2) a function-to-structure co-occurrence model; and (3) a brain structure co-occurrence model. Each model has been generated from over 15,000 extracted Medline abstracts. In this study, we illustrate the capabilities of BrainKnowledge and provide an application example with the studies of affect. BrainKnowledge, which combines fMRI experimental results with Medline abstracts, may be of great assistance to scientists not only by freeing up resources and valuable time, but also by providing a powerful tool that collects and organizes over ten thousand abstracts into readily usable and relevant sources of information for researchers. PMID:20857233

  1. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M.

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  2. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function.

    PubMed

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  3. Disrupted Brain Functional Network Architecture in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Feng, Yuan; Xu, Jin-Jing; Mao, Cun-Nan; Xia, Wenqing; Ren, Jun; Yin, Xindao

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated the disruptions of multiple brain networks in tinnitus patients. Nonetheless, several studies found no differences in network processing between tinnitus patients and healthy controls (HCs). Its neural bases are poorly understood. To identify aberrant brain network architecture involved in chronic tinnitus, we compared the resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) patterns of tinnitus patients and HCs. Materials and Methods: Chronic tinnitus patients (n = 24) with normal hearing thresholds and age-, sex-, education- and hearing threshold-matched HCs (n = 22) participated in the current study and underwent the rs-fMRI scanning. We used degree centrality (DC) to investigate functional connectivity (FC) strength of the whole-brain network and Granger causality to analyze effective connectivity in order to explore directional aspects involved in tinnitus. Results: Compared to HCs, we found significantly increased network centrality in bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Unidirectionally, the left SFG revealed increased effective connectivity to the left middle orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left posterior lobe of cerebellum (PLC), left postcentral gyrus, and right middle occipital gyrus (MOG) while the right SFG exhibited enhanced effective connectivity to the right supplementary motor area (SMA). In addition, the effective connectivity from the bilateral SFG to the OFC and SMA showed positive correlations with tinnitus distress. Conclusions: Rs-fMRI provides a new and novel method for identifying aberrant brain network architecture. Chronic tinnitus patients have disrupted FC strength and causal connectivity mostly in non-auditory regions, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The current findings will provide a new perspective for understanding the neuropathophysiological mechanisms in chronic tinnitus. PMID:27458377

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

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

  5. Brain Maps on the Go: Functional Imaging During Motor Challenge in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, DP; Maarek, J-M I

    2008-01-01

    Brain mapping in the freely-moving animal is useful for studying motor circuits, not only because it avoids the potential confound of sedation or restraints, but because activated brain states may serve to accentuate differences that only manifest partially while a subject is in the resting state. Perfusion or metabolic mapping using autoradiography allows one to examine changes in brain function at the circuit level across the entire brain with a spatial resolution (∼100 microns) appropriate for the rat or mouse brain, and a temporal resolution (seconds – minutes) sufficient for capturing acute brain changes. Here we summarize the application of these methods to the functional brain mapping of behaviors involving locomotion of small animals, methods for the three dimensional reconstruction of the brain from autoradiographic sections, voxel based analysis of the whole brain, and generation of maps of the flattened rat cortex. Application of these methods in animal models promises utility in improving our understanding of motor function in the normal brain, and of the effects of neuropathology and treatment interventions such as exercise have on the reorganization of motor circuits. PMID:18554522

  6. The brain and higher mental function.

    PubMed

    Smith, G C

    1991-06-01

    Critical evaluation of biological theories of psychiatric disorder requires an understanding of current concepts of higher mental function and its related biology. Both the nature of the topic and the rapidity of advances in the field make it difficult to obtain an updated synthesis. Part I of this paper attempts to provide that by reviewing current concepts of the mind/body relationship, emotion, arousal, attention, consciousness and motivation. Part II considers those concepts in relation to recent work on the structure and function of the reticular, limbic and anterior cerebral systems. It is concluded that the model of the limbic system as subserving emotional life could now perhaps be set aside in favour of the model of a core set of chemically identified neurons in the reticular system being necessary but not sufficient to subserve higher mental function whilst also subserving other integrating functions for which no mental terminology is required. The problem of developing an eclectic theory of higher mental function that will embrace these concepts is discussed. PMID:1678938

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  10. High frequency functional brain networks in neonates revealed by rapid acquisition resting state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Smith-Collins, Adam P R; Luyt, Karen; Heep, Axel; Kauppinen, Risto A

    2015-07-01

    Understanding how spatially remote brain regions interact to form functional brain networks, and how these develop during the neonatal period, provides fundamental insights into normal brain development, and how mechanisms of brain disorder and recovery may function in the immature brain. A key imaging tool in characterising functional brain networks is examination of T2*-weighted fMRI signal during rest (resting state fMRI, rs-fMRI). The majority of rs-fMRI studies have concentrated on slow signal fluctuations occurring at <0.1 Hz, even though neuronal rhythms, and haemodynamic responses to these fluctuate more rapidly, and there is emerging evidence for crucial information about functional brain connectivity occurring more rapidly than these limits. The characterisation of higher frequency components has been limited by the sampling frequency achievable with standard T2* echoplanar imaging (EPI) sequences. We describe patterns of neonatal functional brain network connectivity derived using accelerated T2*-weighted EPI MRI. We acquired whole brain rs-fMRI data, at subsecond sampling frequency, from preterm infants at term equivalent age and compared this to rs-fMRI data acquired with standard EPI acquisition protocol. We provide the first evidence that rapid rs-fMRI acquisition in neonates, and adoption of an extended frequency range for analysis, allows identification of a substantial proportion of signal power residing above 0.2 Hz. We thereby describe changes in brain connectivity associated with increasing maturity which are not evident using standard rs-fMRI protocols. Development of optimised neonatal fMRI protocols, including use of high speed acquisition sequences, is crucial for understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of the developing brain. PMID:25787931

  11. Brief Report: Brain Mechanisms in Autism: Functional and Structural Abnormalities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

    This paper summarizes results of research on functional and structural abnormalities of the brain in autism. The current concept of causation is seen to involve multiple biologic levels. A consistent profile of brain function and dysfunction across methods has been found and specific neuropathologic findings have been found; but some research…

  12. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zarate, Ramon; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M; Espinosa, Pedro; Ramirez, Victor D

    2014-01-01

    Sex hormones exert differential effects on a variety of sensitive tissues like the reproductive tract, gonads, liver, bone and adipose tissue, among others. In the brain, sex hormones act as neuroactive steroids regulating the function of neuroendocrine diencephalic structures like the hypothalamus. In addition, steroids can exert physiological effects upon cortical, limbic and midbrain structures, influencing different behaviors such as memory, learning, mood and reward. In the last three decades, the role of sex hormones on monoamine neurotransmitters in extra-hypothalamic areas related to motivated behaviors, learning and locomotion has been the focus of much research. The purpose of this thematic issue is to present the state of art concerning the effects of sex hormones on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic midbrain areas involved in neurobiological and pathological processes, such as addiction to drugs of abuse. We also discuss evidence of how neonatal exposure to sex hormones or endocrine disrupting chemicals can produce long-term changes on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic neurons in the limbic and midbrain areas. PMID:25540983

  13. Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuronal Functionality Changes in Sensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carron, Simone F.; Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by direct blows to the head or inertial forces during relative head-brain movement, can result in long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits which can be particularly consequential when they occur in young people with a long life ahead. Much is known of the molecular and anatomical changes produced in TBI but much less is known of the consequences of these changes to neuronal functionality, especially in the cortex. Given that much of our interior and exterior lives are dependent on responsiveness to information from and about the world around us, we have hypothesized that a significant contributor to the cognitive and motor deficits seen after TBI could be changes in sensory processing. To explore this hypothesis, and to develop a model test system of the changes in neuronal functionality caused by TBI, we have examined neuronal encoding of simple and complex sensory input in the rat’s exploratory and discriminative tactile system, the large face macrovibrissae, which feeds to the so-called “barrel cortex” of somatosensory cortex. In this review we describe the short-term and long-term changes in the barrel cortex encoding of whisker motion modeling naturalistic whisker movement undertaken by rats engaged in a variety of tasks. We demonstrate that the most common form of TBI results in persistent neuronal hyperexcitation specifically in the upper cortical layers, likely due to changes in inhibition. We describe the types of cortical inhibitory neurons and their roles and how selective effects on some of these could produce the particular forms of neuronal encoding changes described in TBI, and then generalize to compare the effects on inhibition seen in other forms of brain injury. From these findings we make specific predictions as to how non-invasive extra-cranial electrophysiology can be used to provide the high-precision information needed to monitor and understand the temporal evolution of changes in neuronal

  14. Adaptation of the communicative brain to post-lingual deafness. Evidence from functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Lazard, Diane S; Innes-Brown, Hamish; Barone, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Not having access to one sense profoundly modifies our interactions with the environment, in turn producing changes in brain organization. Deafness and its rehabilitation by cochlear implantation offer a unique model of brain adaptation during sensory deprivation and recovery. Functional imaging allows the study of brain plasticity as a function of the times of deafness and implantation. Even long after the end of the sensitive period for auditory brain physiological maturation, some plasticity may be observed. In this way the mature brain that becomes deaf after language acquisition can adapt to its modified sensory inputs. Oral communication difficulties induced by post-lingual deafness shape cortical reorganization of brain networks already specialized for processing oral language. Left hemisphere language specialization tends to be more preserved than functions of the right hemisphere. We hypothesize that the right hemisphere offers cognitive resources re-purposed to palliate difficulties in left hemisphere speech processing due to sensory and auditory memory degradation. If cochlear implantation is considered, this reorganization during deafness may influence speech understanding outcomes positively or negatively. Understanding brain plasticity during post-lingual deafness should thus inform the development of cognitive rehabilitation, which promotes positive reorganization of the brain networks that process oral language before surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging. PMID:23973562

  15. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Updates News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men ... Using functional MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in ...

  16. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Functional development in the infant brain for auditory pitch processing.

    PubMed

    Homae, Fumitaka; Watanabe, Hama; Nakano, Tamami; Taga, Gentaro

    2012-03-01

    Understanding how the developing brain processes auditory information is a critical step toward the clarification of infants' perception of speech and music. We have reported that the infant brain perceives pitch information in speech sounds. Here, we used multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy to examine whether the infant brain is sensitive to information of pitch changes in auditory sequences. Three types of auditory sequences with distinct temporal structures of pitch changes were presented to 3- and 6-month-old infants: a long condition of 12 successive tones constructing a chromatic scale (600 ms), a short condition of four successive tones constructing a chromatic scale (200 ms), and a random condition of random tone sequences (50 ms per tone). The difference among the conditions was only in the sequential order of the tones, which causes pitch changes between the successive tones. We found that the bilateral temporal regions of both ages of infants showed significant activation under the three conditions. The stimulus-dependent activation was observed in the right temporoparietal region of the both infant groups; the 3- and 6-month-old infants showed the most prominent activation under the random and short conditions, respectively. Our findings indicate that the infant brain, which shows functional differentiation and lateralization in auditory-related areas, is capable of responding to more than single tones of pitch information. These results suggest that the right temporoparietal region of the infants increases sensitivity to auditory sequences, which have temporal structures similar to those of syllables in speech sounds, in the course of development. PMID:21488136

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. The Apolipoprotein E Gene, Attention, and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Parasuraman, Raja; Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sunderland, Trey

    2005-01-01

    The ɛ4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene is associated with alterations in brain function and is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Changes in components of visuospatial attention with ApoE-ɛ4, aging, and AD are described. Healthy middle-aged adults without dementia who have the ApoE-ɛ4 gene show deficits in spatial attention and working memory that are qualitatively similar to those seen in clinically diagnosed AD patients. The findings support an association between ApoE polymorphism and specific components of visuospatial attention. Molecular mechanisms that may mediate the ApoE–attention link by modulating cholinergic neurotransmission to the posterior parietal cortex are discussed. Studies of attention and brain function in ApoE-ɛ4 carriers without dementia can advance knowledge of the genetics of visual attention, may enhance understanding of the preclinical phase of AD, and may lead to better methods for early AD detection. PMID:11949718

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

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Musen, Mark; Menon, Vinod

    2009-07-01

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

  3. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jane A; Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-05-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29(th) International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, "Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders" to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

  4. Functional brain imaging of trigeminal neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Moisset, Xavier; Villain, Nicolas; Ducreux, Denis; Serrie, Alain; Cunin, Gérard; Valade, Dominique; Calvino, Bernard; Bouhassira, Didier

    2011-02-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze changes in brain activity associated with stimulation of the cutaneous trigger zone in patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia (CTN). Fifteen consecutive patients with CTN in the second or third division of the nerve, were included in this study. The fMRI paradigm consisted of light tactile stimuli of the trigger zone and the homologous contralateral area. Stimulation of the affected side induced pain in seven patients, but was not painful in eight patients on the day of the experiment. Painful stimuli were associated with significantly increased activity in the spinal trigeminal nucleus (SpV), thalamus, primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, premotor/motor cortex, prefrontal areas, putamen, hippocampus and brainstem. Nonpainful stimulation of the trigger zone activated all but three of these structures (SpV, brainstem and ACC). After a successful surgical treatment, activation induced by stimulation of the operated side was confined to S1 and S2. Our data demonstrate the pathological hyperexcitability of the trigeminal nociceptive system, including the second order trigeminal sensory neurons during evoked attacks of CTN. Such sensitization may depend on pain modulatory systems involving both the brainstem (i.e. periaqueductal gray and adjacent structures) and interconnected cortical structures (i.e. ACC). The fact that large portions of the classical 'pain neuromatrix' were also activated during nonpainful stimulation of the trigger zone, could reflect a state of maintained sensitization of the trigeminal nociceptive systems in CTN. PMID:20609605

  5. Chinese Returnees from Overseas Study: An Understanding of Brain Gain and Brain Circulation in the Age of Globalization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ma, Yuping; Pan, Suyan

    2015-01-01

    Among discussions on international academic mobility, a persistent challenge is to understand whether education abroad can become a source of brain gain, and whether globalization can offer source countries the hope that they might enjoy the benefits of freer crossborder flows in information and personnel. With reference to China, this article…

  6. Intrinsic signal imaging of brain function using a small implantable CMOS imaging device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haruta, Makito; Sunaga, Yoshinori; Yamaguchi, Takahiro; Takehara, Hironari; Noda, Toshihiko; Sasagawa, Kiyotaka; Tokuda, Takashi; Ohta, Jun

    2015-04-01

    A brain functional imaging technique over a long period is important to understand brain functions related to animal behavior. We have developed a small implantable CMOS imaging device for measuring brain activity in freely moving animals. This device is composed of a CMOS image sensor chip and LEDs for illumination. In this study, we demonstrated intrinsic signal imaging of blood flow using the device with a green LED light source at a peak wavelength of 535 nm, which corresponds to one of the absorption spectral peaks of blood cells. Brain activity increases regional blood flow. The device light weight of about 0.02 g makes it possible to stably measure brain activity through blood flow over a long period. The device has successfully measured the intrinsic signal related to sensory stimulation on the primary somatosensory cortex.

  7. Evidence for hubs in human functional brain networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Oxytocin, brain physiology, and functional connectivity: a review of intranasal oxytocin fMRI studies.

    PubMed

    Bethlehem, Richard A I; van Honk, Jack; Auyeung, Bonnie; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2013-07-01

    In recent years the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has become one of the most studied peptides of the human neuroendocrine system. Research has shown widespread behavioural effects and numerous potential therapeutic benefits. However, little is known about how OT triggers these effects in the brain. Here, we discuss some of the physiological properties of OT in the human brain including the long half-life of neuropeptides, the diffuse projections of OT throughout the brain and interactions with other systems such as the dopaminergic system. These properties indicate that OT acts without clear spatial and temporal specificity. Therefore, it is likely to have widespread effects on the brain's intrinsic functioning. Additionally, we review studies that have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) concurrently with OT administration. These studies reveal a specific set of 'social' brain regions that are likely to be the strongest targets for OT's potential to influence human behaviour. On the basis of the fMRI literature and the physiological properties of the neuropeptide, we argue that OT has the potential to not only modulate activity in a set of specific brain regions, but also the functional connectivity between these regions. In light of the increasing knowledge of the behavioural effects of OT in humans, studies of the effects of OT administration on brain function can contribute to our understanding of the neural networks in the social brain. PMID:23159011

  9. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

    The aim of this thesis is to apply functional connectivity in a variety of animal models, using several optical imaging modalities. Even at rest, the brain shows high metabolic activity: the correlation in slow spontaneous fluctuations identifies remotely connected areas of the brain; hence the term "functional connectivity". Ongoing changes in spontaneous activity may provide insight into the neural processing that takes most of the brain metabolic activity, and so may provide a vast source of disease related changes. Brain hemodynamics may be modified during disease and affect resting-state activity. The thesis aims to better understand these changes in functional connectivity due to disease, using functional optical imaging. The optical imaging techniques explored in the first two contributions of this thesis are Optical Imaging of Intrinsic Signals and Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging, together they can estimate the metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, that closely parallels neural activity. They both have adequate spatial and temporal resolution and are well adapted to image the convexity of the mouse cortex. In the last article, a depth-sensitive modality called photoacoustic tomography was used in the newborn rat. Optical coherence tomography and laminar optical tomography were also part of the array of imaging techniques developed and applied in other collaborations. The first article of this work shows the changes in functional connectivity in an acute murine model of epileptiform activity. Homologous correlations are both increased and decreased with a small dependence on seizure duration. These changes suggest a potential decoupling between the hemodynamic parameters in resting-state networks, underlining the importance to investigate epileptic networks with several independent hemodynamic measures. The second study examines a novel murine model of arterial stiffness: the unilateral calcification of the right carotid. Seed-based connectivity analysis

  10. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    PubMed

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-01

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. PMID:21664231

  11. Understanding how differentiation is maintained: lessons from the Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Froldi, Francesca; Cheng, Louise Y

    2016-04-01

    The ability to maintain cells in a differentiated state and to prevent them from reprogramming into a multipotent state has recently emerged as a central theme in neural development as well as in oncogenesis. In the developing central nervous system (CNS) of the fruit fly Drosophila, several transcription factors were recently identified to be required in postmitotic cells to maintain differentiation, and in their absence, mature neurons undergo dedifferentiation, giving rise to proliferative neural stem cells and ultimately to tumor growth. In this review, we will highlight the current understanding of dedifferentiation and cell plasticity in the Drosophila CNS. PMID:26817462

  12. Highlighting the Structure-Function Relationship of the Brain with the Ising Model and Graph Theory

    PubMed Central

    Das, T. K.; Abeyasinghe, P. M.; Crone, J. S.; Sosnowski, A.; Laureys, S.; Owen, A. M.; Soddu, A.

    2014-01-01

    With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, it becomes feasible to explore the structure-function relationships in the brain. When the brain is not involved in any cognitive task or stimulated by any external output, it preserves important activities which follow well-defined spatial distribution patterns. Understanding the self-organization of the brain from its anatomical structure, it has been recently suggested to model the observed functional pattern from the structure of white matter fiber bundles. Different models which study synchronization (e.g., the Kuramoto model) or global dynamics (e.g., the Ising model) have shown success in capturing fundamental properties of the brain. In particular, these models can explain the competition between modularity and specialization and the need for integration in the brain. Graphing the functional and structural brain organization supports the model and can also highlight the strategy used to process and organize large amount of information traveling between the different modules. How the flow of information can be prevented or partially destroyed in pathological states, like in severe brain injured patients with disorders of consciousness or by pharmacological induction like in anaesthesia, will also help us to better understand how global or integrated behavior can emerge from local and modular interactions. PMID:25276772

  13. Highlighting the structure-function relationship of the brain with the Ising model and graph theory.

    PubMed

    Das, T K; Abeyasinghe, P M; Crone, J S; Sosnowski, A; Laureys, S; Owen, A M; Soddu, A

    2014-01-01

    With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, it becomes feasible to explore the structure-function relationships in the brain. When the brain is not involved in any cognitive task or stimulated by any external output, it preserves important activities which follow well-defined spatial distribution patterns. Understanding the self-organization of the brain from its anatomical structure, it has been recently suggested to model the observed functional pattern from the structure of white matter fiber bundles. Different models which study synchronization (e.g., the Kuramoto model) or global dynamics (e.g., the Ising model) have shown success in capturing fundamental properties of the brain. In particular, these models can explain the competition between modularity and specialization and the need for integration in the brain. Graphing the functional and structural brain organization supports the model and can also highlight the strategy used to process and organize large amount of information traveling between the different modules. How the flow of information can be prevented or partially destroyed in pathological states, like in severe brain injured patients with disorders of consciousness or by pharmacological induction like in anaesthesia, will also help us to better understand how global or integrated behavior can emerge from local and modular interactions. PMID:25276772

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Douglas R; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N

    2015-01-01

    The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparative studies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behavior are intimately tied to phylogenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behavior and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for these studies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behavior, and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a "trade-off," whereby one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system), may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size. PMID:26321905

  17. Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds

    PubMed Central

    Wylie, Douglas R.; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N.

    2015-01-01

    The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparative studies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behavior are intimately tied to phylogenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behavior and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for these studies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behavior, and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a “trade-off,” whereby one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system), may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size. PMID:26321905

  18. Sex differences in intrinsic brain functional connectivity underlying human shyness.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xun; Wang, Siqi; Kendrick, Keith Maurice; Wu, Xi; Yao, Li; Lei, Du; Kuang, Weihong; Bi, Feng; Huang, Xiaoqi; He, Yong; Gong, Qiyong

    2015-12-01

    Shyness is a fundamental trait associated with social-emotional maladaptive behaviors, including many forms of psychopathology. Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that hyper-responsivity to social and emotional stimuli occurs in the frontal cortex and limbic system in shy individuals, but the relationship between shyness and brain-wide functional connectivity remains incompletely understood. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we addressed this issue by exploring the relationship between regional functional connectivity strength (rFCS) and scores of shyness in a cohort of 61 healthy young adults and controlling for the effects of social and trait anxiety scores. We observed that the rFCS of the insula positively correlated with shyness scores regardless of sex. Furthermore, we found that there were significant sex-by-shyness interactions in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and insula (two core nodes of the salience network) as well as the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex: the rFCS values of these regions positively correlated with shyness scores in females but negatively correlated in males. Taken together, we provide evidence for intrinsic functional connectivity differences in individuals with different degrees of shyness and that these differences are sex-dependent. These findings might have important implications on the understanding of biological mechanisms underlying emotional and cognitive processing associated with shyness. PMID:25994971

  19. Compelling Evidence that Exposure Therapy for PTSD Normalizes Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael J; Costanzo, Michelle E; Blair, James R; Rizzo, Albert A

    2014-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is helping us better understand the neurologic pathways involved in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We previously reported that military service members with PTSD after deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan demonstrated significant improvement, or normalization, in the fMRI-measured activation of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus following exposure therapy for PTSD. However, our original study design did not include repeat scans of control participants, rendering it difficult to discern how much of the observed normalization in brain activity is attributable to treatment, rather than merely a practice effect. Using the same Affective Stroop task paradigm, we now report on a larger sample of PTSD-positive combat veterans that we treated with exposure therapy, as well as a combat-exposed control group of service members who completed repeat scans at 3-4 month intervals. Findings from the treatment group are similar to our prior report. Combat controls showed no significant change on repeat scanning, indicating that the observed differences in the intervention group were in fact due to treatment. We continue to scan additional study participants, in order to determine whether virtual reality exposure therapy has a different impact on regional brain activation than other therapies for PTSD. PMID:24875691

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Circadian rhythms have broad implications for understanding brain and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Silver, Rae; Kriegsfeld, Lance J.

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythms are generated by an endogenously organized timing system that drives daily rhythms in behavior, physiology and metabolism. In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is the locus of a master circadian clock. The SCN is synchronized to environmental changes in the light:dark cycle by direct, monosynaptic innervation via the retino-hypothalamic tract. In turn, the SCN coordinates the rhythmic activities of innumerable subordinate clocks in virtually all bodily tissues and organs. The core molecular clockwork is composed of a transcriptional/post-translational feedback loop in which clock genes and their protein products periodically suppress their own transcription. This primary loop connects to downstream output genes by additional, interlocked transcriptional feedback loops to create tissue-specific ‘circadian transcriptomes’. Signals from peripheral tissues inform the SCN of the internal state of the organism and the brain’s master clock is modified accordingly. A consequence of this hierarchical, multilevel feedback system is that there are ubiquitous effects of circadian timing on genetic and metabolic responses throughout the body. This overview examines landmark studies in the history of the study of circadian timing system, and highlights our current understanding of the operation of circadian clocks with a focus on topics of interest to the neuroscience community. PMID:24799154

  2. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

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

  5. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Generating text from functional brain images.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

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

  7. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A; Hillary, Frank G

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  8. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

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

    PubMed Central

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod; Rubin, Daniel; Musen, Mark; Greicius, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Functional brain networks detected in task-free (“resting-state”) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have a small-world architecture that reflects a robust functional organization of the brain. Here, we examined whether this functional organization is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Task-free fMRI data from 21 AD subjects and 18 age-matched controls were obtained. Wavelet analysis was applied to the fMRI data to compute frequency-dependent correlation matrices. Correlation matrices were thresholded to create 90-node undirected-graphs of functional brain networks. Small-world metrics (characteristic path length and clustering coefficient) were computed using graph analytical methods. In the low frequency interval 0.01 to 0.05 Hz, functional brain networks in controls showed small-world organization of brain activity, characterized by a high clustering coefficient and a low characteristic path length. In contrast, functional brain networks in AD showed loss of small-world properties, characterized by a significantly lower clustering coefficient (p<0.01), indicative of disrupted local connectivity. Clustering coefficients for the left and right hippocampus were significantly lower (p<0.01) in the AD group compared to the control group. Furthermore, the clustering coefficient distinguished AD participants from the controls with a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 78%. Our study provides new evidence that there is disrupted organization of functional brain networks in AD. Small-world metrics can characterize the functional organization of the brain in AD, and our findings further suggest that these network measures may be useful as an imaging-based biomarker to distinguish AD from healthy aging. PMID:18584043

  10. Eleventh Graders' Understandings of Mathematical Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnett-Bradshaw, Camille S.

    2012-01-01

    The primary goal of the study presented in this dissertation is to describe 11th-graders' understandings, through different representations, of: (1) the definition of function, (2) the production of a function, and (3) the interpretation of a function. In addition, this dissertation seeks to describe the relationship between…

  11. Assessing small-worldness of dynamic functional brain connectivity during complex tasks.

    PubMed

    Shen Ren; Taya, Fumihiko; Yu Sun; deSouza, Joshua; Thakor, Nitish V; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2015-08-01

    The development of network theory has introduced new approaches to understand the brain as a complex system. Currently the time-variant functional connectivity of brain networks under complex tasks is still being investigated. To explore connectivity during complex cognitive and motor tasks, this study focused on the relevance of small-worldness to human workloads using EEG signals from a dynamic analytic approach. Experiments were designed to investigate the small-worldness under two types of flight simulation tasks at two levels of difficulty - easy and hard. The results demonstrated a consistent small-world architecture of brain connectivity with time-based variance during complex tasks. We noticed an increased small-world effect especially at the alpha band when performing hard tasks compared to easy tasks, which relate to high and low workload respectively. Our results show the potential of dynamic brain network analysis in exploring time-variant and task-dependent brain connectivity during complex tasks. PMID:26736899

  12. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Deng, Lifu; Sun, Junfeng; Cheng, Lin; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity (FC), obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brings insights into the functional organization of the brain. Recently, rich and complex behaviour of brain has been revealed by the dynamic fluctuation of FC, which had previously been regarded as confounding 'noise'. While the dynamics of long-distance, inter-regional FC has been extensively studied, the dynamics of local FC within a few millimetres in space remains largely unexplored. In this study, the local FC was depicted by regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the dynamics of local FC was obtained using sliding windows method. We observed a robust positive correlation between ReHo and its temporal variability, which was shown to be an intrinsic feature of the brain rather than a pure stochastic effect. Furthermore, fluctuation of ReHo was associated with global functional organization: (i) brain regions with higher centrality of inter-regional FC tended to possess higher ReHo variability; (ii) coherence of ReHo fluctuation was higher within brain's functional modules. Finally, we observed alteration of ReHo variability during a motor task compared with resting-state. Our findings associated the temporal fluctuation of ReHo with brain function, opening up the possibility of dynamic local FC study in the future. PMID:27231194

  13. Functional brain imaging studies of youth depression: A systematic review☆

    PubMed Central

    Kerestes, Rebecca; Davey, Christopher G.; Stephanou, Katerina; Whittle, Sarah; Harrison, Ben J.

