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Sample records for understand brain function

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Understanding structural-functional relationships in the human brain: a large-scale network perspective.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhijiang; Dai, Zhengjia; Gong, Gaolang; Zhou, Changsong; He, Yong

    2015-06-01

    Relating the brain's structural connectivity (SC) to its functional connectivity (FC) is a fundamental goal in neuroscience because it is capable of aiding our understanding of how the relatively fixed SC architecture underlies human cognition and diverse behaviors. With the aid of current noninvasive imaging technologies (e.g., structural MRI, diffusion MRI, and functional MRI) and graph theory methods, researchers have modeled the human brain as a complex network of interacting neuronal elements and characterized the underlying structural and functional connectivity patterns that support diverse cognitive functions. Specifically, research has demonstrated a tight SC-FC coupling, not only in interregional connectivity strength but also in network topologic organizations, such as community, rich-club, and motifs. Moreover, this SC-FC coupling exhibits significant changes in normal development and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. This review summarizes recent progress regarding the SC-FC relationship of the human brain and emphasizes the important role of large-scale brain networks in the understanding of structural-functional associations. Future research directions related to this topic are also proposed. PMID:24962094

  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. The mouse blood-brain barrier transcriptome: a new resource for understanding the development and function of brain endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Daneman, Richard; Zhou, Lu; Agalliu, Dritan; Cahoy, John D; Kaushal, Amit; Barres, Ben A

    2010-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) maintains brain homeostasis and limits the entry of toxins and pathogens into the brain. Despite its importance, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating the development and function of this crucial barrier. In this study we have developed methods to highly purify and gene profile endothelial cells from different tissues, and by comparing the transcriptional profile of brain endothelial cells with those purified from the liver and lung, we have generated a comprehensive resource of transcripts that are enriched in the BBB forming endothelial cells of the brain. Through this comparison we have identified novel tight junction proteins, transporters, metabolic enzymes, signaling components, and unknown transcripts whose expression is enriched in central nervous system (CNS) endothelial cells. This analysis has identified that RXRalpha signaling cascade is specifically enriched at the BBB, implicating this pathway in regulating this vital barrier. This dataset provides a resource for understanding CNS endothelial cells and their interaction with neural and hematogenous cells. PMID:21060791

  10. 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

  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. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep

    MedlinePLUS

    ... People About NINDS Request free mailed brochure Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep Request free mailed brochure Do you ... awakened from stage 1 sleep often remember fragmented visual images. Many also experience sudden muscle contractions called ...

  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. Homeostatic control of brain function – new approaches to understand epileptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Boison, Detlev; Sandau, Ursula S.; Ruskin, David N.; Kawamura, Masahito; Masino, Susan A.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal excitability of the brain and ongoing homeostasis depend not only on intrinsic neuronal properties, but also on external environmental factors; together these determine the functionality of neuronal networks. Homeostatic factors become critically important during epileptogenesis, a process that involves complex disruption of self-regulatory mechanisms. Here we focus on the bioenergetic homeostatic network regulator adenosine, a purine nucleoside whose availability is largely regulated by astrocytes. Endogenous adenosine modulates complex network function through multiple mechanisms including adenosine receptor-mediated pathways, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and adenosine receptor-independent changes to the epigenome. Accumulating evidence from our laboratories shows that disruption of adenosine homeostasis plays a major role in epileptogenesis. Conversely, we have found that reconstruction of adenosine’s homeostatic functions provides new hope for the prevention of epileptogenesis. We will discuss how adenosine-based therapeutic approaches may interfere with epileptogenesis on an epigenetic level, and how dietary interventions can be used to restore network homeostasis in the brain. We conclude that reconstruction of homeostatic functions in the brain offers a new conceptual advance for the treatment of neurological conditions which goes far beyond current target-centric treatment approaches. PMID:23882181

  15. 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

  16. How can studies of resting-state functional connectivity help us understand psychosis as a disorder of brain development?

    PubMed

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Baker, Justin T

    2015-02-01

    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

  17. Gait and cognition: a complementary approach to understanding brain function and the risk of falling.

    PubMed

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Verghese, Joe; Beauchet, Olivier; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M

    2012-11-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults, but increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are interrelated in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait in older adults are associated with falls, dementia, and disability. At the same time, emerging evidence indicates that early disturbances in cognitive processes such as attention, executive function, and working memory are associated with slower gait and gait instability during single- and dual-task testing and that these cognitive disturbances assist in the prediction of future mobility loss, falls, and progression to dementia. This article reviews the importance of the interrelationship between gait and cognition in aging and presents evidence that gait assessments can provide a window into the understanding of cognitive function and dysfunction and fall risk in older people in clinical practice. To this end, the benefits of dual-task gait assessments (e.g., walking while performing an attention-demanding task) as a marker of fall risk are summarized. A potential complementary approach for reducing the risk of falls by improving certain aspects of cognition through nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments is also presented. Untangling the relationship between early gait disturbances and early cognitive changes may be helpful in identifying older adults at risk of experiencing mobility decline, falls, and progression to dementia. PMID:23110433

  18. 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

  19. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-19

    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

  20. Understanding brain dysfunction in sepsis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Sepsis often is characterized by an acute brain dysfunction, which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Its pathophysiology is highly complex, resulting from both inflammatory and noninflammatory processes, which may induce significant alterations in vulnerable areas of the brain. Important mechanisms include excessive microglial activation, impaired cerebral perfusion, blood–brain-barrier dysfunction, and altered neurotransmission. Systemic insults, such as prolonged inflammation, severe hypoxemia, and persistent hyperglycemia also may contribute to aggravate sepsis-induced brain dysfunction or injury. The diagnosis of brain dysfunction in sepsis relies essentially on neurological examination and neurological tests, such as EEG and neuroimaging. A brain MRI should be considered in case of persistent brain dysfunction after control of sepsis and exclusion of major confounding factors. Recent MRI studies suggest that septic shock can be associated with acute cerebrovascular lesions and white matter abnormalities. Currently, the management of brain dysfunction mainly consists of control of sepsis and prevention of all aggravating factors, including metabolic disturbances, drug overdoses, anticholinergic medications, withdrawal syndromes, and Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Modulation of microglial activation, prevention of blood–brain-barrier alterations, and use of antioxidants represent relevant therapeutic targets that may impact significantly on neurologic outcomes. In the future, investigations in patients with sepsis should be undertaken to reduce the duration of brain dysfunction and to study the impact of this reduction on important health outcomes, including functional and cognitive status in survivors. PMID:23718252

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Functional brain imaging: what has it brought to our understanding of neuropathic pain? A special focus on allodynic pain mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peyron, Roland

    2016-02-01

    Brain responses to nociception are well identified. The same is not true for allodynic pain, a strong painful sensation in response to touch or innocuous cold stimuli that may be experienced by patients with neuropathic pain. Brain (or spinal cord) reorganization that may explain this paradoxical perception still remains largely unknown. Allodynic pain is associated with abnormally increased activity in SII and in the anterior insular cortex, contralateral and/or ipsilateral to allodynia. Because a bilateral increase in activity has been repeatedly reported in these areas in nociceptive conditions, the observed activation during allodynia can explain that a physiologically nonpainful stimulus could be perceived by the damaged nervous system as a painful one. Both secondary somatosensory and insular cortices receive input from the thalamus, which is a major relay of sensory and spinothalamic pathways, the involvement of which is known to be crucial for the development of neuropathic pain. Both thalamic function and structure have been reported to be abnormal or impaired in neuropathic pain conditions including in the basal state, possibly explaining the spontaneous component of neuropathic pain. A further indication as to how the brain can create neuropathic pain response in SII and insular cortices stems from examples of diseases, including single-case reports in whom a focal brain lesion leads to central pain disappearance. Additional studies are required to certify the contribution of these areas to the disease processes, to disentangle abnormalities respectively related to pain and to deafferentation, and, in the future, to guide targeting of stimulation studies. PMID:26785157

  4. 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...

  5. The olivo-cerebellar system: a key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    PubMed Central

    Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington, 1906) has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown, 1911, 1914). However, little progress was made in addressing intrinsic neuronal properties in vertebrates until the discovery of calcium conductances in vertebrate central neurons leading dendritic electroresponsiveness (Llinás and Hess, 1976; Llinás and Sugimori, 1980a,b) and subthreshold neuronal oscillation in mammalian inferior olive (IO) neurons (Llinás and Yarom, 1981a,b). This happened in parallel with a similar set of findings concerning invertebrate neuronal system (Marder and Bucher, 2001). The generalization into a more global view of intrinsic rhythmicity, at forebrain level, occurred initially with the demonstration that the thalamus has similar oscillatory properties (Llinás and Jahnsen, 1982) and the ionic properties responsible for some oscillatory activity were, in fact, similar to those in the IO (Jahnsen and Llinás, 1984; Llinás, 1988). Thus, lending support to the view that not only motricity, but cognitive properties, are organized as coherent oscillatory states (Pare et al., 1992; Singer, 1993; Hardcastle, 1997; Llinás et al., 1998; Varela et al., 2001). PMID:24478634

  6. 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

  7. 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 implications of this finding for experimental and theoretical connectomics.

  8. Brain Dynamics Promotes Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Carlos

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

  9. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

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

  10. A transcriptome database for astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendrocytes: a new resource for understanding brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Cahoy, John D; Emery, Ben; Kaushal, Amit; Foo, Lynette C; Zamanian, Jennifer L; Christopherson, Karen S; Xing, Yi; Lubischer, Jane L; Krieg, Paul A; Krupenko, Sergey A; Thompson, Wesley J; Barres, Ben A

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the cell-cell interactions that control CNS development and function has long been limited by the lack of methods to cleanly separate neural cell types. Here we describe methods for the prospective isolation and purification of astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendrocytes from developing and mature mouse forebrain. We used FACS (fluorescent-activated cell sorting) to isolate astrocytes from transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of an S100beta promoter. Using Affymetrix GeneChip Arrays, we then created a transcriptome database of the expression levels of >20,000 genes by gene profiling these three main CNS neural cell types at various postnatal ages between postnatal day 1 (P1) and P30. This database provides a detailed global characterization and comparison of the genes expressed by acutely isolated astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendrocytes. We found that Aldh1L1 is a highly specific antigenic marker for astrocytes with a substantially broader pattern of astrocyte expression than the traditional astrocyte marker GFAP. Astrocytes were enriched in specific metabolic and lipid synthetic pathways, as well as the draper/Megf10 and Mertk/integrin alpha(v)beta5 phagocytic pathways suggesting that astrocytes are professional phagocytes. Our findings call into question the concept of a "glial" cell class as the gene profiles of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are as dissimilar to each other as they are to neurons. This transcriptome database of acutely isolated purified astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendrocytes provides a resource to the neuroscience community by providing improved cell-type-specific markers and for better understanding of neural development, function, and disease. PMID:18171944

  11. Marr's Levels Revisited: Understanding How Brains Break.

    PubMed

    Hardcastle, Valerie G; Hardcastle, Kiah

    2015-04-01

    While the research programs in early cognitive science and artificial intelligence aimed to articulate what cognition was in ideal terms, much research in contemporary computational neuroscience looks at how and why brains fail to function as they should ideally. This focus on impairment affects how we understand David Marr's hypothesized three levels of understanding. In this essay, we suggest some refinements to Marr's distinctions using a population activity model of cortico-striatal circuitry exploring impulsivity and behavioral inhibition as a case study. In particular, we urge that Marr's computational level should be redefined to include a description of how systems break down. We also underscore that feed-forward processing, cognition disconnected from behavioral context, and representations do not always drive cognition in the way that Marr originally assumed. PMID:25903856

  12. 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

  13. Understanding Brains: Details, Intuition, and Big Data

    PubMed Central

    Marder, Eve

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how the brain works requires a delicate balance between the appreciation of the importance of a multitude of biological details and the ability to see beyond those details to general principles. As technological innovations vastly increase the amount of data we collect, the importance of intuition into how to analyze and treat these data may, paradoxically, become more important. PMID:25965068

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Synergetics of brain function.

    PubMed

    Haken, Hermann

    2006-05-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Understanding brain, mind and soul: contributions from neurology and neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. Higher Brain Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1983-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Functional brain mapping of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Honey, G; Fletcher, P; Bullmore, E

    2002-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Gestures Orchestrate Brain Networks for Language Understanding

    PubMed Central

    Skipper, Jeremy I.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Nusbaum, Howard C.; Small, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Although the linguistic structure of speech provides valuable communicative information, nonverbal behaviors can offer additional, often disambiguating cues. In particular, being able to see the face and hand movements of a speaker facilitates language comprehension [1]. But how does the brain derive meaningful information from these movements? Mouth movements provide information about phonological aspects of speech [2–3]. In contrast, cospeech gestures display semantic information relevant to the intended message[4–6].We show that when language comprehension is accompanied by observable face movements, there is strong functional connectivity between areas of cortex involved in motor planning and production and posterior areas thought to mediate phonological aspects of speech perception. In contrast, language comprehension accompanied by cospeech gestures is associated with tuning of and strong functional connectivity between motor planning and production areas and anterior areas thought to mediate semantic aspects of language comprehension. These areas are not tuned to hand and arm movements that are not meaningful. Results suggest that when gestures accompany speech, the motor system works with language comprehension areas to determine the meaning of those gestures. Results also suggest that the cortical networks underlying language comprehension, rather than being fixed, are dynamically organized by the type of contextual information available to listeners during face-to-face communication. PMID:19327997

  9. 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

  10. The Modeling and Functional Connectivity of the Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Seunghwan

    2008-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Optogenetic approaches for functional mouse brain mapping

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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,…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Great expectations: using whole-brain computational connectomics for understanding neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Deco, Gustavo; Kringelbach, Morten L

    2014-12-01

    The study of human brain networks with in vivo neuroimaging has given rise to the field of connectomics, furthered by advances in network science and graph theory informing our understanding of the topology and function of the healthy brain. Here our focus is on the disruption in neuropsychiatric disorders (pathoconnectomics) and how whole-brain computational models can help generate and predict the dynamical interactions and consequences of brain networks over many timescales. We review methods and emerging results that exhibit remarkable accuracy in mapping and predicting both spontaneous and task-based healthy network dynamics. This raises great expectations that whole-brain modeling and computational connectomics may provide an entry point for understanding brain disorders at a causal mechanistic level, and that computational neuropsychiatry can ultimately be leveraged to provide novel, more effective therapeutic interventions, e.g., through drug discovery and new targets for deep brain stimulation. PMID:25475184

  4. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Supporting Parents with Two Essential Understandings: Attachment and Brain Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Eugenia Hepworth

    1999-01-01

    Readiness to learn is a constant state. Two critical aspects of early childhood provide parents sufficient understanding of their child's development: attachment and brain development. Children develop attachments to caregivers but need consistent parental care and love. Human brains continue to quickly grow during the first two years of life.…

  8. Disrupted functional brain networks in autistic toddlers.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. [Functional MRI of the brain].

    PubMed

    Naruse, S

    1995-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Brain network science needs to become predictive. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgetag, Claus C.; von Luxburg, Ulrike

    2014-09-01

    In his thought-provoking review of current concepts in neuroscience, Pessoa [1] addresses the ongoing paradigm shift of the field, in which the perspective has moved from individual nodes to distributed networks in order to account for distributed brain function. Within this perspective, Pessoa describes diverse aspects and topological features of brain networks that are potentially relevant for brain function. As he notes, however, the shift to networks does not solve all problems of linking brain function to structure.

  13. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Prospective Teachers' Understandings: Function and Composite Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meel, David E.

    2003-01-01

    The current education reform efforts place greater emphasis on conceptual understanding and focus attention on teacher preparation, especially on the adequacy of teachers' mathematical knowledge of the material they will be teaching. This paper discusses the responses of 20 prospective elementary and special education mathematics specialists to…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Functional Data Analysis in Brain Imaging Studies

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tian Siva

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Bioengineered functional brain-like cortical tissue

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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".

  10. 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

  11. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-10

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

  15. 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?

  16. Functional network organization of the human brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  20. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePLUS

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Understanding How Exercise Promotes Cognitive Integrity in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Laitman, Benjamin M.; John, Gareth R.

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging. PMID:26558429

  6. Multistability and metastability: understanding dynamic coordination in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Kelso, J. A. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Multistable coordination dynamics exists at many levels, from multifunctional neural circuits in vertebrates and invertebrates to large-scale neural circuitry in humans. Moreover, multistability spans (at least) the domains of action and perception, and has been found to place constraints upon, even dictating the nature of, intentional change and the skill-learning process. This paper reviews some of the key evidence for multistability in the aforementioned areas, and illustrates how it has been measured, modelled and theoretically understood. It then suggests how multistability—when combined with essential aspects of coordination dynamics such as instability, transitions and (especially) metastability—provides a platform for understanding coupling and the creative dynamics of complex goal-directed systems, including the brain and the brain–behaviour relation. PMID:22371613

  7. Advantages in functional imaging of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Mier, Walter; Mier, Daniela

    2015-01-01

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

  8. A neurogenetics approach to understanding individual differences in brain, behavior, and risk for psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Bogdan, R; Hyde, L W; Hariri, A R

    2013-03-01

    Neurogenetics research has begun to advance our understanding of how genetic variation gives rise to individual differences in brain function, which, in turn, shapes behavior and risk for psychopathology. Despite these advancements, neurogenetics research is currently confronted by three major challenges: (1) conducting research on individual variables with small effects, (2) absence of detailed mechanisms, and (3) a need to translate findings toward greater clinical relevance. In this review, we showcase techniques and developments that address these challenges and highlight the benefits of a neurogenetics approach to understanding brain, behavior and psychopathology. To address the challenge of small effects, we explore approaches including incorporating the environment, modeling epistatic relationships and using multilocus profiles. To address the challenge of mechanism, we explore how non-human animal research, epigenetics research and genome-wide association studies can inform our mechanistic understanding of behaviorally relevant brain function. Finally, to address the challenge of clinical relevance, we examine how neurogenetics research can identify novel therapeutic targets and for whom treatments work best. By addressing these challenges, neurogenetics research is poised to exponentially increase our understanding of how genetic variation interacts with the environment to shape the brain, behavior and risk for psychopathology. PMID:22614291

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. To Your Health: NLM update transcript - International efforts to understand the human brain

    MedlinePLUS

    ... NLM update Transcript International efforts to understand the human brain : 12/07/2015 To use the sharing features ... together to revolutionize the scientific understanding of the human brain, explains a perspective recently published in Science. The ...

  12. Functional community analysis of brain: a new approach for EEG-based investigation of the brain pathology.

    PubMed

    Ahmadlou, Mehran; Adeli, Hojjat

    2011-09-15

    Analysis of structure of the brain functional connectivity (SBFC) is a fundamental issue for understanding of the brain cognition as well as the pathology of brain disorders. Analysis of communities among sub-parts of a system is increasingly used for social, ecological, and other networks. This paper presents a new methodology for investigation of the SBFC and understanding of the brain based on graph theory and community pattern analysis of functional connectivity graph of the brain obtained from encephalograms (EEGs). The methodology consists of three main parts: fuzzy synchronization likelihood (FSL), community partitioning, and decisions based on partitions. As an example application, the methodology is applied to analysis of brain of patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the problem of discrimination of ADHD EEGs from healthy (non-ADHD) EEGs. PMID:21586331

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Functional imaging of the brain

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-07-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Functional brain networks in movement disorders: recent advances

    PubMed Central

    Holtbernd, Florian; Eidelberg, David

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Recent developments in the regulation of monoamine oxidase form and function: is the current model restricting our understanding of the breadth of contribution of monoamine oxidase to brain [dys]function?

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Darrell D; Baker, Glen B

    2012-01-01

    Historically, much of the focus on monoamine oxidases and their substrates has been in the area of depression and the monoamine neurotransmitters serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), noradrenaline, and to a lesser extent, dopamine. With both forms of monoamine oxidase (A and B), the production of hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct of the reaction between the monoamine oxidases and their monoamine substrates has also implicated monoamine oxidase-sensitive events in intrinsic cell death pathways, particularly those centered on oxidative stress and peroxyradical-mediated mechanisms. Consequently, and perhaps not unexpectedly, the inhibition of monoamine oxidase has been considered as adjunctive therapy in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, both of which involve a significant oxidative stress component. Yet the literature also provides ambiguities; indeed, not all of the functions of monoamine oxidases are dependent on catalytic activity nor can they all be ascribed to expression levels of the monoamine oxidase protein per se. Recent reports strongly suggest that the functions of monoamine oxidases also rely on posttranslational modifications, epigenetic influences, interactions with other proteins, the cell phenotype and its localization to specific subcellular compartments. These recent developments certainly complicate the issue, yet they need to be duly considered when implicating monoamine oxidases and their inhibitors in both in vitro and in vivo pathological contexts. PMID:23231394

  17. Transcranial brain stimulation to promote functional recovery after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Raffin, Estelle; Siebner, Hartwig R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is increasingly used to enhance the recovery of function after stroke. The purpose of this review is to highlight and discuss some unresolved questions that need to be addressed to better understand and exploit the potential of NIBS as a therapeutic tool. Recent findings Recent meta-analyses showed that the treatment effects of NIBS in patients with stroke are rather inconsistent across studies and the evidence for therapeutic efficacy is still uncertain. This raises the question of how NIBS can be developed further to improve its therapeutic efficacy. Summary This review addressed six questions: How does NIBS facilitate the recovery of function after stroke? Which brain regions should be targeted by NIBS? Is there a particularly effective NIBS modality that should be used? Does the location of the stroke influence the therapeutic response? How often should NIBS be repeated? Is the functional state of the brain during or before NIBS relevant to therapeutic efficacy of NIBS? We argue that these questions need to be tackled to obtain sufficient mechanistic understanding of how NIBS facilitates the recovery of function. This knowledge will be critical to fully unfold the therapeutic effects of NIBS and will pave the way towards adaptive NIBS protocols, in which NIBS is tailored to the individual patient. PMID:24296641

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

    PubMed Central

    Giessing, Carsten; Thiel, Christiane M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Using neuroimaging and neuromodulation to study changes in brain functioning with therapy.

    PubMed

    Ludlow, Christy L

    2012-08-01

    This article reviews the concepts underlying functional neuroimaging and its use to study brain function change as a result of recovery and neurorehabilitation for speech, voice, and swallowing. The role of neurovascular coupling for quantifying brain function change in response to behavioral demands is explained. The types of changes in brain function that are measured and how they should be interpreted are addressed for the study of brain function abnormalities in developmental and acquired speech, voice, and swallowing disorders. One challenge is to separate changes in brain function due to recovery from those that are secondary to the development of compensatory skills during therapy. The advantages of functional magnetic resonance imaging and functional near-infrared spectroscopy are compared. The use of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the study of brain function is reviewed. In addition, more recent methods for the modulation of brain function using transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation over the cortex are examined. These technologies can be used by clinical investigators to gain better understanding of normal brain function and for learning how abnormalities in brain function might be addressed. Both are likely to lead to new therapeutic approaches to neurorehabilitation of speech, voice, and swallowing disorders. PMID:22851340

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Understanding a Brain-Based Approach to Learning and Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caine, Renate Nummela; Caine, Geoffrey

    1990-01-01

    Offers 12 principles as a general foundation for brain-based learning, including (1) the brain is a parallel processor; (2) learning engages the entire physiology; (3) the search for meaning is innate and occurs through patterning; (5) emotions are critical to patterning; (6) every brain simultaneously perceives and creates parts and wholes; and…

  5. Functional integration and inference in the brain.

    PubMed

    Friston, Karl

    2002-10-01

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

  6. Clinton Woolsey: functional brain mapping pioneer.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Clinton Woolsey: Functional Brain Mapping Pioneer

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Hierarchical modularity in human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Age-Related Reorganizational Changes in Modularity and Functional Connectivity of Human Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jie; Birn, Rasmus M.; Boly, Mélanie; Meier, Timothy B.; Nair, Veena A.; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The human brain undergoes both morphological and functional modifications across the human lifespan. It is important to understand the aspects of brain reorganization that are critical in normal aging. To address this question, one approach is to investigate age-related topological changes of the brain. In this study, we developed a brain network model using graph theory methods applied to the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data acquired from two groups of normal healthy adults classified by age. We found that brain functional networks demonstrated modular organization in both groups with modularity decreased with aging, suggesting less distinct functional divisions across whole brain networks. Local efficiency was also decreased with aging but not with global efficiency. Besides these brain-wide observations, we also observed consistent alterations of network properties at the regional level in the elderly, particularly in two major functional networks—the default mode network (DMN) and the sensorimotor network. Specifically, we found that measures of regional strength, local and global efficiency of functional connectivity were increased in the sensorimotor network while decreased in the DMN with aging. These results indicate that global reorganization of brain functional networks may reflect overall topological changes with aging and that aging likely alters individual brain networks differently depending on the functional properties. Moreover, these findings highly correspond to the observation of decline in cognitive functions but maintenance of primary information processing in normal healthy aging, implying an underlying compensation mechanism evolving with aging to support higher-level cognitive functioning. PMID:25183440

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Why bother with the brain? A role for decision neuroscience in understanding strategic variability.

    PubMed

    Venkatraman, Vinod

    2013-01-01

    Neuroscience, by its nature, seems to hold considerable promise for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of decision making. In recent years, several studies in the domain of "neuroeconomics" or "decision neuroscience" have provided important insights into brain function. Yet, the apparent success and value of each of these domains are frequently called into question by researchers in economics and behavioral decision making. Critics often charge that knowledge about the brain is unnecessary for understanding decision preferences. In this chapter, I contend that knowledge about underlying brain mechanisms helps in the development of biologically plausible models of behavior, which can then help elucidate the mechanisms underlying individual choice biases and strategic preferences. Using a novel risky choice paradigm, I will demonstrate that people vary in whether they adopt compensatory or noncompensatory rules in economic decision making. Importantly, neuroimaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging reveal that distinct neural mechanisms support variability in choices and variability in strategic preferences. Converging evidence from a study involving decisions between hypothetical stocks illustrates how knowledge about the underlying mechanisms can help inform neuroanatomical models of cognitive control. Last, I will demonstrate how knowledge about these underlying neural mechanisms can provide novel insights into the effects of decision states like sleep deprivation on decision preferences. Together, these findings suggest that neuroscience can play a critical role in creating robust and flexible models of real-world decision behavior. PMID:23317837

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Values: Understanding Written Language and the Mind through Brain Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Alice G.

    Suggesting that neuroscience and the actualities of brain circuitry can provide guidance for what is misunderstood in writing education, namely, the role of subjectivity and values in the composing process, this paper argues that neuroscience provides corporeal evidence for the salience of particular brain structures and processes responsible for…

  1. 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…

  2. Functional brain networks involved in reality monitoring.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    MedlinePLUS

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

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

  5. Glial-endothelial crosstalk regulates blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

    Cheslow, Lara; Alvarez, Jorge Iván

    2016-02-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is comprised of unique endothelial cells (ECs) that regulate the delicate central nervous system (CNS) microenvironment. During development, vasculature sprouts from the perivascular neural plexus and penetrates the CNS parenchyma. Recent studies indicate that these nascent vessels rely on radial glia (RG)-secreted factors for guidance and barrier induction. This early association also sustains astrocyte development, allowing for a tight interaction between these mature glia and ECs. The astrocyte-EC interface is crucial to BBB function and is substantially modified during pathology. Understanding the relationship between astrocytes and ECs lays the groundwork for advancing protective therapies that target neuroinflammatory disorders. PMID:26480201

  6. Brain microvascular function during cardiopulmonary bypass

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-11-01

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

  7. 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 methodologies. Because early-life adversity is a powerful determinant of subsequent vulnerabilities to emotional and cognitive pathologies, understanding the underlying processes will have profound implications for the world's current and future children. PMID:26105143

  8. USING ACTION UNDERSTANDING TO UNDERSTAND THE LEFT INFERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    Passingham, RE; Chung, A; Goparaju, B; Cowey, A; Vaina, LM

    2015-01-01

    In an fMRI study we tried to establish whether the areas in the human brain that are involved in the understanding of actions are homologous with the inferior parietal cortex (area PFG) in macaque monkeys. Cells have been described in area PFG that discharge differentially depending upon whether the observer sees food being brought to the mouth or a small object being put in a container. In our study the observers saw videos in which the use of different objects was demonstrated in pantomime; and after viewing the videos, the subject had to pick the object that was appropriate to the pantomime. We found a cluster of activated voxels in parietal areas PFop and PFt and this cluster was greater in the left hemisphere than in the right. We suggest a mechanism that could account for this asymmetry, relate our results to handedness and suggest that they shed light on the human syndrome of apraxia. Finally, we suggest that during the evolution of the hominids, this same pantomime mechanism could have been used to ‘name’ or request objects. PMID:25086203

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Chemotherapy altered brain functional connectivity in women with breast cancer: a pilot study.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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, 1 month after, and 1 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 1 month after chemotherapy that partially returned to baseline at 1 year in the dorsal attention network. Decreased connectivity was seen in the default mode network at 1 month and 1 year following chemotherapy. In addition, increased subjective memory complaints were noted at 1 month and 1 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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  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. Imaging structural and functional brain networks in temporal lobe epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Bernhardt, Boris C.; Hong, SeokJun; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2013-01-01

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

  18. kappa-Opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function.

    PubMed

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W

    2009-12-11

    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. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. Towards understanding language organisation in the brain using fMRI.

    PubMed

    Matthews, P M; Adcock, J; Chen, Y; Fu, S; Devlin, J T; Rushworth, M F S; Smith, S; Beckmann, C; Iversen, S

    2003-03-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allows non-invasive mapping of human cognitive functions, has become an important tool for understanding language function. An understanding of component processes and sources of noise in the images is contributing to increased confidence in the reproductability of studies. This allows clinical applications, e.g., for pre-surgical lateralisation of language functions in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. fMRI is a sensitive method for mapping regions involved in language functions. We recently have applied it to study the effect of word surface form on reading with a comparison of responses to Chinese characters or alphabetical Pinyin. Interpretation of fMRI activations must be made with caution; fMRI suggests task-associated activation, but does not independently confirm that such activity is necessary. However, complementary studies can be performed using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which can be used to interfere with brain activity in a specific region transiently for characterisation of the behavioural effects. We describe how TMS combined with fMRI has confirmed a role for the left inferior frontal cortex in semantic processing. PMID:12599283

  5. Significance of epigenetics for understanding brain development, brain evolution and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Keverne, E B

    2014-04-01

    Two major environmental developments have occurred in mammalian evolution which have impacted on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of brain development. The first of these was viviparity and development of the placenta which placed a considerable burden of time and energy investment on the matriline, and which resulted in essential hypothalamic modifications. Maternal feeding, maternal care, parturition, milk letdown and the suspension of fertility and sexual behaviour are all determined by the maternal hypothalamus and have evolved to meet foetal needs under the influence of placental hormones. Viviparity itself provided a new environmental variable for selection pressures to operate via the co-existence over three generations of matrilineal genomes (mother, developing offspring and developing oocytes) in one individual. Also of importance for the matriline has been the evolution of epigenetic marks (imprint control regions) which are heritable and undergo reprogramming primarily in the oocyte to regulate imprinted gene expression according to parent of origin. Imprinting of autosomal genes has played a significant role in mammalian evolutionary development, particularly that of the hypothalamus and placenta. Indeed, many imprinted genes that are co-expressed in the placenta and hypothalamus play an important role in the co-adapted functioning of these organs. Thus the action and interaction of two genomes (maternal and foetal) have provided a template for transgenerational selection pressures to operate in shaping the mothering capabilities of each subsequent generation. The advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution in primates have emancipated much of behaviour from the determining effects of hormonal action. Thus in large brain primates, most of the sexual behaviour is not reproductive hormone dependent and maternal care can and does occur outside the context of pregnancy and parturition. The neocortex has evolved to be adaptable and while the adapted changes are not inherited, the epigenetic predisposing processes can be. This provides each generation with the same ability to generate new adaptations while retaining a "cultural" predisposition to retain others. A significant evolutionary contribution to this epigenetic dimension has again been the matriline. The extensive neocortical development which takes place post-natally does so in an environment which is predominantly that of the caring guidance of the mother. Evidence for the epigenetic regulation of neocortical development is best illustrated by the GABA-ergic neurons and their long tangential migratory pathway from the ganglionic eminence, in contrast to the radial migration of principle neurons. GABA-ergic neurons play an integral role both in the developmental formation of canonical localised circuits and in synchronising widespread functional activity by the regulation of network oscillations. Such synchronisation enables distributed regions of the neocortex to coordinate firing. GABA-ergic dysfunction contributes to a broad spectrum of neurological and psychiatric disorders which can differ even across identical monozygotic twins. Moreover, major treatments for schizophrenia over the past 40 years have included the drugs lithium and valproate, both of which we now know are histone deacetylases. It is rarely the heritable dysfunctioning of these epigenetic mechanisms that is at fault, but the timing, duration and place where they are deployed. The timing and complexity in the development of the neocortex makes this region of the brain more vulnerable to perturbations. PMID:23201253

  6. 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

  7. Understanding Machine-learned Density Functionals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Li; Snyder, John; Rupp, Matthias; Müller, Klaus-Robert; Burke, Kieron

    2014-03-01

    Recently, some of us applied machine learning (ML) in a completely new approach to approximating density functionals. In a proof of principal, kernel ridge regression was used to approximate the kinetic energy of non-interacting fermions confined to a 1d box as a functional of the electron density. In that work, a modified orbital-free DFT scheme was able to produce highly accurate self-consistent densities and energies, which were systemically improvable with additional training data. In this work, we explore the properties of the ML approximated functional derived in. In particular, we investigate the use of various kernels and their properties and compare various cross validation methods. We discuss the issue of functional derivatives in greater detail, explain how a modified constraint to the standard Euler equation enables highly accurate self-consistent densities, and derive a projected gradient descent algorithm using local principal component analysis. Finally, we explore the use of a sparse grid representation of the electron density and its effects on the method. We graciously acknowledge support from the NSF Grant No. CHE-1240252 (JS, KB).

  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 stored in a relational database for comparison with corresponding responses previously observed in other subjects.

  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. Gut microbial communities modulating brain development and function

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    ZamorskiÄ­, I I; Pishak, V P

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Tianhu; Udupa, Jayaram K.

    1999-05-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Integration of Clinical and Research Neuroimaging to Understand Traumatic Brain Injury in the Veteran Population

    PubMed Central

    Adamson, Maheen M.; Main, Keith; Kong, Jennifer Y.; Soman, Salil; Furst, Ansgar; Kinoshita, Lisa; Yesavage, Jerome; Ashford, J. Wesson

    2015-01-01

    There is a complex relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. To understand and treat these conditions, it is necessary to apply an integrated physical and mental health care approach to postdeployment care.

  18. 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

  19. Immunogenetics of rheumatoid arthritis: Understanding functional implications.

    PubMed

    Messemaker, Tobias C; Huizinga, Tom W; Kurreeman, Fina

    2015-11-01

    The last decade has seen a dramatic technological revolution. The characterisation of the majority of the common variations in our genetic code in 2003 precipitated the discovery of the genetic risk factors predisposing to Rheumatoid Arthritis development and progression. Prior to 2007, only a handful of genetic risk factors had been identified, HLA, PTPN22 and CTLA4. Since then, over 100 genetic risk loci have been described, with the prediction that an ever-increasing number of risk alleles with consistently decreasing effect sizes will be discovered in the years to come. Each risk locus harbours multiple candidate genes and the proof of causality of each of these candidates is as yet unknown. An enrichment of these RA-associated genes is found in three pathways: T-cell receptor signalling, JAK-STAT signalling and the NF-κB signalling cascade, and currently drugs targeting these pathways are available for the treatment of RA. However, the role that RA-associated genes have in these pathways and how they contribute to disease is not always clear. Major efforts in understanding the contribution of genetic risk factors are currently under way with studies querying the role of genetic variation in gene expression of coding and non-coding genes, epigenetic marks and other regulatory mechanisms yielding ever more valuable insights into mechanisms of disease. Recent work has suggested a possible enrichment of non-coding RNAs as well as super-enhancers in RA genetic loci indicating possible new insights into disease mechanism. This review brings together these emerging genetic data with an emphasis on the immunogenetic links these findings have provided and what we expect the future will bring. PMID:26215034

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. A Brain-Wide Study of Age-Related Changes in Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2015-07-01

    Aging affects functional connectivity between brain areas, however, a complete picture of how aging affects integration of information within and between functional networks is missing. We used complex network measures, derived from a brain-wide graph, to provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in functional connectivity. Functional connectivity in young and older participants was assessed during resting-state fMRI. The results show that aging has a large impact, not only on connectivity within functional networks but also on connectivity between the different functional networks in the brain. Brain networks in the elderly showed decreased modularity (less distinct functional networks) and decreased local efficiency. Connectivity decreased with age within networks supporting higher level cognitive functions, that is, within the default mode, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal control networks. Conversely, no changes in connectivity within the somatomotor and visual networks, networks implicated in primary information processing, were observed. Connectivity between these networks even increased with age. A brain-wide analysis approach of functional connectivity in the aging brain thus seems fundamental in understanding how age affects integration of information. PMID:24532319

  3. Physics, Math, and Making Sense: Understanding how brains learn science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redish, Edward

    2007-03-01

    Recent developments in neuroscience, cognitive science, and behavioral science are helping physics education researchers develop a theoretical understanding of physics teaching and learning. This understanding helps in two ways. 1). We can make sense of the way students respond (often inappropriately) to our instruction. 2). We can learn to appreciate the difficulties we have as instructors in unpacking and identifying critical components of our own knowledge. Building on observations of student learning in introductory and advanced physics, I identify critical components for teaching physics with math that are often overlooked in traditional instruction.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

    The aim of this thesis is to apply functional connectivity in a variety of animal models, using several optical imaging modalities. Even at rest, the brain shows high metabolic activity: the correlation in slow spontaneous fluctuations identifies remotely connected areas of the brain; hence the term "functional connectivity". Ongoing changes in spontaneous activity may provide insight into the neural processing that takes most of the brain metabolic activity, and so may provide a vast source of disease related changes. Brain hemodynamics may be modified during disease and affect resting-state activity. The thesis aims to better understand these changes in functional connectivity due to disease, using functional optical imaging. The optical imaging techniques explored in the first two contributions of this thesis are Optical Imaging of Intrinsic Signals and Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging, together they can estimate the metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, that closely parallels neural activity. They both have adequate spatial and temporal resolution and are well adapted to image the convexity of the mouse cortex. In the last article, a depth-sensitive modality called photoacoustic tomography was used in the newborn rat. Optical coherence tomography and laminar optical tomography were also part of the array of imaging techniques developed and applied in other collaborations. The first article of this work shows the changes in functional connectivity in an acute murine model of epileptiform activity. Homologous correlations are both increased and decreased with a small dependence on seizure duration. These changes suggest a potential decoupling between the hemodynamic parameters in resting-state networks, underlining the importance to investigate epileptic networks with several independent hemodynamic measures. The second study examines a novel murine model of arterial stiffness: the unilateral calcification of the right carotid. Seed-based connectivity analysis showed a decreasing trend of homologous correlation in the motor and cingulate cortices. Graph analyses showed a randomization of the cortex functional networks, suggesting a loss of connectivity, more specifically in the motor cortex ipsilateral to the treated carotid; however these changes are not reflected in differentiated metabolic estimates. Confounds remain due to the fact that carotid rigidification gives rise to neural decline in the hippocampus as well as unilateral alteration of vascular pulsatility; however the results support the need to look at several hemodynamic parameters when imaging the brain after arterial remodeling. The third article of this thesis studies a model of inflammatory injury on the newborn rat. Oxygen saturation and functional connectivity were assessed with photoacoustic tomography. Oxygen saturation was decreased in the site of the lesion and on the cortex ipsilateral to the injury; however this decrease is not fully explained by hypovascularization revealed by histology. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis showed that inter-hemispheric connectivity is not affected by inflammatory injury.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Chemical approaches to understanding O-GlcNAc glycosylation in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Rexach, Jessica E; Clark, Peter M; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C

    2011-01-01

    O -GlcNAc glycosylation is a unique, dynamic form of glycosylation found on intracellular proteins of all multicellular organisms. Studies suggest that O-GlcNAc represents a key regulatory modification in the brain, contributing to transcriptional regulation, neuronal communication and neurodegenerative disease. Recently, several new chemical tools have been developed to detect and study the modification, including chemoenzymatic tagging methods, quantitative proteomics strategies and small-molecule inhibitors of O-GlcNAc enzymes. Here we highlight some of the emerging roles for O-GlcNAc in the nervous system and describe how chemical tools have significantly advanced our understanding of the scope, functional significance and cellular dynamics of this modification. PMID:18202679

  10. 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

  11. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Inhibition and Brain Work

    PubMed Central

    Buzsáki, György; Kaila, Kai; Raichle, Marcus

    2008-01-01

    The major part of the brain’s energy budget (~60%–80%) is devoted to its communication activities. While inhibition is critical to brain function, relatively little attention has been paid to its metabolic costs. Understanding how inhibitory interneurons contribute to brain energy consumption (brain work) is not only of interest in understanding a fundamental aspect of brain function but also in understanding functional brain imaging techniques which rely on measurements related to blood flow and metabolism. Herein we examine issues relevant to an assessment of the work performed by inhibitory interneurons in the service of brain function. PMID:18054855

  14. From brain topography to brain topology: relevance of graph theory to functional neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Minati, Ludovico; Varotto, Giulia; D'Incerti, Ludovico; Panzica, Ferruccio; Chan, Dennis

    2013-07-10

    Although several brain regions show significant specialization, higher functions such as cross-modal information integration, abstract reasoning and conscious awareness are viewed as emerging from interactions across distributed functional networks. Analytical approaches capable of capturing the properties of such networks can therefore enhance our ability to make inferences from functional MRI, electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography data. Graph theory is a branch of mathematics that focuses on the formal modelling of networks and offers a wide range of theoretical tools to quantify specific features of network architecture (topology) that can provide information complementing the anatomical localization of areas responding to given stimuli or tasks (topography). Explicit modelling of the architecture of axonal connections and interactions among areas can furthermore reveal peculiar topological properties that are conserved across diverse biological networks, and highly sensitive to disease states. The field is evolving rapidly, partly fuelled by computational developments that enable the study of connectivity at fine anatomical detail and the simultaneous interactions among multiple regions. Recent publications in this area have shown that graph-based modelling can enhance our ability to draw causal inferences from functional MRI experiments, and support the early detection of disconnection and the modelling of pathology spread in neurodegenerative disease, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, neurophysiological studies have shown that network topology has a profound link to epileptogenesis and that connectivity indices derived from graph models aid in modelling the onset and spread of seizures. Graph-based analyses may therefore significantly help understand the bases of a range of neurological conditions. This review is designed to provide an overview of graph-based analyses of brain connectivity and their relevance to disease aimed principally at general neuroscientists and clinicians. PMID:23660679

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Anomalous brain functional connectivity contributing to poor adaptive behavior in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Jesus; del Hoyo, Laura; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; de Sola, Susana; Macià, Dídac; Martínez-Vilavella, Gerard; Amor, Marta; Deus, Joan; Rodríguez, Joan; Farré, Magí; Dierssen, Mara; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-03-01

    Research in Down syndrome has substantially progressed in the understanding of the effect of gene overexpression at the molecular level, but there is a paucity of information on the ultimate consequences on overall brain functional organization. We have assessed the brain functional status in Down syndrome using functional connectivity MRI. Resting-state whole-brain connectivity degree maps were generated in 20 Down syndrome individuals and 20 control subjects to identify sites showing anomalous synchrony with other areas. A subsequent region-of-interest mapping served to detail the anomalies and to assess their potential contribution to poor adaptive behavior. Down syndrome individuals showed higher regional connectivity in a ventral brain system involving the amygdala/anterior temporal region and the ventral aspect of both the anterior cingulate and frontal cortices. By contrast, lower functional connectivity was identified in dorsal executive networks involving dorsal prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices and posterior insula. Both functional connectivity increases and decreases contributed to account for patient scoring on adaptive behavior related to communication skills. The data overall suggest a distinctive functional organization with system-specific anomalies associated with reduced adaptive efficiency. Opposite effects were identified on distinct frontal and anterior temporal structures and relative sparing of posterior brain areas, which is generally consistent with Down syndrome cognitive profile. Relevantly, measurable connectivity changes, as a marker of the brain functional anomaly, could have a role in the development of therapeutic strategies addressed to improve the quality of life in Down syndrome individuals. PMID:25461715

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  10. Visual function, traumatic brain injury, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Goodrich, Gregory L; Martinsen, Gary L; Flyg, Heidi M; Kirby, Jennine; Garvert, Donn W; Tyler, Christopher W

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are signature injuries of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The conditions can be comorbid and have overlapping signs and symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose and treat each. TBI is associated with numerous changes in vision function, but vision problems secondary to PTSD have not been documented. To address this shortcoming, we reviewed the medical records of 100 patients with a history of TBI, noting PTSD diagnoses, visual symptoms, vision function abnormalities, and medications with visual side effects. Forty-one patients had PTSD and 59 did not. High rates of binocular vision and oculomotor function deficits were measured in patients with a history of TBI, but no significant differences between patients with or without PTSD were evident. However, compared to patients without PTSD, patients with PTSD had more self-reported visual symptoms in all four assessments and the complaint rates were significantly higher for light sensitivity and reading problems. Together, these findings may be beneficial in understanding vision problems in patients with TBI and PTSD as comorbid conditions compared with those with TBI alone. PMID:25144168

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yopak, K E

    2012-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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,…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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.…

  18. Understanding the evolution of Mammalian brain structures; the need for a (new) cerebrotype approach.

    PubMed

    Willemet, Romain

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain varies in size by a factor of 100,000 and is composed of anatomically and functionally distinct structures. Theoretically, the manner in which brain composition can evolve is limited, ranging from highly modular ("mosaic evolution") to coordinated changes in brain structure size ("concerted evolution") or anything between these two extremes. There is a debate about the relative importance of these distinct evolutionary trends. It is shown here that the presence of taxa-specific allometric relationships between brain structures makes a taxa-specific approach obligatory. In some taxa, the evolution of the size of brain structures follows a unique, coordinated pattern, which, in addition to other characteristics at different anatomical levels, defines what has been called here a "taxon cerebrotype". In other taxa, no clear pattern is found, reflecting heterogeneity of the species' lifestyles. These results suggest that the evolution of brain size and composition depends on the complex interplay between selection pressures and constraints that have changed constantly during mammalian evolution. Therefore the variability in brain composition between species should not be considered as deviations from the normal, concerted mammalian trend, but in taxa and species-specific versions of the mammalian brain. Because it forms homogenous groups of species within this complex "space" of constraints and selection pressures, the cerebrotype approach developed here could constitute an adequate level of analysis for evo-devo studies, and by extension, for a wide range of disciplines related to brain evolution. PMID:24962772

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. [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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 STBD or the stimuli data is presented, thus acting as an associative memory. The NeuCube framework can be used not only to discover functional pathways from data, but also as a predictive system of brain activities, to predict and possibly, prevent certain events. Analysis of the internal structure of a model after training can reveal important spatio-temporal relationships 'hidden' in the data. NeuCube will allow the integration in one model of various brain data, information and knowledge, related to a single subject (personalized modeling) or to a population of subjects. The use of NeuCube for classification of STBD is illustrated in a case study problem of EEG data. NeuCube models result in a better accuracy of STBD classification than standard machine learning techniques. They are robust to noise (so typical in brain data) and facilitate a better interpretation of the results and understanding of the STBD and the brain conditions under which data was collected. Future directions for the use of SNN for STBD are discussed. PMID:24508754

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

    PubMed

    Hutchison, R Matthew; Morton, J Bruce

    2015-04-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Organization of Cognitive Functions in the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Aaron

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

  12. 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

  13. Venous system in acute brain injury: Mechanisms of pathophysiological change and function.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Chen, Yujie; Xu, Liang; Matei, Nathanael; Tang, Jiping; Feng, Hua; Zhang, John H

    2015-10-01

    Cerebral vascular injury is a major component of acute brain injury. Currently, neuroprotective strategies primarily focus on the recanalization of cerebral arteries and capillaries, and the protection of insulted neurons. Hitherto, the role of vein drainage in the pathophysiology of acute brain injury has been overlooked, due to an under appreciation of the magnitude of the impact of veins in circulation. In this review, we summarize the changes in the vein morphology and functions that are known, or likely to occur related to acute brain injury, and aim to advance the therapeutic management of acute brain injury by shifting the focus from reperfusion to another term: recirculation. Recent progress in the neurobiological understanding of the vascular neural network has demonstrated that cerebral venous systems are able to respond to acute brain injury by regulating the blood flow disharmony following brain edema, blood brain barrier disruption, ischemia, and hemorrhage. With the evidence presented in this review, future clinical management of acutely brain injured patients will expand to include the recirculation concept, establishing a harmony between arterial and venous systems, in addition to the established recanalization and reperfusion strategies. PMID:25783658

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Change of Brain Functional Connectivity in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury: Graph Theory Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Min, Yu-Sun; Chang, Yongmin; Park, Jang Woo; Lee, Jong-Min; Cha, Jungho; Yang, Jin-Ju; Kim, Chul-Hyun; Hwang, Jong-Moon; Yoo, Ji-Na

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate the global functional reorganization of the brain following spinal cord injury with graph theory based approach by creating whole brain functional connectivity networks from resting state-functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), characterizing the reorganization of these networks using graph theoretical metrics and to compare these metrics between patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and age-matched controls. Methods Twenty patients with incomplete cervical SCI (14 males, 6 females; age, 55±14.1 years) and 20 healthy subjects (10 males, 10 females; age, 52.9±13.6 years) participated in this study. To analyze the characteristics of the whole brain network constructed with functional connectivity using rs-fMRI, graph theoretical measures were calculated including clustering coefficient, characteristic path length, global efficiency and small-worldness. Results Clustering coefficient, global efficiency and small-worldness did not show any difference between controls and SCIs in all density ranges. The normalized characteristic path length to random network was higher in SCI patients than in controls and reached statistical significance at 12%-13% of density (p<0.05, uncorrected). Conclusion The graph theoretical approach in brain functional connectivity might be helpful to reveal the information processing after SCI. These findings imply that patients with SCI can build on preserved competent brain control. Further analyses, such as topological rearrangement and hub region identification, will be needed for better understanding of neuroplasticity in patients with SCI. PMID:26161343

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Sustained deep-tissue pain alters functional brain connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jieun; Loggia, Marco L.; Edwards, Robert; Wasan, Ajay D.; Gollub, Randy L.; Napadow, Vitaly

    2013-01-01

    Recent functional brain connectivity studies have contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry supporting pain perception. However, evoked-pain connectivity studies have employed cutaneous and/or brief stimuli, which induce sensations that differ appreciably from the clinical pain experience. Sustained myofascial pain evoked by pressure cuff affords an excellent opportunity to evaluate functional connectivity change to more clinically-relevant sustained deep-tissue pain. Connectivity in specific networks known to be modulated by evoked pain (sensorimotor, salience, dorsal attention, fronto-parietal control and default mode networks; SMN, SLN, DAN, FCN and DMN) was evaluated with functional-connectivity MRI, both at rest and during a sustained (6-minute) pain state in healthy adults. We found that pain was stable with no significant changes of subjects’ pain ratings over the stimulation period. Sustained pain reduced connectivity between the SMN and the contralateral leg primary sensorimotor (S1/M1) representation. Such SMN-S1/M1 connectivity decreases were also accompanied by and correlated with increased SLN-S1/M1 connectivity, suggesting recruitment of activated S1/M1 from SMN to SLN. Sustained pain also increased DAN connectivity to pain processing regions such as mid-cingulate cortex, posterior insula and putamen. Moreover, greater connectivity during pain between contralateral S1/M1 and posterior insula, thalamus, putamen, and amygdala, was associated with lower cuff pressures needed to reach the targeted pain sensation. These results demonstrate that sustained pain disrupts resting S1/M1 connectivity by shifting it to a network known to process stimulus salience. Furthermore, increased connectivity between S1/M1 and both sensory and affective processing areas may be an important contribution to inter-individual differences in pain sensitivity. PMID:23718988

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Concept of Progressive Brain Change in Schizophrenia: Implications for Understanding Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    DeLisi, Lynn E.

    2008-01-01

    Kraepelin originally defined dementia praecox as a progressive brain disease, although this concept has received various degrees of acceptance and rejection over the years since his famous published textbooks appeared. This article places an historical perspective on the current renewal of Kraepelin's concept in brain imaging literature that supports progressive brain change in schizophrenia from its earliest stages through its chronic course. It is concluded that a great deal of future research is needed focusing on the longitudinal course of change, the extent to the regions of change within each individual and the underlying mechanism and implications of brain change through functional and neurochemical imaging, combined with structural studies in the same individuals. PMID:18263882

  15. 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…

  16. Brain glycogen-new perspectives on its metabolic function and regulation at the subcellular level.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Fine-grained mapping of mouse brain functional connectivity with resting-state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Mechling, Anna E; Hübner, Neele S; Lee, Hsu-Lei; Hennig, Jürgen; von Elverfeldt, Dominik; Harsan, Laura-Adela

    2014-08-01

    Understanding the intrinsic circuit-level functional organization of the brain has benefited tremendously from the advent of resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI). In humans, resting-state functional network has been consistently mapped and its alterations have been shown to correlate with symptomatology of various neurological or psychiatric disorders. To date, deciphering the mouse brain functional connectivity (MBFC) with rsfMRI remains a largely underexplored research area, despite the plethora of human brain disorders that can be modeled in this specie. To pave the way from pre-clinical to clinical investigations we characterized here the intrinsic architecture of mouse brain functional circuitry, based on rsfMRI data acquired at 7T using the Cryoprobe technology. High-dimensional spatial group independent component analysis demonstrated fine-grained segregation of cortical and subcortical networks into functional clusters, overlapping with high specificity onto anatomical structures, down to single gray matter nuclei. These clusters, showing a high level of stability and reliability in their patterning, formed the input elements for computing the MBFC network using partial correlation and graph theory. Its topological architecture conserved the fundamental characteristics described for the human and rat brain, such as small-worldness and partitioning into functional modules. Our results additionally showed inter-modular interactions via "network hubs". Each major functional system (motor, somatosensory, limbic, visual, autonomic) was found to have representative hubs that might play an important input/output role and form a functional core for information integration. Moreover, the rostro-dorsal hippocampus formed the highest number of relevant connections with other brain areas, highlighting its importance as core structure for MBFC. PMID:24718287

  4. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gozzi, Alessandro; Schwarz, Adam J

    2016-02-15

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

  6. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits.

    PubMed

    Bosman, Conrado A; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Understanding the Structure and Function of the Immunological Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Dustin, Michael L.; Chakraborty, Arup K.; Shaw, Andrey S.

    2010-01-01

    The immunological synapse has been an area of very active scientific interest over the last decade. Surprisingly, much about the synapse remains unknown or is controversial.  Here we review some of these current issues in the field:  how the synapse is defined, its potential role in T-cell function, and our current understanding about how the synapse is formed. PMID:20843980

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. The role of sleep in emotional brain function.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Andrea N; Walker, Matthew P

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Task-Related Changes in Functional Properties of the Human Brain Network Underlying Attentional Control

    PubMed Central

    Kida, Tetsuo; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated task-related changes in brain activation and inter-regional connectivity but the temporal dynamics of functional properties of the brain during task execution is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network by applying graph-theoretical analysis to magnetoencephalography (MEG). Subjects performed a cue-target attention task in which a visual cue informed them of the direction of focus for incoming auditory or tactile target stimuli, but not the sensory modality. We analyzed the MEG signal in the cue-target interval to examine network properties during attentional control. Cluster-based non-parametric permutation tests with the Monte-Carlo method showed that in the cue-target interval, beta activity was desynchronized in the sensori-motor region including premotor and posterior parietal regions in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended side. Graph-theoretical analysis revealed that, in beta frequency, global hubs were found around the sensori-motor and prefrontal regions, and functional segregation over the entire network was decreased during attentional control compared to the baseline. Thus, network measures revealed task-related temporal changes in functional properties of the human brain network, leading to the understanding of how the brain dynamically responds to task execution as a network. PMID:24223876

  14. Assessment of Functional Development in Normal Infant Brain using Arterial Spin Labeled Perfusion MRI

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ze; Fernández-Seara, María; Alsop, David C.; Liu, Wen-Ching; Flax, Judy F.; Benasich, April A.; Detre, John A.

    2007-01-01

    Arterial spin labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI provides a noninvasive approach for longitudinal imaging of regional brain function in infants. In the present study, continuous ASL (CASL) perfusion MRI was carried out in normally developing 7- and 13-month old infants while asleep without sedation. The 13-month infant group showed an increase (P<0.05) of relative CBF in frontal regions as compared to the 7-month group using a region of interest based analysis. Using a machine-learning algorithm to automatically classify the relative CBF maps of the two infant groups, a significant (P<0.05, permutation testing) regional CBF increase was found in the hippocampi, anterior cingulate, amygdalae, occipital lobes, and auditory cortex in the 13-month old infants. These results are consistent with current understanding of infant brain development and demonstrate the feasibility of using perfusion MRI to noninvasively monitor developing brain function. PMID:17988892

  15. Assessment of functional development in normal infant brain using arterial spin labeled perfusion MRI.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ze; Fernández-Seara, María; Alsop, David C; Liu, Wen-Ching; Flax, Judy F; Benasich, April A; Detre, John A

    2008-02-01

    Arterial spin labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI provides a noninvasive approach for longitudinal imaging of regional brain function in infants. In the present study, continuous ASL (CASL) perfusion MRI was carried out in normally developing 7- and 13-month-old infants while asleep without sedation. The 13-month infant group showed an increase (P<0.05) of relative CBF in frontal regions as compared to the 7-month group using a region of interest based analysis. Using a machine-learning algorithm to automatically classify the relative CBF maps of the two infant groups, a significant (P<0.05, permutation testing) regional CBF increase was found in the hippocampi, anterior cingulate, amygdalae, occipital lobes, and auditory cortex in the 13-month-old infants. These results are consistent with current understanding of infant brain development and demonstrate the feasibility of using perfusion MRI to noninvasively monitor developing brain function. PMID:17988892

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martins, D; Tavares, I; Morgado, C

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Coupling between neuronal activity and microcirculation: implications for functional brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    Vanzetta, Ivo; Grinvald, Amiram

    2008-01-01

    In the neocortex, neurons with similar response properties are often clustered together in column-like structures, giving rise to what has become known as functional architecture—the mapping of various stimulus feature dimensions onto the cortical sheet. At least partially, we owe this finding to the availability of several functional brain imaging techniques, both post-mortem and in-vivo, which have become available over the last two generations, revolutionizing neuroscience by yielding information about the spatial organization of active neurons in the brain. Here, we focus on how our understanding of such functional architecture is linked to the development of those functional imaging methodologies, especially to those that image neuronal activity indirectly, through metabolic or haemodynamic signals, rather than directly through measurement of electrical activity. Some of those approaches allow exploring functional architecture at higher spatial resolution than others. In particular, optical imaging of intrinsic signals reaches the striking detail of ∼50 μm, and, together with other methodologies, it has allowed characterizing the metabolic and haemodynamic responses induced by sensory-evoked neuronal activity. Here, we review those findings about the spatio-temporal characteristics of neurovascular coupling and discuss their implications for functional brain imaging, including position emission tomography, and non-invasive neuroimaging techniques, such as funtional magnetic resonance imaging, applicable also to the human brain. PMID:19404475

  2. WONOEP APPRAISAL: NEW SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES TO STUDY THE BRAIN IN EXPERIMENTAL MODELS OF EPILEPSY

    PubMed Central

    Dedeurwaerdere, Stefanie; Shultz, Sandy R.; Federico, Paolo; Engel, Jerome

    2014-01-01

    Summary Objectives Modern functional neuroimaging provides opportunities to visualize activity of the entire brain, making it an indispensable diagnostic tool for epilepsy. Various forms of non-invasive functional neuroimaging are now also being performed as research tools in animal models of epilepsy and provide opportunities for parallel animal/human investigations into fundamental mechanisms of epilepsy and identification of epilepsy biomarkers. Methods Recent animal studies of epilepsy using positron emission tomography, tractography, and functional magnetic resonance imaging were reviewed. Results Epilepsy is an abnormal emergent property of disturbances in neuronal networks which, even for epilepsies characterized by focal seizures, involve widely distributed systems, often in both hemispheres. Functional neuroimaging in animal models now provides opportunities to examine neuronal disturbances in the whole brain that underlie generalized and focal seizure generation as well as various types of epileptogenesis. Significance Tremendous advances in understanding the contribution of specific properties of widely distributed neuronal networks to both normal and abnormal human behavior have been provided by current functional neuroimaging methodologies. Successful application of functional neuroimaging of the whole brain in the animal laboratory now permits investigations during epileptogenesis and correlation with deep brain EEG activity. With the continuing development of these techniques and analytical methods, the potential for future translational research on epilepsy is enormous. PMID:24836499

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-05-15

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

  10. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation: Enhancing Motor and Cognitive Functions In Healthy Old Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Zimerman, Maximo; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2010-01-01

    Healthy aging is accompanied by changes in cognitive and motor functions that result in impairment of activities of daily living. This process involves a number of modifications in the brain and is associated with metabolic, structural, and physiological changes; some of these serving as adaptive responses to the functional declines. Up to date there are no universally accepted strategies to ameliorate declining functions in this population. An essential basis to develop such strategies is a better understanding of neuroplastic changes during healthy aging. In this context, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial direct current or transcranial magnetic stimulation, provide an attractive option to modulate cortical neuronal assemblies, even with subsequent changes in neuroplasticity. Thus, in the present review we discuss the use of these techniques as a tool to study underlying cortical mechanisms during healthy aging and as an interventional strategy to enhance declining functions and learning abilities in aged subjects. PMID:21151809

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Simple and synergistic ways to understand the Boltzmann distribution function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhardt, Larry; Lopez del Puerto, Marie; Chonacky, Norman

    2015-09-01

    This paper presents three approaches to providing undergraduate students with a conceptual understanding of the Boltzmann distribution: (1) a simple logical argument for why it is described by an exponential function, (2) a computational experiment to demonstrate and validate this result, and (3) a computer simulation of a laboratory experiment that allows this result to be observed. Together, these three perspectives complement one another to broaden students' understanding and prepare them for more formal, complete treatments. These examples illustrate how the convergence of theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches, applied to a single physical problem, contribute to a deeper and more unified understanding of statistical systems than could otherwise be had using any one of the methods alone.

  2. 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

  3. Understanding tumor heterogeneity as functional compartments - superorganisms revisited

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence broadens our understanding of tumors as highly heterogeneous populations derived from one common progenitor. In this review we portray various stages of tumorigenesis, tumor progression, self-seeding and metastasis in analogy to the superorganisms of insect societies to exemplify the highly complex architecture of a neoplasm as a system of functional "castes." Accordingly, we propose a model in which clonal expansion and cumulative acquisition of genetic alterations produce tumor compartments each equipped with distinct traits and thus distinct functions that cooperate to establish clinically apparent tumors. This functional compartment model also suggests mechanisms for the self-construction of tumor stem cell niches. Thus, thinking of a tumor as a superorganism will provide systemic insight into its functional compartmentalization and may even have clinical implications. PMID:21619636

  4. Brain structural and functional correlates of resilience to Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Frangou, Sophia

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The development of social brain functions in infancy.

    PubMed

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Functional genomics approaches to understand cytomegalovirus replication, latency and pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Landais, Igor; Nelson, Jay A.

    2013-01-01

    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a species-specific herpesvirus that is ubiquitous in the population and has the potential to cause significant disease in immunocompromised individuals as well as in congenitally infected infants. CMV establishes latency in cells of the myeloid lineage following primary infection. High-throughput functional genomics approaches have provided insight into the mechanisms of CMV replication, but although CMV latency cell models have been useful in elucidating the mechanisms of viral latency and reactivation, omics approaches have proven challenging in these cell systems. This review will summarize the current state of knowledge concerning the use of functional genomics technologies to understand mechanisms of CMV replication, latency and pathogenesis. PMID:23816389

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  8. Found in translation: Understanding the biology and behavior of experimental traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Bondi, Corina O; Semple, Bridgette D; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J; Osier, Nicole D; Carlson, Shaun W; Dixon, C Edward; Giza, Christopher C; Kline, Anthony E

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this review is to discuss in greater detail the topics covered in the recent symposium entitled "Traumatic brain injury: laboratory and clinical perspectives," presented at the 2014 International Behavioral Neuroscience Society annual meeting. Herein, we review contemporary laboratory models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) including common assays for sensorimotor and cognitive behavior. New modalities to evaluate social behavior after injury to the developing brain, as well as the attentional set-shifting test (AST) as a measure of executive function in TBI, will be highlighted. Environmental enrichment (EE) will be discussed as a preclinical model of neurorehabilitation, and finally, an evidence-based approach to sports-related concussion will be considered. The review consists predominantly of published data, but some discussion of ongoing or future directions is provided. PMID:25496906

  9. Understanding the structure and function of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins.

    PubMed

    Palma, Leopoldo; Berry, Colin

    2016-01-01

    As biological control agents take an expanding share of the pesticides market and the production of insect-resistant crops increases, it is essential to understand the structure and function of the active agents, the invertebrate-active toxins that are the fundamental ingredients of these control systems. The potential for these agents in industry, agriculture and medicine necessitates a thorough investigation of their activity. PMID:26548713

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Structural and functional brain changes in delusional disorder.

    PubMed

    Vicens, Victor; Radua, Joaquim; Salvador, Raymond; Anguera-Camós, Maria; Canales-Rodríguez, Erick J; Sarró, Salvador; Maristany, Teresa; McKenna, Peter J; Pomarol-Clotet, Edith

    2016-02-01

    BackgroundDelusional disorder has been the subject of very little investigation using brain imaging.AimsTo examine potential structural and/or functional brain abnormalities in this disorder.MethodWe used structural imaging (voxel-based morphometry, VBM) and functional imaging (during performance of the n-back task and whole-brain resting connectivity analysis) to examine 22 patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for delusional disorder and 44 matched healthy controls.ResultsThe patients showed grey matter reductions in the medial frontal/anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral insula on unmodulated (but not on modulated) VBM analysis, failure of de-activation in the medial frontal/anterior cingulate cortex during performance of the n-back task, and decreased resting-state connectivity in the bilateral insula.ConclusionsThe findings provide evidence of brain abnormality in the medial frontal/anterior cingulate cortex and insula in delusional disorder. A role for the former region in the pathogenesis of delusions is consistent with several other lines of evidence. PMID:26382955

  17. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of mild traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Andrew R; Bellgowan, Patrick S F; Hanlon, Faith M

    2015-02-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers great promise for elucidating the neuropathology associated with a single or repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The current review discusses the physiological underpinnings of the blood-oxygen level dependent response and how trauma affects the signal. Methodological challenges associated with fMRI data analyses are considered next, followed by a review of current mTBI findings. The majority of evoked studies have examined working memory and attentional functioning, with results suggesting a complex relationship between cognitive load/attentional demand and neuronal activation. Researchers have more recently investigated how brain trauma affects functional connectivity, and the benefits/drawbacks of evoked and functional connectivity studies are also discussed. The review concludes by discussing the major clinical challenges associated with fMRI studies of brain-injured patients, including patient heterogeneity and variations in scan-time post-injury. We conclude that the fMRI signal represents a complex filter through which researchers can measure the physiological correlates of concussive symptoms, an important goal for the burgeoning field of mTBI research. PMID:25434880

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. [Mental function, functional hierarchy of the brain and glucoregulation].

    PubMed

    Dejours, C; Assan, R; Tassin, J P

    1983-01-01

    Mental function in insulin-dependent diabetic (IDD) patients can be correlated with the endocrine and metabolic symptoms and signs of anxiety. In IDD patients, anxiety is usually accompanied by hyperactivity of the hyperglycemic hypothalamo-visceral axis. The hypothalamus is controlled by different superior nervous structures (limbic system and cortex) which, themselves, receive dopaminergic afferences. Two main patterns of reaction to anxiety associated with two distinct patterns of hypothalamo-visceral reactions, are suggested. In one, excessive hypothalamo-visceral reactions to stress can be associated with a deficient control of the hypothalamus. In the other, an appropriate control of the hypothalamus by limbic systems and prefrontal systems, via dopaminergic pathways, reduces the hyperglycemic reaction to stress. According to a psychosomatic approach, the principles of which are briefly recalled, some characterisation of mental function in IDD patients can be defined, as well as its psychiatric presentation. An improvement in mental function can be associated with a reduction in hypothalamic responses to the external or internal stimuli. An improvement in metabolic control can follow psychotherapy in such patients. Central dopaminergic pathways may play an important role in the control of anxiety and the subsequent endocrine and metabolic disorders caused by stress. PMID:6347659

  1. Resting-state functional brain connectivity: lessons from functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Niu, Haijing; He, Yong

    2014-04-01

    Resting-state functional near-infrared spectroscopy (R-fNIRS) is an active area of interest and is currently attracting considerable attention as a new imaging tool for the study of resting-state brain function. Using variations in hemodynamic concentration signals, R-fNIRS measures the brain's low-frequency spontaneous neural activity, combining the advantages of portability, low-cost, high temporal sampling rate and less physical burden to participants. The temporal synchronization of spontaneous neuronal activity in anatomically separated regions is referred to as resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). In the past several years, an increasing body of R-fNIRS RSFC studies has led to many important findings about functional integration among local or whole-brain regions by measuring inter-regional temporal synchronization. Here, we summarize recent advances made in the R-fNIRS RSFC methodologies, from the detection of RSFC (e.g., seed-based correlation analysis, independent component analysis, whole-brain correlation analysis, and graph-theoretical topological analysis), to the assessment of RSFC performance (e.g., reliability, repeatability, and validity), to the application of RSFC in studying normal development and brain disorders. The literature reviewed here suggests that RSFC analyses based on R-fNIRS data are valid and reliable for the study of brain function in healthy and diseased populations, thus providing a promising imaging tool for cognitive science and clinics. PMID:24022325

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Global features of functional brain networks change with contextual disorder

    PubMed Central

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-08-15

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

  8. Commentary: Developmental connectomics to advance our understanding of typical and atypical brain development – Commentary on Vertes & Bullmore (2015)

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Alice M.; Fair, Damien A.

    2015-01-01

    Vértes and Bullmore's article lays a framework for applying connectomics, the study of brain function from the perspective of underlying network organization, to advance understanding of healthy and maladaptive brain development. They elucidate the power of connectomics for bridging both different levels of analysis (e.g. from synapses to brain regions) and multiple academic fields. In this commentary, we highlight important themes and remaining questions stemming from Vértes and Bullmore's work, including: (1) the application of connectomics in the context of integrating analyses across multiple spatial and temporal dimensions, (2) the extent to which connectomics might be applied in translational and clinical studies of development, (3) growth connectomics and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and (4) the importance and complexity of sound methodological practices in applying connectomics to developmental and clinical science. Ongoing work in these areas will be important for fulfilling the promise of connectomics as a bridge between neuroscience, developmental science, and translational and clinical research. PMID:25714740

  9. Understanding emergent functions in self-assembled fibrous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinko, Robert; Keten, Sinan

    2015-09-01

    Understanding self-assembly processes of nanoscale building blocks and characterizing their properties are both imperative for designing new hierarchical, network materials for a wide range of structural, optoelectrical, and transport applications. Although the characterization and choices of these material building blocks have been well studied, our understanding of how to precisely program a specific morphology through self-assembly still must be significantly advanced. In the recent study by Xie et al (2015 Nanotechnology 26 205602), the self-assembly of end-functionalized nanofibres is investigated using a coarse-grained molecular model and offers fundamental insight into how to control the structural morphology of nanofibrous networks. Varying nanoscale networks are observed when the molecular interaction strength is changed and the findings suggest that self-assembly through the tuning of molecular interactions is a key strategy for designing nanostructured networks with specific topologies.

  10. 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

  11. Totally Tubular: The Mystery behind Function and Origin of the Brain Ventricular System

    PubMed Central

    Lowery, Laura Anne; Sive, Hazel

    2010-01-01

    Summary A unique feature of the vertebrate brain is the brain ventricular system, a series of connected cavities which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and surrounded by neuroepithelium. While CSF is critical for both adult brain function and embryonic brain development, neither development nor function of the brain ventricular system is fully understood. In this review, we discuss the mystery of why vertebrate brains have ventricles, and whence they originate. The brain ventricular system develops from the lumen of the neural tube, as the neuroepithelium undergoes morphogenesis. The molecular mechanisms underlying this ontogeny are described. We discuss possible functions of both adult and embryonic brain ventricles, as well as major brain defects that are associated with CSF and brain ventricular abnormalities. We conclude that vertebrates have taken advantage of their neural tube to form the essential brain ventricular system. PMID:19274662

  12. Structural and functional neuroimaging studies of the suicidal brain.

    PubMed

    Desmyter, S; van Heeringen, C; Audenaert, K

    2011-06-01

    Suicidality is a major challenge for today's health care. Evidence suggests that there are differences in cognitive functioning of suicidal patients but the knowledge about the underlying neurobiology is limited. Brain imaging offers the advantage of a non-invasive in vivo direct estimation of detailed brain structure, regional brain functioning and estimation of molecular processes in the brain. We have reviewed the literature on neuroimaging studies of the suicidal brain. This article contains studies on structural imaging such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and functional imaging, consisting of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT) and functional MRI (fMRI). We classified the results of the different imaging modalities in structural and functional imaging. Within our research, we found no significant differences in the suicidal brain demonstrated by Computed Tomography. Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies in subjects with a history of suicide attempt on the other hand deliver differing results, mostly pointing at a higher prevalence of white (especially deep white matter and periventricular) and grey matter hyperintensities in the frontal, temporal and/or parietal lobe and decreased volumes in the frontal and temporal lobe. There seems to be a trend towards findings of reduced grey matter volume in the frontal lobe. Overall, there is no consensus of opinion on structural imaging of the suicidal brain. Research on functional imaging is further divided into studies in resting state, studies in activation conditions and studies on brain neurotransmitters, transporters and receptors. A common finding in functional neuroimaging in resting conditions is a decreased perfusion in the prefrontal cortex of suicidal patients. During cognitive activation, perfusion deficits in the prefrontal cortex have been observed. After fenfluramine challenge, the prefrontal cortex metabolism seems to be inversely correlated to the lethality of previous suicide attempt. The few studies that examined the serotonin transporter in suicide found no significant differences in binding potential. In suicide attempters there seems to be a negative correlation between impulsivity and SERT binding. Our group found a reduced 5-HT(2A) binding in the frontal cortex in patients with a recent suicide attempt. The binding index was significantly lower in the deliberate self injury patients compared to the deliberate self poisoning patients. The few authors that examined DAT binding in suicide found no significant DAT differences between patients and controls. However they demonstrated significant negative correlations between DAT binding potential and mental energy among suicide attempters, but not in healthy control subjects. We did not find studies measuring the binding potential of the noradrenalin or gamma amino butyric acid transporter or receptor in suicidal subjects. Several reports have suggested abnormalities of GABA neurotransmission in depression. During our literature search, we have focused on neuroimaging studies in suicidal populations, but in the absence of evidence in the literature on this group or when further collateral evidence is appropriate, this overview expands to results in impulsive aggressive or in depressed subjects. PMID:21216267

  13. Reorganization of brain networks in aging: a review of functional connectivity studies

    PubMed Central

    Sala-Llonch, Roser; Bartrés-Faz, David; Junqué, Carme

    2015-01-01

    Healthy aging (HA) is associated with certain declines in cognitive functions, even in individuals that are free of any process of degenerative illness. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used in order to link this age-related cognitive decline with patterns of altered brain function. A consistent finding in the fMRI literature is that healthy old adults present higher activity levels in some brain regions during the performance of cognitive tasks. This finding is usually interpreted as a compensatory mechanism. More recent approaches have focused on the study of functional connectivity, mainly derived from resting state fMRI, and have concluded that the higher levels of activity coexist with disrupted connectivity. In this review, we aim to provide a state-of-the-art description of the usefulness and the interpretations of functional brain connectivity in the context of HA. We first give a background that includes some basic aspects and methodological issues regarding functional connectivity. We summarize the main findings and the cognitive models that have been derived from task-activity studies, and we then review the findings provided by resting-state functional connectivity in HA. Finally, we suggest some future directions in this field of research. A common finding of the studies included is that older subjects present reduced functional connectivity compared to young adults. This reduced connectivity affects the main brain networks and explains age-related cognitive alterations. Remarkably, the default mode network appears as a highly compromised system in HA. Overall, the scenario given by both activity and connectivity studies also suggests that the trajectory of changes during task may differ from those observed during resting-state. We propose that the use of complex modeling approaches studying effective connectivity may help to understand context-dependent functional reorganizations in the aging process. PMID:26052298

  14. A new algorithm for spatiotemporal analysis of brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Mheich, A; Hassan, M; Khalil, M; Berrou, C; Wendling, F

    2015-03-15

    Specific networks of interacting neuronal assemblies distributed within and across distinct brain regions underlie brain functions. In most cognitive tasks, these interactions are dynamic and take place at the millisecond time scale. Among neuroimaging techniques, magneto/electroencephalography - M/EEG - allows for detection of very short-duration events and offers the single opportunity to follow, in time, the dynamic properties of cognitive processes (sub-millisecond temporal resolution). In this paper, we propose a new algorithm to track the functional brain connectivity dynamics. During a picture naming task, this algorithm aims at segmenting high-resolution EEG signals (hr-EEG) into functional connectivity microstates. The proposed algorithm is based on the K-means clustering of the connectivity graphs obtained from the phase locking value (PLV) method applied on hr-EEG. Results show that the analyzed evoked responses can be divided into six clusters representing distinct networks sequentially involved during the cognitive task, from the picture presentation and recognition to the motor response. PMID:25583381

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Yeast Sphingolipids: Recent developments in understanding biosynthesis, regulation, and function

    PubMed Central

    Cowart, L. Ashley; Obeid, Lina M.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Sphingolipids function as required membrane components of virtually all eukaryotic cells. Data indicate that members of the sphingolipid family of lipids, including sphingoid bases, sphingoid base phosphates, ceramides, and complex sphingolipids, serve vital functions in cell biology by both direct mechanisms (e.g., binding to G-protein coupled receptors to transduce an extracellular signal) and indirect mechanisms (e.g., facilitating correct intracellular protein transport). Because of the diverse roles these lipids play in cell biology, it is important to understand not only their biosynthetic pathways and regulation of sphingolipid synthesis, but also the mechanisms by which some sphingolipid species with specific functions are modified or converted to other sphingolipid species with alternate functions. Due to many factors including ease of culture and genetic modification, and conservation of major sphingolipid metabolic pathways, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has served as an ideal model system with which to identify enzymes of sphingolipid biosynthesis and to dissect sphingolipid function. Recent exciting developments in sphingolipid synthesis, transport, signaling, and overall biology continue to fuel vigorous investigation and inspire investigations in mammalian sphingolipid biology. PMID:16997623

  20. Brain Oscillations and Functional Connectivity during Overt Language Production

    PubMed Central

    Ewald, Arne; Aristei, Sabrina; Nolte, Guido; Rahman, Rasha Abdel

    2012-01-01

    In the present study we investigate the communication of different large scale brain sites during an overt language production task with state of the art methods for the estimation of EEG functional connectivity. Participants performed a semantic blocking task in which objects were named in semantically homogeneous blocks of trials consisting of members of a semantic category (e.g., all objects are tools) or in heterogeneous blocks, consisting of unrelated objects. The classic pattern of slower naming times in the homogeneous relative to heterogeneous blocks is assumed to reflect the duration of lexical selection. For the collected data in the homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions the imaginary part of coherency (ImC) was evaluated at different frequencies. The ImC is a measure for detecting the coupling of different brain sites acting on sensor level. Most importantly, the ImC is robust to the artifact of volume conduction. We analyzed the ImC at all pairs of 56 EEG channels across all frequencies. Contrasting the two experimental conditions we found pronounced differences in the theta band at 7 Hz and estimated the most dominant underlying brain sources via a minimum norm inverse solution based on the ImC. As a result of the source localization, we observed connectivity between occipito-temporal and frontal areas, which are well-known to play a major role in lexical-semantic language processes. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of investigating interactive brain activity during overt language production. PMID:22701106

  1. Stimulation of functional vision in children with perinatal brain damage.

    PubMed

    Alimovi?, Sonja; Mejaski-Bosnjak, Vlatka

    2011-01-01

    Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is one of the most common causes of bilateral visual loss, which frequently occurs due to perinatal brain injury. Vision in early life has great impact on acquisition of basic comprehensions which are fundamental for further development. Therefore, early detection of visual problems and early intervention is necessary. The aim of the present study is to determine specific visual functioning of children with perinatal brain damage and the influence of visual stimulation on development of functional vision at early age of life. We initially assessed 30 children with perinatal brain damage up to 3 years of age, who were reffered to our pediatric low vision cabinet in "Little house" from child neurologists, ophthalmologists Type and degree of visual impairment was determined according to functional vision assessment of each child. On the bases of those assessments different kind of visual stimulations were carried out with children who have been identified to have a certain visual impairment. Through visual stimulation program some of the children were stimulated with light stimulus, some with different materials under the ultraviolet (UV) light, and some with bright color and high contrast materials. Children were also involved in program of early stimulation of overall sensory motor development. Goals and methods of therapy were determined individually, based on observation of child's possibilities and need. After one year of program, reassessment was done. Results for visual functions and functional vision were compared to evaluate the improvement of the vision development. These results have shown that there was significant improvement in functional vision, especially in visual attention and visual communication. PMID:21648304

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

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

  3. Multifaceted Genomic Risk for Brain Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiayu; Calhoun, Vince D.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Ehrlich, Stefan; Turner, Jessica A.; Ho, Beng-Choon; Wassink, Thomas H.; Michael, Andrew M; Liu, Jingyu

    2012-01-01

    Recently, deriving candidate endophenotypes from brain imaging data has become a valuable approach to study genetic influences on schizophrenia (SZ), whose pathophysiology remains unclear. In this work we utilized a multivariate approach, parallel independent component analysis, to identify genomic risk components associated with brain function abnormalities in SZ. 5157 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were derived from genome-wide array based on their possible connections with SZ and further investigated for their associations with brain activations captured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a sensorimotor task. Using data from 92 SZ patients and 116 healthy controls, we detected a significant correlation (r= 0.29; p= 2.41×10?5) between one fMRI component and one SNP component, both of which significantly differentiated patients from controls. The fMRI component mainly consisted of precentral and postcentral gyri, the major activated regions in the motor task. On average, higher activation in these regions was observed in participants with higher loadings of the linked SNP component, predominantly contributed to by 253 SNPs. 138 identified SNPs were from known coding regions of 100 unique genes. 31 identified SNPs did not differ between groups, but moderately correlated with some other group-discriminating SNPs, indicating interactions among alleles contributing towards elevated SZ susceptibility. The genes associated with the identified SNPs participated in four neurotransmitter pathways: GABA receptor signaling, dopamine receptor signaling, neuregulin signaling and glutamate receptor signaling. In summary, our work provides further evidence for the complexity of genomic risk to the functional brain abnormality in SZ and suggests a pathological role of interactions between SNPs, genes and multiple neurotransmitter pathways. PMID:22440650

  4. Brain-gut connections in functional GI disorders: anatomic and physiologic relationships.

    PubMed

    Jones, M P; Dilley, J B; Drossman, D; Crowell, M D

    2006-02-01

    Understanding the neural regulation of gut function and sensation makes it easier to understand the interrelatedness of emotionality, symptom-attentive behavior or hypervigilance, gut function and pain. The gut and the brain are highly integrated and communicate in a bidirectional fashion largely through the ANS and HPA axis. Within the CNS, the locus of gut control is chiefly within the limbic system, a region of the mammalian brain responsible for both the internal and external homeostasis of the organism. The limbic system also plays a central role in emotionality, which is a nonverbal system that facilitates survival and threat avoidance, social interaction and learning. The generation of emotion and associated physiologic changes are the work of the limbic system and, from a neuroanatomic perspective, the 'mind-body interaction' may largely arise in this region. Finally, the limbic system is also involved in the 'top down' modulation of visceral pain transmission as well as visceral perception. A better understanding of the interactions of the CNS, ENS and enteric immune system will significantly improve our understanding of 'functional' disorders and allow for a more pathophysiologic definition of categories of patients currently lumped under the broad umbrella of FGID. PMID:16420287

  5. A study on small-world brain functional networks altered by postherpetic neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Liu, Jing; Li, Longchuan; Du, Minyi; Fang, Wenxue; Wang, Dongxin; Jiang, Xuexiang; Hu, Xiaoping; Zhang, Jue; Wang, Xiaoying; Fang, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the effect of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) pain on brain activity is important for clinical strategies. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to relate PHN pain to small-world properties of brain functional networks. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to construct functional brain networks of the subjects during the resting state. Sixteen patients with PHN pain and 16 (8 males, 8 females for both groups) age-matched controls were studied. The PHN patients exhibited decreased local efficiency along with non-significant changes of global efficiency in comparison with the healthy controls. Moreover, regional nodal efficiency was found to be significantly affected by PHN pain in the areas related to sense (postcentral gyrus, inferior parietal gyrus and thalamus), memory/affective processes (parahippocampal gyrus) and emotional activities (putamen). Significant correlation (p<0.05) was also found between the nodal efficiency of putamen and pain intensity in PHN patients. Our results suggest that PHN modulates the local efficiency, and the small-world properties of brain networks may have potentials to objectively evaluate pain information in clinic. PMID:24512793

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Modularity and Self-Organized Functional Architectures in the Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iyer, Laxmi; Minai, Ali A.; Doboli, Simona; Brown, Vincent R.

    It is generally believed that cognition involves the self-organization of coherent dy- namic functional networks across several brain regions in response to incoming stimulus and internal modulation. These context-dependent networks arise continually from the spatiotemporally multi-scale structural substrate of the brain configured by evolution, development and previous experience, persisting for 100-200 ms and generating re- sponses such as imagery, recall and motor action. In the current paper, we show that a system of interacting modular attractor networks can use a selective mechanism for assembling functional networks from the modular substrate. We use the approach to develop a model of idea-generation in the brain. Ideas are modeled as combinations of concepts organized in a recurrent network that reflects previous associations between them. The dynamics of this network, resulting in the transient co-activation of concept groups, is seen as a search through the space of ideas, and attractor dynamics is used to "shape" this search. The process is required to encompass both rapid retrieval of old ideas in familiar contexts and efficient search for novel ones in unfamiliar situations (or during brainstorming). The inclusion of an adaptive modulatory mechanism allows the network to balance the competing requirements of exploiting previous learning and exploring new possibilities as needed in different contexts.

  10. Socioeconomic status and functional brain development - associations in early infancy.

    PubMed

    Tomalski, Przemyslaw; Moore, Derek G; Ribeiro, Helena; Axelsson, Emma L; Murphy, Elizabeth; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Johnson, Mark H; Kushnerenko, Elena

    2013-09-01

    Socioeconomic status (SES) impacts on both structural and functional brain development in childhood, but how early its effects can be demonstrated is unknown. In this study we measured resting baseline EEG activity in the gamma frequency range in awake 6-9-month-olds from areas of East London with high socioeconomic deprivation. Between-subject comparisons of infants from low- and high-income families revealed significantly lower frontal gamma power in infants from low-income homes. Similar power differences were found when comparing infants according to maternal occupation, with lower occupational status groups yielding lower power. Infant sleep, maternal education, length of gestation, and birth weight, as well as smoke exposure and bilingualism, did not explain these differences. Our results show that the effects of socioeconomic disparities on brain activity can already be detected in early infancy, potentially pointing to very early risk for language and attention difficulties. This is the first study to reveal region-selective differences in functional brain development associated with early infancy in low-income families. PMID:24033573

  11. Roles of Brain Angiotensin II in Cognitive Function and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Mogi, Masaki; Iwanami, Jun; Horiuchi, Masatsugu

    2012-01-01

    The brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been highlighted as having a pathological role in stroke, dementia, and neurodegenerative disease. Particularly, in dementia, epidemiological studies indicate a preventive effect of RAS blockade on cognitive impairment in Alzheimer disease (AD). Moreover, basic experiments suggest a role of brain angiotensin II in neural injury, neuroinflammation, and cognitive function and that RAS blockade attenuates cognitive impairment in rodent dementia models of AD. Therefore, RAS regulation is expected to have therapeutic potential for AD. Here, we discuss the role of angiotensin II in cognitive impairment and AD. Angiotensin II binds to the type 2 receptor (AT2) and works mainly by binding with the type 1 receptor (AT1). AT2 receptor signaling plays a role in protection against multiple-organ damage. A direct AT2 receptor agonist is now available and is expected to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and enhance cell differentiation. We and other groups reported that AT2 receptor activation enhances neuronal differentiation and neurite outgrowth in the brain. Here, we also review the effect of the AT2 receptor on cognitive function. RAS modulation may be a new therapeutic option for dementia including AD in the future. PMID:23304450

  12. Integrative Understanding of Emergent Brain Properties, Quantum Brain Hypotheses, and Connectome Alterations in Dementia are Key Challenges to Conquer Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kuljiš, Rodrigo O.

    2010-01-01

    The biological substrate for cognition remains a challenge as much as defining this function of living beings. Here, we examine some of the difficulties to understand normal and disordered cognition in humans. We use aspects of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders to illustrate how the wealth of information at many conceptually separate, even intellectually decoupled, physical scales – in particular at the Molecular Neuroscience versus Systems Neuroscience/Neuropsychology levels – presents a challenge in terms of true interdisciplinary integration towards a coherent understanding. These unresolved dilemmas include critically the as yet untested quantum brain hypothesis, and the embryonic attempts to develop and define the so-called connectome in humans and in non-human models of disease. To mitigate these challenges, we propose a scheme incorporating the vast array of scales of the space and time (space–time) manifold from at least the subatomic through cognitive-behavioral dimensions of inquiry, to achieve a new understanding of both normal and disordered cognition, that is essential for a new era of progress in the Generative Sciences and its application to translational efforts for disease prevention and treatment. PMID:21188254

  13. STRENGTHENED FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY IN THE BRAIN DURING MUSCLE FATIGUE

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Zhiguo; Wang, Xiao-Feng; Kisiel-Sajewicz, Katarzyna; Yan, Jin H; Yue, Guang H

    2012-01-01

    Fatigue caused by sustaining submaximal-intensity muscle contraction(s) involves increased activation in the brain such as primary motor cortex (M1), primary sensory cortex (S1), Premotor and supplementary motor area (PM&SMA) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The synchronized increases in activation level in these cortical areas suggest fatigue-related strengthening of functional coupling within the motor control network. In the present study, this hypothesis was tested using the cross-correlation based functional connectivity (FC) analysis method. Ten subjects performed a 20-minute intermittent (3.5s ON/6.5s OFF, 120 trials total) handgrip task using the right hand at 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force level while their brain was scanned by a 3T Siemens Trio scanner using echo planar imaging (EPI) sequence. A representative signal time course of the left M1 was extracted by averaging the time course data of a 2-mm cluster of neighboring voxels of local maximal activation foci, which was identified by a general linear model. Two FC activation maps were created for each subject by cross-correlating the time course data of the minimal (the first 10 trials) and significant (the last 10 trials) fatigue stages across all the voxels in the brain to the corresponding representative time course. Histogram and quantile regression analysis were used to compare the FC between the minimal and significant fatigue stages and the results showed a significant increase in FC among multiple cortical regions, including right M1 and bilateral PM&SMA, S1 and PFC. This strengthened FC indicates that when muscle fatigue worsens, many brain regions increase their coupling with the left M1, the primary motor output control center for the right handgrip, to compensate for diminished force generating capability of the muscle in a coordinated fashion by enhancing the descending command for greater muscle recruitment to maintain the same force. PMID:22197785

  14. SELECTIVE OESTROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS DIFFERENTIALLY POTENTIATE BRAIN MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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 size. Conclusion There is evidence that brain structure is associated with muscle structure and function. Future studies need to follow these interactions longitudinally to understand potential causal relationships. PMID:25011478

  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. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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 neural activation in the same regions. PMID:24550813

  20. 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

  1. Anatomy of the Brain

    MedlinePLUS

    ... as how we function in our environment. The diagrams below show brain anatomy, or the various parts ... and spine, as well as how they work, will help you understand the symptoms of brain tumors, how ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Interactions of innate and adaptive immunity in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Filiano, Anthony J; Gadani, Sachin P; Kipnis, Jonathan

    2015-08-18

    It has been known for decades that the immune system has a tremendous impact on behavior. Most work has described the negative role of immune cells on the central nervous system. However, we and others have demonstrated over the last decade that a well-regulated immune system is needed for proper brain function. Here we discuss several neuro-immune interactions, using examples from brain homeostasis and disease states. We will highlight our understanding of the consequences of malfunctioning immunity on neurodevelopment and will discuss the roles of the innate and adaptive immune system in neurodevelopment and how T cells maintain a proper innate immune balance in the brain surroundings and within its parenchyma. Also, we describe how immune imbalance impairs higher order brain functioning, possibly leading to behavioral and cognitive impairment. Lastly, we propose our hypothesis that some behavioral deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as in autism spectrum disorder, are the consequence of malfunctioning immunity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroimmunology in Health And Disease. PMID:25110235

  5. [Brain renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and cognitive function].

    PubMed

    Horiuchi, Masatsugu

    2014-04-01

    The presence of hypertension and other vascular risk factors such as diabetes mellitus is known to be associated with the decreased cognitive function. Blood pressure-lowering with antihypertensive agents was suggested to reduce the risk of dementia or cognitive decline. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays a role not only in the cardiovascular system including blood pressure regulation, but also in the central nervous system. The possible beneficial effects of ARB and ACE inhibitor on cognitive function are also becoming highlighted in the clinical field. This article reviews the effects of regulation of activation of angiotensin II receptor subtypes, and ACE2/angiotensin- (1-7)/Mas receptor on ischemic brain damage and cognitive function. PMID:24796091

  6. Critical periods of brain growth and cognitive function in children.

    PubMed

    Gale, Catharine R; O'Callaghan, Finbar J; Godfrey, Keith M; Law, Catherine M; Martyn, Christopher N

    2004-02-01

    There is evidence that IQ tends to be higher in those who were heavier at birth or who grew taller in childhood and adolescence. Although these findings imply that growth in both foetal and postnatal life influences cognitive performance, little is known about the relative importance of brain growth during different periods of development. We investigated the relationship between brain growth in different periods of pre- and postnatal life and cognitive function in 221 9-year-old children whose mothers had taken part in a study of nutrition in pregnancy and whose head circumference had been measured at 18 weeks gestation, birth and 9 months of age. Cognitive function of the children and their mothers was assessed with the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. Full-scale IQ at age 9 years rose by 1.98 points [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34 to 3.62] for each SD increase in head circumference at 9 months and by 2.87 points (95% CI 1.05 to 4.69) for each SD increase in head circumference at 9 years of age, after adjustment for sex, number of older siblings, maternal IQ, age, education, social class, duration of breastfeeding and history of low mood in the post-partum period. Postnatal head growth was significantly greater in children whose mothers were educated to degree level or of higher socio-economic status. There was no relation between IQ and measurements of head size at 18 weeks gestation or at birth. These results suggest that brain growth during infancy and early childhood is more important than growth during foetal life in determining cognitive function. PMID:14645144

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. Moment to moment variability in functional brain networks during cognitive activity in EEG data.

    PubMed

    Dasari, Naga M; Nandagopal, Nanda D; Ramasamy, Vijayalaxmi; Cocks, Bernadine; Thomas, Bruce H; Dahal, Nabaraj; Gaertner, Paul

    2015-09-01

    Functional brain networks (FBNs) are gaining increasing attention in computational neuroscience due to their ability to reveal dynamic interdependencies between brain regions. The dynamics of such networks during cognitive activity between stimulus and response using multi-channel electroencephalogram (EEG), recorded from 16 healthy human participants are explored in this research. Successive EEG segments of 500[Formula: see text]ms duration starting from the onset of cognitive stimulation have been used to analyze and understand the cognitive dynamics. The approach employs a combination of signal processing techniques, nonlinear statistical measures and graph-theoretical analysis. The efficacy of this approach in detecting and tracking cognitive load induced changes in EEG data is clearly demonstrated using graph metrics. It is revealed that most cognitive activity occurs within approximately 500[Formula: see text]ms of the stimulus presentation in addition to temporal variability in the FBNs. It is shown that mutual information (MI), a nonlinear measure, produces good correlations between the EEG channels thus enabling the construction of FBNs which are sensitive to cognitive load induced changes in EEG. Analyses of the dynamics of FBNs and the visualization approach reveal hard to detect subtle changes in cognitive function and hence may lead to a better understanding of cognitive processing in the brain. The techniques exploited have the potential to detect human cognitive dysfunction (impairments). PMID:26365114

  14. Delta opioid receptors in brain function and diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Paul Chu Sin; Kieffer, Brigitte L.

    2013-01-01

    Evidence that the delta opioid receptor (DOR) is an attractive target for the treatment of brain disorders has strengthened in recent years. This receptor is broadly expressed in the brain, binds endogenous opioid peptides, and shows as functional profile highly distinct from those of mu and kappa opioid receptors. Our knowledge of DOR function has enormously progressed from in vivo studies using pharmacological tools and genetic approaches. The important role of this receptor in reducing chronic pain has been extensively overviewed; therefore this review focuses on facets of delta receptor activity relevant to psychiatric and other neurological disorders. Beneficial effects of DOR agonists are now well established in the context of emotional responses and mood disorders. DOR activation also regulates drug reward, inhibitory controls and learning processes, but whether delta compounds may represent useful drugs in the treatment of drug abuse remains open. Epileptogenic and locomotor-stimulating effects of delta agonists appear drug-dependent, and the possibility of biased agonism at DOR for these effects is worthwhile further investigations to increase benefit/risk ratio of delta therapies. Neuroprotective effects of DOR activity represent a forthcoming research area. Future developments in DOR research will benefit from in-depth investigations of DOR function at cellular and circuit levels. PMID:23764370

  15. Functionally driven brain networks using multi-layer graph clustering.

    PubMed

    Ghanbari, Yasser; Bloy, Luke; Shankar, Varsha; Edgar, J Christopher; Roberts, Timothy P L; Schultz, Robert T; Verma, Ragini

    2014-01-01

    Connectivity analysis of resting state brain has provided a novel means of investigating brain networks in the study of neurodevelpmental disorders. The study of functional networks, often represented by high dimensional graphs, predicates on the ability of methods in succinctly extracting meaningful representative connectivity information at the subject and population level. This need motivates the development of techniques that can extract underlying network modules that characterize the connectivity in a population, while capturing variations of these modules at the individual level. In this paper, we propose a multi-layer raph clustering technique that fuses the information from a collection of connectivity networks of a population to extract the underlying common network modules that serve as network hubs for the population. These hubs form a functional network atlas. In addition, our technique provides subject-specific factors designed to characterize and quantify the degree of intra- and inter- connectivity between hubs, thereby providing a representation that is amenable to group level statistical analyses. We demonstrate the utility of the technique by creating a population network atlas of connectivity by examining MEG based functional connectivity in typically developing children, and using this to describe the individualized variation in those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. PMID:25320789

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Visualizing the anatomical-functional correlation of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, YuKuang; Rockwood, Alyn P.; Reiman, Eric M.

    1995-04-01

    Three-dimensional tomographic images obtained from different modalities or from the same modality at different times provide complementary information. For example, while PET shows brain function, images from MRI identify anatomical structures. In this paper, we investigate the problem of displaying available information about structures and function together. Several steps are described to achieve our goal. These include segmentation of the data, registration, resampling, and display. Segmentation is used to identify brain tissue from surrounding tissues, especially in the MRI data. Registration aligns the different modalities as closely as possible. Resampling arises from the registration since two data sets do not usually correspond and the rendering method is most easily achieved if the data correspond to the same grid used in display. We combine several techniques to display the data. MRI data is reconstructed from 2D slices into 3D structures from which isosurfaces are extracted and represented by approximating polygonalizations. These are then displayed using standard graphics pipelines including shaded and transparent images. PET data measures the qualitative rates of cerebral glucose utilization or oxygen consumption. PET image is best displayed as a volume of luminous particles. The combination of both display methods allows the viewer to compare the functional information contained in the PET data with the anatomically more precise MRI data.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.g., 17s after trial onset) the hemodynamic responses associated with all three networks were simultaneously active. These findings highlight distinct cognitive processes and corresponding functional brain networks underlying stages of disconfirmatory evidence integration, and demonstrate the power of multivariate and multi-experiment methodology in cognitive neuroscience. PMID:25731997

  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 easy to use, but also high-powered robustly across various scenarios. The usage and advantages of these novel tests are demonstrated on an Alzheimer's disease dataset and simulated data. PMID:26740916

  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 only easy to use, but also high-powered robustly across various scenarios. The usage and advantages of these novel tests are demonstrated on an Alzheimer's disease dataset and simulated data. PMID:26740916

  4. Towards a mechanistic understanding of lipodystrophy and seipin functions

    PubMed Central

    Wee, Kenneth; Yang, Wulin; Sugii, Shigeki; Han, Weiping

    2014-01-01

    CGL (Congenital generalized lipodystrophy) is a genetic disorder characterized by near complete loss of adipose tissue along with increased ectopic fat storage in other organs including liver and muscle. Of the four CGL types, BSCL2 (Berardinelli–Seip Congenital lipodystrophy type 2), resulting from mutations in the BSCL2/seipin gene, exhibits the most severe lipodystrophic phenotype with loss of both metabolic and mechanical adipose depots. The majority of Seipin mutations cause C-terminal truncations, along with a handful of point mutations. Seipin localizes to the ER and is composed of a conserved region including a luminal loop and two transmembrane domains, plus cytosolic N- and C-termini. Animal models deficient in seipin recapitulate the human lipodystrophic phenotype. Cells isolated from seipin knockout mouse models also exhibit impaired adipogenesis. Mechanistically, seipin appears to function as a scaffolding protein to bring together interacting partners essential for lipid metabolism and LD (lipid droplet) formation during adipocyte development. Moreover, cell line and genetic studies indicate that seipin functions in a cell-autonomous manner. Here we will provide a brief overview of the genetic association of the CGLs, and focus on the current understanding of differential contributions of distinct seipin domains to lipid storage and adipogenesis. We will also discuss the roles of seipin-interacting partners, including lipin 1 and 14-3-3?, in mediating seipin-dependent regulation of cellular pathways such as actin cytoskeletal remodelling. PMID:25195639

  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 learning. Early numerical abilities provide the foundation for future academic and professional success in an increasingly technological society. Understanding the early identification of poor math skills has therefore taken on great significance. This work provides important new insights into brain structure and connectivity measures that can predict longitudinal growth of children's math skills over a 6 year period, and may eventually aid in the early identification of children who might benefit from targeted interventions. PMID:26290250

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  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. 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…

  11. Small-World Brain Functional Networks in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Revealed by EEG Synchrony.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Lin, Pan; Wang, Jue

    2015-07-01

    We investigated the topologic properties of human brain attention-related functional networks associated with Multi-Source Interference Task (MSIT) performance using electroencephalography (EEG). Data were obtained from 13 children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 13 normal control children. Functional connectivity between all pairwise combinations of EEG channels was established by calculating synchronization likelihood (SL). The cluster coefficients and path lengths were computed as a function of degree K. The results showed that brain attention functional networks of normal control subjects had efficient small-world topologic properties, whereas these topologic properties were altered in ADHD. In particular, increased local characteristics combined with decreased global characteristics in ADHD led to a disorder-related shift of the network topologic structure toward ordered networks. These findings are consistent with a hypothesis of dysfunctional segregation and integration of the brain in ADHD, and enhance our understanding of the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism of this illness. PMID:24699437

  12. 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

  13. [Functional exploration of the brain by fMRI].

    PubMed

    Fall, S; de Marco, G

    2007-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) permits to obtain physiological information about MRI signal, which is modulated by electrical, biochemical, and physiological properties of the cerebral tissue. It is possible to characterize the brain interactions from an fMRI signal. Particularly, the use of a spectral analysis at a given frequency allows access to the time series chronology, which occurs within various activated areas of the brain. Thus, spectral parameters such as coherency and phase shift may be calculated from presupposed stationary stochastic signals and of an estimate of the cross-spectral power density function. Coherency describes a correlation structure in frequency domain between signals and thus allows obtaining an accurate estimate of the phase relation (time delay), which connects the signals between them. We describe in the last part of the article a calculation method integrating spectral information obtained previously and which makes it possible to evaluate the intensity of the existing interaction between two distinct cerebral areas. PMID:17996811

  14. Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Benjamin; Hansell, Narelle K; Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; Martin, Nicholas G; Thompson, Paul M; Breakspear, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J; McMahon, Katie L

    2015-11-01

    The brain's functional network exhibits many features facilitating functional specialization, integration, and robustness to attack. Using graph theory to characterize brain networks, studies demonstrate their small-world, modular, and "rich-club" properties, with deviations reported in many common neuropathological conditions. Here we estimate the heritability of five widely used graph theoretical metrics (mean clustering coefficient (?), modularity (Q), rich-club coefficient (?norm), global efficiency (?), small-worldness (?)) over a range of connection densities (k=5-25%) in a large cohort of twins (N=592, 84 MZ and 89 DZ twin pairs, 246 single twins, age 23±2.5). We also considered the effects of global signal regression (GSR). We found that the graph metrics were moderately influenced by genetic factors h(2) (?=47-59%, Q=38-59%, ?norm=0-29%, ?=52-64%, ?=51-59%) at lower connection densities (?15%), and when global signal regression was implemented, heritability estimates decreased substantially h(2) (?=0-26%, Q=0-28%, ?norm=0%, ?=23-30%, ?=0-27%). Distinct network features were phenotypically correlated (|r|=0.15-0.81), and ?, Q, and ? were found to be influenced by overlapping genetic factors. Our findings suggest that these metrics may be potential endophenotypes for psychiatric disease and suitable for genetic association studies, but that genetic effects must be interpreted with respect to methodological choices. PMID:26226088

  15. [The stimulating impact of light on brain cognition function].

    PubMed

    Vandewalle, Gilles

    2014-10-01

    Light regulates multiple non-visual circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral functions, and conveys a strong stimulating signal for alert-ness and cognition. This review summarizes a series of neuroimaging studies investigating the brain mechanisms underlying the latter stimulating impact of light. Results of these studies are compatible with a scenario where light would first hit subcortical areas involved in arousal regulation before affecting cortical areas involved in the ongoing non-visual cognitive process, and then cognitive performance. Recent data demonstrated that the non-visual impact of light is most likely triggered via outputs from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) expressing the photopigment melanopsin, which are maximally sensitive to blue light. In addition, the stimulating impact of light is intimately related to wakefulness regulation as it changes with circadian phase and sleep pressure. Finally, markers of inter-individual difference have also been described: age, PERIOD3 genotype, and psychiatric status. This review emphasizes the importance of light for human brain cognitive function and for cognition in general. PMID:25311026

  16. Estimating brain functional connectivity with sparse multivariate autoregression

    PubMed Central

    Valdés-Sosa, Pedro A; Sánchez-Bornot, Jose M; Lage-Castellanos, Agustín; Vega-Hernández, Mayrim; Bosch-Bayard, Jorge; Melie-García, Lester; Canales-Rodríguez, Erick

    2005-01-01

    There is much current interest in identifying the anatomical and functional circuits that are the basis of the brain's computations, with hope that functional neuroimaging techniques will allow the in vivo study of these neural processes through the statistical analysis of the time-series they produce. Ideally, the use of techniques such as multivariate autoregressive (MAR) modelling should allow the identification of effective connectivity by combining graphical modelling methods with the concept of Granger causality. Unfortunately, current time-series methods perform well only for the case that the length of the time-series Nt is much larger than p, the number of brain sites studied, which is exactly the reverse of the situation in neuroimaging for which relatively short time-series are measured over thousands of voxels. Methods are introduced for dealing with this situation by using sparse MAR models. These can be estimated in a two-stage process involving (i) penalized regression and (ii) pruning of unlikely connections by means of the local false discovery rate developed by Efron. Extensive simulations were performed with idealized cortical networks having small world topologies and stable dynamics. These show that the detection efficiency of connections of the proposed procedure is quite high. Application of the method to real data was illustrated by the identification of neural circuitry related to emotional processing as measured by BOLD. PMID:16087441

  17. Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain

    PubMed Central

    Perani, Daniela; Saccuman, Maria Cristina; Scifo, Paola; Spada, Danilo; Andreolli, Guido; Rovelli, Rosanna; Baldoli, Cristina; Koelsch, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    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 rig1ht 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  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 positive associations as opposed to a people who have no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. Further research is necessary to understand this and other potential holiday circuits in the brain. Although merry and intriguing, these findings should be interpreted with caution. PMID:26676562

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The prairie vole: an emerging model organism for understanding the social brain.

    PubMed

    McGraw, Lisa A; Young, Larry J

    2010-02-01

    Unlike most mammalian species, the prairie vole is highly affiliative, forms enduring social bonds between mates and displays biparental behavior. Over two decades of research on this species has enhanced our understanding of the neurobiological basis not only of monogamy, social attachment and nurturing behaviors but also other aspects of social cognition. Because social cognitive deficits are hallmarks of many psychiatric disorders, discoveries made in prairie voles can direct novel treatment strategies for disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. With the ongoing development of molecular, genetic and genomic tools for this species, prairie voles will likely maintain their current trajectory becoming an unprecedented model organism for basic and translational research focusing on the biology of the social brain. PMID:20005580

  7. Toxoplasma on the Brain: Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions in Chronic CNS Infection

    PubMed Central

    Kamerkar, Sushrut; Davis, Paul H.

    2012-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a prevalent obligate intracellular parasite which chronically infects more than a third of the world's population. Key to parasite prevalence is its ability to form chronic and nonimmunogenic bradyzoite cysts, which typically form in the brain and muscle cells of infected mammals, including humans. While acute clinical infection typically involves neurological and/or ocular damage, chronic infection has been more recently linked to behavioral changes. Establishment and maintenance of chronic infection involves a balance between the host immunity and parasite evasion of the immune response. Here, we outline the known cellular interplay between Toxoplasma gondii and cells of the central nervous system and review the reported effects of Toxoplasma gondii on behavior and neurological disease. Finally, we review new technologies which will allow us to more fully understand host-pathogen interactions. PMID:22545203

  8. Brain and gut interactions in irritable bowel syndrome: new paradigms and new understandings.

    PubMed

    Coss-Adame, Enrique; Rao, Satish S C

    2014-04-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Visceral hypersensitivity is believed to be a key underlying mechanism that causes pain. There is evidence that interactions within the brain and gut axis (BGA), that involves both the afferent-ascending and the efferent-descending pathways, as well as the somatosensory cortex, insula, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus, are deranged in IBS showing both the activation and inactivation. Clinical manifestations of IBS such as pain, altered gut motility, and psychological dysfunction may each be explained, in part, through the changes in the BGA, but there is conflicting information, and its precise role is not fully understood. A better understanding of the BGA may shed more knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of IBS that in turn may lead to the discovery of novel therapies for this common disorder. PMID:24595616

  9. 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

  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. Resting-State and Task-Based Functional Brain Connectivity in Developmental Dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Schurz, Matthias; Wimmer, Heinz; Richlan, Fabio; Ludersdorfer, Philipp; Klackl, Johannes; Kronbichler, Martin

    2015-10-01

    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

  12. Sex Differences in the Brain: the Relation between Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    de Vries, Geert J.; Södersten, Per

    2014-01-01

    In the fifty years since the organizational hypothesis was proposed, many sex differences have been found in behavior as well as structure of the brain that depend on the organizational effects of gonadal hormones early in development. Remarkably, in most cases we do not understand how the two are related. This paper makes the case that overstating the magnitude or constancy of sex differences in behavior and too narrowly interpreting the functional consequences of structural differences are significant roadblocks in resolving this issue. PMID:19446075

  13. The Neurobiology of Adolescence: Changes in brain architecture, functional dynamics, and behavioral tendencies

    PubMed Central

    Sturman, David A.; Moghaddam, Bita

    2011-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of increased behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities. It is also a time of dramatic structural and functional neurodevelopment. In recent years studies have examined the precise nature of these brain and behavioral changes, and several hypotheses link them together. In this review we discuss this research and recent electrophysiological data from behaving rats that demonstrate reduced neuronal coordination and processing efficiency in adolescents. A more comprehensive understanding of these processes will further our knowledge of adolescent behavioral vulnerabilities and the pathophysiology of mental illnesses that manifest during this period. PMID:21527288

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The alpha secretase ADAM10: A metalloprotease with multiple functions in the brain.

    PubMed

    Saftig, Paul; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F

    2015-12-01

    Proteins belonging to the 'A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase' (ADAM) family are membrane-anchored proteases that are able to cleave the extracellular domains of several membrane-bound proteins in a process known as 'ectodomain shedding'. In the central nervous system, ADAM10 has attracted the most attention, since it was described as the amyloid precursor protein α-secretase over ten years ago. Despite the excitement over the potential of ADAM10 as a novel drug target in Alzheimer disease, the physiological functions of ADAM10 in the brain are not yet well understood. This is largely because of the embryonic lethality of ADAM10-deficient mice, which results from the loss of cleavage and signaling of the Notch receptor, another ADAM10 substrate. However, the recent generation of conditional ADAM10-deficient mice and the identification of further ADAM10 substrates in the brain has revealed surprisingly numerous and fundamental functions of ADAM10 in the development of the embryonic brain and also in the homeostasis of adult neuronal networks. Mechanistically, ADAM10 controls these functions by utilizing unique postsynaptic substrates in the central nervous system, in particular synaptic cell adhesion molecules, such as neuroligin-1, N-cadherin, NCAM, Ephrin A2 and A5. Consequently, a dysregulation of ADAM10 activity is linked to psychiatric and neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, fragile X syndrome and Huntington disease. This review highlights the recent progress in understanding the substrates and function as well as the regulation and cell biology of ADAM10 in the central nervous system and discusses the value of ADAM10 as a drug target in brain diseases. PMID:26522965

  19. Disrupted Functional Brain Connectivity and Its Association to Structural Connectivity in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xiaoxiao; Wang, Ying; Bezerianos, Anastasios; Tang, Huidong; Miao, Fei; Sun, Junfeng

    2014-01-01

    Although anomalies in the topological architecture of whole-brain connectivity have been found to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), our understanding about the progression of AD in a functional connectivity (FC) perspective is still rudimentary and few study has explored the function-structure relations in brain networks of AD patients. By using resting-state functional MRI (fMRI), this study firstly investigated organizational alternations in FC networks in 12 AD patients, 15 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients, and 14 age-matched healthy aging subjects and found that all three groups exhibit economical small-world network properties. Nonetheless, we found a decline of the optimal architecture in the progression of AD, represented by a more localized modular organization with less efficient local information transfer. Our results also show that aMCI forms a boundary between normal aging and AD and represents a functional continuum between healthy aging and the earliest signs of dementia. Moreover, we revealed a dissociated relationship between the overall FC and structural connectivity (SC) in AD patients. In this study, diffusion tensor imaging tractography was used to map the structural network of the same individuals. The decreased FC-SC coupling may be indicative of more stringent and less dynamic brain function in AD patients. Our findings provided insightful implications for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of brain dysfunctions in aMCI and AD patients and demonstrated that functional disorders can be characterized by multimodal neuroimaging-based metrics. PMID:24806295

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

    PubMed Central

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    Is the human mind/brain composed of a set of highly specialized components, each carrying out a specific aspect of human cognition, or is it more of a general-purpose device, in which each component participates in a wide variety of cognitive processes? For nearly two centuries, proponents of specialized organs or modules of the mind and brain—from the phrenologists to Broca to Chomsky and Fodor—have jousted with the proponents of distributed cognitive and neural processing—from Flourens to Lashley to McClelland and Rumelhart. I argue here that research using functional MRI is beginning to answer this long-standing question with new clarity and precision by indicating that at least a few specific aspects of cognition are implemented in brain regions that are highly specialized for that process alone. Cortical regions have been identified that are specialized not only for basic sensory and motor processes but also for the high-level perceptual analysis of faces, places, bodies, visually presented words, and even for the very abstract cognitive function of thinking about another person’s thoughts. I further consider the as-yet unanswered questions of how much of the mind and brain are made up of these functionally specialized components and how they arise developmentally. PMID:20484679

  1. 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 understanding science in the news in light of the principles of each, rather than maintaining their distinction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Previous functional connectivity studies have found both hypo- and hyper-connectivity in brains of individuals having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here we studied abnormalities in functional brain subnetworks in high-functioning individuals with ASD during free viewing of a movie containing social cues and interactions. Twenty-six subjects (13 with ASD) watched a 68-min movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging. For each subject, we computed Pearson's correlation between haemodynamic time-courses of each pair of 6-mm isotropic voxels. From the whole-brain functional networks, we derived individual and group-level subnetworks using graph theory. Scaled inclusivity was then calculated between all subject pairs to estimate intersubject similarity of connectivity structure of each subnetwork. Additional 54 individuals (27 with ASD) from the ABIDE resting-state database were included to test the reproducibility of the results. Between-group differences were observed in the composition of default-mode and ventro-temporal-limbic (VTL) subnetworks. The VTL subnetwork included amygdala, striatum, thalamus, parahippocampal, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri. Further, VTL subnetwork similarity between subject pairs correlated significantly with similarity of symptom gravity measured with autism quotient. This correlation was observed also within the controls, and in the reproducibility dataset with ADI-R and ADOS scores. Our results highlight how the reorganization of functional subnetworks in individuals with ASD clarifies the mixture of hypo- and hyper-connectivity findings. Importantly, only the functional organization of the VTL subnetwork emerges as a marker of inter-individual similarities that co-vary with behavioral measures across all participants. These findings suggest a pivotal role of ventro-temporal and limbic systems in autism. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1066-1079, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26686668

  3. Brain basis of early parent-infant interactions: psychology, physiology, and in vivo functional neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Swain, James E; Lorberbaum, Jeffrey P; Kose, Samet; Strathearn, Lane

    2007-01-01

    Parenting behavior critically shapes human infants' current and future behavior. The parent-infant relationship provides infants with their first social experiences, forming templates of what they can expect from others and how to best meet others' expectations. In this review, we focus on the neurobiology of parenting behavior, including our own functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain imaging experiments of parents. We begin with a discussion of background, perspectives and caveats for considering the neurobiology of parent-infant relationships. Then, we discuss aspects of the psychology of parenting that are significantly motivating some of the more basic neuroscience research. Following that, we discuss some of the neurohormones that are important for the regulation of social bonding, and the dysregulation of parenting with cocaine abuse. Then, we review the brain circuitry underlying parenting, proceeding from relevant rodent and nonhuman primate research to human work. Finally, we focus on a study-by-study review of functional neuroimaging studies in humans. Taken together, this research suggests that networks of highly conserved hypothalamic-midbrain-limbic-paralimbic-cortical circuits act in concert to support aspects of parent response to infants, including the emotion, attention, motivation, empathy, decision-making and other thinking that are required to navigate the complexities of parenting. Specifically, infant stimuli activate basal forebrain regions, which regulate brain circuits that handle specific nurturing and caregiving responses and activate the brain's more general circuitry for handling emotions, motivation, attention, and empathy--all of which are crucial for effective parenting. We argue that an integrated understanding of the brain basis of parenting has profound implications for mental health. PMID:17355399

  4. Development of integrated semiconductor optical sensors for functional brain imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Thomas T.

    Optical imaging of neural activity is a widely accepted technique for imaging brain function in the field of neuroscience research, and has been used to study the cerebral cortex in vivo for over two decades. Maps of brain activity are obtained by monitoring intensity changes in back-scattered light, called Intrinsic Optical Signals (IOS), that correspond to fluctuations in blood oxygenation and volume associated with neural activity. Current imaging systems typically employ bench-top equipment including lamps and CCD cameras to study animals using visible light. Such systems require the use of anesthetized or immobilized subjects with craniotomies, which imposes limitations on the behavioral range and duration of studies. The ultimate goal of this work is to overcome these limitations by developing a single-chip semiconductor sensor using arrays of sources and detectors operating at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. A single-chip implementation, combined with wireless telemetry, will eliminate the need for immobilization or anesthesia of subjects and allow in vivo studies of free behavior. NIR light offers additional advantages because it experiences less absorption in animal tissue than visible light, which allows for imaging through superficial tissues. This, in turn, reduces or eliminates the need for traumatic surgery and enables long-term brain-mapping studies in freely-behaving animals. This dissertation concentrates on key engineering challenges of implementing the sensor. This work shows the feasibility of using a GaAs-based array of vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and PIN photodiodes for IOS imaging. I begin with in-vivo studies of IOS imaging through the skull in mice, and use these results along with computer simulations to establish minimum performance requirements for light sources and detectors. I also evaluate the performance of a current commercial VCSEL for IOS imaging, and conclude with a proposed prototype sensor.

  5. 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

  6. Estrogen receptor beta in the brain: from form to function.

    PubMed

    Weiser, Michael J; Foradori, Chad D; Handa, Robert J

    2008-03-01

    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 (ERalpha) and ER beta (ERbeta). In brain, ERalpha plays a critical role in regulating reproductive neuroendocrine function and behavior, however, a definitive role for ERbeta in any neurobiological function has been slow in forthcoming. Clues to the function of ERbeta in the central nervous system can be gleaned from the neuroanatomical distribution of ERbeta and the phenotypes of neurons that express ERbeta. ERbeta 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 ERbeta in non-reproductive behaviors in rat models. ERbeta-selective agonists exert potent anxiolytic activity when animals were tested in a number of behavioral paradigms. Consistent with this, ERbeta-selective agonists also inhibited the ACTH and corticosterone response to stress. In contrast, ERalpha selective agonists were found to be anxiogenic and correspondingly increased the hormonal stress response. Taken together, our studies implicate ERbeta as an important modulator of some non-reproductive neurobiological systems. The molecular and neuroanatomical targets of estrogen that are mediated by ERbeta remain to be determined. A number of splice variants of ERbeta mRNA have been reported in brain tissue. Imaging of eGFP labeled chimeric receptor proteins transfected into cell lines shows that ERbeta splice variation can alter trafficking patterns and function. The originally described ERbeta (herein termed ERbeta1) is characterized by possessing a high affinity for estradiol. Similar to ERalpha, it is localized in the nucleus and is trafficked to nuclear sites termed "hyperspeckles" following ligand binding. In contrast, ERbeta2 contains an 18 amino acid insert within the ligand-binding domain and as a result can be best described as a low affinity form of ERbeta. A delta3 (delta3) variant of ERbeta has a deletion of the 3rd exon (coding for the second half of the DNA-binding domain) and as a result does not bind an estrogen response element in DNA. delta3 variants are trafficked to a unique low abundance and larger nuclear site following ligand binding. A delta4 (delta4) variant lacks exon 4 and as a result is localized to the cytoplasm. The amount of individual splice variant mRNAs varies depending upon brain region. Examination of neuropeptide promoter regulation by ERbeta splice variants demonstrates that ERbeta functions as a constitutively active transcription factor. Moreover, it appears that splice variation of ERbeta alters its ability to regulate transcription in a promoter-dependent and ligand-dependent fashion. PMID:17662459

  7. 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 binding domain and as a result can be best described as a low affinity form of ERβ. A delta3 (δ3) variant of ERβ has a deletion of the 3rd exon (coding for the second half of the DNA binding domain) and as a result does not bind an estrogen response element in DNA. δ3 variants are trafficked to a unique low abundance and larger nuclear site following ligand binding. A delta4 (δ4) variant lacks exon 4 and as a result is localized to the cytoplasm. The amount of individual splice variant mRNAs varies depending upon brain region. Examination of neuropeptide promoter regulation by ERβ splice variants demonstrate that ERβ functions as a constitutively active transcription factor. Moreover, it appears that splice variation of ERβ alters its ability to regulate transcription in a promoter-dependent and ligand-dependent fashion. PMID:17662459

  8. Selectionist and evolutionary approaches to brain function: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. Recovery of function after brain injury in man.

    PubMed

    Teuber, H L

    1975-01-01

    Late after-effects of cerebral trauma are difficult to study because patients tend to be seen for persisting symptoms, and not simply for their lesions. We have tried to avoid this bias by recalling periodically, over the years, 520 men with known brain injuries incurred in World War II or in Korea or Vietnam. These men are seen irrespective of clinical need and all undergo intensive behavioural and neurological assessment, which still continues. For such groups, recovery is impressive, though one third shows persistent intellectual loss. In addition, some tasks reveal specific deficits enduring unchanged, after th first 2-3 yr, for the 20-30 yr of follow-up (e.g. visual field defects, certain auditory discrimination losses, trouble on various complex perceptual tasks). These lasting deficits are linked to the site and size of focal injury, often representing remnants of more severe initially-present disorders. The extent of recovery is correlated with age at the time of trauma, the youngest faring best. Extension of such studies to cases of early brain damage (birth to five years), as indicated by hemiparesis, shows the familiar 'escape' of language after early left-hemisphere lesions but this is achieved at a price, the price being borne by non-verbal functions that normally depend on the integrity of the right hemisphere. PMID:1045991

  11. 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

  12. Brain aerobic glycolysis functions and Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Vlassenko, Andrei G; Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-01-01

    Genetic, biochemical, pathological, and biomarker data demonstrate that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology, including the initiation and progressive buildup of insoluble forms of beta-amyloid (A?), appears to begin ~ 10-15 years prior to the onset of cognitive decline associated with AD. Metabolic dysfunction, a prominent feature of the evolving brain pathology, is reflected in a decline of total glucose utilization. Despite decades of interest in declining glucose use in AD no detailed consideration had been given to the possibility that this decline is not just a decline in energy consumption but rather in glycolysis alone. Glycolysis is a multi-step process that prepares the glucose molecule for oxidative phosphorylation and the generation of energy. In the normal brain, glycolysis exceeds that required for the needs of oxidative phosphorylation. Because it is occurring in a setting with adequate oxygen available for oxidative phosphorylation it is often referred to as aerobic glycolysis (AG). AG is a biomarker of a group of metabolic functions broadly supporting biosynthesis and neuroprotection. The distribution of AG in normal young adults correlates spatially with A? deposition in AD patients and cognitively normal individuals with elevated A?. In transgenic mice extracellular fluid A? and lactate, a marker of AG, vary in parallel regionally and with changes in activity. Reducing neuronal activity locally in transgenic mice attenuates plaque formation suggesting that plaque formation is an activity dependent process associated with aerobic glycolysis.

  13. Functional genomics of human brain development and implications for autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Functional significance of the rapid regulation of brain estrogens: Where do the estrogens come from?

    PubMed Central

    Cornil, Charlotte A.; Ball, Gregory F.; Balthazart, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Estrogens exert a wide variety of actions on reproductive and non-reproductive functions. These effects are mediated by slow and long lasting genomic as well as rapid and transient non-genomic mechanisms. Besides the host of studies demonstrating the role of genomic actions at the physiological and behavioral level, mounting evidence highlights the functional significance of non-genomic effects. However, the source of the rapid changes in estrogen availability that are necessary to sustain their fast actions is rarely questioned. For example, the rise of plasma estrogens at pro-estrus that represents one of the fastest documented changes in plasma estrogen concentration appears too slow to explain these actions. Alternatively, estrogen can be synthesized in the brain by the enzyme aromatase providing a source of locally high concentrations of the steroid. Furthermore, recent studies demonstrate that brain aromatase can be rapidly modulated by afferent inputs, including glutamatergic afferents. A role for rapid changes in estrogen production in the central nervous system is supported by experiments showing that acute aromatase inhibition affects nociception as well as male sexual behavior and that preoptic aromatase activity is rapidly (within min) modulated following mating. Such mechanisms thus fulfill the gap existing between the fast actions of estrogen and their mode of production and open new avenues for the understanding of estrogenic effects on the brain. PMID:16978590

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Distributed representations in memory: insights from functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Rissman, Jesse; Wagner, Anthony D

    2012-01-01

    Forging new memories for facts and events, holding critical details in mind on a moment-to-moment basis, and retrieving knowledge in the service of current goals all depend on a complex interplay between neural ensembles throughout the brain. Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly utilized powerful analytical tools (e.g., multivoxel pattern analysis) to decode the information represented within distributed functional magnetic resonance imaging activity patterns. In this review, we discuss how these methods can sensitively index neural representations of perceptual and semantic content and how leverage on the engagement of distributed representations provides unique insights into distinct aspects of memory-guided behavior. We emphasize that, in addition to characterizing the contents of memories, analyses of distributed patterns shed light on the processes that influence how information is encoded, maintained, or retrieved, and thus inform memory theory. We conclude by highlighting open questions about memory that can be addressed through distributed pattern analyses. PMID:21943171

  20. Working Memory Updating Function Training Influenced Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Zhou, Renlai; Fu, Li

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrated that working memory could be improved by training. We recruited healthy adult participants and used adaptive running working memory training tasks with a double-blind design, combined with the event-related potentials (ERPs) approach, to explore the influence of updating function training on brain activity. Participants in the training group underwent training for 20 days. Compared with the control group, the training group's accuracy (ACC) in the two-back working memory task had no significant differences after training, but reaction time (RT) was reduced significantly. Besides, the amplitudes of N160 and P300 increased significantly whereas that of P200 decreased significantly. The results suggest that training could have improved the participants' capacity on both inhibitory and updating. PMID:24015182

  1. Methamphetamine disrupts blood brain barrier function by induction of oxidative stress in brain endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Servio H.; Potula, Raghava; Fan, Shongshan; Eidem, Tess; Papugani, Anil; Reichenbach, Nancy; Dykstra, Holly; Weksler, Babette B.; Romero, Ignacio A.; Couraud, Pierre O.; Persidsky, Yuri

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH), a potent stimulant with strong euphoric properties, has a high abuse liability and long-lasting neurotoxic effects. Recent studies in animal models have indicated that METH can induce impairment of the blood brain barrier (BBB), thus suggesting that some of the neurotoxic effects resulting from METH abuse could be the outcome of barrier disruption. Here we provide evidence that METH alters BBB function via direct effects on endothelial cells and explore possible underlying mechanisms leading to endothelial injury. We report that METH increases BBB permeability in vivo, and exposure of primary human microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC) to METH diminishes tightness of BMVEC monolayers in a dose- and time-dependent manner by decreasing expression of cell membrane associated tight junction (TJ) proteins. These changes were accompanied by enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, increased monocyte migration across METH-treated endothelial monolayers, and activation of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) in BMVEC. Anti-oxidant treatment attenuated or completely reversed all tested aspects of METH induced BBB dysfunction. Our data suggest that BBB injury is caused by METH-mediated oxidative stress, which activates MLCK and negatively affects the TJ complex. These observations provide a basis for antioxidant protection against brain endothelial injury caused by METH exposure. PMID:19654589

  2. Cognition and Brain Function in Schizotypy: A Selective Review

    PubMed Central

    Ettinger, Ulrich; Mohr, Christine; Gooding, Diane C.; Cohen, Alex S.; Rapp, Alexander; Haenschel, Corinna; Park, Sohee

    2015-01-01

    Schizotypy refers to a set of personality traits thought to reflect the subclinical expression of the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. Here, we review the cognitive and brain functional profile associated with high questionnaire scores in schizotypy. We discuss empirical evidence from the domains of perception, attention, memory, imagery and representation, language, and motor control. Perceptual deficits occur early and across various modalities. While the neural mechanisms underlying visual impairments may be linked to magnocellular dysfunction, further effects may be seen downstream in higher cognitive functions. Cognitive deficits are observed in inhibitory control, selective and sustained attention, incidental learning, and memory. In concordance with the cognitive nature of many of the aberrations of schizotypy, higher levels of schizotypy are associated with enhanced vividness and better performance on tasks of mental rotation. Language deficits seem most pronounced in higher-level processes. Finally, higher levels of schizotypy are associated with reduced performance on oculomotor tasks, resembling the impairments seen in schizophrenia. Some of these deficits are accompanied by reduced brain activation, akin to the pattern of hypoactivations in schizophrenia spectrum individuals. We conclude that schizotypy is a construct with apparent phenomenological overlap with schizophrenia and stable interindividual differences that covary with performance on a wide range of perceptual, cognitive, and motor tasks known to be impaired in schizophrenia. The importance of these findings lies not only in providing a fine-grained neurocognitive characterization of a personality constellation known to be associated with real-life impairments, but also in generating hypotheses concerning the aetiology of schizophrenia. PMID:25810056

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Compensation through Functional Hyperconnectivity: A Longitudinal Connectome Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. Neurovascular coupling: in vivo optical techniques for functional brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Optical imaging techniques reflect different biochemical processes in the brain, which is closely related with neural activity. Scientists and clinicians employ a variety of optical imaging technologies to visualize and study the relationship between neurons, glial cells and blood vessels. In this paper, we present an overview of the current optical approaches used for the in vivo imaging of neurovascular coupling events in small animal models. These techniques include 2-photon microscopy, laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI), voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDi), functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM), functional near-infrared spectroscopy imaging (fNIRS) and multimodal imaging techniques. The basic principles of each technique are described in detail, followed by examples of current applications from cutting-edge studies of cerebral neurovascular coupling functions and metabolic. Moreover, we provide a glimpse of the possible ways in which these techniques might be translated to human studies for clinical investigations of pathophysiology and disease. In vivo optical imaging techniques continue to expand and evolve, allowing us to discover fundamental basis of neurovascular coupling roles in cerebral physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:23631798

  8. 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…

  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. Exploring influence of subliminal interoception on whole-brain functional network connectivity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jarrahi, Behnaz; Mantini, Dante; Mehnert, Ulrich; Kollias, Spyros

    2015-08-01

    Recent fMRI studies have highlighted a dynamic relation across large-scale intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) of human brain. The origin of such temporal variations in functional connectivity especially during the task-free (resting-state) fMRI is still a matter of debate and ongoing investigation. In this exploratory study, we sought to determine whether subliminal differences in interoception (e.g., distention pressure on the viscera) can influence the dynamics of whole-brain functional network connectivity. A group of healthy right-handed female subjects, close in age (n = 15, mean age ± SD = 30.33 ± 8.7 years) underwent a series of eyes-open resting-state fMRI scans under different interoceptive conditions including catheterization and partial bladder filling. Using a high-dimensional independent component analysis, the functional imaging data were parcellated into 75 components, out of which 33 were identified as non-artifactual ICNs. Changes in dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) were evaluated using the sliding-time window approach and k-means clustering algorithm. We used subject medians for each cluster state and compared differences in dFNC correlations using a paired t-test. Following a false discovery rate multiple comparison correction threshold of p<;0.05, no significant differences in dFNC were found. However, different dwell times for each (pseudo-)resting-state were observed. More liberal statistical criteria (uncorrected p<;0.005) also indicated differences in dFNC between ICN pairs especially involving the salience, subcortical, sensorimotor, cerebellar and brainstem networks. Further investigations of the effect of internal (bodily) sensations on the time-varying aspects of functional connectivity can improve our understanding of the nature of temporal fluctuations in interrelations between intrinsic brain networks. PMID:26736351

  11. Gastric distention induced functional magnetic resonance signal changes in the rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Min, D K; Tuor, U I; Chelikani, P K

    2011-04-14

    Investigating the localization of gastric sensation within the brain is important for understanding the neural correlates of satiety. Previous rodent studies have identified the brain-stem and hypothalamus as key mediators of gastric distention-induced satiation. Although, recent blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) studies in humans have identified a role for higher cortico-limbic structures in mediating the satiation effects of gastric distention, the role of these regions in rodents remains to be characterized. We determined the effects of gastric distention on global spatio-temporal BOLD fMRI signal changes in the rodent brain. Brain images were acquired with a high resolution 9.4 T magnet during gastric distention with continuous monitoring of blood pressure in adult male Sprague Dawley rats (n=8-10). Distention of the stomach with an intragastric balloon, at rates which mimicked the rate of consumption and emptying of a mixed nutrient liquid meal, resulted in robust reduction in food intake and increase in blood pressure. Gastric distention increased BOLD fMRI activity within homeostatic regions such as the hypothalamus and nucleus tractus solitarius, as well as non homeostatic regions including the hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, cerebellum and the cortex (cingulate, insular, motor and sensory cortices). Further, the increase in BOLD fMRI activity following distention was strongly correlated to an increase in blood pressure. These results indicate that gastric distention, mimicking the rate of intake and emptying of a liquid meal, increases BOLD fMRI activity in both homeostatic and non homeostatic brain circuits which regulate food intake, and that these BOLD fMRI signal changes may in part be attributable to transient increases in blood pressure. PMID:21284950

  12. Altered Small-World Efficiency of Brain Functional Networks in Acupuncture at ST36: A Functional MRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xian; Duan, Xiaohui; Shang, Xiaojing; Long, Yu; Chen, Zhiguang; Li, Xiaofang; Huang, Yan; He, Yong

    2012-01-01

    Background Acupuncture in humans can produce clinical effects via the central nervous system. However, the neural substrates of acupuncture’s effects remain largely unknown. Results We utilized functional MRI to investigate the topological efficiency of brain functional networks in eighteen healthy young adults who were scanned before and after acupuncture at the ST36 acupoints (ACUP) and its sham point (SHAM). Whole-brain functional networks were constructed by thresholding temporal correlations matrices of ninety brain regions, followed by a graph theory-based analysis. We showed that brain functional networks exhibited small-world attributes (high local and global efficiency) regardless of the order of acupuncture and stimulus points, a finding compatible with previous studies of brain functional networks. Furthermore, the brain networks had increased local efficiency after ACUP stimulation but there were no significant differences after SHAM, indicating a specificity of acupuncture point in coordinating local information flow over the whole brain. Moreover, significant (P<0.05, corrected by false discovery rate approach) effects of only acupuncture point were detected on nodal degree of the left hippocampus (higher nodal degree at ACUP as compared to SHAM). Using an uncorrected P<0.05, point-related effects were also observed in the anterior cingulate cortex, frontal and occipital regions while stimulation-related effects in various brain regions of frontal, parietal and occipital cortex regions. In addition, we found that several limbic and subcortical brain regions exhibited point- and stimulation-related alterations in their regional homogeneity (P<0.05, uncorrected). Conclusions Our results suggest that acupuncture modulates topological organization of whole-brain functional brain networks and the modulation has point specificity. These findings provide new insights into neuronal mechanism of acupuncture from the perspective of functional integration. Further studies would be interesting to apply network analysis approaches to study the effects of acupuncture treatments on brain disorders. PMID:22761766

  13. Alternative functions of the brain transsulfuration pathway represent an underappreciated aspect of brain redox biochemistry with significant potential for therapeutic engagement

    PubMed Central

    Denton, Travis T.

    2014-01-01

    Scientific appreciation for the subtlety of brain sulfur chemistry has lagged, despite understanding that the brain must maintain high glutathione (GSH) to protect against oxidative stress in tissue that has both a high rate of oxidative respiration and a high content of oxidation-prone polyunsaturated fatty acids. In fact, the brain was long thought to lack a complete transsulfuration pathway (TSP) for cysteine synthesis. It is now clear that not only does the brain possess a functional TSP, but brain TSP enzymes catalyze a rich array of alternative reactions that generate novel species including the gasotransmitter hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and the atypical amino acid lanthionine (Lan). Moreover, TSP intermediates can be converted to unusual cyclic ketimines via transamination. Cell-penetrating derivatives of one such compound, lanthionine ketimine (LK), have potent anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, neurotrophic and anti-neuroinflammatory actions and mitigate diverse neurodegenerative conditions in preclinical rodent models. This review will explore the source and function of alternative TSP products, and lanthionine-derived metabolites in particular. The known biological origins of lanthionine and its ketimine metabolite will be described in detail and placed in context with recent discoveries of a GSH- and LK-binding brain protein called LanCL1 that is proving essential for neuronal antioxidant defense; and a related LanCL2 homolog now implicated in immune sensing and cell fate determinations. The review will explore possible endogenous functions of lanthionine metabolites and will discuss the therapeutic potential of lanthionine ketimine derivatives for mitigating diverse neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, motor neuron disease and glioma. PMID:25463282

  14. Protocatechuic acid protects brain mitochondrial function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Semaming, Yoswaris; Sripetchwandee, Jirapas; Sa-Nguanmoo, Piangkwan; Pintana, Hiranya; Pannangpetch, Patchareewan; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2015-10-01

    Brain mitochondrial dysfunction has been demonstrated in diabetic animals with neurodegeneration. Protocatechuic acid (PCA), a major metabolite of anthocyanin, has been shown to exert glycemic control and oxidative stress reduction in the heart. However, its effects on oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in the brain under diabetic condition have never been investigated. We found that PCA exerted glycemic control, attenuates brain mitochondrial dysfunction, and contributes to the prevention of brain oxidative stress in diabetic rats. PMID:26316260

  15. A Glimpse into Secondary Students' Understanding of Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brendefur, Jonathan L.; Hughes, Gwyneth; Ely, Robert

    2015-01-01

    In this article we examine how secondary school students think about functional relationships. More specifically, we examined seven students' intuitive knowledge in regards to representing two real-world situations with functions. We found students do not tend to represent functional relationships with coordinate graphs even though they are…

  16. A Glimpse into Secondary Students' Understanding of Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brendefur, Jonathan L.; Hughes, Gwyneth; Ely, Robert

    2015-01-01

    In this article we examine how secondary school students think about functional relationships. More specifically, we examined seven students' intuitive knowledge in regards to representing two real-world situations with functions. We found students do not tend to represent functional relationships with coordinate graphs even though they are…

  17. Functionally Enigmatic Genes: A Case Study of the Brain Ignorome

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Ashutosh K.; Lu, Lu; Wang, Xusheng; Homayouni, Ramin; Williams, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    What proportion of genes with intense and selective expression in specific tissues, cells, or systems are still almost completely uncharacterized with respect to biological function? In what ways do these functionally enigmatic genes differ from well-studied genes? To address these two questions, we devised a computational approach that defines so-called ignoromes. As proof of principle, we extracted and analyzed a large subset of genes with intense and selective expression in brain. We find that publications associated with this set are highly skewed—the top 5% of genes absorb 70% of the relevant literature. In contrast, approximately 20% of genes have essentially no neuroscience literature. Analysis of the ignorome over the past decade demonstrates that it is stubbornly persistent, and the rapid expansion of the neuroscience literature has not had the expected effect on numbers of these genes. Surprisingly, ignorome genes do not differ from well-studied genes in terms of connectivity in coexpression networks. Nor do they differ with respect to numbers of orthologs, paralogs, or protein domains. The major distinguishing characteristic between these sets of genes is date of discovery, early discovery being associated with greater research momentum—a genomic bandwagon effect. Finally we ask to what extent massive genomic, imaging, and phenotype data sets can be used to provide high-throughput functional annotation for an entire ignorome. In a majority of cases we have been able to extract and add significant information for these neglected genes. In several cases—ELMOD1, TMEM88B, and DZANK1—we have exploited sequence polymorphisms, large phenome data sets, and reverse genetic methods to evaluate the function of ignorome genes. PMID:24523945

  18. Methamphetamine effects on blood-brain barrier structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Northrop, Nicole A.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.

    2015-01-01

    Methamphetamine (Meth) is a widely abuse psychostimulant. Traditionally, studies have focused on the neurotoxic effects of Meth on monoaminergic neurotransmitter terminals. Recently, both in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the effects of Meth on the BBB and found that Meth produces a decrease in BBB structural proteins and an increase in BBB permeability to various molecules. Moreover, preclinical studies are validated by clinical studies in which human Meth users have increased concentrations of toxins in the brain. Therefore, this review will focus on the structural and functional disruption of the BBB caused by Meth and the mechanisms that contribute to Meth-induced BBB disruption. The review will reveal that the mechanisms by which Meth damages dopamine and serotonin terminals are similar to the mechanisms by which the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is damaged. Furthermore, this review will cover the factors that are known to potentiate the effects of Meth (McCann et al., 1998) on the BBB, such as stress and HIV, both of which are co-morbid conditions associated with Meth abuse. Overall, the goal of this review is to demonstrate that the scope of damage produced by Meth goes beyond damage to monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems to include BBB disruption as well as provide a rationale for investigating therapeutics to treat Meth-induced BBB disruption. Since a breach of the BBB can have a multitude of consequences, therapies directed toward the treatment of BBB disruption may help to ameliorate the long-term neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits produced by Meth and possibly even Meth addiction. PMID:25788874

  19. Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jun; Hu, Xintao; Han, Junwei; Jiang, Xi; Zhu, Dajiang; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2015-06-01

    Natural stimulus functional magnetic resonance imaging (N-fMRI) such as fMRI acquired when participants were watching video streams or listening to audio streams has been increasingly used to investigate functional mechanisms of the human brain in recent years. One of the fundamental challenges in functional brain mapping based on N-fMRI is to model the brain's functional responses to continuous, naturalistic and dynamic natural stimuli. To address this challenge, in this paper we present a data-driven approach to exploring functional interactions in the human brain during free listening to music and speech streams. Specifically, we model the brain responses using N-fMRI by measuring the functional interactions on large-scale brain networks with intrinsically established structural correspondence, and perform music and speech classification tasks to guide the systematic identification of consistent and discriminative functional interactions when multiple subjects were listening music and speech in multiple categories. The underlying premise is that the functional interactions derived from N-fMRI data of multiple subjects should exhibit both consistency and discriminability. Our experimental results show that a variety of brain systems including attention, memory, auditory/language, emotion, and action networks are among the most relevant brain systems involved in classic music, pop music and speech differentiation. Our study provides an alternative approach to investigating the human brain's mechanism in comprehension of complex natural music and speech. PMID:24526569

  20. New understanding of adolescent brain development; relevance to transitional healthcare for young people with long term conditions

    PubMed Central

    Colver, Allan; Longwell, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Summary Whether or not adolescence should be treated as a special period, there is now no doubt that the brain changes much during adolescence. From an evolutionary perspective, the idea of an under developed brain which is not fit for purpose until adulthood is illogical. Rather, the adolescent brain is likely to support the challenges specific to that period of life. New imaging techniques show unequivocal, striking changes in the white and gray matter which take place between 11 and 25 years of age. There is increased connectivity between