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Sample records for active avoidance task

  1. Quantification of neural functional connectivity during an active avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Silva, Catia S; Hazrati, Mehrnaz K; Keil, Andreas; Principe, Jose C; Silva, Catia S; Hazrati, Mehrnaz K; Keil, Andreas; Principe, Jose C; Keil, Andreas; Principe, Jose C; Hazrati, Mehrnaz K; Silva, Catia S

    2016-08-01

    Many behavioral and cognitive processes are associated with spatiotemporal dynamic communication between brain areas. Thus, the quantification of functional connectivity with high temporal resolution is highly desirable for capturing in vivo brain function. However, brain functional network quantification from EEG recordings has been commonly used in a qualitative manner. In this paper, we consider pairwise dependence measures as random variables and estimate the pdf for each electrode of the arrangement. A metric imposed by the quadratic Cauchy-Schwartz Mutual Information quantifies these pdfs. We present the results by brain regions simplifying the analysis and visualization drastically. The proposed metric of functional connectivity quantification is addressed for temporal dependencies of the brain network that can be related to the task.

  2. 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.

  3. Amygdalar unit activity during three learning tasks: eyeblink classical conditioning, Pavlovian fear conditioning, and signaled avoidance conditioning.

    PubMed

    Rorick-Kehn, Linda M; Steinmetz, Joseph E

    2005-10-01

    Neural activity in central and basolateral amygdala nuclei (CeA and BLA, respectively) was recorded during delay eyeblink conditioning, Pavlovian fear conditioning, and signaled barpress avoidance. During paired training, the CeA exhibited robust learning-related excitatory activity during all 3 tasks. By contrast, the BLA exhibited minimal activity during eyeblink conditioning, while demonstrating pronounced increases in learning-related excitatory responsiveness during fear conditioning and barpress avoidance. In addition, the relative amount of amygdalar activation observed appeared to be related to the relative intensity of the unconditioned stimulus and somatic requirements of the task. Results suggest the CeA mediates the Pavlovian association between sensory stimuli and the BLA mediates the modulation of instrumental responding through the assignment of motivational value to the unconditioned stimulus.

  4. Memory enhancement by intrahippocampal, intraamygdala, or intraentorhinal infusion of platelet-activating factor measured in an inhibitory avoidance task.

    PubMed Central

    Izquierdo, I; Fin, C; Schmitz, P K; Da Silva, R C; Jerusalinsky, D; Quillfeldt, J A; Ferreira, M B; Medina, J H; Bazan, N G

    1995-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF; 1-O-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine), which is thought to be a retrograde messenger in long-term potentiation (LTP), enhances glutamate release and LTP through an action on presynaptic nerve endings. The PAF antagonist BN 52021 blocks CA1 LTP in hippocampal slices, and, when infused into rat dorsal hippocampus pre- or posttraining, blocks retention of inhibitory avoidance. Here we report that memory is affected by pre- or posttraining infusion of the PAF analog 1-O-hexadecyl-2-N-methylcarbamoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine (mc-PAF) into either rat dorsal hippocampus, amygdala, or entorhinal cortex. Male Wistar rats were implanted bilaterally with cannulae in these brain regions. After recovery from surgery, the animals were trained in step-down inhibitory avoidance or in a spatial habituation task and tested for retention 24 h later. mc-PAF (1.0 microgram per side) enhanced retention test performance of the two tasks when infused into the hippocampus before training without altering training session performance. In addition, mc-PAF enhanced retention test performance of the avoidance task when infused into (i) the hippocampus 0 but not 60 min after training; (ii) the amygdala immediately after training; and (iii) the entorhinal cortex 100 but not 0 or 300 min after training. In confirmation of previous findings, BN 52021 (0.5 microgram per side) was found to be amnestic for the avoidance task when infused into the hippocampus or the amygdala immediately but not 30 or more minutes after training or into the entorhinal cortex 100 but not 0 or 300 min after training. These findings support the hypothesis that memory involves PAF-regulated events, possibly LTP, generated at the time of training in hippocampus and amygdala and 100 min later in the entorhinal cortex. PMID:7761446

  5. 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

  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.

  7. Vigour in active avoidance.

    PubMed

    Nord, Camilla L; Prabhu, Gita; Nolte, Tobias; Fonagy, Peter; Dolan, Ray; Moutoussis, Michael

    2017-12-01

    It would be maladaptive to learn about catastrophes by trial and error alone. Investment in planning and effort are necessary. Devoting too many resources to averting disaster, however, can impair quality of life, as in anxiety and paranoia. Here, we developed a novel task to explore how people adjust effort expenditure (vigor) so as to avoid negative consequences. Our novel paradigm is immersive, enabling us to measure vigor in the context of (simulated) disaster. We found that participants (N = 118) exerted effort to avoid disaster-associated states, adjusting their effort expenditure according to the baseline probability of catastrophe, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Furthermore, negative subjective emotional states were associated both with threat level and with increasing vigor in the face of disaster. We describe for the first time effort expenditure in the context of irreversible losses, with important implications for disorders marked by excessive avoidance.

  8. Training in the step-down inhibitory avoidance task time-dependently increases cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity in the entorhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Pereira, P; Ardenghi, P; Mello e Souza, T; Medina, J H; Izquierdo, I

    2001-06-01

    The cAMP/cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling pathway has been implicated in synaptic plasticity changes and memory consolidation. Several cortical structures are involved in the consolidation of memory for inhibitory avoidance. The aim of the present work was to observe the effects of training in the inhibitory avoidance task on the levels of PKA activity in the entorhinal, parietal and posterior cingulate cortex (EC, PARIET and PC), and the medial precentral area (Fr2) of the rat, at different post-training times (0, 1.5, 3 and 6h). PKA activity, assayed using [gamma-32P]ATP and kemptide, a selective substrate, increased in the EC 3 h after training, but no changes were observed in PARIET, PC and Fr2. These results suggest that the late phase of memory consolidation of inhibitory avoidance requires a functional PKA signaling pathway in the EC in a way that a 'peak' of PKA activity is observed.

  9. 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 (0.05 μg, 0.1 μg, and 0.2 μg) 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

  10. 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.

  11. Place avoidance tasks as tools in the behavioral neuroscience of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Stuchlík, A; Petrásek, T; Prokopová, I; Holubová, K; Hatalová, H; Valeš, K; Kubík, S; Dockery, C; Wesierska, M

    2013-01-01

    Spatial navigation comprises a widely-studied complex of animal behaviors. Its study offers many methodological advantages over other approaches, enabling assessment of a variety of experimental questions and the possibility to compare the results across different species. Spatial navigation in laboratory animals is often considered a model of higher human cognitive functions including declarative memory. Almost fifteen years ago, a novel dry-arena task for rodents was designed in our laboratory, originally named the place avoidance task, and later a modification of this approach was established and called active place avoidance task. It employs a continuously rotating arena, upon which animals are trained to avoid a stable sector defined according to room-frame coordinates. This review describes the development of the place avoidance tasks, evaluates the cognitive processes associated with performance and explores the application of place avoidance in the testing of spatial learning after neuropharmacological, lesion and other experimental manipulations.

  12. Cognitive involvement by negative modulation of histamine H2 receptors in passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Onodera, K; Miyazaki, S; Imaizumi, M

    1998-05-01

    In this study, the intracerebroventricular administration of 4-methylhistamine (3 and 10 micrograms/head), a histamine H2 receptor agonist, shortened the step-through latency in the retention trial using a step-through passive avoidance task in mice. This deteriorating effect of 4-methylhistamine (3 micrograms/head) was clearly antagonized by pretreatment with zolantidine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), a histamine H2 receptor antagonist, 20 min before an acquisition trial. Zolantidine alone at the dose tested had no effect. Thus, it is likely that activation of histamine H2 receptors has a deteriorating effect on avoidance learning in mice. The present results indicate the cognitive involvement by negative modulation of histamine H2 receptors in passive avoidance task in mice.

  13. Gaze movements and spatial working memory in collision avoidance: a traffic intersection task

    PubMed Central

    Hardiess, Gregor; Hansmann-Roth, Sabrina; Mallot, Hanspeter A.

    2013-01-01

    Street crossing under traffic is an everyday activity including collision detection as well as avoidance of objects in the path of motion. Such tasks demand extraction and representation of spatio-temporal information about relevant obstacles in an optimized format. Relevant task information is extracted visually by the use of gaze movements and represented in spatial working memory. In a virtual reality traffic intersection task, subjects are confronted with a two-lane intersection where cars are appearing with different frequencies, corresponding to high and low traffic densities. Under free observation and exploration of the scenery (using unrestricted eye and head movements) the overall task for the subjects was to predict the potential-of-collision (POC) of the cars or to adjust an adequate driving speed in order to cross the intersection without collision (i.e., to find the free space for crossing). In a series of experiments, gaze movement parameters, task performance, and the representation of car positions within working memory at distinct time points were assessed in normal subjects as well as in neurological patients suffering from homonymous hemianopia. In the following, we review the findings of these experiments together with other studies and provide a new perspective of the role of gaze behavior and spatial memory in collision detection and avoidance, focusing on the following questions: (1) which sensory variables can be identified supporting adequate collision detection? (2) How do gaze movements and working memory contribute to collision avoidance when multiple moving objects are present and (3) how do they correlate with task performance? (4) How do patients with homonymous visual field defects (HVFDs) use gaze movements and working memory to compensate for visual field loss? In conclusion, we extend the theory of collision detection and avoidance in the case of multiple moving objects and provide a new perspective on the combined operation of

  14. Gaze movements and spatial working memory in collision avoidance: a traffic intersection task.

    PubMed

    Hardiess, Gregor; Hansmann-Roth, Sabrina; Mallot, Hanspeter A

    2013-01-01

    Street crossing under traffic is an everyday activity including collision detection as well as avoidance of objects in the path of motion. Such tasks demand extraction and representation of spatio-temporal information about relevant obstacles in an optimized format. Relevant task information is extracted visually by the use of gaze movements and represented in spatial working memory. In a virtual reality traffic intersection task, subjects are confronted with a two-lane intersection where cars are appearing with different frequencies, corresponding to high and low traffic densities. Under free observation and exploration of the scenery (using unrestricted eye and head movements) the overall task for the subjects was to predict the potential-of-collision (POC) of the cars or to adjust an adequate driving speed in order to cross the intersection without collision (i.e., to find the free space for crossing). In a series of experiments, gaze movement parameters, task performance, and the representation of car positions within working memory at distinct time points were assessed in normal subjects as well as in neurological patients suffering from homonymous hemianopia. In the following, we review the findings of these experiments together with other studies and provide a new perspective of the role of gaze behavior and spatial memory in collision detection and avoidance, focusing on the following questions: (1) which sensory variables can be identified supporting adequate collision detection? (2) How do gaze movements and working memory contribute to collision avoidance when multiple moving objects are present and (3) how do they correlate with task performance? (4) How do patients with homonymous visual field defects (HVFDs) use gaze movements and working memory to compensate for visual field loss? In conclusion, we extend the theory of collision detection and avoidance in the case of multiple moving objects and provide a new perspective on the combined operation of

  15. Obstacle avoidance locomotor tasks: adaptation, memory and skill transfer.

    PubMed

    Kloter, Evelyne; Dietz, Volker

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the neural basis of adaptation, memory and skill transfer during human stepping over obstacles. Whilst walking on a treadmill, subjects had to perform uni- and bilateral obstacle steps. Acoustic feedback information about foot clearance was provided. Non-noxious electrical stimuli were applied to the right tibial nerve during the mid-stance phase of the right leg, i.e. 'prior' to the right or 'during' the left leg swing over the obstacle. The electromyogram (EMG) responses evoked by these stimuli in arm and leg muscles are known to reflect the neural coordination during normal and obstacle steps. The leading and trailing legs rapidly adapted foot clearance during obstacle steps with small further changes when the same obstacle condition was repeated. This adaptation was associated with a corresponding decrease in arm and leg muscle reflex EMG responses. Arm (but not leg) muscle EMG responses were greater when the stimulus was applied 'during' obstacle crossing by the left leg leading compared with stimulation 'prior' to right leg swing over the obstacle. A corresponding difference existed in arm muscle background EMG. The results indicate that, firstly, the somatosensory information gained by the performance and adaptation of uni- and bilateral obstacle stepping becomes transferred to the trailing leg in a context-specific manner. Secondly, EMG activity in arm and leg muscles parallels biomechanical adaptation of foot clearance. Thirdly, a consistently high EMG activity in the arm muscles during swing over the obstacle is required for equilibrium control. Thus, such a precision locomotor task is achieved by a context-specific, coordinated activation of arm and leg muscles for performance and equilibrium control that includes adaptation, memory and skill transfer.

  16. 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)

  17. Developmental Profiles of Task-Avoidant Behaviour and Reading Skills in Grades 1 and 2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    A latent profile analysis approach was used to examine the developmental profiles of task-avoidant behaviour and reading skills in Grades 1 and 2, as well as their antecedents in kindergarten. The participants in this study were 448 children. Four different developmental profiles of task-avoidant behaviour and reading skills were identified. Our…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  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.

  1. The cost of fear: avoidant decision making in a spider gambling task.

    PubMed

    Pittig, Andre; Brand, Matthias; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Alpers, Georg W

    2014-04-01

    Individuals with anxiety disorders typically avoid fear-relevant stimuli even if they miss potential rewards. However, few studies have accounted for such costs of fear-related avoidance in doing so. In this study, 51 spider fearful and 49 non-fearful participants completed the Spider Gambling Task, our modification of the Iowa Gambling Task, to investigate whether fear-relevant stimuli trigger avoidant decisions in the presence of potential rewards. In one version, advantageous choices were associated with pictures of spiders, whereas the same pictures were associated with disadvantageous choices in another version. Fearful participants generally avoided choices associated with pictures of spiders, which resulted in lower overall gains in the version with advantageous spider decks. Although this relative avoidance was sustained, fearful participants progressively approach more advantageous spider choices. These findings demonstrate that phobic fear results in irrational avoidant decisions which can result in considerable cost. Potential long-term rewards for approach may, however, diminish absolute avoidance behavior.

  2. Children's Performance on a False-belief Task Is Impaired by Activation of an Evolutionarily-Canalized Response System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keenan, Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J.

    2003-01-01

    Two studies examined how task content that activates predator-avoidance affects preschool children's performance on a false-belief task. Findings indicated that the proportion of correct answers on the playmate-avoidance task was greater than that for the predator-avoidance task, suggesting that activation of the predator-avoidance system…

  3. Approach, avoidance, and affect: a meta-analysis of approach-avoidance tendencies in manual reaction time tasks.

    PubMed

    Phaf, R Hans; Mohr, Sören E; Rotteveel, Mark; Wicherts, Jelte M

    2014-01-01

    Approach action tendencies toward positive stimuli and avoidance tendencies from negative stimuli are widely seen to foster survival. Many studies have shown that approach and avoidance arm movements are facilitated by positive and negative affect, respectively. There is considerable debate whether positively and negatively valenced stimuli prime approach and avoidance movements directly (i.e., immediate, unintentional, implicit, automatic, and stimulus-based), or indirectly (i.e., after conscious or non-conscious interpretation of the situation). The direction and size of these effects were often found to depend on the instructions referring to the stimulus object or the self, and on explicit vs. implicit stimulus evaluation. We present a meta-analysis of 29 studies included for their use of strongly positive and negative stimuli, with 81 effect sizes derived solely from the means and standard deviations (combined N = 1538), to examine the automaticity of the link between affective information processing and approach and avoidance, and to test whether it depends on instruction, type of approach-avoidance task, and stimulus type. Results show a significant small to medium-sized effect after correction for publication bias. The strongest arguments for an indirect link between affect and approach-avoidance were the absence of evidence for an effect with implicit evaluation, and the opposite directions of the effect with self and object-related interpretations. The link appears to be influenced by conscious or non-conscious intentions to deal with affective stimuli.

  4. Approach, avoidance, and affect: a meta-analysis of approach-avoidance tendencies in manual reaction time tasks

    PubMed Central

    Phaf, R. Hans; Mohr, Sören E.; Rotteveel, Mark; Wicherts, Jelte M.

    2014-01-01

    Approach action tendencies toward positive stimuli and avoidance tendencies from negative stimuli are widely seen to foster survival. Many studies have shown that approach and avoidance arm movements are facilitated by positive and negative affect, respectively. There is considerable debate whether positively and negatively valenced stimuli prime approach and avoidance movements directly (i.e., immediate, unintentional, implicit, automatic, and stimulus-based), or indirectly (i.e., after conscious or non-conscious interpretation of the situation). The direction and size of these effects were often found to depend on the instructions referring to the stimulus object or the self, and on explicit vs. implicit stimulus evaluation. We present a meta-analysis of 29 studies included for their use of strongly positive and negative stimuli, with 81 effect sizes derived solely from the means and standard deviations (combined N = 1538), to examine the automaticity of the link between affective information processing and approach and avoidance, and to test whether it depends on instruction, type of approach-avoidance task, and stimulus type. Results show a significant small to medium-sized effect after correction for publication bias. The strongest arguments for an indirect link between affect and approach-avoidance were the absence of evidence for an effect with implicit evaluation, and the opposite directions of the effect with self and object-related interpretations. The link appears to be influenced by conscious or non-conscious intentions to deal with affective stimuli. PMID:24847292

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Keeping Safe: Intra-individual Consistency in Obstacle Avoidance Behaviour Across Grasping and Locomotion Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Kangur, Karina; Billino, Jutta

    2017-01-01

    Successful obstacle avoidance requires a close coordination of the visual and the motor systems. Visual information is essential for adjusting movements in order to avoid unwanted collisions. Yet, established obstacle avoidance paradigms have typically either focused on gaze strategies or on motor adjustments. Here we were interested in whether humans show similar visuomotor sensitivity to obstacles when gaze and motor behaviour are measured across different obstacle avoidance tasks. To this end, we measured participants’ hand movement paths when grasping targets in the presence of obstacles as well as their gaze behaviour when walking through a cluttered hallway. We found that participants who showed more pronounced motor adjustments during grasping also spent more time looking at obstacles during locomotion. Furthermore, movement durations correlated positively in both tasks. Results suggest considerable intra-individual consistency in the strength of the avoidance response across different visuomotor measures potentially indicating an individual’s tendency to perform safe actions. PMID:28321287

  8. Keeping Safe: Intra-individual Consistency in Obstacle Avoidance Behaviour Across Grasping and Locomotion Tasks.

    PubMed

    Kangur, Karina; Billino, Jutta; Hesse, Constanze

    2017-01-01

    Successful obstacle avoidance requires a close coordination of the visual and the motor systems. Visual information is essential for adjusting movements in order to avoid unwanted collisions. Yet, established obstacle avoidance paradigms have typically either focused on gaze strategies or on motor adjustments. Here we were interested in whether humans show similar visuomotor sensitivity to obstacles when gaze and motor behaviour are measured across different obstacle avoidance tasks. To this end, we measured participants' hand movement paths when grasping targets in the presence of obstacles as well as their gaze behaviour when walking through a cluttered hallway. We found that participants who showed more pronounced motor adjustments during grasping also spent more time looking at obstacles during locomotion. Furthermore, movement durations correlated positively in both tasks. Results suggest considerable intra-individual consistency in the strength of the avoidance response across different visuomotor measures potentially indicating an individual's tendency to perform safe actions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. Five- to Twelve-Year-Olds' Control of Movement Velocity in a Dynamic Collision Avoidance Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    te Velde, Arenda F.; van der Kamp, John; Savelsbergh, Geert J. P.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated age-related differences in a dynamic collision avoidance task that bears a resemblance to pedestrian road crossing. Five- to seven-year-old children, ten- to twelve-year-old children and adults were instructed to push a doll across a small-scale road between two toy vehicles, which approached one after the other. We analysed the…

  12. Adolescent subgenual anterior cingulate activity is related to harm avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Tony T.; Simmons, Alan N.; Matthews, Scott C.; Tapert, Susan F.; Frank, Guido K.; Bischoff-Grethe, Amanda; Lansing, Amy E.; Wu, Jing; Paulus, Martin P.

    2010-01-01

    Recent adult studies suggest that the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) is involved in fundamental mental operations such as affective processing and inhibitory control. However, little is known about inhibition-associated sgACC function in adolescents, and there are no published data regarding whether personality characteristics are related to inhibition-associated sgACC brain activity in adolescents. This study examined the relationship between personality and inhibition-associated sgACC response in healthy adolescents. Seventeen adolescents of 13–17 years of age underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a parametric stop-signal task. Greater harm avoidance levels were significantly associated with increased inhibition-related sgACC activity. These results establish, for the first time, a link between personality and differential sgACC activation in adolescents. PMID:19034055

  13. The behavioral avoidance task using imaginal exposure (BATIE): a paper-and-pencil version of traditional in vivo behavioral avoidance tasks.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thompson E; Reuther, Erin T; May, Anna C; Rudy, Brittany M; Munson, Melissa S; Jenkins, Whitney S; Whiting, Sara E

    2013-12-01

    Behavioral avoidance tasks (BATs) have been used for decades in the assessment of specific phobias, but they also involve a number of prohibitive difficulties. This study investigated a new imaginal/self-report instrument, the Behavioral Avoidance Task Using Imaginal Exposure (BATIE), and evaluated whether it was an efficient paper-and-pencil alternative. Forty-nine adults diagnosed with specific phobias were matched to 49 participants without those particular phobias who served as control participants. The participants were 89.8% female and 79.6% Caucasian and had a mean age of 20.81 years (SD = 3.62). Diagnosis was determined using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule (Brown, DiNardo, & Barlow, 1994). Participants completed a BAT following a BATIE. Results indicated BATIE ratings significantly correlated with BAT performance and ratings. Significant differences were also found between the phobic and control groups on all BATIE ratings (all differences indicated poorer performance or more fear in those with specific phobias). Also, the BATIE scores demonstrated good evidence of convergent and discriminant validity compared to other self-reports, significantly predicted BAT performance even when controlling for those measures of fear and anxiety, and significantly predicted diagnostic severity ratings. Overall, results indicated that the BATIE may be a reasonable alternative to in vivo BATs in certain situations (e.g., clinical practice, unavailability of BAT stimuli).

  14. Routing Autonomous Vehicles in the Improving Initial Task Assignment and Avoiding Deadlock Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morihiro, Yusuke; Miyamoto, Toshiyuki; Kumagai, Sadatoshi

    This paper discusses an on-line Tasks Assignment and Routing Problem (TARP) for Autonomous Transportation Systems (ATSs) in manufacturing systems. The TARP is a constrained version of the Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Windows (PDPTW). In our former study, a cooperative algorithm, called the triple loop method, with autonomous distributed agents has been proposed. The Improving initial Task Assignment and Avoiding Deadlock method (ITAAD) is a faster algorithm than the triple loop method. In this paper, we propose a new vehicle routing method for the ITAAD. Results of computational experiments show effectiveness of the proposed routing method.

  15. Perseveration effects in detection tasks with correlated decision intervals. [applied to pilot collision avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gai, E. G.; Curry, R. E.

    1978-01-01

    An investigation of the behavior of the human decisionmaker is described for a task related to the problem of a pilot using a traffic situation display to avoid collisions. This sequential signal detection task is characterized by highly correlated signals with time varying strength. Experimental results are presented and the behavior of the observers is analyzed using the theory of Markov processes and classical signal detection theory. Mathematical models are developed which describe the main result of the experiment: that correlation in sequential signals induced perseveration in the observer response and a strong tendency to repeat their previous decision, even when they were wrong.

  16. A Teacher-Report Measure of Children's Task-Avoidant Behavior: A Validation Study of the Behavioral Strategy Rating Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiao; Nurmi, Jari-Erik; Kiuru, Noona; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Aunola, Kaisa

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to validate a teacher-report measure of children's task-avoidant behavior, namely the Behavioral Strategy Rating Scale (BSRS), in a sample of 352 Finnish children. In each of the four waves from Kindergarten to Grade 2, teachers rated children's task-avoidant behavior using the BSRS, children completed reading and mathematics…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Individual differences in sensitivity to reward and punishment and neural activity during reward and avoidance learning.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang Hee; Yoon, HeungSik; Kim, Hackjin; Hamann, Stephan

    2015-09-01

    In this functional neuroimaging study, we investigated neural activations during the process of learning to gain monetary rewards and to avoid monetary loss, and how these activations are modulated by individual differences in reward and punishment sensitivity. Healthy young volunteers performed a reinforcement learning task where they chose one of two fractal stimuli associated with monetary gain (reward trials) or avoidance of monetary loss (avoidance trials). Trait sensitivity to reward and punishment was assessed using the behavioral inhibition/activation scales (BIS/BAS). Functional neuroimaging results showed activation of the striatum during the anticipation and reception periods of reward trials. During avoidance trials, activation of the dorsal striatum and prefrontal regions was found. As expected, individual differences in reward sensitivity were positively associated with activation in the left and right ventral striatum during reward reception. Individual differences in sensitivity to punishment were negatively associated with activation in the left dorsal striatum during avoidance anticipation and also with activation in the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex during receiving monetary loss. These results suggest that learning to attain reward and learning to avoid loss are dependent on separable sets of neural regions whose activity is modulated by trait sensitivity to reward or punishment.

  1. Planning and control in a manual collision avoidance task by children with hemiparesis.

    PubMed

    te Velde, Arenda F; van der Kamp, John; Becher, Jules G; van Bennekom, Coen; Savelsbergh, Geert J P

    2005-10-01

    We examined whether deficits in planning and control during a manual collision avoidance task in children with hemiparesis are associated with damage to the left or right hemisphere (LHD and RHD). Children pushed a doll across a scale-size road between two approaching toy cars. Movement onset and velocity served as indicators of planning and control. In Experiment 1, children with hemiparesis collided more frequently, and controlled velocity less appropriately compared to typically-developing children. Children with LHD initiated their movement later than children with RHD. Experiment 2 compared the preferred and non-preferred hand of children with LHD and RHD. Children with RHD crossed less with their non-preferred hand, while children with LHD initiated later than children with RHD. Moreover, the groups showed differences in velocity control. It is argued that planning deficits may be related to LHD. The hypothesized association between control deficits and RHD, however, was not confirmed.

  2. 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.

  3. Mild acute stress reactivates memory of a discriminative avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Takatsu-Coleman, André L; Patti, Camilla L; Zanin, Karina A; Sanday, Leandro; Zager, Adriano; Carvalho, Rita C; Andersen, Monica L; Tufik, Sergio; Frussa-Filho, Roberto

    2013-05-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that stress or glucocorticoids impair the retrieval of spatial memory in rodents and declarative memory in humans. However, the effects on memory retrieval of stress introduced a long time after learning have not been well studied. We investigated whether a mild, extrinsic stressor (1-s 0.1 or 0.3 mA foot shock) would reactivate low baseline retrieval of an aversive memory [the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PM-DAT)] and if it would be modulated by glucocorticoids. In Experiment 1, male Swiss mice received pre-test foot shock (n = 10 mice/group) 7 days after training and just before testing. A time-retrieval curve for low baseline retrieval for the subsequent experiments was also determined (Experiment 2, n = 10 mice/group). We investigated if pre-test foot shock could modify corticosterone release (Experiment 3, n = 8-9 mice/group) and reinstate retrieval in the PM-DAT (Experiment 4, n = 15 mice/group). The effects of metyrapone (100 mg/kg) on retrieval reinstatement (Experiment 5, n = 15 mice/group) and serum corticosterone enhancement (Experiments 6, n = 7-9 mice/group) induced by foot shock were analyzed. Finally, the effects of foot shock itself on PM-DAT exploration were verified (Experiment 7, n = 10 mice/group). We demonstrated here that foot shock reinstated the retrieval of a low baseline, discriminative avoidance task 30 (but not 7) days after training. This facilitative effect was not dependent on corticosterone secretion because metyrapone abolished the enhancement of corticosterone concentration but did not reverse the stress-induced reinstatement of retrieval.

  4. Auraptene consolidates memory, reverses scopolamine-disrupted memory in passive avoidance task, and ameliorates retention deficits in mice

    PubMed Central

    Tabrizian, Kaveh; Yaghoobi, Najmeh Sadat; Iranshahi, Mehrdad; Shahraki, Jafar; Rezaee, Ramin; Hashemzaei, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Auraptene (7-geranyloxycoumarin) (AUR), from Citrus species has shown anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and beta-secretase inhibitory effects. Scopolamine is a nonselective muscarinic receptor antagonist which causes short-term memory impairments and is used for inducing animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This research aimed to investigate the effect of AUR on scopolamine-induced avoidance memory retention deficits in step-through task in mice. Materials and Methods: The effect of four-day pre-training injections of AUR (50, 75, and 100 mg/kg, subcutaneous (SC)) and scopolamine (1 mg/kg, IP), and their co-administration on avoidance memory retention in step-through passive avoidance task, was investigated by measuring the latency to enter to the dark chamber. Results: Pre-training administration of AUR caused significant increase in step-through latency in comparison with control group, 48, 96, and 168 hr after training trial. The findings of this study showed that scopolamine (1 mg/kg, IP, for four consecutive days) impaired passive avoidance memory retention compared to saline-treated animals. Step-through passive avoidance task results showed that AUR markedly reversed scopolamine-induced avoidance memory retention impairments, 24 and 168 hr after training trial in step-through task. Conclusion: Results from co-administration of AUR and scopolamine showed that AUR reversed scopolamine-induced passive avoidance memory retention impairments. PMID:26730337

  5. 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.

  6. [Hypersynchronous EEG activity and conditioned avoidance reflexes in rats].

    PubMed

    Frenzel, C; Kästner, I; Müller, M

    1978-01-01

    The influence of dimethylsulfolane on active avoidance conditioning with simultaneous registration of EEG was investigated. Dimethylsulfolane, which shows some pharmacological properties of pentylenetetrazole causes a decrease of the amount of conditioned reactions. There was no strong correlation between the impairment of learning ability and the number of EEG spindle discharges after dimethylsulfolane.

  7. Active avoidance but not activity pacing is associated with disability in fibromyalgia.

    PubMed

    Karsdorp, Petra A; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2009-12-15

    Activity pacing has been suggested as a behavioural strategy that may protect patients with fibromyalgia (FM) against activity dysregulation and disability. The aim of the present study was to empirically test whether the construct of activity pacing is distinct from other behavioural strategies assessed with the Chronic Pain Coping Inventory (CPCI), such as guarding, resting, asking for assistance, relaxation, task persistence, exercise/stretch, seeking social support, and coping self-statements. The second objective was to test whether pacing was associated with physical disability when controlling for pain catastrophizing, pain severity and the other behavioural strategies as measured with CPCI. A random sample of patients with FM (N=409) completed the CPCI, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), the Physical Index of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ-PH) and the Pain Disability Index (PDI). The results demonstrated that the Dutch version of the CPCI including the pacing subscale has adequate internal consistency and construct validity. Moreover, guarding and asking for assistance, but not pacing, were associated with disability. These findings are in line with fear-avoidance models and suggest that specifically active avoidance behaviours are detrimental in FM. The authors recommend developing cognitive-behavioural and exposure-based interventions and challenge the idea that pacing as an intervention is essential in pain self-management programs.

  8. Piracetam facilitates long-term memory for a passive avoidance task in chicks through a mechanism that requires a brain corticosteroid action.

    PubMed

    Loscertales, M; Rose, S P; Daisley, J N; Sandi, C

    1998-07-01

    We investigated the effects of piracetam, a nootropic, on learning and memory formation for a passive avoidance task in day-old chicks. To test for the possible cognitive-enhancing properties of piracetam, a weak learning version of this task--whereby chicks maintain a memory to avoid pecking at a bead coated in a diluted aversant for up to 10 h--was used. Post-training (5, 30 or 60 min), but not pretraining, injections of piracetam (10 or 50 mg/kg, i.p.) increased recall for the task when the chicks were tested 24 h later. Because previous studies showed that long-term memory for the passive avoidance task is dependent upon a brain corticosteroid action, and because the efficacy of piracetam-like compounds is also modulated by corticosteroids, we tested whether the facilitating effect of piracetam was dependent upon a corticosteroid action through specific brain receptors (mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor). First, increased plasma levels of corticosterone were found 5 min after piracetam injection. In addition, intracerebral administration of antagonists for each receptor type (RU28318, for mineralocorticoid receptors, and RU38486 for glucocorticoid receptors; i.c.) given before the nootropic inhibited the facilitative effect of piracetam on memory consolidation. These results give further support to a modulatory action of piracetam on the mechanisms involved in long-term memory formation through a neural action that, in this learning model, requires the activation of the two types of intracellular corticosteroid receptors.

  9. Mindfulness and experiential avoidance as predictors and outcomes of the narrative emotional disclosure task.

    PubMed

    Moore, Susan D; Brody, Leslie R; Dierberger, Amy E

    2009-09-01

    This randomized study examined whether narrative emotional disclosure improves mindfulness, experiential avoidance, and mental health, and how baseline levels of and changes in mindfulness and experiential avoidance relate to mental health. Participants (N=233) wrote repeated traumatic (experimental condition) or unemotional daily events narratives (control condition). Regression analyses showed neither condition nor gender effects on mental health or experiential avoidance at a 1-month follow-up, although the control condition significantly increased in one component of mindfulness. Decreased experiential avoidance (across conditions) and increased mindfulness (in the experimental condition) significantly predicted improved mental health. Narrative disclosure thus did not improve outcomes measured here. However, increasing mindfulness when writing narratives with traumatic content, and decreasing experiential avoidance regardless of writing content, was associated with improved mental health.

  10. Integration of active and passive sensors for obstacle avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Victor H. L.; Sridhar, Banavar

    1989-01-01

    The automatic obstacle-avoidance guidance problem is studied under the operational constraints imposed by the rotorcraft nap-of-the-earth (NOE) environment. The problem is discussed for two different circumstances. The first assumes that a full range map is available, irrespective of the type of sensor being used. Two approaches are proposed to extend a two-dimensional obstacle-avoidance concept presented by Cheng (1988). The situation where only a sparse range map is available from a passive sensor is also treated. An integrated approach that augments the passive sensor with an active one is discussed, along with the problem of data fusion and how it is affected by the characteristics of NOE flight.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Locomotor avoidance behaviours during a visually guided task involving an approaching object.

    PubMed

    Cinelli, Michael E; Patla, Aftab E

    2008-11-01

    Collision avoidance behaviours in situations where a collision may occur and one's planned movement is restricted, reveals that one's response is not as simple as a visual input producing some motor output. In this study, the participants (N=6) walked along a 9.5m path towards an air-filled human doll (180 degrees from their travel path) that would approach them on some trials. A spatial constraint (i.e. doorframe) was placed along the path and the participants had to determine if they could pass through the constraint prior to avoiding a collision or not. The constraint was set-up so that it was either at the theoretical collision point or 1.5m before or after the theoretical collision point. This study aimed to determine: (1) how the presence of a spatial constraint affects one's ability to perceive when to avoid a collision with an approaching object; (2) if the individuals use action parameters (i.e. velocity modifications, change in heading, etc.) in a consistent manner independent of the spatial constraint location and object's approach velocity; (3) if a consistent safety zone exists independent of the object's approach velocity. The results showed that the placement of the spatial constraint, but not the velocity of the object had a significant effect on the initiation of a change in heading. Participants used two-stage avoidance behaviour; change heading and then adjust walking velocity. The initial avoidance behaviour was initiated when the object was at a constant distance away (i.e. 3.73 m). Overall, it appears as though collision avoidance with approaching objects has cognitive as well as perceptual influences.

  15. Low-dose memantine-induced working memory improvement in the allothetic place avoidance alternation task (APAAT) in young adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Wesierska, Malgorzata J.; Duda, Weronika; Dockery, Colleen A.

    2013-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) are involved in neuronal plasticity. To assess their role simultaneously in spatial working memory and non-cognitive learning, we used NMDAR antagonists and the Allothetic Place Avoidance Alternation Task (APAAT). In this test rats should avoid entering a place where shocks were presented on a rotating arena which requires cognitive coordination for the segregation of stimuli. The experiment took place 30 min after intraperitoneal injection of memantine (5, 10, 20 mg/kg b.w.: MemL, MemM, MemH, respectively) and (+)MK-801 (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 mg/kg b.w.: MK-801L, MK-801M, MK-801H, respectively). Rats from the control group were intact or injected with saline (0.2 ml/kg). Over three consecutive days the rats underwent habituation, two avoidance training intervals with shocks, and a retrieval test. The shock sector was alternated daily. The after-effects of the agents were tested on Day 21. Rats treated with low dose memantine presented a longer maximum time avoided and fewer entrances than the MemH, MK-801M, MK-801H and Control rats. The shocks per entrances ratio, used as an index of cognitive skill learning, showed skill improvement after D1, except for rats treated by high doses of the agents. The activity levels, indicated by the distance walked, were higher for the groups treated with high doses of the agents. On D21 the MK801H rats performed the memory task better than the MemH rats, whereas the rats' activity depended on condition, not on the group factor. These results suggest that in naïve rats mild NMDAR blockade by low-dose memantine improves working memory related to a highly challenging task. PMID:24385956

  16. 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…

  17. Maintain and Regain Well Clear: Maneuver Guidance Designs for Pilots Performing the Detect-and-Avoid Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monk, Kevin J.; Roberts, Zachary

    2017-01-01

    In order to support the future expansion and integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), ongoing research efforts have sought to produce findings that inform the minimum display information elements required for acceptable UAS pilot response times and traffic avoidance. Previous simulations have revealed performance benefits associated with DAA displays containing predictive information and suggestive maneuver guidance tools in the form of banding. The present study investigated the impact of various maneuver guidance display configurations on detect-and-avoid (DAA) task performance in a simulated airspace environment. UAS pilots ability to maintain DAA well clear was compared between displays with either the presence or absence of green DAA bands, which indicated conflict-free flight regions. Additional display comparisons assessed pilots ability to regain DAA well clear with two different guidance presentations designed to aid in DAA well clear recovery during critical encounters. Performance implications and display considerations for future UAS DAA systems are discussed.

  18. 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).