    2013-01-01

    Background There is growing interest in understanding the neurobiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) in youth, particularly in the context of neuroimaging studies. This systematic review provides a timely comprehensive account of the available functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature in youth MDD. Methods A literature search was conducted using PubMED, PsycINFO and Science Direct databases, to identify fMRI studies in younger and older youth with MDD, spanning 13–18 and 19–25 years of age, respectively. Results Twenty-eight studies focusing on 5 functional imaging domains were identified, namely emotion processing, cognitive control, affective cognition, reward processing and resting-state functional connectivity. Elevated activity in “extended medial network” regions including the anterior cingulate, ventromedial and orbitofrontal cortices, as well as the amygdala was most consistently implicated across these five domains. For the most part, findings in younger adolescents did not differ from those in older youth; however a general comparison of findings in both groups compared to adults indicated differences in the domains of cognitive control and affective cognition. Conclusions Youth MDD is characterized by abnormal activations in ventromedial frontal regions, the anterior cingulate and amygdala, which are broadly consistent with the implicated role of medial network regions in the pathophysiology of depression. Future longitudinal studies examining the effects of neurodevelopmental changes and pubertal maturation on brain systems implicated in youth MDD will provide a more comprehensive neurobiological model of youth depression. PMID:24455472

  14. The default mode network and social understanding of others: what do brain connectivity studies tell us.

    PubMed

    Li, Wanqing; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The Default Mode Network (DMN) has been found to be involved in various domains of cognitive and social processing. The present article will review brain connectivity results related to the DMN in the fields of social understanding of others: emotion perception, empathy, theory of mind, and morality. Most of the reviewed studies focused on healthy subjects with no neurological and psychiatric disease, but some studies on patients with autism and psychopathy will also be discussed. Common results show that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays a key role in the social understanding of others, and the subregions of the MPFC contribute differently to this function according to their roles in different subsystems of the DMN. At the bottom, the ventral MPFC in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subsystem and its connections with emotion regions are mainly associated with emotion engagement during social interactions. Above, the anterior MPFC (aMPFC) in the cortical midline structures (CMS) and its connections with posterior and anterior cingulate cortex contribute mostly to making self-other distinctions. At the top, the dorsal MPFC (dMPFC) in the dMPFC subsystem and its connection with the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) are primarily related to the understanding of other's mental states. As behaviors become more complex, the related regions in frontal cortex are located higher. This reflects the transfer of information processing from automatic to cognitive processes with the increase of the complexity of social interaction. Besides the MPFC and TPJ, the connectivities of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) also show some changes during tasks from the four social fields. These results indicate that the DMN is indispensable in the social understanding of others. PMID:24605094

  15. The default mode network and social understanding of others: what do brain connectivity studies tell us

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wanqing; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The Default Mode Network (DMN) has been found to be involved in various domains of cognitive and social processing. The present article will review brain connectivity results related to the DMN in the fields of social understanding of others: emotion perception, empathy, theory of mind, and morality. Most of the reviewed studies focused on healthy subjects with no neurological and psychiatric disease, but some studies on patients with autism and psychopathy will also be discussed. Common results show that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays a key role in the social understanding of others, and the subregions of the MPFC contribute differently to this function according to their roles in different subsystems of the DMN. At the bottom, the ventral MPFC in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subsystem and its connections with emotion regions are mainly associated with emotion engagement during social interactions. Above, the anterior MPFC (aMPFC) in the cortical midline structures (CMS) and its connections with posterior and anterior cingulate cortex contribute mostly to making self-other distinctions. At the top, the dorsal MPFC (dMPFC) in the dMPFC subsystem and its connection with the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) are primarily related to the understanding of other's mental states. As behaviors become more complex, the related regions in frontal cortex are located higher. This reflects the transfer of information processing from automatic to cognitive processes with the increase of the complexity of social interaction. Besides the MPFC and TPJ, the connectivities of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) also show some changes during tasks from the four social fields. These results indicate that the DMN is indispensable in the social understanding of others. PMID:24605094

  16. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Undergraduate Mathematics Students' Understanding of the Concept of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardini, Caroline; Pierce, Robyn; Vincent, Jill; King, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Concern has been expressed that many commencing undergraduate mathematics students have mastered skills without conceptual understanding. A pilot study carried out at a leading Australian university indicates that a significant number of students, with high tertiary entrance ranks, have very limited understanding of the concept of function,…

  18. Emotion Understanding in Preschool Children: The Role of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martins, Eva Costa; Osório, Ana; Veríssimo, Manuela; Martins, Carla

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at studying the relations between executive functions (EFs) and categorical emotion understanding while controlling for preschoolers' IQ, language ability and theory of mind (ToM). Specifically, we wanted to analyse the association between emotion understanding and set shifting, due to the lack of studies with this EF.…

  19. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ivanitsky, A M

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Function-Structure Associations of the Brain: Evidence from Multimodal Connectivity and Covariance Studies

    PubMed Central

    Sui, Jing; Huster, Rene; Yu, Qingbao; Segall, Judith M.; Calhoun, Vince D

    2013-01-01

    Despite significant advances in multimodal imaging techniques and analysis approaches, unimodal studies are still the predominant way to investigate brain changes or group differences, including structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Multimodal brain studies can be used to understand the complex interplay of anatomical, functional and physiological brain alterations or development, and to better comprehend the biological significance of multiple imaging measures. To examine the function-structure associations of the brain in a more comprehensive and integrated manner, we reviewed a number of multimodal studies that combined two or more functional (fMRI and/or EEG) and structural (sMRI and/or DTI) modalities. In this review paper, we specifically focused on multimodal neuroimaging studies on cognition, aging, disease and behavior. We also compared multiple analysis approaches, including univariate and multivariate methods. The possible strengths and limitations of each method are highlighted, which can guide readers when selecting a method based on a given research question. In particular, we believe that multimodal fusion approaches will shed further light on the neuronal mechanisms underlying the major structural and functional pathophysiological features of both the healthy brain (e.g. development) or the diseased brain (e.g. mental illness). And in the latter case, may provide a more sensitive measure than unimodal imaging for disease classification, e.g. multimodal biomarkers, which potentially can be used to support clinical diagnosis based on neuroimaging techniques. PMID:24084066

  2. Spontaneous functional network dynamics and associated structural substrates in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Xuhong; Yuan, Lin; Zhao, Tengda; Dai, Zhengjia; Shu, Ni; Xia, Mingrui; Yang, Yihong; Evans, Alan; He, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Recent imaging connectomics studies have demonstrated that the spontaneous human brain functional networks derived from resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) include many non-trivial topological properties, such as highly efficient small-world architecture and densely connected hub regions. However, very little is known about dynamic functional connectivity (D-FC) patterns of spontaneous human brain networks during rest and about how these spontaneous brain dynamics are constrained by the underlying structural connectivity. Here, we combined sub-second multiband R-fMRI data with graph-theoretical approaches to comprehensively investigate the dynamic characteristics of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks, and then employed diffusion imaging data in the same participants to further explore the associated structural substrates. At the connection level, we found that human whole-brain D-FC patterns spontaneously fluctuated over time, while homotopic D-FC exhibited high connectivity strength and low temporal variability. At the network level, dynamic functional networks exhibited time-varying but evident small-world and assortativity architecture, with several regions (e.g., insula, sensorimotor cortex and medial prefrontal cortex) emerging as functionally persistent hubs (i.e., highly connected regions) while possessing large temporal variability in their degree centrality. Finally, the temporal characteristics (i.e., strength and variability) of the connectional and nodal properties of the dynamic brain networks were significantly associated with their structural counterparts. Collectively, we demonstrate the economical, efficient, and flexible characteristics of dynamic functional coordination in large-scale human brain networks during rest, and highlight their relationship with underlying structural connectivity, which deepens our understandings of spontaneous brain network dynamics in humans. PMID:26388757

  3. ABCD: a functional database for the avian brain.

    PubMed

    Schrott, Aniko; Kabai, Peter

    2008-01-30

    Here we present the first database developed for storing, retrieving and cross-referencing neuroscience information about the connectivity of the avian brain. The Avian Brain Circuitry Database (ABCD) contains entries about the new and old terminology of the areas and their hierarchy, data on connections between brain regions, as well as a functional keyword system linked to brain regions and connections. Data were collected from the primary literature and textbooks, and an online submission system was developed to facilitate further data collection directly from researchers. The database aims to help spread the results of avian connectivity studies, the recently revised nomenclature and also to provide data for brain network research. ABCD is freely available at http://www.behav.org/abcd. PMID:17889371

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

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Branched-chain amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, John D

    2005-06-01

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) influence brain function by modifying large, neutral amino acid (LNAA) transport at the blood-brain barrier. Transport is shared by several LNAAs, notably the BCAAs and the aromatic amino acids (ArAAs), and is competitive. Consequently, when plasma BCAA concentrations rise, which can occur in response to food ingestion or BCAA administration, or with the onset of certain metabolic diseases (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes), brain BCAA concentrations rise, and ArAA concentrations decline. Such effects occur acutely and chronically. Such reductions in brain ArAA concentrations have functional consequences: biochemically, they reduce the synthesis and the release of neurotransmitters derived from ArAAs, notably serotonin (from tryptophan) and catecholamines (from tyrosine and phenylalanine). The functional effects of such neurochemical changes include altered hormonal function, blood pressure, and affective state. Although the BCAAs thus have biochemical and functional effects in the brain, few attempts have been made to characterize time-course or dose-response relations for such effects. And, no studies have attempted to identify levels of BCAA intake that might produce adverse effects on the brain. The only "model" of very high BCAA exposure is a very rare genetic disorder, maple syrup urine disease, a feature of which is substantial brain dysfunction but that probably cannot serve as a useful model for excessive BCAA intake by normal individuals. Given the known biochemical and functional effects of the BCAAs, it should be a straightforward exercise to design studies to assess dose-response relations for biochemical and functional effects and, in this context, to explore for adverse effect thresholds. PMID:15930466

  7. NeuCube: a spiking neural network architecture for mapping, learning and understanding of spatio-temporal brain data.

    PubMed

    Kasabov, Nikola K

    2014-04-01

    The brain functions as a spatio-temporal information processing machine. Spatio- and spectro-temporal brain data (STBD) are the most commonly collected data for measuring brain response to external stimuli. An enormous amount of such data has been already collected, including brain structural and functional data under different conditions, molecular and genetic data, in an attempt to make a progress in medicine, health, cognitive science, engineering, education, neuro-economics, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI), and games. Yet, there is no unifying computational framework to deal with all these types of data in order to better understand this data and the processes that generated it. Standard machine learning techniques only partially succeeded and they were not designed in the first instance to deal with such complex data. Therefore, there is a need for a new paradigm to deal with STBD. This paper reviews some methods of spiking neural networks (SNN) and argues that SNN are suitable for the creation of a unifying computational framework for learning and understanding of various STBD, such as EEG, fMRI, genetic, DTI, MEG, and NIRS, in their integration and interaction. One of the reasons is that SNN use the same computational principle that generates STBD, namely spiking information processing. This paper introduces a new SNN architecture, called NeuCube, for the creation of concrete models to map, learn and understand STBD. A NeuCube model is based on a 3D evolving SNN that is an approximate map of structural and functional areas of interest of the brain related to the modeling STBD. Gene information is included optionally in the form of gene regulatory networks (GRN) if this is relevant to the problem and the data. A NeuCube model learns from STBD and creates connections between clusters of neurons that manifest chains (trajectories) of neuronal activity. Once learning is applied, a NeuCube model can reproduce these trajectories, even if only part of the input

  8. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Lifu; Sun, Junfeng; Cheng, Lin; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity (FC), obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brings insights into the functional organization of the brain. Recently, rich and complex behaviour of brain has been revealed by the dynamic fluctuation of FC, which had previously been regarded as confounding ‘noise’. While the dynamics of long-distance, inter-regional FC has been extensively studied, the dynamics of local FC within a few millimetres in space remains largely unexplored. In this study, the local FC was depicted by regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the dynamics of local FC was obtained using sliding windows method. We observed a robust positive correlation between ReHo and its temporal variability, which was shown to be an intrinsic feature of the brain rather than a pure stochastic effect. Furthermore, fluctuation of ReHo was associated with global functional organization: (i) brain regions with higher centrality of inter-regional FC tended to possess higher ReHo variability; (ii) coherence of ReHo fluctuation was higher within brain’s functional modules. Finally, we observed alteration of ReHo variability during a motor task compared with resting-state. Our findings associated the temporal fluctuation of ReHo with brain function, opening up the possibility of dynamic local FC study in the future. PMID:27231194

  9. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role.

    PubMed

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J; Reitsamer, Herbert A

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  10. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role

    PubMed Central

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A.; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J.; Reitsamer, Herbert A.

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  11. Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time.

    PubMed

    Ghosh Hajra, Sujoy; Liu, Careesa C; Song, Xiaowei; Fickling, Shaun; Liu, Luke E; Pawlowski, Gabriela; Jorgensen, Janelle K; Smith, Aynsley M; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Van Den Broek, Rudi; Rizzotti, Rowena; Fisher, Kirk; D'Arcy, Ryan C N

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessment of brain function relies heavily on indirect behavior-based tests. Unfortunately, behavior-based assessments are subjective and therefore susceptible to several confounding factors. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), derived from electroencephalography (EEG), are often used to provide objective, physiological measures of brain function. Historically, ERPs have been characterized extensively within research settings, with limited but growing clinical applications. Over the past 20 years, we have developed clinical ERP applications for the evaluation of functional status following serious injury and/or disease. This work has identified an important gap: the need for a clinically accessible framework to evaluate ERP measures. Crucially, this enables baseline measures before brain dysfunction occurs, and might enable the routine collection of brain function metrics in the future much like blood pressure measures today. Here, we propose such a framework for extracting specific ERPs as potential "brain vital signs." This framework enabled the translation/transformation of complex ERP data into accessible metrics of brain function for wider clinical utilization. To formalize the framework, three essential ERPs were selected as initial indicators: (1) the auditory N100 (Auditory sensation); (2) the auditory oddball P300 (Basic attention); and (3) the auditory speech processing N400 (Cognitive processing). First step validation was conducted on healthy younger and older adults (age range: 22-82 years). Results confirmed specific ERPs at the individual level (86.81-98.96%), verified predictable age-related differences (P300 latency delays in older adults, p < 0.05), and demonstrated successful linear transformation into the proposed brain vital sign (BVS) framework (basic attention latency sub-component of BVS framework reflects delays in older adults, p < 0.05). The findings represent an initial critical step in developing, extracting, and

  12. Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh Hajra, Sujoy; Liu, Careesa C.; Song, Xiaowei; Fickling, Shaun; Liu, Luke E.; Pawlowski, Gabriela; Jorgensen, Janelle K.; Smith, Aynsley M.; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Van Den Broek, Rudi; Rizzotti, Rowena; Fisher, Kirk; D'Arcy, Ryan C. N.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessment of brain function relies heavily on indirect behavior-based tests. Unfortunately, behavior-based assessments are subjective and therefore susceptible to several confounding factors. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), derived from electroencephalography (EEG), are often used to provide objective, physiological measures of brain function. Historically, ERPs have been characterized extensively within research settings, with limited but growing clinical applications. Over the past 20 years, we have developed clinical ERP applications for the evaluation of functional status following serious injury and/or disease. This work has identified an important gap: the need for a clinically accessible framework to evaluate ERP measures. Crucially, this enables baseline measures before brain dysfunction occurs, and might enable the routine collection of brain function metrics in the future much like blood pressure measures today. Here, we propose such a framework for extracting specific ERPs as potential “brain vital signs.” This framework enabled the translation/transformation of complex ERP data into accessible metrics of brain function for wider clinical utilization. To formalize the framework, three essential ERPs were selected as initial indicators: (1) the auditory N100 (Auditory sensation); (2) the auditory oddball P300 (Basic attention); and (3) the auditory speech processing N400 (Cognitive processing). First step validation was conducted on healthy younger and older adults (age range: 22–82 years). Results confirmed specific ERPs at the individual level (86.81–98.96%), verified predictable age-related differences (P300 latency delays in older adults, p < 0.05), and demonstrated successful linear transformation into the proposed brain vital sign (BVS) framework (basic attention latency sub-component of BVS framework reflects delays in older adults, p < 0.05). The findings represent an initial critical step in developing, extracting, and

  13. The Effect of Herrmann Whole Brain Teaching Method on Students' Understanding of Simple Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bawaneh, Ali Khalid Ali; Nurulazam Md Zain, Ahmad; Salmiza, Saleh

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Herrmann Whole Brain Teaching Method over conventional teaching method on eight graders in their understanding of simple electric circuits in Jordan. Participants (N = 273 students; M = 139, F = 134) were randomly selected from Bani Kenanah region-North of Jordan and randomly assigned to…

  14. Brain Chemistry and Behaviour: An Update on Neuroscience Research and Its Implications for Understanding Drug Addiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Emma S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction represent one of the biggest challenges to society. This article reviews clinical and basic science research to illustrate how developments in research methodology have enabled neuroscientists to understand more about the brain mechanisms involved in addiction biology. Treating addiction represents a…

  15. Democratic reinforcement: A principle for brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stassinopoulos, Dimitris; Bak, Per

    1995-05-01

    We introduce a simple ``toy'' brain model. The model consists of a set of randomly connected, or layered integrate-and-fire neurons. Inputs to and outputs from the environment are connected randomly to subsets of neurons. The connections between firing neurons are strengthened or weakened according to whether the action was successful or not. Unlike previous reinforcement learning algorithms, the feedback from the environment is democratic: it affects all neurons in the same way, irrespective of their position in the network and independent of the output signal. Thus no unrealistic back propagation or other external computation is needed. This is accomplished by a global threshold regulation which allows the system to self-organize into a highly susceptible, possibly ``critical'' state with low activity and sparse connections between firing neurons. The low activity permits memory in quiescent areas to be conserved since only firing neurons are modified when new information is being taught.

  16. The Bilingual Brain as Revealed by Functional Neuroimaging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Cappa, Stefano F.; Perani, Daniela

    2001-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging of bilinguals and monolinguals used in conjunction with experimental cognitive tasks has been successful in establishing functional specialization as a principle of brain organization in humans. Consistent results show that attained proficiency and possibly language exposure are more important than age of acquisition as a…

  17. Optimization of Functional Brain ROIs via Maximization of Consistency of Structural Connectivity Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Dajiang; Li, Kaiming; Faraco, Carlos Cesar; Deng, Fan; Zhang, Degang; Guo, Lei; Miller, L. Stephen; Liu, Tianming

    2011-01-01

    Segregation and integration are two general principles of the brain’s functional architecture. Therefore, brain network analysis is of significant importance in understanding brain function. Critical to brain network construction and analysis is the identification of reliable, reproducible, and accurate network nodes, or Regions of Interest (ROIs). Task-based fMRI has been widely considered as a reliable approach to identify functionally meaningful ROIs in the brain. However, recent studies have shown that factors such as spatial smoothing could considerably shift the locations of detected activation peaks. As a result, structural and functional connectivity patterns can be significantly altered. Here, we propose a novel framework by which to optimize ROI sizes and locations, ensuring that differences between the structural connectivity profiles among a group of subjects is minimized. This framework is based on functional ROIs derived from task-based fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. Accordingly, we present a new approach to describe and measure the fiber bundle similarity quantitatively within and across subjects which will facilitate the optimization procedure. Experimental results demonstrated that this framework improved the localizations of fMRI-derived ROIs. Through our optimization procedure, structural and functional connectivities were more consistent across different individuals. Overall, the ability to accurately localize network ROIs could facilitate many applications in brain imaging that rely on the accurate identification of ROIs. PMID:21875672

  18. Evolving Knowledge of Sex Differences in Brain Structure, Function and Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Cosgrove, Kelly P.; Mazure, Carolyn M.; Staley, Julie K.

    2009-01-01

    Background Clinical and epidemiologic evidence demonstrates sex differences in the prevalence and course of various psychiatric disorders. Understanding sex-specific brain differences in healthy individuals is a critical first step towards understanding sex-specific expression of psychiatric disorders. Here, we evaluate evidence on sex differences in brain structure, chemistry and function using imaging methodologies, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in mentally healthy individuals. Methods MEDLINE searches of English-language literature (1980-November 2006) using the terms sex, gender, PET, SPECT, MRI, fMRI, morphometry, neurochemistry and neurotransmission were performed to extract relevant sources. Results The literature suggests that while there are many similarities in brain structure, function and neurotransmission in healthy men and women, there are important differences that distinguish the male from the female brain. Overall brain volume is greater in men than women, yet, when controlling for total volume, women have a higher percentage of gray matter and men a higher percentage of white matter. Regional volume differences are less consistent. Global cerebral blood flow is higher in women than in men. Sex-specific differences in dopaminergic, serotonergic and GABAergic markers indicate that male and female brains are neurochemically distinct. Conclusions Insight into the etiology of sex differences in the normal living human brain provides an important foundation to delineate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders and to guide the development of sex-specific treatments for these devastating brain disorders. PMID:17544382

  19. Non-invasive NIR spectroscopy of human brain function during exercise.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stéphane

    2008-08-01

    The assessment of physiological changes associated with brain activity has become possible by optical methods, such as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). NIRS is a useful neuroimaging technique based on haemodynamic principles for the non-invasive investigation of brain in motion. Due to its properties, the near-infrared light can penetrate biological tissue reasonably well to assess brain activity and two types of measurements are possible according to the number of channels used: dynamic changes in a localized brain region or functional brain imaging. The theoretical and technological advances of the past 10-15 years have opened the door to a range of applications in the human movement sciences, including some that involve imaging of the adult brain during motor and cognitive tasks, which for many years had been inaccessible to NIRS. This article examines the perturbation methods for measuring cerebral haemodynamic responses within resting and exercise conditions in humans and how NIRS can be used to image the moving brain. Methodological challenges of NIRS technique are presented, while the advantages and pitfalls of NIRS compared to other neuroimaging methods are discussed. Actual and future uses for NIRS in the field of sport sciences are outlined for a better understanding of brain processes during movement. PMID:18539160

  20. Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders of Basal Ganglia Origin: Restoring Function or Functionality?

    PubMed

    Wichmann, Thomas; DeLong, Mahlon R

    2016-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is highly effective for both hypo- and hyperkinetic movement disorders of basal ganglia origin. The clinical use of DBS is, in part, empiric, based on the experience with prior surgical ablative therapies for these disorders, and, in part, driven by scientific discoveries made decades ago. In this review, we consider anatomical and functional concepts of the basal ganglia relevant to our understanding of DBS mechanisms, as well as our current understanding of the pathophysiology of two of the most commonly DBS-treated conditions, Parkinson's disease and dystonia. Finally, we discuss the proposed mechanism(s) of action of DBS in restoring function in patients with movement disorders. The signs and symptoms of the various disorders appear to result from signature disordered activity in the basal ganglia output, which disrupts the activity in thalamocortical and brainstem networks. The available evidence suggests that the effects of DBS are strongly dependent on targeting sensorimotor portions of specific nodes of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor circuit, that is, the subthalamic nucleus and the internal segment of the globus pallidus. There is little evidence to suggest that DBS in patients with movement disorders restores normal basal ganglia functions (e.g., their role in movement or reinforcement learning). Instead, it appears that high-frequency DBS replaces the abnormal basal ganglia output with a more tolerable pattern, which helps to restore the functionality of downstream networks. PMID:26956115

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-01

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

  2. Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Loss of brain function - liver disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... may be made by the body, such as ammonia. Or they may be substances that you take ... MRI EEG Liver function tests Prothrombin time Serum ammonia level Sodium level in the blood Potassium level ...

  4. Graph theoretical analysis of structural and functional connectivity MRI in normal and pathological brain networks.

    PubMed

    Guye, Maxime; Bettus, Gaelle; Bartolomei, Fabrice; Cozzone, Patrick J

    2010-12-01

    Graph theoretical analysis of structural and functional connectivity MRI data (ie. diffusion tractography or cortical volume correlation and resting-state or task-related (effective) fMRI, respectively) has provided new measures of human brain organization in vivo. The most striking discovery is that the whole-brain network exhibits "small-world" properties shared with many other complex systems (social, technological, information, biological). This topology allows a high efficiency at different spatial and temporal scale with a very low wiring and energy cost. Its modular organization also allows for a high level of adaptation. In addition, degree distribution of brain networks demonstrates highly connected hubs that are crucial for the whole-network functioning. Many of these hubs have been identified in regions previously defined as belonging to the default-mode network (potentially explaining the high basal metabolism of this network) and the attentional networks. This could explain the crucial role of these hub regions in physiology (task-related fMRI data) as well as in pathophysiology. Indeed, such topological definition provides a reliable framework for predicting behavioral consequences of focal or multifocal lesions such as stroke, tumors or multiple sclerosis. It also brings new insights into a better understanding of pathophysiology of many neurological or psychiatric diseases affecting specific local or global brain networks such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. Graph theoretical analysis of connectivity MRI data provides an outstanding framework to merge anatomical and functional data in order to better understand brain pathologies. PMID:20349109

  5. Cultural neuroscience of the self: understanding the social grounding of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jiyoung

    2010-01-01

    Cultural neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of research that investigates interrelations among culture, mind and the brain. Drawing on both the growing body of scientific evidence on cultural variation in psychological processes and the recent development of social and cognitive neuroscience, this emerging field of research aspires to understand how culture as an amalgam of values, meanings, conventions, and artifacts that constitute daily social realities might interact with the mind and its underlying brain pathways of each individual member of the culture. In this article, following a brief review of studies that demonstrate the surprising degree to which brain processes are malleably shaped by cultural tools and practices, the authors discuss cultural variation in brain processes involved in self-representations, cognition, emotion and motivation. They then propose (i) that primary values of culture such as independence and interdependence are reflected in the compositions of cultural tasks (i.e. daily routines designed to accomplish the cultural values) and further (ii) that active and sustained engagement in these tasks yields culturally patterned neural activities of the brain, thereby laying the ground for the embodied construction of the self and identity. Implications for research on culture and the brain are discussed. PMID:20592042

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29th International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, “Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders” to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gremillion, M.A.V.

    1990-01-01

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

  9. Assortative mixing in functional brain networks during epileptic seizures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialonski, Stephan; Lehnertz, Klaus

    2013-09-01

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

  10. The Effectiveness of the Brain Based Teaching Approach in Enhancing Scientific Understanding of Newtonian Physics among Form Four Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleh, Salmiza

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Brain Based Teaching Approach in enhancing students' scientific understanding of Newtonian Physics in the context of Form Four Physics instruction. The technique was implemented based on the Brain Based Learning Principles developed by Caine & Caine (1991, 2003). This brain compatible…

  11. Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Dynamic functional brain networks involved in simple visual discrimination learning.

    PubMed

    Fidalgo, Camino; Conejo, Nélida María; González-Pardo, Héctor; Arias, Jorge Luis

    2014-10-01

    Visual discrimination tasks have been widely used to evaluate many types of learning and memory processes. However, little is known about the brain regions involved at different stages of visual discrimination learning. We used cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry to evaluate changes in regional brain oxidative metabolism during visual discrimination learning in a water-T maze at different time points during training. As compared with control groups, the results of the present study reveal the gradual activation of cortical (prefrontal and temporal cortices) and subcortical brain regions (including the striatum and the hippocampus) associated to the mastery of a simple visual discrimination task. On the other hand, the brain regions involved and their functional interactions changed progressively over days of training. Regions associated with novelty, emotion, visuo-spatial orientation and motor aspects of the behavioral task seem to be relevant during the earlier phase of training, whereas a brain network comprising the prefrontal cortex was found along the whole learning process. This study highlights the relevance of functional interactions among brain regions to investigate learning and memory processes. PMID:24937013

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Language functioning and deficits following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Jeremy R; Riccio, Cynthia A

    2010-04-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide a current review of language functioning and deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically among the pediatric population. This paper will: (a) outline the manner in which these deficits may impede functioning across environments; (b) review methods of assessing language functioning within this population; and (c) discuss empirically supported interventions to address noted language deficits as they present in pediatric TBI. PMID:20467948

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Functional Connectivity MRI in Infants: Exploration of the Functional Organization of the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Smyser, Christopher D.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Neil, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Advanced neuroimaging techniques have been increasingly applied to the study of preterm and term infants in an effort to further define the functional cerebral architecture of the developing brain. Despite improved understanding of the complex relationship between structure and function obtained through these investigations, significant questions remain regarding the nature, location, and timing of the maturational changes which occur during early development. Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) utilizes spontaneous, low frequency (< 0.1 Hz), coherent fluctuations in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal to identify networks of functional cerebral connections. Due to the intrinsic characteristics of its image acquisition and analysis, fcMRI offers a novel neuroimaging approach well suited to investigation of infants. Recently, this methodology has been successfully applied to examine neonatal populations, defining normative patterns of large-scale neural network development in the maturing brain. The resting-state networks (RSNs) identified in these studies reflect the evolving cerebral structural architecture, presumably driven by varied genetic and environmental influences. Principal features of these investigations and their role in characterization of the tenets of neural network development during this critical developmental period are highlighted in this review. Despite these successes, optimal methods for fcMRI data acquisition and analysis for this population have not yet been defined. Further, appropriate schemes for interpretation and translation of fcMRI results remain unknown, a matter of increasing importance as functional neuroimaging findings are progressively applied in the clinical arena. Notwithstanding these concerns, fcMRI provides insight into the earliest forms of cerebral connectivity and therefore holds great promise for future neurodevelopmental investigations. PMID:21376813

  20. Understanding squeezing of quantum states with the Wigner function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Royer, Antoine

    1994-01-01

    The Wigner function is argued to be the only natural phase space function evolving classically under quadratic Hamiltonians with time-dependent bilinear part. This is used to understand graphically how certain quadratic time-dependent Hamiltonians induce squeezing of quantum states. The Wigner representation is also used to generalize Ehrenfest's theorem to the quantum uncertainties. This makes it possible to deduce features of the quantum evolution, such as squeezing, from the classical evolution, whatever the Hamiltonian.

  1. Brain glycogen—new perspectives on its metabolic function and regulation at the subcellular level

    PubMed Central

    Obel, Linea F.; Müller, Margit S.; Walls, Anne B.; Sickmann, Helle M.; Bak, Lasse K.; Waagepetersen, Helle S.; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia. In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies—it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms underlying glycogen metabolism. Based on (1) the compartmentation of the interconnected second messenger pathways controlling glycogen metabolism (calcium and cAMP), (2) alterations in the subcellular location of glycogen-associated enzymes and proteins induced by the metabolic status and (3) a sequential component in the intermolecular mechanisms of glycogen metabolism, we suggest that glycogen metabolism in astrocytes is compartmentalized at the subcellular level. As a consequence, the meaning and importance of conventional terms used to describe glycogen metabolism (e.g., turnover) is challenged. Overall, this review represents an overview of contemporary knowledge about brain glycogen and its metabolism and function. However, it also has a sharp focus on what we do not know, which is perhaps even more important for the future quest of uncovering the roles of glycogen in brain physiology and pathology. PMID:22403540

  2. Brain Functional Effects of Psychopharmacological Treatments in Schizophrenia: A Network-based Functional Perspective Beyond Neurotransmitter Systems

    PubMed Central

    De Rossi, Pietro; Chiapponi, Chiara; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2015-01-01

    Psychopharmacological treatments for schizophrenia have always been a matter of debate and a very important issue in public health given the chronic, relapsing and disabling nature of the disorder. A thorough understanding of the pros and cons of currently available pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia is critical to better capture the features of treatment-refractory clinical pictures and plan the developing of new treatment strategies. This review focuses on brain functional changes induced by antipsychotic drugs as assessed by modern functional neuroimaging techniques (i.e. fMRI, PET, SPECT, MRI spectroscopy). The most important papers on this topic are reviewed in order to draw an ideal map of the main functional changes occurring in the brain during antipsychotic treatment. This supports the hypothesis that a network-based perspective and a functional connectivity approach are needed to fill the currently existing gap of knowledge in the field of psychotropic drugs and their mechanisms of action beyond neurotransmitter systems. PMID:26412063

  3. Brain Functional Effects of Psychopharmacological Treatments in Schizophrenia: A Network-based Functional Perspective Beyond Neurotransmitter Systems.

    PubMed

    De Rossi, Pietro; Chiapponi, Chiara; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2015-01-01

    Psychopharmacological treatments for schizophrenia have always been a matter of debate and a very important issue in public health given the chronic, relapsing and disabling nature of the disorder. A thorough understanding of the pros and cons of currently available pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia is critical to better capture the features of treatment-refractory clinical pictures and plan the developing of new treatment strategies. This review focuses on brain functional changes induced by antipsychotic drugs as assessed by modern functional neuroimaging techniques (i.e. fMRI, PET, SPECT, MRI spectroscopy). The most important papers on this topic are reviewed in order to draw an ideal map of the main functional changes occurring in the brain during antipsychotic treatment. This supports the hypothesis that a network-based perspective and a functional connectivity approach are needed to fill the currently existing gap of knowledge in the field of psychotropic drugs and their mechanisms of action beyond neurotransmitter systems. PMID:26412063

  4. Developmental trajectories during adolescence in males and females: a cross-species understanding of underlying brain changes

    PubMed Central

    Brenhouse, Heather C.; Andersen, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

    Adolescence is a transitional period between childhood and adulthood that encompasses vast changes within brain systems that parallel some, but not all, behavioral changes. Elevations in emotional reactivity and reward processing follow an inverted U shape in terms of onset and remission, with the peak occurring during adolescence. However, cognitive processing follows a more linear course of development. This review will focus on changes within key structures and will highlight the relationships between brain changes and behavior, with evidence spanning from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans to molecular studies of receptor and signaling factors in animals. Adolescent changes in neuronal substrates will be used to understand how typical and atypical behaviors arise during adolescence. We draw upon clinical and preclinical studies to provide a neural framework for defining adolescence and its role in the transition to adulthood. PMID:21600919

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Su; Shen, Guangyu; Deng, Shukun; Wang, Xiubin; Wu, Qinfeng; Guo, Aisong

    2013-01-01

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury; however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney's free falling method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats’ spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly improves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is mediated by metabolic changes and nerve cell restoration in the hippocampal CA3 region. PMID:25206655

  8. Tracing Activity Across the Whole Brain Neural Network with Optogenetic Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jin Hyung

    2011-01-01

    Despite the overwhelming need, there has been a relatively large gap in our ability to trace network level activity across the brain. The complex dense wiring of the brain makes it extremely challenging to understand cell-type specific activity and their communication beyond a few synapses. Recent development of the optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging (ofMRI) provides a new impetus for the study of brain circuits by enabling causal tracing of activities arising from defined cell types and firing patterns across the whole brain. Brain circuit elements can be selectively triggered based on their genetic identity, cell body location, and/or their axonal projection target with temporal precision while the resulting network response is monitored non-invasively with unprecedented spatial and temporal accuracy. With further studies including technological innovations to bring ofMRI to its full potential, ofMRI is expected to play an important role in our system-level understanding of the brain circuit mechanism. PMID:22046160

  9. Mapping causal functional contributions derived from the clinical assessment of brain damage after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zavaglia, Melissa; Forkert, Nils D.; Cheng, Bastian; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz; Hilgetag, Claus C.

    2015-01-01

    Lesion analysis reveals causal contributions of brain regions to mental functions, aiding the understanding of normal brain function as well as rehabilitation of brain-damaged patients. We applied a novel lesion inference technique based on game theory, Multi-perturbation Shapley value Analysis (MSA), to a large clinical lesion dataset. We used MSA to analyze the lesion patterns of 148 acute stroke patients together with their neurological deficits, as assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The results revealed regional functional contributions to essential behavioral and cognitive functions as reflected in the NIHSS, particularly by subcortical structures. There were also side specific differences of functional contributions between the right and left hemispheric brain regions which may reflect the dominance of the left hemispheric syndrome aphasia in the NIHSS. Comparison of MSA to established lesion inference methods demonstrated the feasibility of the approach for analyzing clinical data and indicated its capability for objectively inferring functional contributions from multiple injured, potentially interacting sites, at the cost of having to predict the outcome of unknown lesion configurations. The analysis of regional functional contributions to neurological symptoms measured by the NIHSS contributes to the interpretation of this widely used standardized stroke scale in clinical practice as well as clinical trials and provides a first approximation of a ‘map of stroke’. PMID:26448908

  10. Mapping causal functional contributions derived from the clinical assessment of brain damage after stroke.

    PubMed

    Zavaglia, Melissa; Forkert, Nils D; Cheng, Bastian; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz; Hilgetag, Claus C

    2015-01-01

    Lesion analysis reveals causal contributions of brain regions to mental functions, aiding the understanding of normal brain function as well as rehabilitation of brain-damaged patients. We applied a novel lesion inference technique based on game theory, Multi-perturbation Shapley value Analysis (MSA), to a large clinical lesion dataset. We used MSA to analyze the lesion patterns of 148 acute stroke patients together with their neurological deficits, as assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The results revealed regional functional contributions to essential behavioral and cognitive functions as reflected in the NIHSS, particularly by subcortical structures. There were also side specific differences of functional contributions between the right and left hemispheric brain regions which may reflect the dominance of the left hemispheric syndrome aphasia in the NIHSS. Comparison of MSA to established lesion inference methods demonstrated the feasibility of the approach for analyzing clinical data and indicated its capability for objectively inferring functional contributions from multiple injured, potentially interacting sites, at the cost of having to predict the outcome of unknown lesion configurations. The analysis of regional functional contributions to neurological symptoms measured by the NIHSS contributes to the interpretation of this widely used standardized stroke scale in clinical practice as well as clinical trials and provides a first approximation of a 'map of stroke'. PMID:26448908

  11. The modulation of brain functional connectivity with manual acupuncture in healthy subjects: An electroencephalograph case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Han, Chun-Xiao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xi-Le; Li, Nuo

    2013-02-01

    Manual acupuncture is widely used for pain relief and stress control. Previous studies on acupuncture have shown its modulatory effects on the functional connectivity associated with one or a few preselected brain regions. To investigate how manual acupuncture modulates the organization of functional networks at a whole-brain level, we acupuncture at ST36 of a right leg to obtain electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. By coherence estimation, we determine the synchronizations between all pairwise combinations of EEG channels in three acupuncture states. The resulting synchronization matrices are converted into functional networks by applying a threshold, and the clustering coefficients and path lengths are computed as a function of threshold. The results show that acupuncture can increase functional connections and synchronizations between different brain areas. For a wide range of thresholds, the clustering coefficient during acupuncture and post-acupuncture period is higher than that during the pre-acupuncture control period, whereas the characteristic path length is shorter. We provide further support for the presence of “small-world" network characteristics in functional networks by using acupuncture. These preliminary results highlight the beneficial modulations of functional connectivity by manual acupuncture, which could contribute to the understanding of the effects of acupuncture on the entire brain, as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying acupuncture. Moreover, the proposed method may be a useful approach to the further investigation of the complexity of patterns of interrelations between EEG channels.

  12. Effects of Soccer Heading on Brain Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Lasmar, Rodrigo Pace; Caramelli, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with more than 265 million players worldwide, including professional and amateur ones. Soccer is unique in comparison to other sports, as it is the only sport in which participants purposely use their head to hit the ball. Heading is considered as an offensive or defensive move whereby the player's unprotected head is used to deliberately impact the ball and direct it during play. A soccer player can be subjected to an average of 6-12 incidents of heading the ball per competitive game, where the ball reaches high velocities. Moreover, in practice sessions, heading training, which involves heading the ball repeatedly at low velocities, is common. Although the scientific community, as well as the media, has focused on the effects of concussions in contact sports, the role of subconcussive impacts, as it can occur during heading, has recently gained attention, considering that it may represent an additional mechanism of cumulative brain injury. The purpose of this study is to review the existing literature regarding the effects of soccer heading on brain structure and function. Only in the last years, some investigations have addressed the impact of heading on brain structure, by using neuroimaging techniques. Similarly, there have been some recent studies investigating biochemical markers of brain injury in soccer players. There is evidence of association between heading and abnormal brain structure, but the data are still preliminary. Also, some studies have suggested that subconcussive head impacts, as heading, could cause cognitive impairment, whereas others have not corroborated this finding. Questions persist as to whether or not heading is deleterious to cognitive functioning. Further studies, especially with longitudinal designs, are needed to clarify the clinical significance of heading as a cause of brain injury and to identify risk factors. Such investigations might contribute to the establishment of safety

  13. Effects of Soccer Heading on Brain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Lasmar, Rodrigo Pace; Caramelli, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with more than 265 million players worldwide, including professional and amateur ones. Soccer is unique in comparison to other sports, as it is the only sport in which participants purposely use their head to hit the ball. Heading is considered as an offensive or defensive move whereby the player’s unprotected head is used to deliberately impact the ball and direct it during play. A soccer player can be subjected to an average of 6–12 incidents of heading the ball per competitive game, where the ball reaches high velocities. Moreover, in practice sessions, heading training, which involves heading the ball repeatedly at low velocities, is common. Although the scientific community, as well as the media, has focused on the effects of concussions in contact sports, the role of subconcussive impacts, as it can occur during heading, has recently gained attention, considering that it may represent an additional mechanism of cumulative brain injury. The purpose of this study is to review the existing literature regarding the effects of soccer heading on brain structure and function. Only in the last years, some investigations have addressed the impact of heading on brain structure, by using neuroimaging techniques. Similarly, there have been some recent studies investigating biochemical markers of brain injury in soccer players. There is evidence of association between heading and abnormal brain structure, but the data are still preliminary. Also, some studies have suggested that subconcussive head impacts, as heading, could cause cognitive impairment, whereas others have not corroborated this finding. Questions persist as to whether or not heading is deleterious to cognitive functioning. Further studies, especially with longitudinal designs, are needed to clarify the clinical significance of heading as a cause of brain injury and to identify risk factors. Such investigations might contribute to the establishment of safety

  14. Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Understanding of Pattern and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharon, Valerie Vinyard

    2010-01-01

    Scope and method of study: The purpose of this study was to unpack the understandings pre-service elementary teachers have pertaining to the ideas of pattern and function. The intent was to bring insight into how mathematics teacher educators can use patterning activities to prepare pre-service elementary teachers to support the development of…

  15. Assessing Students' Understanding of Functions in a Graphing Calculator Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beckmann, Charlene E.; Senk, Sharon L.; Thompson, Denisse R.

    1999-01-01

    In a classroom environment in which continual access to graphing calculators is assumed, items that have been used to assess students' understanding of functions often are no longer appropriate. Describes strategies for modifying such items including requiring students to explain their reasoning, using calculator-active items, analyzing graphs and…

  16. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gozzi, Alessandro; Schwarz, Adam J

    2016-02-15

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

  18. Understanding the Role of Nutrition in the Brain & Behavioral Development of Toddlers and Preschool Children: Identifying and Overcoming Methodological Barriers

    PubMed Central

    Rosales, Francisco J.; Reznick, J. Steven; Zeisel, Steven H.

    2009-01-01

    The pre-school years (i.e., 1–5 years of age) is a time of rapid and dramatic postnatal brain development, i.e., neural plasticity, and of fundamental acquisition of cognitive development i.e., working memory, attention and inhibitory control. Also, it is a time of transition from a direct maternal mediation/selection of diet-based nutrition to food selection that is more based on self-selection and self-gratification. However, there have been fewer published studies in pre-school children than in infants or school-aged children that examined the role of nutrition in brain/mental development (i.e., 125 studies vs. 232 and 303 studies, respectively during the last 28 years, Figure 1). This may arise because of age-related variability, in terms of individual differences in temperament, linguistic ability, and patterns of neural activity that may affect assessment of neural and cognitive development in pre-school children. In this review, we suggest several approaches for assessing brain function in children that can be refined. It would be desirable if the discipline developed some common elements to be included in future studies of diet and brain function, with the idea that they would complement more targeted measures based on time of exposure and understanding of data from animal models. Underlining this approach is the concepts of “window of sensitivity” during which nutrients may affect postnatal neural development: investigators and expert panels need to specifically look for region-specific changes and do so with understanding of the likely time window during which the nutrient was, or was not available. (244 words) PMID:19761650

  19. The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Andrea N.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Anatomy of the Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... our existence. It controls our personality, thoughts, memory, intelligence, speech and understanding, emotions, senses, and basic body functions, as well as how we function in our environment. The diagrams below show brain anatomy, or the various parts of the brain, ...

  2. Spatial variability of functional brain networks in early-blind and sighted subjects.

    PubMed

    Boldt, Robert; Seppä, Mika; Malinen, Sanna; Tikka, Pia; Hari, Riitta; Carlson, Synnöve

    2014-07-15

    To further the understanding how the human brain adapts to early-onset blindness, we searched in early-blind and normally-sighted subjects for functional brain networks showing the most and least spatial variabilities across subjects. We hypothesized that the functional networks compensating for early-onset blindness undergo cortical reorganization. To determine whether reorganization of functional networks affects spatial variability, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain networks, derived by independent component analysis, of 7 early-blind and 7 sighted subjects while they rested or listened to an audio drama. In both conditions, the blind compared with sighted subjects showed more spatial variability in a bilateral parietal network (comprising the inferior parietal and angular gyri and precuneus) and in a bilateral auditory network (comprising the superior temporal gyri). In contrast, a vision-related left-hemisphere-lateralized occipital network (comprising the superior, middle and inferior occipital gyri, fusiform and lingual gyri, and the calcarine sulcus) was less variable in blind than sighted subjects. Another visual network and a tactile network were spatially more variable in the blind than sighted subjects in one condition. We contemplate whether our results on inter-subject spatial variability of brain networks are related to experience-dependent brain plasticity, and we suggest that auditory and parietal networks undergo a stronger experience-dependent reorganization in the early-blind than sighted subjects while the opposite is true for the vision-related occipital network. PMID:24680867

  3. Spatiotemporal reconfiguration of large-scale brain functional networks during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Schröter, Manuel S; Spoormaker, Victor I; Schorer, Anna; Wohlschläger, Afra; Czisch, Michael; Kochs, Eberhard F; Zimmer, Claus; Hemmer, Bernhard; Schneider, Gerhard; Jordan, Denis; Ilg, Rüdiger

    2012-09-12

    Applying graph theoretical analysis of spontaneous BOLD fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated whole-brain functional connectivity of 11 healthy volunteers during wakefulness and propofol-induced loss of consciousness (PI-LOC). After extraction of regional fMRI time series from 110 cortical and subcortical regions, we applied a maximum overlap discrete wavelet transformation and investigated changes in the brain's intrinsic spatiotemporal organization. During PI-LOC, we observed a breakdown of subcortico-cortical and corticocortical connectivity. Decrease of connectivity was pronounced in thalamocortical connections, whereas no changes were found for connectivity within primary sensory cortices. Graph theoretical analyses revealed significant changes in the degree distribution and local organization metrics of brain functional networks during PI-LOC: compared with a random network, normalized clustering was significantly increased, as was small-worldness. Furthermore we observed a profound decline in long-range connections and a reduction in whole-brain spatiotemporal integration, supporting a topological reconfiguration during PI-LOC. Our findings shed light on the functional significance of intrinsic brain activity as measured by spontaneous BOLD signal fluctuations and help to understand propofol-induced loss of consciousness. PMID:22973006

  4. Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development.

    PubMed Central

    Keverne, Eric B

    2004-01-01

    Much of the work on well-being and positive emotions has tended to focus on the adult, partly because this is when problems are manifest and well-being often becomes an issue by its absence. However, it is pertinent to ask if early life events might engender certain predispositions that have consequences for adult well-being. The human brain undergoes much of its growth and development postnatally until the age of seven and continues to extend its synaptic connections well into the second decade. Indeed, the prefrontal association cortex, areas of the brain concerned with forward planning and regulatory control of emotional behaviour, continue to develop until the age of 20. In this article, I consider the significance of this extended postnatal developmental period for brain maturation and how brain evolution has encompassed certain biological changes and predispositions that, with our modern lifestyle, represent risk factors for well-being. An awareness of these sensitive phases in brain development is important in understanding how we might facilitate secure relationships and high self-esteem in our children. This will provide the firm foundations on which to develop meaningful lifestyles and relationships that are crucial to well-being. PMID:15347526

  5. Blood-brain barrier proteomics: towards the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Karamanos, Yannis; Gosselet, Fabien; Dehouck, Marie-Pierre; Cecchelli, Roméo

    2014-11-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) regulates the passage of endogenous and exogenous compounds and thus contributes to the brain homeostasis with the help of well-known proteins such as tight junction proteins, plasma membrane transporters and metabolic barrier proteins. In the last decade, proteomics have emerged as supplementary tools for BBB research. The development of proteomic technologies has provided several means to extend knowledge on the BBB and to investigate additional routes for the bypass of this barrier. Proteomics approaches have been used in vivo and also using in vitro BBB models to decipher the physiological characteristics and, under stress conditions, to understand the molecular mechanisms of brain diseases. This work has demonstrated that both quantitative global and targeted proteomics approaches are powerful and provide significant information on the brain microvessel endothelium. However, current knowledge is only partial and it is necessary to increase the studies using proteomics tools that will provide additional information concerning brain pathologies or BBB metabolism. Highly sensitive, accurate and specific protein quantification by quantitative targeted proteomics appears as an essential methodology for human BBB studies. PMID:25446619

  6. Brain dopamine and kinematics of graphomotor functions.

    PubMed

    Lange, Klaus W; Mecklinger, Lara; Walitza, Susanne; Becker, Georg; Gerlach, Manfred; Naumann, Markus; Tucha, Oliver

    2006-10-01

    Three experiments were performed in an attempt to achieve a better understanding of the effect of dopamine on handwriting. In the first experiment, kinematic aspects of handwriting movements were compared between healthy participants and patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) on their usual dopaminergic treatment and following withdrawal of dopaminergic medication. In the second experiment, the writing performance of healthy participants with a hyperechogenicity of the substantia nigra as detected by transcranial sonography (TCS) was compared with the performance of healthy participants with low echogenicity of the substantia nigra. The third experiment examined the effect of central dopamine reduction on kinematic aspects of handwriting movements in healthy adults using acute phenylalanine and tyrosine depletion (APTD). A digitising tablet was used for the assessment of handwriting movements. Participants were asked to perform a simple writing task. Movement time, distance, velocity, acceleration and measures of fluency of handwriting movements were measured. The kinematic analysis of handwriting movements revealed that alterations of central dopaminergic neurotransmission adversely affect movement execution during handwriting. In comparison to the automatic processing of handwriting movements displayed by control participants, participants with an altered dopaminergic neurotransmission shifted from an automatic to a controlled processing of movement execution. Central dopamine appears to be of particular importance with regard to the automatic execution of well-learned movements. PMID:16859791

  7. Netrin 1 regulates blood–brain barrier function and neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Podjaski, Cornelia; Alvarez, Jorge I.; Bourbonniere, Lyne; Larouche, Sandra; Terouz, Simone; Bin, Jenea M.; Lécuyer, Marc-André; Saint-Laurent, Olivia; Larochelle, Catherine; Darlington, Peter J.; Arbour, Nathalie; Antel, Jack P.; Kennedy, Timothy E.

    2015-01-01

    Blood–brain barrier function is driven by the influence of astrocyte-secreted factors. During neuroinflammatory responses the blood–brain barrier is compromised resulting in central nervous system damage and exacerbated pathology. Here, we identified endothelial netrin 1 induction as a vascular response to astrocyte-derived sonic hedgehog that promotes autocrine barrier properties during homeostasis and increases with inflammation. Netrin 1 supports blood–brain barrier integrity by upregulating endothelial junctional protein expression, while netrin 1 knockout mice display disorganized tight junction protein expression and barrier breakdown. Upon inflammatory conditions, blood–brain barrier endothelial cells significantly upregulated netrin 1 levels in vitro and in situ, which prevented junctional breach and endothelial cell activation. Finally, netrin 1 treatment during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis significantly reduced blood–brain barrier disruption and decreased clinical and pathological indices of disease severity. Our results demonstrate that netrin 1 is an important regulator of blood–brain barrier maintenance that protects the central nervous system against inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. PMID:25903786

  8. Disrupted resting-state functional architecture of the brain after 45-day simulated microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yuan; Wang, Yun; Rao, Li-Lin; Liang, Zhu-Yuan; Chen, Xiao-Ping; Zheng, Dang; Tan, Cheng; Tian, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Chun-Hui; Bai, Yan-Qiang; Chen, Shan-Guang; Li, Shu

    2014-01-01

    Long-term spaceflight induces both physiological and psychological changes in astronauts. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying these physiological and psychological changes, it is critical to investigate the effects of microgravity on the functional architecture of the brain. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) to study whether the functional architecture of the brain is altered after 45 days of −6° head-down tilt (HDT) bed rest, which is a reliable model for the simulation of microgravity. Sixteen healthy male volunteers underwent rs-fMRI scans before and after 45 days of −6° HDT bed rest. Specifically, we used a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, i.e., degree centrality (DC), to perform a full-brain exploration of the regions that were influenced by simulated microgravity. We subsequently examined the functional connectivities of these regions using a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis. We found decreased DC in two regions, the left anterior insula (aINS) and the anterior part of the middle cingulate cortex (MCC; also called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in many studies), in the male volunteers after 45 days of −6° HDT bed rest. Furthermore, seed-based RSFC analyses revealed that a functional network anchored in the aINS and MCC was particularly influenced by simulated microgravity. These results provide evidence that simulated microgravity alters the resting-state functional architecture of the brains of males and suggest that the processing of salience information, which is primarily subserved by the aINS–MCC functional network, is particularly influenced by spaceflight. The current findings provide a new perspective for understanding the relationships between microgravity, cognitive function, autonomic neural function, and central neural activity. PMID:24926242

  9. Disrupted functional brain connectome in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haibo; Fan, Wenliang; Zhao, Xueyan; Li, Jing; Zhang, Wenjuan; Lei, Ping; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Haha; Cheng, Huamao; Shi, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is generally defined as sensorineural hearing loss of 30 dB or greater over at least three contiguous audiometric frequencies and within a three-day period. This hearing loss is usually unilateral and can be associated with tinnitus and vertigo. The pathogenesis of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss is still unknown, and the alterations in the functional connectivity are suspected to involve one possible pathogenesis. Despite scarce findings with respect to alterations in brain functional networks in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the alterations of the whole brain functional connectome and whether these alterations were already in existence in the acute period remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of brain functional connectome in two large samples of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients and to investigate the correlation between unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss characteristics and changes in the functional network properties. Pure tone audiometry was performed to assess hearing ability. Abnormal changes in the peripheral auditory system were examined using conventional magnetic resonance imaging. The graph theoretical network analysis method was used to detect brain connectome alterations in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Compared with the control groups, both groups of unilateral SSNHL patients exhibited a significantly increased clustering coefficient, global efficiency, and local efficiency but a significantly decreased characteristic path length. In addition, the primary increased nodal strength (e.g., nodal betweenness, hubs) was observed in several regions primarily, including the limbic and paralimbic systems, and in the auditory network brain areas. These findings suggest that the alteration of network organization already exists in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients within the acute period

  10. Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Long, Jun; Wang, Wei; Liao, Jian; Xie, Hua; Zhao, Guihu; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by a disregard for social obligations and callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Studies have demonstrated that ASPD is associated with abnormalities in brain regions and aberrant functional connectivity. In this paper, topological organisation was examined in resting-state fMRI data obtained from 32 ASPD patients and 32 non-ASPD controls. The frequency-dependent functional networks were constructed using wavelet-based correlations over 90 brain regions. The topology of the functional networks of ASPD subjects was analysed via graph theoretical analysis. Furthermore, the abnormal functional connectivity was determined with a network-based statistic (NBS) approach. Our results revealed that, compared with the controls, the ASPD patients exhibited altered topological configuration of the functional connectome in the frequency interval of 0.016-0.031 Hz, as indicated by the increased clustering coefficient and decreased betweenness centrality in the medial superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, Rolandic operculum, superior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, and middle temporal pole. In addition, the ASPD patients showed increased functional connectivity mainly located in the default-mode network. The present study reveals an aberrant topological organisation of the functional brain network in individuals with ASPD. Our findings provide novel insight into the neuropathological mechanisms of ASPD. PMID:27257047

  11. Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yan; Long, Jun; Wang, Wei; Liao, Jian; Xie, Hua; Zhao, Guihu; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by a disregard for social obligations and callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Studies have demonstrated that ASPD is associated with abnormalities in brain regions and aberrant functional connectivity. In this paper, topological organisation was examined in resting-state fMRI data obtained from 32 ASPD patients and 32 non-ASPD controls. The frequency-dependent functional networks were constructed using wavelet-based correlations over 90 brain regions. The topology of the functional networks of ASPD subjects was analysed via graph theoretical analysis. Furthermore, the abnormal functional connectivity was determined with a network-based statistic (NBS) approach. Our results revealed that, compared with the controls, the ASPD patients exhibited altered topological configuration of the functional connectome in the frequency interval of 0.016–0.031 Hz, as indicated by the increased clustering coefficient and decreased betweenness centrality in the medial superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, Rolandic operculum, superior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, and middle temporal pole. In addition, the ASPD patients showed increased functional connectivity mainly located in the default-mode network. The present study reveals an aberrant topological organisation of the functional brain network in individuals with ASPD. Our findings provide novel insight into the neuropathological mechanisms of ASPD. PMID:27257047

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-30

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

  13. Rising stars: modulation of brain functions by astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field. PMID:25452006

  14. Stimulation mapping of white matter tracts to study brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Duffau, Hugues

    2015-05-01

    Despite advances in the new science of connectomics, which aims to comprehensively map neural connections at both structural and functional levels, techniques to directly study the function of white matter tracts in vivo in humans have proved elusive. Direct electrical stimulation (DES) mapping of the subcortical fibres offers a unique opportunity to investigate the functional connectivity of the brain. This original method permits real-time anatomo-functional correlations, especially with regard to neural pathways, in awake patients undergoing brain surgery. In this article, the goal is to review new insights, gained from axonal DES, into the functional connectivity underlying the sensorimotor, visuospatial, language and sociocognitive systems. Interactions between these neural networks and multimodal systems, such as working memory, attention, executive functions and consciousness, can also be investigated by axonal stimulation. In this networking model of conation and cognition, brain processing is not conceived as the sum of several subfunctions, but results from the integration and potentiation of parallel-though partially overlapping-subnetworks. This hodotopical account, supported by axonal DES, improves our understanding of neuroplasticity and its limitations. The clinical implications of this paradigmatic shift from localizationism to hodotopy, in the context of brain surgery, neurology, neurorehabilitation and psychiatry, are discussed. PMID:25848923

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-01

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

  16. The Functional Connectivity Landscape of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Beyond Genotype: Serotonin Transporter Epigenetic Modification Predicts Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Galea, Sandro; Wang, Chiou-Miin; Seney, Marianne L.; Sibille, Etienne; Williamson, Douglas E.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2014-01-01

    We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age. PMID:25086606

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Topological Organization of Functional Brain Networks in Healthy Children: Differences in Relation to Age, Sex, and Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kai; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sato, Kazunori; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Thyreau, Benjamin; He, Yong; Evans, Alan C.; Li, Xiaobo; Kawashima, Ryuta; Fukuda, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated developmental changes of functional brain networks derived from functional connectivity using graph theoretical analysis, which has been rapidly translated to studies of brain network organization. However, little is known about sex- and IQ-related differences in the topological organization of functional brain networks during development. In this study, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) was used to map the functional brain networks in 51 healthy children. We then investigated the effects of age, sex, and IQ on economic small-world properties and regional nodal properties of the functional brain networks. At a global level of whole networks, we found significant age-related increases in the small-worldness and local efficiency, significant higher values of the global efficiency in boys compared with girls, and no significant IQ-related difference. Age-related increases in the regional nodal properties were found predominately in the frontal brain regions, whereas the parietal, temporal, and occipital brain regions showed age-related decreases. Significant sex-related differences in the regional nodal properties were found in various brain regions, primarily related to the default mode, language, and vision systems. Positive correlations between IQ and the regional nodal properties were found in several brain regions related to the attention system, whereas negative correlations were found in various brain regions primarily involved in the default mode, emotion, and language systems. Together, our findings of the network topology of the functional brain networks in healthy children and its relationship with age, sex, and IQ bring new insights into the understanding of brain maturation and cognitive development during childhood and adolescence. PMID:23390528

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Anatomical and functional assemblies of brain BOLD oscillations

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Reentry: a key mechanism for integration of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Edelman, Gerald M.; Gally, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Reentry in nervous systems is the ongoing bidirectional exchange of signals along reciprocal axonal fibers linking two or more brain areas. The hypothesis that reentrant signaling serves as a general mechanism to couple the functioning of multiple areas of the cerebral cortex and thalamus was first proposed in 1977 and 1978 (Edelman, 1978). A review of the amount and diversity of supporting experimental evidence accumulated since then suggests that reentry is among the most important integrative mechanisms in vertebrate brains (Edelman, 1993). Moreover, these data prompt testable hypotheses regarding mechanisms that favor the development and evolution of reentrant neural architectures. PMID:23986665

  5. Understanding the benefits of musical training: effects on oscillatory brain activity.

    PubMed

    Trainor, Laurel J; Shahin, Antoine J; Roberts, Larry E

    2009-07-01

    A number of studies suggest that musical training has benefits for other cognitive domains, such as language and mathematics, and studies of children and adults indicate structural as well as functional differences between the brains of musicians and nonmusicians. The induced gamma-band response has been associated with attentional, expectation, memory retrieval, and integration of top-down, bottom-up, and multisensory processes. Here we report data indicating that the induced gamma-band response to musical sounds is larger in adult musicians than in nonmusicians and that it develops in children after 1 year of musical training beginning at age 4.5 years, but not in children of this age who are not engaged in musical lessons. We conclude that musical training affects oscillatory networks in the brain associated with executive functions, and that superior executive functioning could enhance learning and performance in many cognitive domains. PMID:19673769

  6. Bovine Brain Ribonuclease Is the Functional Homolog of Human Ribonuclease 1*

    PubMed Central

    Eller, Chelcie H.; Lomax, Jo E.; Raines, Ronald T.

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that human pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase 1) plays important roles in vivo, ranging from regulating blood clotting and inflammation to directly counteracting tumorigenic cells. Understanding these putative roles has been pursued with continual comparisons of human RNase 1 to bovine RNase A, an enzyme that appears to function primarily in the ruminant gut. Our results imply a different physiology for human RNase 1. We demonstrate distinct functional differences between human RNase 1 and bovine RNase A. Moreover, we characterize another RNase 1 homolog, bovine brain ribonuclease, and find pronounced similarities between that enzyme and human RNase 1. We report that human RNase 1 and bovine brain ribonuclease share high catalytic activity against double-stranded RNA substrates, a rare quality among ribonucleases. Both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are readily endocytosed by mammalian cells, aided by tight interactions with cell surface glycans. Finally, we show that both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are secreted from endothelial cells in a regulated manner, implying a potential role in vascular homeostasis. Our results suggest that brain ribonuclease, not RNase A, is the true bovine homolog of human RNase 1, and provide fundamental insight into the ancestral roles and functional adaptations of RNase 1 in mammals. PMID:25078100

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Restoration of function after brain damage using a neural prosthesis

    PubMed Central

    Guggenmos, David J.; Azin, Meysam; Barbay, Scott; Mahnken, Jonathan D.; Dunham, Caleb; Mohseni, Pedram; Nudo, Randolph J.

    2013-01-01

    Neural interface systems are becoming increasingly more feasible for brain repair strategies. This paper tests the hypothesis that recovery after brain injury can be facilitated by a neural prosthesis serving as a communication link between distant locations in the cerebral cortex. The primary motor area in the cerebral cortex was injured in a rat model of focal brain injury, disrupting communication between motor and somatosensory areas and resulting in impaired reaching and grasping abilities. After implantation of microelectrodes in cerebral cortex, a neural prosthesis discriminated action potentials (spikes) in premotor cortex that triggered electrical stimulation in somatosensory cortex continuously over subsequent weeks. Within 1 wk, while receiving spike-triggered stimulation, rats showed substantially improved reaching and grasping functions that were indistinguishable from prelesion levels by 2 wk. Post hoc analysis of the spikes evoked by the stimulation provides compelling evidence that the neural prosthesis enhanced functional connectivity between the two target areas. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that neural interface systems can be used effectively to bridge damaged neural pathways functionally and promote recovery after brain injury. PMID:24324155

  9. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Brauer, Jens; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-05-01

    The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. PMID:25770126

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

    De Domenico, Manlio; Sasai, Shuntaro; Arenas, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly central ones, i.e., hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studies have shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components of brain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However, the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneously is still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify each frequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploiting the recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that each frequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately model brain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in general different from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signals as usual, provide a more accurate map of brain's most important functional regions, allowing to distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventional network approaches. PMID:27471443

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

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

    The use of dietary intervention has evolved into a promising approach to prevent the onset and progression of brain diseases. The positive relationship between intake of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-LCPUFAs) and decreased onset of disease- and aging-related deterioration of brain health is increasingly endorsed across epidemiological and diet-interventional studies. Promising results are found regarding to the protection of proper brain circulation, structure and functionality in healthy and diseased humans and animal models. These include enhanced cerebral blood flow (CBF), white and gray matter integrity, and improved cognitive functioning, and are possibly mediated through increased neurovascular coupling, neuroprotection and neuronal plasticity, respectively. Contrary, studies investigating diets high in saturated fats provide opposite results, which may eventually lead to irreversible damage. Studies like these are of great importance given the high incidence of obesity caused by the increased and decreased consumption of respectively saturated fats and ω3-LCPUFAs in the Western civilization. This paper will review in vivo research conducted on the effects of ω3-LCPUFAs and saturated fatty acids on integrity (circulation, structure and function) of the young, aging and diseased brain. PMID:24485516

  13. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    De Domenico, Manlio; Sasai, Shuntaro; Arenas, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly central ones, i.e., hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studies have shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components of brain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However, the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneously is still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify each frequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploiting the recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that each frequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately model brain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in general different from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signals as usual, provide a more accurate map of brain's most important functional regions, allowing to distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventional network approaches. PMID:27471443

  14. Protein function in precision medicine: deep understanding with machine learning.

    PubMed

    Rost, Burkhard; Radivojac, Predrag; Bromberg, Yana

    2016-08-01

    Precision medicine and personalized health efforts propose leveraging complex molecular, medical and family history, along with other types of personal data toward better life. We argue that this ambitious objective will require advanced and specialized machine learning solutions. Simply skimming some low-hanging results off the data wealth might have limited potential. Instead, we need to better understand all parts of the system to define medically relevant causes and effects: how do particular sequence variants affect particular proteins and pathways? How do these effects, in turn, cause the health or disease-related phenotype? Toward this end, deeper understanding will not simply diffuse from deeper machine learning, but from more explicit focus on understanding protein function, context-specific protein interaction networks, and impact of variation on both. PMID:27423136

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. The brains of high functioning autistic individuals do not synchronize with those of others☆

    PubMed Central

    Salmi, J.; Roine, U.; Glerean, E.; Lahnakoski, J.; Nieminen-von Wendt, T.; Tani, P.; Leppämäki, S.; Nummenmaa, L.; Jääskeläinen, I.P.; Carlson, S.; Rintahaka, P.; Sams, M.

    2013-01-01

    Multifaceted and idiosyncratic aberrancies in social cognition characterize autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To advance understanding of underlying neural mechanisms, we measured brain hemodynamic activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in individuals with ASD and matched-pair neurotypical (NT) controls while they were viewing a feature film portraying social interactions. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used as a measure of voxelwise similarity of brain activity (InterSubject Correlations—ISCs). Individuals with ASD showed lower ISC than NT controls in brain regions implicated in processing social information including the insula, posterior and anterior cingulate cortex, caudate nucleus, precuneus, lateral occipital cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. Curiously, also within NT group, autism-quotient scores predicted ISC in overlapping areas, including, e.g., supramarginal gyrus and precuneus. In ASD participants, functional connectivity was decreased between the frontal pole and the superior frontal gyrus, angular gyrus, superior parietal lobule, precentral gyrus, precuneus, and anterior/posterior cingulate gyrus. Taken together these results suggest that ISC and functional connectivity measure distinct features of atypical brain function in high-functioning autistic individuals during free viewing of acted social interactions. Our ISC results suggest that the minds of ASD individuals do not ‘tick together’ with others while perceiving identical dynamic social interactions. PMID:24273731

  17. Brain metastasis in lung cancer: Building a molecular and systems-level understanding to improve outcomes.

    PubMed

    Ebben, Johnathan D; You, Ming

    2016-09-01

    metastasis over the course of their disease, while 18% of small cell lung cancer patients without previous metastasis went on to develop brain metastasis as their disease progressed (Goncalves et al., 2016).The reasons underlying this predilection for the central nervous system, as well as the recent increase in the frequency of brain metastasis identified in patients remain important questions for both clinicians and basic scientists. More than ever, the question of how brain metastasis develop and how they can be treated and managed requires the involvement of interdisciplinary teams-and more importantly-scientists who are capable of thinking like clinicians and clinicians who are capable of thinking like scientists. This review aims to present a translational perspective on brain metastasis. We will investigate the scope of the problem of brain metastasis and the current management of the metastatic disease process in lung cancer. From this clinical starting point, we will investigate the literature surrounding the molecular underpinnings of lung tumor metastasis and seek to understand the process from a biological perspective to generate new hypotheses. PMID:27474492

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Control of the blood-brain barrier function in cancer cell metastasis.

    PubMed

    Blecharz, Kinga G; Colla, Ruben; Rohde, Veit; Vajkoczy, Peter

    2015-10-01

    Cerebral metastases are the most common brain neoplasms seen clinically in the adults and comprise more than half of all brain tumours. Actual treatment options for brain metastases that include surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are rarely curative, although palliative treatment improves survival and life quality of patients carrying brain-metastatic tumours. Chemotherapy in particular has also shown limited or no activity in brain metastasis of most tumour types. Many chemotherapeutic agents used systemically do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), whereas others may transiently weaken the BBB and allow extravasation of tumour cells from the circulation into the brain parenchyma. Increasing evidence points out that the interaction between the BBB and tumour cells plays a key role for implantation and growth of brain metastases in the central nervous system. The BBB, as the tightest endothelial barrier, prevents both early detection and treatment by creating a privileged microenvironment. Therefore, as observed in several in vivo studies, precise targetting the BBB by a specific transient opening of the structure making it permeable for therapeutic compounds, might potentially help to overcome this difficult clinical problem. Moreover, a better understanding of the molecular features of the BBB, its interrelation with metastatic tumour cells and the elucidation of cellular mechanisms responsible for establishing cerebral metastasis must be clearly outlined in order to promote treatment modalities that particularly involve chemotherapy. This in turn would substantially expand the survival and quality of life of patients with brain metastasis, and potentially increase the remission rate. Therefore, the focus of this review is to summarise the current knowledge on the role and function of the BBB in cancer metastasis. PMID:26032862

  20. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function

    PubMed Central

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Challenges in understanding the epidemiology of acquired brain injury in India.

    PubMed

    Kamalakannan, Suresh Kumar; Gudlavalleti, Aashrai S V; Murthy Gudlavalleti, Venkata S; Goenka, Shifalika; Kuper, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. In India, rapid urbanization, economic growth and changes in lifestyle have led to a tremendous increase in the incidence of ABI, so much so that it is being referred to as a 'silent epidemic'. Unlike developed countries, there is no well-established system for collecting and managing information on various diseases in India. Thus it is a daunting task to obtain reliable information about acquired brain injury. In the course of conducting a systematic review on the epidemiology of ABI in India, we recognized several challenges which hampered our effort. Inadequate case definition, lack of centralized reporting mechanisms, lack of population based studies, absence of standardized survey protocols and inadequate mortality statistics are some of the major obstacles. Following a standard case definition, linking multiple hospital-based registries, initiating a state or nationwide population-based registry, conducting population-based studies that are methodologically robust and introducing centralized, standard reporting mechanisms for ABI, are some of the strategies that could help facilitate a thorough investigation into the epidemiology and understanding of ABI. This may help improve policies on prevention and management of acquired brain injury in India. PMID:25745314

  2. Challenges in understanding the epidemiology of acquired brain injury in India

    PubMed Central

    Kamalakannan, Suresh Kumar; Gudlavalleti, Aashrai S.V.; Murthy Gudlavalleti, Venkata S.; Goenka, Shifalika; Kuper, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. In India, rapid urbanization, economic growth and changes in lifestyle have led to a tremendous increase in the incidence of ABI, so much so that it is being referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’. Unlike developed countries, there is no well-established system for collecting and managing information on various diseases in India. Thus it is a daunting task to obtain reliable information about acquired brain injury. In the course of conducting a systematic review on the epidemiology of ABI in India, we recognized several challenges which hampered our effort. Inadequate case definition, lack of centralized reporting mechanisms, lack of population based studies, absence of standardized survey protocols and inadequate mortality statistics are some of the major obstacles. Following a standard case definition, linking multiple hospital-based registries, initiating a state or nationwide population-based registry, conducting population-based studies that are methodologically robust and introducing centralized, standard reporting mechanisms for ABI, are some of the strategies that could help facilitate a thorough investigation into the epidemiology and understanding of ABI. This may help improve policies on prevention and management of acquired brain injury in India. PMID:25745314

  3. Computational models to understand decision making and pattern recognition in the insect brain

    PubMed Central

    Mosqueiro, Thiago S.; Huerta, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    Odor stimuli reaching olfactory systems of mammals and insects are characterized by remarkable non-stationary and noisy time series. Their brains have evolved to discriminate subtle changes in odor mixtures and find meaningful variations in complex spatio-temporal patterns. Insects with small brains can effectively solve two computational tasks: identify the presence of an odor type and estimate the concentration levels of the odor. Understanding the learning and decision making processes in the insect brain can not only help us to uncover general principles of information processing in the brain, but it can also provide key insights to artificial chemical sensing. Both olfactory learning and memory are dominantly organized in the Antennal Lobe (AL) and the Mushroom Bodies (MBs). Current computational models yet fail to deliver an integrated picture of the joint computational roles of the AL and MBs. This review intends to provide an integrative overview of the computational literature analyzed in the context of the problem of classification (odor discrimination) and regression (odor concentration estimation), particularly identifying key computational ingredients necessary to solve pattern recognition. PMID:25593793

  4. Using Saccadometry with Deep Brain Stimulation to Study Normal and Pathological Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Antoniades, Chrystalina A; FitzGerald, James J

    2016-01-01

    The oculomotor system involves a large number of brain areas including parts of the basal ganglia, and various neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and Huntington's can disrupt it. People with Parkinson's disease, for example, tend to have increased saccadic latencies. Consequently, the quantitative measurement of saccadic eye movements has received considerable attention as a potential biomarker for neurodegenerative conditions. A lot more can be learned about the brain in both health and disease by observing what happens to eye movements when the function of specific brain areas is perturbed. Deep brain stimulation is a surgical intervention used for the management of a range of neurological conditions including Parkinson's disease, in which stimulating electrodes are placed in specific brain areas including several sites in the basal ganglia. Eye movement measurements can then be made with the stimulator systems both off and on and the results compared. With suitable experimental design, this approach can be used to study the pathophysiology of the disease being treated, the mechanism by which DBS exerts it beneficial effects, and even aspects of normal neurophysiology. PMID:27501123

  5. Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood–Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity.

    PubMed

    Park, Bo-Yong; Seo, Jongbum; Park, Hyunjin

    2016-01-01

    Obesity causes critical health problems including diabetes and hypertension that affect billions of people worldwide. Obesity and eating behaviors are believed to be closely linked but their relationship through brain networks has not been fully explored. We identified functional brain networks associated with obesity and examined how the networks were related to eating behaviors. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained for 82 participants. Data were from an equal number of people of healthy weight (HW) and non-healthy weight (non-HW). Connectivity matrices were computed with spatial maps derived using a group independent component analysis approach. Brain networks and associated connectivity parameters with significant group-wise differences were identified and correlated with scores on a three-factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ) describing restraint, disinhibition, and hunger eating behaviors. Frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups. Frontoparietal network showed a high correlation with TFEQ disinhibition scores. Both frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed a high correlation with body mass index (BMI) scores. Brain networks with significant group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups were identified. Parts of the identified networks showed a high correlation with eating behavior scores. PMID:27030024

  7. Recruiting specialized macrophages across the borders to restore brain functions

    PubMed Central

    Corraliza, Inés

    2014-01-01

    Although is well accepted that the central nervous system has an immune privilege protected by the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and maintained by the glia, it is also known that in homeostatic conditions, peripheral immune cells are able to penetrate to the deepest regions of brain without altering the structural integrity of the BBB. Nearly all neurological diseases, including degenerative, autoimmune or infectious ones, compromising brain functions, develop with a common pattern of inflammation in which macrophages and microglia activation have been regarded often as the “bad guys.” However, recognizing the huge heterogeneity of macrophage populations and also the different expression properties of microglia, there is increasing evidence of alternative conditions in which these cells, if primed and addressed in the correct direction, could be essential for reparative and regenerative functions. The main proposal of this review is to integrate studies about macrophage’s biology at the brain borders where the ultimate challenge is to penetrate through the BBB and contribute to change or even stop the course of disease. Thanks to the efforts made in the last century, this special wall is currently recognized as a highly regulated cooperative structure, in which their components form neurovascular units. This new scenario prompted us to review the precise cross-talk between the mind and body modes of immune response. PMID:25228859

  8. Dynamic reorganization of functional brain networks during picture naming.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Mahmoud; Benquet, Pascal; Biraben, Arnaud; Berrou, Claude; Dufor, Olivier; Wendling, Fabrice

    2015-12-01

    For efficient information processing during cognitive activity, functional brain networks have to rapidly and dynamically reorganize on a sub-second time scale. Tracking the spatiotemporal dynamics of large scale networks over this short time duration is a very challenging issue. Here, we tackle this problem by using dense electroencephalography (EEG) recorded during a picture naming task. We found that (i) the picture naming task can be divided into six brain network states (BNSs) characterized by significantly high synchronization of gamma (30-45 Hz) oscillations, (ii) fast transitions occur between these BNSs that last from 30 msec to 160 msec, (iii) based on the state of the art of the picture naming task, we consider that the spatial location of their nodes and edges, as well as the timing of transitions, indicate that each network can be associated with one or several specific function (from visual processing to articulation) and (iv) the comparison with previously-used approach aimed at localizing the sources showed that the network-based approach reveals networks that are more specific to the performed task. We speculate that the persistence of several brain regions in successive BNSs participates to fast and efficient information processing in the brain. PMID:26478964

  9. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-29

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

  10. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity

    PubMed Central

    Park, Bo-yong; Seo, Jongbum; Park, Hyunjin

    2016-01-01

    Obesity causes critical health problems including diabetes and hypertension that affect billions of people worldwide. Obesity and eating behaviors are believed to be closely linked but their relationship through brain networks has not been fully explored. We identified functional brain networks associated with obesity and examined how the networks were related to eating behaviors. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained for 82 participants. Data were from an equal number of people of healthy weight (HW) and non-healthy weight (non-HW). Connectivity matrices were computed with spatial maps derived using a group independent component analysis approach. Brain networks and associated connectivity parameters with significant group-wise differences were identified and correlated with scores on a three-factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ) describing restraint, disinhibition, and hunger eating behaviors. Frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups. Frontoparietal network showed a high correlation with TFEQ disinhibition scores. Both frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed a high correlation with body mass index (BMI) scores. Brain networks with significant group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups were identified. Parts of the identified networks showed a high correlation with eating behavior scores. PMID:27030024

  11. Thinking, Walking, Talking: Integratory Motor and Cognitive Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Leisman, Gerry; Moustafa, Ahmed A; Shafir, Tal

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we argue that motor and cognitive processes are functionally related and most likely share a similar evolutionary history. This is supported by clinical and neural data showing that some brain regions integrate both motor and cognitive functions. In addition, we also argue that cognitive processes coincide with complex motor output. Further, we also review data that support the converse notion that motor processes can contribute to cognitive function, as found by many rehabilitation and aerobic exercise training programs. Support is provided for motor and cognitive processes possessing dynamic bidirectional influences on each other. PMID:27252937

  12. Thinking, Walking, Talking: Integratory Motor and Cognitive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Leisman, Gerry; Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Shafir, Tal

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we argue that motor and cognitive processes are functionally related and most likely share a similar evolutionary history. This is supported by clinical and neural data showing that some brain regions integrate both motor and cognitive functions. In addition, we also argue that cognitive processes coincide with complex motor output. Further, we also review data that support the converse notion that motor processes can contribute to cognitive function, as found by many rehabilitation and aerobic exercise training programs. Support is provided for motor and cognitive processes possessing dynamic bidirectional influences on each other. PMID:27252937

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Mining the brain metabolome to understand behavioural disruptions induced in mouse fed Hypochoeris radicata (L.), a neurotoxic plant for horse.

    PubMed

    Domange, Céline; Schroeder, Henri; Violle, Nicolas; Peiffer, Julie; Canlet, Cécile; Paris, Alain; Priymenko, Nathalie

    2013-09-01

    Mining the brain metabolome to understand behavioural disruptions induced in mouse fed Hypochoeris radicata (L.), a neurotoxic plant for horse. C57BL/6J mice orally exposed to 9% H. radicata (HR) are metabolically competent laboratory animals which can be used as model of Australian stringhalt, a neurological horse disease induced by HR ingestion. So, the present study was conducted to assess the brain metabolome and the behavioural performances of mice fed with a 9%-HR-based diet for 21 days. By the end of the period of exposure, mice were investigated for motor activity and coordination, anxiety level, learning and memory performances, social behaviour and rewarding properties of for the plant. Thus, the animals were sacrificed and the brain metabolome was studied using (1)H NMR spectroscopy. HR-exposed mice displayed a motor hyperactivity in several tasks, a less resignation in the forced swimming test, and paradigm place preference for the plant. A bootstrap-based regularized canonical analysis performed on merged behavioural and metabolic datasets showed a clear relationship in HR-treated mice between an increase in cerebral scyllo-inositol, an increased motor activity, and seemingly rewarding properties of HR. These results underlie the interest of such a dual approach to characterize functional end-points of a pathophysiological model of the Australian stringhalt in equine species. PMID:23811200

  16. Abnormal EEG Complexity and Functional Connectivity of Brain in Patients with Acute Thalamic Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuang; Guo, Jie; Meng, Jiayuan; Wang, Zhijun; Yao, Yang; Yang, Jiajia; Qi, Hongzhi; Ming, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Ischemic thalamus stroke has become a serious cardiovascular and cerebral disease in recent years. To date the existing researches mostly concentrated on the power spectral density (PSD) in several frequency bands. In this paper, we investigated the nonlinear features of EEG and brain functional connectivity in patients with acute thalamic ischemic stroke and healthy subjects. Electroencephalography (EEG) in resting condition with eyes closed was recorded for 12 stroke patients and 11 healthy subjects as control group. Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC), Sample Entropy (SampEn), and brain network using partial directed coherence (PDC) were calculated for feature extraction. Results showed that patients had increased mean LZC and SampEn than the controls, which implied the stroke group has higher EEG complexity. For the brain network, the stroke group displayed a trend of weaker cortical connectivity, which suggests a functional impairment of information transmission in cortical connections in stroke patients. These findings suggest that nonlinear analysis and brain network could provide essential information for better understanding the brain dysfunction in the stroke and assisting monitoring or prognostication of stroke evolution. PMID:27403202

  17. Can irisin be a linker between physical activity and brain function?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Weizhen

    2016-08-01

    Irisin was initially discovered as a novel hormone-like myokine released from skeletal muscle during exercise to improve obesity and glucose dysfunction by stimulating the browning of white adipose tissue. Emerging evidence have indicated that irisin also affects brain function. FNDC5 mRNA and FNDC5/irisin immunoreactivity are present in various regions of the brain. Central irisin is involved in the regulation of neural differentiation and proliferation, neurobehavior, energy expenditure and cardiac function. Elevation of peripheral irisin level stimulates hippocampal genes related to neuroprotection, learning and memory. In this brief review, we summarize the current understanding on neuronal functions of irisin. In addition, we discuss the pros and cons for this molecule as a potential messenger mediating the crosstalk between skeletal muscle and central nervous system during exercise. PMID:27356237

  18. What Have We Learned From Brain Functional Connectivity Studies in Migraine Headache?

    PubMed

    Maleki, Nasim; Gollub, Randy L

    2016-03-01

    Over the past 20 years, headache syndromes, especially migraine, have benefited significantly from the knowledge gained through neuroimaging studies. This article is focused on the neuroimaging studies of the functional organization and connectivity of the migraine brain. First, data sources and the study design elements in functional neuroimaging studies of the brain connectivity in migraine headaches are discussed. Then, the article reviews the findings to date and discusses how functional connectivity studies have contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms of the migraine disease by extending the focus from a single region or structure to a network of regions and structures and the interactions among them. Finally, the potential scenarios for the translation of connectivity knowledge to the benefit for patients are discussed. PMID:26924634

  19. Brain function predictors and outcome of weight loss and weight loss maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Szabo-Reed, Amanda N.; Breslin, Florence J.; Lynch, Anthony M.; Patrician, Trisha M.; Martin, Laura E.; Lepping, Rebecca J.; Powell, Joshua N.; Yeh, Hung-Wen (Henry); Befort, Christie A.; Sullivan, Debra; Gibson, Cheryl; Washburn, Richard; Donnelly, Joseph E.; Savage, Cary R.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity rates are associated with public health consequences and rising health care costs. Weight loss interventions, while effective, do not work for everyone, and weight regain is a significant problem. Eating behavior is influenced by a convergence of processes in the brain, including homeostatic factors and motivational processing that are important contributors to overeating. Initial neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions that respond differently to visual food cues in obese and healthy weight individuals that are positively correlated with reports of hunger in obese participants. While these findings provide mechanisms of overeating, many important questions remain. It is not known whether brain activation patterns change after weight loss, or if they change differentially based on amount of weight lost. Also, little is understood regarding biological processes that contribute to long-term weight maintenance. This study will use neuroimaging in participants while viewing food and non-food images. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging will take place before and after completion of a twelve-week weight loss intervention. Obese participants will be followed though a 6-month maintenance period. The study will address three aims: 1. Characterize brain activation underlying food motivation and impulsive behaviors in obese individuals. 2. Identify brain activation changes and predictors of weight loss. 3. Identify brain activation predictors of weight loss maintenance. Findings from this study will have implications for understanding mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Results will be significant to public health and could lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain activation relate to obesity. PMID:25533729

  20. Brain function predictors and outcome of weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

    PubMed

    Szabo-Reed, Amanda N; Breslin, Florence J; Lynch, Anthony M; Patrician, Trisha M; Martin, Laura E; Lepping, Rebecca J; Powell, Joshua N; Yeh, Hung-Wen Henry; Befort, Christie A; Sullivan, Debra; Gibson, Cheryl; Washburn, Richard; Donnelly, Joseph E; Savage, Cary R

    2015-01-01

    Obesity rates are associated with public health consequences and rising health care costs. Weight loss interventions, while effective, do not work for everyone, and weight regain is a significant problem. Eating behavior is influenced by a convergence of processes in the brain, including homeostatic factors and motivational processing that are important contributors to overeating. Initial neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions that respond differently to visual food cues in obese and healthy weight individuals that are positively correlated with reports of hunger in obese participants. While these findings provide mechanisms of overeating, many important questions remain. It is not known whether brain activation patterns change after weight loss, or if they change differentially based on amount of weight lost. Also, little is understood regarding biological processes that contribute to long-term weight maintenance. This study will use neuroimaging in participants while viewing food and non-food images. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging will take place before and after completion of a twelve-week weight loss intervention. Obese participants will be followed though a 6-month maintenance period. The study will address three aims: 1. Characterize brain activation underlying food motivation and impulsive behaviors in obese individuals. 2. Identify brain activation changes and predictors of weight loss. 3. Identify brain activation predictors of weight loss maintenance. Findings from this study will have implications for understanding mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Results will be significant to public health and could lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain activation relate to obesity. PMID:25533729

  1. Localization of Asymmetric Brain Function in Emotion and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Herrington, John D.; Heller, Wendy; Mohanty, Aprajita; Engels, Anna S.; Banich, Marie T.; Webb, Andrew G.; Miller, Gregory A.

    2011-01-01

    Although numerous EEG studies have shown that depression is associated with abnormal functional asymmetries in frontal cortex, fMRI and PET studies have largely failed to identify specific brain areas showing this effect. The present study tested the hypothesis that emotion processes are related to asymmetric patterns of fMRI activity, particularly within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Eleven depressed and 18 control participants identified the color in which pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant words were printed. Both groups showed a leftward lateralization for pleasant words in DLPFC. In a neighboring DLPFC area, the depression group showed more right-lateralized activation than controls, replicating EEG findings. These data confirm that emotional stimulus processing and trait depression are associated with asymmetric brain functions in distinct subregions of the DLPFC that may go undetected unless appropriate analytic procedures are used. PMID:20070577

  2. piRNAs and Their Functions in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Lingjun; Wang, Zhiren; Tan, Yunlong; Chen, Xiangning; Luo, Xingguang

    2016-01-01

    Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are the non-coding RNAs with 24–32 nucleotides (nt). They exhibit stark differences in length, expression pattern, abundance, and genomic organization when compared to micro-RNAs (miRNAs). There are hundreds of thousands unique piRNA sequences in each species. Numerous piRNAs have been identified and deposited in public databases. Since the piRNAs were originally discovered and well-studied in the germline, a few other studies have reported the presence of piRNAs in somatic cells including neurons. This paper reviewed the common features, biogenesis, functions, and distributions of piRNAs and summarized their specific functions in the brain. This review may provide new insights and research direction for brain disorders. PMID:27512315

  3. Structural and functional effects of metastases in rat brain determined by multimodal MRI.

    PubMed

    Serres, Sébastien; Martin, Christopher J; Sarmiento Soto, Manuel; Bristow, Claire; O'Brien, Emma R; Connell, John J; Khrapitchev, Alexandre A; Sibson, Nicola R

    2014-02-15

    Metastasis to the brain results in significant impairment of brain function and poor patient survival. Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is under-utilised in monitoring brain metastases and their effects on brain function. Here, we sought to establish a model of focal brain metastasis in the rat that enables serial multimodal structural and functional MRI studies, and to assess the sensitivity of these approaches to metastatic growth. Female Berlin-Druckrey-IX rats were injected intracerebrally with metastatic ENU1564 cells in the ventroposterior medial nucleus (VPM) of the thalamus, a relay node of the whisker-to-barrel cortex pathway. Animals underwent multimodal structural and vascular MRI, as well as functional MRI of the cortical blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to whisker pad stimulation. T2 , diffusion, magnetisation transfer and perfusion weighted MRI enabled differentiation between a central area of more advanced metastatic growth and penumbral regions of co-optive perivascular micrometastatic growth, with magnetisation transfer MRI being the most sensitive to micrometastatic growth. Areas of cortical BOLD activation in response to whisker pad stimulation were significantly reduced in the hemisphere containing metastases in the VPM. The reduction in BOLD response correlated with metastatic burden in the thalamus, and was sensitive to the presence of smaller metastases than currently detectable clinically. Our findings suggest that multimodal MRI provides greater sensitivity to tumour heterogeneity and micrometastatic growth than single modality contrast-enhanced MRI. Understanding the relationships between these MRI parameters and the underlying pathology may greatly enhance the utility of MRI in diagnosis, staging and monitoring of brain metastasis. PMID:23913394

  4. Is 21st Century Neuroscience Too Focussed on the Rat/Mouse Model of Brain Function and Dysfunction?

    PubMed Central

    Manger, Paul R.; Cort, Jessica; Ebrahim, Naseem; Goodman, Adelaya; Henning, Justine; Karolia, Mohamed; Rodrigues, Stacey-Lee; Štrkalj, Goran

    2008-01-01

    Studies in the basic neurosciences are heavily reliant upon rat and mouse models. The brain is one of the most distinguishing features of the human species, but is enough being done to fully understand the evolution of the human brain and brain diversity in general? Without a clear understanding of the evolution of the nervous system we may be investing a great deal of effort into some limited specific animal models that may prove to be erroneous in terms of the overall usefulness in clinically applied research. Here we present an analysis that demonstrates that 75% of our research efforts are directed to the rat, mouse and human brain, or 0.0001% of the nervous systems on the planet. This extreme bias in research trends may provide a limited scope in the discovery of novel aspects of brain structure and function that would be of importance in understanding both the evolution of the human brain and in selecting appropriate animal models for use in clinically related research. We offer examples both from the historical and recent literature indicating the usefulness of comparative neurobiological investigation in elucidating both normal and abnormal structure and function of the brain. PMID:19127284

  5. On the effects of testosterone on brain behavioral functions

    PubMed Central

    Celec, Peter; Ostatníková, Daniela; Hodosy, Július

    2015-01-01

    Testosterone influences the brain via organizational and activational effects. Numerous relevant studies on rodents and a few on humans focusing on specific behavioral and cognitive parameters have been published. The results are, unfortunately, controversial and puzzling. Dosing, timing, even the application route seem to considerably affect the outcomes. In addition, the methods used for the assessment of psychometric parameters are a bit less than ideal regarding their validity and reproducibility. Metabolism of testosterone contributes to the complexity of its actions. Reduction to dihydrotestosterone by 5-alpha reductase increases the androgen activity; conversion to estradiol by aromatase converts the androgen to estrogen activity. Recently, the non-genomic effects of testosterone on behavior bypassing the nuclear receptors have attracted the interest of researchers. This review tries to summarize the current understanding of the complexity of the effects of testosterone on brain with special focus on their role in the known sex differences. PMID:25741229

  6. Understanding structure, function, and mutations in the mitochondrial ATP synthase

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a multimeric enzyme complex with an overall molecular weight of about 600,000 Da. The ATP synthase is a molecular motor composed of two separable parts: F1 and Fo. The F1 portion contains the catalytic sites for ATP synthesis and protrudes into the mitochondrial matrix. Fo forms a proton turbine that is embedded in the inner membrane and connected to the rotor of F1. The flux of protons flowing down a potential gradient powers the rotation of the rotor driving the synthesis of ATP. Thus, the flow of protons though Fo is coupled to the synthesis of ATP. This review will discuss the structure/function relationship in the ATP synthase as determined by biochemical, crystallographic, and genetic studies. An emphasis will be placed on linking the structure/function relationship with understanding how disease causing mutations or putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding the subunits of the ATP synthase, will affect the function of the enzyme and the health of the individual. The review will start by summarizing the current understanding of the subunit composition of the enzyme and the role of the subunits followed by a discussion on known mutations and their effect on the activity of the ATP synthase. The review will conclude with a summary of mutations in genes encoding subunits of the ATP synthase that are known to be responsible for human disease, and a brief discussion on SNPs. PMID:25938092

  7. The Effect of Criticism on Functional Brain Connectivity and Associations with Neuroticism

    PubMed Central

    Servaas, Michelle Nadine; Riese, Harriëtte; Renken, Remco Jan; Marsman, Jan-Bernard Cornelis; Lambregs, Johan; Ormel, Johan; Aleman, André

    2013-01-01

    Neuroticism is a robust personality trait that constitutes a risk factor for psychopathology, especially anxiety disorders and depression. High neurotic individuals tend to be more self-critical and are overly sensitive to criticism by others. Hence, we used a novel resting-state paradigm to investigate the effect of criticism on functional brain connectivity and associations with neuroticism. Forty-eight participants completed the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R) to assess neuroticism. Next, we recorded resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) during two sessions. We manipulated the second session before scanning by presenting three standardized critical remarks through headphones, in which the subject was urged to please lie still in the scanner. A seed-based functional connectivity method and subsequent clustering were used to analyse the resting state data. Based on the reviewed literature related to criticism, we selected brain regions associated with self-reflective processing and stress-regulation as regions of interest. The findings showed enhanced functional connectivity between the clustered seed regions and brain areas involved in emotion processing and social cognition during the processing of criticism. Concurrently, functional connectivity was reduced between these clusters and brain structures related to the default mode network and higher-order cognitive control. Furthermore, individuals scoring higher on neuroticism showed altered functional connectivity between the clustered seed regions and brain areas involved in the appraisal, expression and regulation of negative emotions. These results may suggest that the criticized person is attempting to understand the beliefs, perceptions and feelings of the critic in order to facilitate flexible and adaptive social behavior. Furthermore, multiple aspects of emotion processing were found to be affected in individuals scoring higher on neuroticism during the processing of

  8. Brain functional network connectivity based on a visual task: visual information processing-related brain regions are significantly activated in the task state

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yan-li; Deng, Hong-xia; Xing, Gui-yang; Xia, Xiao-luan; Li, Hai-fang

    2015-01-01

    It is not clear whether the method used in functional brain-network related research can be applied to explore the feature binding mechanism of visual perception. In this study, we investigated feature binding of color and shape in visual perception. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 38 healthy volunteers at rest and while performing a visual perception task to construct brain networks active during resting and task states. Results showed that brain regions involved in visual information processing were obviously activated during the task. The components were partitioned using a greedy algorithm, indicating the visual network existed during the resting state. Z-values in the vision-related brain regions were calculated, confirming the dynamic balance of the brain network. Connectivity between brain regions was determined, and the result showed that occipital and lingual gyri were stable brain regions in the visual system network, the parietal lobe played a very important role in the binding process of color features and shape features, and the fusiform and inferior temporal gyri were crucial for processing color and shape information. Experimental findings indicate that understanding visual feature binding and cognitive processes will help establish computational models of vision, improve image recognition technology, and provide a new theoretical mechanism for feature binding in visual perception. PMID:25883631

  9. [Contribution of brain function analysis to the evolution of neurorehabilitation].

    PubMed

    Miyai, Ichiro; Mihara, Masahito; Hattori, Noriaki; Hatakenaka, Megumi; Kawano, Teiji; Yagura, Hajime

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies of functional neuroimaging and clinical neurophysiology have implied that functional recovery after stroke is associated with use-dependent plasticity of the damaged brain. However the property of the reorganized neural network depends on site and size of the lesion, which makes it difficult to assess what the adaptive plasticity is. From clinical point of view there is accumulating randomized controlled trials for the benefit of task-oriented rehabilitative intervention including constraint-induced movement therapy, robotics, and body-weight supported treadmill training. However dose-matched control intervention is usually as effective as a specific intervention. This raises a question regarding the specificity of a task-oriented intervention. Second question is whether such intervention goes beyond the biological destiny of human. Specifically there is no known strategy enhancing recovery of severely impaired hand. To augment functional gain, several methods of neuro-modulation may bring break-through on the assumption that they induce greater adaptive plasticity. Such neuro-modulative methods include neuropharmacological modulation, brain stimulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation and direct current stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, neurofeedback using real-time fMRI and real-time fNIRS, and brain-machine interface. A preliminary randomized controlled trial regarding real-time feedback of premotor activities revealed promising results for recovery of paretic hand in patients with stroke. PMID:23196554

  10. Predicting individual brain maturity using dynamic functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Rescue of Brain Function Using Tunneling Nanotubes Between Neural Stem Cells and Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqing; Yu, Xiaowen; Xie, Chong; Tan, Zijian; Tian, Qi; Zhu, Desheng; Liu, Mingyuan; Guan, Yangtai

    2016-05-01

    Evidence indicates that neural stem cells (NSCs) can ameliorate cerebral ischemia in animal models. In this study, we investigated the mechanism underlying one of the neuroprotective effects of NSCs: tunneling nanotube (TNT) formation. We addressed whether the control of cell-to-cell communication processes between NSCs and brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) and, particularly, the control of TNT formation could influence the rescue function of stem cells. In an attempt to mimic the cellular microenvironment in vitro, a co-culture system consisting of terminally differentiated BMECs from mice in a distressed state and NSCs was constructed. Additionally, engraftment experiments with infarcted mouse brains revealed that control of TNT formation influenced the effects of stem cell transplantation in vivo. In conclusion, our findings provide the first evidence that TNTs exist between NSCs and BMECs and that regulation of TNT formation alters cell function. PMID:26041660

  12. Network science and the human brain: Using graph theory to understand the brain and one of its hubs, the amygdala, in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Mears, David; Pollard, Harvey B

    2016-06-01

    Over the past 15 years, the emerging field of network science has revealed the key features of brain networks, which include small-world topology, the presence of highly connected hubs, and hierarchical modularity. The value of network studies of the brain is underscored by the range of network alterations that have been identified in neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and many others. Here we briefly summarize the concepts of graph theory that are used to quantify network properties and describe common experimental approaches for analysis of brain networks of structural and functional connectivity. These range from tract tracing to functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography. We then summarize the major findings from the application of graph theory to nervous systems ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to more complex primate brains, including man. Focusing, then, on studies involving the amygdala, a brain region that has attracted intense interest as a center for emotional processing, fear, and motivation, we discuss the features of the amygdala in brain networks for fear conditioning and emotional perception. Finally, to highlight the utility of graph theory for studying dysfunction of the amygdala in mental illness, we review data with regard to changes in the hub properties of the amygdala in brain networks of patients with depression. We suggest that network studies of the human brain may serve to focus attention on regions and connections that act as principal drivers and controllers of brain function in health and disease. PMID:26771046

  13. Toward a structural understanding of IRES RNA function.

    PubMed

    Filbin, Megan E; Kieft, Jeffrey S

    2009-06-01

    Protein synthesis of an RNA template can start by two different known mechanisms: cap-dependent translation initiation and cap-independent translation initiation. The latter is driven by RNA sequences called internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) that are found in both viral RNAs and cellular mRNAs. The diverse mechanisms used by IRESs are reflected in their structural diversity, and this structural diversity challenges us to develop a cohesive model linking IRES function to structure. With more direct structural information available for the viral IRESs, data suggest an inverse correlation between the degree to which an IRES RNA can form a stable structure on its own and the number of factors that it requires to function. Lessons learned from the viral IRESs may help understand the cellular IRESs, although more structural data are needed before any strong links can be made. PMID:19362464

  14. Applications of spectral inversion to understanding vegetation functional trait relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Dietze, M.; Viskari, T.; Townsend, P. A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Spectral data from both field observations and remote sensing platforms are a rich source of information for studying plant traits. Traditional approaches to using spectral data for studying vegetation have proven effective in sensor-, site-, or plant type-specific settings, but differences in model assumptions and failure to account for uncertainties have hindered efforts to synthesize observations from different sources and use spectral data in a predictive capacity. Here we present a novel approach that uses Bayesian inversion of the PROSPECT 5 leaf radiative transfer model (RTM) to investigate the ability of spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits. First, we validated our method by comparing inversion results to independent measurements of relevant leaf structural and biochemical parameters. Second, we tested the accuracy and precision of RTM parameter retrieval as a function of spectral resolution and quality by performing inversions on simulated observations for a variety of common remote sensing platforms. We observed predictable increases in parameter uncertainty and covariance with declining spectral resolution, but we also found that the measurement characteristics of all sensors are capable of providing information about at least some of the parameters of interest. Finally, we applied our inversion to a large database of field spectra and plant traits spanning tropical, temperate, and boreal forests, agricultural plots, arid shrublands, and tundra to identify dominant sources of variability and characterize trade-offs in plant functional traits. We found substantial intraspecific variability in traits and explored the extent to which this variability falls along the same axes as the interspecific leaf economics spectrum. Ultimately, our results show that Bayesian RTM inversion provides a powerful framework for using spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits and how they are linked with ecosystem

  15. A Mapping Between Structural and Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Meier, Jil; Tewarie, Prejaas; Hillebrand, Arjan; Douw, Linda; van Dijk, Bob W; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Van Mieghem, Piet

    2016-05-01

    The relationship between structural and functional brain networks is still highly debated. Most previous studies have used a single functional imaging modality to analyze this relationship. In this work, we use multimodal data, from functional MRI, magnetoencephalography, and diffusion tensor imaging, and assume that there exists a mapping between the connectivity matrices of the resting-state functional and structural networks. We investigate this mapping employing group averaged as well as individual data. We indeed find a significantly high goodness of fit level for this structure-function mapping. Our analysis suggests that a functional connection is shaped by all walks up to the diameter in the structural network in both modality cases. When analyzing the inverse mapping, from function to structure, longer walks in the functional network also seem to possess minor influence on the structural connection strengths. Even though similar overall properties for the structure-function mapping are found for different functional modalities, our results indicate that the structure-function relationship is modality dependent. PMID:26860437

  16. Neurophotonics: non-invasive optical techniques for monitoring brain functions.

    PubMed

    Torricelli, Alessandro; Contini, Davide; Dalla Mora, Alberto; Pifferi, Antonio; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Caffini, Matteo; Farina, Andrea; Spinelli, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this review is to present the state of the art of neurophotonics, a recently founded discipline lying at the interface between optics and neuroscience. While neurophotonics also includes invasive techniques for animal studies, in this review we focus only on the non-invasive methods that use near infrared light to probe functional activity in the brain, namely the fast optical signal, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, and functional near infrared spectroscopy methods. We also present an overview of the physical principles of light propagation in biological tissues, and of the main physiological sources of signal. Finally, we discuss the open issues in models, instrumentation, data analysis and clinical approaches. PMID:25764252

  17. Wearable 3-D Photoacoustic Tomography for Functional Brain Imaging in Behaving Rats.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jianbo; Coleman, Jason E; Dai, Xianjin; Jiang, Huabei

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between brain function and behavior remains a major challenge in neuroscience. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging technique that allows for noninvasive in vivo brain imaging at micrometer-millisecond spatiotemporal resolution. In this article, a novel, miniaturized 3D wearable PAT (3D-wPAT) technique is described for brain imaging in behaving rats. 3D-wPAT has three layers of fully functional acoustic transducer arrays. Phantom imaging experiments revealed that the in-plane X-Y spatial resolutions were ~200 μm for each acoustic detection layer. The functional imaging capacity of 3D-wPAT was demonstrated by mapping the cerebral oxygen saturation via multi-wavelength irradiation in behaving hyperoxic rats. In addition, we demonstrated that 3D-wPAT could be used for monitoring sensory stimulus-evoked responses in behaving rats by measuring hemodynamic responses in the primary visual cortex during visual stimulation. Together, these results show the potential of 3D-wPAT for brain study in behaving rodents. PMID:27146026

  18. Evaluation of sliding window correlation performance for characterizing dynamic functional connectivity and brain states.

    PubMed

    Shakil, Sadia; Lee, Chin-Hui; Keilholz, Shella Dawn

    2016-06-01

    A promising recent development in the study of brain function is the dynamic analysis of resting-state functional MRI scans, which can enhance understanding of normal cognition and alterations that result from brain disorders. One widely used method of capturing the dynamics of functional connectivity is sliding window correlation (SWC). However, in the absence of a "gold standard" for comparison, evaluating the performance of the SWC in typical resting-state data is challenging. This study uses simulated networks (SNs) with known transitions to examine the effects of parameters such as window length, window offset, window type, noise, filtering, and sampling rate on the SWC performance. The SWC time course was calculated for all node pairs of each SN and then clustered using the k-means algorithm to determine how resulting brain states match known configurations and transitions in the SNs. The outcomes show that the detection of state transitions and durations in the SWC is most strongly influenced by the window length and offset, followed by noise and filtering parameters. The effect of the image sampling rate was relatively insignificant. Tapered windows provide less sensitivity to state transitions than rectangular windows, which could be the result of the sharp transitions in the SNs. Overall, the SWC gave poor estimates of correlation for each brain state. Clustering based on the SWC time course did not reliably reflect the underlying state transitions unless the window length was comparable to the state duration, highlighting the need for new adaptive window analysis techniques. PMID:26952197

  19. Wearable 3-D Photoacoustic Tomography for Functional Brain Imaging in Behaving Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jianbo; Coleman, Jason E.; Dai, Xianjin; Jiang, Huabei

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between brain function and behavior remains a major challenge in neuroscience. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging technique that allows for noninvasive in vivo brain imaging at micrometer-millisecond spatiotemporal resolution. In this article, a novel, miniaturized 3D wearable PAT (3D-wPAT) technique is described for brain imaging in behaving rats. 3D-wPAT has three layers of fully functional acoustic transducer arrays. Phantom imaging experiments revealed that the in-plane X-Y spatial resolutions were ~200 μm for each acoustic detection layer. The functional imaging capacity of 3D-wPAT was demonstrated by mapping the cerebral oxygen saturation via multi-wavelength irradiation in behaving hyperoxic rats. In addition, we demonstrated that 3D-wPAT could be used for monitoring sensory stimulus-evoked responses in behaving rats by measuring hemodynamic responses in the primary visual cortex during visual stimulation. Together, these results show the potential of 3D-wPAT for brain study in behaving rodents. PMID:27146026

  20. Structural and molecular brain sexual differences: A tool to understand sex differences in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Panzica, GianCarlo; Melcangi, Roberto C

    2016-08-01

    Sex differences are present both in the genotype and in the phenotype of all vertebrates, and they have been evidenced also within the central and peripheral nervous system. Earlier studies on brain sex differences suggested a relatively simple view based on (1) the presence of sexually dimorphic circuits in the hypothalamus (or in regions related to reproductive behaviors), (2) the action of gonadal hormones to masculinize the brain, and (3) the gonadal steroids' action to modulate gene transcription through nuclear receptors. These assumptions are today contradicted by the findings accumulated in the last 20 years. We know now that mechanisms determining sexual dimorphisms may vary according to location and species, and may involve several factors, as genes, epigenetic factors, gonadal hormones and neurosteroids. Sex differences were also revealed by epidemiological studies in several neural pathologies. This suggests that the approach to understand the genesis of these pathologies, should involve specific attention to interactions among genes, gonadal and brain-born steroid hormones, epigenetic and environmental factors. PMID:27113294

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Sex differences in resting state brain function of cigarette smokers and links to nicotine dependence.

    PubMed

    Beltz, Adriene M; Berenbaum, Sheri A; Wilson, Stephen J

    2015-08-01

    Sex--a marker of biological and social individual differences--matters for drug use, particularly for cigarette smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More men than women smoke, but women are less likely than men to quit. Resting state brain function, or intrinsic brain activity that occurs in the absence of a goal-directed task, is important for understanding cigarette smoking, as it has been shown to differentiate between smokers and nonsmokers. But, it is unclear whether and how sex influences the link between resting state brain function and smoking behavior. In this study, the authors demonstrate that sex is indeed associated with resting state connectivity in cigarette smokers, and that sex moderates the link between resting state connectivity and self-reported nicotine dependence. Using functional MRI and behavioral data from 50 adult daily smokers (23 women), the authors found that women had greater connectivity than men within the default mode network, and that increased connectivity within the reward network was related to increased nicotine tolerance in women but to decreased nicotine tolerance in men. Findings highlight the importance of sex-related individual differences reflected in resting state connectivity for understanding the etiology and treatment of substance use problems. PMID:26237322

  4. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Catherine S; Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  5. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L.; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  6. Heritability of human brain functioning as assessed by electroencephalography

    SciTech Connect

    Beijsterveldt, C.E.M. van; Geus, E.J.C. de; Boomsma, D.I.

    1996-03-01

    To study the genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in CNS functioning, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured in 213 twin pairs age 16 years. EEG was measured in 91 MZ and 122 DZ twins. To quantify sex differences in the genetic architecture, EEG was measured in female and male same-sex twins and in opposite-sex twins. EEG was recorded on 14 scalp positions during quiet resting with eyes closed. Spectral powers were calculated for four frequency bands: delta, theta, alpha, and beta. Twin correlations pointed toward high genetic influences for all these powers and scalp locations. Model fitting confirmed these findings; the largest part of the variance of the EEG is explained by additive genetic factors. The averaged heritabilities for the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was 76%, 89%, 89%, and 86%, respectively. Multivariate analyses suggested that the same genes for EEG alpha rhythm were expressed in different brain areas in the left and right hemisphere. This study shows that brain functioning, as indexed by rhythmic brain-electrical activity, is one of the most heritable characteristics in humans. 44 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Exploiting temporal information in functional magnetic resonance imaging brain data.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Samaras, Dimitris; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Cottone, Lisa; Leskovjan, Andreana; Volkow, Nora; Goldstein, Rita

    2005-01-01

    Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging(fMRI) has enabled scientists to look into the active human brain, leading to a flood of new data, thus encouraging the development of new data analysis methods. In this paper, we contribute a comprehensive framework for spatial and temporal exploration of fMRI data, and apply it to a challenging case study: separating drug addicted subjects from healthy non-drug-using controls. To our knowledge, this is the first time that learning on fMRI data is performed explicitly on temporal information for classification in such applications. Experimental results demonstrate that, by selecting discriminative features, group classification can be successfully performed on our case study although training data are exceptionally high dimensional, sparse and noisy fMRI sequences. The classification performance can be significantly improved by incorporating temporal information into machine learning. Both statistical and neuroscientific validation of the method's generalization ability are provided. We demonstrate that incorporation of computer science principles into functional neuroimaging clinical studies, facilitates deduction about the behavioral probes from the brain activation data, thus providing a valid tool that incorporates objective brain imaging data into clinical classification of psychopathologies and identification of genetic vulnerabilities. PMID:16685905

  8. Intra-Arterial Administration of Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Promotes Functional Recovery of the Brain After Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Silachev, D N; Plotnikov, E Yu; Babenko, V A; Danilina, T I; Zorov, L D; Pevzner, I B; Zorov, D B; Sukhikh, G T

    2015-08-01

    We compared the efficiency of delivery of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells into the brain after their intravenous and intra-arterial injection. Analysis of the therapeutic effects of cells after experimental traumatic brain injury revealed improvement of the neurological status and motor functions of the damaged hemisphere, the effect being more pronounced after intraarterial injection of cells. Intra-arterial administration was followed by rapid infiltration of the cells into the brain tissue and their number considerably surpassed that after intravenous infusion. Targeted delivery of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells into the brain after their injection into the carotid arteries substantially potentiated their neuroprotective effects in traumatic brain injury. PMID:26388566

  9. Do You Know What I Mean? Brain Oscillations and the Understanding of Communicative Intentions

    PubMed Central

    Brunetti, Marcella; Zappasodi, Filippo; Marzetti, Laura; Perrucci, Mauro Gianni; Cirillo, Simona; Romani, Gian Luca; Pizzella, Vittorio; Aureli, Tiziana

    2014-01-01

    Pointing gesture allows children to communicate their intentions before the acquisition of language. In particular, two main purposes seem to underlie the gesture: to request a desired object (imperative pointing) or to share attention on that object (declarative pointing). Since the imperative pointing has an instrumental goal and the declarative has an interpersonal one, only the latter gesture is thought to signal the infant’s awareness of the communicative partner as a mental agent. The present study examined the neural responses of adult subjects with the aim to test the hypothesis that declarative rather than imperative pointing reflects mentalizing skills. Fourteen subjects were measured in a magnetoencephalographic environment including four conditions, based on the goal of the pointing – imperative or declarative – and the role of the subject – sender or receiver of pointing. Time–frequency modulations of brain activity in each condition (declarative production and comprehension, imperative production and comprehension) were analyzed. Both low beta and high beta power were stronger during declarative than imperative condition in anterior cingulated cortex and right posterior superior temporal sulcus, respectively. Furthermore, high gamma activity was higher in right temporo-parietal junction during the sender than receiving condition. This suggests that communicative pointing modulated brain regions previously described in neuroimaging research as linked to social cognitive skills and that declarative pointing is more capable of eliciting that activation than imperative. Our results contribute to the understanding of the roles of brain rhythm dynamics in social cognition, thus supporting neural research on that topic during developmental both in typical and atypical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder. In particular, the identification of relevant regions in a mature brain may stimulate a future work on the developmental changes of

  10. Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on Autonomic Function.

    PubMed

    Basiago, Adam; Binder, Devin K

    2016-01-01

    Over the course of the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) into a well-established therapy for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, its utility as a potential treatment for autonomic dysfunction has emerged. Dysfunction of autonomic processes is common in neurological diseases. Depending on the specific target in the brain, DBS has been shown to raise or lower blood pressure, normalize the baroreflex, to alter the caliber of bronchioles, and eliminate hyperhidrosis, all through modulation of the sympathetic nervous system. It has also been shown to improve cortical control of the bladder, directly induce or inhibit the micturition reflex, and to improve deglutition and gastric emptying. In this review, we will attempt to summarize the relevant available studies describing these effects of DBS on autonomic function, which vary greatly in character and magnitude with respect to stimulation target. PMID:27537920

  11. Neuroanatomical substrates of action perception and understanding: an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of lesion-symptom mapping studies in brain injured patients

    PubMed Central

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Candidi, Matteo; Avenanti, Alessio

    2014-01-01

    Several neurophysiologic and neuroimaging studies suggested that motor and perceptual systems are tightly linked along a continuum rather than providing segregated mechanisms supporting different functions. Using correlational approaches, these studies demonstrated that action observation activates not only visual but also motor brain regions. On the other hand, brain stimulation and brain lesion evidence allows tackling the critical question of whether our action representations are necessary to perceive and understand others’ actions. In particular, recent neuropsychological studies have shown that patients with temporal, parietal, and frontal lesions exhibit a number of possible deficits in the visual perception and the understanding of others’ actions. The specific anatomical substrates of such neuropsychological deficits however, are still a matter of debate. Here we review the existing literature on this issue and perform an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of studies using lesion-symptom mapping methods on the causal relation between brain lesions and non-linguistic action perception and understanding deficits. The meta-analysis encompassed data from 361 patients tested in 11 studies and identified regions in the inferior frontal cortex, the inferior parietal cortex and the middle/superior temporal cortex, whose damage is consistently associated with poor performance in action perception and understanding tasks across studies. Interestingly, these areas correspond to the three nodes of the action observation network that are strongly activated in response to visual action perception in neuroimaging research and that have been targeted in previous brain stimulation studies. Thus, brain lesion mapping research provides converging causal evidence that premotor, parietal and temporal regions play a crucial role in action recognition and understanding. PMID:24910603

  12. A systematic review of the evidence that brain structure is related to muscle structure and their relationship to brain and muscle function in humans over the lifecourse

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background An association between cognition and physical function has been shown to exist but the roles of muscle and brain structure in this relationship are not fully understood. A greater understanding of these relationships may lead to identification of the underlying mechanisms in this important area of research. This systematic review examines the evidence for whether: a) brain structure is related to muscle structure; b) brain structure is related to muscle function; and c) brain function is related to muscle structure in healthy children and adults. Methods Medline, Embase, CINAHL and PsycINFO were searched on March 6th 2014. A grey literature search was performed using Google and Google Scholar. Hand searching through citations and references of relevant articles was also undertaken. Results 53 articles were included in the review; mean age of the subjects ranged from 8.8 to 85.5 years old. There is evidence of a positive association between both whole brain volume and white matter (WM) volume and muscle size. Total grey matter (GM) volume was not associated with muscle size but some areas of regional GM volume were associated with muscle size (right temporal pole and bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex). No evidence was found of a relationship between grip strength and whole brain volume however there was some evidence of a positive association with WM volume. Conversely, there is evidence that gait speed is positively associated with whole brain volume; this relationship may be driven by total WM volume or regional GM volumes, specifically the hippocampus. Markers of brain ageing, that is brain atrophy and greater accumulation of white matter hyperintensities (WMH), were associated with grip strength and gait speed. The location of WMH is important for gait speed; periventricular hyperintensities and brainstem WMH are associated with gait speed but subcortical WMH play less of a role. Cognitive function does not appear to be associated with muscle

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Brain macrophages: evaluation of microglia and their functions.

    PubMed

    Thomas, W E

    1992-01-01

    There is now evidence approaching, if not having already surpassed, overwhelming in support of microglial cells as macrophages. Consistent with this cellular identity, they appear to arise from monocytes in developing brain where amoeboid microglia function in removing cell death-associated debris and in regulating gliogenesis. In normal adult tissue, ramified microglial cells with down-regulated macrophage functional properties may serve a constitutive role in cleansing the extracellular fluid. Under all conditions of brain injury, microglia appear to activate and convert into active macrophages. Activated and reactive microglia participate in inflammation, removal of cellular debris and wound-healing, the latter through regulation of gliosis in scar formation and a potential contribution to neural regeneration and neovascularization. In the activated state, microglia also express MHC's and, thus, may function in antigen presentation and lymphocyte activation for CNS immune responses. As uniquely adapted tissue resident macrophages within the CNS, microglia serve a variety of functional roles over the lifespan of this tissue. These cells may therefore be involved in or contribute to some disease states; such has been indicated in multiple sclerosis and AIDS dementia complex. PMID:1638276

  15. Analytical Operations Relate Structural and Functional Connectivity in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Saggio, Maria Luisa; Ritter, Petra; Jirsa, Viktor K

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state large-scale brain models vary in the amount of biological elements they incorporate and in the way they are being tested. One might expect that the more realistic the model is, the closer it should reproduce real functional data. It has been shown, instead, that when linear correlation across long BOLD fMRI time-series is used as a measure for functional connectivity (FC) to compare simulated and real data, a simple model performs just as well, or even better, than more sophisticated ones. The model in question is a simple linear model, which considers the physiological noise that is pervasively present in our brain while it diffuses across the white-matter connections, that is structural connectivity (SC). We deeply investigate this linear model, providing an analytical solution to straightforwardly compute FC from SC without the need of computationally costly simulations of time-series. We provide a few examples how this analytical solution could be used to perform a fast and detailed parameter exploration or to investigate resting-state non-stationarities. Most importantly, by inverting the analytical solution, we propose a method to retrieve information on the anatomical structure directly from functional data. This simple method can be used to complement or guide DTI/DSI and tractography results, especially for a better assessment of inter-hemispheric connections, or to provide an estimate of SC when only functional data are available. PMID:27536987

  16. Sleep-disordered breathing: effects on brain structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Ronald M.; Kumar, Rajesh; Ogren, Jennifer A.; Macey, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    Sleep-disordered breathing is accompanied by neural injury that affects a wide range of physiological systems which include processes for sensing chemoreception and airflow, driving respiratory musculature, timing circuitry for coordination of breathing patterning, and integration of blood pressure mechanisms with respiration. The damage also occurs in regions mediating emotion and mood, as well as areas regulating memory and cognitive functioning, and appears in structures that serve significant glycemic control processes. The injured structures include brain areas involved in hormone release and action of major neurotransmitters, including those playing a role in depression. The injury is reflected in a range of structural magnetic resonance procedures, and also appears as functional distortions of evoked activity in brain areas mediating vital autonomic and breathing functions. The damage is preferentially unilateral, and includes axonal projections; the asymmetry of the injury poses unique concerns for sympathetic discharge and potential consequences for arrhythmia. Sleep-disordered breathing should be viewed as a condition that includes central nervous system injury and impaired function; the processes underlying injury remain unclear. PMID:23643610

  17. Analytical Operations Relate Structural and Functional Connectivity in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Saggio, Maria Luisa; Ritter, Petra; Jirsa, Viktor K.

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state large-scale brain models vary in the amount of biological elements they incorporate and in the way they are being tested. One might expect that the more realistic the model is, the closer it should reproduce real functional data. It has been shown, instead, that when linear correlation across long BOLD fMRI time-series is used as a measure for functional connectivity (FC) to compare simulated and real data, a simple model performs just as well, or even better, than more sophisticated ones. The model in question is a simple linear model, which considers the physiological noise that is pervasively present in our brain while it diffuses across the white-matter connections, that is structural connectivity (SC). We deeply investigate this linear model, providing an analytical solution to straightforwardly compute FC from SC without the need of computationally costly simulations of time-series. We provide a few examples how this analytical solution could be used to perform a fast and detailed parameter exploration or to investigate resting-state non-stationarities. Most importantly, by inverting the analytical solution, we propose a method to retrieve information on the anatomical structure directly from functional data. This simple method can be used to complement or guide DTI/DSI and tractography results, especially for a better assessment of inter-hemispheric connections, or to provide an estimate of SC when only functional data are available. PMID:27536987

  18. Understanding the mind of a worm: hierarchical network structure underlying nervous system function in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Nivedita; Sinha, Sitabhra

    2008-01-01

    The nervous system of the nematode C. elegans provides a unique opportunity to understand how behavior ('mind') emerges from activity in the nervous system ('brain') of an organism. The hermaphrodite worm has only 302 neurons, all of whose connections (synaptic and gap junctional) are known. Recently, many of the functional circuits that make up its behavioral repertoire have begun to be identified. In this paper, we investigate the hierarchical structure of the nervous system through k-core decomposition and find it to be intimately related to the set of all known functional circuits. Our analysis also suggests a vital role for the lateral ganglion in processing information, providing an essential connection between the sensory and motor components of the C. elegans nervous system. PMID:18166392

  19. Neuroimaging Studies of Normal Brain Development and Their Relevance for Understanding Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Rachel; Gerber, Andrew J.; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2008-01-01

    Neuroimaging findings which identify normal brain development trajectories are presented. Results show that early brain development begins with the neural tube formation and ends with myelintation. How disturbances in brain development patterns are related to childhood psychiatric disorders is examined.

  20. Permeabilization of brain tissue in situ enables multiregion analysis of mitochondrial function in a single mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Herbst, Eric AF; Holloway, Graham P

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Mitochondria function as the core energy providers in the brain and symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to their dysregulation. Assessing mitochondrial function is classically performed in isolated mitochondria; however, this process requires significant isolation time, demand for abundant tissue and disruption of the cooperative mitochondrial reticulum, all of which reduce reliability when attempting to assess in vivo mitochondrial bioenergetics. Here we introduce a method that advances the assessment of mitochondrial respiration in the brain by permeabilizing existing brain tissue to grant direct access to the mitochondrial reticulum in situ. The permeabilized brain preparation allows for instant analysis of mitochondrial function with unaltered mitochondrial morphology using significantly small sample sizes (∼2 mg), which permits the analysis of mitochondrial function in multiple subregions within a single mouse brain. Here this technique was applied to assess regional variation in brain mitochondrial function with acute ischaemia–reperfusion injuries and to determine the role of reactive oxygen species in exacerbating dysfunction through the application of a transgenic mouse model overexpressing catalase within mitochondria. Through creating accessibility to small regions for the investigation of mitochondrial function, the permeabilized brain preparation enhances the capacity for examining regional differences in mitochondrial regulation within the brain, as the majority of genetic models used for unique approaches exist in the mouse model. PMID:25529987

  1. Using computational models to relate structural and functional brain connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hlinka, Jaroslav; Coombes, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Modern imaging methods allow a non-invasive assessment of both structural and functional brain connectivity. This has lead to the identification of disease-related alterations affecting functional connectivity. The mechanism of how such alterations in functional connectivity arise in a structured network of interacting neural populations is as yet poorly understood. Here we use a modeling approach to explore the way in which this can arise and to highlight the important role that local population dynamics can have in shaping emergent spatial functional connectivity patterns. The local dynamics for a neural population is taken to be of the Wilson–Cowan type, whilst the structural connectivity patterns used, describing long-range anatomical connections, cover both realistic scenarios (from the CoComac database) and idealized ones that allow for more detailed theoretical study. We have calculated graph–theoretic measures of functional network topology from numerical simulations of model networks. The effect of the form of local dynamics on the observed network state is quantified by examining the correlation between structural and functional connectivity. We document a profound and systematic dependence of the simulated functional connectivity patterns on the parameters controlling the dynamics. Importantly, we show that a weakly coupled oscillator theory explaining these correlations and their variation across parameter space can be developed. This theoretical development provides a novel way to characterize the mechanisms for the breakdown of functional connectivity in diseases through changes in local dynamics. PMID:22805059

  2. Brain function differences in language processing in children and adults with autism.

    PubMed

    Williams, Diane L; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Mason, Robert A; Keller, Timothy A; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-08-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience. PMID:23495230

  3. SSVEP Response Is Related to Functional Brain Network Topology Entrained by the Flickering Stimulus

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yangsong; Xu, Peng; Huang, Yingling; Cheng, Kaiwen; Yao, Dezhong

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the brain network topology correlates with the cognitive function. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between functional brain networks that process sensory inputs and outputs. In this study, we focus on steady-state paradigms using a periodic visual stimulus, which are increasingly being used in both brain-computer interface (BCI) and cognitive neuroscience researches. Using the graph theoretical analysis, we investigated the relationship between the topology of functional networks entrained by periodic stimuli and steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) using two frequencies and eleven subjects. First, the entire functional network (Network 0) of each frequency for each subject was constructed according to the coherence between electrode pairs. Next, Network 0 was divided into three sub-networks, in which the connection strengths were either significantly (positively for Network 1, negatively for Network 3) or non-significantly (Network 2) correlated with the SSVEP responses. Our results revealed that the SSVEP responses were positively correlated to the mean functional connectivity, clustering coefficient, and global and local efficiencies, while these responses were negatively correlated with the characteristic path length of Networks 0, 1 and 2. Furthermore, the strengths of these connections that significantly correlated with the SSVEP (both positively and negatively) were mainly found to be long-range connections between the parietal-occipital and frontal regions. These results indicate that larger SSVEP responses correspond with better functional network topology structures. This study may provide new insights for understanding brain mechanisms when using SSVEPs as frequency tags. PMID:24039789

  4. Brain Function Differences in Language Processing in Children and Adults with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Diane L.; Cherkassky, Vladimir L.; Mason, Robert A.; Keller, Timothy A.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2015-01-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience. PMID:23495230

  5. Chronic Methamphetamine Effects on Brain Structure and Function in Rats.

    PubMed

    Thanos, Panayotis K; Kim, Ronald; Delis, Foteini; Ananth, Mala; Chachati, George; Rocco, Mark J; Masad, Ihssan; Muniz, Jose A; Grant, Samuel C; Gold, Mark S; Cadet, Jean Lud; Volkow, Nora D

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. Chronic MA use has been shown to lead to neurotoxicity in rodents and humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in MA users have shown enlarged striatal volumes and positron emission tomography (PET) studies have shown decreased brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) in the striatum of detoxified MA users. The present study examines structural changes of the brain, observes microglial activation, and assesses changes in brain function, in response to chronic MA treatment. Rats were randomly split into three distinct treatment groups and treated daily for four months, via i.p. injection, with saline (controls), or low dose (LD) MA (4 mg/kg), or high dose (HD) MA (8 mg/kg). Sixteen weeks into the treatment period, rats were injected with a glucose analog, [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and their brains were scanned with micro-PET to assess regional BGluM. At the end of MA treatment, magnetic resonance imaging at 21T was performed on perfused rats to determine regional brain volume and in vitro [3H]PK 11195 autoradiography was performed on fresh-frozen brain tissue to measure microglia activation. When compared with controls, chronic HD MA-treated rats had enlarged striatal volumes and increases in [3H]PK 11195 binding in striatum, the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortical areas, the rhinal cortices, and the cerebellar nuclei. FDG microPET imaging showed that LD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in insular and somatosensory cortices, face sensory nucleus of the thalamus, and brainstem reticular formation, while HD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in primary and higher order somatosensory and the retrosplenial cortices, compared with controls. HD and LD MA-treated rats had lower BGluM in the tail of the striatum, rhinal cortex, and subiculum and HD MA also had lower BGluM in hippocampus than controls. These results corroborate clinical findings and help further examine the mechanisms behind MA

  6. Chronic Methamphetamine Effects on Brain Structure and Function in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Thanos, Panayotis K.; Kim, Ronald; Delis, Foteini; Ananth, Mala; Chachati, George; Rocco, Mark J.; Masad, Ihssan; Muniz, Jose A.; Grant, Samuel C.; Gold, Mark S.; Cadet, Jean Lud; Volkow, Nora D.

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. Chronic MA use has been shown to lead to neurotoxicity in rodents and humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in MA users have shown enlarged striatal volumes and positron emission tomography (PET) studies have shown decreased brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) in the striatum of detoxified MA users. The present study examines structural changes of the brain, observes microglial activation, and assesses changes in brain function, in response to chronic MA treatment. Rats were randomly split into three distinct treatment groups and treated daily for four months, via i.p. injection, with saline (controls), or low dose (LD) MA (4 mg/kg), or high dose (HD) MA (8 mg/kg). Sixteen weeks into the treatment period, rats were injected with a glucose analog, [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and their brains were scanned with micro-PET to assess regional BGluM. At the end of MA treatment, magnetic resonance imaging at 21T was performed on perfused rats to determine regional brain volume and in vitro [3H]PK 11195 autoradiography was performed on fresh-frozen brain tissue to measure microglia activation. When compared with controls, chronic HD MA-treated rats had enlarged striatal volumes and increases in [3H]PK 11195 binding in striatum, the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortical areas, the rhinal cortices, and the cerebellar nuclei. FDG microPET imaging showed that LD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in insular and somatosensory cortices, face sensory nucleus of the thalamus, and brainstem reticular formation, while HD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in primary and higher order somatosensory and the retrosplenial cortices, compared with controls. HD and LD MA-treated rats had lower BGluM in the tail of the striatum, rhinal cortex, and subiculum and HD MA also had lower BGluM in hippocampus than controls. These results corroborate clinical findings and help further examine the mechanisms behind MA

  7. Mitochondrial activity and brain functions during cortical depolarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayevsky, Avraham; Sonn, Judith

    2008-12-01

    Cortical depolarization (CD) of the cerebral cortex could be developed under various pathophysiological conditions. In animal models, CD was recorded under partial or complete ischemia as well as when cortical spreading depression (SD) was induced externally or by internal stimulus. The development of CD in patients and the changes in various metabolic parameters, during CD, was rarely reported. Brain metabolic, hemodynamic, ionic and electrical responses to the CD event are dependent upon the O2 balance in the tissue. When the O2 balance is negative (i.e. ischemia), the CD process will be developed due to mitochondrial dysfunction, lack of energy and the inhibition of Na+-K+-ATPase. In contradiction, when oxygen is available (i.e. normoxia) the development of CD after induction of SD will accelerate mitochondrial respiration for retaining ionic homeostasis and normal brain functions. We used the multiparametric monitoring approach that enable real time monitoring of mitochondrial NADH redox state, microcirculatory blood flow and oxygenation, extracellular K+, Ca2+, H+ levels, DC steady potential and electrocorticogram (ECoG). This monitoring approach, provide a unique tool that has a significant value in analyzing the pathophysiology of the brain when SD developed under normoxia, ischemia, or hypoxia. We applied the same monitoring approach to patients suffered from severe head injury or exposed to neurosurgical procedures.

  8. Bisphenol A Interaction With Brain Development and Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Brain development is an organized, but constantly adaptive, process in which genetic and epigenetic signals allow neurons to differentiate, to migrate, and to develop correct connections. Gender specific prenatal sex hormone milieu participates in the dimorphic development of many neuronal networks. Environmental cues may interfere with these developmental programs, producing adverse outcomes. Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic/antiandrogenic endocrine disruptor widely diffused in the environment, produces adverse effects at levels below the acceptable daily intake. This review analyzes the recent literature on the consequences of perinatal exposure to BPA environmental doses on the development of a dimorphic brain. The BPA interference with the development and function of the neuroendocrine hypothalamus and of the nuclei controlling energy balance, and with the hippocampal memory processing is also discussed. The detrimental action of BPA appears complex, involving different hormonal and epigenetic pathways activated, often in a dimorphic way, within clearcut susceptibility windows. To date, discrepancies in experimental approaches and in related outcomes make unfeasible to translate the available information into clear dose–response models for human risk assessment. Evaluation of BPA brain levels in relation to the appearance of adverse effects in future basic studies will certainly give better definition of the warning threshold for human health. PMID:26672480

  9. Large-Scale Functional Brain Network Reorganization During Taoist Meditation.

    PubMed

    Jao, Tun; Li, Chia-Wei; Vértes, Petra E; Wu, Changwei Wesley; Achard, Sophie; Hsieh, Chao-Hsien; Liou, Chien-Hui; Chen, Jyh-Horng; Bullmore, Edward T

    2016-02-01

    Meditation induces a distinct and reversible mental state that provides insights into brain correlates of consciousness. We explored brain network changes related to meditation by graph theoretical analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Eighteen Taoist meditators with varying levels of expertise were scanned using a within-subjects counterbalanced design during resting and meditation states. State-related differences in network topology were measured globally and at the level of individual nodes and edges. Although measures of global network topology, such as small-worldness, were unchanged, meditation was characterized by an extensive and expertise-dependent reorganization of the hubs (highly connected nodes) and edges (functional connections). Areas of sensory cortex, especially the bilateral primary visual and auditory cortices, and the bilateral temporopolar areas, which had the highest degree (or connectivity) during the resting state, showed the biggest decrease during meditation. Conversely, bilateral thalamus and components of the default mode network, mainly the bilateral precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, had low degree in the resting state but increased degree during meditation. Additionally, these changes in nodal degree were accompanied by reorganization of anatomical orientation of the edges. During meditation, long-distance longitudinal (antero-posterior) edges increased proportionally, whereas orthogonal long-distance transverse (right-left) edges connecting bilaterally homologous cortices decreased. Our findings suggest that transient changes in consciousness associated with meditation introduce convergent changes in the topological and spatial properties of brain functional networks, and the anatomical pattern of integration might be as important as the global level of integration when considering the network basis for human consciousness. PMID:26165867

  10. Behavioral Relevance of the Dynamics of the Functional Brain Connectome

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Hao

    2014-01-01

    Abstract While many previous studies assumed the functional connectivity (FC) between brain regions to be stationary, recent studies have demonstrated that FC dynamically varies across time. However, two challenges have limited the interpretability of dynamic FC information. First, a principled framework for selecting the temporal extent of the window used to examine the dynamics is lacking and this has resulted in ad-hoc selections of window lengths and subsequent divergent results. Second, it is unclear whether there is any behavioral relevance to the dynamics of the functional connectome in addition to that obtained from conventional static FC (SFC). In this work, we address these challenges by first proposing a principled framework for selecting the extent of the temporal windows in a dynamic and data-driven fashion based on statistical tests of the stationarity of time series. Further, we propose a method involving three levels of clustering—across space, time, and subjects—which allow for group-level inferences of the dynamics. Next, using a large resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral dataset from the Human Connectome Project, we demonstrate that metrics derived from dynamic FC can explain more than twice the variance in 75 behaviors across different domains (alertness, cognition, emotion, and personality traits) as compared with SFC in healthy individuals. Further, we found that individuals with brain networks exhibiting greater dynamics performed more favorably in behavioral tasks. This indicates that the ease with which brain regions engage or disengage may provide potential biomarkers for disorders involving altered neural circuitry. PMID:25163490

  11. Functional brain networks: great expectations, hard times and the big leap forward

    PubMed Central

    Papo, David; Zanin, Massimiliano; Pineda-Pardo, José Angel; Boccaletti, Stefano; Buldú, Javier M.

    2014-01-01

    Many physical and biological systems can be studied using complex network theory, a new statistical physics understanding of graph theory. The recent application of complex network theory to the study of functional brain networks has generated great enthusiasm as it allows addressing hitherto non-standard issues in the field, such as efficiency of brain functioning or vulnerability to damage. However, in spite of its high degree of generality, the theory was originally designed to describe systems profoundly different from the brain. We discuss some important caveats in the wholesale application of existing tools and concepts to a field they were not originally designed to describe. At the same time, we argue that complex network theory has not yet been taken full advantage of, as many of its important aspects are yet to make their appearance in the neuroscience literature. Finally, we propose that, rather than simply borrowing from an existing theory, functional neural networks can inspire a fundamental reformulation of complex network theory, to account for its exquisitely complex functioning mode. PMID:25180303

  12. Reduced brain functional reserve and altered functional connectivity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cader, Sarah; Cifelli, Alberto; Abu-Omar, Yasir; Palace, Jacqueline; Matthews, Paul M

    2006-02-01

    Cognitive dysfunction (affecting particularly attention and working memory) occurs early in patients with multiple sclerosis. Previous studies have focused on identifying potentially adaptive functional reorganization through recruitment of new brain regions that could limit expression of these deficits. However, lesion studies remind us that functional specializations in the brain make certain brain regions necessary for a given task. We therefore have asked whether altered functional interactions between regions normally recruited provide an alternative adaptive mechanism with multiple sclerosis pathology. We used a version of the n-back task to probe working memory in patients with early multiple sclerosis. We applied a functional connectivity analysis to test whether relationships between relative activations in different brain regions change in potentially adaptive ways with multiple sclerosis. We studied 21 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy controls with 3T functional MRI. The two groups performed equally well on the task. Task-related activations were found in similar regions for patients and controls. However, patients showed relatively reduced activation in the superior frontal and anterior cingulate gyri (P > 0.01). Patients also showed a variable, but generally substantially smaller increase in activation than healthy controls with greater task complexity, depending on the specific brain region assessed (P < 0.001). Functional connectivity analysis defined further differences not apparent from the univariate contrast of the task-associated activation patterns. Control subjects showed significantly greater correlations between right dorsolateral prefrontal and superior frontal/anterior cingulate activations (P < 0.05). Patients showed correlations between activations in the right and left prefrontal cortices, although this relationship was not significant in healthy controls (P < 0.05). We interpret

  13. Regional cortical volume and cognitive functioning following traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Spitz, Gershon; Bigler, Erin D; Abildskov, Tracy; Maller, Jerome J; O'Sullivan, Richard; Ponsford, Jennie L

    2013-10-01

    There has been limited examination of the effect of brain pathology on subsequent function. The current study examined the relationships between regional variation in grey matter volume, age and cognitive impairment using a semi-automated image analysis tool. This study included 69 individuals with mild-to-severe TBI, 41 of whom also completed neuropsychological tests of attention, working memory, processing speed, memory and executive functions. A widespread reduction in grey matter volume was associated with increasing age. Regional volumes that were affected also related to the severity of injury, whereby the most severe TBI participants displayed the most significant pathology. Poorer retention of newly learned material was associated with reduced cortical volume in frontal, parietal, and occipital brain regions. In addition, poorer working memory and executive control performance was found for individuals with lower cortical volume in temporal, parietal, and occipital regions. These findings are largely in line with previous literature, which suggests that frontal, temporal, and parietal regions are integral for the encoding of memories into long-term storage, memory retrieval, and working memory. The present study suggests that automated image analysis methods may be used to explore the relationships between regional variation in grey matter volume and cognitive function following TBI. PMID:23872098

  14. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A.; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  15. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  16. Anatomical and functional brain abnormalities in unmedicated major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiao; Ma, Xiaojuan; Li, Mingli; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Jian; Huang, Bin; Zhao, Liansheng; Deng, Wei; Li, Tao; Ma, Xiaohong

    2015-01-01

    Background Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) to explore the mechanism of brain structure and function in unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients and methods Fifty patients with MDD and 50 matched healthy control participants free of psychotropic medication underwent high-resolution structural and rsfMRI scanning. Optimized diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated lie algebra and the Data Processing Assistant for rsfMRI were used to find potential differences in gray-matter volume (GMV) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) between the two groups. A Pearson correlation model was used to analyze associations of morphometric and functional changes with clinical symptoms. Results Compared to healthy controls, patients with MDD showed significant GMV increase in the left posterior cingulate gyrus and GMV decrease in the left lingual gyrus (P<0.001, uncorrected). In ReHo analysis, values were significantly increased in the left precuneus and decreased in the left putamen (P<0.001, uncorrected) in patients with MDD compared to healthy controls. There was no overlap between anatomical and functional changes. Linear correlation suggested no significant correlation between mean GMV values within regions with anatomical abnormality and ReHo values in regions with functional abnormality in the patient group. These changes were not significantly correlated with symptom severity. Conclusion Our study suggests a dissociation pattern of brain regions with anatomical and functional alterations in unmedicated patients with MDD, especially with regard to GMV and ReHo. PMID:26425096

  17. Treatment resistant schizophrenia: Course of brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Philip D; Rosenthal, Jennifer B

    2016-10-01

    Approximately 30% of people with schizophrenia manifest a minimal response to conventional and atypical antipsychotic medications and manifest continuous symptoms of psychosis, with this condition referred to as "treatment resistant schizophrenia (TRS)". There are several neurobiological consequences of continuous psychosis, including regional cortical atrophy and ventricular enlargement. Pharmacological treatments are available for TRS, with at least 1/3 of patients responding to treatment with clozapine. In this paper we review the evidence regarding the course of treatment resistant schizophrenia, as well as changes in brain structure and function in psychosis and on the possible role of clozapine treatment in altering cortical deterioration in patients with TRS. PMID:26925705

  18. Crossed-Brain Representation of Verbal and Nonverbal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Matute, Esmeralda; Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Molina Del Rio, Jahaziel; López Elizalde, Ramiro; López, Manuel; Ontiveros, Angel

    2015-01-01

    A 74-year-old, left-handed man presented with a rapidly evolving loss of strength in his right leg associated with difficulty in walking. MR images disclosed an extensive left hemisphere tumor. A neuropsychological examination revealed that language was broadly normal but that the patient presented with severe nonlinguistic abnormalities, including hemineglect (both somatic and spatial), constructional defects, and general spatial disturbances; symptoms were usually associated with right hemisphere pathologies. No ideomotor apraxia was found. The implications of crossed-brain representations of verbal and nonverbal functions are analyzed. PMID:25802778

  19. Functional brain networks underlying detection and integration of disconfirmatory evidence.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

    Processing evidence that disconfirms a prior interpretation is a fundamental aspect of belief revision, and has clear social and clinical relevance. This complex cognitive process requires (at minimum) an alerting stage and an integration stage, and in the current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we used multivariate analysis methodology on two datasets in an attempt to separate these sequentially-activated cognitive stages and link them to distinct functional brain networks. Thirty-nine healthy participants completed one of two versions of an evidence integration experiment involving rating two consecutive animal images, both of which consisted of two intact images of animal faces morphed together at different ratios (e.g., 70/30 bird/dolphin followed by 10/90 bird/dolphin). The two versions of the experiment differed primarily in terms of stimulus presentation and timing, which facilitated functional interpretation of brain networks based on differences in the hemodynamic response shapes between versions. The data were analyzed using constrained principal component analysis for fMRI (fMRI-CPCA), which allows distinct, simultaneously active task-based networks to be separated, and these were interpreted using both temporal (task-based hemodynamic response shapes) and spatial (dominant brain regions) information. Three networks showed increased activity during integration of disconfirmatory relative to confirmatory evidence: (1) a network involved in alerting to the requirement to revise an interpretation, identified as the salience network (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral insula); (2) a sensorimotor response-related network (pre- and post-central gyri, supplementary motor area, and thalamus); and (3) an integration network involving rostral prefrontal, orbitofrontal and posterior parietal cortex. These three networks were staggered in their peak activity (alerting, responding, then integrating), but at certain time points (e

  20. Crossed-brain representation of verbal and nonverbal functions.

    PubMed

    Matute, Esmeralda; Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Molina Del Rio, Jahaziel; López Elizalde, Ramiro; López, Manuel; Ontiveros, Angel

    2015-01-01

    A 74-year-old, left-handed man presented with a rapidly evolving loss of strength in his right leg associated with difficulty in walking. MR images disclosed an extensive left hemisphere tumor. A neuropsychological examination revealed that language was broadly normal but that the patient presented with severe nonlinguistic abnormalities, including hemineglect (both somatic and spatial), constructional defects, and general spatial disturbances; symptoms were usually associated with right hemisphere pathologies. No ideomotor apraxia was found. The implications of crossed-brain representations of verbal and nonverbal functions are analyzed. PMID:25802778

  1. How Should Educational Neuroscience Conceptualise the Relation between Cognition and Brain Function? Mathematical Reasoning as a Network Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Varma, Sashank; Schwartz, Daniel L.

    2008-01-01

    Background: There is increasing interest in applying neuroscience findings to topics in education. Purpose: This application requires a proper conceptualization of the relation between cognition and brain function. This paper considers two such conceptualizations. The area focus understands each cognitive competency as the product of one (and only…

  2. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

  3. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that “there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies” to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not

  4. Changes in brain functional network connectivity after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Li, Yapeng; Zhu, Wenzhen; Chen, Xi

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that functional network connection models can be used to study brain network changes in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, we inferred that these models could also be used to explore functional network connectivity changes in stroke patients. We used independent component analysis to find the motor areas of stroke patients, which is a novel way to determine these areas. In this study, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging datasets from healthy controls and right-handed stroke patients following their first ever stroke. Using independent component analysis, six spatially independent components highly correlated to the experimental paradigm were extracted. Then, the functional network connectivity of both patients and controls was established to observe the differences between them. The results showed that there were 11 connections in the model in the stroke patients, while there were only four connections in the healthy controls. Further analysis found that some damaged connections may be compensated for by new indirect connections or circuits produced after stroke. These connections may have a direct correlation with the degree of stroke rehabilitation. Our findings suggest that functional network connectivity in stroke patients is more complex than that in hea-lthy controls, and that there is a compensation loop in the functional network following stroke. This implies that functional network reorganization plays a very important role in the process of rehabilitation after stroke. PMID:25206743

  5. Brain Structural Integrity and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Forecast 6 Year Longitudinal Growth in Children's Numerical Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Kochalka, John; Ngoon, Tricia J.; Wu, Sarah S.; Qin, Shaozheng; Battista, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Early numerical proficiency lays the foundation for acquiring quantitative skills essential in today's technological society. Identification of cognitive and brain markers associated with long-term growth of children's basic numerical computation abilities is therefore of utmost importance. Previous attempts to relate brain structure and function to numerical competency have focused on behavioral measures from a single time point. Thus, little is known about the brain predictors of individual differences in growth trajectories of numerical abilities. Using a longitudinal design, with multimodal imaging and machine-learning algorithms, we investigated whether brain structure and intrinsic connectivity in early childhood are predictive of 6 year outcomes in numerical abilities spanning childhood and adolescence. Gray matter volume at age 8 in distributed brain regions, including the ventrotemporal occipital cortex (VTOC), the posterior parietal cortex, and the prefrontal cortex, predicted longitudinal gains in numerical, but not reading, abilities. Remarkably, intrinsic connectivity analysis revealed that the strength of functional coupling among these regions also predicted gains in numerical abilities, providing novel evidence for a network of brain regions that works in concert to promote numerical skill acquisition. VTOC connectivity with posterior parietal, anterior temporal, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices emerged as the most extensive network predicting individual gains in numerical abilities. Crucially, behavioral measures of mathematics, IQ, working memory, and reading did not predict children's gains in numerical abilities. Our study identifies, for the first time, functional circuits in the human brain that scaffold the development of numerical skills, and highlights potential biomarkers for identifying children at risk for learning difficulties. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Children show substantial individual differences in math abilities and ease of math

  6. Reward from bugs to bipeds: a comparative approach to understanding how reward circuits function.

    PubMed

    Scaplen, Kristin M; Kaun, Karla R

    2016-06-01

    In a complex environment, animals learn from their responses to stimuli and events. Appropriate response to reward and punishment can promote survival, reproduction and increase evolutionary fitness. Interestingly, the neural processes underlying these responses are remarkably similar across phyla. In all species, dopamine is central to encoding reward and directing motivated behaviors, however, a comprehensive understanding of how circuits encode reward and direct motivated behaviors is still lacking. In part, this is a result of the sheer diversity of neurons, the heterogeneity of their responses and the complexity of neural circuits within which they are found. We argue that general features of reward circuitry are common across model organisms, and thus principles learned from invertebrate model organisms can inform research across species. In particular, we discuss circuit motifs that appear to be functionally equivalent from flies to primates. We argue that a comparative approach to studying and understanding reward circuit function provides a more comprehensive understanding of reward circuitry, and informs disorders that affect the brain's reward circuitry. PMID:27328845

  7. Speech networks at rest and in action: interactions between functional brain networks controlling speech production

    PubMed Central

    Fuertinger, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Speech production is one of the most complex human behaviors. Although brain activation during speaking has been well investigated, our understanding of interactions between the brain regions and neural networks remains scarce. We combined seed-based interregional correlation analysis with graph theoretical analysis of functional MRI data during the resting state and sentence production in healthy subjects to investigate the interface and topology of functional networks originating from the key brain regions controlling speech, i.e., the laryngeal/orofacial motor cortex, inferior frontal and superior temporal gyri, supplementary motor area, cingulate cortex, putamen, and thalamus. During both resting and speaking, the interactions between these networks were bilaterally distributed and centered on the sensorimotor brain regions. However, speech production preferentially recruited the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and cerebellum into the large-scale network, suggesting the importance of these regions in facilitation of the transition from the resting state to speaking. Furthermore, the cerebellum (lobule VI) was the most prominent region showing functional influences on speech-network integration and segregation. Although networks were bilaterally distributed, interregional connectivity during speaking was stronger in the left vs. right hemisphere, which may have underlined a more homogeneous overlap between the examined networks in the left hemisphere. Among these, the laryngeal motor cortex (LMC) established a core network that fully overlapped with all other speech-related networks, determining the extent of network interactions. Our data demonstrate complex interactions of large-scale brain networks controlling speech production and point to the critical role of the LMC, IPL, and cerebellum in the formation of speech production network. PMID:25673742

  8. Speech networks at rest and in action: interactions between functional brain networks controlling speech production.

    PubMed

    Simonyan, Kristina; Fuertinger, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    Speech production is one of the most complex human behaviors. Although brain activation during speaking has been well investigated, our understanding of interactions between the brain regions and neural networks remains scarce. We combined seed-based interregional correlation analysis with graph theoretical analysis of functional MRI data during the resting state and sentence production in healthy subjects to investigate the interface and topology of functional networks originating from the key brain regions controlling speech, i.e., the laryngeal/orofacial motor cortex, inferior frontal and superior temporal gyri, supplementary motor area, cingulate cortex, putamen, and thalamus. During both resting and speaking, the interactions between these networks were bilaterally distributed and centered on the sensorimotor brain regions. However, speech production preferentially recruited the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and cerebellum into the large-scale network, suggesting the importance of these regions in facilitation of the transition from the resting state to speaking. Furthermore, the cerebellum (lobule VI) was the most prominent region showing functional influences on speech-network integration and segregation. Although networks were bilaterally distributed, interregional connectivity during speaking was stronger in the left vs. right hemisphere, which may have underlined a more homogeneous overlap between the examined networks in the left hemisphere. Among these, the laryngeal motor cortex (LMC) established a core network that fully overlapped with all other speech-related networks, determining the extent of network interactions. Our data demonstrate complex interactions of large-scale brain networks controlling speech production and point to the critical role of the LMC, IPL, and cerebellum in the formation of speech production network. PMID:25673742

  9. Brain Structure and Executive Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weierink, Lonneke; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Boyd, Roslyn N.

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review aimed to establish the current knowledge about brain structure and executive function (EF) in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Five databases were searched (up till July 2012). Six articles met the inclusion criteria, all included structural brain imaging though no functional brain imaging. Study quality was assessed using…

  10. Some Problems for Representations of Brain Organization Based on Activation in Functional Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidtis, John J.

    2007-01-01

    Functional brain imaging has overshadowed traditional lesion studies in becoming the dominant approach to the study of brain-behavior relationships. The proponents of functional imaging studies frequently argue that this approach provides an advantage over lesion studies by observing normal brain activity in vivo without the disruptive effects of…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Cracking neural circuits in a tiny brain: new approaches for understanding the neural circuitry of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Shawn R.; Wilson, Rachel I.

    2010-01-01

    Genetic screens in Drosophila have identified many genes involved in neural development and function. However, until recently, it has been impossible to monitor neural signals in Drosophila central neurons, and it has been difficult to make specific perturbations to central neural circuits. This has changed in the past few years with the development of new tools for measuring and manipulating neural activity in the fly. Here we review how these new tools enable novel conceptual approaches to “cracking circuits” in this important model organism. We discuss recent studies aimed at defining the cognitive demands on the fly brain, identifying the cellular components of specific neural circuits, mapping functional connectivity in those circuits, and defining causal relationships between neural activity and behavior. PMID:18775572

  13. Roles for Oestrogen Receptor β in Adult Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Handa, R. J.; Ogawa, S.; Wang, J. M.; Herbison, A. E.

    2012-01-01

    Oestradiol exerts a profound influence upon multiple brain circuits. For the most part, these effects are mediated by oestrogen receptor (ER)α. We review here the roles of ERβ, the other ER isoform, in mediating rodent oestradiol-regulated anxiety, aggressive and sexual behaviours, the control of gonadotrophin secretion, and adult neurogenesis. Evidence exists for: (i) ERβ located in the paraventricular nucleus underpinning the suppressive influence of oestradiol on the stress axis and anxiety-like behaviour; (ii) ERβ expressed in gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones contributing to oestrogen negative-feedback control of gonadotrophin secretion; (iii) ERβ controlling the offset of lordosis behaviour; (iv) ERβ suppressing aggressive behaviour in males; (v) ERβ modulating responses to social stimuli; and (vi) ERβ in controlling adult neurogenesis. This review highlights two major themes; first, ERβ and ERα are usually tightly inter-related in the oestradiol-dependent control of a particular brain function. For example, even though oestradiol feedback to control reproduction occurs principally through ERα-dependent mechanisms, modulatory roles for ERβ also exist. Second, the roles of ERα and ERβ within a particular neural network may be synergistic or antagonistic. Examples of the latter include the role of ERα to enhance, and ERβ to suppress, anxiety-like and aggressive behaviours. Splice variants such as ERβ2, acting as dominant negative receptors, are of further particular interest because their expression levels may reflect preceeding oestradiol exposure of relevance to oestradiol replacement therapy. Together, this review highlights the predominant modulatory, but nonetheless important, roles of ERβ in mediating the many effects of oestradiol upon adult brain function. PMID:21851428

  14. Fetal functional imaging portrays heterogeneous development of emerging human brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Jakab, András; Schwartz, Ernst; Kasprian, Gregor; Gruber, Gerlinde M.; Prayer, Daniela; Schöpf, Veronika; Langs, Georg

    2014-01-01

    The functional connectivity architecture of the adult human brain enables complex cognitive processes, and exhibits a remarkably complex structure shared across individuals. We are only beginning to understand its heterogeneous structure, ranging from a strongly hierarchical organization in sensorimotor areas to widely distributed networks in areas such as the parieto-frontal cortex. Our study relied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of 32 fetuses with no detectable morphological abnormalities. After adapting functional magnetic resonance acquisition, motion correction, and nuisance signal reduction procedures of resting-state functional data analysis to fetuses, we extracted neural activity information for major cortical and subcortical structures. Resting fMRI networks were observed for increasing regional functional connectivity from 21st to 38th gestational weeks (GWs) with a network-based statistical inference approach. The overall connectivity network, short range, and interhemispheric connections showed sigmoid expansion curve peaking at the 26–29 GW. In contrast, long-range connections exhibited linear increase with no periods of peaking development. Region-specific increase of functional signal synchrony followed a sequence of occipital (peak: 24.8 GW), temporal (peak: 26 GW), frontal (peak: 26.4 GW), and parietal expansion (peak: 27.5 GW). We successfully adapted functional neuroimaging and image post-processing approaches to correlate macroscopical scale activations in the fetal brain with gestational age. This in vivo study reflects the fact that the mid-fetal period hosts events that cause the architecture of the brain circuitry to mature, which presumably manifests in increasing strength of intra- and interhemispheric functional macro connectivity. PMID:25374531

  15. Fetal functional imaging portrays heterogeneous development of emerging human brain networks.

    PubMed

    Jakab, András; Schwartz, Ernst; Kasprian, Gregor; Gruber, Gerlinde M; Prayer, Daniela; Schöpf, Veronika; Langs, Georg

    2014-01-01

    The functional connectivity architecture of the adult human brain enables complex cognitive processes, and exhibits a remarkably complex structure shared across individuals. We are only beginning to understand its heterogeneous structure, ranging from a strongly hierarchical organization in sensorimotor areas to widely distributed networks in areas such as the parieto-frontal cortex. Our study relied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of 32 fetuses with no detectable morphological abnormalities. After adapting functional magnetic resonance acquisition, motion correction, and nuisance signal reduction procedures of resting-state functional data analysis to fetuses, we extracted neural activity information for major cortical and subcortical structures. Resting fMRI networks were observed for increasing regional functional connectivity from 21st to 38th gestational weeks (GWs) with a network-based statistical inference approach. The overall connectivity network, short range, and interhemispheric connections showed sigmoid expansion curve peaking at the 26-29 GW. In contrast, long-range connections exhibited linear increase with no periods of peaking development. Region-specific increase of functional signal synchrony followed a sequence of occipital (peak: 24.8 GW), temporal (peak: 26 GW), frontal (peak: 26.4 GW), and parietal expansion (peak: 27.5 GW). We successfully adapted functional neuroimaging and image post-processing approaches to correlate macroscopical scale activations in the fetal brain with gestational age. This in vivo study reflects the fact that the mid-fetal period hosts events that cause the architecture of the brain circuitry to mature, which presumably manifests in increasing strength of intra- and interhemispheric functional macro connectivity. PMID:25374531

  16. Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain.

    PubMed

    Perani, Daniela; Saccuman, Maria Cristina; Scifo, Paola; Spada, Danilo; Andreolli, Guido; Rovelli, Rosanna; Baldoli, Cristina; Koelsch, Stefan

    2010-03-01

    In adults, specific neural systems with right-hemispheric weighting are necessary to process pitch, melody, and harmony as well as structure and meaning emerging from musical sequences. It is not known to what extent the specialization of these systems results from long-term exposure to music or from neurobiological constraints. One way to address this question is to examine how these systems function at birth, when auditory experience is minimal. We used functional MRI to measure brain activity in 1- to 3-day-old newborns while they heard excerpts of Western tonal music and altered versions of the same excerpts. Altered versions either included changes of the tonal key or were permanently dissonant. Music evoked predominantly right-hemispheric activations in primary and higher order auditory cortex. During presentation of the altered excerpts, hemodynamic responses were significantly reduced in the right auditory cortex, and activations emerged in the left inferior frontal cortex and limbic structures. These results demonstrate that the infant brain shows a hemispheric specialization in processing music as early as the first postnatal hours. Results also indicate that the neural architecture underlying music processing in newborns is sensitive to changes in tonal key as well as to differences in consonance and dissonance. PMID:20176953

  17. Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Benjamin; Hansell, Narelle K; Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; Martin, Nicholas G; Thompson, Paul M; Breakspear, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J; McMahon, Katie L

    2015-11-01

    The brain's functional network exhibits many features facilitating functional specialization, integration, and robustness to attack. Using graph theory to characterize brain networks, studies demonstrate their small-world, modular, and "rich-club" properties, with deviations reported in many common neuropathological conditions. Here we estimate the heritability of five widely used graph theoretical metrics (mean clustering coefficient (γ), modularity (Q), rich-club coefficient (ϕnorm), global efficiency (λ), small-worldness (σ)) over a range of connection densities (k=5-25%) in a large cohort of twins (N=592, 84 MZ and 89 DZ twin pairs, 246 single twins, age 23 ± 2.5). We also considered the effects of global signal regression (GSR). We found that the graph metrics were moderately influenced by genetic factors h(2) (γ=47-59%, Q=38-59%, ϕnorm=0-29%, λ=52-64%, σ=51-59%) at lower connection densities (≤ 15%), and when global signal regression was implemented, heritability estimates decreased substantially h(2) (γ=0-26%, Q=0-28%, ϕnorm=0%, λ=23-30%, σ=0-27%). Distinct network features were phenotypically correlated (|r|=0.15-0.81), and γ, Q, and λ were found to be influenced by overlapping genetic factors. Our findings suggest that these metrics may be potential endophenotypes for psychiatric disease and suitable for genetic association studies, but that genetic effects must be interpreted with respect to methodological choices. PMID:26226088

  18. Cognitive function in acromegaly: description and brain volumetric correlates.

    PubMed

    Sievers, Caroline; Sämann, P G; Pfister, H; Dimopoulou, C; Czisch, M; Roemmler, J; Schopohl, J; Stalla, G K; Zihl, J

    2012-09-01

    In acromegaly, we reported on increased rates of affective disorders such as dysthymia and depression, as well as structural brain changes. Objective of this study was to determine if cognitive impairments in patients with acromegaly exist and whether such impairments are associated with structural brain alterations defined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this cross-sectional study, 55 patients with biochemically confirmed acromegaly were enrolled. MRI data were compared with 87 control subjects. Main outcome measures were performance levels in 13 cognitive tests covering the domains of attention, memory and executive function, with performance below the cut-off level of the 16th percentile rated as impaired. In addition, individual global and hippocampal volume changes were defined for each patient in reference to a normative sample. We found that up to 33.3% of the patients were impaired in the attention, up to 24.1% in the memory, and up to 16.7% in the executive function domain. 67.3% of the patients failed to reach the cut-off level in at least one subtest. MRI demonstrated increased global, left and right hippocampal grey matter and white matter, particularly early in the disease course. Rather few positive than expected negative correlations could be established between the hippocampal grey matter gain and cognitive performance. Cognitive dysfunction, particularly attentional deficits, are common in acromegaly, rendering neuropsychological testing essential in the diagnostic work-up. PMID:21735089

  19. Functional Tissue Pulsatility Imaging of the Brain during Visual Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Kucewicz, John C.; Dunmire, Barbrina; Leotta, Daniel F.; Panagiotides, Heracles; Paun, Marla; Beach, Kirk W.

    2007-01-01

    Functional tissue pulsatility imaging (fTPI) is a new ultrasonic technique being developed to map brain function by measuring changes in tissue pulsatility due to changes in blood flow with neuronal activation. The technique is based in principle on plethysmography, an older, non-ultrasound technology for measuring expansion of a whole limb or body part due to perfusion. Perfused tissue expands by a fraction of a percent early in each cardiac cycle when arterial inflow exceeds venous outflow and relaxes later in the cardiac cycle when venous drainage dominates. Tissue pulsatility imaging (TPI) uses tissue Doppler signal processing methods to measure this pulsatile “plethysmographic” signal from hundreds or thousands of sample volumes in an ultrasound image plane. A feasibility study was conducted to determine if TPI could be used to detect regional brain activation during a visual contrast-reversing checkerboard block paradigm study. During a study, ultrasound data were collected transcranially from the occipital lobe as a subject viewed alternating blocks of a reversing checkerboard (stimulus condition) and a static, gray screen (control condition). Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was used to identify sample volumes with significantly different pulsatility waveforms during the control and stimulus blocks. In 7 out 14 studies, consistent regions of activation were detected from tissue around the major vessels perfusing the visual cortex. PMID:17346872

  20. Impact of Low-Level Thyroid Hormone Disruption Induced by Propylthiouracil on Brain Development and Function.*

    EPA Science Inventory

    The critical role of thyroid hormone (TH) in brain development is well established, severe deficiencies leading to significant neurological dysfunction. Much less information is available on more modest perturbations of TH on brain function. The present study induced varying degr...

  1. Functional brain imaging predicts public health campaign success.

    PubMed

    Falk, Emily B; O'Donnell, Matthew Brook; Tompson, Steven; Gonzalez, Richard; Dal Cin, Sonya; Strecher, Victor; Cummings, Kenneth Michael; An, Lawrence

    2016-02-01

    Mass media can powerfully affect health decision-making. Pre-testing through focus groups or surveys is a standard, though inconsistent, predictor of effectiveness. Converging evidence demonstrates that activity within brain systems associated with self-related processing can predict individual behavior in response to health messages. Preliminary evidence also suggests that neural activity in small groups can forecast population-level campaign outcomes. Less is known about the psychological processes that link neural activity and population-level outcomes, or how these predictions are affected by message content. We exposed 50 smokers to antismoking messages and used their aggregated neural activity within a 'self-localizer' defined region of medial prefrontal cortex to predict the success of the same campaign messages at the population level (n = 400,000 emails). Results demonstrate that: (i) independently localized neural activity during health message exposure complements existing self-report data in predicting population-level campaign responses (model combined R(2) up to 0.65) and (ii) this relationship depends on message content-self-related neural processing predicts outcomes in response to strong negative arguments against smoking and not in response to compositionally similar neutral images. These data advance understanding of the psychological link between brain and large-scale behavior and may aid the construction of more effective media health campaigns. PMID:26400858

  2. ABERRANT SPLICING OF A BRAIN-ENRICHED ALTERNATIVE EXON ELIMINATES TUMOR SUPPRESSOR FUNCTION AND PROMOTES ONCOGENE FUNCTION DURING BRAIN TUMORIGENESIS

    PubMed Central

    Bredel, Markus; Ferrarese, Roberto; Harsh, Griffith R.; Yadav, Ajay K.; Bug, Eva; Maticzka, Daniel; Reichardt, Wilfried; Masilamani, Anie P.; Dai, Fangping; Kim, Hyunsoo; Hadler, Michael; Scholtens, Denise M.; Yu, Irene L.Y.; Beck, Jürgen; Srinivasasainagendra, Vinodh; Costa, Fabrizio; Baxan, Nicoleta; Pfeifer, Dietmar; Elverfeldt, Dominik v.; Backofen, Rolf; Weyerbrock, Astrid; Duarte, Christine W.; He, Xiaolin; Prinz, Marco; Chandler, James P.; Vogel, Hannes; Chakravarti, Arnab; Rich, Jeremy N.; Carro, Maria S.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Tissue-specific alternative splicing is known to be critical to emergence of tissue identity during development, yet its role in malignant transformation is undefined. Tissue-specific splicing involves evolutionary-conserved, alternative exons, which represent only a minority of total alternative exons. Many, however, have functional features that influence activity in signaling pathways to profound biological effect. Given that tissue-specific splicing has a determinative role in brain development and the enrichment of genes containing tissue-specific exons for proteins with roles in signaling and development, it is thus plausible that changes in such exons could rewire normal neurogenesis towards malignant transformation. METHODS: We used integrated molecular genetic and cell biology analyses, computational biology, animal modeling, and clinical patient profiles to characterize the effect of aberrant splicing of a brain-enriched alternative exon in the membrane-binding tumor suppressor Annexin A7 (ANXA7) on oncogene regulation and brain tumorigenesis. RESULTS: We show that aberrant splicing of a tissue-specific cassette exon in ANXA7 diminishes endosomal targeting and consequent termination of the signal of the EGFR oncoprotein during brain tumorigenesis. Splicing of this exon is mediated by the ribonucleoprotein Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein 1 (PTBP1), which is normally repressed during brain development but, we find, is excessively expressed in glioblastomas through either gene amplification or loss of a neuron-specific microRNA, miR-124. Silencing of PTBP1 attenuates both malignancy and angiogenesis in a stem cell-derived glioblastoma animal model characterized by a high native propensity to generate tumor endothelium or vascular pericytes to support tumor growth. We show that EGFR amplification and PTBP1 overexpression portend a similarly poor clinical outcome, further highlighting the importance of PTBP1-mediated activation of EGFR

  3. Evidence of a Christmas spirit network in the brain: functional MRI study

    PubMed Central

    Hougaard, Anders; Lindberg, Ulrich; Arngrim, Nanna; Larsson, Henrik B W; Olesen, Jes; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Ashina, Messoud

    2015-01-01

    Objective To detect and localise the Christmas spirit in the human brain. Design Single blinded, cross cultural group study with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Setting Functional imaging unit and department of clinical physiology, nuclear medicine and PET in Denmark. Participants 10 healthy people from the Copenhagen area who routinely celebrate Christmas and 10 healthy people living in the same area who have no Christmas traditions. Main outcome measures Brain activation unique to the group with Christmas traditions during visual stimulation with images with a Christmas theme. Methods Functional brain scans optimised for detection of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response were performed while participants viewed a series of images with Christmas themes interleaved with neutral images having similar characteristics but containing nothing that symbolises Christmas. After scanning, participants answered a questionnaire about their Christmas traditions and the associations they have with Christmas. Brain activation maps from scanning were analysed for Christmas related activation in the “Christmas” and “non-Christmas” groups individually. Subsequently, differences between the two groups were calculated to determine Christmas specific brain activation. Results Significant clusters of increased BOLD activation in the sensory motor cortex, the premotor and primary motor cortex, and the parietal lobule (inferior and superior) were found in scans of people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations compared with scans in a group having no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. These cerebral areas have been associated with spirituality, somatic senses, and recognition of facial emotion among many other functions. Conclusions There is a “Christmas spirit network” in the human brain comprising several cortical areas. This network had a significantly higher activation in a people who celebrate Christmas with

  4. Neurophotonics: non-invasive optical techniques for monitoring brain functions

    PubMed Central

    Torricelli, Alessandro; Contini, Davide; Mora, Alberto Dalla; Pifferi, Antonio; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Caffini, Matteo; Farina, Andrea; Spinelli, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Summary The aim of this review is to present the state of the art of neurophotonics, a recently founded discipline lying at the interface between optics and neuroscience. While neurophotonics also includes invasive techniques for animal studies, in this review we focus only on the non-invasive methods that use near infrared light to probe functional activity in the brain, namely the fast optical signal, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, and functional near infrared spectroscopy methods. We also present an overview of the physical principles of light propagation in biological tissues, and of the main physiological sources of signal. Finally, we discuss the open issues in models, instrumentation, data analysis and clinical approaches. PMID:25764252

  5. The brain's functional network architecture reveals human motives.

    PubMed

    Hein, Grit; Morishima, Yosuke; Leiberg, Susanne; Sul, Sunhae; Fehr, Ernst

    2016-03-01

    Goal-directed human behaviors are driven by motives. Motives are, however, purely mental constructs that are not directly observable. Here, we show that the brain's functional network architecture captures information that predicts different motives behind the same altruistic act with high accuracy. In contrast, mere activity in these regions contains no information about motives. Empathy-based altruism is primarily characterized by a positive connectivity from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to the anterior insula (AI), whereas reciprocity-based altruism additionally invokes strong positive connectivity from the AI to the ACC and even stronger positive connectivity from the AI to the ventral striatum. Moreover, predominantly selfish individuals show distinct functional architectures compared to altruists, and they only increase altruistic behavior in response to empathy inductions, but not reciprocity inductions. PMID:26941317

  6. Epileptic seizures induce structural and functional alterations on brain tissue membranes.

    PubMed

    Turker, Sevgi; Severcan, Mete; Ilbay, Gul; Severcan, Feride

    2014-12-01

    Epilepsy is characterized by disruption of balance between cerebral excitation and inhibition, leading to recurrent and unprovoked convulsions. Studies are still underway to understand mechanisms lying epileptic seizures with the aim of improving treatment strategies. In this context, the research on brain tissue membranes gains importance for generation of epileptic activities. In order to provide additional information for this field, we have investigated the effects of pentylenetetrazol-induced and audiogenetically susceptible epileptic seizures on structure, content and function of rat brain membrane components using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The findings have shown that both two types of epileptic seizures stimulate the variations in the molecular organization of membrane lipids, which have potential to influence the structures in connection with functions of membrane proteins. Moreover, less fluid lipid structure and a decline in content of lipids obtained from the ratio of CH3 asym/lipid, CH2 asym/lipid, CO/lipid, and olefinicCH/lipid and the areas of the PO2 symmetric and asymmetric modes were observed. Moreover, based on IR data the changes in the conformation of proteins were predicted by neural network (NN) analysis, and displayed as an increase in random coil despite a decrease in beta sheet. Depending on spectral parameters, we have successfully differentiated treated samples from the control by principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis. In summary, FT-IR spectroscopy may offer promising attempt to identify compositional, structural and functional alterations in brain tissue membranes resulting from epileptic activities. PMID:25194682

  7. Detecting Brain State Changes via Fiber-Centered Functional Connectivity Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Lim, Chulwoo; Li, Kaiming; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2013-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have been widely used to study structural and functional brain connectivity in recent years. A common assumption used in many previous functional brain connectivity studies is the temporal stationarity. However, accumulating literature evidence has suggested that functional brain connectivity is under temporal dynamic changes in different time scales. In this paper, a novel and intuitive approach is proposed to model and detect dynamic changes of functional brain states based on multimodal fMRI/DTI data. The basic idea is that functional connectivity patterns of all fiber-connected cortical voxels are concatenated into a descriptive functional feature vector to represent the brain’s state, and the temporal change points of brain states are decided by detecting the abrupt changes of the functional vector patterns via the sliding window approach. Our extensive experimental results have shown that meaningful brain state change points can be detected in task-based fMRI/DTI, resting state fMRI/DTI, and natural stimulus fMRI/DTI data sets. Particularly, the detected change points of functional brain states in task-based fMRI corresponded well to the external stimulus paradigm administered to the participating subjects, thus partially validating the proposed brain state change detection approach. The work in this paper provides novel perspective on the dynamic behaviors of functional brain connectivity and offers a starting point for future elucidation of the complex patterns of functional brain interactions and dynamics. PMID:22941508

  8. Brain functional connectivity and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Angelopoulos, E

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade there is extensive evidence to suggest that cognitive functions depending on coordination of distributed neuronal responses are associated with synchronized oscillatory activity in various frequency ranges suggesting a functional mechanism of neural oscillations in cortical networks. In addition to their role in normal brain functioning, there is increasing evidence that altered oscillatory activity may be associated with certain neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. Consequently, disturbances in neural synchronization may represent the functional relationship of disordered connectivity of cortical networks underlying the characteristic fragmentation of mind and behavior in schizophrenia. In recent studies the synchronization of oscillatory activity in the experience of characteristic symptoms such as auditory verbal hallucinations and thought blocks have been studied in patients with schizophrenia. Studies involving analysis of EEG activity obtained from individuals in resting state (in cage Faraday, isolated from external influences and with eyes closed). In patients with schizophrenia and persistent auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) observed a temporary increase in the synchronization phase of α and high θ oscillations of the electroencephalogram (EEG) compared with those of healthy controls and patients without AVHs . This functional hyper-connection manifested in time windows corresponding to experience AVHs, as noted by the patients during the recording of EEG and observed in speech related cortical areas. In another study an interaction of theta and gamma oscillations engages in the production and experience of AVHs. The results showed increased phase coupling between theta and gamma EEG rhythms in the left temporal cortex during AVHs experiences. A more recent study, approaches the thought blocking experience in terms of functional brain connectivity. Thought blocks (TBs) are characterized by regular interruptions of

  9. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Megan M.

    2012-01-01

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it "mean" to understand science…

  10. Resting-State and Task-Based Functional Brain Connectivity in Developmental Dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Schurz, Matthias; Wimmer, Heinz; Richlan, Fabio; Ludersdorfer, Philipp; Klackl, Johannes; Kronbichler, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Reading requires the interaction between multiple cognitive processes situated in distant brain areas. This makes the study of functional brain connectivity highly relevant for understanding developmental dyslexia. We used seed-voxel correlation mapping to analyse connectivity in a left-hemispheric network for task-based and resting-state fMRI data. Our main finding was reduced connectivity in dyslexic readers between left posterior temporal areas (fusiform, inferior temporal, middle temporal, superior temporal) and the left inferior frontal gyrus. Reduced connectivity in these networks was consistently present for 2 reading-related tasks and for the resting state, showing a permanent disruption which is also present in the absence of explicit task demands and potential group differences in performance. Furthermore, we found that connectivity between multiple reading-related areas and areas of the default mode network, in particular the precuneus, was stronger in dyslexic compared with nonimpaired readers. PMID:25169986

  11. Functional Neuroanatomy of Executive Function after Neonatal Brain Injury in Adults Who Were Born Very Preterm

    PubMed Central

    Kalpakidou, Anastasia K.; Allin, Matthew P. G.; Walshe, Muriel; Giampietro, Vincent; McGuire, Philip K.; Rifkin, Larry; Murray, Robin M.; Nosarti, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Individuals who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 gestational weeks) are at risk of experiencing deficits in tasks involving executive function in childhood and beyond. In addition, the type and severity of neonatal brain injury associated with very preterm birth may exert differential effects on executive functioning by altering its neuroanatomical substrates. Here we addressed this question by investigating with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the haemodynamic response during executive-type processing using a phonological verbal fluency and a working memory task in VPT-born young adults who had experienced differing degrees of neonatal brain injury. 12 VPT individuals with a history of periventricular haemorrhage and ventricular dilatation (PVH+VD), 17 VPT individuals with a history of uncomplicated periventricular haemorrhage (UPVH), 13 VPT individuals with no history of neonatal brain injury and 17 controls received an MRI scan whilst completing a verbal fluency task with two cognitive loads (‘easy’ and ‘hard’ letters). Two groups of VPT individuals (PVH+VD; n = 10, UPVH; n = 8) performed an n-back task with three cognitive loads (1-, 2-, 3-back). Results demonstrated that VPT individuals displayed hyperactivation in frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices and in caudate nucleus, insula and thalamus compared to controls, as demands of the verbal fluency task increased, regardless of type of neonatal brain injury. On the other hand, during the n-back task and as working memory load increased, the PVH+VD group showed less engagement of the frontal cortex than the UPVH group. In conclusion, this study suggests that the functional neuroanatomy of different executive-type processes is altered following VPT birth and that neural activation associated with specific aspects of executive function (i.e., working memory) may be particularly sensitive to the extent of neonatal brain injury. PMID:25438043

  12. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Megan M.

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it mean to understand science in the news? Surprisingly few have asked this question, or considered the significance of its answer. This dissertation steps away from issues of science teaching and learning to examine the nature of understanding science in the news itself. My work consolidates past scholarship from the multiple fields concerned with the relationship between science and society to produce a theoretical model of understanding science in the news as a complex, multidimensional process that involves an understanding of science as well as journalism. This thesis begins by exploring the relationship between the understanding implicit in understanding science in the news and understanding science. Many assume these two ways of knowing are one in the same. To rebut this assumption, I examine the types of knowledge necessary for understanding science and understanding science in the news. I then use the literature devoted to scientific literacy to show how past research has imagined the knowledge necessary to understand science in the news. Next, I argue that one of the principle difficulties with these conceptualizations is that they define science in the news in essentially the same terms as science. They also, I suggest, oversimplify how and why public interacts with science in the news. This dissertation concludes with a proposal for one way we might think about understanding science in the news on its own terms rather than those of understanding science. This dissertation attempts to connect two fields of research that rarely intersect, despite their multiple common interests: science education and mass communication. It considers the notion of

  13. Chronic Exposure to Tributyltin Induces Brain Functional Damage in Juvenile Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhi-Hua; Li, Ping; Shi, Ze-Chao

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Tributyltin (TBT) on brain function and neurotoxicity of freshwater teleost. The effects of long-term exposure to TBT on antioxidant related indices (MDA, malondialdehyde; SOD, superoxide dismutase; CAT, catalase; GR, glutathione reductase; GPx, glutathione peroxidase), Na+-K+-ATPase and neurological parameters (AChE, acetylcholinesterase; MAO, monoamine oxidase; NO, nitric oxide) in the brain of common carp were evaluated. Fish were exposed to sublethal concentrations of TBT (75 ng/L, 0.75 μg/L and 7.5 μg/L) for 15, 30, and 60 days. Based on the results, a low level and short-term TBT-induced stress could not induce the notable responses of the fish brain, but long-term exposure (more than 15 days) to TBT could lead to obvious physiological-biochemical responses (based on the measured parameters). The results also strongly indicated that neurotoxicity of TBT to fish. Thus, the measured physiological responses in fish brain could provide useful information to better understand the mechanisms of TBT-induced bio-toxicity. PMID:25879203

  14. Network science and the effects of music preference on functional brain connectivity: from Beethoven to Eminem.

    PubMed

    Wilkins, R W; Hodges, D A; Laurienti, P J; Steen, M; Burdette, J H

    2014-01-01

    Most people choose to listen to music that they prefer or 'like' such as classical, country or rock. Previous research has focused on how different characteristics of music (i.e., classical versus country) affect the brain. Yet, when listening to preferred music--regardless of the type--people report they often experience personal thoughts and memories. To date, understanding how this occurs in the brain has remained elusive. Using network science methods, we evaluated differences in functional brain connectivity when individuals listened to complete songs. We show that a circuit important for internally-focused thoughts, known as the default mode network, was most connected when listening to preferred music. We also show that listening to a favorite song alters the connectivity between auditory brain areas and the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation. Given that musical preferences are uniquely individualized phenomena and that music can vary in acoustic complexity and the presence or absence of lyrics, the consistency of our results was unexpected. These findings may explain why comparable emotional and mental states can be experienced by people listening to music that differs as widely as Beethoven and Eminem. The neurobiological and neurorehabilitation implications of these results are discussed. PMID:25167363

  15. Quantitative and functional interrogation of parent-of-origin allelic expression biases in the brain.

    PubMed

    Perez, Julio D; Rubinstein, Nimrod D; Fernandez, Daniel E; Santoro, Stephen W; Needleman, Leigh A; Ho-Shing, Olivia; Choi, John J; Zirlinger, Mariela; Chen, Shau-Kwaun; Liu, Jun S; Dulac, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    The maternal and paternal genomes play different roles in mammalian brains as a result of genomic imprinting, an epigenetic regulation leading to differential expression of the parental alleles of some genes. Here we investigate genomic imprinting in the cerebellum using a newly developed Bayesian statistical model that provides unprecedented transcript-level resolution. We uncover 160 imprinted transcripts, including 41 novel and independently validated imprinted genes. Strikingly, many genes exhibit parentally biased--rather than monoallelic--expression, with different magnitudes according to age, organ, and brain region. Developmental changes in parental bias and overall gene expression are strongly correlated, suggesting combined roles in regulating gene dosage. Finally, brain-specific deletion of the paternal, but not maternal, allele of the paternally-biased Bcl-x, (Bcl2l1) results in loss of specific neuron types, supporting the functional significance of parental biases. These findings reveal the remarkable complexity of genomic imprinting, with important implications for understanding the normal and diseased brain. PMID:26140685

  16. Quantitative and functional interrogation of parent-of-origin allelic expression biases in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Julio D; Rubinstein, Nimrod D; Fernandez, Daniel E; Santoro, Stephen W; Needleman, Leigh A; Ho-Shing, Olivia; Choi, John J; Zirlinger, Mariela; Chen, Shau-Kwaun; Liu, Jun S; Dulac, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    The maternal and paternal genomes play different roles in mammalian brains as a result of genomic imprinting, an epigenetic regulation leading to differential expression of the parental alleles of some genes. Here we investigate genomic imprinting in the cerebellum using a newly developed Bayesian statistical model that provides unprecedented transcript-level resolution. We uncover 160 imprinted transcripts, including 41 novel and independently validated imprinted genes. Strikingly, many genes exhibit parentally biased—rather than monoallelic—expression, with different magnitudes according to age, organ, and brain region. Developmental changes in parental bias and overall gene expression are strongly correlated, suggesting combined roles in regulating gene dosage. Finally, brain-specific deletion of the paternal, but not maternal, allele of the paternally-biased Bcl-x, (Bcl2l1) results in loss of specific neuron types, supporting the functional significance of parental biases. These findings reveal the remarkable complexity of genomic imprinting, with important implications for understanding the normal and diseased brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07860.001 PMID:26140685

  17. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine. PMID:23501053

  18. Estrogen Receptor Beta in the Brain: From Form to Function

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Michael J.; Foradori, Chad D.; Handa, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Estrogens have numerous effects on the brain, both in adulthood and during development. These actions of estrogen are mediated by two distinct estrogen receptor (ER) systems, ER alpha (ERα) and ER beta (ERβ). In brain, ERα plays a critical role in regulating reproductive neuroendocrine function and behavior, however, a definitive role for ERβ in any neurobiological function has been slow in forthcoming. Clues to the function of ERβ in the central nervous system can be gleaned from the neuroanatomical distribution of ERβ and the phenotypes of neurons that express ERβ. ERβ immunoreactivity has been found in populations of GnRH, CRH, vasopressin, oxytocin and prolactin containing neurons in the hypothalamus. Utilizing subtype-selective estrogen receptor agonists can help determine the roles for ERβ in non-reproductive behaviors in rat models. ERβ selective agonists exert potent anxiolytic activity when animals were tested in a number of behavioral paradigms. Consistent with this, ERβ selective agonists also inhibited the ACTH and corticosterone response to stress. In contrast, ERα selective agonists were found to be anxiogenic and correspondingly increased the hormonal stress response. Taken together, our studies implicate ERβ as an important modulator of some non-reproductive neurobiological systems. The molecular and neuroanatomical targets of estrogen that are mediated by ERβ remain to be determined. A number of splice variants of ERβ mRNA have been reported in brain tissue. Imaging of eGFP labeled chimeric receptor proteins transfected into cell lines show that ERβ splice variation can alter trafficking patterns and function. The originally described ERβ (herein termed ER-β1) is characterized by possessing a high affinity for estradiol. Similar to ERα, it is localized in the nucleus and is trafficked to nuclear sites termed “hyperspeckles” following ligand binding. In contrast, ER-β2 contains an 18 amino acid insert within the ligand

  19. Optimizing experimental design for comparing models of brain function.

    PubMed

    Daunizeau, Jean; Preuschoff, Kerstin; Friston, Karl; Stephan, Klaas

    2011-11-01

    This article presents the first attempt to formalize the optimization of experimental design with the aim of comparing models of brain function based on neuroimaging data. We demonstrate our approach in the context of Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM), which relates experimental manipulations to observed network dynamics (via hidden neuronal states) and provides an inference framework for selecting among candidate models. Here, we show how to optimize the sensitivity of model selection by choosing among experimental designs according to their respective model selection accuracy. Using Bayesian decision theory, we (i) derive the Laplace-Chernoff risk for model selection, (ii) disclose its relationship with classical design optimality criteria and (iii) assess its sensitivity to basic modelling assumptions. We then evaluate the approach when identifying brain networks using DCM. Monte-Carlo simulations and empirical analyses of fMRI data from a simple bimanual motor task in humans serve to demonstrate the relationship between network identification and the optimal experimental design. For example, we show that deciding whether there is a feedback connection requires shorter epoch durations, relative to asking whether there is experimentally induced change in a connection that is known to be present. Finally, we discuss limitations and potential extensions of this work. PMID:22125485

  20. Memory Networks in Tinnitus: A Functional Brain Image Study

    PubMed Central

    Laureano, Maura Regina; Onishi, Ektor Tsuneo; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; Castiglioni, Mario Luiz Vieira; Batista, Ilza Rosa; Reis, Marilia Alves; Garcia, Michele Vargas; de Andrade, Adriana Neves; de Almeida, Roberta Ribeiro; Garrido, Griselda J.; Jackowski, Andrea Parolin

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external auditory stimulus. The network connectivity of auditory and non-auditory brain structures associated with emotion, memory and attention are functionally altered in debilitating tinnitus. Current studies suggest that tinnitus results from neuroplastic changes in the frontal and limbic temporal regions. The objective of this study was to use Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) to evaluate changes in the cerebral blood flow in tinnitus patients with normal hearing compared with healthy controls. Methods: Twenty tinnitus patients with normal hearing and 17 healthy controls, matched for sex, age and years of education, were subjected to Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography using the radiotracer ethylenedicysteine diethyl ester, labeled with Technetium 99 m (99 mTc-ECD SPECT). The severity of tinnitus was assessed using the “Tinnitus Handicap Inventory” (THI). The images were processed and analyzed using “Statistical Parametric Mapping” (SPM8). Results: A significant increase in cerebral perfusion in the left parahippocampal gyrus (pFWE <0.05) was observed in patients with tinnitus compared with healthy controls. The average total THI score was 50.8+18.24, classified as moderate tinnitus. Conclusion: It was possible to identify significant changes in the limbic system of the brain perfusion in tinnitus patients with normal hearing, suggesting that central mechanisms, not specific to the auditory pathway, are involved in the pathophysiology of symptoms, even in the absence of clinically diagnosed peripheral changes. PMID:24516567

  1. Selectionist and Evolutionary Approaches to Brain Function: A Critical Appraisal

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Szathmáry, Eörs; Husbands, Phil

    2012-01-01

    We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman’s theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux’s theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung’s Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein’s synaptic melioration, Adam’s selfish synapse, and Calvin’s replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price’s covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity, and variability) as the most powerful mechanism for search in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples are given of cases where parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is more efficient than search without information transfer between units. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise. PMID:22557963

  2. Functional brain substrate of quality of life in patients with schizophrenia: A brain SPECT multidimensional analysis.

    PubMed

    Faget-Agius, Catherine; Boyer, Laurent; Richieri, Raphaëlle; Auquier, Pascal; Lançon, Christophe; Guedj, Eric

    2016-03-30

    The aim of this study was to investigate the functional brain substrate of quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Participants comprised 130 right-handed patients with schizophrenia who underwent whole-brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with (99m)Tc-labeled ethylcysteinate dimer ((99m)Tc-ECD) for exploring correlations of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with the eight dimensions score of the Schizophrenia Quality of Life questionnaire (S-QoL 18). A significant positive correlation was found between the global index of the S-QoL 18 and rCBF in the right superior temporal sulcus and between psychological well-being dimension and rCBF in Brodmann area (BA)6, BA8, BA9, and BA10 and between self-esteem dimension and rCBF in striatum and between family relationship dimension and rCBF in BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, BA8, BA22, BA40, BA42 and BA44 and between relationship with friends dimension and rCBF in BA44 and between physical well-being dimension and rCBF in parahippocampal gyrus, and finally between autonomy dimension and rCBF in cuneus and precuneus. A significant negative correlation was found between resilience dimension and rCBF in precuneus and between sentimental life dimension and rCBF in BA10. Our findings provide neural correlates of QoL. Brain regions involved in cognitions, emotional information processing and social cognition underlie the different QoL dimensions. PMID:27000309

  3. MIC as an Appropriate Method to Construct the Brain Functional Network

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Ming; Wu, Xia

    2015-01-01

    Using an effective method to measure the brain functional connectivity is an important step to study the brain functional network. The main methods for constructing an undirected brain functional network include correlation coefficient (CF), partial correlation coefficient (PCF), mutual information (MI), wavelet correlation coefficient (WCF), and coherence (CH). In this paper we demonstrate that the maximal information coefficient (MIC) proposed by Reshef et al. is relevant to constructing a brain functional network because it performs best in the comprehensive comparisons in consistency and robustness. Our work can be used to validate the possible new functional connection measures. PMID:25710031

  4. Functional genomics of human brain development and implications for autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ziats, M N; Grosvenor, L P; Rennert, O M

    2015-01-01

    Transcription of the inherited DNA sequence into copies of messenger RNA is the most fundamental process by which the genome functions to guide development. Encoded sequence information, inherited epigenetic marks and environmental influences all converge at the level of mRNA gene expression to allow for cell-type-specific, tissue-specific, spatial and temporal patterns of expression. Thus, the transcriptome represents a complex interplay between inherited genomic structure, dynamic experiential demands and external signals. This property makes transcriptome studies uniquely positioned to provide insight into complex genetic–epigenetic–environmental processes such as human brain development, and disorders with non-Mendelian genetic etiologies such as autism spectrum disorders. In this review, we describe recent studies exploring the unique functional genomics profile of the human brain during neurodevelopment. We then highlight two emerging areas of research with great potential to increase our understanding of functional neurogenomics—non-coding RNA expression and gene interaction networks. Finally, we review previous functional genomics studies of autism spectrum disorder in this context, and discuss how investigations at the level of functional genomics are beginning to identify convergent molecular mechanisms underlying this genetically heterogeneous disorder. PMID:26506051

  5. Understanding density functional theory (DFT) and completing it in practice

    SciTech Connect

    Bagayoko, Diola

    2014-12-15

    We review some salient points in the derivation of density functional theory (DFT) and of the local density approximation (LDA) of it. We then articulate an understanding of DFT and LDA that seems to be ignored in the literature. We note the well-established failures of many DFT and LDA calculations to reproduce the measured energy gaps of finite systems and band gaps of semiconductors and insulators. We then illustrate significant differences between the results from self consistent calculations using single trial basis sets and those from computations following the Bagayoko, Zhao, and Williams (BZW) method, as enhanced by Ekuma and Franklin (BZW-EF). Unlike the former, the latter calculations verifiably attain the absolute minima of the occupied energies, as required by DFT. These minima are one of the reasons for the agreement between their results and corresponding, experimental ones for the band gap and a host of other properties. Further, we note predictions of DFT BZW-EF calculations that have been confirmed by experiment. Our subsequent description of the BZW-EF method ends with the application of the Rayleigh theorem in the selection, among the several calculations the method requires, of the one whose results have a full, physics content ascribed to DFT. This application of the Rayleigh theorem adds to or completes DFT, in practice, to preserve the physical content of unoccupied, low energy levels. Discussions, including implications of the method, and a short conclusion follow the description of the method. The successive augmentation of the basis set in the BZW-EF method, needed for the application of the Rayleigh theorem, is also necessary in the search for the absolute minima of the occupied energies, in practice.

  6. Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... will return after updating. Resources Archived Modules Updates Brain Cerebrum The cerebrum is the part of the ... the outside of the brain and spinal cord. Brain Stem The brain stem is the part of ...

  7. Hyperthermia-Induced Disruption of Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain Network

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Qingjun; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Li, Min; Zhao, Lun; Zhou, Zhenyu; von Deneen, Karen M.; Liu, Yijun

    2013-01-01

    Background Passive hyperthermia is a potential risk factor to human cognitive performance and work behavior in many extreme work environments. Previous studies have demonstrated significant effects of passive hyperthermia on human cognitive performance and work behavior. However, there is a lack of a clear understanding of the exact affected brain regions and inter-regional connectivities. Methodology and Principal Findings We simulated 1 hour environmental heat exposure to thirty-six participants under two environmental temperature conditions (25°C and 50°C), and collected resting-state functional brain activity. The functional connectivities with a preselected region of interest (ROI) in the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus (PCC/PCu), furthermore, inter-regional connectivities throughout the entire brain using a prior Anatomical Automatic Labeling (AAL) atlas were calculated. We identified decreased correlations of a set of regions with the PCC/PCu, including the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) and bilateral medial temporal cortex, as well as increased correlations with the partial orbitofrontal cortex particularly in the bilateral orbital superior frontal gyrus. Compared with the normal control (NC) group, the hyperthermia (HT) group showed 65 disturbed functional connectivities with 50 of them being decreased and 15 of them being increased. While the decreased correlations mainly involved with the mOFC, temporal lobe and occipital lobe, increased correlations were mainly located within the limbic system. In consideration of physiological system changes, we explored the correlations of the number of significantly altered inter-regional connectivities with differential rectal temperatures and weight loss, but failed to obtain significant correlations. More importantly, during the attention network test (ANT) we found that the number of significantly altered functional connectivities was positively correlated with an increase in executive control

  8. Abnormalities of functional brain networks in pathological gambling: a graph-theoretical approach

    PubMed Central

    Tschernegg, Melanie; Crone, Julia S.; Eigenberger, Tina; Schwartenbeck, Philipp; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Lemènager, Tagrid; Mann, Karl; Thon, Natasha; Wurst, Friedrich M.; Kronbichler, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies of pathological gambling (PG) demonstrate alterations in frontal and subcortical regions of the mesolimbic reward system. However, most investigations were performed using tasks involving reward processing or executive functions. Little is known about brain network abnormalities during task-free resting state in PG. In the present study, graph-theoretical methods were used to investigate network properties of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data in PG. We compared 19 patients with PG to 19 healthy controls (HCs) using the Graph Analysis Toolbox (GAT). None of the examined global metrics differed between groups. At the nodal level, pathological gambler showed a reduced clustering coefficient in the left paracingulate cortex and the left juxtapositional lobe (supplementary motor area, SMA), reduced local efficiency in the left SMA, as well as an increased node betweenness for the left and right paracingulate cortex and the left SMA. At an uncorrected threshold level, the node betweenness in the left inferior frontal gyrus was decreased and increased in the caudate. Additionally, increased functional connectivity between fronto-striatal regions and within frontal regions has also been found for the gambling patients. These findings suggest that regions associated with the reward system demonstrate reduced segregation but enhanced integration while regions associated with executive functions demonstrate reduced integration. The present study makes evident that PG is also associated with abnormalities in the topological network structure of the brain during rest. Since alterations in PG cannot be explained by direct effects of abused substances on the brain, these findings will be of relevance for understanding functional connectivity in other addictive disorders. PMID:24098282

  9. Using Proton Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy to Understand Brain "Activation"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baslow, Morris H.; Guilfoyle, David N.

    2007-01-01

    Upon stimulation, areas of the brain associated with specific cognitive processing tasks may undergo observable physiological changes, and measures of such changes have been used to create brain maps for visualization of stimulated areas in task-related brain "activation" studies. These perturbations usually continue throughout the period of the…

  10. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  11. Divergent brain functional network alterations in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Peraza, Luis R.; Taylor, John-Paul; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-01-01

    The clinical phenotype of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is different from Alzheimer's disease (AD), suggesting a divergence between these diseases in terms of brain network organization. To fully understand this, we studied functional networks from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in cognitively matched DLB and AD patients. The DLB group demonstrated a generalized lower synchronization compared with the AD and healthy controls, and this was more severe for edges connecting distant brain regions. Global network measures were significantly different between DLB and AD. For instance, AD showed lower small-worldness than healthy controls, while DLB showed higher small-worldness (AD < controls < DLB), and this was also the case for global efficiency (DLB > controls > AD) and clustering coefficient (DLB < controls < AD). Differences were also found for nodal measures at brain regions associated with each disease. Finally, we found significant associations between network performance measures and global cognitive impairment and severity of cognitive fluctuations in DLB. These results show network divergences between DLB and AD which appear to reflect their neuropathological differences. PMID:26115566

  12. Colorful brains: 14 years of display practice in functional neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Christen, Markus; Vitacco, Deborah A; Huber, Lara; Harboe, Julie; Fabrikant, Sara I; Brugger, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Neuroimaging results are typically graphically rendered and color-coded, which influences the process of knowledge generation within neuroscience as well as the public perception of brain research. Analyzing these issues requires empirical information on the display practice in neuroimaging. In our study we evaluated more than 9000 functional images (fMRI and PET) published between 1996 and 2009 with respect to the use of color, image structure, image production software and other factors that may determine the display practice. We demonstrate a variety of display styles despite a remarkable dominance of few image production sites and software systems, outline some tendencies of standardization, and identify shortcomings with respect to color scale explication in neuroimages. We discuss the importance of the finding for knowledge production in neuroimaging, and we make suggestions to improve the display practice in neuroimaging, especially on regimes of color coding. PMID:23403183

  13. Imaging local brain function with emission computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhl, D.E.

    1984-03-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) using /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) was used to map local cerebral glucose utilization in the study of local cerebral function. This information differs fundamentally from structural assessment by means of computed tomography (CT). In normal human volunteers, the FDG scan was used to determine the cerebral metabolic response to conrolled sensory stimulation and the effects of aging. Cerebral metabolic patterns are distinctive among depressed and demented elderly patients. The FDG scan appears normal in the depressed patient, studded with multiple metabolic defects in patients with multiple infarct dementia, and in the patients with Alzheimer disease, metabolism is particularly reduced in the parietal cortex, but only slightly reduced in the caudate and thalamus. The interictal FDG scan effectively detects hypometabolic brain zones that are sites of onset for seizures in patients with partial epilepsy, even though these zones usually appear normal on CT scans. The future prospects of PET are discussed.

  14. Developing high-performance cross-functional teams: Understanding motivations, functional loyalties, and teaming fundamentals

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, M.A.

    1996-08-01

    Teamwork is the key to the future of effective technology management. Today`s technologies and markets have become too complex for individuals to work alone. Global competition, limited resources, cost consciousness, and time pressures have forced organizations and project managers to encourage teamwork. Many of these teams will be cross-functional teams that can draw on a multitude of talents and knowledge. To develop high-performing cross-functional teams, managers must understand motivations, functional loyalties, and the different backgrounds of the individual team members. To develop a better understanding of these issues, managers can learn from experience and from literature on teams and teaming concepts. When studying the literature to learn about cross-functional teaming, managers will find many good theoretical concepts, but when put into practice, these concepts have varying effects. This issue of varying effectiveness is what drives the research for this paper. The teaming concepts were studied to confirm or modify current understanding. The literature was compared with a {open_quotes}ground truth{close_quotes}, a survey of the reality of teaming practices, to examine the teaming concepts that the literature finds to be critical to the success of teams. These results are compared to existing teams to determine if such techniques apply in real-world cases.

  15. Compensation through Functional Hyperconnectivity: A Longitudinal Connectome Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Iraji, Armin; Chen, Hanbo; Wiseman, Natalie; Welch, Robert D.; O'Neil, Brian J.; Haacke, E. Mark; Liu, Tianming; Kou, Zhifeng

    2016-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a major public health concern. Functional MRI has reported alterations in several brain networks following mTBI. However, the connectome-scale brain network changes are still unknown. In this study, sixteen mTBI patients were prospectively recruited from an emergency department and followed up at 4–6 weeks after injury. Twenty-four healthy controls were also scanned twice with the same time interval. Three hundred fifty-eight brain landmarks that preserve structural and functional correspondence of brain networks across individuals were used to investigate longitudinal brain connectivity. Network-based statistic (NBS) analysis did not find significant difference in the group-by-time interaction and time effects. However, 258 functional pairs show group differences in which mTBI patients have higher functional connectivity. Meta-analysis showed that “Action” and “Cognition” are the most affected functional domains. Categorization of connectomic signatures using multiview group-wise cluster analysis identified two patterns of functional hyperconnectivity among mTBI patients: (I) between the posterior cingulate cortex and the association areas of the brain and (II) between the occipital and the frontal lobes of the brain. Our results demonstrate that brain concussion renders connectome-scale brain network connectivity changes, and the brain tends to be hyperactivated to compensate the pathophysiological disturbances. PMID:26819765

  16. Understanding Functional Residues of the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Shim, Joong-Youn

    2010-01-01

    The brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptor that mediates numerous physiological processes in response to marijuana and other psychoactive compounds is a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and shares common structural features with many rhodopsin class GPCRs. For the rational development of therapeutic agents targeting the CB1 receptor, understanding of the ligand-specific CB1 receptor interactions responsible for unique G protein signals is crucial. For a more than a decade, a combination of mutagenesis and computational modeling approaches has been successfully employed to study the ligand-specific CB1 receptor interactions. In this review, after a brief discussion about recent advances in understanding of some structural and functional features of GPCRs commonly applicable to the CB1 receptor, the CB1 receptor functional residues reported from mutational studies are divided into three different types, ligand binding (B), receptor stabilization (S) and receptor activation (A) residues, to delineate the nature of the binding pockets of anandamide, CP55940, WIN55212-2 and SR141716A and to describe the molecular events of the ligand-specific CB1 receptor activation from ligand binding to G protein signaling. Taken these CB1 receptor functional residues, some of which are unique to the CB1 receptor, together with the biophysical knowledge accumulated for the GPCR active state, it is possible to propose the early stages of the CB1 receptor activation process that not only provide some insights into understanding molecular mechanisms of receptor activation but also are applicable for identifying new therapeutic agents by applying the validated structure-based approaches, such as virtual high throughput screening (HTS) and fragment-based approach (FBA). PMID:20370713

  17. Analysis of Functional Pathways Altered after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Redell, John B.; Moore, Anthony N.; Grill, Raymond J.; Johnson, Daniel; Zhao, Jing; Liu, Yin

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Concussive injury (or mild traumatic brain injury; mTBI) can exhibit features of focal or diffuse injury patterns. We compared and contrasted the cellular and molecular responses after mild controlled cortical impact (mCCI; a focal injury) or fluid percussion injury (FPI; a diffuse injury) in rats. The rationale for this comparative analysis was to investigate the brain's response to mild diffuse versus mild focal injury to identify common molecular changes triggered by these injury modalities and to determine the functional pathways altered after injury that may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Microarrays containing probes against 21,792 unique messenger RNAs (mRNAs) were used to investigate the changes in cortical mRNA expression levels at 3 and 24 h postinjury. Of the 354 mRNAs with significantly altered expression levels after mCCI, over 89% (316 mRNAs) were also contained within the mild FPI (mFPI) data set. However, mFPI initiated a more widespread molecular response, with over 2300 mRNAs differentially expressed. Bioinformatic analysis of annotated Gene Ontology molecular function and biological pathway terms showed a significant overrepresentation of genes belonging to inflammation, stress, and signaling categories in both data sets. We therefore examined changes in the protein levels of a panel of 23 cytokines and chemokines in cortical extracts using a Luminex-based bead immunoassay and detected significant increases in macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α (CCL3), GRO-KC (CXCL1), interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Immunohistochemical localization of MIP-