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Sample records for adult cortical plasticity

  1. Adult Cortical Plasticity Studied with Chronically Implanted Electrode Arrays

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Hiroshi; McManus, Justin N.J.; Ramalingam, Nirmala; Li, Wu; Marik, Sally A.; Meyer zum Alten Borgloh, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    The functional architecture of adult cerebral cortex retains a capacity for experience-dependent change. This is seen after focal binocular lesions as rapid changes in receptive field (RF) of the lesion projection zone (LPZ) in the primary visual cortex (V1). To study the dynamics of the circuitry underlying these changes longitudinally, we implanted microelectrode arrays in macaque (Macaca mulatta) V1, eliminating the possibility of sampling bias, which was a concern in previous studies. With this method, we observed a rapid initial recovery in the LPZ and, during the following weeks, 63–89% of the sites in the LPZ showed recovery of visual responses with significant position tuning. The RFs shifted ∼3° away from the scotoma. In the absence of a lesion, visual stimulation surrounding an artificial scotoma did not elicit visual responses, suggesting that the postlesion RF shifts resulted from cortical reorganization. Interestingly, although both spikes and LFPs gave consistent prelesion position tuning, only spikes reflected the postlesion remapping. PMID:25673865

  2. Contrasting roles for parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons in two forms of adult visual cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Eitan S; Cooke, Sam F; Komorowski, Robert W; Chubykin, Alexander A; Thomazeau, Aurore; Khibnik, Lena A; Gavornik, Jeffrey P; Bear, Mark F

    2016-01-01

    The roles played by cortical inhibitory neurons in experience-dependent plasticity are not well understood. Here we evaluate the participation of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) GABAergic neurons in two forms of experience-dependent modification of primary visual cortex (V1) in adult mice: ocular dominance (OD) plasticity resulting from monocular deprivation and stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP) resulting from enriched visual experience. These two forms of plasticity are triggered by different events but lead to a similar increase in visual cortical response. Both also require the NMDA class of glutamate receptor (NMDAR). However, we find that PV+ inhibitory neurons in V1 play a critical role in the expression of SRP and its behavioral correlate of familiarity recognition, but not in the expression of OD plasticity. Furthermore, NMDARs expressed within PV+ cells, reversibly inhibited by the psychotomimetic drug ketamine, play a critical role in SRP, but not in the induction or expression of adult OD plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11450.001 PMID:26943618

  3. NEURODEVELOPMENT. Adult cortical plasticity depends on an early postnatal critical period.

    PubMed

    Greenhill, Stuart D; Juczewski, Konrad; de Haan, Annelies M; Seaton, Gillian; Fox, Kevin; Hardingham, Neil R

    2015-07-24

    Development of the cerebral cortex is influenced by sensory experience during distinct phases of postnatal development known as critical periods. Disruption of experience during a critical period produces neurons that lack specificity for particular stimulus features, such as location in the somatosensory system. Synaptic plasticity is the agent by which sensory experience affects cortical development. Here, we describe, in mice, a developmental critical period that affects plasticity itself. Transient neonatal disruption of signaling via the C-terminal domain of "disrupted in schizophrenia 1" (DISC1)—a molecule implicated in psychiatric disorders—resulted in a lack of long-term potentiation (LTP) (persistent strengthening of synapses) and experience-dependent potentiation in adulthood. Long-term depression (LTD) (selective weakening of specific sets of synapses) and reversal of LTD were present, although impaired, in adolescence and absent in adulthood. These changes may form the basis for the cognitive deficits associated with mutations in DISC1 and the delayed onset of a range of psychiatric symptoms in late adolescence. PMID:26206934

  4. Sleep and olfactory cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Dylan C.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2014-01-01

    In many systems, sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation and synaptic homeostasis. These processes together help store information of biological significance and reset synaptic circuits to facilitate acquisition of information in the future. In this review, we describe recent evidence of sleep-dependent changes in olfactory system structure and function which contribute to odor memory and perception. During slow-wave sleep, the piriform cortex becomes hypo-responsive to odor stimulation and instead displays sharp-wave activity similar to that observed within the hippocampal formation. Furthermore, the functional connectivity between the piriform cortex and other cortical and limbic regions is enhanced during slow-wave sleep compared to waking. This combination of conditions may allow odor memory consolidation to occur during a state of reduced external interference and facilitate association of odor memories with stored hedonic and contextual cues. Evidence consistent with sleep-dependent odor replay within olfactory cortical circuits is presented. These data suggest that both the strength and precision of odor memories is sleep-dependent. The work further emphasizes the critical role of synaptic plasticity and memory in not only odor memory but also basic odor perception. The work also suggests a possible link between sleep disturbances that are frequently co-morbid with a wide range of pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression and the known olfactory impairments associated with those disorders. PMID:24795585

  5. Cortical Magnification Plus Cortical Plasticity Equals Vision?

    PubMed Central

    Born, Richard T.; Trott, Alexander; Hartmann, Till

    2014-01-01

    Most approaches to visual prostheses have focused on the retina, and for good reasons. The earlier that one introduces signals into the visual system, the more one can take advantage of its prodigious computational abilities. For methods that make use of microelectrodes to introduce electrical signals, however, the limited density and volume occupying nature of the electrodes place severe limits on the image resolution that can be provided to the brain. In this regard, non-retinal areas in general, and the primary visual cortex in particular, possess one large advantage: “magnification factor” (MF)—a value that represents the distance across a sheet of neurons that represents a given angle of the visual field. In the foveal representation of primate primary visual cortex, the MF is enormous—on the order of 15–20 mm/deg in monkeys and humans, whereas on the retina, the MF is limited by the optical design of the eye to around 0.3 mm/deg. This means that, for an electrode array of a given density, a much higher- resolution image can be introduced into V1 than onto the retina (or any other visual structure). In addition to this tremendous advantage in resolution, visual cortex is plastic at many different levels ranging from a very local ability to learn to better detect electrical stimulation to higher levels of learning that permit human observers to adapt to radical changes to their visual inputs. We argue that the combination of the large magnification factor and the impressive ability of the cerebral cortex to learn to recognize arbitrary patterns, might outweigh the disadvantages of bypassing earlier processing stages and makes V1 a viable option for the restoration of vision. PMID:25449335

  6. Hypergravity within a critical period impacts on the maturation of somatosensory cortical maps and their potential for use-dependent plasticity in the adult.

    PubMed

    Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i; Catz, Nicolas; Xerri, Christian

    2016-06-01

    We investigated experience-dependent plasticity of somatosensory maps in rat S1 cortex during early development. We analyzed both short- and long-term effects of exposure to 2G hypergravity (HG) during the first 3 postnatal weeks on forepaw representations. We also examined the potential of adult somatosensory maps for experience-dependent plasticity after early HG rearing. At postnatal day 22, HG was found to induce an enlargement of cortical zones driven by nail displacements and a contraction of skin sectors of the forepaw map. In these remaining zones serving the skin, neurons displayed expanded glabrous skin receptive fields (RFs). HG also induced a bias in the directional sensitivity of neuronal responses to nail displacement. HG-induced map changes were still found after 16 wk of housing in normogravity (NG). However, the glabrous skin RFs recorded in HG rats decreased to values similar to that of NG rats, as early as the end of the first week of housing in NG. Moreover, the expansion of the glabrous skin area and decrease in RF size normally induced in adults by an enriched environment (EE) did not occur in the HG rats, even after 16 wk of EE housing in NG. Our findings reveal that early postnatal experience critically and durably shapes S1 forepaw maps and limits their potential to be modified by novel experience in adulthood. PMID:26888103

  7. Inhibitory interneurons in visual cortical plasticity.

    PubMed

    van Versendaal, Daniëlle; Levelt, Christiaan N

    2016-10-01

    For proper maturation of the neocortex and acquisition of specific functions and skills, exposure to sensory stimuli is vital during critical periods of development when synaptic connectivity is highly malleable. To preserve reliable cortical processing, it is essential that these critical periods end after which learning becomes more conditional and active interaction with the environment becomes more important. How these age-dependent forms of plasticity are regulated has been studied extensively in the primary visual cortex. This has revealed that inhibitory innervation plays a crucial role and that a temporary decrease in inhibition is essential for plasticity to take place. Here, we discuss how different interneuron subsets regulate plasticity during different stages of cortical maturation. We propose a theory in which different interneuron subsets select the sources of neuronal input that undergo plasticity. PMID:27193323

  8. Plasticity of Cortical Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Synapses are highly plastic and are modified by changes in patterns of neural activity or sensory experience. Plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses is thought to be important for learning and memory, leading to alterations in sensory representations and cognitive maps. However, these changes must be coordinated across other synapses within local circuits to preserve neural coding schemes and the organization of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, i.e., excitatory-inhibitory balance. Recent studies indicate that inhibitory synapses are also plastic and are controlled directly by a large number of neuromodulators, particularly during episodes of learning. Many modulators transiently alter excitatory-inhibitory balance by decreasing inhibition, and thus disinhibition has emerged as a major mechanism by which neuromodulation might enable long-term synaptic modifications naturally. This review examines the relationships between neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity, focusing on the induction of long-term changes that collectively enhance cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance for improving perception and behavior. PMID:25897875

  9. Cortical Plasticity after Cochlear Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, B.; Gjedde, A.; Wallentin, M.; Vuust, P.

    2013-01-01

    The most dramatic progress in the restoration of hearing takes place in the first months after cochlear implantation. To map the brain activity underlying this process, we used positron emission tomography at three time points: within 14 days, three months, and six months after switch-on. Fifteen recently implanted adult implant recipients listened to running speech or speech-like noise in four sequential PET sessions at each milestone. CI listeners with postlingual hearing loss showed differential activation of left superior temporal gyrus during speech and speech-like stimuli, unlike CI listeners with prelingual hearing loss. Furthermore, Broca's area was activated as an effect of time, but only in CI listeners with postlingual hearing loss. The study demonstrates that adaptation to the cochlear implant is highly related to the history of hearing loss. Speech processing in patients whose hearing loss occurred after the acquisition of language involves brain areas associated with speech comprehension, which is not the case for patients whose hearing loss occurred before the acquisition of language. Finally, the findings confirm the key role of Broca's area in restoration of speech perception, but only in individuals in whom Broca's area has been active prior to the loss of hearing. PMID:24377050

  10. Auditory Cortical Plasticity in Learning to Discriminate Modulation Rate

    PubMed Central

    van Wassenhove, Virginie; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.

    2014-01-01

    The discrimination of temporal information in acoustic inputs is a crucial aspect of auditory perception, yet very few studies have focused on auditory perceptual learning of timing properties and associated plasticity in adult auditory cortex. Here, we trained participants on a temporal discrimination task. The main task used a base stimulus (four tones separated by intervals of 200 ms) that had to be distinguished from a target stimulus (four tones with intervals down to ~180 ms). We show that participants’ auditory temporal sensitivity improves with a short amount of training (3 d, 1 h/d). Learning to discriminate temporal modulation rates was accompanied by a systematic amplitude increase of the early auditory evoked responses to trained stimuli, as measured by magnetoencephalography. Additionally, learning and auditory cortex plasticity partially generalized to interval discrimination but not to frequency discrimination. Auditory cortex plasticity associated with short-term perceptual learning was manifested as an enhancement of auditory cortical responses to trained acoustic features only in the trained task. Plasticity was also manifested as induced non-phase–locked high gamma-band power increases in inferior frontal cortex during performance in the trained task. Functional plasticity in auditory cortex is here interpreted as the product of bottom-up and top-down modulations. PMID:17344404

  11. Cortical Auditory Deafferentation Induces Long-Term Plasticity in the Inferior Colliculus of Adult Rats: Microarray and qPCR Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Clarkson, Cheryl; Herrero-Turrión, M. Javier; Merchán, Miguel A.

    2012-01-01

    The cortico-collicular pathway is a bilateral excitatory projection from the cortex to the inferior colliculus (IC). It is asymmetric and predominantly ipsilateral. Using microarrays and RT-qPCR we analyzed changes in gene expression in the IC after unilateral lesions of the auditory cortex, comparing the ICs ipsi- and contralateral to the lesioned side. At 15 days after surgery there were mainly changes in gene expression in the IC ipsilateral to the lesion. Regulation primarily involved inflammatory cascade genes, suggesting a direct effect of degeneration rather than a neuronal plastic reorganization. Ninety days after the cortical lesion the ipsilateral IC showed a significant up-regulation of genes involved in apoptosis and axonal regeneration combined with a down-regulation of genes involved in neurotransmission, synaptic growth, and gap junction assembly. In contrast, the contralateral IC at 90 days post-lesion showed an up-regulation in genes primarily related to neurotransmission, cell proliferation, and synaptic growth. There was also a down-regulation in autophagy and neuroprotection genes. These findings suggest that the reorganization in the IC after descending pathway deafferentation is a long-term process involving extensive changes in gene expression regulation. Regulated genes are involved in many different neuronal functions, and the number and gene rearrangement profile seems to depend on the density of loss of the auditory cortical inputs. PMID:23233834

  12. A Semi-Persistent Adult Ocular Dominance Plasticity in Visual Cortex Is Stabilized by Activated CREB

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barco, Angel; Kandel, Eric R.; Gordon, Barbara; Lickey, Marvin E.; Suzuki, Seigo; Pham, Tony A.; Graham, Sarah J.

    2004-01-01

    The adult cerebral cortex can adapt to environmental change. Using monocular deprivation as a paradigm, we find that rapid experience-dependent plasticity exists even in the mature primary visual cortex. However, adult cortical plasticity differs from developmental plasticity in two important ways. First, the effect of adult, but not juvenile…

  13. AUDITORY CORTICAL PLASTICITY: DOES IT PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR COGNITIVE PROCESSING IN THE AUDITORY CORTEX?

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Dexter R. F.

    2007-01-01

    The past 20 years have seen substantial changes in our view of the nature of the processing carried out in auditory cortex. Some processing of a cognitive nature, previously attributed to higher order “association” areas, is now considered to take place in auditory cortex itself. One argument adduced in support of this view is the evidence indicating a remarkable degree of plasticity in the auditory cortex of adult animals. Such plasticity has been demonstrated in a wide range of paradigms, in which auditory input or the behavioural significance of particular inputs is manipulated. Changes over the same time period in our conceptualization of the receptive fields of cortical neurons, and well-established mechanisms for use-related changes in synaptic function, can account for many forms of auditory cortical plasticity. On the basis of a review of auditory cortical plasticity and its probable mechanisms, it is argued that only plasticity associated with learning tasks provides a strong case for cognitive processing in auditory cortex. Even in this case the evidence is indirect, in that it has not yet been established that the changes in auditory cortex are necessary for behavioural learning and memory. Although other lines of evidence provide convincing support for cognitive processing in auditory cortex, that provided by auditory cortical plasticity remains equivocal. PMID:17303356

  14. Otx2-PNN Interaction to Regulate Cortical Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Clémence; Prochiantz, Alain

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the environment to shape cortical function is at its highest during critical periods of postnatal development. In the visual cortex, critical period onset is triggered by the maturation of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons, which gradually become surrounded by a specialized glycosaminoglycan-rich extracellular matrix: the perineuronal nets. Among the identified factors regulating cortical plasticity in the visual cortex, extracortical homeoprotein Otx2 is transferred specifically into parvalbumin interneurons and this transfer regulates both the onset and the closure of the critical period of plasticity for binocular vision. Here, we review the interaction between the complex sugars of the perineuronal nets and homeoprotein Otx2 and how this interaction regulates cortical plasticity during critical period and in adulthood. PMID:26881132

  15. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Dependent Cortical Plasticity in Chronic Pain.

    PubMed

    Koga, Kohei; Li, Shermaine; Zhuo, Min

    2016-01-01

    Many cortical areas play crucial roles in higher order brain functions such as pain and emotion-processing, decision-making, and cognition. Among them, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insular cortex (IC) are two key areas. Glutamate mediates major excitatory transmission during long-term plasticity in both physiological and pathological conditions. Specifically related to nociceptive or pain behaviors, metabotropic glutamate subtype receptors (mGluRs) have been involved in different types of synaptic modulation and plasticity from periphery to the spinal cord. However, less is known about their functional roles in plasticity related to pain and its related behaviors within cortical regions. In this review, we first summarized previous studies of synaptic plasticity in both the ACC and IC, and discussed how mGluRs may be involved in both cortical long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)-especially in LTD. The activation of mGluRs contributes to the induction of LTD in both ACC and IC areas. The loss of LTD caused by peripheral amputation or nerve injury can be rescued by priming ACC or IC with activations of mGluR1 receptors. We also discussed the potential functional roles of mGluRs for pain-related behaviors. We propose that targeting mGluRs in the cortical areas including the ACC and IC may provide a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of chronic pain, phantom pain or anxiety. PMID:27296638

  16. Multisensory dysfunction accompanies crossmodal plasticity following adult hearing impairment

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, M. Alex; Keniston, Leslie P.; Allman, Brian L.

    2012-01-01

    Until now, cortical crossmodal plasticity has largely been regarded as the effect of early and complete sensory loss. Recently, massive crossmodal cortical reorganization was demonstrated to result from profound hearing loss in adult ferrets (Allman et al., 2009a). Moderate adult hearing loss, on the other hand, induced not just crossmodal reorganization, but also merged new crossmodal inputs with residual auditory function to generate multisensory neurons. Because multisensory convergence can lead to dramatic levels of response integration when stimuli from more than one modality are present (and thereby potentially interfere with residual auditory processing), the present investigation sought to evaluate the multisensory properties of auditory cortical neurons in partially deafened adult ferrets. When compared with hearing controls, partially-deaf animals revealed elevated spontaneous levels and a dramatic increase (~2 times) in the proportion of multisensory cortical neurons, but few of which showed multisensory integration. Moreover, a large proportion (68%) of neurons with somatosensory and/or visual inputs was vigorously active in core auditory cortex in the absence of auditory stimulation. Collectively, these results not only demonstrate multisensory dysfunction in core auditory cortical neurons from hearing impaired adults but also reveal a potential cortical substrate for maladaptive perceptual effects such as tinnitus. PMID:22516008

  17. Dynamic Plasticity of Coupled Cortical Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwal, G. S.

    2003-03-01

    Spatiotemporal location of an object may be achieved by inference from a combination of different noisy stimuli such as in the case of barn owls which locate prey using both aural and visual stimuli. The symbolic representation of an event is carried out using the receptive fields of neurons in the cortex, and in a normal barn owl the aural and visual receptive fields are aligned from early experiences. However, misalignment induced by the wearing of prismatic glasses may result in adaptive behavior, manifested by physical modification of the receptive fields. A model of this dynamic plasticity is presented and analyzed by maximising the weighted information of both sensory neural outputs, demonstrating a transition from adaptive to non-adaptive behavior as the rate of misalignment increases.

  18. Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Julie; Wilson, Donald A.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to adapt to a complex and fluctuating environment requires the ability to adjust neural representations of sensory stimuli. Through pattern completion processes, cortical networks can reconstruct familiar patterns from degraded input patterns, while pattern separation processes allow discrimination of even highly overlapping inputs. Here we show that the balance between pattern separation and completion is experience-dependent. Rats given extensive training with overlapping complex odorant mixtures show improved behavioral discrimination ability and enhanced cortical ensemble pattern separation. In contrast, behavioral training to disregard normally detectable differences between overlapping mixtures results in impaired cortical ensemble pattern separation (enhanced pattern completion) and impaired discrimination. This bidirectional effect was not found in the olfactory bulb, and may be due to plasticity within olfactory cortex itself. Thus pattern recognition, and the balance between pattern separation and completion, is highly malleable based on task demands and occurs in concert with changes in perceptual performance. PMID:22101640

  19. Short-term immobilization influences use-dependent cortical plasticity and fine motor performance.

    PubMed

    Opie, George M; Evans, Alexandra; Ridding, Michael C; Semmler, John G

    2016-08-25

    Short-term immobilization that reduces muscle use for 8-10h is known to influence cortical excitability and motor performance. However, the mechanisms through which this is achieved, and whether these changes can be used to modify cortical plasticity and motor skill learning, are not known. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of short-term immobilization on use-dependent cortical plasticity, motor learning and retention. Twenty-one adults were divided into control and immobilized groups, both of which underwent two experimental sessions on consecutive days. Within each session, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to assess motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes, short- (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF) before and after a grooved pegboard task. Prior to the second training session, the immobilized group underwent 8h of left hand immobilization targeting the index finger, while control subjects were allowed normal limb use. Immobilization produced a reduction in MEP amplitudes, but no change in SICI, LICI or ICF. While motor performance improved for both groups in each session, the level of performance was greater 24-h later in control, but not immobilized subjects. Furthermore, training-related MEP facilitation was greater after, compared with before, immobilization. These results indicate that immobilization can modulate use-dependent plasticity and the retention of motor skills. They also suggest that changes in intracortical excitability are unlikely to contribute to the immobilization-induced modification of cortical excitability. PMID:27282084

  20. Cortical sensory plasticity in a model of migraine with aura

    PubMed Central

    Theriot, Jeremy J.; Toga, Arthur W.; Prakash, Neal; Ju, Y. Sungtaek; Brennan, K.C.

    2012-01-01

    The migraine attack is characterized by alterations in sensory perception, such as photophobia or allodynia, which have in common an uncomfortable amplification of the percept. It is not known how these changes arise. We evaluated the ability of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the proposed mechanism of the migraine aura, to shape the cortical activity that underlies sensory perception. We measured forepaw- and hindpaw-evoked sensory responses in rat, before and after CSD, using multi-electrode array recordings and 2-dimensional optical spectroscopy. CSD significantly altered cortical sensory processing on a timescale compatible with the duration of the migraine attack. Both electrophysiological and hemodynamic maps had a reduced surface area (were sharpened) after CSD. Electrophysiological responses were potentiated at the receptive field center, but suppressed in surround regions. Finally, the normal adaptation of sensory evoked responses was attenuated at the receptive field center. In summary, we show that CSD induces changes in the evoked cortical response that are consistent with known mechanisms of cortical plasticity. These mechanisms provide a novel neurobiological substrate to explain the sensory alterations of the migraine attack. PMID:23115163

  1. Cortical Plasticity, Excitatory–Inhibitory Balance, and Sensory Perception

    PubMed Central

    Carcea, Ioana; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Experience shapes the central nervous system throughout life. Structural and functional plasticity confers a remarkable ability on the brain, allowing neural circuits to adequately adapt to dynamic environments. This process can require selective adjustment of many excitatory and inhibitory synapses in an organized manner, in such a way as to enhance representations of behaviorally important sensory stimuli while preserving overall network excitability. The rules and mechanisms that orchestrated these changes across different synapses and throughout neuronal ensembles are beginning to be understood. Here, we review the evidence connecting synaptic plasticity to functional plasticity and perceptual learning, focusing on the roles of various neuromodulatory systems in enabling plasticity of adult neural circuits. However, the challenge remains to appropriately leverage these systems and forms of plasticity to persistently improve perceptual abilities and behavioral performance. PMID:24309251

  2. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L.; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  3. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  4. Role of IGF-1 in cortical plasticity and functional deficit induced by sensorimotor restriction.

    PubMed

    Mysoet, Julien; Dupont, Erwan; Bastide, Bruno; Canu, Marie-Hélène

    2015-09-01

    In the adult rat, sensorimotor restriction by hindlimb unloading (HU) is known to induce impairments in motor behavior as well as a disorganization of somatosensory cortex (shrinkage of the cortical representation of the hindpaw, enlargement of the cutaneous receptive fields, decreased cutaneous sensibility threshold). Recently, our team has demonstrated that IGF-1 level was decreased in the somatosensory cortex of rats submitted to a 14-day period of HU. To determine whether IGF-1 is involved in these plastic mechanisms, a chronic cortical infusion of this substance was performed by means of osmotic minipump. When administered in control rats, IGF-1 affects the size of receptive fields and the cutaneous threshold, but has no effect on the somatotopic map. In addition, when injected during the whole HU period, IGF-1 is interestingly implied in cortical changes due to hypoactivity: the shrinkage of somatotopic representation of hindlimb is prevented, whereas the enlargement of receptive fields is reduced. IGF-1 has no effect on the increase in neuronal response to peripheral stimulation. We also explored the functional consequences of IGF-1 level restoration on tactile sensory discrimination. In HU rats, the percentage of paw withdrawal after a light tactile stimulation was decreased, whereas it was similar to control level in HU-IGF-1 rats. Taken together, the data clearly indicate that IGF-1 plays a key-role in cortical plastic mechanisms and in behavioral alterations induced by a decrease in sensorimotor activity. PMID:25958232

  5. Adult myelination: wrapping up neuronal plasticity

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Megan; Gasperini, Robert; Young, Kaylene M.

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we outline the major neural plasticity mechanisms that have been identified in the adult central nervous system (CNS), and offer a perspective on how they regulate CNS function. In particular we examine how myelin plasticity can operate alongside neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity to influence information processing and transfer in the mature CNS. PMID:25221576

  6. Modeling attention-driven plasticity in auditory cortical receptive fields.

    PubMed

    Carlin, Michael A; Elhilali, Mounya

    2015-01-01

    To navigate complex acoustic environments, listeners adapt neural processes to focus on behaviorally relevant sounds in the acoustic foreground while minimizing the impact of distractors in the background, an ability referred to as top-down selective attention. Particularly striking examples of attention-driven plasticity have been reported in primary auditory cortex via dynamic reshaping of spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs). By enhancing the neural response to features of the foreground while suppressing those to the background, STRFs can act as adaptive contrast matched filters that directly contribute to an improved cognitive segregation between behaviorally relevant and irrelevant sounds. In this study, we propose a novel discriminative framework for modeling attention-driven plasticity of STRFs in primary auditory cortex. The model describes a general strategy for cortical plasticity via an optimization that maximizes discriminability between the foreground and distractors while maintaining a degree of stability in the cortical representation. The first instantiation of the model describes a form of feature-based attention and yields STRF adaptation patterns consistent with a contrast matched filter previously reported in neurophysiological studies. An extension of the model captures a form of object-based attention, where top-down signals act on an abstracted representation of the sensory input characterized in the modulation domain. The object-based model makes explicit predictions in line with limited neurophysiological data currently available but can be readily evaluated experimentally. Finally, we draw parallels between the model and anatomical circuits reported to be engaged during active attention. The proposed model strongly suggests an interpretation of attention-driven plasticity as a discriminative adaptation operating at the level of sensory cortex, in line with similar strategies previously described across different sensory modalities

  7. Exercise induces cortical plasticity after neonatal spinal cord injury in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kao, Tina; Shumsky, Jed S; Murray, Marion; Moxon, Karen A

    2009-06-10

    Exercise-induced cortical plasticity is associated with improved functional outcome after brain or nerve injury. Exercise also improves functional outcomes after spinal cord injury, but its effects on cortical plasticity are not known. The goal of this investigation was to study the effect of moderate exercise (treadmill locomotion, 3 min/d, 5 d/week) on the somatotopic organization of forelimb and hindlimb somatosensory cortex (SI) after neonatal thoracic transection. We used adult rats spinalized as neonates because some of these animals develop weight-supported stepping, and, therefore, the relationship between cortical plasticity and stepping could also be examined. Acute, single-neuron mapping was used to determine the percentage of cortical cells responding to cutaneous forelimb stimulation in normal, spinalized, and exercised spinalized rats. Multiple single-neuron recording from arrays of chronically implanted microwires examined the magnitude of response of these cells in normal and exercised spinalized rats. Our results show that exercise not only increased the percentage of responding cells in the hindlimb SI but also increased the magnitude of the response of these cells. This increase in response magnitude was correlated with behavioral outcome measures. In the forelimb SI, neonatal transection reduced the percentage of responding cells to forelimb stimulation, but exercise reversed this loss. This restoration in the percentage of responding cells after exercise was accompanied by an increase in their response magnitude. Therefore, the increase in responsiveness of hindlimb SI to forelimb stimulation after neonatal transection and exercise may be due, in part, to the effect of exercise on the forelimb SI. PMID:19515923

  8. Enriched Environments, Cortical Plasticity, and Implications for the Systematic Design of Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Stephen; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Discussion of learning theories focuses on cortical plasticity, enriched learning environments, and the systematic design of instruction. Topics include neurophysiology; research on cortical plasticity and its implications for instructional systems design; linking theory with practice; discovery learning; and motivation and arousal, including…

  9. A Neural Circuit That Controls Cortical State, Plasticity, and the Gain of Sensory Responses in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Stryker, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex were first found to be exquisitely selective for particular properties of visual stimuli in anesthetized animals, including mice. Studies of alert mice in an apparatus that allowed them to stand or run revealed that locomotion causes a change in cortical state that dramatically increases the magnitude of responses in neurons of the visual cortex without altering selectivity, effectively changing the gain of sensory responses. Locomotion also dramatically enhances adult plasticity in the recovery from long-term visual deprivation. We have studied the elements and operation of the neural circuit responsible for the enhancement of activity and shown that it enhances plasticity even in mice not free to run. The circuit consists of projections ascending from the midbrain locomotor region (MLR) to the basal forebrain, activating cholinergic and perhaps other projections to excite inhibitory interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the visual cortex. VIP cells activated by locomotion inhibit interneurons that express somatostatin (SST), thereby disinhibiting the excitatory principal neurons and allowing them to respond more strongly to effective visual stimuli. These findings reveal in alert animals how the ascending reticular activating system described in anesthetized animals 50 years ago operates to control cortical state. PMID:25948638

  10. Interneuron epigenomes during the critical period of cortical plasticity: Implications for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Morishita, Hirofumi; Kundakovic, Marija; Bicks, Lucy; Mitchell, Amanda; Akbarian, Schahram

    2015-10-01

    Schizophrenia, a major psychiatric disorder defined by delusions and hallucinations, among other symptoms, often with onset in early adulthood, is potentially associated with molecular and cellular alterations in parvalbumin-expressing fast spiking interneurons and other constituents of the cortical inhibitory GABAergic circuitry. The underlying mechanisms, including the role of disease-associated risk factors operating in adolescence such as drug abuse and social stressors, remain incompletely understood. Here, we summarize emerging findings from animal models, highlighting the ability of parvalbuminergic interneurons (PVI) to induce, during the juvenile period, long-term plastic changes in prefrontal and visual cortex, thereby altering perception, cognition and behavior in the adult. Of note, molecular alterations in PVI from subjects with schizophrenia, including downregulated expression of a subset of GABAergic genes, have also been found in juvenile stress models of the disorder. Some of the transcriptional alterations observed in schizophrenia postmortem brain could be linked to changes in the epigenetic architecture of GABAergic gene promoters, including dysregulated DNA methylation, histone modification patterns and disruption of promoter-enhancer interactions at site of chromosomal loop formations. Therefore, we predict that, in the not-to-distant future, PVI- and other cell-type specific epigenomic mappings in the animal model and human brain will provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and related psychotic diseases, including the role of cortical GABAergic circuitry in shaping long-term plasticity and cognitive function of the cerebral cortex. PMID:25849095

  11. Asymmetrical Cortical Processing of Radial Expansioncontraction in Infants and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirai, Nobu; Birtles, Deirdre; Wattam-Bell, John; Yamaguchi, Masami K.; Kanazawa, So; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    We report asymmetrical cortical responses (steady-state visual evoked potentials) to radial expansion and contraction in human infants and adults. Forty-four infants (22 3-month-olds and 22 4-month-olds) and nine adults viewed dynamic dot patterns which cyclically (2.1 Hz) alternate between radial expansion (or contraction) and random directional…

  12. Adult Astrogenesis and the Etiology of Cortical Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mohn, Tal C.; Koob, Andrew O.

    2015-01-01

    As more evidence points to a clear role for astrocytes in synaptic processing, synaptogenesis and cognition, continuing research on astrocytic function could lead to strategies for neurodegenerative disease prevention. Reactive astrogliosis results in astrocyte proliferation early in injury and disease states and is considered neuroprotective, indicating a role for astrocytes in disease etiology. This review describes the different types of human cortical astrocytes and the current evidence regarding adult cortical astrogenesis in injury and degenerative disease. A role for disrupted astrogenesis as a cause of cortical degeneration, with a focus on the tauopathies and synucleinopathies, will also be considered. PMID:26568684

  13. Neural plasticity in adults with amblyopia.

    PubMed Central

    Levi, D M; Polat, U

    1996-01-01

    Amblyopia is a neuronal abnormality of vision that is often considered irreversible in adults. We found strong and significant improvement of Vernier acuity in human adults with naturally occurring amblyopia following practice. Learning was strongest at the trained orientation and did not transfer to an untrained task (detection), but it did transfer partially to the untrained eye (primarily at the trained orientation). We conclude that this perceptual learning reflects alterations in early neural processes that are localized beyond the site of convergence of the two eyes. Our results suggest a significant degree of plasticity in the visual system of adults with amblyopia. PMID:8692904

  14. A Theoretical Framework for the Study of Adult Cognitive Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovden, Martin; Backman, Lars; Lindenberger, Ulman; Schaefer, Sabine; Schmiedek, Florian

    2010-01-01

    Does plasticity contribute to adult cognitive development, and if so, in what ways? The vague and overused concept of plasticity makes these controversial questions difficult to answer. In this article, we refine the notion of adult cognitive plasticity and sharpen its conceptual distinctiveness. According to our framework, adult cognitive…

  15. State-Dependent Partial Occlusion of Cortical LTP-Like Plasticity in Major Depression.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Marion; Mainberger, Florian; Feige, Bernd; Maier, Jonathan G; Mall, Volker; Jung, Nicolai H; Reis, Janine; Klöppel, Stefan; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-05-01

    The synaptic plasticity hypothesis of major depressive disorder (MDD) posits that alterations in synaptic plasticity represent a final common pathway underlying the clinical symptoms of the disorder. This study tested the hypotheses that patients with MDD show an attenuation of cortical synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in comparison with healthy controls, and that this attenuation recovers after remission. Cortical synaptic LTP-like plasticity was measured using a transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol, ie, paired associative stimulation (PAS), in 27 in-patients with MDD according to ICD-10 criteria and 27 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. The amplitude of motor-evoked potentials was measured before and after PAS. Patients were assessed during the acute episode and at follow-up to determine the state- or trait-character of LTP-like changes. LTP-like plasticity, the PAS-induced increase in motor-evoked potential amplitudes, was significantly attenuated in patients with an acute episode of MDD compared with healthy controls. Patients with remission showed a restoration of synaptic plasticity, whereas the deficits persisted in patients without remission, indicative for a state-character of impaired LTP-like plasticity. The results provide first evidence for a state-dependent partial occlusion of cortical LTP-like plasticity in MDD. This further identifies impaired LTP-like plasticity as a potential pathomechanism and treatment target of the disorder. PMID:26442602

  16. Anatomical plasticity in the adult Zebra Finch song system

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Kathryn S.; Kirn, John R.

    2012-01-01

    In many songbirds, vocal learning-related cellular plasticity was thought to end following a developmental critical period. However, mounting evidence in one such species, the zebra finch, suggests that forms of plasticity common during song learning continue well into adulthood, including a reliance on auditory feedback for song maintenance. This reliance wanes with increasing age, in tandem with age-related increases in fine motor control. We investigated age-related morphological changes in the adult zebra finch song system by focusing on two cortical projection neuron types that a) share a common efferent target, b) are known to exhibit morphological and functional change during song learning, and c) exert opposing influences on song acoustic structure. Neurons in HVC (proper name) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN) both project to the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). During juvenile song learning and adult song maintenance, HVC promotes song syllable stereotypy while LMAN promotes learning and acoustic variability. Following retrograde labeling of these two cell types in adults, there were age-related increases in dendritic arbor in HVC-RA but not LMAN-RA neurons, resulting in an increase in the ratio of HVC-RA:LMAN-RA dendritic arbor. Differential growth of HVC relative to LMAN dendrites may relate to increases in song motor refinement, decreases in the reliance of song on auditory feedback, or both. Despite this differential growth with age, we also show that both cell types retain the capacity for experience-dependent growth. These results may provide insights on mechanisms that promote and constrain adult vocal plasticity. PMID:22473463

  17. Hebbian and Homeostatic Plasticity Mechanisms in Regular Spiking and Intrinsic Bursting Cells of Cortical Layer 5

    PubMed Central

    Greenhill, Stuart David; Ranson, Adam; Fox, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Summary Layer 5 contains the major projection neurons of the neocortex and is composed of two major cell types: regular spiking (RS) cells, which have cortico-cortical projections, and intrinsic bursting cells (IB), which have subcortical projections. Little is known about the plasticity processes and specifically the molecular mechanisms by which these two cell classes develop and maintain their unique integrative properties. In this study, we find that RS and IB cells show fundementally different experience-dependent plasticity processes and integrate Hebbian and homeostatic components of plasticity differently. Both RS and IB cells showed TNFα-dependent homeostatic plasticity in response to sensory deprivation, but IB cells were capable of a much faster synaptic depression and homeostatic rebound than RS cells. Only IB cells showed input-specific potentiation that depended on CaMKII autophosphorylation. Our findings demonstrate that plasticity mechanisms are not uniform within the neocortex, even within a cortical layer, but are specialized within subcircuits. PMID:26481037

  18. Human Adult Cortical Reorganization and Consequent Visual Distortion

    PubMed Central

    Dilks, Daniel D.; Serences, John T.; Rosenau, Benjamin J.; Yantis, Steven; McCloskey, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Neural and behavioral evidence for cortical reorganization in the adult somatosensory system after loss of sensory input (e.g., amputation) has been well documented. In contrast, evidence for reorganization in the adult visual system is far less clear: neural evidence is the subject of controversy, behavioral evidence is sparse, and studies combining neural and behavioral evidence have not previously been reported. Here, we report converging behavioral and neuroimaging evidence from a stroke patient (B.L.) in support of cortical reorganization in the adult human visual system. B.L.’s stroke spared the primary visual cortex (V1), but destroyed fibers that normally provide input to V1 from the upper left visual field (LVF). As a consequence, B.L. is blind in the upper LVF, and exhibits distorted perception in the lower LVF: stimuli appear vertically elongated, toward and into the blind upper LVF. For example, a square presented in the lower LVF is perceived as a rectangle extending upward. We hypothesized that the perceptual distortion was a consequence of cortical reorganization in V1. Extensive behavioral testing supported our hypothesis, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) confirmed V1 reorganization. Together, the behavioral and fMRI data show that loss of input to V1 after a stroke leads to cortical reorganization in the adult human visual system, and provide the first evidence that reorganization of the adult visual system affects visual perception. These findings contribute to our understanding of the human adult brain’s capacity to change and has implications for topics ranging from learning to recovery from brain damage. PMID:17804619

  19. Vibrotactile Activation of the Auditory Cortices in Deaf versus Hearing Adults

    PubMed Central

    Auer, Edward T.; Bernstein, Lynne E.; Sungkarat, Witaya; Singh, Manbir

    2007-01-01

    Neuroplastic changes in auditory cortex as a result of lifelong perceptual experience were investigated. Adults with early-onset deafness and long-term hearing aid experience were hypothesized to have undergone auditory cortex plasticity due to somatosensory stimulation. Vibrations were presented on the hand of deaf and normal-hearing participants during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Vibration stimuli were derived from speech or were a fixed frequency. Higher, more widespread activity was observed within auditory cortical regions of the deaf participants for both stimulus types. Life-long somatosensory stimulation due to hearing aid use could explain the greater activity observed with deaf participants. PMID:17426591

  20. Vibrotactile activation of the auditory cortices in deaf versus hearing adults.

    PubMed

    Auer, Edward T; Bernstein, Lynne E; Sungkarat, Witaya; Singh, Manbir

    2007-05-01

    Neuroplastic changes in auditory cortex as a result of lifelong perceptual experience were investigated. Adults with early-onset deafness and long-term hearing aid experience were hypothesized to have undergone auditory cortex plasticity due to somatosensory stimulation. Vibrations were presented on the hand of deaf and normal-hearing participants during functional MRI. Vibration stimuli were derived from speech or were a fixed frequency. Higher, more widespread activity was observed within auditory cortical regions of the deaf participants for both stimulus types. Life-long somatosensory stimulation due to hearing aid use could explain the greater activity observed with deaf participants. PMID:17426591

  1. Cortical plasticity in patients with Parkinson's disease a window for therapeutic non-invasive neuromodulation.

    PubMed

    Quartarone, Angelo; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Terranova, Carmen; Bruschetta, Daniele; Milardi, Demetrio; Girlanda, Paolo; Ghilardi, Maria Felice

    2014-12-01

    Several evidences in animal models have consistently an alteration of cortico-striatal plasticity, which is related to the degeneration of the substantia nigra. An alteration of plasticity have also been reported in humans by recording evoked field potentials in the substantia nigra pars reticulata of PD patients undergoing subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation where high-frequency (HF) in the OFF state did not induce a lasting change in field potential amplitude in the substantia nigra. In addition protocols of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as paired associative stimulation (PAS) and theta-burst stimulation (TBS), can be used to investigate cortical plasticity of the human primary motor cortex. Despite data reported in literature are apparently controversial with some studies showing a reduced or increased or even normal LTP and LTD like plasticity, recent evidences suggest the hypothesis that these different pat- terns of cortical plasticity likely depend on the stage of the disease and on the concomitant administration of L-DOPA. The current review will provide an up-to-date of these issues on cortical plasticity in PD discussing the clinical implications in rehabilitation. In addition in the last section we will review the state of art of non invasive neuro- modulation as adjuvant treatment in the advanced stage of the disease. PMID:25987183

  2. Cortical Plasticity in the Setting of Brain Tumors.

    PubMed

    Fisicaro, Ryan A; Jost, Ethan; Shaw, Katharina; Brennan, Nicole Petrovich; Peck, Kyung K; Holodny, Andrei I

    2016-02-01

    Cortical reorganization of function due to the growth of an adjacent brain tumor has clearly been demonstrated in a number of surgically proven cases. Such cases demonstrate the unmistakable implications for the neurosurgical treatment of brain tumors, as the cortical function may not reside where one may initially suspect based solely on the anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Consequently, preoperative localization of eloquent areas adjacent to a brain tumor is necessary, as this may demonstrate unexpected organization, which may affect the neurosurgical approach to the lesion. However, in interpreting functional MRI studies, the interpreting physician must be cognizant of artifacts, which may limit the accuracy of functional MRI in the setting of brain tumors. PMID:26848558

  3. The Non-Benzodiazepine Hypnotic Zolpidem Impairs Sleep-Dependent Cortical Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Seibt, Julie; Aton, Sara J.; Jha, Sushil K.; Coleman, Tammi; Dumoulin, Michelle C.; Frank, Marcos G.

    2008-01-01

    Study Objectives: The effects of hypnotics on sleep-dependent brain plasticity are unknown. We have shown that sleep enhances a canonical model of in vivo cortical plasticity, known as ocular dominance plasticity (ODP). We investigated the effects of 3 different classes of hypnotics on ODP. Design: Polysomnographic recordings were performed during the entire experiment (20 h). After a baseline sleep/wake recording (6 h), cats received 6 h of monocular deprivation (MD) followed by an i.p. injection of triazolam (1–10 mg/kg i.p.), zolpidem (10 mg/kg i.p.), ramelteon (0.1–1 mg/kg i.p.), or vehicle (DMSO i.p.). They were then allowed to sleep ad lib for 8 h, after which they were prepared for optical imaging of intrinsic cortical signals and single-unit electrophysiology. Setting: Basic neurophysiology laboratory Patients or Participants: Cats (male and female) in the critical period of visual development (postnatal days 28–41) Interventions: N/A Measurements and Results: Zolpidem reduced cortical plasticity by ∼50% as assessed with optical imaging of intrinsic cortical signals. This was not due to abnormal sleep architecture because triazolam, which perturbed sleep architecture and sleep EEGs more profoundly than zolpidem, had no effect on plasticity. Ramelteon minimally altered sleep and had no effect on ODP. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that alterations in sleep architecture do not necessarily lead to impairments in sleep function. Conversely, hypnotics that produce more “physiological” sleep based on polysomnography may impair critical brain processes, depending on their pharmacology. Citation: Seibt J; Aton SJ; Jha SK; Coleman T; Dumoulin MC; Frank MG. The non-benzodiazepine hypnotic zolpidem impairs sleep-dependent cortical plasticity. SLEEP 2008;31(10):1381–1391. PMID:18853935

  4. Layer-specific cholinergic control of human and mouse cortical synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Verhoog, Matthijs B; Obermayer, Joshua; Kortleven, Christian A; Wilbers, René; Wester, Jordi; Baayen, Johannes C; De Kock, Christiaan P J; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2016-01-01

    Individual cortical layers have distinct roles in information processing. All layers receive cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain (BF), which is crucial for cognition. Acetylcholinergic receptors are differentially distributed across cortical layers, and recent evidence suggests that different populations of BF cholinergic neurons may target specific prefrontal cortical (PFC) layers, raising the question of whether cholinergic control of the PFC is layer dependent. Here we address this issue and reveal dendritic mechanisms by which endogenous cholinergic modulation of synaptic plasticity is opposite in superficial and deep layers of both mouse and human neocortex. Our results show that in different cortical layers, spike timing-dependent plasticity is oppositely regulated by the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) either located on dendrites of principal neurons or on GABAergic interneurons. Thus, layer-specific nAChR expression allows functional layer-specific control of cortical processing and plasticity by the BF cholinergic system, which is evolutionarily conserved from mice to humans. PMID:27604129

  5. Unmasking Proteolytic Activity for Adult Visual Cortex Plasticity by the Removal of Lynx1

    PubMed Central

    Bukhari, Noreen; Burman, Poromendro N.; Hussein, Ayan; Demars, Michael P.; Sadahiro, Masato; Brady, Daniel M.; Tsirka, Stella E.; Russo, Scott J.

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent cortical plasticity declines with age. At the molecular level, experience-dependent proteolytic activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) becomes restricted in the adult brain if mice are raised in standard cages. Understanding the mechanism for the loss of permissive proteolytic activity is therefore a key link for improving function in adult brains. Using the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) as a model, we demonstrate that tPA activity in V1 can be unmasked following 4 d of monocular deprivation when the mice older than 2 months are raised in standard cages by the genetic removal of Lynx1, a negative regulator of adult plasticity. This was also associated with the reduction of stubby and thin spine density and enhancement of ocular dominance shift in adult V1 of Lynx1 knock-out (KO) mice. These structural and functional changes were tPA-dependent because genetic removal of tPA in Lynx1 KO mice can block the monocular deprivation-dependent reduction of dendritic spine density, whereas both genetic and adult specific inhibition of tPA activity can ablate the ocular dominance shift in Lynx1 KO mice. Our work demonstrates that the adult brain has an intrinsic potential for experience-dependent elevation of proteolytic activity to express juvenile-like structural and functional changes but is effectively limited by Lynx1 if mice are raised in standard cages. Insights into the Lynx1-tPA plasticity mechanism may provide novel therapeutic targets for adult brain disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Experience-dependent proteolytic activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) becomes restricted in the adult brain in correlation with the decline in cortical plasticity when mice are raised in standard cages. We demonstrated that removal of Lynx1, one of negative regulators of plasticity, unmasks experience-dependent tPA elevation in visual cortex of adult mice reared in standard cages. This proteolytic elevation facilitated dendritic spine reduction

  6. Cortical plasticity and preserved function in early blindness

    PubMed Central

    Renier, Laurent; De Volder, Anne G.; Rauschecker, Josef P.

    2013-01-01

    The “neural Darwinism” theory predicts that when one sensory modality is lacking, as in congenital blindness, the target structures are taken over by the afferent inputs from other senses that will promote and control their functional maturation (Edelman, 1993). This view receives support from both cross-modal plasticity experiments in animal models and functional imaging studies in man, which are presented here. PMID:23453908

  7. Brain plasticity and recovery from early cortical injury.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Bryan; Mychasiuk, Richelle; Williams, Preston; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-09-01

    Neocortical development represents more than a simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint: rather, it represents a complex dance of genetic and environmental events that interact to adapt the brain to fit a particular environmental context. Most cortical regions are sensitive to a wide range of experiential factors during development and later in life, but the injured cortex appears to be unusually sensitive to perinatal experiences. This paper reviews the factors that influence how normal and injured brains (both focal and ischemic injuries) develop and adapt into adulthood. Such factors include prenatal experiences in utero as well as postnatal experiences throughout life. Examples include the effects of sensory and motor stimulation, psychoactive drugs (including illicit and prescription drugs), maternal and postnatal stress, neurotrophic factors, and pre- and postnatal diet. All these factors influence cerebral development and influence recovery from brain injury during development. PMID:21950386

  8. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness.

    PubMed

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented "visual" cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here. PMID:27625596

  9. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A.; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented “visual” cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here. PMID:27625596

  10. CB1 receptor affects cortical plasticity and response to physiotherapy in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mori, Francesco; Ljoka, Concetta; Nicoletti, Carolina G.; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Buttari, Fabio; Giordani, Laura; Rossi, Silvia; Foti, Calogero

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Therapeutic effects of physical therapy in neurologic disorders mostly rely on the promotion of use-dependent synaptic plasticity in damaged neuronal circuits. Genetic differences affecting the efficiency of synaptic plasticity mechanisms could explain why some patients do not respond adequately to the treatment. It is known that physical exercise activates the endocannabinoid system and that stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) promotes synaptic plasticity in both rodents and humans. We thus tested whether CB1R genetic variants affect responsiveness to exercise therapy. Methods: We evaluated the effect of a genetic variant of the CB1R associated with reduced receptor expression (patients with long AAT trinucleotide short tandem repeats in the CNR1 gene) on long-term potentiation (LTP)–like cortical plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic theta burst stimulation (TBS) of the motor cortex and, in parallel, on clinical response to exercise therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis. Results: We found that patients with long AAT CNR1 repeats do not express TBS-induced LTP-like cortical plasticity and show poor clinical benefit after exercise therapy. Conclusions: Our results provide the first evidence that genetic differences within the CB1R may influence clinical responses to exercise therapy, and they strengthen the hypothesis that CB1Rs are involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and in the control of spasticity in humans. This information might be of great relevance for patient stratification and personalized rehabilitation treatment programs. PMID:25520956

  11. Cortical surface area and cortical thickness in the precuneus of adult humans.

    PubMed

    Bruner, E; Román, F J; de la Cuétara, J M; Martin-Loeches, M; Colom, R

    2015-02-12

    The precuneus has received considerable attention in the last decade, because of its cognitive functions, its role as a central node of the brain networks, and its involvement in neurodegenerative processes. Paleoneurological studies suggested that form changes in the deep parietal areas represent a major character associated with the origin of the modern human brain morphology. A recent neuroanatomical survey based on shape analysis suggests that the proportions of the precuneus are also a determinant source of overall brain geometrical differences among adult individuals, influencing the brain spatial organization. Here, we evaluate the variation of cortical thickness and cortical surface area of the precuneus in a sample of adult humans, and their relation with geometry and cognition. Precuneal thickness and surface area are not correlated. There is a marked individual variation. The right precuneus is thinner and larger than the left one, but there are relevant fluctuating asymmetries, with only a modest correlation between the hemispheres. Males have a thicker cortex but differences in cortical area are not significant between sexes. The surface area of the precuneus shows a positive allometry with the brain surface area, although the correlation is modest. The dilation/contraction of the precuneus, described as a major factor of variability within adult humans, is associated with absolute increase/decrease of its surface, but not with variation in thickness. Precuneal thickness, precuneal surface area and precuneal morphology are not correlated with psychological factors such as intelligence, working memory, attention control, and processing speed, stressing further possible roles of this area in supporting default mode functions. Beyond gross morphology, the processes underlying the large phenotypic variation of the precuneus must be further investigated through specific cellular analyses, aimed at considering differences in cellular size, density

  12. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy maps cortical plasticity underlying altered motor performance induced by transcranial direct current stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Hodics, Timea; Hervey, Nathan; Kondraske, George; Stowe, Ann M.; Alexandrakis, George

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human sensorimotor cortex during physical rehabilitation induces plasticity in the injured brain that improves motor performance. Bi-hemispheric tDCS is a noninvasive technique that modulates cortical activation by delivering weak current through a pair of anodal–cathodal (excitation–suppression) electrodes, placed on the scalp and centered over the primary motor cortex of each hemisphere. To quantify tDCS-induced plasticity during motor performance, sensorimotor cortical activity was mapped during an event-related, wrist flexion task by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) before, during, and after applying both possible bi-hemispheric tDCS montages in eight healthy adults. Additionally, torque applied to a lever device during isometric wrist flexion and surface electromyography measurements of major muscle group activity in both arms were acquired concurrently with fNIRS. This multiparameter approach found that hemispheric suppression contralateral to wrist flexion changed resting-state connectivity from intra-hemispheric to inter-hemispheric and increased flexion speed (p<0.05). Conversely, exciting this hemisphere increased opposing muscle output resulting in a decrease in speed but an increase in accuracy (p<0.05 for both). The findings of this work suggest that tDCS with fNIRS and concurrent multimotor measurements can provide insights into how neuroplasticity changes muscle output, which could find future use in guiding motor rehabilitation. PMID:24193947

  13. Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C.; Aton, Sara J.; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal–regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal–regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213

  14. Impaired adrenergic-mediated plasticity of prefrontal cortical glutamate synapses in rats with developmental disruption of the ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Sanjeev K; Tse, Yiu Chung; Ryan, Richard; Wong, Tak Pan; Srivastava, Lalit K

    2014-12-01

    Neonatal ventral hippocampus (nVH) lesion in rats is a useful model to study developmental origins of adult cognitive deficits and certain features of schizophrenia. nVH lesion-induced reorganization of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmissions within prefrontal cortical (PFC) circuits is widely believed to be responsible for many of the behavioral abnormalities in these animals. Here we provide evidence that development of an aberrant medial PFC (mPFC) α-1 adrenergic receptor (α-1AR) function following neonatal lesion markedly affects glutamatergic synaptic plasticity within PFC microcircuits and contributes to PFC-related behavior abnormalities. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recording, we report that norepinephrine-induced α-1AR-dependent long-term depression (LTD) in a subset of cortico-cortical glutamatergic inputs is strikingly diminished in mPFC slices from nVH-lesioned rats. The LTD impairment occurs in conjunction with completely blunted α-1AR signaling through extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. These α-1AR abnormalities have functional significance in a mPFC-related function, that is, extinction of conditioned fear memory. Post-pubertal animals with nVH lesion show significant resistance to extinction of fear by repeated presentations of the conditioned tone stimulus. mPFC infusion of an α-1AR antagonist (benoxathian) or LTD blocking peptide (Tat-GluR23Y) impaired fear extinction in sham controls, but had no significant effect in the lesioned animals. The data suggest that impaired α-1 adrenergic regulation of cortical glutamatergic synaptic plasticity may be an important mechanism in cognitive dysfunctions reported in neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. PMID:24917197

  15. Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms are required for juvenile, but not adult, ocular dominance plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Ranson, Adam; Cheetham, Claire E. J.; Fox, Kevin; Sengpiel, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the visual cortex is a classic model system for understanding developmental plasticity, but the visual cortex also shows plasticity in adulthood. Whether the plasticity mechanisms are similar or different at the two ages is not clear. Several plasticity mechanisms operate during development, including homeostatic plasticity, which acts to maintain the total excitatory drive to a neuron. In agreement with this idea, we found that an often-studied substrain of C57BL/6 mice, C57BL/6JOlaHsd (6JOla), lacks both the homeostatic component of OD plasticity as assessed by intrinsic signal imaging and synaptic scaling of mEPSC amplitudes after a short period of dark exposure during the critical period, whereas another substrain, C57BL/6J (6J), exhibits both plasticity processes. However, in adult mice, OD plasticity was identical in the 6JOla and 6J substrains, suggesting that adult plasticity occurs by a different mechanism. Consistent with this interpretation, adult OD plasticity was normal in TNFα knockout mice, which are known to lack juvenile synaptic scaling and the homeostatic component of OD plasticity, but was absent in adult α-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II;T286A (αCaMKIIT286A) mice, which have a point mutation that prevents autophosphorylation of αCaMKII. We conclude that increased responsiveness to open-eye stimulation after monocular deprivation during the critical period is a homeostatic process that depends mechanistically on synaptic scaling during the critical period, whereas in adult mice it is mediated by a different mechanism that requires αCaMKII autophosphorylation. Thus, our study reveals a transition between homeostatic and long-term potentiation–like plasticity mechanisms with increasing age. PMID:22232689

  16. Motor Cortical Plasticity to Training Started in Childhood: The Example of Piano Players.

    PubMed

    Chieffo, Raffaella; Straffi, Laura; Inuggi, Alberto; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J; Spagnolo, Francesca; Coppi, Elisabetta; Nuara, Arturo; Houdayer, Elise; Comi, Giancarlo; Leocani, Letizia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence suggest that motor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long-term changes in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (iSP) and cortical TMS mapping of hand muscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls, motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the iSP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects with MM had a lower iSP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle training-related from preexisting conditions, it is possible that long-term bimanual practice may reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere. PMID:27336584

  17. Motor Cortical Plasticity to Training Started in Childhood: The Example of Piano Players

    PubMed Central

    Inuggi, Alberto; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J.; Spagnolo, Francesca; Coppi, Elisabetta; Nuara, Arturo; Houdayer, Elise; Comi, Giancarlo; Leocani, Letizia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence suggest that motor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long-term changes in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (iSP) and cortical TMS mapping of hand muscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls, motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the iSP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects with MM had a lower iSP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle training-related from preexisting conditions, it is possible that long-term bimanual practice may reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere. PMID:27336584

  18. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD)-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an "optimal" level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect. PMID:25131210

  19. Tracking short-term auditory cortical plasticity during classical conditioning using frequency-tagged stimuli.

    PubMed

    Weisz, Nathan; Kostadinov, Branislav; Dohrmann, Katalin; Hartmann, Thomas; Schlee, Winfried

    2007-08-01

    Animal studies indicate that short-term plasticity during classical conditioning is a fast process. The temporal details of this process in humans are unknown. We employed amplitude-modulated tones in order to elicit the steady-state field (SSF). Conditioned stimulus (CS+) and CS- had a common low carrier frequency, however, differed in their high-frequency component. Low and high frequencies within one tone were modulated at 29 and 45 Hz, respectively. Mean fast Fourier transformation analysis of each single trial allowed extraction of the cortical response to these modulation frequencies, allowing to track cortical responses trial by trial. Mutilation pictures were used as unconditioned stimulus. Furthermore, heart rate and contingency awareness were assessed. Our main findings are the following: 1) A rapid (within 5 trials) enhancement of the amplitude of the high frequencies in contrast to the low frequency, while the high frequencies differentiated later (toward end of acquisition). This partially replicates rapid plasticity as shown before in animals. 2) Those participants who were less aware of the stimulus contingencies showed a relative heart rate acceleration and greater SSF increase to the CS+. This could possibly imply a stronger early amygdala activation in these participants, which then mediates the development of conditioning-related reorganization in auditory cortical areas. PMID:17053046

  20. Adult mouse cortical cell taxonomy revealed by single cell transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Tasic, Bosiljka; Menon, Vilas; Nguyen, Thuc Nghi; Kim, Tae Kyung; Jarsky, Tim; Yao, Zizhen; Levi, Boaz; Gray, Lucas T; Sorensen, Staci A; Dolbeare, Tim; Bertagnolli, Darren; Goldy, Jeff; Shapovalova, Nadiya; Parry, Sheana; Lee, Changkyu; Smith, Kimberly; Bernard, Amy; Madisen, Linda; Sunkin, Susan M; Hawrylycz, Michael; Koch, Christof; Zeng, Hongkui

    2016-02-01

    Nervous systems are composed of various cell types, but the extent of cell type diversity is poorly understood. We constructed a cellular taxonomy of one cortical region, primary visual cortex, in adult mice on the basis of single-cell RNA sequencing. We identified 49 transcriptomic cell types, including 23 GABAergic, 19 glutamatergic and 7 non-neuronal types. We also analyzed cell type-specific mRNA processing and characterized genetic access to these transcriptomic types by many transgenic Cre lines. Finally, we found that some of our transcriptomic cell types displayed specific and differential electrophysiological and axon projection properties, thereby confirming that the single-cell transcriptomic signatures can be associated with specific cellular properties. PMID:26727548

  1. Adult Mouse Cortical Cell Taxonomy by Single Cell Transcriptomics

    PubMed Central

    Tasic, Bosiljka; Menon, Vilas; Nguyen, Thuc Nghi; Kim, Tae Kyung; Jarsky, Tim; Yao, Zizhen; Levi, Boaz; Gray, Lucas T.; Sorensen, Staci A.; Dolbeare, Tim; Bertagnolli, Darren; Goldy, Jeff; Shapovalova, Nadiya; Parry, Sheana; Lee, Changkyu; Smith, Kimberly; Bernard, Amy; Madisen, Linda; Sunkin, Susan M.; Hawrylycz, Michael; Koch, Christof; Zeng, Hongkui

    2016-01-01

    Nervous systems are composed of various cell types, but the extent of cell type diversity is poorly understood. Here, we construct a cellular taxonomy of one cortical region, primary visual cortex, in adult mice based on single cell RNA-sequencing. We identify 49 transcriptomic cell types including 23 GABAergic, 19 glutamatergic and seven non-neuronal types. We also analyze cell-type specific mRNA processing and characterize genetic access to these transcriptomic types by many transgenic Cre lines. Finally, we show that some of our transcriptomic cell types display specific and differential electrophysiological and axon projection properties, thereby confirming that the single cell transcriptomic signatures can be associated with specific cellular properties. PMID:26727548

  2. Cortical and thalamic connectivity of the auditory anterior ectosylvian cortex of early-deaf cats: Implications for neural mechanisms of crossmodal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Meredith, M Alex; Clemo, H Ruth; Corley, Sarah B; Chabot, Nicole; Lomber, Stephen G

    2016-03-01

    Early hearing loss leads to crossmodal plasticity in regions of the cerebrum that are dominated by acoustical processing in hearing subjects. Until recently, little has been known of the connectional basis of this phenomenon. One region whose crossmodal properties are well-established is the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (FAES) in the cat, where neurons are normally responsive to acoustic stimulation and its deactivation leads to the behavioral loss of accurate orienting toward auditory stimuli. However, in early-deaf cats, visual responsiveness predominates in the FAES and its deactivation blocks accurate orienting behavior toward visual stimuli. For such crossmodal reorganization to occur, it has been presumed that novel inputs or increased projections from non-auditory cortical areas must be generated, or that existing non-auditory connections were 'unmasked.' These possibilities were tested using tracer injections into the FAES of adult cats deafened early in life (and hearing controls), followed by light microscopy to localize retrogradely labeled neurons. Surprisingly, the distribution of cortical and thalamic afferents to the FAES was very similar among early-deaf and hearing animals. No new visual projection sources were identified and visual cortical connections to the FAES were comparable in projection proportions. These results support an alternate theory for the connectional basis for cross-modal plasticity that involves enhanced local branching of existing projection terminals that originate in non-auditory as well as auditory cortices. PMID:26724756

  3. Reduced Cortical Activity Impairs Development and Plasticity after Neonatal Hypoxia Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Ranasinghe, Sumudu; Or, Grace; Wang, Eric Y.; Ievins, Aiva; McLean, Merritt A.; Niell, Cristopher M.; Chau, Vann; Wong, Peter K. H.; Glass, Hannah C.; Sullivan, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Survivors of preterm birth are at high risk of pervasive cognitive and learning impairments, suggesting disrupted early brain development. The limits of viability for preterm birth encompass the third trimester of pregnancy, a “precritical period” of activity-dependent development characterized by the onset of spontaneous and evoked patterned electrical activity that drives neuronal maturation and formation of cortical circuits. Reduced background activity on electroencephalogram (EEG) is a sensitive marker of brain injury in human preterm infants that predicts poor neurodevelopmental outcome. We studied a rodent model of very early hypoxic–ischemic brain injury to investigate effects of injury on both general background and specific patterns of cortical activity measured with EEG. EEG background activity is depressed transiently after moderate hypoxia–ischemia with associated loss of spindle bursts. Depressed activity, in turn, is associated with delayed expression of glutamate receptor subunits and transporters. Cortical pyramidal neurons show reduced dendrite development and spine formation. Complementing previous observations in this model of impaired visual cortical plasticity, we find reduced somatosensory whisker barrel plasticity. Finally, EEG recordings from human premature newborns with brain injury demonstrate similar depressed background activity and loss of bursts in the spindle frequency band. Together, these findings suggest that abnormal development after early brain injury may result in part from disruption of specific forms of brain activity necessary for activity-dependent circuit development. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Preterm birth and term birth asphyxia result in brain injury from inadequate oxygen delivery and constitute a major and growing worldwide health problem. Poor outcomes are noted in a majority of very premature (<25 weeks gestation) newborns, resulting in death or life-long morbidity with motor, sensory, learning, behavioral

  4. Cortical cross-modal plasticity following deafness measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Dewey, Rebecca S; Hartley, Douglas E H

    2015-07-01

    Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies suggests that the auditory cortex can become more responsive to visual and somatosensory stimulation following deafness, and that this occurs predominately in the right hemisphere. Extensive cross-modal plasticity in prospective cochlear implant recipients is correlated with poor speech outcomes following implantation, highlighting the potential impact of central auditory plasticity on subsequent aural rehabilitation. Conversely, the effects of hearing restoration with a cochlear implant on cortical plasticity are less well understood, since the use of most neuroimaging techniques in CI recipients is either unsafe or problematic due to the electromagnetic artefacts generated by CI stimulation. Additionally, techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are confounded by acoustic noise produced by the scanner that will be perceived more by hearing than by deaf individuals. Subsequently it is conceivable that auditory responses to acoustic noise produced by the MR scanner may mask auditory cortical responses to non-auditory stimulation, and render inter-group comparisons less significant. Uniquely, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a silent neuroimaging technique that is non-invasive and completely unaffected by the presence of a CI. Here, we used fNIRS to study temporal-lobe responses to auditory, visual and somatosensory stimuli in thirty profoundly-deaf participants and thirty normally-hearing controls. Compared with silence, acoustic noise stimuli elicited a significant group fNIRS response in the temporal region of normally-hearing individuals, which was not seen in profoundly-deaf participants. Visual motion elicited a larger group response within the right temporal lobe of profoundly-deaf participants, compared with normally-hearing controls. However, bilateral temporal lobe fNIRS activation to somatosensory stimulation was comparable in both groups. Using fNIRS these results

  5. Impaired plasticity of cortical dendritic spines in P301S tau transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Illuminating the role of the microtubule-associated protein tau in neurodegenerative diseases is of increasing importance, supported by recent studies establishing novel functions of tau in synaptic signalling and cytoskeletal organization. In severe dementias like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), synaptic failure and cognitive decline correlate best with the grade of tau-pathology. To address synaptic alterations in tauopathies, we analyzed the effects of mutant tau expression on excitatory postsynapses in vivo. Results Here we followed the fate of single dendritic spines in the neocortex of a tauopathy mouse model, expressing human P301S mutated tau, for a period of two weeks. We observed a continuous decrease in spine density during disease progression, which we could ascribe to a diminished fraction of gained spines. Remaining spines were enlarged and elongated, thus providing evidence for morphological reorganization in compensation for synaptic dysfunction. Remarkably, loss of dendritic spines in cortical pyramidal neurons occurred in the absence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Therefore, we consider prefibrillar tau species as causative for the observed impairment in spine plasticity. Conclusions Dendritic spine plasticity and morphology are altered in layer V cortical neurons of P301S tau transgenic mice in vivo. This does not coincide with the detection of hyperphosphorylated tau in dendritic spines. PMID:24344647

  6. Neuromagnetic fields reveal cortical plasticity when learning an auditory discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Cansino, S; Williamson, S J

    1997-08-01

    Auditory evoked neuromagnetic fields of the primary and association auditory cortices were recorded while subjects learned to discriminate small differences in frequency and intensity between two consecutive tones. When discrimination was no better than chance, evoked field patterns across the scalp manifested no significant differences between correct and incorrect responses. However, when performance was correct on at least 75% of the trials, the spatial pattern of magnetic field differed significantly between correct and incorrect responses during the first 70 ms following the onset of the second tone. In this respect, the magnetic field pattern predicted when the subject would make an incorrect judgment more than 100 ms prior to indicating the judgment by a button press. One subject improved discrimination for much smaller differences between stimuli after 200 h of training. Evidence of cortical plasticity with improved discrimination is provided by an accompanying decrease of the relative magnetic field amplitude of the 100 ms response components in the primary and association auditory cortices. PMID:9295193

  7. Storing maternal memories: Hypothesizing an interaction of experience and estrogen on sensory cortical plasticity to learn infant cues

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Sunayana B.; Liu, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the literature on maternal behavior has focused on the role of infant experience and hormones in a canonical subcortical circuit for maternal motivation and maternal memory. Although early studies demonstrated that the cerebral cortex also plays a significant role in maternal behaviors, little has been done to explore what that role may be. Recent work though has provided evidence that the cortex, particularly sensory cortices, contains correlates of sensory memories of infant cues, consistent with classical studies of experience-dependent sensory cortical plasticity in non-maternal paradigms. By reviewing the literature from both the maternal behavior and sensory cortical plasticity fields, focusing on the auditory modality, we hypothesize that maternal hormones (predominantly estrogen) may act to prime auditory cortical neurons for a longer-lasting neural trace of infant vocal cues, thereby facilitating recognition and discrimination. This could then more efficiently activate the subcortical circuit to elicit and sustain maternal behavior. PMID:23916405

  8. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    PubMed

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function. PMID:25233403

  9. Relationships among Cortical Thickness, Reading Skill, and Print Exposure in Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldman, Jason G.; Manis, Frank R.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated relationships among cortical thickness in the left-hemisphere reading network, and reading skill and experience in adult nonimpaired readers. Given the relationship between print exposure and reading, it is possible that print exposure is related to cortical structure. The pattern of correlations indicated that individuals…

  10. Caudal Ganglionic Eminence Precursor Transplants Disperse and Integrate as Lineage-Specific Interneurons but Do Not Induce Cortical Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Larimer, Phillip; Spatazza, Julien; Espinosa, Juan Sebastian; Tang, Yunshuo; Kaneko, Megumi; Hasenstaub, Andrea R; Stryker, Michael P; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo

    2016-08-01

    The maturation of inhibitory GABAergic cortical circuits regulates experience-dependent plasticity. We recently showed that the heterochronic transplantation of parvalbumin (PV) or somatostatin (SST) interneurons from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) reactivates ocular dominance plasticity (ODP) in the postnatal mouse visual cortex. Might other types of interneurons similarly induce cortical plasticity? Here, we establish that caudal ganglionic eminence (CGE)-derived interneurons, when transplanted into the visual cortex of neonatal mice, migrate extensively in the host brain and acquire laminar distribution, marker expression, electrophysiological properties, and visual response properties like those of host CGE interneurons. Although transplants from the anatomical CGE do induce ODP, we found that this plasticity reactivation is mediated by a small fraction of MGE-derived cells contained in the transplant. These findings demonstrate that transplanted CGE cells can successfully engraft into the postnatal mouse brain and confirm the unique role of MGE lineage neurons in the induction of ODP. PMID:27425623

  11. Development and Maturation of Embryonic Cortical Neurons Grafted into the Damaged Adult Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ballout, Nissrine; Frappé, Isabelle; Péron, Sophie; Jaber, Mohamed; Zibara, Kazem; Gaillard, Afsaneh

    2016-01-01

    Injury to the human central nervous system can lead to devastating consequences due to its poor ability to self-repair. Neural transplantation aimed at replacing lost neurons and restore functional circuitry has proven to be a promising therapeutical avenue. We previously reported in adult rodent animal models with cortical lesions that grafted fetal cortical neurons could effectively re-establish specific patterns of projections and synapses. The current study was designed to provide a detailed characterization of the spatio-temporal in vivo development of fetal cortical transplanted cells within the lesioned adult motor cortex and their corresponding axonal projections. We show here that as early as 2 weeks after grafting, cortical neuroblasts transplanted into damaged adult motor cortex developed appropriate projections to cortical and subcortical targets. Grafted cells initially exhibited characteristics of immature neurons, which then differentiated into mature neurons with appropriate cortical phenotypes where most were glutamatergic and few were GABAergic. All cortical subtypes identified with the specific markers CTIP2, Cux1, FOXP2, and Tbr1 were generated after grafting as evidenced with BrdU co-labeling. The set of data provided here is of interest as it sets biological standards for future studies aimed at replacing fetal cells with embryonic stem cells as a source of cortical neurons. PMID:27536221

  12. Regenerative capacity of adult cortical thymic epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Rode, Immanuel; Boehm, Thomas

    2012-02-28

    Involution of the thymus is accompanied by a decline in the number of thymic epithelial cells (TECs) and a severely restricted peripheral repertoire of T-cell specificities. TECs are essential for T-cell differentiation; they originate from a bipotent progenitor that gives rise to cells of cortical (cTEC) and medullary (mTEC) phenotypes, via compartment-specific progenitors. Upon acute selective near-total ablation during embryogenesis, regeneration of TECs fails, suggesting that losses from the pool of TEC progenitors are not compensated. However, it is unclear whether this is also true for the compartment-specific progenitors. The decline of cTECs is a prominent feature of thymic involution. Because cTECs support early stages of T-cell development and hence determine the overall lymphopoietic capacity of the thymus, it is possible that the lack of sustained regenerative capacity of cTEC progenitor cells underlies the process of thymic involution. Here, we examine this hypothesis by cell-type-specific conditional ablation of cTECs. Expression of the human diphtheria toxin receptor (hDTR) gene under the regulatory influence of the chemokine receptor Ccx-ckr1 gene renders cTECs sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of diphtheria toxin (DT). As expected, DT treatment of preadolescent and adult mice led to a dramatic loss of cTECs, accompanied by a rapid demise of immature thymocytes. Unexpectedly, however, the cTEC compartment regenerated after cessation of treatment, accompanied by the restoration of T-cell development. These findings provide the basis for the development of targeted interventions unlocking the latent regenerative potential of cTECs to counter thymic involution. PMID:22331880

  13. Cortical Plasticity Induced by Spike-Triggered Microstimulation in Primate Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Song, Weiguo; Kerr, Cliff C.; Lytton, William W.; Francis, Joseph T.

    2013-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the nervous system for therapeutic purposes, such as deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, has been used for decades. Recently, increased attention has focused on using microstimulation to restore functions as diverse as somatosensation and memory. However, how microstimulation changes the neural substrate is still not fully understood. Microstimulation may cause cortical changes that could either compete with or complement natural neural processes, and could result in neuroplastic changes rendering the region dysfunctional or even epileptic. As part of our efforts to produce neuroprosthetic devices and to further study the effects of microstimulation on the cortex, we stimulated and recorded from microelectrode arrays in the hand area of the primary somatosensory cortex (area 1) in two awake macaque monkeys. We applied a simple neuroprosthetic microstimulation protocol to a pair of electrodes in the area 1 array, using either random pulses or pulses time-locked to the recorded spiking activity of a reference neuron. This setup was replicated using a computer model of the thalamocortical system, which consisted of 1980 spiking neurons distributed among six cortical layers and two thalamic nuclei. Experimentally, we found that spike-triggered microstimulation induced cortical plasticity, as shown by increased unit-pair mutual information, while random microstimulation did not. In addition, there was an increased response to touch following spike-triggered microstimulation, along with decreased neural variability. The computer model successfully reproduced both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the experimental findings. The physiological findings of this study suggest that even simple microstimulation protocols can be used to increase somatosensory information flow. PMID:23472086

  14. Optogenetic Dissection of the Basal Forebrain Neuromodulatory Control of Cortical Activation, Plasticity, and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Ritchie E.; Hussain Shuler, Marshall G.; Petersen, Carl C.H.; Kepecs, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) houses major ascending projections to the entire neocortex that have long been implicated in arousal, learning, and attention. The disruption of the BF has been linked with major neurological disorders, such as coma and Alzheimer's disease, as well as in normal cognitive aging. Although it is best known for its cholinergic neurons, the BF is in fact an anatomically and neurochemically complex structure. Recent studies using transgenic mouse lines to target specific BF cell types have led to a renaissance in the study of the BF and are beginning to yield new insights about cell-type-specific circuit mechanisms during behavior. These approaches enable us to determine the behavioral conditions under which cholinergic and noncholinergic BF neurons are activated and how they control cortical processing to influence behavior. Here we discuss recent advances that have expanded our knowledge about this poorly understood brain region and laid the foundation for future cell-type-specific manipulations to modulate arousal, attention, and cortical plasticity in neurological disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although the basal forebrain is best known for, and often equated with, acetylcholine-containing neurons that provide most of the cholinergic innervation of the neocortex, it is in fact an anatomically and neurochemically complex structure. Recent studies using transgenic mouse lines to target specific cell types in the basal forebrain have led to a renaissance in this field and are beginning to dissect circuit mechanisms in the basal forebrain during behavior. This review discusses recent advances in the roles of basal forebrain cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons in cognition via their dynamic modulation of cortical activity. PMID:26468190

  15. Bayesian computation emerges in generic cortical microcircuits through spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

    PubMed

    Nessler, Bernhard; Pfeiffer, Michael; Buesing, Lars; Maass, Wolfgang

    2013-04-01

    The principles by which networks of neurons compute, and how spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) of synaptic weights generates and maintains their computational function, are unknown. Preceding work has shown that soft winner-take-all (WTA) circuits, where pyramidal neurons inhibit each other via interneurons, are a common motif of cortical microcircuits. We show through theoretical analysis and computer simulations that Bayesian computation is induced in these network motifs through STDP in combination with activity-dependent changes in the excitability of neurons. The fundamental components of this emergent Bayesian computation are priors that result from adaptation of neuronal excitability and implicit generative models for hidden causes that are created in the synaptic weights through STDP. In fact, a surprising result is that STDP is able to approximate a powerful principle for fitting such implicit generative models to high-dimensional spike inputs: Expectation Maximization. Our results suggest that the experimentally observed spontaneous activity and trial-to-trial variability of cortical neurons are essential features of their information processing capability, since their functional role is to represent probability distributions rather than static neural codes. Furthermore it suggests networks of Bayesian computation modules as a new model for distributed information processing in the cortex. PMID:23633941

  16. Paired associative transspinal and transcortical stimulation produces plasticity in human cortical and spinal neuronal circuits.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Luke; Ibrahim, Mohamed M; Santora, Danielle; Knikou, Maria

    2016-08-01

    Anatomical, physiological, and functional connectivity exists between the neurons of the primary motor cortex (M1) and spinal cord. Paired associative stimulation (PAS) produces enduring changes in M1, based on the Hebbian principle of associative plasticity. The present study aimed to establish neurophysiological changes in human cortical and spinal neuronal circuits by pairing noninvasive transspinal stimulation with transcortical stimulation via transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We delivered paired transspinal and transcortical stimulation for 40 min at precise interstimulus intervals, with TMS being delivered after (transspinal-transcortical PAS) or before (transcortical-transspinal PAS) transspinal stimulation. Transspinal-transcortical PAS markedly decreased intracortical inhibition, increased intracortical facilitation and M1 excitability with concomitant decreases of motor threshold, and reduced the soleus Hoffmann's reflex (H-reflex) low frequency-mediated homosynaptic depression. Transcortical-transspinal PAS did not affect intracortical circuits, decreased M1 excitability, and reduced the soleus H-reflex-paired stimulation pulses' mediated postactivation depression. Both protocols affected the excitation threshold of group Ia afferents and motor axons. These findings clearly indicate that the pairing of transspinal with transcortical stimulation produces cortical and spinal excitability changes based on the timing interval and functional network interactions between the two associated inputs. This new PAS paradigm may constitute a significant neuromodulation method with physiological impact, because it can be used to alter concomitantly excitability of intracortical circuits, corticospinal neurons, and spinal inhibition in humans. PMID:27281748

  17. Plasticity-Driven Self-Organization under Topological Constraints Accounts for Non-random Features of Cortical Synaptic Wiring

    PubMed Central

    Miner, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of cortical connectivity is vital to understanding cortical function. Experimental data strongly suggest that local recurrent connectivity in the cortex is significantly non-random, exhibiting, for example, above-chance bidirectionality and an overrepresentation of certain triangular motifs. Additional evidence suggests a significant distance dependency to connectivity over a local scale of a few hundred microns, and particular patterns of synaptic turnover dynamics, including a heavy-tailed distribution of synaptic efficacies, a power law distribution of synaptic lifetimes, and a tendency for stronger synapses to be more stable over time. Understanding how many of these non-random features simultaneously arise would provide valuable insights into the development and function of the cortex. While previous work has modeled some of the individual features of local cortical wiring, there is no model that begins to comprehensively account for all of them. We present a spiking network model of a rodent Layer 5 cortical slice which, via the interactions of a few simple biologically motivated intrinsic, synaptic, and structural plasticity mechanisms, qualitatively reproduces these non-random effects when combined with simple topological constraints. Our model suggests that mechanisms of self-organization arising from a small number of plasticity rules provide a parsimonious explanation for numerous experimentally observed non-random features of recurrent cortical wiring. Interestingly, similar mechanisms have been shown to endow recurrent networks with powerful learning abilities, suggesting that these mechanism are central to understanding both structure and function of cortical synaptic wiring. PMID:26866369

  18. Plasticity-Driven Self-Organization under Topological Constraints Accounts for Non-random Features of Cortical Synaptic Wiring.

    PubMed

    Miner, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of cortical connectivity is vital to understanding cortical function. Experimental data strongly suggest that local recurrent connectivity in the cortex is significantly non-random, exhibiting, for example, above-chance bidirectionality and an overrepresentation of certain triangular motifs. Additional evidence suggests a significant distance dependency to connectivity over a local scale of a few hundred microns, and particular patterns of synaptic turnover dynamics, including a heavy-tailed distribution of synaptic efficacies, a power law distribution of synaptic lifetimes, and a tendency for stronger synapses to be more stable over time. Understanding how many of these non-random features simultaneously arise would provide valuable insights into the development and function of the cortex. While previous work has modeled some of the individual features of local cortical wiring, there is no model that begins to comprehensively account for all of them. We present a spiking network model of a rodent Layer 5 cortical slice which, via the interactions of a few simple biologically motivated intrinsic, synaptic, and structural plasticity mechanisms, qualitatively reproduces these non-random effects when combined with simple topological constraints. Our model suggests that mechanisms of self-organization arising from a small number of plasticity rules provide a parsimonious explanation for numerous experimentally observed non-random features of recurrent cortical wiring. Interestingly, similar mechanisms have been shown to endow recurrent networks with powerful learning abilities, suggesting that these mechanism are central to understanding both structure and function of cortical synaptic wiring. PMID:26866369

  19. The plasticity of the mirror system: how reward learning modulates cortical motor simulation of others.

    PubMed

    Trilla Gros, Irene; Panasiti, Maria Serena; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev

    2015-04-01

    Cortical motor simulation supports the understanding of others' actions and intentions. This mechanism is thought to rely on the mirror neuron system (MNS), a brain network that is active both during action execution and observation. Indirect evidence suggests that (alpha/beta) mu suppression, an electroencephalographic (EEG) index of MNS activity, is modulated by reward. In this study we aimed to test the plasticity of the MNS by directly investigating the link between (alpha/beta) mu suppression and reward. 40 individuals from a general population sample took part in an evaluative conditioning experiment, where different neutral faces were associated with high or low reward values. In the test phase, EEG was recorded while participants viewed videoclips of happy expressions made by the conditioned faces. Alpha/beta mu suppression (identified using event-related desynchronisation of specific independent components) in response to rewarding faces was found to be greater than for non-rewarding faces. This result provides a mechanistic insight into the plasticity of the MNS and, more generally, into the role of reward in modulating physiological responses linked to empathy. PMID:25744871

  20. The plasticity of the mirror system: How reward learning modulates cortical motor simulation of others

    PubMed Central

    Trilla Gros, Irene; Panasiti, Maria Serena; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev

    2015-01-01

    Cortical motor simulation supports the understanding of others' actions and intentions. This mechanism is thought to rely on the mirror neuron system (MNS), a brain network that is active both during action execution and observation. Indirect evidence suggests that (alpha/beta) mu suppression, an electroencephalographic (EEG) index of MNS activity, is modulated by reward. In this study we aimed to test the plasticity of the MNS by directly investigating the link between (alpha/beta) mu suppression and reward. 40 individuals from a general population sample took part in an evaluative conditioning experiment, where different neutral faces were associated with high or low reward values. In the test phase, EEG was recorded while participants viewed videoclips of happy expressions made by the conditioned faces. Alpha/beta mu suppression (identified using event-related desynchronisation of specific independent components) in response to rewarding faces was found to be greater than for non-rewarding faces. This result provides a mechanistic insight into the plasticity of the MNS and, more generally, into the role of reward in modulating physiological responses linked to empathy. PMID:25744871

  1. Early treatment with high-dose interferon beta-1a reverses cognitive and cortical plasticity deficits in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mori, Francesco; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Buttari, Fabio; Centini, Barbara; Monteleone, Fabrizia; Nicoletti, Carolina Gabri; Bernardi, Giorgio; Di Cantogno, Elisabetta Verdun; Marciani, Maria Grazia; Centonze, Diego

    2012-01-01

    Summary Acute inflammation is associated with cognitive deficits and alterations of cortical plasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS). We tested whether early treatment with high-dose interferon (IFN) beta-1a, known to reduce inflammatory activity, improves cortical function and cognitive deficits in MS. Eighty treatment-naïve relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients received IFN beta-1a (44 mcg) subcutaneously three times per week. Cognitive performance and cortical plasticity were measured through the paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT) and intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) before and up to two years after IFN beta-1a initiation. Before treatment, patients with gadolinium-enhancing lesions (Gd+) on MRI performed worse on the PASAT, and showed lower iTBS-induced plasticity, compared with Gd− patients. Six months after treatment initiation both PASAT and iTBS-induced plasticity improved in Gd+ and remained stable in Gd− patients. These results suggest that cognitive and synaptic plasticity deficits may be rescued during high-dose IFN beta-1a treatment in newly-diagnosed RRMS patients with Gd+ lesions. PMID:23402677

  2. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  3. Playing and listening to tailor-made notched music: cortical plasticity induced by unimodal and multimodal training in tinnitus patients.

    PubMed

    Pape, Janna; Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Bruchmann, Maximilian; Wollbrink, Andreas; Rudack, Claudia; Pantev, Christo

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND. The generation and maintenance of tinnitus are assumed to be based on maladaptive functional cortical reorganization. Listening to modified music, which contains no energy in the range of the individual tinnitus frequency, can inhibit the corresponding neuronal activity in the auditory cortex. Music making has been shown to be a powerful stimulator for brain plasticity, inducing changes in multiple sensory systems. Using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and behavioral measurements we evaluated the cortical plasticity effects of two months of (a) active listening to (unisensory) versus (b) learning to play (multisensory) tailor-made notched music in nonmusician tinnitus patients. Taking into account the fact that uni- and multisensory trainings induce different patterns of cortical plasticity we hypothesized that these two protocols will have different affects. RESULTS. Only the active listening (unisensory) group showed significant reduction of tinnitus related activity of the middle temporal cortex and an increase in the activity of a tinnitus-coping related posterior parietal area. CONCLUSIONS. These findings indicate that active listening to tailor-made notched music induces greater neuroplastic changes in the maladaptively reorganized cortical network of tinnitus patients while additional integration of other sensory modalities during training reduces these neuroplastic effects. PMID:24895541

  4. Playing and Listening to Tailor-Made Notched Music: Cortical Plasticity Induced by Unimodal and Multimodal Training in Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Rudack, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Background. The generation and maintenance of tinnitus are assumed to be based on maladaptive functional cortical reorganization. Listening to modified music, which contains no energy in the range of the individual tinnitus frequency, can inhibit the corresponding neuronal activity in the auditory cortex. Music making has been shown to be a powerful stimulator for brain plasticity, inducing changes in multiple sensory systems. Using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and behavioral measurements we evaluated the cortical plasticity effects of two months of (a) active listening to (unisensory) versus (b) learning to play (multisensory) tailor-made notched music in nonmusician tinnitus patients. Taking into account the fact that uni- and multisensory trainings induce different patterns of cortical plasticity we hypothesized that these two protocols will have different affects. Results. Only the active listening (unisensory) group showed significant reduction of tinnitus related activity of the middle temporal cortex and an increase in the activity of a tinnitus-coping related posterior parietal area. Conclusions. These findings indicate that active listening to tailor-made notched music induces greater neuroplastic changes in the maladaptively reorganized cortical network of tinnitus patients while additional integration of other sensory modalities during training reduces these neuroplastic effects. PMID:24895541

  5. Adaptations of young adult rat cortical bone to 14 days of spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vailas, A. C.; Vanderby, R., Jr.; Martinez, D. A.; Ashman, R. B.; Ulm, M. J.; Grindeland, R. E.; Durnova, G. N.; Kaplanskii, A.

    1992-01-01

    To determine whether mature humeral cortical bone would be modified significantly by an acute exposure to weightlessness, adult rats (110 days old) were subjected to 14 days of microgravity on the COSMOS 2044 biosatellite. There were no significant changes in peak force, stiffness, energy to failure, and displacement at failure in the flight rats compared with ground-based controls. Concentrations and contents of hydroxyproline, calcium, and mature stable hydroxylysylpyridinoline and lysylpyridinoline collagen cross-links remained unchanged after spaceflight. Bone lengths, cortical and endosteal areas, and regionl thicknesses showed no significant differences between flight animals and ground controls. The findings suggest that responsiveness of cortical bone to microgravity is less pronounced in adult rats than in previous spaceflight experiments in which young growing animals were used. It is hypothesized that 14 days of spaceflight may not be sufficient to impact the biochemical and biomechanical properties of cortical bone in the mature rat skeleton.

  6. BDNF-Val66Met-Polymorphism Impact on Cortical Plasticity in Schizophrenia Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    PubMed Central

    Nitsche, Michael A.; Wobrock, Thomas; Bunse, Tilmann; Rein, Bettina; Herrmann, Maximiliane; Schmitt, Andrea; Nieratschker, Vanessa; Witt, Stephanie H.; Rietschel, Marcella; Falkai, Peter; Hasan, Alkomiet

    2015-01-01

    Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to be a moderator of neuroplasticity. A frequent BDNF-polymorphism (Val66Met) is associated with impairments of cortical plasticity. In patients with schizophrenia, reduced neuroplastic responses following non-invasive brain stimulation have been reported consistently. Various studies have indicated a relationship between the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism and motor-cortical plasticity in healthy individuals, but schizophrenia patients have yet to be investigated. The aim of this proof-of-concept study was, therefore, to test the impact of the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism on inhibitory and facilitatory cortical plasticity in schizophrenia patients. Methods: Cortical plasticity was investigated in 22 schizophrenia patients and 35 healthy controls using anodal and cathodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left primary motor cortex. Animal and human research indicates that excitability shifts following anodal and cathodal tDCS are related to molecular long-term potentiation and long-term depression. To test motor-cortical excitability before and after tDCS, well-established single- and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols were applied. Results: Our analysis revealed increased glutamate-mediated intracortical facilitation in met-heterozygotes compared to val-homozygotes at baseline. Following cathodal tDCS, schizophrenia met-heterozygotes had reduced gamma-amino-butyric-acid-mediated short-interval intracortical inhibition, whereas healthy met-heterozygotes displayed the opposite effect. The BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism did not influence single-pulse motor-evoked potential amplitudes after tDCS. Conclusions: These preliminary findings support the notion of an association of the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism with observable alterations in plasticity following cathodal tDCS in schizophrenia patients. This indicates a complex interaction between inhibitory

  7. Connectivity measures are robust biomarkers of cortical function and plasticity after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jennifer; Quinlan, Erin Burke; Dodakian, Lucy; McKenzie, Alison; Kathuria, Nikhita; Zhou, Robert J.; Augsburger, Renee; See, Jill; Le, Vu H.; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2015-01-01

    related to motor deficits and their improvement with therapy after stroke and so may be useful biomarkers of cortical function and plasticity. Such measures might provide a biological approach to distinguishing patient subgroups after stroke. PMID:26070983

  8. Connectivity measures are robust biomarkers of cortical function and plasticity after stroke.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jennifer; Quinlan, Erin Burke; Dodakian, Lucy; McKenzie, Alison; Kathuria, Nikhita; Zhou, Robert J; Augsburger, Renee; See, Jill; Le, Vu H; Srinivasan, Ramesh; Cramer, Steven C

    2015-08-01

    related to motor deficits and their improvement with therapy after stroke and so may be useful biomarkers of cortical function and plasticity. Such measures might provide a biological approach to distinguishing patient subgroups after stroke. PMID:26070983

  9. Mapping ventricular expansion onto cortical gray matter in older adults.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Sarah K; Gutman, Boris A; Joshi, Shantanu H; Toga, Arthur W; Jack, Clifford R; Weiner, Michael W; Thompson, Paul M

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic changes in the brain's lateral ventricles on magnetic resonance imaging are powerful biomarkers of disease progression in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Ventricular measures can represent accumulation of diffuse brain atrophy with very high effect sizes. Despite having no direct role in cognition, ventricular expansion co-occurs with volumetric loss in gray and white matter structures. To better understand relationships between ventricular and cortical changes over time, we related ventricular expansion to atrophy in cognitively relevant cortical gray matter surfaces, which are more challenging to segment. In ADNI participants, percent change in ventricular volumes at 1-year (N = 677) and 2-year (N = 536) intervals was significantly associated with baseline cortical thickness and volume in the full sample controlling for age, sex, and diagnosis, and in MCI separately. Ventricular expansion in MCI was associated with thinner gray matter in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions affected by AD. Ventricular expansion reflects cortical atrophy in early AD, offering a useful biomarker for clinical trials of interventions to slow AD progression. PMID:25311280

  10. Cortical stimulation consolidates and reactivates visual experience: neural plasticity from magnetic entrainment of visual activity.

    PubMed

    Liao, Hsin-I; Wu, Daw-An; Halelamien, Neil; Shimojo, Shinsuke

    2013-01-01

    Delivering transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) shortly after the end of a visual stimulus can cause a TMS-induced 'replay' or 'visual echo' of the visual percept. In the current study, we find an entrainment effect that after repeated elicitations of TMS-induced replay with the same visual stimulus, the replay can be induced by TMS alone, without the need for the physical visual stimulus. In Experiment 1, we used a subjective rating task to examine the phenomenal aspects of TMS-entrained replays. In Experiment 2, we used an objective masking paradigm to quantitatively validate the phenomenon and to examine the involvement of low-level mechanisms. Results showed that the TMS-entrained replay was not only phenomenally experienced (Exp.1), but also able to hamper letter identification (Exp.2). The findings have implications in several directions: (1) the visual cortical representation and iconic memory, (2) experience-based plasticity in the visual cortex, and (3) their relationship to visual awareness. PMID:23863977

  11. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition via RGFP966 Releases the Brakes on Sensory Cortical Plasticity and the Specificity of Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, Kasia M; Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M; McGaugh, James L; Wood, Marcelo A

    2015-09-23

    Research over the past decade indicates a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation. Of particular interest is chromatin modification by histone deacetylases (HDACs), which, in general, negatively regulate transcription. HDAC deletion or inhibition facilitates transcription during memory consolidation and enhances long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. A key open question remains: How does blocking HDAC activity lead to memory enhancements? To address this question, we tested whether a normal function of HDACs is to gate information processing during memory formation. We used a class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP966 (C21H19FN4O), to test the role of HDAC inhibition for information processing in an auditory memory model of learning-induced cortical plasticity. HDAC inhibition may act beyond memory enhancement per se to instead regulate information in ways that lead to encoding more vivid sensory details into memory. Indeed, we found that RGFP966 controls memory induction for acoustic details of sound-to-reward learning. Rats treated with RGFP966 while learning to associate sound with reward had stronger memory and additional information encoded into memory for highly specific features of sounds associated with reward. Moreover, behavioral effects occurred with unusually specific plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1). Class I HDAC inhibition appears to engage A1 plasticity that enables additional acoustic features to become encoded in memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms act to regulate sensory cortical plasticity, which offers an information processing mechanism for gating what and how much is encoded to produce exceptionally persistent and vivid memories. Significance statement: Here we provide evidence of an epigenetic mechanism for information processing. The study reveals that a class I HDAC inhibitor (Malvaez et al., 2013; Rumbaugh et al., 2015; RGFP966, chemical formula C21H19FN4O) alters the formation of auditory memory by

  12. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition via RGFP966 Releases the Brakes on Sensory Cortical Plasticity and the Specificity of Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R.; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M.; McGaugh, James L.

    2015-01-01

    Research over the past decade indicates a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation. Of particular interest is chromatin modification by histone deacetylases (HDACs), which, in general, negatively regulate transcription. HDAC deletion or inhibition facilitates transcription during memory consolidation and enhances long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. A key open question remains: How does blocking HDAC activity lead to memory enhancements? To address this question, we tested whether a normal function of HDACs is to gate information processing during memory formation. We used a class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP966 (C21H19FN4O), to test the role of HDAC inhibition for information processing in an auditory memory model of learning-induced cortical plasticity. HDAC inhibition may act beyond memory enhancement per se to instead regulate information in ways that lead to encoding more vivid sensory details into memory. Indeed, we found that RGFP966 controls memory induction for acoustic details of sound-to-reward learning. Rats treated with RGFP966 while learning to associate sound with reward had stronger memory and additional information encoded into memory for highly specific features of sounds associated with reward. Moreover, behavioral effects occurred with unusually specific plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1). Class I HDAC inhibition appears to engage A1 plasticity that enables additional acoustic features to become encoded in memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms act to regulate sensory cortical plasticity, which offers an information processing mechanism for gating what and how much is encoded to produce exceptionally persistent and vivid memories. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we provide evidence of an epigenetic mechanism for information processing. The study reveals that a class I HDAC inhibitor (Malvaez et al., 2013; Rumbaugh et al., 2015; RGFP966, chemical formula C21H19FN4O) alters the formation of auditory memory by

  13. Childhood Onset Schizophrenia: Cortical Brain Abnormalities as Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstein, Deanna; Lerch, Jason; Shaw, Philip; Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay; Gochman, Peter; Rapoport, Judith; Gogtay, Nitin

    2006-01-01

    Background: Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is a rare but severe form of the adult onset disorder. While structural brain imaging studies show robust, widespread, and progressive gray matter loss in COS during adolescence, there have been no longitudinal studies of sufficient duration to examine comparability with the more common adult onset…

  14. Self-Organized Near-Zero-Lag Synchronization Induced by Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity in Cortical Populations

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Fernanda S.; Carelli, Pedro V.; Mirasso, Claudio R.; Copelli, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Several cognitive tasks related to learning and memory exhibit synchronization of macroscopic cortical areas together with synaptic plasticity at neuronal level. Therefore, there is a growing effort among computational neuroscientists to understand the underlying mechanisms relating synchrony and plasticity in the brain. Here we numerically study the interplay between spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and anticipated synchronization (AS). AS emerges when a dominant flux of information from one area to another is accompanied by a negative time lag (or phase). This means that the receiver region pulses before the sender does. In this paper we study the interplay between different synchronization regimes and STDP at the level of three-neuron microcircuits as well as cortical populations. We show that STDP can promote auto-organized zero-lag synchronization in unidirectionally coupled neuronal populations. We also find synchronization regimes with negative phase difference (AS) that are stable against plasticity. Finally, we show that the interplay between negative phase difference and STDP provides limited synaptic weight distribution without the need of imposing artificial boundaries. PMID:26474165

  15. Dopaminergic Meso-Cortical Projections to M1: Role in Motor Learning and Motor Cortex Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hosp, Jonas A.; Luft, Andreas R.

    2013-01-01

    Although the architecture of a dopaminergic (DA) system within the primary motor cortex (M1) was well characterized anatomically, its functional significance remained obscure for a long time. Recent studies in rats revealed that the integrity of DA fibers in M1 is a prerequisite for successful acquisition of motor skills. This essential contribution of DA for motor learning is plausible as it modulates M1 circuitry at multiple levels thereby promoting plastic changes that are required for information storage: at the network level, DA increases cortical excitability and enhances the stability of motor maps. At the cellular level, DA induces the expression of learning-related genes via the transcription factor c-Fos. At the level of synapses, DA is required for the formation of long-term potentiation, a mechanism that likely is a fingerprint of a motor memory trace within M1. DA fibers innervating M1 originate within the midbrain, precisely the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the medial portion of substantia nigra (SN). Thus, they could be part of the meso-cortico-limbic pathway – a network that provides information about saliency and motivational value of an external stimulus and is commonly referred as “reward system.” However, the behavioral triggers of the release of dopamine in M1 are not yet identified. As alterations in DA transmission within M1 occur under various pathological conditions such as Parkinson disease or ischemic and traumatic brain injury, a deeper understanding of the interaction of VTA/SN and M1 may reveal a deeper insight into a large spectrum of neurological disorders. PMID:24109472

  16. Magnetoencephalographic Analysis of Cortical Activity in Adults with and without Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virji-Babul, N.; Cheung, T.; Weeks, D.; Herdman, A. T.; Cheyne, D.

    2007-01-01

    Background: This preliminary study served as a pilot for an ongoing analysis of spectral power in adults with Down syndrome (DS) using a 151 channel whole head magnetoencephalography (MEG). The present study is the first step for examining and comparing cortical responses during spontaneous and task related activity in DS. Method: Cortical…

  17. Intraoperative mapping during repeat awake craniotomy reveals the functional plasticity of adult cortex.

    PubMed

    Southwell, Derek G; Hervey-Jumper, Shawn L; Perry, David W; Berger, Mitchel S

    2016-05-01

    OBJECT To avoid iatrogenic injury during the removal of intrinsic cerebral neoplasms such as gliomas, direct electrical stimulation (DES) is used to identify cortical and subcortical white matter pathways critical for language, motor, and sensory function. When a patient undergoes more than 1 brain tumor resection as in the case of tumor recurrence, the use of DES provides an unusual opportunity to examine brain plasticity in the setting of neurological disease. METHODS The authors examined 561 consecutive cases in which patients underwent DES mapping during surgery forglioma resection. "Positive" and "negative" sites-discrete cortical regions where electrical stimulation did (positive) or did not (negative) produce transient sensory, motor, or language disturbance-were identified prior to tumor resection and documented by intraoperative photography for categorization into functional maps. In this group of 561 patients, 18 were identified who underwent repeat surgery in which 1 or more stimulation sites overlapped with those tested during the initial surgery. The authors compared intraoperative sensory, motor, or language mapping results between initial and repeat surgeries, and evaluated the clinical outcomes for these patients. RESULTS A total of 117 sites were tested for sensory (7 sites, 6.0%), motor (9 sites, 7.7%), or language (101 sites, 86.3%) function during both initial and repeat surgeries. The mean interval between surgical procedures was 4.1 years. During initial surgeries, 95 (81.2%) of 117 sites were found to be negative and 22 (18.8%) of 117 sites were found to be positive. During repeat surgeries, 103 (88.0%) of 117 sites were negative and 14 (12.0%) of 117 were positive. Of the 95 sites that were negative at the initial surgery, 94 (98.9%) were also negative at the repeat surgery, while 1 (1.1%) site was found to be positive. Of the 22 sites that were initially positive, 13 (59.1%) remained positive at repeat surgery, while 9 (40.9%) had become

  18. Ultrastructural characteristics of human adult and infant cerebral cortical neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Ong, W Y; Garey, L J

    1991-01-01

    Biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex from three adults and two infants were studied by correlating their light microscopic features in semithin sections with their ultrastructural characteristics. There was good tissue preservation, due to a minimum delay between obtaining the specimens and fixation. Pyramidal cells had a prominent apical dendrite, fine heterochromatin clumps in the nucleus and generally small numbers of cytoplasmic organelles, except for numerous free ribosomes in some of the large pyramids of Layers III to VI. Non-pyramidal cells lacked an apical dendrite and were further classified, on size and ultrastructure, into small, medium and large types. Large numbers of asymmetrical and symmetrical synapses were present in the neuropil but very few axosomatic synapses were found in the human cerebral cortex compared with subhuman primates and other mammals. Some symmetrical synapses were characterised by the presence of wide pre- and postsynaptic densities. The same general features of the adult cortex were also encountered in the infant, with certain exceptions. Many of the infant neurons had less densely packed heterochromatin, but greater numbers of free ribosomes, compared with the adult, and lipofuscin was absent. There was a total absence of myelinated fibres from the infant cortex; more large diameter dendrites were present than in the adult and axosomatic synapses were commoner. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15 PMID:2050578

  19. Cortical plasticity induced by different degrees of peripheral nerve injuries: a rat functional magnetic resonance imaging study under 9.4 Tesla

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Major peripheral nerve injuries not only result in local deficits but may also cause distal atrophy of target muscles or permanent loss of sensation. Likewise, these injuries have been shown to instigate long-lasting central cortical reorganization. Methods Cortical plasticity changes induced after various types of major peripheral nerve injury using an electrical stimulation technique to the rat upper extremity and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were examined. Studies were completed out immediately after injury (acute stage) and at two weeks (subacute stage) to evaluate time affect on plasticity. Results After right-side median nerve transection, cortical representation of activation of the right-side ulnar nerve expanded intra-hemispherically into the cortical region that had been occupied by the median nerve representation After unilateral transection of both median and ulnar nerves, cortical representation of activation of the radial nerve on the same side of the body also demonstrated intra-hemispheric expansion. However, simultaneous electrical stimulation of the contralateral uninjured median and ulnar nerves resulted in a representation that had expanded both intra- and inter-hemispherically into the cortical region previously occupied by the two transected nerve representations. Conclusions After major peripheral nerve injury, an adjacent nerve, with similar function to the injured nerve, may become significantly over-activated in the cortex when stimulated. This results in intra-hemispheric cortical expansion as the only component of cortical plasticity. When all nerves responsible for a certain function are injured, the same nerves on the contralateral side of the body are affected and become significantly over-activated during a task. Both intra- and inter-hemispheric cortical expansion exist, while the latter dominates cortical plasticity. PMID:23659705

  20. Adaptation of the cortical somatosensory evoked potential following pulsed pneumatic stimulation of the lower face in adults.

    PubMed

    Custead, Rebecca; Oh, Hyuntaek; Rosner, Austin Oder; Barlow, Steven

    2015-10-01

    Cortical adaptation to sustained sensory input is a pervasive form of short-term plasticity in neurological systems. Its role in sensory perception in health and disease, or predicting long-term plastic changes resulting from sensory training offers insight into the mechanisms of somatosensory and sensorimotor processing. A 4-channel electroencephalography (EEG) recording montage was placed bilaterally (C3-P3, C4-P4, F7-P3, F8-P4) to characterize the short-term effects of pulsed pneumatic orofacial stimulation on the cortical somatosensory evoked potential (cSEP) in twenty neurotypical adults (mean age=21±2.88 years). A servo-controlled pneumatic amplifier was used to deliver a repetitive series of pneumatic pulse trains (six 50-ms pulses, 5-second intertrain interval) through a linked pair of custom acetal homopolymer probes (aka TAC-Cells) adhered to the nonglabrous skin of the lower face proximal to the right oral angle to synchronously activate mechanoreceptive afferents in the trigeminal nerve. Blocks of pulse trains were counterbalanced among participants and delivered at two rates, 2 and 4Hz. TAC-Cell stimulation of the lower face consistently evoked a series of cSEPs at P7, N20, P28, N38, P75, N85, and P115. The spatial organization and adaptation of the evoked cSEP was dependent on stimulus pulse index (1-6 within the pulse train, p=.012), frequency of stimulus presentation (2 vs 4Hz, p<.001), component (P7-P115, p<.001), and recording montage (channels 1-4, p<.001). Early component latencies (P7-N20) were highly stable in polarity (sign) and latency, and consistent with putative far-field generators (e.g., trigeminal brainstem, ventroposteromedial thalamus). PMID:26119917

  1. Brain metabolite concentrations across cortical regions in healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Bracken, Bethany K.; Jensen, J. Eric; Prescot, Andrew P.; Cohen, Bruce M.; Renshaw, Perry F.; Öngür, Dost

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can provide in vivo information about metabolite levels across multiple brain regions. This study used MRS to examine concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a marker of neuronal integrity and function, and choline (Cho) which is related to the amount of cell membrane per unit volume, in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and parieto-occipital cortex (POC) in healthy individuals. Data were drawn from two experiments which examined glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. After controlling for gray matter percentages, NAA/Creatine (Cr) was 18% higher in POC than in ACC (p<0.001); Cho/Cr was 46% lower in POC than in ACC (p<0.001). There was an effect of study (p<0.001 for both metabolites), but no region by study interaction (NAA p=0.101, Cho p=0.850). Since NAA is localized to the intracellular space, these data suggest that ACC neuronal compartment is reduced as compared with POC, or that there is a lower concentration of NAA per cell in the ACC than POC, or both. Since elevated Cho suggests more cell membrane per unit volume, reduced NAA in ACC appears to be coupled with increases in overall cell membrane compartment. These findings are consistent with a number of previous studies using proton MRS which found increasing NAA and decreasing Cho moving caudally, and with post mortem anatomical studies which found neurons in more widely spaced bundles in ACC when compared to parietal and occipital cortices. MRS may be a useful tool for studying physical properties of the living human brain. PMID:21081116

  2. Blood glucose levels and cortical thinning in cognitively normal, middle-aged adults.

    PubMed

    Wennberg, Alexandra M V; Spira, Adam P; Pettigrew, Corinne; Soldan, Anja; Zipunnikov, Vadim; Rebok, George W; Roses, Allen D; Lutz, Michael W; Miller, Michael M; Thambisetty, Madhav; Albert, Marilyn S

    2016-06-15

    Type II diabetes mellitus (DM) increases risk for cognitive decline and is associated with brain atrophy in older demented and non-demented individuals. We investigated (1) the cross-sectional association between fasting blood glucose level and cortical thickness in a sample of largely middle-aged, cognitively normal adults, and (2) whether these associations were modified by genes associated with both lipid processing and dementia. To explore possible modifications by genetic status, we investigated the interaction between blood glucose levels and the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele and the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOMM) 40 '523 genotype on cortical thickness. Cortical thickness measures were based on mean thickness in a subset of a priori-selected brain regions hypothesized to be vulnerable to atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD) (i.e., 'AD vulnerable regions'). Participants included 233 cognitively normal subjects in the BIOCARD study who had a measure of fasting blood glucose and cortical thickness measures, quantified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. After adjustment for age, sex, race, education, depression, and medical conditions, higher blood glucose was associated with thinner parahippocampal gyri (B=-0.002; 95% CI -0.004, -0.0004) and temporal pole (B=-0.002; 95% CI -0.004, -0.0001), as well as reduced average thickness over AD vulnerable regions (B=-0.001; 95% CI -0.002, -0.0001). There was no evidence for greater cortical thinning in ε4 carriers of the APOE gene or in APOE ε3/3 individuals carrying the TOMM40 VL/VL genotypes. When individuals with glucose levels in the diabetic range (≥126mg/dL), were excluded from the analysis, the associations between glucose levels and cortical thickness were no longer significant. These findings suggest that glucose levels in the diabetic range are associated with reduced cortical thickness in AD vulnerable regions as early as middle age. PMID:27206882

  3. Functional Connectivity in Multiple Cortical Networks Is Associated with Performance Across Cognitive Domains in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Emily E.; Schultz, Aaron P.; Sperling, Reisa A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Intrinsic functional connectivity MRI has become a widely used tool for measuring integrity in large-scale cortical networks. This study examined multiple cortical networks using Template-Based Rotation (TBR), a method that applies a priori network and nuisance component templates defined from an independent dataset to test datasets of interest. A priori templates were applied to a test dataset of 276 older adults (ages 65–90) from the Harvard Aging Brain Study to examine the relationship between multiple large-scale cortical networks and cognition. Factor scores derived from neuropsychological tests represented processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Resting-state BOLD data were acquired in two 6-min acquisitions on a 3-Tesla scanner and processed with TBR to extract individual-level metrics of network connectivity in multiple cortical networks. All results controlled for data quality metrics, including motion. Connectivity in multiple large-scale cortical networks was positively related to all cognitive domains, with a composite measure of general connectivity positively associated with general cognitive performance. Controlling for the correlations between networks, the frontoparietal control network (FPCN) and executive function demonstrated the only significant association, suggesting specificity in this relationship. Further analyses found that the FPCN mediated the relationships of the other networks with cognition, suggesting that this network may play a central role in understanding individual variation in cognition during aging. PMID:25827242

  4. Functional Connectivity in Multiple Cortical Networks Is Associated with Performance Across Cognitive Domains in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Emily E; Schultz, Aaron P; Sperling, Reisa A; Hedden, Trey

    2015-10-01

    Intrinsic functional connectivity MRI has become a widely used tool for measuring integrity in large-scale cortical networks. This study examined multiple cortical networks using Template-Based Rotation (TBR), a method that applies a priori network and nuisance component templates defined from an independent dataset to test datasets of interest. A priori templates were applied to a test dataset of 276 older adults (ages 65-90) from the Harvard Aging Brain Study to examine the relationship between multiple large-scale cortical networks and cognition. Factor scores derived from neuropsychological tests represented processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Resting-state BOLD data were acquired in two 6-min acquisitions on a 3-Tesla scanner and processed with TBR to extract individual-level metrics of network connectivity in multiple cortical networks. All results controlled for data quality metrics, including motion. Connectivity in multiple large-scale cortical networks was positively related to all cognitive domains, with a composite measure of general connectivity positively associated with general cognitive performance. Controlling for the correlations between networks, the frontoparietal control network (FPCN) and executive function demonstrated the only significant association, suggesting specificity in this relationship. Further analyses found that the FPCN mediated the relationships of the other networks with cognition, suggesting that this network may play a central role in understanding individual variation in cognition during aging. PMID:25827242

  5. Underarousal in Adult ADHD: How Are Peripheral and Cortical Arousal Related?

    PubMed

    Mayer, Kerstin; Wyckoff, Sarah Nicole; Strehl, Ute

    2016-07-01

    In children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a general slowing of spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) brain activity and a decrease of event-related potential amplitudes such as the contingent negative variation (CNV) are observed. Additionally, some studies have reported decreased skin conductance level (SCL) in this clinical population leading to the hypothesis of a peripheral hypoarousal, which may be a target of biofeedback treatment in addition to or instead of neurofeedback. To our knowledge, the relationship between SCL and CNV has not been simultaneously investigated in one experiment. Using the theoretical background of the hypoarousal model, this article aims to gain more insight into the differences and correlations of cortical (CNV) and peripheral (SCL) arousal in adults with ADHD. A sample of 23 adults with ADHD and 22 healthy controls underwent an auditory Go-NoGo task with simultaneous 22-channel EEG and SCL recordings. Reaction time (RT) and reaction time variability (RTV) were also measured to assess task performance. Significantly decreased CNV amplitude and significantly higher RTV were observed in the ADHD group, reflecting cortical underarousal and problems with sustained attention. No significant correlation between peripheral underarousal and cortical underarousal was observed in the ADHD group or the control group. The observed cortical underarousal reflected in the decreased CNV supports the notion of a reduced CNV amplitude as a possible biomarker for ADHD. However, the connection between cortical and peripheral arousal is not as clear as is suggested in previous research investigating both separately. Implications of these results for new treatment options for ADHD such as biofeedback are discussed. PMID:25802473

  6. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-05-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  7. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-01-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  8. Dysfunctional cortical inhibition in adult ADHD: neural correlates in auditory event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Schubert, J K; Gonzalez-Trejo, E; Retz, W; Rösler, M; Corona-Strauss, F I; Steidl, G; Teuber, T; Strauss, D J

    2014-09-30

    In recent times, the relevance of an accurate diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults has been the focus of several studies. No longer considered a pathology exclusive to children and adolescents, and taking into account its social implications, developing enhanced support tools for the current diagnostic procedure becomes a priority. Here we present a method for the objective assessment of ADHD in adults using chirp-evoked, paired auditory late responses (ALRs) combined with a two-dimensional ALR denoising scheme to extract correlates of intracortical inhibition. Our method allows for an effective single-sweep denoising, thus requiring less trials to obtain recognizable physiological features, useful as pointers of cortical impairment. Results allow an optimized diagnosis, reduction of data loss and acquisition time; moreover, they do not account exclusively for critical elements within clinical evaluations, but also allow studying the pathophysiology of the condition by providing objective information regarding impaired cortical functions. PMID:25033725

  9. Adult stem cell plasticity: will engineered tissues be rejected?

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Te-Chao; Alison, Malcolm R; Wright, Nicholas A; Poulsom, Richard

    2004-01-01

    The dogma that adult tissue-specific stem cells remain committed to supporting only their own tissue has been challenged; a new hypothesis, that adult stem cells demonstrate plasticity in their repertoires, is being tested. This is important because it seems possible that haematopoietic stem cells, for example, could be exploited to generate and perhaps deliver cell-based therapies deep within existing nonhaematopoietic organs. Much of the evidence for plasticity derives from histological studies of tissues from patients or animals that have received grafts of cells or whole organs, from a donor bearing (or lacking) a definitive marker. Detection in the recipient of appropriately differentiated cells bearing the donor marker is indicative of a switch in phenotype of a stem cell or a member of a transit amplifying population or of a differentiated cell. In this review, we discuss evidence for these changes occurring but do not consider the molecular basis of cell commitment. In general, the extent of engraftment is low but may be increased if tissues are damaged. In model systems of liver regeneration, the repeated application of a selection pressure increases levels of engraftment considerably; how this occurs is unclear. Cell fusion plays a part in regeneration and remodelling of the liver, skeletal muscle and even regions of the brain. Genetic disease may be amenable to some forms of cell therapy, yet immune rejection will present challenges. Graft-vs.-host disease will continue to present problems, although this may be avoided if the cells were derived from the recipient or they were tolerized. Despite great expectations for cellular therapies, there are indications that attempts to replace missing proteins could be confounded simply by the development of specific immunity that rejects the new phenotype. PMID:15255965

  10. Promotion of Cortical Neurogenesis from the Neural Stem Cells in the Adult Mouse Subcallosal Zone.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joo Yeon; Choi, Kyuhyun; Shaker, Mohammed R; Lee, Ju-Hyun; Lee, Boram; Lee, Eunsoo; Park, Jae-Yong; Lim, Mi-Sun; Park, Chang-Hwan; Shin, Ki Soon; Kim, Hyun; Geum, Dongho; Sun, Woong

    2016-04-01

    Neurogenesis occurs spontaneously in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle in adult rodent brain, but it has long been debated whether there is sufficient adult neurogenesis in human SVZ. Subcallosal zone (SCZ), a posterior continuum of SVZ closely associated with posterior regions of cortical white matter, has also been reported to contain adult neural stem cells (aNSCs) in both rodents and humans. However, little is known whether SCZ-derived aNSC (SCZ-aNSCs) can produce cortical neurons following brain injury. We found that SCZ-aNSCs exhibited limited neuronal differentiation potential in culture and after transplantation in mice. Neuroblasts derived from SCZ initially migrated toward injured cortex regions following brain injury, but later exhibited apoptosis. Overexpression of anti-apoptotic bcl-xL in the SCZ by retroviral infection rescued neuroblasts from cell death in the injured cortex, but neuronal maturation was still limited, resulting in atrophy. In combination with Bcl-xL, infusion of brain-derived neurotropic factor rescued atrophy, and importantly, a subset of such SCZ-aNSCs differentiated and attained morphological and physiological characteristics of mature, excitatory neurons. These results suggest that the combination of anti-apoptotic and neurotrophic factors might enable the use of aNSCs derived from the SCZ in cortical neurogenesis for neural replacement therapy. Stem Cells 2016;34:888-901. PMID:26701067

  11. Greater cortical thinning in normal older adults predicts later cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, Jennifer; Goh, Joshua O; Kraut, Michael A; Ferrucci, Luigi; Resnick, Susan M

    2015-02-01

    Cross-sectional studies have shown regional differences in cortical thickness between healthy older adults and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We now demonstrate that participants who subsequently develop cognitive impairment leading to a diagnosis of MCI or AD (n = 25) experience greater cortical thinning in specific neuroanatomic regions compared with control participants who remained cognitively normal (n = 96). Based on 8 years of annual magnetic resonance imaging scans beginning an average of 11 years before onset of cognitive impairment, participants who developed cognitive impairment subsequent to the scanning period had greater longitudinal cortical thinning in the temporal poles and left medial temporal lobe compared with controls. No significant regional cortical thickness differences were found at baseline between the 2 study groups indicating that we are capturing a critical time when brain changes occur before behavioral manifestations of impairment are detectable. Our findings suggest that early events of the pathway that leads to cognitive impairment may involve the temporal lobe and that this increased atrophy could be considered an early biomarker of neurodegeneration predictive of cognitive impairment years later. PMID:25311277

  12. Effects of Aging and Adult-Onset Hearing Loss on Cortical Auditory Regions

    PubMed Central

    Cardin, Velia

    2016-01-01

    Hearing loss is a common feature in human aging. It has been argued that dysfunctions in central processing are important contributing factors to hearing loss during older age. Aging also has well documented consequences for neural structure and function, but it is not clear how these effects interact with those that arise as a consequence of hearing loss. This paper reviews the effects of aging and adult-onset hearing loss in the structure and function of cortical auditory regions. The evidence reviewed suggests that aging and hearing loss result in atrophy of cortical auditory regions and stronger engagement of networks involved in the detection of salient events, adaptive control and re-allocation of attention. These cortical mechanisms are engaged during listening in effortful conditions in normal hearing individuals. Therefore, as a consequence of aging and hearing loss, all listening becomes effortful and cognitive load is constantly high, reducing the amount of available cognitive resources. This constant effortful listening and reduced cognitive spare capacity could be what accelerates cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss. PMID:27242405

  13. Topographic reorganization in the striate cortex of the adult cat and monkey is cortically mediated.

    PubMed

    Darian-Smith, C; Gilbert, C D

    1995-03-01

    In primary sensory and motor cortex of adult animals, alteration of input from the periphery leads to changes in cortical topography. These changes can be attributed to processes that are intrinsic to the cortex, or can be inherited from alterations occurring at stages of sensory processing that are antecedent to the primary sensory cortical areas. In the visual system, focal binocular retinal lesions initially silence an area of cortex that represents the region of retina destroyed, but over a period of months this area recovers visually driven activity. The retinotopic map in the recovered area is altered, shifting its representation to the portion of retina immediately surrounding the lesion. This effectively shrinks the representation of the lesioned area of retina, and expands the representation of the lesion surround. To determine the loci along the visual pathway at which the reorganization takes place, we compared the course of topographic alterations in the primary visual cortex and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of cats and monkeys. At a time when the cortical reorganization is complete, the silent area of LGN persists, indicating that changes in cortical topography are due to alterations that are intrinsic to the cortex. To explore the participation of thalamocortical afferents in the reorganization, we injected a series of retrogradely transported fluorescent tracers into reorganized and surrounding cortex of each animal. Our results show that the thalamocortical arbors do not extend beyond their normal lateral territory and that this physical dimension is insufficient to account for the reorganization. We suggest that the long-range intrinsic horizontal connections are a likely source of visual input into the reorganized cortical area. PMID:7891124

  14. Plasticity of Brain Networks in a Randomized Intervention Trial of Exercise Training in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Basak, Chandramallika; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S.; Alves, Heloisa; Heo, Susie; Szabo, Amanda N.; White, Siobhan M.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; Mailey, Emily L.; Gothe, Neha; Olson, Erin A.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2010-01-01

    Research has shown the human brain is organized into separable functional networks during rest and varied states of cognition, and that aging is associated with specific network dysfunctions. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine low-frequency (0.008 < f < 0.08 Hz) coherence of cognitively relevant and sensory brain networks in older adults who participated in a 1-year intervention trial, comparing the effects of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness training on brain function and cognition. Results showed that aerobic training improved the aging brain's resting functional efficiency in higher-level cognitive networks. One year of walking increased functional connectivity between aspects of the frontal, posterior, and temporal cortices within the Default Mode Network and a Frontal Executive Network, two brain networks central to brain dysfunction in aging. Length of training was also an important factor. Effects in favor of the walking group were observed only after 12 months of training, compared to non-significant trends after 6 months. A non-aerobic stretching and toning group also showed increased functional connectivity in the DMN after 6 months and in a Frontal Parietal Network after 12 months, possibly reflecting experience-dependent plasticity. Finally, we found that changes in functional connectivity were behaviorally relevant. Increased functional connectivity was associated with greater improvement in executive function. Therefore the study provides the first evidence for exercise-induced functional plasticity in large-scale brain systems in the aging brain, using functional connectivity techniques, and offers new insight into the role of aerobic fitness in attenuating age-related brain dysfunction. PMID:20890449

  15. Auditory Training: Evidence for Neural Plasticity in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in digital amplification, cochlear implants, and other innovations have extended the potential for improving hearing function; yet, there remains a need for further hearing improvement in challenging listening situations, such as when trying to understand speech in noise or when listening to music. Here, we review evidence from animal and human models of plasticity in the brain’s ability to process speech and other meaningful stimuli. We considered studies targeting populations of younger through older adults, emphasizing studies that have employed randomized controlled designs and have made connections between neural and behavioral changes. Overall results indicate that the brain remains malleable through older adulthood, provided that treatment algorithms have been modified to allow for changes in learning with age. Improvements in speech-in-noise perception and cognition function accompany neural changes in auditory processing. The training-related improvements noted across studies support the need to consider auditory training strategies in the management of individuals who express concerns about hearing in difficult listening situations. Given evidence from studies engaging the brain’s reward centers, future research should consider how these centers can be naturally activated during training. PMID:25485037

  16. Lesions in posterior parietal area 5 in monkeys result in rapid behavioral and cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Padberg, Jeffrey; Recanzone, Gregg; Engle, James; Cooke, Dylan; Goldring, Adam; Krubitzer, Leah

    2012-01-01

    We examined the effects of focal lesions of posterior parietal area 5 in macaque monkeys on bimanual behavior performed with and without visual guidance. The animals were trained on two reaching tasks and one tactile texture discrimination task. Task 1 simply involved reaching toward and grasping a reward from one of five well positions. Task 2 required the monkey to use both hands simultaneously to obtain a reward. The tactile texture discrimination task required the monkey to signal the roughness of a passively delivered texture using its jaw. Following lesions to area 5, the monkeys showed a decrease in hand use for tasks 1 and 2 and an inability to perform task 2 in specific locations in visual space. These deficits recovered within several days. No deficits were observed in the tactile texture discrimination task, or in an analgesic control monkey. Electrophysiological recordings made just prior to the lesion, immediately following the lesion, and 2 months following the lesion demonstrated that cortical areas just rostral to the lesioned area 5, areas 1 and 2, were topographically reorganized and that receptive fields for neurons in these fields changed location on the body surface. These cortical map changes are correlative and may, in part, contribute to the rapid behavioral recovery observed. The mechanism for such rapid changes may be the unmasking of existing divergent and convergent thalamocortical connections that are part of the normal cortical circuitry. PMID:20881111

  17. Extensive neurological recovery from a complete spinal cord injury: a case report and hypothesis on the role of cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Ann S.; Belegu, Visar; Yoshida, Shoko; Joel, Suresh; Sadowsky, Cristina L.; Smith, Seth A.; van Zijl, Peter C. M.; Pekar, James J.; McDonald, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Neurological recovery in patients with severe spinal cord injury (SCI) is extremely rare. We have identified a patient with chronic cervical traumatic SCI, who suffered a complete loss of motor and sensory function below the injury for 6 weeks after the injury, but experienced a progressive neurological recovery that continued for 17 years. The extent of the patient's recovery from the severe trauma-induced paralysis is rare and remarkable. A detailed study of this patient using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetization transfer imaging (MTI), and resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI) revealed structural and functional changes in the central nervous system that may be associated with the neurological recovery. Sixty-two percent cervical cord white matter atrophy was observed. DTI-derived quantities, more sensitive to axons, demonstrated focal changes, while MTI-derived quantity, more sensitive to myelin, showed a diffuse change. No significant cortical structural changes were observed, while rs-fMRI revealed increased brain functional connectivity between sensorimotor and visual networks. The study provides comprehensive description of the structural and functional changes in the patient using advanced MR imaging technique. This multimodal MR imaging study also shows the potential of rs-fMRI to measure the extent of cortical plasticity. PMID:23805087

  18. Enhanced Somatosensory Feedback Reduces Prefrontal Cortical Activity During Walking in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Christou, Evangelos A.; Ring, Sarah A.; Williamson, John B.; Doty, Leilani

    2014-01-01

    Background. The coordination of steady state walking is relatively automatic in healthy humans, such that active attention to the details of task execution and performance (controlled processing) is low. Somatosensation is a crucial input to the spinal and brainstem circuits that facilitate this automaticity. Impaired somatosensation in older adults may reduce automaticity and increase controlled processing, thereby contributing to deficits in walking function. The primary objective of this study was to determine if enhancing somatosensory feedback can reduce controlled processing during walking, as assessed by prefrontal cortical activation. Methods. Fourteen older adults (age 77.1±5.56 years) with mild mobility deficits and mild somatosensory deficits participated in this study. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to quantify metabolic activity (tissue oxygenation index, TOI) in the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal activity and gait spatiotemporal data were measured during treadmill walking and overground walking while participants wore normal shoes and under two conditions of enhanced somatosensation: wearing textured insoles and no shoes. Results. Relative to walking with normal shoes, textured insoles yielded a bilateral reduction of prefrontal cortical activity for treadmill walking (ΔTOI = −0.85 and −1.19 for left and right hemispheres, respectively) and for overground walking (ΔTOI = −0.51 and −0.66 for left and right hemispheres, respectively). Relative to walking with normal shoes, no shoes yielded lower prefrontal cortical activity for treadmill walking (ΔTOI = −0.69 and −1.13 for left and right hemispheres, respectively), but not overground walking. Conclusions. Enhanced somatosensation reduces prefrontal activity during walking in older adults. This suggests a less intensive utilization of controlled processing during walking. PMID:25112494

  19. Emergent Spatial Patterns of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Strengths Drive Somatotopic Representational Discontinuities and their Plasticity in a Computational Model of Primary Sensory Cortical Area 3b

    PubMed Central

    Grajski, Kamil A.

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying the emergence and plasticity of representational discontinuities in the mammalian primary somatosensory cortical representation of the hand are investigated in a computational model. The model consists of an input lattice organized as a three-digit hand forward-connected to a lattice of cortical columns each of which contains a paired excitatory and inhibitory cell. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity of feedforward and lateral connection weights is implemented as a simple covariance rule and competitive normalization. Receptive field properties are computed independently for excitatory and inhibitory cells and compared within and across columns. Within digit representational zones intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field extents are concentric, single-digit, small, and unimodal. Exclusively in representational boundary-adjacent zones, intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field properties diverge: excitatory cell receptive fields are single-digit, small, and unimodal; and the paired inhibitory cell receptive fields are bimodal, double-digit, and large. In simulated syndactyly (webbed fingers), boundary-adjacent intracolumnar receptive field properties reorganize to within-representation type; divergent properties are reacquired following syndactyly release. This study generates testable hypotheses for assessment of cortical laminar-dependent receptive field properties and plasticity within and between cortical representational zones. For computational studies, present results suggest that concurrent excitatory and inhibitory plasticity may underlie novel emergent properties. PMID:27504086

  20. Promoting Motor Cortical Plasticity with Acute Aerobic Exercise: A Role for Cerebellar Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Mang, Cameron S.; Brown, Katlyn E.; Neva, Jason L.; Snow, Nicholas J.; Campbell, Kristin L.; Boyd, Lara A.

    2016-01-01

    Acute aerobic exercise facilitated long-term potentiation-like plasticity in the human primary motor cortex (M1). Here, we investigated the effect of acute aerobic exercise on cerebellar circuits, and their potential contribution to altered M1 plasticity in healthy individuals (age: 24.8 ± 4.1 years). In Experiment   1, acute aerobic exercise reduced cerebellar inhibition (CBI) (n = 10, p = 0.01), elicited by dual-coil paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. In Experiment   2, we evaluated the facilitatory effects of aerobic exercise on responses to paired associative stimulation, delivered with a 25 ms (PAS25) or 21 ms (PAS21) interstimulus interval (n = 16 per group). Increased M1 excitability evoked by PAS25, but not PAS21, relies on trans-cerebellar sensory pathways. The magnitude of the aerobic exercise effect on PAS response was not significantly different between PAS protocols (interaction effect: p = 0.30); however, planned comparisons indicated that, relative to a period of rest, acute aerobic exercise enhanced the excitatory response to PAS25 (p = 0.02), but not PAS21 (p = 0.30). Thus, the results of these planned comparisons indirectly provide modest evidence that modulation of cerebellar circuits may contribute to exercise-induced increases in M1 plasticity. The findings have implications for developing aerobic exercise strategies to “prime” M1 plasticity for enhanced motor skill learning in applied settings. PMID:27127659

  1. Cortical development, plasticity and re-organization in children with cochlear implants

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Anu; Nash, Amy A.; Dorman, Michael

    2009-01-01

    A basic tenet of developmental neurobiology is that certain areas of the cortex will reorganize, if appropriate stimulation is withheld for long periods. Stimulation must be delivered to a sensory system within a narrow window of time (a sensitive period) if that system is to develop normally. In this article, we will describe age cut-offs for a sensitive period for central auditory development in children who receive cochlear implants. We will review de-coupling and reorganization of cortical areas, which are presumed to underlie the end of the sensitive period in congenitally deaf humans and cats. Finally, we present two clinical cases which demonstrate the use of the P1 cortical auditory evoked potential as a biomarker for central auditory system development and re-organization in congenitally deaf children fitted with cochlear implants. Learning outcomes Readers of this article should be able to (i) describe the importance of the sensitive period as it relates to development of central auditory pathways in children with cochlear implants, (ii) discuss the hypothesis of decoupling of primary from higher order auditory cortex as it relates to the end of the sensitive period, (iii) discuss cross-modal reorganization which may occur after long periods of auditory deprivation, and (iv) understand the use of the P1 response as a biomarker for development of central auditory pathways. PMID:19380150

  2. Cell Assembly Signatures Defined by Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Cortical Networks.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Lopez-Huerta, Violeta G; Garcia-Munoz, Marianela; Theiss, Stephan; Arbuthnott, Gordon W

    2015-11-01

    The cell assembly (CA) hypothesis has been used as a conceptual framework to explain how groups of neurons form memories. CAs are defined as neuronal pools with synchronous, recurrent and sequential activity patterns. However, neuronal interactions and synaptic properties that define CAs signatures have been difficult to examine because identities and locations of assembly members are usually unknown. In order to study synaptic properties that define CAs, we used optical and electrophysiological approaches to record activity of identified neurons in mouse cortical cultures. Population analysis and graph theory techniques allowed us to find sequential patterns that represent repetitive transitions between network states. Whole cell pair recordings of neurons participating in repeated sequences demonstrated that synchrony is exhibited by groups of neurons with strong synaptic connectivity (concomitant firing) showing short-term synaptic depression (STD), whereas alternation (sequential firing) is seen in groups of neurons with weaker synaptic connections showing short-term synaptic facilitation (STF). Decreasing synaptic weights of a network promoted the generation of sequential activity patterns, whereas increasing synaptic weights restricted state transitions. Thus in simple cortical networks of real neurons, basic signatures of CAs, the properties that underlie perception and memory in Hebb's original description, are already present. PMID:26173906

  3. Cortical plasticity within and across lifetimes: how can development inform us about phenotypic transformations?

    PubMed Central

    Krubitzer, Leah; Dooley, James C.

    2013-01-01

    The neocortex is the part of the mammalian brain that is involved in perception, cognition, and volitional motor control. It is a highly dynamic structure that is dramatically altered within the lifetime of an animal and in different lineages throughout the course of evolution. These alterations account for the remarkable variations in behavior that species exhibit. Of particular interest is how these cortical phenotypes change within the lifetime of the individual and eventually evolve in species over time. Because we cannot study the evolution of the neocortex directly we use comparative analysis to appreciate the types of changes that have been made to the neocortex and the similarities that exist across taxa. Developmental studies inform us about how these phenotypic transitions may arise by alterations in developmental cascades or changes in the physical environment in which the brain develops. Both genes and the sensory environment contribute to aspects of the phenotype and similar features, such as the size of a cortical field, can be altered in a variety of ways. Although both genes and the laws of physics place constraints on the evolution of the neocortex, mammals have evolved a number of mechanisms that allow them to loosen these constraints and often alter the course of their own evolution. PMID:24130524

  4. A Mouse Model for Conditional Secretion of Specific Single-Chain Antibodies Provides Genetic Evidence for Regulation of Cortical Plasticity by a Non-cell Autonomous Homeoprotein Transcription Factor

    PubMed Central

    Bertini, Eva; Ribot, Jérôme; Di Nardo, Ariel A.; Volovitch, Michel; Prochiantz, Alain

    2016-01-01

    During postnatal life the cerebral cortex passes through critical periods of plasticity allowing its physiological adaptation to the environment. In the visual cortex, critical period onset and closure are influenced by the non-cell autonomous activity of the Otx2 homeoprotein transcription factor, which regulates the maturation of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons (PV cells). In adult mice, the maintenance of a non-plastic adult state requires continuous Otx2 import by PV cells. An important source of extra-cortical Otx2 is the choroid plexus, which secretes Otx2 into the cerebrospinal fluid. Otx2 secretion and internalization requires two small peptidic domains that are part of the DNA-binding domain. Thus, mutating these “transfer” sequences also modifies cell autonomous transcription, precluding this approach to obtain a cell autonomous-only mouse. Here, we develop a mouse model with inducible secretion of an anti-Otx2 single-chain antibody to trap Otx2 in the extracellular milieu. Postnatal secretion of this single-chain antibody by PV cells delays PV maturation and reduces plasticity gene expression. Induced adult expression of this single-chain antibody in cerebrospinal fluid decreases Otx2 internalization by PV cells, strongly induces plasticity gene expression and reopens physiological plasticity. We provide the first mammalian genetic evidence for a signaling mechanism involving intercellular transfer of a homeoprotein transcription factor. Our single-chain antibody mouse model is a valid strategy for extracellular neutralization that could be applied to other homeoproteins and signaling molecules within and beyond the nervous system. PMID:27171438

  5. A Mouse Model for Conditional Secretion of Specific Single-Chain Antibodies Provides Genetic Evidence for Regulation of Cortical Plasticity by a Non-cell Autonomous Homeoprotein Transcription Factor.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Clémence; Vincent, Clémentine; Testa, Damien; Bertini, Eva; Ribot, Jérôme; Di Nardo, Ariel A; Volovitch, Michel; Prochiantz, Alain

    2016-05-01

    During postnatal life the cerebral cortex passes through critical periods of plasticity allowing its physiological adaptation to the environment. In the visual cortex, critical period onset and closure are influenced by the non-cell autonomous activity of the Otx2 homeoprotein transcription factor, which regulates the maturation of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons (PV cells). In adult mice, the maintenance of a non-plastic adult state requires continuous Otx2 import by PV cells. An important source of extra-cortical Otx2 is the choroid plexus, which secretes Otx2 into the cerebrospinal fluid. Otx2 secretion and internalization requires two small peptidic domains that are part of the DNA-binding domain. Thus, mutating these "transfer" sequences also modifies cell autonomous transcription, precluding this approach to obtain a cell autonomous-only mouse. Here, we develop a mouse model with inducible secretion of an anti-Otx2 single-chain antibody to trap Otx2 in the extracellular milieu. Postnatal secretion of this single-chain antibody by PV cells delays PV maturation and reduces plasticity gene expression. Induced adult expression of this single-chain antibody in cerebrospinal fluid decreases Otx2 internalization by PV cells, strongly induces plasticity gene expression and reopens physiological plasticity. We provide the first mammalian genetic evidence for a signaling mechanism involving intercellular transfer of a homeoprotein transcription factor. Our single-chain antibody mouse model is a valid strategy for extracellular neutralization that could be applied to other homeoproteins and signaling molecules within and beyond the nervous system. PMID:27171438

  6. Brain Volumetrics, Regional Cortical Thickness and Radiographic Findings in Adults with Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease☆

    PubMed Central

    Cordina, Rachael; Grieve, Stuart; Barnett, Michael; Lagopoulos, Jim; Malitz, Nathan; Celermajer, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Background Chronic cyanosis in adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) may cause structural brain changes that could contribute to impaired neurological functioning. The extent of these changes has not been adequately characterized. Hypothesis We hypothesized that adults with cyanotic CHD would have widespread changes including abnormal brain volumetric measures, decreased cortical thickness and an increased burden of small and large vessel ischemic changes. Methods Ten adults with chronic cyanosis from CHD (40 ± 4 years) and mean oxygen saturations of 82 ± 2% were investigated using quantitative MRI. Hematological and biochemical parameters were also assessed. All subjects were free from major physical or intellectual impairment. Brain volumetric results were compared with randomly selected age- and sex-matched controls from our database of normal subjects. Results Five of 10 cyanotic subjects had cortical lacunar infarcts. The white matter (WM) hyperintensity burden was also abnormally high (Scheltens Scale was 8 ± 2). Quantitative MRI revealed evidence of extensive generalized WM and gray matter (GM) volumetric loss; global GM volume was reduced in cyanosed subjects (630 ± 16 vs. 696 ± 14 mL in controls, p = 0.01) as was global WM volume (471 ± 10 vs. 564 ± 18 mL, p = 0.003). Ventricular cerebrospinal fluid volume was increased (35 ± 10 vs. 26 ± 5 mL, p = 0.002). There were widespread regions of local cortical thickness reduction observed across the brain. These changes included bilateral thickness reductions in the frontal lobe including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and precentral gyrus, the posterior parietal lobe and the middle temporal gyrus. Sub-cortical volume changes were observed in the caudate, putamen and in the thalamus (p ≤ 0.005 for all regions). Cortical GM volume negatively correlated with brain natriuretic peptide (R = − 0.89, p = 0.009), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (R = − 0

  7. Effect of a Gluten-Free Diet on Cortical Excitability in Adults with Celiac Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bella, Rita; Lanza, Giuseppe; Cantone, Mariagiovanna; Giuffrida, Salvatore; Puglisi, Valentina; Vinciguerra, Luisa; Pennisi, Manuela; Ricceri, Riccardo; D’Agate, Carmela Cinzia; Malaguarnera, Giulia; Ferri, Raffaele; Pennisi, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Introduction An imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic excitability was observed in de novo patients with celiac disease (CD) in a previous study with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), suggesting a subclinical involvement of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in asymptomatic patients. The aim of this investigation was to monitor the eventual changes in the same cohort of patients, evaluated after a period of gluten-free diet. Methods Patients were re-evaluated after a median period of 16 months during which an adequate gluten-free diet was maintained. Clinical, cognitive and neuropsychiatric assessment was repeated, as well as cortical excitability by means of single- and paired-pulse TMS from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the dominant hand. Results Compared to baseline, patients showed a significant decrease of the median resting motor threshold (from 35% to 33%, p<0.01). The other single-pulse (cortical silent period, motor evoked potentials latency and amplitude, central motor conduction time) and paired-pulse TMS measures (intracortical inhibition and intracortical facilitation) did not change significantly after the follow-up period. Antibodies were still present in 7 subjects. Discussion In patients under a gluten-free diet, a global increase of cortical excitability was observed, suggesting a glutamate-mediated functional reorganization compensating for disease progression. We hypothesize that glutamate receptor activation, probably triggered by CD-related immune system dysregulation, might result in a long-lasting motor cortex hyperexcitability with increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials, probably related to phenomena of long-term plasticity. The impact of the gluten-free diet on subclinical neurological abnormalities needs to be further explored. PMID:26053324

  8. Age-related changes in the plasticity and toughness of human cortical bone at multiple length scales.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Schaible, Eric; Bale, Hrishikesh; Barth, Holly D; Tang, Simon Y; Reichert, Peter; Busse, Bjoern; Alliston, Tamara; Ager, Joel W; Ritchie, Robert O

    2011-08-30

    The structure of human cortical bone evolves over multiple length scales from its basic constituents of collagen and hydroxyapatite at the nanoscale to osteonal structures at near-millimeter dimensions, which all provide the basis for its mechanical properties. To resist fracture, bone's toughness is derived intrinsically through plasticity (e.g., fibrillar sliding) at structural scales typically below a micrometer and extrinsically (i.e., during crack growth) through mechanisms (e.g., crack deflection/bridging) generated at larger structural scales. Biological factors such as aging lead to a markedly increased fracture risk, which is often associated with an age-related loss in bone mass (bone quantity). However, we find that age-related structural changes can significantly degrade the fracture resistance (bone quality) over multiple length scales. Using in situ small-angle X-ray scattering and wide-angle X-ray diffraction to characterize submicrometer structural changes and synchrotron X-ray computed tomography and in situ fracture-toughness measurements in the scanning electron microscope to characterize effects at micrometer scales, we show how these age-related structural changes at differing size scales degrade both the intrinsic and extrinsic toughness of bone. Specifically, we attribute the loss in toughness to increased nonenzymatic collagen cross-linking, which suppresses plasticity at nanoscale dimensions, and to an increased osteonal density, which limits the potency of crack-bridging mechanisms at micrometer scales. The link between these processes is that the increased stiffness of the cross-linked collagen requires energy to be absorbed by "plastic" deformation at higher structural levels, which occurs by the process of microcracking. PMID:21873221

  9. Learning letters in adulthood: direct visualization of cortical plasticity for forming a new link between orthography and phonology.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Ryuichiro; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2004-04-22

    To identify which brain regions in adults show plasticity for learning letters, Hangul letters were experimentally associated with either speech sounds (HS condition) or nonspeech sounds (HN condition) in fMRI sessions over two consecutive days. Selective activations under the HS condition were found in several regions including the left posterior inferior temporal gyrus (PITG) and the parieto-occipital cortex (PO), as compared with activations under a condition for familiar letters and speech sounds, and with those under the HN condition. The left PITG showed a selective activation increase under the HS condition over two days, the degree of which predicted individual performance improvement. Further, functional connectivity between the left PITG and the left PO was selectively enhanced under the HS condition. These results demonstrate that a new link between orthography and phonology is formed by the plasticity of a functional system involving the left PITG in association with the left PO. PMID:15091345

  10. Video-Game Play Induces Plasticity in the Visual System of Adults with Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Roger W.; Ngo, Charlie; Nguyen, Jennie; Levi, Dennis M.

    2011-01-01

    Abnormal visual experience during a sensitive period of development disrupts neuronal circuitry in the visual cortex and results in abnormal spatial vision or amblyopia. Here we examined whether playing video games can induce plasticity in the visual system of adults with amblyopia. Specifically 20 adults with amblyopia (age 15–61 y; visual acuity: 20/25–20/480, with no manifest ocular disease or nystagmus) were recruited and allocated into three intervention groups: action videogame group (n = 10), non-action videogame group (n = 3), and crossover control group (n = 7). Our experiments show that playing video games (both action and non-action games) for a short period of time (40–80 h, 2 h/d) using the amblyopic eye results in a substantial improvement in a wide range of fundamental visual functions, from low-level to high-level, including visual acuity (33%), positional acuity (16%), spatial attention (37%), and stereopsis (54%). Using a cross-over experimental design (first 20 h: occlusion therapy, and the next 40 h: videogame therapy), we can conclude that the improvement cannot be explained simply by eye patching alone. We quantified the limits and the time course of visual plasticity induced by video-game experience. The recovery in visual acuity that we observed is at least 5-fold faster than would be expected from occlusion therapy in childhood amblyopia. We used positional noise and modelling to reveal the neural mechanisms underlying the visual improvements in terms of decreased spatial distortion (7%) and increased processing efficiency (33%). Our study had several limitations: small sample size, lack of randomization, and differences in numbers between groups. A large-scale randomized clinical study is needed to confirm the therapeutic value of video-game treatment in clinical situations. Nonetheless, taken as a pilot study, this work suggests that video-game play may provide important principles for treating amblyopia, and perhaps

  11. Cortical plasticity for visuospatial processing and object recognition in deaf and hearing signers.

    PubMed

    Weisberg, Jill; Koo, Daniel S; Crain, Kelly L; Eden, Guinevere F

    2012-03-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity in deaf participants has been shown in a variety of studies focused on either the dorsal or ventral aspects of the visual system, but both systems have never been investigated in concert. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated functional plasticity for spatial processing (a dorsal visual pathway function) and for object processing (a ventral visual pathway function) concurrently, in the context of differing sensory (auditory deprivation) and language (use of a signed language) experience. During scanning, deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing native ASL users, and hearing participants without ASL experience attended to either the spatial arrangement of frames containing objects or the identity of the objects themselves. These two tasks revealed the expected dorsal/ventral dichotomy for spatial versus object processing in all groups. In addition, the object identity matching task contained both face and house stimuli, allowing us to examine category-selectivity in the ventral pathway in all three participant groups. When contrasting the groups we found that deaf signers differed from the two hearing groups in dorsal pathway parietal regions involved in spatial cognition, suggesting sensory experience-driven plasticity. Group differences in the object processing system indicated that responses in the face-selective right lateral fusiform gyrus and anterior superior temporal cortex were sensitive to a combination of altered sensory and language experience, whereas responses in the amygdala were more closely tied to sensory experience. By selectively engaging the dorsal and ventral visual pathways within participants in groups with different sensory and language experiences, we have demonstrated that these experiences affect the function of both of these systems, and that certain changes are more closely tied to sensory experience, while others are driven by the combination of sensory and

  12. Cortical plasticity for visuospatial processing and object recognition in deaf and hearing signers

    PubMed Central

    Weisberg, Jill; Koo, Daniel S.; Crain, Kelly L.; Eden, Guinevere F.

    2012-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity in deaf participants has been shown in a variety of studies focused on either the dorsal or ventral aspects of the visual system, but both systems have never been investigated in concert. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated functional plasticity for spatial processing (a dorsal visual pathway function) and for object processing (a ventral visual pathway function) concurrently, in the context of differing sensory (auditory deprivation) and language (use of a signed language) experience. During scanning, deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing native ASL users, and hearing participants without ASL experience attended to either the spatial arrangement of frames containing objects or the identity of the objects themselves. These two tasks revealed the expected dorsal/ventral dichotomy for spatial versus object processing in all groups. In addition, the object identity matching task contained both face and house stimuli, allowing us to examine category-selectivity in the ventral pathway in all three participant groups. When contrasting the groups we found that deaf signers differed from the two hearing groups in dorsal pathway parietal regions involved in spatial cognition, suggesting sensory experience-driven plasticity. Group differences in the object processing system indicated that responses in the face-selective right lateral fusiform gyrus and anterior superior temporal cortex were sensitive to a combination of altered sensory and language experience, whereas responses in the amygdala were more closely tied to sensory experience. By selectively engaging the dorsal and ventral visual pathways within participants in groups with different sensory and language experiences, we have demonstrated that these experiences affect the function of both of these systems, and that certain changes are more closely tied to sensory experience, while others are driven by the combination of sensory and

  13. Removing brakes on adult brain plasticity: from molecular to behavioral interventions

    PubMed Central

    Bavelier, D.; Levi, D.M.; Li, R.W.; Dan, Y.; Hensch, T.K.

    2010-01-01

    Adult brain plasticity, although possible, remains more restricted in scope than during development. Here, we address conditions under which circuit rewiring may be facilitated in the mature brain. At a cellular and molecular level, adult plasticity is actively limited. Some of these “brakes” are structural, such as peri-neuronal nets or myelin, which inhibit neurite outgrowth. Others are functional, acting directly upon excitatory-inhibitory balance within local circuits. Plasticity in adulthood can be induced either by lifting these brakes through invasive interventions or by exploiting endogenous permissive factors, such as neuromodulators. Using the amblyopic visual system as a model, we discuss genetic, pharmacological, and environmental removal of brakes to enable recovery of vision in adult rodents. Although these mechanisms remain largely uncharted in the human, we consider how they may provide a biological foundation for the remarkable increase in plasticity after action video game play by amblyopic subjects. PMID:21068299

  14. Sensory cortex limits cortical maps and drives top-down plasticity in thalamocortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    Zembrzycki, Andreas; Chou, Shen-Ju; Ashery-Padan, Ruth; Stoykova, Anastassia; O’Leary, Dennis D.M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) contains a complete body map that mirrors subcortical maps developed by peripheral sensory input projecting to sensory hindbrain, thalamus, then S1. Peripheral changes during development alter these maps through ‘bottom-up’ plasticity. Unknown is how S1 size influences map organization and if an altered S1 map feedbacks to affect subcortical maps. We show in mice that S1 is significantly reduced by cortex-specific deletion of Pax6, resulting in a reduced body map and loss of body representations by exclusion of later-differentiating sensory thalamocortical input. An initially normal sensory thalamus was re-patterned to match the aberrant S1 map by apoptotic deletion of thalamic neurons representing body parts with axons excluded from S1. Deleted representations were rescued by altering competition between thalamocortical axons by sensory deprivation or increasing S1. Thus, S1 size determined resolution and completeness of body maps and engaged ‘top-down’ plasticity that re-patterned sensory thalamus to match S1. PMID:23831966

  15. Mismatch negativity indexes illness-specific impairments of cortical plasticity in schizophrenia: a comparison with bipolar disorder and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Baldeweg, Torsten; Hirsch, Steven R

    2015-02-01

    Cognitive impairment is an important predictor of functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia, yet its neurobiology is still incompletely understood. Neuropathological evidence of impaired synaptic connectivity and NMDA receptor-dependent transmission in superior temporal cortex motivated us to explore the correlation of in vivo mismatch negativity (MMN) with cognitive status in patients with schizophrenia. MMN elicited in a roving stimulus paradigm displayed a response proportional to the number of stimulus repetitions (memory trace effect). Preliminary evidence in patients with chronic schizophrenia suggests that attenuation of this MMN memory trace effect was correlated with the degree of neuropsychological memory dysfunction. Here we present data from a larger confirmatory study in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, probable Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls. We observed that the diminution of the MMN memory trace effect and its correlation with memory impairment was only found in the schizophrenia group. Recent pharmacological studies using the roving paradigm suggest that attenuation of the MMN trace effect can be understood as abnormal modulation of NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity. We suggest that the convergence of the previously identified synaptic pathology in supragranular cortical layers with the intracortical locus of MMN generation accounts for the remarkable robustness of MMN impairments in schizophrenia. We further speculate that this layer-specific synaptic pathology identified in supragranular neurons plays a pivotal computational role, by weakening the encoding and propagation of prediction errors to higher cortical modules. According to predictive coding theory such breakdown will have grave implications not only for perception, but also for higher-order cognition and may thus account for the MMN-cognition correlations observed here. Finally, MMN is a sensitive and specific biomarker for detecting the early prodromal

  16. Sleep and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity. PMID:24671703

  17. A developmentally plastic adult mouse kidney cell line spontaneously generates multiple adult kidney structures

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Carol F.; Wirsig-Wiechmann, Celeste R.; Lakiza, Olga; Obara, Tomoko

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting new possibilities for regenerative therapy posed by the ability to induce pluripotent stem cells, recapitulation of three-dimensional kidneys for repair or replacement has not been possible. ARID3a-deficient mouse tissues generated multipotent, developmentally plastic cells. Therefore, we assessed the adult mouse ARID3a−/− kidney cell line, KKPS5, which expresses renal progenitor surface markers as an alternative cell source for modeling kidney development. Remarkably, these cells spontaneously developed into multicellular nephron-like structures in vitro, and engrafted into immunocompromised medaka mesonephros, where they formed mouse nephron structures. These data implicate KKPS5 cells as a new model system for studying kidney development. PMID:26111446

  18. Large-scale cortical reorganization following forelimb deafferentation in rat does not involve plasticity of intracortical connections.

    PubMed

    Pearson, P P; Arnold, P B; Oladehin, A; Li, C X; Waters, R S

    2001-05-01

    Physiological mapping of the body representation 1 month or longer after forelimb removal in adult rats revealed new pockets of shoulder representation in the forepaw barrel subfield (FBS) in the first somatosensory cortex (SI). These "new" shoulder representations have longer evoked response latencies than sites in the shoulder representation within the trunk subfield, hereafter referred to as the "original" shoulder representation. We postulated that the "new" shoulder representations in the FBS were relayed from the "original" shoulder representation. We investigated this hypothesis by studying anatomical connectivity between the "original" shoulder representation and the FBS in intact control and forelimb deafferented adult rats using Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L), biocytin, and biotin dextran-amine (BDA) as anterograde tracers. The retrograde tracer cholera toxin beta subunit (CT-B) injected into the FBS was also used to study connectivity between the "original" shoulder representation and the FBS. Using these anatomical tracing techniques, we were unable to show the existence of a direct corticocortical connection between the "original" shoulder representation in the trunk subfield and the FBS in either intact or deafferented rats. Functional connectivity between the two cortical regions was studied by ablating the "original" shoulder representation alone or in combination with the shoulder representation in the second somatosensory cortex (SII) while recording evoked responses in the FBS following electrical stimulation of the shoulder. Both ablations failed to eliminate the evoked responses at the "new" shoulder sites in the FBS, suggesting that SI and SII are not necessary for "new" shoulder input in the FBS. It is suggested that subcortical sites may play a major role in large-scale cortical reorganization. Results of projections from the "original" shoulder representation to parietal medial (PM), parietal lateral (PL), SII, parietal ventral

  19. Neurofeedback of slow cortical potentials: neural mechanisms and feasibility of a placebo-controlled design in healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Gevensleben, Holger; Albrecht, Björn; Lütcke, Henry; Auer, Tibor; Dewiputri, Wan Ilma; Schweizer, Renate; Moll, Gunther; Heinrich, Hartmut; Rothenberger, Aribert

    2014-01-01

    To elucidate basic mechanisms underlying neurofeedback we investigated neural mechanisms of training of slow cortical potentials (SCPs) by considering EEG- and fMRI. Additionally, we analyzed the feasibility of a double-blind, placebo-controlled design in NF research based on regulation performance during treatment sessions and self-assessment of the participants. Twenty healthy adults participated in 16 sessions of SCPs training: 9 participants received regular SCP training, 11 participants received sham feedback. At three time points (pre, intermediate, post) fMRI and EEG/ERP-measurements were conducted during a continuous performance test (CPT). Performance-data during the sessions (regulation performance) in the treatment group and the placebo group were analyzed. Analysis of EEG-activity revealed in the SCP group a strong enhancement of the CNV (electrode Cz) at the intermediate assessment, followed by a decrease back to baseline at the post-treatment assessment. In contrast, in the placebo group a continuous but smaller increase of the CNV could be obtained from pre to post assessment. The increase of the CNV in the SCP group at intermediate testing was superior to the enhancement in the placebo group. The changes of the CNV were accompanied by a continuous improvement in the test performance of the CPT from pre to intermediate to post assessment comparable in both groups. The change of the CNV in the SCP group is interpreted as an indicator of neural plasticity and efficiency while an increase of the CNV in the placebo group might reflect learning and improved timing due to the frequent task repetition. In the fMRI analysis evidence was obtained for neuronal plasticity. After regular SCP neurofeedback activation in the posterior parietal cortex decreased from the pre- to the intermediate measurement and increased again in the post measurement, inversely following the U-shaped increase and decrease of the tCNV EEG amplitude in the SCP-trained group

  20. Cholinergic Signaling Controls Conditioned Fear Behaviors and Enhances Plasticity of Cortical-Amygdala Circuits.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Kundu, Srikanya; Lederman, James D; López-Hernández, Gretchen Y; Ballinger, Elizabeth C; Wang, Shaohua; Talmage, David A; Role, Lorna W

    2016-06-01

    We examined the contribution of endogenous cholinergic signaling to the acquisition and extinction of fear- related memory by optogenetic regulation of cholinergic input to the basal lateral amygdala (BLA). Stimulation of cholinergic terminal fields within the BLA in awake-behaving mice during training in a cued fear-conditioning paradigm slowed the extinction of learned fear as assayed by multi-day retention of extinction learning. Inhibition of cholinergic activity during training reduced the acquisition of learned fear behaviors. Circuit mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of cholinergic signaling in the BLA were assessed by in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiological recording. Photostimulation of endogenous cholinergic input (1) enhances firing of putative BLA principal neurons through activation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), (2) enhances glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the BLA, and (3) induces LTP of cortical-amygdala circuits. These studies support an essential role of cholinergic modulation of BLA circuits in the inscription and retention of fear memories. PMID:27161525

  1. Cortical plasticity in 4-month-old infants: specific effects of experience with musical timbres.

    PubMed

    Trainor, Laurel J; Lee, Kathleen; Bosnyak, Daniel J

    2011-10-01

    Animal models suggest that the brain is particularly neuroplastic early in development, but previous studies have not systematically controlled the auditory environment in human infants and observed the effects on auditory cortical representations. We exposed 4-month-old infants to melodies in either guitar or marimba timbre (infants were randomly assigned to exposure group) for a total of ~160 min over the course of a week, after which we measured electroencephalogram (EEG) responses to guitar and marimba tones at pitches not previously heard during the exposure phase. A frontally negative response with a topography consistent with generation in auditory areas, peaking around 450 ms, was significantly larger for guitar than marimba tones in the guitar-exposed group but significantly larger for marimba than guitar tones in the marimba-exposed group. This indicates that experience with tones in a particular timbre affects representations for that timbre, and that this effect generalizes to tones not previously experienced during exposure. Furthermore, mismatch responses to occasional small 3% changes in pitch were larger for tones in guitar than marimba timbre only for infants exposed to guitar tones. Together these results indicate that a relatively small amount of passive exposure to a particular timbre in infancy enhances representations of that timbre and leads to more precise pitch processing for that timbre. PMID:21445665

  2. Auditory Cortical Plasticity Drives Training-Induced Cognitive Changes in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Dale, Corby L; Brown, Ethan G; Fisher, Melissa; Herman, Alexander B; Dowling, Anne F; Hinkley, Leighton B; Subramaniam, Karuna; Nagarajan, Srikantan S; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by dysfunction in basic auditory processing, as well as higher-order operations of verbal learning and executive functions. We investigated whether targeted cognitive training of auditory processing improves neural responses to speech stimuli, and how these changes relate to higher-order cognitive functions. Patients with schizophrenia performed an auditory syllable identification task during magnetoencephalography before and after 50 hours of either targeted cognitive training or a computer games control. Healthy comparison subjects were assessed at baseline and after a 10 week no-contact interval. Prior to training, patients (N = 34) showed reduced M100 response in primary auditory cortex relative to healthy participants (N = 13). At reassessment, only the targeted cognitive training patient group (N = 18) exhibited increased M100 responses. Additionally, this group showed increased induced high gamma band activity within left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex immediately after stimulus presentation, and later in bilateral temporal cortices. Training-related changes in neural activity correlated with changes in executive function scores but not verbal learning and memory. These data suggest that computerized cognitive training that targets auditory and verbal learning operations enhances both sensory responses in auditory cortex as well as engagement of prefrontal regions, as indexed during an auditory processing task with low demands on working memory. This neural circuit enhancement is in turn associated with better executive function but not verbal memory. PMID:26152668

  3. Nicotine exposure during adolescence alters the rules for prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity during adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Goriounova, Natalia A.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2012-01-01

    The majority of adolescents report to have smoked a cigarette at least once. Adolescence is a critical period of brain development during which maturation of areas involved in cognitive functioning, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), is still ongoing. Tobacco smoking during this age may compromise the normal course of prefrontal development and lead to cognitive impairments in later life. In addition, adolescent smokers suffer from attention deficits, which progress with the years of smoking. Recent studies in rodents reveal the molecular changes induced by adolescent nicotine exposure that alter the functioning of synapses in the PFC and underlie the lasting effects on cognitive function. In particular, the expression and function of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are changed and this has an impact on short- and long-term plasticity of glutamatergic synapses in the PFC and ultimately on the attention performance. Here, we review and discuss these recent findings. PMID:22876231

  4. Plasticity in the adult human auditory brainstem following short-term linguistic training

    PubMed Central

    Song, Judy H.; Skoe, Erika; Wong, Patrick C. M.; Kraus, Nina

    2009-01-01

    Peripheral and central structures along the auditory pathway contribute to speech processing and learning. However, because speech requires the use of functionally and acoustically complex sounds which necessitates high sensory and cognitive demands, long-term exposure and experience using these sounds is often attributed to the neocortex with little emphasis placed on subcortical structures. The present study examines changes in the auditory brainstem, specifically the frequency following response (FFR), as native English-speaking adults learn to incorporate foreign speech sounds (lexical pitch patterns) in word identification. The FFR presumably originates from the auditory midbrain, and can be elicited pre-attentively. We measured FFRs to the trained pitch patterns before and after training. Measures of pitch-tracking were then derived from the FFR signals. We found increased accuracy in pitch-tracking after training, including a decrease in the number of pitch-tracking errors and a refinement in the energy devoted to encoding pitch. Most interestingly, this change in pitch-tracking accuracy only occurred in the most acoustically complex pitch contour (dipping contour), which is also the least familiar to our English-speaking subjects. These results not only demonstrate the contribution of the brainstem in language learning and its plasticity in adulthood, but they also demonstrate the specificity of this contribution (i.e., changes in encoding only occurs in specific, least familiar stimuli, not all stimuli). Our findings complement existing data showing cortical changes after second language learning, and are consistent with models suggesting that brainstem changes resulting from perceptual learning are most apparent when acuity in encoding is most needed. PMID:18370594

  5. Field Patterns of Leaf Plasticity in Adults of the Long-lived Evergreen Quercus coccifera

    PubMed Central

    Rubio De Casas, Rafael; Vargas, Pablo; Pérez-Corona, Esther; Manrique, Esteban; Quintana, José Ramón; García-Verdugo, Carlos; Balaguer, Luis

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Quercus coccifera, as a long-lived sprouter, responds plastically to environmental variation. In this study, the role of foliar plasticity as a mechanism of habitat selection and modification within the canopy and across contrasted habitats was characterized. An examination was made of the differential contribution of inner and outer canopy layers to the crown plasticity expressed in the field by adult individuals and its dependence on environmental and genetic factors. Methods Within-crown variation in eight foliar traits was examined in nine populations dominated by Q. coccifera. The difference between mean trait values at the inner and outer canopy layers was used as a proxy for crown plasticity to light. Correlations between geographic distances, environmental differences (climatic and edaphic) and phenotypic divergence (means and plasticities) were assessed by partial Mantel tests. A subset of field measurements was compared with data from a previous common garden experiment. Key Results Phenotypic adjustment of sun leaves contributed significantly to the field variation in crown plasticity. Plasticity in leaf angle, lobation, xanthophyll cycle pigments and β-carotene content was expressed in sun and shade leaves concurrently and in opposite directions. Phenotypic plasticity was more strongly correlated with environmental variation than mean trait values. Populations of taller plants with larger, thinner (higher specific leaf area) and less spiny leaves exhibited greater plasticity. In these populations, the midday light environment was more uniform at the inner than at the outer canopy layers. Field and common garden data ranked populations in the same order of plasticity. Conclusions The expression of leaf plasticity resulted in a phenotypic differentiation that suggests a mechanism of habitat selection through division of labour across canopy layers. Signs of plasticity-mediated habitat modification were found only in the most plastic

  6. Age-related changes in the plasticity and toughness of human cortical bone at multiple length-scales

    SciTech Connect

    Zimmermann, Elizabeth A.; Schaible, Eric; Bale, Hrishikesh; Barth, Holly D.; Tang, Simon Y.; Reichert, Peter; Busse, Bjoern; Alliston, Tamara; Ager III, Joel W.; Ritchie, Robert O.

    2011-08-10

    The structure of human cortical bone evolves over multiple length-scales from its basic constituents of collagen and hydroxyapatite at the nanoscale to osteonal structures at nearmillimeter dimensions, which all provide the basis for its mechanical properties. To resist fracture, bone’s toughness is derived intrinsically through plasticity (e.g., fibrillar sliding) at structural-scales typically below a micron and extrinsically (i.e., during crack growth) through mechanisms (e.g., crack deflection/bridging) generated at larger structural-scales. Biological factors such as aging lead to a markedly increased fracture risk, which is often associated with an age-related loss in bone mass (bone quantity). However, we find that age-related structural changes can significantly degrade the fracture resistance (bone quality) over multiple lengthscales. Using in situ small-/wide-angle x-ray scattering/diffraction to characterize sub-micron structural changes and synchrotron x-ray computed tomography and in situ fracture-toughness measurements in the scanning electron microscope to characterize effects at micron-scales, we show how these age-related structural changes at differing size-scales degrade both the intrinsic and extrinsic toughness of bone. Specifically, we attribute the loss in toughness to increased non-enzymatic collagen cross-linking which suppresses plasticity at nanoscale dimensions and to an increased osteonal density which limits the potency of crack-bridging mechanisms at micron-scales. The link between these processes is that the increased stiffness of the cross-linked collagen requires energy to be absorbed by “plastic” deformation at higher structural levels, which occurs by the process of microcracking.

  7. A Small Motor Cortex Lesion Abolished Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Mouse Primary Visual Cortex and Impaired Experience-Dependent Visual Improvements

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold (“visual acuity”) nor of the contrast threshold (“contrast sensitivity”) of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain

  8. [Long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches].

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Ling; Li, Dong-Feng

    2013-12-25

    Long-term synaptic plasticity is considered as a key part of the neural mechanism of learning and memory. The production of learned vocalization of male zebra finches is closely related to high vocal center (HVC)-robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) pathway. However, the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses is unclear. This study investigated the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches through in vivo field potential recording. The results showed that physiologic stimulation, i.e., δ rhythmic stimulation and low frequency stimulation could not effectively induce long-term synaptic plasticity. The former leaded to no change of the amplitudes of evoked population spikes, and the latter induced short-term depression (STD) of the amplitudes of the second evoked population spikes caused by paired pulses. But high frequency stimulation induced long-term depression (LTD) of the amplitudes of evoked population spikes to show out long-term synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that LTD represents the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches, which may be a key part of the neural mechanism of vocal learning and memory and can explain the plasticity of adult song to some degree. PMID:24343715

  9. Motor cortical plasticity in extrinsic hand muscles is determined by the resting thresholds of overlapping representations.

    PubMed

    Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K

    2016-10-01

    Knowledge of the properties that govern the effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) interventions is critical to clinical application. Extrapolation to clinical populations has been limited by high inter-subject variability and a focus on intrinsic muscles of the hand in healthy populations. Therefore, the current study assessed variability of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), a patterned TMS protocol, across an agonist-antagonist pair of extrinsic muscles of the hand. Secondarily, we assessed whether concurrent agonist contraction could enhance the efficacy of cTBS. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) were simultaneously recorded from the agonist flexor (FCR) and antagonist extensor (ECR) carpi radialis before and after cTBS over the FCR hotspot. cTBS was delivered with the FCR relaxed (cTBS-Relax) or during isometric wrist flexion (cTBS-Contract). cTBS-Relax suppressed FCR MEPs evoked from the FCR hotspot. However, the extent of FCR MEP suppression was strongly correlated with the relative difference between FCR and ECR resting motor thresholds. cTBS-Contract decreased FCR suppression but increased suppression of ECR MEPs elicited from the FCR hotspot. The magnitude of ECR MEP suppression following cTBS-Contract was independent of the threshold-amplitude relationships observed with cTBS-Relax. Contraction alone had no effect confirming the effect of cTBS-Contract was driven by the interaction between neuromuscular activity and cTBS. Interactions across muscle representations should be taken into account when predicting cTBS outcomes in healthy and clinical populations. Contraction during cTBS may be a useful means of focusing aftereffects when differences in baseline excitability across overlapping agonist-antagonist cortical representations may mitigate the inhibitory effect of cTBS. PMID:27425211

  10. Effects of broadband noise on cortical evoked auditory responses at different loudness levels in young adults.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Mridula; Purdy, Suzanne C; Munro, Kevin J; Sawaya, Kathleen; Peter, Varghese

    2014-03-26

    Young adults with no history of hearing concerns were tested to investigate their /da/-evoked cortical auditory evoked potentials (P1-N1-P2) recorded from 32 scalp electrodes in the presence and absence of noise at three different loudness levels (soft, comfortable, and loud), at a fixed signal-to-noise ratio (+3 dB). P1 peak latency significantly increased at soft and loud levels, and N1 and P2 latencies increased at all three levels in the presence of noise, compared with the quiet condition. P1 amplitude was significantly larger in quiet than in noise conditions at the loudest level. N1 amplitude was larger in quiet than in noise for the soft level only. P2 amplitude was reduced in the presence of noise to a similar degree at all loudness levels. The differential effects of noise on P1, N1, and P2 suggest differences in auditory processes underlying these peaks. The combination of level and signal-to-noise ratio should be considered when using cortical auditory evoked potentials as an electrophysiological indicator of degraded speech processing. PMID:24323122

  11. Stability and Autolysis of Cortical Neurons in Post-Mortem Adult Rat Brains

    PubMed Central

    Sheleg, Sergey V; LoBello, Janine R; Hixon, Hugh; Coons, Stephen W; Lowry, David; Nedzved, Mikhail K

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the dynamics of autolytic damage of the cortical neurons in adult brains for 24 hours at room temperature (+20°C) after cardiac arrest. The progressive histological and ultrastructural changes were documented using routine and immunohistochemical staining as well as electron microscopy. Our results demonstrated that there were no autolytic damages in the ultrastructure of cerebral neurons in the first 6 hours after warm cardiac arrest, in agreement with previous studies in other mammals. Interestingly, the activation of caspase-3 was observed in a significant number of neurons of the cerebellum and neocortex 9 hours following cardiac arrest. No significant changes related to autolysis were observed using amnio-cupric acid and Nissl (thionine) staining. PMID:18784829

  12. Music-induced cortical plasticity and lateral inhibition in the human auditory cortex as foundations for tonal tinnitus treatment

    PubMed Central

    Pantev, Christo; Okamoto, Hidehiko; Teismann, Henning

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 15 years, we have studied plasticity in the human auditory cortex by means of magnetoencephalography (MEG). Two main topics nurtured our curiosity: the effects of musical training on plasticity in the auditory system, and the effects of lateral inhibition. One of our plasticity studies found that listening to notched music for 3 h inhibited the neuronal activity in the auditory cortex that corresponded to the center-frequency of the notch, suggesting suppression of neural activity by lateral inhibition. Subsequent research on this topic found that suppression was notably dependent upon the notch width employed, that the lower notch-edge induced stronger attenuation of neural activity than the higher notch-edge, and that auditory focused attention strengthened the inhibitory networks. Crucially, the overall effects of lateral inhibition on human auditory cortical activity were stronger than the habituation effects. Based on these results we developed a novel treatment strategy for tonal tinnitus—tailor-made notched music training (TMNMT). By notching the music energy spectrum around the individual tinnitus frequency, we intended to attract lateral inhibition to auditory neurons involved in tinnitus perception. So far, the training strategy has been evaluated in two studies. The results of the initial long-term controlled study (12 months) supported the validity of the treatment concept: subjective tinnitus loudness and annoyance were significantly reduced after TMNMT but not when notching spared the tinnitus frequencies. Correspondingly, tinnitus-related auditory evoked fields (AEFs) were significantly reduced after training. The subsequent short-term (5 days) training study indicated that training was more effective in the case of tinnitus frequencies ≤ 8 kHz compared to tinnitus frequencies >8 kHz, and that training should be employed over a long-term in order to induce more persistent effects. Further development and evaluation of TMNMT therapy

  13. Longitudinal Changes in White Matter Tract Integrity across the Adult Lifespan and Its Relation to Cortical Thinning

    PubMed Central

    Fjell, Anders M.; Yendiki, Anastasia; Walhovd, Kristine B.

    2016-01-01

    A causal link between decreases in white matter (WM) integrity and cortical degeneration is assumed, but there is scarce knowledge on the relationship between these changes across the adult human lifespan. We investigated changes in thickness throughout the cortical mantle and WM tract integrity derived from T1 and diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in 201 healthy adults aged 23–87 years over a mean interval of 3.6 years. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean (MD), radial (RD) and axial (AD) diffusivity changes were calculated for forceps minor and major and eight major white matter tracts in each hemisphere by use of a novel automated longitudinal tractography constrained by underlying anatomy (TRACULA) approach. We hypothesized that increasing MD and decreasing FA across tracts would relate to cortical thinning, with some anatomical specificity. WM integrity decreased across tracts non-uniformly, with mean annual percentage decreases ranging from 0.20 in the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus to 0.65 in the Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus. For most tracts, greater MD increases and FA decreases related to more cortical thinning, in areas in part overlapping with but also outside the projected tract endings. The findings indicate a combination of global and tract-specific relationships between WM integrity and cortical thinning. PMID:27253393

  14. Integrity of cortical perineuronal nets influences corticospinal tract plasticity after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Orlando, C; Raineteau, O

    2015-03-01

    The rapid decline of injury-induced neuronal circuit remodelling after birth is paralleled by the accumulation of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in the extracellular matrix, culminating with the appearance of perineuronal nets (PNNs) around parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons. We used a spinal cord injury (SCI) model to study the interplay between integrity of PNN CSPGs in the sensorimotor cortex, anatomical remodelling of the corticospinal tract (CST) and motor recovery in adult mice. We showed that thoracic SCI resulted in an atrophy of GABAergic interneurons in the axotomized hindlimb cortex, as well as in a more widespread downregulation of parvalbumin expression. In parallel, spontaneous changes in the integrity of CSPG glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains associated with PNNs occurred at the boundary between motor forelimb and sensorimotor hindlimb cortex, a region previously showed to undergo reorganization after thoracic SCI. Surprisingly, full digestion of CSPG GAG chains by intracortical chondroitinase ABC injection resulted in an aggravation of motor deficits and reduced sprouting of the axotomized CST above the lesion. Altogether, our data show that changes in the expression pattern of GABAergic markers and PNNs occur in regions of the sensorimotor cortex undergoing spontaneous reorganization after SCI, but suggest that these changes have to be tightly controlled to be of functional benefit. PMID:24481829

  15. Gene expression patterns underlying the reinstatement of plasticity in the adult visual system.

    PubMed

    Tiraboschi, Ettore; Guirado, Ramon; Greco, Dario; Auvinen, Petri; Maya-Vetencourt, Jose Fernando; Maffei, Lamberto; Castrén, Eero

    2013-01-01

    The nervous system is highly sensitive to experience during early postnatal life, but this phase of heightened plasticity decreases with age. Recent studies have demonstrated that developmental-like plasticity can be reactivated in the visual cortex of adult animals through environmental or pharmacological manipulations. These findings provide a unique opportunity to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of adult plasticity. Here we used the monocular deprivation paradigm to investigate large-scale gene expression patterns underlying the reinstatement of plasticity produced by fluoxetine in the adult rat visual cortex. We found changes, confirmed with RT-PCRs, in gene expression in different biological themes, such as chromatin structure remodelling, transcription factors, molecules involved in synaptic plasticity, extracellular matrix, and excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Our findings reveal a key role for several molecules such as the metalloproteases Mmp2 and Mmp9 or the glycoprotein Reelin and open up new insights into the mechanisms underlying the reopening of the critical periods in the adult brain. PMID:23936678

  16. Slow-Frequency Pulsed Transcranial Electrical Stimulation for Modulation of Cortical Plasticity Based on Reciprocity Targeting with Precision Electrical Head Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Phan; Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Anderson, Erik; Gunn, Amanda; Rech, Dennis; Turovets, Sergei; Tucker, Don M.

    2016-01-01

    In pain management as well as other clinical applications of neuromodulation, it is important to consider the timing parameters influencing activity-dependent plasticity, including pulsed versus sustained currents, as well as the spatial action of electrical currents as they polarize the complex convolutions of the cortical mantle. These factors are of course related; studying temporal factors is not possible when the spatial resolution of current delivery to the cortex is so uncertain to make it unclear whether excitability is increased or decreased with anodal vs. cathodal current flow. In the present study we attempted to improve the targeting of specific cortical locations by applying current through flexible source-sink configurations of 256 electrodes in a geodesic array. We constructed a precision electric head model for 12 healthy individuals. Extraction of the individual’s cortical surface allowed computation of the component of the induced current that is normal to the target cortical surface. In an effort to replicate the long-term depression (LTD) induced with pulsed protocols in invasive animal research and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies, we applied 100 ms pulses at 1.9 s intervals either in cortical-surface-anodal or cortical-surface-cathodal directions, with a placebo (sham) control. The results showed significant LTD of the motor evoked potential as a result of the cortical-surface-cathodal pulses in contrast to the placebo control, with a smaller but similar LTD effect for anodal pulses. The cathodal LTD after-effect was sustained over 90 min following current injection. These results support the feasibility of pulsed protocols with low total charge in non-invasive neuromodulation when the precision of targeting is improved with a dense electrode array and accurate head modeling. PMID:27531976

  17. Slow-Frequency Pulsed Transcranial Electrical Stimulation for Modulation of Cortical Plasticity Based on Reciprocity Targeting with Precision Electrical Head Modeling.

    PubMed

    Luu, Phan; Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Anderson, Erik; Gunn, Amanda; Rech, Dennis; Turovets, Sergei; Tucker, Don M

    2016-01-01

    In pain management as well as other clinical applications of neuromodulation, it is important to consider the timing parameters influencing activity-dependent plasticity, including pulsed versus sustained currents, as well as the spatial action of electrical currents as they polarize the complex convolutions of the cortical mantle. These factors are of course related; studying temporal factors is not possible when the spatial resolution of current delivery to the cortex is so uncertain to make it unclear whether excitability is increased or decreased with anodal vs. cathodal current flow. In the present study we attempted to improve the targeting of specific cortical locations by applying current through flexible source-sink configurations of 256 electrodes in a geodesic array. We constructed a precision electric head model for 12 healthy individuals. Extraction of the individual's cortical surface allowed computation of the component of the induced current that is normal to the target cortical surface. In an effort to replicate the long-term depression (LTD) induced with pulsed protocols in invasive animal research and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies, we applied 100 ms pulses at 1.9 s intervals either in cortical-surface-anodal or cortical-surface-cathodal directions, with a placebo (sham) control. The results showed significant LTD of the motor evoked potential as a result of the cortical-surface-cathodal pulses in contrast to the placebo control, with a smaller but similar LTD effect for anodal pulses. The cathodal LTD after-effect was sustained over 90 min following current injection. These results support the feasibility of pulsed protocols with low total charge in non-invasive neuromodulation when the precision of targeting is improved with a dense electrode array and accurate head modeling. PMID:27531976

  18. Cortical and subcortical glutathione levels in adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Durieux, Alice M S; Horder, Jamie; Mendez, M Andreina; Egerton, Alice; Williams, Steven C R; Wilson, C Ellie; Spain, Debbie; Murphy, Clodagh; Robertson, Dene; Barker, Gareth J; Murphy, Declan G; McAlonan, Grainne M

    2016-04-01

    Increased oxidative stress has been postulated to contribute to the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, reports of alterations in oxidation markers including glutathione (GSH), the major endogenous antioxidant, are indirect, coming from blood plasma level measurements and postmortem studies. Therefore we used in-vivo 3 Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ([1H]MRS) to directly measure GSH concentrations in the basal ganglia (BG) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of 21 normally intelligent adult males with ASD and 29 controls who did not differ in age or IQ. There was no difference in brain GSH between patients and controls in either brain area; neither did GSH levels correlate with measures of clinical severity in patients. Thus [1H]MRS measures of cortical and subcortical GSH are not a biomarker for ASD in intellectually able adult men. Autism Res 2016, 9: 429-435. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research. PMID:26290215

  19. Binge alcohol consumption in emerging adults: anterior cingulate cortical ‘thinness’ is associated with alcohol use patterns

    PubMed Central

    Mashhoon, Yasmin; Czerkawski, Charles; Crowley, David J.; Cohen-Gilbert, Julia E.; Sneider, Jennifer T.; Silveri, Marisa M.

    2014-01-01

    Background The brain undergoes dynamic and requisite changes into the early twenties that are associated with improved cognitive efficiency, particularly in prefrontal regions that are still undergoing neuromaturation. As alcohol consumption is typically initiated and progresses to binge drinking during this time, the objective of the present study was to investigate the impact of binge alcohol consumption on frontal lobe cortical thickness in emerging adults. Methods Twenty-three binge drinking (BD; 11 females, mean age 21.5 ± 1.4) and thirty-one light drinking (LD; 15 females, mean age 21.9 ± 1.6) emerging adults underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla. Cortical surface reconstruction and thickness estimation were performed using Freesurfer for three a priori brain regions of interest: bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and parieto-occipital sulcus (POS). Cortical thickness measurements were then compared between BD and LD groups. Results Cortical thickness was significantly lower in BD than LD in the right middle ACC (mid-ACC; p≤0.05) and in the left dorsal PCC (dPCC; p≤0.01). No significant differences in cortical thickness were observed in the POS. Cortical thickness in the mid-ACC correlated negatively with higher quantity and frequency of drinks consumed (p<0.01), and positively with the number of days elapsed since most recent use (p<0.05). Furthermore, less cortical thickness in the mid-ACC in the BD group alone correlated with reported patterns of high quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption (p≤0.05). Conclusions Findings suggest that past and recent patterns of intermittent heavy alcohol consumption are associated with less frontal cortical thickness (i.e. ‘thinness’) of the right mid-ACC and left dPCC in emerging adults, but not the POS. While cortical thinness could have predated binge drinking, this pattern of maladaptive consumption may have acute neurotoxic effects

  20. Delayed plastic responses to anodal tDCS in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Fujiyama, Hakuei; Hyde, Jane; Hinder, Mark R.; Kim, Seok-Jin; McCormack, Graeme H.; Vickers, James C.; Summers, Jeffery J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the abundance of research reporting the neurophysiological and behavioral effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in healthy young adults and clinical populations, the extent of potential neuroplastic changes induced by tDCS in healthy older adults is not well understood. The present study compared the extent and time course of anodal tDCS-induced plastic changes in primary motor cortex (M1) in young and older adults. Furthermore, as it has been suggested that neuroplasticity and associated learning depends on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene polymorphisms, we also assessed the impact of BDNF polymorphism on these effects. Corticospinal excitability was examined using transcranial magnetic stimulation before and following (0, 10, 20, 30 min) anodal tDCS (30 min, 1 mA) or sham in young and older adults. While the overall extent of increases in corticospinal excitability induced by anodal tDCS did not vary reliably between young and older adults, older adults exhibited a delayed response; the largest increase in corticospinal excitability occurred 30 min following stimulation for older adults, but immediately post-stimulation for the young group. BDNF genotype did not result in significant differences in the observed excitability increases for either age group. The present study suggests that tDCS-induced plastic changes are delayed as a result of healthy aging, but that the overall efficacy of the plasticity mechanism remains unaffected. PMID:24936185

  1. A developmentally plastic adult mouse kidney cell line spontaneously generates multiple adult kidney structures

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, Carol F.; Ratliff, Michelle L.; Powell, Rebecca; Wirsig-Wiechmann, Celeste R.; Lakiza, Olga; Obara, Tomoko

    2015-08-07

    Despite exciting new possibilities for regenerative therapy posed by the ability to induce pluripotent stem cells, recapitulation of three-dimensional kidneys for repair or replacement has not been possible. ARID3a-deficient mouse tissues generated multipotent, developmentally plastic cells. Therefore, we assessed the adult mouse ARID3a−/− kidney cell line, KKPS5, which expresses renal progenitor surface markers as an alternative cell source for modeling kidney development. Remarkably, these cells spontaneously developed into multicellular nephron-like structures in vitro, and engrafted into immunocompromised medaka mesonephros, where they formed mouse nephron structures. These data implicate KKPS5 cells as a new model system for studying kidney development. - Highlights: • An ARID3a-deficient mouse kidney cell line expresses multiple progenitor markers. • This cell line spontaneously forms multiple nephron-like structures in vitro. • This cell line formed mouse kidney structures in immunocompromised medaka fish kidneys. • Our data identify a novel model system for studying kidney development.

  2. Regeneration, Plasticity, and Induced Molecular Programs in Adult Zebrafish Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cosacak, Mehmet Ilyas; Papadimitriou, Christos; Kizil, Caghan

    2015-01-01

    Regenerative capacity of the brain is a variable trait within animals. Aquatic vertebrates such as zebrafish have widespread ability to renew their brains upon damage, while mammals have—if not none—very limited overall regenerative competence. Underlying cause of such a disparity is not fully evident; however, one of the reasons could be activation of peculiar molecular programs, which might have specific roles after injury or damage, by the organisms that regenerate. If this hypothesis is correct, then there must be genes and pathways that (a) are expressed only after injury or damage in tissues, (b) are biologically and functionally relevant to restoration of neural tissue, and (c) are not detected in regenerating organisms. Presence of such programs might circumvent the initial detrimental effects of the damage and subsequently set up the stage for tissue redevelopment to take place by modulating the plasticity of the neural stem/progenitor cells. Additionally, if transferable, those “molecular mechanisms of regeneration” could open up new avenues for regenerative therapies of humans in clinical settings. This review focuses on the recent studies addressing injury/damage-induced molecular programs in zebrafish brain, underscoring the possibility of the presence of genes that could be used as biomarkers of neural plasticity and regeneration. PMID:26417601

  3. Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity in the Adult Damaged Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper…

  4. Fetal Alcohol Exposure Reduces Adult Brain Plasticity. Science Briefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief summarizes the findings and implications of "Moderate Fetal Alcohol Exposure Impairs the Neurogenic Response to an Enriched Environment in Adult Mice" (I. Y. Choi; A. M. Allan; and L. A. Cunningham). Observations of mice…

  5. A new form of rapid binocular plasticity in adult with amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiawei; Thompson, Benjamin; Hess, Robert F.

    2013-01-01

    Amblyopia is a neurological disorder of binocular vision affecting up to 3% of the population resulting from a disrupted period of early visual development. Recently, it has been shown that vision can be partially restored by intensive monocular or dichoptic training (4–6 weeks). This can occur even in adults owing to a residual degree of brain plasticity initiated by repetitive and successive sensory stimulation. Here we show that the binocular imbalance that characterizes amblyopia can be reduced by occluding the amblyopic eye with a translucent patch for as little as 2.5 hours, suggesting a degree of rapid binocular plasticity in adults resulting from a lack of sensory stimulation. The integrated binocular benefit is larger in our amblyopic group than in our normal control group. We propose that this rapid improvement in function, as a result of reduced sensory stimulation, represents a new form of plasticity operating at a binocular site. PMID:24026421

  6. Nogo Receptor Signaling Restricts Adult Neural Plasticity by Limiting Synaptic AMPA Receptor Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Sano, Akane; Tada, Hirobumi; Takahashi-Jitsuki, Aoi; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is limited in the adult brain, and its molecular and cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. Removal of the myelin-inhibiting signaling protein, Nogo receptor (NgR1), restores adult neural plasticity. Here we found that, in NgR1-deficient mice, whisker experience-driven synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) insertion in the barrel cortex, which is normally complete by 2 weeks after birth, lasts into adulthood. In vivo live imaging by two-photon microscopy revealed more AMPAR on the surface of spines in the adult barrel cortex of NgR1-deficient than on those of wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, we observed that whisker stimulation produced new spines in the adult barrel cortex of mutant but not WT mice, and that the newly synthesized spines contained surface AMPAR. These results suggest that Nogo signaling limits plasticity by restricting synaptic AMPAR delivery in coordination with anatomical plasticity. PMID:26472557

  7. Anxious/Depressed Symptoms are Linked to Right Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortical Thickness Maturation in Healthy Children and Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Ducharme, Simon; Albaugh, Matthew D.; Hudziak, James J.; Botteron, Kelly N.; Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Truong, Catherine; Evans, Alan C.; Karama, Sherif; Ball, William S.; Byars, Anna Weber; Schapiro, Mark; Bommer, Wendy; Carr, April; German, April; Dunn, Scott; Rivkin, Michael J.; Waber, Deborah; Mulkern, Robert; Vajapeyam, Sridhar; Chiverton, Abigail; Davis, Peter; Koo, Julie; Marmor, Jacki; Mrakotsky, Christine; Robertson, Richard; McAnulty, Gloria; Brandt, Michael E.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Kramer, Larry A.; Yang, Grace; McCormack, Cara; Hebert, Kathleen M.; Volero, Hilda; Botteron, Kelly; McKinstry, Robert C.; Warren, William; Nishino, Tomoyuki; Almli, C. Robert; Todd, Richard; Constantino, John; McCracken, James T.; Levitt, Jennifer; Alger, Jeffrey; O'Neil, Joseph; Toga, Arthur; Asarnow, Robert; Fadale, David; Heinichen, Laura; Ireland, Cedric; Wang, Dah-Jyuu; Moss, Edward; Zimmerman, Robert A.; Bintliff, Brooke; Bradford, Ruth; Newman, Janice; Evans, Alan C.; Arnaoutelis, Rozalia; Pike, G. Bruce; Collins, D. Louis; Leonard, Gabriel; Paus, Tomas; Zijdenbos, Alex; Das, Samir; Fonov, Vladimir; Fu, Luke; Harlap, Jonathan; Leppert, Ilana; Milovan, Denise; Vins, Dario; Zeffiro, Thomas; Van Meter, John; Lange, Nicholas; Froimowitz, Michael P.; Botteron, Kelly; Almli, C. Robert; Rainey, Cheryl; Henderson, Stan; Nishino, Tomoyuki; Warren, William; Edwards, Jennifer L.; Dubois, Diane; Smith, Karla; Singer, Tish; Wilber, Aaron A.; Pierpaoli, Carlo; Basser, Peter J.; Chang, Lin-Ching; Koay, Chen Guan; Walker, Lindsay; Freund, Lisa; Rumsey, Judith; Baskir, Lauren; Stanford, Laurence; Sirocco, Karen; Gwinn-Hardy, Katrina; Spinella, Giovanna; McCracken, James T.; Alger, Jeffry R.; Levitt, Jennifer; O'Neill, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between anxious/depressed traits and neuromaturation remains largely unstudied. Characterizing this relationship during healthy neurodevelopment is critical to understanding processes associated with the emergence of child/adolescent onset mood/anxiety disorders. In this study, mixed-effects models were used to determine longitudinal cortical thickness correlates of Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Young Adult Self Report Anxious/Depressed scores in healthy children. Analyses included 341 subjects from 4.9 to 22.3 year-old with repeated MRI at up to 3 time points, at 2-year intervals (586 MRI scans). There was a significant “CBCL Anxious/Depressed by Age” interaction on cortical thickness in the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), including the medial orbito-frontal, gyrus rectus, and subgenual anterior cingulate areas. Anxious/Depressed scores were negatively associated with thickness at younger ages (<9 years), but positively associated with thickness at older ages (15–22 years), with the shift in polarity occurring around age 12. This was secondary to a slower rate of vmPFC cortical thinning in subjects with higher scores. In young adults (18–22 years), Anxious/Depressed scores were also positively associated with precuneus/posterior cingulate cortical thickness. Potential neurobiological mechanisms underlying this maturation pattern are proposed. These results demonstrate the dynamic impact of age on relations between vmPFC and negative affect in the developing brain. PMID:23749874

  8. Tactile stimulation promotes motor recovery following cortical injury in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Robbin L; Gonzalez, Claudia L R; Wegenast, Will; Kolb, Bryan E

    2010-12-01

    Tactile stimulation has been reported to be effective as a treatment for inducing growth in premature human babies and infant rats and for improving functional recovery after brain injury in infant rats. We wondered if the behavioral impairments following injury in adulthood would show similar improvements with tactile stimulation. To test this hypothesis, rats were given either bilateral medial frontal cortex aspiration lesions or a unilateral focal stroke produced in the sensorimotor cortex using the pial stripping technique. In both conditions, rats that were designated to the tactile stimulation treatment group received the stimulation for one week before the surgery to accustom them to the stimulation procedure and then two weeks postoperatively. After a three-week recovery period, the animals with frontal damage were tested in a tray-reaching task. Animals with sensorimotor cortex damage were tested in a single pellet reaching task. Following behavioral testing brains were processed for Golgi-Cox analyses. Marked improvement was found in motor performance in the lesion-tactile stimulation animals regardless of the nature of the cortical injury. The observed behavioral recovery was associated with an increase in dendritic length in pyramidal cells adjacent cortex in the frontal operates and in the intact sensorimotor cortex in the stroke animals. Taken together, these data show tactile stimulation can improve motor performance in adult animals and the improvement is correlated with dendritic sprouting. This finding could have implications for therapy in humans following stroke. PMID:20394780

  9. A new plastic surgical technique for adult congenital webbed penis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yue-bing; Ding, Xian-fan; Luo, Chong; Yu, Shi-cheng; Yu, Yan-lan; Chen, Bi-de; Zhang, Zhi-gen; Li, Gong-hui

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To introduce a novel surgical technique for correction of adult congenital webbed penis. Methods: From March 2010 to December 2011, 12 patients (age range: 14–23 years old) were diagnosed as having a webbed penis and underwent a new surgical procedure designed by us. Results: All cases were treated successfully without severe complication. The operation time ranged from 20 min to 1 h. The average bleeding volume was less than 50 ml. All patients achieved satisfactory cosmetic results after surgery. The penile curvature disappeared in all cases and all patients remained well after 1 to 3 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Adult webbed penis with complaints of discomfort or psychological pressure due to a poor profile should be indicators for surgery. Good corrective surgery should expose the glans and coronal sulcus, match the penile skin length to the penile shaft length dorsally and ventrally, and provide a normal penoscrotal junction. Our new technique is a safe and effective method for the correction of adult webbed penis, which produces satisfactory results. PMID:22949367

  10. Highly Specific Structural Plasticity of Inhibitory Circuits in the Adult Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jerry L.; Nedivi, Elly

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons are known to play a vital role in defining the window for critical period plasticity during development, and it is increasingly apparent that they continue to exert powerful control over experience-dependent cortical plasticity in adulthood. Recent in vivo imaging studies demonstrate that long-term plasticity of inhibitory circuits is manifested at an anatomical level. Changes in sensory experience drive structural remodeling in inhibitory interneurons in a cell-type and circuit-specific manner. Inhibitory synapse formation and elimination can occur with a great deal of spatial and temporal precision and are locally coordinated with excitatory synaptic changes on the same neuron.We suggest that the specificity of inhibitory synapse dynamics may serve to differentially modulate activity across the dendritic arbor, to selectively tune parts of a local circuit, or potentially discriminate between activities in distinct local circuits. We further review evidence suggesting that inhibitory circuit structural changes instruct excitatory/inhibitory balance while enabling functional reorganization to occur through Hebbian forms of plasticity. PMID:23474602

  11. Adult Born Olfactory Bulb Dopaminergic Interneurons: Molecular Determinants and Experience-Dependent Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Gendusa, Claudio; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic brain region involved in the early processing of olfactory information. A remarkably feature of the OB circuits in rodents is the constitutive integration of new neurons that takes place during adulthood. Newborn cells in the adult OB are mostly inhibitory interneurons belonging to chemically, morphologically and functionally heterogeneous types. Although there is general agreement that adult neurogenesis in the OB plays a key role in sensory information processing and olfaction-related plasticity, the contribution of each interneuron subtype to such functions is far to be elucidated. Here, we focus on the dopaminergic (DA) interneurons: we highlight recent findings about their morphological features and then describe the molecular factors required for the specification/differentiation and maintenance of the DA phenotype in adult born neurons. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneuron population related to age, environmental stimuli and lesions, and their possible functional implications. PMID:27199651

  12. Adult Born Olfactory Bulb Dopaminergic Interneurons: Molecular Determinants and Experience-Dependent Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Gendusa, Claudio; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic brain region involved in the early processing of olfactory information. A remarkably feature of the OB circuits in rodents is the constitutive integration of new neurons that takes place during adulthood. Newborn cells in the adult OB are mostly inhibitory interneurons belonging to chemically, morphologically and functionally heterogeneous types. Although there is general agreement that adult neurogenesis in the OB plays a key role in sensory information processing and olfaction-related plasticity, the contribution of each interneuron subtype to such functions is far to be elucidated. Here, we focus on the dopaminergic (DA) interneurons: we highlight recent findings about their morphological features and then describe the molecular factors required for the specification/differentiation and maintenance of the DA phenotype in adult born neurons. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneuron population related to age, environmental stimuli and lesions, and their possible functional implications. PMID:27199651

  13. Peripubertal ovariectomy influences thymic adrenergic network plasticity in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Pilipović, Ivan; Vujnović, Ivana; Arsenović-Ranin, Nevena; Dimitrijević, Mirjana; Kosec, Duško; Stojić-Vukanić, Zorica; Leposavić, Gordana

    2016-08-15

    The study investigated the influence of peripubertal ovariectomy on the thymic noradrenaline (NA) concentration, and the thymocyte NA content and β2- and α1-adrenoceptor (AR) expression in adult 2- and 11-month-old rats. In control rats, the thymic NA concentration increased with age. This increase reflected rise in the density of catecholamine (CA)-containing fluorescent nerve fibers and cells and their CA content. Additionally, the average β2- and α1-AR thymocyte surface density changed in the opposite direction with age; the density of β2-AR decreased, whereas that of α1-AR increased. Ovariectomy diminished the thymic NA concentration in 2-month-old rats. This reflected the decrease in the density of fluorescent nerve fibers, and CA content in fluorescent nerve fibers and non-lymphoid cells, since the thymocyte NA content was increased in ovariectomized (Ox) rats. Estrogen supplementation prevented the ovariectomy-induced changes. In Ox rats, the density of CA-synthesizing nerve fibers and non-lymphoid cells diminished with age. To the contrary, NA content in thymocytes increased with age, but it did not exceed that in 11-month-old controls. Additionally, ovariectomy diminished the average thymocyte surface density of β2-ARs, but it increased that of α1-ARs in 2-month-old-rats (due to estrogen, and estrogen and progesterone deficiency, respectively). These changes, despite of the rise in circulating estrogen level post-ovariectomy, remained stable with age. This most likely reflected a decreased sensitivity to estrogen action, as a consequence of the hormone misprinting in peripubertal age. The analysis of thymocyte proliferation in culture suggested that age- and ovariectomy-induced alterations in thymocyte NA synthesis and AR expression altered NA autocrine/paracrine action on thymocytes. In conclusion, the study indicates that the ovarian hormone deficiency in peripubertal age affects ovarian steroid-dependent remodeling of thymic adrenergic

  14. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  15. Posttraumatic seizures and epilepsy in adult rats after controlled cortical impact.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Kevin M; Miller, Eric R; Lepsveridze, Eka; Kharlamov, Elena A; Mchedlishvili, Zakaria

    2015-11-01

    Posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) has been modeled with different techniques of experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) using mice and rats at various ages. We hypothesized that the technique of controlled cortical impact (CCI) could be used to establish a model of PTE in young adult rats. A total of 156 male Sprague-Dawley rats of 2-3 months of age (128 CCI-injured and 28 controls) was used for monitoring and/or anatomical studies. Provoked class 3-5 seizures were recorded by video monitoring in 7/57 (12.3%) animals in the week immediately following CCI of the right parietal cortex; none of the 7 animals demonstrated subsequent spontaneous convulsive seizures. Monitoring with video and/or video-EEG was performed on 128 animals at various time points 8-619 days beyond one week following CCI during which 26 (20.3%) demonstrated nonconvulsive or convulsive epileptic seizures. Nonconvulsive epileptic seizures of >10s were demonstrated in 7/40 (17.5%) animals implanted with 2 or 3 depth electrodes and usually characterized by an initial change in behavior (head raising or animal alerting) followed by motor arrest during an ictal discharge that consisted of high-amplitude spikes or spike-waves with frequencies ranging between 1 and 2Hz class 3-5 epileptic seizures were recorded by video monitoring in 17/88 (19%) and by video-EEG in 2/40 (5%) CCI-injured animals. Ninety of 156 (58%) animals (79 CCI-injured, 13 controls) underwent transcardial perfusion for gross and microscopic studies. CCI caused severe brain tissue loss and cavitation of the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere associated with cell loss in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions, hilus, and dentate granule cells, and thalamus. All Timm-stained CCI-injured brains demonstrated ipsilateral hippocampal mossy fiber sprouting in the inner molecular layer. These results indicate that the CCI model of TBI in adult rats can be used to study the structure-function relationships that underlie epileptogenesis and PTE. PMID

  16. Associations between cortical thickness and general intelligence in children, adolescents and young adults

    PubMed Central

    Menary, Kyle; Collins, Paul F.; Porter, James N.; Muetzel, Ryan; Olson, Elizabeth A.; Kumar, Vipin; Steinbach, Michael; Lim, Kelvin O.; Luciana, Monica

    2013-01-01

    Neuroimaging research indicates that human intellectual ability is related to brain structure including the thickness of the cerebral cortex. Most studies indicate that general intelligence is positively associated with cortical thickness in areas of association cortex distributed throughout both brain hemispheres. In this study, we performed a cortical thickness mapping analysis on data from 182 healthy typically developing males and females ages 9 to 24 years to identify correlates of general intelligence (g) scores. To determine if these correlates also mediate associations of specific cognitive abilities with cortical thickness, we regressed specific cognitive test scores on g scores and analyzed the residuals with respect to cortical thickness. The effect of age on the association between cortical thickness and intelligence was examined. We found a widely distributed pattern of positive associations between cortical thickness and g scores, as derived from the first unrotated principal factor of a factor analysis of Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) subtest scores. After WASI specific cognitive subtest scores were regressed on g factor scores, the residual score variances did not correlate significantly with cortical thickness in the full sample with age covaried. When participants were grouped at the age median, significant positive associations of cortical thickness were obtained in the older group for g-residualized scores on Block Design (a measure of visual-motor integrative processing) while significant negative associations of cortical thickness were observed in the younger group for g-residualized Vocabulary scores. These results regarding correlates of general intelligence are concordant with the existing literature, while the findings from younger versus older subgroups have implications for future research on brain structural correlates of specific cognitive abilities, as well as the cognitive domain specificity of behavioral

  17. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong

    2012-07-25

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling. PMID:25657706

  18. Differential longitudinal changes in cortical thickness, surface area and volume across the adult life span: regions of accelerating and decelerating change.

    PubMed

    Storsve, Andreas B; Fjell, Anders M; Tamnes, Christian K; Westlye, Lars T; Overbye, Knut; Aasland, Hilde W; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2014-06-18

    Human cortical thickness and surface area are genetically independent, emerge through different neurobiological events during development, and are sensitive to different clinical conditions. However, the relationship between changes in the two over time is unknown. Additionally, longitudinal studies have almost invariably been restricted to older adults, precluding the delineation of adult life span trajectories of change in cortical structure. In this longitudinal study, we investigated changes in cortical thickness, surface area, and volume after an average interval of 3.6 years in 207 well screened healthy adults aged 23-87 years. We hypothesized that the relationships among metrics are dynamic across the life span, that the primary contributor to cortical volume reductions in aging is cortical thinning, and that magnitude of change varies with age and region. Changes over time were seen in cortical area (mean annual percentage change [APC], -0.19), thickness (APC, -0.35), and volume (APC, -0.51) in most regions. Volume changes were primarily explained by changes in thickness rather than area. A negative relationship between change in thickness and surface area was found across several regions, where more thinning was associated with less decrease in area, and vice versa. Accelerating changes with increasing age was seen in temporal and occipital cortices. In contrast, decelerating changes were seen in prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In conclusion, a dynamic relationship between cortical thickness and surface area changes exists throughout the adult life span. The mixture of accelerating and decelerating changes further demonstrates the importance of studying these metrics across the entire adult life span. PMID:24948804

  19. Thalamocortical Projections onto Behaviorally Relevant Neurons Exhibit Plasticity during Adult Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Biane, Jeremy S; Takashima, Yoshio; Scanziani, Massimo; Conner, James M; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-03-16

    Layer 5 neurons of the neocortex receive direct and relatively strong input from the thalamus. However, the intralaminar distribution of these inputs and their capacity for plasticity in adult animals are largely unknown. In slices of the primary motor cortex (M1), we simultaneously recorded from pairs of corticospinal neurons associated with control of distinct motor outputs: distal forelimb versus proximal forelimb. Activation of ChR2-expressing thalamocortical afferents in M1 before motor learning produced equivalent responses in monosynaptic excitation of neurons controlling the distal and proximal forelimb, suggesting balanced thalamic input at baseline. Following skilled grasp training, however, thalamocortical input shifted to bias activation of corticospinal neurons associated with control of the distal forelimb. This increase was associated with a cell-specific increase in mEPSC amplitude but not presynaptic release probability. These findings demonstrate distinct and highly segregated plasticity of thalamocortical projections during adult learning. PMID:26948893

  20. Plasticity in the Adult: How Should the Waddington Diagram Be Applied to Regenerating Tissues?

    PubMed

    Rajagopal, Jayaraj; Stanger, Ben Z

    2016-01-25

    Conrad Waddington's eponymous 1957 diagram provided a metaphorical framework for considering how sequential developmental fate decisions allow an egg to develop into an embryo. In recent years, the Waddington diagram has been repurposed to illustrate how cellular identity changes in the context of reprogramming. In this Perspective, we revisit the Waddington diagram in light of the emerging recognition that plasticity is part and parcel of adult regeneration. Specifically, we speculate that the "epigenetic landscapes" that define identity in adult tissues are dynamic, facilitating cellular de-differentiation and trans-differentiation in the setting of injury. PMID:26812013

  1. Adult Plasticity in the Subcortical Auditory Pathway of the Maternal Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Jason A.; Shepard, Kathryn N.; McClintock, Shannon K.; Liu, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Subcortical auditory nuclei were traditionally viewed as non-plastic in adulthood so that acoustic information could be stably conveyed to higher auditory areas. Studies in a variety of species, including humans, now suggest that prolonged acoustic training can drive long-lasting brainstem plasticity. The neurobiological mechanisms for such changes are not well understood in natural behavioral contexts due to a relative dearth of in vivo animal models in which to study this. Here, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a natural life experience with increased demands on the auditory system – motherhood – is associated with improved temporal processing in the subcortical auditory pathway. We measured the auditory brainstem response to test whether mothers and pup-naïve virgin mice differed in temporal responses to both broadband and tone stimuli, including ultrasonic frequencies found in mouse pup vocalizations. Mothers had shorter latencies for early ABR peaks, indicating plasticity in the auditory nerve and the cochlear nucleus. Shorter interpeak latency between waves IV and V also suggest plasticity in the inferior colliculus. Hormone manipulations revealed that these cannot be explained solely by estrogen levels experienced during pregnancy and parturition in mothers. In contrast, we found that pup-care experience, independent of pregnancy and parturition, contributes to shortening auditory brainstem response latencies. These results suggest that acoustic experience in the maternal context imparts plasticity on early auditory processing that lasts beyond pup weaning. In addition to establishing an animal model for exploring adult auditory brainstem plasticity in a neuroethological context, our results have broader implications for models of perceptual, behavioral and neural changes that arise during maternity, where subcortical sensorineural plasticity has not previously been considered. PMID:24992362

  2. A spaceflight study of synaptic plasticity in adult rat vestibular maculas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    Behavioral signs of vestibular perturbation in altered gravity have not been well correlated with structural modifications in neurovestibular centers. This ultrastructural research investigated synaptic plasticity in hair cells of adult rat utricular maculas exposed to microgravity for nine days on a space shuttle. The hypothesis was that synaptic plasticity would be more evident in type II hair cells because they are part of a distributed modifying macular circuitry. All rats were shared with other investigators and were subjected to treatments unrelated to this experiment. Maculas were obtained from flight and control rats after shuttle return (R + 0) and nine days post-flight (R + 9). R + 9 rats had chromodacryorrhea, a sign of acute stress. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study by conventional methods. Ribbon synapses were counted in fifty serial sections from medial utricular macular regions of three rats of each flight and control group. Counts in fifty additional consecutive sections from one sample in each group established method reliability. All synapses were photographed and located to specific cells on mosaics of entire sections. Pooled data were analyzed statistically. Flown rats showed abnormal posture and movement at R + 0. They had statistically significant increases in total ribbon synapses and in sphere-like ribbons in both kinds of hair cells; in type II cells, pairs of synapses nearly doubled and clusters of 3 to 6 synapses increased twelve-fold. At R + 9, behavioral signs were normal. However, synapse counts remained high in both kinds of hair cells of flight maculas and were elevated in control type II cells. Only counts in type I cells showed statistically significant differences at R + 9. High synaptic counts at R + 9 may have resulted from stress due to experimental treatments. The results nevertheless demonstrate that adult maculas retain the potential for synaptic plasticity. Type II cells exhibited more synaptic plasticity, but

  3. The sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells controls organ size and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hudry, Bruno; Khadayate, Sanjay; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Sex differences in physiology and disease susceptibility are commonly attributed to developmental and/or hormonal factors, but there is increasing realisation that cell-intrinsic mechanisms play important and persistent roles1,2. Here we use the Drosophila melanogaster intestine to investigate the nature and significance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ in vivo. We find that the adult intestinal epithelium is a cellular mosaic of different sex differentiation pathways, and displays extensive sex differences in expression of genes with roles in growth and metabolism. Cell-specific reversals of the sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells uncover its key roles in controlling organ size, its reproductive plasticity and its response to genetically induced tumours. Unlike previous examples of sexually dimorphic somatic stem cell activity, the sex differences in intestinal stem cell behaviour arise from intrinsic mechanisms, which control cell cycle duration and involve a new doublesex- and fruitless-independent branch of the sex differentiation pathway downstream of transformer. Together, our findings indicate that the plasticity of an adult somatic organ is reversibly controlled by its sexual identity, imparted by a new mechanism that may be active in more tissues than previously recognised. PMID:26887495

  4. Inhibition Plasticity in Older Adults: Practice and Transfer Effects Using a Multiple Task Approach

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Andrea J.; Yang, Lixia

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To examine plasticity of inhibition, as indexed by practice effects of inhibition tasks and the associated transfer effects, using a multiple task approach in healthy older adults. Method. Forty-eight healthy older adults were evenly assigned to either a practice group or a no-contact control group. All participants completed pretest (2.5 hours) and posttest (2 hours) sessions, with a 2-week interval in between. During the 2-week interval, only the practice group completed six 30-minute practice sessions (three sessions per week for two consecutive weeks) of three lab-based inhibition tasks. Results. All three inhibition tasks demonstrated significant improvement across practice sessions, suggesting practice-induced plasticity. The benefit, however, only transferred to near-near tasks. The results are inconclusive with regard to the near-far and far-far transfer effects. Discussion. This study further extends literature on practice effects of inhibition in older adults by using a multiple task approach. Together with previous work, the current study suggests that older adults are able to improve inhibition performance through practice and transfer the practice gains to tasks that overlap in both target cognitive ability and task structure (i.e., near-near tasks). PMID:26885407

  5. The sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells controls organ size and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hudry, Bruno; Khadayate, Sanjay; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene

    2016-02-18

    Sex differences in physiology and disease susceptibility are commonly attributed to developmental and/or hormonal factors, but there is increasing realization that cell-intrinsic mechanisms play important and persistent roles. Here we use the Drosophila melanogaster intestine to investigate the nature and importance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ in vivo. We find that the adult intestinal epithelium is a cellular mosaic of different sex differentiation pathways, and displays extensive sex differences in expression of genes with roles in growth and metabolism. Cell-specific reversals of the sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells uncovers the key role this identity has in controlling organ size, reproductive plasticity and response to genetically induced tumours. Unlike previous examples of sexually dimorphic somatic stem cell activity, the sex differences in intestinal stem cell behaviour arise from intrinsic mechanisms that control cell cycle duration and involve a new doublesex- and fruitless-independent branch of the sex differentiation pathway downstream of transformer. Together, our findings indicate that the plasticity of an adult somatic organ is reversibly controlled by its sexual identity, imparted by a new mechanism that may be active in more tissues than previously recognized. PMID:26887495

  6. Summary of the N1-P2 Cortical Auditory Evoked Potential to Estimate the Auditory Threshold in Adults.

    PubMed

    Lightfoot, Guy

    2016-02-01

    This article introduces the cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP) and describes the use of the N1-P2 response complex as an objective predictor of hearing threshold in adults and older children. The generators of the CAEP are discussed together with issues of maturation, subject factors, and stimuli and recording parameters for use in the clinic. The basic methods for response identification are outlined and suggestions are made for determining the CAEP threshold. Clinical applications are introduced and the accuracy of the CAEP as an estimator of hearing threshold is given. Finally, a case study provides an example of the technique in the context of medicolegal assessment. PMID:27587918

  7. Cortical GluK1 kainate receptors modulate scratching in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Descalzi, Giannina; Chen, Tao; Koga, Kohei; Li, Xiang-Yao; Yamada, Kaori; Zhuo, Min

    2013-09-01

    Recent investigations into the mechanisms mediating itch transmission have focused on spinal mechanisms, whereas few studies have investigated the role of the cerebral cortex in itch-related behaviors. Human imaging studies show that several cortical regions are active in correspondence with itch, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We present here evidence of cortical modulation of pruritogen-induced scratching behavior. We combine pharmacological, genetic, and electrophysiological approaches to show that cortical GluK1-containing kainate (KA) receptors are involved in scratching induced by histamine and non-histamine-dependent itching stimuli. We further show that scratching corresponds with enhanced excitatory transmission in the ACC through KA receptor modulation of inhibitory circuitry. In addition, we found that inhibiting GluK1-containing KA receptors in the ACC also reduced behavioral nociceptive responses induced by formalin. Our results reveal a new role of the cortex in pruritogen-induced scratching. PMID:23786569

  8. Cortical tibial osteoperiosteal flap technique to achieve bony bridge in transtibial amputation: experience in nine adult patients.

    PubMed

    Mongon, Mauricio Leal; Piva, Felipe Alberto; Mistro Neto, Sylvio; Carvalho, Jose Andre; Belangero, William Dias; Livani, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    Amputation, especially of the lower limbs, is a surgical procedure that gives excellent results when conducted under the appropriate conditions. In 1949 Ertl developed a technique for transtibial osteomyoplastic amputation which restored the intraosseous pressure through canal obliteration and expanded the area of terminal support through a bony bridge between the fibula and distal tibia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a modification of the original Ertl's technique in which a cortical osteoperiosteal flap created from the tibia is used to form a bony bridge during transtibial amputation in adults. Nine patients underwent leg amputations with the cortical tibial osteoperiosteal flap technique for reconstruction of the stump. The average duration of follow-up was 30.8 (range, 18-41) months. The post-surgery examination included a clinical examination and radiography. A 6-min walk test (Enright in Respir Care 48(8):783-785, 2003) was performed in the 32nd week after amputation. At 24th week post-surgery, all patients had stumps that were painless and able to bear full weight through the end. The creation of a cortical osteoperiosteal flap from the tibia to the fibula during transtibial amputation is a safe and effective technique that provides a strong and painless terminal weight-bearing stump. This constitutes a useful option for young patients, athletes, and patients with high physical demands. PMID:23371841

  9. Inhibition of cathepsin K increases modeling-based bone formation, and improves cortical dimension and strength in adult ovariectomized monkeys.

    PubMed

    Pennypacker, Brenda L; Chen, Charles M; Zheng, Helen; Shih, Mei-Shu; Belfast, Mary; Samadfam, Rana; Duong, Le T

    2014-08-01

    Treatment with the cathepsin K (CatK) inhibitor odanacatib (ODN) protects against bone loss and maintains normal biomechanical properties in the spine and hip of ovariectomized (OVX) preclinical models. Here, we characterized the effects of ODN on the dynamics of cortical modeling and remodeling, and dimension and strength of the central femur in adult OVX-rhesus monkeys. Animals were treated with vehicle or ODN (6 or 30 mg/kg, once per day [q.d., p.o.]) in prevention mode for 21 months. Calcein and tetracycline double-labeling were given at 12 and 21 months, and the femoral cross-sections were subjected to dynamic histomorphometric and cement line analyses. ODN treatment significantly increased periosteal and endocortical bone formation (BFR/BS), accompanied with an increase in endocortical mineralizing surface (102%, p < 0.01) with the 6 mg/kg dose. ODN at both doses reduced remodeling hemiosteon numbers by 51% and 66% (p < 0.05), respectively, and ODN 30 mg/kg numerically reduced activation frequency without affecting wall thickness. On the same endocortical surface, ODN increased all modeling-based parameters, while reducing intracortical remodeling, consistent with the observed no treatment effects on cortical porosity. ODN 30 mg/kg markedly increased cortical thickness (CtTh, p < 0.001) and reduced marrow area (p < 0.01). Lastly, ODN treatment increased femoral structural strength (p < 0.001). Peak load was positively correlated with the increases in bone mineral content (BMC) (r(2)  = 0.9057, p < 0.0001) and CtTh (r2  = 0.6866, p < 0.0001). Taken together, by reducing cortical remodeling-based and stimulating modeling-based bone formation, ODN significantly improved cortical dimension and strength in OVX monkeys. This novel mechanism of CatK inhibition in stimulating cortical formation suggests that ODN represents a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:24591096

  10. Selectivity of flesh-footed shearwaters for plastic colour: Evidence for differential provisioning in adults and fledglings.

    PubMed

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L

    2016-02-01

    The ingestion of plastic by seabirds has been used as an indicator of population and ocean health. However, few studies have examined adults and juveniles of the same species concurrent with the availability of plastic in the local marine environment. In King George Sound (KGS), Western Australia, 13% of adult flesh-footed shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) and 90% of fledglings contained plastic items in their digestive tract. On Lord Howe Island (LHI), New South Wales, 75% of adult shearwaters and 100% of fledglings contained plastic. Ingested items were assessed using Jaccard's Index (where J = 0 indicates complete dissimilarity and J = 1 complete similarity). The colour of items ingested by self- and chick-provisioning shearwaters from KGS exhibited broad overlap with plastic available in the local environment (J = 0.78-0.80), and plastic in adults and fledglings from LHI were less similar to those available (J = 0.31-0.58). Additional data on seabird colour selection would improve our understanding of the factors influencing the behaviour of ingesting plastic, and its contribution to the decline of some species. PMID:26559149

  11. Seasonal regulation of structural plasticity and neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain: focus on the sheep hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Migaud, Martine; Butrille, Lucile; Batailler, Martine

    2015-04-01

    To cope with variations in the environment, most mammalian species exhibit seasonal cycles in physiology and behaviour. Seasonal plasticity during the lifetime contributes to seasonal physiology. Over the years, our ideas regarding adult brain plasticity and, more specifically, hypothalamic plasticity have greatly evolved. Along with the two main neurogenic regions, namely the hippocampal subgranular and lateral ventricle subventricular zones, the hypothalamus, which is the central homeostatic regulator of numerous physiological functions that comprise sexual behaviours, feeding and metabolism, also hosts neurogenic niches. Both endogenous and exogenous factors, including the photoperiod, modulate the hypothalamic neurogenic capacities. The present review describes the effects of season on adult morphological plasticity and neurogenesis in seasonal species, for which the photoperiod is a master environmental cue for the successful programming of seasonal functions. In addition, the potential functional significance of adult neurogenesis in the mediation of the seasonal control of reproduction and feeding is discussed. PMID:25462590

  12. An abrupt developmental shift in callosal modulation of sleep-related spindle bursts coincides with the emergence of excitatory-inhibitory balance and a reduction of somatosensory cortical plasticity.

    PubMed

    Marcano-Reik, Amy Jo; Prasad, Tuhina; Weiner, Joshua A; Blumberg, Mark S

    2010-10-01

    Transecting the corpus callosum of postnatal day (P)1-6 rats disinhibits the production of spindle bursts (SBs) within primary somatosensory cortex (S1), most notably during periods of sleep-related myoclonic twitching. Here we investigated developmental changes in this callosally mediated disinhibition and its association with cortical plasticity. Recordings in P2-15 subjects revealed that callosotomy-induced disinhibition is a transient feature of early development that disappears abruptly after P6. This abrupt switch was accompanied by sharp decreases in myoclonic twitching and equally sharp increases in spontaneous SBs and in the number of GABAergic and glutamatergic presynaptic terminals in S1. Expression of the K+Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2) also increased across these ages. To determine whether these developmental changes are associated with alterations in cortical plasticity, pups were callosotomized at P1, P6, or P8, and tested over the subsequent week. Regardless of age, callosotomy immediately disrupted SBs evoked by forepaw stimulation. Over the next week, the P1 and P6 callosotomy groups exhibited full recovery of function; in contrast, the P8 group did not exhibit recovery of function, thus indicating an abrupt decrease in cortical plasticity between P6 and P8. Together, our data demonstrate that callosotomy-induced disinhibition is a transient phenomenon whose disappearance coincides with the onset of increased intrinsic connectivity, establishment of excitatory-inhibitory balance, and diminished plasticity in S1. Accordingly, our findings indicate that callosotomy-induced disinhibition of twitch-related SBs is a bioassay of somatosensory cortical plasticity and, in addition, support the hypothesis that myoclonic twitches, like retinal waves, actively contribute to cortical development and plasticity. PMID:20939660

  13. An abrupt developmental shift in callosal modulation of sleep-related spindle bursts coincides with the emergence of excitatory-inhibitory balance and a reduction of somatosensory cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Marcano-Reik, Amy Jo; Prasad, Tuhina; Weiner, Joshua A.; Blumberg, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Transecting the corpus callosum of postnatal day (P)1–6 rats disinhibits the production of spindle bursts (SBs) within primary somatosensory cortex (S1), most notably during periods of sleep-related myoclonic twitching. Here we investigated developmental changes in this callosally mediated disinhibition and its association with cortical plasticity. Recordings in P2–15 subjects revealed that callosotomy-induced disinhibition is a transient feature of early development that disappears abruptly after P6. This abrupt switch was accompanied by sharp decreases in myoclonic twitching and equally sharp increases in spontaneous SBs and in the number of GABAergic and glutamatergic presynaptic terminals in S1. Expression of the K+Cl− co-transporter 2 (KCC2) also increased across these ages. To determine whether these abrupt developmental changes are associated with alterations in cortical plasticity, pups were callosotomized at P1, P6, or P8, and tested over the subsequent week. Regardless of age, callosotomy immediately disrupted SBs evoked by forepaw stimulation. Over the next week, the P1 and P6 callosotomy groups exhibited full recovery of function; in contrast, the P8 group did not exhibit recovery of function, thus indicating an abrupt decrease in cortical plasticity between P6 and P8. Together, our data demonstrate that callosotomy-induced disinhibition is a transient phenomenon whose disappearance coincides with the onset of increased intrinsic connectivity, establishment of excitatory-inhibitory balance, and diminished plasticity in S1. Accordingly, our findings indicate that callosotomy-induced disinhibition of twitch-related SBs is a bioassay of somatosensory cortical plasticity and, in addition, support the hypothesis that myoclonic twitches, like retinal waves, actively contribute to cortical development and plasticity. PMID:20939660

  14. Transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid hormones in an avian model of adult brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Brenowitz, Eliot A.

    2014-01-01

    The avian song control system provides an excellent model for studying transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid sex hormones. Seasonal changes in systemic testosterone (T) and its metabolites regulate plasticity of this system. Steroids interact with the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to influence cellular processes of plasticity in nucleus HVC of adult birds, including the addition of newborn neurons. This interaction may also occur transsynpatically; T increases the synthesis of BDNF in HVC, and BDNF protein is then released by HVC neurons on to postsynaptic cells in nucleus RA where it has trophic effects on activity and morphology. Androgen action on RA neurons increases their activity and this has a retrograde trophic effect on the addition of new neurons to HVC. The functional linkage of sex steroids to BDNF may be of adaptive value in regulating the trophic effects of the neurotrophin and coordinating circuit function in reproductively relevant contexts. PMID:25285401

  15. Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis and Plasticity by (Early) Stress, Glucocorticoids, and Inflammation.

    PubMed

    Lucassen, Paul J; Oomen, Charlotte A; Naninck, Eva F G; Fitzsimons, Carlos P; van Dam, Anne-Marie; Czeh, Boldizsár; Korosi, Aniko

    2015-09-01

    Exposure to stress is one of the best-known negative regulators of adult neurogenesis (AN). We discuss changes in neurogenesis in relation to exposure to stress, glucocorticoid hormones, and inflammation, with a particular focus on early development and on lasting effects of stress. Although the effects of acute and mild stress on AN are generally brief and can be quickly overcome, chronic exposure or more severe forms of stress can induce longer lasting reductions in neurogenesis that can, however, in part, be overcome by subsequent exposure to exercise, drugs targeting the stress system, and some antidepressants. Exposure to stress, particularly during the sensitive period of early life, may (re)program brain plasticity, in particular, in the hippocampus. This may increase the risk to develop cognitive or anxiety symptoms, common to brain diseases like dementia and depression in which plasticity changes occur, and a normalization of neurogenesis may be required for a successful treatment response and recovery. PMID:26330520

  16. Phantom limbs and neural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, V S; Rogers-Ramachandran, D

    2000-03-01

    The study of phantom limbs has received tremendous impetus from recent studies linking changes in cortical topography with perceptual experience. Systematic psychophysical testing and functional imaging studies on patients with phantom limbs provide 2 unique opportunities. First, they allow us to demonstrate neural plasticity in the adult human brain. Second, by tracking perceptual changes (such as referred sensations) and changes in cortical topography in individual patients, we can begin to explore how the activity of sensory maps gives rise to conscious experience. Finally, phantom limbs also allow us to explore intersensory effects and the manner in which the brain constructs and updates a "body image" throughout life. PMID:10714655

  17. Adult thymus contains FoxN1(-) epithelial stem cells that are bipotent for medullary and cortical thymic epithelial lineages.

    PubMed

    Ucar, Ahmet; Ucar, Olga; Klug, Paula; Matt, Sonja; Brunk, Fabian; Hofmann, Thomas G; Kyewski, Bruno

    2014-08-21

    Within the thymus, two major thymic epithelial cell (TEC) subsets-cortical and medullary TECs-provide unique structural and functional niches for T cell development and establishment of central tolerance. Both lineages are believed to originate from a common progenitor cell, yet the cellular and molecular identity of these bipotent TEC progenitors/stem cells remains ill defined. Here we identify rare stromal cells in the murine adult thymus, which under low-attachment conditions formed spheres (termed "thymospheres"). These thymosphere-forming cells (TSFCs) displayed the stemness features of being slow cycling, self-renewing, and bipotent. TSFCs could be significantly enriched based on their distinct surface antigen phenotype. The FoxN1 transcription factor was dispensable for TSFCs maintenance in situ and for commitment to the medullary and cortical TEC lineages. In summary, this study presents the characterization of the adult thymic epithelial stem cells and demonstrates the dispensability of FoxN1 function for their stemness. PMID:25148026

  18. Environment- and activity-dependent dopamine neurotransmitter plasticity in the adult substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Aumann, Tim D

    2016-04-01

    The ability of neurons to change the amount or type of neurotransmitter they use, or 'neurotransmitter plasticity', is an emerging new form of adult brain plasticity. For example, it has recently been shown that neurons in the adult rat hypothalamus up- or down-regulate dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in response to the amount of light the animal receives (photoperiod), and that this in turn affects anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors (Dulcis et al., 2013). In this Chapter I consolidate recent evidence from my laboratory suggesting neurons in the adult mouse substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) also undergo DA neurotransmitter plasticity in response to persistent changes in their electrical activity, including that driven by the mouse's environment or behavior. Specifically, we have shown that the amounts of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) gene promoter activity, TH mRNA and TH protein in SNc neurons increases or decreases after ∼20h of altered electrical activity. Also, infusion of ion-channel agonists or antagonists into the midbrain for 2 weeks results in ∼10% (∼500 neurons) more or fewer TH immunoreactive (TH+) SNc neurons, with no change in the total number of SNc neurons (TH+ and TH-). Targeting ion-channels mediating cell-autonomous pacemaker activity in, or synaptic input and afferent pathways to, SNc neurons are equally effective in this regard. In addition, exposing mice to different environments (sex pairing or environment enrichment) for 1-2 weeks induces ∼10% more or fewer TH+ SNc (and ventral tegmental area or VTA) neurons and this is abolished by concurrent blockade of synaptic transmission in midbrain. Although further research is required to establish SNc (and VTA) DA neurotransmitter plasticity, and to determine whether it alters brain function and behavior, it is an exciting prospect because: (1) It may play important roles in movement, motor learning, reward, motivation, memory and cognition; and (2

  19. Cofilin1 Controls Transcolumnar Plasticity in Dendritic Spines in Adult Barrel Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tsubota, Tadashi; Okubo-Suzuki, Reiko; Ohashi, Yohei; Tamura, Keita; Ogata, Koshin; Yaguchi, Masae; Matsuyama, Makoto; Inokuchi, Kaoru; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    During sensory deprivation, the barrel cortex undergoes expansion of a functional column representing spared inputs (spared column), into the neighboring deprived columns (representing deprived inputs) which are in turn shrunk. As a result, the neurons in a deprived column simultaneously increase and decrease their responses to spared and deprived inputs, respectively. Previous studies revealed that dendritic spines are remodeled during this barrel map plasticity. Because cofilin1, a predominant regulator of actin filament turnover, governs both the expansion and shrinkage of the dendritic spine structure in vitro, it hypothetically regulates both responses in barrel map plasticity. However, this hypothesis remains untested. Using lentiviral vectors, we knocked down cofilin1 locally within layer 2/3 neurons in a deprived column. Cofilin1-knocked-down neurons were optogenetically labeled using channelrhodopsin-2, and electrophysiological recordings were targeted to these knocked-down neurons. We showed that cofilin1 knockdown impaired response increases to spared inputs but preserved response decreases to deprived inputs, indicating that cofilin1 dependency is dissociated in these two types of barrel map plasticity. To explore the structural basis of this dissociation, we then analyzed spine densities on deprived column dendritic branches, which were supposed to receive dense horizontal transcolumnar projections from the spared column. We found that spine number increased in a cofilin1-dependent manner selectively in the distal part of the supragranular layer, where most of the transcolumnar projections existed. Our findings suggest that cofilin1-mediated actin dynamics regulate functional map plasticity in an input-specific manner through the dendritic spine remodeling that occurs in the horizontal transcolumnar circuits. These new mechanistic insights into transcolumnar plasticity in adult rats may have a general significance for understanding reorganization of

  20. Acute plastic bowing of the forearm in adults: a report of two cases.

    PubMed

    Tada, K; Ikeda, K; Tsubouchi, H; Tomita, K

    2008-08-01

    We report 2 adult cases where the diagnosis of acute plastic bowing of the forearm was either delayed or missed. In a 21-year-old man, ulnar bowing was missed and fixation was not performed because the patient had no limitation to his range of movement or pain. In a 24-year-old woman, the presentation of bowing in both the ulna and radius was delayed and corrective osteotomy was necessary for restoration of full range of movement. Prompt diagnosis enables manual reposition for easy restoration of full range of movement. PMID:18725680

  1. Inhibition of Tnf-α R1 signaling can rescue functional cortical plasticity impaired in early post-stroke period.

    PubMed

    Liguz-Lecznar, Monika; Zakrzewska, Renata; Kossut, Malgorzata

    2015-10-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is one of the key players in stroke progression and can interfere with brain functioning. We previously documented an impairment of experience-dependent plasticity in the cortex neighboring the stroke-induced lesion, which was accompanied with an upregulation of Tnf-α level in the brain of ischemic mice 1 week after the stroke. Because TNF receptor 1 (TnfR1) signaling is believed to be a major mediator of the cytotoxicity of Tnf-α through activation of caspases, we used an anti-inflammatory intervention aimed at Tnf-α R1 pathway, in order to try to attenuate the detrimental effect of post-stroke inflammation, and investigated if this will be effective in protecting plasticity in the infarct proximity. Aged mice (12-14 months) were subjected to the photothrombotic stroke localized near somatosensory cortex, and immediately after ischemia sensory deprivation was introduced to induce plasticity. Soluble TNF-α R1 (sTNF-α R1), which competed for TNF-α with receptors localized in the brain, was delivered chronically directly into the brain tissue for the whole period of deprivation using ALZET Micro-Osmotic pumps. We have shown that such approach undertaken simultaneously with the stroke reduced the level of TNF-α in the peri-ischemic tissue and was successful in preserving the post-stroke deprivation-induced brain plasticity. PMID:26189092

  2. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. PMID:26609811

  3. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11290.001 PMID:26609811

  4. Lesion-induced plasticity in the second somatosensory cortex of adult macaques.

    PubMed Central

    Pons, T P; Garraghty, P E; Mishkin, M

    1988-01-01

    We have reported that elimination of the representation of any body part in the primary (i.e., postcentral) somatosensory cortex of the adult macaque selectively eliminates the representation of that same body part in the second somatosensory area SII. We now report that, although removal of the entire postcentral hand representation does indeed leave the SII hand representation unresponsive to somatic stimulation initially, 6-8 weeks later this cortex is no longer silent. Instead, most or all of the region that had been vacated by the hand representation is now found to be occupied by an expanded foot representation. This massive somatotopic reorganization, involving more than half the areal extent of SII, exceeds that previously observed in the postcentral cortex after peripheral nerve damage and may reflect a greater capacity for reorganizational changes in higher order than in primary sensory cortical areas. PMID:3393538

  5. Region-specific network plasticity in simulated and living cortical networks: comparison of the center of activity trajectory (CAT) with other statistics.

    PubMed

    Chao, Zenas C; Bakkum, Douglas J; Potter, Steve M

    2007-09-01

    Electrically interfaced cortical networks cultured in vitro can be used as a model for studying the network mechanisms of learning and memory. Lasting changes in functional connectivity have been difficult to detect with extracellular multi-electrode arrays using standard firing rate statistics. We used both simulated and living networks to compare the ability of various statistics to quantify functional plasticity at the network level. Using a simulated integrate-and-fire neural network, we compared five established statistical methods to one of our own design, called center of activity trajectory (CAT). CAT, which depicts dynamics of the location-weighted average of spatiotemporal patterns of action potentials across the physical space of the neuronal circuitry, was the most sensitive statistic for detecting tetanus-induced plasticity in both simulated and living networks. By reducing the dimensionality of multi-unit data while still including spatial information, CAT allows efficient real-time computation of spatiotemporal activity patterns. Thus, CAT will be useful for studies in vivo or in vitro in which the locations of recording sites on multi-electrode probes are important. PMID:17873432

  6. Region-specific network plasticity in simulated and living cortical networks: comparison of the center of activity trajectory (CAT) with other statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Zenas C.; Bakkum, Douglas J.; Potter, Steve M.

    2007-09-01

    Electrically interfaced cortical networks cultured in vitro can be used as a model for studying the network mechanisms of learning and memory. Lasting changes in functional connectivity have been difficult to detect with extracellular multi-electrode arrays using standard firing rate statistics. We used both simulated and living networks to compare the ability of various statistics to quantify functional plasticity at the network level. Using a simulated integrate-and-fire neural network, we compared five established statistical methods to one of our own design, called center of activity trajectory (CAT). CAT, which depicts dynamics of the location-weighted average of spatiotemporal patterns of action potentials across the physical space of the neuronal circuitry, was the most sensitive statistic for detecting tetanus-induced plasticity in both simulated and living networks. By reducing the dimensionality of multi-unit data while still including spatial information, CAT allows efficient real-time computation of spatiotemporal activity patterns. Thus, CAT will be useful for studies in vivo or in vitro in which the locations of recording sites on multi-electrode probes are important.

  7. Plasticity of inhibitory processes and associated far-transfer effects in older adults.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yang; Wang, Jun; Chen, Tianyong; Du, Xin; Zhan, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Inhibition deficit plays a crucial part in cognitive aging; however, few studies have systematically investigated the plasticity of various inhibitory processes among older adults. We studied the plasticity of 3 inhibitory processes (access, deletion, and restraint) and the extent of far transfer of inhibition training to other general cognitive abilities. Thirty-six participants (aged 60 years and above, M = 70.06, SD = 5.53) were randomly assigned to an adaptive training group that received 12 sessions of training covering 3 inhibitory processes or an active control group that received 4 sessions of mental health lectures. Participants in both groups completed pre- and posttest assessments, in which behavioral and electrophysiological measures were used to evaluate potential transfer effects. Direct training gains were observed for trained tasks of all inhibitory processes, but near-transfer effects were only found within untrained tasks associated with deletion at a composite score level. Furthermore, far-transfer effects were demonstrated for fluid intelligence (Gf) but not for working memory or other general cognitive abilities. Near transfer to deletion and far transfer to Gf persisted at a 3-month follow-up assessment session. We discussed differences in plasticity between the 3 inhibitory processes as well as their possible associations with far transfer to Gf. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27243762

  8. Semaphorin7A regulates neuroglial plasticity in the adult hypothalamic median eminence

    PubMed Central

    Parkash, Jyoti; Messina, Andrea; Langlet, Fanny; Cimino, Irene; Loyens, Anne; Mazur, Danièle; Gallet, Sarah; Balland, Eglantine; Malone, Samuel A.; Pralong, François; Cagnoni, Gabriella; Schellino, Roberta; De Marchis, Silvia; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Tamagnone, Luca; Prevot, Vincent; Giacobini, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive competence in mammals depends on the projection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to the hypothalamic median eminence (ME) and the timely release of GnRH into the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. In adult rodents, GnRH neurons and the specialized glial cells named tanycytes periodically undergo cytoskeletal plasticity. However, the mechanisms that regulate this plasticity are still largely unknown. We demonstrate that Semaphorin7A, expressed by tanycytes, plays a dual role, inducing the retraction of GnRH terminals and promoting their ensheathment by tanycytic end feet via the receptors PlexinC1 and Itgb1, respectively. Moreover, Semaphorin7A expression is regulated during the oestrous cycle by the fluctuating levels of gonadal steroids. Genetic invalidation of Semaphorin7A receptors in mice induces neuronal and glial rearrangements in the ME and abolishes normal oestrous cyclicity and fertility. These results show a role for Semaphorin7A signalling in mediating periodic neuroglial remodelling in the adult ME during the ovarian cycle. PMID:25721933

  9. Semaphorin7A regulates neuroglial plasticity in the adult hypothalamic median eminence.

    PubMed

    Parkash, Jyoti; Messina, Andrea; Langlet, Fanny; Cimino, Irene; Loyens, Anne; Mazur, Danièle; Gallet, Sarah; Balland, Eglantine; Malone, Samuel A; Pralong, François; Cagnoni, Gabriella; Schellino, Roberta; De Marchis, Silvia; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Tamagnone, Luca; Prevot, Vincent; Giacobini, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive competence in mammals depends on the projection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to the hypothalamic median eminence (ME) and the timely release of GnRH into the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In adult rodents, GnRH neurons and the specialized glial cells named tanycytes periodically undergo cytoskeletal plasticity. However, the mechanisms that regulate this plasticity are still largely unknown. We demonstrate that Semaphorin7A, expressed by tanycytes, plays a dual role, inducing the retraction of GnRH terminals and promoting their ensheathment by tanycytic end feet via the receptors PlexinC1 and Itgb1, respectively. Moreover, Semaphorin7A expression is regulated during the oestrous cycle by the fluctuating levels of gonadal steroids. Genetic invalidation of Semaphorin7A receptors in mice induces neuronal and glial rearrangements in the ME and abolishes normal oestrous cyclicity and fertility. These results show a role for Semaphorin7A signalling in mediating periodic neuroglial remodelling in the adult ME during the ovarian cycle. PMID:25721933

  10. Sensorimotor Experience Influences Recovery of Forelimb Abilities but Not Tissue Loss after Focal Cortical Compression in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Marina; Brezun, Jean-Michel; Xerri, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Sensorimotor activity has been shown to play a key role in functional outcome after extensive brain damage. This study was aimed at assessing the influence of sensorimotor experience through subject-environment interactions on the time course of both lesion and gliosis volumes as well as on the recovery of forelimb sensorimotor abilities following focal cortical injury. The lesion consisted of a cortical compression targeting the forepaw representational area within the primary somatosensory cortex of adult rats. After the cortical lesion, rats were randomly subjected to various postlesion conditions: unilateral C5–C6 dorsal root transection depriving the contralateral cortex from forepaw somatosensory inputs, standard housing or an enriched environment promoting sensorimotor experience and social interactions. Behavioral tests were used to assess forelimb placement during locomotion, forelimb-use asymmetry, and forepaw tactile sensitivity. For each group, the time course of tissue loss was described and the gliosis volume over the first postoperative month was evaluated using an unbiased stereological method. Consistent with previous studies, recovery of behavioral abilities was found to depend on post-injury experience. Indeed, increased sensorimotor activity initiated early in an enriched environment induced a rapid and more complete behavioral recovery compared with standard housing. In contrast, severe deprivation of peripheral sensory inputs led to a delayed and only partial sensorimotor recovery. The dorsal rhizotomy was found to increase the perilesional gliosis in comparison to standard or enriched environments. These findings provide further evidence that early sensory experience has a beneficial influence on the onset and time course of functional recovery after focal brain injury. PMID:21359230

  11. Transspinal constant-current long-lasting stimulation: a new method to induce cortical and corticospinal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Knikou, Maria; Dixon, Luke; Santora, Danielle; Ibrahim, Mohamed M

    2015-09-01

    Functional neuroplasticity in response to stimulation and motor training is a well-established phenomenon. Transcutaneous stimulation of the spine is used mostly to alleviate pain, but it may also induce functional neuroplasticity, because the spinal cord serves as an integration center for descending and ascending neuronal signals. In this work, we examined whether long-lasting noninvasive cathodal (c-tsCCS) and anodal (a-tsCCS) transspinal constant-current stimulation over the thoracolumbar enlargement can induce cortical, corticospinal, and spinal neuroplasticity. Twelve healthy human subjects, blind to the stimulation protocol, were randomly assigned to 40 min of c-tsCCS or a-tsCCS. Before and after transspinal stimulation, we established the afferent-mediated motor evoked potential (MEP) facilitation and the subthreshold transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-mediated flexor reflex facilitation. Recruitment input-output curves of MEPs and transspinal evoked potentials (TEPs) and postactivation depression of the soleus H reflex and TEPs was also established. We demonstrate that both c-tsCCS and a-tsCCS decrease the afferent-mediated MEP facilitation and alter the subthreshold TMS-mediated flexor reflex facilitation in a polarity-dependent manner. Both c-tsCCS and a-tsCCS increased the tibialis anterior MEPs recorded at 1.2 MEP resting threshold, intermediate, and maximal intensities and altered the recruitment input-output curve of TEPs in a muscle- and polarity-dependent manner. Soleus H-reflex postactivation depression was reduced after a-tsCCS and remained unaltered after c-tsCCS. No changes were found in the postactivation depression of TEPs after c-tsCCS or a-tsCCS. Our findings reveal that c-tsCCS and a-tsCCS have distinct effects on cortical and corticospinal excitability. This method can be utilized to induce targeted neuroplasticity in humans. PMID:26108955

  12. Hippocampal Pathway Plasticity Is Associated with the Ability to Form Novel Memories in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Antonenko, Daria; Külzow, Nadine; Cesarz, Magda E.; Schindler, Kristina; Grittner, Ulrike; Flöel, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    White matter deterioration in the aging human brain contributes to cognitive decline. The fornix as main efferent hippocampal pathway is one of the tracts most strongly associated with age-related memory impairment. Its deterioration may predict conversion to Alzheimer’s dementia and its precursors. However, the associations between the ability to form novel memories, fornix microstructure and plasticity in response to training have never been tested. In the present study, 25 healthy older adults (15 women; mean age (SD): 69 (6) years) underwent an object-location training on three consecutive days. Behavioral outcome measures comprised recall performance on the training days, and on 1-day and 1-month follow up assessments. MRI at 3 Tesla was assessed before and after training. Fornix microstructure was determined by fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity (MD) values from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In addition, hippocampal volumes were extracted from high-resolution images; individual hippocampal masks were further aligned to DTI images to determine hippocampal microstructure. Using linear mixed model analysis, we found that the change in fornix FA from pre- to post-training assessment was significantly associated with training success. Neither baseline fornix microstructure nor hippocampal microstructure or volume changes were significantly associated with performance. Further, models including control task performance (auditory verbal learning) and control white matter tract microstructure (uncinate fasciculus and parahippocampal cingulum) did not yield significant associations. Our results confirm that hippocampal pathways respond to short-term cognitive training, and extend previous findings by demonstrating that the magnitude of training-induced structural changes is associated with behavioral success in older adults. This suggests that the amount of fornix plasticity may not only be behaviorally relevant, but also a potential sensitive biomarker

  13. Hippocampal Pathway Plasticity Is Associated with the Ability to Form Novel Memories in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Antonenko, Daria; Külzow, Nadine; Cesarz, Magda E; Schindler, Kristina; Grittner, Ulrike; Flöel, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    White matter deterioration in the aging human brain contributes to cognitive decline. The fornix as main efferent hippocampal pathway is one of the tracts most strongly associated with age-related memory impairment. Its deterioration may predict conversion to Alzheimer's dementia and its precursors. However, the associations between the ability to form novel memories, fornix microstructure and plasticity in response to training have never been tested. In the present study, 25 healthy older adults (15 women; mean age (SD): 69 (6) years) underwent an object-location training on three consecutive days. Behavioral outcome measures comprised recall performance on the training days, and on 1-day and 1-month follow up assessments. MRI at 3 Tesla was assessed before and after training. Fornix microstructure was determined by fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity (MD) values from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In addition, hippocampal volumes were extracted from high-resolution images; individual hippocampal masks were further aligned to DTI images to determine hippocampal microstructure. Using linear mixed model analysis, we found that the change in fornix FA from pre- to post-training assessment was significantly associated with training success. Neither baseline fornix microstructure nor hippocampal microstructure or volume changes were significantly associated with performance. Further, models including control task performance (auditory verbal learning) and control white matter tract microstructure (uncinate fasciculus and parahippocampal cingulum) did not yield significant associations. Our results confirm that hippocampal pathways respond to short-term cognitive training, and extend previous findings by demonstrating that the magnitude of training-induced structural changes is associated with behavioral success in older adults. This suggests that the amount of fornix plasticity may not only be behaviorally relevant, but also a potential sensitive biomarker for

  14. Molecular and neuronal plasticity mechanisms in the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit: implications for opiate addiction memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Laura G.; Sun, Ninglei; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R.

    2015-01-01

    The persistence of associative memories linked to the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse is a core underlying feature of the addiction process. Opiate class drugs in particular, possess potent euphorigenic effects which, when linked to environmental cues, can produce drug-related “trigger” memories that may persist for lengthy periods of time, even during abstinence, in both humans, and other animals. Furthermore, the transitional switch from the drug-naïve, non-dependent state to states of dependence and withdrawal, represents a critical boundary between distinct neuronal and molecular substrates associated with opiate-reward memory formation. Identifying the functional molecular and neuronal mechanisms related to the acquisition, consolidation, recall, and extinction phases of opiate-related reward memories is critical for understanding, and potentially reversing, addiction-related memory plasticity characteristic of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. The mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) share important functional and anatomical connections that are involved importantly in the processing of associative memories linked to drug reward. In addition, both regions share interconnections with the mesolimbic pathway's ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) and can modulate dopamine (DA) transmission and neuronal activity associated with drug-related DAergic signaling dynamics. In this review, we will summarize research from both human and animal modeling studies highlighting the importance of neuronal and molecular plasticity mechanisms within this circuitry during critical phases of opiate addiction-related learning and memory processing. Specifically, we will focus on two molecular signaling pathways known to be involved in both drug-related neuroadaptations and in memory-related plasticity mechanisms; the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase system (ERK) and the Ca2+/calmodulin

  15. Molecular and neuronal plasticity mechanisms in the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit: implications for opiate addiction memory formation.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Laura G; Sun, Ninglei; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R

    2015-01-01

    The persistence of associative memories linked to the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse is a core underlying feature of the addiction process. Opiate class drugs in particular, possess potent euphorigenic effects which, when linked to environmental cues, can produce drug-related "trigger" memories that may persist for lengthy periods of time, even during abstinence, in both humans, and other animals. Furthermore, the transitional switch from the drug-naïve, non-dependent state to states of dependence and withdrawal, represents a critical boundary between distinct neuronal and molecular substrates associated with opiate-reward memory formation. Identifying the functional molecular and neuronal mechanisms related to the acquisition, consolidation, recall, and extinction phases of opiate-related reward memories is critical for understanding, and potentially reversing, addiction-related memory plasticity characteristic of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. The mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) share important functional and anatomical connections that are involved importantly in the processing of associative memories linked to drug reward. In addition, both regions share interconnections with the mesolimbic pathway's ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) and can modulate dopamine (DA) transmission and neuronal activity associated with drug-related DAergic signaling dynamics. In this review, we will summarize research from both human and animal modeling studies highlighting the importance of neuronal and molecular plasticity mechanisms within this circuitry during critical phases of opiate addiction-related learning and memory processing. Specifically, we will focus on two molecular signaling pathways known to be involved in both drug-related neuroadaptations and in memory-related plasticity mechanisms; the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase system (ERK) and the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein

  16. Separable features of visual cortical plasticity revealed by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor 2A signaling

    PubMed Central

    Fagiolini, Michela; Katagiri, Hiroyuki; Miyamoto, Hiroyuki; Mori, Hisashi; Grant, Seth G. N.; Mishina, Masayoshi; Hensch, Takao K.

    2003-01-01

    How individual receptive field properties are formed in the maturing sensory neocortex remains largely unknown. The shortening of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor currents by 2A subunit (NR2A) insertion has been proposed to delimit the critical period for experience-dependent refinement of circuits in visual cortex. In mice engineered to maintain prolonged NMDA responses by targeted deletion of NR2A, the sensitivity to monocular deprivation was surprisingly weakened but restricted to the typical critical period and delayed normally by dark rearing from birth. Orientation preference instead failed to mature, occluding further effects of dark rearing. Interestingly, a full ocular dominance plasticity (but not orientation bias) was selectively restored by enhanced inhibition, reflecting an imbalanced excitation in the absence of NR2A. Many of the downstream pathways involved in NMDA signaling are coupled to the receptor through a variety of protein–protein interactions and adaptor molecules. To further investigate a mechanistic dissociation of receptive field properties in the developing visual system, mice carrying a targeted disruption of the NR2A-associated 95-kDa postsynaptic density (PSD95) scaffolding protein were analyzed. Although the development and plasticity of ocular dominance was unaffected, orientation preference again failed to mature in these mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the cellular basis generating individual sensory response properties is separable in the developing neocortex. PMID:12591944

  17. Investigation of Motor Cortical Plasticity and Corticospinal Tract Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Patients with Parkinsons Disease and Essential Tremor.

    PubMed

    Lu, Ming-Kuei; Chen, Chun-Ming; Duann, Jeng-Ren; Ziemann, Ulf; Chen, Jui-Cheng; Chiou, Shang-Ming; Tsai, Chon-Haw

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET) are characterized with motor dysfunctions. Motor circuit dysfunctions can be complementarily investigated by paired associative stimulation (PAS)-induced long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the corticospinal tract (CST). Three groups of twelve subjects with moderate severity PD, ET with intention tremor and healthy controls (HC) were studied. The primary motor cortex (M1) excitability, measured by motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and by short-interval and long-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI and LICI) was compared between the three groups before and after PAS. The DTI measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were acquired. PAS effects and DTI data were simultaneously examined between groups. PAS increased MEP amplitude in HC but not in PD and ET. SICI and LICI were significantly reduced after PAS irrespective of groups. No significant differences of the mean FA and MD were found between groups. There was no significant correlation between the PAS effects and the DTI measures. Findings suggest that both PD and ET with intention tremor have impairment of the associative LTP-like corticospinal excitability change in M1. The microstructure of the CST is not relevant to the deficiency of M1 associative plasticity in PD and ET. PMID:27603204

  18. MuSK levels differ between adult skeletal muscles and influence postsynaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Punga, Anna R; Maj, Marcin; Lin, Shuo; Meinen, Sarina; Rüegg, Markus A

    2011-03-01

    Muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) is involved in the formation and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), and is necessary for NMJ integrity. As muscle involvement is strikingly selective in pathological conditions in which MuSK is targeted, including congenital myasthenic syndrome with MuSK mutation and MuSK antibody-seropositive myasthenia gravis, we hypothesized that the postsynaptic response to MuSK-agrin signalling differs between adult muscles. Transcript levels of postsynaptic proteins were compared between different muscles in wild-type adult mice. MuSK expression was high in the soleus and sternomastoid muscles and low in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and omohyoid muscles. The acetylcholine receptor (AChR) α subunit followed a similar expression pattern, whereas expression of Dok-7, Lrp4 and rapsyn was comparable between the muscles. We subsequently examined muscles in mice that overexpressed a miniaturized form of neural agrin or MuSK. In these transgenic mice, the soleus and sternomastoid muscles responded with formation of ectopic AChR clusters, whereas such clusters were almost absent in the EDL and omohyoid muscles. Electroporation of Dok-7 revealed its important role as an activator of MuSK in AChR cluster formation in adult muscles. Together, our findings indicate for the first time that adult skeletal muscles harbour different endogenous levels of MuSK and that these levels determine the ability to form ectopic AChR clusters upon overexpression of agrin or MuSK. We believe that these findings are important for our understanding of adult muscle plasticity and the selective muscle involvement in neuromuscular disorders in which MuSK is diminished. PMID:21255125

  19. The disorganized visual cortex in reelin-deficient mice is functional and allows for enhanced plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Wagener, Robin Jan; Martens, Ann-Kristin; Goetze, Bianka; Schmidt, Karl-Friedrich; Staiger, Jochen F; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-11-01

    A hallmark of neocortical circuits is the segregation of processing streams into six distinct layers. The importance of this layered organization for cortical processing and plasticity is little understood. We investigated the structure, function and plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) of adult mice deficient for the glycoprotein reelin and their wild-type littermates. In V1 of rl-/- mice, cells with different laminar fates are present at all cortical depths. Surprisingly, the (vertically) disorganized cortex maintains a precise retinotopic (horizontal) organization. Rl-/- mice have normal basic visual capabilities, but are compromised in more challenging perceptual tasks, such as orientation discrimination. Additionally, rl-/- animals learn and memorize a visual task as well as their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, reelin deficiency enhances visual cortical plasticity: juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity is preserved into late adulthood. The present data offer an important insight into the capabilities of a disorganized cortical system to maintain basic functional properties. PMID:25119525

  20. The plastic fly: the effect of sustained fluctuations in adult food supply on life-history traits

    PubMed Central

    van den Heuvel, J; Zandveld, J; Mulder, M; Brakefield, P M; Kirkwood, T B L; Shanley, D P; Zwaan, B J

    2014-01-01

    Many adult traits in Drosophila melanogaster show phenotypic plasticity, and the effects of diet on traits such as lifespan and reproduction are well explored. Although plasticity in response to food is still present in older flies, it is unknown how sustained environmental variation affects life-history traits. Here, we explore how such life-long fluctuations of food supply affect weight and survival in groups of flies and affect weight, survival and reproduction in individual flies. In both experiments, we kept adults on constant high or low food and compared these to flies that experienced fluctuations of food either once or twice a week. For these ‘yoyo’ groups, the initial food level and the duration of the dietary variation differed during adulthood, creating four ‘yoyo’ fly groups. In groups of flies, survival and weight were affected by adult food. However, for individuals, survival and reproduction, but not weight, were affected by adult food, indicating that single and group housing of female flies affects life-history trajectories. Remarkably, both the manner and extent to which life-history traits varied in relation to food depended on whether flies initially experienced high or low food after eclosion. We therefore conclude that the expression of life-history traits in adult life is affected not only by adult plasticity, but also by early adult life experiences. This is an important but often overlooked factor in studies of life-history evolution and may explain variation in life-history experiments. PMID:25417737

  1. Adolescent binge ethanol treatment alters adult brain regional volumes, cortical extracellular matrix protein and behavioral flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Leon Garland; Liu, Wen; Oguz, Ipek; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents binge drink more than any other age group, increasing risk of disrupting the development of the frontal cortex. We hypothesized that adolescent binge drinking would lead to persistent alterations in adulthood. In this study, we modeled adolescent weekend underage binge-drinking, using adolescent mice (post-natal days [P] 28–37). The adolescent intermittent binge ethanol (AIE) treatment includes 6 binge intragastric doses of ethanol in an intermittent pattern across adolescence. Assessments were conducted in adulthood following extended abstinence to determine if there were persistent changes in adults. Reversal learning, open field and other behavioral assessments as well as brain structure using magnetic imaging and immunohistochemistry were determined. We found AIE did not impact adult Barnes Maze learning. However, AIE did cause reversal learning deficits in adults. AIE also caused structural changes in the adult brain. AIE was associated with adulthood volume enlargements in specific brain regions without changes in total brain volume. Enlarged regions included the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, 4%), cerebellum (4.5%), thalamus (2%), internal capsule (10%) and genu of the corpus callosum (7%). The enlarged OFC volume in adults after AIE is consistent with previous imaging studies in human adolescents. AIE treatment was associated with significant increases in the expression of several extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the adult OFC including WFA (55%), Brevican (32%), Neurocan (105%), Tenacin-C (25%), and HABP (5%). These findings are consistent with AIE causing persistent changes in brain structure that could contribute to a lack of behavioral flexibility. PMID:24275185

  2. Forced arm use is superior to voluntary training for motor recovery and brain plasticity after cortical ischemia in rats

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose Both the immobilization of the unaffected arm combined with physical therapy (forced arm use, FAU) and voluntary exercise (VE) as model for enriched environment are promising approaches to enhance recovery after stroke. The genomic mechanisms involved in long-term plasticity changes after different means of rehabilitative training post-stroke are largely unexplored. The present investigation explored the effects of these physical therapies on behavioral recovery and molecular markers of regeneration after experimental ischemia. Methods 42 Wistar rats were randomly treated with either forced arm use (FAU, 1-sleeve plaster cast onto unaffected limb at 8/10 days), voluntary exercise (VE, connection of a freely accessible running wheel to cage), or controls with no access to a running wheel for 10 days starting at 48 hours after photothrombotic stroke of the sensorimotor cortex. Functional outcome was measured using sensorimotor test before ischemia, after ischemia, after the training period of 10 days, at 3 and 4 weeks after ischemia. Global gene expression changes were assessed from the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. Results FAU-treated animals demonstrated significantly improved functional recovery compared to the VE-treated group. Both were superior to cage control. A large number of genes are altered by both training paradigms in the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. Overall, the extent of changes observed correlated well with the functional recovery obtained. One category of genes overrepresented in the gene set is linked to neuronal plasticity processes, containing marker genes such as the NMDA 2a receptor, PKC ζ, NTRK2, or MAP 1b. Conclusions We show that physical training after photothrombotic stroke significantly and permanently improves functional recovery after stroke, and that forced arm training is clearly superior to voluntary running training. The behavioral outcomes seen correlate with

  3. Analysis of plastic deformation in cortical bone after insertion of coated and non-coated self-tapping orthopaedic screws.

    PubMed

    Koistinen, A P; Korhonen, H; Kiviranta, I; Kröger, H; Lappalainen, R

    2011-07-01

    Insertion of internal fracture fixation devices, such as screws, mechanically weakens the bone. Diamond-like carbon has outstanding tribology properties which may decrease the amount of damage in tissue. The purpose of this study was to investigate methods for quantification of cortical bone damage after orthopaedic bone screw insertion and to evaluate the effect of surface modification on tissue damage. In total, 48 stainless steel screws were inserted into cadaver bones. Half of the screws were coated with a smooth amorphous diamond coating. Geometrical data of the bones was determined by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Thin sections of the bone samples were prepared after screw insertion, and histomorphometric evaluation of damage was performed on images obtained using light microscopy. Micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy were also used to examine tissue damage. A positive correlation was found between tissue damage and the geometric properties of the bone. The age of the cadaver significantly affected the bone mineral density, as well as the damage perimeter and diameter of the screw hole. However, the expected positive effect of surface modification was probably obscured by large variations in the results and, thus, statistically significant differences were not found in this study. This can be explained by natural variability in bone tissue, which also made automated image analysis difficult. PMID:21870370

  4. FNIRS-based evaluation of cortical plasticity in children with cerebral palsy undergoing constraint-induced movement therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Jianwei; Khan, Bilal; Hervey, Nathan; Tian, Fenghua; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Clegg, Nancy J.; Smith, Linsley; Roberts, Heather; Tulchin-Francis, Kirsten; Shierk, Angela; Shagman, Laura; MacFarlane, Duncan; Liu, Hanli; Alexandrakis, George

    2015-03-01

    Sensorimotor cortex plasticity induced by constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in six children (10.2 ± 2.1 years old) with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP) was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The activation laterality index and time-to-peak/duration during a finger tapping task were quantified before, immediately after, and six months after CIMT. Five age-matched healthy children (9.8 ± 1.3 years old) were also imaged at the same time points to provide comparative activation metrics for normal controls. In children with CP the activation time-to-peak/duration for all sensorimotor centers displayed significant normalization immediately after CIMT that persisted six months later. In contrast to this longer term improvement in localized activation response, the laterality index that depended on communication between sensorimotor centers improved immediately after CIMT, but relapsed six months later.

  5. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity. PMID:26203107

  6. Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials in (Un)aided Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Adults.

    PubMed

    Van Dun, Bram; Kania, Anna; Dillon, Harvey

    2016-02-01

    Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) are influenced by the characteristics of the stimulus, including level and hearing aid gain. Previous studies have measured CAEPs aided and unaided in individuals with normal hearing. There is a significant difference between providing amplification to a person with normal hearing and a person with hearing loss. This study investigated this difference and the effects of stimulus signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and audibility on the CAEP amplitude in a population with hearing loss. Twelve normal-hearing participants and 12 participants with a hearing loss participated in this study. Three speech sounds-/m/, /g/, and /t/-were presented in the free field. Unaided stimuli were presented at 55, 65, and 75 dB sound pressure level (SPL) and aided stimuli at 55 dB SPL with three different gains in steps of 10 dB. CAEPs were recorded and their amplitudes analyzed. Stimulus SNRs and audibility were determined. No significant effect of stimulus level or hearing aid gain was found in normal hearers. Conversely, a significant effect was found in hearing-impaired individuals. Audibility of the signal, which in some cases is determined by the signal level relative to threshold and in other cases by the SNR, is the dominant factor explaining changes in CAEP amplitude. CAEPs can potentially be used to assess the effects of hearing aid gain in hearing-impaired users. PMID:27587919

  7. Cognitive plasticity in older adults: effects of cognitive training and physical exercise.

    PubMed

    Bherer, Louis

    2015-03-01

    Cognitive training, physical activity, and exercise have often been reported to improve cognitive performance in older adults. This paper reviews some seminal and recent studies using these approaches to improve cognition and physical functioning in healthy older adults and in patients suffering from non-neurological chronic medical conditions. Results from cognitive training studies suggest that despite performance improvement in trained tasks, transfer effects appeared very limited. Surprisingly though, computerized dual-task training has been shown to improve balance and postural control in tests of physical functioning, suggesting that broad transfer can sometimes be observed. Physical exercise intervention studies generally found significant and large improvements in physical capacity, in some cognitive domains, and in quality of life. The benefits seem to be equivalent between frail and nonfrail participants. Overall, results reviewed here support the notion that cognitive plasticity for attentional control, as induced by cognitive training or physical activity and exercise, is preserved in late adulthood. Moreover, results of studies with patients at risk of cognitive decline also suggest that cognitive training and exercise interventions are promising nonpharmaceutical tools to help improve cognition in older at-risk individuals. PMID:25773610

  8. Trigeminal intersubnuclear neurons: morphometry and input-dependent structural plasticity in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Martin, Yasmina B; Negredo, Pilar; Villacorta-Atienza, Jose A; Avendaño, Carlos

    2014-05-01

    Intersubnuclear neurons in the caudal division of the spinal trigeminal nucleus that project to the principal nucleus (Pr5) play an active role in shaping the receptive fields of other neurons, at different levels in the ascending sensory system that processes information originating from the vibrissae. By using retrograde labeling and digital reconstruction, we investigated the morphometry and topology of the dendritic trees of these neurons and the changes induced by long-term experience-dependent plasticity in adult male rats. Primary afferent input was either eliminated by transection of the right infraorbital nerve (IoN), or selectively altered by repeated whisker clipping on the right side. These neurons do not display asymmetries between sides in basic metric and topologic parameters (global number of trees, nodes, spines, or dendritic ends), although neurons on the left tend to have longer terminal segments. Ipsilaterally, both deafferentation (IoN transection) and deprivation (whisker trimming) reduced the density of spines, and the former also caused a global increase in total dendritic length and a relative increase in more complex arbors. Contralaterally, deafferentation reduced more complex dendritic trees, and caused a moderate decline in dendritic length and spatial reach, and a loss of spines in number and density. Deprivation caused a similar, but more profound, effect on spines. Our findings provide original quantitative descriptions of a scarcely known cell population, and show that denervation- or deprivation-derived plasticity is expressed not only by neurons at higher levels of the sensory pathways, but also by neurons in key subcortical circuits for sensory processing. PMID:24178892

  9. Small-Angle X-ray Scattering Demonstrates Similar Nanostructure in Cortical Bone from Young Adult Animals of Different Species.

    PubMed

    Kaspersen, Jørn Døvling; Turunen, Mikael Juhani; Mathavan, Neashan; Lages, Sebastian; Pedersen, Jan Skov; Olsson, Ulf; Isaksson, Hanna

    2016-07-01

    Despite the vast amount of studies focusing on bone nanostructure that have been performed for several decades, doubts regarding the detailed structure of the constituting hydroxyapatite crystal still exist. Different experimental techniques report somewhat different sizes and locations, possibly due to different requirements for the sample preparation. In this study, small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering is used to investigate the nanostructure of femur samples from young adult ovine, bovine, porcine, and murine cortical bone, including three different orthogonal directions relative to the long axis of the bone. The radially averaged scattering from all samples reveals a remarkable similarity in the entire q range, which indicates that the nanostructure is essentially the same in all species. Small differences in the data from different directions confirm that the crystals are elongated in the [001] direction and that this direction is parallel to the long axis of the bone. A model consisting of thin plates is successfully employed to describe the scattering and extract the plate thicknesses, which are found to be in the range of 20-40 Å for most samples but 40-60 Å for the cow samples. It is demonstrated that the mineral plates have a large degree of polydispersity in plate thickness. Additionally, and equally importantly, the scattering data and the model are critically evaluated in terms of model uncertainties and overall information content. PMID:26914607

  10. Prenatal Exposure to Autism-Specific Maternal Autoantibodies Alters Proliferation of Cortical Neural Precursor Cells, Enlarges Brain, and Increases Neuronal Size in Adult Animals.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Camacho, Jasmin; Fox, Elizabeth; Miller, Elaine; Ariza, Jeanelle; Kienzle, Devon; Plank, Kaela; Noctor, Stephen C; Van de Water, Judy

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect up to 1 in 68 children. Autism-specific autoantibodies directed against fetal brain proteins have been found exclusively in a subpopulation of mothers whose children were diagnosed with ASD or maternal autoantibody-related autism. We tested the impact of autoantibodies on brain development in mice by transferring human antigen-specific IgG directly into the cerebral ventricles of embryonic mice during cortical neurogenesis. We show that autoantibodies recognize radial glial cells during development. We also show that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies increased stem cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the embryonic neocortex, increased adult brain size and weight, and increased the size of adult cortical neurons. We propose that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies directly affects radial glial cell development and presents a viable pathologic mechanism for the maternal autoantibody-related prenatal ASD risk factor. PMID:25535268

  11. Reversibility of developmental heat and cold plasticity is asymmetric and has long-lasting consequences for adult thermal tolerance.

    PubMed

    Slotsbo, Stine; Schou, Mads F; Kristensen, Torsten N; Loeschcke, Volker; Sørensen, Jesper G

    2016-09-01

    The ability of insects to cope with stressful temperatures through adaptive plasticity has allowed them to thrive under a wide range of thermal conditions. Developmental plasticity is generally considered to be a non-reversible phenotypic change, e.g. in morphological traits, while adult acclimation responses are often considered to be reversible physiological responses. However, physiologically mediated thermal acclimation might not follow this general prediction. We investigated the magnitude and rate of reversibility of developmental thermal plasticity responses in heat and cold tolerance of adult flies, using a full factorial design with two developmental and two adult temperatures (15 and 25°C). We show that cold tolerance attained during development is readily adjusted to the prevailing conditions during adult acclimation, with a symmetric rate of decrease or increase. In contrast, heat tolerance is only partly reversible during acclimation and is thus constrained by the temperature during development. The effect of adult acclimation on heat tolerance was asymmetrical, with a general loss of heat tolerance with age. Surprisingly, the decline in adult heat tolerance at 25°C was decelerated in flies developed at low temperatures. This result was supported by correlated responses in two senescence-associated traits and in accordance with a lower rate of ageing after low temperature development, suggesting that physiological age is not reset at eclosion. The results have profound ecological consequences for populations, as optimal developmental temperatures will be dependent on the thermal conditions faced in the adult stage and the age at which they occur. PMID:27353229

  12. Developmental cuprizone exposure impairs oligodendrocyte lineages differentially in cortical and white matter tissues and suppresses glutamatergic neurogenesis signals and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of rats.

    PubMed

    Abe, Hajime; Saito, Fumiyo; Tanaka, Takeshi; Mizukami, Sayaka; Hasegawa-Baba, Yasuko; Imatanaka, Nobuya; Akahori, Yumi; Yoshida, Toshinori; Shibutani, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Developmental cuprizone (CPZ) exposure impairs rat hippocampal neurogenesis. Here, we captured the developmental neurotoxicity profile of CPZ using a region-specific expression microarray analysis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, corpus callosum, cerebral cortex and cerebellar vermis of rat offspring exposed to 0, 0.1, or 0.4% CPZ in the maternal diet from gestation day 6 to postnatal day (PND) 21. Transcripts of those genes identified as altered were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis on PNDs 21 and 77. Our results showed that transcripts for myelinogenesis-related genes, including Cnp, were selectively downregulated in the cerebral cortex by CPZ at ≥0.1% or 0.4% on PND 21. CPZ at 0.4% decreased immunostaining intensity for 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and CNPase(+) and OLIG2(+) oligodendrocyte densities in the cerebral cortex, whereas CNPase immunostaining intensity alone was decreased in the corpus callosum. By contrast, a striking transcript upregulation for Klotho gene and an increased density of Klotho(+) oligodendrocytes were detected in the corpus callosum at ≥0.1%. In the dentate gyrus, CPZ at ≥0.1% or 0.4% decreased the transcript levels for Gria1, Grin2a and Ptgs2, genes related to the synapse and synaptic transmission, and the number of GRIA1(+) and GRIN2A(+) hilar γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons and cyclooxygenase-2(+) granule cells. All changes were reversed at PND 77. Thus, developmental CPZ exposure reversibly decreased mature oligodendrocytes in both cortical and white matter tissues, and Klotho protected white matter oligodendrocyte growth. CPZ also reversibly targeted glutamatergic signals of GABAergic interneuron to affect dentate gyrus neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in granule cells. PMID:26577399

  13. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3-5- and 17-19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  14. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P.; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M.

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3–5- and 17–19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  15. Motor fMRI and cortical grey matter volume in adults born very preterm

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, E.J.; Froudist-Walsh, S.; Neilan, R.; Nam, K.W.; Giampietro, V.; McGuire, P.; Murray, R.M.; Nosarti, C.

    2014-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of motor planning, initiation and execution in a cohort of young adults (mean age 20 years) who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 weeks of gestation), as these individuals are at increased risk of experiencing neuromotor difficulties compared to controls. A cued motor task was presented to 20 right-handed VPT individuals and 20 controls within a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm. Whole-brain grey matter volume was also quantified and associations with functional data were examined. Despite comparable task performance, fMRI results showed that the VPT group displayed greater brain activation compared to controls in a region comprising the right cerebellum and the lingual, parahippocampal and middle temporal gyri. The VPT group also displayed decreased grey matter volume in the right superior frontal/premotor cortex and left middle temporal gyri. Grey matter volume in the premotor and middle temporal clusters was significantly negatively correlated with BOLD activation in the cerebellum. Overall, these data suggest that preterm birth is associated with functional neuronal differences that persist into adulthood, which are likely to reflect neural reorganisation following early brain injury. PMID:25016248

  16. Restoration of underdeveloped cortical functions: evidence from treatment of adult amblyopia.

    PubMed

    Polat, Uri

    2008-01-01

    Amblyopia is a reduction of visual functions that cannot be attributed directly to the effect of any structural abnormality of the eye or the posterior visual pathway. It is caused by abnormal binocular visual experience early in life, during the 'critical period' that prevents normal development of the visual system. It is widely accepted that therapy can only be effective during the critical period, and that it is not administered after the first decade of life. Here we provide an overview describing a recent finding of visual abnormalities in amblyopia and propose a treatment that we developed based on this finding. Both previous and new results that are presented here clearly show the success of the structured method, targeted at the specific deficiencies in amblyopia, to improve vision in children and adults. Our results suggest that the training was successful in rejuvenating the visual system and in restoring lost development from the sensory obstacle period. It is possible that the perceptual learning method used here can be applied to other sensory and non-sensory brain modules suffering from developmental problems. PMID:18997316

  17. Motor fMRI and cortical grey matter volume in adults born very preterm.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, E J; Froudist-Walsh, S; Neilan, R; Nam, K W; Giampietro, V; McGuire, P; Murray, R M; Nosarti, C

    2014-10-01

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of motor planning, initiation and execution in a cohort of young adults (mean age 20 years) who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 weeks of gestation), as these individuals are at increased risk of experiencing neuromotor difficulties compared to controls. A cued motor task was presented to 20 right-handed VPT individuals and 20 controls within a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm. Whole-brain grey matter volume was also quantified and associations with functional data were examined. Despite comparable task performance, fMRI results showed that the VPT group displayed greater brain activation compared to controls in a region comprising the right cerebellum and the lingual, parahippocampal and middle temporal gyri. The VPT group also displayed decreased grey matter volume in the right superior frontal/premotor cortex and left middle temporal gyri. Grey matter volume in the premotor and middle temporal clusters was significantly negatively correlated with BOLD activation in the cerebellum. Overall, these data suggest that preterm birth is associated with functional neuronal differences that persist into adulthood, which are likely to reflect neural reorganisation following early brain injury. PMID:25016248

  18. Timing of motor cortical stimulation during planar robotic training differentially impacts neuroplasticity in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Massie, Crystal L.; Kantak, Shailesh S.; Narayanan, Priya; Wittenberg, George F.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The objective was to determine how stimulation timing applied during reaching influenced neuroplasticity related to practice. Older adult participants were studied to increase relevance for stroke rehabilitation and aging. Methods Sixteen participants completed 3 sessions of a reaching intervention with 480 planar robotic movement trials. Sub-threshold, single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulations (TMS) were delivered during the late reaction time (LRT) period, when muscle activity exceeded a threshold (EMG-triggered), or randomly. Assessments included motor evoked potentials (MEP), amplitude, and direction of supra-threshold TMS-evoked movements and were calculated as change scores from baseline. Results The direction of TMS-evoked movements significantly changed after reaching practice (p < 0.05), but was not significantly different between conditions. Movement amplitude changes were significantly different between conditions (p < 0.05), with significant increases following the LRT and random conditions. MEP for elbow extensors and flexors, and the shoulder muscle that opposed the practice movement were significantly different between conditions with positive changes following LRT, negative changes following EMG-triggered, and no changes following the random condition. Motor performance including movement time and peak velocity significantly improved following the training but did not differ between conditions. Conclusions The responsiveness of the motor cortex to stimulation was affected positively by stimulation during the late motor response period and negatively during the early movement period, when stimulation was combined with robotic reach practice. Significance The sensitivity of the activated motor cortex to additional stimulation is highly dynamic. PMID:25283712

  19. Cortical activity evoked by an acute painful tissue-damaging stimulus in healthy adult volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Gemma; Lee, Amy; Meek, Judith; Slater, Rebeccah; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Everyday painful experiences are usually single events accompanied by tissue damage, and yet most experimental studies of cutaneous nociceptive processing in the brain use repeated laser, thermal, or electrical stimulations that do not damage the skin. In this study the nociceptive activity in the brain evoked by tissue-damaging skin lance was analyzed with electroencephalography (EEG) in 20 healthy adult volunteers (13 men and 7 women) aged 21–40 yr. Time-frequency analysis of the evoked activity revealed a distinct late event-related vertex potential (lance event-related potential, LERP) at 100–300 ms consisting of a phase-locked energy increase between 1 and 20 Hz (delta-beta bands). A pairwise comparison between lance and sham control stimulation also revealed a period of ultralate stronger desynchronization after lance in the delta band (1–5 Hz). Skin application of mustard oil before lancing, which sensitizes a subpopulation of nociceptors expressing the cation channel TRPA1, did not affect the ultralate desynchronization but reduced the phase-locked energy increase in delta and beta bands, suggesting a central interaction between different modalities of nociceptive inputs. Verbal descriptor screening of individual pain experience revealed that lance pain is predominantly due to Aδ fiber activation, but when individuals describe lances as C fiber mediated, an ultralate delta band event-related desynchronization occurs in the brain-evoked activity. We conclude that pain evoked by acute tissue damage is associated with distinct Aδ and C fiber-mediated patterns of synchronization and desynchronization of EEG oscillations in the brain. PMID:23427303

  20. Molecular Correlates of Cortical Network Modulation by Long-Term Sensory Experience in the Adult Rat Barrel Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vallès, Astrid; Granic, Ivica; De Weerd, Peter; Martens, Gerard J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of cortical network connectivity is crucial for an adaptive response to experience. In the rat barrel cortex, long-term sensory stimulation induces cortical network modifications and neuronal response changes of which the molecular basis is unknown. Here, we show that long-term somatosensory stimulation by enriched environment…

  1. Inhibitory neuron transplantation into adult visual cortex creates a new critical period that rescues impaired vision

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Melissa F.; Figueroa Velez, Dario X.; Guevarra, Roblen P.; Yang, Michael C.; Habeeb, Mariyam; Carathedathu, Mathew C.; Gandhi, Sunil P.

    2015-01-01

    The maturation of inhibitory circuits in the juvenile cortex triggers a critical period of plasticity in visual system development. Although several manipulations of inhibition can alter its timing, none have reactivated critical period plasticity in adulthood. We developed a transplantation method to reactivate critical period plasticity in the adult visual cortex. Transplanted embryonic inhibitory neurons from the medial ganglionic eminence reinstate ocular dominance plasticity in adult recipients. Transplanted inhibitory cells develop cell-type appropriate molecular characteristics and visually evoked responses. In adult mice impaired by deprivation during the juvenile critical period, transplantation also recovers both visual cortical responses and performance on a behavioral test of visual acuity. Plasticity and recovery are induced when the critical period would have occurred in the donor animal. These results reveal that the focal reactivation of visual cortical plasticity using inhibitory cell transplantation creates a new critical period that restores visual perception after childhood deprivation. PMID:25937171

  2. Body image, psychosocial functioning, and personality: how different are adolescents and young adults applying for plastic surgery?

    PubMed

    Simis, K J; Verhulst, F C; Koot, H M

    2001-07-01

    This study addressed three questions: (1) Do adolescents undergoing plastic surgery have a realistic view of their body? (2) How urgent is the psychosocial need of adolescents to undergo plastic surgery? (3) Which relations exist between bodily attitudes and psychosocial functioning and personality? From 1995 to 1997, 184 plastic surgical patients aged 12 to 22, and a comparison group of 684 adolescents and young adults from the general population aged 12 to 22 years, and their parents, were interviewed and completed questionnaires and standardised rating scales. Adolescents accepted for plastic surgery had realistic appearance attitudes and were psychologically healthy overall. Patients were equally satisfied with their overall appearance as the comparison group, but more dissatisfied with the specific body parts concerned for operation, especially when undergoing corrective operations. Patients had measurable appearance-related psychosocial problems. Patient boys reported less self-confidence on social areas than all other groups. There were very few patient-comparison group differences in correlations between bodily and psychosocial variables, indicating that bodily attitudes and satisfaction are not differentially related to psychosocial functioning and self-perception in patients than in peers. We concluded that adolescents accepted for plastic surgery have considerable appearance-related psychosocial problems, patients in the corrective group reporting more so than in the reconstructive group. Plastic surgeons may assume that these adolescents in general have a realistic attitude towards their appearance. are psychologically healthy, and are mainly dissatisfied about the body parts concerned for operation. corrective patients more so than reconstructive patients. Introverted patients may need more attention from plastic surgeons during the psychosocial assessment. PMID:11464971

  3. Birth Weight and Adult IQ, but Not Anxious-Depressive Psychopathology, Are Associated with Cortical Surface Area: A Study in Twins

    PubMed Central

    Córdova-Palomera, Aldo; Fatjó-Vilas, Mar; Falcón, Carles; Bargalló, Nuria; Alemany, Silvia; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Nenadic, Igor; Fañanás, Lourdes

    2015-01-01

    Background Previous research suggests that low birth weight (BW) induces reduced brain cortical surface area (SA) which would persist until at least early adulthood. Moreover, low BW has been linked to psychiatric disorders such as depression and psychological distress, and to altered neurocognitive profiles. Aims We present novel findings obtained by analysing high-resolution structural MRI scans of 48 twins; specifically, we aimed: i) to test the BW-SA association in a middle-aged adult sample; and ii) to assess whether either depression/anxiety disorders or intellectual quotient (IQ) influence the BW-SA link, using a monozygotic (MZ) twin design to separate environmental and genetic effects. Results Both lower BW and decreased IQ were associated with smaller total and regional cortical SA in adulthood. Within a twin pair, lower BW was related to smaller total cortical and regional SA. In contrast, MZ twin differences in SA were not related to differences in either IQ or depression/anxiety disorders. Conclusion The present study supports findings indicating that i) BW has a long-lasting effect on cortical SA, where some familial and environmental influences alter both foetal growth and brain morphology; ii) uniquely environmental factors affecting BW also alter SA; iii) higher IQ correlates with larger SA; and iv) these effects are not modified by internalizing psychopathology. PMID:26086820

  4. Slow cortical potential and theta/beta neurofeedback training in adults: effects on attentional processes and motor system excitability.

    PubMed

    Studer, Petra; Kratz, Oliver; Gevensleben, Holger; Rothenberger, Aribert; Moll, Gunther H; Hautzinger, Martin; Heinrich, Hartmut

    2014-01-01

    Neurofeedback (NF) is being successfully applied, among others, in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B), and slow cortical potential (SCP) training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present, randomized, controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59), the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. Neurofeedback training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol-specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects did not reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol-specific effects on

  5. Slow cortical potential and theta/beta neurofeedback training in adults: effects on attentional processes and motor system excitability

    PubMed Central

    Studer, Petra; Kratz, Oliver; Gevensleben, Holger; Rothenberger, Aribert; Moll, Gunther H.; Hautzinger, Martin; Heinrich, Hartmut

    2014-01-01

    Neurofeedback (NF) is being successfully applied, among others, in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B), and slow cortical potential (SCP) training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present, randomized, controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59), the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. Neurofeedback training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol-specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects did not reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol-specific effects on

  6. Structural and Functional Plasticity in Long-term Cultures of Adult Ventricular Myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Joshi-Mukherjee, Rosy; Dick, Ivy E.; Liu, Ting; O'Rourke, Brian; Yue, David T.; Tung, Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Cultured heart cells have long been valuable for characterizing biological mechanism and disease pathogenesis. However, these preparations have limitations, relating to immaturity in key properties like excitation-contraction coupling and β-adrenergic stimulation. Progressive attenuation of the latter is intimately related to pathogenesis and therapy in heart failure. Highly valuable would be a long-term culture system that emulates the structural and functional changes that accompany disease and development, while concurrently permitting ready access to underlying molecular events. Accordingly, we here produce functional monolayers of adult guinea-pig ventricular myocytes (aGPVMs) that can be maintained in long-term culture for several weeks. At baseline, these monolayers exhibit considerable myofibrillar organization and a significant contribution of sarcoplasmic reticular (SR) Ca2+ release to global Ca2+ transients. In terms of electrical signaling, these monolayers support propagated electrical activity and manifest monophasic restitution of action-potential duration and conduction velocity. Intriguingly, β-adrenergic stimulation increases chronotropy but not inotropy, indicating selective maintenance of β-adrenergic signaling. It is interesting that this overall phenotypic profile is not fixed, but can be readily enhanced by chronic electrical stimulation of cultures. This simple environmental cue significantly enhances myofibrillar organization as well as β-adrenergic sensitivity. In particular, the chronotropic response increased, and an inotropic effect now emerges, mimicking a reversal of the progression seen in heart failure. Thus, these aGPVM monolayer cultures offer a valuable platform for clarifying long elusive features of β-adrenergic signaling and its plasticity. PMID:24076394

  7. Interhemispheric Plasticity Protects the Deafferented Somatosensory Cortex from Functional Takeover After Nerve Injury

    PubMed Central

    Koretsky, Alan P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Functional changes across brain hemispheres have been reported after unilateral cortical or peripheral nerve injury. Interhemispheric callosal connections usually underlie this cortico-cortical plasticity. However, the effect of the altered callosal inputs on local cortical plasticity in the adult brain is not well studied. Ipsilateral functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation has been reliably detected in the deafferented barrel cortex (BC) at 2 weeks after unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) in adult rats. The ipsilateral fMRI signal relies on callosal-mediated interhemispheric plasticity. This form of interhemispheric plasticity provides a good chronic model to study the interaction between callosal inputs and local cortical plasticity. The receptive field of forepaw in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is adjacent to the BC, was mapped with fMRI. The S1 receptive field expanded to take over a portion of the BC in 2 weeks after both ascending inputs and callosal inputs were removed in IO rats with ablated contralateral BC (IO+ablation). This expansion, estimated specifically by fMRI mapping, is significantly larger than what has been observed in the IO rats with intact callosal connectivity, as well as in the rats with sham surgery. This work indicates that altered callosal inputs prevent the functional takeover of the deafferented BC from adjacent cortices and may help preserve the functional identity of the BC. PMID:25117691

  8. The Neural Plasticity Theory of Depression: Assessing the Roles of Adult Neurogenesis and PSA-NCAM within the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wainwright, Steven R.; Galea, Liisa A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is a devastating and prevalent disease, with profound effects on neural structure and function; however the etiology and neuropathology of depression remain poorly understood. Though antidepressant drugs exist, they are not ideal, as only a segment of patients are effectively treated, therapeutic onset is delayed, and the exact mechanism of these drugs remains to be elucidated. Several theories of depression do exist, including modulation of monoaminergic neurotransmission, alterations in neurotrophic factors, and the upregulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and are briefly mentioned in the review. However none of these theories sufficiently explains the pathology and treatment of depression unto itself. Recently, neural plasticity theories of depression have postulated that multiple aspects of brain plasticity, beyond neurogenesis, may bridge the prevailing theories. The term “neural plasticity” encompasses an array of mechanisms, from the birth, survival, migration, and integration of new neurons to neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and the modulation of mature synapses. This review critically assesses the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and the cell adhesion molecule, PSA-NCAM (which is known to be involved in many facets of neural plasticity), in depression and antidepressant treatment. PMID:23691371

  9. Memory plasticity in older adults: Cognitive predictors of training response and maintenance following learning of number-consonant mnemonic.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Petra; Rönnlund, Michael; Derwinger-Hallberg, Anna; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna

    2016-10-01

    The study investigated the relationship between cognitive factors and gains in number recall following training in a number-consonant mnemonic in a sample of 112 older adults (M = 70.9 years). The cognitive factors examined included baseline episodic memory, working memory, processing speed, and verbal knowledge. In addition, predictors of maintenance of gains to a follow-up assessment, eight months later, were examined. Whereas working memory was a prominent predictor of baseline recall, the magnitude of gains in recall from pre- to post-test assessments were predicted by baseline episodic memory, processing speed, and verbal knowledge. Verbal knowledge was the only significant predictor of maintenance. Collectively, the results indicate the need to consider multiple factors to account for individual differences in memory plasticity. The potential contribution of additional factors to individual differences in memory plasticity is discussed. PMID:26043066

  10. Plasticity of synaptic connections in sensory-motor pathways of the adult locust flight system.

    PubMed

    Wolf, H; Büschges, A

    1997-09-01

    We investigated possible roles of retrograde signals and competitive interactions in the lesion-induced reorganization of synaptic contacts in the locust CNS. Neuronal plasticity is elicited in the adult flight system by removal of afferents from the tegula, a mechanoreceptor organ at the base of the wing. We severed one hindwing organ and studied the resulting rearrangement of synaptic contacts between flight interneurons and afferent neurons from the remaining three tegulae (2 forewing, 1 hindwing). This was done by electric stimulation of afferents and intracellular recording from interneurons (and occasionally motoneurons). Two to three weeks after unilateral tegula lesion, connections between tegula afferents and flight interneurons were altered in the following way. 1) Axons from the forewing tegula on the operated side had established new synaptic contacts with metathoracic elevator interneurons. In addition, the amplitude of compound excitatory postsynaptic potentials elicited by electric stimulation was increased, indicating that a larger number of afferents connected to any given interneuron. 2) On the side contralateral to the lesion, connectivity between axons from the forewing tegula and elevator interneurons was decreased. 3) The efficacy of the (remaining) hindwing afferents appeared to be increased with regard to both synaptic transmission to interneurons and impact on flight motor pattern. 4) Flight motoneurons, which are normally restricted to the ipsilateral hemiganglion, sprouted across the ganglion midline after unilateral tegula removal and apparently established new synaptic contacts with tegula afferents on that side. The changes on the operated side are interpreted as occupation of synaptic space vacated on the interneurons by the severed hindwing afferents. On the contralateral side, the changes in synaptic contact must be elicited by retrograde signals from bilaterally arborizing flight interneurons, because tegula projections remain

  11. Plasticity of Attentional Functions in Older Adults after Non-Action Video Game Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Mayas, Julia; Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Andrés, Pilar; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2014-01-01

    A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616 PMID:24647551

  12. 3D Standard Brain of the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Castaneum: A Tool to Study Metamorphic Development and Adult Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Dreyer, David; Vitt, Holger; Dippel, Stefan; Goetz, Brigitte; el Jundi, Basil; Kollmann, Martin; Huetteroth, Wolf; Schachtner, Joachim

    2009-01-01

    The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is emerging as a further standard insect model beside Drosophila. Its genome is fully sequenced and it is susceptible for genetic manipulations including RNA-interference. We use this beetle to study adult brain development and plasticity primarily with respect to the olfactory system. In the current study, we provide 3D standard brain atlases of freshly eclosed adult female and male beetles (A0). The atlases include eight paired and three unpaired neuropils including antennal lobes (ALs), optic lobe neuropils, mushroom body calyces and pedunculi, and central complex. For each of the two standard brains, we averaged brain areas of 20 individual brains. Additionally, we characterized eight selected olfactory glomeruli from 10 A0 female and male beetles respectively, which we could unequivocally recognize from individual to individual owing to their size and typical position in the ALs. In summary, comparison of the averaged neuropil volumes revealed no sexual dimorphism in any of the reconstructed neuropils in A0 Tribolium brains. Both, the female and male 3D standard brain are also used for interspecies comparisons, and, importantly, will serve as future volumetric references after genetical manipulation especially regarding metamorphic development and adult plasticity. PMID:20339482

  13. Adult Thymus Contains FoxN1− Epithelial Stem Cells that Are Bipotent for Medullary and Cortical Thymic Epithelial Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Ucar, Ahmet; Ucar, Olga; Klug, Paula; Matt, Sonja; Brunk, Fabian; Hofmann, Thomas G.; Kyewski, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Summary Within the thymus, two major thymic epithelial cell (TEC) subsets—cortical and medullary TECs—provide unique structural and functional niches for T cell development and establishment of central tolerance. Both lineages are believed to originate from a common progenitor cell, yet the cellular and molecular identity of these bipotent TEC progenitors/stem cells remains ill defined. Here we identify rare stromal cells in the murine adult thymus, which under low-attachment conditions formed spheres (termed “thymospheres”). These thymosphere-forming cells (TSFCs) displayed the stemness features of being slow cycling, self-renewing, and bipotent. TSFCs could be significantly enriched based on their distinct surface antigen phenotype. The FoxN1 transcription factor was dispensable for TSFCs maintenance in situ and for commitment to the medullary and cortical TEC lineages. In summary, this study presents the characterization of the adult thymic epithelial stem cells and demonstrates the dispensability of FoxN1 function for their stemness. PMID:25148026

  14. Early injury to cortical and cancellous bone from induction chemotherapy for adolescents and young adults treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Orgel, E; Mueske, N M; Wren, T A L; Gilsanz, V; Butturini, A M; Freyer, D R; Mittelman, S D

    2016-04-01

    Diminished bone density and skeletal fractures are common morbidities during and following therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). While cumulative doses of osteotoxic chemotherapy for ALL have been reported to adversely impact bone density, the timing of onset of this effect as well as other changes to bone structure is not well characterized. We therefore conducted a prospective cohort study in pre-adolescent and adolescent patients (10-21years) newly diagnosed with ALL (n=38) to explore leukemia-related changes to bone at diagnosis and the subsequent impact of the first phase of chemotherapy ("Induction"). Using quantitative computerized tomography (QCT), we found that pre-chemotherapy bone properties were similar to age- and sex-matched controls. Subsequently over the one month Induction period, however, cancellous volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) decreased markedly (-26.8%, p<0.001) with sparing of cortical vBMD (tibia -0.0%, p=0.860, femur -0.7%, p=0.290). The tibia underwent significant cortical thinning (average cortical thickness-1.2%, p<0.001; cortical area-0.4%, p=0.014), while the femur was less affected. Areal BMD (aBMD) concurrently measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) underestimated changes from baseline as compared to vBMD. Biochemical evidence revealed prevalent Vitamin D insufficiency and a net resorptive state at start and end of Induction. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that significant alterations to cancellous and cortical bone develop during the first month of treatment, far earlier during ALL therapy than previously considered. Given that osteotoxic chemotherapy is integral to curative regimens for ALL, these results provide reason to re-evaluate traditional approaches toward chemotherapy-associated bone toxicity and highlight the urgent need for investigation into interventions to mitigate this common adverse effect. PMID:26851412

  15. Cognitive and neural plasticity in older adults' prospective memory following training with the Virtual Week computer game.

    PubMed

    Rose, Nathan S; Rendell, Peter G; Hering, Alexandra; Kliegel, Matthias; Bidelman, Gavin M; Craik, Fergus I M

    2015-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) - the ability to remember and successfully execute our intentions and planned activities - is critical for functional independence and declines with age, yet few studies have attempted to train PM in older adults. We developed a PM training program using the Virtual Week computer game. Trained participants played the game in 12, 1-h sessions over 1 month. Measures of neuropsychological functions, lab-based PM, event-related potentials (ERPs) during performance on a lab-based PM task, instrumental activities of daily living, and real-world PM were assessed before and after training. Performance was compared to both no-contact and active (music training) control groups. PM on the Virtual Week game dramatically improved following training relative to controls, suggesting PM plasticity is preserved in older adults. Relative to control participants, training did not produce reliable transfer to laboratory-based tasks, but was associated with a reduction of an ERP component (sustained negativity over occipito-parietal cortex) associated with processing PM cues, indicative of more automatic PM retrieval. Most importantly, training produced far transfer to real-world outcomes including improvements in performance on real-world PM and activities of daily living. Real-world gains were not observed in either control group. Our findings demonstrate that short-term training with the Virtual Week game produces cognitive and neural plasticity that may result in real-world benefits to supporting functional independence in older adulthood. PMID:26578936

  16. Comparing plastic ingestion in juvenile and adult stranded short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Acampora, Heidi; Schuyler, Qamar A; Townsend, Kathy A; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2014-01-15

    Numerous species of seabirds have been shown to ingest anthropogenic debris, but few studies have compared ingestion rates between adults and juveniles of the same species. We investigated marine debris ingestion by short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) obtained through two stranding events on North Stradbroke Island, Australia in 2010 (n=102; adult) and 2012 (n=27; juveniles). Necropsies were conducted and solid contents found in guts were categorized into type and color. Over 67% of birds ingested anthropogenic debris: 399 pieces of debris were identified. We found no significant relationship between body condition of birds which had ingested anthropogenic debris and those that had not. Juvenile birds were more likely to ingest debris than were adult birds and juveniles ingested significantly more pieces of debris than did adults. Male and female birds ingested similar amounts and weights of debris. To determine if P. tenuirostris actively selects for certain types of debris, we compared ingested debris to samples obtained from boat-based tows. Significant differences were found, suggesting that the birds select for hard plastic, rubber and balloons. PMID:24295596

  17. Impaired hippocampal plasticity and altered neurogenesis in adult Ube3a maternal deficient mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

    PubMed

    Mardirossian, Sandrine; Rampon, Claire; Salvert, Denise; Fort, Patrice; Sarda, Nicole

    2009-12-01

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mental retardation, seizures and sleep disturbances. It results from lack of the functional maternal allele of UBE3A gene. Ube3a maternal-deficient mice (Ube3a m-/p+), animal models for AS, are impaired in hippocampal-dependent learning tasks as compared with control (Ube3a m+/p+) mice. We first examined the basal expression of immediate early genes which expression is required for synaptic plasticity and memory formation. We found that basal expression of c-fos and Arc genes is reduced in the DG of Ube3a maternal deficient mice compared to their non-transgenic littermates. We then examined whether adult hippocampal neurogenesis, which likely serves as a mechanism toward brain plasticity, is altered in these transgenic mice. Neurogenesis occurs throughout life in mammalian dentate gyrus (DG) and recent findings suggest that newborn granule cells are involved in some forms of learning and memory. Whether maternal Ube3a deletion is detrimental on hippocampal neurogenesis is unclear. Herein, we show, using the mitotic marker Ki67, the birthdating marker 5-bromo-2'-dexoyuridine (BrdU) and the marker doublecortin (DCX) to respectively label cell proliferation, cell survival or young neuron production, that the Ube3a maternal deletion does not affect the proliferation nor the survival of newborn cells in the hippocampus. In contrast, using the postmitotic neuronal marker (NeuN), we show that Ube3a maternal deletion is associated with a lower fraction of BrdU+/NeuN+ newborn neurons among the population of surviving new cells in the hippocampus. Collectively, these findings suggest that some aspects of adult neurogenesis and plasticity are affected by Ube3a deletion and may contribute to the hippocampal dysfunction observed in AS mice. PMID:19782683

  18. Drawing enhances cross-modal memory plasticity in the human brain: a case study in a totally blind adult.

    PubMed

    Likova, Lora T

    2012-01-01

    In a memory-guided drawing task under blindfolded conditions, we have recently used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that the primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as the visuo-spatial buffer, or "sketchpad," for working memory. The results implied, however, a modality-independent or amodal form of its operation. In the present study, to validate the role of V1 in non-visual memory, we eliminated not only the visual input but all levels of visual processing by replicating the paradigm in a congenitally blind individual. Our novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic method was used to train this totally blind subject to draw complex images guided solely by tactile memory. Control tasks of tactile exploration and memorization of the image to be drawn, and memory-free scribbling were also included. FMRI was run before training and after training. Remarkably, V1 of this congenitally blind individual, which before training exhibited noisy, immature, and non-specific responses, after training produced full-fledged response time-courses specific to the tactile-memory drawing task. The results reveal the operation of a rapid training-based plasticity mechanism that recruits the resources of V1 in the process of learning to draw. The learning paradigm allowed us to investigate for the first time the evolution of plastic re-assignment in V1 in a congenitally blind subject. These findings are consistent with a non-visual memory involvement of V1, and specifically imply that the observed cortical reorganization can be empowered by the process of learning to draw. PMID:22593738

  19. Drawing enhances cross-modal memory plasticity in the human brain: a case study in a totally blind adult

    PubMed Central

    Likova, Lora T.

    2012-01-01

    In a memory-guided drawing task under blindfolded conditions, we have recently used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that the primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as the visuo-spatial buffer, or “sketchpad,” for working memory. The results implied, however, a modality-independent or amodal form of its operation. In the present study, to validate the role of V1 in non-visual memory, we eliminated not only the visual input but all levels of visual processing by replicating the paradigm in a congenitally blind individual. Our novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic method was used to train this totally blind subject to draw complex images guided solely by tactile memory. Control tasks of tactile exploration and memorization of the image to be drawn, and memory-free scribbling were also included. FMRI was run before training and after training. Remarkably, V1 of this congenitally blind individual, which before training exhibited noisy, immature, and non-specific responses, after training produced full-fledged response time-courses specific to the tactile-memory drawing task. The results reveal the operation of a rapid training-based plasticity mechanism that recruits the resources of V1 in the process of learning to draw. The learning paradigm allowed us to investigate for the first time the evolution of plastic re-assignment in V1 in a congenitally blind subject. These findings are consistent with a non-visual memory involvement of V1, and specifically imply that the observed cortical reorganization can be empowered by the process of learning to draw. PMID:22593738

  20. Hearing Aid-Induced Plasticity in the Auditory System of Older Adults: Evidence from Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavie, Limor; Banai, Karen; Karni, Avi; Attias, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We tested whether using hearing aids can improve unaided performance in speech perception tasks in older adults with hearing impairment. Method: Unaided performance was evaluated in dichotic listening and speech-­in-­noise tests in 47 older adults with hearing impairment; 36 participants in 3 study groups were tested before hearing aid…

  1. High neuronal/astroglial differentiation plasticity of adult rat hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells in response to the effects of embryonic and adult cerebrospinal fluids

    PubMed Central

    Peirouvi, T.; Yekani, F.; Azarnia, M.; Massumi, M.

    2015-01-01

    Hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells (hipp-NS/PCs) of the adult mammalian brain are important sources of neuronal and gial cell production. In this study, the main goal is to investigate the plasticity of these cells in neuronal/astroglial differentiations. To this end, the differentiation of the hipp-NS/PCs isolated from 3-month-old Wistar rats was investigated in response to the embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (E-CSF) including E13.5, E17-CSF and the adult cerebrospinal fluid (A-CSF), all extracted from rats. CSF samples were selected based on their effects on cell behavioral parameters. Primary cell culture was performed in the presence of either normal or high levels of KCL in a culture medium. High levels of KCL cause cell depolarization, and thus the activation of quiescent NSCs. Results from immunocytochemistry (ICC) and semi-quantitative RT-PCR (sRT-PCR) techniques showed that in E-CSF-treated groups, neuronal differentiation increased (E17>E13.5). In contrast, A-CSF decreased and increased neuronal and astroglial differentiations, respectively. Cell survivability and/or proliferation (S/P), evaluated by an MTT assay, increased by E13.5 CSF, but decreased by both E17 CSF and A-CSF. Based on the results, it is finally concluded that adult rat hippocampal proliferative cells are not restricted progenitors but rather show high plasticity in neuronal/astroglial differentiation according to the effects of CSF samples. In addition, using high concentrations of KCL in the primary cell culture led to an increase in the number of NSCs, which in turn resulted in the increase in neuronal or astroglial differentiations after CSF treatment. PMID:27175157

  2. Normative shifts of cortical mechanisms of encoding contribute to adult age differences in visual-spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Störmer, Viola S; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2013-06-01

    The capacity of visual-spatial working memory (WM) declines from early to late adulthood. Recent attempts at identifying neural correlates of WM capacity decline have focused on the maintenance phase of WM. Here, we investigate neural mechanisms during the encoding phase as another potential mechanism contributing to adult age differences in WM capacity. We used electroencephalography to track neural activity during encoding and maintenance on a millisecond timescale in 35 younger and 35 older adults performing a visual-spatial WM task. As predicted, we observed pronounced age differences in ERP indicators of WM encoding: Younger adults showed attentional selection during item encoding (N2pc component), but this selection mechanism was greatly attenuated in older adults. Conversely, older adults showed more pronounced signs of early perceptual stimulus processing (N1 component) than younger adults. The amplitude modulation of the N1 component predicted WM capacity in older adults, whereas the attentional amplitude modulation of the N2pc component predicted WM capacity in younger adults. