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Sample records for understand brain function

  1. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2010-01-08

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

  2. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

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

  3. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressler, Steven L.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    PubMed Central

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Understanding Brain Tumors

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D.; Baker, Justin T.

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Understanding complexity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

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

  1. COPPER AND BRAIN FUNCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Split Brain Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassel, Russell N.

    1978-01-01

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

  3. Understanding the brain through its spatial structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Will Zachary

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

  4. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Brain Hemispheric Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roeper Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Levac, Danielle; DeMatteo, Carol

    2009-11-01

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

  7. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Development of the Brain's Functional Network Architecture

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Functional Lateralization of the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Raymond S.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Students' understanding of trigonometric functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Keith

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pandya, Sunil K.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Fostering Literacy through Understanding Brain Mechanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCandliss, Bruce D.; Posner, Michael I.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meeker, Mary

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

  2. Students' Understanding of Trigonometric Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Natriuretic Hormones in Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Hodes, Anastasia; Lichtstein, David

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Elisabeth L; Frith, Uta

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-03-01

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

  7. The Energetic Brain: Understanding and Managing ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Minds, Brains, and Difference in Personal Understandings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sankey, Derek

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: An Introduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Roy, Sisir; Llinás, Rodolfo

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Conceptual Alignment: How Brains Achieve Mutual Understanding.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Arjen; Verhagen, Lennart; Toni, Ivan

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Robust transient dynamics and brain functions.

    PubMed

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-11

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

  4. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Dolichol alters brain membrane functions

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-03-05

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

  6. How Brain Research Has Changed Our Understanding of Giftedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Barbara

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Advances in understanding colonic function.

    PubMed

    Milla, Peter J

    2009-04-01

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

  8. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Promoting Motor Function by Exercising the Brain

    PubMed 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

  10. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mevel, Katell; Fransson, Peter

    2016-09-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fornito, Alex; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Energetic cost of brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Paul

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lusebrink, Vija B.

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Order and disorder in the brain function.

    PubMed

    Quadens, Olga

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-09-01

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

  7. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Kawato, Mitsuo

    2008-06-27

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

  9. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauter, Judith

    2002-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  14. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-11-01

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

  15. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Haberkern, Hannah; Jayaraman, Vivek

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Resiliency of EEG-Based Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Felipo, Vicente

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Hiroyuki; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2011-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Estrogen treatment affects brain functioning after menopause.

    PubMed

    Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muldoon, Sarah Feldt; Bassett, Danielle S.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lisman, John

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

  10. An Adaptive Complex Network Model for Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Classroom Seating and Functional Brain Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gur, Raquel E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

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

  13. The Brain and Development of Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Touwen, Bert C. L.

    1998-01-01

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

  14. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed 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

  17. Functional neuroimaging can support causal claims about brain function

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisek, Paul

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Damulin, I V

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

  3. SPECT functional brain imaging. Technical considerations.

    PubMed

    Devous, M D

    1995-07-01

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

  4. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Understanding human functioning using graphical models

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Modulatory Interactions of Resting-State Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed 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

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

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanches, Mary

    1979-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

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

  20. Accessory food factors: understanding the catalytic function.

    PubMed

    Braun, Robyn

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Understanding paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Kimberly S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Timothy R.; Mazmanian, Sarkis K.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Evan

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liley, David T. J.; Frascoli, Federico

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  11. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylvan, Lesley J.; Christodoulou, Joanna A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Functional brain correlates of heterosexual paedophilia.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-15

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

  17. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Westermann, Gert

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uddin, Lucina Q.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  5. Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA 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 Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Understanding Linear Functions and Their Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Pamela J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kryder, James S.

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

  18. Kappa-opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Chemical Biology for Understanding Matrix Metalloproteinase Function

    PubMed Central

    Knapinska, Anna; Fields, Gregg B.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Disrupted Brain Functional Network Architecture in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, DP; Maarek, J-M I

    2008-01-01

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

  6. The brain and higher mental function.

    PubMed

    Smith, G C

    1991-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

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

  16. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Musen, Mark; Menon, Vinod

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Functional brain imaging of trigeminal neuralgia.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Evidence for hubs in human functional brain networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  9. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Froldi, Francesca; Cheng, Louise Y

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

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

  5. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Generating text from functional brain images.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Eleventh Graders' Understandings of Mathematical Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnett-Bradshaw, Camille S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wanqing; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  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. 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,…

  19. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

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

  20. 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

  1. [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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schrott, Aniko; Kabai, Peter

    2008-01-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Branched-chain amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, John D

    2005-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kasabov, Nikola K

    2014-04-01

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

  8. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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