  19. Trait Approach and Avoidance Motivation: Lateralized Neural Activity Associated with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Miller, Gregory A.; Engels, Anna S.; Herrington, John D.; Sutton, Bradley P.; Banich, Marie T.; Heller, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals. PMID:20728552

  20. Trait approach and avoidance motivation: lateralized neural activity associated with executive function.

    PubMed

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Miller, Gregory A; Engels, Anna S; Herrington, John D; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Heller, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals.

  1. Continuous place avoidance task reveals differences in spatial navigation in male and female rats.

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

    A new place navigation test was used to estimate the spatial orientation abilities of male and female rats. Animals had to avoid a room frame defined area on a rotating arena, entering of which was punished by mild footshock, i.e. rats had to avoid the same place in the room but different parts of the floor, which was rotated through the punished zone. Because of the rotation of the arena (one revolution per min), animals could not rely on intramaze cues and only extramaze landmarks could be used for accurate navigation. During 8 consecutive days rats were exposed to daily 40-min sessions, consisting of 20-min acquisition and 20-min extinction (shock discontinued). The position of the punished sector centered around one of the four mutually perpendicular azimuths was daily changed in a predetermined sequence. The results showed no male female differences during acquisition and better performance of males during extinction. The performance of females was not affected by estral cycle-related hormonal changes. The findings are discussed in the light of controversial results of research into sex differences in spatial abilities.

  2. 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.

  3. Avoidance of physical activity is a sensitive indicator of illness.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Gregory W; Mitchell, Duncan; Harden, Lois M

    2009-03-02

    Although fever and sickness behavior are common responses to infection, it has been proposed that the sickness behaviors associated with infection, in particular lethargy and fatigue, may be more valuable clinical markers of illness and recovery in patients, than is body temperature alone. Measuring abdominal temperature, food intake and wheel running we therefore determined the dose thresholds and sensitivities of these responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive one of three LPS doses (10, 50, 250 microg/kg), or saline, subcutaneously. Administration of LPS induced a dose-dependent increase in abdominal temperature and decrease in wheel running, food intake and body mass. Regression analysis revealed that decreased running was the most-sensitive of the sickness responses to LPS administration, with a regression slope of -41%/log microg, compared to the slopes for food intake (-30%/log microg, F(1,2)=244, P=0.004) and body mass (-2.2%/log microg, F(1,5)=7491, P<0.0001). To determine the likelihood that exercise training influenced the sickness responses we measured in our dose-response study we performed a second experiment in which we investigated whether fever and anorexia induced by LPS administration would present differently depending on whether rats had been exercising or sedentary. Six weeks of wheel running had no effect on the magnitude of fever and anorexia induced by LPS administration. Avoidance of physical activity therefore appears to be a more-sensitive indicator of a host's reaction to LPS than is anorexia and fever.

  4. 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

    2016-04-08

    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.

  5. The effect of cognitive bias modification for interpretation on avoidance of pain during an acute experimental pain task.

    PubMed

    Jones, Emma Blaisdale; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-08-01

    Research confirms that patients with chronic pain show a tendency to interpret ambiguous stimuli as pain related. However, whether modifying these interpretive pain biases impacts pain outcomes is unknown. This study aimed to demonstrate that interpretation biases towards pain can be modified, and that changing these biases influences pain outcomes in the cold pressor task. One hundred and six undergraduate students were randomly allocated to receive either threatening or reassuring information regarding the cold pressor. They also were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 conditions in the Ambiguous Scenarios Task, in which they were trained to have either a threatening interpretation of pain (pain bias condition) or a nonthreatening interpretation of pain (no pain bias condition). Therefore, the study had a 2 (threat/reassuring)×2 (pain bias/no pain bias) design. Analyses showed that a bias was induced contingent on condition, and that the threat manipulation was effective. Participants in the pain bias condition hesitated more before doing the cold pressor task than those in the no pain bias condition, as did those in the threat compared with the reassurance condition. The major finding was that interpretive bias mediated the relationship between bias condition and hesitance time, supporting the causal role of interpretive biases for avoidance behaviors in current chronic pain models. No differences were found on other pain outcomes regarding bias or threat, and the efficacy of the bias modification was not impacted by different levels of threat. These results suggest that cognitive bias modification should be further explored as a potential intervention in pain.

  6. 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

  7. Predicting attention and avoidance: when do avoiders attend?

    PubMed

    Klein, Rupert; Knäuper, Bärbel

    2009-09-01

    Three avoidance measures, the Miller Behavioural Style Scale (MBSS), Index of Self-Regulation of Emotion (ISE) and Mainz Coping Inventory (MCI), were compared in their ability to predict attention and avoidance of threats in the emotional Stroop task. It was also examined if the avoidance mechanism of individuals who would normally avoid threat-indicating words becomes disrupted under conditions of dopamine reduction. Results show that only the ISE predicted attention/avoidance of threat-indicating words. In addition, the avoidance mechanism, as measured by the ISE and MCI, was not activated when regular smokers abstained from smoking.

  8. Task-dependent activations of human auditory cortex during spatial discrimination and spatial memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Rinne, Teemu; Koistinen, Sonja; Talja, Suvi; Wikman, Patrik; Salonen, Oili

    2012-02-15

    In the present study, we applied high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human auditory cortex (AC) and adjacent areas to compare activations during spatial discrimination and spatial n-back memory tasks that were varied parametrically in difficulty. We found that activations in the anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) were stronger during spatial discrimination than during spatial memory, while spatial memory was associated with stronger activations in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). We also found that wide AC areas were strongly deactivated during the spatial memory tasks. The present AC activation patterns associated with spatial discrimination and spatial memory tasks were highly similar to those obtained in our previous study comparing AC activations during pitch discrimination and pitch memory (Rinne et al., 2009). Together our previous and present results indicate that discrimination and memory tasks activate anterior and posterior AC areas differently and that this anterior-posterior division is present both when these tasks are performed on spatially invariant (pitch discrimination vs. memory) or spatially varying (spatial discrimination vs. memory) sounds. These results also further strengthen the view that activations of human AC cannot be explained only by stimulus-level parameters (e.g., spatial vs. nonspatial stimuli) but that the activations observed with fMRI are strongly dependent on the characteristics of the behavioral task. Thus, our results suggest that in order to understand the functional structure of AC a more systematic investigation of task-related factors affecting AC activations is needed.

  9. Learner Activities in a Collaborative CALL Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leahy, C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper briefly discusses different research approaches in CALL and makes a case for applying grounded theory (GT) to data gathered from an electronic role-play conducted in L2. The article shows that this method can help gain a better understanding of what learners do when engaged in the task. Through the process of open coding, four…

  10. Thinking About a Task Is Associated with Increased Connectivity in Regions Activated by Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Robertson, Edwin M; Manoach, Dara S; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-03-01

    We investigated whether functional neuroimaging of quiet "rest" can reveal the neural correlates of conscious thought. Using resting-state functional MRI, we measured functional connectivity during a resting scan that immediately followed performance of a finger tapping motor sequence task. Self-reports of the amount of time spent thinking about the task during the resting scan correlated with connectivity between regions of the motor network activated during task performance. Thus, thinking about a task is associated with coordinated activity in brain regions responsible for that task's performance. More generally, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using the combination of functional connectivity MRI and self-reports to examine the neural correlates of thought.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Physical Activity Predicts Performance in an Unpracticed Bimanual Coordination Task

    PubMed Central

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P.; Serbruyns, Leen; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2017-01-01

    Practice of a given physical activity is known to improve the motor skills related to this activity. However, whether unrelated skills are also improved is still unclear. To test the impact of physical activity on an unpracticed motor task, 26 young adults completed the international physical activity questionnaire and performed a bimanual coordination task they had never practiced before. Results showed that higher total physical activity predicted higher performance in the bimanual task, controlling for multiple factors such as age, physical inactivity, music practice, and computer games practice. Linear mixed models allowed this effect of physical activity to be generalized to a large population of bimanual coordination conditions. This finding runs counter to the notion that generalized motor abilities do not exist and supports the existence of a “learning to learn” skill that could be improved through physical activity and that impacts performance in tasks that are not necessarily related to the practiced activity. PMID:28265253

  15. Prior fear conditioning does not impede enhanced active avoidance in serotonin transporter knockout rats.

    PubMed

    Schipper, Pieter; Henckens, Marloes J A G; Borghans, Bart; Hiemstra, Marlies; Kozicz, Tamas; Homberg, Judith R

    2017-03-07

    Stressors can be actively or passively coped with, and adequate adaption of the coping response to environmental conditions can reduce their potential deleterious effects. One major factor influencing stress coping behaviour is serotonin transporter (5-HTT) availability. Abolishment of 5-HTT is known to impair fear extinction but facilitates acquisition of signalled active avoidance (AA), a behavioural task in which an animal learns to avoid an aversive stimulus that is predicted by a cue. Flexibility in adapting coping behaviour to the nature of the stressor shapes resilience to stress-related disorders. Therefore, we investigated the relation between 5-HTT expression and ability to adapt a learned coping response to changing environmental conditions. To this end, we first established and consolidated a cue-conditioned passive fear response in 5-HTT(-/-) and wildtype rats. Next, we used the conditioned stimulus (CS) to signal oncoming shocks during signalled AA training in 5-HTT(-/-) and wildtype rats to study their capability to acquire an active coping response to the CS following fear conditioning. Finally, we investigated the behavioural response to the CS in a novel environment and measured freezing, exploration and self-grooming, behaviours reflective of stress coping strategy. We found that fear conditioned and sham conditioned 5-HTT(-/-) animals acquired the signalled AA response faster than wildtypes, while prior conditioning briefly delayed AA learning similarly in both genotypes. Subsequent exposure to the CS in the novel context reduced freezing and increased locomotion in 5-HTT(-/-) compared to wildtype rats. This indicates that improved AA performance in 5-HTT(-/-) rats resulted in a weaker residual passive fear response to the CS in a novel context. Fear conditioning prior to AA training did not affect freezing upon re-encountering the CS, although it did reduce locomotion in 5-HTT(-/-) rats. We conclude that independent of 5-HTT signalling, prior

  16. 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.

  17. Inhibitory avoidance learning in zebrafish (Danio rerio): effects of shock intensity and unraveling differences in task performance.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The dual effect of CA1 NMDA receptor modulation on ACPA-induced amnesia in step-down passive avoidance learning task.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Amin-Yavari, Samaneh; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Torabi-Nami, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2015-04-01

    It is well documented that cannabinoids play an important role in certain hippocampal memory processes in rodents. On the other hand, N-Methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) mediate the synaptic plasticity related to learning and memory processes which take place in the hippocampus. Such insights prompted us to investigate the influence of dorsal hippocampal (CA1) NMDA receptor agents on amnesia induced by cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA) in male mice. One-trial step-down passive avoidance and hole-board apparatuses were used to examine the memory retrieval and exploratory behaviors, respectively. Based on our findings, pre-training intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of ACPA (0.01mg/kg) decreased memory acquisition. Moreover, pre-training intra-CA1 infusion of NMDA (0.001, 0.0125, 0.025 and 0.2µg/mouse), d-AP7 (0.5 and 1µg/mouse) or AM251 (50ng/mouse) impaired the memory acquisition. Meanwhile, NMDA-treated animals at the doses of 0.0005, 0.05 and 0.1µg/mouse acquired memory formation. In addition, intra-CA1 microinjection of NMDA (0.0005) plus different doses of ACPA potentiated the ACPA response, while NMDA (0.1) plus the lower or the higher dose of ACPA potentiated or restored the ACPA response, respectively. Further investigation revealed that a subthreshold dose of d-AP7 could potentiate the memory acquisition impairment induced by ACPA. Moreover, the subthreshold dose of AM251 did not alter the ACPA response, while the effective dose of the drug restored the memory acquisition impairment induced by ACPA. According to these results, we concluded that activation of the NMDA receptors in the CA1 mediates a dual effect on ACPA-induced amnesia in step-down passive avoidance learning task.

  1. Instruction-based response activation depends on task preparation.

    PubMed

    Liefooghe, Baptist; De Houwer, Jan; Wenke, Dorit

    2013-06-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that a response in one task can be activated automatically on the basis merely of instructed stimulus-response (S-R) mappings belonging to another task. Such instruction-based response activations are considered to be evidence for the formation of S-R associations on the basis of the S-R mappings for an upcoming, but not yet executed, task. A crucial but somewhat neglected assumption is that instructed S-R associations are formed only under conditions that impose a sufficient degree of task preparation. Accordingly, in the present study we investigated the relation between task preparation and the instruction-based task-rule congruency effect, which is an index of response activation on the basis of instructions. The results from two experiments demonstrated that merely instructed S-R mappings of a particular task only elicit instruction-based response activations when that task is prepared for to a sufficient degree. Implications are discussed for the representation of instructed S-R mappings in working memory.

  2. Achievements and tasks for active noise control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tichy, Jiri

    This short survey attempted to highlight some achievements of the latest active control applications. Except for the active control of a one-dimensional sound field in ducts and active headphones, the applications for active control technology are still being developed. Although the principles of active control are simple, their applications still require substantial research and modeling of the sound fields to find optimal solutions. There is no doubt that active control of sound field triggered extensive research of the fundamental properties of the sound field which goes beyond the textbook simplifications. Also, new hardware, particularly actuators, are under development. As more realism is brought into assessment of applicability of active control, we will see in the future increasing confidence of industry to adopt this new technology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Vulnerability factors in anxiety determined through differences in active-avoidance behavior.

    PubMed

    Beck, Kevin D; Jiao, Xilu; Pang, Kevin C H; Servatius, Richard J

    2010-08-16

    The risk for developing anxiety disorders is greater in females and those individuals exhibiting a behaviorally inhibited temperament. Growth of behavioral avoidance in people is a significant predictor of symptom severity in anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Using an animal model, our lab is examining how the process of learning avoidant behavior may lead certain individuals to develop anxiety. Here we examined whether the known vulnerabilities of female sex and behaviorally inhibited temperament have individual or additive effects upon the acquisition of an active-avoidance response. A discrete trial lever-press escape-avoidance protocol was used to examine the acquisition of behavioral avoidance in male and female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and behaviorally inhibited inbred Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Overall, WKY rats of both sexes were indistinguishable in their behavior during the acquisition of an active-avoidance response, exhibiting quicker acquisition of reinforced responses both between and within session compared to SD rats. Further WKY rats emitted more non-reinforced responses than SD rats. Sex differences were evident in SD rats in both the acquisition of the reinforced response and the emission of non-reinforced responses, with SD females acquiring the response quicker and emitting more non-reinforced responses following lever presses that led to an escape from shock. As vulnerability factors, behavioral inhibition and female sex were each associated with more prevalent reinforced and non-reinforced avoidant behavior, but an additive effect of these 2 factors was not observed. These data illustrate the importance of genetics (both strain and sex) in the assessment and modeling of anxiety vulnerability through the acquisition of active-avoidance responses and the persistence of emitting those responses in periods of non-reinforcement.

  6. Operational support to collision avoidance activities by ESA's space debris office

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, V.; Flohrer, T.; Krag, H.; Merz, K.; Lemmens, S.; Bastida Virgili, B.; Funke, Q.

    2016-09-01

    The European Space Agency's (ESA) Space Debris Office provides a service to support operational collision avoidance activities. This support currently covers ESA's missions Cryosat-2, Sentinel-1A and -2A, the constellation of Swarm-A/B/C in low-Earth orbit (LEO), as well as missions of third-party customers. In this work, we describe the current collision avoidance process for ESA and third-party missions in LEO. We give an overview on the upgrades developed and implemented since the advent of conjunction summary messages (CSM)/conjunction data messages (CDM), addressing conjunction event detection, collision risk assessment, orbit determination, orbit and covariance propagation, process control, and data handling. We pay special attention to the effect of warning thresholds on the risk reduction and manoeuvre rates, as they are established through risk mitigation and analysis tools, such as ESA's Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis (DRAMA) software suite. To handle the large number of CDMs and the associated risk analyses, a database-centric approach has been developed. All CDMs and risk analysis results are stored in a database. In this way, a temporary local "mini-catalogue" of objects close to our target spacecraft is obtained, which can be used, e.g., for manoeuvre screening and to update the risk analysis whenever a new ephemeris becomes available from the flight dynamics team. The database is also used as the backbone for a Web-based tool, which consists of the visualization component and a collaboration tool that facilitates the status monitoring and task allocation within the support team as well as communication with the control team. The visualization component further supports the information sharing by displaying target and chaser motion over time along with the involved uncertainties. The Web-based solution optimally meets the needs for a concise and easy-to-use way to obtain a situation picture in a very short time, and the support for

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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).…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Activity flow over resting-state networks shapes cognitive task activations

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Michael W.; Ito, Takuya; Bassett, Danielle S.; Schultz, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) has helped reveal the intrinsic network organization of the human brain, yet its relevance to cognitive task activations has been unclear. Uncertainty remains despite evidence that resting-state FC patterns are highly similar to cognitive task activation patterns. Identifying the distributed processes that shape localized cognitive task activations may help reveal why resting-state FC is so strongly related to cognitive task activations. We found that estimating task-evoked activity flow (the spread of activation amplitudes) over resting-state FC networks allows prediction of cognitive task activations in a large-scale neural network model. Applying this insight to empirical functional MRI data, we found that cognitive task activations can be predicted in held-out brain regions (and held-out individuals) via estimated activity flow over resting-state FC networks. This suggests that task-evoked activity flow over intrinsic networks is a large-scale mechanism explaining the relevance of resting-state FC to cognitive task activations. PMID:27723746

  13. 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…

  14. Activation of lateral habenula inputs to the ventral midbrain promotes behavioral avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Stamatakis, Alice M.; Stuber, Garret D.

    2012-01-01

    Lateral habenula (LHb) projections to the ventral midbrain, including the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) conveys negative reward-related information, but the behavioral ramifications of selective activation of this pathway remain unexplored. We found that exposure to aversive stimuli in mice increased LHb excitatory drive onto RMTg neurons. Further, optogenetic activation of this pathway promoted active, passive, and conditioned behavioral avoidance. These data demonstrate that activity of LHb efferents to the midbrain is aversive, but can also serve to negatively reinforce behavioral responding. PMID:22729176

  15. The n-butanolic extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten enhances long-term memory in the passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong Min; Kim, Dong Hyun; Park, Se Jin; Park, Dong Hyun; Jung, Seo Yun; Kim, Hyoung Ja; Lee, Yong Sup; Jin, Changbae; Ryu, Jong Hoon

    2010-08-16

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten Makino (Cactaceae) is used to treat burns, edema, dyspepsia, and asthma in traditional medicine. The present study investigated the beneficial effects of the n-butanolic extract of O. ficus-indica var. saboten (BOF) on memory performance in mice and attempts to uncover the mechanisms underlying its action. Memory performance was assessed with the passive avoidance task, and western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to measure changes in protein expression and cell survival. After the oral administration of BOF for 7 days, the latency time in the passive avoidance task was significantly increased relative to vehicle-treated controls (P<0.05). Western blotting revealed that the expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), phosphorylated cAMP response element binding-protein (pCREB), and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) 1/2 were significantly increased in hippocampal tissue after 7 days of BOF administration (P<0.05). Doublecortin and 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining also revealed that BOF significantly enhanced the survival of immature neurons, but did not affect neuronal cell proliferation in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These results suggest that the subchronic administration of BOF enhances long-term memory, and that this effect is partially mediated by ERK-CREB-BDNF signaling and the survival of immature neurons.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Baseline activity predicts working memory load of preceding task condition.

    PubMed

    Pyka, Martin; Hahn, Tim; Heider, Dominik; Krug, Axel; Sommer, Jens; Kircher, Tilo; Jansen, Andreas

    2013-11-01

    The conceptual notion of the so-called resting state of the brain has been recently challenged by studies indicating a continuing effect of cognitive processes on subsequent rest. In particular, activity in posterior parietal and medial prefrontal areas has been found to be modulated by preceding experimental conditions. In this study, we investigated which brain areas show working memory dependent patterns in subsequent baseline periods and how specific they are for the preceding experimental condition. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 94 subjects performed a letter-version of the n-back task with the conditions 0-back and 2-back followed by a low-level baseline in which subjects had to passively observe the letters appearing. In a univariate analysis, 2-back served as control condition while 0-back, baseline after 0-back and baseline after 2-back were modeled as regressors to test for activity changes between both baseline conditions. Additionally, we tested, using Gaussian process classifiers, the recognition of task condition from functional images acquired during baseline. Besides the expected activity changes in the precuneus and medial prefrontal cortex, we found differential activity in the thalamus, putamen, and postcentral gyrus that were affected by the preceding task. The multivariate analysis revealed that images of the subsequent baseline block contain task related patterns that yield a recognition rate of 70%. The results suggest that the influence of a cognitive task on subsequent baseline is strong and specific for some areas but not restricted to areas of the so-called default mode network.

  19. Lesions of the lateral habenula facilitate active avoidance learning and threat extinction.

    PubMed

    Song, Mihee; Jo, Yong Sang; Lee, Yeon-Kyung; Choi, June-Seek

    2017-02-01

    The lateral habenula (LHb) is an epithalamic brain structure that provides strong projections to midbrain monoaminergic systems that are involved in motivation, emotion, and reinforcement learning. LHb neurons are known to convey information about aversive outcomes and negative prediction errors, suggesting a role in learning from aversive events. To test this idea, we examined the effects of electrolytic lesions of the LHb on signaled two-way active avoidance learning in which rats were trained to avoid an unconditioned stimulus (US) by taking a proactive shuttling response to an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS). The lesioned animals learned the avoidance response significantly faster than the control groups. In a separate experiment, we also investigated whether the LHb contributes to Pavlovian threat (fear) conditioning and extinction. Following paired presentations of the CS and the US, LHb-lesioned animals showed normal acquisition of conditioned response (CR) measured with freezing. However, extinction of the CR in the subsequent CS-only session was significantly faster. The enhanced performance in avoidance learning and in threat extinction jointly suggests that the LHb normally plays an inhibitory role in learning driven by absence of aversive outcomes.

  20. Increased activation in the right insula during risk-taking decision making is related to harm avoidance and neuroticism.

    PubMed

    Paulus, Martin P; Rogalsky, Corianne; Simmons, Alan; Feinstein, Justin S; Stein, Murray B

    2003-08-01

    Decision making and risk taking are interrelated processes that are important for daily functioning. The somatic marker hypothesis has provided a conceptual basis for processes involved in risk-taking decision making and has been used to link discrete neural substrates to risk-related behaviors. This investigation examined the hypothesis that the degree of risk-taking is related to the degree of activation in the insular cortex. Seventeen healthy, right-handed subjects performed a risk-taking decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using a fast event-related design. This investigation yielded three main findings. First, right insula (BA 13) activation was significantly stronger when subjects selected a "risky" response versus selecting a "safe" response. Second, the degree of insula activation was related to the probability of selecting a "safe" response following a punished response. Third, the degree of insula activation was related to the subjects' degree of harm avoidance and neuroticism as measured by the TCI and NEO personality questionnaires, respectively. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that insula activation serves as a critical neural substrate to instantiate aversive somatic markers that guide risk-taking decision-making behavior.

  1. Risk avoidance versus risk reduction: a framework and segmentation profile for understanding adolescent sexual activity.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Christopher D; Tanner, John F; Raymond, Mary Anne

    2004-01-01

    The teen birthrate in the United States is twice that of other industrialized nations. Adolescents in the U.S. are among high-risk groups for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services changed its policy on the promotion of abstinence to teenagers from a focus on a risk reduction strategy to a focus on a risk avoidance strategy. In order to create more effective risk avoidance as well as risk reduction campaigns, this study proposes a framework to illustrate the distinction that teens make between spontaneous sexual activity and planned sexual activity, as well as those teens that make a commitment to abstinence versus abstinence by default. Furthermore, this study classifies teens into three behavior segments (abstemious, promiscuous and monogamous) and then assesses specific differences that exist within these groups relative to their attitudes and perceptions concerning abstinence, sexual activity, contraception, fear and norms. This change in focus from a risk reduction to a risk avoidance strategy has important implications for social marketing, public policy and marketing theory.

  2. Involvement of PLC-beta3 in the effect of morphine on memory retrieval in passive avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Bianchi, E; Lehmann, D; Vivoli, E; Norcini, M; Ghelardini, C

    2010-06-01

    Phospholipase C (PLC) is one signalling effector enzyme whose activity is directly modulated by opioids. Several physiological studies have implicated PLC-linked pathways in in-vivo pain regulation and opioid tolerance. Co-administration of PLC-beta(2/3) activity blocker M119 with morphine resulted in a dramatic increase in morphine-induced amnesic effect in mice, proving a role for beta subunit of PLC enzyme in these processes. Administration of morphine to mice at amnesic dose increased PLC-beta(3) activity, with respect to basal value, in the membrane-soluble material from anterior cortex and hippocampal formation in brain areas. PLC-beta(3) appears to be simultaneously implicated in both analgesic and amnesic effects induced by administration of morphine to mice suggesting a commonality in the molecular mechanisms of morphine-induced analgesia and memory impairment.

  3. 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…

  4. Physical activity in patients with venous leg ulcer – between engagement and avoidance. A patient perspective

    PubMed Central

    Biguet, Gabriele; Elfving, Britt

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To identify and describe the qualitative variations in how physical activity is perceived and understood by individuals with current or previous venous leg ulcer. Design: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Method: Twenty-two individuals aged 60–85 years were interviewed. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed by three researchers using a phenomenographic research approach. A set of categories of descriptions and their internal relationships were constructed based on the essential features of the variation in patients’ perceptions of physical activity. Results: Four categories of descriptions were identified: (i) ‘self-management’, (ii) ‘instructions and support’, (iii) ‘fear of injury’ and (iv) ‘a wish to stay normal’. The categories could be interpreted by a two-dimensional construct: (1) perception of venous leg ulcer as a chronic or acute condition and (2) engagement or avoidance behaviour toward physical activity. Chronicity and behaviour combined together formed a 2 × 2 square housing the four qualitatively different categories. Irrespective of category, the participants reported that information given by caregivers regarding leg ulcer and physical activity was insufficient or contradictory. Written information or exercise programmes were not obtained regularly and not at all in primary care. Conclusion: A dichotomous view emerged from participants’ experiences of physical activity based on (1) perception of venous leg ulcer as a chronic or acute condition and (2) engagement or avoidance behaviour toward physical activity. PMID:21148268

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-06-14

    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.

  7. Children's Avoidance of Interrupting Others' Activities in Requesting Help: Cultural Aspects of Considerateness.

    PubMed

    Ruvalcaba, Omar; Rogoff, Barbara; López, Angélica; Correa-Chávez, Maricela; Gutiérrez, Kris

    2015-01-01

    To be able to collaborate skillfully, people need to coordinate well with others, taking into account how their actions fit with those of their partners. This is a key aspect of an approach to learning called Learning by Observing and Pitching In, hypothesized to be common in many Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas. This chapter considers cultural values that emphasize considerateness and awareness of how one's actions impact others such as the Mexican cultural value of respeto and cultural differences in children's efforts to avoid interrupting others' activity. US Mexican-heritage children showed more evidence of avoiding interrupting the ongoing activity of an adult when they requested help, compared with European American children from families with extensive schooling experience. Most of the Mexican-heritage children's requests for help that gave evidence of avoiding interruption were made nonverbally, which may facilitate unobtrusive requests. There were no significant differences among children from two US Mexican-heritage backgrounds varying in experience with Western schooling and likely experience with Indigenous-American practices, suggesting that the Mexican cultural value of respeto and associated considerateness is widespread even among US Mexican-heritage families with extensive experience with Western schooling and life in the United States.

  8. 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…

  9. Avoiding sports-related sudden cardiac death in children with congenital channelopathy : Recommendations for sports activities.

    PubMed

    Lang, C N; Steinfurt, J; Odening, K E

    2017-04-01

    For the past few years, children affected by an inherited channelopathy have been counseled to avoid (recreational) sports activities and all competitive sports so as to prevent exercise-induced arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. An increased understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms, better anti-arrhythmic strategies, and, in particular, more epidemiological data on exercise-induced arrhythmia in active athletes with channelopathies have changed the universal recommendation of "no sports," leading to revised, less strict, and more differentiated guidelines (published by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology in 2015). In this review, we outline the disease- and genotype-specific mechanisms of exercise-induced arrhythmia; give an overview of trigger-, symptom-, and genotype-dependent guidance in sports activities for children with long QT syndrome (LQTS), Brugada syndrome (BrS), catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), or short QT syndrome (SQTS); and highlight the novelties in the current guidelines compared with previous versions. While it is still recommended for patients with LQT1 and CPVT (even when asymptomatic) and all symptomatic LQTS patients (independent of genotype) to avoid any competitive and high-intensity sports, other LQTS patients successfully treated with anti-arrhythmic therapies and phenotype-negative genotype-positive patients may be allowed to perform sports at different activity levels - provided they undergo regular, sophisticated evaluations to detect any changes in arrhythmogenic risk.

  10. Pyrazine Analogues Are Active Components of Wolf Urine That Induce Avoidance and Freezing Behaviours in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Osada, Kazumi; Kurihara, Kenzo; Izumi, Hiroshi; Kashiwayanagi, Makoto

    2013-01-01

    Background The common grey wolf (Canis lupus) is found throughout the entire Northern hemisphere and preys on many kinds of mammals. The urine of the wolf contains a number of volatile constituents that can potentially be used for predator–prey chemosignalling. Although wolf urine is put to practical use to keep rabbits, rodents, deer and so on at bay, we are unaware of any prior behavioural studies or chemical analyses regarding the fear-inducing impact of wolf urine on laboratory mice. Methodology/Principal Findings Three wolf urine samples harvested at different times were used in this study. All of them induced stereotypical fear-associated behaviors (i.e., avoidance and freezing) in female mice. The levels of certain urinary volatiles varied widely among the samples. To identify the volatiles that provoked avoidance and freezing, behavioural, chemical, and immunohistochemical analyses were performed. One of the urine samples (sample C) had higher levels of 2,6-dimethylpyrazine (DMP), trimethylpyrazine (TMP), and 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethyl pyrazine (EDMP) compared with the other two urine samples (samples A and B). In addition, sample C induced avoidance and freezing behaviours more effectively than samples A and B. Moreover, only sample C led to pronounced expression of Fos-immunoreactive cells in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of female mice. Freezing behaviour and Fos immunoreactivity were markedly enhanced when the mice were confronted with a mixture of purified DMP, TMP, and EDMP vs. any one pyrazine alone. Conclusions/Significance The current results suggest that wolf urinary volatiles can engender aversive and fear-related responses in mice. Pyrazine analogues were identified as the predominant active components among these volatiles to induce avoidance and freezing behaviours via stimulation of the murine AOB. PMID:23637901

  11. Reasoning about tasks, activities and technology to support collaboration.

    PubMed

    Watts, L A; Monk, A F

    1998-11-01

    An aspect of collaboration described as 'semi-synchronized activity' is discussed as a particular challenge for the task analysis (TA) of collaborative work. TA typically involves the decomposition of work systems into essentially independent component processes between which commodities (information or materials) pass. In collaborative work, people routinely violate the condition of independence by moving seemlessly in and out of synchronization with one another, allowing for both independent and varying levels of conjoint activity. The shift between joint and independent projects is not fixed but managed through more or less explicit awareness of the other people over time. A number of case studies of the effect of communication technologies in telemedical consultation are drawn upon to illustrate the relationship between awareness and synchronization in collaborative work. They show that an analysis of collaborative activity requires a consideration of: (1) the activities constituting work; (2) the interactions between participants required to carry out the activities; (3) who else has access to these activities besides the primary participants in the ongoing work; (4) the contemporaneity of activities; (5) the locations/environments in which the activities are carried out; and (6) the constraints that apply to accessibility and participation within and between these environments. The Comms Usage Diagram is described as a framing notation incorporating these characteristics for a broad, communications-level analysis of collaborative activity. It shows how particular technologies relate to particular phases of work, indexing their effects to collaborative activities in those contexts.

  12. Differences in Active Avoidance Conditioning in Male and Female Rats with Experimental Anxiety-Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Khlebnikova, N N; Krupina, N A; Kushnareva, E Yu; Orlova, I N

    2015-07-01

    Using rat model of experimental anxiety-depressive disorder caused by postnatal administration of methionyl-2(S)-cyanopyrrolidine, an inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase IV, we compared conditioned active avoidance response and memory retention in males and females. In experimental males and females, conditioning was impaired in comparison with the control. In experimental groups, females were worse learners than males, while in control groups, females were better learners than males. Memory retention in experimental animals did not differ from that in controls 24 h after learning. Two months after learning, control females demonstrated better retention than control males.

  13. Effects of ionizing radiation and restraint stress on activity, avoidance conditioning, and stomach ulcers in albino rats. Final report October 1980-December 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Lanum, J.; Blick, D.W.; Campbell, M.E.; Wheeler, T.G.; Koger, S.A.

    1984-03-01

    In an experiment with albino rats, we have tried to model a nuclear attack scenario in which military personnel receiving 600 to 800 rads of ionizing radiation would be making a counterattack under the stress of an emergency situation. We used a dose of radiation that, though higher than the human exposure field, was estimated to be its physiological equivalent. Restraining the rat in an immobile position, a technique previously shown to have stressing qualities for rats, was chosen as an analogy to the stress of being in a war emergency. Activity and conditioned avoidance acquisition were chosen as test responses. Performance in the activity maze was affected only to a minor degree and in the direction of considering irradiation as activating. However, all irradiated groups showed retarded conditioned avoidance acquisition, which can be interpreted as decreased adaptability to a stressful situation. Further, our results support the expectation of performance decrements in the military scenario that could not be predicted by considering ionizing radiation in isolation. On the avoidance task, male rats in the combination stress-irradiation condition showed more failures to respond and longer response latencies than any other group. Female rats, on the other hand, showed shorter escape/avoidance latencies in the combined stress-irradiation condition than in the irradiation condition alone. This sex difference may be useful as a clue for investigating mechanisms of radiation resistance and interactions between stressors.

  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. Avoidance of wind farms by harbour seals is limited to pile driving activities.

    PubMed

    Russell, Debbie J F; Hastie, Gordon D; Thompson, David; Janik, Vincent M; Hammond, Philip S; Scott-Hayward, Lindesay A S; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Jones, Esther L; McConnell, Bernie J

    2016-12-01

    As part of global efforts to reduce dependence on carbon-based energy sources there has been a rapid increase in the installation of renewable energy devices. The installation and operation of these devices can result in conflicts with wildlife. In the marine environment, mammals may avoid wind farms that are under construction or operating. Such avoidance may lead to more time spent travelling or displacement from key habitats. A paucity of data on at-sea movements of marine mammals around wind farms limits our understanding of the nature of their potential impacts.Here, we present the results of a telemetry study on harbour seals Phoca vitulina in The Wash, south-east England, an area where wind farms are being constructed using impact pile driving. We investigated whether seals avoid wind farms during operation, construction in its entirety, or during piling activity. The study was carried out using historical telemetry data collected prior to any wind farm development and telemetry data collected in 2012 during the construction of one wind farm and the operation of another.Within an operational wind farm, there was a close-to-significant increase in seal usage compared to prior to wind farm development. However, the wind farm was at the edge of a large area of increased usage, so the presence of the wind farm was unlikely to be the cause.There was no significant displacement during construction as a whole. However, during piling, seal usage (abundance) was significantly reduced up to 25 km from the piling activity; within 25 km of the centre of the wind farm, there was a 19 to 83% (95% confidence intervals) decrease in usage compared to during breaks in piling, equating to a mean estimated displacement of 440 individuals. This amounts to significant displacement starting from predicted received levels of between 166 and 178 dB re 1 μPa(p-p). Displacement was limited to piling activity; within 2 h of cessation of pile driving, seals were distributed as per

  16. 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.

  17. Task complexity modulates pilot electroencephalographic activity during real flights.

    PubMed

    Di Stasi, Leandro L; Diaz-Piedra, Carolina; Suárez, Juan; McCamy, Michael B; Martinez-Conde, Susana; Roca-Dorda, Joaquín; Catena, Andrés

    2015-07-01

    Most research connecting task performance and neural activity to date has been conducted in laboratory conditions. Thus, field studies remain scarce, especially in extreme conditions such as during real flights. Here, we investigated the effects of flight procedures of varied complexity on the in-flight EEG activity of military helicopter pilots. Flight procedural complexity modulated the EEG power spectrum: highly demanding procedures (i.e., takeoff and landing) were associated with higher EEG power in the higher frequency bands, whereas less demanding procedures (i.e., flight exercises) were associated with lower EEG power over the same frequency bands. These results suggest that EEG recordings may help to evaluate an operator's cognitive performance in challenging real-life scenarios, and thus could aid in the prevention of catastrophic events.

  18. 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.

  19. Patterns of Theta Activity in Limbic Anxiety Circuit Preceding Exploratory Behavior in Approach-Avoidance Conflict

    PubMed Central

    Jacinto, Luis R.; Cerqueira, João J.; Sousa, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    Theta oscillations within the hippocampus-amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (HPC-AMY-mPFC) circuit have been consistently implicated in the regulation of anxiety behaviors, including risk-assessment. To study if theta activity during risk-assessment was correlated with exploratory behavior in an approach/avoidance paradigm we recorded simultaneous local field potentials from this circuit in rats exploring the elevated-plus maze (EPM). Opposing patterns of power variations in the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and prelimbic (PrL) mPFC, but not in the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC), during exploratory risk-assessment of the open arms preceded further exploration of the open arms or retreat back to the safer closed arms. The same patterns of theta power variations in the HPC-BLA-mPFC(PrL) circuit were also displayed by animals submitted to chronic unpredictable stress protocol known to induce an anxious state. Diverging patterns of vHPC-mPFC(PrL) theta coherence were also significantly correlated with forthcoming approach or avoidance behavior in the conflict situation in both controls and stressed animals; interestingly, vHPC-BLA, and BLA-mPFC(PrL) theta coherence correlated with future behavior only in stressed animals, underlying the pivotal role of the amygdala on the stress response. PMID:27713693

  20. Patterns of Theta Activity in Limbic Anxiety Circuit Preceding Exploratory Behavior in Approach-Avoidance Conflict.

    PubMed

    Jacinto, Luis R; Cerqueira, João J; Sousa, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    Theta oscillations within the hippocampus-amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (HPC-AMY-mPFC) circuit have been consistently implicated in the regulation of anxiety behaviors, including risk-assessment. To study if theta activity during risk-assessment was correlated with exploratory behavior in an approach/avoidance paradigm we recorded simultaneous local field potentials from this circuit in rats exploring the elevated-plus maze (EPM). Opposing patterns of power variations in the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and prelimbic (PrL) mPFC, but not in the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC), during exploratory risk-assessment of the open arms preceded further exploration of the open arms or retreat back to the safer closed arms. The same patterns of theta power variations in the HPC-BLA-mPFC(PrL) circuit were also displayed by animals submitted to chronic unpredictable stress protocol known to induce an anxious state. Diverging patterns of vHPC-mPFC(PrL) theta coherence were also significantly correlated with forthcoming approach or avoidance behavior in the conflict situation in both controls and stressed animals; interestingly, vHPC-BLA, and BLA-mPFC(PrL) theta coherence correlated with future behavior only in stressed animals, underlying the pivotal role of the amygdala on the stress response.

  1. 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.

  2. Caspase activity during cell stasis: avoidance of apoptosis in an invertebrate extremophile, Artemia franciscana.

    PubMed

    Menze, Michael A; Hand, Steven C

    2007-05-01

    Evaluation of apoptotic processes downstream of the mitochondrion reveals caspase-9- and low levels of caspase-3-like activities in partly purified extracts of Artemia franciscana embryos. However, in contrast to experiments with extracts of human hepatoma cells, cytochrome c fails to activate caspase-3 or -9 in extracts from A. franciscana. Furthermore, caspase-9 activity is sensitive to exogenous calcium. The addition of 5 mM calcium leads to a 4.86 +/- 0.19 fold (SD) (n = 3) increase in activity, which is fully prevented with 150 mM KCl. As with mammalian systems, high ATP (>1.25 mM) suppresses caspase activity in A. franciscana extracts. A strong inhibition of caspase-9 activity was also found by GTP. Comparison of GTP-induced inhibition of caspase-9 at 0 and 2.5 mM MgCl(2) indicates that free (nonchelated) GTP is likely to be the inhibitory form. The strongest inhibition among all nucleotides tested was with ADP. Inhibition by ADP in the presence of Mg(2+) is 60-fold greater in diapause embryos than in postdiapause embryos. Because ADP does not change appreciably in concentration between the two physiological states, it is likely that this differential sensitivity to Mg(2+)-ADP is important in avoiding caspase activation during diapause. Finally, mixtures of nucleotides that mimic physiological concentrations in postdiapause and diapause states underscore the depressive action of these regulators on caspase-9 during diapause. Our biochemical characterization of caspase-like activity in A. franciscana extracts reveals that multiple mechanisms are in place to reduce the probability of apoptosis under conditions of energy limitation in this embryo.

  3. Hippocampus and two-way active avoidance conditioning: Contrasting effects of cytotoxic lesion and temporary inactivation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia; Bast, Tobias; Wang, Yu-Cong; Zhang, Wei-Ning

    2015-12-01

    Hippocampal lesions tend to facilitate two-way active avoidance (2WAA) conditioning, where rats learn to cross to the opposite side of a conditioning chamber to avoid a tone-signaled footshock. This classical finding has been suggested to reflect that hippocampus-dependent place/context memory inhibits 2WAA (a crossing response to the opposite side is inhibited by the memory that this is the place where a shock was received on the previous trial). However, more recent research suggests other aspects of hippocampal function that may support 2WAA learning. More specifically, the ventral hippocampus has been shown to contribute to behavioral responses to aversive stimuli and to positively modulate the meso-accumbens dopamine system, whose activation has been implicated in 2WAA learning. Permanent hippocampal lesions may not reveal these contributions because, following complete and permanent loss of hippocampal output, other brain regions may mediate these processes or because deficits could be masked by lesion-induced extra-hippocampal changes, including an upregulation of accumbal dopamine transmission. Here, we re-examined the hippocampal role in 2WAA learning in Wistar rats, using permanent NMDA-induced neurotoxic lesions and temporary functional inhibition by muscimol or tetrodotoxin (TTX) infusion. Complete hippocampal lesions tended to facilitate 2WAA learning, whereas ventral (VH) or dorsal hippocampal (DH) lesions had no effect. In contrast, VH or DH muscimol or TTX infusions impaired 2WAA learning. Ventral infusions caused an immediate impairment, whereas after dorsal infusions rats showed intact 2WAA learning for 40-50 min, before a marked deficit emerged. These data show that functional inhibition of ventral hippocampus disrupts 2WAA learning, while the delayed impairment following dorsal infusions may reflect the time required for drug diffusion to ventral hippocampus. Overall, using temporary functional inhibition, our study shows that the ventral

  4. The habenulo-raphe serotonergic circuit encodes an aversive expectation value essential for adaptive active avoidance of danger.

    PubMed

    Amo, Ryunosuke; Fredes, Felipe; Kinoshita, Masae; Aoki, Ryo; Aizawa, Hidenori; Agetsuma, Masakazu; Aoki, Tazu; Shiraki, Toshiyuki; Kakinuma, Hisaya; Matsuda, Masaru; Yamazaki, Masako; Takahoko, Mikako; Tsuboi, Takashi; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Miyasaka, Nobuhiko; Koide, Tetsuya; Yabuki, Yoichi; Yoshihara, Yoshihiro; Fukai, Tomoki; Okamoto, Hitoshi

    2014-12-03

    Anticipation of danger at first elicits panic in animals, but later it helps them to avoid the real threat adaptively. In zebrafish, as fish experience more and more danger, neurons in the ventral habenula (vHb) showed tonic increase in the activity to the presented cue and activated serotonergic neurons in the median raphe (MR). This neuronal activity could represent the expectation of a dangerous outcome and be used for comparison with a real outcome when the fish is learning how to escape from a dangerous to a safer environment. Indeed, inhibiting synaptic transmission from vHb to MR impaired adaptive avoidance learning, while panic behavior induced by classical fear conditioning remained intact. Furthermore, artificially triggering this negative outcome expectation signal by optogenetic stimulation of vHb neurons evoked place avoidance behavior. Thus, vHb-MR circuit is essential for representing the level of expected danger and behavioral programming to adaptively avoid potential hazard.

  5. Active vision task and postural control in healthy, young adults: Synergy and probably not duality.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, Cédrick T; Baudry, Stéphane

    2016-07-01

    In upright stance, individuals sway continuously and the sway pattern in dual tasks (e.g., a cognitive task performed in upright stance) differs significantly from that observed during the control quiet stance task. The cognitive approach has generated models (limited attentional resources, U-shaped nonlinear interaction) to explain such patterns based on competitive sharing of attentional resources. The objective of the current manuscript was to review these cognitive models in the specific context of visual tasks involving gaze shifts toward precise targets (here called active vision tasks). The selection excluded the effects of early and late stages of life or disease, external perturbations, active vision tasks requiring head and body motions and the combination of two tasks performed together (e.g., a visual task in addition to a computation in one's head). The selection included studies performed by healthy, young adults with control and active - difficult - vision tasks. Over 174 studies found in Pubmed and Mendeley databases, nine were selected. In these studies, young adults exhibited significantly lower amplitude of body displacement (center of pressure and/or body marker) under active vision tasks than under the control task. Furthermore, the more difficult the active vision tasks were, the better the postural control was. This underscores that postural control during active vision tasks may rely on synergistic relations between the postural and visual systems rather than on competitive or dual relations. In contrast, in the control task, there would not be any synergistic or competitive relations.

  6. The neural implementation of task rule activation in the task-cuing paradigm: an event-related fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yiquan; Zhou, Xiaolin; Müller, Hermann J; Schubert, Torsten

    2010-07-01

    To isolate the neural correlates for task rule activation from those related to general task preparation, the effect of a cue explicitly specifying the S-R correspondences (rule-cue) was contrasted with the effects of a cue specifying only the task to performed (task-cue). While the task-cue provides merely information about the type of task, the rule-cue is explicit about both the task type and the task rule (i.e., the set of S-R correspondences). The rule-cue was expected to activate the task rule more efficiently in the preparation period (prior to target presentation); by contrast, in the task-cue condition, part of the task rule activation was expected to be postponed into the task execution period (following the presentation of the target). In an event-related fMRI experiment, we found the right anterior and middle parts of the middle frontal and superior frontal gyri, the right inferior frontal junction, the pre-SMA, as well as the right superior and inferior parietal lobes to show larger activation elicited by the rule-cue than by the task-cue prior to target presentation. Conversely, the results revealed larger activations in these regions in the task-cue than in the rule-cue condition during the task execution period. In summary, this study identified some of the neural correlates of task rule activation and showed that these are a subset of the general task preparation network.

  7. The relationship of approach/avoidance motivation and asymmetric frontal cortical activity: A review of studies manipulating frontal asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Nicholas J; Hortensius, Ruud; Schutter, Dennis J L G; Harmon-Jones, Eddie

    2017-03-10

    The balance between activity in the left and right frontal cortex, commonly referred to as asymmetric frontal cortical activity, has served as a proxy for an organism's motivational direction (i.e., approach vs. avoidance). Many studies have examined the influence of the manipulation of motivational direction on asymmetrical frontal cortical activity and found results consistent with the idea that greater relative left (right) frontal cortical activity is associated with approach (avoidance) motivation. We critically review literature employing physical (versus psychological) manipulations of frontal asymmetry using a variety of methodologies including neurofeedback training, muscular contractions, and non-invasive brain stimulation. These reviewed methods allow us to make stronger causal inferences regarding the role of asymmetric frontal cortical activity in approach and avoidance motivation.

  8. Time to task failure and motor cortical activity depend on the type of feedback in visuomotor tasks.

    PubMed

    Lauber, Benedikt; Leukel, Christian; Gollhofer, Albert; Taube, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate whether the type of feedback influences the performance and the motor cortical activity when executing identical visuomotor tasks. For this purpose, time to task failure was measured during position- and force-controlled muscular contractions. Subjects received either visual feedback about the force produced by pressing a force transducer or about the actual position between thumb and index finger. Participants were instructed to either match the force level of 30% MVC or the finger position corresponding to the thumb and index finger angle at this contraction intensity. Subjects demonstrated a shorter time to task failure when they were provided with feedback about their joint position (11.5 ± 6.2 min) instead of force feedback (19.2 ± 12.8 min; P = 0.01). To test differences in motor cortical activity between position- and force-controlled contractions, subthreshold transcranial magnetic stimulation (subTMS) was applied while executing submaximal (20% MVC) contractions. SubTMS resulted in a suppression of the first dorsal interosseus muscle (FDI) EMG in both tasks. However, the mean suppression for the position-controlled task was significantly greater (18.6 ± 9.4% vs. 13.3 ± 7.5%; P = 0.025) and lasted longer (13.9 ± 7.5 ms vs. 9.3 ± 4.3 ms; P = 0.024) compared to the force-controlled task. The FDI background EMG obtained without stimulation was comparable in all conditions. The present results demonstrate that the presentation of different feedback modalities influences the time to task failure as well as the cortical activity. As only the feedback was altered but not the mechanics of the task, the present results add to the body of evidence that suggests that the central nervous system processes force and position information in different ways.

  9. The dense core vesicle protein IA-2, but not IA-2β, is required for active avoidance learning.

    PubMed

    Carmona, G N; Nishimura, T; Schindler, C W; Panlilio, L V; Notkins, A L

    2014-06-06

    The islet-antigens IA-2 and IA-2β are major autoantigens in type-1 diabetes and transmembrane proteins in dense core vesicles (DCV). Recently we showed that deletion of both IA-2 and IA-2β alters the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters and impairs behavior and learning. The present study was designed to evaluate the contribution to learning of each of these genes by using single knockout (SKO) and double knockout (DKO) mice in an active avoidance test. After 5 days of training, wild-type (WT) mice showed 60-70% active avoidance responses, whereas the DKO mice showed only 10-15% active avoidance responses. The degree of active avoidance responses in the IA-2 SKO mice was similar to that of the DKO mice, but in contrast, the IA-2β SKO mice behaved like WT mice showing 60-70% active avoidance responses. Molecular studies revealed a marked decrease in the phosphorylation of the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMKII) in the striatum and hippocampus of the IA-2 SKO and DKO mice, but not in the IA-2β SKO mice. To evaluate the role of CREB and CAMKII in the SKO and DKO mice, GBR-12909, which selectively blocks the dopamine uptake transporter and increases CREB and CAMKII phosphorylation, was administered. GBR-12909 restored the phosphorylation of CREB and CAMKII and increased active avoidance learning in the DKO and IA-2 SKO to near the normal levels found in the WT and IA-2β SKO mice. We conclude that in the absence of the DCV protein IA-2, active avoidance learning is impaired.

  10. Nicotine acts in the anterior cingulate, but not dorsal or ventral hippocampus, to reverse ethanol-induced learning impairments in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J

    2011-01-01

    The current study examines the role of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus, and anterior cingulate in the interactive effects of ethanol and nicotine on learning, anxiety and locomotion in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task, which allows dissociation of drug effects on each behaviour. At training, time spent in each of the arms of the elevated plus-maze was recorded for 5 minutes. Each time that the mouse entered the aversive enclosed arm, a light and white noise were turned on. At testing, no cues were turned on and time spent in each arm was recorded for 3 minutes. The effects of systemic ethanol (1.0 or 1.4 g/kg) and nicotine (0.35 µg/0.50 µl/side) infused into the anterior cingulate, dorsal and ventral hippocampus were examined, as were the interactive effects of systemic ethanol (1.0 g/kg) and nicotine (0.09 mg/kg) with the high-affinity nicotinic receptor antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHβE) (18.0 µg/0.50 µl/side) infused into the anterior cingulate. Ethanol dose dependently decreased anxiety, increased locomotion, and decreased learning. Anterior cingulate-infused nicotine decreased anxiety and reversed ethanol-associated learning deficits. Anterior cingulate-infused DHβE blocked reversal of ethanol-induced learning deficits by systemic nicotine. Dorsal hippocampus-infused nicotine reversed ethanol-induced anxiolysis and hyper-locomotion (1.4 g/kg) but produced no behavioural changes in ethanol-naïve mice. Ventral hippocampus-infused nicotine enhanced anxiolysis associated with 1.4 g/kg ethanol, but had no other effects. The anterior cingulate is necessary and sufficient for nicotine reversal of ethanol-induced learning deficits. In addition, the anterior cingulate, dorsal hippocampus and ventral hippocampus may mediate drug-induced changes in anxiety.

  11. Combined effects of methamphetamine and morphine on ambulatory activity in mice and continuous avoidance response in rats.

    PubMed

    Kuribara, H; Tadokoro, S

    1985-09-01

    Combined effects of methamphetamine and morphine were investigated by means of ambulatory activity in mice and continuous avoidance response in rats. Single administration of methamphetamine (0.5-2 mg/kg sc) or morphine (2.5-10 mg/kg sc) increased the ambulatory activity in a dose-dependent manner. The ambulation-increasing effect of methamphetamine and morphine were synergistic throughout the combined doses tested. Methamphetamine (0.13 and 0.5 mg/kg sc) produced an increase in frequency of lever-pressing and a decrease in shock rate, showing facilitation of the avoidance response, in a dose-dependent manner. Morphine tended to facilitate the avoidance response at lower doses (1.3 and 2.5 mg/kg sc), whereas, at higher doses (5 and 10 mg/kg sc), it elicited decrease in the frequency of lever-pressing and increase in the shock rate, showing suppressing of the avoidance response. The avoidance-facilitating effect of methamphetamine was attenuated by higher doses of morphine. The present results suggest that combined administration of methamphetamine and morphine shows synergistic effect on ambulatory activity in mice, and synergistic and antagonistic effects on the avoidance response in rats depending on the doses combined.

  12. Calcium homeostasis and protein kinase/phosphatase balance participate in nicotine-induced memory improvement in passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Michalak, Agnieszka; Biala, Grazyna

    2017-01-15

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) depend on specific postsynaptic Ca(2+)/calmodulin concentration. LTP results from Ca(2+) influx through the activated NMDA receptors or voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and is linked with activation of protein kinases including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Weaker synaptic stimulation, as a result of low Ca(2+) influx, leads to activation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase (calcineurin - CaN) and triggers LTD. Interestingly, both memory formation and drug addiction share similar neuroplastic changes. Nicotine, which is one of the most common addictive drugs, manifests its memory effects through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Because nAChRs may also gate Ca(2+), it is suggested that calcium signaling pathways are involved in nicotine-induced memory effects. Within the scope of the study was to evaluate the importance of calcium homeostasis and protein kinase/phosphatase balance in nicotine-induced short- and long-term memory effects. To assess memory function in mice passive avoidance test was used. The presented results confirm that acute nicotine (0.1mg/kg) improves short- and long-term memory. Pretreatment with L-type VGCC blockers (amlodipine, nicardipine verapamil) increased nicotine-induced memory improvement in the context of short- and long-term memory. Pretreatment with FK-506 (a potent CaN inhibitor) enhanced short- but not long-term memory effects of nicotine, while SL-327 (a selective MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor) attenuated both nicotine-induced short- and long-term memory improvement. Acute nicotine enhances both types of memory via L-type VGCC blockade and via ERK1/2 activation. Only short- but not long-term memory enhancement induced by nicotine is dependent on CaN inhibition.

  13. Effects of hippocampal stimulation on retention and extinction of one way active avoidance response in cats.

    PubMed

    Gralewicz, K; Gralewicz, S

    1984-01-01

    We found previously that hippocampal stimulation (HiSt) at 20 cps, 100 mikroA, applied jointly with a tone (500 Hz) CS in the course of retention test, improved the performance and retarded the extinction of one way active avoidance response (AAR) in cats. During this test failures to perform the AAR were not punished in all but two trials it the beginning of each session. The first experiment of the present studies demonstrated that - (i) the AAR facilitating the effect of HiSt might be prevented by m all electrolytic lesions made around the tips of the stimulating electrodes, (ii) large lesions of the hippocampus exerted little effect on the AAR acquisition, but the response was extinguished faster during the retention test. In the second experiment two response prevention trials (non-reinforced presentations of the CS with no possibility to make the AAR) were run at the beginning of each session after the end of training. In these conditions the HiSt resulted in a faster extinction of the AAR as compared with implanted unstimulated animals. Large lesions of the hippocampus had no effect on the extinction rate. We conclude that the facilitation of retrieval from memory may be responsible for the effects of HiSt on conditioned behavior.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Activations of human auditory cortex to phonemic and nonphonemic vowels during discrimination and memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Harinen, Kirsi; Rinne, Teemu

    2013-08-15

    We used fMRI to investigate activations within human auditory cortex (AC) to vowels during vowel discrimination, vowel (categorical n-back) memory, and visual tasks. Based on our previous studies, we hypothesized that the vowel discrimination task would be associated with increased activations in the anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG), while the vowel memory task would enhance activations in the posterior STG and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). In particular, we tested the hypothesis that activations in the IPL during vowel memory tasks are associated with categorical processing. Namely, activations due to categorical processing should be higher during tasks performed on nonphonemic (hard to categorize) than on phonemic (easy to categorize) vowels. As expected, we found distinct activation patterns during vowel discrimination and vowel memory tasks. Further, these task-dependent activations were different during tasks performed on phonemic or nonphonemic vowels. However, activations in the IPL associated with the vowel memory task were not stronger during nonphonemic than phonemic vowel blocks. Together these results demonstrate that activations in human AC to vowels depend on both the requirements of the behavioral task and the phonemic status of the vowels.

  18. Hippocampal theta wave activity during configural and non-configural tasks in rats.

    PubMed

    Sakimoto, Yuya; Hattori, Minoru; Takeda, Kozue; Okada, Kana; Sakata, Shogo

    2013-03-01

    This study examined hippocampal theta power during configural and non-configural tasks in rats. Experiment 1 compared hippocampal theta power during a negative patterning task (A+, B+, AB-) to a configural task and a simple discrimination task (A+, B-) as a non-configural task. The results showed that hippocampal theta power during the non-reinforcement trial (non-RFT) of the negative patterning task was higher than that during the simple discrimination task. However, this hippocampal power may reflect sensory processing for compound stimuli that have cross-modality features (the non-RFT of the negative patterning task was presented together with visual and auditory stimuli, but the non-RFT of the simple discrimination task was presented with visual or auditory stimulus alone). Thus, in experiment 2, we examined whether the experiment 1 results were attributable to sensory processing of a compound stimulus by comparing hippocampal theta power during negative patterning (A+, B+, AB-), simultaneous feature-negative (A+, AB-), and simple discrimination tasks (A+, B-). Experiment 2 showed that hippocampal theta activity during the non-RFT in the negative patterning task was higher than that in the simultaneous feature-negative and simple discrimination tasks. Thus, we showed that hippocampal theta activity increased during configural tasks but not during non-configural tasks.

  19. Role of dopamine receptors subtypes, D1-like and D2-like, within the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, on memory consolidation in the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Managò, Francesca; Castellano, Claudio; Oliverio, Alberto; Mele, Andrea; De Leonibus, Elvira

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrated that dopamine within the nucleus accumbens mediates consolidation of both associative and nonassociative memories. However, the specific contribution of the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, and of D1 and D2 receptors subtypes has not been yet clarified. The aim of this study was, therefore, to directly compare the effect of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor blockade within the core and the shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens on memory consolidation. Using the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in CD1 mice, we demonstrated that SCH 23390 (vehicle, 12.5, 25, 50 ng/side) administration within the core, but not the shell, impaired step-through latency 24 h after the administration if injected immediately, but not 120 min post-training. Interestingly, sulpiride (vehicle, 25, 50 ng/side) injection in both the core and the shell of the accumbens affected step-through latency 24 h later; also, in this case the impairment was time dependent. These data provide the most complete and direct demonstration to date that early consolidation of aversive memory requires D2 receptor activation in both nucleus accumbens subregions, and D1 activation selectively in the nucleus accumbens core.

  20. 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.

  1. Task preparation and neural activation in stimulus-specific brain regions: an fMRI study with the cued task-switching paradigm.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yiquan; Meindl, Thomas; Szameitat, André J; Müller, Hermann J; Schubert, Torsten

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the role of posterior brain regions related to task-relevant stimulus processing in task preparation, we used a cued task-switching paradigm in which a pre-cue informed participants about the upcoming task on a trial: face discrimination or number comparison. Employing an event-related fMRI design, we examined for changes of activity in face- and number-related posterior brain regions (right fusiform face area (FFA) and right intraparietal sulcus (IPSnum), respectively), and explored the functional connectivity of these areas with other brain regions, during the (preparation) interval between cue onset and onset of the (to-be-responded) target stimulus. The results revealed task-relevant posterior brain regions to be modulated during this period: activation in task-relevant stimulus-specific regions was selectively enhanced and their functional connectivity to task-relevant anterior brain regions strengthened (right FFA - face task, right IPSnum - number task) while participants prepared for the cued task. Additionally, activity in task-relevant posterior brain regions was influenced by residual activation from the preceding trial in the right FFA and the right IPSnum, respectively. These findings indicate that, during task preparation, the activation pattern in currently task-relevant posterior brain regions is shaped by residual activation as well as preparatory modulation prior to the onset of the critical stimulus, even without participants being instructed to imagine the stimulus.

  2. Attention during active visual tasks: counting, pointing, or simply looking

    PubMed Central

    Wilder, John D.; Schnitzer, Brian S.; Gersch, Timothy M.; Dosher, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    Visual attention and saccades are typically studied in artificial situations, with stimuli presented to the steadily fixating eye, or saccades made along specified paths. By contrast, in the real world saccadic patterns are constrained only by the demands of the motivating task. We studied attention during pauses between saccades made to perform 3 free-viewing tasks: counting dots, pointing to the same dots with a visible cursor, or simply looking at the dots using a freely-chosen path. Attention was assessed by the ability to identify the orientation of a briefly-presented Gabor probe. All primary tasks produced losses in identification performance, with counting producing the largest losses, followed by pointing and then looking-only. Looking-only resulted in a 37% increase in contrast thresholds in the orientation task. Counting produced more severe losses that were not overcome by increasing Gabor contrast. Detection or localization of the Gabor, unlike identification, were largely unaffected by any of the primary tasks. Taken together, these results show that attention is required to control saccades, even with freely-chosen paths, but the attentional demands of saccades are less than those attached to tasks such as counting, which have a significant cognitive load. Counting proved to be a highly demanding task that either exhausted momentary processing capacity (e.g., working memory or executive functions), or, alternatively, encouraged a strategy of filtering out all signals irrelevant to counting itself. The fact that the attentional demands of saccades (as well as those of detection/localization) are relatively modest makes it possible to continually adjust both the spatial and temporal pattern of saccades so as to re-allocate attentional resources as needed to handle the complex and multifaceted demands of real-world environments. PMID:18649913

  3. Coordination of Lip Muscle Activity by 2-Year-Old Children During Speech and Nonspeech Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Ruark, Jacki L.; Moore, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation was designed to quantify the coordinative organization of lip muscle activity of 2-year-old children during speech and nonspeech behaviors. Electromyographic (EMG) recordings of right upper and lower lip activity of seven 2-year-old children were obtained during productions of chewing, syllable repetition, lip protrusion, and speech (repeated two-word utterances) tasks. Task comparisons revealed that the coordinative organization of upper and lower lip activity is task specific; different coordinative strategies are employed for different tasks. Lip protrusion and syllable repetition tasks yielded strong coupling of upper and lower lip activity. Lip rounding (sentences containing the lip-rounding vowel /u/) and “nonlabial” speech tasks (sentences free of bilabials and lip-rounding vowels) resulted in low coupling of upper and lower lip activity. Moderate levels of coupling of upper and lower lip activity were evident for chewing and bilabial speech tasks (sentences loaded with bilabial plosion). This finding, that the coordinative elements of the perioral system of 2-year-olds are task specific, extends the results of previous studies of adults and children, where task-specific coordinative strategies were employed by the mandibular and perioral systems (Moore, 1993; Moore & Ruark, 1996; Moore, Smith, & Ringel, 1988; Wohlert & Goffman, 1994). The task-dependent coordination of the perioral system of 2-year-olds supports the notion that developing speech and earlier developing oromotor behaviors (i.e., sucking, chewing) are mediated by different control mechanisms. PMID:9430757

  4. Impaired dual tasking in Parkinson's disease is associated with reduced focusing of cortico-striatal activity.

    PubMed

    Nieuwhof, Freek; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Reelick, Miriam F; Aarts, Esther; Maidan, Inbal; Mirelman, Anat; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Toni, Ivan; Helmich, Rick C

    2017-03-17

    Impaired dual tasking, namely the inability to concurrently perform a cognitive and a motor task (e.g. 'stops walking while talking'), is a largely unexplained and frequent symptom of Parkinson's disease. Here we consider two circuit-level accounts of how striatal dopamine depletion might lead to impaired dual tasking in patients with Parkinson's disease. First, the loss of segregation between striatal territories induced by dopamine depletion may lead to dysfunctional overlaps between the motor and cognitive processes usually implemented in parallel cortico-striatal circuits. Second, the known dorso-posterior to ventro-anterior gradient of dopamine depletion in patients with Parkinson's disease may cause a funnelling of motor and cognitive processes into the relatively spared ventro-anterior putamen, causing a neural bottleneck. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured brain activity in 19 patients with Parkinson's disease and 26 control subjects during performance of a motor task (auditory-cued ankle movements), a cognitive task (implementing a switch-stay rule), and both tasks simultaneously (dual task). The distribution of task-related activity respected the known segregation between motor and cognitive territories of the putamen in both groups, with motor-related responses in the dorso-posterior putamen and task switch-related responses in the ventro-anterior putamen. During dual task performance, patients made more motor and cognitive errors than control subjects. They recruited a striatal territory (ventro-posterior putamen) not engaged during either the cognitive or the motor task, nor used by controls. Relatively higher ventro-posterior putamen activity in controls was associated with worse dual task performance. These observations suggest that dual task impairments in Parkinson's disease are related to reduced spatial focusing of striatal activity. This pattern of striatal activity may be explained by a loss of functional segregation

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Formal Derivation of Lotka-Volterra-Haken Amplitude Equations of Task-Related Brain Activity in Multiple, Consecutively Performed Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, T. D.

    The Lotka-Volterra-Haken equations have been frequently used in ecology and pattern formation. Recently, the equations have been proposed by several research groups as amplitude equations for task-related patterns of brain activity. In this theoretical study, the focus is on the circular causality aspect of pattern formation systems as formulated within the framework of synergetics. Accordingly, the stable modes of a pattern formation system inhibit the unstable modes, whereas the unstable modes excite the stable modes. Using this circular causality principle it is shown that under certain conditions the Lotka-Volterra-Haken amplitude equations can be derived from a general model of brain activity akin to the Wilson-Cowan model. The model captures the amplitude dynamics for brain activity patterns in experiments involving several consecutively performed multiple-choice tasks. This is explicitly demonstrated for two-choice tasks involving grasping and walking. A comment on the relevance of the theoretical framework for clinical psychology and schizophrenia is given as well.

  12. The Production of Specified Electrocortical Activity as a Measurable Task.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-02-01

    subject to disruption by enviromental distractors in the same way that cognitive tasks were. If this last hypothesis was substantiated one might be able to...devices and software s.ysgms. Hardware Devices It was desirable that the measurement system be simple, economical , and Stransportable for possible...it appears to have a high degree of sensitivity to enviromental changes, it is, perhaps, overly sensitive and thus unstable. More productive metrics

  13. Governance - Alignment and Configuration of Business Activities Task Group Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-01

    governance level and the Enterprise Model as a way of ensuring integration at the management and work/execution levels 3. Ensure shared services (i.e...Management Framework o QDR Organizational Model o Secretary of Defense 2006-2008 Priorities o Shared Services Defense Business Board...support for horizontal and vertical organizations • Move “supporting” organizations to shared services model May 2006 "Team Defense" 18 Task Group

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Prefrontal activation during two Japanese Stroop tasks revealed with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yukina; Sumitani, Satsuki; Hosokawa, Mai; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2015-01-01

    The Stroop task is sometimes used in psychiatric research to elicit prefrontal activity, which presumably reflects cognitive functioning. Although there are two Stroop tasks (Kana script and Kanji script) in Japan, it is unclear whether these tasks elicit the same hemoglobin changes. Moreover, it is unclear whether psychological conditions or characteristics influence hemoglobin changes in the Japanese Stroop task. The aim of this study was to clarify whether hemoglobin changes elicited by the two Japanese Stroop tasks accurately reflected cognitive functioning. Hemoglobin changes were measured with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in 100 healthy Japanese participants performing two Japanese Stroop tasks. The Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (MOCI) were administered to participants to identify psychological conditions or personality characteristics. Compared with the Kanji task, the Kana task produced a greater Stroop effect and a larger increase in oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration. Moreover there were no significant correlations between oxy-Hb concentration and BDI, STAI-trait, STAI-state, or MOCI scores. Therefore we found that a participant's psychological conditions or characteristics did not influence the hemodynamic changes during either task. These data suggest the Kana Stroop task is more useful than the Kanji Stroop task for NIRS studies in psychiatric research.

  17. Measurement of brain activation difference during different mathematical tasks by near infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Naoko; Kuroda, Yasufumi; Chance, Britton; Nioka, Shoko; Eda, Hideo; Maesako, Takanori

    2009-02-01

    This study examines differences in concentration changes of hemoglobin in the brain while finding algebraic solutions versus geometrical solutions. We use Near Infrared Spectroscopy imaging system to measure the hemoglobin changes while subjects are solving algebraic task and geometrical task. NIRS imaging system can measure changes in the concentration of hemoglobin. This brain activity data shows a difference between the two different experimental tasks which helps us to identify the characteristics of thinking processes.

  18. Sustained activity within the default mode network during an implicit memory task

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jiongjiong; Weng, Xuchu; Zang, Yufeng; Xu, Mingwei; Xu, Xiaohong

    2009-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that several brain regions -- namely, the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and the bilateral angular gyrus -- are more active during resting states than during cognitive tasks (i.e., default mode network). Although there is evidence showing that the default mode network is associated with unconscious state, it is unclear whether this network is associated with unconscious processing when normal human subjects perform tasks without awareness. We manipulated the level of conscious processing in normal subjects by asking them to perform an implicit and an explicit memory task, and analyzed signal changes in the default mode network for the stimuli versus baseline in both tasks. The fMRI analysis showed that the level of activation in regions within this network during the implicit task was not significantly different from that during the baseline, except in the left angular gyrus and the insula. There was strong deactivation for the explicit task when compared with the implicit task in the default mode regions, except in the left angular gyrus and the left middle temporal gyrus. These data suggest that the activity in the default network is sustained and less disrupted when an implicit memory task is performed, but is suspended when explicit retrieval is required. These results provide evidence that the default mode network is associated with unconscious processing when human subjects perform an implicit memory task. PMID:19552900

  19. Studying modulation on simultaneously activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhenghua

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP), it has been used in many fields. Numerous studies suggest that there exist three SSVEP neural networks in different frequency bands. An obvious phenomenon has been observed, that the amplitude and phase of SSVEP can be modulated by a cognitive task. Previous works have studied this modulation on separately activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task. If two or more SSVEP neural networks are activated simultaneously in the process of a cognitive task, is the modulation on different SSVEP neural networks the same? In this study, two different SSVEP neural networks were activated simultaneously by two different frequency flickers, with a working memory task irrelevant to the flickers being conducted at the same time. The modulated SSVEP waves were compared with each other and to those only under one flicker in previous studies. The comparison results show that the cognitive task can modulate different SSVEP neural networks with a similar style.

  20. Trunk postures and upper-body muscle activations during physically demanding wildfire suppression tasks.

    PubMed

    Neesham-Smith, Daniel; Aisbett, Brad; Netto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the trunk postures and upper-body muscle activations during four physically demanding wildfire suppression tasks. Bilateral, wireless surface electromyography was recorded from the trapezius and erector spinae muscles of nine experienced, wildfire fighters. Synchronised video captured two retroreflective markers to allow for quantification of two-dimensional sagittal trunk flexion. In all tasks, significantly longer time was spent in the mild and severe trunk flexion (p ≤ 0.002) compared to the time spent in a neutral posture. Mean and peak muscle activation in all tasks exceeded previously established safe limits. These activation levels also significantly increased through the performance of each task (p < 0.001). The results suggest that the wildfire suppression tasks analysed impose significant musculoskeletal demand on firefighters. Fire agencies should consider developing interventions to reduce the exposure of their personnel to these potentially injurious musculoskeletal demands.

  1. 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,…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Task-load-dependent activation of dopaminergic midbrain areas in the absence of reward.

    PubMed

    Boehler, Carsten N; Hopf, Jens-Max; Krebs, Ruth M; Stoppel, Christian M; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Noesselt, Toemme

    2011-03-30

    Dopamine release in cortical and subcortical structures plays a central role in reward-related neural processes. Within this context, dopaminergic inputs are commonly assumed to play an activating role, facilitating behavioral and cognitive operations necessary to obtain a prospective reward. Here, we provide evidence from human fMRI that this activating role can also be mediated by task-demand-related processes and thus extends beyond situations that only entail extrinsic motivating factors. Using a visual discrimination task in which varying levels of task demands were precued, we found enhanced hemodynamic activity in the substantia nigra (SN) for high task demands in the absence of reward or similar extrinsic motivating factors. This observation thus indicates that the SN can also be activated in an endogenous fashion. In parallel to its role in reward-related processes, reward-independent activation likely serves to recruit the processing resources needed to meet enhanced task demands. Simultaneously, activity in a wide network of cortical and subcortical control regions was enhanced in response to high task demands, whereas areas of the default-mode network were deactivated more strongly. The present observations suggest that the SN represents a core node within a broader neural network that adjusts the amount of available neural and behavioral resources to changing situational opportunities and task requirements, which is often driven by extrinsic factors but can also be controlled endogenously.

  7. Stimulus conflict triggers behavioral avoidance.

    PubMed

    Dignath, David; Eder, Andreas B

    2015-12-01

    According to a recent extension of the conflict-monitoring theory, conflict between two competing response tendencies is registered as an aversive event and triggers a motivation to avoid the source of conflict. In the present study, we tested this assumption. Over five experiments, we examined whether conflict is associated with an avoidance motivation and whether stimulus conflict or response conflict triggers an avoidance tendency. Participants first performed a color Stroop task. In a subsequent motivation test, participants responded to Stroop stimuli with approach- and avoidance-related lever movements. These results showed that Stroop-conflict stimuli increased the frequency of avoidance responses in a free-choice motivation test, and also increased the speed of avoidance relative to approach responses in a forced-choice test. High and low proportions of response conflict in the Stroop task had no effect on avoidance in the motivation test. Avoidance of conflict was, however, obtained even with new conflict stimuli that had not been presented before in a Stroop task, and when the Stroop task was replaced with an unrelated filler task. Taken together, these results suggest that stimulus conflict is sufficient to trigger avoidance.

  8. Cortical activity differs between position- and force-control knee extension tasks.

    PubMed

    Poortvliet, Peter C; Tucker, Kylie J; Finnigan, Simon; Scott, Dion; Sowman, Paul; Hodges, Paul W

    2015-12-01

    Neural control differs between position- and force-control tasks as evident from divergent effects of fatigue and pain. Unlike force-control tasks, position-control tasks focus on a postural goal to maintain a joint angle. Cortical involvement is suggested to be less during postural control, but whether this differs between position- and force-control paradigms remains unclear. Coherence estimates the functional communication between spatially distinct active regions within the cortex (cortico-cortical coherence; CCC) and between the cortex and muscles (corticomuscular coherence; CMC). We investigated whether cortical involvement differed between force-control and more posturally focused, position-control tasks. Seventeen adults performed position- and force-control knee extensor efforts at a submaximal load (10 % maximum voluntary contraction). Surface electromyography was recorded from the right knee extensor and flexor muscles and brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG). CCC and CMC in the beta (13-30 Hz) and gamma (30-45 Hz) frequency bands were calculated between combinations of intra- and inter-hemispheric pairs of electrodes, and between four EEG electrodes that approximated the left motor cortical area, and right knee extensor EMG, respectively. Differences in EEG power and muscle activity were also calculated. CCC was greater across distributed regions in the force-control task. Beta EEG power in the left hemisphere was higher for the position-control task. Although averaged CMC data differed between tasks, there was no task difference for individual CMC data. Muscle activity and force did not differ between tasks. The results demonstrate differential cortical contributions to control force- versus position-control tasks. This might contribute to differences in performance outcomes of these tasks that have been shown previously.

  9. 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.

  10. Protein synthesis is not required for acquisition, consolidation, and extinction of high foot-shock active avoidance training.

    PubMed

    González-Salinas, Sofía; Medina, Andrea C; Marín-Vignando, Vera; Ruiz-López, Clyo X; Quirarte, Gina L; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A

    2015-01-01

    Long-term memory of active avoidance in mice is not disturbed by administration of protein synthesis inhibitors (PSIs) when relatively high levels of training are used, whereas a detrimental effect is produced with lower levels of training. PSIs also disrupt extinction of avoidance behaviors in rodents, but it is not clear whether PSIs also affect this form of learning when the behavior to be extinguished was produced by a high level of training. Experiment 1 demonstrated that rats treated with the PSI cycloheximide (CXM) 30 min before training developed normal acquisition after training with either high or low foot-shock stimulation, but that memory consolidation was hindered only after low foot-shock training. Experiment 2 demonstrated that CXM disrupted extinction when administered before the first of a series of extinction sessions when low foot-shock intensity was used during training; in contrast, after training with a higher foot-shock, the PSI treatment only interfered transiently with extinction. These results indicate that acquisition, consolidation, and extinction of active avoidance learning produced by high aversive stimulation are not dependent on protein synthesis and that these processes are governed by mechanisms different from those underlying moderate forms of learning.

  11. Are fear-avoidance beliefs in low back pain patients a risk factor for low physical activity or vice versa? A cross-lagged panel analysis

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Corinna; Lehr, Dirk; Chenot, Jean-François; Keller, Stefan; Luckmann, Judith; Basler, Heinz-Dieter; Baum, Erika; Donner-Banzhoff, Norbert; Pfingsten, Michael; Hildebrandt, Jan; Kochen, Michael M.; Becker, Annette

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The assumption that low back pain (LBP) patients suffer from “disuse” as a consequence of high fear-avoidance beliefs is currently under debate. A secondary analysis served to investigate whether fear-avoidance beliefs are associated cross-sectionally and longitudinally with the physical activity level (PAL) in LBP patients. Methods: A total of 787 individuals (57% acute and 43% chronic LBP) were followed up over a period of one year with measurements of fear-avoidance beliefs and physical activity level. Fear-avoidance beliefs concerning physical activity were measured by the physical-activity subscale of the FABQ (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire), the physical activity level was assessed in weighted metabolic equivalents (MET) hours/week with a German self-report questionnaire. Data were investigated by structural equation modelling in a cross-lagged panel design for the whole sample and separately for acute and chronic LBP. Results: The acute and chronic sub sample increased their total physical activity level significantly after one year. The structural equation modelling results did not support the disuse-aspect inherent in the fear-avoidance belief model. Cross-lagged path coefficients were low (.04 and .05 respectively) and, therefore, did not allow to predict final physical activity by initial fear-avoidance beliefs or vice versa. Discussion: Consequently, due to missing links between fear-avoidance beliefs and physical activity in a longitudinal design, the assumptions of the fear-avoidance belief model have to be questioned. These findings are in line with other investigations published recently. Most probably, “fear-avoidance belief” represents a cognitive scheme that does not limit activity per se, but only is directed to the avoidance of specific movements. PMID:19742047

  12. Effects of physical and mental task demands on cervical and upper limb muscle activity and physiological responses during computer tasks and recovery periods.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuling; Szeto, Grace P Y; Chan, Chetwyn C H

    2011-11-01

    The present study examined the effects of physical and mental workload during computer tasks on muscle activity and physiological measures. Activity in cervical postural muscles and distal forearm muscles, heart rate and blood pressure were compared among three tasks and rest periods of 15 min each in an experimental study design. Fourteen healthy pain-free adults participated (7 males, mean age = 23.2 ± 3.0 years) and the tasks were: (1) copy-typing ("typing"), (2) typing at progressively faster speed ("pacing"), (3) mental arithmetic plus fast typing ("subtraction"). Typing task was performed first, followed by the other two tasks in a random order. Median muscle activity (50th percentile) was examined in 5-min intervals during each task and each rest period, and statistically significant differences in the "time" factor (within task) and time × task factors was found in bilateral cervical erector spinae and upper trapezius muscles. In contrast, distal forearm muscle activity did not show any significant differences among three tasks. All muscles showed reduced activity to about the baseline level within first 5 min of the rest periods. Heart rate and blood pressure showed significant differences during tasks compared to baseline, and diastolic pressure was significantly higher in the subtraction than pacing task. The results suggest that cervical postural muscles had higher reactivity than forearm muscles to high mental workload tasks, and cervical muscles were also more reactive to tasks with high physical demand compared to high mental workload. Heart rate and blood pressure seemed to respond similarly to high physical and mental workloads.

  13. Fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity in chronic-fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: state of the art and implications for clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Nijs, Jo; Roussel, Nathalie; Van Oosterwijck, Jessica; De Kooning, Margot; Ickmans, Kelly; Struyf, Filip; Meeus, Mira; Lundberg, Mari

    2013-08-01

    Severe exacerbation of symptoms following physical activity is characteristic for chronic-fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). These exacerbations make it understandable for people with CFS and FM to develop fear of performing body movement or physical activity and consequently avoidance behaviour toward physical activity. The aims of this article were to review what measures are available for measuring fear of movement and avoidance behaviour, the prevalence fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity and the therapeutic options with fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity in patients with CFS and FM. The review revealed that fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity is highly prevalent in both the CFS and FM population, and it is related to various clinical characteristics of CFS and FM, including symptom severity and self-reported quality of life and disability. It appears to be crucial for treatment (success) to identify CFS and FM patients displaying fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity. Individually tailored cognitive behavioural therapy plus exercise training, depending on the patient's classification as avoiding or persisting, appears to be the most promising strategy for treating fear of movement and avoidance behaviour toward physical activity in patients with CFS and FM.

  14. 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.

  15. Incentive value, unclear task difficulty, and cardiovascular reactivity in active coping.

    PubMed

    Richter, Michael; Gendolla, Guido H E

    2007-03-01

    An experiment with 44 participants assessed the moderating effects of four levels of incentive value on cardiovascular responses in active coping. Randomly assigned to one of four different incentive conditions, participants performed a memory task without knowing its difficulty in advance. By means of successfully performing the task participants could either win no reward, 10 Swiss Francs, 20 Swiss Francs, or 30 Swiss Francs. In accordance with the theoretical predictions derived from motivational intensity theory, reactivity of systolic blood pressure and heart rate monotonically increased with incentive value. Thereby, these findings provide additional empirical evidence for the predictions of motivational intensity theory with regard to unclear task difficulty and extend recent research (Richter, M., Gendolla, G.H.E., 2006. Incentive effects on cardiovascular reactivity in active coping with unclear task difficulty. Int. J. Psychophysiol. 61, 216-225.), which was not conclusive regarding the predicted monotonic relationship between incentive value and cardiovascular reactivity under conditions of unclear task difficulty.

  16. Activity and Task Performance of Hyperactive Children as a Function of Environmental Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zentall, Sydney S.; Zentall, Thomas R.

    1976-01-01

    Hyperactive children in a high-stimulation environment were significantly less active and performed an academically related task no worse than when placed in a low-stimulation environment. Understimulation rather than overstimulation apparently precipitates hyperactive behavior. (Author)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. Task dependence of decision- and choice-related activity in monkey oculomotor thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Costello, M. Gabriela; Zhu, Dantong; May, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Oculomotor signals circulate within putative recurrent feedback loops that include the frontal eye field (FEF) and the oculomotor thalamus (OcTh). To examine how OcTh contributes to visuomotor control, and perceptually informed saccadic choices in particular, neural correlates of perceptual judgment and motor selection in OcTh were evaluated and compared with those previously reported for FEF in the same subjects. Monkeys performed three tasks: a choice task in which perceptual decisions are urgent, a choice task in which identical decisions are made without time pressure, and a single-target, delayed saccade task. The OcTh yielded far fewer task-responsive neurons than the FEF, but across responsive pools, similar neuron types were found, ranging from purely visual to purely saccade related. Across such types, the impact of the perceptual information relevant to saccadic choices was qualitatively the same in FEF and OcTh. However, distinct from that in FEF, activity in OcTh was strongly task dependent, typically being most vigorous in the urgent task, less so in the easier choice task, and least in the single-target task. This was true for responsive and nonresponsive cells alike. Neurons with exclusively motor-related activity showed strong task dependence, fired less, and differed most patently from their FEF counterparts, whereas those that combined visual and motor activity fired most similarly to their FEF counterparts. The results suggest that OcTh activity is more distantly related to saccade production per se, because its degree of commitment to a motor choice varies markedly as a function of ongoing cognitive or behavioral demands. PMID:26467516

  2. Air Traffic Control/Active Beacon Collision Avoidance System Knoxville Simulation.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-05-01

    Traffic Conditions 3 Error and Response Models 5 Desensitization Methods 5 Data Collection Plan 6 Controller Questionnaires 6 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS 10 ...Operations Rates 10 Effect of Active BCAS on Controllers and Control Procedures 10 Conflict Analysis 10 Active BCAS Protection 13 Active BCAS Alert Rates...Altitude Desensitization 23 10 Encounter on Parallel Approach (Horizontal View) 27 (See Appendix H For Legend) 11 Encounter on Parallel Approach

  3. The influence of sex differences and individual task performance on brain activation during planning.

    PubMed

    Unterrainer, J M; Ruff, C C; Rahm, B; Kaller, C P; Spreer, J; Schwarzwald, R; Halsband, U

    2005-01-15

    Several studies have attempted to identify the neuronal basis of sex differences in cognition. However, group differences in cognitive ability rather than genuine neurocognitive differences between the sexes may account for their results. Here, we compare with functional magnetic resonance imaging the relation between gender, individual task performance, and planning-related brain activation. Men and women preselected to display identical performance scores showed a strong relation between individual task performance and activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal and right inferior parietal cortex activation during a visuospatial planning task. No gender-specific activations were found. However, a different pattern emerged when subjects had to execute the motor responses to the problems. Better performance was associated with right dorsolateral prefrontal and right parahippocampal activations, and females exhibited a stronger right hippocampal activation than males. These findings underline that an individual's performance level rather than his or her sex largely determines the neuronal activation patterns during higher-level cognition.

  4. Post-traumatic stress avoidance is attenuated by corticosterone and associated with brain levels of steroid receptor co-activator-1 in rats.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Annie M; Farooq, Muhammad A; Edwards, Scott; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) avoid trauma-related stimuli and exhibit blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation at the time of stress. Our rodent model of stress mimics the avoidance symptom cluster of PTSD. Rats are classified as "Avoiders" or "Non-Avoiders" post-stress based on the avoidance of a predator-odor paired context. Previously, we found Avoiders exhibit an attenuated HPA stress response to predator odor. We hypothesized that corticosterone administration before stress would reduce the magnitude and incidence of stress-paired context avoidance. Furthermore, we also predicted that Avoiders would exhibit altered expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling machinery elements, including steroid receptor co-activator (SRC)-1. Male Wistar rats (n = 16) were pretreated with corticosterone (25 mg/kg) or saline and exposed to predator-odor stress paired with a context and tested for avoidance 24 h later. A second group of corticosterone-naïve rats (n = 24) were stressed (or not), indexed for avoidance 24 h later, and killed 48 h post-odor exposure to measure phosphorylated GR, FKBP51 and SRC-1 levels in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), central amygdala (CeA) and ventral hippocampus (VH), all brain sites that highly express GRs and regulate HPA function. Corticosterone pretreatment reduced the magnitude and incidence of avoidance. In Avoiders, predator-odor exposure led to lower SRC-1 expression in the PVN and CeA, and higher SRC-1 expression in the VH. SRC-1 expression in PVN, CeA and VH was predicted by prior avoidance behavior. Hence, a blunted HPA stress response may contribute to stress-induced neuroadaptations in central SRC-1 levels and behavioral dysfunction in Avoider rats.

  5. Cognition and affective style: Individual differences in brain electrical activity during spatial and verbal tasks.

    PubMed

    Bell, Martha Ann; Fox, Nathan A

    2003-12-01

    Relations between brain electrical activity and performance on two cognitive tasks were examined in a normal population selected to be high on self-reported measures of Positive or Negative Affectivity. Twenty-five right-handed women, from an original pool of 308 college undergraduates, were the participants. EEG was recorded during baseline and during psychometrically matched spatial and verbal tasks. As predicted, participants who were high in Positive Affectivity performed equally well on the verbal and spatial tasks, while participants who were high in Negative Affectivity had spatial scores that were lower than their verbal scores. There were no group differences in baseline EEG. Both groups exhibited left central activation (i.e., alpha suppression) during the verbal and spatial tasks. When EEG data were analyzed separately for the group high in Positive Affectivity, there was evidence of parietal activation for the spatial task relative to the verbal task. The EEG data for the group high in Negative Affectivity had comparable EEG power values during verbal and spatial tasks at parietal scalp locations. These data suggest that, within a selected normal population, differences in affective style may interact with cognitive performance and with the brain electrical activity associated with that performance.

  6. Engager and Avoider Behaviour in Types of Activities Performed by Out-of-Class Learning Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yan, Louisa; Kember, David

    2004-01-01

    This study examines the out-of-class learning activities undertaken, at the students' volition, by groups of students. Data were gathered through 57 individual and 15 focus group interviews with university students in Hong Kong. Group activities reported included: copying, sharing material, consulting peers, consulting teachers, studying and…

  7. 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…

  8. Individual Differences in Neural Activity During A Facial Expression vs. Identity Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Neta, Maital; Whalen, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Facial expressions of emotion constitute a critical portion of our non-verbal social interactions. In addition, the identity of the individual displaying this expression is critical to these interactions as they embody the context in which these expressions will be interpreted. To identify any overlapping and/or unique brain circuitry involved in the processing of these two information streams in a laboratory setting, participants performed a working memory (WM) task (i.e., N-back) in which they were instructed to monitor either the expression (EMO) or the identity (ID) of the same set of face stimuli. Consistent with previous work, during both the EMO and ID tasks, we found a significant increase in activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) supporting its generalized role in WM. Further, individuals that showed greater DLPFC activity during both tasks also showed increased amygdala activity during the EMO task and increased lateral fusiform gyrus activity during the ID task. Importantly, the level of activity in these regions significantly correlated with performance on the respective tasks. These findings provide support for two separate neural circuitries, both involving the DLPFC, supporting working memory for these two distinct aspects of face processing/memory. PMID:21349341

  9. 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…

  10. On the participation of hippocampal p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in extinction and reacquisition of inhibitory avoidance memory.

    PubMed

    Rossato, J I; Bevilaqua, L R M; Lima, R H; Medina, J H; Izquierdo, I; Cammarota, M

    2006-11-17

    Inhibitory avoidance (IA) learning relies on the formation of an association between stepping down from a platform present in a certain context (conditioned stimulus; CS) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; i.e. a footshock). A single CS-US pairing establishes a robust long-term memory expressed as an increase in step-down latency at testing. However, repeated retrieval of the avoidance response in the absence of the US induces extinction of IA memory. That is, recurring presentation of the CS alone results in a new learning indicating that the CS no longer predicts the US. Although the signaling pathways involved in the consolidation of IA and other fear-motivated memories have been profusely studied, little is known about the molecular requirements of fear memory extinction. Here we report that, as happens with its consolidation, extinction of IA long-term memory requires activity of the p38 subfamily of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. Moreover, we found that inhibition of hippocampal p38MAPK blocked memory reacquisition after extinction without affecting either the increase in IA memory retention induced by a second training session or animal's locomotor/exploratory activity and anxiety state.

  11. Post-Traumatic Stress Avoidance is Attenuated by Corticosterone and Associated with Brain Levels of Steroid Receptor Co-Activator-1 in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Whitaker, Annie M.; Farooq, Muhammad A.; Edwards, Scott; Gilpin, Nicholas W.

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) avoid trauma-related stimuli and exhibit blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation at the time of stress. Our laboratory has established a rodent model of stress that mimics the avoidance symptom cluster of PTSD. Rats are classified as ‘Avoiders’ or ‘Non-Avoiders’ post-stress based on avoidance of a predator-odor paired context. Previously, we demonstrated that Avoiders exhibit an attenuated HPA stress response to predator odor. We hypothesized that corticosterone administration prior to stress would reduce magnitude and incidence of avoidance of a stress-paired context. Furthermore, we predicted that Avoiders would exhibit altered expression of GR signaling machinery elements, such as steroid receptor co-activator (SRC)-1. Male Wistar rats (n = 16) were pre-treated with corticosterone (25 mg/kg) or saline and exposed to predator odor stress paired with a context, and tested for avoidance 24 h later, A second group of corticosterone-naïve rats (n = 24) were stressed (or not stressed), indexed for avoidance 24 h later, and killed 48 h post-odor exposure for analysis of phosphorylated GR, FKBP51, and SRC-1 levels in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), central amygdala (CeA) and ventral hippocampus (VH), all brain sites that express high quantities of GRs and regulate HPA function. Rats pre-treated with corticosterone exhibited lower magnitude and incidence of avoidance. Predator odor exposure also reduced SRC-1 expression in the PVN and CeA of Avoiders, and increased SRC-1 expression in the VH of Avoiders. SRC-1 expression in PVN, CeA, and VH was predicted by prior avoidance behavior. These results suggest that blunted HPA stress response may contribute to stress-induced neuroadaptations in central SRC-1 levels and behavioral dysfunction in Avoider rats. PMID:26482332

  12. Is Avoiding an Aversive Outcome Rewarding? Neural Substrates of Avoidance Learning in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hackjin; Shimojo, Shinsuke

    2006-01-01

    Avoidance learning poses a challenge for reinforcement-based theories of instrumental conditioning, because once an aversive outcome is successfully avoided an individual may no longer experience extrinsic reinforcement for their behavior. One possible account for this is to propose that avoiding an aversive outcome is in itself a reward, and thus avoidance behavior is positively reinforced on each trial when the aversive outcome is successfully avoided. In the present study we aimed to test this possibility by determining whether avoidance of an aversive outcome recruits the same neural circuitry as that elicited by a reward itself. We scanned 16 human participants with functional MRI while they performed an instrumental choice task, in which on each trial they chose from one of two actions in order to either win money or else avoid losing money. Neural activity in a region previously implicated in encoding stimulus reward value, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, was found to increase, not only following receipt of reward, but also following successful avoidance of an aversive outcome. This neural signal may itself act as an intrinsic reward, thereby serving to reinforce actions during instrumental avoidance. PMID:16802856

  13. Is avoiding an aversive outcome rewarding? Neural substrates of avoidance learning in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hackjin; Shimojo, Shinsuke; O'Doherty, John P

    2006-07-01

    Avoidance learning poses a challenge for reinforcement-based theories of instrumental conditioning, because once an aversive outcome is successfully avoided an individual may no longer experience extrinsic reinforcement for their behavior. One possible account for this is to propose that avoiding an aversive outcome is in itself a reward, and thus avoidance behavior is positively reinforced on each trial when the aversive outcome is successfully avoided. In the present study we aimed to test this possibility by determining whether avoidance of an aversive outcome recruits the same neural circuitry as that elicited by a reward itself. We scanned 16 human participants with functional MRI while they performed an instrumental choice task, in which on each trial they chose from one of two actions in order to either win money or else avoid losing money. Neural activity in a region previously implicated in encoding stimulus reward value, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, was found to increase, not only following receipt of reward, but also following successful avoidance of an aversive outcome. This neural signal may itself act as an intrinsic reward, thereby serving to reinforce actions during instrumental avoidance.

  14. Avoiding health information.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Joshua B; Rintamaki, Lance S; Ramsey, Jason A; Brashers, Dale E

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated why and how individuals avoid health information to support the development of models of uncertainty and information management and offer insights for those dealing with the information and uncertainty inherent to health and illness. Participants from student (n = 507) and community (n = 418) samples reported that they avoided health information to (a) maintain hope or deniability, (b) resist overexposure, (c) accept limits of action, (d) manage flawed information, (e) maintain boundaries, and (f) continue with life/activities. They also reported strategies for avoiding information, including removing or ignoring stimuli (e.g., avoiding people who might provide health advice) and controlling conversations (e.g., withholding information, changing the subject). Results suggest a link between previous experience with serious illness and health information avoidance. Building on uncertainty management theory, this study demonstrated that health information avoidance is situational, relatively common, not necessarily unhealthy, and may be used to accomplish multiple communication goals.

  15. Is Neural Activity Detected by ERP-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces Task Specific?

    PubMed Central

    Wenzel, Markus A.; Almeida, Inês; Blankertz, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Objective Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that are based on event-related potentials (ERPs) can estimate to which stimulus a user pays particular attention. In typical BCIs, the user silently counts the selected stimulus (which is repeatedly presented among other stimuli) in order to focus the attention. The stimulus of interest is then inferred from the electroencephalogram (EEG). Detecting attention allocation implicitly could be also beneficial for human-computer interaction (HCI), because it would allow software to adapt to the user’s interest. However, a counting task would be inappropriate for the envisaged implicit application in HCI. Therefore, the question was addressed if the detectable neural activity is specific for silent counting, or if it can be evoked also by other tasks that direct the attention to certain stimuli. Approach Thirteen people performed a silent counting, an arithmetic and a memory task. The tasks required the subjects to pay particular attention to target stimuli of a random color. The stimulus presentation was the same in all three tasks, which allowed a direct comparison of the experimental conditions. Results Classifiers that were trained to detect the targets in one task, according to patterns present in the EEG signal, could detect targets in all other tasks (irrespective of some task-related differences in the EEG). Significance The neural activity detected by the classifiers is not strictly task specific but can be generalized over tasks and is presumably a result of the attention allocation or of the augmented workload. The results may hold promise for the transfer of classification algorithms from BCI research to implicit relevance detection in HCI. PMID:27792781

  16. 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

  17. Safe Active Play: A Guide to Avoiding Play Area Hazards. [Videotape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1997

    Active play provides healthy exercise and allows children to test their skills against challenges in their environment, but when play results in even minor injury, it may be taking place in a hazardous setting. This video is designed to teach caregivers, child care program staff and recreation officials how to create safe play environments. Based…

  18. Quantitative intramuscular myoelectric activity of quadratus lumborum during a wide variety of tasks.

    PubMed

    McGill, S; Juker, D; Kropf, P

    1996-04-01

    Intramuscular fine-wire electrodes monitored the electromyographic activity of quadratus lumborum in four young adults. A wide variety of tasks were performed including flexion tasks, lateral bending, twisting, extension, and lifting tasks. Heavy lifts of barbell weights up to 70 kg activated the quadratus lumborum 74% of their maximum on average while surface recording of erector spinae (L(3)) were only 62% of their maximum activation. The quadratus lumborum was more active (54%) than other muscles during isometric side support postures where the body is held horizontally almost parallel to the floor as the subjects supported themselves on one elbow on the floor together with both feet. Furthermore, it increased activation in response to increasing compression in static upright standing postures. RELEVANCE:--Electromyographic evidence, together with architectural features make the quadratus lumborum a better stabilizer of the spine than psoas. Use of horizontal 'side support' exercise to train this muscle would appear to be a wise choice.

  19. 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.

  20. Perceptual demand modulates activation of human auditory cortex in response to task-irrelevant sounds.

    PubMed

    Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali; Binder, Jeffrey R; Liebenthal, Einat

    2013-09-01

    In the visual modality, perceptual demand on a goal-directed task has been shown to modulate the extent to which irrelevant information can be disregarded at a sensory-perceptual stage of processing. In the auditory modality, the effect of perceptual demand on neural representations of task-irrelevant sounds is unclear. We compared simultaneous ERPs and fMRI responses associated with task-irrelevant sounds across parametrically modulated perceptual task demands in a dichotic-listening paradigm. Participants performed a signal detection task in one ear (Attend ear) while ignoring task-irrelevant syllable sounds in the other ear (Ignore ear). Results revealed modulation of syllable processing by auditory perceptual demand in an ROI in middle left superior temporal gyrus and in negative ERP activity 130-230 msec post stimulus onset. Increasing the perceptual demand in the Attend ear was associated with a reduced neural response in both fMRI and ERP to task-irrelevant sounds. These findings are in support of a selection model whereby ongoing perceptual demands modulate task-irrelevant sound processing in auditory cortex.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Active Beacon Collision Avoidance System (BCAS) Conference Proceedings, January 27-28, 1981.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    PERFORMANCE OF THE FIRST GENERATION ACTIVE BCAS EQUIPMENTS DESIGNED BY MITRE CORPORATION. THE EQUIPMENTS EVALUATED DURING L980 WERE BASED ON A SECOND...and medium density airspace to include airspace not under surveillance by ground- based radars. It is designed to resolve reliably collision and near...CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS. BASED ON THESE COMMENTS, THE COMPLETION OF THE TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONAL EVALUATIONS, WE EXPECT TO PRODUCE THE FINAL, APPROVED

  3. The masked semantic priming effect is task dependent: Reconsidering the automatic spreading activation process.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Bianca; Kinoshita, Sachiko

    2015-07-01

    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 observed when the prime identity is veiled from conscious awareness, but the extant literature on masked semantic priming effects is notoriously mixed. The authors use the same prime-target pairs in the lexical decision task and the semantic categorization task and show that although masking the prime eliminates the semantic priming effect in lexical decision, reliable semantic priming effects are observed with both masked and unmasked primes in the semantic categorization task. The authors explain this task dependence in terms of their account of semantic priming effects based on notions of evidence accumulation and source confusion and support their account by means of reaction time distribution analyses.

  4. Task-free presurgical mapping using functional magnetic resonance imaging intrinsic activity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hesheng; Buckner, Randy L.; Talukdar, Tanveer; Tanaka, Naoaki; Madsen, Joseph R.; Stufflebeam, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    Object Low-frequency components of the spontaneous functional MR imaging signal provide information about the intrinsic functional and anatomical organization of the brain. The ability to use such methods in individual patients may provide a powerful tool for presurgical planning. The authors explore the feasibility of presurgical motor function mapping in which a task-free paradigm is used. Methods Six surgical candidates with tumors or epileptic foci near the motor cortex participated in this study. The investigators directly compared task-elicited activation of the motor system to activation obtained from intrinsic activity correlations. The motor network within the unhealthy hemisphere was identified based on intrinsic activity correlations, allowing distortions of functional anatomy caused by the tumor and epilepsy to be directly visualized. The precision of the motor function mapping was further explored in 1 participant by using direct cortical stimulation. Results The motor regions localized based on the spontaneous activity correlations were quite similar to the regions defined by actual movement tasks and cortical stimulation. Using intrinsic activity correlations, it was possible to map the motor cortex in presurgical patients. Conclusions This task-free paradigm may provide a powerful approach to map functional anatomy in patients without task compliance and allow multiple brain systems to be determined in a single scanning session. PMID:19361264

  5. The temporal dynamics of metacognition: Dissociating task-related activity from later metacognitive processes.

    PubMed

    Desender, Kobe; Van Opstal, Filip; Hughes, Gethin; Van den Bussche, Eva

    2016-02-01

    In recent years, neuroscience research spent much effort in revealing brain activity related to metacognition. Despite this endeavor, it remains unclear exactly when metacognitive experiences develop during task performance. To investigate this, the current study used EEG to temporally and spatially dissociate task-related activity from metacognitive activity. In a masked priming paradigm, metacognitive experiences of difficulty were induced by manipulating congruency between prime and target. As expected, participants more frequently rated incongruent trials as difficult and congruent trials as easy, while being completely unable to perceive the masked primes. Results showed that both the N2 and the P3 ERP components were modulated by congruency, but that only the P3 modulation interacted with metacognitive experiences. Single-trial analysis additionally showed that the magnitude of the P3 modulation by congruency accurately predicted the metacognitive response. Source localization indicated that the N2 task-related activity originated in the ACC, whereas the P3-interplay between task-related activation and metacognitive experiences originated from the precuneus. We conclude that task-related activity can be dissociated from later metacognitive processing.

  6. 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

  7. Motive to Avoid Success, Locus of Control, and Reinforcement Avoidance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katovsky, Walter

    Subjects were four groups of 12 college women, high or low in motive to avoid success (MAS) and locus of control (LC), were reinforced for response A on a fixed partial reinforcement schedule on three concept learning tasks, one task consisting of combined reward and punishment, another of reward only, and one of punishment only. Response B was…

  8. 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.

  9. Contextual effects on cognitive control and BOLD activation in single versus mixed saccade tasks.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Jordan E; McDowell, Jennifer E

    2017-03-31

    The context or trial history of a task influences response efficiency in mixed paradigms based on cognitive control demands for task set selection. In the current study, the impact of context on prosaccade and antisaccade trials in single and mixed tasks was investigated with BOLD fMRI. Prosaccades require a look towards a newly appearing target, while antisaccades require cognitive control for prepotent response inhibition and generation of a saccade to the opposite location. Results indicated slower prosaccade reaction times and more antisaccade errors for switched than repeated or single trials, and slower antisaccade reaction times for single than mixed trials. BOLD activation was greater for the mixed than the single context in frontal eye fields and precuneus, while switch trials had greater activation than repeat trials in posterior parietal and middle occipital cortex. Greater antisaccade activation was observed overall in saccade circuitry, although effects were evident primarily for the mixed task when considered separately. Finally, an interaction was observed in superior frontal cortex, precuneus, anterior cingulate, and thalamus with strong responses for antisaccade switch trials in the latter two regions. Altogether this response pattern demonstrated the sensitivity of cognitive control to changing task conditions, especially due to task switching costs. Such context-specific differences highlight the importance of trial history when assessing cognitive control.

  10. 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.…

  11. Shade Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Casal, Jorge J.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of neighboring vegetation modifies the light environment experienced by plants, generating signals that are perceived by phytochromes and cryptochromes. These signals cause large changes in plant body form and function, including enhanced growth of the hypocotyl and petioles, a more erect position of the leaves and early flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana. Collectively, these so-called shade-avoidance responses tend to reduce the degree of current or future shade by neighbors. Shade light signals increase the abundance of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) and PIF5 proteins, promote the synthesis and redirection of auxin, favor the degradation of DELLA proteins and increase the expression of auxin, gibberellins and brassinosteroid-promoted genes, among other events downstream the photoreceptors. Selectively disrupting these events by genetic or pharmacological approaches affects shade-avoidance responses with an intensity that depends on the developmental context and the environment. Shade-avoidance responses provide a model to investigate the signaling networks used by plants to take advantage of the cues provided by the environment to adjust to the challenges imposed by the environment itself. PMID:22582029

  12. Performance of a concurrent cognitive task modifies pre- and post-perturbation-evoked cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Mochizuki, George; Boe, Shaun G; Marlin, Amanda; McIlroy, William E

    2017-02-16

    Preparation for postural instability engages cortical resources that serve to optimize compensatory balance responses. Engagement of these cortical resources in cognitive dual-task activities may impact the ability to appropriately prepare and optimize responses to instability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cognitive dual-task activities influenced cortical activity preceding and following postural instability. Postural instability was induced using a lean-and-release paradigm in 10 healthy participants. Perturbations were either temporally predictable (PRED) or unpredictable (UNPRED) and presented with (COG) or without a cognitive dual-task, presented in blocks of trials. The electroencephalogram was recorded from multiple frontal electrode sites. EEG data were averaged over 25-35 trials across conditions. Area under the curve of pre-perturbation cortical activity and peak latency and amplitude of post-perturbation cortical activity were quantified at the Cz site and compared across conditions. Performance of the concurrent cognitive task reduced the mean (SE) magnitude of pre-perturbation cortical activity in advance of predictable bouts of postural instability (PRED: 18.7(3.0)mVms; PRED-COG; 14.0(2.3)mVms). While the level of cognitive load influenced the amplitude of the post-perturbation N1 potential in the predictable conditions, there were no changes in N1 with a cognitive dual task during unpredictable conditions (PRED: -32.1(3.2)µV; PRED-COG: -50.8(8.4)µV; UNPRED: -65.0(12.2)µV; UNPRED-COG: -64.2(12.7)µV). Performance of the cognitive task delayed and reduced the magnitude of the initial gastrocnemius response. The findings indicate that pre- and post-perturbation cortical activity is affected by a cognitive distractor when postural instability is temporally predictable. Distraction also influences associated muscle responses.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of reaction time variability and age on brain activity during Stroop task performance.

    PubMed

    Tam, Angela; Luedke, Angela C; Walsh, Jeremy J; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan; Garcia, Angeles

    2015-09-01

    Variability in reaction time during task performance may reflect fluctuations in attention and cause reduced performance in goal-directed tasks, yet it is unclear whether the mechanisms behind this phenomenon change with age. Using fMRI, we tested young and cognitively healthy older adults with the Stroop task to determine whether aging affects the neural mechanisms underlying intra-individual reaction time variability. We found significant between-group differences in BOLD activity modulated by reaction time. In older adults, longer reaction times were associated with greater activity in frontoparietal attentional areas, while in younger adults longer reaction times were associated with greater activity in default mode network areas. Our results suggest that the neural correlates of reaction time variability change with healthy aging, reinforcing the concept of functional plasticity to maintain high cognitive function throughout the lifespan.

  17. Investigation of age-related changes in brain activity during the divalent task-switching paradigm using functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Kunimi, Mitsunobu; Kiyama, Sachiko; Nakai, Toshiharu

    2016-02-01

    This study compared the brain activation of young and older subjects during the use of the task-switching paradigm (TSP) at various task speeds to examine the relationship between task load and brain activation. Specifically, it attempted to examine whether the task load-dependent BOLD response gradient is a useful tool for functional magnetic resonance imaging-based assessments of age-related changes in cognitive function. We predicted that the extent of the activation of the brain regions responsible for task-set reconfiguration and the inhibition of task switching functions induced during the performance of a TSP-based task would vary according to age. Task difficulty was controlled by altering the inter-stimulus interval. Although similar brain regions were activated in both age groups, significant differences in the extent of the activation were detected between the young and older groups. In particular, some regions were activated in the older group, but not the young group. This study indicated that TSP-based task performance-induced activation of the brain regions linked to executive function increases with age and that the degree and pattern of such activation depend on the content and difficulty of the task being performed. This indicates that the age- and task difficulty-dependent augmentation of brain activation varies between brain regions.

  18. Gaming is related to enhanced working memory performance and task-related cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Carlson, S; Vuontela, V; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2017-01-15

    Gaming experience has been suggested to lead to performance enhancements in a wide variety of working memory tasks. Previous studies have, however, mostly focused on adult expert gamers and have not included measurements of both behavioral performance and brain activity. In the current study, 167 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24 years) with different amounts of gaming experience performed an n-back working memory task with vowels, with the sensory modality of the vowel stream switching between audition and vision at random intervals. We studied the relationship between self-reported daily gaming activity, working memory (n-back) task performance and related brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results revealed that the extent of daily gaming activity was related to enhancements in both performance accuracy and speed during the most demanding (2-back) level of the working memory task. This improved working memory performance was accompanied by enhanced recruitment of a fronto-parietal cortical network, especially the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, during the less demanding (1-back) level of the task, gaming was associated with decreased activity in the same cortical regions. Our results suggest that a greater degree of daily gaming experience is associated with better working memory functioning and task difficulty-dependent modulation in fronto-parietal brain activity already in adolescence and even when non-expert gamers are studied. The direction of causality within this association cannot be inferred with certainty due to the correlational nature of the current study.

  19. Modulation of anticipatory postural activity for multiple conditions of a whole-body pointing task.

    PubMed

    Tolambiya, A; Chiovetto, E; Pozzo, T; Thomas, E

    2012-05-17

    This is a study on associated postural activities during the anticipatory segments of a multijoint movement. Several previous studies have shown that they are task dependant. The previous studies, however, have mostly been limited in demonstrating the presence of modulation for one task condition, that is, one aspect such as the distance of the target or the direction of reaching. Real-life activities like whole-body pointing, however, can vary in several ways. How specific is the adaptation of the postural activities for the diverse possibilities of a whole-body pointing task? We used a classification paradigm to answer this question. We examined the anticipatory postural electromyograms for four different types of whole-body pointing tasks. The presence of task-dependent modulations in these signals was probed by performing four-way classification tests using a support vector machine (SVM). The SVM was able to achieve significantly higher than chance performance in correctly predicting the movements at hand (Chance performance 25%). Using only anticipatory postural muscle activity, the correct movement at hand was predicted with a mean rate of 62%. Because this is 37% above chance performance, it suggests the presence of postural modulation for diverse conditions. The anticipatory activities consisted of both activations and deactivations. Movement prediction with the use of the activating muscles was significantly better than that obtained with the deactivating muscles. This suggests that more specific modulations for the movement at hand take place through activation, whereas the deactivation is more general. The study introduces a new method for investigating adaptations in motor control. It also sheds new light on the quantity and quality of information available in the feedforward segments of a voluntary multijoint motor activity.

  20. Monitoring for target objects: activation of right frontal and parietal cortices with increasing time on task.

    PubMed

    Coull, J T; Frackowiak, R S; Frith, C D

    1998-12-01

    The right prefrontal and parietal cortices have been implicated in attentional processing in both neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging literature. However, attention is a heterogeneous collection of processes, each of which may be underpinned by different neural networks. These attentional networks may interact, such that engaging one type of attentional process could influence the efficiency of another via overlapping neural substrates. We investigated the hypothesis that right frontal and parietal cortices provide the neuroanatomical location of the functional interaction between sustained attention and the process of selectively monitoring for target objects. Six healthy volunteers performed one of two tasks which required either selective or non-selective responding. The task lasted continuously for 18 min, during which time 3 Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans were acquired for each task. This was repeated to obtain 12 PET measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) for each subject. The right inferior frontal and parietal cortices were differentially activated by increasing time on task during the selective (S) vs non-selective (NS) task. Specifically, rCBF decreased with increasing time spent performing the NS task but not the S task. This result suggests that the normal deactivation in these areas as time on task increases is counteracted by the extra cognitive demands of selectively responding to target objects. Therefore, we have confirmed our hypothesis that right frontal and parietal cortices provide the neuroanatomical location for the modulation of object selection by sustained attention. We also identified the neuroanatomical correlates of each process separately, and confirmed earlier reports of prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate activation associated with selective responding, and a fronto-parietal-thalamic network associated with sustained attention.

  1. Increasing physical activity. A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services.

    PubMed

    2001-10-26

    The Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force) has conducted systematic reviews of community interventions to increase physical activity. The Task Force either strongly recommends or recommends six interventions: two informational approaches (i.e., communitywide campaigns and point-of-decision prompts to encourage use of stairs); three behavioral and social approaches (i.e., school-based physical education, social support interventions in community settings [e.g., setting up a buddy system or contracting with another person to complete specified levels of physical activity], and individually adapted health behavior change programs); and one intervention to increase physical activity by using environmental and policy approaches (i.e., creation of or enhanced access to places for physical activity, combined with informational outreach activities). The Task Force found insufficient evidence on which to base recommendations for classroom-based health education focused on information provision, behavioral skills, and social support interventions in family settings because of inconsistent findings; mass media campaigns, college-age physical education, and health education because of an insufficient number of studies; and classroom-based health education focusing on reducing television viewing and video game playing because of the lack of a demonstrated link between reduced time spent watching television or playing video games and increased physical activity. This report provides additional information regarding the recommendations, briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, and provides information that can help in applying the interventions locally.

  2. When Threat Is Near, Get Out of Here: Dynamics of Defensive Behavior During Freezing and Active Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Löw, Andreas; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-11-01

    When detecting a threat, humans and other animals engage in defensive behaviors and supporting physiological adjustments that vary with threat imminence and potential response options. In the present study, we shed light on the dynamics of defensive behaviors and associated physiological adjustments in humans using multiple psychophysiological and brain measures. When participants were exposed to a dynamically approaching, uncontrollable threat, attentive freezing was augmented, as indicated by an increase in skin conductance, fear bradycardia, and potentiation of the startle reflex. In contrast, when participants had the opportunity to actively avoid the approaching threat, attention switched to response preparation, as indicated by an inhibition of the startle magnitude and by a sharp drop of the probe-elicited P3 component of the evoked brain potentials. These new findings on the dynamics of defensive behaviors form an important intersection between animal and human research and have important implications for understanding fear and anxiety-related disorders.

  3. Effect of ovariectomy and estrogen supplementation on brain acetylcholinesterase activity and passive-avoidance learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Das, Amitava; Dikshit, Madhu; Srivastava, Shoba R; Srivastava, Umesh K; Nath, Chandishwar

    2002-09-01

    The effect of ovariectomy and estrogen treatment on the brain acetylcholinesterase activity and cognition in rats was investigated in this study. Ovariectomized and nonovariectomized rats were treated subcutaneously with estradiol dipropionate for 8 d. In the single-trial, passive-avoidance test all the groups showed significant learning and retention of memory as evident by the increase in transfer latency time in trial 2 as compared with trial 1. No-transfer response was significantly increased in the estradiol-dipropionate-treated ovariectomized (80%) and nonovariectomized (60%) group as compared with the ovariectomized (30%) group. Specific activity of acetylcholinesterase was assayed spectrophotometrically in salt-soluble and detergent-soluble fractions of various brain areas: frontal cortex, cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus and hypothalamus, thalamus, pons, medulla, and cerebellum. The effect of ovariectomy and estradiol dipropionate was varied in both fractions of these brain areas. Estradiol dipropionate treatment could restore the acetylcholinesterase activity to the control level only in the detergent-soluble fraction of hypothalamus and salt-soluble fraction of hypothalamus, thalamus, and medulla in ovariectomized rats. The results indicate that ovariectomy alters acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain areas but not in a uniform manner and affects only qualitative aspects of cognitive function, which could be improved by estrogen supplementation.

  4. Task-Driven Activity Reduces the Cortical Activity Space of the Brain: Experiment and Whole-Brain Modeling.

    PubMed

    Ponce-Alvarez, Adrián; He, Biyu J; Hagmann, Patric; Deco, Gustavo

    2015-08-01

    How a stimulus or a task alters the spontaneous dynamics of the brain remains a fundamental open question in neuroscience. One of the most robust hallmarks of task/stimulus-driven brain dynamics is the decrease of variability with respect to the spontaneous level, an effect seen across multiple experimental conditions and in brain signals observed at different spatiotemporal scales. Recently, it was observed that the trial-to-trial variability and temporal variance of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals decrease in the task-driven activity. Here we examined the dynamics of a large-scale model of the human cortex to provide a mechanistic understanding of these observations. The model allows computing the statistics of synaptic activity in the spontaneous condition and in putative tasks determined by external inputs to a given subset of brain regions. We demonstrated that external inputs decrease the variance, increase the covariances, and decrease the autocovariance of synaptic activity as a consequence of single node and large-scale network dynamics. Altogether, these changes in network statistics imply a reduction of entropy, meaning that the spontaneous synaptic activity outlines a larger multidimensional activity space than does the task-driven activity. We tested this model's prediction on fMRI signals from healthy humans acquired during rest and task conditions and found a significant decrease of entropy in the stimulus-driven activity. Altogether, our study proposes a mechanism for increasing the information capacity of brain networks by enlarging the volume of possible activity configurations at rest and reliably settling into a confined stimulus-driven state to allow better transmission of stimulus-related information.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Avoiding Cancer Risk Information

    PubMed Central

    Emanuel, Amber S.; Kiviniemi, Marc T.; Howell, Jennifer L.; Hay, Jennifer L.; Waters, Erika A.; Orom, Heather; Shepperd, James A.

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE Perceived risk for health problems such as cancer is a central construct in many models of health decision making and a target for behavior change interventions. However, some portion of the population actively avoids cancer risk information. The prevalence of, explanations for, and consequences of such avoidance are not well understood. OBJECTIVE We examined the prevalence and demographic and psychosocial correlates of cancer risk information avoidance preference in a nationally representative sample. We also examined whether avoidance of cancer risk information corresponds with avoidance of cancer screening. RESULTS Based on our representative sample, 39% of the population indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed that they would “rather not know [their] chance of getting cancer.” This preference was stronger among older participants, female participants, and participants with lower levels of education. Preferring to avoid cancer risk information was stronger among participants who agreed with the beliefs that everything causes cancer, that there’s not much one can do to prevent cancer, and that there are too many recommendations to follow. Finally, the preference to avoid cancer risk information was associated with lower levels of screening for colon cancer. CONCLUSION These findings suggest that cancer risk information avoidance is a multi-determined phenomenon that is associated with demographic characteristics and psychosocial individual differences and also relates to engagement in cancer screening. PMID:26560410

  8. Task Control Signals in Pediatric Tourette Syndrome Show Evidence of Immature and Anomalous Functional Activity

    PubMed Central

    Church, Jessica A.; Wenger, Kristin K.; Dosenbach, Nico U. F.; Miezin, Francis M.; Petersen, Steven E.; Schlaggar, Bradley L.

    2009-01-01

    Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a pediatric movement disorder that may affect control signaling in the brain. Previous work has proposed a dual-networks architecture of control processing involving a task-maintenance network and an adaptive control network (Dosenbach et al., 2008). A prior resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) analysis in TS has revealed functional immaturity in both putative control networks, with “anomalous” correlations (i.e., correlations outside the typical developmental range) limited to the adaptive control network (Church et al., 2009). The present study used functional MRI (fMRI) to study brain activity related to adaptive control (by studying start-cues signals), and to task-maintenance (by studying signals sustained across a task set). Two hypotheses from the previous rs-fcMRI results were tested. First, adaptive control (i.e., start-cue) activity will be altered in TS, including activity inconsistent with typical development (“anomalous”). Second, group differences found in task-maintenance (i.e., sustained) activity will be consistent with functional immaturity in TS. We examined regions found through a direct comparison of adolescents with and without TS, as well as regions derived from a previous investigation that showed differences between unaffected children and adults. The TS group showed decreased start-cue signal magnitude in regions where start-cue activity is unchanged over typical development, consistent with anomalous adaptive control. The TS group also had higher magnitude sustained signals in frontal cortex regions that overlapped with regions showing differences over typical development, consistent with immature task-maintenance in TS. The results demonstrate task-related fMRI signal differences anticipated by the atypical functional connectivity found previously in adolescents with TS, strengthening the evidence for functional immaturity and anomalous signaling in control networks in adolescents with TS

  9. Prefrontal cortex activity associated with source monitoring in a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Karen J; Johnson, Marcia K; Raye, Carol L; Greene, Erich J

    2004-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during remembering specific source information (format, location judgments) versus remembering that could be based on undifferentiated information, such as familiarity (old/new recognition [ON], recency judgments). A working memory (WM) paradigm with an immediate test yielded greater activation in the lateral PFC for format and location source memory (SM) tasks than ON recognition; this SM-related activity was left lateralized. The same regions of PFC were recruited in Experiment 2 when information was tested immediately and after a filled delay. Substituting recency for location judgments (Experiment 3) resulted in an overall shift in task context that produced greater right PFC activity associated with ON and recency tasks compared to the format task, in addition to left SM-related activity. These data extend to WM previous findings from long-term memory (LTM) indicating that the left and right PFC may be differentially involved in memory attributions depending on the specificity of information evaluated. The findings also provide evidence for the continuity of evaluative processes recruited in WM and LTM.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. The activation of visual memory for facial identity is task-dependent: evidence from human electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Friederike G S; Eimer, Martin

    2014-05-01

    The question whether the recognition of individual faces is mandatory or task-dependent is still controversial. We employed the N250r component of the event-related potential as a marker of the activation of representations of facial identity in visual memory, in order to find out whether identity-related information from faces is encoded and maintained even when facial identity is task-irrelevant. Pairs of faces appeared in rapid succession, and the N250r was measured in response to repetitions of the same individual face, as compared to presentations of two different faces. In Experiment 1, an N250r was present in an identity matching task where identity information was relevant, but not when participants had to detect infrequent targets (inverted faces), and facial identity was task-irrelevant. This was the case not only for unfamiliar faces, but also for famous faces, suggesting that even famous face recognition is not as automatic as is often assumed. In Experiment 2, an N250r was triggered by repetitions of non-famous faces in a task where participants had to match the view of each face pair, and facial identity had to be ignored. This shows that when facial features have to be maintained in visual memory for a subsequent comparison, identity-related information is retained as well, even when it is irrelevant. Our results suggest that individual face recognition is neither fully mandatory nor completely task-dependent. Facial identity is encoded and maintained in tasks that involve visual memory for individual faces, regardless of the to-be-remembered feature. In tasks without this memory component, irrelevant visual identity information can be completely ignored.

  14. 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.

  15. Task-dependent Modulations of Prefrontal and Hippocampal Activity during Intrinsic Word Production

    PubMed Central

    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 response restrictions but to a greater extent on associative binding processes, usually subserved by the hippocampus. To elucidate the relevance of the frontal and medial-temporal areas during verbal retrieval tasks, we applied varying degrees of response specification. During fMRI data acquisition, 18 subjects performed a free verbal association (FVA), a semantic verbal fluency (SVF) task, and a phonological verbal fluency (PVF) task. Externally guided word production served as a baseline condition to control for basic articulatory and reading processes. As expected, increased brain activity was observed in the left lateral and bilateral medial frontal cortices for SVF and PVF. The anterior cingulate gyrus was the only structure common to both fluency tasks in direct comparison to the less restricted FVA task. The hippocampus was engaged during associative and semantic retrieval. Interestingly, hippocampal activity was selectively evident during FVA in direct comparison to SVF when it was controlled for stimulus–response relations. The current data confirm the role of the left prefrontal–cingulate network in constrained word production. Hippocampal activity during spontaneous word production is a novel finding and seems to be dependent on the retrieval process (free vs. constrained) rather than the variety of stimulus–response relationships that is involved. PMID:18578599

  16. 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

  17. Dynamics of gamma-band activity during an audiospatial working memory task in humans.

    PubMed

    Lutzenberger, Werner; Ripper, Barbara; Busse, Laura; Birbaumer, Niels; Kaiser, Jochen

    2002-07-01

    The representation of visual objects in short-term memory has been shown to be related to increased gamma-band activity in the electroencephalogram. Using a similar paradigm, we investigated oscillatory magnetoencephalographic activity in human subjects during a delayed matching-to-sample task requiring working memory of auditory spatial information. The memory task involved same-different judgments about the lateralization angle of pairs of filtered noise stimuli (S1 and S2) separated by 800 msec delays of background noise. This was compared with a control condition requiring the detection of a possible change in the background noise volume appearing instead of S2 (volume task). Statistical probability mapping revealed increased spectral activity at 59 Hz over left parietal cortex during the delay phase of the memory condition. In addition, 59 Hz coherence was enhanced between left parietal and right frontal sensors. During the end of the delay and during the presentation of S2, enhanced gamma-band activity at 67 Hz was observed over right frontal and later over midline parietal areas. In contrast, the volume task was characterized by increased left inferior frontotemporal 59 Hz spectral amplitude after S1. Apparently representation of the spatial position of a sound source is associated both with synchronization of networks in parietal areas involved in the auditory dorsal stream and with increased coupling between networks serving representation of audiospatial information and frontal executive systems. The comparison with S2 seemed to activate frontal and parietal neuronal ensembles. Gamma-band activity during the volume task may reflect auditory pattern encoding in auditory ventral stream areas.

  18. 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…

  19. Same Task, Different Activities: Issues of Investment, Identity, and Use of Strategy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parks, Susan

    2000-01-01

    Drawing on activity theory and the construct of investment, explores how three francophone college d'enseignement general et profesionnel (CEGEP) variously invested in a task that involved producing short documentary-style videos in English. case study data included interviews without he student and teacher and student work portfolios. suggests…

  20. 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…

  1. Identifying and Activating Receptive Vocabulary by an Online Vocabulary Survey and an Online Writing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Ivy Chuhui; Kawai, Goh

    2016-01-01

    Seeking to identify and activate the Receptive Vocabulary (RV) of English Language Learners (ELLs), we designed (1) an online five category multiple-choice vocabulary survey that more quickly measures vocabulary knowledge, and (2) an online creative writing task where ELLs chose RV items identified in step (1). While RV items of highly proficient…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Effects of chronic intracerebroventricular 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) or fluoxetine on the active avoidance test in rats with or without exposure to mild chronic stress.

    PubMed

    León, Laura A; Landeira-Fernandez, Jesus; Cardenas, Fernando P

    2009-12-14

    In despite the similarity of mechanisms of action between both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and MDMA (main compound of "Ecstasy") there are relatively few reports on the effects of the later on animal models of depression. There are many animal models designed to create or to assess depression. Mild chronic stress (MCS) is a procedure designed to create depression. MCS includes the chronic exposure of the animal to several stressors. After that, rats show behavioural changes associated to depression. In the other hand, the active avoidance task (AAT) is an experimental situation in which an animal has to accomplish a particular behaviour in order to avoid the application of a stressor. Animals exhibiting depression fail to acquire avoidance responses as rapidly as normal animals do. In order to assess the effect of MDMA on the acquisition of an active avoidance response, forty-five rats were divided in two groups exposed or not exposed to MCS. Rats also received chronic intracerebroventricular MDMA (0.2microg/microl; 1microl), fluoxetine (2.0microg/microl; 1microl) or saline solution (0.9%; 1microl). Our results showed that the effect of MDMA depends upon the level of stress. MDMA treated animals showed better acquisition (F([2,37])=7.046; P=0.003) and retention (F([2,37])=3.900; P=0.029) of the avoidance response than fluoxetine or saline treated animals when exposed to MCS. This finding suggests that MDMA (and no fluoxetine) was able to change the aversive valence of the stressors maybe enhancing coping strategies. This effect could serve as a protective factor against helplessness and maybe post-traumatic stress.

  7. Comparison of cortical activation in an upper limb added-purpose task versus a single-purpose task: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Huang, Fubiao; Hirano, Daisuke; Shi, Yun; Taniguchi, Takamichi

    2015-12-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare prefrontal activations during an added-purpose task with those during a single-purpose task using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. [Subjects] Six healthy right-handed adults were included in this study. [Methods] The participants were instructed to complete both added-purpose and single-purpose activities separately with each hand. The near-infrared spectroscopy probes were placed on the scalp overlying the prefrontal cortex, according to the International 10-20 system (Fz). Changes in the oxygenated hemoglobin and deoxygenated hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex were measured during performance of the activities. We then compared the number of activation channels with significant increase in oxygenated hemoglobin, during added-purpose activity to single-purpose activity using both hands separately. [Results] A greater number of widespread activations were observed in the prefrontal cortex during the added-purpose task than during the single-purpose task. These results were noted with both right and left hands. [Conclusion] According to our findings, added-purpose activity can bring about more activation in the prefrontal cortex, which may provide occupational therapists with effective guides in therapeutic practice.

  8. Cerebral-cortical networking and activation increase as a function of cognitive-motor task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Rietschel, Jeremy C; Miller, Matthew W; Gentili, Rodolphe J; Goodman, Ronald N; McDonald, Craig G; Hatfield, Bradley D

    2012-05-01

    Excessive increases in task difficulty typically result in marked attenuation of cognitive-motor performance. The psychomotor efficiency hypothesis suggests that poor performance is mediated by non-essential neural activity and cerebral cortical networking (inefficient cortical dynamics). This phenomenon may underlie the inverse relationship between excessive task difficulty and performance. However, investigation of the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis as it relates to task difficulty has not been conducted. The present study used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine cerebral cortical dynamics while participants were challenged with both Easy and Hard conditions during a cognitive-motor task (Tetris(®)). In accord with the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis, it was predicted that with increases in task difficulty, participants would demonstrate greater 'neural effort,' as indexed by EEG spectral power and cortical networking (i.e., EEG coherence) between the premotor (motor planning) region and sensory, executive, and motor regions. Increases in neural activation and cortical networking were observed during the Hard condition relative to the Easy condition, thus supporting the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis. To further determine the unique contributions of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands, a control experiment was conducted in which cognitive demand was increased while sensory-motor demand was held constant. This experiment revealed that regionally specific neural activation was influenced by changes in cognitive demand, whereas cortical networking to the motor planning region was sensitive only to changes in sensory-motor demand. Crucially, the present study is the first, to our knowledge, to characterize the separate impact of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands on cerebral cortical dynamics. The findings further inform the dynamics of the cortical processes that underlie the quality of cognitive-motor performance particularly with regard to task

  9. Activity of neurons in the caudate and putamen during a visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Romero, Maria C; Bermudez, Maria A; Vicente, Ana F; Perez, Rogelio; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2008-07-16

    Evidence supporting a role of the caudate and putamen nuclei in associative learning is present. We recorded the activity of 21 caudate and 26 putamen cells in one macaque monkey while performing a visuomotor task, which involved a visual stimulus and the execution of a motor response. Ninety-one percent of caudate cells and 65% of putamen cells showed changes in activity while the monkey was performing the task. Approximately half of the caudate cells and one third of the putamen cells showed changes in activity without a motor response. Our results show that caudate and putamen cells are activated regardless of the presence or absence of a motor action. These findings are consistent with the idea that these nuclei may play a role in associative learning.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Effects of task context and fluctuations of attention on neural activity supporting performance of the stroop task.

    PubMed

    West, R; Alain, C

    2000-08-04

    The influence of task context and transient fluctuations in attentional control on neural processes supporting performance of the Stroop task was investigated using event-related brain potentials. Task context was manipulated by varying the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials across different blocks of trials, and fluctuations of attentional control were considered by examining differences between trials eliciting faster and slower responses. The amplitudes of the N450, thought to reflect the suppression of a conceptual level processing system, and a temporo-parietal slow wave, thought to index the processing of color information, were greater when trials were mostly congruent in comparison to when trials were mostly incongruent. These findings indicate that the neural systems supporting inhibition and color processing are modulated by task demands. For the N450 the effect of task context interacted with the efficiency of attentional control being present for those trials eliciting faster responses and not for those trials eliciting slower responses. This finding is consistent with those from a growing number of studies indicating that the neural systems supporting attentional control are transient in nature, tending to fluctuate in efficiency over time.

  14. Cognitive conflict in a syllable identification task causes transient activation of speech perception area.

    PubMed

    Sætrevik, Bjørn; Specht, Karsten

    2012-04-01

    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 be evident as trial-to-trial changes in domain specific activation. The present fMRI experiment used a syllable identification task where conflict is manipulated by presenting recently ignored syllables. Results showed that on trials following a high conflict trial, activation increased primarily in the planum temporale region of the left temporal cortex, an area believed to be involved in syllable discrimination. The experiment thus showed a transient, domain specific attention effect that was modulated on a trial-to-trial basis. We argue that this indicates a self-regulating system where increased levels of conflict directs resources in order to improve performance.

  15. 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.

  16. Motivation alters response bias and neural activation patterns in a perceptual decision-making task.

    PubMed

    Reckless, G E; Bolstad, I; Nakstad, P H; Andreassen, O A; Jensen, J

    2013-05-15

    Motivation has been demonstrated to affect individuals' response strategies in economic decision-making, however, little is known about how motivation influences perceptual decision-making behavior or its related neural activity. Given the important role motivation plays in shaping our behavior, a better understanding of this relationship is needed. A block-design, continuous performance, perceptual decision-making task where participants were asked to detect a picture of an animal among distractors was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The effect of positive and negative motivation on sustained activity within regions of the brain thought to underlie decision-making was examined by altering the monetary contingency associated with the task. In addition, signal detection theory was used to investigate the effect of motivation on detection sensitivity, response bias and response time. While both positive and negative motivation resulted in increased sustained activation in the ventral striatum, fusiform gyrus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, only negative motivation resulted in the adoption of a more liberal, closer to optimal response bias. This shift toward a liberal response bias correlated with increased activation in the left DLPFC, but did not result in improved task performance. The present findings suggest that motivation alters aspects of the way perceptual decisions are made. Further, this altered response behavior is reflected in a change in left DLPFC activation, a region involved in the computation of perceptual decisions.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Task-modulated activation and functional connectivity of the temporal and frontal areas during speech comprehension.

    PubMed

    Yue, Q; Zhang, L; Xu, G; Shu, H; Li, P

    2013-05-01

    There is general consensus in the literature that a distributed network of temporal and frontal brain areas is involved in speech comprehension. However, how active versus passive tasks modulate the activation and the functional connectivity of the critical brain areas is not clearly understood. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify intelligibility and task-related effects in speech comprehension. Participants performed a semantic judgment task on normal and time-reversed sentences, or passively listened to the sentences without making an overt response. The subtraction analysis demonstrated that passive sentence comprehension mainly engaged brain areas in the left anterior and posterior superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus (aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG), whereas active sentence comprehension recruited bilateral frontal regions in addition to the aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG regions. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that during passive sentence comprehension, the left aSTS/MTG was functionally connected with the left Heschl's gyrus (HG) and bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) but no area was functionally connected with the left pSTS/MTG; during active sentence comprehension, however, both the left aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG were functionally connected with bilateral superior temporal and inferior frontal areas. While these results are consistent with the view that the ventral stream of the temporo-frontal network subserves semantic processing, our findings further indicate that both the activation and the functional connectivity of the temporal and frontal areas are modulated by task demands.

  1. Working memory training is associated with lower prefrontal cortex activation in a divergent thinking task.

    PubMed

    Vartanian, O; Jobidon, M-E; Bouak, F; Nakashima, A; Smith, I; Lam, Q; Cheung, B

    2013-04-16

    Working memory (WM) training has been shown to lead to improvements in WM capacity and fluid intelligence. Given that divergent thinking loads on WM and fluid intelligence, we tested the hypothesis that WM training would improve performance and moderate neural function in the Alternate Uses Task (AUT)-a classic test of divergent thinking. We tested this hypothesis by administering the AUT in the functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner following a short regimen of WM training (experimental condition), or engagement in a choice reaction time task not expected to engage WM (active control condition). Participants in the experimental group exhibited significant improvement in performance in the WM task as a function of training, as well as a significant gain in fluid intelligence. Although the two groups did not differ in their performance on the AUT, activation was significantly lower in the experimental group in ventrolateral prefrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices-two brain regions known to play dissociable and critical roles in divergent thinking. Furthermore, gain in fluid intelligence mediated the effect of training on brain activation in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that a short regimen of WM training is associated with lower prefrontal activation-a marker of neural efficiency-in divergent thinking.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-02

    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.

  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. Decreased activity with increased background network efficiency in amnestic MCI during a visuospatial working memory task.

    PubMed

    Lou, Wutao; Shi, Lin; Wang, Defeng; Tam, Cindy W C; Chu, Winnie C W; Mok, Vincent C T; Cheng, Sheung-Tak; Lam, Linda C W

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated the working memory impairment in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, the neurophysiological basis of the working memory deficit in aMCI is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to explore the abnormal activity during encoding and recognition procedures, as well as the reorganization of the background network maintaining the working memory state in aMCI. Using event-related fMRI during a visuospatial working memory task with three recognition difficulty levels, the task-related activations and network efficiency of the background network in 17 aMCI patients and 19 matched controls were investigated. Compared with cognitively healthy controls, patients with aMCI showed significantly decreased activity in the frontal and visual cortices during the encoding phase, while during the recognition phase, decreased activity was detected in the frontal, parietal, and visual regions. In addition, increased local efficiency was also observed in the background network of patients with aMCI. The results suggest patients with aMCI showed impaired encoding and recognition functions during the visuospatial working memory task, and may pay more effort to maintain the cognitive state. This study extends our understanding of the impaired working memory function in aMCI and provides a new perspective to investigate the compensatory mechanism in aMCI.

  5. Hippocampal SWR Activity Predicts Correct Decisions during the Initial Learning of an Alternation Task

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Annabelle C.; Carr, Margaret F.; Karlsson, Mattias P.; Frank, Loren M.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The hippocampus frequently replays memories of past experiences during sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events. These events can represent spatial trajectories extending from the animal’s current location to distant locations, suggesting a role in the evaluation of upcoming choices. While SWRs have been linked to learning and memory, the specific role of awake replay remains unclear. Here we show that there is greater coordinated neural activity during SWRs preceding correct, as compared to incorrect, trials in a spatial alternation task. As a result, the proportion of cell pairs coactive during SWRs was predictive of subsequent correct or incorrect responses on a trial-by-trial basis. This effect was seen specifically during early learning, when the hippocampus is essential for task performance. SWR activity preceding correct trials represented multiple trajectories that included both correct and incorrect options. These results suggest that reactivation during awake SWRs contributes to the evaluation of possible choices during memory-guided decision making. PMID:23522050

  6. Proposed modification to avoidance test with Eisenia fetida to assess metal toxicity in agricultural soils affected by mining activities.

    PubMed

    Delgadillo, Víctor; Verdejo, José; Mondaca, Pedro; Verdugo, Gabriela; Gaete, Hernán; Hodson, Mark E; Neaman, Alexander

    2017-06-01

    Use of avoidance tests is a quick and cost-effective method of assessing contaminants in soils. One option for assessing earthworm avoidance behavior is a two-section test, which consists of earthworms being given the choice to move between a test soil and a control substrate. For ecological relevance, tested soils should be field-contaminated soils. For practical reasons, artificial soils are commonly used as the control substrate. Interpretation of the test results compromised when the test soil and the artificial substrate differ in their physico-chemical properties other than just contaminants. In this study we identified the physico-chemical properties that influence avoidance response and evaluated the usefulness of adjusting these in the control substrate in order to isolate metal-driven avoidance of field soils by earthworms. A standardized two-section avoidance test with Eisenia fetida was performed on 52 uncontaminated and contaminated (Cu >155mgkg(-1), As >19mgkg(-1)) agricultural soils from the Aconcagua River basin and the Puchuncaví Valley in Chile. Regression analysis indicated that the avoidance response was determined by soil organic matter (OM), electrical conductivity (EC) and total soil Cu. Organic matter content of the artificial substrate was altered by peat additions and EC by NaCl so that these properties matched those of the field soils. The resultant EC80 for avoidance (indicative of soils of "limited habitat") was 433mg Cu kg(-1) (339 - 528mgkg(-1) 95% confidence intervals). The earthworm avoidance test can be used to assess metal toxicity in field-contaminated soils by adjusting physico-chemical properties (OM and EC) of the artificial control substrate in order to mimic those of the field-collected soil.

  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. Neck and shoulder muscle activity during standardized work-related postural tasks.

    PubMed

    Ng, D; McNee, C; Kieser, J; Farella, M

    2014-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess the activity levels of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and upper trapezius muscle during static postures under controlled and standardized conditions, and to determine whether the muscle activity differed between sexes. Electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded unilaterally from the sternocleidomastoid and upper trapezius muscle in 17 participants whilst they were performing various postural tasks. EMG amplitude was measured by the root mean square values of the raw signals and normalized to peak maximum contractile values for each muscle (%MVC). The intensity of muscle activity was ranked as light (<3%MVC), moderate (3%MVC ≤ EMG ≤ 8%MVC), and substantial (>8%MVC). During most tasks the two muscles contracted light to moderately. Head leaning and shoulder shrugging postures yielded substantial muscle activity in both muscles. Muscle activity did not differ significantly between male and female participants (F = 3.1; p = 0.078). Our findings provided normative values, which will enhance future studies of muscle activity during work in a natural, unrestrained environment.

  9. Research, test, and development activities performed by junction box bypass diode task force # 4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gade, Vivek; Shiradkar, Narendra; Robusto, Paul; Whitfield, Kent; Wohlgemuth, John; Uchida, Yasunori; Dhere, Neelkanth G.

    2014-10-01

    The paper provides latest update on the activities performed by the group #4-diodes, shading and reverse bias of the PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force (PVQAT) in the areas such as electrostatic discharge testing and standards, thermal runaway testing, diode junction temperature measurement techniques, thermal endurance tests and analysis of field failures. Philosophy, motivation and future direction for the group #4 is also discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Bright illumination reduces parietal EEG alpha activity during a sustained attention task.

    PubMed

    Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Kim, Eosu; Park, Jin Young

    2013-11-13

    The influence of the illumination condition on our cognitive-performance seems to be more critical in the modern life, wherein, most people work in an office under a specific illumination condition. However, neurophysiological changes in a specific illumination state and their cognitive interpretation still remain unclear. Thereby, in the present study, the effect of different illumination conditions on the same cognitive performance was evaluated particularly by EEG wavelet analyses. During a sustained attention task, we observed that the higher illumination condition yielded significantly lower parietal tonic electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha activity before the presentation of the probe digit and longer reaction times, than that of the other illumination conditions. Although previous studies suggest that lower prestimulus EEG alpha activity is related to higher performance in an upcoming task, the reduced prestimulus alpha activity under higher illumination was associated with delayed reaction times in the present study. Presumably, the higher background illumination condition seems to be too bright for normal attentional processing and distracted participants' attention during a sustained attention task. Such a bottom-up effect by stimulus salience seemed to overwhelm a prestimulus top-down effect reflected in prestimulus alpha power during the bright background condition. This finding might imply a dynamic competition between prestimulus top-down and poststimulus bottom-up processes. Our findings provide compelling evidence that the illumination condition substantially modulates our attentional processing. Further refinement of the illumination parameters and subsequent exploration of cognitive-modulation are necessary to facilitate our cognitive performance.

  12. 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.

  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.

  14. 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

  15. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI reveals a temporal cascade of task-related and default-mode activations during a simple target detection task.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

    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.

  16. Locomotion and Task Demands Differentially Modulate Thalamic Audiovisual Processing during Active Search.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-20

    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, though the extent and form of modulation arising in the cortex de novo versus an inheritance from subcortical stations is not clear. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Improvement of two-way active avoidance memory requires protein kinase a activation and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the dorsal hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Datta, Subimal; Siwek, Donald F; Huang, Max P

    2009-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that two-way active avoidance (TWAA) memory processing involves a functional interaction between the pontine wave (P wave) generator and the CA3 region of the dorsal hippocampus (DH-CA3). The present experiments examined whether the interaction between P wave generator activity and the DH-CA3 involves the intracellular protein kinase A (PKA) signaling system. In the first series of experiments, rats were subjected to a session of TWAA training followed immediately by bilateral microinjection of either the PKA activation inhibitor (KT-5720) or vehicle control into the DH-CA3 and tested for TWAA memory 24 h later. The results indicated that immediate KT-5720 infusion impaired improvement of TWAA performance. Additional experiments showed that KT-5720 infusion also blocked TWAA training-induced BDNF expression in the DH-CA3. Together, these findings suggest that the PKA activation and BDNF expression in the DH-CA3 is essential for the improvement of TWAA memory.

  19. Global increase in task-related fronto-parietal activity after focal frontal lobe lesion.

    PubMed

    Woolgar, Alexandra; Bor, Daniel; Duncan, John

    2013-09-01

    A critical question for neuropsychology is how complex brain networks react to damage. Here, we address this question for the well-known executive control or multiple-demand (MD) system, a fronto-parietal network showing increased activity with many different kinds of cognitive demand, including standard tests of fluid intelligence. Using fMRI, we ask how focal frontal lobe damage affects MD activity during a standard fluid intelligence task. Despite poor behavioral performance, frontal patients showed increased fronto-parietal activity relative to controls. The activation difference was not accounted for by difference in IQ. Moreover, rather than specific focus on perilesional or contralesional cortex, additional recruitment was distributed throughout the MD regions and surrounding cortex and included parietal MD regions distant from the injury. The data suggest that, following local frontal lobe damage, there is a global compensatory recruitment of an adaptive and integrated fronto-parietal network.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Chronic Low Back Pain in Women: Muscle Activation during Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Fernanda G; Carmo, Carolina M; Fracini, América C; Pereira, Rita R P; Takara, Kelly S; Tanaka, Clarice

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to compare the activities of the trunk and hip muscles in chronic low back pain (CLBP) women and asymptomatic subjects during the kneeling to half-kneeling task. [Subjects] Twenty-nine CLBP women and thirty asymptomatic subjects (C) participated in this study. [Methods] Electromyography activity (EMG) of the obliquus internus abdominis (OI), the lumbar erector spinae (LES) and the gluteus medius (GM) muscles was recorded bilaterally. The peak amplitude, the time of peak amplitude and the integrated linear envelope EMG for each muscle were obtained. [Results] The C group bilateral OI and GM muscles displayed higher peak amplitudes and earlier times of peak amplitude. They also had higher integrated linear envelope EMG values. The CLBP group bilateral LES muscles had higher peak amplitudes and earlier times of peak amplitude. They also showed an increased integrated linear envelope EMG values. [Conclusion] The CLBP women activate the LES muscles in the kneeling to half-kneeling task, showing different patterns of motor planning activity. PMID:24409022

  3. 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

  4. Functional Activation and Effective Connectivity Differences in Adolescent Marijuana Users Performing a Simulated Gambling Task

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Kimberly L.; Hines, Christina S.; Li, Karl; Dawes, Michael A.; Mathias, Charles W.; Dougherty, Donald M.; Laird, Angela R.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Adolescent marijuana use is associated with structural and functional differences in forebrain regions while performing memory and attention tasks. In the present study, we investigated neural processing in adolescent marijuana users experiencing rewards and losses. Fourteen adolescents with frequent marijuana use (>5 uses per week) and 14 nonuser controls performed a computer task where they were required to guess the outcome of a simulated coin flip while undergoing magnetic resonance imaging. Results. Across all participants, “Wins” and “Losses” were associated with activations including cingulate, middle frontal, superior frontal, and inferior frontal gyri and declive activations. Relative to controls, users had greater activity in the middle and inferior frontal gyri, caudate, and claustrum during “Wins” and greater activity in the anterior and posterior cingulate, middle frontal gyrus, insula, claustrum, and declive during “Losses.” Effective connectivity analyses revealed similar overall network interactions among these regions for users and controls during both “Wins” and “Losses.” However, users and controls had significantly different causal interactions for 10 out of 28 individual paths during the “Losses” condition. Conclusions. Collectively, these results indicate adolescent marijuana users have enhanced neural responses to simulated monetary rewards and losses and relatively subtle differences in effective connectivity. PMID:25692068

  5. Using Activity Schedules to Increase On-Task Behavior in Children at Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cirelli, Christe A.; Sidener, Tina M.; Reeve, Kenneth F.; Reeve, Sharon A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of activity schedules on on-task and on-schedule behavior were assessed with two boys at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and referred by their public school teachers as having difficulty during independent work time. On-task behavior increased for both participants after two training sessions. Teachers, peers,…

  6. Interplay between Heightened Temporal Variability of Spontaneous Brain Activity and Task-Evoked Hyperactivation in the Blind

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Rui; Huang, Zirui; Tu, Huihui; Wang, Luoyu; Tanabe, Sean; Weng, Xuchu; He, Sheng; Li, Dongfeng

    2016-01-01

    The brain's functional organization can be altered by visual deprivation. This is observed by comparing blind and sighted people's activation response to tactile discrimination tasks, like braille reading. Where, the blind have higher activation than the sighted upon tactile discrimination tasks, especially high activation difference is seen in ventral occipitotemporal (vOT) cortex. However, it remains unknown, whether this vOT hyperactivation is related to alteration of spontaneous activity. To address this question, we examined 16 blind subjects, 19 low-vision individuals, and 21 normally sighted controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subjects were scanned in resting-state and discrimination tactile task. In spontaneous activity, when compared to sighted subjects, we found both blind and low vision subjects had increased local signal synchronization and increased temporal variability. During tactile tasks, compared to sighted subjects, blind and low-vision subject's vOT had stronger tactile task-induced activation. Furthermore, through inter-subject partial correlation analysis, we found temporal variability is more related to tactile-task activation, than local signal synchronization's relation to tactile-induced activation. Our results further support that vision impairment induces vOT cortical reorganization. The hyperactivation in the vOT during tactile stimulus processing in the blind may be related to their greater dynamic range of spontaneous activity. PMID:28066206

  7. Sex differences in brain activation pattern during a visuospatial cognitive task: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Weiss, E; Siedentopf, C M; Hofer, A; Deisenhammer, E A; Hoptman, M J; Kremser, C; Golaszewski, S; Felber, S; Fleischhacker, W W; Delazer, M

    2003-07-03

    Sex differences in mental rotation tasks, favoring men, have been noted in behavioral studies and functional imaging studies. In the present study ten female and ten male volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging in a conventional block design. Regions of activation were detected after performance of a mental rotation task inside the scanner. In contrast to previous studies, confounding factors such as performance differences between genders or high error rates were excluded. Men showed significantly stronger parietal activation, while women showed significantly greater right frontal activation. Our results point to gender specific differences in the neuropsychological processes involved in mental rotation tasks.

  8. Understanding and Visualizing Multitasking and Task Switching Activities: A Time Motion Study to Capture Nursing Workflow.

    PubMed

    Yen, Po-Yin; Kelley, Marjorie; Lopetegui, Marcelo; Rosado, Amber L; Migliore, Elaina M; Chipps, Esther M; Buck, Jacalyn

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental understanding of multitasking within nursing workflow is important in today's dynamic and complex healthcare environment. We conducted a time motion study to understand nursing workflow, specifically multitasking and task switching activities. We used TimeCaT, a comprehensive electronic time capture tool, to capture observational data. We established inter-observer reliability prior to data collection. We completed 56 hours of observation of 10 registered nurses. We found, on average, nurses had 124 communications and 208 hands-on tasks per 4-hour block of time. They multitasked (having communication and hands-on tasks simultaneously) 131 times, representing 39.48% of all times; the total multitasking duration ranges from 14.6 minutes to 109 minutes, 44.98 minutes (18.63%) on average. We also reviewed workflow visualization to uncover the multitasking events. Our study design and methods provide a practical and reliable approach to conducting and analyzing time motion studies from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding and Visualizing Multitasking and Task Switching Activities: A Time Motion Study to Capture Nursing Workflow

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Po-Yin; Kelley, Marjorie; Lopetegui, Marcelo; Rosado, Amber L.; Migliore, Elaina M.; Chipps, Esther M.; Buck, Jacalyn

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental understanding of multitasking within nursing workflow is important in today’s dynamic and complex healthcare environment. We conducted a time motion study to understand nursing workflow, specifically multitasking and task switching activities. We used TimeCaT, a comprehensive electronic time capture tool, to capture observational data. We established inter-observer reliability prior to data collection. We completed 56 hours of observation of 10 registered nurses. We found, on average, nurses had 124 communications and 208 hands-on tasks per 4-hour block of time. They multitasked (having communication and hands-on tasks simultaneously) 131 times, representing 39.48% of all times; the total multitasking duration ranges from 14.6 minutes to 109 minutes, 44.98 minutes (18.63%) on average. We also reviewed workflow visualization to uncover the multitasking events. Our study design and methods provide a practical and reliable approach to conducting and analyzing time motion studies from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. PMID:28269924

  11. Regional Homogeneity of Resting-state fMRI Contributes to Both Neurovascular and Task Activation Variations

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Rui; Di, Xin; Kim, Eun H.; Barik, Sabrina; Rypma, Bart; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

    The task induced blood oxygenation level dependent signal changes observed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is critically dependent on the relationship between neuronal activity and hemodynamic response. Therefore, understanding the nature of neurovascular coupling is important when interpreting fMRI signal changes evoked via task. In this study, we used regional homogeneity (ReHo), a measure of local synchronization of the BOLD time series, to investigate whether the similarities of one voxel with the surrounding voxels is a property of neurovascular coupling. FMRI scans were obtained from fourteen subjects during bilateral finger tapping (FTAP), digit-symbol substitution (DSST) and periodic breath holding (BH) paradigm. A resting-state scan was also obtained for each of the subjects for 4 minutes using identical imaging parameters. Inter-voxel correlation analyses were conducted between the resting-state ReHo, resting-state amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), breath hold (BH) responses and task activations within the masks related to task activations. There was a reliable mean voxel-wise spatial correlation between ReHo and other neurovascular variables (BH responses and ALFF). We observed a moderate correlation between ReHo and task activations (FTAP: r = 0.32; DSST: r = 0.22) within the task positive network and a small yet reliable correlation within the default mode network (DSST: r = −0.08). Subsequently, a linear regression was used to estimate the contribution of ReHo, ALFF and BH responses to the task activated voxels. The unique contribution of ReHo was minimal. The results suggest that regional synchrony of the BOLD activity is a property that can explain the variance of neurovascular coupling and task activations; but its contribution to task activations can be accounted for by other neurovascular factors such as the ALFF. PMID:23969197

  12. Brain activity in adults who stutter: similarities across speaking tasks and correlations with stuttering frequency and speaking rate.

    PubMed

    Ingham, Roger J; Grafton, Scott T; Bothe, Anne K; Ingham, Janis C

    2012-07-01

    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 controls (CONT, n=12) is reported that used both oral reading and monologue tasks. After correcting for speech rate differences between the groups the task-activation differences were surprisingly small. For both analyses only some regions previously considered stutter-related were more activated in the PWS group than in the CONT group, and these were also activated during eyes-closed rest (ECR). In the PWS group, stuttering frequency was correlated with cortico-striatal-thalamic circuit activity in both speaking tasks. The neuroimaging findings for the PWS group, relative to the CONT group, appear consistent with neuroanatomic abnormalities being increasingly reported among PWS.

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of sleep deprivation on BOLD activity elicited by a divided attention task.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Melinda L; Hughes, Matthew E; Croft, Rodney J; Howard, Mark E; Crewther, David; Kennedy, Gerard A; Owens, Katherine; Pierce, Rob J; O'Donoghue, Fergal J; Johnston, Patrick

    2011-06-01

    Sleep loss, widespread in today's society and associated with a number of clinical conditions, has a detrimental effect on a variety of cognitive domains including attention. This study examined the sequelae of sleep deprivation upon BOLD fMRI activation during divided attention. Twelve healthy males completed two randomized sessions; one after 27 h of sleep deprivation and one after a normal night of sleep. During each session, BOLD fMRI was measured while subjects completed a cross-modal divided attention task (visual and auditory). After normal sleep, increased BOLD activation was observed bilaterally in the superior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobe during divided attention performance. Subjects reported feeling significantly more sleepy in the sleep deprivation session, and there was a trend towards poorer divided attention task performance. Sleep deprivation led to a down regulation of activation in the left superior frontal gyrus, possibly reflecting an attenuation of top-down control mechanisms on the attentional system. These findings have implications for understanding the neural correlates of divided attention and the neurofunctional changes that occur in individuals who are sleep deprived.

  15. Methylphenidate (MPH) promotes visual cortical activation in healthy adults in a cued visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Hodzhev, Yordan; Yordanova, Juliana; Diruf, Martin; Kratz, Oliver; Moll, Gunter H; Kolev, Vasil; Heinrich, Hartmut

    2012-11-01

    Seeking for the mechanisms by which methylphenidate (MPH) improves behavior has demonstrated that MPH modulates excitability in the primary motor cortex. However, little is known about the influence of MPH on top-down controlled mechanisms in the sensory domain. The present study explored the effects of MPH on the activation of visual cortices in healthy adults who performed a cued visuo-motor task in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. Two distinct measures, posterior alpha power and occipital slow cortical potentials (SCPs), were used to reflect raise in excitability and attention-based activation of visual cortical areas. According to the results, performance parameters (reaction time, response variance and error rate) were not affected by MPH. At the neurophysiologic level reflected by reduced alpha power, MPH increased the overall excitability of the occipital cortex, but not the parietal cortex. Before the cued response, MPH reduced alpha power and increased SCPs only before right hand responses, mostly at the right occipital location. It can be concluded that in visuo-motor tasks, MPH has the potency of adjusting the background excitation/inhibition balance of visual areas. Additionally, MPH may raise the attention controlled activation of visual cortical regions, especially during increased response control.

  16. The working group ``Science with the SRT'': tasks, activities, and results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prandoni, I.; Felli, M.

    The Working Group Science with the SRT was formed in May 2004, with the aim of providing scientific input to the Board of the SRT, in order to plan the focal plane instrumentation development of the SRT. In the present contribution, tasks and activities of the Working Group are outlined, and the main indications and results are briefly summarized. For a detailed discussion we refer to the IRA Internal Report ``The Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT). Science and Technical Requirements'' produced by the members of the Working Group.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lopes, Tátila Martins; Yasuda, Clarissa Lin; de Campos, Brunno Machado; 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. Classroom-based high-intensity interval activity improves off-task behaviour in primary school students.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jasmin K; Le Mare, Lucy; Gurd, Brendon J

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the effects of an acute bout of brief, high-intensity interval exercise on off-task classroom behaviour in primary school students. A grade 4 class (n = 24) and a grade 2 class (n = 20) were exposed to either a no-activity break or an active break that consisted of "FUNtervals", a high-intensity interval protocol, on alternating days for 3 weeks. No-activity days consisted of a 10-min inactive break while FUNterval days consisted of a 4-min FUNterval completed within a 10-min break from regular class activities. Off-task behaviour was observed for 50 min after each no-activity/FUNterval break, with the amount of time students spent off-task (motor, passive, and verbal behaviour) being recorded. When comparing no-activity breaks with FUNtervals the grade 4 class demonstrated reductions in both passive (no activity = 29% ± 13% vs. FUNterval = 25% ± 13%, p < 0.05, effect size (ES) = 0.31) and motor (no activity = 31% ± 16% vs. FUNterval = 24% ± 13%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.48) off-task behaviour following FUNtervals. Similarly, in the grade 2 class, passive (no activity = 23% ± 14% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.74), verbal (no activity = 8% ± 8% vs. FUNterval = 5% ± 5%, p < 0.05, ES = 0.45), and motor (no activity = 29% ± 17% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 1.076) off-task behaviours were reduced following FUNtervals. In both classrooms the effects of physical activity were greatest in those students demonstrating the highest rates of off-task behaviour on no-activity days. These data demonstrate that very brief high-intensity bouts of exercise can improve off-task behaviour in grade 2 and 4 students, particularly in students with high rates of such behaviour.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Activity of descending contralateral movement detector neurons and collision avoidance behaviour in response to head-on visual stimuli in locusts.

    PubMed

    Gray, J R; Lee, J K; Robertson, R M

    2001-03-01

    We recorded the activity of the right and left descending contralateral movement detectors responding to 10-cm (small) or 20-cm (large) computer-generated spheres approaching along different trajectories in the locust's frontal field of view. In separate experiments we examined the steering responses of tethered flying locusts to identical stimuli. The descending contralateral movement detectors were more sensitive to variations in target trajectory in the horizontal plane than in the vertical plane. Descending contralateral movement detector activity was related to target trajectory and to target size and was most sensitive to small objects converging on a direct collision course from above and to one side. Small objects failed to induce collision avoidance manoeuvres whereas large objects produced reliable collision avoidance responses. Large targets approaching along a converging trajectory produced steering responses that were either away from or toward the side of approach of the object, whereas targets approaching along trajectories that were offset from the locust's mid-longitudinal body axis primarily evoked responses away from the target. We detected no differences in the discharge properties of the descending contralateral movement detector pair that could account for the different collision avoidance behaviours evoked by varying the target size and trajectories. We suggest that descending contralateral movement detector properties are better suited to predator evasion than collision avoidance.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Age-related increase in brain activity during task-related and -negative networks and numerical inductive reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Li; Liang, Peipeng; Jia, Xiuqin; Qi, Zhigang; Li, Kuncheng

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that elderly adults exhibit increased and decreased activation on various cognitive tasks, yet little is known about age-related changes in inductive reasoning. Methods: To investigate the neural basis for the aging effect on inductive reasoning, 15 young and 15 elderly subjects performed numerical inductive reasoning while in a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. Results: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis revealed that numerical inductive reasoning, relative to rest, yielded multiple frontal, temporal, parietal, and some subcortical area activations for both age groups. In addition, the younger participants showed significant regions of task-induced deactivation, while no deactivation occurred in the elderly adults. Direct group comparisons showed that elderly adults exhibited greater activity in regions of task-related activation and areas showing task-induced deactivation (TID) in the younger group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest an age-related deficiency in neural function and resource allocation during inductive reasoning. PMID:25337240

  6. 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.

  7. Aberrant Oscillatory Activity during Simple Movement in Task-Specific Focal Hand Dystonia.

    PubMed

    Hinkley, Leighton B N; Dolberg, Rebecca; Honma, Susanne; Findlay, Anne; Byl, Nancy N; Nagarajan, Srikantan S

    2012-01-01

    In task-specific focal hand dystonia (tspFHD), the temporal dynamics of cortical activity in the motor system and how these processes are related to impairments in sensory and motor function are poorly understood. Here, we use time-frequency reconstructions of magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data to elaborate the temporal and spatial characteristics of cortical activity during movement. A self-paced finger tapping task during MEG recording was performed by 11 patients with tspFHD and 11 matched healthy controls. In both groups robust changes in beta (12-30 Hz) and high gamma (65-90 Hz) oscillatory activity were identified over sensory and motor cortices during button press. A significant decrease [p < 0.05, 1% False Discovery Rate (FDR) corrected] in high gamma power during movements of the affected hand was identified over ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex in the period prior to (-575 ms) and following (725 ms) button press. Furthermore, an increase (p < 0.05, 1% FDR corrected) in beta power suppression following movement of the affected hand was identified over visual cortex in patients with tspFHD. For movements of the unaffected hand, a significant (p < 0.05, 1% FDR corrected) increase in beta power suppression was identified over secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) in the period following button press in patients with tspFHD. Oscillatory activity within in the tspFHD group was however not correlated with clinical measures. Understanding these aberrant oscillatory dynamics can provide the groundwork for interventions that focus on modulating the timing of this activity.

  8. Muscular forearm activation in hand-grip tasks with superimposition of mechanical vibrations.

    PubMed

    Fattorini, L; Tirabasso, A; Lunghi, A; Di Giovanni, R; Sacco, F; Marchetti, E

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the muscular activation of the forearm, with or without vibration stimuli at different frequencies while performing a grip tasks of 45s at various level of exerted force. In 16 individuals, 9 females and 7 males, the surface electromyogram (EMG) of extensor carpi radialis longus and the flexor carpi ulnari muscles were assessed. At a short latency from onset EMG, RMS and the level of MU synchronization were assessed to evaluate the muscular adaptations. Whilst a trend of decay of EMG Median frequency (MDFd) was employed as an index of muscular fatigue. Muscular tasks consists of the grip of an instrumented handle at a force level of 20%, 30%, 40%, 60% of the maximum voluntary force. Vibration was supplied by a shaker to the hand in mono-frequential waves at 20, 30, 33 and 40Hz. In relation to EMG, RMS and MU synchronization, the muscular activation does not seem to change with the superimposition of the mechanical vibrations, on the contrary a lower MDFd was observed at 33Hz than in absence of vibration. This suggests an early muscular fatigue induced by vibration due to the fact that 33Hz is a resonance frequency for the hand-arm system.

  9. 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…

  10. Physical activity interventions differentially affect exercise task and barrier self-efficacy: A meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Torrance J.; Middleton, Kathryn R.; Winner, Larry; Janelle, Christopher M.; Middleton, Kathryn R.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Researchers have yet to establish how interventions to increase physical activity influence specific self-efficacy beliefs. The current study sought to quantify the effect of interventions to increase physical activity among healthy adults on exercise task (EXSE) and barrier self-efficacy (BSE) via meta-analysis. Intervention characteristics associated with self-efficacy and physical activity changes were also identified. Methods A systematic database search and manual searches through reference lists of related publications were conducted for articles on randomized, controlled physical activity interventions. Published intervention studies reporting changes in physical activity behavior and either EXSE or BSE in healthy adults were eligible for inclusion. Results Of the 1,080 studies identified, 20 were included in the meta-analyses. Interventions had a significant effect of g = 0.208, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.027, 0.388], p < .05, on EXSE; g = 0.128, 95% CI [0.05, 0.20], p < .05 on BSE; and g = 0.335 95% CI [0.196, 0.475], p < .001, on physical activity. Moderator analyses indicated shorter interventions that did not include structured exercise sessions effectively increased EXSE and physical activity, whereas long interventions improved BSE. Interventions that did not provide support increased BSE and physical activity levels. Further, interventions that did not require the use of daily exercise logs improved EXSE and physical activity behavior. Conclusion Interventions designed to increase physical activity differentially influenced EXSE and BSE. EXSE appeared to play a more significant role during exercise adoption, whereas BSE was involved in the maintenance of exercise behavior. Recommendations are offered for the design of future interventions. PMID:23957904

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. ["A matter of balance--Netherlands": an effective intervention to reduce concerns about falls and related avoidance of activity in older people].

    PubMed

    Zijlstra, G A R; van Haastregt, J C M; Kempen, G I J M

    2012-09-01

    Concerns about falls and related avoidance behavior are common among older people and may lead to decreased quality of life, decreased physical and psychosocial functioning, and premature admission to a nursing home. In a randomized controlled trial among 540 community-dwelling older people we studied the feasibility and effects of a cognitive behavioral program on concerns about falls, related avoidance of activity, and falls. Data of the process evaluation obtained from participants in the intervention group (n = 280) and the trainers (n = 6) showed that the program was considered as feasible by the trainers, and positively judged by participants and trainers. Furthermore, participants experienced benefits from attending the program (61% still reported benefits one year after the program). Prior to the start of the program 26% of the participants of the intervention dropped out, yet, among the participants who started the program completion was high (84%). The effect evaluation showed positive outcomes for concerns about falls, related avoidance of activity, and daily activity at 2 months (after the program) when comparing the intervention group with the control group (n = 260). Long-term effects were also shown for, amongst others, concerns about falls and recurrent falls. Following these positive results the cognitive behavioral group program is currently made available to geriatric care settings nationwide in the Netherlands.

  14. ERP correlates of object recognition memory in Down syndrome: Do active and passive tasks measure the same thing?

    PubMed

    Van Hoogmoed, A H; Nadel, L; Spanò, G; Edgin, J O

    2016-02-01

    Event related potentials (ERPs) can help to determine the cognitive and neural processes underlying memory functions and are often used to study populations with severe memory impairment. In healthy adults, memory is typically assessed with active tasks, while in patient studies passive memory paradigms are generally used. In this study we examined whether active and passive continuous object recognition tasks measure the same underlying memory process in typically developing (TD) adults and in individuals with Down syndrome (DS), a population with known hippocampal impairment. We further explored how ERPs in these tasks relate to behavioral measures of memory. Data-driven analysis techniques revealed large differences in old-new effects in the active versus passive task in TD adults, but no difference between these tasks in DS. The group with DS required additional processing in the active task in comparison to the TD group in two ways. First, the old-new effect started 150 ms later. Second, more repetitions were required to show the old-new effect. In the group with DS, performance on a behavioral measure of object-location memory was related to ERP measures across both tasks. In total, our results suggest that active and passive ERP memory measures do not differ in DS and likely reflect the use of implicit memory, but not explicit processing, on both tasks. Our findings highlight the need for a greater understanding of the comparison between active and passive ERP paradigms before they are inferred to measure similar functions across populations (e.g., infants or intellectual disability).

  15. The visual perception of natural motion: abnormal task-related neural activity in DYT1 dystonia.

    PubMed

    Sako, Wataru; Fujita, Koji; Vo, An; Rucker, Janet C; Rizzo, John-Ross; Niethammer, Martin; Carbon, Maren; Bressman, Susan B; Uluğ, Aziz M; Eidelberg, David

    2015-12-01

    Although primary dystonia is defined by its characteristic motor manifestations, non-motor signs and symptoms have increasingly been recognized in this disorder. Recent neuroimaging studies have related the motor features of primary dystonia to connectivity changes in cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathways. It is not known, however, whether the non-motor manifestations of the disorder are associated with similar circuit abnormalities. To explore this possibility, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study primary dystonia and healthy volunteer subjects while they performed a motion perception task in which elliptical target trajectories were visually tracked on a computer screen. Prior functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of healthy subjects performing this task have revealed selective activation of motor regions during the perception of 'natural' versus 'unnatural' motion (defined respectively as trajectories with kinematic properties that either comply with or violate the two-thirds power law of motion). Several regions with significant connectivity changes in primary dystonia were situated in proximity to normal motion perception pathways, suggesting that abnormalities of these circuits may also be present in this disorder. To determine whether activation responses to natural versus unnatural motion in primary dystonia differ from normal, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study 10 DYT1 dystonia and 10 healthy control subjects at rest and during the perception of 'natural' and 'unnatural' motion. Both groups exhibited significant activation changes across perceptual conditions in the cerebellum, pons, and subthalamic nucleus. The two groups differed, however, in their responses to 'natural' versus 'unnatural' motion in these regions. In healthy subjects, regional activation was greater during the perception of natural (versus unnatural) motion (P < 0.05). By contrast, in DYT1 dystonia subjects, activation was relatively greater

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  17. Activation of the arousal response can impair performance on a simple motor task.

    PubMed

    Noteboom, J T; Fleshner, M; Enoka, R M

    2001-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of arousal in men and women on the moment-to-moment performance of a simple motor task. We examined the control of a precision task in the presence and absence of imposed stressors. Twenty-nine subjects (14 men, 15 women; 18--44 yr) were randomly assigned to either a control group or one of two stressor groups, Mental Math or Electric Shock. Subjects presented with Math and Shock stressors, which lasted 10 min, experienced significant increases in cognitive and physiological arousal compared with baseline and control subjects. Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and electrodermal activity were elevated 5--80% with presentation of the stressors, whereas diastolic blood pressure and salivary cortisol were unchanged. The greater levels of cognitive and physiological arousal were associated with reductions in steadiness of a pinch grip for the Shock subjects (approximately 130% reduction from baseline) but not for the subjects in the Math group, who experienced heightened arousal but no change in steadiness (10% reduction from baseline). Although women exhibited more of a reduction in steadiness than men, the effect was largely unrelated to the magnitude of the change in arousal.

  18. Silent and continuous fMRI scanning differentially modulate activation in an auditory language comprehension task.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Conny F; Zaehle, Tino; Meyer, Martin; Geiser, Eveline; Boesiger, Peter; Jancke, Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Sparse temporal acquisition schemes have been adopted to investigate the neural correlates of human audition using blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) devoid of ambient confounding acoustic scanner noise. These schemes have previously been extended to clustered-sparse temporal acquisition designs which record several subsequent BOLD contrast images in rapid succession in order to enhance temporal sampling efficiency. In the present study we demonstrate that an event-related task design can effectively be combined with a clustered temporal acquisition technique in an auditory language comprehension task. The same fifteen volunteers performed two separate auditory runs which either applied customary fMRI acquisition (CA) composed of continuous scanner noise or "silent" fMRI built on a clustered temporal acquisition (CTA) protocol. In accord with our hypothesis, the CTA scheme relative to the CA protocol is accompanied by significantly stronger functional responses along the entire superior temporal plane. By contrast, the bilateral insulae engage more strongly during continuous scanning. A post-hoc region-of-interest analysis reveals cortical activation in subportions of the supratemporal plane which varies as a function of acquisition protocol. The middle part of the supratemporal plane shows a rightward asymmetry only for the CTA scheme while the posterior supratemporal plane exposes a significantly stronger leftward asymmetry during the CTA. Our findings implicate that silent fMRI is advantageous when it comes to the exploration of auditory and speech functions residing in the supratemporal plane.

  19. Quantifying the heritability of task-related brain activation and performance during the N-back working memory task: A twin fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Blokland, Gabriëlla A.M.; McMahon, Katie L.; Hoffman, Jan; Zhu, Gu; Meredith, Matthew; Martin, Nicholas G.; Thompson, Paul M.; de Zubicaray, Greig I.; Wright, Margaret J.

    2008-01-01

    Working memory-related brain activation has been widely studied, and impaired activation patterns have been reported for several psychiatric disorders. We investigated whether variation in N-back working memory brain activation is genetically influenced in 60 pairs of twins, (29 monozygotic (MZ), 31 dizygotic (DZ); mean age 24.4 ± 1.7S.D.). Task-related brain response (BOLD percent signal difference of 2 minus 0-back) was measured in three regions of interest. Although statistical power was low due to the small sample size, for middle frontal gyrus, angular gyrus, and supramarginal gyrus, the MZ correlations were, in general, approximately twice those of the DZ pairs, with non-significant heritability estimates (14–30%) in the low-moderate range. Task performance was strongly influenced by genes (57–73%) and highly correlated with cognitive ability (0.44–0.55). This study, which will be expanded over the next 3 years, provides the first support that individual variation in working memory-related brain activation is to some extent influenced by genes. PMID:18423837

  20. 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 value and…

  1. Relationship between impulsivity, prefrontal anticipatory activation, and striatal dopamine release during rewarded task performance.

    PubMed

    Weiland, Barbara J; Heitzeg, Mary M; Zald, David; Cummiford, Chelsea; Love, Tiffany; Zucker, Robert A; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2014-09-30

    Impulsivity, and in particular the negative urgency aspect of this trait, is associated with poor inhibitory control when experiencing negative emotion. Individual differences in aspects of impulsivity have been correlated with striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability and function. This multi-modal pilot study used both positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate dopaminergic and neural activity, respectively, using modified versions of the monetary incentive delay task. Twelve healthy female subjects underwent both scans and completed the NEO Personality Inventory Revised to assess Impulsiveness (IMP). We examined the relationship between nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopaminergic incentive/reward release, measured as a change in D2/D3 binding potential between neutral and incentive/reward conditions with [(11)C]raclopride PET, and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation elicited during the anticipation of rewards, measured with fMRI. Left NAcc incentive/reward dopaminergic release correlated with anticipatory reward activation within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), left angular gyrus, mammillary bodies, and left superior frontal cortex. Activation in the mPFC negatively correlated with IMP and mediated the relationship between IMP and incentive/reward dopaminergic release in left NAcc. The mPFC, with a regulatory role in learning and valuation, may influence dopamine incentive/reward release.

  2. Effect of aviation snip design and task height on upper extremity muscular activity and wrist posture.

    PubMed

    Anton, Dan; Gerr, Fredric; Meyers, Alysha; Cook, Thomas M; Rosecrance, John C; Reynolds, Jonathan

    2007-02-01

    Hand tools described as ergonomic in design are intended to reduce exposure to physical risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Additionally, using the right tool for the job is believed to reduce exposure and, consequently, risk of disease. Sheet metal workers frequently use a cutting tool called aviation snips when fabricating and installing ductwork. The purpose of this laboratory simulation study was to determine the effect of (1) aviation snip design; and (2) work height on muscle activity, wrist posture, and user satisfaction among sheet metal workers. We hypothesized that specific aviation snips designs would be most appropriate for use at specific heights. Twenty-three sheet metal workers used three different designs of aviation snips to make curved cuts in sheet metal placed both at waist height and shoulder height. Conventional circular snips, straight snips, and an alternate design of offset snips were used. Upper extremity muscle activity was measured with surface electromyography, wrist posture was measured with electrogoniometry, and user satisfaction was rated by the participants on a survey. Statistically significant effects of snip design and task height on muscle activity, wrist posture, and user satisfaction were observed. However, no snip was preferable for all dependent variables. Work height had a greater effect on muscle activity and wrist posture than snip design. Field studies are indicated to determine the long-term effect of snip design on physical risk factors and risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

  3. Inter-rater reliability of cyclic and non-cyclic task assessment using the hand activity level in appliance manufacturing

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Robert; Schwatka, Natalie; Gober, Jennifer; Gilkey, David; Anton, Dan; Gerr, Fred; Rosecrance, John

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated the inter-rater reliability of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) hand activity level (HAL), an observational ergonomic assessment method used to estimate physical exposure to repetitive exertions during task performance. Video recordings of 858 cyclic and non-cyclic appliance manufacturing tasks were assessed by sixteen pairs of raters using the HAL visual-analog scale. A weighted Pearson Product Moment-Correlation Coefficient was used to evaluate the agreement between the HAL scores recorded by each rater pair, and the mean weighted correlation coefficients for cyclic and non-cyclic tasks were calculated. Results indicated that the HAL is a reliable exposure assessment method for cyclic (r̄-barw = 0.69) and non-cyclic work tasks (r̄-barw = 0.68). When the two reliability scores were compared using a two-sample Student's t-test, no significant difference in reliability (p = 0.63) between these work task categories was found. This study demonstrated that the HAL may be a useful measure of exposure to repetitive exertions during cyclic and non-cyclic tasks. Relevance to industry Exposure to hazardous levels of repetitive action during non-cyclic task completion has traditionally been difficult to assess using simple observational techniques. The present study suggests that ergonomists could use the HAL to reliably and easily evaluate exposures associated with some non-cyclic work tasks. PMID:26120222

  4. Validity of the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) in active duty military.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Christina M; Reger, Greg M; Edwards, Joseph; Rizzo, Albert A; Courtney, Christopher G; Parsons, Thomas D

    2013-01-01

    Virtual environments provide the ability to systematically deliver test stimuli in simulated contexts relevant to real world behavior. The current study evaluated the validity of the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST), which presents test stimuli during a virtual reality military convoy with simulated combat threats. Active duty Army personnel (N = 49) took the VRST, a customized version of the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM)-Fourth Edition TBI Battery (2007) that included the addition of the ANAM Stroop and Tower tests, and traditional neuropsychological measures, including the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System version of the Color-Word Interference Test. Preliminary convergent and discriminant validity was established, and performance on the VRST was significantly associated with computerized and traditional tests of attention and executive functioning. Valid virtual reality cognitive assessments open new lines of inquiry into the impact of environmental stimuli on performance and offer promise for the future of neuropsychological assessments used with military personnel.

  5. 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

  6. Do children with autism who pass false belief tasks understand the mind as active interpreter?

    PubMed

    Luckett, T; Powell, S D; Messer, D J; Thornton, M E; Schulz, J

    2002-04-01

    Interpretive diversity is the term used by Carpendale and Chandler (1996) to refer to the fact that two individuals exposed to precisely the same stimulus may interpret it in quite different, but equally plausible, ways. An appreciation of interpretive diversity is said by Carpendale and Chandler to represent a development in understanding that is qualitatively different from that necessary to succeed on false belief tasks. A study is reported in which children with autism and children with general delay were given a battery of tasks consisting of false belief tasks and tasks designed to test for an understanding of interpretive diversity. Findings from the present study offer limited support for Carpendale and Chandler's claim that tasks which test for an understanding of interpretive diversity may be more difficult than false belief tasks. Between-group differences in the consistency and quality of responses given by participants suggest that autistic and delayed children may have differed somewhat in their approach to the tasks given.

  7. 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

  8. Similar brain activation during false belief tasks in a large sample of adults with and without autism.

    PubMed

    Dufour, Nicholas; Redcay, Elizabeth; Young, Liane; Mavros, Penelope L; Moran, Joseph M; Triantafyllou, Christina; Gabrieli, John D E; Saxe, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Reading about another person's beliefs engages 'Theory of Mind' processes and elicits highly reliable brain activation across individuals and experimental paradigms. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined activation during a story task designed to elicit Theory of Mind processing in a very large sample of neurotypical (N = 462) individuals, and a group of high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (N = 31), using both region-of-interest and whole-brain analyses. This large sample allowed us to investigate group differences in brain activation to Theory of Mind tasks with unusually high sensitivity. There were no differences between neurotypical participants and those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These results imply that the social cognitive impairments typical of autism spectrum disorder can occur without measurable changes in the size, location or response magnitude of activity during explicit Theory of Mind tasks administered to adults.

  9. Prefrontal cortex activation during neuropsychological tasks might predict response to pharmacotherapy in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Tomoya; Sumitani, Satsuki; Hamatani, Sayo; Yokose, Yosuke; Shikata, Megumi; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    Objective We investigated oxyhemoglobin change in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) who showed different responses to pharmacotherapy during neuropsychological tasks with near-infrared spectroscopy. Subjects and methods A total of 42 patients with OCD (mean age: 35.6±9.6 years, 14 men, 28 women) and healthy control subjects (mean age: 35.4±9.7 years, 13 men, 29 women) were selected. Patients with OCD were divided into three groups (responders to selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), responders to SSRIs with antipsychotics, and nonresponders to SSRIs and SSRIs with antipsychotics) based on pharmacological response. We investigated oxyhemoglobin change in the PFC of subjects during Stroop tasks and a verbal fluency test with near-infrared spectroscopy. Results Responders to SSRIs showed smaller activation compared to control subjects during the Stroop incongruent task and verbal fluency test, but not during the Stroop congruent task. In contrast, responders to SSRIs with antipsychotics showed smaller activation compared to control subjects during all three tasks. Conclusion Our results suggest that activation of the PFC during Stroop tasks might predict responses to pharmacotherapy of patients with OCD. PMID:28260905

  10. 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

  11. Optimization of Muscle Activity for Task-Level Goals Predicts Complex Changes in Limb Forces across Biomechanical Contexts

    PubMed Central

    McKay, J. Lucas; Ting, Lena H.

    2012-01-01

    Optimality principles have been proposed as a general framework for understanding motor control in animals and humans largely based on their ability to predict general features movement in idealized motor tasks. However, generalizing these concepts past proof-of-principle to understand the neuromechanical transformation from task-level control to detailed execution-level muscle activity and forces during behaviorally-relevant motor tasks has proved difficult. In an unrestrained balance task in cats, we demonstrate that achieving task-level constraints center of mass forces and moments while minimizing control effort predicts detailed patterns of muscle activity and ground reaction forces in an anatomically-realistic musculoskeletal model. Whereas optimization is typically used to resolve redundancy at a single level of the motor hierarchy, we simultaneously resolved redundancy across both muscles and limbs and directly compared predictions to experimental measures across multiple perturbation directions that elicit different intra- and interlimb coordination patterns. Further, although some candidate task-level variables and cost functions generated indistinguishable predictions in a single biomechanical context, we identified a common optimization framework that could predict up to 48 experimental conditions per animal (n = 3) across both perturbation directions and different biomechanical contexts created by altering animals' postural configuration. Predictions were further improved by imposing experimentally-derived muscle synergy constraints, suggesting additional task variables or costs that may be relevant to the neural control of balance. These results suggested that reduced-dimension neural control mechanisms such as muscle synergies can achieve similar kinetics to the optimal solution, but with increased control effort (≈2×) compared to individual muscle control. Our results are consistent with the idea that hierarchical, task-level neural control

  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.

  13. The Effects of Physical Activity on the On-Task Behavior of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miramontez, Shane K. H.; Schwartz, Ilene S.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of adult-directed physical activities conducted during circle time on the on-task behavior of students during a journal-writing activity held immediately after circle. The participants of the study were three male students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who attended a full day inclusive…

  14. A demonstration that task difficulty can confound the interpretation of lateral differences in brain activation between typical and dyslexic readers.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Janet McGraw; Liederman, Jacqueline; Johnsen, Jami; Lincoln, Alexis; Frye, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Dyslexic readers (DRs) manifest atypical patterns of brain activity, which may be attributed to aberrant neural connectivity and/or an attempt to activate compensatory pathways. This paper evaluates whether differences in brain activation patterns between DRs and typical readers (TRs) are confounded by task difficulty. Eight DRs and eight TRs matched for age, sex, and nonverbal IQ performed pseudoword rhyming tasks at two levels of difficulty during magnetoencephalography. Task difficulty varied with the number of successive target pseudowords presented before the test pseudoword. Regions of interest were: the temporoparietal area (TPA), the ventral occipital temporal area (VOT), and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Activity was analysed for the 660-ms period after test pseudoword onset. During the discrepant performance condition left hemispheric TPA activation increased across time for TRs, but not DRs, and IFG bihemispheric activation was greater in TRs by the end of the trial. During the equivalent performance condition no group differences in TPA or IFG activation were found. We argue that these results indicate that direct comparison of DR versus TR brain activity is confounded when DRs are more challenged than TRs. This highlights the importance of equating reading group performance during neuroimaging of reading-related tasks.

  15. 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

  16. The effects of catechol O-methyltransferase genotype on brain activation elicited by affective stimuli and cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2006-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene (val158 met) accounts for a four-fold variation in enzyme activity. The low activity met158 allele has been associated with improved working memory, executive functioning, and attentional control, but also with a higher risk of anxiety-related behaviors. In spite of the strong effect of the COMT genotype on enzyme activity, its effects on behavior are moderate, accounting for only 4% of variance in task performance. Studies of individuals with intermediate phenotypes during activities such as task-dependent brain activation, may more sensitively detect gene effects on the brain. A series of studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessed the effects of the COMT val158 met genotype on central processing during working memory, attentional control, and emotional tasks. fMRI revealed a more focused response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of met158 allele carriers during a working memory task. A comparable effect during the performance of an attentional control task in the cingulate cortex was also observed. These data indicate that met158 allele load is associated with improved processing efficiency in the PFC and cingulate, which might be due to lower prefrontal dopamine (DA) metabolism, higher DA concentrations, and an increased neuronal signal-to-noise ratio during information processing. During performance of an emotional task, reactivity to unpleasant visual stimuli was positively correlated with the number of met158 alleles in the amygdala, as well as in other limbic and paralimbic nodes. This increased limbic reactivity to unpleasant stimuli might be the underlying cause of the lower emotional resilience against negative mood states observed in individuals with a higher met158 allele load. Thus the met158 allele seems to be beneficial during the performance of working memory and

  17. Single neuron activity and theta modulation in the posterior parietal cortex in a visuospatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fang-Chi; Jacobson, Tara K; Burwell, Rebecca D

    2017-03-01

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is implicated in directing and maintaining visual attention to locations in space. We hypothesized that the PPC also engages other cognitive processes in the transformation of behaviorally relevant visual inputs into appropriate actions, for example, monitoring of multiple locations, selection of responses to locations in space, and monitoring the outcome of response selections. We recorded single cells and local field potentials in the rat PPC during performance on a novel visuospatial attention (VSA) task that requires visually monitoring locations in space in order to make appropriate stimulus-guided locomotor responses. In each trial, rats attended to four locations on the floor of a maze. A randomly chosen location was briefly illuminated. Approach to the correct target location was followed by food reward. We observed that PPC activity correlated with multiple phases of the VSA task, including monitoring for stimulus onset, detection of a target, spatial location of the target, and target choice. A substantial proportion of cells with behavioral correlates were also modulated by outcome of the trial. Our analyses of local field potentials revealed strong oscillatory rhythms in the theta frequency band, and more than a third of PPC neurons were phase locked to theta oscillations. As in other brain regions, theta power correlated with running speed. Peak theta power was higher in superficial layers than deep layers providing evidence against volume conduction from the hippocampus. In addition, theta power was sensitive to the outcome of a choice. Theta power was significantly higher following incorrect choices compared with correct choices, possibly providing a prediction error signal. Our study provides evidence that the rat PPC has multiple roles in the translation of visual information into appropriate behavioral actions. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Damage of GABAergic neurons in the medial septum impairs spatial working memory and extinction of active avoidance: effects on proactive interference.

    PubMed

    Pang, Kevin C H; Jiao, Xilu; Sinha, Swamini; Beck, Kevin D; Servatius, Richard J

    2011-08-01

    The medial septum and diagonal band (MSDB) are important in spatial learning and memory. On the basis of the excitotoxic damage of GABAergic MSDB neurons, we have recently suggested a role for these neurons in controlling proactive interference. Our study sought to test this hypothesis in different behavioral procedures using a new GABAergic immunotoxin. GABA-transporter-saporin (GAT1-SAP) was administered into the MSDB of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Following surgery, rats were trained in a reference memory water maze procedure for 5 days, followed by a working memory (delayed match to position) water maze procedure. Other rats were trained in a lever-press avoidance procedure after intraseptal GAT1-SAP or sham surgery. Intraseptal GAT1-SAP extensively damaged GABAergic neurons while sparing most cholinergic MSDB neurons. Rats treated with GAT1-SAP were not impaired in acquiring a spatial reference memory, learning the location of the escape platform as rapidly as sham rats. In contrast, GAT1-SAP rats were slower than sham rats to learn the platform location in a delayed match to position procedure, in which the platform location was changed every day. Moreover, GAT1-SAP rats returned to previous platform locations more often than sham rats. In the active avoidance procedure, intraseptal GAT1-SAP impaired extinction but not acquisition of the avoidance response. Using a different neurotoxin and behavioral procedures than previous studies, the results of this study paint a similar picture that GABAergic MSDB neurons are important for controlling proactive interference.

  19. Field evaluation of measuring indoor noise exposure in workplace with task-based active RFID technology.

    PubMed

    Huang, Fu-Chuan; Shih, Tung-Sheng; Lee, Jiunn-Fwu; Wang, Te-Shun; Wang, Peng-Yau

    2010-03-01

    This paper describes the research using RFEMS (Radio Frequency Identification Exposure Monitoring System), which is designed by applying the task-based active RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, to measure the indoor noise exposure dose in a workplace. The RFEMS and sound level meter are mounted on the vests of eight workers to carry out on-site field test by monitoring the time activity pattern (TAP), and the noise dose level exposed by the workers. The data are recorded and instantaneously transmitted to a computer to be saved in the server and later compared to those obtained using the standard method. The results that have a 0.909 correlation coefficient (R(2)), and 1.64% average measure error confirm the accuracy of using RFEMS for monitoring TAP. Additionally, the combined use of RFEMS and sound level meter leads to the development of a semi noise dosimetry (SND), a real-time electronic indirect noise dosimetry (REIND), and an equivalent electronic recording indirect noise dosimetry (EEIND). The results obtained using these three devices are well correlated with the results monitored by using a PND (personal noise dosimetry) with correlation coefficients (R(2)) of 0.915, 0.779 and 0.873, respectively. The errors of noise dose expressed in TWA (time weight average) for these three methods are 0.81, 1.57 and 1.23 dBA, respectively; they are well within the general errors of the average dosimetries. These observations indicate that the RFEMS developed in this research is applicable for conducting task-based measurements of indoor noise. It uses a relatively inexpensive sound level meter to measure the noise exposure doses that are comparable to those obtained with a standard dosimetry in addition to monitoring the worker's time activity pattern. The findings will assist in studying the source of long-term noise exposed by workers, and hence this devise is a valuable tool for tracing and monitoring long-term noise exposure with reduced manpower

  20. 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.

  1. Performance evaluation of nonnegative matrix factorization algorithms to estimate task-related neuronal activities from fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaoyu; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Lee, Seong-Whan

    2013-04-01

    Nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) is a blind source separation (BSS) algorithm which is based on the distinct constraint of nonnegativity of the estimated parameters as well as on the measured data. In this study, according to the potential feasibility of NMF for fMRI data, the four most popular NMF algorithms, corresponding to the following two types of (1) least-squares based update [i.e., alternating least-squares NMF (ALSNMF) and projected gradient descent NMF] and (2) multiplicative update (i.e., NMF based on Euclidean distance and NMF based on divergence cost function), were investigated by using them to estimate task-related neuronal activities. These algorithms were applied firstly to individual data from a single subject and, subsequently, to group data sets from multiple subjects. On the single-subject level, although all four algorithms detected task-related activation from simulated data, the performance of multiplicative update NMFs was significantly deteriorated when evaluated using visuomotor task fMRI data, for which they failed in estimating any task-related neuronal activities. In group-level analysis on both simulated data and real fMRI data, ALSNMF outperformed the other three algorithms. The presented findings may suggest that ALSNMF appears to be the most promising option among the tested NMF algorithms to extract task-related neuronal activities from fMRI data.

  2. Reward and Behavioral Factors Contributing to the Tonic Activity of Monkey Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Neurons during Saccade Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Okada, Ken-ichi; Kobayashi, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) in the brainstem plays a role in controlling reinforcement learning and executing conditioned behavior. We previously examined the activity of PPTg neurons in monkeys during a reward-conditioned, visually guided saccade task, and reported that a population of these neurons exhibited tonic responses throughout the task period. These tonic responses might depend on prediction of the upcoming reward, successful execution of the task, or both. Here, we sought to further distinguish these factors and to investigate how each contributes to the tonic neuronal activity of the PPTg. In our normal visually guided saccade task, the monkey initially fixated on the central fixation target (FT), then made saccades to the peripheral saccade target and received a juice reward after the saccade target disappeared. Most of the tonic activity terminated shortly after the reward delivery, when the monkey broke fixation. To distinguish between reward and behavioral epochs, we then changed the task sequence for a block of trials, such that the saccade target remained visible after the reward delivery. Under these visible conditions, the monkeys tended to continue fixating on the saccade target even after the reward delivery. Therefore, the prediction of the upcoming reward and the end of an individual trial were separated in time. Regardless of the task conditions, half of the tonically active PPTg neurons terminated their activity around the time of the reward delivery, consistent with the view that PPTg neurons might send reward prediction signals until the time of reward delivery, which is essential for computing reward prediction error in reinforcement learning. On the other hand, the other half of the tonically active PPTg neurons changed their activity dependent on the task condition. In the normal condition, the tonic responses terminated around the time of the reward delivery, while in the visible condition, the activity continued

  3. Escape behavior in task situations: task versus social antecedents.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J C; Ekdahl, M M; Romanczyk, R G; Miller, M L

    1994-06-01

    We designed an investigation to differentiate two types of challenging behaviors occurring in teaching situations: those evoked by task stimuli (i.e., task avoidance), and those evoked by social stimuli present in teaching situations (i.e., social avoidance). Four students with developmental disabilities who exhibited challenging behaviors in teaching situations were exposed to social interaction in a play situation and task demands in a teaching situation. Results indicated that the students exhibited two distinct behavior patterns. Two of the students exhibited a behavior pattern consistent with task avoidance and the other two students exhibited a behavior pattern consistent with social avoidance. Implications concerning task versus social avoidance and the need for more fine-grained analyses of the stimuli associated with escape behavior are discussed.

  4. 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

  5. Age-related increases in right frontal activation during task switching are mediated by reaction time and white matter microstructure.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Z; Hakun, J G; Johnson, N F; Gold, B T

    2014-10-10

    Age-related increases in right frontal cortex activation are a common finding in the neuroimaging literature. However, neurocognitive factors contributing to right frontal over-recruitment remain poorly understood. Here we investigated the influence of age-related reaction time (RT) slowing and white matter (WM) microstructure reductions as potential explanatory factors for age-related increases in right frontal activation during task switching. Groups of younger (N=32) and older (N=33) participants completed a task switching paradigm while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed, and rested while diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was performed. Two right frontal regions of interest (ROIs), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and insula, were selected for further analyses from a common network of regions recruited by both age groups during task switching. Results demonstrated age-related activation increases in both ROIs. In addition, the older adult group showed longer RT and decreased fractional anisotropy in regions of the corpus callosum with direct connections to the fMRI ROIs. Subsequent mediation analyses indicated that age-related increases in right insula activation were mediated by RT slowing and age-related increases in right DLPFC activation were mediated by WM microstructure. Our results suggest that age-related RT slowing and WM microstructure declines contribute to age-related increases in right frontal activation during cognitive task performance.

  6. Enhanced task related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation.

    PubMed

    Bowtell, Joanna L; Aboo-Bakkar, Zainie; Conway, Myra; Adlam, Anna-Lynne R; Fulford, Jonathan

    2017-03-01

    Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. High flavonoid intakes attenuate age-related cognitive decline, but data from human intervention studies are sparse. We investigated whether 12 weeks of blueberry concentrate supplementation improved brain perfusion, task-related activation and cognitive function in healthy older adults. Participants were randomised to consume either 30 ml blueberry concentrate providing 387 mg anthocyanidins (5 female, 7 male; age 67.5±3.0 y; BMI, 25.9±3.3 kg.m-2) or isoenergetic placebo (8 female, 6 male; age 69.0 ±3.3 y; BMI, 27.1±.4.0 kg.m-2). Pre- and post-supplementation, participants undertook a battery of cognitive function tests and a numerical Stroop test within a 1.5T MRI scanner while functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) were continuously acquired. Quantitative resting brain perfusion was determined using an arterial spin labelling (ASL) technique, and blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress were measured. Significant increases in brain activity were observed in response to blueberry supplementation relative to the placebo group within Brodmann areas 4/6/10/21/40/44/45, precuneus, anterior cingulate, and insula/thalamus (p<0.001), as well as significant improvements in grey matter perfusion in the parietal (5.0±1.8 vs -2.9±2.4 %, p=0.013) and occipital (8.0±2.6 vs -0.7±3.2 %, p=0.031) lobes. There was also evidence suggesting improvement in working memory (two back test) after blueberry versus placebo supplementation (p=0.05). Supplementation with an anthocyanin rich blueberry concentrate improved brain perfusion and activation in brain areas associated with cognitive function in healthy older adults.

  7. Task-induced brain activity in aphasic stroke patients: what is driving recovery?

    PubMed

    Geranmayeh, Fatemeh; Brownsett, Sonia L E; Wise, Richard J S

    2014-10-01

    attributed to activity in 'language networks' occupying sites not observed in healthy participants. In this review we will argue that much of the distribution of what has often been interpreted as language-specific activity, particularly in midline and contralateral cortical regions, is an upregulation of activity in intact domain-general systems for cognitive control and attention, responding in a task-dependent manner to the increased 'effort' when damaged downstream domain-specific language networks are impaired. We further propose that it is an inability fully to activate these systems that may result in sub optimal recovery in some patients. Interpretation of the data in terms of activity in domain-general networks affords insights into novel approaches to rehabilitation.

  8. Activation in a frontoparietal cortical network underlies individual differences in the performance of an embedded figures task.

    PubMed

    Walter, Elizabeth; Dassonville, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The Embedded Figures Test (EFT) requires observers to search for a simple geometric shape hidden inside a more complex figure. Surprisingly, performance in the EFT is negatively correlated with susceptibility to illusions of spatial orientation, such as the Roelofs effect. Using fMRI, we previously demonstrated that regions in parietal cortex are involved in the contextual processing associated with the Roelofs task. In the present study, we found that similar parietal regions (superior parietal cortex and precuneus) were more active during the EFT than during a simple matching task. Importantly, these parietal activations overlapped with regions found to be involved during contextual processing in the Roelofs illusion. Additional parietal and frontal areas, in the right hemisphere, showed strong correlations between brain activity and behavioral performance during the search task. We propose that the posterior parietal regions are necessary for processing contextual information across many different, but related visuospatial tasks, with additional parietal and frontal regions serving to coordinate this processing in participants proficient in the task.

  9. Escherichia coli avoids high dissolved oxygen stress by activation of SoxRS and manganese-superoxide dismutase

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background High concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were reported to cause oxidative stress to E. coli cells associated with reduced or inhibited growth. The high ROS concentrations described in these reports were generated by exposing the bacteria to H2O2 and superoxide-generating chemicals which are non-physiological growth conditions. However, the effect of molecular oxygen on oxidative stress response has not been evaluated. Since the use of oxygen-enriched air is a common strategy to support high density growth of E. coli, it was important to investigate the effect of high dissolved oxygen concentrations on the physiology and growth of E. coli and the way it responds to oxidative stress. Results To determine the effect of elevated oxygen concentrations on the growth characteristics, specific gene expression and enzyme activity in E. coli, the parental and SOD-deficient strain were evaluated when the dissolved oxygen (dO2) level was increased from 30% to 300%. No significant differences in the growth parameters were observed in the parental strain except for a temporary decrease of the respiration and acetate accumulation profile. By performing transcriptional analysis, it was determined that the parental strain responded to the oxidative stress by activating the SoxRS regulon. However, following the dO2 switch, the SOD-deficient strain activated both the SoxRS and OxyR regulons but it was unable to resume its initial growth rate. Conclusion The transcriptional analysis and enzyme activity results indicated that when E. coli is exposed to dO2 shift, the superoxide stress regulator SoxRS is activated and causes the stimulation of the superoxide dismutase system. This enables the E. coli to protect itself from the poisoning effects of oxygen. The OxyR protecting system was not activated, indicating that H2O2 did not increase to stressing levels. PMID:23497217

  10. Enhancing Reading Comprehension through Task-Based Writing Activities: An Experimental Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tilfarlioglu, Filiz Yalcin; Basaran, Suleyman

    2007-01-01

    Task-based learning is a popular topic in ELT/EFL circles nowadays. It is accepted by its proponents as a flourishing method that may replace Communicative Language Learning. However, it can also be seen as an adventure just because there are almost no experimental studies to tackle questions concerning applicability of Task-based Learning. In…

  11. Crocins, the active constituents of Crocus sativus L., counteracted apomorphine-induced performance deficits in the novel object recognition task, but not novel object location task, in rats.

    PubMed

    Pitsikas, Nikolaos; Tarantilis, Petros A

    2017-02-17

    Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disease that affects nearly 1% of the population worldwide. Several lines of evidence suggest that the dopaminergic (DAergic) system might be compromised in schizophrenia. Specifically, the mixed dopamine (DA) D1/D2 receptor agonist apomorphine induces schizophrenia-like symptoms in rodents, including disruption of memory abilities. Crocins are among the active components of saffron (dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. plant) and their implication in cognition is well documented. The present study investigated whether crocins counteract non-spatial and spatial recognition memory deficits induced by apomorphine in rats. For this purpose, the novel object recognition task (NORT) and the novel object location task (NOLT) were used. The effects of compounds on mobility in a locomotor activity chamber were also investigated in rats. Post-training peripheral administration of crocins (15 and 30mg/kg) counteracted apomorphine (1mg/kg)-induced performance deficits in the NORT. Conversely, crocins did not attenuate spatial recognition memory deficits produced by apomorphine in the NOLT. The present data show that crocins reversed non-spatial recognition memory impairments produced by dysfunction of the DAergic system and modulate different aspects of memory components (storage and/or retrieval). The effects of compounds on recognition memory cannot be attributed to changes in locomotor activity. Further, our findings illustrate a functional interaction between crocins and the DAergic system that may be of relevance for schizophrenia-like behavioral deficits. Therefore, the utilization of crocins as an adjunctive agent, for the treatment of cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenic patients should be further investigated.

  12. Comparison of Muscle Activation while Performing Tasks Similar to Activities of Daily Livings with and without a Cock-up Splint

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Hye-Young; Jung, Nam-Hae; Chang, Moon-Young

    2013-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated changes in the activation of the main elbow muscle while performing tasks similar to activities of daily living (ADL) with and without a cock-up splint. [Methods] Sixteen participants performed a simulated feeding task and picked up light and heavy cans in the Jebsen-Taylor hand function test. The activation of the biceps brachii, the triceps brachii, and the brachioradialis with and without the cock-up splint was measured using a BTS FreeEMG 300 wireless electromyography system (BTS, Inc., Milan, Italy). [Results] The activation of the biceps brachii and the brachioradialis was significantly higher while performing the simulated feeding task with the cock-up splint than without the splint. While picking up the light and heavy cans, the activation of the brachioradialis was significantly decreased by wearing the cock-up splint. In the heavy cans task, the activation of the triceps brachii was significantly higher with the cock-up splint than without the splint. [Conclusion] This study showed that diverse muscles' activation was increased or decreased when wearing the cock-up splint while performing tasks similar to ADL. The results of this study can be used as an educational resource for therapists teaching patients about splint application and splint compliance in ADL. PMID:24259768

  13. 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

  14. Effects of Ionizing Radiation and Restraint Stress on Activity, Avoidance Conditioning, and Stomach Ulcers in Albino Rats.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-03-01

    of the potential for stress communication through pheromones . For the same reason, immobilized animals were always "*-."carried separately and tested...and D. J. Kimeldorf. The effect of x-irradiation on the diffuse activity performance of rats, guinea pigs and hamsters. Brit J Rad 32:386-389 (1959

  15. Shoulder physical activity, functional disability and task difficulties in patients with stiff shoulders: interpretation from RT3 accelerator.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing-Lan; Lin, Jiu-Jenq; Huang, Han-Yi; Huang, Tsun-Shun; Chao, Yu Wen

    2014-08-01

    We determined whether the degree of symptom-related functional disability was related to daily physical activity of the shoulder in subjects with stiff shoulders (SSs). Responsiveness and a clinically meaningful level of discrimination between improvement and non-improvement for shoulder physical activity (SPA) were determined. Twenty-six subjects with SSs participated. Shoulder physical activity was assessed by RT3 accelerometers fixed on the humerus during daily 14-h data collection periods twice a week for 2 weeks. A moderate correlation coefficient was found between SPA and functional disability (β = .47). Based on our cohort design and sample, we suggest that SPA (higher than 101.8 counts, hard-moderate or hard tasks) during daily activity are associated with (with at least 83% probability) non-improvement in an individual with SS. Compared to the non-improvement group, the improvement group had less duration of sedentary activity, less frequency and duration of hard tasks, and more frequency and duration of easy tasks (p < 0.01). Appropriate guidance on shoulder physical activities for subjects with SS is important to consider in rehabilitation strategies for these subjects. In our sample, a hard level of shoulder physical activity and sedentary activity should be cautious for these subjects. Further study is needed to validate therapeutic effect of physical activity on the course of patient improvement in subjects with SSs.

  16. Muscle pain induces task-dependent changes in cervical agonist/antagonist activity.

    PubMed

    Falla, D; Farina, D; Dahl, M Kanstrup; Graven-Nielsen, T

    2007-02-01

    This study examined the effect of experimental neck muscle pain on the EMG-force relationship of cervical agonist and antagonist muscles. Surface EMG signals were detected from the sternomastoid, splenius capitis, and upper trapezius muscles bilaterally from 14 healthy subjects during cervical flexion and extension contractions of linearly increasing force from 0 to 60% of the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Measurements were performed before and after injection of 0.5 ml hypertonic and isotonic saline into either the sternomastoid or splenius capitis in two experimental sessions. EMG average rectified value (ARV) of the sternomastoid, splenius capitis, and upper trapezius muscles and the muscle fiber conduction velocity (CV) of the sternomastoid muscle were estimated at 5% MVC force increments. During cervical flexion with injection of hypertonic saline in sternomastoid, ARV of sternomastoid was lower on the side of pain in the force range 25-60% MVC (P < 0.05) and was associated with a bilateral reduction of splenius capitis and upper trapezius ARV (P < 0.01). During cervical extension, injection of hypertonic saline in splenius capitis resulted in lower estimates of splenius capitis ARV on the painful side from 45 to 60% MVC (P < 0.05), which was associated with a bilateral increase in upper trapezius ARV estimates from 50 to 60% MVC (P < 0.001). However, no significant change was identified for estimates of sternomastoid ARV. Experimentally induced neck muscle pain resulted in task-dependent changes in cervical agonist/antagonist activity without modifications in muscle fiber CV.

  17. 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

  18. Synchronous activity of two people's prefrontal cortices during a cooperative task measured by simultaneous near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Acute incremental exercise, performance of a central executive task, and sympathoadrenal system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.

    PubMed

    McMorris, Terry; Davranche, Karen; Jones, Glenys; Hall, Ben; Corbett, Jo; Minter, Charles

    2009-09-01

    The purposes of this study were to examine the effect of acute incremental exercise on the performance of a central executive task; the responses of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) during exercise, while simultaneously carrying out the central executive task; and the ability of Delta plasma concentrations of epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and cortisol to predict Delta performance on the central executive task. Subjects undertook a flanker task at rest and during exercise at 50% and 80% maximum aerobic power (MAP). SAS and HPAA activity were measured pre- and post-treatment by plasma concentrations of catecholamines, and cortisol and ACTH, respectively. Reaction time (RT) and number of errors for congruent and incongruent trials on the flanker task showed significant main effects with performance at 80% MAP higher than in the other conditions. RT post-correct responses were significantly faster than RT post-error at rest and 50% MAP but not at 80%. Pre- and post-treatment catecholamines showed a main effect of exercise with a linear increase. Post-treatment ACTH concentrations at 80% MAP were significantly greater than in the other conditions. Delta epinephrine and ACTH combined were significant predictors of Delta RT and Delta norepinephrine was a significant predictor of Delta number of errors. It was concluded that exercise must be at a high intensity to affect performance on the flanker task. Both the SAS and HPAA appear to play a role in the exercise-cognition interaction.

  1. Inter-rater reliability of cyclic and non-cyclic task assessment using the hand activity level in appliance manufacturing.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Robert; Schwatka, Natalie; Gober, Jennifer; Gilkey, David; Anton, Dan; Gerr, Fred; Rosecrance, John

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the inter-rater reliability of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH(®)) hand activity level (HAL), an observational ergonomic assessment method used to estimate physical exposure to repetitive exertions during task performance. Video recordings of 858 cyclic and non-cyclic appliance manufacturing tasks were assessed by sixteen pairs of raters using the HAL visual-analog scale. A weighted Pearson Product Moment-Correlation Coefficient was used to evaluate the agreement between the HAL scores recorded by each rater pair, and the mean weighted correlation coefficients for cyclic and non-cyclic tasks were calculated. Results indicated that the HAL is a reliable exposure assessment method for cyclic (r̄-bar w = 0.69) and non-cyclic work tasks (r̄-bar w = 0.68). When the two reliability scores were compared using a two-sample Student's t-test, no significant difference in reliability (p = 0.63) between these work task categories was found. This study demonstrated that the HAL may be a useful measure of exposure to repetitive exertions during cyclic and non-cyclic tasks.

  2. The Relationship between Amygdala Activation and Passive Exposure Time to an Aversive Cue during a Continuous Performance Task

    PubMed Central

    Strigo, Irina A.; Simmons, Alan N.; Matthews, Scott C.; Craig, Arthur D. (Bud)

    2010-01-01

    The allocation of attention modulates negative emotional processing in the amygdala. However, the role of passive exposure time to emotional signals in the modulation of amygdala activity during active task performance has not been examined. In two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experiments conducted in two different groups of healthy human subjects, we examined activation in the amygdala due to cued anticipation of painful stimuli while subjects performed a simple continuous performance task (CPT) with either a fixed or a parametrically varied trial duration. In the first experiment (N = 16), engagement in the CPT during a task with fixed trial duration produced the expected attenuation of amygdala activation, but close analysis suggested that the attenuation occurred during the period of active engagement in CPT, and that amygdala activity increased proportionately during the remainder of each trial, when subjects were passively exposed to the pain cue. In the second experiment (N = 12), the duration of each trial was parametrically varied, and we found that amygdala activation was linearly related to the time of passive exposure to the anticipatory cue. We suggest that amygdala activation during negative anticipatory processing depends directly on the passive exposure time to the negative cue. PMID:21124739

  3. PET/CT imaging of age- and task-associated differences in muscle activity during fatiguing contractions

    PubMed Central

    Kalliokoski, Kari K.; Block, Derek E.; Gould, Jeffrey R.; Klingensmith, William C.; Enoka, Roger M.

    2013-01-01

    The study compared positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) of [18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose ([18F]-FDG) uptake by skeletal muscles and the amount of muscle activity as indicated by surface electromyographic (EMG) recordings when young and old men performed fatiguing isometric contractions that required either force or position control. EMG signals were recorded from thigh muscles of six young men (26 ± 6 yr) and six old men (77 ± 6 yr) during fatiguing contractions with the knee extensors. PET/CT scans were performed immediately after task failure. Glucose uptake in 24 leg muscles, quantified as standardized uptake values, was greater for the old men after the force task and differed across tasks for the young men (force, 0.64 ± 0.3 g/ml; position, 0.73 ± 0.3 g/ml), but not the old men (force, 0.84 ± 0.3 g/ml; position, 0.79 ± 0.26 g/ml) (age × task interaction; P < 0.001). In contrast, the rate of increase in EMG amplitude for the agonist muscles was greater for the young men during the two contractions and there was no difference for either group of subjects in the rate of increase in EMG amplitude across the two tasks. The imaging estimates of glucose uptake indicated age- and task-dependent differences in the spatial distribution of [18F]-FDG uptake by skeletal muscles during fatiguing contractions. The findings demonstrate that PET/CT imaging of [18F]-FDG uptake, but not surface EMG recordings, detected the modulation of muscle activity across the fatiguing tasks by the young men but not the old men. PMID:23412899

  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. 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

  6. Effects of activation and blockade of dopamine receptors on the extinction of a passive avoidance reaction in mice with a depressive-like state.

    PubMed

    Dubrovina, N I; Zinov'eva, D V

    2010-01-01

    Learning and extinction of a conditioned passive avoidance reaction resulting from neuropharmacological actions on dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors were demonstrated to be specific in intact mice and in mice with a depressive-like state. Learning was degraded only after administration of the D(2) receptor antagonist sulpiride and was independent of the initial functional state of the mice. In intact mice, activation of D(2) receptors with quinpirole led to a deficit of extinction, consisting of a reduction in the ability to acquire new inhibitory learning in conditions associated with the disappearance of the expected punishment. In mice with the "behavioral despair" reaction, characterized by delayed extinction, activation of D(1) receptors with SKF38393 normalized this process, while the D(2) agonist was ineffective. A positive effect consisting of accelerated extinction of the memory of fear of the dark ("dangerous") sector of the experimental chamber was also seen on blockade of both types of dopamine receptor.

  7. [Effects of activation and blockade of dopamine receptors on extinction of passive avoidance response in mice with depressive-like state].

    PubMed

    Dubrovina, N I; Zinov'eva, D V

    2008-01-01

    Selectivity of training and extinction of passive avoidance response caused by pharmacological influences on D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in intact mice and mice in depressive-like state was shown. Training was impaired only by administration of D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride and did not depend on the initial functional condition of mice. In intact mice, activation of D2 receptors by quinpirole evoked deficiency of extinction, i.e., impairment of the capability of new inhibitory training under conditions of disappearance of the expected punishment. In mice with reaction of "behavioral despair" characterized by a delay of extinction, activation of D1 receptors by SKF38393 normalized this process (as distinct from the inefficiency of D2 agonist). The positive effect of acceleration of fear memory extinction was revealed also under conditions of blockade of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. The Effects of Preferred Activities during Academic Work Breaks on Task Engagement and Negatively Reinforced Destructive Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComas, Jennifer J.; Goddard, Carol; Hoch, Hannah

    2002-01-01

    Destructive behavior of 9-year-old with learning disabilities was evaluated in a functional analysis. The effects of extinction, negative reinforcement, and negative reinforcement combined with access to preferred activities were compared on behavior and task engagement. Engagement occurred most and destructive behavior occurred least when…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Exposure to Blue Light Increases Subsequent Functional Activation of the Prefrontal Cortex During Performance of a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Alkozei, Anna; Smith, Ryan; Pisner, Derek A.; Vanuk, John R.; Berryhill, Sarah M.; Fridman, Andrew; Shane, Bradley R.; Knight, Sara A.; Killgore, William D.S.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Prolonged exposure to blue wavelength light has been shown to have an alerting effect, and enhances performance on cognitive tasks. A small number of studies have also shown that relatively short exposure to blue light leads to changes in functional brain responses during the period of exposure. The extent to which blue light continues to affect brain functioning during a cognitively challenging task after cessation of longer periods of exposure (i.e., roughly 30 minutes or longer), however, has not been fully investigated. Methods: A total of 35 healthy participants (18 female) were exposed to either blue (469 nm) (n = 17) or amber (578 nm) (n = 18) wavelength light for 30 minutes in a darkened room, followed immediately by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while undergoing a working memory task (N-back task). Results: Participants in the blue light condition were faster in their responses on the N-back task and showed increased activation in the dorsolateral (DLPFC) and ventrolateral (VLPFC) prefrontal cortex compared to those in the amber control light condition. Furthermore, greater activation within the VLPFC was correlated with faster N-back response times. Conclusions: This is the first study to suggest that a relatively brief, single exposure to blue light has a subsequent beneficial effect on working memory performance, even after cessation of exposure, and leads to temporarily persisting functional brain changes within prefrontal brain regions associated with executive functions. These findings may have broader implication for using blue-enriched light in a variety of work settings where alertness and quick decision-making are important. Citation: Alkozei A, Smith R, Pisner DA, Vanuk JR, Berryhill SM, Fridman A, Shane BR, Knight SA, Killgore WD. Exposure to blue light increases subsequent functional activation of the prefrontal cortex during performance of a working memory task. SLEEP 2016;39(9):1671–1680. PMID:27253770

  14. Quantifying familial influences on brain activation during the monetary incentive delay task: an adolescent monozygotic twin study.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Merav H; Krueger, Robert F; Iacono, William G; Malone, Stephen M; Hunt, Ruskin H; Thomas, Kathleen M

    2014-12-01

    Although altered brain activation during reward tasks has been found in a number of heritable psychiatric disorders and health outcomes, the familial nature of reward-related brain activation remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated the degree to which the magnitude of mesocorticolimbic reward system signal intensities in anticipation of reward during the monetary incentive delay (MID) task was similar within 46 pairs of adolescent, monozygotic twins. Significant within-pair correlations in brain activation during anticipation of gain were found in one third of the 18 reward-related regions investigated. These regions were the right nucleus accumbens, left and right posterior caudate, right anterior caudate, left insula, and anterior cingulate cortex. This serves as evidence for a shared familial contribution to individual differences in reward related brain activity in certain key reward processing regions.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The mechanism of Li2S activation in lithium-sulfur batteries: Can we avoid the polysulfide formation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizintin, Alen; Chabanne, Laurent; Tchernychova, Elena; Arčon, Iztok; Stievano, Lorenzo; Aquilanti, Giuliana; Antonietti, Markus; Fellinger, Tim-Patrick; Dominko, Robert

    2017-03-01

    Electrochemical reactions in the Lisbnd S batteries are considered as a multistep reaction process with at least 2-3 equilibrium states. Here we report a possibility of having a conversion of Li2S into sulfur without detectible formation of polysulfides. That was confirmed by using a novel material system consisting of carbon coated Li2S particles prepared by carbothermal reduction of Li2SO4. Two independent in operando measurements showed direct oxidation of Li2S into sulfur for this system, with almost negligible formation of polysulfides at potentials above 2.5 V vs. Li/Li+. Our results link the diversity of first charge profiles in the literature to the Li2S oxidation mechanism and show the importance of ionic wiring within the material. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the Li2S oxidation mechanism depends on the relative amount of soluble sulfur in the electrolyte. By controlling the type and the amount of electrolyte within the encapsulating carbon shell, it is thereby possible to control the reaction mechanism of Li2S activation.

  20. Activities of the task group 8 on thin film PV module reliability (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhere, Neelkanth G.

    2016-09-01

    Photovoltaic (PV) modules and systems are being used increasingly to provide renewable energy to schools, residences, small businesses and utilities. At this time, the home owners and small businesses have considerable difficulty in detecting module and/or system degradation and especially enforcing warranty. It needs to be noted that IEC 61215-1 (test req.), -2 (test proc.) and -1-1 (c-Si) are forecasted to be circulated end of Feb 2016 and only editorial changes would be possible. 61215 series does include thin film technologies and would be replacing 61646. Moreover, IEC 61215-1, section 7.2 power output and electric circuitry does contain significant changes to acceptance criteria regarding rated label values, particularly rated power. Even though it is believed that consensus could be achieved within IEC TC82 WG2, some of the smaller players that do not participate actively in IEC TC82 - may not be surprised and must be informed. The other tech specific parts 61215-1-2 (CdTe), -1-3 (a-Si, µc-Si) and -1-4 (CIS, CIGS) are out for comments. The IEC closing date was January 29, 2016. The additions alternative damp heat (DH) test proposed Solar Frontier is being reviewed. In the past, only 600 V systems were permitted in the grid-connected residential and commercial systems in the US. The US commercial systems can now use higher voltage (1,000-1500V) in order to reduce BOS component costs. It is believed that there would not be any problems. The Task Group 8 is collecting data on higher voltage systems.

  1. 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

  2. The influence of desk and display design on posture and muscle activity variability whilst performing information technology tasks.

    PubMed

    Straker, L; Burgess-Limerick, R; Pollock, C; Maslen, B

    2009-09-01

    Desk design and computer display height can affect posture and muscle activation during computer use. Amplitudes of postural variables and muscle activity during computer use do not explain the results from epidemiological studies of musculoskeletal discomfort and disorders related to computer use. The purpose of this study was to assess variability of posture and muscle activity during work with two computer display heights and book/paper, in conjunction with a curved desk designed to provide forearm support and a traditional, straight desk. 18 male and 18 female participants performed 10-min tasks involving keying, mousing, reading and writing in six desk/display conditions. 3D posture and surface emg were assessed for the final 2 min of each task. The curved desk resulted in greater postural and muscle activity variation, suggesting an advantage of this supportive surface over the straight desk. There was little difference in variability associated with the two display heights. However, greater variability of posture and muscle activity was evident with the book/paper condition. Non-touch typists had greater neck flexion variation. The design of information technology tasks and workstations can influence the short term variation in posture and muscle activity. Variation is influenced independently of mean postures and muscle amplitudes and therefore needs to be considered to adequately assess the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

  3. EMG activities of the quadratus lumborum and erector spinae muscles during flexion-relaxation and other motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Andersson, E A; Oddsson, L I E; Grundström, H; Nilsson, J; Thorstensson, A

    1996-10-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to provide new information on the myoelectrical activation of the quadratus lumborum, the deep lateral and the superficial medial lumbar erector spinae, the psoas, and the iliacus muscles in various motor tasks. DESIGN: An intramuscular electromyographic study was performed. BACKGROUND: The contribution of individual deep trunk muscles to the stability of the lumbar spine is relatively unknown in different tasks, including the flexion-relaxation phenomenon. METHODS: Seven healthy subjects participated. Fine-wire electrodes were inserted with a needle guided by ultrasound. RESULTS: The highest activity observed for quadratus lumborum and deep lateral erector spinae occurred in ipsilateral trunk flexion in a side-lying position and for superficial medial erector spinae during bilateral leg lift in a prone position. Quadratus lumborum and deep lateral erector spinae were activated when the flexion-relaxation phenomenon was present for superficial medial erector spinae, i.e. when its activity ceased in the latter part of full forward flexion of the trunk, held relaxed and kyphotic. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the activation of the investigated muscles showed a high degree of task specificity, where activation of a certain muscle was not always predictable from its anatomical arrangement and mechanical advantage.

  4. 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.

  5. Noninvasive imaging of prefrontal activation during attention-demanding tasks performed while walking using a wearable optical topography system.

    PubMed

    Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi; Katura, Takusige; Funane, Tsukasa; Obata, Akiko; Sato, Hiroki; Manaka, Takaaki; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Maki, Atsushi; Koizumi, Hideaki; Kubota, Kisou

    2010-01-01

    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.

  6. Higher threat avoidance costs reduce avoidance behaviour which in turn promotes fear extinction in humans.

    PubMed

    Rattel, Julina A; Miedl, Stephan F; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H

    2016-12-15

    Theoretical models specifying the underlying mechanisms of the development and maintenance of anxiety and related disorders state that fear responses acquired through classical Pavlovian conditioning are maintained by repeated avoidance behaviour; thus, it is assumed that avoidance prevents fear extinction. The present study investigated behavioural avoidance decisions as a function of avoidance costs in a naturalistic fear conditioning paradigm. Ecologically valid avoidance costs - manipulated between participant groups - were represented via time-delays during a detour in a gamified computer task. After differential acquisitions of shock-expectancy to a predictive conditioned stimulus (CS+), participants underwent extinction where they could either take a risky shortcut, while anticipating shock signaled by the CS+, or choose a costly avoidance option (lengthy detour); thus, they were faced with an approach-avoidance conflict. Groups with higher avoidance costs (longer detours) showed lower proportions of avoiders. Avoiders gave heightened shock-expectancy ratings post-extinction, demonstrating 'protecting from extinction', i.e. failure to extinguish. Moreover, there was an indirect effect of avoidance costs on protection from extinction through avoidance behaviour. No moderating role of trait-anxiety was found. Theoretical implications of avoidance behaviour are discussed, considering the involvement of instrumental learning in the maintenance of fear responses.

  7. Inspection methods for physical protection Task III review of other agencies' physical security activities for research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    1980-01-01

    In Task I of this project, the current Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) position-on physical security practices and procedures at research reactors were reviewed. In the second task, a sampling of the physical security plans was presented and the three actual reactor sites described in the security plans were visited. The purpose of Task III is to review other agencies' physical security activities for research reactors. During this phase, the actions, procedures and policies of two domestic and two foreign agencies other than the NRC that relate to the research reactor community were examined. The agencies examined were: International Atomic Energy Agency; Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board; Department of Energy; and American Nuclear Insurers.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of Body Mass Index on Task-Related Oxygen Uptake and Dyspnea during Activities of Daily Life in COPD

    PubMed Central

    Vaes, Anouk W.; Franssen, Frits M. E.; Meijer, Kenneth; Cuijpers, Martijn W. J.; Wouters, Emiel F. M.; Rutten, Erica P. A.; Spruit, Martijn A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Patients with COPD use a higher proportion of their peak aerobic capacity during the performance of domestic activities of daily life (ADLs) compared to healthy peers, accompanied by a higher degree of task-related symptoms. To date, the influence of body mass index (BMI) on the task-related metabolic demands remains unknown in patients with COPD. Therefore, the aim of our study was to determine the effects of BMI on metabolic load during the performance of 5 consecutive domestic ADLs in patients with COPD. Methodology Ninety-four COPD patients and 20 healhty peers performed 5 consecutive, self-paced domestic ADLs putting on socks, shoes and vest; folding 8 towels; putting away groceries; washing up 4 dishes, cups and saucers; and sweeping the floor for 4 min. Task-related oxygen uptake and ventilation were assessed using a mobile oxycon, while Borg scores were used to assess task-related dyspnea and fatigue. Principal Findings 1. Relative task-related oxygen uptake after the performance of domestic ADLs was increased in patients with COPD compared to healthy elderly, whereas absolute oxygen uptake is similar between groups; 2. Relative oxygen uptake and oxygen uptake per kilogram fat-free mass were comparable between BMI groups; and 3. Borg symptom scores for dyspnea en fatigue were comparable between BMI groups. Conclusion Patients with COPD in different BMI groups perform self-paced domestic ADLs at the same relative metabolic load, accompanied by comparable Borg symptom scores for dyspnea and fatigue. PMID:22815922

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. New neurons generated from running are broadly recruited into neuronal activation associated with three different hippocampus-involved tasks.

    PubMed

    Clark, Peter J; Bhattacharya, Tushar K; Miller, Daniel S; Kohman, Rachel A; DeYoung, Erin K; Rhodes, Justin S

    2012-09-01

    Running increases the formation of new neurons in the adult rodent hippocampus. However, the function of new neurons generated from running is currently unknown. One hypothesis is that new neurons from running contribute to enhanced cognitive function by increasing plasticity in the adult hippocampus. An alternative hypothesis is that new neurons generated from running incorporate into experience-specific hippocampal networks that only become active during running. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if new neurons generated from running are selectively activated by running, or can become recruited into granule cell activity occurring during performance on other behavioral tasks that engage the hippocampus. Therefore, the activation of new 5-6 week neurons was detected using BrdU, NeuN, and Zif268 triple-label immunohistochemistry in cohorts of female running and sedentary adult C57BL/6J mice following participation in one of three different tasks: the Morris water maze, novel environment exploration, or wheel running. Results showed that running and sedentary mice displayed a nearly equivalent proportion of new neurons that expressed Zif268 following each task. Since running approximately doubled the number of new neurons, the results demonstrated that running mice had a greater number of new neurons recruited into the Zif268 induction in the granule cell layer following each task than sedentary mice. The results suggest that new neurons incorporated into hippocampal circuitry from running are not just activated by wheel running itself, but rather become broadly recruited into granule cell layer activity during distinct behavioral experiences.

  14. Addressing reverse inference in psychiatric neuroimaging: Meta-analyses of task-related brain activation in common mental disorders.

    PubMed

    Sprooten, Emma; Rasgon, Alexander; Goodman, Morgan; Carlin, Ariella; Leibu, Evan; Lee, Won Hee; Frangou, Sophia

    2017-04-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in psychiatry use various tasks to identify case-control differences in the patterns of task-related brain activation. Differently activated regions are often ascribed disorder-specific functions in an attempt to link disease expression and brain function. We undertook a systematic meta-analysis of data from task-fMRI studies to examine the effect of diagnosis and study design on the spatial distribution and direction of case-control differences on brain activation. We mapped to atlas regions coordinates of case-control differences derived from 537 task-fMRI studies in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder comprising observations derived from 21,427 participants. The fMRI tasks were classified according to the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). We investigated whether diagnosis, RDoC domain or construct and use of regions-of-interest or whole-brain analyses influenced the neuroanatomical pattern of results. When considering all primary studies, we found an effect of diagnosis for the amygdala and caudate nucleus and an effect of RDoC domains and constructs for the amygdala, hippocampus, putamen and nucleus accumbens. In contrast, whole-brain studies did not identify any significant effect of diagnosis or RDoC domain or construct. These results resonate with prior reports of common brain structural and genetic underpinnings across these disorders and caution against attributing undue specificity to brain functional changes when forming explanatory models of psychiatric disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1846-1864, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Exaggerated acquisition and resistance to extinction of avoidance behavior in treated heroin-dependent males

    PubMed Central

    Sheynin, Jony; Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Beck, Kevin D.; Servatius, Richard J.; Casbolt, Peter A.; Haber, Paul; Elsayed, Mahmoud; Hogarth, Lee; Myers, Catherine E.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Addiction is often conceptualized as a behavioral strategy for avoiding negative experiences. In rodents, opioid intake has been associated with abnormal acquisition and extinction of avoidance behavior. Here, we tested the hypothesis that these findings would generalize to human opioid-dependent subjects. Method Adults meeting DSM-IV criteria for heroin-dependence and treated with opioid medication (n=27), and healthy controls (n=26), were recruited between March–October 2013 and given a computer-based task to assess avoidance behavior. On this task, subjects controlled a spaceship and could either gain points by shooting an enemy spaceship, or hide in safe areas to avoid on-screen aversive events. Results While groups did not differ on escape responding (hiding) during the aversive event, heroin-dependent males (but not females) made more avoidance responses during a warning signal that predicted the aversive event (ANOVA, sex × group interaction, p=0.007). This group was also slower to extinguish the avoidance response when the aversive event no longer followed the warning signal (p=0.011). This behavioral pattern resulted in reduced opportunity to obtain reward without reducing risk of punishment. Results suggest that differences in avoidance behavior cannot be easily explained by impaired task performance or by exaggerated motor activity in male patients. Conclusion This study provides evidence for abnormal acquisition and extinction of avoidance behavior in opioid-dependent patients. Interestingly, data suggest abnormal avoidance is demonstrated only by male patients. Findings shed light on cognitive and behavioral manifestations of opioid addiction, and may facilitate development of therapeutic approaches to help affected individuals. PMID:27046310

  16. Language-related activations in the left prefrontal regions are differentially modulated by age, proficiency, and task demands.

    PubMed

    Tatsuno, Yoshinori; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2005-02-16

    It remains to be elucidated how cortical activations are modulated by factors of age, proficiency, and language task demands when mastering first language (L1) and a second language (L2). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested subjects aged 13 (the age 13 group) and 19 (the age 19 group), thereby comparing the cortical activations involved in past-tense verb identification with those involved in verb matching. We found that the activation in the dorsal triangular part of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was lower, corresponding to a higher proficiency in English (L2) in the older subjects, suggesting that the proficiency level plays a major role in the activation of this region during L2 acquisition. Moreover, the lower activation in the triangular and orbital parts of the left IFG (F3t/F3O) for the irregular past tense corresponding to a higher proficiency in L2, together with the nonsignificant activation for the regular past tense when its performance almost reached perfection for age 19, suggests that the modulation of the left F3t/F3O activation reflects language task demands for identifying correct past-tense forms. On the other hand, the left F3t/F3O activation in Japanese (L1) for age 13 was significantly greater than that for age 19, despite the matched performances in L1. These results suggest that the left IFG subserves language-specific functions that are critically required when mastering any language.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Changes in biomechanics and muscle activation in injured ballet dancers during a jump-land task with turnout (Sissonne Fermée).

    PubMed

    Lee, Hsing-Hsan; Lin, Chia-Wei; Wu, Hong-Wen; Wu, Tzu-Chuan; Lin, Cheng-Feng

    2012-01-01

    Large impact loading with abnormal muscle activity and motion patterns may contribute to lower extremity injuries in ballet dancers. Yet, few studies investigated the influence of injury on the ballet movement. The purpose of this study was to find the neuromuscular and biomechanical characteristics in dancers with and without ankle injury during a jump-landing Sissonne Fermée task. Twenty-two ballet dancers were recruited and divided into the injured group (n = 11) and the uninjured group (n = 11). They performed a ballet movement called "Sissonne Fermée" with reflective markers and electrodes attached to their lower extremities. Ground reaction force, joint kinematics, and muscle activity were measured. The injured dancers had greater peak ankle eversion but smaller hindfoot-to-tibial eversion angles. Also, the injured dancers had greater activity of the hamstring of the dominant leg and tibialis anterior of the non-dominant leg during the pre-landing phase. The injured dancers had greater tibialis anterior activity of the dominant leg but less muscle activity in the medial gastrocnemius of the non-dominant leg during the post-landing phase. The injured dancers had a greater co-contraction index in the non-dominant ankle and a lower loading rate. The higher co-contraction indices showed that the injured dancers required more muscle effort to control ankle stability. Furthermore, the injured dancers used a "load avoidance strategy" to protect themselves from re-injury. Neuromuscular control training of the ankle joint for ballet dancers to prevent injury is necessary.

  1. Affective judgment and beneficial decision making: ventromedial prefrontal activity correlates with performance in the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg; Grimm, Simone; Boeker, Heinz; Schmidt, Conny; Bermpohl, Felix; Heinzel, Alexander; Hell, Daniel; Boesiger, Peter

    2006-07-01

    Damasio proposes in his somatic marker theory that not only cognitive but also affective components are critical for decision making. Since affective judgment requires an interplay between affective and cognitive components, it might be considered a key process in decision making that has been linked to neural activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the relationship between VMPFC, emotionally (unexpected)- and cognitively (expected)-accentuated affective judgment, and beneficial decision making (Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) in healthy subjects. Neuronal activity in the VMPFC during unexpected affective judgment significantly correlated with both global and final performance in the IGT task. These findings suggest that the degree to which subjects recruit the VMPFC during affective judgment is related to beneficial performance in decision making in gambling.

  2. Inhibition of propofol on single neuron and neuronal ensemble activity in prefrontal cortex of rats during working memory task.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xinyu; Tian, Yu; Wang, Guolin; Tian, Xin

    2014-08-15

    Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for performance of complex cognitive tasks. There is a growing interest in whether and how propofol anesthesia inhibits WM function. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible inhibition mechanism of propofol anesthesia from the view of single neuron and neuronal ensemble activities. Adult SD rats were randomly divided into two groups: propofol group (0.9 mg kg(-1)min(-1), 2h via a tail vein catheter) and control group. All the rats were tested for working memory performances in a Y-maze-rewarded alternation task (a task of delayed non-matched-to-sample) at 24, 48, 72 h after propofol anesthesia, and the behavior results of WM tasks were recorded at the same time. Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original signals. Single neuron activity was characterized by peri-event time histograms analysis and neuron ensemble activities were characterized by Granger causality to describe the interactions within the neuron ensemble. The results show that: comparing with the control group, the percentage of neurons excited and related to WM was significantly decreased (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h); the interactions within neuron ensemble were significantly weakened (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h), whereas no significant difference in 72 h (p>0.05), which were consistent with the behavior results. These findings could lead to improved understanding of the mechanism of anesthesia inhibition on WM functions from the view of single neuron activity and neuron ensemble interactions.

  3. Differential activation of the striatum for decision making and outcomes in a monetary task with gain and loss.

    PubMed

    Ino, Tadashi; Nakai, Ryusuke; Azuma, Takashi; Kimura, Toru; Fukuyama, Hidenao

    2010-01-01

    We examined brain activation for decision making and for different monetary outcomes in a two-alternative choice task with monetary rewards and punishments. Brain hemodynamic changes were monitored by functional MRI (fMRI) when seventeen healthy volunteers performed a task in which they were required to press one of two buttons (button 1 or 2) which increased or decreased their previously endowed money depending upon accord or disaccord with the number (1 or 2) which was displayed later. The amount of money subjects gained or lost was large when they selected 2 and small when they selected 1. They were informed in advance that the order of the appearance of 1 or 2 at outcome phase was predetermined and random, irrespective of their selection, and that the expected value was mathematically zero for both selecting 1 and 2. Results of fMRI showed that bilateral putamen and nucleus accumbens were more activated when selecting large gain or loss option than selecting small gain or loss option, and the right putamen and nucleus accumbens were more activated for gain outcome than for loss outcome. No significantly different activation of the striatum was found between large gain outcome and small gain outcome, suggesting that activity of the striatum at outcome phase was insensitive for reward magnitude when expectation by subject was already performed. We also found that activations of the bilateral putamen were correlated parametrically with stock amount of money.

  4. Task V of the IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Program: Implementing Accomplishments and Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Bower, Ward

    1999-06-10

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an energy forum for 24 industrialized countries and was established in 1974 as an autonomous body within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) program implementing agreement was signed in 1993, and renewed for another five years in 1998. Twenty-two countries are collaborating under the auspices of the IEA in the PVPS to address common technical and informational barriers that often limit the rate at which photovoltaic technologies advance into the markets. Task V of the IEA PVPS is entitled "Grid Interconnection of Building-Integrated and Other Dispersed Photovoltaic Power Systems." The task sponsored a workshop in September 1997 on grid-interconnection of photovoltaic systems and is planning a second workshop to address impacts of more penetration of dispersed systems into the utility grid. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of Task V over the last five years and will detail the planned work for the next three years.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Approach/avoidance in dreams.

    PubMed

    Malcolm-Smith, Susan; Koopowitz, Sheri; Pantelis, Eleni; Solms, Mark

    2012-03-01

    The influential threat simulation theory (TST) asserts that dreaming yields adaptive advantage by providing a virtual environment in which threat-avoidance may be safely rehearsed. We have previously found the incidence of biologically threatening dreams to be around 20%, with successful threat avoidance occurring in approximately one-fifth of such dreams. TST asserts that threat avoidance is over-represented relative to other possible dream contents. To begin assessing this issue, we contrasted the incidence of 'avoidance' dreams with that of their opposite: 'approach' dreams. Because TST states that the threat-avoidance function is only fully activated in ecologically valid (biologically threatening) contexts, we also performed this contrast for populations living in both high- and low-threat environments. We find that 'approach' dreams are significantly more prevalent across both contexts. We suggest these results are more consistent with the view that dreaming is generated by reward-seeking systems than by fear-conditioning systems, although reward-seeking is clearly not the only factor determining the content of dreams.

  8. Combining task-evoked and spontaneous activity to improve pre-operative brain mapping with fMRI.

    PubMed

    Fox, Michael D; Qian, Tianyi; Madsen, Joseph R; Wang, Danhong; Li, Meiling; Ge, Manling; Zuo, Huan-Cong; Groppe, David M; Mehta, Ashesh D; Hong, Bo; Liu, Hesheng

    2016-01-01

    Noninvasive localization of brain function is used to understand and treat neurological disease, exemplified by pre-operative fMRI mapping prior to neurosurgical intervention. The principal approach for generating these maps relies on brain responses evoked by a task and, despite known limitations, has dominated clinical practice for over 20years. Recently, pre-operative fMRI mapping based on correlations in spontaneous brain activity has been demonstrated, however this approach has its own limitations and has not seen widespread clinical use. Here we show that spontaneous and task-based mapping can be performed together using the same pre-operative fMRI data, provide complimentary information relevant for functional localization, and can be combined to improve identification of eloquent motor cortex. Accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of our approach are quantified through comparison with electrical cortical stimulation mapping in eight patients with intractable epilepsy. Broad applicability and reproducibility of our approach are demonstrated through prospective replication in an independent dataset of six patients from a different center. In both cohorts and every individual patient, we see a significant improvement in signal to noise and mapping accuracy independent of threshold, quantified using receiver operating characteristic curves. Collectively, our results suggest that modifying the processing of fMRI data to incorporate both task-based and spontaneous activity significantly improves functional localization in pre-operative patients. Because this method requires no additional scan time or modification to conventional pre-operative data acquisition protocols it could have widespread utility.

  9. 5-HTTLPR Polymorphism Impacts Task-Evoked and Resting-State Activities of the Amygdala in Han Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sufang; Zou, Qihong; Li, Jun; Li, Jin; Wang, Deyi; Yan, Chaogan; Dong, Qi; Zang, Yu-Feng

    2012-01-01

    Background Prior research has shown that the amygdala of carriers of the short allele (s) of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene (5-HTTLPR) have a larger response to negative emotional stimuli and higher spontaneous activity during the resting state than non-carriers. However, recent studies have suggested that the effects of 5-HTTLPR may be specific to different ethnic groups. Few studies have been conducted to address this issue. Methodology/Principal Findings Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was conducted on thirty-eight healthy Han Chinese subjects (l/l group, n = 19; s/s group, n = 19) during the resting state and during an emotional processing task. Compared with the s/s group, the l/l group showed significantly increased regional homogeneity or local synchronization in the right amygdala during the resting state (|t|>2.028, p<0.05, corrected), but no significant difference was found in the bilateral amygdala in response to negative stimuli in the emotional processing task. Conclusions/Significance 5-HTTLPR can alter the spontaneous activity of the amygdala in Han Chinese. However, the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala both in task state and resting state in Asian population was no similar with Caucasians. They suggest that the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala may be modulated by ethnic differences. PMID:22574175

  10. Top-down controlled alpha band activity in somatosensory areas determines behavioral performance in a discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Haegens, Saskia; Händel, Barbara F; Jensen, Ole

    2011-04-06

    The brain receives a rich flow of information which must be processed according to behavioral relevance. How is the state of the sensory system adjusted to up- or downregulate processing according to anticipation? We used magnetoencephalography to investigate whether prestimulus alpha band activity (8-14 Hz) reflects allocation of attentional resources in the human somatosensory system. Subjects performed a tactile discrimination task where a visual cue directed attention to their right or left hand. The strength of attentional modulation was controlled by varying the reliability of the cue in three experimental blocks (100%, 75%, or 50% valid cueing). While somatosensory prestimulus alpha power lateralized strongly with a fully predictive cue (100%), lateralization was decreased with lower cue reliability (75%) and virtually absent if the cue had no predictive value at all (50%). Importantly, alpha lateralization influenced the subjects' behavioral performance positively: both accuracy and speed of response improved with the degree of alpha lateralization. This study demonstrates that prestimulus alpha lateralization in the somatosensory system behaves similarly to posterior alpha activity observed in visual attention tasks. Our findings extend the notion that alpha band activity is involved in shaping the functional architecture of the working brain by determining both the engagement and disengagement of specific regions: the degree of anticipation modulates the alpha activity in sensory regions in a graded manner. Thus, the alpha activity is under top-down control and seems to play an important role for setting the state of sensory regions to optimize processing.

  11. Age-related differences in cortical activity during a visuo-spatial working memory task with facial stimuli.

    PubMed

    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

  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. Primary Motor Cortex Activation during Action Observation of Tasks at Different Video Speeds Is Dependent on Movement Task and Muscle Properties

    PubMed Central

    Moriuchi, Takefumi; Matsuda, Daiki; Nakamura, Jirou; Matsuo, Takashi; Nakashima, Akira; Nishi, Keita; Fujiwara, Kengo; Iso, Naoki; Nakane, Hideyuki; Higashi, Toshio

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how the video speed of observed action affects the excitability of the primary motor cortex (M1), as assessed by the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Twelve healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person catching a ball (Experiment 1: rapid movement) and another 12 healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person reaching to lift a ball (Experiment 2: slow movement task). We played each video at three different speeds (slow, normal and fast). The stimulus was given at two points of timing in each experiment. These stimulus points were locked to specific frames of the video rather than occurring at specific absolute times, for ease of comparison across different speeds. We recorded MEPs from the first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi muscle (ADM) of the right hand. MEPs were significantly different for different video speeds only in the rapid movement task. MEPs for the rapid movement task were higher when subjects observed an action played at slow speed than normal or fast speed condition. There was no significant change for the slow movement task. Video speed was effective only in the ADM. Moreover, MEPs in the ADM were significantly higher than in the FDI in a rapid movement task under the slow speed condition. Our findings suggest that the M1 becomes more excitable when subjects observe the video clip at the slow speed in a rapid movement, because they could recognize the elements of movement in others. Our results suggest the effects of manipulating the speed of the viewed task on the excitability of the M1 during passive observation differ depending on the type of movement task observed. It is likely that rehabilitation in the clinical setting will be more efficient if the video speed is changed to match the task’s characteristics. PMID:28163678

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Comparable fMRI activity with differential behavioural performance on mental rotation and overt verbal fluency tasks in healthy men and women.

    PubMed

    Halari, Rozmin; Sharma, Tonmoy; Hines, Melissa; Andrew, Chris; Simmons, Andy; Kumari, Veena

    2006-02-01

    To explicate the neural correlates of sex differences in visuospatial and verbal fluency tasks, we examined behavioural performance and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) regional brain activity, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, during a three-dimensional (3D) mental rotation task and a compressed sequence overt verbal fluency task in a group of healthy men (n=9) and women (n=10; tested during the low-oestrogen phase of the menstrual cycle). Men outperformed women on the mental rotation task, and women outperformed men on the verbal fluency task. For the mental rotation task, men and women activated areas in the right superior parietal lobe and the bilateral middle occipital gyrus in association with the rotation condition. In addition, men activated the left middle temporal gyrus and the right angular gyrus. For verbal fluency, men activated areas in the bilateral superior frontal gyrus, right cingulate gyrus, left precentral gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, thalamus, left parahippocampal gyrus and bilateral lingual gyrus, and women activated areas in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and left caudate. Despite observing task related activation in the hypothesised areas in men and women, no areas significantly differentiated the two sexes. Our results demonstrate comparable brain activation in men and women in association with mental rotation and verbal fluency function with differential performance, and provide support for sex differences in brain-behaviour relationships.

  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.

  20. 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)

  1. Avoidant personality disorder

    MedlinePlus

    American Psychiatric Association. Avoidant personality disorder. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 . 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013;672-675. Blais MA, Smallwood ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Brain activity in predominantly-inattentive subtype attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during an auditory oddball attention task.

    PubMed

    Orinstein, Alyssa J; Stevens, Michael C

    2014-08-30

    Previous functional neuroimaging studies have found brain activity abnormalities in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on numerous cognitive tasks. However, little is known about brain dysfunction unique to the predominantly-inattentive subtype of ADHD (ADHD-I), despite debate as to whether DSM-IV-defined ADHD subtypes differ in etiology. This study compared brain activity of 18 ADHD-I adolescents (ages 12-18) and 20 non-psychiatric age-matched control participants on a functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) auditory oddball attention task. ADHD-I participants had significant activation deficits to infrequent target stimuli in bilateral superior temporal gyri, bilateral insula, several midline cingulate/medial frontal gyrus regions, right posterior parietal cortex, thalamus, cerebellum, and brainstem. To novel stimuli, ADHD-I participants had reduced activation in bilateral lateral temporal lobe structures. There were no brain regions where ADHD-I participants had greater hemodynamic activity to targets or novels than controls. Brain activity deficits in ADHD-I participants were found in several regions important to attentional orienting and working memory-related cognitive processes involved in target identification. These results differ from those in previously studied adolescents with combined-subtype ADHD, who had a lesser magnitude of activation abnormalities in frontoparietal regions and relatively more discrete regional deficits to novel stimuli. The divergent findings suggest different etiological factors might underlie attention deficits in different DSM-IV-defined ADHD subtypes, and they have important implications for the DSM-V reconceptualization of subtypes as varying clinical presentations of the same core disorder.

  12. Neural Correlates of Attentional Flexibility during Approach and Avoidance Motivation.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Position but not color deviants result in visual mismatch negativity in an active oddball task.

    PubMed

    Berti, Stefan

    2009-05-06

    Changes in the visual environment might be detected automatically. This function is provided by the sensory systems and showed, for instance, by the pop-out phenomenon. Automatic change detection is also observable within visual oddball paradigms, where rare changes are introduced in an irrelevant stimulus feature; the detection of deviant stimuli is accompanied by a negative component (so-called visual mismatch negativity) in the human event-related brain potential. In this study, the deviating stimulus feature was embedded in a task-relevant object presented in the focus of attention. With this, visual mismatch negativity was observable only with position deviants presented in the upper visual half field but not by lower half field presentation or color deviants.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. Increase or Decrease of fMRI Activity in Adult Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Does It Depend on Task Difficulty?

    PubMed Central

    Merz, Christian J.; Dresler, Thomas; Heupel, Julia; Reichert, Susanne; Jacob, Christian P.; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been shown to affect working memory, and fMRI studies in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder report hypoactivation in task-related attentional networks. However, studies with adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients addressing this issue as well as the effects of clinically valid methylphenidate treatment are scarce. This study contributes to closing this gap. Methods: Thirty-five adult patients were randomized to 6 weeks of double-blind placebo or methylphenidate treatment. Patients completed an fMRI n-back working memory task both before and after the assigned treatment, and matched healthy controls were tested and compared to the untreated patients. Results: There were no whole-brain differences between any of the groups. However, when specified regions of interest were investigated, the patient group showed enhanced BOLD responses in dorsal and ventral areas before treatment. This increase was correlated with performance across all participants and with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in the patient group. Furthermore, we found an effect of treatment in the right superior frontal gyrus, with methylphenidate-treated patients exhibiting increased activation, which was absent in the placebo-treated patients. Conclusions: Our results indicate distinct activation differences between untreated adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients and matched healthy controls during a working memory task. These differences might reflect compensatory efforts by the patients, who are performing at the same level as the healthy controls. We furthermore found a positive effect of methylphenidate on the activation of a frontal region of interest. These observations contribute to a more thorough understanding of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide impulses for the evaluation of therapy-related changes. PMID:27207920

  18. Escape Behavior in Task Situations: Task versus Social Antecedents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Jill C.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Four students (ages 4-6) with developmental disabilities who exhibited challenging behaviors in teaching situations were exposed to high intensity and low intensity social interaction in a play situation and a task situation. Interaction intensity made no difference in students' behavior. Two students exhibited task avoidance and two exhibited…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. University Students' Emotion During Online Search Task: A Multiple Achievement Goal Perspective.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Mingming

    2016-07-03

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Differential genetic regulation of motor activity and anxiety-related behaviors in mice using an automated home cage task.

    PubMed

    Kas, Martien J H; de Mooij-van Malsen, Annetrude J G; Olivier, Berend; Spruijt, Berry M; van Ree, Jan M

    2008-08-01

    Traditional behavioral tests, such as the open field test, measure an animal's responsiveness to a novel environment. However, it is generally difficult to assess whether the behavioral response obtained from these tests relates to the expression level of motor activity and/or to avoidance of anxiogenic areas. Here, an automated home cage environment for mice was designed to obtain independent measures of motor activity levels and of sheltered feeding preference during three consecutive days. Chronic treatment with the anxiolytic drug chlordiazepoxide (5 and 10 mg/kg/day) in C57BL/6J mice reduced sheltered feeding preference without altering motor activity levels. Furthermore, two distinct chromosome substitution strains, derived from C57BL/6J (host strain) and A/J (donor strain) inbred strains, expressed either increased sheltering preference in females (chromosome 15) or reduced motor activity levels in females and males (chromosome 1) when compared to C57BL/6J. Longitudinal behavioral monitoring revealed that these phenotypic differences maintained after adaptation to the home cage. Thus, by using new automated behavioral phenotyping approaches, behavior can be dissociated into distinct behavioral domains (e.g., anxiety-related and motor activity domains) with different underlying genetic origin and pharmacological responsiveness.

  7. Effects of aripiprazole and haloperidol on neural activation during a simple motor task in healthy individuals: A functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Goozee, Rhianna; O'Daly, Owen; Handley, Rowena; Reis Marques, Tiago; Taylor, Heather; McQueen, Grant; Hubbard, Kathryn; Pariante, Carmine; Mondelli, Valeria; Reinders, Antje A T S; Dazzan, Paola

    2017-04-01

    The dopaminergic system plays a key role in motor function and motor abnormalities have been shown to be a specific feature of psychosis. Due to their dopaminergic action, antipsychotic drugs may be expected to modulate motor function, but the precise effects of these drugs on motor function remain unclear. We carried out a within-subject, double-blind, randomized study of the effects of aripiprazole, haloperidol and placebo on motor function in 20 healthy men. For each condition, motor performance on an auditory-paced task was investigated. We entered maps of neural activation into a random effects general linear regression model to investigate motor function main effects. Whole-brain imaging revealed a significant treatment effect in a distributed network encompassing posterior orbitofrontal/anterior insula cortices, and the inferior temporal and postcentral gyri. Post-hoc comparison of treatments showed neural activation after aripiprazole did not differ significantly from placebo in either voxel-wise or region of interest analyses, with the results above driven primarily by haloperidol. We also observed a simple main effect of haloperidol compared with placebo, with increased task-related recruitment of posterior cingulate and precentral gyri. Furthermore, region of interest analyses revealed greater activation following haloperidol compared with placebo in the precentral and post-central gyri, and the putamen. These diverse modifications in cortical motor activation may relate to the different pharmacological profiles of haloperidol and aripiprazole, although the specific mechanisms underlying these differences remain unclear. Evaluating healthy individuals can allow investigation of the effects of different antipsychotics on cortical activation, independently of either disease-related pathology or previous treatment. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1833-1845, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Magnetosphere power budget role in the task of classification of magnetospheric activity sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkhatov, N. A.; Dremukhina, L. A.; Gromova, L. I.; Levitin, A. E.; Revunov, S. E.; Ulibina, R. I.

    The self-training artificial neural networks ANN of self-organizing Cohonen map type permitting classification of complexes of perturbed space weather parameters is created In outcome eight basic classes - complexes of perturbed parameters including parameters of solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field power budget of the magnetosphere and Dst-index dynamics adequate to different global magnetospheric situations are determined Validation of the announced number of classes of complexes of perturbed parameters is confirmed by different samplings of studied events The classification of types of solar plasma flows is executed and the basic classification parameters of events corresponding to the physical essence of the task of classification defining the disturbed flow type are determined The revision of classification reliability is executed using the experimental references data on events with known type of disturbing flow and solar source The approach designed here allows to consider the classification of disturbing flows as both space and physical as within the framework of classification the space origin of different types of disturbances is considered The given classification can be used for creation of new standards of space weather phenomena description using ANN technique The ANN method allows to computerize the process of classification and make the magnetic storms prediction possible The work was executed under the financial support of the RFBR

  9. Reduced anterior prefrontal cortex activation in young binge drinkers during a visual working memory task.

    PubMed

    Crego, Alberto; Rodriguez-Holguín, Socorro; Parada, María; Mota, Nayara; Corral, Montserrat; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2010-06-01

    Working memory (WM) is a major cognitive function that is altered by chronic alcohol consumption. This impairment has been linked to alterations in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Animal and human studies have shown that the adolescent brain is more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol than the adult brain, particularly those structures that mature late on in development, such as the hippocampus and prefrontal brain. The aim of the present study was to assess visual working memory and its neural correlates in young university students who partake in intermittent consumption of large amounts of alcohol (binge drinkers). A sample of 42 binge drinkers and 53 corresponding control subjects performed an identical pairs continuous performance task (IP-CPT) in a combined event-related potential (ERP) and exact low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA) study. The results revealed that, despite adequate performance, binge drinkers showed a smaller late positive component (LPC) associated with hypoactivation of the right anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) for matching stimuli, in comparison with control subjects. These findings may reveal binge drinking-related functional alteration in recognition working memory processes and suggest that impaired prefrontal cortex function may occur at an early age in binge drinkers.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2015-12-15

    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.

  13. Active versus Passive Training of a Complex Bimanual Task: Is Prescriptive Proprioceptive Information Sufficient for Inducing Motor Learning?

    PubMed Central

    Beets, Iseult A. M.; Macé, Marc; Meesen, Raf L. J.; Cuypers, Koen; Levin, Oron; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual processes play an important role in motor learning. While it is evident that visual information greatly contributes to learning new movements, much less is known about provision of prescriptive proprioceptive information. Here, we investigated whether passive (proprioceptively-based) movement training was comparable to active training for learning a new bimanual task. Three groups practiced a bimanual coordination pattern with a 1∶2 frequency ratio and a 90° phase offset between both wrists with Lissajous feedback over the course of four days: 1) passive training; 2) active training; 3) no training (control). Retention findings revealed that passive as compared to active training resulted in equally successful acquisition of the frequency ratio but active training was more effective for acquisition of the new relative phasing between the limbs in the presence of augmented visual feedback. However, when this feedback was removed, performance of the new relative phase deteriorated in both groups whereas the frequency ratio was better preserved. The superiority of active over passive training in the presence of augmented feedback is hypothesized to result from active involvement in processes of error detection/correction and planning. PMID:22666379

  14. 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

  15. Avoided crossings, conical intersections, and low-lying excited states with a single reference method: The restricted active space spin-flip configuration interaction approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casanova, David

    2012-08-01

    The restricted active space spin-flip CI (RASCI-SF) performance is tested in the electronic structure computation of the ground and the lowest electronically excited states in the presence of near-degeneracies. The feasibility of the method is demonstrated by analyzing the avoided crossing between the ionic and neutral singlet states of LiF along the molecular dissociation. The two potential energy surfaces (PESs) are explored by means of the energies of computed adiabatic and approximated diabatic states, dipole moments, and natural orbital electronic occupancies of both states. The RASCI-SF methodology is also used to study the ground and first excited singlet surface crossing involved in the double bond isomerization of ethylene, as a model case. The two-dimensional PESs of the ground (S0) and excited (S1) states are calculated for the complete configuration space of torsion and pyramidalization molecular distortions. The parameters that define the state energetics in the vicinity of the S0/S1 conical intersection region are compared to complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) results. These examples show that it is possible to describe strongly correlated electronic states using a single reference methodology without the need to expand the wavefunction to high levels of collective excitations. Finally, RASCI is also examined in the electronic structure characterization of the ground and 2^1{A}^-_g, 1^1{B}^+_u, 1^1{B}^-_u, and 1^3{B}^-_u states of all-trans polyenes with two to seven double bonds and beyond. Transition energies are compared to configuration interaction singles, time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT), CASSCF, and its second-order perturbation correction calculations, and to experimental data. The capability of RASCI-SF to describe the nature and properties of each electronic state is discussed in detail. This example is also used to expose the properties of different truncations of the RASCI wavefunction and to show the

  16. Medial temporal lobe activity at recognition increases with the duration of mnemonic delay during an object working memory task.

    PubMed

    Picchioni, Marco; Matthiasson, Pall; Broome, Matthew; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Mick; Mathes, Birgit; Fletcher, Paul; Williams, Steven; McGuire, Philip

    2007-11-01

    Object working memory (WM) engages a disseminated neural network, although the extent to which the length of time that data is held in WM influences regional activity within this network is unclear. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study a delayed matching to sample task in 14 healthy subjects, manipulating the duration of mnemonic delay. Across all lengths of delay, successful recognition was associated with the bilateral engagement of the inferior and middle frontal gyri and insula, the medial and inferior temporal, dorsal anterior cingulate and the posterior parietal cortices. As the length of time that data was held in WM increased, activation at recognition increased in the medial temporal, medial occipito-temporal, anterior cingulate and posterior parietal cortices. These results confirm the components of an object WM network required for successful recognition, and suggest that parts of this network, including the medial temporal cortex, are sensitive to the duration of mnemonic delay.

  17. Synchronized network activity as the origin of a P300 component in a facial attractiveness judgment task.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Tang, Akaysha C; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2014-03-01

    Many studies have used the P300 as an index for cognitive processing and neurological/psychiatric disorders. Here, we combined the source separation and source localization methods to investigate the cortical origins of the P300 elicited in a facial attractiveness judgment task. For each participant, we applied second-order blind identification (SOBI) to continuous EEG data to decompose the mixture of brain signals and noise. We then used the equivalent current dipole (ECD) models to estimate the centrality of the SOBI-recovered P300. We found that the ECD models, consisting of dipoles in the frontal and posterior association cortices, account for 96.5 ± 0.5% of variance in the scalp projection of the component. Given that the recovered dipole activities in different brain regions share the same time course with different weights, we conclude that the P300 originates from synchronized activity between anterior and posterior parts of the brain.

  18. [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.

  19. Effects of modulators of AMP-activated protein kinase on TASK-1/3 and intracellular Ca2+ concentration in rat carotid body glomus cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghee; Kang1,2, Dawon; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Kim, Insook; Carroll, John L.

    2014-01-01

    Acute hypoxia depolarizes carotid body chemoreceptor (glomus) cells and elevates intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Recent studies suggest that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediates these effects of hypoxia by inhibiting the background K+ channels such as TASK. Here we studied the effects of modulators of AMPK on TASK activity in cell-attached patches. Activators of AMPK (1 mM AICAR and 0.1–0.5 mM A769662) did not inhibit TASK activity or cause depolarization during acute (10 min) or prolonged (2–3 hr) exposure. Hypoxia inhibited TASK activity by ~70% in cells pretreated with AICAR or A769662. Both AICAR and A769662 (15–40 min) failed to increase [Ca2+]i in glomus cells. Compound C (40 µM), an inhibitor of AMPK, showed no effect on hypoxia-induced inhibition of TASK. AICAR and A769662 phosphorylated AMPKα in PC12 cells, and Compound C blocked the phosphorylation. Our results suggest that AMPK does not affect TASK activity and is not involved in hypoxia-induced elevation of intracellular [Ca2+] in isolated rat carotid body glomus cells. PMID:24530802

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. An MPC Algorithm with Combined Speed and Steering Control for Obstacle Avoidance in Autonomous Ground Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-24

    Borrelli, “A unified approach to threat assessment and control for automotive active safety,” IEEE Transactions On Intelligent Transportation Systems , vol...Proceedings of ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference DSCC 2015 October 28-30, 2015, Ohio, USA DSCC2015 - 9747 AN MPC ALGORITHM WITH... INTRODUCTION Obstacle avoidance is a critical capability for autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs). It refers to the task of sensing the vehicle’s

  3. Steering Clear: Avoidance in the Production of Idioms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irujo, Suzanne

    A study of advanced English learners' use or avoidance of English idioms is described. The investigation looked at whether the subjects would attempt to use English idioms in a translation task containing idioms, or would instead use non-idiomatic synonyms or paraphrase. It also look