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Sample records for active avoidance task

  1. The acquisition of passive avoidance, active avoidance, and spatial navigation tasks by animals prenatally exposed to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Riley, E P; Foss, J A

    1991-01-01

    Pregnant Long-Evans rats were administered cocaine orally (60 mg/kg) on gestational days 14-21. One control group was administered the vehicle and another left untreated. Cocaine treatment produced some maternal lethality, and the weight gain of the surviving dams was reduced approximately 15%. Offspring of mothers treated with cocaine did not differ from those of untreated mothers in their numbers, birth weight, or growth. Weanling offspring were tested in a passive avoidance task, and adult offspring were tested for two-way active avoidance and in a spatial navigation task. Although a few animals in the cocaine group showed poor retention of passive avoidance, the group differences were not statistically significant. The adult animals showed normal performance in both the active avoidance and spatial navigation tasks. PMID:1758412

  2. Differential effects of bupropion on acquisition and performance of an active avoidance task in male mice.

    PubMed

    Gómez, M C; Redolat, R; Carrasco, M C

    2016-03-01

    Bupropion is an antidepressant drug that is known to aid smoking cessation, although little experimental evidence exists about its actions on active avoidance learning tasks. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of this drug on two-way active avoidance conditioning. In this study, NMRI mice received bupropion (10, 20 and 40mg/kg) or saline before a daily training session (learning phase, days 1-4) in the active avoidance task. Performance was evaluated on the fifth day (retention phase): in each bupropion-treated group half of the mice continued with the same dose of bupropion, and the other half received saline. Among the vehicle-treated mice, different sub-groups were challenged with different doses of bupropion. Results indicated that mice treated with 10 and 20mg/kg bupropion exhibited more number of avoidances during acquisition. The response latency confirmed this learning improvement, since this parameter decreased after bupropion administration. No differences between groups were observed in the retention phase. In conclusion, our data show that bupropion influences the learning process during active avoidance conditioning, suggesting that this drug can improve the control of emotional responses. PMID:26688488

  3. Dizocilpine (MK-801) impairs learning in the active place avoidance task but has no effect on the performance during task/context alternation.

    PubMed

    Vojtechova, Iveta; Petrasek, Tomas; Hatalova, Hana; Pistikova, Adela; Vales, Karel; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-05-15

    The prevention of engram interference, pattern separation, flexibility, cognitive coordination and spatial navigation are usually studied separately at the behavioral level. Impairment in executive functions is often observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia. We have designed a protocol for assessing these functions all together as behavioral separation. This protocol is based on alternated or sequential training in two tasks testing different hippocampal functions (the Morris water maze and active place avoidance), and alternated or sequential training in two similar environments of the active place avoidance task. In Experiment 1, we tested, in adult rats, whether the performance in two different spatial tasks was affected by their order in sequential learning, or by their day-to-day alternation. In Experiment 2, rats learned to solve the active place avoidance task in two environments either alternately or sequentially. We found that rats are able to acquire both tasks and to discriminate both similar contexts without obvious problems regardless of the order or the alternation. We used two groups of rats, controls and a rat model of psychosis induced by a subchronic intraperitoneal application of 0.08mg/kg of dizocilpine (MK-801), a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. Dizocilpine had no selective effect on parallel/sequential learning of tasks/contexts. However, it caused hyperlocomotion and a significant deficit in learning in the active place avoidance task regardless of the task alternation. Cognitive coordination tested by this task is probably more sensitive to dizocilpine than spatial orientation because no hyperactivity or learning impairment was observed in the Morris water maze. PMID:26970577

  4. Altered activity of the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala during acquisition and extinction of an active avoidance task

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Xilu; Beck, Kevin D.; Myers, Catherine E.; Servatius, Richard J.; Pang, Kevin C. H.

    2015-01-01

    Altered medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala function is associated with anxiety-related disorders. While the mPFC-amygdala pathway has a clear role in fear conditioning, these structures are also involved in active avoidance. Given that avoidance perseveration represents a core symptom of anxiety disorders, the neural substrate of avoidance, especially its extinction, requires better understanding. The present study was designed to investigate the activity, particularly, inhibitory neuronal activity in mPFC and amygdala during acquisition and extinction of lever-press avoidance in rats. Neural activity was examined in the mPFC, intercalated cell clusters (ITCs) lateral (LA), basal (BA) and central (CeA) amygdala, at various time points during acquisition and extinction, using induction of the immediate early gene product, c-Fos. Neural activity was greater in the mPFC, LA, BA, and ITC during the extinction phase as compared to the acquisition phase. In contrast, the CeA was the only region that was more activated during acquisition than during extinction. Our results indicate inhibitory neurons are more activated during late phase of acquisition and extinction in the mPFC and LA, suggesting the dynamic involvement of inhibitory circuits in the development and extinction of avoidance response. Together, these data start to identify the key brain regions important in active avoidance behavior, areas that could be associated with avoidance perseveration in anxiety disorders. PMID:26441578

  5. Temporal and spatial strategies in an active place avoidance task on Carousel: a study of effects of stability of arena rotation speed in rats

    PubMed Central

    Stuchlík, Aleš

    2015-01-01

    The active place avoidance task is a dry-arena task used to assess spatial navigation and memory in rodents. In this task, a subject is put on a rotating circular arena and avoids an invisible sector that is stable in relation to the room. Rotation of the arena means that the subject’s avoidance must be active, otherwise the subject will be moved in the to-be-avoided sector by the rotation of the arena and a slight electric shock will be administered. The present experiment explored the effect of variable arena rotation speed on the ability to avoid the to-be-avoided sector. Subjects in a group with variable arena rotation speed learned to avoid the sector with the same speed and attained the same avoidance ability as rats in a group with a stable arena rotation speed. Only a slight difference in preferred position within the room was found between the two groups. No difference was found between the two groups in the dark phase, where subjects could not use orientation cues in the room. Only one rat was able to learn the avoidance of the to-be-avoided sector in this phase. The results of the experiment suggest that idiothetic orientation and interval timing are not crucial for learning avoidance of the to-be-avoided sector. However, idiothetic orientation might be sufficient for avoiding the sector in the dark. PMID:26417540

  6. Temporal and spatial strategies in an active place avoidance task on Carousel: a study of effects of stability of arena rotation speed in rats.

    PubMed

    Bahník, Štěpán; Stuchlík, Aleš

    2015-01-01

    The active place avoidance task is a dry-arena task used to assess spatial navigation and memory in rodents. In this task, a subject is put on a rotating circular arena and avoids an invisible sector that is stable in relation to the room. Rotation of the arena means that the subject's avoidance must be active, otherwise the subject will be moved in the to-be-avoided sector by the rotation of the arena and a slight electric shock will be administered. The present experiment explored the effect of variable arena rotation speed on the ability to avoid the to-be-avoided sector. Subjects in a group with variable arena rotation speed learned to avoid the sector with the same speed and attained the same avoidance ability as rats in a group with a stable arena rotation speed. Only a slight difference in preferred position within the room was found between the two groups. No difference was found between the two groups in the dark phase, where subjects could not use orientation cues in the room. Only one rat was able to learn the avoidance of the to-be-avoided sector in this phase. The results of the experiment suggest that idiothetic orientation and interval timing are not crucial for learning avoidance of the to-be-avoided sector. However, idiothetic orientation might be sufficient for avoiding the sector in the dark. PMID:26417540

  7. Manipulation of D2 receptors with quinpirole and sulpiride affects locomotor activity before spatial behavior of rats in an active place avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Stuchlik, Ales; Rehakova, Lenka; Rambousek, Lukas; Svoboda, Jan; Vales, Karel

    2007-06-01

    Dopamine-mediated neurotransmission is widely studied with respect to motivation, motor activity and cognitive processes. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of D2 receptors in the behavior of rats in the active allothetic place avoidance (AAPA) task. D2 receptor agonist quinpirole and antagonist sulpiride were administered intraperitoneally 20min prior to behavioral testing. Administration of quinpirole led to dose-dependent increase of locomotion; the spatial efficiency was spared across the dose range studied (0.05-1.0mg/kg). In contrast, sulpiride decreased locomotor activity at a dose not influencing spatial efficiency (60mg/kg); the highest dose of sulpiride (100mg/kg) caused a deficit in both locomotor and spatial behaviors. The results suggest a relatively lesser importance of D2 receptors for spatial efficiency in the AAPA task, with a predominant influence of D2 receptor ligands on motor activity. PMID:17360063

  8. Effects of nootropic agents on the performing of active two-way avoidance tasks in young and old rats.

    PubMed

    Petkov, V D; Belcheva, S; Stoyanova, V; Petkov, V V

    1990-01-01

    Experiments were made on 2- and 18-month-old male rats to test the effects on the acquisition and retention of piracetam, meclofenoxate and four newly-synthesized substances with assumed nootropic action: pyrrolidine derivatives with code names p-F, p-P and A-T, as well as the derivative of para-chlorophenoxypropionic acid, with code name 4-Cl-alpha PA. The method of two-way active avoidance was used, with punishment reinforcement during 5-day training and retention tests on the 14th day after the beginning of training. The agents studied were applied orally in doses of 30 and 150 mg/kg for 3 days (2 days before training and on the first day of training) and then again one hour before the retention testing. The older rats manifested a poorer learning capacity than the younger ones. Piracetam produced the best effect both on learning and on retention. Compounds with code names p-F, p-P and A-T induced an increase in the number of avoidances compared with the controls on isolated days only, according to the tests for acquisition. The favourable effects observed are not in close dependence either on the dose applied, or on the age of the experimental animal. No significant effects were observed under the effect of meclofenoxate and of its structural analogue 4-Cl-alpha PA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2101540

  9. The inhibitory avoidance discrimination task to investigate accuracy of memory

    PubMed Central

    Atucha, Erika; Roozendaal, Benno

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at developing a new inhibitory avoidance task, based on training and/or testing rats in multiple contexts, to investigate accuracy of memory. In the first experiment, male Sprague-Dawley rats were given footshock in an inhibitory avoidance apparatus and, 48 h later, retention latencies of each rat were assessed in the training apparatus (Shock box) as well as in a novel, contextually modified, apparatus. Retention latencies in the Shock box were significantly longer than those in the Novel box, indicating accurate memory of the training context. When the noradrenergic stimulant yohimbine (0.3 mg/kg, sc) was administered after the training, 48-h retention latencies in the Shock box, but not Novel box, were increased, indicating that the noradrenergic activation enhanced memory of the training experience without reducing memory accuracy. In the second experiment, rats were trained on an inhibitory avoidance discrimination task: They were first trained in an inhibitory avoidance apparatus without footshock (Non-Shock box), followed 1 min later by footshock training in a contextually modified apparatus (Shock box). Forty-eight-hour retention latencies in the Shock and Non-Shock boxes did not differ from each other but were both significantly longer than those in a Novel box, indicating that rats remembered the two training contexts but did not have episodic-like memory of the association of footshock with the correct training context. When the interval between the two training episodes was increased to 2 min, rats showed accurate memory of the association of footshock with the training context. Yohimbine administered after the training also enhanced rats' ability to remember in which training context they had received actual footshock. These findings indicate that the inhibitory avoidance discrimination task is a novel variant of the well-established inhibitory avoidance task suitable to investigate accuracy of memory. PMID:25814942

  10. Hippocampal-dependent memory in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task: The role of spatial cues and CA1 activity.

    PubMed

    Leão, Anderson H F F; Medeiros, André M; Apolinário, Gênedy K S; Cabral, Alícia; Ribeiro, Alessandra M; Barbosa, Flávio F; Silva, Regina H

    2016-05-01

    The plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PMDAT) has been used to investigate interactions between aversive memory and an anxiety-like response in rodents. Suitable performance in this task depends on the activity of the basolateral amygdala, similar to other aversive-based memory tasks. However, the role of spatial cues and hippocampal-dependent learning in the performance of PMDAT remains unknown. Here, we investigated the role of proximal and distal cues in the retrieval of this task. Animals tested under misplaced proximal cues had diminished performance, and animals tested under both misplaced proximal cues and absent distal cues could not discriminate the aversive arm. We also assessed the role of the dorsal hippocampus (CA1) in this aversive memory task. Temporary bilateral inactivation of dorsal CA1 was conducted with muscimol (0.05μg, 0.1μg, and 0.2μg) prior to the training session. While the acquisition of the task was not altered, muscimol impaired the performance in the test session and reduced the anxiety-like response in the training session. We also performed a spreading analysis of a fluorophore-conjugated muscimol to confirm selective inhibition of CA1. In conclusion, both distal and proximal cues are required to retrieve the task, with the latter being more relevant to spatial orientation. Dorsal CA1 activity is also required for aversive memory formation in this task, and interfered with the anxiety-like response as well. Importantly, both effects were detected by different parameters in the same paradigm, endorsing the previous findings of independent assessment of aversive memory and anxiety-like behavior in the PMDAT. Taken together, these findings suggest that the PMDAT probably requires an integration of multiple systems for memory formation, resembling an episodic-like memory rather than a pure conditioning behavior. Furthermore, the concomitant and independent assessment of emotionality and memory in rodents is relevant to elucidate

  11. Converging evidence of social avoidant behavior in schizophrenia from two approach-avoidance tasks.

    PubMed

    de la Asuncion, Javier; Docx, Lise; Sabbe, Bernard; Morrens, Manuel; de Bruijn, Ellen R A

    2015-10-01

    Many people with schizophrenia suffer from social impairments characterized by active social avoidance, which is related to social phobia common in schizophrenia, while motivational impairments can also result in passive social withdrawal. Although social avoidance is frequently reported in this population, this is the first study to directly compare approach-avoidance tendencies in schizophrenia patients (N = 37) and healthy controls (N = 29). Participants performed two tasks: a computerized approach-avoidance task (AAT) to assess response tendencies toward images of happy and angry faces with direct or averted gaze and a one-to-one personal space test (PST) to gauge more naturalistic approach-avoidance behaviors toward a real person bearing a neutral expression. The AAT results showed that both groups showed faster avoidance responses to angry faces and faster approach responses to happy faces with a direct gaze. Happy faces with averted gaze, however, resulted in faster avoidance responses in the patient group only. On the PST, the patients approached the experimenter less than healthy controls did. This measure of interpersonal distance was positively related to positive symptom severity. Delusions of reference and increased sensitivity to social rejection may explain the patients' avoidance tendencies in response to pictures of happy faces with averted gaze and in the presence of an actual person. The current findings demonstrate the importance of others adopting positive and unambiguous attitudes when interacting with schizophrenia patients to minimize behavioral avoidance patterns, which is particularly relevant for relatives and clinicians whose interactions with the patients are crucial to facilitating treatment and promoting healthy social relationships. PMID:26343605

  12. Does Task-Focused versus Task-Avoidance Behavior Matter for Literacy Development in an Orthographically Consistent Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou, George K.; Manolitsis, George; Nurmi, Jari-Erik; Parrila, Rauno

    2010-01-01

    We examined the importance of children's classroom activity, defined as task-focused versus task-avoidance behavior, on different literacy outcomes in an orthographically consistent language. Greek children (n=95) were tested in kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 on measures of general cognitive ability, phonological awareness, RAN, and short-term…

  13. Instructional Support Predicts Children's Task Avoidance in Kindergarten

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pakarinen, Eija; Kiuru, Noona; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Ahonen, Timo; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the role of observed classroom quality in children's task-avoidant behavior and math skills in kindergarten. To investigate this, 1268 children were tested twice on their math skills during their kindergarten year. Kindergarten teachers (N = 137) filled in questionnaires measuring their professional experience and also rated…

  14. Avoidance behavior: a free-operant lever-press avoidance task for the assessment of the effects of safety signals.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Anushka B P; Mar, Adam C; Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Dickinson, Anthony; Robbins, Trevor W

    2015-01-01

    This protocol details a free-operant avoidance paradigm that has been developed to evaluate the relative contribution of different sources of reinforcement of avoidance behavior that may play an important role in the development and maintenance of human anxiety disorders. The task enables the assessment of the effects of safety cues that signal a period free from danger on lever-press avoidance behavior. Avoidance behavior trained using this protocol has been shown to be sensitive to both behavioral and pharmacological manipulations and has been optimized so that it takes approximately 1 month for rats to perform at high levels of stable avoidance responding. PMID:25559006

  15. Nucleus accumbens core lesions enhance two-way active avoidance.

    PubMed

    Lichtenberg, N T; Kashtelyan, V; Burton, A C; Bissonette, G B; Roesch, M R

    2014-01-31

    The majority of work examining the nucleus accumbens core (NAc) has focused on functions pertaining to behaviors guided by appetitive outcomes. These studies have pointed to the NAc as being critical for motivating behavior toward desirable outcomes. For example, we have recently shown that lesions of the NAc impaired performance on a reward-guided decision-making task that required rats to choose between differently valued rewards. Unfortunately, much less is known about the role that the NAc plays in motivating behavior when aversive outcomes are predicted. To address this issue we asked if NAc lesions impact performance on a two-way active avoidance task in which rats must learn to shuttle back and forth in a behavioral training box in order to avoid a footshock predicted by an auditory tone. Although bilateral NAc lesions initially impaired reward-guided decision-making, we found that the same lesions improved acquisition and retention of two-way active avoidance. PMID:24275320

  16. The Developmental Dynamics of Task-Avoidant Behavior and Math Performance in Kindergarten and Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirvonen, Riikka; Tolvanen, Asko; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2012-01-01

    Besides cognitive factors, children's learning at school may be influenced by more dynamic phenomena, such as motivation and achievement-related task-avoidant behavior. The present study examined the developmental dynamics of task-avoidant behavior and math performance from kindergarten to Grade 4. A total of 225 children were tested for their…

  17. Teaching a High-Avoidance Motor Task to a Retarded Child through Participant Modeling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feltz, Deborah L.

    1980-01-01

    The study investigated the effectiveness of participant modeling as a technique for teaching an educable mentally retarded 12-year-old a task that was considered high in avoidance (a modified forward dive). Participant modeling with self-directed performance at each step was successful in teaching the student a high avoidance diving task. (SBH)

  18. Active Collision Avoidance for Planetary Landers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rickman, Doug; Hannan, Mike; Srinivasan, Karthik

    2014-01-01

    Present day robotic missions to other planets require precise, a priori knowledge of the terrain to pre-determine a landing spot that is safe. Landing sites can be miles from the mission objective, or, mission objectives may be tailored to suit landing sites. Future robotic exploration missions should be capable of autonomously identifying a safe landing target within a specified target area selected by mission requirements. Such autonomous landing sites must (1) 'see' the surface, (2) identify a target, and (3) land the vehicle. Recent advances in radar technology have resulted in small, lightweight, low power radars that are used for collision avoidance and cruise control systems in automobiles. Such radar systems can be adapted for use as active hazard avoidance systems for planetary landers. The focus of this CIF proposal is to leverage earlier work on collision avoidance systems for MSFC's Mighty Eagle lander and evaluate the use of automotive radar systems for collision avoidance in planetary landers.

  19. TRIMETHYLTIN IMPAIRS RETENTION OF A PASSIVE AVOIDANCE TASK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Trimethyltin is a neurotoxic organometal which produces neuronal damage in several limbic regions including the hippocampus, amygdala and the pyriform cortex. One administration of trimethyltin (5,6 or 7 mg/kg) twenty one days prior to passive avoidance conditioning produced an i...

  20. Self-organized complementary joint action: Behavioral dynamics of an interpersonal collision-avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Michael J; Harrison, Steven J; Kallen, Rachel W; Walton, Ashley; Eiler, Brian A; Saltzman, Elliot; Schmidt, R C

    2015-06-01

    Understanding stable patterns of interpersonal movement coordination is essential to understanding successful social interaction and activity (i.e., joint action). Previous research investigating such coordination has primarily focused on the synchronization of simple rhythmic movements (e.g., finger/forearm oscillations or pendulum swinging). Very few studies, however, have explored the stable patterns of coordination that emerge during task-directed complementary coordination tasks. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate and model the behavioral dynamics of a complementary collision-avoidance task. Participant pairs performed a repetitive targeting task in which they moved computer stimuli back and forth between sets of target locations without colliding into each other. The results revealed that pairs quickly converged onto a stable, asymmetric pattern of movement coordination that reflected differential control across participants, with 1 participant adopting a more straight-line movement trajectory between targets, and the other participant adopting a more elliptical trajectory between targets. This asymmetric movement pattern was also characterized by a phase lag between participants and was essential to task success. Coupling directionality analysis and dynamical modeling revealed that this dynamic regime was due to participant-specific differences in the coupling functions that defined the task-dynamics of participant pairs. Collectively, the current findings provide evidence that the dynamical coordination processes previously identified to underlie simple motor synchronization can also support more complex, goal-directed, joint action behavior, and can participate the spontaneous emergence of complementary joint action roles. PMID:25751036

  1. Self-Organized Complementary Joint Action: Behavioral Dynamics of an Interpersonal Collision-Avoidance Task

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Michael J.; Harrison, Steven J.; Kallen, Rachel W.; Walton, Ashley; Eiler, Brian A.; Saltzman, Elliot; Schmidt, R. C.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding stable patterns of interpersonal movement coordination is essential to understanding successful social interaction and activity (i.e., joint action). Previous research investigating such coordination has primarily focused on the synchronization of simple rhythmic movements (e.g., finger/forearm oscillations or pendulum swinging). Very few studies, however, have explored the stable patterns of coordination that emerge during task-directed complementary coordination tasks. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate and model the behavioral dynamics of a complementary collision-avoidance task. Participant pairs performed a repetitive targeting task in which they moved computer stimuli back and forth between sets of target locations without colliding into each other. The results revealed that pairs quickly converged onto a stable, asymmetric pattern of movement coordination that reflected differential control across participants, with 1 participant adopting a more straight-line movement trajectory between targets, and the other participant adopting a more elliptical trajectory between targets. This asymmetric movement pattern was also characterized by a phase lag between participants and was essential to task success. Coupling directionality analysis and dynamical modeling revealed that this dynamic regime was due to participant-specific differences in the coupling functions that defined the task-dynamics of participant pairs. Collectively, the current findings provide evidence that the dynamical coordination processes previously identified to underlie simple motor synchronization can also support more complex, goal-directed, joint action behavior, and can participate the spontaneous emergence of complementary joint action roles. PMID:25751036

  2. A bio-inspired kinematic controller for obstacle avoidance during reaching tasks with real robots.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Bhattacharyya, Rajan; Sundareswara, Rashmi; Lee, Craig; Grossberg, Stephen

    2012-11-01

    This paper describes a redundant robot arm that is capable of learning to reach for targets in space in a self-organized fashion while avoiding obstacles. Self-generated movement commands that activate correlated visual, spatial and motor information are used to learn forward and inverse kinematic control models while moving in obstacle-free space using the Direction-to-Rotation Transform (DIRECT). Unlike prior DIRECT models, the learning process in this work was realized using an online Fuzzy ARTMAP learning algorithm. The DIRECT-based kinematic controller is fault tolerant and can handle a wide range of perturbations such as joint locking and the use of tools despite not having experienced them during learning. The DIRECT model was extended based on a novel reactive obstacle avoidance direction (DIRECT-ROAD) model to enable redundant robots to avoid obstacles in environments with simple obstacle configurations. However, certain configurations of obstacles in the environment prevented the robot from reaching the target with purely reactive obstacle avoidance. To address this complexity, a self-organized process of mental rehearsals of movements was modeled, inspired by human and animal experiments on reaching, to generate plans for movement execution using DIRECT-ROAD in complex environments. These mental rehearsals or plans are self-generated by using the Fuzzy ARTMAP algorithm to retrieve multiple solutions for reaching each target while accounting for all the obstacles in its environment. The key aspects of the proposed novel controller were illustrated first using simple examples. Experiments were then performed on real robot platforms to demonstrate successful obstacle avoidance during reaching tasks in real-world environments. PMID:22954479

  3. Characterization of radiation-induced performance decrement using a two-lever shock-avoidance task

    SciTech Connect

    Burghardt, W.F. Jr.; Hunt, W.A.

    1985-07-01

    Rats were trained to perform a task involving responses on two levers. Responding on an avoidance lever delayed the onset of electrical footshock for 20 sec and responding on a warning lever turned on a light for 60 sec. When the light was on, the task on the avoidance lever was changed from unsignaled shock avoidance to signaled shock avoidance by preceding the shocks with 5-sec warning tones. The animals preferred the signaled avoidance condition. After 100 Gy of /sup 60/Co irradiation, the animals were less able to avoid shock, an effect from which the animals recovered somewhat over 90 min. The response rate on the avoidance lever remained at or above control rates, while the response rate on the warning lever showed an initial increase, followed by a decrease below baseline. The data suggest that under these experimental conditions a subject will not respond appropriately to avoid shock or acquire cues that can facilitate the avoidance of shock. The effects, however, do not reflect an inability to perform the required movements but instead appear to reflect some characteristic of the task associated with a particular lever.

  4. Cross-Lagged Relations between Task-Avoidant Behavior and Literacy Skills in Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liao, Chen-Huei; Georgiou, George K.; Zhang, Xiao; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2013-01-01

    We examined the cross-lagged relations between children's task-avoidant behavior and their performance in reading and spelling in Chinese. Eighty Grade 2 and 103 Grade 4 Mandarin-speaking Taiwanese children were assessed on measures of nonverbal IQ, task value, reading accuracy, fluency, and spelling. A year later, the children were reassessed on…

  5. Persistent active avoidance correlates with activity in prelimbic cortex and ventral striatum.

    PubMed

    Bravo-Rivera, Christian; Roman-Ortiz, Ciorana; Montesinos-Cartagena, Marlian; Quirk, Gregory J

    2015-01-01

    Persistent avoidance is a prominent symptom of anxiety disorders and is often resistant to extinction-based therapies. Little is known about the circuitry mediating persistent avoidance. Using a recently described platform-mediated active avoidance task, we assessed activity in several structures with c-Fos immuno-labeling. In Task 1, rats were conditioned to avoid a tone-signaled shock by moving to a safe platform, and then were extinguished over two days. One day later, failure to retrieve extinction correlated with increased activity in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PL), ventral striatum (VS), and basal amygdala (BA), and decreased activity in infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL), consistent with pharmacological inactivation studies. In Task 2, the platform was removed during extinction training and fear (suppression of bar pressing) was extinguished to criterion over 3-5 days. The platform was then returned in a post-extinction test. Under these conditions, avoidance levels were equivalent to Experiment 1 and correlated with increased activity in PL and VS, but there was no correlation with activity in IL or BA. Thus, persistent avoidance can occur independently of deficits in fear extinction and its associated structures. PMID:26236209

  6. Persistent active avoidance correlates with activity in prelimbic cortex and ventral striatum

    PubMed Central

    Bravo-Rivera, Christian; Roman-Ortiz, Ciorana; Montesinos-Cartagena, Marlian; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2015-01-01

    Persistent avoidance is a prominent symptom of anxiety disorders and is often resistant to extinction-based therapies. Little is known about the circuitry mediating persistent avoidance. Using a recently described platform-mediated active avoidance task, we assessed activity in several structures with c-Fos immuno-labeling. In Task 1, rats were conditioned to avoid a tone-signaled shock by moving to a safe platform, and then were extinguished over two days. One day later, failure to retrieve extinction correlated with increased activity in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PL), ventral striatum (VS), and basal amygdala (BA), and decreased activity in infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL), consistent with pharmacological inactivation studies. In Task 2, the platform was removed during extinction training and fear (suppression of bar pressing) was extinguished to criterion over 3–5 days. The platform was then returned in a post-extinction test. Under these conditions, avoidance levels were equivalent to Experiment 1 and correlated with increased activity in PL and VS, but there was no correlation with activity in IL or BA. Thus, persistent avoidance can occur independently of deficits in fear extinction and its associated structures. PMID:26236209

  7. Effects of a secondary task on obstacle avoidance in healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Siu, Ka-Chun; Catena, Robert D; Chou, Li-Shan; van Donkelaar, Paul; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2008-01-01

    Research on attention and gait stability has suggested that the process of recovering gait stability requires attentional resources, but the effect of performing a secondary task on stability during obstacle avoidance is poorly understood. Using a dual-task paradigm, the present experiment investigated the extent to which young adults are able to respond to a secondary auditory Stroop task (requiring executive attentional network resources) concurrently with obstacle crossing during gait when compared with performing unobstructed walking or sitting (control task). Our results demonstrated that as the level of difficulty in the postural task increased, there was a significant reduction in verbal response time from congruent to incongruent conditions in the auditory Stroop task, but no differences in gait parameters, indicating that these postural tasks require attention, and that young adults use a strategy of modulating the auditory Stroop task performance while keeping stable gait performance under the dual-task situations. Our findings suggest the existence of a hierarchy of control within both postural task (obstacle avoidance requires the most information processing resources) and dual-task (with gait stability being a priority) conditions. PMID:17717655

  8. Discharge properties of hippocampal neurons during performance of a jump avoidance task

    PubMed Central

    Lenck-Santini, Pierre-Pascal; Fenton, André A.; Muller, Robert U.

    2008-01-01

    We recorded single hippocampal cells while rats performed a jump avoidance task. In this task, a rat was dropped onto the metal floor of a 33 cm gray wooden cube and was given a mild electric shock if it did not jump up onto the box rim in less than 15 sec. We found that many hippocampal pyramidal cells and most interneurons discharged preferentially at either the drop, the jump or on both events. By simultaneously recording the hippocampal EEG, we found that the discharge of most of the event-related pyramidal cells was modulated by the theta rhythm and moreover that discharge precessed with theta cycles in the same fashion seen for pyramidal cells in their role as place cells. The elevations of firing rate at drop and jump were accompanied by increases in theta frequency. We conclude that many of the features of event-related discharge can be interpreted as being equivalent to the activity of place cells with firing fields above the box floor. Nevertheless, there are sufficient differences between expectations from place cells and observed activity to indicate that pyramidal cells may be able to signal events as well as location. PMID:18596153

  9. Dual-tasking interferes with obstacle avoidance reactions in healthy seniors.

    PubMed

    Hegeman, Judith; Weerdesteyn, Vivian; van den Bemt, Bart; Nienhuis, Bart; van Limbeek, Jacques; Duysens, Jacques

    2012-06-01

    Dual-tasking can lead to falls, as does a deterioration of obstacle avoidance (OA) skills. Hence, it is expected that a combination of both would be even more detrimental, especially when OA is time-critical. Previous studies confirmed this expectation, however, due to several limitations in their design it is yet too early to draw any definitive conclusions on the allocation of attentional resources in OA under dual-task conditions. Therefore, attentionally demanding primary and secondary tasks were used with the instruction to perform as well as possible on both tasks. Nineteen healthy senior individuals (60±4.7 years, 8 females) performed an OA task on a treadmill while walking at 3 km/h as a single task and combined with an auditory Stroop task. Biceps femoris (BF) muscle response times, OA failure rates and composite scores were used to evaluate the data. Increased OA failure rates (3%, p=0.03) and delayed BF response times (21 ms, p<0.001) were found under dual-task conditions. Composite scores were reduced during (p<0.001) and just after obstacle crossing (p=0.003). In conclusion, dual-tasking during time-critical OA affects the motor as well as the cognitive task when subjects are instructed to keep up performance on both tasks. This adds to the evidence indicating an increased risk of tripping or falling when attention is divided during walking in the presence of unexpected obstacles. PMID:22565318

  10. A spatial paradigm, the allothetic place avoidance alternation task, for testing visuospatial working memory and skill learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Dockery, Colleen A; Wesierska, Malgorzata J

    2010-08-30

    We present a paradigm for assessing visuospatial working memory and skill learning in a rodent model, based on the place avoidance test. In our allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) the paradigm is comprised of minimal training sessions, tests various aspects of learning and memory and provides a rich set of parameters. A single working memory session consists of four conditions: habituation (no shock), two place avoidance training intervals (shock activated) and a retrieval test (shock inactivated). The location of the shock sector is alternated for each training day which initially requires extinction of previous representations and further working memory to achieve effective place avoidance across sessions. Visuospatial skill memory was evaluated by the shock/entrance ratio by tracking locomotor activity which is essential to execute a place avoidance strategy. For each day rats learned to avoid a new place with shock, as shown by a decreased number of entrances, and an increased time to the first entrance and maximum avoidance time. Skill learning improved according to the decreased number of shocks per entrance across conditions. These results indicate that complex cognitive functions are captured by this behavioral method. This APAAT paradigm expands and complements existing tools for studying hippocampal-prefrontal dependent functions to support development of treatment interventions. PMID:20603147

  11. Responding to a Challenging Perceptual-Motor Task as a Function of Level of Experiential Avoidance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zettle, Robert D.; Petersen, Connie L.; Hocker, Tanya R.; Provines, Jessica L.

    2007-01-01

    Participants displaying high versus low levels of experiential avoidance as assessed by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (Hayes, Strosahl, et al., 2004) were compared in their reactions to and performance on a challenging perceptual-motor task. Participants were offered incentives for sorting colored straws into different colored containers…

  12. Development of a Virtual Approach-Avoidance Task to Assess Alcohol Cravings.

    PubMed

    Kim, Deok-Yong; Lee, Jang-Han

    2015-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop a new approach-avoidance task in a virtual environment that could be used to assess the response to virtual alcohol-related situations by heavy social drinkers (HSDs) and light social drinkers (LSDs). Thirty-six male undergraduates (18 HSDs, 18 LSDs) responded to signals when they pulled or pushed a joystick after watching scenes of alcohol- or nonalcohol-related situations in a virtual environment. The HSD group spent more time on moving away from alcohol-related situations than nonalcohol-related situations. We found that the HSD group had difficulty in avoiding alcohol-related situations in the virtual environment. The Virtual Approach-Avoidance Task might more accurately measure the levels of social drinkers' craving to drink as it provides realistic situations and allows individuals to be immersed in virtual environments. PMID:26544667

  13. Memory reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in mice involves cytosolic ERK2 bidirectional modulation.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, M C; Blake, M G; Baratti, C M; Romano, A; Boccia, M M; Feld, M

    2015-05-21

    Reconsolidation has been defined as the process of memory stabilization after retrieval involving, among others, gene expression regulation and post-translational modifications. Many of these mechanisms are shared with memory consolidation. Here, we studied hippocampal ERK participation on memory reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in CF-1 mice. We found a retrieval-induced cytosolic ERK2 activation in the hippocampus (HIP) 15 min after memory reactivation, and an inhibition at 45 min. PD098059, a MEK1/2 (MAPK/ERK kinase) inhibitor, administered in the HIP immediately after retrieval impaired memory in a dose-dependent fashion. However, infusions of the highest dose of PD098059 performed 40 min after retrieval enhanced memory in mice trained with a weaker footshock. These results suggest for the first time that ERK2 is involved in memory reconsolidation in a biphasic fashion. Furthermore, the inhibition of ERK could either impair or enhance mice performance depending on ERK state of activation. PMID:25791227

  14. Reduction in Memory Specificity Following an Approach/Avoidance Scrambled Sentences Task Relates to Cognitive Avoidant Coping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Debeer, Elise; Raes, Filip; Williams, J. Mark G.; Hermans, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    "Overgeneral autobiographical memory" (OGM) refers to the tendency to retrieve less specific personal memories. According to the functional avoidance hypothesis, OGM might act as a cognitive strategy to avoid emotionally distressing details of negative memories. In the present study, we investigated the effect of an experimentally induced avoidant…

  15. A Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model decomposition of performance in Approach–Avoidance Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2015-01-01

    Common methods for analysing response time (RT) tasks, frequently used across different disciplines of psychology, suffer from a number of limitations such as the failure to directly measure the underlying latent processes of interest and the inability to take into account the uncertainty associated with each individual's point estimate of performance. Here, we discuss a Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model and apply it to RT data. This model allows researchers to decompose performance into meaningful psychological processes and to account optimally for individual differences and commonalities, even with relatively sparse data. We highlight the advantages of the Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model decomposition by applying it to performance on Approach–Avoidance Tasks, widely used in the emotion and psychopathology literature. Model fits for two experimental data-sets demonstrate that the model performs well. The Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model overcomes important limitations of current analysis procedures and provides deeper insight in latent psychological processes of interest. PMID:25491372

  16. INFANT AVOIDANCE DURING A TACTILE TASK PREDICTS AUTISM SPECTRUM BEHAVIORS IN TODDLERHOOD.

    PubMed

    Mammen, Micah A; Moore, Ginger A; Scaramella, Laura V; Reiss, David; Ganiban, Jody M; Shaw, Daniel S; Leve, Leslie D; Neiderhiser, Jenae M

    2015-01-01

    The experience of touch is critical for early communication and social interaction; infants who show aversion to touch may be at risk for atypical development and behavior problems. The current study aimed to clarify predictive associations between infant responses to tactile stimuli and toddler autism spectrum, internalizing, and externalizing behaviors. This study measured 9-month-old infants' (N = 561; 58% male) avoidance and negative affect during a novel tactile task in which parents painted infants' hands and feet and pressed them to paper to make a picture. Parent reports on the Pervasive Developmental Problems (PDP), Internalizing, and Externalizing scales of the Child Behavior Checklist were used to measure toddler behaviors at 18 months. Infant observed avoidance and negative affect were significantly correlated; however, avoidance predicted subsequent PDP scores only, independent of negative affect, which did not predict any toddler behaviors. Findings suggest that incorporating measures of responses to touch in the study of early social interaction may provide an important and discriminating construct for identifying children at greater risk for social impairments related to autism spectrum behaviors. PMID:26536145

  17. Passive and active place avoidance as a tool of spatial memory research in rats.

    PubMed

    Cimadevilla, J M; Kaminsky, Y; Fenton, A; Bures, J

    2000-10-30

    A modified model of the arena described by Bures et al. (Bures J, Fenton AA, Kaminsky Y, Zinyuk L. Place cells and place navigation, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1997a;94:343-350) was applied to the place learning of adult male rats in two different avoidance paradigms. In the passive avoidance task rats exploring a stationary circular arena had to avoid a 60 degrees sector entering of which was punished by mild footshocks. Intramaze as well as extramaze cues could be used for adequate solution of this task. In the active avoidance paradigm rats were trained to avoid a room frame defined sector (e.g. North-East) of a slowly rotating arena the movement of which forced the animals to rely on extramaze cues and to ignore intramaze information. Rats had to find an active solution of the task since otherwise they were passively transported into the room frame defined punished zone. The suitability of these tasks for testing spatial abilities of rats is discussed. PMID:11040412

  18. The Effect of Gaze Position on Reaching Movements in an Obstacle Avoidance Task

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Alasdair Iain; Schenk, Thomas; Hesse, Constanze

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have addressed the issue of where people look when they perform hand movements. Yet, very little is known about how visuomotor performance is affected by fixation location. Previous studies investigating the accuracy of actions performed in visual periphery have revealed inconsistent results. While movements performed under full visual-feedback (closed-loop) seem to remain surprisingly accurate, open-loop as well as memory-guided movements usually show a distinct bias (i.e. overestimation of target eccentricity) when executed in periphery. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether gaze position affects movements that are performed under full-vision but cannot be corrected based on a direct comparison between the hand and target position. To do so, we employed a classical visuomotor reaching task in which participants were required to move their hand through a gap between two obstacles into a target area. Participants performed the task in four gaze conditions: free-viewing (no restrictions on gaze), central fixation, or fixation on one of the two obstacles. Our findings show that obstacle avoidance behaviour is moderated by fixation position. Specifically, participants tended to select movement paths that veered away from the obstacle fixated indicating that perceptual errors persist in closed-loop vision conditions if they cannot be corrected effectively based on visual feedback. Moreover, measuring the eye-movement in a free-viewing task (Experiment 2), we confirmed that naturally participants’ prefer to move their eyes and hand to the same spatial location. PMID:26636966

  19. Shared control strategies for obstacle avoidance tasks in an intelligent wheelchair.

    PubMed

    Trieu, Hoang T; Nguyen, Hung T; Willey, Keith

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we present a method of shared control strategy for an intelligent wheelchair to assist a disable user in performing obstacle avoidance tasks. The system detects obstacles in front of the wheelchair using a laser range finder sensor. As the wheelchair moves the information from the laser range finder is combined with data from the encoders mounted in its driving wheels to build a 360 degrees real-time map. The accuracy of the map is improved by eliminating the systematic error that would result from both the uncertainty of effective wheelbase and unequal driving wheel diameters. The usable wheelchair accessible space is determined by including the actual wheelchair dimensions in producing the real-time map. In making a decision the shared control method considers the user's intentions via the head-movement interface, accessible space of the environment and user safety. The experiments show promising results in the intelligent wheelchair system. PMID:19163652

  20. Avoidant decision-making in social anxiety disorder: A laboratory task linked to in vivo anxiety and treatment outcome.

    PubMed

    Pittig, Andre; Alpers, Georg W; Niles, Andrea N; Craske, Michelle G

    2015-10-01

    Recent studies on reward-based decision-making in the presence of anxiety-related stimuli demonstrated that approach-avoidance conflicts can be assessed under controlled laboratory conditions. However, the clinical relevance of these decision conflicts has not been demonstrated. To this end, the present study investigated avoidant decisions in treatment-seeking individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). In a gambling task, advantageous choices to maximize gains were associated with task-irrelevant angry faces and disadvantageous choices with happy faces. The clinical relevance of avoidant decisions for in vivo anxiety in a social stress situation (public speaking) were examined (n = 44). In a subsample (n = 20), the predictive value for a reduction of avoidance following behavioral therapy was also evaluated. Results indicated a close link between more frequent avoidant decisions and elevated in vivo anxiety. Moreover, individuals who showed a deficit in the goal-directed adjustment of their decisions also showed higher and sustained distress during the social stressor and reported less decrease of avoidance following treatment. The findings highlight the importance of an avoidant decision-making style for the experience of acute distress and the maintenance of avoidance in SAD. Assessing avoidant decision-making may help to predict the response to behavioral treatments. PMID:26301755

  1. The Cross-Lagged Relations between Children's Academic Skill Development, Task-Avoidance, and Parental Beliefs about Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magi, Katrin; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Rasku-Puttonen, Helena; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2011-01-01

    This longitudinal study investigated the cross-lagged associations between children's academic skill development, task-avoidant behaviour in the context of homework, and parental beliefs about their child's success from kindergarten to Grade 2. The participants were 1267 children. The children's pre-skills were assessed at the end of the…

  2. A Psychological Biathlon: The Relationship between Level of Experiential Avoidance and Perseverance on Two Challenging Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zettle, Robert D.; Barner, Stacy L.; Gird, Suzanne R.; Boone, Linda T.; Renollet, Debra L.; Burdsal, Charles A.

    2012-01-01

    The degree to which experiential avoidance may represent a functional response class was examined by comparing the perseverance of participants displaying high versus low levels of experiential avoidance, as assessed by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (Hayes et al., 2004), during a "psychological biathlon" consisting of 2 challenging tasks…

  3. A New Device for Step-Down Inhibitory Avoidance Task—Effects of Low and High Frequency in a Novel Device for Passive Inhibitory Avoidance Task That Avoids Bioimpedance Variations

    PubMed Central

    Borba Filho, Gilvan Luiz; Zenki, Kamila Cagliari; Kalinine, Eduardo; Baggio, Suelen; Pettenuzzo, Letícia; Zimmer, Eduardo Rigon; Weis, Simone Nardin; Calcagnotto, Maria Elisa; Onofre de Souza, Diogo

    2015-01-01

    Background Step-down inhibitory avoidance task has been widely used to evaluate aversive memory, but crucial parameters inherent to traditional devices that may influence the behavior analysis (as stimulus frequency, animal’s bioimpedance) are frequently neglected. New Method We developed a new device for step-down inhibitory avoidance task by modifying the shape and distribution of the stainless steel bars in the box floor where the stimuli are applied. The bars are 2mm wide, with rectangular shape, arranged in pairs at intervals of 1cm from the next pairs. Each pair makes an electrical dipole where the polarity inverts after each pulse. This device also presents a component that acquires and records the exact current received by the animal foot and precisely controls the frequency of stimulus applied during the entire experiment. Result Different from conventional devices, this new apparatus increases the contact surface with bars and animal´s paws, allowing the electric current pass through the animal´s paws only, drastically reducing the influence of animal’s bioimpedance. The analysis of recorded data showed that the current received by the animal was practically the same as applied, independent of the animal´s body composition. Importantly, the aversive memory was observed at specific stimuli intensity and frequency (0.35 or 0.5 mA at 62 and 125Hz but not at 0.20 mA or 20 Hz). Moreover, with this device it was possible to observe the well-known step-down inhibitory avoidance task memory impairment induced by guanosine. Conclusion This new device offers a substantial improvement for behavioral analysis in step-down inhibitory avoidance task and allows us to precisely compare data from different animals with distinct body composition. PMID:25706879

  4. The combination of agomelatine and ritanserin exerts a synergistic interaction in passive avoidance task.

    PubMed

    İlkaya, F; Yüce, M; Ağrı, A E; Güzel, H; Balcı, H; Uçar, F; Babadağı, Z; Müjdeci, M; Mutlu, E

    2015-08-01

    Agomelatine is a potent agonist at melatonergic 1 and 2 (MT1 and MT2) receptors and an antagonist at serotonin-2C (5HT-2C) receptors. It was suggested that psychotropic effects of agomelatine is associated with its melatonergic and serotonergic effects. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of agomelatine alone or in combination with ritanserin (5HT-2A/2C antagonist) on memory and learning. Male Balb-C mice (25-30 g) were used, and all drugs and saline were administrated by intraperitoneal (i.p.) route 30 min prior to evaluating retention time. Whilst agomelatine was administered at the doses of 1, 10 and 30 mg/kg, ritanserin was administered at the doses of 0.1, 1 and 10 mg/kg. To evaluate memory function, passive avoidance test was used. On the first day, acquisition time and on the second day (after 24h), retention time of mice were recorded. To evaluate the synergistic activity, only the least doses of agomelatine and ritanserine were used, that is, 1 and 0.1 mg/kg, respectively. Scopolamine (1 mg/kg) was used as a reference drug, so it was combined with drug groups. Our results show that 5HT-2A/2C receptor antagonist ritanserin (1 and 4 mg/kg, i.p.) and agomelatine (10 and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) improve memory deficit induced by scopolamine, whilst a synergistic interaction is observed between ritanserin and agomelatine (0.1 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg, i.p., respectively) when they were administered at their ineffective doses. According to our findings, we concluded that agomelatine improves memory deficit and thus improves the effect of agomelatine arises from its 5HT-2C receptor antagonist activity. PMID:25394903

  5. Echolocation behaviour of the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) in an obstacle avoidance task of increasing difficulty.

    PubMed

    Sändig, Sonja; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich; Denzinger, Annette

    2014-08-15

    Four big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) were challenged in an obstacle avoidance experiment to localize vertically stretched wires requiring progressively greater accuracy by diminishing the wire-to-wire distance from 50 to 10 cm. The performance of the bats decreased with decreasing gap size. The avoidance task became very difficult below a wire separation of 30 cm, which corresponds to the average wingspan of E. fuscus. Two of the bats were able to pass without collisions down to a gap size of 10 cm in some of the flights. The other two bats only managed to master gap sizes down to 20 and 30 cm, respectively. They also performed distinctly worse at all other gap sizes. With increasing difficulty of the task, the bats changed their flight and echolocation behaviour. Especially at gap sizes of 30 cm and below, flight paths increased in height and flight speed was reduced. In addition, the bats emitted approach signals that were arranged in groups. At all gap sizes, the largest numbers of pulses per group were observed in the last group before passing the obstacle. The more difficult the obstacle avoidance task, the more pulses there were in the groups and the shorter the within-group pulse intervals. In comparable situations, the better-performing bats always emitted groups with more pulses than the less well-performing individuals. We hypothesize that the accuracy of target localization increases with the number of pulses per group and that each group is processed as a package. PMID:24902745

  6. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks.

    PubMed

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley's model "modality atypical," that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks. PMID:25767443

  7. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks

    PubMed Central

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or “simple” (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley's model “modality atypical,” that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks. PMID:25767443

  8. Developmental Dynamics between Children's Externalizing Problems, Task-Avoidant Behavior, and Academic Performance in Early School Years: A 4-Year Follow-Up

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metsäpelto, Riitta-Leena; Pakarinen, Eija; Kiuru, Noona; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2015-01-01

    This longitudinal study investigated the associations among children's externalizing problems, task-avoidant behavior, and academic performance in early school years. The participants were 586 children (43% girls, 57% boys). Data pertaining to externalizing problems (teacher ratings) and task-avoidant behaviors (mother and teacher ratings) were…

  9. Stability control during the performance of a simultaneous obstacle avoidance and auditory Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Worden, Timothy A; Vallis, Lori Ann

    2016-02-01

    Navigation through complex environments requires a greater degree of control and attentional resources from the central nervous system to ensure postural stability and efficient goal completion as compared to quiet standing or unobstructed walking. Furthermore, when a cognitive task is also performed in a dual-task scenario, additional resources may be required. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive (auditory Stroop task) and complex locomotor task (with a stationary or dynamic obstacle) on frontal plane stability control quantified using a margin of stability (MOS) measure. Fourteen healthy young adults performed 40 dual-task trials (randomized in a balanced design for auditory Stroop congruency and obstacle movement). Results indicated that frontal plane MOS was greatest for the obstacle crossing step and was greater for the dynamic obstacle as compared to the stationary obstacle. Conversely, frontal plane MOS was the smallest for the pre-crossing step, indicating that this point in the obstacle stepping strategy may be the least stable. No effect of cognitive task difficulty was observed for any of the experimental conditions, providing support for a 'posture-first' strategy. These findings suggest that an increase in stability is prioritized for the obstacle crossing step, potentially at the expense of reduced stability in the step immediately preceding the obstacle. These results have implications for better understanding how the CNS controls stability at different events during the obstacle crossing strategy in a complex environment. PMID:26487180

  10. Intrahippocampal Insulin Improves Memory in a Passive-Avoidance Task in Male Wistar Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babri, Shirin; Badie, Hamid Gholamipour; Khamenei, Saeed; Seyedlar, Mehdi Ordikhani

    2007-01-01

    The main impacts of insulin favor the peripheral organs. Although it functions as a neuropeptide, insulin possesses also some central effects. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of intrahippocampal infusion of insulin on passive avoidance learning in healthy male rats. Thirty male wistar rats were divided into three groups (n = 10…

  11. Preparation time modulates pro-active control and enhances task conflict in task switching.

    PubMed

    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Henik, Avishai

    2014-03-01

    Performance in the Stroop task reflects two conflicts--informational (between the incongruent word and ink color) and task (between relevant color naming and irrelevant word reading). Neuroimaging findings support the existence of task conflict in congruent trials. A behavioral indication for task conflict--Stroop reverse facilitation--was found in previous studies under low task-control conditions. Task switching also causes reduction in task control because the task set frequently changes. We hypothesized that it would be harder to efficiently manage task conflicts in switching situations and, specifically, as cue-target interval (CTI) decreases. This suggestion was examined in two experiments using a combined Stroop task-switching design. We found a large interference effect and reverse facilitation that decreased with elongation of CTI. Results imply that task switching reduces pro-active task control and thereby enhances the informational and the task conflicts. This calls for a revision of recent control models to include task conflict. PMID:23712333

  12. Networks of Task Co-Activations

    PubMed Central

    Laird, Angela R.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Rottschy, Claudia; Bzdok, Danilo; Ray, Kimberly L.; Fox, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroimaging informatics and meta-analytic techniques has enabled a novel domain of human brain connectomics research that focuses on task-dependent co-activation patterns across behavioral tasks and cognitive domains. Here, we review studies utilizing the BrainMap database to investigate data trends in the activation literature using methods such as meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM), connectivity-based parcellation (CPB), and independent component analysis (ICA). We give examples of how these methods are being applied to learn more about the functional connectivity of areas such as the amygdala, the default mode network, and visual area V5. Methods for analyzing the behavioral metadata corresponding to regions of interest and to their intrinsically connected networks are described as a tool for local functional decoding. We finally discuss the relation of observed co-activation connectivity results to resting state connectivity patterns, and provide implications for future work in this domain. PMID:23631994

  13. Brain activities during synchronized tapping task.

    PubMed

    Hiroyasu, Tomoyuki; Murakami, Akiho; Mao Gto; Yokouchi, Hisatake

    2015-08-01

    This study aims to investigate how people process information about other people to determine a response during human-to-human cooperative work. As a preliminary study, the mechanism of cooperative work was examined using interaction between a machine and a human. This machine was designed to have an "other person" model that simulates an emotional model of another person. The task performed in the experiment was a synchronized tapping task. Two models were prepared for this experiment, a simple model that does not employ the other person model and a synchronized model that employs the other person model. Subjects performed cooperative work with these machines. During the experiment, brain activities were measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. It was observed that the left inferior frontal gyrus was activated more with the synchronized model than the simple model. PMID:26737670

  14. The Impact of Integrated Maneuver Guidance Information on UAS Pilots Performing the Detect and Avoid Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rorie, Conrad; Fern, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The integrated human-in-the-loop (iHITL) simulation examined the effect of four different Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) display concepts on unmanned aircraft system (UAS) pilots' ability to maintain safe separation. The displays varied in the type and amount of guidance they provided to pilots. The study's background and methodology are discussed, followed by the 'measured response' data (i.e., pilots' end-to-end response time in reacting to traffic alerts on their DAA display). Results indicate that display type had a significant impact on how long pilot's spent interacting with the interface (i.e., edit times).

  15. Individual variation in the neural processes of motor decisions in the stop signal task: the influence of novelty seeking and harm avoidance personality traits.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jianping; Lee, Dianne; Hu, Sien; Zhang, Sheng; Chao, Herta; Li, Chiang-Shan R

    2016-06-01

    Personality traits contribute to variation in human behavior, including the propensity to take risk. Extant work targeted risk-taking processes with an explicit manipulation of reward, but it remains unclear whether personality traits influence simple decisions such as speeded versus delayed responses during cognitive control. We explored this issue in an fMRI study of the stop signal task, in which participants varied in response time trial by trial, speeding up and risking a stop error or slowing down to avoid errors. Regional brain activations to speeded versus delayed motor responses (risk-taking) were correlated to novelty seeking (NS), harm avoidance (HA) and reward dependence (RD), with age and gender as covariates, in a whole brain regression. At a corrected threshold, the results showed a positive correlation between NS and risk-taking responses in the dorsomedial prefrontal, bilateral orbitofrontal, and frontopolar cortex, and between HA and risk-taking responses in the parahippocampal gyrus and putamen. No regional activations varied with RD. These findings demonstrate that personality traits influence the neural processes of executive control beyond behavioral tasks that involve explicit monetary reward. The results also speak broadly to the importance of characterizing inter-subject variation in studies of cognition and brain functions. PMID:25989852

  16. The influence of dopaminergic system in medial prefrontal cortex on ketamine-induced amnesia in passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Farahmandfar, Maryam; Bakhtazad, Atefeh; Akbarabadi, Ardeshir; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-06-15

    Dopaminergic modulations of glutamate receptors are essential for the prefrontal cortical (PFC) behavioral and cognitive functions. In order to understand the effect of dopamine/glutamate interactions on learning and memory, we investigated the effects of intra medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) injections of dopaminergic agents on ketamine-induced amnesia by using a one-trial passive avoidance task in mice. Pre-training administration of ketamine (5, 10 and 15mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently decreased the memory acquisition of a one-trial passive avoidance task. Pre-training intra-mPFC administration of SKF 38393, D1 receptor agonist and quinpirol D2 receptor agonist, alone did not affect memory acquisition. However, amnesia induced by pre-training ketamine (15mg/kg) significantly decreased by pretreatment of SKF 38393 (2 and 4µg/mouse) and quinpirol (0.3, 1 and 3µg/mouse). Pre-training administration of SCH 23390, D1 receptor antagonist (0.75 and 1μg/mouse, intra-mPFC), and sulpiride D2 receptor antagonist (3μg/mouse, intra-mPFC) impaired memory acquisition. In addition, co-pretreatment of different doses of SCH 23390 and sulpiride with lower dose of ketamine (5mg/kg), which did not induce amnesia by itself, caused inhibition of memory formation. It may be concluded that dopaminergic system of medial prefrontal cortex is involved in the ketamine-induced impairment of memory acquisition. PMID:27041647

  17. Task-free MRI predicts individual differences in brain activity during task performance.

    PubMed

    Tavor, I; Parker Jones, O; Mars, R B; Smith, S M; Behrens, T E; Jbabdi, S

    2016-04-01

    When asked to perform the same task, different individuals exhibit markedly different patterns of brain activity. This variability is often attributed to volatile factors, such as task strategy or compliance. We propose that individual differences in brain responses are, to a large degree, inherent to the brain and can be predicted from task-independent measurements collected at rest. Using a large set of task conditions, spanning several behavioral domains, we train a simple model that relates task-independent measurements to task activity and evaluate the model by predicting task activation maps for unseen subjects using magnetic resonance imaging. Our model can accurately predict individual differences in brain activity and highlights a coupling between brain connectivity and function that can be captured at the level of individual subjects. PMID:27124457

  18. The role of nucleus accumbens and dorsolateral striatal D2 receptors in active avoidance conditioning.

    PubMed

    Boschen, Suelen Lucio; Wietzikoski, Evellyn Claudia; Winn, Philip; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2011-09-01

    The role of dopamine (DA) in rewarding motivated actions is well established but its role in learning how to avoid aversive events is still controversial. Here we tested the role of D2-like DA receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of rats in the learning and performance of conditioned avoidance responses (CAR). Adult male Wistar rats received systemic, intra-NAc or intra-DLS (pre- or post-training) administration of a D2-like receptor agonist (quinpirole) or antagonist ((-)sulpiride) and were given two sessions in the two-way active avoidance task. The main effects observed were: (i) sulpiride and lower (likely pre-synaptic) doses of quinpirole decreased the number of CARs and increased the number of escape failures; (ii) higher doses of quinpirole (likely post-synaptic) increased inter-trial crossings and failures; (iii) pre-training administration of sulpiride decreased the number of CARs in both training and test sessions when infused into the NAc, but this effect was observed only in the test session when it was infused into the DLS; (iv) post-training administration of sulpiride decreased CARs in the test session when infused into the NAc but not DLS. These findings suggest that activation of D2 receptors in the NAc is critical for fast adaptation to responding to unconditioned and conditioned aversive stimuli while activation of these receptors in the DLS is needed for a slower learning of how to respond to the same stimuli based on previous experiences. PMID:21619938

  19. Functional Connectivity in Frequency-Tagged Cortical Networks During Active Harm Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Miskovic, Vladimir; Príncipe, José C.; Keil, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Many behavioral and cognitive processes are grounded in widespread and dynamic communication between brain regions. Thus, the quantification of functional connectivity with high temporal resolution is highly desirable for capturing in vivo brain function. However, many of the commonly used measures of functional connectivity capture only linear signal dependence and are based entirely on relatively simple quantitative measures such as mean and variance. In this study, the authors used a recently developed algorithm, the generalized measure of association (GMA), to quantify dynamic changes in cortical connectivity using steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) measured in the context of a conditioned behavioral avoidance task. GMA uses a nonparametric estimator of statistical dependence based on ranks that are efficient and capable of providing temporal precision roughly corresponding to the timing of cognitive acts (∼100–200 msec). Participants viewed simple gratings predicting the presence/absence of an aversive loud noise, co-occurring with peripheral cues indicating whether the loud noise could be avoided by means of a key press (active) or not (passive). For active compared with passive trials, heightened connectivity between visual and central areas was observed in time segments preceding and surrounding the avoidance cue. Viewing of the threat stimuli also led to greater initial connectivity between occipital and central regions, followed by heightened local coupling among visual regions surrounding the motor response. Local neural coupling within extended visual regions was sustained throughout major parts of the viewing epoch. These findings are discussed in a framework of flexible synchronization between cortical networks as a function of experience and active sensorimotor coupling. PMID:25557925

  20. Amygdala task-evoked activity and task-free connectivity independently contribute to feelings of arousal.

    PubMed

    Touroutoglou, Alexandra; Bickart, Kevin C; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Dickerson, Bradford C

    2014-10-01

    Individual differences in the intensity of feelings of arousal while viewing emotional pictures have been associated with the magnitude of task-evoked blood-oxygen dependent (BOLD) response in the amygdala. Recently, we reported that individual differences in feelings of arousal are associated with task-free (resting state) connectivity within the salience network. There has not yet been an investigation of whether these two types of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures are redundant or independent in their relationships to behavior. Here we tested the hypothesis that a combination of task-evoked amygdala activation and task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network relate to individual differences in feelings of arousal while viewing of negatively potent images. In 25 young adults, results revealed that greater task-evoked amygdala activation and stronger task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network each contributed independently to feelings of arousal, predicting a total of 45% of its variance. Individuals who had both increased task-evoked amygdala activation and stronger task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network had the most heightened levels of arousal. Task-evoked amygdala activation and task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network were not related to each other, suggesting that resting-state and task-evoked dynamic brain imaging measures may provide independent and complementary information about affective experience, and likely other kinds of behaviors as well. PMID:24862171

  1. Hierarchical Brain Networks Active in Approach and Avoidance Goal Pursuit

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Heller, Wendy; Miller, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Effective approach/avoidance goal pursuit is critical for attaining long-term health and well-being. Research on the neural correlates of key goal-pursuit processes (e.g., motivation) has long been of interest, with lateralization in prefrontal cortex being a particularly fruitful target of investigation. However, this literature has often been limited by a lack of spatial specificity and has not delineated the precise aspects of approach/avoidance motivation involved. Additionally, the relationships among brain regions (i.e., network connectivity) vital to goal-pursuit remain largely unexplored. Specificity in location, process, and network relationship is vital for moving beyond gross characterizations of function and identifying the precise cortical mechanisms involved in motivation. The present paper integrates research using more spatially specific methodologies (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging) with the rich psychological literature on approach/avoidance to propose an integrative network model that takes advantage of the strengths of each of these literatures. PMID:23785328

  2. Cortical Activation Changes During Simple Motor Task over Repeated Sessions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuzaki, Shuichi; Yamada, Taro; Wada, Yasuhiro

    Recent fMRI studies of human motor function and learning have reported that the magnitude of brain activity involves a decreasing trend over repeated tasks in the absence of improvements in task performance, probably suggesting the effect of habituation. Here we show that similar effect can be detected by NIRS. In experiments, oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) changes were monitored during a finger tapping task over repeated sessions. Results showed that task-related brain activity exhibited a decreasing trend on motor-related areas over the sessions. These suggest that measurements of NIRS may exhibit the brain-induced trends over repetition of simple motor tasks.

  3. Inhibition of long-term memory formation by anti-ependymin antisera after active shock-avoidance learning in goldfish.

    PubMed

    Piront, M L; Schmidt, R

    1988-02-23

    Ependymins are acidic glycoprotein constituents of goldfish brain cytoplasm and extracellular fluid which are known to participate in biochemical reactions of long-term memory formation. In earlier experiments, anti-ependymin antisera were found to cause amnesia when injected into goldfish brain ventricles after the acquisition of a vestibulomotoric training task. To investigate whether they also inhibit memory consolidation after other learning events the anti-ependymin antisera were injected after an active shock-avoidance learning paradigm, as follows: goldfish were trained in a shuttle-box to cross a barrier in order to avoid electric shocks (unconditioned stimulus) applied shortly after a light signal (conditioned stimulus). Anti-ependymin antisera blocked retention of the learned avoidance when injected 0.5, 4.5 or 24 h after acquisition of the new behavior. They had no effect, however, when injected 72 h after learning. Apparently, long-term memory was already consolidated at this point. Antisera injected 0.5 or 72 h prior to training, also did not influence learning or memory. Thirteen percent of the goldfish fled the light stimulus spontaneously. These fish therefore did not experience the unconditioned stimulus and thus were unable to learn the task. When they were treated with the anti-ependymin antisera and tested 3 days later, the spontaneous escape reaction was not affected (active control group). The ability of anti-ependymin antisera to inhibit memory consolidation and their efficacy after administration at specific time intervals are very similar for the active shock-avoidance learning and for the vestibulomotoric training. We conclude that ependymins are not task-specific, but serve a general function in biochemical reactions essential for long-term memory formation. PMID:3359256

  4. Children's performance on a false-belief task is impaired by activation of an evolutionarily-canalized response system.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J

    2003-07-01

    We examine whether children's performance on a false-belief task is impaired by task content that activates an early-developing, prepotent motivational system: predator-avoidance. In two studies (N = 46 and N = 37), children aged 3-4 years completed variants of a false-belief task that involved predator-avoidance, playmate-avoidance, prey-seeking, and playmate-seeking, respectively. The proportion of correct answers on the playmate-avoidance task (Study 1: 52%; Study 2: 51%) was significantly greater than the proportion of correct answers on the analogous predator-avoidance task (Study 1: 28%; Study 2: 22%). This difference was not an artifact of children generally performing better on playmate stories than on predator-prey stories. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that activation of the predator-avoidance system generates prepotent response patterns that pre-empt full consideration of the mental states of the prey characters in false-belief stories. PMID:12810037

  5. Active core rewarming avoids bioelectrical impedance changes in postanesthetic patients

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Postoperative hypothermia is a common cause of complications in patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Hypothermia is known to elicit electrophysiological, biochemical, and cellular alterations thus leading to changes in the active and passive membrane properties. These changes might influence the bioelectrical impedance (BI). Our aim was to determine whether the BI depends on the core temperature. Methods We studied 60 patients (52 female and 8 male) age 40 to 80 years with an ASA I-II classification that had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy under balanced inhalation anesthesia. The experimental group (n = 30) received active core rewarming during the transanesthetic and postanesthesic periods. The control group (n = 30) received passive external rewarming. The BI was recorded by using a 4-contact electrode system to collect dual sets of measurements in the deltoid muscle. The body temperature, hemodynamic variables, respiratory rate, blood-gas levels, biochemical parameters, and shivering were also measured. The Mann-Whitney unpaired t-test was used to determine the differences in shivering between each group at each measurement period. Measurements of body temperature, hemodynamics variables, respiratory rate, and BI were analyzed using the two-way repeated-measures ANOVA. Results The gradual decrease in the body temperature was followed by the BI increase over time. The highest BI values (95 ± 11 Ω) appeared when the lowest values of the temperature (35.5 ± 0.5°C) were reached. The active core rewarming kept the body temperature within the physiological range (over 36.5°C). This effect was accompanied by low stable values (68 ± 3 Ω) of BI. A significant decrease over time in the hemodynamic values, respiratory rate, and shivering was seen in the active core-rewarming group when compared with the controls. The temporal course of shivering was different from those of body temperatue and BI. The control patients showed a

  6. Antecedents of Approach-Avoidance Achievement Goal Adoption: An Analysis of Two Physical Education Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warburton, Victoria; Spray, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between implicit theories of ability and competence perceptions to changes in approach-avoidance goal adoption in two specific activities in the curriculum. Four hundred and thirty pupils, aged 11-15 years, completed measures of approach-avoidance goals, perceived competence and implicit…

  7. Graduated Exposure and Positive Reinforcement to Overcome Setting and Activity Avoidance in an Adolescent with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Jonathan D.; Luiselli, James K.; Rue, Hanna; Whalley, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Some students who have developmental disabilities avoid settings and activities that can improve their learning and quality of life. This two-phase study concerned an adolescent boy with autism who avoided the gross-motor exercise room, gymnasium, and music room at his school; he demonstrated distress, agitation, and problem behaviors when…

  8. Effects of overhead work configuration on muscle activity during a simulated drilling task.

    PubMed

    Maciukiewicz, Jacquelyn M; Cudlip, Alan C; Chopp-Hurley, Jaclyn N; Dickerson, Clark R

    2016-03-01

    Overhead work is a known catalyst for occupational shoulder injury. Industrial workers must often adopt awkward overhead postures and loading profiles to complete required tasks, potentially elevating injury risk. This research examined the combined influence of multiple overhead working parameters on upper extremity muscular demands for an industrial drilling application. Twenty-two right-handed males completed 24 unilateral and bilateral overhead work exertions stratified by direction (upward, forward), point of force application (15, 30 and 45 cm in front of the body), and whole-body posture (seated, standing). The dependency of electromyographic (EMG) activity on several factors was established. Significant two-way interactions existed between point of force application and direction (p < 0.0001) and direction and whole body posture (p < 0.0001). An average increase in muscular activity of 6.5% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) occurred for the contralateral limb when the bilateral task was completed, compared to unilateral tasks, with less than a 1% MVC increase for the active limb. These findings assist evidence-based approaches to overhead tasks, specifically in the construction industry. A bilateral task configuration is recommended to reduce glenohumeral stability demands. As well, particularly for tasks with a far reach distance, design tasks to promote a forward directed exertion. The considerable inter-subject variability suggests that fixed heights are not ideal, and should be avoided, and where this is not possible reaches should be reduced. PMID:26674399

  9. Inhibitory Avoidance Learning in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio): Effects of Shock Intensity and Unraveling Differences in Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Gorissen, Marnix; Piza Roca, Carme; Zethof, Jan; van de Vis, Hans; Flik, Gert; van den Bos, Ruud

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly used as a model in neurobehavioral and neuroendocrine studies. The inhibitory avoidance paradigm has been proposed as tool to study mechanisms underlying learning and memory in zebrafish. In this paradigm subjects receive a shock after entering the black compartment of a black-white box. On the next day, latency to enter the black compartment is assessed; higher latencies are indicative of increased avoidance learning. Here, we aimed to understand the effects of different shock intensities (0, 1, 3, and 9 V) and to unravel variation in inhibitory avoidance learning in an in-house reared Tuebingen Long-Fin zebrafish (D. rerio) strain. While median latencies had increased in the 1, 3, and 9 V groups, no increase in median latency was found in the 0 V group. In addition, higher shock intensities resulted in a higher number of avoiders (latency ≥180 s) over nonavoiders (latency <60 s). Both changes are indicative of increased avoidance learning. We assessed whole-body cortisol content and the expression levels of genes relevant to stress, anxiety, fear, and learning 2 h after testing. Shock intensity was associated with whole-body cortisol content and the expression of glucocorticoid receptor alpha [nr3c1(alpha)], cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (cart4), and mineralocorticoid receptor (nr3c2), while avoidance behavior was associated with whole-body cortisol content only. The inhibitory avoidance paradigm in combination with measuring whole-body cortisol content and gene expression is suitable to unravel (genetic) mechanisms of fear avoidance learning. Our data further show differences in brain-behavior relationships underlying fear avoidance learning and memory in zebrafish. These findings serve as starting point for further unraveling differences in brain-behavior relationships underlying (fear avoidance) learning and memory in zebrafish. PMID:25004302

  10. Graduated exposure and positive reinforcement to overcome setting and activity avoidance in an adolescent with autism.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jonathan D; Luiselli, James K; Rue, Hanna; Whalley, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Some students who have developmental disabilities avoid settings and activities that can improve their learning and quality of life. This two-phase study concerned an adolescent boy with autism who avoided the gross-motor exercise room, gymnasium, and music room at his school; he demonstrated distress, agitation, and problem behaviors when prompted to enter these areas. Using graduated exposure combined with positive reinforcement, he learned to enter these settings without resisting and eventually to participate in activities within the settings. This article discusses this intervention approach for reducing and eliminating avoidant behavior. PMID:22987915

  11. Anxiety, not anger, induces inflammatory activity: An avoidance/approach model of immune system activation.

    PubMed

    Moons, Wesley G; Shields, Grant S

    2015-08-01

    Psychological stressors reliably trigger systemic inflammatory activity as indexed by levels of proinflammatory cytokines. This experiment demonstrates that one's specific emotional reaction to a stressor may be a significant determinant of whether an inflammatory reaction occurs in response to that stressor. Based on extant correlational evidence and theory, a causal approach was used to determine whether an avoidant emotion (anxiety) triggers more inflammatory activity than an approach emotion (anger). In an experimental design (N = 40), a 3-way Emotion Condition × Time × Analyte interaction revealed that a writing-based anxiety induction, but not a writing-based anger induction, increased mean levels of interferon-γ (IFN- γ) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), but not interleukin-6 (IL-6) in oral mucous, F(2, 54) = 4.64, p = .01, ηp(²) = .15. Further, self-reported state anxiety predicted elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines, all ΔR(²) >.06, ps <.04, but self-reported state anger did not. These results constitute the first evidence to our knowledge that specific negative emotions can differentially cause inflammatory activity and support a theoretical model explaining these effects based on the avoidance or approach motivations associated with emotions. PMID:26053247

  12. Modulation of human motoneuron activity by a mental arithmetic task.

    PubMed

    Bensoussan, Laurent; Duclos, Yann; Rossi-Durand, Christiane

    2012-10-01

    This study aimed to determine whether the performance of a mental task affects motoneuron activity. To this end, the tonic discharge pattern of wrist extensor motor units was analyzed in healthy subjects while they were required to maintain a steady wrist extension force and to concurrently perform a mental arithmetic (MA) task. A shortening of the mean inter-spike interval (ISI) and a decrease in ISI variability occurred when MA task was superimposed to the motor task. Aloud and silent MA affected equally the rate and variability of motoneuron discharge. Increases in surface EMG activity and force level were consistent with the modulation of the motor unit discharge rate. Trial-by-trial analysis of the characteristics of motor unit firing revealed that performing MA increases activation of wrist extensor SMU. It is suggested that increase in muscle spindle afferent activity, resulting from fusimotor drive activation by MA, may have contributed to the increase in synaptic inputs to motoneurons during the mental task performance, likely together with enhancement in the descending drive. The finding that a mental task affects motoneuron activity could have consequences in assessment of motor disabilities and in rehabilitation in motor pathologies. PMID:23159444

  13. Context-dependent activation of reduced autobiographical memory specificity as an avoidant coping style.

    PubMed

    Debeer, Elise; Raes, Filip; Williams, J Mark G; Hermans, Dirk

    2011-12-01

    According to the affect-regulation hypothesis (Williams et al., 2007), reduced autobiographical memory specificity (rAMS) or overgeneral memory (OGM) might be considered a cognitive avoidance strategy; that is, people learn to avoid the emotionally painful consequences associated with the retrieval of specific negative memories. Based on this hypothesis, one would predict significant negative associations between AMS and avoidant coping. However, studies investigating this prediction have led to equivocal results. In the present study we tested a possible explanation for these contradictory findings. It was hypothesized that rAMS (in part) reflects an avoidant coping strategy, which might only become apparent under certain conditions, that is, conditions that signal the possibility of 'danger.' To test this hypothesis, we assessed AMS and behavioral avoidance but experimentally manipulated the instructions. In the neutral condition, two parallel versions of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) were presented under neutral instructions. In the threat condition, the first AMT was presented under neutral instructions, while the second AMT was presented under 'threat instructions.' Results showed no significant correlations between avoidance and OGM under neutral conditions but significant and markedly stronger correlations under threat conditions, with more avoidance being associated with fewer specific and more categoric memories. In addition, high avoiders showed a stronger reduction in AMS in the threat condition as compared with the neutral condition, while low avoiders showed no such difference between conditions. The data confirm that OGM can be considered as part of a broader avoidant coping style. However, more importantly, they show that, at least in nonclinical individuals, the activation of this coping style may depend on the context. PMID:22142214

  14. Clarifying Mastery-Avoidance Goals in High School: Distinguishing between Intrapersonal and Task-Based Standards of Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madjar, Nir; Kaplan, Avi; Weinstock, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The definition, measurement, prevalence, and relations of mastery-avoidance goals with engagement outcomes are still under debate. Study 1 (n = 256) aimed to investigate these issues among junior high and high school students in two domains. Findings indicated that students distinguished between the three commonly assessed achievement goals and…

  15. Defensive copers show a deficit in passive avoidance learning on Newman's go/no-go task: implications for self-deception and socialization.

    PubMed

    Shane, Matthew S; Peterson, Jordan B

    2004-10-01

    The present study investigated whether passive avoidance learning was retarded by defensive coping strategies designed to minimize exposure to negatively valenced stimuli. High-anxious individuals, low-anxious individuals, and defensive copers completed a computerized go/no-go task, in which they learned when to press or not to press a button, in response to contingent positive and negative feedback. The duration that feedback remained onscreen was self-regulated. Defensive copers showed preferential reflection away from negative feedback, committed more passive-avoidance errors, and were characterized by impaired learning, overall. Further, the ratio of reflection on negative feedback to reflection on positive feedback directly mediated both passive-avoidance errors and overall learning. Defensive coping strategies, therefore, appear to interfere with passive avoidance learning, thereby fostering perseverative, dysfunctional action patterns by reducing knowledge gained from previous mistakes. Implications for the learning of effective socialization strategies, and for psychopathy-which is commonly characterized by similar passive-avoidance deficits-are subsequently considered. PMID:15335333

  16. Active controllers and the time duration to learn a task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Repperger, D. W.; Goodyear, C.

    1986-01-01

    An active controller was used to help train naive subjects involved in a compensatory tracking task. The controller is called active in this context because it moves the subject's hand in a direction to improve tracking. It is of interest here to question whether the active controller helps the subject to learn a task more rapidly than the passive controller. Six subjects, inexperienced to compensatory tracking, were run to asymptote root mean square error tracking levels with an active controller or a passive controller. The time required to learn the task was defined several different ways. The results of the different measures of learning were examined across pools of subjects and across controllers using statistical tests. The comparison between the active controller and the passive controller as to their ability to accelerate the learning process as well as reduce levels of asymptotic tracking error is reported here.

  17. Active Avoidance Requires a Serial Basal Amygdala to Nucleus Accumbens Shell Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Franchesca; Moscarello, Justin M.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2015-01-01

    Freezing is a species-typical defensive reaction to conditioned threats. While the neural circuitry of aversive Pavlovian behavior has been extensively studied, less is known about the circuitry underlying more active responses to danger. Here we show that the flow of information between the basal amygdala (BA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is necessary for signaled active avoidance behavior. Rats trained to avoid shock by shuttling during an auditory conditioned stimulus showed increased expression of the activity-dependent protein c-Fos in the NAcc, specifically the shell subregion (NAccSh). Silencing neural activity in the NAccSh, but not in the adjacent NAcc core, disrupted avoidance behavior. Disconnection of the BA and the NAccSh was just as effective at disrupting avoidance behavior as bilateral NAccSh inactivations, suggesting learned avoidance behavior requires an intact BA-NAccSh circuit. Together, these data highlight an essential role for the amygdalar projection to the ventral striatum in aversively motivated actions. PMID:25716846

  18. Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of Using Negative Priming Tasks in Developmental Studies: Assessing Inhibitory Control in Children, Adolescents, and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pritchard, Verena E.; Neumann, Ewald

    2009-01-01

    Despite being ignored, visual distractors often produce traceable negative priming (NP) effects that can be used to investigate inhibitory processes. Robust NP effects are typically found with young adults, but not with children. Using 2 different NP tasks, the authors compared NP in 5 different age groups spanning 5 to 25 years of age. The 1st…

  19. The Role of Amygdala Nuclei in the Expression of Auditory Signaled Two-Way Active Avoidance in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, June-Seek; Cain, Christopher K.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Using a two-way signaled active avoidance (2-AA) learning procedure, where rats were trained in a shuttle box to avoid a footshock signaled by an auditory stimulus, we tested the contributions of the lateral (LA), basal (B), and central (CE) nuclei of the amygdala to the expression of instrumental active avoidance conditioned responses (CRs).…

  20. Task Analysis of Shuttle Entry and Landing Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holland, Albert W.; Vanderark, Stephen T.

    1993-01-01

    The Task Analysis of Shuttle Entry and Landing (E/L) Activities documents all tasks required to land the Orbiter following an STS mission. In addition to analysis of tasks performed, task conditions are described, including estimated time for completion, altitude, relative velocity, normal and lateral acceleration, location of controls operated or monitored, and level of g's experienced. This analysis precedes further investigations into potential effects of zero g on piloting capabilities for landing the Orbiter following long-duration missions. This includes, but is not limited to, researching the effects of extended duration missions on piloting capabilities. Four primary constraints of the analysis must be clarified: (1) the analysis depicts E/L in a static manner--the actual process is dynamic; (2) the task analysis was limited to a paper analysis, since it was not feasible to conduct research in the actual setting (i.e., observing or filming duration an actual E/L); (3) the tasks included are those required for E/L during nominal, daylight conditions; and (4) certain E/L tasks will vary according to the flying style of each commander.

  1. Physical Activity Perceptions of Task- and Ego-Oriented Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cruickshanks, Carla M.

    2010-01-01

    Children begin to show sedentary behaviors around the age of 12 and increased mortality is associated with sedentary behaviors in children and adults. This case study examined physical activity (PA) perceptions of task oriented and ego oriented children. Research has addressed perceptions based on goal orientations and how perception of PA changes…

  2. Visual avoidance in phobia: particularities in neural activity, autonomic responding, and cognitive risk evaluations

    PubMed Central

    Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve; Piguet, Camille; Sterpenich, Virginie; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the neural mechanisms and the autonomic and cognitive responses associated with visual avoidance behavior in spider phobia. Spider phobic and control participants imagined visiting different forest locations with the possibility of encountering spiders, snakes, or birds (neutral reference category). In each experimental trial, participants saw a picture of a forest location followed by a picture of a spider, snake, or bird, and then rated their personal risk of encountering these animals in this context, as well as their fear. The greater the visual avoidance of spiders that a phobic participant demonstrated (as measured by eye tracking), the higher were her autonomic arousal and neural activity in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and precuneus at picture onset. Visual avoidance of spiders in phobics also went hand in hand with subsequently reduced cognitive risk of encounters. Control participants, in contrast, displayed a positive relationship between gaze duration toward spiders, on the one hand, and autonomic responding, as well as OFC, ACC, and precuneus activity, on the other hand. In addition, they showed reduced encounter risk estimates when they looked longer at the animal pictures. Our data are consistent with the idea that one reason for phobics to avoid phobic information may be grounded in heightened activity in the fear circuit, which signals potential threat. Because of the absence of alternative efficient regulation strategies, visual avoidance may then function to down-regulate cognitive risk evaluations for threatening information about the phobic stimuli. Control participants, in contrast, may be characterized by a different coping style, whereby paying visual attention to potentially threatening information may help them to actively down-regulate cognitive evaluations of risk. PMID:23754994

  3. Prefrontal Activity Predicts Monkeys' Decisions During an Auditory Category Task

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung H.; Russ, Brian E.; Orr, Lauren E.; Cohen, Yale E.

    2009-01-01

    The neural correlates that relate auditory categorization to aspects of goal-directed behavior, such as decision-making, are not well understood. Since the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in executive function and the categorization of auditory objects, we hypothesized that neural activity in the PFC should predict an animal's behavioral reports (decisions) during a category task. To test this hypothesis, we tested PFC activity that was recorded while monkeys categorized human spoken words (Russ et al., 2008b). We found that activity in the ventrolateral PFC, on average, correlated best with the monkeys' choices than with the auditory stimuli. This finding demonstrates a direct link between PFC activity and behavioral choices during a non-spatial auditory task. PMID:19587846

  4. Mindfulness, Physical Activity and Avoidance of Secondhand Smoke: A Study of College Students in Shanghai

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yu; Shi, Lu

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: To better understand the documented link between mindfulness and longevity, we examine the association between mindfulness and conscious avoidance of secondhand smoke (SHS), as well as the association between mindfulness and physical activity. Method: In Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) we surveyed a convenience sample of 1516 college freshmen. We measured mindfulness, weekly physical activity, and conscious avoidance of secondhand smoke, along with demographic and behavioral covariates. We used a multilevel logistic regression to test the association between mindfulness and conscious avoidance of secondhand smoke, and used a Tobit regression model to test the association between mindfulness and metabolic equivalent hours per week. In both models the home province of the student respondent was used as the cluster variable, and demographic and behavioral covariates, such as age, gender, smoking history, household registration status (urban vs. rural), the perceived smog frequency in their home towns, and the asthma diagnosis. Results: The logistic regression of consciously avoiding SHS shows that a higher level of mindfulness was associated with an increase in the odds ratio of conscious SHS avoidance (logged odds: 0.22, standard error: 0.07, p < 0.01). The Tobit regression shows that a higher level of mindfulness was associated with more metabolic equivalent hours per week (Tobit coefficient: 4.09, standard error: 1.13, p < 0.001). Discussion: This study is an innovative attempt to study the behavioral issue of secondhand smoke from the perspective of the potential victim, rather than the active smoker. The observed associational patterns here are consistent with previous findings that mindfulness is associated with healthier behaviors in obesity prevention and substance use. Research designs with interventions are needed to test the causal link between mindfulness and these healthy behaviors. PMID:26308029

  5. Avoidance behavior and swimming activity of fish to detect pH changes

    SciTech Connect

    Nakamura, F.

    1986-12-01

    Usually, the initial response of an animal to an environmental perturbation is changing its behavior. With fish, this may hold an alteration in swimming activity or reactions like avoidance or attraction. The usefulness of fish behavior to detect the changes in chemical water quality was recognized more than 70 years ago. Since that time, many laboratory studies have been performed on the behavioral reactions of aquatic organisms to pollutants, including those resulting from pH changes. However, still there is no conclusive evidence that fish behavior offers an adequate tool to detect chemical pollution. In this study, the use of R-value for swimming activity and D/sup 2/-value for avoidance behavior of toxic warning methods to indicate the development of toxic condition is discussed based on experimental data on pH effects.

  6. A Reconceptualised Translation-Based Task as a Viable Teaching Tool in EFL Class to Avoid Calque Errors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mateo, Roberto Martínez

    2015-01-01

    The negative attitude towards translation as another pedagogical means in Foreign Language Teaching (FLT) has prevailed for much time (Cook, 2010). Nonetheless, currently, many theorists and linguistics agree on the importance of using translation activities in foreign language teaching and underline its beneficial effects to expand vocabulary, to…

  7. Gustatory-mediated avoidance of bacterial lipopolysaccharides via TRPA1 activation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Soldano, Alessia; Alpizar, Yeranddy A; Boonen, Brett; Franco, Luis; López-Requena, Alejandro; Liu, Guangda; Mora, Natalia; Yaksi, Emre; Voets, Thomas; Vennekens, Rudi; Hassan, Bassem A; Talavera, Karel

    2016-01-01

    Detecting pathogens and mounting immune responses upon infection is crucial for animal health. However, these responses come at a high metabolic price (McKean and Lazzaro, 2011, Kominsky et al., 2010), and avoiding pathogens before infection may be advantageous. The bacterial endotoxins lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are important immune system infection cues (Abbas et al., 2014), but it remains unknown whether animals possess sensory mechanisms to detect them prior to infection. Here we show that Drosophila melanogaster display strong aversive responses to LPS and that gustatory neurons expressing Gr66a bitter receptors mediate avoidance of LPS in feeding and egg laying assays. We found the expression of the chemosensory cation channel dTRPA1 in these cells to be necessary and sufficient for LPS avoidance. Furthermore, LPS stimulates Drosophila neurons in a TRPA1-dependent manner and activates exogenous dTRPA1 channels in human cells. Our findings demonstrate that flies detect bacterial endotoxins via a gustatory pathway through TRPA1 activation as conserved molecular mechanism. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13133.001 PMID:27296646

  8. Avoidant symptoms in PTSD predict fear circuit activation during multimodal fear extinction

    PubMed Central

    Sripada, Rebecca K.; Garfinkel, Sarah N.; Liberzon, Israel

    2013-01-01

    Convergent evidence suggests that individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exhibit exaggerated avoidance behaviors as well as abnormalities in Pavlonian fear conditioning. However, the link between the two features of this disorder is not well understood. In order to probe the brain basis of aberrant extinction learning in PTSD, we administered a multimodal classical fear conditioning/extinction paradigm that incorporated affectively relevant information from two sensory channels (visual and tactile) while participants underwent fMRI scanning. The sample consisted of fifteen OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD. In response to conditioned cues and contextual information, greater avoidance symptomatology was associated with greater activation in amygdala, hippocampus, vmPFC, dmPFC, and insula, during both fear acquisition and fear extinction. Heightened responses to previously conditioned stimuli in individuals with more severe PTSD could indicate a deficiency in safety learning, consistent with PTSD symptomatology. The close link between avoidance symptoms and fear circuit activation suggests that this symptom cluster may be a key component of fear extinction deficits in PTSD and/or may be particularly amenable to change through extinction-based therapies. PMID:24146643

  9. Effects of memantine on latent inhibition of active avoidance in wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Loskutova, L V; Kostjunina, N V

    2009-06-01

    Latent inhibition of active avoidance reaction was acquired by mature Wistar rats. It manifested in marked delay of habit acquisition after preexposure to the conditional stimulus in the first experimental session. Single dose of NMDA-receptor antagonist memantine (10 and 14 mg/kg) was applied 60 min before training in the second session. Failure of latent inhibition formation was registered after administration of the higher memantine dose; it manifested in accelerated attaining of the criterion (7 successive conditioned avoidance reactions) compared to training results after administration of the lower dose or physiological saline. The effects of memantine on attention were found to depend on the presence of pathology. It was hypothesized that the preparation can produce a positive effect on memory in Alzheimer-type dementia due to primary recovery of the inhibitory aspect of attention. PMID:19902058

  10. Response Activation in Overlapping Tasks and the Response-Selection Bottleneck

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schubert, Torsten; Fischer, Rico; Stelzel, Christine

    2008-01-01

    The authors investigated the impact of response activation on dual-task performance by presenting a subliminal prime before the stimulus in Task 2 (S2) of a psychological refractory period (PRP) task. Congruence between prime and S2 modulated the reaction times in Task 2 at short stimulus onset asynchrony despite a PRP effect. This Task 2…

  11. Telencephalic neural activation following passive avoidance learning in a terrestrial toad.

    PubMed

    Puddington, Martín M; Daneri, M Florencia; Papini, Mauricio R; Muzio, Rubén N

    2016-12-15

    The present study explores passive avoidance learning and its neural basis in toads (Rhinella arenarum). In Experiment 1, two groups of toads learned to move from a lighted compartment into a dark compartment. After responding, animals in the experimental condition were exposed to an 800-mM strongly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to weight loss. Control animals received exposure to a 300-mM slightly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to neither weight gain nor loss. After 10 daily acquisition trials, animals in the experimental group showed significantly longer latency to enter the dark compartment. Additionally, 10 daily trials in which both groups received the 300-mM NaCl solution after responding eliminated this group effect. Thus, experimental animals showed gradual acquisition and extinction of a passive avoidance respond. Experiment 2 replicated the gradual acquisition effect, but, after the last trial, animals were sacrificed and neural activation was assessed in five brain regions using AgNOR staining for nucleoli-an index of brain activity. Higher activation in the experimental animals, relative to controls, was observed in the amygdala and striatum. Group differences in two other regions, lateral pallium and septum, were borderline, but nonsignificant, whereas group differences in the medial pallium were nonsignificant. These preliminary results suggest that a striatal-amygdala activation could be a key component of the brain circuit controlling passive avoidance learning in amphibians. The results are discussed in relation to the results of analogous experiments with other vertebrates. PMID:27498147

  12. Brain Activation of Identity Switching in Multiple Identity Tracking Task

    PubMed Central

    Lyu, Chuang; Hu, Siyuan; Wei, Liuqing; Zhang, Xuemin; Talhelm, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    When different objects switch identities in the multiple identity tracking (MIT) task, viewers need to rebind objects’ identity and location, which requires attention. This rebinding helps people identify the regions targets are in (where they need to focus their attention) and inhibit unimportant regions (where distractors are). This study investigated the processing of attentional tracking after identity switching in an adapted MIT task. This experiment used three identity-switching conditions: a target-switching condition (where the target objects switched identities), a distractor-switching condition (where the distractor objects switched identities), and a no-switching condition. Compared to the distractor-switching condition, the target-switching condition elicited greater activation in the frontal eye fields (FEF), intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and visual cortex. Compared to the no-switching condition, the target-switching condition elicited greater activation in the FEF, inferior frontal gyrus (pars orbitalis) (IFG-Orb), IPS, visual cortex, middle temporal lobule, and anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, the distractor-switching condition showed greater activation in the IFG-Orb compared to the no-switching condition. These results suggest that, in the target-switching condition, the FEF and IPS (the dorsal attention network) might be involved in goal-driven attention to targets during attentional tracking. In addition, in the distractor-switching condition, the activation of the IFG-Orb may indicate salient change that pulls attention away automatically. PMID:26699865

  13. The role of amygdala nuclei in the expression of auditory signaled two-way active avoidance in rats

    PubMed Central

    Choi, June-Seek; Cain, Christopher K.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Using a two-way signaled active avoidance (2-AA) learning procedure, where rats were trained in a shuttle box to avoid a footshock signaled by an auditory stimulus, we tested the contributions of the lateral (LA), basal (B), and central (CE) nuclei of the amygdala to the expression of instrumental active avoidance conditioned responses (CRs). Discrete or combined lesions of the LA and B, performed after the rats had reached an asymptotic level of avoidance performance, produced deficits in the CR, whereas CE lesions had minimal effect. Fiber-sparing excitotoxic lesions of the LA/B produced by infusions of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) also impaired avoidance performance, confirming that neurons in the LA/B are involved in mediating avoidance CRs. In a final series of experiments, bilateral electrolytic lesions of the CE were performed on a subgroup of animals that failed to acquire the avoidance CR after 3 d of training. CE lesions led to an immediate rescue of avoidance learning, suggesting that activity in CE was inhibiting the instrumental CR. Taken together, these results indicate that the LA and B are essential for the performance of a 2-AA response. The CE is not required, and may in fact constrain the instrumental avoidance response by mediating the generation of competing Pavlovian responses, such as freezing. PMID:20189958

  14. Time Out from Sex or Romance: Sexually Experienced Adolescents' Decisions to Purposefully Avoid Sexual Activity or Romantic Relationships.

    PubMed

    Byers, E Sandra; O'Sullivan, Lucia F; Brotto, Lori A

    2016-05-01

    Researchers have given significant attention to abstinence among adolescents, but far less is known about purposeful avoidance of sexual activity (and relationship involvement). Typically, it is assumed that, once adolescents have initiated sexual activity, they will thereafter engage in sexual activity if given the opportunity. However, it is unclear whether that is true as some research indicates that many adolescents engage in sexual activity intermittently. Sexually experienced adolescents may purposefully avoid engaging in sexual activity for a period of time and, if so, this has implications for understanding their sexual decision-making. We used a mixed methods approach to investigate sexually experienced adolescents' decisions to purposefully avoid further sexual activity and/or romantic relationships with a focus on how common these decisions are and factors influencing them. Participants were 411 (56 % female) adolescents (16-21 years old) who completed an on-line survey that assessed reasons for each type of avoidance, religiosity, sexual esteem, sexual distress, sexual coercion, and dysfunctional sexual beliefs. Overall, 27 % of participants had engaged in sexual avoidance and 47 % had engaged in romantic avoidance. Significantly more female than male adolescents reported sexual and romantic avoidance. Adolescents' reasons for sexual avoidance included: lack of sexual pleasure or enjoyment, relationship reasons, negative emotions, values, fear of negative outcomes, negative physical experience, and other priorities. Reasons for romantic avoidance included: effects of previous relationship, not interested in commitment, wrong time, other priorities, negative emotions, no one was good enough, and sexual concerns. Logistical regressions were used to assess associations between age, religiosity, sexual esteem, sexual distress, experience of sexual coercion, and dysfunctional sexual beliefs and having engaged in romantic and/or sexual avoidance. The

  15. International Reference Ionosphere (IRI): Task Force Activity 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilitza, D.

    2000-01-01

    The annual IRI Task Force Activity was held at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy from July 10 to July 14. The participants included J. Adeniyi (University of Ilorin, Nigeria), D. Bilitza (NSSDC/RITSS, USA), D. Buresova (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Republic), B. Forte (ICTP, Italy), R. Leitinger (University of Graz, Austria), B. Nava (ICTP, Italy), M. Mosert (University National Tucuman, Argentina), S. Pulinets (IZMIRAN, Russia), S. Radicella (ICTP, Italy), and B. Reinisch (University of Mass. Lowell, USA). The main topic of this Task Force Activity was the modeling of the topside ionosphere and the development of strategies for modeling of ionospheric variability. Each day during the workshop week the team debated a specific modeling problem in the morning during informal presentations and round table discussions of all participants. Ways of resolving the specific modeling problem were devised and tested in the afternoon in front of the computers of the ICTP Aeronomy and Radiopropagation Laboratory using ICTP s computer networks and internet access.

  16. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2015-09-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest, despite other studies having reported differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, in this study we compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate the findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation, beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies had used small groups, whereas in the present study we tested these hypotheses in a larger group. The results indicated that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network, relative to an active task, for meditators as compared to controls. Regions of the default mode network showing a Group × Task interaction included the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that the suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and they suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  17. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen A.; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R. Todd; Brewer, Judson A.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest despite other studies reporting differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, this study compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity, and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies have used small groups, whereas the current study tested these hypotheses in a larger group. Results indicate that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network relative to an active task in meditators compared to controls. Regions of the default mode showing a group by task interaction include the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  18. Remote Maneuver of Space Debris Using Photon Pressure for Active Collision Avoidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, C.

    2014-09-01

    The Space Environment Research Corporation (SERC) is a consortium of companies and research institutions that have joined together to pursue research and development of technologies and capabilities that will help to preserve the orbital space environment. The consortium includes, Electro Optics Systems (Australia), Lockheed Martin Australia, Optus Satellite Systems (Australia), The Australian national University, RMIT University, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan) as well as affiliates from NASA Ames and ESA. SERC is also the recipient of and Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre grant. SERC will pursue a wide ranging research program including technologies to improve tracking capability and capacity, orbit determination and propagation algorithms, conjunction analysis and collision avoidance. All of these technologies will contribute to the flagship program to demonstrate active collision avoidance using photon pressure to provide remote maneuver of space debris. This project joins of the proposed NASA Lightforce concept with infrastructure and capabilities provided by SERC. This paper will describe the proposed research and development program to provide an on-orbit demonstration within the next five years for remote maneuver of space debris.

  19. Active faults crossing trunk pipeline routes: some important steps to avoid the disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besstrashnov, Vladimir; Strom, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    Trunk pipelines that pass through tectonically active areas connecting oil and gas reservoirs with terminals and refineries cross active faults that can produce large earthquakes. Besides strong motion affecting vast areas, these earthquakes are often associated with surface faulting that provides additional hazard to pipelines. To avoid significant economic losses and environmental pollution, pipelines should be designed to sustain both effects (shaking and direct rupturing) without pipe damage and spill. Special studies aimed to provide necessary input data for the designers should be performed in the course of engineering survey. However, our experience on conducting and review of such studies for several oil and gas trunk pipelines in Russia show urgent need of more strict definition of basic conceptions and approaches used for identification and localization of these potentially hazardous tectonic features. Identification of active faults (fault zones) considered as causative faults - sources of strong motion caused by seismic waves that affect dozens kilometers of pipeline route can be done by use of both direct and indirect evidence of Late Pleistocene - Holocene activity of faults and fault zones. Since strong motion parameters can be considered as constant within the near-field zone, which width in case of large earthquake is up to dozens kilometers, accuracy of active fault location is not so critical and ±1-2 km precision provided by use of indirect evidence is acceptable. In contrast, if one have to identify and characterize zones of potential surface rupturing that require special design of the endangered pipeline section, only direct evidence of such activity can provide reliable input data for crossing design with relevant accuracy of fault location, amount and direction of displacement. Only traces of surface faults displacing Late Pleistocene - Holocene sediments and/or geomorphic features are considered as direct evidence of fault activity. Just

  20. Heterogeneity in signaled active avoidance learning: substantive and methodological relevance of diversity in instrumental defensive responses to threat cues

    PubMed Central

    Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R.; Moscarello, Justin; Blessing, Esther M.; Klein, JoAnna; Cain, Christopher K.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals exposed to traumatic stressors follow divergent patterns including resilience and chronic stress. However, researchers utilizing animal models that examine learned or instrumental threat responses thought to have translational relevance for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and resilience typically use central tendency statistics that assume population homogeneity. This approach potentially overlooks fundamental differences that can explain human diversity in response to traumatic stressors. The current study tests this assumption by identifying and replicating common heterogeneous patterns of response to signaled active avoidance (AA) training. In this paradigm, rats are trained to prevent an aversive outcome (shock) by performing a learned instrumental behavior (shuttling between chambers) during the presentation of a conditioned threat cue (tone). We test the hypothesis that heterogeneous trajectories of threat avoidance provide more accurate model fit compared to a single mean trajectory in two separate studies. Study 1 conducted 3 days of signaled AA training (n = 81 animals) and study 2 conducted 5 days of training (n = 186 animals). We found that four trajectories in both samples provided the strongest model fit. Identified populations included animals that acquired and retained avoidance behavior on the first day (Rapid Avoiders: 22 and 25%); those who never successfully acquired avoidance (Non-Avoiders; 20 and 16%); a modal class who acquired avoidance over 3 days (Modal Avoiders; 37 and 50%); and a population who demonstrated a slow pattern of avoidance, failed to fully acquire avoidance in study 1 and did acquire avoidance on days 4 and 5 in study 2 (Slow Avoiders; 22.0 and 9%). With the exception of the Slow Avoiders in Study 1, populations that acquired demonstrated rapid step-like increases leading to asymptotic levels of avoidance. These findings indicate that avoidance responses are heterogeneous in a way that may be informative for

  1. Characterizing “fibrofog”: Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Walitt, Brian; Čeko, Marta; Khatiwada, Manish; Gracely, John L.; Rayhan, Rakib; VanMeter, John W.; Gracely, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The subjective experience of cognitive dysfunction (“fibrofog”) is common in fibromyalgia. This study investigated the relation between subjective appraisal of cognitive function, objective cognitive task performance, and brain activity during a cognitive task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen fibromyalgia patients and 13 healthy pain-free controls completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Multiple Ability Self-Report Questionnaire (MASQ), a measure of self-perceived cognitive difficulties. Participants were evaluated for working memory performance using a modified N-back working memory task while undergoing Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI measurements. Fibromyalgia patients and controls did not differ in working memory performance. Subjective appraisal of cognitive function was associated with better performance (accuracy) on the working memory task in healthy controls but not in fibromyalgia patients. In fibromyalgia patients, increased perceived cognitive difficulty was positively correlated with the severity of their symptoms. BOLD response during the working memory task did not differ between the groups. BOLD response correlated with task accuracy in control subjects but not in fibromyalgia patients. Increased subjective cognitive impairment correlated with decreased BOLD response in both groups but in different anatomic regions. In conclusion, “fibrofog” appears to be better characterized by subjective rather than objective impairment. Neurologic correlates of this subjective experience of impairment might be separate from those involved in the performance of cognitive tasks. PMID:26955513

  2. Avoidance and activation as keys to depression: adaptation of the Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale in a Spanish sample.

    PubMed

    Barraca, Jorge; Pérez-Alvarez, Marino; Lozano Bleda, José Héctor

    2011-11-01

    In this paper we present the adaptation of the Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale (BADS), developed by Kanter, Mulick, Busch, Berlin, and Martell (2007), in a Spanish sample. The psychometric properties were tested in a sample of 263 participants (124 clinical and 139 non-clinical). The results show that, just as in the original English version, the Spanish BADS is a valid and internally consistent scale. Construct validity was examined by correlation with the BDI-II, AAQ, ATQ, MCQ-30, STAI and EROS. Factor analysis justified the four-dimensions of the original instrument (Activation, Avoidance/Rumination, Work/School Impairment and Social Impairment), although with some differences in the factor loadings of the items. Further considerations about the usefulness of the BADS in the clinical treatment of depressed patients are also suggested. PMID:22059343

  3. Reduction of Dual-task Costs by Noninvasive Modulation of Prefrontal Activity in Healthy Elders

    PubMed Central

    Manor, Brad; Zhou, Junhong; Jor'dan, Azizah; Zhang, Jue; Fang, Jing; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Dual tasking (e.g., walking or standing while performing a cognitive task) disrupts performance in one or both tasks, and such dual-task costs increase with aging into senescence. Dual tasking activates a network of brain regions including pFC. We therefore hypothesized that facilitation of prefrontal cortical activity via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would reduce dual-task costs in older adults. Thirty-seven healthy older adults completed two visits during which dual tasking was assessed before and after 20 min of real or sham tDCS targeting the left pFC. Trials of single-task standing, walking, and verbalized serial subtractions were completed, along with dual-task trials of standing or walking while performing serial subtractions. Dual-task costs were calculated as the percent change in markers of gait and postural control and serial subtraction performance, from single to dual tasking. Significant dual-task costs to standing, walking, and serial subtraction performance were observed before tDCS (p < .01). These dual-task costs were less after real tDCS as compared with sham tDCS as well as compared with either pre-tDCS condition (p < .03). Further analyses indicated that tDCS did not alter single task performance but instead improved performance solely within dual-task conditions (p < .02). These results demonstrate that dual tasking can be improved by modulating prefrontal activity, thus indicating that dual-task decrements are modifiable and may not necessarily reflect an obligatory consequence of aging. Moreover, tDCS may ultimately serve as a novel approach to preserving dual-task capacity into senescence. PMID:26488591

  4. Functional brain activation during retrieval of visceral pain-conditioned passive avoidance in the rat.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Bradesi, Sylvie; Charles, Jonathan R; Pang, Raina D; Maarek, Jean-Michel I; Mayer, Emeran A; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2011-12-01

    This study assessed functional brain activation in rats during expectation of visceral pain. Male rats were trained in step-down passive avoidance (PA) for 2 days. Upon stepping down from a platform, conditioned animals received noxious colorectal distension delivered through a colorectal balloon, whereas the balloon in control rats remained uninflated. On day 3, PA behavior was assessed while [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine was infused intravenously, followed by immediate euthanasia. Regional cerebral blood flow-related tissue radioactivity (rCBF) was analyzed by statistical parametric mapping using 3-dimensional brains reconstructed from autoradiographic brain slice images. Associated with retrieved PA behavior, conditioned rats compared with control subjects showed increases in rCBF in sensory (anterior insula, somatosensory cortex), limbic/paralimbic regions (anterior cingulate, prelimbic cortex, amygdala), all regions previously reported to show activation during acute visceral pain. Increases in rCBF were also noted in the dorsal hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and caudate putamen, regions associated with retrieval of PA. Organization of the underlying brain network was further delineated by functional connectivity analysis. This revealed in conditioned rats a strongly and positively connected corticostriatal cluster (cingulate, prelimbic cortex, caudate putamen). The amygdala and cerebellar hemispheres formed another positively connected cluster, which was negatively connected with the corticostriatal cluster, suggesting corticolimbic modulation. Prelimbic cortex, nucleus accumbens, and anterior insula emerged in conditioned animals as hubs. Our results show that during retrieval of PA, brain areas implicated in PA expression as well as those implicated in acute visceral pain processing were recruited, in line with findings from human brain imaging studies on pain expectation. PMID:21944154

  5. Memory retrieval of inhibitory avoidance requires histamine H1 receptor activation in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Fabbri, Roberta; Furini, Cristiane Regina Guerino; Passani, Maria Beatrice; Provensi, Gustavo; Baldi, Elisabetta; Bucherelli, Corrado; Izquierdo, Ivan; de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane; Blandina, Patrizio

    2016-05-10

    Retrieval represents a dynamic process that may require neuromodulatory signaling. Here, we report that the integrity of the brain histaminergic system is necessary for retrieval of inhibitory avoidance (IA) memory, because rats depleted of histamine through lateral ventricle injections of α-fluoromethylhistidine (a-FMHis), a suicide inhibitor of histidine decarboxylase, displayed impaired IA memory when tested 2 d after training. a-FMHis was administered 24 h after training, when IA memory trace was already formed. Infusion of histamine in hippocampal CA1 of brain histamine-depleted rats (hence, amnesic) 10 min before the retention test restored IA memory but was ineffective when given in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) or the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Intra-CA1 injections of selective H1 and H2 receptor agonists showed that histamine exerted its effect by activating the H1 receptor. Noteworthy, the H1 receptor antagonist pyrilamine disrupted IA memory retrieval in rats, thus strongly supporting an active involvement of endogenous histamine; 90 min after the retention test, c-Fos-positive neurons were significantly fewer in the CA1s of a-FMHis-treated rats that displayed amnesia compared with in the control group. We also found reduced levels of phosphorylated cAMP-responsive element binding protein (pCREB) in the CA1s of a-FMHis-treated animals compared with in controls. Increases in pCREB levels are associated with retrieval of associated memories. Targeting the histaminergic system may modify the retrieval of emotional memory; hence, histaminergic ligands might reduce dysfunctional aversive memories and improve the efficacy of exposure psychotherapies. PMID:27118833

  6. Variability in emotional responsiveness and coping style during active avoidance as a window onto psychological vulnerability to stress.

    PubMed

    Gorka, Adam X; LaBar, Kevin S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2016-05-01

    Individual differences in coping styles are associated with psychological vulnerability to stress. Recent animal research suggests that coping styles reflect trade-offs between proactive and reactive threat responses during active avoidance paradigms, with proactive responses associated with better stress tolerance. Based on these preclinical findings, we developed a novel instructed active avoidance paradigm to characterize patterns of proactive and reactive responses using behavioral, motoric, and autonomic measures in humans. Analyses revealed significant inter-individual variability not only in the magnitude of general emotional responsiveness but also the likelihood to specifically express proactive or reactive responses. In men but not women, individual differences in general emotional responsiveness were linked to increased trait anxiety while proactive coping style was linked to increased trait aggression. These patterns are consistent with preclinical findings and suggest that instructed active avoidance paradigms may be useful in assessing psychological vulnerability to stress using objective behavioral measures. PMID:26922874

  7. Upper Limb Muscle and Brain Activity in Light Assembly Task on Different Load Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zadry, Hilma Raimona; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md.; Taha, Zahari

    2010-10-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the effect of load on upper limb muscles and brain activities in light assembly task. The task was conducted at two levels of load (Low and high). Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to measure upper limb muscle activities of twenty subjects. Electroencephalography (EEG) was simultaneously recorded with EMG to record brain activities from Fz, Pz, O1 and O2 channels. The EMG Mean Power Frequency (MPF) of the right brachioradialis and the left upper trapezius activities were higher on the high-load task compared to low-load task. The EMG MPF values also decrease as time increases, that reflects muscle fatigue. Mean power of the EEG alpha bands for the Fz-Pz channels were found to be higher on the high-load task compared to low-load task, while for the O1-O2 channels, they were higher on the low-load task than on the high-load task. These results indicated that the load levels effect the upper limb muscle and brain activities. The high-load task will increase muscle activities on the right brachioradialis and the left upper tapezius muscles, and will increase the awareness and motivation of the subjects. Whilst the low-load task can generate drowsiness earlier. It signified that the longer the time and the more heavy of the task, the subjects will be more fatigue physically and mentally.

  8. Task-discriminative space-by-time factorization of muscle activity

    PubMed Central

    Delis, Ioannis; Panzeri, Stefano; Pozzo, Thierry; Berret, Bastien

    2015-01-01

    Movement generation has been hypothesized to rely on a modular organization of muscle activity. Crucial to this hypothesis is the ability to perform reliably a variety of motor tasks by recruiting a limited set of modules and combining them in a task-dependent manner. Thus far, existing algorithms that extract putative modules of muscle activations, such as Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF), identify modular decompositions that maximize the reconstruction of the recorded EMG data. Typically, the functional role of the decompositions, i.e., task accomplishment, is only assessed a posteriori. However, as motor actions are defined in task space, we suggest that motor modules should be computed in task space too. In this study, we propose a new module extraction algorithm, named DsNM3F, that uses task information during the module identification process. DsNM3F extends our previous space-by-time decomposition method (the so-called sNM3F algorithm, which could assess task performance only after having computed modules) to identify modules gauging between two complementary objectives: reconstruction of the original data and reliable discrimination of the performed tasks. We show that DsNM3F recovers the task dependence of module activations more accurately than sNM3F. We also apply it to electromyographic signals recorded during performance of a variety of arm pointing tasks and identify spatial and temporal modules of muscle activity that are highly consistent with previous studies. DsNM3F achieves perfect task categorization without significant loss in data approximation when task information is available and generalizes as well as sNM3F when applied to new data. These findings suggest that the space-by-time decomposition of muscle activity finds robust task-discriminating modular representations of muscle activity and that the insertion of task discrimination objectives is useful for describing the task modulation of module recruitment. PMID:26217213

  9. Regulating Cognitive Control through Approach-Avoidance Motor Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koch, Severine; Holland, Rob W.; van Knippenberg, Ad

    2008-01-01

    In two studies, the regulatory function of approach-avoidance cues in activating cognitive control processes was investigated. It was hypothesized that avoidance motor actions, relative to approach motor actions, increase the recruitment of cognitive resources, resulting in better performance on tasks that draw on these capacities. In Study 1,…

  10. A dynamic balance between gene activation and repression regulates the shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Sessa, Giovanna; Carabelli, Monica; Sassi, Massimiliano; Ciolfi, Andrea; Possenti, Marco; Mittempergher, Francesca; Becker, Jorg; Morelli, Giorgio; Ruberti, Ida

    2005-01-01

    Plants grown under dense canopies perceive through the phytochrome system a reduction in the ratio of red to far-red light as a warning of competition, and this triggers a series of morphological changes to avoid shade. Several phytochrome signaling intermediates acting as positive regulators of accelerated elongation growth and induction of flowering in shade avoidance have been identified. Here we report that a negative regulatory mechanism ensures that in the presence of far-red-rich light an exaggerated plant response does not occur. Strikingly, this unpredicted negative regulatory mechanism is centrally involved in the attenuation of virtually all plant responses to canopy shade. PMID:16322556

  11. A dynamic balance between gene activation and repression regulates the shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Sessa, Giovanna; Carabelli, Monica; Sassi, Massimiliano; Ciolfi, Andrea; Possenti, Marco; Mittempergher, Francesca; Becker, Jorg; Morelli, Giorgio; Ruberti, Ida

    2005-12-01

    Plants grown under dense canopies perceive through the phytochrome system a reduction in the ratio of red to far-red light as a warning of competition, and this triggers a series of morphological changes to avoid shade. Several phytochrome signaling intermediates acting as positive regulators of accelerated elongation growth and induction of flowering in shade avoidance have been identified. Here we report that a negative regulatory mechanism ensures that in the presence of far-red-rich light an exaggerated plant response does not occur. Strikingly, this unpredicted negative regulatory mechanism is centrally involved in the attenuation of virtually all plant responses to canopy shade. PMID:16322556

  12. Suppression of irrelevant activation in the horizontal and vertical Simon task differs quantitatively not qualitatively.

    PubMed

    Töbel, Lisa; Hübner, Ronald; Stürmer, Birgit

    2014-10-01

    The Simon effect is usually explained by the assumption that the irrelevant stimulus location automatically activates the corresponding response. In the case of incongruent stimulus-response assignments automatically activated responses therefore have to be suppressed to ensure correct responses. This account, however, has been called into question for other than horizontally arranged visual Simon tasks. We investigated whether there is a qualitative or quantitative difference in suppression of irrelevant activation between horizontally and vertically arranged Simon tasks, using delta-function analyses. Sequential analyses revealed suppression after incongruent trials in both tasks, supporting the idea of a quantitative rather than a qualitative difference between the tasks. We conclude that automatic response activation is weaker in vertical tasks resulting in lower inhibitory demands as compared to horizontal tasks. PMID:25113126

  13. Comparison of trunk muscle activities in lifting and lowering tasks at various heights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyun; Hong, Ji Heon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Biomechanical data for manual material handling are important for appropriate engineering design. The goal of this study was to investigate differences in trunk muscle activity in lifting and lowering tasks at various heights. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty healthy, young adult subjects performed 6 asymmetrical lifting and lowering tasks at various heights. Trunk muscle activity of the abdominal external oblique muscle (EO), rectus abdominis muscle (RA), and lumbar erector spinae muscles (ES) were recorded using surface electromyography (EMG). [Results] The EMG activities of the bilateral ES differed significantly among heights. The left EO activity in the ankle to knee lifting task was significantly increased compared with that of the knee to ankle lowering task. However, there were no significant differences in the right EO, bilateral ES, or RA between lifting and lowering tasks. [Conclusion] The results show that the optimal range for manual material handling was at trunk height, not only for lifting but also for lowering tasks. PMID:27065548

  14. Cognitive tasks in information analysis: Use of event dwell time to characterize component activities

    SciTech Connect

    Sanquist, Thomas F.; Greitzer, Frank L.; Slavich, Antoinette L.; Littlefield, Rik J.; Littlefield, Janis S.; Cowley, Paula J.

    2004-09-28

    Technology-based enhancement of information analysis requires a detailed understanding of the cognitive tasks involved in the process. The information search and report production tasks of the information analysis process were investigated through evaluation of time-stamped workstation data gathered with custom software. Model tasks simulated the search and production activities, and a sample of actual analyst data were also evaluated. Task event durations were calculated on the basis of millisecond-level time stamps, and distributions were plotted for analysis. The data indicate that task event time shows a cyclic pattern of variation, with shorter event durations (< 2 sec) reflecting information search and filtering, and longer event durations (> 10 sec) reflecting information evaluation. Application of cognitive principles to the interpretation of task event time data provides a basis for developing “cognitive signatures” of complex activities, and can facilitate the development of technology aids for information intensive tasks.

  15. Understanding Student Coregulation in Task Interpretation during Electronics Laboratory Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera-Reyes, Presentacion; Lawanto, Oenardi; Pate, Michale L.

    2016-01-01

    Coregulation (CRL) is a transitional process in which students share problem-solving techniques and utilize self-regulated learning (SRL) when interacting with peers. Coregulation may help students to define and modify inconsistencies in their SRL strategy. Task interpretation is described as the critical first step in the SRL process, and it is a…

  16. JV Task 119 - Effects of Aging on Treated Activated Carbons

    SciTech Connect

    Edwin Olson; Lucinda Hamre; John Pavlish; Blaise Mibeck

    2009-03-25

    For both the United States and Canada, testing has been under way for electric utilities to find viable and economical mercury control strategies to meet pending future mercury emission limits. The technology that holds the most promise for mercury control in low-chlorine lignite to meet the needs of the Clean Air Act in the United States and the Canada-Wide Standards in Canada is injection of treated activated carbon (AC) into the flue gas stream. Most of the treated carbons are reported to be halogenated, often with bromine. Under a previous multiyear project headed by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), testing was performed on a slipstream unit using actual lignite-derived flue gas to evaluate various sorbent technologies for their effectiveness, performance, and cost. Testing under this project showed that halogenated ACs performed very well, with mercury capture rates often {ge} 90%. However, differences were noted between treated ACs with respect to reactivity and capacity, possibly as a result of storage conditions. Under certain conditions (primarily storage in ambient air), notable performance degradation had occurred in mercury capture efficiency. Therefore, a small exploratory task within this project evaluated possible differences resulting from storage conditions and subsequent effects of aging that might somehow alter their chemical or physical properties. In order to further investigate this potential degradation of treated (halogenated) ACs, the EERC, together with DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), SaskPower, and Otter Tail Power Company, assessed the aging effects of brominated ACs for the effect that different storage durations, temperatures, and humidity conditions have on the mercury sorption capacity of treated ACs. No aging effects on initial capture activity were observed for any carbons or conditions in the investigation

  17. Neuroimaging the temporal dynamics of human avoidance to sustained threat.

    PubMed

    Schlund, Michael W; Hudgins, Caleb D; Magee, Sandy; Dymond, Simon

    2013-11-15

    Many forms of human psychopathology are characterized by sustained negative emotional responses to threat and chronic behavioral avoidance, implicating avoidance as a potential transdiagnostic factor. Evidence from both nonhuman neurophysiological and human neuroimaging studies suggests a distributed frontal-limbic-striatal brain network supports avoidance. However, our understanding of the temporal dynamics of the network to sustained threat that prompts sustained avoidance is limited. To address this issue, 17 adults were given extensive training on a modified free-operant avoidance task in which button pressing avoided money loss during a sustained threat period. Subsequently, subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing the avoidance task. In our regions of interest, we observed phasic, rather than sustained, activation during sustained threat in dorsolateral and inferior frontal regions, anterior and dorsal cingulate, ventral striatum and regions associated with emotion, including the amygdala, insula, substantia nigra and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis complex. Moreover, trait levels of experiential avoidance were negatively correlated with insula, hippocampal and amygdala activation. These findings suggest knowledge that one can consistently avoid aversive outcomes is not associated with decreased threat-related responses and that individuals with greater experiential avoidance exhibit reduced reactivity to initial threat. Implications for understanding brain mechanisms supporting human avoidance and psychological theories of avoidance are discussed. PMID:24095880

  18. Atypical Activation during the Embedded Figures Task as a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Endophenotype of Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spencer, Michael D.; Holt, Rosemary J.; Chura, Lindsay R.; Calder, Andrew J.; Suckling, John; Bullmore, Edward T.; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task has been demonstrated in autism, but has not been investigated in siblings or related to measures of clinical severity. We identified atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task in participants with autism and unaffected siblings compared with control subjects in a number of temporal…

  19. Tools for Activating Materials and Tasks in the English Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Rick

    2009-01-01

    Most teachers have seen the reactions students can have to tasks and activities that they do not find engaging: the glassy or rolling eyes, the unfocused behavior, and the cries of "Not again!" This article provides practical techniques that the author's students have helped him learn over the years to better "activate" materials and tasks in the…

  20. School-Based Collaborative Teams: An Exploratory Study of Tasks and Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillippo, Kate; Stone, Susan

    2006-01-01

    This study reports findings from a content analysis of the activities and tasks of a school-based problem-solving team. Analyses of observational data collected over the course of five months found that team tasks and activities fell into the following five clusters: (1) needs identification, program development, and planning; (2) intrateam…

  1. Goal-directed behavior under emotional distraction is preserved by enhanced task-specific activation.

    PubMed

    Wessa, Michèle; Heissler, Janine; Schönfelder, Sandra; Kanske, Philipp

    2013-03-01

    Despite the distracting effects of emotional stimuli on concurrent task performance, humans are able to uphold goal-directed behavior. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that this effect is due to the enhanced recruitment of task-specific neural resources. In a two-step functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we first localized those areas involved in mental arithmetics by contrasting arithmetic problems with a number detection task. The resulting activation maps were then used as masks in a second experiment that compared the effects of neutral and emotional distracter images on mental arithmetics. We found increased response times in the emotional distracter condition, accompanied by enhanced activation in task-specific areas, including superior parietal cortex, dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This activation increase correlated with larger behavioral impairment through emotional distraction. Similar error rates in both conditions indicate that cognitive task performance is preserved through enhanced recruitment of task-specific neural resources when emotional distracter stimuli are present. PMID:22302842

  2. Muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing laparoscopic training tasks with a box trainer.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Araya, Angelo E; Usón-Gargallo, Jesús; Sánchez-Margallo, Juan A; Pérez-Duarte, Francisco J; Martin-Portugués, Idoia Díaz-Güemes; Sánchez-Margallo, Francisco M

    2016-02-01

    OBJECTIVE To evaluate muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing a standard set of laparoscopic training tasks. SAMPLE 12 veterinarians with experience performing laparoscopic procedures. PROCEDURES Participants were asked to perform peg transfer, coordination, precision cutting, and suturing tasks in a laparoscopic box trainer. Activity of the right biceps brachii, triceps brachii, forearm flexor, forearm extensor, and trapezius muscles was analyzed by means of surface electromyography. Right hand movements and wrist angle data were registered through the use of a data glove, and risk levels for the wrist joint were determined by use of a modified rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) method. One-way repeated-measures ANOVA with a Bonferroni post hoc test was performed to compare values between tasks. RESULTS Activity in the biceps muscle did not differ significantly among the 4 tasks. Activity in the triceps, forearm flexor, and forearm extensor muscles was significantly higher during precision cutting than during the coordination task. Activity in the trapezius muscle was highest during the suturing task and did not differ significantly among the other 3 tasks. The RULA score was unacceptable (score, 3) for the coordination, peg transfer, and precision cutting tasks but was acceptable (score, 2) for the suturing task. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the ergonomics of laparoscopic training depended on the tasks performed and the design of the instruments used. Precision cutting and suturing tasks were associated with the highest muscle activity. Acceptable wrist position, as determined with the RULA method, was found with the suturing task, which was performed with an axial-handled instrument. (Am J Vet Res 2016;77:186-193). PMID:27027713

  3. Increased Brain Activation for Dual Tasking with 70-Days Head-Down Bed Rest.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Peng; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A; De Dios, Yiri E; Gadd, Nichole E; Wood, Scott J; Riascos, Roy; Kofman, Igor S; Bloomberg, Jacob J; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Seidler, Rachael D

    2016-01-01

    Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to simulate the effects of microgravity exposure on human physiology, sensorimotor function, and cognition on Earth. Previous studies have reported that concurrent performance of motor and cognitive tasks can be impaired during space missions. Understanding the consequences of HDBR for neural control of dual tasking may possibly provide insight into neural efficiency during spaceflight. In the current study, we evaluated how dual task performance and the underlying brain activation changed as a function of HDBR. Eighteen healthy men participated in this study. They remained continuously in the 6° head-down tilt position for 70 days. Functional MRI for bimanual finger tapping was acquired during both single task and dual task conditions, and repeated at 7 time points pre-, during- and post-HDBR. Another 12 healthy males participated as controls who did not undergo HDBR. A widely distributed network involving the frontal, parietal, cingulate, temporal, and occipital cortices exhibited increased activation for dual tasking and increased activation differences between dual and single task conditions during HDBR relative to pre- or post-HDBR. This HDBR-related brain activation increase for dual tasking implies that more neurocognitive control is needed for dual task execution during HDBR compared to pre- and post-HDBR. We observed a positive correlation between pre-to-post HDBR changes in dual-task cost of reaction time and pre-to-post HDBR change in dual-task cost of brain activation in several cerebral and cerebellar regions. These findings could be predictive of changes in dual task processing during spaceflight. PMID:27601982

  4. Increased Brain Activation for Dual Tasking with 70-Days Head-Down Bed Rest

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Peng; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; De Dios, Yiri E.; Gadd, Nichole E.; Wood, Scott J.; Riascos, Roy; Kofman, Igor S.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2016-01-01

    Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to simulate the effects of microgravity exposure on human physiology, sensorimotor function, and cognition on Earth. Previous studies have reported that concurrent performance of motor and cognitive tasks can be impaired during space missions. Understanding the consequences of HDBR for neural control of dual tasking may possibly provide insight into neural efficiency during spaceflight. In the current study, we evaluated how dual task performance and the underlying brain activation changed as a function of HDBR. Eighteen healthy men participated in this study. They remained continuously in the 6° head-down tilt position for 70 days. Functional MRI for bimanual finger tapping was acquired during both single task and dual task conditions, and repeated at 7 time points pre-, during- and post-HDBR. Another 12 healthy males participated as controls who did not undergo HDBR. A widely distributed network involving the frontal, parietal, cingulate, temporal, and occipital cortices exhibited increased activation for dual tasking and increased activation differences between dual and single task conditions during HDBR relative to pre- or post-HDBR. This HDBR-related brain activation increase for dual tasking implies that more neurocognitive control is needed for dual task execution during HDBR compared to pre- and post-HDBR. We observed a positive correlation between pre-to-post HDBR changes in dual-task cost of reaction time and pre-to-post HDBR change in dual-task cost of brain activation in several cerebral and cerebellar regions. These findings could be predictive of changes in dual task processing during spaceflight. PMID:27601982

  5. Avoiding Infusion Confusion Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. A Practical Handbook for Infusing Environmental Activities into Your Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayden, Harvey; And Others

    To some educators, infusing environmental education into different subject areas at different levels may seem like an insurmountable task. This handbook was developed to take the guesswork out of this process and alleviate the fear and confusion that may result. It was designed to assist with infusing awareness and attitude activities into the…

  6. Avoiding Infusion Confusion 4th through 6th Grades. A Practical Handbook for Infusing Environmental Activities into Your Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayden, Harvey; And Others

    To some educators, infusing environmental education into different subject areas at different levels may seem like an insurmountable task. This handbook was developed to take the guesswork out of this process and alleviate the fear and confusion that may result. It was designed to assist with infusing knowledge and attitude activities into the…

  7. Avoiding Infusion Confusion 7th through 9th Grades. A Practical Handbook for Infusing Environmental Activities into Your Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayden, Harvey; And Others

    To some educators, infusing environmental education into different subject areas at different levels may seem like an insurmountable task. This handbook was developed to take the guesswork out of this process and alleviate the fear and confusion that may result. It was designed to assist with infusing knowledge, skill and attitude activities into…

  8. Brain activity during auditory and visual phonological, spatial and simple discrimination tasks.

    PubMed

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2013-02-16

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure human brain activity during tasks demanding selective attention to auditory or visual stimuli delivered in concurrent streams. Auditory stimuli were syllables spoken by different voices and occurring in central or peripheral space. Visual stimuli were centrally or more peripherally presented letters in darker or lighter fonts. The participants performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task in either modality. Within each modality, we expected a clear distinction between brain activations related to nonspatial and spatial processing, as reported in previous studies. However, within each modality, different tasks activated largely overlapping areas in modality-specific (auditory and visual) cortices, as well as in the parietal and frontal brain regions. These overlaps may be due to effects of attention common for all three tasks within each modality or interaction of processing task-relevant features and varying task-irrelevant features in the attended-modality stimuli. Nevertheless, brain activations caused by auditory and visual phonological tasks overlapped in the left mid-lateral prefrontal cortex, while those caused by the auditory and visual spatial tasks overlapped in the inferior parietal cortex. These overlapping activations reveal areas of multimodal phonological and spatial processing. There was also some evidence for intermodal attention-related interaction. Most importantly, activity in the superior temporal sulcus elicited by unattended speech sounds was attenuated during the visual phonological task in comparison with the other visual tasks. This effect might be related to suppression of processing irrelevant speech presumably distracting the phonological task involving the letters. PMID:23261663

  9. Cardiac autonomic activity predicts dominance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks: results from a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Solernó, Juan I; Chada, Daniela Pérez; Guinjoan, Salvador M; Lloret, Santiago Pérez; Hedderwick, Alejandro; Vidal, María Florencia; Cardinali, Daniel P; Vigo, Daniel E

    2012-04-01

    The present study sought to determine whether autonomic activity is associated with dominance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks. A group of 19 healthy adults who performed a verbal and spatial aptitude test was evaluated. Autonomic function was assessed by means of heart rate variability analysis, before and during the tasks. The results showed that a better relative performance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks was associated with vagal prevalence in normal subjects. PMID:22118959

  10. Active Power Rescheduling for Avoiding Voltage Collapse Using Modified Bare Bones Particle Swarm Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arya, Rajesh; Purey, Pradeep

    2016-06-01

    MW-generation rescheduling is being considered for voltage stability improvement under stressed operating condition. At times it can avoid voltage collapse. This paper describes an algorithm for determination of optimum MW-generation participation pattern for static voltage stability margin enhancement. The optimum search direction has been obtained by employing modified bare born particle swarm optimization technique. Optimum search direction is based on maximization of distance to point of collapse in generation space. Developed algorithm has been implemented on a standard 25 bus test system. Results obtained have been compared with those obtained using standard particle swarm optimization.

  11. Active Power Rescheduling for Avoiding Voltage Collapse Using Modified Bare Bones Particle Swarm Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arya, Rajesh; Purey, Pradeep

    2015-06-01

    MW-generation rescheduling is being considered for voltage stability improvement under stressed operating condition. At times it can avoid voltage collapse. This paper describes an algorithm for determination of optimum MW-generation participation pattern for static voltage stability margin enhancement. The optimum search direction has been obtained by employing modified bare born particle swarm optimization technique. Optimum search direction is based on maximization of distance to point of collapse in generation space. Developed algorithm has been implemented on a standard 25 bus test system. Results obtained have been compared with those obtained using standard particle swarm optimization.

  12. A Cross-Cultural Investigation into How Tasks Influence Seatwork Activities in Mathematics Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serrano, Ana M.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined how types of tasks influenced student activities/thinking and defined the role of Seatwork in mathematics lessons. It used 60 lessons from the TIMSS videotaped Study. These data indicated that practice was the most prevalent form of tasks in the U.S. In Germany, students completed mathematical calculations after a complex…

  13. A Goal Activation Approach to the Study of Executive Function: An Application to Antisaccade Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Broerse, Annelies; Nielen, Marjan M. A.; de Jong, Ritske

    2004-01-01

    We argue that a general control process, responsible for the activation and maintenance of task goals, is central to the concept of executive function. Failures of this process can become manifest as "goal neglect": disregard of a task requirement even though it has been understood (Duncan, 1995). We discuss the results of several published and…

  14. Advanced Marketing 8130. Instructional Areas. Duties and Tasks. Learning Activities. Referenced Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virginia State Dept. of Education, Richmond.

    This resource handbook, which is designed for use by instructors of courses in advanced marketing, consists of a duty/task list with referenced resources, a duty/task list with learning activities, and a list of resources. Included in each list are materials dealing with the following topics: communication in marketing, economics in marketing,…

  15. Cognitive Activities in Solving Mathematical Tasks: The Role of a Cognitive Obstacle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Antonijevic, Radovan

    2016-01-01

    In the process of learning mathematics, students practice various forms of thinking activities aimed to substantially contribute to the development of their different cognitive structures. In this paper, the subject matter is a "cognitive obstacle", a phenomenon that occurs in the procedures of solving mathematical tasks. Each task in…

  16. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    PubMed Central

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395

  17. Primary motor cortex neurons classified in a postural task predict muscle activation patterns in a reaching task.

    PubMed

    Heming, Ethan A; Lillicrap, Timothy P; Omrani, Mohsen; Herter, Troy M; Pruszynski, J Andrew; Scott, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Primary motor cortex (M1) activity correlates with many motor variables, making it difficult to demonstrate how it participates in motor control. We developed a two-stage process to separate the process of classifying the motor field of M1 neurons from the process of predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of its motor field during reaching. We tested our approach with a neural network model that controlled a two-joint arm to show the statistical relationship between network connectivity and neural activity across different motor tasks. In rhesus monkeys, M1 neurons classified by this method showed preferred reaching directions similar to their associated muscle groups. Importantly, the neural population signals predicted the spatiotemporal dynamics of their associated muscle groups, although a subgroup of atypical neurons reversed their directional preference, suggesting a selective role in antagonist control. These results highlight that M1 provides important details on the spatiotemporal patterns of muscle activity during motor skills such as reaching. PMID:26843605

  18. Training bottlenose dolphins to overcome avoidance of environmental enrichment objects in order to stimulate play activities.

    PubMed

    Neto, Márcia P; Silveira, Miguel; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-05-01

    Enrichment programs may contribute to the quality of life and stress reduction in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and aquaria. The results of these programs are generally positive in terms of welfare, but the magnitude of their effects may vary greatly between individuals of the same species, especially when the enrichment plans are based on the introduction of manipulative objects. Some animals will interact spontaneously with novel objects, even without food rewards and in the absence of the trainers, while others show no interest or even aversion toward the objects. To determine if formal training can improve these conditions, we measured the effects of an operant conditioning program in the manipulation of objects by dolphins that initially avoided them. This program took place between April and October 2013 at Zoomarine Portugal. Subjects were two female and two male bottlenose dolphins (adults with ages from 17 to 35 years) that after a preliminary analysis showed avoidance or low interest in the manipulation of various toys. The level of interaction with introduced enrichment objects was observed before and after formal training to explore the toys (sixteen 20-min observation sessions per animal "before" and "after training"). In all subjects, an index of interest in object manipulation, in the absence of trainers, increased significantly after the application of the training techniques. The results show that an initial reinforcement program focused on the manipulation of toys may overcome resistance, improving the effects of environmental enrichment plans, and it is a potentially useful strategy to increase the welfare of some captive animals. Zoo Biol. 35:210-215, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26969822

  19. Brain Activity in Cigarette Smokers Performing a Working Memory Task: Effect of Smoking Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Mendrek, Adrianna; Cohen, Mark S.; Monterosso, John; Rodriguez, Paul; Simon, Sara L.; Brody, Arthur; Jarvik, Murray; Domier, Catherine P.; Olmstead, Richard; Ernst, Monique; London, Edythe D.

    2009-01-01

    Background When nicotine-dependent human subjects abstain from cigarette smoking, they exhibit deficits in working memory. An understanding of the neural substrates of such impairments may help to understand how nicotine affects cognition. Our aim, therefore, was to identify abnormalities in the circuitry that mediates working memory in nicotine-dependent subjects after they initiate abstinence from smoking. Methods We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study eight smokers while they performed a letter version of the N-Back working memory task under satiety (≤1.5 hours abstinence) and abstinence (≥14 hours abstinence) conditions. Results Task-related activity in the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed a significant interaction between test session (satiety, abstinence) and task load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back). This interaction reflected the fact that task-related activity in the satiety condition was relatively low during performance of the 1-back task but greater at the more difficult task levels, whereas task-related activity in the abstinence condition was relatively high at the 1-back level and did not increase at the more difficult task levels. Conclusions We conclude that neural processing related to working memory in the left DLPFC is less efficient during acute abstinence from smoking than at smoking satiety. PMID:16038685

  20. JV Task 90 - Activated Carbon Production from North Dakota Lignite

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Benson; Charlene Crocker; Rokan Zaman; Mark Musich; Edwin Olson

    2008-03-31

    The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has pursued a research program for producing activated carbon from North Dakota lignite that can be competitive with commercial-grade activated carbon. As part of this effort, small-scale production of activated carbon was produced from Fort Union lignite. A conceptual design of a commercial activated carbon production plant was drawn, and a market assessment was performed to determine likely revenue streams for the produced carbon. Activated carbon was produced from lignite coal in both laboratory-scale fixed-bed reactors and in a small pilot-scale rotary kiln. The EERC was successfully able to upgrade the laboratory-scale activated carbon production system to a pilot-scale rotary kiln system. The activated carbon produced from North Dakota lignite was superior to commercial grade DARCO{reg_sign} FGD and Rheinbraun's HOK activated coke product with respect to iodine number. The iodine number of North Dakota lignite-derived activated carbon was between 600 and 800 mg I{sub 2}/g, whereas the iodine number of DARCO FGD was between 500 and 600 mg I{sub 2}/g, and the iodine number of Rheinbraun's HOK activated coke product was around 275 mg I{sub 2}/g. The EERC performed both bench-scale and pilot-scale mercury capture tests using the activated carbon made under various optimization process conditions. For comparison, the mercury capture capability of commercial DARCO FGD was also tested. The lab-scale apparatus is a thin fixed-bed mercury-screening system, which has been used by the EERC for many mercury capture screen tests. The pilot-scale systems included two combustion units, both equipped with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP). Activated carbons were also tested in a slipstream baghouse at a Texas power plant. The results indicated that the activated carbon produced from North Dakota lignite coal is capable of removing mercury from flue gas. The tests showed that activated carbon with the greatest iodine number

  1. SHINE Tritium Nozzle Design: Activity 6, Task 1 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Okhuysen, Brett S.; Pulliam, Elias Noel

    2015-11-05

    In FY14, we studied the qualitative and quantitative behavior of a SHINE/PNL tritium nozzle under varying operating conditions. The result is an understanding of the nozzle’s performance in terms of important flow features that manifest themselves under different parametric profiles. In FY15, we will consider nozzle design with a focus on nozzle geometry and integration. From FY14 work, we will understand how the SHINE/PNL nozzle behaves under different operating scenarios. The first task for FY15 is to evaluate the FY14 model as a predictor of the actual flow. Considering different geometries is more time-intensive than parameter studies, therefore we recommend considering any relevant flow features that were not included in the FY14 model. In the absence of experimental data, it is particularly important to consider any sources of heat in the domain or boundary conditions that may affect the flow and incorporate these into the simulation if they are significant. Additionally, any geometric features of the beamline segment should be added to the model such as the orifice plate. The FY14 model works with hydrogen. An improvement that can be made for FY15 is to develop CFD properties for tritium and incorporate those properties into the new models.

  2. FEF-microstimulation causes task-dependent modulation of occipital fMRI activity.

    PubMed

    Premereur, Elsie; Janssen, Peter; Vanduffel, Wim

    2013-02-15

    Electrical microstimulation of FEF (FEF-EM) modulates neuronal activity in area V4 (Moore and Armstrong, 2003) and elicits functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activations in visual cortex in a bottom-up dependent manner (Ekstrom et al., 2008). Here we test the hypothesis that FEF-EM-induced modulations of fMRI activity are also function of task demands, which would suggest top-down dependent gating of FEF signals in early visual cortex. We scanned two monkeys performing a visually guided saccade task; a passive fixation task with a very similar visual display; and a passive fixation task without peripheral dots. We found increased effects of FEF-EM on fMRI-activity in visual cortex during saccades compared to fixation, indicating that the FEF-EM induced modulation is task-dependent. Finally, the effect of FEF-EM is mainly present in voxels which were less activated by visual stimuli in the absence of electrical stimulation. Our results show that the FEF-EM-induced pattern of activation in early visual cortex is topographically specific and more pronounced during increased task demands. These results fit with models suggesting that FEF is an important source modulating activity in early sensory cortex and that these influences can be enhanced by coincident bottom-up or top-down signals. PMID:23186918

  3. Reward sensitivity modulates brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, ACC and striatum during task switching.

    PubMed

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies. PMID:25875640

  4. Reward Sensitivity Modulates Brain Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex, ACC and Striatum during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C.; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies. PMID:25875640

  5. Active faults crossing trunk pipeline routes: some important steps to avoid disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besstrashnov, V. M.; Strom, A. L.

    2011-05-01

    Assessment of seismic strong motion hazard produced by earthquakes originating within causative fault zones allows rather low accuracy of localisation of these structures that can be provided by indirect evidence of fault activity. In contrast, the relevant accuracy of localisation and characterisation of active faults, capable of surface rupturing, can be achieved solely by the use of direct evidence of fault activity. This differentiation requires strict definition of what can be classified as "active fault" and the normalisation of methods used for identification and localisation of active faults crossing oil and natural gas trunk pipelines.

  6. Development of statistical models for predicting muscle and mental activities during repetitive precision tasks.

    PubMed

    Zadry, Hilma Raimona; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md; Taha, Zahari

    2016-09-01

    This study was conducted to develop muscle and mental activities on repetitive precision tasks. A laboratory experiment was used to address the objectives. Surface electromyography was used to measure muscle activities from eight upper limb muscles, while electroencephalography recorded mental activities from six channels. Fourteen university students participated in the study. The results show that muscle and mental activities increase for all tasks, indicating the occurrence of muscle and mental fatigue. A linear relationship between muscle activity, mental activity and time was found while subjects were performing the task. Thus, models were developed using those variables. The models were found valid after validation using other students' and workers' data. Findings from this study can contribute as a reference for future studies investigating muscle and mental activity and can be applied in industry as guidelines to manage muscle and mental fatigue, especially to manage job schedules and rotation. PMID:27053140

  7. Avoiding Ticks

    MedlinePlus

    ... Avoiding ticks On people On pets In the yard Removing a tick Symptoms of tickborne illness Geographic ... ticks on your pets Preventing ticks in the yard File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

  8. Cysteamine and pantethine effects on passive avoidance behavior, shuttle box learning, open-field activity, striatal catecholamines and somatostatin.

    PubMed

    Vécsei, L; Widerlöv, E; Ekman, R; Alling, C

    1989-01-01

    The effects of cysteamine and pantethine were compared on different behavioral tests and neurochemical parameters in rats. Cysteamine, administered in high dose (3.90 mM/kg s.c.), decreased the locomotor and rearing activities of rats, while it slightly but not significantly increased the avoidance latency in a passive avoidance test. Pantethine, 24 hr after its administration, significantly increased the dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC) levels in the striatum. Cysteamine slightly reduced the DOPAC level without influencing the catecholamine levels in this brain area. The striatal somatostatin concentration was reduced 24 hr after the administration of cysteamine, while pantethine did not influence it. After repeated daily injections of pantethine, the drug facilitated the shuttle box learning process and increased the intertrial and open-field activities of the animals. Cysteamine only slightly increased the locomotion and rearing and did not influence the shuttle box learning. Both pantethine and cysteamine slowed the rate of the "body weight increase" of the animals when compared to a saline-treated group. These findings suggest that the locomotor activation induced by pantethine 24 hr after its administration plays an important role in its behavioral effects. It might be that the striatal dopaminergic transmission, modified by administration of pantethine, plays some role in the higher locomotor activity induced by the substance. PMID:2570553

  9. Using Antecedent Physical Activity to Increase On-Task Behavior in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luke, Sara; Vail, Cynthia O.; Ayres, Kevin M.

    2014-01-01

    A withdrawal design was used to investigate how physical activity affects on-task behavior of young children with significant developmental delays in a special education preschool classroom. Five preschool age children with significant developmental delays engaged in either physical activity or seated center activities for 20 min prior to a 15-min…

  10. Age-Related Changes in Brain Activation Underlying Single- and Dual-Task Performance: Visuomanual Drawing and Mental Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Impe, A.; Coxon, J. P.; Goble, D. J.; Wenderoth, N.; Swinnen, S. P.

    2011-01-01

    Depending on task combination, dual-tasking can either be performed successfully or can lead to performance decrements in one or both tasks. Interference is believed to be caused by limitations in central processing, i.e. structural interference between the neural activation patterns associated with each task. In the present study, single- and…

  11. Job level risk assessment using task level ACGIH hand activity level TLV scores: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Drinkaus, Phillip; Sesek, Richard; Bloswick, Donald S; Mann, Clay; Bernard, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Existing upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder analytical tools are primarily intended for single or mono-task jobs. However, many jobs contain more than 1 task and some include job rotation. This case/control study investigates methods of modifying an existing tool, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Hand Activity Level (HAL) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), to assess the upper extremity risk of multi-task jobs. Various methods of combining the task differences and ratios into a job level assessment were explored. Two methods returned significant odds ratios, (p < .05) of 18.0 (95% CI 1.8-172) and 12.0 (95% CI 1.2-120). These results indicate that a modified ACGIH HAL TLV may provide insight into the work-related risk of multi-task jobs. Further research is needed to optimize this process. PMID:16219155

  12. [Influence of chronic melipramine administration abolition on locomotion and defensive conditioned reflexes in passive and active avoidance in rats].

    PubMed

    Orlova, N V; Folomkina, A A; Koshtoiants, O Kh; Bazian, A S

    2005-01-01

    The chronic (21 days duration) administration of tricyclic antidepressant melipramine of Wistar rats strain (15 mg/kg daily, intraperitoneally) evoked weight loss of animals. The 7 days after melipramine abolition its sedative effect was observed in the "open field" test by decrease of locomotion and the number of boles. The 7 and 14 days after melipramine abolition the difference between control and melipramine treated animals in passive and active avoidance learning and memory not found. The experimental results comparison with the literature data show, that chronic melipramine administration of intact animals evokes a sedative state. This conclusion does not contradict to idea of punishment function of brain serotoninergic system. PMID:15828425

  13. Central as well as Peripheral Attentional Bottlenecks in Dual-Task Performance Activate Lateral Prefrontal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Szameitat, André J.; Vanloo, Azonya; Müller, Hermann J.

    2016-01-01

    Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage) as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation) both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analyzed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In one study (N = 17), the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group). In the other study (N = 16), the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group). Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect). Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices (LPFC). Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns

  14. fMRI activation patterns in an analytic reasoning task: consistency with EEG source localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bian; Vasanta, Kalyana C.; O'Boyle, Michael; Baker, Mary C.; Nutter, Brian; Mitra, Sunanda

    2010-03-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to model brain activation patterns associated with various perceptual and cognitive processes as reflected by the hemodynamic (BOLD) response. While many sensory and motor tasks are associated with relatively simple activation patterns in localized regions, higher-order cognitive tasks may produce activity in many different brain areas involving complex neural circuitry. We applied a recently proposed probabilistic independent component analysis technique (PICA) to determine the true dimensionality of the fMRI data and used EEG localization to identify the common activated patterns (mapped as Brodmann areas) associated with a complex cognitive task like analytic reasoning. Our preliminary study suggests that a hybrid GLM/PICA analysis may reveal additional regions of activation (beyond simple GLM) that are consistent with electroencephalography (EEG) source localization patterns.

  15. Active inference, evidence accumulation and the urn task

    PubMed Central

    FitzGerald, Thomas HB; Schwartenbeck, Philipp; Moutoussis, Michael; Dolan, Raymond J; Friston, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Deciding how much evidence to accumulate before making a decision is a problem we and other animals often face, but one which is not completely understood. This issue is particularly important because a tendency to sample less information (often known as reflection impulsivity) is a feature in several psychopathologies, such as psychosis. A formal understanding information sampling may therefore clarify the computational anatomy of psychopathology. In this theoretical paper, we consider evidence accumulation in terms of active (Bayesian) inference using a generic model of Markov decision processes. Here, agents are equipped with beliefs about their own behaviour – in this case, that they will make informed decisions. Normative decision-making is then modelled using variational Bayes to minimise surprise about choice outcomes. Under this scheme, different facets of belief updating map naturally onto the functional anatomy of the brain (at least at a heuristic level). Of particular interest is the key role played by the expected precision of beliefs about control, which we have previously suggested may be encoded by dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. We show that manipulating expected precision strongly affects how much information an agent characteristically samples, and thus provides a possible link between impulsivity and dopaminergic dysfunction. Our study therefore represents a step towards understanding evidence accumulation in terms of neurobiologically plausible Bayesian inference, and may cast light on why this process is disordered in psychopathology. PMID:25514108

  16. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Kim, Da-Hye; Kim, Leahyun; Park, Wanjoo; Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  17. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  18. Do surface electrode recordings validly represent latissimus dorsi activation patterns during shoulder tasks?

    PubMed

    Ginn, Karen A; Halaki, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Because of its superficial location surface electrodes are commonly used to record latissimus dorsi (LD) activity. Despite the fact that the recommended electrode placement is over the belly where LD is quite thin no studies have investigated the possibility of signal contamination from muscles lying deep to LD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the validity of using surface electrodes to record activity from LD. Eight asymptomatic subjects performed ramped isometric (0-100% maximum load) and dynamic (70% maximum load) shoulder tasks. Intramuscular electrodes were inserted into LD and the adjacent erector spinae. Surface electrodes were placed over LD around the intramuscular electrodes. Results indicated that while there was no difference in activity level or activation pattern (ICC>0.94) recorded by the two electrode types during shoulder tasks in which LD would be expected to be active (extension and adduction), significantly lower (p<0.05) LD activity was recorded via intramuscular electrodes during the shoulder flexion and abduction tasks. Therefore, recordings of LD activity by surface electrodes overestimate LD activity during shoulder tasks when this muscle would be expected to be activated at minimum levels. Erector spinae immediately deep to LD was confirmed as a source of crosstalk contamination. PMID:25467544

  19. Performance-Related Activity in Medial Rostral Prefrontal Cortex (Area 10) during Low-Demand Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Simons, Jon S.; Frith, Christopher D.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2006-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have frequently observed relatively high activity in medial rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) during rest or baseline conditions. Some accounts have attributed this high activity to the occurrence of unconstrained stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thought processes during baseline conditions. Here, the authors investigated…

  20. Detecting short-term responses to weekend recreation activity: desert bighorn sheep avoidance of hiking trails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Longshore, Kathleen; Lowrey, Chris; Thompson, Daniel B.

    2013-01-01

    To study potential effects of recreation activity on habitat use of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), we placed Global Positioning System collars on 10 female bighorn sheep within the Wonderland of Rocks–Queen Mountain region of Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR), California, USA, from 2002 to 2004. Recreation use was highest from March to April and during weekends throughout the year. Daily use of recreation trails was highest during midday. By comparing habitat use (slope, ruggedness, distance to water, and distance to recreation trails) of female bighorn sheep on weekdays versus weekends, we were able to detect short-term shifts in behavior in response to recreation. In a logistic regression of bighorn sheep locations versus random locations for March and April, female locations at midday (1200 hours) were significantly more distant from recreation trails on weekends compared with weekdays. Our results indicate that within this region of JOTR, moderate to high levels of human recreation activity may temporarily exclude bighorn females from their preferred habitat. However, the relative proximity of females to recreation trails during the weekdays before and after such habitat shifts indicates that these anthropogenic impacts were short-lived. Our results have implications for management of wildlife on public lands where the co-existence of wildlife and recreational use is a major goal.

  1. Temperature- and Touch-Sensitive Neurons Couple CNG and TRPV Channel Activities to Control Heat Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shu; Schulze, Ekkehard; Baumeister, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    Background Any organism depends on its ability to sense temperature and avoid noxious heat. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to noxious temperatures exceeding ∼35°C and also senses changes in its environmental temperature in the range between 15 and 25°C. The neural circuits and molecular mechanisms involved in thermotaxis have been successfully studied, whereas details of the thermal avoidance behavior remain elusive. In this work, we investigate neurological and molecular aspects of thermonociception using genetic, cell biological and physiological approaches. Methodology/Principal Findings We show here that the thermosensory neurons AFD, in addition to sensing temperature within the range within which the animals can thrive, also contribute to the sensation of noxious temperatures resulting in a reflex-like escape reaction. Distinct sets of interneurons are involved in transmitting thermonociception and thermotaxis, respectively. Loss of AFD is partially compensated by the activity of a pair of multidendritic, polymodal neurons, FLP, whereas laser ablation of both types of neurons abrogated the heat response in the head of the animals almost completely. A third pair of heat sensory neurons, PHC, is situated in the tail. We find that the thermal avoidance response requires the cell autonomous function of cGMP dependent Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated (CNG) channels in AFD, and the heat- and capsaicin-sensitive Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) channels in the FLP and PHC sensory neurons. Conclusions/Significance Our results identify distinct thermal responses mediated by a single neuron, but also show that parallel nociceptor circuits and molecules may be used as back-up strategies to guarantee fast and efficient responses to potentially detrimental stimuli. PMID:22448218

  2. Analysis of the Structure of Surgical Activity for a Suturing and Knot-Tying Task

    PubMed Central

    Vedula, S. Swaroop; Malpani, Anand O.; Tao, Lingling; Chen, George; Gao, Yixin; Poddar, Piyush; Ahmidi, Narges; Paxton, Christopher; Vidal, Rene; Khudanpur, Sanjeev; Hager, Gregory D.; Chen, Chi Chiung Grace

    2016-01-01

    Background Surgical tasks are performed in a sequence of steps, and technical skill evaluation includes assessing task flow efficiency. Our objective was to describe differences in task flow for expert and novice surgeons for a basic surgical task. Methods We used a hierarchical semantic vocabulary to decompose and annotate maneuvers and gestures for 135 instances of a surgeon’s knot performed by 18 surgeons. We compared counts of maneuvers and gestures, and analyzed task flow by skill level. Results Experts used fewer gestures to perform the task (26.29; 95% CI = 25.21 to 27.38 for experts vs. 31.30; 95% CI = 29.05 to 33.55 for novices) and made fewer errors in gestures than novices (1.00; 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.39 vs. 2.84; 95% CI = 2.3 to 3.37). Transitions among maneuvers, and among gestures within each maneuver for expert trials were more predictable than novice trials. Conclusions Activity segments and state flow transitions within a basic surgical task differ by surgical skill level, and can be used to provide targeted feedback to surgical trainees. PMID:26950551

  3. Brain activity during observation and motor imagery of different balance tasks: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Taube, Wolfgang; Mouthon, Michael; Leukel, Christian; Hoogewoud, Henri-Marcel; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Keller, Martin

    2015-03-01

    After immobilization, patients show impaired postural control and increased risk of falling. Therefore, loss of balance control should already be counteracted during immobilization. Previously, studies have demonstrated that both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) can improve motor performance. The current study elaborated how the brain is activated during imagination and observation of different postural tasks to provide recommendations about the conception of non-physical balance training. For this purpose, participants were tested in a within-subject design in an fMRI-scanner in three different conditions: (a) AO + MI, (b) AO, and (c) MI. In (a) participants were instructed to imagine themselves as the person pictured in the video whereas in (b) they were instructed simply to watch the video. In (c) subjects closed their eyes and kinesthetically imagined the task displayed in the video. Two tasks were evaluated in each condition: (i) static standing balance and (ii) dynamic standing balance (medio-lateral perturbation). In all conditions the start of a new trial was indicated every 2 sec by a sound. During AO + MI of the dynamic task, participants activated motor centers including the putamen, cerebellum, supplementary motor area, premotor cortices (PMv/d) and primary motor cortex (M1). MI showed a similar pattern but no activity in M1 and PMv/d. In the SMA and cerebellum, activity was generally higher in the dynamic than in the static condition. AO did not significantly activate any of these brain areas. Our results showed that (I) mainly AO + MI, but also MI, activate brain regions important for balance control; (II) participants display higher levels of brain activation in the more demanding balance task; (III) there is a significant difference between AO + MI and AO. Consequently, best training effects should be expected when participants apply MI during AO (AO + MI) of challenging postural tasks. PMID:25461711

  4. Spatio-temporal analysis reveals active control of both task-relevant and task-irrelevant variables

    PubMed Central

    Rácz, Kornelius; Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J.

    2013-01-01

    The Uncontrolled Manifold (UCM) hypothesis and Minimal Intervention principle propose that the observed differential variability across task relevant (i.e., task goals) vs. irrelevant (i.e., in the null space of those goals) variables is evidence of a separation of task variables for efficient neural control, ranked by their respective variabilities (sometimes referred to as hierarchy of control). Support for this comes from spatial domain analyses (i.e., structure of) of kinematic, kinetic, and EMG variability. While proponents admit the possibility of preferential as opposed to strictly uncontrolled variables, such distinctions have only begun to be quantified or considered in the temporal domain when inferring control action. Here we extend the study of task variability during tripod static grasp to the temporal domain by applying diffusion analysis. We show that both task-relevant and task-irrelevant parameters show corrective action at some time scales; and conversely, that task-relevant parameters do not show corrective action at other time scales. That is, the spatial fluctuations of fingertip forces show, as expected, greater ranges of variability in task-irrelevant variables (>98% associated with changes in total grasp force; vs. only <2% in task-relevant changes associated with acceleration of the object). But at some time scales, however, temporal fluctuations of task-irrelevant variables exhibit negative correlations clearly indicative of corrective action (scaling exponents <0.5); and temporal fluctuations of task-relevant variables exhibit neutral and positive correlations clearly indicative of absence of corrective action (scaling exponents ≥0.5). In agreement with recent work in other behavioral contexts, these results propose we revise our understanding of variability vis-á-vis task relevance by considering both spatial and temporal features of all task variables when inferring control action and understanding how the CNS confronts task

  5. Age-related shifts in brain activity dynamics during task switching.

    PubMed

    Jimura, Koji; Braver, Todd S

    2010-06-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  6. Age-Related Shifts in Brain Activity Dynamics during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Braver, Todd S.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  7. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account.

    PubMed

    Imbir, Kamil K

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance. PMID:26869974

  8. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account

    PubMed Central

    Imbir, Kamil K.

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance. PMID:26869974

  9. Frontal brain activation during a working memory task: a time-domain fNIRS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molteni, E.; Baselli, G.; Bianchi, A. M.; Caffini, M.; Contini, D.; Spinelli, L.; Torricelli, A.; Cerutti, S.; Cubeddu, R.

    2009-02-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-resolved fNIRS technique. Brain activation was computed, and was then separated into a "block-related" and a "tonic" components. Load-related increases of blood oxygenation were studied for the four different levels of task difficulty. Generalized Linear Models were applied to the data in order to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short term memorization. Results attest the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Moreover, a systemic component probably deriving from the extra-cerebral capillary bed was detected.

  10. Investigating the correlation between the neural activity and task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongze; Sun, Yu; Lim, Julian; Thakor, Nitish; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity is known to correlate with decrements in task performance as individuals enter the state of mental fatigue which might lead to lowered productivity and increased safety risks. Incorporating a passive brain computer interface (BCI) technique that detects changes in subject's neural activity and predicts the behavioral performance when the subject is underperforming might be a promising approach to reduce human error in real-world situations. Here, we developed a reliable model using EEG power spectrum to estimate time-on-task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) which can fit across individuals. High correlation between the estimated and actual reaction time was achieved. Hence, our results illustrate the feasibility for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance among different individuals from their brainwave activity, with potential applications in several domains, including traffic and industrial safety. PMID:26737349

  11. Avoiding Failure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGraw, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Evidence continues to emerge about the effect indoor air quality has on a student's ability to learn. One study cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows moderate changes in room temperature affect children's abilities to perform mental tasks requiring concentration, such as addition, multiplication and sentence comprehension.…

  12. Evaluation of 16 measures of mental workload using a simulated flight task emphasizing mediational activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wierwille, W. W.; Rahimi, M.; Casali, J. G.

    1985-01-01

    As aircraft and other systems become more automated, a shift is occurring in human operator participation in these systems. This shift is away from manual control and toward activities that tap the higher mental functioning of human operators. Therefore, an experiment was performed in a moving-base flight simulator to assess mediational (cognitive) workload measurement. Specifically, 16 workload estimation techniques were evaluated as to their sensitivity and intrusion in a flight task emphasizing mediational behavior. Task loading, using navigation problems presented on a display, was treated as an independent variable, and workload-measure values were treated as dependent variables. Results indicate that two mediational task measures, two rating scale measures, time estimation, and two eye behavior measures were reliably sensitive to mediational loading. The time estimation measure did, however, intrude on mediational task performance. Several of the remaining measures were completely insensitive to mediational load.

  13. Associations between prefrontal cortex activation and H-reflex modulation during dual task gait

    PubMed Central

    Meester, Daan; Al-Yahya, Emad; Dawes, Helen; Martin-Fagg, Penny; Piñon, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Walking, although a largely automatic process, is controlled by the cortex and the spinal cord with corrective reflexes modulated through integration of neural signals from central and peripheral inputs at supraspinal level throughout the gait cycle. In this study we used an additional cognitive task to interfere with the automatic processing during walking in order to explore the neural mechanisms involved in healthy young adults. Participants were asked to walk on a treadmill at two speeds, both with and without additional cognitive load. We evaluated the impact of speed and cognitive load by analyzing activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) alongside spinal cord reflex activity measured by soleus H-reflex amplitude and gait changes obtained by using an inertial measuring unit. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that fNIRS Oxy-Hb concentrations significantly increased in the PFC with dual task (walking while performing a cognitive task) compared to a single task (walking only; p < 0.05). PFC activity was unaffected by increases of walking speed. H-reflex amplitude and gait variables did not change in response to either dual task or increases in walking speed. When walking under additional cognitive load participants adapted by using greater activity in the PFC, but this adaptation did not detrimentally affect H-reflex amplitude or gait variables. Our findings suggest that in a healthy young population central mechanisms (PFC) are activated in response to cognitive loads but that H-reflex activity and gait performance can successfully be maintained. This study provides insights into the mechanisms behind healthy individuals safely performing dual task walking. PMID:24600375

  14. Intracranial self-stimulation facilitates active-avoidance retention and induces expression of c-Fos and Nurr1 in rat brain memory systems.

    PubMed

    Aldavert-Vera, Laura; Huguet, Gemma; Costa-Miserachs, David; Ortiz, Sandra Pena de; Kádár, Elisabeth; Morgado-Bernal, Ignacio; Segura-Torres, Pilar

    2013-08-01

    Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a special form of deep brain stimulation in which subjects self-administered electrical stimulation in brain reward areas as the lateral hypothalamus, facilitates learning and memory in a wide variety of tasks. Assuming that ICSS improves learning and memory increasing the activation of memory-related brain areas, the present work examined whether rats receiving an ICSS treatment immediately after the acquisition session of a two-way active avoidance conditioning (TWAA) show both an improved retention and a pattern of increased c-Fos and Nurr1 protein expression in the amygdala, hippocampus, dorsal striatum and/or lateral hypothalamus. The response of both activity-induced IEGs to ICSS was examined not only as markers of neural activation, but because of their reported role in the neural plasticity occurring during learning and memory formation. Results showed that the TWAA conditioning alone increased the expression of the two analysed IEGs in several hippocampal areas, and TWAA retention increased Nurr1 expression in amygdala. ICSS treatment increased the number of c-Fos and Nurr1 positive cells in almost all the brain regions studied when it was measured 70min, but not 48h, after the stimulation. Post-training ICSS treatment, as expected, facilitated the 48h retention of the conditioning. It is noteworthy that in CA3 conditioning and ICSS separately increased c-Fos expression, but this increasing was greater when both, conditioning and ICSS, were combined. Present results suggest that rapid and transient increased expression of these two synaptic plasticity and memory related IEGs in some hippocampal areas, such as CA3, could mediate the facilitative effects of ICSS on learning and memory consolidation. PMID:23624190

  15. Effects of feedback on activation of the quadriceps during weight-bearing tasks of the Wii

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes da Silva, Fabiano; Aparecido de Souza, Renato; Dias, Eric Fernandes; Silveira, Landulfo; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This investigation evaluated the effect of real-time feedback on electrical activation of the quadriceps during 3 weight-bearing tasks of the Wii Fit Plus®. [Subjects] Thirty male healthy volunteers were recruited. [Methods] Activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris muscles was recorded during virtual lunge, single leg extension, and single leg reach exercises. Each exercise was performed twice in 3 randomized experimental conditions (with visual feedback, with auditory feedback, and with no feedback). The normalized electromyographic data (using maximum voluntary isometric contraction) were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and Tukey’s test. [Results] No significant difference was found in the muscles among the feedback conditions during the 3 exercises. However, the variation in the muscle activity of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis (18.23–29.20% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction) was higher (47–62%) than that in the rectus femoris (7.35–12.98% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction). [Conclusion] Real-time feedback did not alter quadriceps activation during the Wii tasks. Additionally, these games showed electromyographic activation levels similar to those for the same tasks outside the virtual environment. The Wii weight-bearing tasks could therefore constitute a physical activity program but without the additional benefit of feedback. PMID:26180301

  16. Effects of feedback on activation of the quadriceps during weight-bearing tasks of the Wii.

    PubMed

    Fernandes da Silva, Fabiano; Aparecido de Souza, Renato; Dias, Eric Fernandes; Silveira, Landulfo; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin

    2015-06-01

    [Purpose] This investigation evaluated the effect of real-time feedback on electrical activation of the quadriceps during 3 weight-bearing tasks of the Wii Fit Plus(®). [Subjects] Thirty male healthy volunteers were recruited. [Methods] Activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris muscles was recorded during virtual lunge, single leg extension, and single leg reach exercises. Each exercise was performed twice in 3 randomized experimental conditions (with visual feedback, with auditory feedback, and with no feedback). The normalized electromyographic data (using maximum voluntary isometric contraction) were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and Tukey's test. [Results] No significant difference was found in the muscles among the feedback conditions during the 3 exercises. However, the variation in the muscle activity of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis (18.23-29.20% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction) was higher (47-62%) than that in the rectus femoris (7.35-12.98% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction). [Conclusion] Real-time feedback did not alter quadriceps activation during the Wii tasks. Additionally, these games showed electromyographic activation levels similar to those for the same tasks outside the virtual environment. The Wii weight-bearing tasks could therefore constitute a physical activity program but without the additional benefit of feedback. PMID:26180301

  17. Noise power associated with decreased task-induced variability of brain electrical activity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Molina, Vicente; Bachiller, Alejandro; Suazo, Vanessa; Lubeiro, Alba; Poza, Jesús; Hornero, Roberto

    2016-02-01

    In schizophrenia, both increased baseline metabolic and electroencephalographic (EEG) activities as well as decreased task-related modulation of neural dynamics have been reported. Noise power (NP) can measure the background EEG activity during task performance, and Shannon entropy (SE) is useful for quantifying the global modulation of EEG activity with a high temporal resolution. In this study, we have assessed the possible relationship between increased NP in theta and gamma bands and decreased SE modulation in 24 patients with schizophrenia and 26 controls over the parietal and central regions during a P300 task. SE modulation was calculated as the change from baseline to the active epoch (i.e., 150-550 ms following the target stimulus onset). Patients with schizophrenia displayed statistically significant higher NP values and lower SE modulation than healthy controls. We found a significant association between gamma NP and SE in all of the participants. Specifically, a NP increase in the gamma band was followed by a decrease in SE change. These results support the notion that an excess of gamma activity, unlocked to the task being performed, is accompanied by a decreased modulation of EEG activity in schizophrenia. PMID:25547316

  18. Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking

    PubMed Central

    Sanbonmatsu, David M.; Strayer, David L.; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants’ perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation – high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking – reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control - low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity - tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

  19. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    PubMed

    Sanbonmatsu, David M; Strayer, David L; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

  20. Silica exposure during construction activities: statistical modeling of task-based measurements from the literature.

    PubMed

    Sauvé, Jean-François; Beaudry, Charles; Bégin, Denis; Dion, Chantal; Gérin, Michel; Lavoué, Jérôme

    2013-05-01

    Many construction activities can put workers at risk of breathing silica containing dusts, and there is an important body of literature documenting exposure levels using a task-based strategy. In this study, statistical modeling was used to analyze a data set containing 1466 task-based, personal respirable crystalline silica (RCS) measurements gathered from 46 sources to estimate exposure levels during construction tasks and the effects of determinants of exposure. Monte-Carlo simulation was used to recreate individual exposures from summary parameters, and the statistical modeling involved multimodel inference with Tobit models containing combinations of the following exposure variables: sampling year, sampling duration, construction sector, project type, workspace, ventilation, and controls. Exposure levels by task were predicted based on the median reported duration by activity, the year 1998, absence of source control methods, and an equal distribution of the other determinants of exposure. The model containing all the variables explained 60% of the variability and was identified as the best approximating model. Of the 27 tasks contained in the data set, abrasive blasting, masonry chipping, scabbling concrete, tuck pointing, and tunnel boring had estimated geometric means above 0.1mg m(-3) based on the exposure scenario developed. Water-fed tools and local exhaust ventilation were associated with a reduction of 71 and 69% in exposure levels compared with no controls, respectively. The predictive model developed can be used to estimate RCS concentrations for many construction activities in a wide range of circumstances. PMID:23223272

  1. Effect of Mild Thyrotoxicosis on Performance and Brain Activations in a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Göbel, Anna; Heldmann, Marcus; Göttlich, Martin; Dirk, Anna-Luise; Brabant, Georg; Münte, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Disturbed levels of thyroid hormones are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including memory impairments. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of mild induced thyrotoxicosis on working memory and its neural correlates. Methods Twenty-nine healthy, male subjects with normal thyroid state participated in the study. Functional MRI was acquired during a working memory task (n-back task) before and after ingesting 250 μg L-thyroxin per day for a period of eight weeks. In addition, neuropsychological tests were performed. Results In the hyperthyroid condition the subjects showed slower reaction times, but a higher accuracy in the 0-back version of the memory tasks. Fewer differences between euthyroid and hyperthyroid state were seen for the more difficult conditions of the n-back task. FMRI revealed effects of difficulty in the parahippocampal gyrus, supplementary motor area, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cerebellum, rolandic operculum and insula (p<0.05, FWE corrected). When comparing euthyroid and hyperthyroid condition in relation to task-induced activation, differences of activation were found in the right prefrontal cortex as well as in the right parahippocampal area. In the psychological assessment, the alerting effect in the Attention Network Task (ANT) and four out of five parameters of the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT) showed an increase from euthyroid to hyperthyroid state. Conclusions It can be concluded that even a short-term intake of thyroid hormones leads to an activation of brain areas associated with working memory and to an improvement of accuracy of working memory tasks. PMID:27536945

  2. Prefrontal Cortex Activation While Walking Under Dual-Task Conditions in Stroke: A Multimodal Imaging Study.

    PubMed

    Al-Yahya, Emad; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Kischka, Udo; Zarei, Mojtaba; Cockburn, Janet; Dawes, Helen

    2016-07-01

    Background Walking while performing another task (eg, talking) is challenging for many stroke survivors, yet its neural basis are not fully understood. Objective To investigate prefrontal cortex activation and its relationship to gait measures while walking under single-task (ST) and dual-task (DT) conditions (ie, walking while simultaneously performing a cognitive task) in stroke survivors. Methods We acquired near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) data from the prefrontal cortex during treadmill walking in ST and DT conditions in chronic stroke survivors and healthy controls. We also acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and NIRS during simulated walking under these conditions. Results NIRS revealed increased oxygenated hemoglobin concentration in DT-walking compared with ST-walking for both groups. For simulated walking, NIRS showed a significant effect of group and group × task, being greater on both occasions, in stroke survivors. A greater increase in brain activation observed from ST to DT walking/ simulated walking was related to a greater change in motor performance in stroke survivors. fMRI revealed increased activity during DT relative to ST conditions in stroke patients in areas including the inferior temporal gyri, superior frontal gyri and cingulate gyri bilaterally, and the right precentral gyrus. The DT-related increase in fMRI activity correlated with DT-related change in behavior in stroke participants in the bilateral inferior temporal gyrus, left cingulate gyrus, and left frontal pole. Conclusion Our results provide novel evidence that enhanced brain activity changes relate to dual task motor decrements. PMID:26493732

  3. The Association Between Eye Movements and Cerebellar Activation in a Verbal Working Memory Task.

    PubMed

    Peterburs, Jutta; Cheng, Dominic T; Desmond, John E

    2016-09-01

    It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing. PMID:26286918

  4. Automated Visual Cognitive Tasks for Recording Neural Activity Using a Floor Projection Maze

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Brendon W.; Yang, Fang-Chi; Burwell, Rebecca D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuropsychological tasks used in primates to investigate mechanisms of learning and memory are typically visually guided cognitive tasks. We have developed visual cognitive tasks for rats using the Floor Projection Maze1,2 that are optimized for visual abilities of rats permitting stronger comparisons of experimental findings with other species. In order to investigate neural correlates of learning and memory, we have integrated electrophysiological recordings into fully automated cognitive tasks on the Floor Projection Maze1,2. Behavioral software interfaced with an animal tracking system allows monitoring of the animal's behavior with precise control of image presentation and reward contingencies for better trained animals. Integration with an in vivo electrophysiological recording system enables examination of behavioral correlates of neural activity at selected epochs of a given cognitive task. We describe protocols for a model system that combines automated visual presentation of information to rodents and intracranial reward with electrophysiological approaches. Our model system offers a sophisticated set of tools as a framework for other cognitive tasks to better isolate and identify specific mechanisms contributing to particular cognitive processes. PMID:24638057

  5. Balancing emotional processing with ongoing cognitive activity: the effects of task modality on intrusions and rumination

    PubMed Central

    Curci, Antonietta; Soleti, Emanuela; Lanciano, Tiziana; Doria, Valentina; Rimé, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper we aimed to show that competition for resources between post-emotional processes and the execution of a cognitive task will result in two possible effects: (1) an impairment of the cognitive task in the short run and (2) an elongation of intrusions and rumination in the long run. The outcome of this competition is influenced by the interaction of the modality (verbal vs. visuospatial) of cognitive tasks run in the aftermath of an emotional experience and the nature (verbal vs. visuospatial) of the same experience. Non-clinical participants were given a working memory task (OSPAN vs. an analog Visual task) before and after the presentation of negative vs. neutral material (a novel excerpt in Experiment 1 and a video clip in Experiment 2). Intrusions and rumination were measured after a 24-h delay. Rumination was also assessed immediately after the experimental induction. Results showed that exposure to verbal negative material impaired verbal performance (Experiment 1); by contrast, exposure to visual negative material impaired both verbal and visuospatial performance (Experiment 2). Intrusions were only affected by the emotional valence of the original experience, while performing a visuospatial task resulted in enhanced rumination only after exposure to verbal emotional material. The findings of both experiments suggest that emotional processing spreads over time in balance with ongoing cognitive activities, and, in such a balance, the visuospatial processing mode tends to prevail over verbal engagements. PMID:26379598

  6. Frontal EEG activation asymmetry reflects cognitive biases in anxiety: evidence from an emotional face Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Avram, Julia; Balteş, Felicia Rodica; Miclea, Mircea; Miu, Andrei C

    2010-12-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) has been extensively used in studies of the frontal asymmetry of emotion and motivation. This study investigated the midfrontal EEG activation, heart rate and skin conductance during an emotional face analog of the Stroop task, in anxious and non-anxious participants. In this task, the participants were asked to identify the expression of calm, fearful and happy faces that had either a congruent or incongruent emotion name written across them. Anxious participants displayed a cognitive bias characterized by facilitated attentional engagement with fearful faces. Fearful face trials induced greater relative right frontal activation, whereas happy face trials induced greater relative left frontal activation. Moreover, anxiety specifically modulated the magnitude of the right frontal activation to fearful faces, which also correlated with the cognitive bias. Therefore, these results show that frontal EEG activation asymmetry reflects the bias toward facilitated processing of fearful faces in anxiety. PMID:20607389

  7. Impact of changed positive and negative task-related brain activity on word-retrieval in aging

    PubMed Central

    Meinzer, M.; Seeds, L.; Flaisch, T.; Harnish, S.; Cohen, M.L.; McGregor, K.; Conway, T.; Benjamin, M.; Crosson, B.

    2010-01-01

    Previous functional imaging studies that compared activity patterns in older and younger adults during non-linguistic tasks found evidence for two phenomena: older participants usually show more pronounced task-related positive activity in the brain hemisphere that is not dominant for the task and less pronounced negative task-related activity in temporo-parietal and midline brain regions. The combined effects of these phenomena and the impact on word-retrieval, however, have not yet been assessed. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore task-related positive (active task > baseline) and negative activity (baseline > active task) during semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks. Increased right-frontal positive activity during the semantic task and reduced negative activity in the right hemisphere during both tasks was associated with reduced performance in older subjects. No substantial relationship between changes in positive and negative activity was observed in the older participants, pointing towards two partially independent but potentially co-occurring processes. Underlying causes of the observed functional network inefficiency during word-retrieval in older adults need to be determined in the future. PMID:20696496

  8. Are the carrot and the stick the two sides of same coin? A neural examination of approach/avoidance motivation during cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Belayachi, Sanaâ; Majerus, Steve; Gendolla, Guido; Salmon, Eric; Peters, Frédéric; Van der Linden, Martial

    2015-10-15

    The present study examined neural circuit activity in a working memory (WM) task under conditions of approach and avoidance motivation. Eighteen participants were scanned with functional MRI while they performed a 3-back WM task under three conditions: in an avoidance condition incorrect responses were punished with monetary loss; in an approach condition correct responses were rewarded with monetary gain; in a neutral control condition there was no monetary incentive. Compared with the control condition, activation in fronto-parietal areas - which are associated with WM processing - was increased in both the approach and avoidance conditions. The results suggest that both approach and avoidance motivation increase task-related cognitive activation. PMID:26213335

  9. Trait Anxiety Modulates Brain Activity during Performance of Verbal Fluency Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gawda, Barbara; Szepietowska, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Trait anxiety is thought to be associated with pathological anxiety, and a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. The present study examines the brain mechanisms associated with trait anxiety during the performing of verbal fluency tasks. The aim is to show how trait anxiety modulates executive functions as measured by verbal fluency, and to explore the link between verbal fluency and anxiety due to the putative negative biases in high-anxious individuals. Seven tasks of verbal fluency were used: letter “k,” “f,” verbs, “animals,” “vehicles,” “joy,” and “fear.” The results of 35 subjects (whole sample), and 17 subjects (nine men, eight women) selected from the whole sample for the low/high-anxious groups on the basis of Trait Anxiety scores were analyzed. The subjects were healthy, Polish speaking, right-handed and aged from 20 to 35 years old. fMRI (whole-brain analysis with FWE corrections) was used to show the neural signals under active participation in verbal fluency tasks. The results confirm that trait anxiety slightly modulates neural activation during the performance of verbal fluency tasks, especially in the more difficult tasks. Significant differences were found in brain activation during the performance of more complex tasks between individuals with low anxiety and those with high anxiety. Greater activation in the right hemisphere, frontal gyri, and cerebellum was found in people with low anxiety. The results reflect better integration of cognitive and affective capacities in individuals with low anxiety. PMID:26903827

  10. The Relationship between Cortisol Activity during Cognitive Task and Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Hongxia; Wang, Li; Zhang, Liang; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Kan; Wu, Jianhui

    2015-01-01

    Background The latest development in the dimensional structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a novel 6-factor model, which builds on the newly released DSM-5. One notable gap in the literature is that little is known about how distinct symptom clusters of PTSD are related to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity when people perform a relatively less stressful cognitive task. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cortisol activity when individuals perform cognitive tasks in the laboratory and a contemporary phenotypic model of posttraumatic stress symptomatology in earthquake survivors. Methods Salivary cortisol while performing cognitive tasks was collected and analyzed in 89 adult earthquake survivors. The PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5) was used to assess the severity of total PTSD as well as six distinct symptom clusters. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the six distinct PTSD symptom clusters and cortisol profiles. Results The results showed that the score of the negative affect symptom cluster, but not anhedonia or other clusters, was positively associated with cortisol levels before and during the cognitive tasks. Conclusion The results showed that higher cortisol levels before and during cognitive tasks might be specifically linked to a distinct symptom cluster of PTSD—negative affect symptomatology. This suggests that a distinction should be made between negative affect and anhedonia symptom clusters, as the 6-factor model proposed. PMID:26630485

  11. Plasma Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyl Transferase Activity in Bottlenose Dolphins Contributes to Avoiding Accumulation of Non-recyclable Purines.

    PubMed

    López-Cruz, Roberto I; Crocker, Daniel E; Gaxiola-Robles, Ramón; Bernal, Jaime A; Real-Valle, Roberto A; Lugo-Lugo, Orlando; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2016-01-01

    Marine mammals are exposed to ischemia/reperfusion and hypoxia/reoxygenation during diving. During oxygen deprivation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breakdown implies purine metabolite accumulation, which in humans is associated with pathological conditions. Purine recycling in seals increases in response to prolonged fasting and ischemia. Concentrations of metabolites and activities of key enzymes in purine metabolism were examined in plasma and red blood cells from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Hypoxanthine and inosine monophosphate concentrations were higher in plasma from dolphins than humans. Plasma hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) activity in dolphins suggests an elevated purine recycling rate, and a mechanism for avoiding accumulation of non-recyclable purines (xanthine and uric acid). Red blood cell concentrations of hypoxanthine, adenosine diphosphate, ATP and guanosine triphosphate were lower in dolphins than in humans; adenosine monophosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide concentrations were higher in dolphins. HGPRT activity in red blood cells was higher in humans than in dolphins. The lower concentrations of purine catabolism and recycling by-products in plasma from dolphins could be beneficial in providing substrates for recovery of ATP depleted during diving or vigorous swimming. These results suggest that purine salvage in dolphins could be a mechanism for delivering nucleotide precursors to tissues with high ATP and guanosine triphosphate requirements. PMID:27375492

  12. Plasma Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyl Transferase Activity in Bottlenose Dolphins Contributes to Avoiding Accumulation of Non-recyclable Purines

    PubMed Central

    López-Cruz, Roberto I.; Crocker, Daniel E.; Gaxiola-Robles, Ramón; Bernal, Jaime A.; Real-Valle, Roberto A.; Lugo-Lugo, Orlando; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2016-01-01

    Marine mammals are exposed to ischemia/reperfusion and hypoxia/reoxygenation during diving. During oxygen deprivation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breakdown implies purine metabolite accumulation, which in humans is associated with pathological conditions. Purine recycling in seals increases in response to prolonged fasting and ischemia. Concentrations of metabolites and activities of key enzymes in purine metabolism were examined in plasma and red blood cells from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Hypoxanthine and inosine monophosphate concentrations were higher in plasma from dolphins than humans. Plasma hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) activity in dolphins suggests an elevated purine recycling rate, and a mechanism for avoiding accumulation of non-recyclable purines (xanthine and uric acid). Red blood cell concentrations of hypoxanthine, adenosine diphosphate, ATP and guanosine triphosphate were lower in dolphins than in humans; adenosine monophosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide concentrations were higher in dolphins. HGPRT activity in red blood cells was higher in humans than in dolphins. The lower concentrations of purine catabolism and recycling by-products in plasma from dolphins could be beneficial in providing substrates for recovery of ATP depleted during diving or vigorous swimming. These results suggest that purine salvage in dolphins could be a mechanism for delivering nucleotide precursors to tissues with high ATP and guanosine triphosphate requirements. PMID:27375492

  13. Reading-Related Literacy Activities of American Adults: Time Spent, Task Types, and Cognitive Skills Used

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Sheida; Chen, Jing; Forsyth, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    This article presents data on the types and duration of reading-related activities reported by a volunteer sample of 400 adults (demographically similar to the U.S. adult population age 20 and older in terms of race, ethnicity, education, and working status) in the 2005 Real-World Tasks Study. This diary study revealed that adults spent, on…

  14. Evaluating Integrated Task Based Activities and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anwar, Khoirul; Husniah, Rohmy

    2016-01-01

    This study is to evaluate the implementation of Task Activities based on CALL which consist of observing, questioning, exploring, and communicating. The developed materials are nine chapters that had been implemented in two different classes of SMPN 1 Gresik and SMPM 4 Gresik in Indonesia. Of quesionnaires and interviews, the results indicate that…

  15. Left inferior-parietal lobe activity in perspective tasks: identity statements

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Aditi; Weiss, Benjamin; Schurz, Matthias; Aichhorn, Markus; Wieshofer, Rebecca C.; Perner, Josef

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the theory that the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) is closely associated with tracking potential differences of perspective. Developmental studies find that perspective tasks are mastered at around 4 years of age. Our first study, meta-analyses of brain imaging studies shows that perspective tasks specifically activate a region in the left IPL and precuneus. These tasks include processing of false belief, visual perspective, and episodic memory. We test the location specificity theory in our second study with an unusual and novel kind of perspective task: identity statements. According to Frege's classical logical analysis, identity statements require appreciation of modes of presentation (perspectives). We show that identity statements, e.g., “the tour guide is also the driver” activate the left IPL in contrast to a control statements, “the tour guide has an apprentice.” This activation overlaps with the activations found in the meta-analysis. This finding is confirmed in a third study with different types of statements and different comparisons. All studies support the theory that the left IPL has as one of its overarching functions the tracking of perspective differences. We discuss how this function relates to the bottom-up attention function proposed for the bilateral IPL. PMID:26175677

  16. Cognitive Conflict in a Syllable Identification Task Causes Transient Activation of Speech Perception Area

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saetrevik, Bjorn; Specht, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    It has previously been shown that task performance and frontal cortical activation increase after cognitive conflict. This has been argued to support a model of attention where the level of conflict automatically adjusts the amount of cognitive control applied. Conceivably, conflict could also modulate lower-level processing pathways, which would…

  17. Task-Dependent Modulations of Prefrontal and Hippocampal Activity during Intrinsic Word Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitney, Carin; Weis, Susanne; Krings, Timo; Huber, Walter; Grossman, Murray; Kircher, Tilo

    2009-01-01

    Functional imaging studies of single word production have consistently reported activation of the lateral prefrontal and cingulate cortex. Its contribution has been shown to be sensitive to task demands, which can be manipulated by the degree of response specification. Compared with classical verbal fluency, free word association relies less on…

  18. Beyond Rhyme or Reason: ERPs Reveal Task-Specific Activation of Orthography on Spoken Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Perre, Laetitia; Ziegler, Johannes C.

    2011-01-01

    Metaphonological tasks, such as rhyme judgment, have been the primary tool for the investigation of the effects of orthographic knowledge on spoken language. However, it has been recently argued that the orthography effect in rhyme judgment does not reflect the automatic activation of orthographic codes but rather stems from sophisticated response…

  19. Pedagogical Values of Mobile-Assisted Task-Based Activities to Enhance Speaking Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohammadi, Mojtaba; Safdari, Nastaran

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of online mobile-assisted task-based activities on improving Iranian intermediate English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners' speaking skills. To achieve the purpose of the study, 90 intermediate language learners were selected ranging between 13 to 16 years old and divided into three…

  20. Planning and Managing Learning Tasks and Activities. Advances in Research on Teaching. Volume 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Jere, Ed.

    This publication is the third volume in the "Advanced in Research on Teaching" series, which has been established to provide state-of-the-art conceptualization and analysis of the processes involved in functioning as a classroom teacher. This volume focuses on the planning and managing of learning tasks and activities, in particular, what is…

  1. Task Rotation: Strategies for Differentiating Activities and Assessments by Learning Style. A Strategic Teacher PLC Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silver, Harvey; Moirao, Daniel; Jackson, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    One of the hardest jobs in teaching is to differentiate learning activities and assessments to your students' learning styles. But you and your colleagues can learn how to do this together when each of you has this guide to the Task Rotation strategy from our ultimate guide to teaching strategies, "The Strategic Teacher". Use the guide in your…

  2. Increased Physical Activity and Fitness above the 50(th) Percentile Avoid the Threat of Older Adults Becoming Institutionalized: A Cross-sectional Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Catarina; Fernandes, Jorge; Raimundo, Armando; Biehl-Printes, Clarissa; Marmeleira, José; Tomas-Carus, Pablo

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of physical fitness and physical activity on the threat of older adults without cognitive impairment becoming institutionalized. This cross-sectional study involved 195 non-institutionalized (80.1 ± 4.4 years) and 186 institutionalized (83.8 ± 5.2years) participants. Cognitive impairment was assessed using Mini-Mental State Examination, measures of physical fitness were determined by the Senior Fitness Test, and physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Multivariate binary logistic analysis selected four main determinants of institutionalization in both genders: The likelihood of becoming institutionalized increased by +18.6% for each additional year of age, whereas it decreased by -24.8% by each fewer kg/m(2) in body mass index (BMI), by -0.9% for each additional meter performed in the aerobic endurance test, and by -2.0% for each additional 100 metabolic equivalent of task (MET)-min/week of physical activity expenditure (p < 0.05). Values ≤50(th) percentile (age ≥81 years, BMI ≥26.7 kg/m(2), aerobic endurance ≤367.6 meters, and physical activity ≤693 MET-min/week) were computed using receiver operating characteristics analysis as cutoffs discriminating institutionalized from non-institutionalized older adults. The performance of physical activity, allied to an improvement in physical fitness (mainly BMI and aerobic endurance), may avoid the threat of institutionalization of older adults without cognitive impairment only if they are above the 50(th) percentile. The following parameters are highly recommended: Expending ≥693 MET-min/week on physical activity, having a BMI ≤26.7 kg/m(2), and being able to walk ≥367.6 meters in the aerobic endurance test, especially above the age of 80 years. The discovery of this trigger justifies the development of physical activity programs targeting the pointed cutoffs in old and very old adults

  3. Influence of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal activity on behavioral choice during attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Katsuki, Fumi; Saito, Mizuki; Constantinidis, Christos

    2014-09-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal and the posterior parietal cortex have both been implicated in the guidance of visual attention. Traditionally, posterior parietal cortex has been thought to guide visual bottom-up attention and prefrontal cortex to bias attention through top-down information. More recent studies suggest a parallel time course of activation of the two areas in bottom-up attention tasks, suggesting a common involvement, though these results do not necessarily imply identical roles. To address the specific roles of the two areas, we examined the influence of neuronal activity recorded from the prefrontal and parietal cortex of monkeys as they performed attention tasks based on choice probability and on correlation between reaction time and neuronal activity. The results revealed that posterior parietal but not dorsolateral prefrontal activity correlated with behavioral choice during the fixation period, prior to the appearance of the stimulus, resembling a bias factor. This preferential influence of posterior parietal activity on behavior was transient, so that dorsolateral prefrontal activity predicted choice after the appearance of the stimulus. Additionally, reaction time was better predicted by posterior parietal activity. These findings confirm the involvement of both dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex in the bottom-up guidance of visual attention, but indicate different roles of the two areas in the guidance of attention and a dynamic time course of their effects, influencing behavior at different stages of the task. PMID:24964224

  4. Working together may be better: activation of reward centers during a cooperative maze task.

    PubMed

    Krill, Austen L; Platek, Steven M

    2012-01-01

    Humans use theory of mind when predicting the thoughts and feelings and actions of others. There is accumulating evidence that cooperation with a computerized game correlates with a unique pattern of brain activation. To investigate the neural correlates of cooperation in real-time we conducted an fMRI hyperscanning study. We hypothesized that real-time cooperation to complete a maze task, using a blind-driving paradigm, would activate substrates implicated in theory of mind. We also hypothesized that cooperation would activate neural reward centers more than when participants completed the maze themselves. Of interest and in support of our hypothesis we found left caudate and putamen activation when participants worked together to complete the maze. This suggests that cooperation during task completion is inherently rewarding. This finding represents one of the first discoveries of a proximate neural mechanism for group based interactions in real-time, which indirectly supports the social brain hypothesis. PMID:22355319

  5. Working Together May Be Better: Activation of Reward Centers during a Cooperative Maze Task

    PubMed Central

    Krill, Austen L.; Platek, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    Humans use theory of mind when predicting the thoughts and feelings and actions of others. There is accumulating evidence that cooperation with a computerized game correlates with a unique pattern of brain activation. To investigate the neural correlates of cooperation in real-time we conducted an fMRI hyperscanning study. We hypothesized that real-time cooperation to complete a maze task, using a blind-driving paradigm, would activate substrates implicated in theory of mind. We also hypothesized that cooperation would activate neural reward centers more than when participants completed the maze themselves. Of interest and in support of our hypothesis we found left caudate and putamen activation when participants worked together to complete the maze. This suggests that cooperation during task completion is inherently rewarding. This finding represents one of the first discoveries of a proximate neural mechanism for group based interactions in real-time, which indirectly supports the social brain hypothesis. PMID:22355319

  6. Neonatal infection modulates behavioral flexibility and hippocampal activation on a Morris Water Maze task

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Lauren L.; Bilbo, Staci D.

    2014-01-01

    Neonatal infection has enduring effects on the brain, both at the cellular and behavioral levels. We determined the effects of peripheral infection with Escherichia coli at postnatal day (P) 4 in rats on a water maze task in adulthood, and assessed neuronal activation in the dentate gyrus (DG) following the memory test. Rats were trained and tested on one of 3 distinct water maze task paradigms: 1) minimal training (18 trials/ 3 days), 2) extended training (50 trials/ 10 days) or 3) reversal training (extended training followed by 30 trials/ 3 days with a new platform location). Following a 48HR memory test, brains were harvested to assess neuronal activation using activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein in the DG. Following minimal training, rats treated neonatally with E. coli had improved performance and paradoxically reduced Arc expression during the memory test compared to control rats treated with PBS early in life. However, neonatally-infected rats did not differ from control rats in behavior or neuronal activation during the memory test following extended training. Furthermore, rats treated neonatally with E. coli were significantly impaired during the 48HR memory test for a reversal platform location, unlike controls. Specifically, whereas neonatally-infected rats were able to acquire the new location at the same rate as controls, they spent significantly less time in the target quadrant for the reversal platform during a memory test. However, neonatally-infected and control rats had similar levels of Arc expression following the 48HR memory test for reversal. Together, these data indicate that neonatal infection may improve the rate of acquisition on hippocampal-dependent tasks while impairing flexibility on the same tasks; in addition, network activation in the DG during learning may be predictive of future cognitive flexibility on a hippocampal-dependent task. PMID:24576680

  7. Flight tests for the assessment of task performance and control activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pausder, H. J.; Hummes, D.

    1982-01-01

    The tests were performed with the helicopters BO 105 and UH-1D. Closely connected with tactical demands the six test pilots' task was to minimize the time and the altitude over the obstacles. The data reduction yields statistical evaluation parameters describing the control activity of the pilots and the achieved task performance. The results are shown in form of evaluation diagrams. Additionally dolphin tests with varied control strategy were performed to get more insight into the influence of control techniques. From these test results recommendations can be derived to emphasize the direct force control and to reduce the collective to pitch crosscoupling for the dolphin.

  8. The maturation of task-set related activation supports late developmental improvements in inhibitory control

    PubMed Central

    Velanova, Katerina; Wheeler, Mark E.; Luna, Beatriz

    2009-01-01

    The ability to voluntarily inhibit a single response is evident early in development, even as the ability to maintain an inhibitory “task set” continues to improve. To date, functional neuroimaging studies have detailed developmental changes in systems supporting inhibitory control exerted at the single-trial level, but changes underlying the ability to maintain an inhibitory task set remain little understood. Here we present findings from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that characterizes the development of systems supporting both transient (trial-related) and sustained (task-set-related) activation during performance of the antisaccade (AS) task—an oculomotor test of inhibitory control (Hallett, 1978). Transient activation decreased from childhood to adolescence in regions known to support inhibitory processes and oculomotor control, likely reflecting less effortful response production. In contrast, sustained activation increased to adulthood in regions implicated in control. Our results suggest that development of the ability to maintain a task set is primary to the maturation of inhibitory control, and further, that this ability is still immature in adolescence. PMID:19812330

  9. Brain Activations Related to Saccadic Response Conflict are not Sensitive to Time on Task

    PubMed Central

    Beldzik, Ewa; Domagalik, Aleksandra; Oginska, Halszka; Marek, Tadeusz; Fafrowicz, Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Establishing a role of the dorsal medial frontal cortex in the performance monitoring and cognitive control has been a challenge to neuroscientists for the past decade. In light of recent findings, the conflict monitoring hypothesis has been elaborated to an action-outcome predictor theory. One of the findings that led to this re-evaluation was the fMRI study in which conflict-related brain activity was investigated in terms of the so-called time on task effect, i.e., a linear increase of the BOLD signal with longer response times. The aim of this study was to investigate brain regions involved in the processing of saccadic response conflict and to account for the time on task effect. A modified spatial cueing task was implemented in the event-related fMRI study with oculomotor responses. The results revealed several brain regions which show higher activity for incongruent trials in comparison to the congruent ones, including pre-supplementary motor area together with the frontal and parietal regions. Further analysis accounting for the effect of response time provided evidence that these brain activations were not sensitive to time on task but reflected purely the congruency effect. PMID:26696871

  10. Walking while Performing Working Memory Tasks Changes the Prefrontal Cortex Hemodynamic Activations and Gait Kinematics

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ming-I B.; Lin, Kuan-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Background: Increasing evidence suggests that walking while performing a concurrent task negatively influences gait performance. However, it remains unclear how higher-level cognitive processes and coordination of limb movements are altered in challenging walking environments. This study investigated the influence of cognitive task complexity and walking road condition on the neutral correlates of executive function and postural control in dual-task walking. Methods: Twenty-four healthy young adults completed a series of overground walks with three walking road conditions (wide, narrow, with obstacles) with and without the concurrent n-back working memory tasks of two complexity levels (1-back and 3-back). Prefrontal brain activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used simultaneously to measure gait performance and lower-extremity kinematics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to examine the differences between the conditions. Results: In comparison with standing still, participants showed lower n-back task accuracy while walking, with the worst performance from the road with obstacles. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, lower-extremity joint movements, and the relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) concentration levels were all significantly different across the task complexity and walking path conditions. While dual-tasking participants were found to flex their hips and knees less, leading to a slower gait speed, longer stride time, shorter step length, and greater gait variability than during normal walking. For narrow-road walking, smaller ankle dorsiflexion and larger hip flexion were observed, along with a reduced gait speed. Obstacle negotiation was mainly characterized by increased gait variability than other conditions. HbO levels appeared to be lower during dual-task walking than normal walking. Compared to wide and obstacle conditions, walking on the narrow

  11. A modelization of the task allocation problem for prescribing activity in an ICU.

    PubMed Central

    Renard, J. M.; Bricon-Souf, N.; Guigue, L.; Beuscart, R.

    2000-01-01

    The improvement of coordination between Health Care Professionals belonging different specialities and who are extremely mobile, is a crucial problem in Medicine. A workflow System is one example of the new informatics tools which facilitate the transfer of information and responsibility between health care providers. Medical informatics systems in particular should be reactive enough to cope with the flexibility of real work situations: in this paper, we present the task allocation problem. We distinguish between the workflow control process and the notifying process, which concerns the sharing out of the tasks between the actors concerned. We focus on the impact of strategies of notification on the progress of coordinated work. We propose a simulator to model and study the different ways of sharing tasks between actors in an Intensive Care Unit's activity of prescription. PMID:11079971

  12. Rhesus leg muscle EMG activity during a foot pedal pressing task on Bion 11

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodgson, J. A.; Riazansky, S. N.; Goulet, C.; Badakva, A. M.; Kozlovskaya, I. B.; Recktenwald, M. R.; McCall, G.; Roy, R. R.; Fanton, J. W.; Edgerton, V. R.

    2000-01-01

    Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained to perform a foot lever pressing task for a food reward. EMG activity was recorded from selected lower limb muscles of 2 animals before, during, and after a 14-day spaceflight and from 3 animals during a ground-based simulation of the flight. Integrated EMG activity was calculated for each muscle during the 20-min test. Comparisons were made between data recorded before any experimental manipulations and during flight or flight simulation. Spaceflight reduced soleus (Sol) activity to 25% of preflight levels, whereas it was reduced to 50% of control in the flight simulation. During flight, medial gastrocnemius (MG) activity was reduced to 25% of preflight activity, whereas the simulation group showed normal activity levels throughout all tests. The change in MG activity was apparent in the first inflight recording, suggesting that some effect of microgravity on MG activity was immediate.

  13. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks

    PubMed Central

    Pilcher, June J.; Baker, Victoria C.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  14. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, June J; Baker, Victoria C

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  15. Understanding hippocampal activity by using purposeful behavior: Place navigation induces place cell discharge in both task-relevant and task-irrelevant spatial reference frames

    PubMed Central

    Zinyuk, L.; Kubik, S.; Kaminsky, Yu.; Fenton, A. A.; Bures, J.

    2000-01-01

    Continuous rotation of an arena in a cue-rich room dissociates the stationary room-bound information from the rotating arena-bound information. This disrupted spatial discharge in the majority of place cells from rats trained to collect randomly scattered food. In contrast, most place cell firing patterns recorded from rats trained to solve a navigation task on the rotating arena were preserved during the rotation. Spatial discharge was preserved in both the task-relevant stationary and the task-irrelevant rotating reference frames, but firing was more organized in the task-relevant frame. It is concluded that, (i) the effects of environmental manipulations can be understood with confidence only when the rat's purposeful behavior is used to formulate interpretations of the data, and (ii) hippocampal place cell activity is organized in multiple overlapping spatial reference frames. PMID:10716713

  16. Hormonal contraceptives masculinize brain activation patterns in the absence of behavioral changes in two numerical tasks.

    PubMed

    Pletzer, Belinda; Kronbichler, Martin; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Kerschbaum, Hubert

    2014-01-16

    The aim of the present study was to identify, whether and how oral hormonal contraceptives (OCs) alter women's number processing. Behavioral performance and brain activation patterns (BOLD-response) of 14 OC-users were evaluated during two distinct numerical tasks (number comparison, number bisection) and compared to 16 men (high testosterone), and 16 naturally cycling women, once during their follicular (low hormone levels) and once during their luteal cycle phase (high progesterone). For both tasks, reliable sex differences and menstrual cycle dependent modulation have previously been described. If progestogenic effects of the synthetic progestins contained in OC play a predominant role, OC-users should be comparable to luteal women. If androgenic effects of the synthetic steroids exert the progestogenic actions, OC-users should be comparable to men. Likewise, if neither of the above are the case, the reduction of endogenous steroids by OCs should make OC-users comparable to follicular women. Our findings suggest that OC-users resemble follicular women in their behavioral performance, but show male-like brain activation patterns during both tasks. Analysis of brain-behavior relationships suggests that OC-users differ from naturally cycling women in the way they recruit their neural resources to deal with challenges of the tasks. We conclude that OCs, which are used by 100 million women worldwide, may have profound effects on cognition that have not been recognized so far. PMID:24231554

  17. Dynamic trajectory of multiple single-unit activity during working memory task in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaofan; Yi, Hu; Bai, Wenwen; Tian, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Working memory plays an important role in complex cognitive tasks. A popular theoretical view is that transient properties of neuronal dynamics underlie cognitive processing. The question raised here as to how the transient dynamics evolve in working memory. To address this issue, we investigated the multiple single-unit activity dynamics in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during a Y-maze working memory task. The approach worked by reconstructing state space from delays of the original single-unit firing rate variables, which were further analyzed using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Then the neural trajectories were obtained to visualize the multiple single-unit activity. Furthermore, the maximal Lyapunov exponent (MLE) was calculated to quantitatively evaluate the neural trajectories during the working memory task. The results showed that the neuronal activity produced stable and reproducible neural trajectories in the correct trials while showed irregular trajectories in the incorrect trials, which may establish a link between the neurocognitive process and behavioral performance in working memory. The MLEs significantly increased during working memory in the correctly performed trials, indicating an increased divergence of the neural trajectories. In the incorrect trials, the MLEs were nearly zero and remained unchanged during the task. Taken together, the trial-specific neural trajectory provides an effective way to track the instantaneous state of the neuronal population during the working memory task and offers valuable insights into working memory function. The MLE describes the changes of neural dynamics in working memory and may reflect different neuronal population states in working memory. PMID:26441626

  18. Payload crew activity planning integration. Task 2: Inflight operations and training for payloads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hitz, F. R.

    1976-01-01

    The primary objectives of the Payload Crew Activity Planning Integration task were to: (1) Determine feasible, cost-effective payload crew activity planning integration methods. (2) Develop an implementation plan and guidelines for payload crew activity plan (CAP) integration between the JSC Orbiter planners and the Payload Centers. Subtask objectives and study activities were defined as: (1) Determine Crew Activity Planning Interfaces. (2) Determine Crew Activity Plan Type and Content. (3) Evaluate Automated Scheduling Tools. (4) Develop a draft Implementation Plan for Crew Activity Planning Integration. The basic guidelines were to develop a plan applicable to the Shuttle operations timeframe, utilize existing center resources and expertise as much as possible, and minimize unnecessary data exchange not directly productive in the development of the end-product timelines.

  19. Active and Avoidant Coping and Coping Efficacy as Mediators of the Relation of Maternal Involvement to Depressive Symptoms among Urban Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mosher, Catherine E.; Prelow, Hazel M.

    2007-01-01

    Our study tested an extension of the social resource model in an urban sample of 129 African American and 114 European American adolescents. Maternal involvement was positively related to the use of active and avoidant coping strategies among youth of both ethnicities. Additionally, use of active coping strategies was related to greater coping…

  20. Lesions of anterior thalamic nuclei impair acquisition of new and changing of preoperatively learnt active avoidance stereotypes.

    PubMed

    Klingberg, F; Klingberg, H

    1988-01-01

    Six-month-old male Long-Evans rats reproduced their preoperatively learnt active avoidance responses (CAR) in a Y-maze and in a jump test box after bilateral symmetric lesions of thalamic anterior ventral (AV) and anterior medial (AM) nuclei without significant changes. However, when the test sequence was changed in a way that transitions from high success probability (low error probability) to low success probability (high error probability) were taken into account, then problems with time limit and increased punishments were not overcome by lesioned rats. Transitions in the opposite direction were better mastered. All AV-AM rats were unable to acquire a new CAR stereotype in a W-like maze in which the first phase had a low success probability. Rats without lesions were rarely influenced by various test sequences. The lesioned rats showed purely arrest behaviour and did not develop learned helplessness in successless sessions and were transiently hyperactive in the open field test. The data support the hypothesis that the anterior thalamic nuclei as part of the Papez circuit participate in the analysis of success probability and preferent consolidation of correct responses, when stereotype behaviour has to be changed. PMID:3240299

  1. Brain Activity During a Motor Learning Task: An fMRI and Skin Conductance Study

    PubMed Central

    MacIntosh, Bradley J.; Mraz, Richard; McIlroy, William E.; Graham, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring electrodermal activity (EDA) during fMRI is an effective means of studying the influence of task-related arousal, inferred from autonomic nervous system activity, on brain activation patterns. The goals of this study were: (1) to measure reliable EDA from healthy individuals during fMRI involving an effortful unilateral motor task, (2) to explore how EDA recordings can be used to augment fMRI data analysis. In addition to conventional hemodynamic modeling, skin conductance time series data were used as model waveforms to generate activation images from fMRI data. Activations from the EDA model produced significantly different brain regions from those obtained with a standard hemodynamic model, primarily in the insula and cingulate cortices. Onsets of the EDA changes were synchronous with the hemodynamic model, but EDA data showed additional transient features, such as a decrease in amplitude with time, and helped to provide behavioral evidence suggesting task difficulty decreased with movement repetition. Univariate statistics also confirmed that several brain regions showed early versus late session effects. Partial least squares (PLS) multivariate analysis of EDA and fMRI data provided complimentary, additional insight on how the motor network varied over the course of a single fMRI session. Brain regions identified in this manner included the insula, cingulate gyrus, pre- and postcentral gyri, putamen and parietal cortices. These results suggest that recording EDA during motor fMRI experiments provides complementary information that can be used to improve the fMRI analysis, particularly when behavioral or task effects are difficult to model a priori. PMID:17318835

  2. Assessment of students' behavioral interactions during on-task classroom activities.

    PubMed

    Morgan, H

    1990-04-01

    This study was designed to characterize the quality and quantity of interactions between students and significant others in the processing of new information during classroom activities. I wanted to test the hypothesis that black children, from moderate to low income urban environments, tend to have a more socially active cognitive style than their white peers in the performance of classroom tasks. Five different English classes, all 8th graders in a single junior high school (total of 114 black and white boys and girls), were observed in the same environment at different intervals to identify differences in the number of interactions between boys and girls, by racial groups. Classroom lessons and related activities were videotaped. The recorded activity was tabulated and rated by 3 trained observers. Black children more than white, and boys more than girls, initiated interactions with peers in the classroom in performing assigned tasks. This social interaction also showed that (1) 76% of the observed classroom time, subjects as a group were observed on-task and (2) pupils' interactions with their selected targets (classmates and their teacher) were 87% positive, and (3) relatively few interactions could be classified as disruptive. PMID:2342857

  3. Using Fiberless, Wearable fNIRS to Monitor Brain Activity in Real-world Cognitive Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Aichelburg, Clarisse; Lind, Frida; Power, Sarah; Swingler, Elizabeth; Merla, Arcangelo; Hamilton, Antonia; Gilbert, Sam; Burgess, Paul; Tachtsidis, Ilias

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique that uses near-infrared light to monitor brain activity. Based on neurovascular coupling, fNIRS is able to measure the haemoglobin concentration changes secondary to neuronal activity. Compared to other neuroimaging techniques, fNIRS represents a good compromise in terms of spatial and temporal resolution. Moreover, it is portable, lightweight, less sensitive to motion artifacts and does not impose significant physical restraints. It is therefore appropriate to monitor a wide range of cognitive tasks (e.g., auditory, gait analysis, social interaction) and different age populations (e.g., new-borns, adults, elderly people). The recent development of fiberless fNIRS devices has opened the way to new applications in neuroscience research. This represents a unique opportunity to study functional activity during real-world tests, which can be more sensitive and accurate in assessing cognitive function and dysfunction than lab-based tests. This study explored the use of fiberless fNIRS to monitor brain activity during a real-world prospective memory task. This protocol is performed outside the lab and brain haemoglobin concentration changes are continuously measured over the prefrontal cortex while the subject walks around in order to accomplish several different tasks. PMID:26651025

  4. Muscle activity, time to fatigue, and maximum task duration at different levels of production standard time

    PubMed Central

    Nur, Nurhayati Mohd; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md; Dahari, Mahidzal; Sanusi, Junedah

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated the variations in muscle fatigue, time to fatigue, and maximum task duration at different levels of production standard time. [Methods] Twenty subjects performed repetitive tasks at three different levels of production standard time corresponding to “normal”, “hard” and “very hard”. Surface electromyography was used to measure the muscle activity. [Results] The results showed that muscle activity was significantly affected by the production standard time level. Muscle activity increased twice in percentage as the production standard time shifted from hard to very hard (6.9% vs. 12.9%). The muscle activity increased over time, indicating muscle fatigue. The muscle fatigue rate increased for the harder production standard time (Hard: 0.105; Very hard: 0.115), which indicated the associated higher risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Muscle fatigue was also found to occur earlier for hard and very hard production standard times. [Conclusion] It is recommended that the maximum task duration should not exceed 5.6, 2.9, and 2.2 hours for normal, hard, and very hard production standard times, respectively, in order to maintain work performance and minimize the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. PMID:26311974

  5. Ten weeks of physical-cognitive-mindfulness training reduces fear-avoidance beliefs about work-related activity: Randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Jay, Kenneth; Brandt, Mikkel; Jakobsen, Markus Due; Sundstrup, Emil; Berthelsen, Kasper Gymoese; Schraefel, Mc; Sjøgaard, Gisela; Andersen, Lars L

    2016-08-01

    People with chronic musculoskeletal pain often experience pain-related fear of movement and avoidance behavior. The Fear-Avoidance model proposes a possible mechanism at least partly explaining the development and maintenance of chronic pain. People who interpret pain during movement as being potentially harmful to the organism may initiate a vicious behavioral cycle by generating pain-related fear of movement accompanied by avoidance behavior and hyper-vigilance.This study investigates whether an individually adapted multifactorial approach comprised of biopsychosocial elements, with a focus on physical exercise, mindfulness, and education on pain and behavior, can decrease work-related fear-avoidance beliefs.As part of a large scale 10-week worksite randomized controlled intervention trial focusing on company initiatives to combat work-related musculoskeletal pain and stress, we evaluated fear-avoidance behavior in 112 female laboratory technicians with chronic neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, elbow, and hand/wrist pain using the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire at baseline, before group allocation, and again at the post intervention follow-up 10 weeks later.A significant group by time interaction was observed (P < 0.05) for work-related fear-avoidance beliefs. The between-group difference at follow-up was -2.2 (-4.0 to -0.5), corresponding to a small to medium effect size (Cohen's d = 0.30).Our study shows that work-related, but not leisure time activity-related, fear-avoidance beliefs, as assessed by the Fear-avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, can be significantly reduced by 10 weeks of physical-cognitive-mindfulness training in female laboratory technicians with chronic pain. PMID:27559939

  6. Maintaining Gait Performance by Cortical Activation during Dual-Task Interference: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yea-Ru; Wu, Yu-Te; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2015-01-01

    In daily life, mobility requires walking while performing a cognitive or upper-extremity motor task. Although previous studies have evaluated the effects of dual tasks on gait performance, few studies have evaluated cortical activation and its association with gait disturbance during dual tasks. In this study, we simultaneously assessed gait performance and cerebral oxygenation in the bilateral prefrontal cortices (PFC), premotor cortices (PMC), and supplemental motor areas (SMA), using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, in 17 young adults performing dual tasks. Each participant was evaluated while performing normal-pace walking (NW), walking while performing a cognitive task (WCT), and walking while performing a motor task (WMT). Our results indicated that the left PFC exhibited the strongest and most sustained activation during WCT, and that NW and WMT were associated with minor increases in oxygenation levels during their initial phases. We observed increased activation in channels in the SMA and PMC during WCT and WMT. Gait data indicated that WCT and WMT both caused reductions in walking speed, but these reductions resulted from differing alterations in gait properties. WCT was associated with significant changes in cadence, stride time, and stride length, whereas WMT was associated with reductions in stride length only. During dual-task activities, increased activation of the PMC and SMA correlated with declines in gait performance, indicating a control mechanism for maintaining gait performance during dual tasks. Thus, the regulatory effects of cortical activation on gait behavior enable a second task to be performed while walking. PMID:26079605

  7. Gaining Proficiency through Task-Based Activities in the Portuguese Classroom (Beginning and Intermediate Year Case Studies)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones-Kellogg, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a task-based activity used at the United States Military Academy, in their first- through third-semester Portuguese language sequence "Proficiencies" (Proficiências). The stand-alone task-based activity can be an effective tool in gaining foreign-language proficiency at even the lowest levels of classroom instruction…

  8. Sleep is associated with task-negative brain activity in fibromyalgia participants with comorbid chronic insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Vatthauer, Karlyn E; Craggs, Jason G; Robinson, Michael E; Staud, Roland; Berry, Richard B; Perlstein, William M; McCrae, Christina S

    2015-01-01

    Patients with chronic pain exhibit altered default mode network (DMN) activity. This preliminary project questioned whether comorbid disease states are associated with further brain alterations. Thirteen women with fibromyalgia (FM) only and 26 women with fibromyalgia with comorbid chronic insomnia (FMI) underwent a single night of ambulatory polysomnography and completed a sleep diary each morning for 14 days prior to performing a neuroimaging protocol. Novel imaging analyses were utilized to identify regions associated with significantly disordered sleep that were more active in task-negative periods than task-oriented periods in participants with FMI, when compared to participants with FM. It was hypothesized that core DMN areas (ie, cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule, medial prefrontal cortex, medial temporal cortex, precuneus) would exhibit increased activity during task-negative periods. Analyses revealed that significantly disordered sleep significantly contributed to group differences in the right cingulate gyrus, left lentiform nucleus, left anterior cingulate, left superior gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, right caudate, and the left inferior parietal lobules. Results suggest that FMI may alter some brain areas of the DMN, above and beyond FM. However, future work will need to investigate these results further by controlling for chronic insomnia only before conclusions can be made regarding the effect of FMI comorbidity on the DMN. PMID:26648751

  9. Sleep is associated with task-negative brain activity in fibromyalgia participants with comorbid chronic insomnia.

    PubMed

    Vatthauer, Karlyn E; Craggs, Jason G; Robinson, Michael E; Staud, Roland; Berry, Richard B; Perlstein, William M; McCrae, Christina S

    2015-01-01

    Patients with chronic pain exhibit altered default mode network (DMN) activity. This preliminary project questioned whether comorbid disease states are associated with further brain alterations. Thirteen women with fibromyalgia (FM) only and 26 women with fibromyalgia with comorbid chronic insomnia (FMI) underwent a single night of ambulatory polysomnography and completed a sleep diary each morning for 14 days prior to performing a neuroimaging protocol. Novel imaging analyses were utilized to identify regions associated with significantly disordered sleep that were more active in task-negative periods than task-oriented periods in participants with FMI, when compared to participants with FM. It was hypothesized that core DMN areas (ie, cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule, medial prefrontal cortex, medial temporal cortex, precuneus) would exhibit increased activity during task-negative periods. Analyses revealed that significantly disordered sleep significantly contributed to group differences in the right cingulate gyrus, left lentiform nucleus, left anterior cingulate, left superior gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, right caudate, and the left inferior parietal lobules. Results suggest that FMI may alter some brain areas of the DMN, above and beyond FM. However, future work will need to investigate these results further by controlling for chronic insomnia only before conclusions can be made regarding the effect of FMI comorbidity on the DMN. PMID:26648751

  10. Electrical brain stimulation improves cognitive performance by modulating functional connectivity and task-specific activation.

    PubMed

    Meinzer, Marcus; Antonenko, Daria; Lindenberg, Robert; Hetzer, Stefan; Ulm, Lena; Avirame, Keren; Flaisch, Tobias; Flöel, Agnes

    2012-02-01

    Excitatory anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) can improve human cognitive functions, but neural underpinnings of its mode of action remain elusive. In a cross-over placebo ("sham") controlled study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neurofunctional correlates of improved language functions induced by atDCS over a core language area, the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Intrascanner transcranial direct current stimulation-induced changes in overt semantic word generation assessed behavioral modulation; task-related and task-independent (resting-state) fMRI characterized language network changes. Improved word-retrieval during atDCS was paralleled by selectively reduced task-related activation in the left ventral IFG, an area specifically implicated in semantic retrieval processes. Under atDCS, resting-state fMRI revealed increased connectivity of the left IFG and additional major hubs overlapping with the language network. In conclusion, atDCS modulates endogenous low-frequency oscillations in a distributed set of functionally connected brain areas, possibly inducing more efficient processing in critical task-relevant areas and improved behavioral performance. PMID:22302824

  11. Evaluating Reverse Speech as a Control Task with Language-Related Gamma Activity on Electrocorticography

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Erik C; Muzik, Otto; Rothermel, Robert; Matsuzaki, Naoyuki; Juhász, Csaba; Shah, Aashit K; Atkinson, Marie D; Fuerst, Darren; Mittal, Sandeep; Sood, Sandeep; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A; Asano, Eishi

    2012-01-01

    Reverse speech has often been used as a control task in brain-mapping studies of language utilizing various non-invasive modalities. The rationale is that reverse speech is comparable to forward speech in terms of auditory characteristics, while omitting the linguistic components. Thus, it may control for non-language auditory functions. This finds some support in fMRI studies indicating that reverse speech resulted in less blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity in perisylvian regions than forward speech. We attempted to externally validate a reverse speech control task using intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) in eight patients with intractable focal epilepsy. We studied adolescent and adult patients who underwent extraoperative ECoG prior to resective epilepsy surgery. All patients received an auditory language task during ECoG recording. Patients were presented 115 audible question stimuli, including 30 reverse speech trials. Reverse speech trials more strongly engaged bilateral superior temporal sites than did the corresponding forward speech trials. Forward speech trials elicited larger gamma-augmentation at frontal lobe sites not attributable to sensorimotor function. Other temporal and frontal sites of significant augmentation showed no significant difference between reverse and forward speech. Thus, we failed to validate reported evidence of weaker activation of temporal neocortices during reverse compared to forward speech. Superior temporal lobe engagement may indicate increased attention to reverse speech. Reverse speech does not appear to be a suitable task for the control of non-language auditory functions on ECoG. PMID:22387167

  12. Feature diagnosticity and task context shape activity in human scene-selective cortex.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Matthew X; Gallivan, Jason P; Ferber, Susanne; Cant, Jonathan S

    2016-01-15

    Scenes are constructed from multiple visual features, yet previous research investigating scene processing has often focused on the contributions of single features in isolation. In the real world, features rarely exist independently of one another and likely converge to inform scene identity in unique ways. Here, we utilize fMRI and pattern classification techniques to examine the interactions between task context (i.e., attend to diagnostic global scene features; texture or layout) and high-level scene attributes (content and spatial boundary) to test the novel hypothesis that scene-selective cortex represents multiple visual features, the importance of which varies according to their diagnostic relevance across scene categories and task demands. Our results show for the first time that scene representations are driven by interactions between multiple visual features and high-level scene attributes. Specifically, univariate analysis of scene-selective cortex revealed that task context and feature diagnosticity shape activity differentially across scene categories. Examination using multivariate decoding methods revealed results consistent with univariate findings, but also evidence for an interaction between high-level scene attributes and diagnostic visual features within scene categories. Critically, these findings suggest visual feature representations are not distributed uniformly across scene categories but are shaped by task context and feature diagnosticity. Thus, we propose that scene-selective cortex constructs a flexible representation of the environment by integrating multiple diagnostically relevant visual features, the nature of which varies according to the particular scene being perceived and the goals of the observer. PMID:26541082

  13. Prestimulus default mode activity influences depth of processing and recognition in an emotional memory task.

    PubMed

    Soravia, Leila M; Witmer, Joëlle S; Schwab, Simon; Nakataki, Masahito; Dierks, Thomas; Wiest, Roland; Henke, Katharina; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay

    2016-03-01

    Low self-referential thoughts are associated with better concentration, which leads to deeper encoding and increases learning and subsequent retrieval. There is evidence that being engaged in externally rather than internally focused tasks is related to low neural activity in the default mode network (DMN) promoting open mind and the deep elaboration of new information. Thus, reduced DMN activity should lead to enhanced concentration, comprehensive stimulus evaluation including emotional categorization, deeper stimulus processing, and better long-term retention over one whole week. In this fMRI study, we investigated brain activation preceding and during incidental encoding of emotional pictures and on subsequent recognition performance. During fMRI, 24 subjects were exposed to 80 pictures of different emotional valence and subsequently asked to complete an online recognition task one week later. Results indicate that neural activity within the medial temporal lobes during encoding predicts subsequent memory performance. Moreover, a low activity of the default mode network preceding incidental encoding leads to slightly better recognition performance independent of the emotional perception of a picture. The findings indicate that the suppression of internally-oriented thoughts leads to a more comprehensive and thorough evaluation of a stimulus and its emotional valence. Reduced activation of the DMN prior to stimulus onset is associated with deeper encoding and enhanced consolidation and retrieval performance even one week later. Even small prestimulus lapses of attention influence consolidation and subsequent recognition performance. PMID:26663662

  14. Modulation of brain activity during a Stroop inhibitory task by the kind of cognitive control required.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Julien; D'Ostilio, Kevin; Phillips, Christophe; Balteau, Evelyne; Degueldre, Christian; Luxen, André; Maquet, Pierre; Salmon, Eric; Collette, Fabienne

    2012-01-01

    This study used a proportion congruency manipulation in the Stroop task in order to investigate, at the behavioral and brain substrate levels, the predictions derived from the Dual Mechanisms of Control (DMC) account of two distinct modes of cognitive control depending on the task context. Three experimental conditions were created that varied the proportion congruency: mostly incongruent (MI), mostly congruent (MC), and mostly neutral (MN) contexts. A reactive control strategy, which corresponds to transient interference resolution processes after conflict detection, was expected for the rare conflicting stimuli in the MC context, and a proactive strategy, characterized by a sustained task-relevant focus prior to the occurrence of conflict, was expected in the MI context. Results at the behavioral level supported the proactive/reactive distinction, with the replication of the classic proportion congruent effect (i.e., less interference and facilitation effects in the MI context). fMRI data only partially supported our predictions. Whereas reactive control for incongruent trials in the MC context engaged the expected fronto-parietal network including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex, proactive control in the MI context was not associated with any sustained lateral prefrontal cortex activations, contrary to our hypothesis. Surprisingly, incongruent trials in the MI context elicited transient activation in common with incongruent trials in the MC context, especially in DLPFC, superior parietal lobe, and insula. This lack of sustained activity in MI is discussed in reference to the possible involvement of item-specific rather than list-wide mechanisms of control in the implementation of a high task-relevant focus. PMID:22911806

  15. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Reveals a Temporal Cascade of Task-Related and Default-Mode Activations During a Simple Target Detection Task

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Jennifer M.; Goldman, Robin I.; Carapezza, Michael; Muraskin, Jordan; Brown, Truman R.; Sajda, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Focused attention continuously and inevitably fluctuates, and to completely understand the mechanisms responsible for these modulations it is necessary to localize the brain regions involved. During a simple visual oddball task, neural responses measured by electroencephalography (EEG) modulate primarily with attention, but source localization of the correlates is a challenge. In this study we use single-trial analysis of simultaneously-acquired scalp EEG and functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) data to investigate the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) correlates of modulations in task-related attention, and we unravel the temporal cascade of these transient activations. We hypothesize that activity in brain regions associated with various task-related cognitive processes modulates with attention, and that their involvements occur transiently in a specific order. We analyze the fMRI BOLD signal by first regressing out the variance linked to observed stimulus and behavioral events. We then correlate the residual variance with the trial-to-trial variation of EEG discriminating components for identical stimuli, estimated at a sequence of times during a trial. Post-stimulus and early in the trial, we find activations in right-lateralized frontal regions and lateral occipital cortex, areas that are often linked to task-dependent processes, such as attentional orienting, and decision certainty. After the behavioral response we see correlates in areas often associated with the default-mode network and introspective processing, including precuneus, angular gyri, and posterior cingulate cortex. Our results demonstrate that during simple tasks both task-dependent and default-mode networks are transiently engaged, with a distinct temporal ordering and millisecond timescale. PMID:23962956

  16. Deletion of striatal adenosine A(2A) receptor spares latent inhibition and prepulse inhibition but impairs active avoidance learning.

    PubMed

    Singer, Philipp; Wei, Catherine J; Chen, Jiang-Fan; Boison, Detlev; Yee, Benjamin K

    2013-04-01

    Following early clinical leads, the adenosine A(2A)R receptor (A(2A)R) has continued to attract attention as a potential novel target for treating schizophrenia, especially against the negative and cognitive symptoms of the disease because of A(2A)R's unique modulatory action over glutamatergic in addition to dopaminergic signaling. Through (i) the antagonistic interaction with the dopamine D(2) receptor, and (ii) the regulation of glutamate release and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor function, striatal A(2A)R is ideally positioned to fine-tune the dopamine-glutamate balance, the disturbance of which is implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. However, the precise function of striatal A(2A)Rs in the regulation of schizophrenia-relevant behavior is poorly understood. Here, we tested the impact of conditional striatum-specific A(2A)R knockout (st-A(2A)R-KO) on latent inhibition (LI) and prepulse inhibition (PPI) - behavior that is tightly regulated by striatal dopamine and glutamate. These are two common cross-species translational tests for the assessment of selective attention and sensorimotor gating deficits reported in schizophrenia patients; and enhanced performance in these tests is associated with antipsychotic drug action. We found that neither LI nor PPI was significantly affected in st-A(2A)R-KO mice, although a deficit in active avoidance learning was identified in these animals. The latter phenotype, however, was not replicated in another form of aversive conditioning - namely, conditioned taste aversion. Hence, the present study shows that neither learned inattention (as measured by LI) nor sensory gating (as indexed by PPI) requires the integrity of striatal A(2A)Rs - a finding that may undermine the hypothesized importance of A(2A)R in the genesis and/or treatment of schizophrenia. PMID:23276608

  17. Reduced posterior parietal cortex activation after training on a visual search task.

    PubMed

    Bueichekú, Elisenda; Miró-Padilla, Anna; Palomar-García, María-Ángeles; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Parcet, María-Antonia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Ávila, César

    2016-07-15

    Gaining experience on a cognitive task improves behavioral performance and is thought to enhance brain efficiency. Despite the body of literature already published on the effects of training on brain activation, less research has been carried out on visual search attention processes under well controlled conditions. Thirty-six healthy adults divided into trained and control groups completed a pre-post letter-based visual search task fMRI study in one day. Twelve letters were used as targets and ten as distractors. The trained group completed a training session (840 trials) with half the targets between scans. The effects of training were studied at the behavioral and brain levels by controlling for repetition effects using both between-subjects (trained vs. control groups) and within-subject (trained vs. untrained targets) controls. The trained participants reduced their response speed by 31% as a result of training, maintaining their accuracy scores, whereas the control group hardly changed. Neural results revealed that brain changes associated with visual search training were circumscribed to reduced activation in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) when controlling for group, and they included inferior occipital areas when controlling for targets. The observed behavioral and brain changes are discussed in relation to automatic behavior development. The observed training-related decreases could be associated with increased neural efficiency in specific key regions for task performance. PMID:27132048

  18. Dexamphetamine normalises electrophysiological activity in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder during the Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Horrobin, S L; McNair, N A; Kirk, I J; Waldie, K E

    2007-10-01

    A case study was conducted to investigate whether dexamphetamine enhances interference control in an adult with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Continuous electroencephalography was recorded both on and off dexamphetamine during performance on a Stroop task. An age-, gender- and IQ-matched control also completed the same task. Event related potentials for the control participant revealed a positive potential to incongruent stimuli between 270 and 440 ms, whereas for the participant with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder off medication, the reverse polarity was observed in a later time window. Following administration of dexamphetamine, however, the event-related potentials for the incongruent condition closely resembled those in the control, suggesting that dexamphetamine successfully normalises electroencephalographic activity. PMID:18781428

  19. Defining feasible bounds on muscle activation in a redundant biomechanical task; practical implications of redundancy

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, M. Hongchul; McKay, J. Lucas; Ting, Lena H.

    2013-01-01

    Measured muscle activation patterns often vary significantly from musculoskeletal model predictions that use optimization to resolve redundancy. Although experimental muscle activity exhibits both inter- and intra-subject variability we lack adequate tools to quantify the biomechanical latitude that the nervous system has when selecting muscle activation patterns. Here, we identified feasible ranges of individual muscle activity during force production in a musculoskeletal model to quantify the degree to which biomechanical redundancy allows for variability in muscle activation patterns. In a detailed cat hindlimb model matched to the posture of three cats, we identified the lower and upper bounds on muscle activity in each of 31 muscles during static endpoint force production across different force directions and magnitudes. Feasible ranges of muscle activation were relatively unconstrained across force magnitudes such that only a few (0∼13%) muscles were found to be truly “necessary” (e.g. exhibited non-zero lower bounds) at physiological force ranges. Most muscles were “optional” having zero lower bounds, and frequently had “maximal” upper bounds as well. Moreover, “optional” muscles were never selected by optimization methods that either minimized muscle stress, or that scaled the pattern required for maximum force generation. Therefore, biomechanical constraints were generally insufficient to restrict or specify muscle activation levels for producing a force in a given direction, and many muscle patterns exist that could deviate substantially from one another but still achieve the task. Our approach could be extended to identify the feasible limits of variability in muscle activation patterns in dynamic tasks such as walking. PMID:23489436

  20. Activity recognition of assembly tasks using body-worn microphones and accelerometers.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jamie A; Lukowicz, Paul; Tröster, Gerhard; Starner, Thad E

    2006-10-01

    In order to provide relevant information to mobile users, such as workers engaging in the manual tasks of maintenance and assembly, a wearable computer requires information about the user's specific activities. This work focuses on the recognition of activities that are characterized by a hand motion and an accompanying sound. Suitable activities can be found in assembly and maintenance work. Here, we provide an initial exploration into the problem domain of continuous activity recognition using on-body sensing. We use a mock "wood workshop" assembly task to ground our investigation. We describe a method for the continuous recognition of activities (sawing, hammering, filing, drilling, grinding, sanding, opening a drawer, tightening a vise, and turning a screwdriver) using microphones and three-axis accelerometers mounted at two positions on the user's arms. Potentially "interesting" activities are segmented from continuous streams of data using an analysis of the sound intensity detected at the two different locations. Activity classification is then performed on these detected segments using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) on the sound channel and hidden Markov models (HMMs) on the acceleration data. Four different methods at classifier fusion are compared for improving these classifications. Using user-dependent training, we obtain continuous average recall and precision rates (for positive activities) of 78 percent and 74 percent, respectively. Using user-independent training (leave-one-out across five users), we obtain recall rates of 66 percent and precision rates of 63 percent. In isolation, these activities were recognized with accuracies of 98 percent, 87 percent, and 95 percent for the user-dependent, user-independent, and user-adapted cases, respectively. PMID:16986539

  1. A methodology for assessing the effect of correlations among muscle synergy activations on task-discriminating information

    PubMed Central

    Delis, Ioannis; Berret, Bastien; Pozzo, Thierry; Panzeri, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Muscle synergies have been hypothesized to be the building blocks used by the central nervous system to generate movement. According to this hypothesis, the accomplishment of various motor tasks relies on the ability of the motor system to recruit a small set of synergies on a single-trial basis and combine them in a task-dependent manner. It is conceivable that this requires a fine tuning of the trial-to-trial relationships between the synergy activations. Here we develop an analytical methodology to address the nature and functional role of trial-to-trial correlations between synergy activations, which is designed to help to better understand how these correlations may contribute to generating appropriate motor behavior. The algorithm we propose first divides correlations between muscle synergies into types (noise correlations, quantifying the trial-to-trial covariations of synergy activations at fixed task, and signal correlations, quantifying the similarity of task tuning of the trial-averaged activation coefficients of different synergies), and then uses single-trial methods (task-decoding and information theory) to quantify their overall effect on the task-discriminating information carried by muscle synergy activations. We apply the method to both synchronous and time-varying synergies and exemplify it on electromyographic data recorded during performance of reaching movements in different directions. Our method reveals the robust presence of information-enhancing patterns of signal and noise correlations among pairs of synchronous synergies, and shows that they enhance by 9–15% (depending on the set of tasks) the task-discriminating information provided by the synergy decompositions. We suggest that the proposed methodology could be useful for assessing whether single-trial activations of one synergy depend on activations of other synergies and quantifying the effect of such dependences on the task-to-task differences in muscle activation patterns. PMID

  2. The effect of task-oriented training on the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity muscle activation in daily activities performed by chronic stoke patients. [Subjects and Methods] In this research, task-oriented training was conducted by 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. Task-oriented training was conducted 5 times a week, 30 minutes per day, for 2 weeks. Evaluation was conducted 3 times before and after the intervention. The Change of muscle activation in the upper extremity was measured using a BTS FreeEMG 300. [Results] The subjects' root mean square values for agonistic muscles for the reaching activity increased after the intervention. All subjects' co-coordination ratios decreased after the intervention in all movements of reaching activity. [Conclusion] Through this research, task-oriented training was proven to be effective in improving the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. PMID:27190488

  3. The effect of task-oriented training on the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity muscle activation in daily activities performed by chronic stoke patients. [Subjects and Methods] In this research, task-oriented training was conducted by 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. Task-oriented training was conducted 5 times a week, 30 minutes per day, for 2 weeks. Evaluation was conducted 3 times before and after the intervention. The Change of muscle activation in the upper extremity was measured using a BTS FreeEMG 300. [Results] The subjects’ root mean square values for agonistic muscles for the reaching activity increased after the intervention. All subjects’ co-coordination ratios decreased after the intervention in all movements of reaching activity. [Conclusion] Through this research, task-oriented training was proven to be effective in improving the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. PMID:27190488

  4. Intra-Amygdala ZIP Injections Impair the Memory of Learned Active Avoidance Responses and Attenuate Conditioned Taste-Aversion Acquisition in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamiz, Fernando; Gallo, Milagros

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated the effect of protein kinase Mzeta (PKM[zeta]) inhibition in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) upon the retention of a nonspatial learned active avoidance response and conditioned taste-aversion (CTA) acquisition in rats. ZIP (10 nmol/[mu]L) injected into the BLA 24 h after training impaired retention of a learned…

  5. Ventrolateral prefrontal activation during a N-back task assessed with multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yuan; Zhu, Ye; Jiang, Tianzi

    2007-05-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used to investigate the changes in the concentration of oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin in brain issue during several cognitive tasks. In the present study, by means of multichannel dual wavelength light-emitting diode continuous-wave (CW) NIRS, we investigated the blood oxygenation changes of prefrontal cortex in 18 healthy subjects while performing a verbal n-back task (0-back and 2-back), which has been rarely investigated by fNIRS. Compared to the 0-back task (control task), we found a significant increase of O2Hb and total amount of hemoglobin (THb) in left and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) during the execution of the 2-back task compared to the 0-back task (p<0.05, FDR corrected). This result is consistent with the previous functional neuroimaging studies that have found the VLPFC activation related to verbal working memory. However, we found no significant hemisphere dominance. In addition, the effects of gender and its interaction with task performance on O2Hb concentration change were suggested in the present study. Our findings not only confirm that multichannel fNIRS is suitable to detect spatially specific activation during the performance of cognitive tasks; but also suggest that it should be cautious of gender-dependent difference in cerebral activation when interpreting the fNIRS data during cognitive tasks.

  6. Patterns of Brain Activation in Foster Children and Nonmaltreated Children During an Inhibitory Control Task

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Jacqueline; Fisher, Philip A.; Graham, Alice M.; Moore, William E.; Peake, Shannon J.; Mannering, Anne M.

    2012-01-01

    Children in foster care have often encountered a range of adverse experiences, including neglectful and/or abusive care and multiple caregiver transitions. Prior research findings suggest that such experiences negatively affect inhibitory control and the underlying neural circuitry. In the current study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed during a go/no go task that assesses inhibitory control to compare the behavioral performance and brain activation of foster children and nonmaltreated children. The sample included two groups of 9- to 12-year-old children: 11 maltreated foster children and 11 nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. There were no significant group differences on behavioral performance on the task. In contrast, patterns of brain activation differed by group. The nonmaltreated children demonstrated stronger activation than the foster children across several regions including the right anterior cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus, and right lingual gyrus during correct no go trials, whereas the foster children displayed stronger activation than the nonmaltreated children in the left inferior parietal lobule and right superior occipital cortex including the lingual gyrus and cuneus during incorrect no go trials. These results provide preliminary evidence that the early adversity experienced by foster children impacts the neural substrates of inhibitory control. PMID:24229540

  7. Type 1 Diabetes Modifies Brain Activation in Young Patients While Performing Visuospatial Working Memory Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo-Moreno, Geisa B.; González-Garrido, Andrés A.; Gudayol-Ferré, Esteban; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects. PMID:26266268

  8. Patterns of brain activation in foster children and nonmaltreated children during an inhibitory control task.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Jacqueline; Fisher, Philip A; Graham, Alice M; Moore, William E; Peake, Shannon J; Mannering, Anne M

    2013-11-01

    Children in foster care have often encountered a range of adverse experiences, including neglectful and/or abusive care and multiple caregiver transitions. Prior research findings suggest that such experiences negatively affect inhibitory control and the underlying neural circuitry. In the current study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was employed during a go/no go task that assesses inhibitory control to compare the behavioral performance and brain activation of foster children and nonmaltreated children. The sample included two groups of 9- to 12-year-old children: 11 maltreated foster children and 11 nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. There were no significant group differences on behavioral performance on the task. In contrast, patterns of brain activation differed by group. The nonmaltreated children demonstrated stronger activation than did the foster children across several regions, including the right anterior cingulate cortex, the middle frontal gyrus, and the right lingual gyrus, during correct no go trials, whereas the foster children displayed stronger activation than the nonmaltreated children in the left inferior parietal lobule and the right superior occipital cortex, including the lingual gyrus and cuneus, during incorrect no go trials. These results provide preliminary evidence that the early adversity experienced by foster children impacts the neural substrates of inhibitory control. PMID:24229540

  9. Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later.

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Klingberg, Torkel

    2012-05-01

    Visuospatial working memory (WM) capacity is highly correlated with mathematical reasoning abilities and can predict future development of arithmetical performance. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during visuospatial WM tasks correlates with interindividual differences in WM capacity. This region has also been implicated in numerical representation, and its structure and activity reflect arithmetical performance impairments (e.g., dyscalculia). We collected behavioral (N = 246) and neuroimaging data (N = 46) in a longitudinal sample to test whether IPS activity during a visuospatial WM task could provide more information than psychological testing alone and predict arithmetical performance 2 years later in healthy participants aged 6-16 years. Nonverbal reasoning and verbal and visuospatial WM measures were found to be independent predictors of arithmetical outcome. In addition, WM activation in the left IPS predicted arithmetical outcome independently of behavioral measures. A logistic model including both behavioral and imaging data showed improved sensitivity by correctly classifying more than twice as many children as poor arithmetical performers after 2 years than a model with behavioral measures only. These results demonstrate that neuroimaging data can provide useful information in addition to behavioral assessments and be used to improve the identification of individuals at risk of future low academic performance. PMID:21768226

  10. Measurement of Brain Activation During an Upright Stepping Reaction Task Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Huppert, Theodore; Schmidt, Benjamin; Beluk, Nancy; Furman, Joseph; Sparto, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive brain imaging technology that uses light to measure changes in cortical hemoglobin concentrations. FNIRS measurements are recorded through fiber optic cables, which allow the participant to wear the fNIRS sensors while standing upright. Thus, fNIRS technology is well suited to study cortical brain activity during upright balance, stepping, and gait tasks. In this study, fNIRS was used to measure changes in brain activation from the frontal, motor, and premotor brain regions during an upright step task that required subjects to step laterally in response to visual cues that required executive function control. We hypothesized that cognitive processing during complex stepping cues would elicit brain activation of the frontal cortex in areas involved in cognition. Our results show increased prefrontal activation associated with the processing of the stepping cues. Moreover, these results demonstrate the potential to use fNIRS to investigate cognitive processing during cognitively demanding balance and gait studies. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2817–2828, 2013. VC 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23161494

  11. Upper extremity coordination strategies depending on task demand during a basic daily activity.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Flávia Pessoni F M; Santiago, Paulo Roberto Pereira; Zampar, Ana Carolina; Pinola, Lívia Nahas; Fonseca, Marisa de Cássia Registro

    2015-10-01

    Injury conditions affecting the upper extremity may lead to severe functional impairment and an accurate evaluation is needed in order to select the most effective treatment in a rehabilitation program. This study focused on simultaneous electromyographic and kinematic analysis to assess movement patterns of upper extremity during a basic daily activity, considering different demands existing within the task. Twenty-five healthy subjects, average age 19.8 ys SD 1.7 ys, with no upper extremity impairment, were assessed by means of electromyography (EMG) and a 3D motion capture system while performing a task that required reach, transport and release. Integrated EMG (iEMG), timing of muscle onset and active range of motion (AROM) were calculated for each subject. Data were compared within each phase and between the three phases and a repeated measure ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. We found early activation of upper trapezius associated with high activity of serratus anterior for proximal stability while anterior deltoid and triceps brachii performed shoulder flexion and elbow extension, in Reach phase. In Transport phase there was early and higher activation of upper trapezius, higher muscle activity of almost all muscles and increased AROM of all joints. No change in flexion/extension wrist posture with increased forearm muscles activity were identified as the main control strategy to keep optimal grasping. Triceps brachii was found to act as an important synergist in shoulder abduction and extension in free load conditions. Such information can lead clinicians to more specific assessment and subsequent better intervention in upper extremity rehabilitation. PMID:26282047

  12. Reduced prefrontal activation during performance of the Iowa Gambling Task in patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Ono, Yasuki; Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Hirosawa, Tetsu; Hino, Shoryoku; Nagasawa, Tatsuya; Hashimoto, Takanori; Munesue, Toshio; Minabe, Yoshio

    2015-07-30

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a complex decision-making task in which monetary wins and losses guide the development of strategies. The objective of this study was to evaluate hemodynamic responses of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) during performance of the IGT using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Participants comprised 13 patients and 15 healthy control subjects who were matched for age, sex, handedness, and intelligence quotient. Relative changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb) levels in the frontal region were measured using a 46-channel NIRS system. All subjects were evaluated using NIRS during a verbal fluency task (VFT) and the IGT. During performance of the IGT, BD patients showed significantly decreased oxy-Hb levels in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and left prefrontal cortex (PFC) compared with normal control subjects. However, during the VFT, patients with BD showed no significant changes in oxy-Hb levels compared with control subjects. Changes in oxy-Hb levels in the bilateral OFC and the PFC during the IGT were negatively correlated with total scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Although the IGT was useful for differentiating patients with BP from control subjects, no significant differences in autonomic activity were observed. PMID:25978934

  13. Temporal evolution of oscillatory activity predicts performance in a choice-reaction time reaching task.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Bernardo; Moisello, Clara; Landsness, Eric C; Kvint, Svetlana; Pruski, April; Onofrj, Marco; Tononi, Giulio; Ghilardi, M Felice

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we characterized the patterns and timing of cortical activation of visually guided movements in a task with critical temporal demands. In particular, we investigated the neural correlates of motor planning and on-line adjustments of reaching movements in a choice-reaction time task. High-density electroencephalography (EEG, 256 electrodes) was recorded in 13 subjects performing reaching movements. The topography of the movement-related spectral perturbation was established across five 250-ms temporal windows (from prestimulus to postmovement) and five frequency bands (from theta to beta). Nine regions of interest were then identified on the scalp, and their activity was correlated with specific behavioral outcomes reflecting motor planning and on-line adjustments. Phase coherence analysis was performed between selected sites. We found that motor planning and on-line adjustments share similar topography in a fronto-parietal network, involving mostly low frequency bands. In addition, activities in the high and low frequency ranges have differential function in the modulation of attention with the former reflecting the prestimulus, top-down processes needed to promote timely responses, and the latter the planning and control of sensory-motor processes. PMID:21047934

  14. Neural activity in monkey amygdala during performance of a multisensory operant task.

    PubMed

    Montes-Lourido, Pilar; Vicente, Ana F; Bermudez, Maria A; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, we study the potential involvement of monkey amygdala in the evaluation of value encoding of visual and auditive stimuli associated with reward or no reward. We recorded the activity of 93 extracellular neurons from the monkey right amygdala, while performing a multisensory operant task. The activity of 78 task-related neurons was studied. Of these, 13 neurons (16%) responded to the value of visual stimuli, 22 neurons (28%) responded after the presentation of visual stimuli, 22 neurons (28%) showed an inhibition around the lever-pressing and were classified as action related neurons and 22 neurons (28%) responded after reward delivery. These findings suggest that neurons in the amygdala play a role in encoding value and processing visual information, participate in motor regulation and are sensitive to reward. The activity of these neurons did not change in the evaluation of auditive stimuli. These data support the hypothesis that amygdala neurons are specific to each sensory modality and that different groups of amygdala neurons process visual and auditive information. PMID:26246438

  15. Intrinsic and Task-Dependent Coupling of Neuronal Population Activity in Human Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Brett L.; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Shirer, William R.; Parvizi, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Summary Human neuroimaging studies have suggested that subregions of the medial and lateral parietal cortex form key nodes of a larger brain network supporting episodic memory retrieval. To explore the electrophysiological correlates of functional connectivity between these subregions, we recorded simultaneously from medial and lateral parietal cortex using intracranial electrodes in three human subjects. We observed electrophysiological co-activation of retrosplenial/posterior cingulate cortex (RSC/PCC) and angular gyrus (AG) in the high frequency broadband (HFB, or high-gamma) range, for conditions that required episodic retrieval. During resting and sleeping states, slow fluctuations (< 1 Hz) of HFB activity were highly correlated between these task-co-activated neuronal populations. Furthermore, intrinsic electrophysiological connectivity patterns matched those obtained with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) from the same subjects. Our findings quantify the spatiotemporal dynamics of parietal cortex during episodic memory retrieval and provide clear neurophysiological correlates of intrinsic and task-dependent functional connectivity in the human brain. PMID:25863718

  16. Disentangling stereotype activation and stereotype application in the stereotype misperception task.

    PubMed

    Krieglmeyer, Regina; Sherman, Jeffrey W

    2012-08-01

    When forming impressions about other people, stereotypes about the individual's social group often influence the resulting impression. At least 2 distinguishable processes underlie stereotypic impression formation: stereotype activation and stereotype application. Most previous research has used implicit measures to assess stereotype activation and explicit measures to assess stereotype application, which has several disadvantages. The authors propose a measure of stereotypic impression formation, the stereotype misperception task (SMT), together with a multinomial model that quantitatively disentangles the contributions of stereotype activation and application to responses in the SMT. The validity of the SMT and of the multinomial model was confirmed in 5 studies. The authors hope to advance research on stereotyping by providing a measurement tool that separates multiple processes underlying impression formation. PMID:22663350

  17. Goal striving strategies and effort mobilization: When implementation intentions reduce effort-related cardiac activity during task performance.

    PubMed

    Freydefont, Laure; Gollwitzer, Peter M; Oettingen, Gabriele

    2016-09-01

    Two experiments investigate the influence of goal and implementation intentions on effort mobilization during task performance. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of setting goals and making plans on performance, the effects of goals and plans on effort-related cardiac activity and especially the cardiac preejection period (PEP) during goal striving have not yet been addressed. According to the Motivational Intensity Theory, participants should increase effort mobilization proportionally to task difficulty as long as success is possible and justified. Forming goals and making plans should allow for reduced effort mobilization when participants perform an easy task. However, when the task is difficult, goals and plans should differ in their effect on effort mobilization. Participants who set goals should disengage, whereas participants who made if-then plans should stay in the field showing high effort mobilization during task performance. As expected, using an easy task in Experiment 1, we observed a lower cardiac PEP in both the implementation intention and the goal intention condition than in the control condition. In Experiment 2, we varied task difficulty and demonstrated that while participants with a mere goal intention disengaged from difficult tasks, participants with an implementation intention increased effort mobilization proportionally with task difficulty. These findings demonstrate the influence of goal striving strategies (i.e., mere goals vs. if-then plans) on effort mobilization during task performance. PMID:27374255

  18. Effects of task complexity on activation of language areas in a semantic decision fMRI protocol.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Tátila Martins; Yasuda, Clarissa Lin; Campos, Brunno Machado de; Balthazar, Marcio L F; Binder, Jeffrey R; Cendes, Fernando

    2016-01-29

    Language tasks used for clinical fMRI studies may be too complex for some patients with cognitive impairments, and "easier" versions are sometimes substituted, though the effects on brain activity of such changes in task complexity are largely unknown. To investigate these differences, we compared two versions of an fMRI language comprehension protocol, with different levels of difficulty, in 24 healthy right-handed adults. The protocol contrasted an auditory word comprehension task (semantic decision) with a nonspeech control task using tone sequences (tone decision). In the "complex" version (CV), the semantic decision task required two complex semantic decisions for each word, and the tone decision task required the participant to count the number of target tones in each sequence. In the "easy" version (EV), the semantic task required only a single easier decision, and the tone task required only detection of the presence or absence of a target tone in each sequence. The protocols were adapted for a Brazilian population. Typical left hemisphere language lateralization was observed in 92% of participants for both CV and EV using the whole-brain lateralization index, and typical language lateralization was also observed for others regions of interest. Task performance was superior on the EV compared to the CV (p=0.014). There were many common areas of activation across the two version; however, the CV produced greater activation in the left superior and middle frontal giri, angular gyrus, and left posterior cingulate gyrus compared to the EV, the majority of which are areas previously identified with language and semantic processing. The EV produced stronger activation only in a small area in the posterior middle temporal gyrus. These results reveal differences between two versions of the protocol and provide evidence that both are useful for language lateralization and worked well for Brazilian population. The complex version produces stronger activation in

  19. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-12-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals.

  20. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals. PMID:26632763

  1. Absence of “Warm-Up” during Active Avoidance Learning in a Rat Model of Anxiety Vulnerability: Insights from Computational Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Catherine E.; Smith, Ian M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Beck, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

    Avoidance behaviors, in which a learned response causes omission of an upcoming punisher, are a core feature of many psychiatric disorders. While reinforcement learning (RL) models have been widely used to study the development of appetitive behaviors, less attention has been paid to avoidance. Here, we present a RL model of lever-press avoidance learning in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and in the inbred Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat, which has been proposed as a model of anxiety vulnerability. We focus on “warm-up,” transiently decreased avoidance responding at the start of a testing session, which is shown by SD but not WKY rats. We first show that a RL model can correctly simulate key aspects of acquisition, extinction, and warm-up in SD rats; we then show that WKY behavior can be simulated by altering three model parameters, which respectively govern the tendency to explore new behaviors vs. exploit previously reinforced ones, the tendency to repeat previous behaviors regardless of reinforcement, and the learning rate for predicting future outcomes. This suggests that several, dissociable mechanisms may contribute independently to strain differences in behavior. The model predicts that, if the “standard” inter-session interval is shortened from 48 to 24 h, SD rats (but not WKY) will continue to show warm-up; we confirm this prediction in an empirical study with SD and WKY rats. The model further predicts that SD rats will continue to show warm-up with inter-session intervals as short as a few minutes, while WKY rats will not show warm-up, even with inter-session intervals as long as a month. Together, the modeling and empirical data indicate that strain differences in warm-up are qualitative rather than just the result of differential sensitivity to task variables. Understanding the mechanisms that govern expression of warm-up behavior in avoidance may lead to better understanding of pathological avoidance, and potential pathways to modify these processes. PMID

  2. Classification of autistic individuals and controls using cross-task characterization of fMRI activity.

    PubMed

    Chanel, Guillaume; Pichon, Swann; Conty, Laurence; Berthoz, Sylvie; Chevallier, Coralie; Grèzes, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) has been applied successfully to task-based and resting-based fMRI recordings to investigate which neural markers distinguish individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) from controls. While most studies have focused on brain connectivity during resting state episodes and regions of interest approaches (ROI), a wealth of task-based fMRI datasets have been acquired in these populations in the last decade. This calls for techniques that can leverage information not only from a single dataset, but from several existing datasets that might share some common features and biomarkers. We propose a fully data-driven (voxel-based) approach that we apply to two different fMRI experiments with social stimuli (faces and bodies). The method, based on Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Recursive Feature Elimination (RFE), is first trained for each experiment independently and each output is then combined to obtain a final classification output. Second, this RFE output is used to determine which voxels are most often selected for classification to generate maps of significant discriminative activity. Finally, to further explore the clinical validity of the approach, we correlate phenotypic information with obtained classifier scores. The results reveal good classification accuracy (range between 69% and 92.3%). Moreover, we were able to identify discriminative activity patterns pertaining to the social brain without relying on a priori ROI definitions. Finally, social motivation was the only dimension which correlated with classifier scores, suggesting that it is the main dimension captured by the classifiers. Altogether, we believe that the present RFE method proves to be efficient and may help identifying relevant biomarkers by taking advantage of acquired task-based fMRI datasets in psychiatric populations. PMID:26793434

  3. Classification of autistic individuals and controls using cross-task characterization of fMRI activity

    PubMed Central

    Chanel, Guillaume; Pichon, Swann; Conty, Laurence; Berthoz, Sylvie; Chevallier, Coralie; Grèzes, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) has been applied successfully to task-based and resting-based fMRI recordings to investigate which neural markers distinguish individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) from controls. While most studies have focused on brain connectivity during resting state episodes and regions of interest approaches (ROI), a wealth of task-based fMRI datasets have been acquired in these populations in the last decade. This calls for techniques that can leverage information not only from a single dataset, but from several existing datasets that might share some common features and biomarkers. We propose a fully data-driven (voxel-based) approach that we apply to two different fMRI experiments with social stimuli (faces and bodies). The method, based on Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Recursive Feature Elimination (RFE), is first trained for each experiment independently and each output is then combined to obtain a final classification output. Second, this RFE output is used to determine which voxels are most often selected for classification to generate maps of significant discriminative activity. Finally, to further explore the clinical validity of the approach, we correlate phenotypic information with obtained classifier scores. The results reveal good classification accuracy (range between 69% and 92.3%). Moreover, we were able to identify discriminative activity patterns pertaining to the social brain without relying on a priori ROI definitions. Finally, social motivation was the only dimension which correlated with classifier scores, suggesting that it is the main dimension captured by the classifiers. Altogether, we believe that the present RFE method proves to be efficient and may help identifying relevant biomarkers by taking advantage of acquired task-based fMRI datasets in psychiatric populations. PMID:26793434

  4. Locomotion and task demands differentially modulate thalamic audiovisual processing during active search

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Ross S.; Hancock, Kenneth E.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Polley, Daniel B.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Active search is a ubiquitous goal-driven behavior wherein organisms purposefully investigate the sensory environment to locate a target object. During active search, brain circuits analyze a stream of sensory information from the external environment, adjusting for internal signals related to self-generated movement or “top-down” weighting of anticipated target and distractor properties. Sensory responses in the cortex can be modulated by internal state [1–9], though the extent and form of modulation arising in the cortex de novo versus an inheritance from subcortical stations is not clear [4, 8–12]. We addressed this question by simultaneously recording from auditory and visual regions of the thalamus (MG and LG, respectively) while mice used dynamic auditory or visual feedback to search for a hidden target within an annular track. Locomotion was associated with strongly suppressed responses and reduced decoding accuracy in MG but a subtle increase in LG spiking. Because stimuli in one modality provided critical information about target location while the other served as a distractor, we could also estimate the importance of task relevance in both thalamic subdivisions. In contrast to the effects of locomotion, we found that LG responses were reduced overall yet decoded stimuli more accurately when vision was behaviorally relevant, whereas task relevance had little effect on MG responses. This double dissociation between the influences of task relevance and movement in MG and LG highlights a role for extrasensory modulation in the thalamus but also suggests key differences in the organization of modulatory circuitry between the auditory and visual pathways. PMID:26119749

  5. Uncertainty-dependent activity within the ventral striatum predicts task-related changes in response strategy.

    PubMed

    Buzzell, George A; Roberts, Daniel M; Fedota, John R; Thompson, James C; Parasuraman, Raja; McDonald, Craig G

    2016-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging work has demonstrated that the ventral striatum (VS) encodes confidence in perceptual decisions. However, it remains unclear whether perceptual uncertainty can signal the need to adapt behavior (such as by responding more cautiously) and whether such behavioral changes are related to uncertainty-dependent activity within the VS. Changes in response strategy have previously been observed following errors and are associated with both medial frontal cortex (MFC) and VS, two components of the performance-monitoring network. If uncertainty can elicit changes in response strategy (slowing), then one might hypothesize that these changes rely on the performance-monitoring network. In the present study, we investigated the link between perceptual uncertainty and task-related behavioral adaptations (response slowing and accuracy increases), as well as how such behavioral changes relate to uncertainty-dependent activity within MFC and VS. Our participants performed a two-choice perceptual decision-making task in which perceptual uncertainty was reported on each trial while behavioral and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected. Analysis of the behavioral data revealed that uncertain (but correct) responses led to slowing on subsequent trials, a phenomenon that was positively correlated with increased accuracy. Critically, post-uncertainty slowing was negatively correlated with the VS activity elicited by uncertain responses. In agreement with previous reports, increases in MFC activation were observed for uncertain responses, although MFC activity was not correlated with post-uncertainty slowing. These results suggest that perceptual uncertainty can serve as a signal to adapt one's response strategy and that such behavioral changes are closely tied to the VS, a key node in the performance-monitoring network. PMID:26453582

  6. Functional neuroimaging of avoidance habits in OCD

    PubMed Central

    Gillan, Claire M; Apergis-Schoute, Annemieke M; Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Sule, Akeem; Fineberg, Naomi A; Sahakian, Barbara J; Robbins, Trevor W

    2016-01-01

    Objective The goal of this study was to determine the neural correlates of excessive habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We aimed to (i) test for neurobiological convergence with the known pathophysiology of OCD and (ii) infer, based on abnormalities in brain activation, whether these habits arise from dysfunction in the goal-directed or habit system. Method Thirty-seven OCD patients and 33 controls learned to avoid shocks while undergoing a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan. Following 4 blocks of training, we tested if the avoidance response had become a habit by removing the threat of shock and measuring continued avoidance. We tested for task-related differences in brain activity in 3 ROIs, the caudate, putamen and medial orbitofrontal cortex at a statistical threshold of p<.05, family-wise error (FWE) corrected. Results We observed excessive habit formation in OCD patients, which was associated with hyper-activation in the caudate. Activation in this region was also associated with subjective ratings of increased urge to perform habits. The OCD group, as a whole, showed hyper-activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) during the acquisition of avoidance, however this did not relate directly to habit formation. Conclusions OCD patients exhibited excessive habits that were associated with hyper-activation in a key region implicated in the pathophysiology of OCD, the caudate nucleus. Prior studies suggest that this region is important for goal-directed behavior, suggesting that habit-forming biases in OCD may be a result of impairments in this system, rather than differences in the build up of stimulus-response habits themselves. PMID:25526600

  7. Working memory activation of neural networks in the elderly as a function of information processing phase and task complexity.

    PubMed

    Charroud, Céline; Steffener, Jason; Le Bars, Emmanuelle; Deverdun, Jérémy; Bonafe, Alain; Abdennour, Meriem; Portet, Florence; Molino, François; Stern, Yaakov; Ritchie, Karen; Menjot de Champfleur, Nicolas; Akbaraly, Tasnime N

    2015-11-01

    Changes in working memory are sensitive indicators of both normal and pathological brain aging and associated disability. The present study aims to further understanding of working memory in normal aging using a large cohort of healthy elderly in order to examine three separate phases of information processing in relation to changes in task load activation. Using covariance analysis, increasing and decreasing neural activation was observed on fMRI in response to a delayed item recognition task in 337 cognitively healthy elderly persons as part of the CRESCENDO (Cognitive REServe and Clinical ENDOphenotypes) study. During three phases of the task (stimulation, retention, probe), increased activation was observed with increasing task load in bilateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus, insula and in deep gray matter nuclei, suggesting an involvement of central executive and salience networks. Decreased activation associated with increasing task load was observed during the stimulation phase, in bilateral temporal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus and prefrontal cortex. This spatial distribution of decreased activation is suggestive of the default mode network. These findings support the hypothesis of an increased activation in salience and central executive networks and a decreased activation in default mode network concomitant to increasing task load. PMID:26456114

  8. Summary report for ITER Task -- D4: Activation calculations for the stainless steel ITER design

    SciTech Connect

    Attaya, H.

    1995-02-01

    Detailed activation analysis for ITER has been performed as a part of ITER Task D4. The calculations have been performed for the shielding blanket (SS/water) and for the breeding blanket (LiN) options. The activation code RACC-P, which has been modified under IFER Task-D-10 for pulsed operation, has been used in this analysis. The spatial distributions of the radioactive inventory, decay heat, biological hazard potential, and the contact dose were calculated for the two designs for different operation modes and targeted fluences. A one-dimensional toroidal geometrical model has been utilized to determine the neutron fluxes in the two designs. The results are normalized for an inboard and outboard neutron wall loadings of 0.91 and 1.2 MW/M{sup 2}, respectively. The point-wise distributions of the decay gamma sources have been calculated everywhere in the reactor at several times after the shutdown of the two designs and are then used in the transport code ONEDANT to calculate the biological dose everywhere in the reactor. The point-wise distributions of all the responses have also been calculated. These calculations have been performed for neutron fluences of 3.0 MWa/M{sup 2}, which corresponds to the target fluence of ITER, and 0.1 MWa/M{sup 2}, which is anticipated to correspond to the beginning of an extended maintenance period.

  9. Bilateral motor tasks involve more brain regions and higher neural activation than unilateral tasks: an fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Jeremy W.; Eng, Janice J.; Boyd, Lara A.

    2015-01-01

    Movements that involve simultaneous coordination of muscles of the right and left lower limbs form a large part of our daily activities (e.g., standing, rising from a chair). This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine which brain areas are used to control coordinated lower limb movements, specifically comparing regions that are activated during bilateral exertions to those performed unilaterally. Plantarflexor exertions were produced at a target force level of 15% of the participants’ maximum voluntary contraction, in three conditions, with their right (dominant) foot, with their left foot and with both feet simultaneously. A voxel-wise analysis determined which regions were active in the bilateral, but not in the unilateral conditions. In addition, a regions of interest (ROI) approach was used to determine differences in the percent signal change (PSC) between the conditions within motor areas. The voxel-wise analysis showed a large number of regions (cortical, subcortical and cerebellar) that were active during the bilateral condition, but not during either unilateral condition. The ROI analysis showed several motor regions with higher activation in the bilateral condition than unilateral conditions; further, the magnitude of bilateral PSC was more than the sum of the two unilateral conditions in several of these regions. We postulate that the greater levels of activation during bilateral exertions may arise from interhemispheric inhibition, as well as from the greater need for motor coordination (e.g., synchronizing the two limbs to activate together) and visual processing (e.g., monitoring of two visual stimuli). PMID:24770862

  10. Watching TV news as a memory task -- brain activation and age effects

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Neuroimaging studies which investigate brain activity underlying declarative memory processes typically use artificial, unimodal laboratory stimuli. In contrast, we developed a paradigm which much more closely approximates real-life situations of information encoding. Methods In this study, we tested whether ecologically valid stimuli - clips of a TV news show - are apt to assess memory-related fMRI activation in healthy participants across a wide age range (22-70 years). We contrasted brain responses during natural stimulation (TV news video clips) with a control condition (scrambled versions of the same clips with reversed audio tracks). After scanning, free recall performance was assessed. Results The memory task evoked robust activation of a left-lateralized network, including primarily lateral temporal cortex, frontal cortex, as well as the left hippocampus. Further analyses revealed that - when controlling for performance effects - older age was associated with greater activation of left temporal and right frontal cortex. Conclusion We demonstrate the feasibility of assessing brain activity underlying declarative memory using a natural stimulation paradigm with high ecological validity. The preliminary result of greater brain activation with increasing age might reflect an attempt to compensate for decreasing episodic memory capacity associated with aging. PMID:20738888

  11. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity.

    PubMed

    van der Meij, Roemer; van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  12. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yan-li; Deng, Hong-xia; Xing, Gui-yang; Xia, Xiao-luan; Li, Hai-fang

    2015-01-01

    It is not clear whether the method used in functional brain-network related research can be applied to explore the feature binding mechanism of visual perception. In this study, we investigated feature binding of color and shape in visual perception. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 38 healthy volunteers at rest and while performing a visual perception task to construct brain networks active during resting and task states. Results showed that brain regions involved in visual information processing were obviously activated during the task. The components were partitioned using a greedy algorithm, indicating the visual network existed during the resting state. Z-values in the vision-related brain regions were calculated, confirming the dynamic balance of the brain network. Connectivity between brain regions was determined, and the result showed that occipital and lingual gyri were stable brain regions in the visual system network, the parietal lobe played a very important role in the binding process of color features and shape features, and the fusiform and inferior temporal gyri were crucial for processing color and shape information. Experimental findings indicate that understanding visual feature binding and cognitive processes will help establish computational models of vision, improve image recognition technology, and provide a new theoretical mechanism for feature binding in visual perception. PMID:25883631

  14. Teachers Avoiding Learners' Avoidance: Is It Possible?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tadayyon, Maedeh; Zarrinabadi, Nourollah; Ketabi, Saeed

    2016-01-01

    Dealing with learners who prefer to take the back seat and avoid classroom participation can be every teacher's nightmare. This lack of participation may cause teacher frustration, and possibly the only way to reduce this lack of participation is to access the concept of avoidance strategy. Avoidance strategy is the abandonment of a classroom task…

  15. Dissociating activity in the lateral intraparietal area from value using a visual foraging task

    PubMed Central

    Mirpour, Koorosh; Bisley, James W.

    2012-01-01

    We make decisions about where to look approximately three times per second in normal viewing. It has been suggested that eye movements may be guided by activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), which is thought to represent the relative value of objects in space. However, it is not clear how values for saccade goal selection are prioritized while free-viewing in a cluttered visual environment. To address this question, we compared the neural responses of LIP neurons in two subjects with their saccadic behavior and three estimates of stimulus value. These measures were extracted from the subjects’ performance in a visual foraging task, in which we parametrically controlled the number of objects on the screen. We found that the firing rates of LIP neurons did not correlate well with the animals’ behavior or any of our estimated measures of value. However, if the LIP activity was further normalized, it became highly correlated with the animals’ decisions. These data suggest that LIP activity does not represent value in complex environments, but that the value can easily be extracted with one further step of processing. We propose that activity in LIP represents attentional priority and that the downstream normalization of this activity is an essential process in guiding action. PMID:22670055

  16. Metabolic equivalents of task are confounded by adiposity, which disturbs objective measurement of physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Tompuri, Tuomo T.

    2015-01-01

    Physical activity refers any bodily movements produced by skeletal muscles that expends energy. Hence the amount and the intensity of physical activity can be assessed by energy expenditure. Metabolic equivalents of task (MET) are multiplies of the resting metabolism reflecting metabolic rate during exercise. The standard MET is defined as 3.5 ml/min/kg. However, the expression of energy expenditure by body weight to normalize the size differences between subjects causes analytical hazards: scaling by body weight does not have a physiological, mathematical, or physical rationale. This review demonstrates by examples that false methodology may cause paradoxical observations if physical activity would be assessed by body weight scaled values such as standard METs. While standard METs are confounded by adiposity, lean mass proportional measures of energy expenditure would enable a more truthful choice to assess physical activity. While physical activity as a behavior and cardiorespiratory fitness or adiposity as a state represents major determinants of public health, specific measurements of health determinants must be understood to enable a truthful evaluation of the interactions and their independent role as a health predictor. PMID:26321958

  17. Avoidable waste management costs

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, K.; Burns, M.; Priebe, S.; Robinson, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the activity based costing method used to acquire variable (volume dependent or avoidable) waste management cost data for routine operations at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. Waste volumes from environmental restoration, facility stabilization activities, and legacy waste were specifically excluded from this effort. A core team consisting of Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, and Oak Ridge Reservation developed and piloted the methodology, which can be used to determine avoidable waste management costs. The method developed to gather information was based on activity based costing, which is a common industrial engineering technique. Sites submitted separate flow diagrams that showed the progression of work from activity to activity for each waste type or treatability group. Each activity on a flow diagram was described in a narrative, which detailed the scope of the activity. Labor and material costs based on a unit quantity of waste being processed were then summed to generate a total cost for that flow diagram. Cross-complex values were calculated by determining a weighted average for each waste type or treatability group based on the volume generated. This study will provide DOE and contractors with a better understanding of waste management processes and their associated costs. Other potential benefits include providing cost data for sites to perform consistent cost/benefit analysis of waste minimization and pollution prevention (WMIN/PP) options identified during pollution prevention opportunity assessments and providing a means for prioritizing and allocating limited resources for WMIN/PP.

  18. Prefrontal cortex activity during motor tasks with additional mental load requiring attentional demand: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Mandrick, Kevin; Derosiere, Gérard; Dray, Gérard; Coulon, Denis; Micallef, Jean-Paul; Perrey, Stéphane

    2013-07-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is suitable for investigating cerebral oxygenation changes during motor and/or mental tasks. In the present study, we investigated how an additional mental load during a motor task at two submaximal loadings affects the fNIRS-measured brain activation over the right prefrontal cortex (PFC). Fifteen healthy males performed isometric grasping contractions at 15% and 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with or without an additional mental (i.e., arithmetic) task. Mental performance, force variability, fNIRS and subjective perception responses were measured in each condition. The performance of the mental task decreased significantly while the force variability increased significantly at 30% MVC as compared to 15% MVC, suggesting that performance of dual-task required more attentional resources. PFC activity increased significantly as the effort increased from 15% to 30% MVC (p<.001). Although a larger change in the deoxyhemoglobin was observed in dual-task conditions (p=.051), PFC activity did not change significantly as compared to the motor tasks alone. In summary, participants were unable to invest more attention and effort in performing the more difficult levels in order to maintain adequate mental performance. PMID:23665138

  19. The effects of sleep, wake activity and time-on-task on offline motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Landry, Shane; Anderson, Clare; Conduit, Russell

    2016-01-01

    While intervening sleep promotes the consolidation of memory, it is well established that cognitive interference from competing stimuli can impede memory retention. The current study examined changes in motor skill learning across periods of wakefulness with and without competing stimuli, and periods of sleep with and without disruption from external stimuli. A napping study design was adopted where participants (N=44) either had (1) a 30min nap composed of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, (2) 30min NREM nap fragmented by audio tone induced arousals, (3) 45min of quiet wakefulness, or (4) 45min of active wakefulness. Measures of subjective sleepiness (KSS), alertness (PVT) and motor skill learning (Sequential Finger Tapping Task, SFTT) were completed in the morning and evening to assess performance pre- and post-nap or wakefulness. Following a practice session, change in motor skill performance was measured over a 10min post training rest interval, as well as following a 7h morning to evening interval comprising one of the four study conditions. A significant offline enhancement in motor task performance (13-23%) was observed following 10min of rest in all conditions. Following the long delay with the intervening nap/wake condition, there were no further offline gains or losses in performance in any sleep (uninterrupted/fragmented) or wake (quiet/active) condition. The current findings suggest that after controlling for offline gains in performance that occur after a brief rest and likely to due to the dissipation of fatigue, the subsequent effect of an intervening sleep or wake period on motor skill consolidation is not significant. Consistent with this null result, the impact of disrupting the sleep episode or manipulating activity during intervening wake also appears to be negligible. PMID:26655281

  20. Observations of Children’s Interactions with Teachers, Peers, and Tasks across Preschool Classroom Activity Settings

    PubMed Central

    Booren, Leslie M.; Downer, Jason T.; Vitiello, Virginia E.

    2014-01-01

    This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children’s observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. 145 children were observed for an average of 80 minutes during 8 occasions across 2 days using the inCLASS, an observational measure that conceptualizes behavior into teacher, peer, task, and conflict interactions. Findings indicated that on average children’s interactions with teachers were higher in teacher-structured settings, such as large group. On average, children’s interactions with peers and tasks were more positive in child-directed settings, such as free choice. Children experienced more conflict during recess and routines/transitions. Finally, gender differences were observed within small group and meals. The implications of these findings might encourage teachers to be thoughtful and intentional about what types of support and resources are provided so children can successfully navigate the demands of particular settings. These findings are not meant to discourage certain teacher behaviors or imply value of certain classroom settings; instead, by providing an evidenced-based picture of the conditions under which children display the most positive interactions, teachers can be more aware of choices within these settings and have a powerful way to assist in professional development and interventions. PMID:25717282

  1. Altered patterns of cortical activation in ALS patients during attention and cognitive response inhibition tasks.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, L H; Newsom-Davis, I C; Bryant, V; Brammer, M; Leigh, P N; Simmons, A

    2011-12-01

    Since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be accompanied by executive dysfunction, it is hypothesised that ALS patients will have impaired performance on tests of cognitive inhibition. We predicted that ALS patients would show patterns of abnormal activation in extramotor regions when performing tests requiring the inhibition of prepotent responses (the Stroop effect) and the inhibition of prior negatively primed responses (the negative priming effect) when compared to healthy controls. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure activation during a sparse sequence block design paradigm investigating the Stroop and negative priming effects in 14 ALS patients and 8 healthy age- and IQ-matched controls. Behavioural measures of performance were collected. Both groups' reaction times (RTs) reflected the Stroop effect during scanning. The ALS and control groups did not differ significantly for any of the behavioural measures but did show significant differences in cerebral activation during both tasks. The ALS group showed increased activation predominantly in the left middle temporal gyrus (BA 20/21), left superior temporal gyrus (BA 22) and left anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 32). Neither group's RT data showed clear evidence of a negative priming effect. However the ALS group showed decreased activation, relative to controls, particularly in the left cingulate gyrus (BA 23/24), left precentral gyrus (BA 4/6) and left medial frontal gyrus (BA 6). Greater cerebral activation in the ALS group accompanying the performance of the Stroop effect and areas of decreased activation during the negative priming comparison suggest altered inhibitory processing in ALS, consistent with other evidence of executive dysfunction in ALS. The current findings require further exploration in a larger study. PMID:21556876

  2. Promoting Physical Activity in Hong Kong Chinese Young People: Factors Influencing Their Subjective Task Values and Expectancy Beliefs in Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pang, Bonnie

    2014-01-01

    According to Eccles et al.'s (1983) Expectancy Value Model, the two major constructs that influence young people's activity choice are subjective task value and expectancy beliefs (Eccles et al., 1983). Eccles et al. (1983) conceptually distinguished four dimensions of subjective task value: attainment value, intrinsic value, utility…

  3. Influence of Task Difficulty and Background Music on Working Memory Activity: Developmental Considerations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

    A study of 300 children in kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 6 found that background music improved visual discrimination task performance at the youngest and middle ages and had no effect on the oldest participants. On a square identification task, background music had no influence on easy and difficult tasks but lowered performance on…

  4. Performance of a 6-Degree-of-Freedom Active Microsurgical Manipulator in Handheld Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Sungwook; Wells, Trent S.; MacLachlan, Robert A.; Riviere, Cameron N.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the first experimental results from human users of a new 6-degree-of-freedom handheld micromanipulator. This is the latest prototype of a fully-handheld system, known as “Micron,” which performs active compensation of hand tremor for microsurgery. The manipulator is a miniature Gough-Stewart platform incorporating linear ultrasonic motors that provide a cylindrical workspace 4 mm long and 4 mm wide. In addition, the platform allows the possibility of imposing a remote center of motion for controlling motion not only at the tip but also at the entry point in the sclera of the eye. We demonstrate hand tremor reduction in both static and dynamic micromanipulation tasks on a rubber pad. The handheld performance is also evaluated in an artificial eye model while imposing a remote center of motion. In all cases, hand tremor is significantly reduced. PMID:24111024

  5. Do Cardiovascular Responses to Active and Passive Coping Tasks predict Future Blood Pressure over a 10-Month Later?

    PubMed

    Yuenyongchaiwat, Kornanong; Baker, Ian; Maratos, Frankie; Sheffield, David

    2016-01-01

    The study examined whether cardiovascular responses to active or passive coping tasks and single or multiple tasks predicted changes in resting blood pressure (BP) over a ten-month period. Heart rate (HR), BP, cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were measured at rest, and during mental stress tests (mental arithmetic, speech, and cold pressor tasks). A total of 104 eligible participants participated in the initial study, and 77 (74.04%) normotensive adult participants' resting BP were re-evaluated at ten-month follow-up. Regression analyses indicated that after adjustment for baseline BP, initial age, gender, body mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, and current cigarette smoking, heighted systolic blood pressure (SBP) and HR responses to an active coping task (mental arithmetic) were associated with increased future SBP (ΔR2 = .060, ΔR2 = .045, respectively). Further, aggregated SBP responsivity (over the three tasks) to the predictor models resulted in significant, but smaller increases in ΔR2 accounting for .040 of the variance of follow-up SBP. These findings suggest that cardiovascular responses to active coping tasks predict future SBP. Further, compared with single tasks, the findings revealed that SBP responses to three tasks were less predictive compared to an individual task (i.e., mental arithmetic). Of importance, hemodynamic reactivity (namely CO and TPR) did not predict future BP suggesting that more general psychophysiological processes (e.g., inflammation, platelet aggregation) may be implicated, or that BP, but not hemodynamic reactivity may be a marker of hypertension. PMID:26972632

  6. Differences in time course activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex associated with low or high risk choices in a gambling task

    PubMed Central

    Bembich, Stefano; Clarici, Andrea; Vecchiet, Cristina; Baldassi, Giulio; Cont, Gabriele; Demarini, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex plays an important role in decision making (DM), supporting choices in the ordinary uncertainty of everyday life. To assess DM in an unpredictable situation, a playing card task, such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), has been proposed. This task is supposed to specifically test emotion-based learning, linked to the integrity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has demonstrated a role in IGT performance too. Our aim was to study, by multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy, the contribution of DLPFC to the IGT execution over time. We tested the hypothesis that low and high risk choices would differentially activate DLPFC, as IGT execution progressed. We enrolled 11 healthy adults. To identify DLPFC activation associated with IGT choices, we compared regional differences in oxy-hemoglobin variation, from baseline to the event. The time course of task execution was divided in four periods, each one consisting of 25 choices, and DLPFC activation was distinctly analyzed for low and high risk choices in each period. We found different time courses in DLPFC activation, associated with low or high risk choices. During the first period, a significant DLPFC activation emerged with low risk choices, whereas, during the second period, we found a cortical activation with high risk choices. Then, DLPFC activation decreased to non-significant levels during the third and fourth period. This study shows that DLPFC involvement in IGT execution is differentiated over time and according to choice risk level. DLPFC is activated only in the first half of the task, earlier by low risk and later by high risk choices. We speculate that DLPFC may sustain initial and more cognitive functions, such as attention shifting and response inhibition. The lack of DLPFC activation, as the task progresses, may be due to VMPFC activation, not detectable by fNIRS, which takes over the IGT execution in its second half. PMID

  7. Testing conditions in shock-based contextual fear conditioning influence both the behavioral responses and the activation of circuits potentially involved in contextual avoidance.

    PubMed

    Viellard, Juliette; Baldo, Marcus Vinicius C; Canteras, Newton Sabino

    2016-12-15

    Previous studies from our group have shown that risk assessment behaviors are the primary contextual fear responses to predatory and social threats, whereas freezing is the main contextual fear response to physically harmful events. To test contextual fear responses to a predator or aggressive conspecific threat, we developed a model that involves placing the animal in an apparatus where it can avoid the threat-associated environment. Conversely, in studies that use shock-based fear conditioning, the animals are usually confined inside the conditioning chamber during the contextual fear test. In the present study, we tested shock-based contextual fear responses using two different behavioral testing conditions: confining the animal in the conditioning chamber or placing the animal in an apparatus with free access to the conditioning compartment. Our results showed that during the contextual fear test, the animals confined to the shock chamber exhibited significantly more freezing. In contrast, the animals that could avoid the conditioning compartment displayed almost no freezing and exhibited risk assessment responses (i.e., crouch-sniff and stretch postures) and burying behavior. In addition, the animals that were able to avoid the shock chamber had increased Fos expression in the juxtadorsomedial lateral hypothalamic area, the dorsomedial part of the dorsal premammillary nucleus and the lateral and dorsomedial parts of the periaqueductal gray, which are elements of a septo/hippocampal-hypothalamic-brainstem circuit that is putatively involved in mediating contextual avoidance. Overall, the present findings show that testing conditions significantly influence both behavioral responses and the activation of circuits involved in contextual avoidance. PMID:27544875

  8. Correlation between LIFG and autonomic activation during stressful tasks: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jie; Sakatani, Kaoru; Okamoto, Masako; Yamaguchi, Yui; Zuo, Huan-Cong

    2014-10-01

    It remains unclear whether language tasks in one's first (L1) or second (L2) language can cause stress responses and whether frontal, autonomic and behavioral responses to stressful tasks are correlated. In this study, we studied 22 Chinese subjects whose L2 was English and measured the cerebral blood oxygenation in their frontal lobe by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as participants engaged in a mental arithmetic task (MAT) and verbal fluency tasks (VFTs) in L1 (Chinese) and L2 (English). To examine the activated cortical areas, we estimated the channel location based on Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard brain space by using a probabilistic estimation method. We evaluated heart rate (HR) changes to analyze autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning. We found that the MAT and VFTs induced greater increases in HR than did the control (Ctrl) task. Furthermore, subjects developed greater increases in HR in the MAT and VFTL2 than they did in the VFTL1. Compared with the Ctrl task, the MAT and both VFTL1 and VFTL2 produced robust and widespread bilateral activation of the frontal cortex. Interestingly, partial correlation analysis indicated that the activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) [Brodmann's area (BA) 47] was consistently correlated with the increases in HR across the three tasks (MAT, VFTL2, and VFTL1), after controlling for the performance data. The present results suggested that a VFT in L2 may be more stressful than in L1. The LIFG may affect the activation of the sympathetic system induced by stressful tasks, including MATs and VFTs. PMID:25318875

  9. Beta and gamma oscillatory activities associated with olfactory memory tasks: different rhythms for different functional networks?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Claire; Ravel, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory processing in behaving animals, even at early stages, is inextricable from top down influences associated with odor perception. The anatomy of the olfactory network (olfactory bulb, piriform, and entorhinal cortices) and its unique direct access to the limbic system makes it particularly attractive to study how sensory processing could be modulated by learning and memory. Moreover, olfactory structures have been early reported to exhibit oscillatory population activities easy to capture through local field potential recordings. An attractive hypothesis is that neuronal oscillations would serve to “bind” distant structures to reach a unified and coherent perception. In relation to this hypothesis, we will assess the functional relevance of different types of oscillatory activity observed in the olfactory system of behaving animals. This review will focus primarily on two types of oscillatory activities: beta (15–40 Hz) and gamma (60–100 Hz). While gamma oscillations are dominant in the olfactory system in the absence of odorant, both beta and gamma rhythms have been reported to be modulated depending on the nature of the olfactory task. Studies from the authors of the present review and other groups brought evidence for a link between these oscillations and behavioral changes induced by olfactory learning. However, differences in studies led to divergent interpretations concerning the respective role of these oscillations in olfactory processing. Based on a critical reexamination of those data, we propose hypotheses on the functional involvement of beta and gamma oscillations for odor perception and memory. PMID:25002840

  10. End of the line: Line bisection, an unreliable measure of approach and avoidance motivation.

    PubMed

    Leggett, Nathan C; Thomas, Nicole A; Nicholls, Michael E R

    2016-09-01

    Approach motivation leads to greater left hemisphere activation, whereas an avoidant motivational state activates the right hemisphere. Recent research, which served as the basis for the current experiment, suggests line bisection provides a simple measure of approach/avoidance lateralisation. Findings from Experiment 1 indicated that the landmark task was sensitive enough to identify lateral asymmetries evoked by happy and angry faces; however, follow-up experiments failed to replicate this finding. When task instructions were slightly modified or when a mixed design was used, motivation did not influence landmark task performance. The use of images in lieu of faces also failed to produce a significant effect. Importantly, a straight replication of Experiment 1 produced a null result. Line bisection does not appear to be a suitable measure of lateralised approach/avoidance biases, possibly due to the high individual variability inherent in visuospatial biases. Implications for null hypothesis significance testing are also discussed. PMID:26211805

  11. Individual differences in oscillatory brain activity in response to varying attentional demands during a word recall and oculomotor dual task

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Gusang; Lim, Sanghyun; Kim, Min-Young; Kwon, Hyukchan; Lee, Yong-Ho; Kim, Kiwoong; Lee, Eun-Ju; Suh, Minah

    2015-01-01

    Every day, we face situations that involve multi-tasking. How our brain utilizes cortical resources during multi-tasking is one of many interesting research topics. In this study, we tested whether a dual-task can be differentiated in the neural and behavioral responses of healthy subjects with varying degree of working memory capacity (WMC). We combined word recall and oculomotor tasks because they incorporate common neural networks including the fronto-parietal (FP) network. Three different types of oculomotor tasks (eye fixation, Fix-EM; predictive and random smooth pursuit eye movement, P-SPEM and R-SPEM) were combined with two memory load levels (low-load: five words, high-load: 10 words) for a word recall task. Each of those dual-task combinations was supposed to create varying cognitive loads on the FP network. We hypothesize that each dual-task requires different cognitive strategies for allocating the brain’s limited cortical resources and affects brain oscillation of the FP network. In addition, we hypothesized that groups with different WMC will show differential neural and behavioral responses. We measured oscillatory brain activity with simultaneous MEG and EEG recordings and behavioral performance by word recall. Prominent frontal midline (FM) theta (4–6 Hz) synchronization emerged in the EEG of the high-WMC group experiencing R-SPEM with high-load conditions during the early phase of the word maintenance period. Conversely, significant parietal upper alpha (10–12 Hz) desynchronization was observed in the EEG and MEG of the low-WMC group experiencing P-SPEM under high-load conditions during the same period. Different brain oscillatory patterns seem to depend on each individual’s WMC and varying attentional demands from different dual-task combinations. These findings suggest that specific brain oscillations may reflect different strategies for allocating cortical resources during combined word recall and oculomotor dual-tasks. PMID:26175681

  12. Task-specific stability in muscle activation space during unintentional movements.

    PubMed

    Falaki, Ali; Towhidkhah, Farzad; Zhou, Tao; Latash, Mark L

    2014-11-01

    We used robot-generated perturbations applied during position-holding tasks to explore stability of induced unintentional movements in a multidimensional space of muscle activations. Healthy subjects held the handle of a robot against a constant bias force and were instructed not to interfere with hand movements produced by changes in the external force. Transient force changes were applied leading to handle displacement away from the initial position and then back toward the initial position. Intertrial variance in the space of muscle modes (eigenvectors in the muscle activations space) was quantified within two subspaces, corresponding to unchanged handle coordinate and to changes in the handle coordinate. Most variance was confined to the former subspace in each of the three phases of movement, the initial steady state, the intermediate position, and the final steady state. The same result was found when the changes in muscle activation were analyzed between the initial and final steady states. Changes in the dwell time between the perturbation force application and removal led to different final hand locations undershooting the initial position. The magnitude of the undershot scaled with the dwell time, while the structure of variance in the muscle activation space did not depend on the dwell time. We conclude that stability of the hand coordinate is ensured during both intentional and unintentional actions via similar mechanisms. Relative equifinality in the external space after transient perturbations may be associated with varying states in the redundant space of muscle activations. The results fit a hierarchical scheme for the control of voluntary movements with referent configurations and redundant mapping between the levels of the hierarchy. PMID:25092272

  13. Functional Activation during the Rapid Visual Information Processing Task in a Middle Aged Cohort: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Neale, Chris; Johnston, Patrick; Hughes, Matthew; Scholey, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task, a serial discrimination task where task performance believed to reflect sustained attention capabilities, is widely used in behavioural research and increasingly in neuroimaging studies. To date, functional neuroimaging research into the RVIP has been undertaken using block analyses, reflecting the sustained processing involved in the task, but not necessarily the transient processes associated with individual trial performance. Furthermore, this research has been limited to young cohorts. This study assessed the behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) outcomes of the RVIP task using both block and event-related analyses in a healthy middle aged cohort (mean age = 53.56 years, n = 16). The results show that the version of the RVIP used here is sensitive to changes in attentional demand processes with participants achieving a 43% accuracy hit rate in the experimental task compared with 96% accuracy in the control task. As shown by previous research, the block analysis revealed an increase in activation in a network of frontal, parietal, occipital and cerebellar regions. The event related analysis showed a similar network of activation, seemingly omitting regions involved in the processing of the task (as shown in the block analysis), such as occipital areas and the thalamus, providing an indication of a network of regions involved in correct trial performance. Frontal (superior and inferior frontal gryi), parietal (precuenus, inferior parietal lobe) and cerebellar regions were shown to be active in both the block and event-related analyses, suggesting their importance in sustained attention/vigilance. These networks and the differences between them are discussed in detail, as well as implications for future research in middle aged cohorts. PMID:26488289

  14. Pyrazine analogs are active components of wolf urine that induce avoidance and fear-related behaviors in deer

    PubMed Central

    Osada, Kazumi; Miyazono, Sadaharu; Kashiwayanagi, Makoto

    2014-01-01

    Our previous studies indicated that a cocktail of pyrazine analogs, identified in wolf urine, induced avoidance and fear behaviors in mice. The effects of the pyrazine cocktail on Hokkaido deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis) were investigated in field bioassays at a deer park in Hokkaido, Japan. A set of feeding bioassay trials tested the effects of the pyrazine cocktail odor on the behavior of the deer located around a feeding area in August and September 2013. This odor effectively suppressed the approach of the deer to the feeding area. In addition, the pyrazine cocktail odor provoked fear-related behaviors, such as “tail-flag”, “flight” and “jump” actions, of the deer around the feeding area. This study is the first experimental demonstration that the pyrazine analogs in wolf urine have robust and continual fearful aversive effects on ungulates as well as mice. The pyrazine cocktail might be suitable for a chemical repellent that could limit damage to forests and agricultural crops by wild ungulates. PMID:25177281

  15. Error-related brain activation during a Go/NoGo response inhibition task.

    PubMed

    Menon, V; Adleman, N E; White, C D; Glover, G H; Reiss, A L

    2001-03-01

    Inhibitory control and performance monitoring are critical executive functions of the human brain. Lesion and imaging studies have shown that the inferior frontal cortex plays an important role in inhibition of inappropriate response. In contrast, specific brain areas involved in error processing and their relation to those implicated in inhibitory control processes are unknown. In this study, we used a random effects model to investigate error-related brain activity associated with failure to inhibit response during a Go/NoGo task. Error-related brain activation was observed in the rostral aspect of the right anterior cingulate (BA 24/32) and adjoining medial prefrontal cortex, the left and right insular cortex and adjoining frontal operculum (BA 47) and left precuneus/posterior cingulate (BA 7/31/29). Brain activation related to response inhibition and competition was observed bilaterally in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9/46), pars triangularis region of the inferior frontal cortex (BA 45/47), premotor cortex (BA 6), inferior parietal lobule (BA 39), lingual gyrus and the caudate, as well as in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24). These findings provide evidence for a distributed error processing system in the human brain that overlaps partially, but not completely, with brain regions involved in response inhibition and competition. In particular, the rostal anterior cingulate and posterior cingulate/precuneus as well as the left and right anterior insular cortex were activated only during error processing, but not during response competition, inhibition, selection, or execution. Our results also suggest that the brain regions involved in the error processing system overlap with brain areas implicated in the formulation and execution of articulatory plans. PMID:11170305

  16. Activation of the dentate nucleus in a verb generation task: A 7T MRI study.

    PubMed

    Thürling, M; Küper, M; Stefanescu, R; Maderwald, S; Gizewski, E R; Ladd, M E; Timmann, D

    2011-08-01

    There is increasing evidence of a topographic organization within the human cerebellar cortex for motor and non-motor functions. Likewise, a subdivision of the dentate nucleus in a more dorsal and rostral motor domain and a more ventral and caudal non-motor domain has been proposed by Dum and Strick (2003) based on anatomical studies in monkey. In humans, however, very little is known about topographic organization within the dentate nucleus. Activation of the dentate nucleus in a verb generation task was examined in young and healthy subjects using ultra-highfield 7T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with its increase in signal-to-noise ratio. Data of 17 subjects were included in statistical analysis. Subjects were asked to (i) read words (nouns) aloud presented on a screen, (ii) silently read the same nouns, (iii) silently generate the appropriate verbs to the same nouns and (iv) to silently repeat the names of the months. A block design was used. For image processing, a recently developed region of interest (ROI) driven normalization method of the dentate nuclei was applied. Activation related to motor speech (contrast aloud reading minus silent reading) was strongest in the rostral parts of the dentate nucleus. Dorsorostral activations were present bilaterally. Activation related to verb generation (contrast verb generation minus silent reading) was found in the ventrocaudal parts of the dentate nucleus on the right. The present findings are in good accordance with the anatomical data in monkeys and suggest that the human dentate nucleus can be subdivided into a rostral and more dorsal motor domain and a ventrocaudal non-motor domain. PMID:21640191

  17. An electromyographic study of strength and upper extremity muscle activity in simulated meat cutting tasks.

    PubMed

    Grant, K A; Habes, D J

    1997-04-01

    Meat cutting has long been associated with a high incidence rate of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. This study examined upper extremity muscle activities and force exertion capabilities to identify postures which have potential for causing overexertion injuries. Fifteen subjects exerted force against a handle in postures similar to those observed in the meatpacking industry. Exertion level, direction of exertion, handle height, reach distance and grip type were varied. Activity in the posterior deltoid, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, extensor digitorum and flexor digitorum superficialis was monitored via surface electromyography (EMG). The ratio of normalized EMG activity to force produced during the exertion was computed for each muscle under each condition. The results showed that handle position had a significant effect on force exertion capability and the EMG/force ratio in all muscles. Force exertion capability was maximized, and the EMG/force ratio was generally minimized when participants pulled downward on a handle positioned at full arm's reach above the shoulder. For vertical cuts, force decreased and muscle activity generally increased as the handle height was lowered. For horizontal cuts, the full reach distance tended to allow greater force exertion with lower EMG/force ratios. The stab grip also tended to be associated with higher forces and lower EMG/force ratios than the slice grip. This study supports the premise that musculoskeletal stresses in meatpacking tasks can be altered through tool and workstation redesign. The data provided herein may be useful in selecting design modifications that reduce biomechanical stress on the upper extremities. PMID:9414348

  18. Spatiotemporal activity patterns of rat cortical neurons predict responses in a conditioned task

    PubMed Central

    Villa, Alessandro E. P.; Tetko, Igor V.; Hyland, Brian; Najem, Abdellatif

    1999-01-01

    Precise and repeated spike-train timings within and across neurons define spatiotemporal patterns of activity. Although the existence of these patterns in the brain is well established in several species, there has been no direct evidence of their influence on behavioral output. To address this question, up to 15 neurons were recorded simultaneously in the auditory cortex of freely moving rats while animals waited for acoustic cues in a Go/NoGo task. A total of 235 significant patterns were detected during this interval from an analysis of 13 hr of recording involving over 1 million spikes. Of particular interest were 129 (55%) patterns that were significantly associated with the type of response the animal made later, independent of whether the response was that prompted by the cue because the response occurred later and the cue was chosen randomly. Of these behavior-predicting patterns, half (59/129) were associated with an enhanced tendency to go in response to the stimulus, and for 11 patterns of this subset, trials including the pattern were followed by significantly faster reaction time than those lacking the pattern. The remaining behavior-predicting patterns were associated with an enhanced NoGo tendency. Overall mean discharge rates did not vary across trials. Hence, these data demonstrate that particular spatiotemporal patterns predict future behavioral responses. Such presignal activity could form templates for extracting specific sensory information, motor programs prespecifying preference for a particular act, and/or some intermediate, associative brain process. PMID:9927701

  19. Activation and tremor of the shoulder muscles to the demands of an archery task.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jiu-Jenq; Hung, Cheng-Ju; Yang, Ching-Ching; Chen, Hsing-Yu; Chou, Feng-Ching; Lu, Tung-Wu

    2010-02-01

    Physiological tremor and strength during the maintenance of shoulder position occur during a precision aiming task, such as archery. It is unclear how positions for precision demands affect physiological tremor and associated muscular activities. The purpose of this study was to assess the tremor amplitude and muscular activities of the shoulder between the various positions for precision demands. Ten males (age 21.9 +/- 2.0 years) participated in the study. Electromyography (EMG) was quantified on eight humeral/scapular muscles. The tremor was measured by the acceleration component of a motion tracking sensor in the 3-7 Hz and 8-12 Hz frequency bands. Participants simulated six preparatory archery shooting positions (3 arm angles x 2 arm draw positions) and performed isometric contractions. The relative root mean square (RMS) amplitudes of the shoulder muscles were significantly greater for the full drawing position compared with the partial position (humeral muscles: P = 0.011; scapular muscles: P = 0.026). In the full drawing position, increased humeral/scapular muscle EMG amplitude was moderately associated with an increased power spectrum of 8-12/3-7 Hz tremor in humerus/scapula motion (R = 0.43-0.57). To minimize fluctuations in high strength muscle performance, 90 degrees of elevation in the full drawing position may be a suitable position for demands in archery. In addition, scapular muscle amplitude is important for stability to reduce humerus tremor during archery performance. PMID:20432134

  20. Passive avoidence learning in the young rat.

    PubMed

    Blozovski, D; Cudennec, A

    1980-09-01

    A step-through locomotor passive avoidance task is described requiring the suppression of a spontaneous escape reaction from a cool toward a warm compartment in order to avoid an electric shock delivered in the warm side. We observed no lerning of this task at 9 days of age, a very low but significant level of acquisition at 11 days, a slow but progressive improvement of avoidance from the 13th until the 17th day when the adult capacity was achieved, and a marked increase in the rate between 17-20 days. PMID:7409331

  1. Lateralization of cervical spinal cord activity during an isometric upper extremity motor task with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kenneth A; Chen, Yufen; Wang, Xue; Kahnt, Thorsten; Parrish, Todd B

    2016-01-15

    The purpose of this study was to use an isometric upper extremity motor task to detect activity induced blood oxygen level dependent signal changes in the cervical spinal cord with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Eleven healthy volunteers performed six 5minute runs of an alternating left- and right-sided isometric wrist flexion task, during which images of the cervical spinal cord were acquired with a reduced field-of-view T2*-weighted gradient-echo echo-planar-imaging sequence. Spatial normalization to a standard spinal cord template was performed, and group average activation maps were generated in a mixed-effects analysis. The task activity significantly exceeded that of the control analyses. The activity was lateralized to the hemicord ipsilateral to the task and reliable across the runs at the group and subject level. Finally, a multi-voxel pattern analysis was able to successfully decode the left and right tasks at the C6 and C7 vertebral levels. PMID:26488256

  2. A preliminary fMRI study of a novel self-paced written fluency task: observation of left-hemispheric activation, and increased frontal activation in late vs. early task phases

    PubMed Central

    Golestanirad, Laleh; Das, Sunit; Schweizer, Tom A.; Graham, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Neuropsychological tests of verbal fluency are very widely used to characterize impaired cognitive function. For clinical neuroscience studies and potential medical applications, measuring the brain activity that underlies such tests with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is of significant interest—but a challenging proposition because overt speech can cause signal artifacts, which tend to worsen as the duration of speech tasks becomes longer. In a novel approach, we present the group brain activity of 12 subjects who performed a self-paced written version of phonemic fluency using fMRI-compatible tablet technology that recorded responses and provided task-related feedback on a projection screen display, over long-duration task blocks (60 s). As predicted, we observed robust activation in the left anterior inferior and medial frontal gyri, consistent with previously reported results of verbal fluency tasks which established the role of these areas in strategic word retrieval. In addition, the number of words produced in the late phase (last 30 s) of written phonemic fluency was significantly less (p < 0.05) than the number produced in the early phase (first 30 s). Activation during the late phase vs. the early phase was also assessed from the first 20 s and last 20 s of task performance, which eliminated the possibility that the sluggish hemodynamic response from the early phase would affect the activation estimates of the late phase. The last 20 s produced greater activation maps covering extended areas in bilateral precuneus, cuneus, middle temporal gyrus, insula, middle frontal gyrus and cingulate gyrus. Among these areas, greater activation was observed in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area BA 9) and cingulate gyrus (BA 24, 32) likely as part of the initiation, maintenance, and shifting of attentional resources. Consistent with previous pertinent fMRI literature involving overt and covert verbal responses, these findings highlight

  3. Impaired hippocampal activity at the goal zone on the place preference task in a DISC1 mouse model.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yuichiro; Sawa, Akira; Hikida, Takatoshi

    2016-05-01

    Learning deficit is a clinical feature of many mental disorders and is hypothesized to result from an inability to integrate information in neural systems. We showed that transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative form of DISC1, a risk gene for neuropsychiatric disorders, exhibited impaired performance in a reward-place association task when combined with a mild isolation stress. CA1 cells in the mutant mice showed normal place cell properties, but their activity at the goal zone was diminished. This abnormality in hippocampal activity at the goal zone during the task may underlie the learning deficit observed in the DISC1 mutant mice. PMID:26497623

  4. The activation and blockage of CRF type 2 receptors of the medial amygdala alter elevated T-maze inhibitory avoidance, an anxiety-related response.

    PubMed

    Alves, Stephanie W E; Portela, Natasha C; Silva, Mariana S; Céspedes, Isabel C; Bittencourt, Jackson C; Viana, Milena B

    2016-05-15

    Previous results show that the activation of CRF type 1 (CRFR1) receptors of the medial amygdala (MeA) induces anxiogenic-like effects. The present study investigates the role played by medial amygdala CRF type 2 receptors (CRFR2) in the modulation of anxiety and panic-related responses. Male Wistar rats were administered into the MeA with the CRFR2 agonist urocortin 2 (0.5 e 1.0μg/0.2μl, experiment 1) or with the CRFR2 antagonist astressin 2-B (60ng/0.2μl, experiment 2) and 10min later tested in the elevated T-maze (ETM) for inhibitory avoidance and escape measurements. In clinical terms, these responses have been respectively related to generalized anxiety and panic disorder. In a third experiment, the effects of the combined treatment with urocortin 2 (1.0μg/0.2μl) and a sub-effective dose of astressin 2-B (30ng/0.2μl) were also investigated. All animals were tested in an open field, immediately after the ETM, for locomotor activity assessment. Results showed that urocortin 2, in the highest dose administered (1.0μg/0.2μl), facilitated ETM avoidance, an anxiogenic-like effect. Astressin 2-B, also in the highest dose (60ng/0.2μl), significantly decreased avoidance latencies, an anxiolytic-like effect. The lower dose of astressin 2-B (30ng/0.2μl) did not induce anxiolytic-like effects but was able to counteract the anxiogenic-like effects of urocortin 2. None of the compounds administered altered escape responses or locomotor activity measurements. These results suggest that CRFR2 in the medial amygdala, as CRFR1, selectively modulate an anxiety-related response. PMID:26965566

  5. Brain Activity toward Gaming-Related Cues in Internet Gaming Disorder during an Addiction Stroop Task

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yifen; Lin, Xiao; Zhou, Hongli; Xu, Jiaojing; Du, Xiaoxia; Dong, Guangheng

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Attentional bias for drug-related stimuli is a key characteristic for drug addiction. Characterizing the relationship between attentional bias and brain reactivity to Internet gaming-related stimuli may help in identifying the neural substrates that critical to Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Methods: 19 IGD and 21 healthy control (HC) subjects were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they were performing an addiction Stroop task. Results: Compared with HC group, IGD subjects showed higher activations when facing Internet gaming-related stimuli in regions including the inferior parietal lobule, the middle occipital gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These brain areas were thought to be involved in selective attention, visual processing, working memory and cognitive control. Discussion and Conclusions: The results demonstrated that compared with HC group, IGD subjects show impairment in both visual and cognitive control ability while dealing with gaming-related words. This finding might be helpful in understanding the underlying neural basis of IGD. PMID:27242623

  6. Oscillatory brain activity in vegetative and minimally conscious state during a sentence comprehension task.

    PubMed

    Schabus, Manuel; Pelikan, Christoph; Chwala-Schlegel, Nicole; Weilhart, Katharina; Roehm, Dietmar; Donis, Johann; Michitsch, Gabriele; Pichler, Gerald; Klimesch, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Patients with altered states of consciousness continue to constitute a major challenge in terms of clinical assessment, treatment and daily management. Furthermore, the exploration of brain function in severely brain-damaged patients represents a unique lesional approach to the scientific study of consciousness. Electroencephalography is one means of identifying covert behaviour in the absence of motor activity in these critically ill patients. Here we focus on a language processing task which assesses whether vegetative (n=10) and minimally conscious state patients (n=4) (vs control subjects, n=14) understand semantic information on a sentence level ("The opposite of black is... white/yellow/nice"). Results indicate that only MCS but not VS patients show differential processing of unrelated ("nice") and antonym ("white") words in the form of parietal alpha (10-12Hz) event-related synchronization and desynchronization (ERS/ERD), respectively. Controls show a more typical pattern, characterized by alpha ERD in response to unrelated words and alpha ERS in response to antonyms. PMID:21693086

  7. Synchronous activity of two people's prefrontal cortices during a cooperative task measured by simultaneous near-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funane, Tsukasa; Kiguchi, Masashi; Atsumori, Hirokazu; Sato, Hiroki; Kubota, Kisou; Koizumi, Hideaki

    2011-07-01

    The brain activity during cooperation as a form of social process is studied. We investigate the relationship between coinstantaneous brain-activation signals of multiple participants and their cooperative-task performance. A wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system is used for simultaneously measuring the brain activities of two participants. Each pair of participants perform a cooperative task, and their relative changes in cerebral blood are measured with the NIRS system. As for the task, the participants are told to count 10 s in their mind after an auditory cue and press a button. They are also told to adjust the timing of their button presses to make them as synchronized as possible. Certain information, namely, the ``intertime interval'' between the two button presses of each participant pair and which of the participants was the faster, is fed back to the participants by a beep sound after each trial. When the spatiotemporal covariance between the activation patterns of the prefrontal cortices of each participant is higher, the intertime interval between their button-press times was shorter. This result suggests that the synchronized activation patterns of the two participants' brains are associated with their performance when they interact in a cooperative task.

  8. Comparison of functional magnetic resonance imaging in cerebral activation between normal Uygur and Mandarin participants in semantic identification task

    PubMed Central

    Xi, Yan-Ling; Tian, Qing; Tuerxun, Tuerhong; Kaheman, Kuerbannaimu; Jiang, Chun-Hui; Huang, Hai-Xia; Wang, Bao-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study utilized blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) technology to study the activated cerebral regions in normal participants whose native language was Uyghur or Chinese. Methods: We collected the fMRI data from 15 Uyghur-speaking volunteers and 15 Mandarin-speaking volunteers when executing the semantic identification task and compared the results of two groups. Results: Statistically significant difference of brain activation was found primarily in the left anterior cingulate gyrus (BA23) and the midline precuneus (P<0.05). When performing the semantic identification task, the Uyghur group exhibited significant activation in these two regions, whereas the Chinese group demonstrated relatively weak activation in these areas. Conclusion: The cerebral regions activated by Uyghur and Chinese semantic identification are not identical, the dominant hemisphere for both languages is the left cerebral hemisphere. The left anterior cingulate gyrus might have a language function in Uyghur semantic processing. PMID:26550318

  9. Unpredictable chronic stress decreases inhibitory avoidance learning in Tuebingen long-fin zebrafish: stronger effects in the resting phase than in the active phase.

    PubMed

    Manuel, Remy; Gorissen, Marnix; Zethof, Jan; Ebbesson, Lars O E; van de Vis, Hans; Flik, Gert; van den Bos, Ruud

    2014-11-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio Hamilton) are increasingly used as a model to study the effects of chronic stress on brain and behaviour. In rodents, unpredictable chronic stress (UCS) has a stronger effect on physiology and behaviour during the active phase than during the resting phase. Here, we applied UCS during the daytime (active phase) for 7 and 14 days or during the night-time (resting phase) for 7 nights in an in-house-reared Tuebingen long-fin (TLF) zebrafish strain. Following UCS, inhibitory avoidance learning was assessed using a 3 day protocol where fish learn to avoid swimming from a white to a black compartment where they will receive a 3 V shock. Latencies of entering the black compartment were recorded before training (day 1; first shock) and after training on day 2 (second shock) and day 3 (no shock, tissue sampling). Fish whole-body cortisol content and expression levels of genes related to stress, fear and anxiety in the telencephalon were quantified. Following 14 days of UCS during the day, inhibitory avoidance learning decreased (lower latencies on days 2 and 3); minor effects were found following 7 days of UCS. Following 7 nights of UCS, inhibitory avoidance learning decreased (lower latency on day 3). Whole-body cortisol levels showed a steady increase compared with controls (100%) from 7 days of UCS (139%), to 14 days of UCS (174%) to 7 nights of UCS (231%), suggestive of an increasing stress load. Only in the 7 nights of UCS group did expression levels of corticoid receptor genes (mr, grα, grβ) and of bdnf increase. These changes are discussed as adaptive mechanisms to maintain neuronal integrity and prevent overload, and as being indicative of a state of high stress load. Overall, our data suggest that stressors during the resting phase have a stronger impact than during the active phase. Our data warrant further studies on the effect of UCS on stress axis-related genes, especially grβ; in mammals this receptor has been implicated in

  10. Spatial cognition following early-life seizures in rats: Performance deficits are dependent on task demands.

    PubMed

    Barry, Jeremy M; Tian, Chengju; Spinella, Anthony; Page, Matias; Holmes, Gregory L

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is a common comorbidity in childhood epilepsy. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that frequent seizures during the first weeks of life result in impaired spatial cognition when the rats are tested as juvenile or adults. To determine if spatial cognitive deficits following early-life seizures are task-specific or similar across spatial tasks, we compared the effects of early-life seizures in two spatial assays: 1) the Morris water maze, a hippocampal-dependent task of spatial cognition and 2) the active avoidance task, a task that associates an aversive shock stimulus with a static spatial location that requires intact hippocampal-amygdala networks. Rats with early-life seizures tested as adults did not differ from control rats in the water maze. However, while animals with early-life seizures showed some evidence of learning the active avoidance task, they received significantly more shocks in later training trials, particularly during the second training day, than controls. One possibility for the performance differences between the tasks is that the active avoidance task requires multiple brain regions and that interregional communication could be affected by alterations in white matter integrity. However, there were no measurable group differences with regard to levels of myelination. The study suggests that elucidation of mild cognitive deficits seen following early-life seizures may be dependent on task features of active avoidance. PMID:27152463

  11. ITI-Signals and Prelimbic Cortex Facilitate Avoidance Acquisition and Reduce Avoidance Latencies, Respectively, in Male WKY Rats

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Kevin D.; Jiao, Xilu; Smith, Ian M.; Myers, Catherine E.; Pang, Kevin C. H.; Servatius, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    As a model of anxiety disorder vulnerability, male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats acquire lever-press avoidance behavior more readily than outbred Sprague-Dawley rats, and their acquisition is enhanced by the presence of a discrete signal presented during the inter-trial intervals (ITIs), suggesting that it is perceived as a safety signal. A series of experiments were conducted to determine if this is the case. Additional experiments investigated if the avoidance facilitation relies upon processing through medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The results suggest that the ITI-signal facilitates acquisition during the early stages of the avoidance acquisition process, when the rats are initially acquiring escape behavior and then transitioning to avoidance behavior. Post-avoidance introduction of the visual ITI-signal into other associative learning tasks failed to confirm that the visual stimulus had acquired the properties of a conditioned inhibitor. Shortening the signal from the entirety of the 3 min ITI to only the first 5 s of the 3 min ITI slowed acquisition during the first four sessions, suggesting the flashing light (FL) is not functioning as a feedback signal. The prelimbic (PL) cortex showed greater activation during the period of training when the transition from escape responding to avoidance responding occurs. Only combined PL + infralimbic cortex lesions modestly slowed avoidance acquisition, but PL-cortex lesions slowed avoidance response latencies. Thus, the FL ITI-signal is not likely perceived as a safety signal nor is it serving as a feedback signal. The functional role of the PL-cortex appears to be to increase the drive toward responding to the threat of the warning signal. Hence, avoidance susceptibility displayed by male WKY rats may be driven, in part, both by external stimuli (ITI signal) as well as by enhanced threat recognition to the warning signal via the PL cortex. PMID:25484860

  12. Differences in cortical activity between methamphetamine-dependent and healthy individuals performing a facial affect matching task.

    PubMed

    Payer, Doris E; Lieberman, Matthew D; Monterosso, John R; Xu, Jiansong; Fong, Timothy W; London, Edythe D

    2008-01-11

    As individuals who abuse methamphetamine (MA) often exhibit socially maladaptive behaviors such as violence and aggression, it is possible that they respond abnormally to social cues. To investigate this issue, we exposed 12 MA-dependent participants (abstinent 5-16 days) and 12 healthy comparison participants to fearful and angry faces while they performed an affect matching task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Although the groups did not differ in task performance, the healthy participants showed more task-related activity than the MA-dependent participants in a set of cortical regions consisting of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), temporoparietal junction (TPJ), anterior and posterior temporal cortex, and fusiform gyrus in the right hemisphere, and the cuneus in the left hemisphere. In contrast, the MA-dependent participants showed more task-related activity than the healthy participants in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). As expected, the task elicited activation of the amygdala in both groups; however, contrary to expectation, we found no difference between groups in this activation. Dorsal ACC hyperactivity, along with high self-ratings of hostility and interpersonal sensitivity in the MA-dependent group, suggest a hyper-sensitivity to socially threatening cues in the MA-dependent participants, while lower VLPFC activation could point to a deficit in integrating socio-emotional information and/or regulating this limbic hyperactivity. Additional activation differences in neural circuitry related to social cognition (TPJ, anterior, and posterior temporal cortex) suggest further socio-emotional deficits. Together, the results point to cortical abnormalities that could underlie the socially inappropriate behaviors often shown by individuals who abuse MA. PMID:17964741

  13. Active Tasks to Change the Use of Class Time within an Outcomes Based Approach to Curriculum Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salter, Diane; Pang, Marco Y. C.; Sharma, Piyush

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes how new roles for instructors and learners can be integrated into course design and delivery by rethinking course design as part of a process-based staff development program. The goal of incorporating online learning tasks was to engage students with course resources prior to class time through active learning. The staff…

  14. Comparison of brain activation patterns during executive function tasks in hoarding disorder and non-hoarding OCD.

    PubMed

    Hough, Christina M; Luks, Tracy L; Lai, Karen; Vigil, Ofilio; Guillory, Sylvia; Nongpiur, Arvind; Fekri, Shiva M; Kupferman, Eve; Mathalon, Daniel H; Mathews, Carol A

    2016-09-30

    We examined differences in regional brain activation during tests of executive function in individuals with Hoarding Disorder (HD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and healthy controls (HC) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop and Go/No-Go task. We found that during the conflict monitoring and response inhibition condition in the Go/No-Go task, individuals with HD had significantly greater activity than controls in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). HD also exhibited significantly greater right DLPFC activity than OCD. We also observed significant differences in activity between HD and HC and between HD and OCD in regions (ACC, anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and striatum) involved in evaluating stimulus-response-reward associations, or the personal and task-relevant value of stimuli and behavioral responses to stimuli. These results support the hypothesis that individuals with HD have difficulty deciding on the value or task relevance of stimuli, and may perceive an abnormally high risk of negative feedback for difficult or erroneous cognitive behavior. PMID:27522332

  15. Brain Activity in Adults Who Stutter: Similarities across Speaking Tasks and Correlations with Stuttering Frequency and Speaking Rate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ingham, Roger J.; Grafton, Scott T.; Bothe, Anne K.; Ingham, Janis C.

    2012-01-01

    Many differences in brain activity have been reported between persons who stutter (PWS) and typically fluent controls during oral reading tasks. An earlier meta-analysis of imaging studies identified stutter-related regions, but recent studies report less agreement with those regions. A PET study on adult dextral PWS (n = 18) and matched fluent…

  16. On the Need of Objective Vigilance Monitoring: Effects of Sleep Loss on Target Detection and Task-Negative Activity Using Combined EEG/fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Czisch, Michael; Wehrle, Renate; Harsay, Helga A.; Wetter, Thomas C.; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G.; Drummond, Sean P. A.

    2012-01-01

    Sleep loss affects attention by reducing levels of arousal and alertness. The neural mechanisms underlying the compensatory efforts of the brain to maintain attention and performance after sleep deprivation (SD) are not fully understood. Previous neuroimaging studies of SD have not been able to separate the effects of reduced arousal from the effects of SD on cerebral responses to cognitive challenges. Here, we used a simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to study the effects of 36 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Specifically, we focused on changes in selective attention processes as induced by an active acoustic oddball task, with the ability to isolate runs with objective EEG signs of high (SDalert) or reduced (SDsleepy) vigilance. In the SDalert condition, oddball task-related activity appears to be sustained by compensatory co-activation of insular regions, but task-negative activity in the right posterior node of the default mode network is altered following TSD. In the SDsleepy condition, oddball task-positive activity was massively impaired, but task-negative activation was showing levels comparable with the control condition after a well-rested night. Our results suggest that loss of strict negative correlation between oddball task-positive and task-negative activation reflects the effects of TSD, while the actual state of vigilance during task performance can affects either task-related or task-negative activity, depending on the exact vigilance level. PMID:22557992

  17. On the Need of Objective Vigilance Monitoring: Effects of Sleep Loss on Target Detection and Task-Negative Activity Using Combined EEG/fMRI.

    PubMed

    Czisch, Michael; Wehrle, Renate; Harsay, Helga A; Wetter, Thomas C; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G; Drummond, Sean P A

    2012-01-01

    Sleep loss affects attention by reducing levels of arousal and alertness. The neural mechanisms underlying the compensatory efforts of the brain to maintain attention and performance after sleep deprivation (SD) are not fully understood. Previous neuroimaging studies of SD have not been able to separate the effects of reduced arousal from the effects of SD on cerebral responses to cognitive challenges. Here, we used a simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to study the effects of 36 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Specifically, we focused on changes in selective attention processes as induced by an active acoustic oddball task, with the ability to isolate runs with objective EEG signs of high (SD(alert)) or reduced (SD(sleepy)) vigilance. In the SD(alert) condition, oddball task-related activity appears to be sustained by compensatory co-activation of insular regions, but task-negative activity in the right posterior node of the default mode network is altered following TSD. In the SD(sleepy) condition, oddball task-positive activity was massively impaired, but task-negative activation was showing levels comparable with the control condition after a well-rested night. Our results suggest that loss of strict negative correlation between oddball task-positive and task-negative activation reflects the effects of TSD, while the actual state of vigilance during task performance can affects either task-related or task-negative activity, depending on the exact vigilance level. PMID:22557992

  18. Control processes through the suppression of the automatic response activation triggered by task-irrelevant information in the Simon-type tasks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanga; Lee, Sang Ho; Cho, Yang Seok

    2015-11-01

    The congruency sequence effect, one of the indices of cognitive control, refers to a smaller congruency effect after an incongruent than congruent trial. Although the effect has been found across a variety of conflict tasks, there is not yet agreement on the underlying mechanism. The present study investigated the mechanism underlying cognitive control by using a cross-task paradigm. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, participants performed a modified Simon task and a spatial Stroop task alternately in a trial-by-trial manner. The task-irrelevant dimension of the two tasks was perceptually and conceptually identical in Experiment 1, whereas it was perceptually different but conceptually identical in Experiment 2. The response sets for both tasks were different in Experiment 3. In Experiment 4, participants performed two Simon tasks with different task-relevant dimensions. In all experiments in which the task-irrelevant dimension and response mode were shared, significant congruency sequence effects were found between the two different congruencies, indicating that Simon-type conflicts were resolved by a control mechanism, which is specific to an abstract task-irrelevant stimulus spatial dimension. PMID:26479902

  19. Brain activation during dual-task processing is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and performance in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Chelsea N.; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Voss, Michelle W.; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Basak, Chandramallika; Erickson, Kirk I.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Szabo-Reed, Amanda N.; Phillips, Siobhan M.; Wojcicki, Thomas; Mailey, Emily L.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2015-01-01

    Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with better cognitive performance and enhanced brain activation. Yet, the extent to which cardiorespiratory fitness-related brain activation is associated with better cognitive performance is not well understood. In this cross-sectional study, we examined whether the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and executive function was mediated by greater prefrontal cortex activation in healthy older adults. Brain activation was measured during dual-task performance with functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 128 healthy older adults (59–80 years). Higher cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with greater activation during dual-task processing in several brain areas including the anterior cingulate and supplementary motor cortex (ACC/SMA), thalamus and basal ganglia, right motor/somatosensory cortex and middle frontal gyrus, and left somatosensory cortex, controlling for age, sex, education, and gray matter volume. Of these regions, greater ACC/SMA activation mediated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and dual-task performance. We provide novel evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness may support cognitive performance by facilitating brain activation in a core region critical for executive function. PMID:26321949

  20. Prefrontal Cortex Activation Upon a Demanding Virtual Hand-Controlled Task: A New Frontier for Neuroergonomics.

    PubMed

    Carrieri, Marika; Petracca, Andrea; Lancia, Stefania; Basso Moro, Sara; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive vascular-based functional neuroimaging technology that can assess, simultaneously from multiple cortical areas, concentration changes in oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin at the level of the cortical microcirculation blood vessels. fNIRS, with its high degree of ecological validity and its very limited requirement of physical constraints to subjects, could represent a valid tool for monitoring cortical responses in the research field of neuroergonomics. In virtual reality (VR) real situations can be replicated with greater control than those obtainable in the real world. Therefore, VR is the ideal setting where studies about neuroergonomics applications can be performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate, by a 20-channel fNIRS system, the dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) in subjects while performing a demanding VR hand-controlled task (HCT). Considering the complexity of the HCT, its execution should require the attentional resources allocation and the integration of different executive functions. The HCT simulates the interaction with a real, remotely-driven, system operating in a critical environment. The hand movements were captured by a high spatial and temporal resolution 3-dimensional (3D) hand-sensing device, the LEAP motion controller, a gesture-based control interface that could be used in VR for tele-operated applications. Fifteen University students were asked to guide, with their right hand/forearm, a virtual ball (VB) over a virtual route (VROU) reproducing a 42 m narrow road including some critical points. The subjects tried to travel as long as possible without making VB fall. The distance traveled by the guided VB was 70.2 ± 37.2 m. The less skilled subjects failed several times in guiding the VB over the VROU. Nevertheless, a bilateral VLPFC activation, in response to the HCT execution, was observed in all the subjects. No correlation was found

  1. Prefrontal Cortex Activation Upon a Demanding Virtual Hand-Controlled Task: A New Frontier for Neuroergonomics

    PubMed Central

    Carrieri, Marika; Petracca, Andrea; Lancia, Stefania; Basso Moro, Sara; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive vascular-based functional neuroimaging technology that can assess, simultaneously from multiple cortical areas, concentration changes in oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin at the level of the cortical microcirculation blood vessels. fNIRS, with its high degree of ecological validity and its very limited requirement of physical constraints to subjects, could represent a valid tool for monitoring cortical responses in the research field of neuroergonomics. In virtual reality (VR) real situations can be replicated with greater control than those obtainable in the real world. Therefore, VR is the ideal setting where studies about neuroergonomics applications can be performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate, by a 20-channel fNIRS system, the dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) in subjects while performing a demanding VR hand-controlled task (HCT). Considering the complexity of the HCT, its execution should require the attentional resources allocation and the integration of different executive functions. The HCT simulates the interaction with a real, remotely-driven, system operating in a critical environment. The hand movements were captured by a high spatial and temporal resolution 3-dimensional (3D) hand-sensing device, the LEAP motion controller, a gesture-based control interface that could be used in VR for tele-operated applications. Fifteen University students were asked to guide, with their right hand/forearm, a virtual ball (VB) over a virtual route (VROU) reproducing a 42 m narrow road including some critical points. The subjects tried to travel as long as possible without making VB fall. The distance traveled by the guided VB was 70.2 ± 37.2 m. The less skilled subjects failed several times in guiding the VB over the VROU. Nevertheless, a bilateral VLPFC activation, in response to the HCT execution, was observed in all the subjects. No correlation was found

  2. Development of a Detailed Stress Map of Oklahoma for Avoidance of Potentially Active Faults When Siting Wastewater Injection Wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alt, R. C., II; Zoback, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    We report progress on a project to create a detailed map of in situ stress orientations and relative magnitudes throughout the state of Oklahoma. It is well known that the past 5 years has seen a remarkable increase in seismicity in much of the state, potentially related to waste water injection. The purpose of this project is to attempt to utilize detailed knowledge of the stress field to identify which pre-existing faults could be potentially active in response to injection-related pore pressure increases. Over 50 new stress orientations have been obtained, principally utilizing wellbore image data provided by the oil and gas industry. These data reveal a very uniform ENE direction of maximum compressive stress through much of the state. As earthquake focal plane mechanisms indicate strike-slip faulting, the stress orientation data indicate which pre-existing faults are potentially active. The data are consistent with slip on the near-vertical, NE-trending fault associated with at least one of the M 5+ earthquakes in the Prague, OK sequence in 2011. If successful, it would demonstrate that combining detailed information about pre-existing faults and the current stress field could be used to guide the siting of injection wells so as to decrease the potential for injection-related seismicity.

  3. Atypical Functional Brain Activation During a Multiple Object Tracking Task in Girls With Turner Syndrome: Neurocorrelates of Reduced Spatiotemporal Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Beaton, Elliott A.; Stoddard, Joel; Lai, Song; Lackey, John; Shi, Jianrong; Ross, Judith L.; Simon, Tony J.

    2010-01-01

    Turner syndrome is associated with spatial and numerical cognitive impairments. We hypothesized that these nonverbal cognitive impairments result from limits in spatial and temporal processing, particularly as it affects attention. To examine spatiotemporal attention in girls with Turner syndrome versus typically developing controls, we used a multiple object tracking task during functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging. Participants actively tracked a target among six distracters or passively viewed the animations. Neural activation in girls with Turner syndrome during object tracking overlapped with but was dissimilar to the canonical frontoparietal network evident in typically developing controls and included greater limbic activity. Task performance and atypical functional activation indicate anomalous development of cortical and subcortical temporal and spatial processing circuits in girls with Turner syndrome. PMID:20441384

  4. Avoiding the Flu

    MedlinePlus

    ... of this page please turn Javascript on. Feature: Flu Avoiding the Flu Past Issues / Fall 2009 Table of Contents Children ... help avoid getting and passing on the flu. Influenza (Seasonal) The flu is a contagious respiratory illness ...

  5. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, d.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  6. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Rita Z; Woicik, Patricia A; Maloney, Thomas; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Shan, Juntian; Honorio, Jean; Samaras, Dimitris; Wang, Ruiliang; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested. PMID:20823246

  7. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Rita Z.; Woicik, Patricia A.; Maloney, Thomas; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Shan, Juntian; Honorio, Jean; Samaras, Dimitris; Wang, Ruiliang; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.

    2010-01-01

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested. PMID:20823246

  8. Reduced task-induced variations in the distribution of activity across back muscle regions in individuals with low back pain.

    PubMed

    Falla, Deborah; Gizzi, Leonardo; Tschapek, Marika; Erlenwein, Joachim; Petzke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated change in the distribution of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity and pressure pain sensitivity across the low back in individuals with low back pain (LBP) and healthy controls. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were recorded from multiple locations over the lumbar erector spinae muscle with a 13×5 grid of electrodes from 19 people with chronic nonspecific LBP and 17 control subjects as they performed a repetitive lifting task. The EMG root mean square (RMS) was computed for each location of the grid to form a map of the EMG amplitude distribution. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were recorded before and after the lifting task over a similar area of the back. For the control subjects, the EMG RMS progressively increased more in the caudal region of the lumbar erector spinae during the repetitive task, resulting in a shift in the distribution of muscle activity. In contrast, the distribution of muscle activity remained unaltered in the LBP group despite an overall increase in EMG amplitude. PPT was lower in the LBP group after completion of the repetitive task compared to baseline (average across all locations: pre: 268.0±165.9 kPa; post: 242.0±166.7 kPa), whereas no change in PPT over time was observed for the control group (320.1±162.1 kPa; post: 322.0±179.5 kPa). The results demonstrate that LBP alters the normal adaptation of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity to exercise, which occurs in the presence of exercise-induced hyperalgesia. Reduced variability of muscle activity may have important implications for the provocation and recurrence of LBP due to repetitive tasks. PMID:24502841

  9. Cortical activity of skilled performance in a complex sports related motor task.

    PubMed

    Baumeister, Jochen; Reinecke, Kirsten; Liesen, Heinz; Weiss, Michael

    2008-11-01

    A skilled player in goal-directed sports performance has the ability to process internal and external information in an effective manner and decide which pieces of information are important and which are irrelevant. Focused attention and somatosensory information processing play a crucial role in this process. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings are able to demonstrate cortical changes in conjunction with this concept and were examined during a golf putting performance in an expert-novice paradigm. The success in putting (score) and performance-related cortical activity were recorded with an EEG during a 5 x 4 min putting series. Subjects were asked to putt balls for four min at their own pace. The EEG data was divided into different frequencies: Theta (4.75-6.75 Hz), Alpha-1 (7-9.5 Hz), Alpha-2 (9.75-12.5 Hz) and Beta-1 (12.75-18.5 Hz) and performance related power values were calculated. Statistical analysis shows significant better performance in the expert golfers (P < 0.001). This was associated with higher fronto-midline Theta power (P < 0.05) and higher parietal Alpha-2 power values (P < 0.05) compared to the novices in golf putting. Frontal Theta and parietal Alpha-2 spectral power in the ongoing EEG demonstrate differences due to skill level. Furthermore the findings suggest that with increasing skill level, golfers have developed task solving strategies including focussed attention and an economy in parietal sensory information processing which lead to more successful performance. In a theoretical framework both cortical parameters may play a role in the concept of the working memory. PMID:18607621

  10. Improved Neural Signal Classification in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Task Using Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Marathe, Amar R; Lawhern, Vernon J; Wu, Dongrui; Slayback, David; Lance, Brent J

    2016-03-01

    The application space for brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies is rapidly expanding with improvements in technology. However, most real-time BCIs require extensive individualized calibration prior to use, and systems often have to be recalibrated to account for changes in the neural signals due to a variety of factors including changes in human state, the surrounding environment, and task conditions. Novel approaches to reduce calibration time or effort will dramatically improve the usability of BCI systems. Active Learning (AL) is an iterative semi-supervised learning technique for learning in situations in which data may be abundant, but labels for the data are difficult or expensive to obtain. In this paper, we apply AL to a simulated BCI system for target identification using data from a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to minimize the amount of training samples needed to initially calibrate a neural classifier. Our results show AL can produce similar overall classification accuracy with significantly less labeled data (in some cases less than 20%) when compared to alternative calibration approaches. In fact, AL classification performance matches performance of 10-fold cross-validation (CV) in over 70% of subjects when training with less than 50% of the data. To our knowledge, this is the first work to demonstrate the use of AL for offline electroencephalography (EEG) calibration in a simulated BCI paradigm. While AL itself is not often amenable for use in real-time systems, this work opens the door to alternative AL-like systems that are more amenable for BCI applications and thus enables future efforts for developing highly adaptive BCI systems. PMID:26600162

  11. Noninvasive imaging of prefrontal activation during attention-demanding tasks performed while walking using a wearable optical topography system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi; Katura, Takusige; Funane, Tsukasa; Obata, Akiko; Sato, Hiroki; Manaka, Takaaki; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Maki, Atsushi; Koizumi, Hideaki; Kubota, Kisou

    2010-07-01

    Optical topography (OT) based on near-infrared spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique for mapping the relative concentration changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy- and deoxy-Hb, respectively) in the human cerebral cortex. In our previous study, we developed a small and light wearable optical topography (WOT) system that covers the entire forehead for monitoring prefrontal activation. In the present study, we examine whether the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, which has been difficult with conventional OT systems. We conduct OT measurements while subjects perform an attention-demanding (AD) task of balancing a ping-pong ball on a small card while walking. The measured time course and power spectra of the relative concentration changes in oxy- and deoxy-Hb show that the step-related changes in the oxy- and deoxy-Hb signals are negligible compared to the task-related changes. Statistical assessment of the task-related changes in the oxy-Hb signals show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and rostral prefrontal area are significantly activated during the AD task. These results suggest that our functional imaging technique with the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, and will be a powerful tool for evaluating brain activation in a natural environment.

  12. Acute tryptophan depletion promotes an anterior-to-posterior fMRI activation shift during task switching in older adults.

    PubMed

    Lamar, Melissa; Craig, Michael; Daly, Eileen M; Cutter, William J; Tang, Christine; Brammer, Michael; Rubia, Katya; Murphy, Declan G M

    2014-02-01

    Studies have long reported that aging is associated with declines in several functions modulated by the prefrontal cortex, including executive functions like working memory, set shifting, and inhibitory control. The neurochemical basis to this is poorly understood, but may include the serotonergic system. We investigated the modulatory effect of serotonin using acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) during a cognitive switching task involving visual-spatial set shifting modified for a functional MRI environment. Ten healthy women over 55 years were tested on two separate occasions in this within-group double-blind sham-controlled crossover study to compare behavioral and physiological brain functioning following ATD and following a ("placebo") sham depletion condition. ATD did not significantly affect task performance. It did modulate brain functional recruitment. During sham depletion women significantly activated the expected task-relevant brain regions associated with the Switch task including prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In contrast, following ATD participants activated posterior regions of brain more during switch than repeat trials. In addition to the main effects of depletion condition, a comparison of the ATD relative to the sham condition confirmed this anterior-to-posterior shift in activation. The posterior (increased) activation clusters significantly and negatively correlated with the reduced prefrontal activation clusters suggesting a compensation mechanism for reduced prefrontal activation during ATD. Thus, serotonin modulates an anterior-to-posterior shift of activation during cognitive switching in older adults. Neural adaptation to serotonin challenge during cognitive control may prove useful in determining cognitive vulnerability in older adults with a predisposition for serontonergic down-regulation (e.g., in vascular or late life depression). PMID:23281064

  13. Of "what" and "where" in a natural search task: Active object handling supports object location memory beyond the object's identity.

    PubMed

    Draschkow, Dejan; Võ, Melissa L-H

    2016-08-01

    Looking for as well as actively manipulating objects that are relevant to ongoing behavioral goals are intricate parts of natural behavior. It is, however, not clear to what degree these two forms of interaction with our visual environment differ with regard to their memory representations. In a real-world paradigm, we investigated if physically engaging with objects as part of a search task influences identity and position memory differently for task-relevant versus irrelevant objects. Participants equipped with a mobile eye tracker either searched for cued objects without object interaction (Find condition) or actively collected the objects they found (Handle condition). In the following free-recall task, identity memory was assessed, demonstrating superior memory for relevant compared to irrelevant objects, but no difference between the Handle and Find conditions. Subsequently, location memory was inferred via times to first fixation in a final object search task. Active object manipulation and task-relevance interacted in that location memory for relevant objects was superior to irrelevant ones only in the Handle condition. Including previous object recall performance as a covariate in the linear mixed-model analysis of times to first fixation allowed us to explore the interaction between remembered/forgotten object identities and the execution of location memory. Identity memory performance predicted location memory in the Find but not the Handle condition, suggesting that active object handling leads to strong spatial representations independent of object identity memory. We argue that object handling facilitates the prioritization of relevant location information, but this might come at the cost of deprioritizing irrelevant information. PMID:27165170

  14. Consistent inter-individual differences in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in Boldness-Shyness, Stress-Activity, and Exploration-Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Šlipogor, Vedrana; Gunhold-de Oliveira, Tina; Tadić, Zoran; Massen, Jorg J M; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    The study of animal personality, defined as consistent inter-individual differences in correlated behavioral traits stable throughout time and/or contexts, has recently become one of the fastest growing areas in animal biology, with study species ranging from insects to non-human primates. The latter have, however, only occasionally been tested with standardized experiments. Instead their personality has usually been assessed using questionnaires. Therefore, this study aimed to test 21 common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) living in three family groups, in five different experiments, and their corresponding controls. We found that behavioral differences between our animals were not only consistent over time, but also across different contexts. Moreover, the consistent behaviors formed a construct of four major non-social personality components: Boldness-Shyness in Foraging, Boldness-Shyness in Predation, Stress-Activity, and Exploration-Avoidance. We found no sex or age differences in these components, but our results did reveal differences in Exploration-Avoidance between the three family groups. As social environment can have a large influence on behavior of individuals, our results may suggest group-level similarity in personality (i.e., "group personality") in common marmosets, a species living in highly cohesive social groups. Am. J. Primatol. 78:961-973, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27286098

  15. Consistent inter‐individual differences in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in Boldness‐Shyness, Stress‐Activity, and Exploration‐Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Gunhold‐de Oliveira, Tina; Tadić, Zoran; Massen, Jorg J.M.; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The study of animal personality, defined as consistent inter‐individual differences in correlated behavioral traits stable throughout time and/or contexts, has recently become one of the fastest growing areas in animal biology, with study species ranging from insects to non‐human primates. The latter have, however, only occasionally been tested with standardized experiments. Instead their personality has usually been assessed using questionnaires. Therefore, this study aimed to test 21 common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) living in three family groups, in five different experiments, and their corresponding controls. We found that behavioral differences between our animals were not only consistent over time, but also across different contexts. Moreover, the consistent behaviors formed a construct of four major non‐social personality components: Boldness‐Shyness in Foraging, Boldness‐Shyness in Predation, Stress‐Activity, and Exploration‐Avoidance. We found no sex or age differences in these components, but our results did reveal differences in Exploration‐Avoidance between the three family groups. As social environment can have a large influence on behavior of individuals, our results may suggest group‐level similarity in personality (i.e., “group personality”) in common marmosets, a species living in highly cohesive social groups. Am. J. Primatol. 78:961–973, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27286098

  16. Managing the Risk of Triggered Seismicity: Can We Identify (and Avoid) Potentially Active Faults? - A Practical Case Study in Oklahoma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoback, M. D.; Alt, R. C., II; Walsh, F. R.; Walters, R. J.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that throughout the central and eastern U.S. there has been a marked increase in seismicity since 2009, at least some of which appears to increased wastewater injection. No area has seen a greater increase in seismicity than Oklahoma. In this paper, we utilize newly available information on in situ stress orientation and relative magnitudes, the distribution of high volume injection wells and knowledge of the intervals used for waste water disposal to identify the factors potentially contributing to the occurrence of triggered seismicity. While there are a number of sites where in situ stress data has been successfully used to identify potentially active faults, we are investigating whether this methodology can be implemented throughout a state utilizing the types of information frequently available in areas of oil and gas development. As an initial test of this concept, we have been compiling stress orientation data from wells throughout Oklahoma provided by private industry. Over fifty new high quality data points, principally drilling-induced tensile fractures observed in image logs, result in a greatly improved understanding of the stress field in much of the state. A relatively uniform ENE direction of maximum compressive stress is observed, although stress orientations (and possibly relative stress magnitudes) differ in the southern and southwestern parts of the state. The proposed methodology can be tested in the area of the NE-trending fault that produced the M 5+ earthquakes in the Prague, OK sequence in 2011, and the Meers fault in southwestern OK, that produced a M~7 reverse faulting earthquake about 1100 years ago. This methodology can also be used to essentially rule out slip on other major faults in the area, such as the ~N-S trending Nemaha fault system. Additional factors leading to the occurrence of relatively large triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma are 1) the overall increase in injection volumes throughout the state in recent

  17. Effect of handedness on fMRI activation in the medial temporal lobe during an auditory verbal memory task

    PubMed Central

    Cuzzocreo, Jennifer L.; Yassa, Michael A.; Verduzco, Guillermo; Honeycutt, Nancy A.; Scott, David J.; Bassett, Susan Spear

    2009-01-01

    Several studies have shown marked differences in the neural localization of language functions in the brains of left-handed individuals when compared with right-handers. Previous experiments involving functional lateralization have demonstrated cerebral blood flow patterns that differ concordantly with subject handedness while performing language-related tasks. The effect of handedness on function in specific stages of memory processing however is a largely unexplored area. We used a paired-associates verbal memory task to elicit activation of neural areas related to declarative memory, examining the hypothesis that there are differences in activation in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) between handedness groups. 15 left-handed and 25 right-handed healthy adults were matched for all major demographic and neuropsychological variables. Functional and structural imaging data were acquired and analyzed for group differences within MTL subregions. Our results show that activation of the MTL during declarative memory processing varies with handedness. While both groups showed activation in left and right MTL subregions, the left-handed group showed a statistically significant increase in the left hippocampus and amygdala during both encoding and recall. No increases in activation were found in the right-handed group. This effect was found in the absence of any differences in performance on the verbal memory task, structural volumetric disparities or functional asymmetries. This provides evidence of functional differences between left-handers and right-handers that extends to declarative memory processes. PMID:18570207

  18. Relation Between Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Respiratory Rate During Mental Stress Tasks: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study.

    PubMed

    Murayama, Yuta; Hu, Lizhen; Sakatani, Kaoru

    2016-01-01

    In order to clarify the central mechanism controlling respiratory rate during mental stress, we examined the relation between prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity and respiratory rate during mental arithmetic (MA) tasks. Employing two-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we measured hemoglobin (Hb) concentration changes in the bilateral PFC during MA tasks in normal adults. To evaluate asymmetry of the PFC activity, we calculated the laterality index (LI); (R-L)/(R + L) of oxy-Hb concentration changes (R = right, L = left); positive LI scores indicate right-dominant activity, while negative scores indicate left-dominant activity. For measurements of respiratory rate, we employed a Kinect motion sensor (Microsoft). The MA tasks increased both oxy-Hb in the bilateral PFC and respiratory rate (p < 0.001). In addition, there was a significant correlation between LI and respiratory rate (r = 0.582, p < 0.02). These results indicate that the MA-induced activity in the right PFC was greater than that in the left PFC in subjects with large increases of respiratory rate, suggesting that the right PFC has a greater role in cerebral regulation of respiratory rate during mental stress. PMID:27526145

  19. Cardiovascular activity during laboratory tasks in women with high and low worry.

    PubMed

    Knepp, Michael M; Friedman, Bruce H

    2008-12-01

    Worry has been related to delayed stress recovery and cardiovascular disease risk. Cardiovascular responses to a range of laboratory tasks were examined in this study of high and low worriers. Undergraduate women were recruited with the Penn State Worry Questionnaire to form low (n=19) and high (n=22) worry groups. These individuals engaged in six laboratory tasks (orthostatic stress, supine rest, hand cold pressor, mental arithmetic, and worry and relaxation imagery) while heart rate (HR), HR spectral analysis, impedance cardiography, and blood pressure were acquired. The only significant group difference found was a consistently greater HR across tasks in high worriers (p<.05). No group by condition interactions emerged. High trait worry in healthy young women appears to be marked by elevated HR in the absence of autonomic abnormalities. These findings are discussed relative to the literature on worry, with particular reference to its health implications. PMID:18706472

  20. Timing Tasks Synchronize Cerebellar and Frontal Ramping Activity and Theta Oscillations: Implications for Cerebellar Stimulation in Diseases of Impaired Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Krystal L.

    2016-01-01

    Timing is a fundamental and highly conserved mammalian capability, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are widely debated. Ramping activity of single neurons that gradually increase or decrease activity to encode the passage of time has been speculated to predict a behaviorally relevant temporal event. Cue-evoked low-frequency activity has also been implicated in temporal processing. Ramping activity and low-frequency oscillations occur throughout the brain and could indicate a network-based approach to timing. Temporal processing requires cognitive mechanisms of working memory, attention, and reasoning, which are dysfunctional in neuropsychiatric disease. Therefore, timing tasks could be used to probe cognition in animals with disease phenotypes. The medial frontal cortex and cerebellum are involved in cognition. Cerebellar stimulation has been shown to influence medial frontal activity and improve cognition in schizophrenia. However, the mechanism underlying the efficacy of cerebellar stimulation is unknown. Here, we discuss how timing tasks can be used to probe cerebellar interactions with the frontal cortex and the therapeutic potential of cerebellar stimulation. The goal of this theory and hypothesis manuscript is threefold. First, we will summarize evidence indicating that in addition to motor learning, timing tasks involve cognitive processes that are present within both the cerebellum and medial frontal cortex. Second, we propose methodologies to investigate the connections between these areas in patients with Parkinson’s disease, autism, and schizophrenia. Lastly, we hypothesize that cerebellar transcranial stimulation may rescue medial frontal ramping activity, theta oscillations, and timing abnormalities, thereby restoring executive function in diseases of impaired cognition. This hypothesis could inspire the use of timing tasks as biomarkers for neuronal and cognitive abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disease and promote the therapeutic potential of

  1. Evaluation of the sensitivity and intrusion of workload estimation techniques in piloting tasks emphasizing mediational activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahimi, M.; Wierwille, W. W.

    1982-01-01

    In this experiment, pilots flew an instrumented moving-base simulator. Mediational loading was elicited by having them solve a variety of navigational problems. The problems were sorted into low, medium, and high load conditions based on the number and complexity of arithmetic and geometric operations required to solve them. Workload estimation techniques based on opinion, spare mental capacity, primary task performance, and physiological measures were obtained and compared. This paper describes: (1) the ability of the techniques to discriminate statistically between the three levels of loading conditions, and (2) changes in primary task performance caused by introduction of the workload technique procedures and equipment.

  2. Autonomous hazard detection and avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pien, Homer

    1992-01-01

    During GFY 91, Draper Laboratory was awarded a task by NASA-JSC under contract number NAS9-18426 to study and evaluate the potential for achieving safe autonomous landings on Mars using an on-board autonomous hazard detection and avoidance (AHDA) system. This report describes the results of that study. The AHDA task had four objectives: to demonstrate, via a closed-loop simulation, the ability to autonomously select safe landing sites and the ability to maneuver to the selected site; to identify key issues in the development of AHDA systems; to produce strawman designs for AHDA sensors and algorithms; and to perform initial trade studies leading to better understanding of the effect of sensor/terrain/viewing parameters on AHDA algorithm performance. This report summarizes the progress made during the first year, with primary emphasis on describing the tools developed for simulating a closed-loop AHDA landing. Some cursory performance evaluation results are also presented.

  3. Cross-language activation of morphological relatives in cognates: the role of orthographic overlap and task-related processing

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Kimberley; Dijkstra, Ton; Baayen, R. Harald

    2015-01-01

    We considered the role of orthography and task-related processing mechanisms in the activation of morphologically related complex words during bilingual word processing. So far, it has only been shown that such morphologically related words (i.e., morphological family members) are activated through the semantic and morphological overlap they share with the target word. In this study, we investigated family size effects in Dutch-English identical cognates (e.g., tent in both languages), non-identical cognates (e.g., pil and pill, in English and Dutch, respectively), and non-cognates (e.g., chicken in English). Because of their cross-linguistic overlap in orthography, reading a cognate can result in activation of family members both languages. Cognates are therefore well-suited for studying mechanisms underlying bilingual activation of morphologically complex words. We investigated family size effects in an English lexical decision task and a Dutch-English language decision task, both performed by Dutch-English bilinguals. English lexical decision showed a facilitatory effect of English and Dutch family size on the processing of English-Dutch cognates relative to English non-cognates. These family size effects were not dependent on cognate type. In contrast, for language decision, in which a bilingual context is created, Dutch and English family size effects were inhibitory. Here, the combined family size of both languages turned out to better predict reaction time than the separate family size in Dutch or English. Moreover, the combined family size interacted with cognate type: the response to identical cognates was slowed by morphological family members in both languages. We conclude that (1) family size effects are sensitive to the task performed on the lexical items, and (2) depend on both semantic and formal aspects of bilingual word processing. We discuss various mechanisms that can explain the observed family size effects in a spreading activation framework

  4. Associations between depressive symptoms and fronto-temporal activities during a verbal fluency task in patients with schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Miura, Akihiko; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Kaneko, Koichi

    2016-01-01

    Though depressive symptoms are common in patients with schizophrenia, they are often left untreated and are associated with a high relapse rate, suicidal ideation, increased mortality, reduced social adjustment, and poor quality of life. The present study aims to elucidate the association between depressive symptoms and fronto-temporal activities during a cognitive task in patients with schizophrenia. The fronto-temporal activities of 41 Japanese patients with schizophrenia was evaluated during a verbal fluency task using 52-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the depression/anxiety component of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) five-factor model. The depression/anxiety component of the PANSS five-factor model was negatively correlated with activities of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), right dorsolateral PFC, and left temporal regions. Our findings suggest that reduced fronto-temporal activities on NIRS during a verbal fluency task is related to depressive symptom severity in patients with schizophrenia. PMID:27465466

  5. Subjective Task Value in Physical Activity Participation: The Perspective of Hong Kong Schoolchildren

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pang, Bonnie; Ha, Amy Sau Ching

    2010-01-01

    Subjective Task Value (STV) is a multidimensional construct of values predominantly used to examine western culture (Eccles et al., 1983); it is influential in motivating individuals to make choices and display long-lasting behaviours. While existing studies were conducted with western populations, the manifestation of value has yet to be…

  6. The Development of Creativity in Preschoolers' Drawings through Task-Oriented Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dulama, Maria Eliza; Iovu, Mihai-Bogdan; Vanea, Cornelia

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to plan working task for preschool children in order to deliver original and creative outputs. The theoretical background of the paper is set in defining creativity as "the capacity to create something new, original, and adequate to reality" (Roco, 2004; Jaoui, 1975; Rosca, 1981; Boden, 1992). The research…

  7. ECoG Gamma Activity during a Language Task: Differentiating Expressive and Receptive Speech Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towle, Vernon L.; Yoon, Hyun-Ah; Castelle, Michael; Edgar, J. Christopher; Biassou, Nadia M.; Frim, David M.; Spire, Jean-Paul; Kohrman, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    Electrocorticographic (ECoG) spectral patterns obtained during language tasks from 12 epilepsy patients (age: 12-44 years) were analyzed in order to identify and characterize cortical language areas. ECoG from 63 subdural electrodes (500 Hz/channel) chronically implanted over frontal, parietal and temporal lobes were examined. Two language tasks…

  8. Dissociating Linguistic and Task-Related Activity in the Left Inferior Frontal Gyrus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Paul; Randall, Billi; Marslen-Wilson, William D.; Tyler, Lorraine K.

    2011-01-01

    The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) has long been claimed to play a key role in language function. However, there is considerable controversy as to whether regions within LIFG have specific linguistic or domain-general functions. Using fMRI, we contrasted linguistic and task-related effects by presenting simple and morphologically complex words…

  9. Decreased Functional Brain Activation in Friedreich Ataxia Using the Simon Effect Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Akhlaghi, H.; Corben, L. A.; Delatycki, M. B.; Storey, E.; Bradshaw, J. L.; Egan, G. F.

    2012-01-01

    The present study applied the Simon effect task to examine the pattern of functional brain reorganization in individuals with Friedreich ataxia (FRDA), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thirteen individuals with FRDA and 14 age and sex matched controls participated, and were required to respond to either congruent or incongruent…

  10. Materials on Technical Resources and Program Evaluation. Teacher Corps Task Forces Document II. Developmental Training Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nebraska Univ., Omaha. Center for Urban Education.

    This report by a National Task Force of the Teacher Corps provides charts, tables, and analysis of two distinct facets of previous analysis of the work of the Teacher Corps. The first is a detailed consideration of the availability and use of technical resources. Included are considerations of the purposes for providing technical resources;…

  11. Thinking with Your Hands: Speech-Gesture Activity during an L2 Awareness-Raising Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Compernolle, Remi A.; Williams, Lawrence

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on a study of second language (L2) French learners' self-generated use of gesture to think through and resolve a metalinguistic awareness-raising task during small-group work with an expert mediator. Although the use of gesture in L2 communication and pedagogy has recently received increasing attention, little research has…

  12. Evaluating auditory stream segregation of SAM tone sequences by subjective and objective psychoacoustical tasks, and brain activity

    PubMed Central

    Dolležal, Lena-Vanessa; Brechmann, André; Klump, Georg M.; Deike, Susann

    2014-01-01

    Auditory stream segregation refers to a segregated percept of signal streams with different acoustic features. Different approaches have been pursued in studies of stream segregation. In psychoacoustics, stream segregation has mostly been investigated with a subjective task asking the subjects to report their percept. Few studies have applied an objective task in which stream segregation is evaluated indirectly by determining thresholds for a percept that depends on whether auditory streams are segregated or not. Furthermore, both perceptual measures and physiological measures of brain activity have been employed but only little is known about their relation. How the results from different tasks and measures are related is evaluated in the present study using examples relying on the ABA- stimulation paradigm that apply the same stimuli. We presented A and B signals that were sinusoidally amplitude modulated (SAM) tones providing purely temporal, spectral or both types of cues to evaluate perceptual stream segregation and its physiological correlate. Which types of cues are most prominent was determined by the choice of carrier and modulation frequencies (fmod) of the signals. In the subjective task subjects reported their percept and in the objective task we measured their sensitivity for detecting time-shifts of B signals in an ABA- sequence. As a further measure of processes underlying stream segregation we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). SAM tone parameters were chosen to evoke an integrated (1-stream), a segregated (2-stream), or an ambiguous percept by adjusting the fmod difference between A and B tones (Δfmod). The results of both psychoacoustical tasks are significantly correlated. BOLD responses in fMRI depend on Δfmod between A and B SAM tones. The effect of Δfmod, however, differs between auditory cortex and frontal regions suggesting differences in representation related to the degree of perceptual ambiguity of the sequences

  13. Time-varying covariance of neural activities recorded in striatum and frontal cortex as monkeys perform sequential-saccade tasks.

    PubMed

    Fujii, N; Graybiel, A M

    2005-06-21

    Cortico-basal ganglia circuits are key parts of the brain's habit system, but little is yet known about how these forebrain pathways function as ingrained habits are performed. We simultaneously recorded spike and local field potential (LFP) activity from regions of the frontal cortex and basal ganglia implicated in visuo-oculomotor control as highly trained macaque monkeys performed sequences of visually guided saccades. The tasks were repetitive, required no new learning, and could be performed nearly automatically. Our findings demonstrate striking differences between the relative timing of striatal and cortical activity during performance of the tasks. At the onset of the visual cues, LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and the oculomotor zone of the striatum showed near-synchronous activation. During the period of sequential-saccade performance, however, peak LFP activity occurred 100-300 msec later in the striatum than in the prefrontal cortex. Peak prefrontal activity tended to be peri-saccadic, whereas peak striatal activity tended to be post-saccadic. This temporal offset was also apparent in pairs of simultaneously recorded prefrontal and striatal neurons. In triple-site recordings, the LFP activity recorded in the supplementary eye field shared temporal characteristics of both the prefrontal and the striatal patterns. The near simultaneity of prefrontal and striatal peak responses at cue onsets, but temporal lag of striatal activity in the movement periods, suggests that the striatum may integrate corollary discharge or confirmatory response signals during sequential task performance. These timing relationships may be signatures of the normal functioning of striatal and frontal cortex during repetitive performance of learned behaviors. PMID:15956185

  14. Time-varying covariance of neural activities recorded in striatum and frontal cortex as monkeys perform sequential-saccade tasks

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, N.; Graybiel, A. M.

    2005-01-01

    Cortico-basal ganglia circuits are key parts of the brain's habit system, but little is yet known about how these forebrain pathways function as ingrained habits are performed. We simultaneously recorded spike and local field potential (LFP) activity from regions of the frontal cortex and basal ganglia implicated in visuo-oculomotor control as highly trained macaque monkeys performed sequences of visually guided saccades. The tasks were repetitive, required no new learning, and could be performed nearly automatically. Our findings demonstrate striking differences between the relative timing of striatal and cortical activity during performance of the tasks. At the onset of the visual cues, LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and the oculomotor zone of the striatum showed near-synchronous activation. During the period of sequential-saccade performance, however, peak LFP activity occurred 100–300 msec later in the striatum than in the prefrontal cortex. Peak prefrontal activity tended to be peri-saccadic, whereas peak striatal activity tended to be post-saccadic. This temporal offset was also apparent in pairs of simultaneously recorded prefrontal and striatal neurons. In triple-site recordings, the LFP activity recorded in the supplementary eye field shared temporal characteristics of both the prefrontal and the striatal patterns. The near simultaneity of prefrontal and striatal peak responses at cue onsets, but temporal lag of striatal activity in the movement periods, suggests that the striatum may integrate corollary discharge or confirmatory response signals during sequential task performance. These timing relationships may be signatures of the normal functioning of striatal and frontal cortex during repetitive performance of learned behaviors. PMID:15956185

  15. The Harvard Automated Phone Task: new performance-based activities of daily living tests for early Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Gad A.; Dekhtyar, Maria; Bruno, Jonathan M.; Jethwani, Kamal; Amariglio, Rebecca E.; Johnson, Keith A.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Rentz, Dorene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Impairment in activities of daily living is a major burden for Alzheimer’s disease dementia patients and caregivers. Multiple subjective scales and a few performance-based instruments have been validated and proven to be reliable in measuring instrumental activities of daily living in Alzheimer’s disease dementia but less so in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Objective To validate the Harvard Automated Phone Task, a new performance-based activities of daily living test for early Alzheimer’s disease, which assesses high level tasks that challenge seniors in daily life. Design In a cross-sectional study, the Harvard Automated Phone Task was associated with demographics and cognitive measures through univariate and multivariate analyses; ability to discriminate across diagnostic groups was assessed; test-retest reliability with the same and alternate versions was assessed in a subset of participants; and the relationship with regional cortical thickness was assessed in a subset of participants. Setting Academic clinical research center. Participants One hundred and eighty two participants were recruited from the community (127 clinically normal elderly and 45 young normal participants) and memory disorders clinics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (10 participants with mild cognitive impairment). Measurements As part of the Harvard Automated Phone Task, participants navigated an interactive voice response system to refill a prescription (APT-Script), select a new primary care physician (APT-PCP), and make a bank account transfer and payment (APT-Bank). The 3 tasks were scored based on time, errors, and repetitions from which composite z-scores were derived, as well as a separate report of correct completion of the task. Results We found that the Harvard Automated Phone Task discriminated well between diagnostic groups (APT-Script: p=0.002; APT-PCP: p<0.001; APT-Bank: p=0

  16. Distraction affects the performance of obstacle avoidance during walking.

    PubMed

    Weerdesteyn, V; Schillings, A M; van Galen, G P; Duysens, J

    2003-03-01

    In this study, dual-task interference in obstacle-avoidance tasks during human walking was examined. Ten healthy young adults participated in the experiment. While they were walking on a treadmill, an obstacle suddenly fell on the treadmill in front of their left leg during either midswing, early stance, or late stance of the ipsilateral leg. Participants were instructed to avoid the obstacle, both as a single task and while they were concurrently performing a cognitive secondary task (dual task). Rates of failure, avoidance strategy, and a number of kinematic parameters were studied under both task conditions. When only a short response time was available, rates of failure on the avoidance task were larger during the dual task than during the single task. Smaller crossing swing velocities were found during the dual task as compared with those observed in the single task. The difference in crossing swing velocities was attributable to increased stiffness of the crossing swing limb. The results of the present study indicated that divided attention affects young and healthy individuals' obstacle-avoidance performance during walking. PMID:12724099

  17. Avoidant personality disorder

    MedlinePlus

    ... Names Personality disorder - avoidant References American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013. ...

  18. Brain activation deficit in increased-load working memory tasks among adults with ADHD using fMRI.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Yen, Ju-Yu; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Lin, Wei-Chen; Wang, Peng-Wei; Liu, Gin-Chung

    2013-10-01

    Working memory (WM) is impaired among adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to investigate the brain activation deficit for low-level or increased-load WM among adults with ADHD. A total of 20 adults with ADHD and controls were recruited according to diagnostic interviewing by a psychiatrist. Phonological and visual-spatial 2-back and 3-back tasks were performed under functional magnetic resonance scanning. The results demonstrated that both the adults with ADHD and the controls exhibited activation of the fronto-parietal network for WM, and the intensity was greater in the adult ADHD group. The ADHD group had higher brain activation over the bilateral anterior cingulate, left inferior frontal lobe, hippocampus, and supplementary motor area (SMA) for phonological WM than the control group. When the task loading increased from 2-back to 3-back tasks, the adults with ADHD perceived greater difficulty. The control group exhibited increased brain activation over the frontal-parietal network in response to increased phonological WM load. However, the ADHD group showed decreased brain activation over the left precuneus, insula, and SMA. Further analysis demonstrated that the ADHD group exhibited a greater decrease in brain activation over the left fronto-parietal network, including the precuneus, SMA, insula/inferior frontal lobe, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, than the control group. These results suggest that adults with ADHD pay more effort to low demanding phonological WM. On the other hand, brain activation of the left fronto-parietal network is impaired when the demands of WM exceed the capacity of adults with ADHD. PMID:23645101

  19. Event-related oscillations (ERO) during an active discrimination task: Effects of lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Alavez, Manuel; Ehlers, Cindy L

    2016-05-01

    The cholinergic system in the brain is involved in attentional processes that are engaged for the identification and selection of relevant information in the environment and the formation of new stimulus associations. In the present study we determined the effects of cholinergic lesions of nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) on amplitude and phase characteristics of event related oscillations (EROs) generated in an auditory active discrimination task in rats. Rats were trained to press a lever to begin a series of 1kHz tones and to release the lever upon hearing a 2kHz tone. A time-frequency based representation was used to determine ERO energy and phase synchronization (phase lock index, PLI) across trials, recorded within frontal cortical structures. Lesions in NBM produced by an infusion of a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) resulted in (1) a reduction of the number of correct behavioral responses in the active discrimination task, (2) an increase in ERO energy in the delta frequency bands, (3) an increase in theta, alpha and beta ERO energy in the N1, P3a and P3b regions of interest (ROI), and (4) an increase in PLI in the theta frequency band in the N1 ROIs. These studies suggest that the NBM cholinergic system is involved in maintaining the synchronization/phase resetting of oscillations in different frequencies in response to the presentation of the target stimuli in an active discrimination task. PMID:25660307

  20. No difference in frontal cortical activity during an executive functioning task after acute doses of aripiprazole and haloperidol

    PubMed Central

    Bolstad, Ingeborg; Andreassen, Ole A.; Groote, Inge R.; Haatveit, Beathe; Server, Andres; Jensen, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    Background: Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is characterized by partial dopamine D2 receptor agonism. Its pharmacodynamic profile is proposed to be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive impairment, which is prevalent in psychotic disorders. This study compared brain activation characteristics produced by aripiprazole with that of haloperidol, a typical D2 receptor antagonist, during a task targeting executive functioning. Methods: Healthy participants received an acute oral dose of haloperidol, aripiprazole or placebo before performing an executive functioning task while blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was carried out. Results: There was a tendency towards reduced performance in the aripiprazole group compared to the two other groups. The image analysis yielded a strong task-related BOLD-fMRI response within each group. An uncorrected between-group analysis showed that aripiprazole challenge resulted in stronger activation in the frontal and temporal gyri and the putamen compared with haloperidol challenge, but after correcting for multiple testing there was no significant group difference. Conclusion: No significant group differences between aripiprazole and haloperidol in frontal cortical activation were obtained when corrected for multiple comparisons. This study is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: 2009-016222-14).1 PMID:26074803

  1. Grid Task Execution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Chaumin

    2007-01-01

    IPG Execution Service is a framework that reliably executes complex jobs on a computational grid, and is part of the IPG service architecture designed to support location-independent computing. The new grid service enables users to describe the platform on which they need a job to run, which allows the service to locate the desired platform, configure it for the required application, and execute the job. After a job is submitted, users can monitor it through periodic notifications, or through queries. Each job consists of a set of tasks that performs actions such as executing applications and managing data. Each task is executed based on a starting condition that is an expression of the states of other tasks. This formulation allows tasks to be executed in parallel, and also allows a user to specify tasks to execute when other tasks succeed, fail, or are canceled. The two core components of the Execution Service are the Task Database, which stores tasks that have been submitted for execution, and the Task Manager, which executes tasks in the proper order, based on the user-specified starting conditions, and avoids overloading local and remote resources while executing tasks.

  2. The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current activities and future key tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, A. A.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Decaulne, A.

    2012-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G./A.I.G.)SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Saemundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK), Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (2004-2006), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of

  3. The effects of L-theanine on alpha-band oscillatory brain activity during a visuo-spatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Kelly, Simon P; Montesi, Jennifer L; Foxe, John J

    2009-06-01

    Background/Objectives Ingestion of the non-proteinic amino acid L-theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) has been shown to influence oscillatory brain activity in the alpha band (8-14 Hz) in humans during resting electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings and also during cognitive task performance. We have previously shown that ingestion of a 250-mg dose of L-theanine significantly reduced tonic (background) alpha power during a demanding intersensory (auditory-visual) attentional cueing task. Further, cue-related phasic changes in alpha power, indexing the shorter-term anticipatory biasing of attention between modalities, were stronger on L-theanine compared to placebo. This form of cue-contingent phasic alpha activity is also known to index attentional biasing within visual space. Specifically, when a relevant location is pre-cued, anticipatory alpha power increases contralateral to the location to be ignored. Here we investigate whether the effects of L-theanine on tonic and phasic alpha activity, found previously during intersensory attentional deployment, occur also during a visuospatial task. Subjects/Methods 168-channel EEG data were recorded from thirteen neurologically normal individuals while engaged in a highly demanding visuo-spatial attention task. Participants underwent testing on two separate days, ingesting either a 250-mg colorless and tasteless solution of L-theanine mixed with water, or a water-based solution placebo on each day in counterbalanced order. We compared the alpha-band activity when subjects ingested L-Theanine vs. Placebo. Results We found a significant reduction in tonic alpha for the L-theanine treatment compared to placebo, which was accompanied by a shift in scalp topography, indicative of treatment-related changes in the neural generators of oscillatory alpha activity. However, L-theanine did not measurably affect cue-related anticipatory alpha effects. Conclusions This pattern of results implies that L-theanine plays a more general

  4. The relation between brain activity during memory tasks and years of education in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mellanie V; McIntosh, Anthony R; Winocur, Gordon; Grady, Cheryl L

    2005-03-01

    Higher education is associated with less age-related decline in cognitive function, but the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The authors examined the effect of age on the relation between education and brain activity by correlating years of education with activity measured using functional MRI during memory tasks in young and older adults. In young adults, education was negatively correlated with frontal activity, whereas in older adults, education was positively correlated with frontal activity. Medial temporal activity was associated with more education in young adults but less education in older adults. This suggests that the frontal cortex is engaged by older adults, particularly by the highly educated, as an alternative network that may be engaged to aid cognitive function. PMID:15769202

  5. Avoidable mortality in Lithuania.

    PubMed Central

    Gaizauskiene, A; Gurevicius, R

    1995-01-01

    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The study aimed to analyse avoidable mortality in Lithuania as an index of the quality of health care and to assess trends in avoidable mortality from 1970-90. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS--All deaths of Lithuanian residents aged between 0 and 64 years between 1970 and 1990 were analysed. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Twenty seven per cent of all deaths in this age group were avoidable. Avoidable deaths were grouped into preventable and treatable ones. Treatable causes of death accounted for 54%, and preventable, 46% of avoidable mortality. Time trends showed that general mortality and mortality from avoidable causes of death in this age group were almost stable between 1970 and 1990. Mortality from treatable causes of death fell, while deaths from preventable causes increased. The results in the preventable group were greatly affected by deaths from malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus, and lungs. Differences were noted between the sexes in total mortality as well as in avoidable mortality. CONCLUSIONS--Avoidable causes of death are relatively common and, consequently, they are of practical importance for public health and studies of the health care quality in Lithuania. Reorganisation of health care is to be carried out and considerable emphasis will be placed on health education, promotion, and prevention, as primary prevention measures have not been effective thus far. PMID:7629464

  6. Avoiding Statistical Mistakes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strasser, Nora

    2007-01-01

    Avoiding statistical mistakes is important for educators at all levels. Basic concepts will help you to avoid making mistakes using statistics and to look at data with a critical eye. Statistical data is used at educational institutions for many purposes. It can be used to support budget requests, changes in educational philosophy, changes to…

  7. Brain activation for language dual-tasking: listening to two people speak at the same time and a change in network timing.

    PubMed

    Buchweitz, Augusto; Keller, Timothy A; Meyler, Ann; Just, Marcel Adam

    2012-08-01

    The study used fMRI to investigate brain activation in participants who were able to listen to and successfully comprehend two people speaking at the same time (dual-tasking). The study identified brain mechanisms associated with high-level, concurrent dual-tasking, as compared with comprehending a single message. Results showed an increase in the functional connectivity among areas of the language network in the dual task. The increase in synchronization of brain activation for dual-tasking was brought about primarily by a change in the timing of left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) activation relative to posterior temporal activation, bringing the LIFG activation into closer correspondence with temporal activation. The results show that the change in LIFG timing was greater in participants with lower working memory capacity, and that recruitment of additional activation in the dual-task occurred only in the areas adjacent to the language network that was activated in the single task. The shift in LIFG activation may be a brain marker of how the brain adapts to high-level dual-tasking. PMID:21618666

  8. Effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity function and performance of daily activities in chronic stroke patients with impaired cognition

    PubMed Central

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study aimed to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity function and performance of daily activities in chronic stroke patients with impaired cognition. [Subjects and Methods] In this study, 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients underwent task-oriented training. The training was conducted once a day for 30 minutes, 5 times/week, for 2 weeks. The patients were evaluated 3 times before and after the task-oriented training. Changes in upper extremity function were assessed using the manual function test, and changes in the ability to carry out daily activities were assessed using the functional independence measure. [Results] The patients showed improvement in both the upper extremity function and ability to perform daily activities after task-oriented training. [Conclusion] Task-oriented training was proven effective in improving upper extremity function and ability to perform daily activities in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients with impaired cognition. PMID:26957782

  9. Targeted brain activation using an MR-compatible wrist torque measurement device and isometric motor tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Vlaar, Martijn P; Mugge, Winfred; Groot, Paul F C; Sharifi, Sarvi; Bour, Lo J; van der Helm, Frans C T; van Rootselaar, Anne-Fleur; Schouten, Alfred C

    2016-07-01

    Dedicated pairs of isometric wrist flexion tasks, with and without visual feedback of the exerted torque, were designed to target activation of the CBL and BG in healthy subjects during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Selective activation of the cerebellum (CBL) and basal ganglia (BG), often implicated in movement disorders such as tremor and dystonia, may help identify pathological changes and expedite diagnosis. A prototyped MR-compatible wrist torque measurement device, free of magnetic and conductive materials, allowed safe execution of tasks during fMRI without causing artifacts. A significant increase of activity in CBL and BG was found in healthy volunteers during a constant torque task with visual feedback compared to a constant torque task without visual feedback. This study shows that specific pairs of motor tasks using MR-compatible equipment at the wrist allow for targeted activation of CBL and BG, paving a new way for research into the pathophysiology of movement disorders. PMID:26968144

  10. Anxiety and cognitive efficiency: differential modulation of transient and sustained neural activity during a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Fales, C L; Barch, D M; Burgess, G C; Schaefer, A; Mennin, D S; Gray, J R; Braver, T S

    2008-09-01

    According to the processing-efficiency hypothesis (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxious individuals are thought to require greater activation of brain systems supporting cognitive control (e.g.,dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; DLPFC) in order to maintain equivalent performance to nonanxious subjects. A recent theory of cognitive control (Braver, Gray, & Burgess, 2007) has proposed that reduced cognitive efficiency might occur as a result of changes in the temporal dynamics of DLPFC recruitment. In this study, we used a mixed blocked/ event-related fMRI design to track transient and sustained activity in DLPFC while high- and low-anxious participants performed a working memory task. The task was performed after the participants viewed videos designed to induce neutral or anxiety-related moods. After the neutral video, the high-anxious participants had reduced sustained but increased transient activation in working memory areas, in comparison with low-anxious participants. The high-anxious group also showed extensive reductions in sustained activation of "default-network" areas (possible deactivation). After the negative video,the low-anxiety group shifted their activation dynamics in cognitive control regions to resemble those of the high-anxious group. These results suggest that reduced cognitive control in anxiety might be due to a transient, rather than sustained, pattern of working memory recruitment. Supplementary information for this study may be found at www.psychonomic.org/archive. PMID:18814461

  11. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor val66met polymorphism and hippocampal activation during episodic encoding and retrieval tasks.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Nancy A; Cabeza, Roberto; Need, Anna C; Waters-Metenier, Sheena; Goldstein, David B; LaBar, Kevin S

    2011-09-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin which has been shown to regulate cell survival and proliferation, as well as synaptic growth and hippocampal long-term potentiation. A naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphism in the human BDNF gene (val66met) has been associated with altered intercellular trafficking and regulated secretion of BDNF in met compared to val carriers. Additionally, previous studies have found a relationship between the BDNF val66met genotype and functional activity in the hippocampus during episodic and working memory tasks in healthy young adults. Specifically, studies have found that met carriers exhibit both poorer performance and reduced neural activity within the medial temporal lobe (MTL) when performing episodic memory tasks. However, these studies have not been well replicated and have not considered the role of behavioral differences in the interpretation of neural differences. The current study sought to control for cognitive performance in investigating the role of the BDNF val66met genotype on neural activity associated with episodic memory. Across item and relational memory tests, met carriers exhibited increased MTL activation during both encoding and retrieval stages, compared to noncarriers. The results suggest that met carriers are able to recruit MTL activity to support successful memory processes, and reductions in cognitive performance observed in prior studies are not a ubiquitous effect associated with variants of the BDNF val66met genotype. PMID:20865733

  12. Age-Related Differences in Cortical Activity during a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task with Facial Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  13. Novel behavioral tasks for studying spatial cognition in rats.

    PubMed

    Klement, D; Blahna, K; Nekovárová, T

    2008-01-01

    Spatial tasks in rodents are commonly used to study general mechanisms of cognition. We review two groups of novel spatial tasks for rodents and discuss how they can extend our understanding of mechanisms of spatial cognition. The first group represents spatial tasks in which the subject does not locomote. Locomotion influences neural activity in brain structures important for spatial cognition. The tasks belonging to the first group make it possible to study cognitive processes without the interfering impact of locomotion. The second group represents tasks in which the subject approaches or avoids a moving object. Despite this topic is intensively studied in various animal species, little attention has been paid to it in rodents. Both groups of the tasks are powerful tools for addressing novel questions about rodent cognition. PMID:18481904

  14. Task 21 - Development of Systems Engineering Applications for Decontamination and Decommissioning Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, T.A.

    1998-11-01

    The objectives of this task are to: Develop a model (paper) to estimate the cost and waste generation of cleanup within the Environmental Management (EM) complex; Identify technologies applicable to decontamination and decommissioning (D and D) operations within the EM complex; Develop a database of facility information as linked to project baseline summaries (PBSs). The above objectives are carried out through the following four subtasks: Subtask 1--D and D Model Development, Subtask 2--Technology List; Subtask 3--Facility Database, and Subtask 4--Incorporation into a User Model.

  15. Activation and measurement of threat associations in fear of spiders: an application of the Extrinsic Affective Simon Task.

    PubMed

    Ellwart, Thomas; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2005-12-01

    The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (DeHouwer, EAST; Experimental Psychol. 50 (2003) 77) was used to assess how different context conditions lead to differential activation of cognitive schemata in anxiety. Participants completed two identical EASTs, in which ambiguous target words (e.g., legs, net) were categorized together with pleasant words and unpleasant, fear-related words. Each EAST was preceded by the presentation of pictures, activating either a 'human' concept or a 'spider' concept. Results indicated that spider fearful participants showed threat associations towards the target words, but only when the spider concept was primed. Non-fearful participants did not show threat associations with either type of priming. We conclude that impact of threat associations depends on the activated context, and that the EAST is suitable for the assessment of fear associations and their current activation level. PMID:16153389

  16. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity.

    PubMed

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  17. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  18. ASPEN PLUS modeling of the SRC-I Demonstration Plant. Task 19: modeling support activities report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-09-28

    The APCI version of ASPEN PLUS was maintained and enhanced in order to support the requirements of the simulation effort described in the earlier tasks. The support effort is conveniently divided into systems support and technical support in the areas of flowsheeting and thermophysical properties. Systems support required installation of the fourth release of ASPEN PLUS, installation of AspenTech's updates to correct program errors, and several general maintenance tasks unique to the APCI version of ASPEN PLUS. Technical support in the area of flowsheeting consisted of the organization of training courses, consultation in solving simulation problems, and identifying and resolving problems resulting from bugs in ASPEN PLUS. Thermodynamic technical support consisted of developing a few new models, implementing the coal-fluid thermophysical models into ASPEN PLUS, providing convenient access to the physical properties through INSERTs, and consultation to resolve simulation problems resulting from the nonideality of the properties. All software enhancements to ASPEN PLUS have been described and delivered so that APCI's version of the program may be duplicated and maintained at other sites. 16 references.

  19. Active ocular vergence improves postural control in elderly as close viewing distance with or without a single cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Matheron, Eric; Yang, Qing; Delpit-Baraut, Vincent; Dailly, Olivier; Kapoula, Zoï

    2016-01-01

    Performance of the vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems decreases with age, reducing the capacity of postural control, and increasing the risk of falling. The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of vision, active vergence eye movements, viewing distance/vergence angle and a simple cognitive task on postural control during an upright stance, in completely autonomous elderly individuals. Participated in the study, 23 elderly subjects (73.4 ± 6.8 years) who were enrolled in a center dedicated to the prevention of falling. Their body oscillations were measured with the DynaPort(®) device, with three accelerometers, placed at the lumbosacral level, near the center of mass. The conditions were the following: eyes open fixating on LED at 20 cm or 150 cm (vergence angle 17.0° and 2.3° respectively) with or without additional cognitive tasks (counting down from one hundred), performing active vergence by alternating the fixation between the far and the near LED (convergence and divergence), eyes closed after having fixated the far LED. The results showed that the postural stability significantly decreased when fixating on the LED at a far distance (weak convergence angle) with or without cognitive tasks; active convergence-divergence between the LEDs improved the postural stability while eye closure decreased it. The privilege of proximity (with increased convergence at near), previously established with foot posturography, is shown here to be valid for accelerometry with the center of mass in elderly. Another major result is the beneficial contribution of active vergence eye movements to better postural stability. The results bring new perspectives for the role of eye movement training to preserve postural control and autonomy in elderly. PMID:26522373

  20. Monitoring of prefrontal cortex activation during verbal n-back task with 24-channel functional NIRS imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chengjun; Gong, Hui; Gan, Zhuo; Luo, Qingming

    2005-01-01

    Human prefrontal cortex (PFC) helps mediate working memory (WM), a system that is used for temporary storage and manipulation of information and is involved with many higher-level cognitive functions. Here, we report a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study on the PFC activation caused by verbal WM task. For investigating the effect of memory load on brain activation, we adopted the "n-back" task in which subjects must decide for each present letter whether it matches the letter presented n items back in sequence. 27 subjects (ages 18-24, 13 females) participated in the work. Concentration changes in oxy-Hb (HbO2), deoxy-Hb (Hb), and total-Hb (HbT) in the subjects" prefrontal cortex were monitored by a 24-channel functional NIRS imager. The cortical activations and deactivations were found in left ventrolateral PFC and bilateral dorsolateral PFC. As memory load increased, subjects showed poorer behavioral performance as well as monotonically increasing magnitudes of the activations and deactivations in PFC.

  1. The Impact of Suggestive Maneuver Guidance on UAS Pilots Performing the Detect and Avoid Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rorie, Conrad; Fern, Lisa; Shively, Jay

    2016-01-01

    This presentation discusses the results of a recent UAS Integration into the NAS human-in-the-loop simulation. In the study, 16 active UAS pilots flew a UAS through civil airspace and were tasked with maintaining well clear from other aircraft in the area. Pilots performed the task with four different detect and avoid (DAA) traffic displays, each of which varied in the form of guidance it provided to pilots The present findings focus on how the different displays impacted pilots' measured response to scripted conflicts with their aircraft. Measured response is made up of several components, each of which help inform our understanding of the pilots' role in the overall detect and avoid task.

  2. Heliobiology, its development, successes and tasks. [solar activity effects on life on earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Platonova, A. T.

    1974-01-01

    Heliobiology studies the influence of changes in solar activity on life. Considered are the influence of periodic solar activity on the development and growth of epidemics, mortality from various diseases, the functional activity of the nervous system, the development of psychic disturbances, the details of the development of microorganisms and many other phenomena in the living world.

  3. Avoiding Computer Viruses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, Joyce; And Others

    1989-01-01

    The threat of computer sabotage is a real concern to business teachers and others responsible for academic computer facilities. Teachers can minimize the possibility. Eight suggestions for avoiding computer viruses are given. (JOW)

  4. Long-Term Post-Stroke Changes Include Myelin Loss, Specific Deficits in Sensory and Motor Behaviors and Complex Cognitive Impairment Detected Using Active Place Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jie; Ooi, Evelyn; Bloom, Jonathan; Poon, Carrie; Lax, Daniel; Rosenbaum, Daniel M.; Barone, Frank C.

    2013-01-01

    Persistent neurobehavioral deficits and brain changes need validation for brain restoration. Two hours middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) or sham surgery was performed in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits were measured over 10 weeks included: (1) sensory, motor, beam balance, reflex/abnormal responses, hindlimb placement, forepaw foot fault and cylinder placement tests, and (2) complex active place avoidance learning (APA) and simple passive avoidance retention (PA). Electroretinogram (ERG), hemispheric loss (infarction), hippocampus CA1 neuronal loss and myelin (Luxol Fast Blue) staining in several fiber tracts were also measured. In comparison to Sham surgery, tMCAO surgery produced significant deficits in all behavioral tests except reflex/abnormal responses. Acute, short lived deficits following tMCAO were observed for forelimb foot fault and forelimb cylinder placement. Persistent, sustained deficits for the whole 10 weeks were exhibited for motor (p<0.001), sensory (p<0.001), beam balance performance (p<0.01) and hindlimb placement behavior (p<0.01). tMCAO produced much greater and prolonged cognitive deficits in APA learning (maximum on last trial of 604±83% change, p<0.05) but only a small, comparative effect on PA retention. Hemispheric loss/atrophy was measured 10 weeks after tMCAO and cross-validated by two methods (e.g., almost identical % ischemic hemispheric loss of 33.4±3.5% for H&E and of 34.2±3.5% for TTC staining). No visual dysfunction by ERG and no hippocampus neuronal loss were detected after tMCAO. Fiber tract damage measured by Luxol Fast Blue myelin staining intensity was significant (p<0.01) in the external capsule and striatum but not in corpus callosum and anterior commissure. In summary, persistent neurobehavioral deficits were validated as important endpoints for stroke restorative research in the future. Fiber myelin loss appears to contribute to these long term behavioral dysfunctions and can be

  5. Long-term post-stroke changes include myelin loss, specific deficits in sensory and motor behaviors and complex cognitive impairment detected using active place avoidance.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jin; Zhuang, Jian; Li, Jie; Ooi, Evelyn; Bloom, Jonathan; Poon, Carrie; Lax, Daniel; Rosenbaum, Daniel M; Barone, Frank C

    2013-01-01

    Persistent neurobehavioral deficits and brain changes need validation for brain restoration. Two hours middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) or sham surgery was performed in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits were measured over 10 weeks included: (1) sensory, motor, beam balance, reflex/abnormal responses, hindlimb placement, forepaw foot fault and cylinder placement tests, and (2) complex active place avoidance learning (APA) and simple passive avoidance retention (PA). Electroretinogram (ERG), hemispheric loss (infarction), hippocampus CA1 neuronal loss and myelin (Luxol Fast Blue) staining in several fiber tracts were also measured. In comparison to Sham surgery, tMCAO surgery produced significant deficits in all behavioral tests except reflex/abnormal responses. Acute, short lived deficits following tMCAO were observed for forelimb foot fault and forelimb cylinder placement. Persistent, sustained deficits for the whole 10 weeks were exhibited for motor (p<0.001), sensory (p<0.001), beam balance performance (p<0.01) and hindlimb placement behavior (p<0.01). tMCAO produced much greater and prolonged cognitive deficits in APA learning (maximum on last trial of 604±83% change, p<0.05) but only a small, comparative effect on PA retention. Hemispheric loss/atrophy was measured 10 weeks after tMCAO and cross-validated by two methods (e.g., almost identical % ischemic hemispheric loss of 33.4±3.5% for H&E and of 34.2±3.5% for TTC staining). No visual dysfunction by ERG and no hippocampus neuronal loss were detected after tMCAO. Fiber tract damage measured by Luxol Fast Blue myelin staining intensity was significant (p<0.01) in the external capsule and striatum but not in corpus callosum and anterior commissure. In summary, persistent neurobehavioral deficits were validated as important endpoints for stroke restorative research in the future. Fiber myelin loss appears to contribute to these long term behavioral dysfunctions and can be

  6. Optogenetic silencing of locus coeruleus activity in mice impairs cognitive flexibility in an attentional set-shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Janitzky, Kathrin; Lippert, Michael T.; Engelhorn, Achim; Tegtmeier, Jennifer; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Ohl, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) is the sole source of noradrenergic projections to the cortex and essential for attention-dependent cognitive processes. In this study we used unilateral optogenetic silencing of the LC in an attentional set-shifting task (ASST) to evaluate the influence of the LC on prefrontal cortex-dependent functions in mice. We expressed the halorhodopsin eNpHR 3.0 to reversibly silence LC activity during task performance, and found that silencing selectively impaired learning of those parts of the ASST that most strongly rely on cognitive flexibility. In particular, extra-dimensional set-shifting (EDS) and reversal learning was impaired, suggesting an involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex. In contrast, those parts of the task that are less dependent on cognitive flexibility, i.e., compound discrimination (CD) and the intra-dimensional shifts (IDS) were not affected. Furthermore, attentional set formation was unaffected by LC silencing. Our results therefore suggest a modulatory influence of the LC on cognitive flexibility, mediated by different frontal networks. PMID:26582980

  7. An architecture for intelligent task interruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, D. D.; Narayan, Srini

    1990-01-01

    In the design of real time systems the capability for task interruption is often considered essential. The problem of task interruption in knowledge-based domains is examined. It is proposed that task interruption can be often avoided by using appropriate functional architectures and knowledge engineering principles. Situations for which task interruption is indispensable, a preliminary architecture based on priority hierarchies is described.

  8. Understanding of Student Task Interpretation, Design Planning, and Cognitive Strategies during Engineering Design Activities in Grades 9-12. Final Report. Research in Engineering and Technology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawanto, Oenardi

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the task interpretation of students engaged in a design activity and determine the extent to which students translate their understanding of their design task to their planning and cognitive strategies. Twenty-nine students at one Colorado high school participated in this study. Students worked…

  9. Development and Validation of Career Development Guidelines by Task/Activity Analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Professions: Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professional. Final Report. Technical Report XII.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vernon, Ralph J.; And Others

    This report summarizes research findings which resulted in development of curricula for occupational safety and health professions based on task/activity analyses and related performance objectives. The first seven chapters focus on the seven objectives. Chapter 1, Literature Review and Selection of Employers, concerns tasks required for…

  10. [The "Mining Rescue System and Mine Fires" Working Group. Tasks, results, future activities].

    PubMed

    Coenders, A

    1983-01-01

    The president of the working party presents details of its principal tasks in the past and in the present time. These can be summed up in a study of the problems mentioned below and the subsequent elaboration of recommendations for the benefit of the governments, guidelines, information reports and research proposals. The principal problems that were or are still under study are: --prevention of fires: shaft equipment, hydraulic fluids, belt conveyors, . . .; --detection of mine fires and spontaneous combustion; --fighting of mine fires: shaft fires, construction of stoppings, openings and recovering of fire zones, . . .; --coordination and rescue equipment: escape and rescue breathing apparatus, flameproof clothing, rescue of trapped miners; --stabilization of ventilation in the event of fire, . . . The speaker stresses the importance of the information exchange and the atmosphere of fellowship and solidarity that prevails in the working party. PMID:6622911

  11. Analysis of brain activity and response to colour stimuli during learning tasks: an EEG study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folgieri, Raffaella; Lucchiari, Claudio; Marini, Daniele

    2013-02-01

    The research project intends to demonstrate how EEG detection through BCI device can improve the analysis and the interpretation of colours-driven cognitive processes through the combined approach of cognitive science and information technology methods. To this end, firstly it was decided to design an experiment based on comparing the results of the traditional (qualitative and quantitative) cognitive analysis approach with the EEG signal analysis of the evoked potentials. In our case, the sensorial stimulus is represented by the colours, while the cognitive task consists in remembering the words appearing on the screen, with different combination of foreground (words) and background colours. In this work we analysed data collected from a sample of students involved in a learning process during which they received visual stimuli based on colour variation. The stimuli concerned both the background of the text to learn and the colour of the characters. The experiment indicated some interesting results concerning the use of primary (RGB) and complementary (CMY) colours.

  12. Avoided Crossing and Synchronization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekii, T.; Shibahashi, H.

    2013-12-01

    We examine avoided crossing of stellar pulsations in the nonlinear regime, where synchronization may occur, based on a simple model of weakly coupled van der Pol oscillators with close frequencies. For this simple case, avoided crossing is unaffected in the sense that there is a frequency difference between the symmetric and antisymmetric modes, but as a result of synchronization, unlike the linear oscillations case, the system can vibrate in only one of the modes.

  13. Operational Collision Avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guit, Bill

    2015-01-01

    This presentation will describe the early days of the EOS Aqua and Aura operational collision avoidance process. It will highlight EOS debris avoidance maneuvers, EOS high interest event statistic and A-Train systematic conjunctions and conclude with future challenges. This is related to earlier e-DAA (tracking number 21692) that an abstract was submitted to a different conference. Eric Moyer, ESMO Deputy Project Manager has reviewed and approved this presentation on May 6, 2015

  14. Bursts of beta oscillation differentiate postperformance activity in the striatum and motor cortex of monkeys performing movement tasks

    PubMed Central

    Feingold, Joseph; Gibson, Daniel J.; DePasquale, Brian; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of neural oscillations in the beta band (13–30 Hz) have demonstrated modulations in beta-band power associated with sensory and motor events on time scales of 1 s or more, and have shown that these are exaggerated in Parkinson’s disease. However, even early reports of beta activity noted extremely fleeting episodes of beta-band oscillation lasting <150 ms. Because the interpretation of possible functions for beta-band oscillations depends strongly on the time scale over which they occur, and because of these oscillations’ potential importance in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, we analyzed in detail the distributions of duration and power for beta-band activity in a large dataset recorded in the striatum and motor-premotor cortex of macaque monkeys performing reaching tasks. Both regions exhibited typical beta-band suppression during movement and postmovement rebounds of up to 3 s as viewed in data averaged across trials, but single-trial analysis showed that most beta oscillations occurred in brief bursts, commonly 90–115 ms long. In the motor cortex, the burst probabilities peaked following the last movement, but in the striatum, the burst probabilities peaked at task end, after reward, and continued through the postperformance period. Thus, what appear to be extended periods of postperformance beta-band synchronization reflect primarily the modulated densities of short bursts of synchrony occurring in region-specific and task-time-specific patterns. We suggest that these short-time-scale events likely underlie the functions of most beta-band activity, so that prolongation of these beta episodes, as observed in Parkinson’s disease, could produce deleterious network-level signaling. PMID:26460033

  15. Zaprinast and Rolipram Enhances Spatial and Emotional Memory in the Elevated Plus Maze and Passive Avoidance Tests and Diminishes Exploratory Activity in Naive Mice

    PubMed Central

    Akar, Furuzan; Mutlu, Oguz; Celikyurt, Ipek Komsuoglu; Ulak, Guner; Erden, Faruk; Bektas, Emine; Tanyeri, Pelin

    2014-01-01

    Background Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors in the central nervous system have been shown to stimulate neuronal functions and increase neurogenesis in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Material/Methods The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of zaprinast, a PDE5 inhibitor, and rolipram, a PDE4 inhibitor, on learning and memory in elevated plus maze (EPM) and passive avoidance (PA) tests in naive mice. Male Balb-c mice received short-term treatment with zaprinast (3 and 10 mg/kg) and rolipram (0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) before the acquisition trial of the EPM and PA tests. The exploratory activity of the animals was also investigated in the Hughes box test. Results Both zaprinast (10 mg/kg) and rolipram (0.1 mg/kg) significantly decreased second-day latency compared to the control group in the EPM test, while only rolipram (0.1 mg/kg) significantly increased second-day latency in the PA test. Both zaprinast (10 mg/kg) and rolipram (0.1 mg/kg) significantly decreased the number of entries to new areas and time spent in new areas in the Hughes box test. Conclusions Our study revealed that both zaprinast and rolipram enhanced spatial memory in EPM, while rolipram seemed to have more emotional memory-enhancing effects in the PA test compared to zaprinast. Both zaprinast and rolipram diminished exploratory activity in the Hughes box test, which can be attributed to the drugs’ anxiogenic effects. PMID:25057848

  16. Not so bad: avoidance and aversive discounting modulate threat appraisal in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schlund, Michael W.; Brewer, Adam T.; Richman, David M.; Magee, Sandy K.; Dymond, Simon

    2015-01-01

    The dorsal anterior cingulate (adACC) and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) play a central role in the discrimination and appraisal of threatening stimuli. Yet, little is known about what specific features of threatening situations recruit these regions and how avoidance may modulate appraisal and activation through prevention of aversive events. In this investigation, 30 healthy adults underwent functional neuroimaging while completing an avoidance task in which responses to an Avoidable CS+ threat prevented delivery of an aversive stimulus, but not to an Unavoidable CS+ threat. Extinction testing was also completed where CSs were presented without aversive stimulus delivery and an opportunity to avoid. The Avoidable CS+ relative to the Unavoidable CS+ was associated with reductions in ratings of negative valence, fear, and US expectancy and activation. Greater regional activation was consistently observed to the Unavoidable CS+ during avoidance, which declined during extinction. Individuals exhibiting greater aversive discounting—that is, those more avoidant of immediate monetary loss compared to a larger delayed loss—also displayed greater activation to the Unavoidable CS+, highlighting aversive discounting as a significant individual difference variable. These are the first results linking adACC/dmPFC reactivity to avoidance-based reductions of aversive events and modulation of activation by individual differences in aversive discounting. PMID:26113813

  17. A Preliminary Study of Functional Brain Activation among Marijuana Users during Performance of a Virtual Water Maze Task

    PubMed Central

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Gruber, Staci A.; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Silveri, Marisa M.; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported neurocognitive impairments associated with chronic marijuana use. Given that the hippocampus contains a high density of cannabinoid receptors, hippocampal-mediated cognitive functions, including visuospatial memory, may have increased vulnerability to chronic marijuana use. Thus, the current study examined brain activation during the performance of a virtual analogue of the classic Morris water maze task in 10 chronic marijuana (MJ) users compared to 18 nonusing (NU) comparison subjects. Imaging data were acquired using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI at 3.0 Tesla during retrieval (hidden platform) and motor control (visible platform) conditions. While task performance on learning trials was similar between groups, MJ users demonstrated a deficit in memory retrieval. For BOLD fMRI data, NU subjects exhibited greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus and cingulate gyrus compared to the MJ group for the Retrieval-Motor Control contrast (NU > MJ). These findings suggest that hypoactivation in MJ users may be due to differences in the efficient utilization of neuronal resources during the retrieval of memory. Given the paucity of data on visuospatial memory function in MJ users, these findings may help elucidate the neurobiological effects of marijuana on brain activation during memory retrieval. PMID:23951549

  18. Age-related changes in trunk neuromuscular activation patterns during a controlled functional transfer task include amplitude and temporal synergies.

    PubMed

    Quirk, D Adam; Hubley-Kozey, Cheryl L

    2014-12-01

    While healthy aging is associated with physiological changes that can impair control of trunk motion, few studies examine how spinal muscle responses change with increasing age. This study examined whether older (over 65 years) compared to younger (20-45 years) adults had higher overall amplitude and altered temporal recruitment patterns of trunk musculature when performing a functional transfer task. Surface electromyograms from twelve bilateral trunk muscle (24) sites were analyzed using principal component analysis, extracting amplitude and temporal features (PCs) from electromyographic waveforms. Two PCs explained 96% of the waveform variance. Three factor ANOVA models tested main effects (group, muscle and reach) and interactions for PC scores. Significant (p<.0125) group interactions were found for all PC scores. Post hoc analysis revealed that relative to younger adults, older adults recruited higher agonist and antagonistic activity, demonstrated continuous activation levels in specific muscle sites despite changing external moments, and had altered temporal synergies within abdominal and back musculature. In summary both older and younger adults recruit highly organized activation patterns in response to changing external moments. Differences in temporal trunk musculature recruitment patterns suggest that older adults experience different dynamic spinal stiffness and loading compared to younger adults during a functional lifting task. PMID:25457424

  19. Pattern of brain activation during social cognitive tasks is related to social competence in siblings discordant for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Villarreal, Mirta F; Drucaroff, Lucas J; Goldschmidt, Micaela G; de Achával, Delfina; Costanzo, Elsa Y; Castro, Mariana N; Ladrón-de-Guevara, M Soledad; Busatto Filho, Geraldo; Nemeroff, Charles B; Guinjoan, Salvador M

    2014-09-01

    Measures of social competence are closely related to actual community functioning in patients with schizophrenia. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying competence in schizophrenia are not fully understood. We hypothesized that social deficits in schizophrenia are explained, at least in part, by abnormally lateralized patterns of brain activation in response to tasks engaging social cognition, as compared to healthy individuals. We predicted such patterns would be partly heritable, and therefore affected in patients' nonpsychotic siblings as well. We used a functional magnetic resonance image paradigm to characterize brain activation induced by theory of mind tasks, and two tests of social competence, the Test of Adaptive Behavior in Schizophrenia (TABS), and the Social Skills Performance Assessment (SSPA) in siblings discordant for schizophrenia and comparable healthy controls (n = 14 per group). Healthy individuals showed the strongest correlation between social competence and activation of right hemisphere structures involved in social cognitive processing, whereas in patients, the correlation pattern was lateralized to left hemisphere areas. Unaffected siblings of patients exhibited a pattern intermediate between the other groups. These results support the hypothesis that schizophrenia may be characterized by an abnormal functioning of nondominant hemisphere structures involved in the processing of socially salient information. PMID:24927685

  20. A preliminary study of functional brain activation among marijuana users during performance of a virtual water maze task.

    PubMed

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Gruber, Staci A; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Silveri, Marisa M; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported neurocognitive impairments associated with chronic marijuana use. Given that the hippocampus contains a high density of cannabinoid receptors, hippocampal-mediated cognitive functions, including visuospatial memory, may have increased vulnerability to chronic marijuana use. Thus, the current study examined brain activation during the performance of a virtual analogue of the classic Morris water maze task in 10 chronic marijuana (MJ) users compared to 18 non-using (NU) comparison subjects. Imaging data were acquired using blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI at 3.0 Tesla during retrieval (hidden platform) and motor control (visible platform) conditions. While task performance on learning trials was similar between groups, MJ users demonstrated a deficit in memory retrieval. For BOLD fMRI data, NU subjects exhibited greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus and cingulate gyrus compared to the MJ group for the Retrieval - Motor control contrast (NU > MJ). These findings suggest that hypoactivation in MJ users may be due to differences in the efficient utilization of neuronal resources during the retrieval of memory. Given the paucity of data on visuospatial memory function in MJ users, these findings may help elucidate the neurobiological effects of marijuana on brain activation during memory retrieval. PMID:23951549

  1. A preliminary study of sex differences in brain activation during a spatial navigation task in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Sava, Simona; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2011-10-01

    The hippocampus plays a significant role in spatial memory processing, with sex differences being prominent on various spatial tasks. This study examined sex differences in healthy adults, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in areas implicated in spatial processing during navigation of a virtual analogue of the Morris water-maze. There were three conditions: learning, hidden, and visible control. There were no significant differences in performance measures. However, sex differences were found in regional brain activation during learning in the right hippocampus, right parahippocampal gyrus, and the cingulate cortex. During the hidden condition, the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and cingulate cortex were activated in both men and women. Additional brain areas involved in spatial processing may be recruited in women when learning information about the environment, by utilizing external cues (landmarks) more than do men, contributing to the observed sex differences in brain activation. PMID:22185061

  2. Neural Correlates of Attentional Flexibility during Approach and Avoidance Motivation

    PubMed Central

    Calcott, Rebecca D.; Berkman, Elliot T.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic, momentary approach or avoidance motivational states have downstream effects on eventual goal success and overall well being, but there is still uncertainty about how those states affect the proximal neurocognitive processes (e.g., attention) that mediate the longer-term effects. Attentional flexibility, or the ability to switch between different attentional foci, is one such neurocognitive process that influences outcomes in the long run. The present study examined how approach and avoidance motivational states affect the neural processes involved in attentional flexibility using fMRI with the aim of determining whether flexibility operates via different neural mechanisms under these different states. Attentional flexibility was operationalized as subjects’ ability to switch between global and local stimulus features. In addition to subjects’ motivational state, the task context was manipulated by varying the ratio of global to local trials in a block in light of recent findings about the moderating role of context on motivation-related differences in attentional flexibility. The neural processes involved in attentional flexibility differ under approach versus avoidance states. First, differences in the preparatory activity in key brain regions suggested that subjects’ preparedness to switch was influenced by motivational state (anterior insula) and the interaction between motivation and context (superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule). Additionally, we observed motivation-related differences the anterior cingulate cortex during switching. These results provide initial evidence that motivation-induced behavioral changes may arise via different mechanisms in approach versus avoidance motivational states. PMID:26000735

  3. The challenges for scientists in avoiding plagiarism.

    PubMed

    Fisher, E R; Partin, K M

    2014-01-01

    Although it might seem to be a simple task for scientists to avoid plagiarism and thereby an allegation of research misconduct, assessment of trainees in the Responsible Conduct of Research and recent findings from the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General regarding plagiarism suggests otherwise. Our experiences at a land-grant academic institution in assisting researchers in avoiding plagiarism are described. We provide evidence from a university-wide multi-disciplinary course that understanding how to avoid plagiarism in scientific writing is more difficult than it might appear, and that a failure to learn the rules of appropriate citation may cause dire consequences. We suggest that new strategies to provide training in avoiding plagiarism are required. PMID:24785995

  4. Normal shoulder muscular activation and co-ordination during a shoulder elevation task based on activities of daily living: an electromyographic study.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, David H; Alizadehkhaiyat, Omid; Fisher, Anthony C; Kemp, Graham J; Roebuck, Margaret M; Frostick, Simon P

    2012-01-01

    Studies of normal shoulder function have often failed to consider the inter-relationship between different muscle groups in activities relevant to daily life. Upper limb functional status was assessed in 12 healthy male volunteers using the Functional Impairment Test-Hand, Neck, Shoulder and Arm test (FIT-HaNSA). Electromyography was then used to study the activity and coordination of 13 muscles (10 by surface electrodes, 3 by fine-wire intramuscular electrodes) around the shoulder during a dynamic movement task based on the shelf-lifting task in FIT-HaNSA. Muscles were grouped for analysis into deltoid (anterior, middle, and posterior divisions), adductors (latissimus dorsi and teres major), rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis), and elbow flexor (brachioradialis, biceps brachii) groups. There were no significant inter-session effects. Using cross-correlation analysis to investigate the whole time-course of activation, there were highly significant positive correlations (p < 0.001) between the deltoid and rotator cuff, the deltoid and adductor and the adductor and rotator cuff groups, and a significant negative correlation between the deltoid and elbow flexor groups (p = 0.031). We conclude that the deltoid, adductor, and rotator cuff muscles all contribute to the muscular component of glenohumeral joint stability. Muscular stability can be adapted as required to meet task-specific demands. PMID:21674607

  5. Optical Topography of Evoked Brain Activity during Mental Tasks Involving Whole Number Operations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortiz, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Students start to memorize arithmetic facts from early elementary school mathematics activities. Their fluency or lack of fluency with these facts could affect their efforts as they carry out mental calculations as adults. This study investigated participants' levels of brain activation and possible reasons for these levels as they solved…

  6. What Does Metalinguistic Activity in Learners' Interaction during a Collaborative L2 Writing Task Look Like?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Xavier

    2008-01-01

    This article examines the metalinguistic activity that arose in the interaction of 7 groups of bilingual learners writing collaboratively in their second language (L2), English. A microanalysis of this interaction reveals that metalinguistic activity comprises 3 types of oral production: comments, speech actions, and text reformulations. Text…

  7. The Masked Semantic Priming Effect Is Task Dependent: Reconsidering the Automatic Spreading Activation Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Wit, Bianca; Kinoshita, Sachiko

    2015-01-01

    Semantic priming effects are popularly explained in terms of an automatic spreading activation process, according to which the activation of a node in a semantic network spreads automatically to interconnected nodes, preactivating a semantically related word. It is expected from this account that semantic priming effects should be routinely…

  8. University Students' Emotion During Online Search Task: A Multiple Achievement Goal Perspective.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Mingming

    2016-07-01

    Endorsing a multiple goal perspective, students' academic emotions were examined with different goal profiles while solving learning tasks online. One hundred and seven Chinese undergraduates were classified based on the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework into three groups: Mastery-approach-focused, Approach-oriented, and Avoidance-oriented group. Participants' emotional states were assessed immediately prior to the task and following the task. Prior to the task, the Avoidance-oriented group reported significantly higher levels of deactivated negative emotion (i.e., bored and confused) than the Approach-oriented group. The Mastery-approach-focused group reported significantly higher levels of activated positive emotions (i.e., excited and eager) than the Avoidance-oriented group after the task. Within each group, all three groups followed a similar emotion change pattern prior versus after the search task in deactivated positive emotion, with a significant increase. In addition, the Mastery-approach-focused group also reported a significantly higher level of happiness after completing the task, whereas the other two groups did not report much change. The Avoidance-oriented group also reported a significant drop in the feeling of excitement, eagerness, anxiety, and nervousness; whereas, the Approach-oriented group reported a significantly higher level of confusion after the task was finished. Implications of the findings are further discussed. PMID:26914815

  9. Increased topographical variability of task-related activation in perceptive and motor associative regions in adult autistics

    PubMed Central

    Poulin-Lord, Marie-Pier; Barbeau, Elise B.; Soulières, Isabelle; Monchi, Oury; Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib; Mottron, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Background An enhanced plasticity is suspected to play a role in various microstructural alterations, as well as in regional cortical reallocations observed in autism. Combined with multiple indications of enhanced perceptual functioning in autism, and indications of atypical motor functioning, enhanced plasticity predicts a superior variability in functional cortical allocation, predominant in perceptual and motor regions. Method To test this prediction, we scanned 23 autistics and 22 typical participants matched on age, FSIQ, Raven percentile scores and handedness during a visuo-motor imitation task. For each participant, the coordinates of the strongest task-related activation peak were extracted in the primary (Brodmann area 4) and supplementary (BA 6) motor cortex, the visuomotor superior parietal cortex (BA 7), and the primary (BA 17) and associative (BAs 18 + 19) visual areas. Mean signal changes for each ROI in both hemispheres, and the number of voxels composing the strongest activation cluster were individually extracted to compare intensity and size of the signal between groups. For each ROI, in each hemisphere, and for every participant, the distance from their respective group average was used as a variable of interest to determine group differences in localization variability using repeated measures ANOVAs. Between-group comparison of whole-brain activation was also performed. Results Both groups displayed a higher mean variability in the localization of activations in the associative areas compared to the primary visual or motor areas. However, despite this shared increased variability in associative cortices, a direct between-group comparison of the individual variability in localization of the activation revealed a significantly greater variability in the autistic group than in the typical group in the left visuo-motor superior parietal cortex (BA 7) and in the left associative visual areas (BAs 18 + 19). Conclusion Different and possibly

  10. Altered brain activation in a reversal learning task unmasks adaptive changes in cognitive control in writer's cramp.

    PubMed

    Zeuner, Kirsten E; Knutzen, Arne; Granert, Oliver; Sablowsky, Simone; Götz, Julia; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Dressler, Dirk; Schneider, Susanne A; Klein, Christine; Deuschl, Günther; van Eimeren, Thilo; Witt, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Previous receptor binding studies suggest dopamine function is altered in the basal ganglia circuitry in task-specific dystonia, a condition characterized by contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles while performing specific tasks. Dopamine plays a role in reward-based learning. Using fMRI, this study compared 31 right-handed writer's cramp patients to 35 controls in reward-based learning of a probabilistic reversal-learning task. All subjects chose between two stimuli and indicated their response with their left or right index finger. One stimulus response was rewarded 80%, the other 20%. After contingencies reversal, the second stimulus response was rewarded in 80%. We further linked the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIa polymorphism, which is associated with 30% reduction of the striatal dopamine receptor density with reward-based learning and assumed impaired reversal learning in A + subjects. Feedback learning in patients was normal. Blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in controls increased with negative feedback in the insula, rostral cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus and parietal cortex (pFWE < 0.05). In comparison to controls, patients showed greater increase in BOLD activity following negative feedback in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA32). The genetic status was not correlated with the BOLD activity. The Brodmann area 32 (BA32) is part of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) that plays an important role in coordinating and integrating information to guide behavior and in reward-based learning. The dACC is connected with the basal ganglia-thalamo-loop modulated by dopaminergic signaling. This finding suggests disturbed integration of reinforcement history in decision making and implicate that the reward system might contribute to the pathogenesis in writer's cramp. PMID:26702397

  11. Altered brain activation in a reversal learning task unmasks adaptive changes in cognitive control in writer's cramp

    PubMed Central

    Zeuner, Kirsten E.; Knutzen, Arne; Granert, Oliver; Sablowsky, Simone; Götz, Julia; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Dressler, Dirk; Schneider, Susanne A.; Klein, Christine; Deuschl, Günther; van Eimeren, Thilo; Witt, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Previous receptor binding studies suggest dopamine function is altered in the basal ganglia circuitry in task-specific dystonia, a condition characterized by contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles while performing specific tasks. Dopamine plays a role in reward-based learning. Using fMRI, this study compared 31 right-handed writer's cramp patients to 35 controls in reward-based learning of a probabilistic reversal-learning task. All subjects chose between two stimuli and indicated their response with their left or right index finger. One stimulus response was rewarded 80%, the other 20%. After contingencies reversal, the second stimulus response was rewarded in 80%. We further linked the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIa polymorphism, which is associated with 30% reduction of the striatal dopamine receptor density with reward-based learning and assumed impaired reversal learning in A + subjects. Feedback learning in patients was normal. Blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in controls increased with negative feedback in the insula, rostral cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus and parietal cortex (pFWE < 0.05). In comparison to controls, patients showed greater increase in BOLD activity following negative feedback in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA32). The genetic status was not correlated with the BOLD activity. The Brodmann area 32 (BA32) is part of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) that plays an important role in coordinating and integrating information to guide behavior and in reward-based learning. The dACC is connected with the basal ganglia-thalamo-loop modulated by dopaminergic signaling. This finding suggests disturbed integration of reinforcement history in decision making and implicate that the reward system might contribute to the pathogenesis in writer's cramp. PMID:26702397

  12. Amygdala/hippocampal activation during the menstrual cycle: evidence for lateralization of effects across different tasks.

    PubMed

    Lisofsky, Nina; Lindenberger, Ulman; Kühn, Simone

    2015-01-01

    Variations in hormonal levels between the follicular and the luteal phase of the female menstrual cycle are associated with variations in emotional and cognitive aspects of behavior. The functional neural correlates of these cycle-related variations have been explored in previous neuroimaging studies. We summarize the existing findings of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies to identify regions of increased brain activation in the follicular or luteal phases of the cycle that are concordant across studies. Eleven fMRI studies reporting coordinates of higher brain activation in one of the two main cycle phases were included in the analysis. Activation likelihood estimation was used to determine concordance. We found higher left amygdala/hippocampal activation during the luteal phase and higher right amygdala/hippocampal activation during the follicular phase. Additionally, the anterior cingulate cortex and temporal pole showed increased activation during the luteal phase and the superior temporal gyrus during the follicular phase. The observed pattern of cycle-dependent functional lateralization of the amygdala/hippocampal complex is consistent with findings on cycle-related behavioral variations and on sex differences in lateralization of activity in amygdala and hippocampus. PMID:25496966

  13. Teacher management behaviors and pupil task involvement during small group laboratory activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beasley, Warren

    A major concern of many beginning and experienced teachers is that of classroom management and control. This article describes recent research into defining classroom management procedures that are used by high school science teachers and their relationship to pupil ontaskness. The classroom is conceptualized as a manipulable behavioral system. This construct arises directly from Barker's (1968) ecological psychology, the classroom and its occupants being conceptualized as a behavior setting. The behaviors of the teacher and the pupils are an integral part of the unit (behavior setting), which in turn coerces certain behaviors from its participants. Thus settings, and, in particular, subsettings, are seen as more important determiners of social behavior than the personality of individual teacher or pupil. The methodology employed in this research has involved the extensive use of video in naturalistic science classrooms. Tapes of both teacher and pupil behaviors were continuously and independently recorded. Intensive analysis using electronic recording instruments interfaced with the computer has allowed the collection and sophisticated analysis of the observational data. Data relating to teacher management behavior in small group settings have been analyzed and the relationships to pupil task involvement have been explored.

  14. Reactive Collision Avoidance Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scharf, Daniel; Acikmese, Behcet; Ploen, Scott; Hadaegh, Fred

    2010-01-01

    The reactive collision avoidance (RCA) algorithm allows a spacecraft to find a fuel-optimal trajectory for avoiding an arbitrary number of colliding spacecraft in real time while accounting for acceleration limits. In addition to spacecraft, the technology can be used for vehicles that can accelerate in any direction, such as helicopters and submersibles. In contrast to existing, passive algorithms that simultaneously design trajectories for a cluster of vehicles working to achieve a common goal, RCA is implemented onboard spacecraft only when an imminent collision is detected, and then plans a collision avoidance maneuver for only that host vehicle, thus preventing a collision in an off-nominal situation for which passive algorithms cannot. An example scenario for such a situation might be when a spacecraft in the cluster is approaching another one, but enters safe mode and begins to drift. Functionally, the RCA detects colliding spacecraft, plans an evasion trajectory by solving the Evasion Trajectory Problem (ETP), and then recovers after the collision is avoided. A direct optimization approach was used to develop the algorithm so it can run in real time. In this innovation, a parameterized class of avoidance trajectories is specified, and then the optimal trajectory is found by searching over the parameters. The class of trajectories is selected as bang-off-bang as motivated by optimal control theory. That is, an avoiding spacecraft first applies full acceleration in a constant direction, then coasts, and finally applies full acceleration to stop. The parameter optimization problem can be solved offline and stored as a look-up table of values. Using a look-up table allows the algorithm to run in real time. Given a colliding spacecraft, the properties of the collision geometry serve as indices of the look-up table that gives the optimal trajectory. For multiple colliding spacecraft, the set of trajectories that avoid all spacecraft is rapidly searched on

  15. Effect of handedness on brain activity patterns and effective connectivity network during the semantic task of Chinese characters.

    PubMed

    Gao, Qing; Wang, Junping; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-01-01

    Increasing efforts have been denoted to elucidating the effective connectivity (EC) among brain regions recruited by certain language task; however, it remains unclear the impact of handedness on the EC network underlying language processing. In particularly, this has not been investigated in Chinese language, which shows several differences from alphabetic language. This study thereby explored the functional activity patterns and the EC network during a Chinese semantic task based on functional MRI data of healthy left handers (LH) and right handers (RH). We found that RH presented a left lateralized activity pattern in cerebral cortex and a right lateralized pattern in cerebellum; while LH were less lateralized than RH in both cerebral and cerebellar areas. The conditional Granger causality method in deconvolved BOLD level further demonstrated more interhemispheric directional connections in LH than RH group, suggesting better bihemispheric coordination and increased interhemispheric communication in LH. Furthermore, we found significantly increased EC from right middle occipital gyrus to bilateral insula (INS) while decreased EC from left INS to left precentral gyrus in LH group comparing to RH group, implying that handedness may differentiate the causal relationship of information processing in integration of visual-spatial analysis and semantic word retrieval of Chinese characters. PMID:26666706

  16. Unintentional Activation of Translation Equivalents in Bilinguals Leads to Attention Capture in a Cross-Modal Visual Task

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non- selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain. PMID:25775184

  17. Unintentional activation of translation equivalents in bilinguals leads to attention capture in a cross-modal visual task.

    PubMed

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain. PMID:25775184

  18. Task network models in the prediction of workload imposed by extravehicular activities during the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Manuel F.; Takamoto, Neal; Woolford, Barbara

    1994-01-01

    In a joint effort with Brooks AFB, Texas, the Flight Crew Support Division at JSC has begun a computer simulation and performance modeling program directed at establishing the predictive validity of software tools for modeling human performance during spaceflight. This paper addresses the utility of task network modeling for predicting the workload that astronauts are likely to encounter in extravehicular activities (EVA) during the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) repair mission. The intent of the study was to determine whether two EVA crewmembers and one intravehicular activity (IVA) crewmember could reasonably be expected to complete HST Wide Field/Planetary Camera (WFPC) replacement in the allotted time. Ultimately, examination of the points during HST servicing that may result in excessive workload will lead to recommendations to the HST Flight Systems and Servicing Project concerning (1) expectation of degraded performance, (2) the need to change task allocation across crewmembers, (3) the need to expand the timeline, and (4) the need to increase the number of EVA's.

  19. Effect of handedness on brain activity patterns and effective connectivity network during the semantic task of Chinese characters

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Qing; Wang, Junping; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-01-01

    Increasing efforts have been denoted to elucidating the effective connectivity (EC) among brain regions recruited by certain language task; however, it remains unclear the impact of handedness on the EC network underlying language processing. In particularly, this has not been investigated in Chinese language, which shows several differences from alphabetic language. This study thereby explored the functional activity patterns and the EC network during a Chinese semantic task based on functional MRI data of healthy left handers (LH) and right handers (RH). We found that RH presented a left lateralized activity pattern in cerebral cortex and a right lateralized pattern in cerebellum; while LH were less lateralized than RH in both cerebral and cerebellar areas. The conditional Granger causality method in deconvolved BOLD level further demonstrated more interhemispheric directional connections in LH than RH group, suggesting better bihemispheric coordination and increased interhemispheric communication in LH. Furthermore, we found significantly increased EC from right middle occipital gyrus to bilateral insula (INS) while decreased EC from left INS to left precentral gyrus in LH group comparing to RH group, implying that handedness may differentiate the causal relationship of information processing in integration of visual-spatial analysis and semantic word retrieval of Chinese characters. PMID:26666706

  20. Exposure to smoking cues during an emotion recognition task can modulate limbic fMRI activation in cigarette smokers.

    PubMed

    Artiges, Eric; Ricalens, Emmanuel; Berthoz, Sylvie; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Penttilä, Jani; Trichard, Christian; Martinot, Jean-Luc

    2009-09-01

    Smoking cues (SCs) refer to smoking-associated environmental stimuli that may trigger craving and withdrawal symptoms, and predispose to relapse in smokers. Although previous brain imaging studies have explored neural responses to SCs, no study has characterized the effects of SCs on cerebral activity in smokers engaged in an attention-demanding cognitive task that is unrelated to smoking. Thirteen tobacco smokers and a demographically matched group of 13 healthy non-smokers participated in a fast event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that involved a visual task integrating SCs and neutral cues (NCs) during emotion recognition trials requiring a high level of attention. No significant SC-induced alterations were detected in smokers' behavioural performance. fMRI results show that non-smokers exhibited no difference between SC and NC trials; in contrast, smokers showed SC-induced widespread deactivations in a limbic, paralimbic and striatal network classically involved in addiction, and activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In addition, a correlation between deactivation of the right insula and the severity of smoking dependence (Fagerström test) was detected in smokers. These results suggest that the neural reactivity of smokers to SCs can be modified in the context of a cognitive challenge. This could reflect smokers' ability to inhibit cue-induced craving and may help in smoking cessation. PMID:19650816

  1. Top-down control of MEG alpha-band activity in children performing Categorical N-Back Task.

    PubMed

    Ciesielski, Kristina T; Ahlfors, Seppo P; Bedrick, Edward J; Kerwin, Audra A; Hämäläinen, Matti S

    2010-10-01

    Top-down cognitive control has been associated in adults with the prefrontal-parietal network. In children the brain mechanisms of top-down control have rarely been studied. We examined developmental differences in top-down cognitive control by monitoring event-related desynchronization (ERD) and event-related synchronization (ERS) of alpha-band oscillatory activity (8-13 Hz) during anticipation, target detection and post-response stages of a visual working memory task. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to record brain oscillatory activity from healthy 10-year-old children and young adults performing the Categorical N-Back Task (CNBT). Neuropsychological measures assessing frontal lobe networks were also acquired. Whereas adults showed a modulation of the ERD at the anticipatory stages of CNBT and ERS at the post-response stage, children displayed only some anticipatory modulation of ERD but no ERS at the post-response stage, with alpha-band remaining at a desynchronized state. Since neuropsychological and prior neuroimaging findings indicate that the prefrontal-parietal networks are not fully developed in 10-year olds, and since the children performed as well as the adults on CNBT and yet displayed different patterns of ERD/ERS, we suggest that children may be using different top-down cognitive strategies and, hence, different, developmentally apt neuronal networks. PMID:20713071

  2. Temporal Co-Variation between Eye Lens Accommodation and Trapezius Muscle Activity during a Dynamic Near-Far Visual Task

    PubMed Central

    Zetterberg, Camilla; Richter, Hans O.; Forsman, Mikael

    2015-01-01

    Near work is associated with increased activity in the neck and shoulder muscles, but the underlying mechanism is still unknown. This study was designed to determine whether a dynamic change in focus, alternating between a nearby and a more distant visual target, produces a direct parallel change in trapezius muscle activity. Fourteen healthy controls and 12 patients with a history of visual and neck/shoulder symptoms performed a Near-Far visual task under three different viewing conditions; one neutral condition with no trial lenses, one condition with negative trial lenses to create increased accommodation, and one condition with positive trial lenses to create decreased accommodation. Eye lens accommodation and trapezius muscle activity were continuously recorded. The trapezius muscle activity was significantly higher during Near than during Far focusing periods for both groups within the neutral viewing condition, and there was a significant co-variation in time between accommodation and trapezius muscle activity within the neutral and positive viewing conditions for the control group. In conclusion, these results reveal a connection between Near focusing and increased muscle activity during dynamic changes in focus between a nearby and a far target. A direct link, from the accommodation/vergence system to the trapezius muscles cannot be ruled out, but the connection may also be explained by an increased need for eye-neck (head) stabilization when focusing on a nearby target as compared to a more distant target. PMID:25961299

  3. [Medical support of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: results of activity and tasks for 2016].

    PubMed

    Fisun, A Ya

    2016-01-01

    The author gives an analysis of activity of the medical service of the Armed Forces in 2015 concerning development of normative legal basis for the military health care, improvement of the level of operational and mobilization readiness of subunits of army group, and military-medical institutions, improvement of effectiveness of treatment and evacuation measures, health resort treatment, medical stuff training optimization, sanitary-and-epidemiologic support, material and technical support improvement, adoption of advanced scientific achievements focusing on medical care delivery to army group, active development and increase in medical information systems, telehealth. system. The author gives data characterizing state and level of development of medical service of the Armed Forces and its dynamics. Main tasks and parameters of development of the service in 2016 and up to 2020 are formulated. PMID:27120950

  4. Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles

    PubMed Central

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F.; Pantall, Annette; Maas, Huub; Farrell, Brad; Gregor, Robert J.; Prilutsky, Boris I.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the functional significance of the morphological diversity of mammalian skeletal muscles is limited by technical difficulties of estimating the contribution of motor units with different properties to unconstrained motor behaviours. Recently developed wavelet and principal components analysis of intramuscular myoelectric signals has linked signals with lower and higher frequency contents to the use of slower and faster motor unit populations. In this study we estimated the relative contributions of lower and higher frequency signals of cat ankle extensors (soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii, plantaris) during level, downslope and upslope walking and the paw-shake response. This was done using the first two myoelectric signal principal components (PCI, PCII), explaining over 90% of the signal, and an angle θ, a function of PCI/PCII, indicating the relative contribution of slower and faster motor unit populations. Mean myoelectric frequencies in all walking conditions were lowest for slow soleus (234 Hz) and highest for fast gastrocnemii (307 and 330 Hz) muscles. Motor unit populations within and across the studied muscles that demonstrated lower myoelectric frequency (suggesting slower populations) were recruited during tasks and movement phases with lower mechanical demands on the ankle extensors – during downslope and level walking and in early walking stance and paw-shake phases. With increasing mechanical demands (upslope walking, mid-phase of paw-shake cycles), motor unit populations generating higher frequency signals (suggesting faster populations) contributed progressively more. We conclude that the myoelectric frequency contents within and between feline ankle extensors vary across studied motor behaviours, with patterns that are generally consistent with muscle fibre-type composition. PMID:22811250

  5. Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles.

    PubMed

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F; Pantall, Annette; Maas, Huub; Farrell, Brad; Gregor, Robert J; Prilutsky, Boris I

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the functional significance of the morphological diversity of mammalian skeletal muscles is limited by technical difficulties of estimating the contribution of motor units with different properties to unconstrained motor behaviours. Recently developed wavelet and principal components analysis of intramuscular myoelectric signals has linked signals with lower and higher frequency contents to the use of slower and faster motor unit populations. In this study we estimated the relative contributions of lower and higher frequency signals of cat ankle extensors (soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii, plantaris) during level, downslope and upslope walking and the paw-shake response. This was done using the first two myoelectric signal principal components (PCI, PCII), explaining over 90% of the signal, and an angle θ, a function of PCI/PCII, indicating the relative contribution of slower and faster motor unit populations. Mean myoelectric frequencies in all walking conditions were lowest for slow soleus (234 Hz) and highest for fast gastrocnemii (307 and 330 Hz) muscles. Motor unit populations within and across the studied muscles that demonstrated lower myoelectric frequency (suggesting slower populations) were recruited during tasks and movement phases with lower mechanical demands on the ankle extensors--during downslope and level walking and in early walking stance and paw-shake phases. With increasing mechanical demands (upslope walking, mid-phase of paw-shake cycles), motor unit populations generating higher frequency signals (suggesting faster populations) contributed progressively more. We conclude that the myoelectric frequency contents within and between feline ankle extensors vary across studied motor behaviours, with patterns that are generally consistent with muscle fibre-type composition. PMID:22811250

  6. Time pressure undermines performance more under avoidance than approach motivation.

    PubMed

    Roskes, Marieke; Elliot, Andrew J; Nijstad, Bernard A; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2013-06-01

    Four experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that performance is particularly undermined by time pressure when people are avoidance motivated. The results supported this hypothesis across three different types of tasks, including those well suited and those ill suited to the type of information processing evoked by avoidance motivation. We did not find evidence that stress-related emotions were responsible for the observed effect. Avoidance motivation is certainly necessary and valuable in the self-regulation of everyday behavior. However, our results suggest that given its nature and implications, it seems best that avoidance motivation is avoided in situations that involve (time) pressure. PMID:23554176

  7. Preparing Students for Education, Work, and Community: Activity Theory in Task-Based Curriculum Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Chris; MacPherson, Seonaigh; Sawkins, Tanis

    2014-01-01

    This case study describes how sociocultural and activity theory were applied in the design of a publicly funded, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)-based English as a Second Language (ESL) credential program and curriculum for immigrant and international students in postsecondary institutions in British Columbia, Canada. The ESL Pathways Project…

  8. Observations of Children's Interactions with Teachers, Peers, and Tasks across Preschool Classroom Activity Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booren, Leslie M.; Downer, Jason T.; Vitiello, Virginia E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children's observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. A total of 145 children were observed for an average of 80 min during 8 occasions across 2 days using the Individualized…

  9. The Relationship between Students' Reading Orientations and Their Strategic Activity during a Collaborative Reading Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Dennis S.; Neitzel, Carin

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the connection between middle school students' beliefs about reading and their use of comprehension strategies during a collaborative reading activity. Seventy-one fifth- and sixth-grade students were videotaped while they worked in small groups to read and discuss short texts describing the reading habits and abilities of four…

  10. Reconsidering Off-Task: A Comparative Study of PDA-Mediated Activities in Four Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mifsud, L.; Morch, A. I.

    2010-01-01

    Mobile technology is ubiquitous and diverse and permeates many aspects of daily life at home, during leisure activities, and in public spaces. The study presented here is of two sixth grade classes in Michigan, USA and two seventh grade classes in Norway. The students and the teachers in these four classrooms were equipped with mobile technologies…

  11. Head-repositioning does not reduce the reproducibility of fMRI activation in a block-design motor task.

    PubMed

    Soltysik, David A; Thomasson, David; Rajan, Sunder; Gonzalez-Castillo, Javier; DiCamillo, Paul; Biassou, Nadia

    2011-06-01

    It is hypothesized that, based upon partial volume effects and spatial non-uniformities of the scanning environment, repositioning a subject's head inside the head coil between separate functional MRI scans will reduce the reproducibility of fMRI activation compared to a series of functional runs where the subject's head remains in the same position. Nine subjects underwent fMRI scanning where they performed a sequential, oppositional finger-tapping task. The first five runs were conducted with the subject's head remaining stable inside the head coil. Following this, four more runs were collected after the subject removed and replaced his/her head inside the head coil before each run. The coefficient of variation was calculated for four metrics: the distance from the anterior commisure to the center of mass of sensorimotor activation, maximum t-statistic, activation volume, and average percent signal change. These values were compared for five head-stabilization runs and five head-repositioning runs. Voxelwise intraclass correlation coefficients were also calculated to assess the spatial distribution of sources of variance. Interestingly, head repositioning was not seen to significantly affect the reproducibility of fMRI activation (p<0.05). In addition, the threshold level affected the reproducibility of activation volume and percent signal change. PMID:21406235

  12. Avoiding Sophomore Jinx.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzpatrick, James

    2002-01-01

    After the first year, new superintendents should take care to avoid the "sophomore jinx" by communicating effectively with the board president every week and with board members before meetings. Public engagement is also an integral part of a superintendent's job. (MLF)

  13. Pitcherpot: Avoiding Honeypot Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchal, Vinod K.; Bhatnagar, Pramod K.; Bhatnagar, Mitul

    This paper explores the various ways honeypots could be detected by the malicious attacker. This includes the different prevalent criteria and characteristics for honeypots generation & their weaknesses. Further this paper proposes a new way of implementation of a honeypot (Pitcher pots Systems) that effectively facilitate its identity avoidance and yet offers better ways to study the attacker.

  14. Myelin Avoids the JAM.

    PubMed

    Follis, Rose M; Carter, Bruce D

    2016-08-17

    In this issue of Neuron, Redmond et al. (2016) identify junction adhesion molecule 2 (JAM2) as an inhibitor of somatodendritic myelination in spinal cord neurons, thereby elucidating how myelin forms on axons but avoids dendrites and cell bodies. PMID:27537479

  15. Avoiding the "M" Word.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klinger, Donna

    2001-01-01

    Provides an overview of roundtable discussions by top business officers about how higher education can capitalize on strategic alliances. Describes how, by working with one another and with corporate partners, colleges and universities can avoid closing their doors or merging with stronger institutions. (EV)

  16. Plants to Avoid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of poisonous plants is extremely important for home owners, gardeners, farmers, hunters, hikers, and the rest of the general public. Among the most important plants to avoid in the Delta Region are poison ivy, bull nettle, eastern black nightshade, Queen Ann’s lace, jimsonweed, and trumpe...

  17. Psychological Treatments to Avoid

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomason, Timothy C.

    2010-01-01

    Certain psychological treatments should be avoided, and a list of such treatments would provide valuable guidance for counselors, as well as potential clients. It is well established that some therapies are potentially dangerous, and some fringe therapies are highly unlikely to help clients beyond a placebo effect. This article provides an…

  18. Differential neuromodulation of acquisition and retrieval of avoidance learning by the lateral habenula and ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Shumake, Jason; Ilango, Anton; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Ohl, Frank W

    2010-04-28

    Several studies suggest an opponent functional relationship between the lateral habenula (LHb) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Previous work has linked LHb activation to the inhibition of dopaminergic neurons during loss of reward, as well as to deficits in escape and avoidance learning. We hypothesized that a dopamine signal might underlie the negative reinforcement of avoidance responses and that LHb activation could block this signal and thereby cause avoidance deficits. To test this idea, we implanted stimulating electrodes in either the VTA or LHb of gerbils engaged in two-way active avoidance learning, a task that shows learning-associated dopamine changes and that is acquired faster following LHb lesions. We delivered brief electrical brain stimulation whenever the animal performed a correct response, i.e., when the successful avoidance of foot shock was hypothesized to trigger an intrinsic reward signal. During the acquisition phase, VTA stimulation improved avoidance performance, while LHb stimulation impaired it. VTA stimulation appeared to improve both acquisition and asymptotic performance of the avoidance response, as VTA-stimulated animals reached above-normal performance but reverted to normal responding when stimulation was discontinued. The effects of LHb stimulation during avoidance acquisition were long lasting and persisted even after stimulation was discontinued. However, when given after successful acquisition of avoidance behavior, LHb stimulation had no effect, indicating that LHb stimulation specifically impaired avoidance acquisition without affecting memory retrieval or motivation or ability to perform the avoidance response. These results demonstrate opponent roles of LHb and VTA during acquisition but not during retrieval of avoidance learning. PMID:20427648

  19. Influence of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum on risk avoidance in addiction: a mediation analysis*

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Dorothy J.; Woo, Choong-Wan; Wager, Tor D.; Regner, Michael F.; Tanabe, Jody

    2015-01-01

    Background Alterations in frontal and striatal function are hypothesized to underlie risky decision-making in drug users, but how these regions interact to affect behavior is incompletely understood. We used mediation analysis to investigate how prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum together influence risk avoidance in abstinent drug users. Method Thirty-seven abstinent substance-dependent individuals (SDI) and 43 controls underwent fMRI while performing a decision-making task involving risk and reward. Analyses of a priori regions-of-interest tested whether activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventral striatum (VST) explained group differences in risk avoidance. Whole-brain analysis was conducted to identify brain regions influencing the negative VST-risk avoidance relationship. Results Right DLPFC (RDLPFC) positively mediated the group-risk avoidance relationship (p < 0.05); RDLPFC activity was higher in SDI and predicted higher risk avoidance across groups, controlling for SDI vs. controls. Conversely, VST activity negatively influenced risk avoidance (p < 0.05); it was higher in SDI, and predicted lower risk avoidance. Whole-brain analysis revealed that, across group, RDLPFC and left temporal-parietal junction positively (p ≤ 0.001) while right thalamus and left middle frontal gyrus negatively (p < 0.005) mediated the VST activity-risk avoidance relationship. Conclusion RDLPFC activity mediated less risky decision-making while VST mediated more risky decision-making across drug users and controls. These results suggest a dual pathway underlying decision-making, which, if imbalanced, may adversely influence choices involving risk. Modeling contributions of multiple brain systems to behavior through mediation analysis could lead to a better understanding of mechanisms of behavior and suggest neuromodulatory treatments for addiction. PMID:25736619

  20. Development of response activation and inhibition in a selective stop-signal task.

    PubMed

    van de Laar, Maria C; van den Wildenberg, Wery P M; van Boxtel, Geert J M; van der Molen, Maurits W

    2014-10-01

    To gain more insight into the development of action control, the current brain potential study examined response selection, activation, and selective inhibition during choice- and stop-signal processing in three age groups (8-, 12-, and 21-year-olds). Results revealed that age groups differed in the implementation of proactive control; children slowed their go response and showed reduced cortical motor output compared to adults. On failed inhibition trials, children were less able than adults to suppress muscle output resulting in increased partial-inhibition rates. On invalid stop trials, all age groups initially activated, subsequently inhibited, and then reactivated the go response. Yet, children were less efficient in implementing this strategy. Then, older children recruit motor responses to a greater extent than younger children and adults, which reduced the efficiency of implementing response inhibition and proactive control. The results are discussed in relation to current notions of developmental change in proactive and reactive action control. PMID:25014630

  1. Effects of a genome-wide supported psychosis risk variant on neural activation during a theory-of-mind task.

    PubMed

    Walter, H; Schnell, K; Erk, S; Arnold, C; Kirsch, P; Esslinger, C; Mier, D; Schmitgen, M M; Rietschel, M; Witt, S H; Nöthen, M M; Cichon, S; Meyer-Lindenberg, A

    2011-04-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with marked deficits in theory of mind (ToM), a higher-order form of social cognition representing the thoughts, emotions and intentions of others. Altered brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal cortex during ToM tasks has been found in patients with schizophrenia, but the relevance of these neuroimaging findings for the heritable risk for schizophrenia is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that activation of the ToM network is altered in healthy risk allele carriers of the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1344706 in the gene ZNF804A, a recently discovered risk variant for psychosis with genome-wide support. In all, 109 healthy volunteers of both sexes in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for rs1344706 were investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a ToM task. As hypothesised, risk carriers exhibited a significant (P<0.05 false discovery rate, corrected for multiple comparisons) risk allele dose effect on neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and left temporo-parietal cortex. Moreover, the same effect was found in the left inferior parietal cortex and left inferior frontal cortex, which are part of the human analogue of the mirror neuron system. In addition, in an exploratory analysis (P<0.001 uncorrected), we found evidence for aberrant functional connectivity between the frontal and temporo-parietal regions in risk allele carriers. To conclude, we show that a dysfunction of the ToM network is associated with a genome-wide supported genetic risk variant for schizophrenia and has promise as an intermediate phenotype that can be mined for the development of biological interventions targeted to social dysfunction in psychiatry. PMID:20231838

  2. Tera-node Network Technology (TASK 4) Network Infrastructure Activities (NIA) final report

    SciTech Connect

    Postel, John; Bannister, Joe

    2000-03-15

    The TNT project developed software technologies in scalable personal telecommunications (SPT), Reservation Protocol 2 (RSVP2), Scalable Computing Infrastructure (SCOPE), and Network Infrastructure Activities (NIA). SPT = developed many innovative protocols to support the use of videoconferencing applications on the Internet. RSVP2 = developed a new reference model and further standardization of RSVP. SCOPE = developed dynamic resource discovery techniques and distributed directory services in support of resource allocation for large distributed systems and computations. NIA = provided policy, operational, and support to the transitioning Internet.

  3. Higher Media Multi-Tasking Activity Is Associated with Smaller Gray-Matter Density in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Kep Kee; Kanai, Ryota

    2014-01-01

    Media multitasking, or the concurrent consumption of multiple media forms, is increasingly prevalent in today’s society and has been associated with negative psychosocial and cognitive impacts. Individuals who engage in heavier media-multitasking are found to perform worse on cognitive control tasks and exhibit more socio-emotional difficulties. However, the neural processes associated with media multi-tasking remain unexplored. The present study investigated relationships between media multitasking activity and brain structure. Research has demonstrated that brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. Thus, we expected differential engagements in media multitasking to correlate with brain structure variability. This was confirmed via Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analyses: Individuals with higher Media Multitasking Index (MMI) scores had smaller gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Functional connectivity between this ACC region and the precuneus was negatively associated with MMI. Our findings suggest a possible structural correlate for the observed decreased cognitive control performance and socio-emotional regulation in heavy media-multitaskers. While the cross-sectional nature of our study does not allow us to specify the direction of causality, our results brought to light novel associations between individual media multitasking behaviors and ACC structure differences. PMID:25250778

  4. Characterization of long-term memory, resistance to extinction, and influence of temperament during two instrumental tasks in horses.

    PubMed

    Valenchon, Mathilde; Lévy, Frédéric; Górecka-Bruzda, Aleksandra; Calandreau, Ludovic; Lansade, Léa

    2013-11-01

    The present study investigated the influence of temperament on long-term recall and extinction of 2 instrumental tasks in 26 horses. In the first task (backward task), horses learned to walk backward, using commands given by an experimenter, in order to obtain a food reward. In the second task (active avoidance task), horses had to cross an obstacle after a bell rang in order to avoid emission of an air puff. Twenty-two months after acquisition, horses exhibited perfect recall performance in both tasks. Accordingly, no influence of temperament on recall performance could be observed for either task. In contrast, in the absence of positive or negative outcomes, the horses' ability to extinguish their response to either task was highly variable. Resistance to extinction was related to some indicators of temperament: The most fearful horses tended to be the most resistant to extinction in the backward task, while the least sensitive horses tended to be the most resistant to extinction in the active avoidance task. These findings reveal extensive long-term memory abilities in horses and suggest an influence of temperament on learning processes other than acquisition. PMID:23743707

  5. Correlation of within-individual fluctuation of depressed mood with prefrontal cortex activity during verbal working memory task: optical topography study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hiroki; Aoki, Ryuta; Katura, Takusige; Matsuda, Ryoichi; Koizumi, Hideaki

    2011-12-01

    Previous studies showed that interindividual variations in mood state are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity. In this study, we focused on the depressed-mood state under natural circumstances and examined the relationship between within-individual changes over time in this mood state and PFC activity. We used optical topography (OT), a functional imaging technique based on near-infrared spectroscopy, to measure PFC activity for each participant in three experimental sessions repeated at 2-week intervals. In each session, the participants completed a self-report questionnaire of mood state and underwent OT measurement while performing verbal and spatial working memory (WM) tasks. The results showed that changes in the depressed-mood score between successive sessions were negatively correlated with those in the left PFC activation for the verbal WM task (ρ = -0.56, p < 0.05). In contrast, the PFC activation for the spatial WM task did not co-vary with participants' mood changes. We thus demonstrated that PFC activity during a verbal WM task varies depending on the participant's depressed mood state, independent of trait factors. This suggests that using optical topography to measure PFC activity during a verbal WM task can be used as a potential state marker for an individual's depressed mood state.

  6. Effects of mirror therapy combined with motor tasks on upper extremity function and activities daily living of stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyunghoon; Lee, Sukmin; Kim, Donghoon; Lee, Kyoungbo; Kim, Youlim

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of mirror therapy combined with exercise tasks on the function of the upper limbs and activities of daily living. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five stroke patients who were receiving physical therapy at K Hospital in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, were classified into a mirror therapy group (n=12) and a conventional therapy group (n=13). The therapies were applied for 30 minutes per day, five times per week, for a total of four weeks. Upper limb function was measured with the Action Research Arm test, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, and the Box and Block test, and activities of daily living were measured with the Functional Independence Measure. A paired test was performed to compare the intragroup differences between before training and after four weeks of therapy, and an independent t-test was performed to compare the differences between the two groups before and after four weeks of therapy. [Results] In the intragroup comparison, both groups showed significant differences between measurements taken before and after four weeks of therapy. In the intergroup comparison, the mirror therapy group showed significant improvements compared with the conventional therapy group, both in upper limb function and activities of daily living. [Conclusion] The findings of this study demonstrated that mirror therapy is more effective than conventional therapy for the training of stroke patients to improve their upper limb function and activities of daily living. PMID:27065534

  7. Effects of mirror therapy combined with motor tasks on upper extremity function and activities daily living of stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyunghoon; Lee, Sukmin; Kim, Donghoon; Lee, Kyoungbo; Kim, Youlim

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of mirror therapy combined with exercise tasks on the function of the upper limbs and activities of daily living. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five stroke patients who were receiving physical therapy at K Hospital in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, were classified into a mirror therapy group (n=12) and a conventional therapy group (n=13). The therapies were applied for 30 minutes per day, five times per week, for a total of four weeks. Upper limb function was measured with the Action Research Arm test, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, and the Box and Block test, and activities of daily living were measured with the Functional Independence Measure. A paired test was performed to compare the intragroup differences between before training and after four weeks of therapy, and an independent t-test was performed to compare the differences between the two groups before and after four weeks of therapy. [Results] In the intragroup comparison, both groups showed significant differences between measurements taken before and after four weeks of therapy. In the intergroup comparison, the mirror therapy group showed significant improvements compared with the conventional therapy group, both in upper limb function and activities of daily living. [Conclusion] The findings of this study demonstrated that mirror therapy is more effective than conventional therapy for the training of stroke patients to improve their upper limb function and activities of daily living. PMID:27065534

  8. Optogenetics in Mice Performing a Visual Discrimination Task: Measurement and Suppression of Retinal Activation and the Resulting Behavioral Artifact

    PubMed Central

    Danskin, Bethanny; Denman, Daniel; Valley, Matthew; Ollerenshaw, Douglas; Williams, Derric; Groblewski, Peter; Reid, Clay; Olsen, Shawn; Waters, Jack

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetic techniques are used widely to perturb and interrogate neural circuits in behaving animals, but illumination can have additional effects, such as the activation of endogenous opsins in the retina. We found that illumination, delivered deep into the brain via an optical fiber, evoked a behavioral artifact in mice performing a visually guided discrimination task. Compared with blue (473 nm) and yellow (589 nm) illumination, red (640 nm) illumination evoked a greater behavioral artifact and more activity in the retina, the latter measured with electrical recordings. In the mouse, the sensitivity of retinal opsins declines steeply with wavelength across the visible spectrum, but propagation of light through brain tissue increases with wavelength. Our results suggest that poor retinal sensitivity to red light was overcome by relatively robust propagation of red light through brain tissue and stronger illumination of the retina by red than by blue or yellow light. Light adaptation of the retina, via an external source of illumination, suppressed retinal activation and the behavioral artifact without otherwise impacting behavioral performance. In summary, long wavelength optogenetic stimuli are particularly prone to evoke behavioral artifacts via activation of retinal opsins in the mouse, but light adaptation of the retina can provide a simple and effective mitigation of the artifact. PMID:26657323

  9. Attentional Control of Task and Response in Lateral and Medial Frontal Cortex: Brain Activity and Reaction Time Distributions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aarts, Esther; Roelofs, Ardi; van Turennout, Miranda

    2009-01-01

    It is unclear whether task conflict is reflected in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) or in more dorsal regions of the medial frontal cortex (MFC). When participants switch between tasks involving incongruent, congruent, and neutral stimuli, it is possible to examine both response conflict (incongruent vs. congruent) and task conflict (congruent…

  10. What Comes First? How Selective Attentional Processes Regulate the Activation of a Motor Routine in a Manual Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riviere, James; Falaise, Aurelie

    2011-01-01

    An intriguing error has been observed in toddlers presented with a 3-location search task involving invisible displacements of an object, namely, the C-not-B task. In 3 experiments, the authors investigated the dynamics of the attentional focus process that is suspected to be involved in this task. In Experiment 1, 2.5-year-old children were…

  11. Brain Activation and Deactivation during Location and Color Working Memory Tasks in 11-13-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vuontela, Virve; Steenari, Maija-Riikka; Aronen, Eeva T.; Korvenoja, Antti; Aronen, Hannu J.; Carlson, Synnove

    2009-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state,…

  12. Differences in Induced Brain Activity during the Performance of Learning and Working-Memory Tasks Related to Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2004-01-01

    Thirteen high intelligent (H-IQ) and 13 low intelligent (L-IQ) individuals solved two figural working-memory (WM) tasks and two figural learning tasks while their EEG was recorded. For the WM tasks, only in the theta band group related differences in induced event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) were observed. L-IQ individuals…

  13. The effects of task-oriented versus repetitive bilateral arm training on upper limb function and activities of daily living in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Song, Gui Bin

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of task-oriented bilateral arm training and repetitive bilateral arm training on upper limb function and activities of daily living in stroke patients. [Subjects] Forty patients with hemiplegia resulting from stroke were divided into a task orientied bilateral arm training group (n=20) and a repetitive bilateral arm training group (n=20). [Methods] The task-oriented group underwent bilateral arm training with 5 functional tasks, and the repetitive group underwent bilateral arm training with rhythmin auditory cueing for 30 minutes/day, 5 times/week, for 12 weeks. [Results] The upper limb function and the ability to perform activities of daily living improved significantly in both groups. Although there were significant differences between the groups, the task-oriented group showed greater improvement in upper limb function and activities of daily living. [Conclusion] We recommend bilateral arm training as well as adding functional task training as a clinical intervention to improve upper limb function activities of daily living in patients with hemiplegia. PMID:26157217

  14. Increase in physical activities in kindergarten children with cerebral palsy by employing MaKey-MaKey-based task systems.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chien-Yu; Chang, Yu-Ming

    2014-09-01

    In this study, we employed Flash- and Scratch-based multimedia by using a MaKey-MaKey-based task system to increase the motivation level of children with cerebral palsy to perform physical activities. MaKey MaKey is a circuit board that converts physical touch to a digital signal, which is interpreted by a computer as a keyboard message. In this study, we used conductive materials to control this interaction. This study followed single-case design using ABAB models in which A indicated the baseline and B indicated the intervention. The experiment period comprised 1 month and a half. The experimental results demonstrated that in the case of two kindergarten children with cerebral palsy, their scores were considerably increased during the intervention phrases. The developmental applications of the results are also discussed. PMID:24864049

  15. A coordinate-based ALE functional MRI meta-analysis of brain activation during verbal fluency tasks in healthy control subjects

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The processing of verbal fluency tasks relies on the coordinated activity of a number of brain areas, particularly in the frontal and temporal lobes of the left hemisphere. Recent studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural networks subserving verbal fluency functions have yielded divergent results especially with respect to a parcellation of the inferior frontal gyrus for phonemic and semantic verbal fluency. We conducted a coordinate-based activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis on brain activation during the processing of phonemic and semantic verbal fluency tasks involving 28 individual studies with 490 healthy volunteers. Results For phonemic as well as for semantic verbal fluency, the most prominent clusters of brain activation were found in the left inferior/middle frontal gyrus (LIFG/MIFG) and the anterior cingulate gyrus. BA 44 was only involved in the processing of phonemic verbal fluency tasks, BA 45 and 47 in the processing of phonemic and semantic fluency tasks. Conclusions Our comparison of brain activation during the execution of either phonemic or semantic verbal fluency tasks revealed evidence for spatially different activation in BA 44, but not other regions of the LIFG/LMFG (BA 9, 45, 47) during phonemic and semantic verbal fluency processing. PMID:24456150

  16. Evidence that conditioned avoidance responses are reinforced by positive prediction errors signaled by tonic striatal dopamine.

    PubMed

    Dombrowski, Patricia A; Maia, Tiago V; Boschen, Suelen L; Bortolanza, Mariza; Wendler, Etieli; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Brandão, Marcus Lira; Winn, Philip; Blaha, Charles D; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2013-03-15

    We conducted an experiment in which hedonia, salience and prediction error hypotheses predicted different patterns of dopamine (DA) release in the striatum during learning of conditioned avoidance responses (CARs). The data strongly favor the latter hypothesis. It predicts that during learning of the 2-way active avoidance CAR task, positive prediction errors generated when rats do not receive an anticipated footshock (which is better than expected) cause DA release that reinforces the instrumental avoidance action. In vivo microdialysis in the rat striatum showed that extracellular DA concentration increased during early CAR learning and decreased throughout training returning to baseline once the response was well learned. In addition, avoidance learning was proportional to the degree of DA release. Critically, exposure of rats to the same stimuli but in an unpredictable, unavoidable, and inescapable manner, did not produce alterations from baseline DA levels as predicted by the prediction error but not hedonic or salience hypotheses. In addition, rats with a partial lesion of substantia nigra DA neurons, which did not show increased DA levels during learning, failed to learn this task. These data represent clear and unambiguous evidence that it was the factor positive prediction error, and not hedonia or salience, which caused increase in the tonic level of striatal DA and which reinforced learning of the instrumental avoidance response. PMID:22771418

  17. ALHAT: Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robertson, Edward A.; Carson, John M., III

    2015-01-01

    The ALHAT project was chartered by NASA HQ in 2006 to develop and mature to TRL 6 an autonomous lunar landing GN&C and sensing system for crewed, cargo, and robotic planetary landing vehicles. The multi-center ALHAT team was tasked with providing a system capable of identifying and avoiding surface hazards in real time to enable safe precision landing to within tens of meters of a designated planetary landing site under any lighting conditions.

  18. Reward Contingency Modulates Neuronal Activity in Rat Septal Nuclei during Elemental and Configural Association Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Matsuyama, Nozomu; Uwano, Teruko; Hori, Etsuro; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that septal nuclei are important in the control of behavior during various reward and non-reward situations. In the present study, neuronal activity was recorded from rat septal nuclei during discrimination of conditioned sensory stimuli (CSs) of the medial forebrain bundle associated with or without a reward (sucrose solution or intracranial self-stimulation, ICSS). Rats were trained to lick a spout protruding close to the mouth just after a CS to obtain a reward stimulus. The CSs included both elemental and configural stimuli. In the configural condition, the reward contingency of the stimuli presented together was opposite to that of each elemental stimulus presented alone, although the same sensory stimuli were involved. Of the 72 responsive septal neurons, 18 responded selectively to the CSs predicting reward (CS+-related), four to the CSs predicting non-reward (CS0-related), nine to some CSs predicting reward or non-reward, and 15 non-differentially to all CSs. The remaining 26 neurons responded mainly during the ingestion/ICSS phase. A multivariate analysis of the septal neuronal responses to elemental and configural stimuli indicated that septal neurons encoded the CSs based on reward contingency, regardless of the stimulus physical properties and were categorized into three groups; CSs predicting the sucrose solution, CSs predicting a non-reward, and CSs predicting ICSS. The results suggest that septal nuclei are deeply involved in discriminating the reward contingency of environmental stimuli to manifest appropriate behaviors in response to changing stimuli. PMID:21633493

  19. A semi-immersive virtual reality incremental swing balance task activates prefrontal cortex: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Basso Moro, Sara; Bisconti, Silvia; Muthalib, Makii; Spezialetti, Matteo; Cutini, Simone; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2014-01-15

    Previous functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) studies indicated that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in the maintenance of the postural balance after external perturbations. So far, no studies have been conducted to investigate the PFC hemodynamic response to virtual reality (VR) tasks that could be adopted in the field of functional neurorehabilitation. The aim of this fNIRS study was to assess PFC oxygenation response during an incremental and a control swing balance task (ISBT and CSBT, respectively) in a semi-immersive VR environment driven by a depth-sensing camera. It was hypothesized that: i) the PFC would be bilaterally activated in response to the increase of the ISBT difficulty, as this cortical region is involved in the allocation of attentional resources to maintain postural control; and ii) the PFC activation would be greater in the right than in the left hemisphere considering its dominance for visual control of body balance. To verify these hypotheses, 16 healthy male subjects were requested to stand barefoot while watching a 3 dimensional virtual representation of themselves projected onto a screen. They were asked to maintain their equilibrium on a virtual blue swing board susceptible to external destabilizing perturbations (i.e., randomizing the forward-backward direction of the impressed pulse force) during a 3-min ISBT (performed at four levels of difficulty) or during a 3-min CSBT (performed constantly at the lowest level of difficulty of the ISBT). The center of mass (COM), at each frame, was calculated and projected on the floor. When the subjects were unable to maintain the COM over the board, this became red (error). After each error, the time required to bring back the COM on the board was calculated (returning time). An eight-channel continuous wave fNIRS system was employed for measuring oxygenation changes (oxygenated-hemoglobin, O2Hb; deoxygenated-hemoglobin, HHb) related to the PFC activation (Brodmann Areas 10, 11

  20. The Neural Representation of Voluntary Task-Set Selection in Dynamic Environments.

    PubMed

    Wisniewski, David; Reverberi, Carlo; Tusche, Anita; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2015-12-01

    When choosing actions, humans have to balance carefully between different task demands. On the one hand, they should perform tasks repeatedly to avoid frequent and effortful switching between different tasks. On the other hand, subjects have to retain their flexibility to adapt to changes in external task demands such as switching away from an increasingly difficult task. Here, we developed a difficulty-based choice task to investigate how subjects voluntarily select task-sets in predictably changing environments. Subjects were free to choose 1 of the 3 task-sets on a trial-by-trial basis, while the task difficulty changed dynamically over time. Subjects self-sequenced their behavior in this environment while we measured brain responses with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using multivariate decoding, we found that task choices were encoded in the medial prefrontal cortex (dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, dmPFC, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dACC). The same regions were found to encode task difficulty, a major factor influencing choices. Importantly, the present paradigm allowed us to disentangle the neural code for task choices and task difficulty, ensuring that activation patterns in dmPFC/dACC independently encode these 2 factors. This finding provides new evidence for the importance of the dmPFC/dACC for task-selection and motivational functions in highly dynamic environments. PMID:25037922

  1. Influence of different stool types on muscle activity and lumbar posture among dentists during a simulated dental screening task.

    PubMed

    De Bruyne, Mieke A A; Van Renterghem, Benedikt; Baird, Andrew; Palmans, Tanneke; Danneels, Lieven; Dolphens, Mieke

    2016-09-01

    Whereas in the past dental stools typically facilitated a 90° hip angle, a number of currently available alternative designs allow for a more extended hip posture. The present study investigated the influence of different stool types on muscle activity and lumbar posture. Twenty five participants completed a simulated dental procedure on a standard stool, a saddle and the Ghopec. The latter stool comprises a seat pan consisting of a horizontal rear part for the pelvis and an inclinable sloping down front part for the upper legs, with a vertically and horizontally adjustable back rest. Lumbar posture was most close to neutral on the Ghopec, whereas sitting on a standard/saddle stool resulted in more flexed/extended postures respectively. Sitting with a 90° angle (standard stool) resulted in higher activation of back muscles while sitting with a 125° angle (saddle and Ghopec) activated abdominal muscles more, although less in the presence of a backrest (Ghopec). To maintain neutral posture during dental screening, the Ghopec is considered the most suitable design for the tasks undertaken. PMID:26975788

  2. Effects of acute smoking on brain activity vary with abstinence in smokers performing the N-Back Task: a preliminary study

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Mendrek, Adrianna; Cohen, Mark S.; Monterosso, John; Simon, Sara; Brody, Arthur L.; Jarvik, Murray; Rodriguez, Paul; Ernst, Monique; London, Edythe D.

    2007-01-01

    We previously reported that compared with a non-deprivation state, overnight abstinence from cigarette smoking was associated with higher brain activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-DLPFC) during a low demanding working memory challenge, and little increase beyond this activity level during more taxing working memory conditions. In the present study, we aimed to assess how recent smoking (overnight abstinence Vs smoking ad libitum) influenced the effect of smoking a cigarette on brain activity related to a working memory challenge. Six smokers performed the N-Back working memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) both before and after smoking a cigarette in each of two test sessions: one following overnight abstinence from smoking (>13 h) and the other following ad libitum smoking. Task-related activity in L-DLPFC showed a significant interaction between the effects of acute smoking, test session, and task load. After overnight abstinence, post-smoking brain activity in L-DLPFC was lower than before smoking at low task-load and higher at high task-load; corresponding activity on a day of ad libitum smoking was higher at low load and lower at high task-load after smoking during the session. These data suggest that the effect of acute smoking on working-memory processing depends on recent prior smoking and task-load. In particular, they provide preliminary evidence that functional efficiency of working memory is improved by smoking a cigarette during abstinence, while the effect of a cigarette in a non-deprived state varies with the nature and difficulty of the working memory challenge. This interaction merits further examination in larger studies specifically designed to consider this issue. PMID:17088048

  3. Broca's region and Visual Word Form Area activation differ during a predictive Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg; Skakkebæk, Anne

    2015-12-01

    Competing theories attempt to explain the function of Broca's area in single word processing. Studies have found the region to be more active during processing of pseudo words than real words and during infrequent words relative to frequent words and during Stroop (incongruent) color words compared to Non-Stroop (congruent) words. Two related theories explain these findings as reflecting either "cognitive control" processing in the face of conflicting input or a linguistic prediction error signal, based on a predictive coding approach. The latter implies that processing cost refers to violations of expectations based on the statistical distributions of input. In this fMRI experiment we attempted to disentangle single word processing cost originating from cognitive conflict and that stemming from predictive expectation violation. Participants (N = 49) responded to whether the words "GREEN" or "RED" were displayed in green or red (incongruent vs congruent colors). One of the colors, however, was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and frequency effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying "GREEN" or "RED" had the same distribution, making it possible to study frequency effects across modalities. We found significant behavioral effects of both incongruency and frequency. A significant effect (p < .05 FWE) of incongruency was found in Broca's region, but no effect of frequency was observed and no interaction. Conjoined effects of incongruency and frequency were found in parietal regions as well as in the Visual Word Form Area (VWFA). No interaction between perceptual modality and frequency was found in VWFA suggesting that the region is not strictly visual. These findings speak against a strong version of the prediction error processing hypothesis in Broca's region. They support the idea that prediction error processes in the intermediate timeframe are allocated to more posterior parts of the brain. PMID:26478962

  4. Metacognitive evaluation in the avoidance of demand.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Timothy L; Lutes, David J C; Risko, Evan F

    2016-09-01

    In the current set of experiments our goal was to test the hypothesis that individuals avoid courses of action based on a kind of metacognitive evaluation of demand in a Demand Selection Task (DST). Individuals in Experiment 1 completed a DST utilizing visual stimuli known to yield a dissociation between performance and perceived demand. Patterns of demand avoidance followed that of perceived demand. Experiment 2 provided a replication of the aforementioned results, in addition to demonstrating a second dissociation between a peripheral physiological measure of demand (i.e., blink rates) and demand avoidance. Experiment 3 directly tested the assumption that individuals make use of a general metacognitive evaluation of task demand during selections. A DST was utilized in a forced-choice paradigm that required individuals to either select the most effortful, time demanding, or least accurate of 2 choices. Patterns of selections were similar across all rating dimensions, lending credit to this notion. Findings are discussed within a metacognitive framework of demand avoidance and contrasted to current theories. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27123679

  5. Final Report Project Activity Task ORD-FY04-002 Nevada System of Higher Education Quality Assurance Program

    SciTech Connect

    Smiecinski, Amy; Keeler, Raymond; Bertoia, Julie; Mueller, Terry; Roosa, Morris; Roosa, Barbara

    2008-03-07

    implemented the QA program and completed individual research project activities. PIs were also responsible for developing implementing procedures, conducting technical training, assuring that the QA program training was acquired by all task personnel, and participating in monitoring the QA program control for each individual research project activity. This project activity, which was an essential part of the program to enhance the collaborative ongoing research between the NSHE and ORD, was intended to support all quality-affecting activities funded during the five-year period of the cooperative agreement. However, the cooperative agreement was down-graded to non quality-affecting after 4 years.

  6. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which computerized cognitive training (CCT) can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years) were assigned to either (a) 20 h of CCT, or (b) 20 h of computerized arithmetic training (active control) by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 3–4 1-h sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-min paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points—baseline, after 10 h and after 20 h of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F = 7.033, df = 1.745; 73.273, p = 0.003) with a significant interaction at both the 10-h (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.38, p = 0.014) and 20-h time points (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.40, p = 0.003). No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners' Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study. PMID:25120510

  7. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which computerized cognitive training (CCT) can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years) were assigned to either (a) 20 h of CCT, or (b) 20 h of computerized arithmetic training (active control) by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 3-4 1-h sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-min paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points-baseline, after 10 h and after 20 h of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F = 7.033, df = 1.745; 73.273, p = 0.003) with a significant interaction at both the 10-h (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.38, p = 0.014) and 20-h time points (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.40, p = 0.003). No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners' Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study. PMID:25120510

  8. The absence of task-related increases in BOLD signal does not equate to absence of task-related brain activation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Calhoun, Vince D.; Potenza, Marc N.

    2015-01-01

    Most fMRI studies employ general-linear-model-based analyses (GLMBA) of BOLD signal changes to identify regions that are active (or not) during specific cognitive processes. However, alternate analytic approaches (like independent component analysis) may identify more complex patterns of activation, including in regions not implicated in GLM-BA of the same data. In our opinion, fMRI findings revealed by a GLM-BA cannot exclude any brain regions from contributing to specific cognitive processes. PMID:25445055

  9. Compensatory activation in fronto-parietal cortices among HIV-infected persons during a monetary decision-making task.

    PubMed

    Meade, Christina S; Cordero, Daniella M; Hobkirk, Andrea L; Metra, Brandon M; Chen, Nan-Kuei; Huettel, Scott A

    2016-07-01

    HIV infection can cause direct and indirect damage to the brain and is consistently associated with neurocognitive disorders, including impairments in decision-making capacities. The tendency to devalue rewards that are delayed (temporal discounting) is relevant to a range of health risk behaviors. Making choices about delayed rewards engages the executive control network of the brain, which has been found to be affected by HIV. In this case-control study of 18 HIV-positive and 17 HIV-negative adults, we examined the effects of HIV on brain activation during a temporal discounting task. Functional MRI (fMRI) data were collected while participants made choices between smaller, sooner rewards and larger, delayed rewards. Choices were individualized based on participants' unique discount functions, so each participant experienced hard (similarly valued), easy (disparately valued), and control choices. fMRI data were analyzed using a mixed-effects model to identify group-related differences associated with choice difficulty. While there was no difference between groups in behavioral performance, the HIV-positive group demonstrated significantly larger increases in activation within left parietal regions and bilateral prefrontal regions during easy trials and within the right prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate during hard trials. Increasing activation within the prefrontal regions was associated with lower nadir CD4 cell count and risk-taking propensity. These results support the hypothesis that HIV infection can alter brain functioning in regions that support decision making, providing further evidence for HIV-associated compensatory activation within fronto-parietal cortices. A history of immunosuppression may contribute to these brain changes. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2455-2467, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27004729

  10. Enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between core memory-task activation peaks is associated with memory impairment in MCI.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifei; Simon-Vermot, Lee; Araque Caballero, Miguel Á; Gesierich, Benno; Taylor, Alexander N W; Duering, Marco; Dichgans, Martin; Ewers, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) but its predictive value for episodic memory impairment is debated. Here, we aimed to assess whether resting-state FC in core brain regions activated during memory-task functional magnetic resonance imaging is altered and predictive of memory performance in AD and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Twenty-three elderly cognitively healthy controls (HC), 76 aMCI subjects, and 19 AD dementia patients were included. We computed resting-state FC between 18 meta-analytically determined peak coordinates of brain activation during successful memory retrieval. Higher FC between the parahippocampus, parietal cortex, and the middle frontal gyrus was observed in both AD and mild cognitive impairment compared to HC (false-discovery rate-corrected p < 0.05). The increase in FC between the parahippocampus and middle frontal gyrus was associated with reduced episodic memory in aMCI, independent of amyloid-beta positron emission tomography binding and apolipoprotein E ε4-carrier status. In conclusion, increased parahippocampal-prefrontal FC is predictive of impaired episodic memory in aMCI and may reflect a dysfunctional change within the episodic memory-related neural network. PMID:27459924

  11. Activity in Inferior Parietal and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Signals the Accumulation of Evidence in a Probability Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    d'Acremont, Mathieu; Fornari, Eleonora; Bossaerts, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In an uncertain environment, probabilities are key to predicting future events and making adaptive choices. However, little is known about how humans learn such probabilities and where and how they are encoded in the brain, especially when they concern more than two outcomes. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), young adults learned the probabilities of uncertain stimuli through repetitive sampling. Stimuli represented payoffs and participants had to predict their occurrence to maximize their earnings. Choices indicated loss and risk aversion but unbiased estimation of probabilities. BOLD response in medial prefrontal cortex and angular gyri increased linearly with the probability of the currently observed stimulus, untainted by its value. Connectivity analyses during rest and task revealed that these regions belonged to the default mode network. The activation of past outcomes in memory is evoked as a possible mechanism to explain the engagement of the default mode network in probability learning. A BOLD response relating to value was detected only at decision time, mainly in striatum. It is concluded that activity in inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortex reflects the amount of evidence accumulated in favor of competing and uncertain outcomes. PMID:23401673

  12. Differences in neural activation between preterm and full term born adolescents on a sentence comprehension task: implications for educational accommodations.

    PubMed

    Barde, Laura H F; Yeatman, Jason D; Lee, Eliana S; Glover, Gary; Feldman, Heidi M

    2012-02-15

    Adolescent survivors of preterm birth experience persistent functional problems that negatively impact academic outcomes, even when standardized measures of cognition and language suggest normal ability. In this fMRI study, we compared the neural activation supporting auditory sentence comprehension in two groups of adolescents (ages 9-16 years); sentences varied in length and syntactic difficulty. Preterms (n=18, mean gestational age 28.8 weeks) and full terms (n=14) had scores on verbal IQ, receptive vocabulary, and receptive language tests that were within or above normal limits and similar between groups. In early and late phases of the trial, we found interactions by group and length; in the late phase, we also found a group by syntactic difficulty interaction. Post hoc tests revealed that preterms demonstrated significant activation in the left and right middle frontal gyri as syntactic difficulty increased. ANCOVA showed that the interactions could not be attributed to differences in age, receptive language skill, or reaction time. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that preterm birth modulates brain-behavior relations in sentence comprehension as task demands increase. We suggest preterms' differences in neural processing may indicate a need for educational accommodations, even when formal test scores indicate normal academic achievement. PMID:22682901

  13. The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and its activities through the Central Eastern European Task Force.

    PubMed

    Hansen, H H; Bjerre-Jepsen, M; Hossfeld, D

    1999-01-01

    The article describes the history and organization of the European Society for Medical Oncology. The society, founded in 1975, aims at advancing medical oncology on a pan-European basis. Postgraduate training and education constitute a major part of ESMO's activities through a current CME programme of courses and other activities. Each year the ESMO Examination is held, and every other year ESMO organizes its congresses with the latest attendance of more than 6000 delegates. ESMO has a continuous increase of members, also from outside Europe. In 1996 ESMO created the Central Eastern European Programme with the aim to support the needs of the countries of the former Eastern Europe. A task force (CEE TF) with members from 16 Central Eastern European countries meets twice a year to discuss key areas. An e-mail communication system has been launched, courses are planned for 1998-1999, exchange programmes are in progress, and support in setting up national guidelines will follow. A Central Eastern European Oncology Group (CEE OG), which performs clinical trials on a cooperative basis, has been established with ESMO guidance. PMID:10676547

  14. Differences in neural activation between preterm and full term born adolescents on a sentence comprehension task: Implications for educational accommodations

    PubMed Central

    Barde, Laura H.F.; Yeatman, Jason D.; Lee, Eliana S.; Glover, Gary; Feldman, Heidi M.

    2012-01-01

    Adolescent survivors of preterm birth experience persistent functional problems that negatively impact academic outcomes, even when standardized measures of cognition and language suggest normal ability. In this fMRI study, we compared the neural activation supporting auditory sentence comprehension in two groups of adolescents (ages 9–16 years); sentences varied in length and syntactic difficulty. Preterms (n = 18, mean gestational age 28.8 weeks) and full terms (n = 14) had scores on verbal IQ, receptive vocabulary, and receptive language tests that were within or above normal limits and similar between groups. In early and late phases of the trial, we found interactions by group and length; in the late phase, we also found a group by syntactic difficulty interaction. Post hoc tests revealed that preterms demonstrated significant activation in the left and right middle frontal gyri as syntactic difficulty increased. ANCOVA showed that the interactions could not be attributed to differences in age, receptive language skill, or reaction time. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that preterm birth modulates brain-behavior relations in sentence comprehension as task demands increase. We suggest preterms’ differences in neural processing may indicate a need for educational accommodations, even when formal test scores indicate normal academic achievement. PMID:22682901

  15. Greater brain volumes are activated when performing simple calculating tasks in persons accustomed to lower altitudes than those to higher altitudes

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yan L; Liang, Willmann; Yao, Hong; Yew, David T

    2013-01-01

    Chronic exposure to a hypoxic environment results in a number of physiological changes such as cardiac arrhythmia and pulmonary edema. We hereby studied the variations in activation of brain areas during simple calculation tasks between individuals originating from different altitudes. Two groups of subjects, one from 1700 m above sea level (lowlanders) and the other one from at least 3000 m above sea level (highlanders), performed a simple calculation task by heart. The fMRI were taken and horizontal, sagittal, and coronal sections were analyzed to identify activated brain areas. Both lowlanders and highlanders performed the calculation task successfully. Horizontal sections revealed similar activated areas in the deep and anterior part of the right parietal lobe of both lowlanders and highlanders. In the highlanders, coronal and sagittal sections showed lower activities. Smaller brain volumes were activated in the highlanders as shown by the computer brain templates, with fewer total voxels recorded than in the lowlanders (P = 0.003). Computerized comparison of overall active brain regions between lowlanders and highlanders also revealed that smaller brain regions were activated. The results showed that while all subjects completed the task successfully, the highlanders did so using smaller brain regions than the lowlanders. PMID:24381814

  16. Obstacle-avoiding navigation system

    DOEpatents

    Borenstein, Johann; Koren, Yoram; Levine, Simon P.

    1991-01-01

    A system for guiding an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle through a field of operation having obstacles thereon to be avoided employs a memory for containing data which defines an array of grid cells which correspond to respective subfields in the field of operation of the vehicle. Each grid cell in the memory contains a value which is indicative of the likelihood, or probability, that an obstacle is present in the respectively associated subfield. The values in the grid cells are incremented individually in response to each scan of the subfields, and precomputation and use of a look-up table avoids complex trigonometric functions. A further array of grid cells is fixed with respect to the vehicle form a conceptual active window which overlies the incremented grid cells. Thus, when the cells in the active window overly grid cell having values which are indicative of the presence of obstacles, the value therein is used as a multiplier of the precomputed vectorial values. The resulting plurality of vectorial values are summed vectorially in one embodiment of the invention to produce a virtual composite repulsive vector which is then summed vectorially with a target-directed vector for producing a resultant vector for guiding the vehicle. In an alternative embodiment, a plurality of vectors surrounding the vehicle are computed, each having a value corresponding to obstacle density. In such an embodiment, target location information is used to select between alternative directions of travel having low associated obstacle densities.

  17. Taping across the upper trapezius muscle reduces activity during a standardized typing task - an assessor-blinded randomized cross-over study.

    PubMed

    Takasaki, Hiroshi; Delbridge, Blane Michael; Johnston, Venerina

    2015-02-01

    Clinically, taping is believed to alter muscle activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate: (1) whether taping across the upper trapezius (UT) muscle influenced the level of UT and lower trapezius (LT) muscle activity and the ratio of these activities (UT/LT ratio) during a static typing task; and (2) if the activity of these muscles varied with the application of tensioned taping. Forty-two healthy participants performed a 15-min typing task on three separate occasions under one of three conditions: taping applied perpendicular to the UT fibers with tension; taping without tension; and no taping. Activity of the UT and LT muscles was assessed using surface electromyography. Between conditions, significant differences were found in the change of the normalized amplitude in the UT activity (p=.027) and UT/LT ratio (p=.024) but not in the LT activity (p=.93). Compared with the no taping condition, the UT activity was less in both the tensioned taping (p=.009) and the non-tensioned taping (p=.004). There was no difference between the two taping conditions in the change of the UT (p=.91) activity and the UT/LT ratio (p=.92). In conclusion, both tensioned and non-tensioned taping across the UT muscle reduces its activity during a typing task. PMID:25454291

  18. Modulation of alpha activity in the parieto-occipital area by distractors during a visuospatial working memory task: a magnetoencephalographic study.

    PubMed

    Ichihara-Takeda, Satoe; Yazawa, Shogo; Murahara, Takashi; Toyoshima, Takanobu; Shinozaki, Jun; Ishiguro, Masanori; Shiraishi, Hideaki; Ikeda, Nozomu; Matsuyama, Kiyoji; Funahashi, Shintaro; Nagamine, Takashi

    2015-03-01

    Oscillatory brain activity is known to play an essential role in information processing in working memory. Recent studies have indicated that alpha activity (8-13 Hz) in the parieto-occipital area is strongly modulated in working memory tasks. However, the function of alpha activity in working memory is open to several interpretations, such that alpha activity may be a direct neural correlate of information processing in working memory or may reflect disengagement from information processing in other brain areas. To examine the functional contribution of alpha activity to visuospatial working memory, we introduced visuospatial distractors during a delay period and examined neural activity from the whole brain using magnetoencephalography. The strength of event-related alpha activity was estimated using the temporal spectral evolution (TSE) method. The results were as follows: (1) an increase of alpha activity during the delay period as indicated by elevated TSE curves was observed in parieto-occipital sensors in both the working memory task and a control task that did not require working memory; and (2) an increase of alpha activity during the delay period was not observed when distractors were presented, although TSE curves were constructed only from correct trials. These results indicate that the increase of alpha activity is not directly related to information processing in working memory but rather reflects the disengagement of attention from the visuospatial input. PMID:25244117

  19. NF-kappaB activity affects learning in aversive tasks: possible actions via modulation of the stress axis.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Michael L; Brachman, Rebecca A; Listwak, Samuel J; Herkenham, Miles

    2010-08-01

    The role of altered activity of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) in specific aspects of motivated behavior and learning and memory was examined in mice lacking the p50 subunit of the NF-kappaB/rel transcription factor family. Nfkb1-deficient mice are unable to produce p50 and show specific susceptibilities to infections and inflammatory challenges, but the behavioral phenotype of such mice has been largely unexamined, owing in large part to the lack of understanding of the role of NF-kappaB in nervous system function. Here we show that Nfkb1 (p50) knockout mice more rapidly learned to find the hidden platform in the Morris water maze than did wildtype mice. The rise in plasma corticosterone levels after the maze test was greater in p50 knockout than in wildtype mice. In the less stressful Barnes maze, which tests similar kinds of spatial learning, the p50 knockout mice performed similarly to control mice. Adrenalectomy with corticosterone replacement eliminated the differences between p50 knockout and wildtype mice in the water maze. Knockout mice showed increased levels of basal anxiety in the open-field and light/dark box tests, suggesting that their enhanced escape latency in the water maze was due to activation of the stress (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis leading to elevated corticosterone production by strongly but not mildly anxiogenic stimuli. The results suggest that, as in the immune system, p50 in the nervous system normally serves to dampen NF-kappaB-mediated intracellular activities, which are manifested physiologically through elevated stress responses to aversive stimuli and behaviorally in the facilitated escape performance in learning tasks. PMID:20399847

  20. Beyond negligence: avoidability and medical injury compensation.

    PubMed

    Kachalia, Allen B; Mello, Michelle M; Brennan, Troyen A; Studdert, David M

    2008-01-01

    improve patient safety, and the avoidability standard appears to be well suited for this task. PMID:17931762

  1. Stable individual differences on developmental tasks in young yellow-crowned parakeets, Cyanoramphus auriceps.

    PubMed

    Funk, Mildred S; Matteson, Rana L

    2004-11-01

    We report on stable individual differences in young yellow-crowned parakeets across 38 tasks of cognitive development on three scales involving object permanence, means-end relations, and spatial relations. Stable performance ranks on blocks of tasks emerged after 13 weeks in two groups of sibling parakeets, one hand-reared and the other parent-reared. Examination of subject characteristics, such as hatch order, sex, general activity level, avoidances, latencies, social status, and errors, showed no significant correlations with these performance ranks. Characteristic individual approaches to unstructured play activities (from a fourth scale) were consistent with individual behavioral differences seen on the structured cognitive tasks. PMID:15825884

  2. Highly specific role of hypocretin (orexin) neurons: differential activation as a function of diurnal phase, operant reinforcement vs. operant avoidance and light level

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Ronald; Wu, Ming-Fung; Barber, Grace; Ramanathan, Lalini; Siegel, Jerome M.

    2011-01-01

    Hypocretin (Hcrt) cell loss is responsible for narcolepsy, but Hcrt's role in normal behavior is unclear. We found that Hcrt KO mice were unable to work for food or water reward during the light phase. However, they were unimpaired relative to wild type (WT) mice when working for reward during the dark phase or when working to avoid shock in the light or dark phases. In WT, expression of Fos in Hcrt neurons occurs only in the light phase when working for positive reinforcement. Expression was seen throughout the medio-lateral extent of the Hcrt field. Fos was not expressed when expected or unexpected, unearned rewards were presented, when working to avoid negative reinforcement, or when given or expecting shock, even though these conditions elicit maximal electroencephalographic (EEG) arousal. Fos was not expressed in the light phase when light was removed. This may explain the lack of light induced arousal in narcoleptics and its presence in normal individuals. This is the first demonstration of such specificity of arousal system function and has implications for understanding the motivational and circadian consequences of arousal system dysfunction. The current results also indicate that comparable and complementary specificities must exist in other “arousal” systems. PMID:22031892

  3. ERP Components Activated by the "GO!" and "WITHHOLD!" Conflict in the Random Sustained Attention to Response Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zordan, Lara; Sarlo, Michela; Stablum, Franca

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigates the event related potential (ERP) components associated with the random version of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). The random SART is a Go/No-Go task in which the No-Go target appears unpredictably and rarely. In the present experiment, the EEG was recorded from 58 electrodes with mastoids as…

  4. fMRI Activity in Posterior Parietal Cortex Relates to the Perceptual Use of Binocular Disparity for Both Signal-In-Noise and Feature Difference Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Patten, Matthew L.; Welchman, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Visually guided action and interaction depends on the brain’s ability to (a) extract and (b) discriminate meaningful targets from complex retinal inputs. Binocular disparity is known to facilitate this process, and it is an open question how activity in different parts of the visual cortex relates to these fundamental visual abilities. Here we examined fMRI responses related to performance on two different tasks (signal-in-noise “coarse” and feature difference “fine” tasks) that have been widely used in previous work, and are believed to differentially target the visual processes of signal extraction and feature discrimination. We used multi-voxel pattern analysis to decode depth positions (near vs. far) from the fMRI activity evoked while participants were engaged in these tasks. To look for similarities between perceptual judgments and brain activity, we constructed ‘fMR-metric’ functions that described decoding performance as a function of signal magnitude. Thereafter we compared fMR-metric and psychometric functions, and report an association between judged depth and fMRI responses in the posterior parietal cortex during performance on both tasks. This highlights common stages of processing during perceptual performance on these tasks. PMID:26529314

  5. Avoiding dangerous climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber; Wolfgang Cramer; Nebojsa Nakicenovic; Tom Wigley; Gary Yohe

    2006-02-15

    In 2005 the UK Government hosted the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues associated with climate change. This volume presents the most recent findings from the leading international scientists that attended the conference. The topics addressed include critical thresholds and key vulnerabilities of the climate system, impacts on human and natural systems, socioeconomic costs and benefits of emissions pathways, and technological options for meeting different stabilisation levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Contents are: Foreword from Prime Minister Tony Blair; Introduction from Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC; followed by 41 papers arranged in seven sections entitled: Key Vulnerabilities of the Climate System and Critical Thresholds; General Perspectives on Dangerous Impacts; Key Vulnerabilities for Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Socio-Economic Effects; Regional Perspectives; Emission Pathways; and Technological Options. Four papers have been abstracted separately for the Coal Abstracts database.

  6. Divergent effects of isolation rearing on prepulse inhibition, activity, anxiety and hippocampal-dependent memory in Roman high- and low-avoidance rats: A putative model of schizophrenia-relevant features.

    PubMed

    Oliveras, Ignasi; Sánchez-González, Ana; Piludu, Maria Antonietta; Gerboles, Cristina; Río-Álamos, Cristóbal; Tobeña, Adolf; Fernández-Teruel, Alberto

    2016-11-01

    Social isolation of rats induces a constellation of behavioral alterations known as "isolation syndrome" that are consistent with some of the positive and cognitive symptoms observed in schizophrenic patients. In the present study we have assessed whether isolation rearing of inbred Roman high-avoidance (RHA-I) and Roman low-avoidance (RLA-I) strains can lead to the appearance of so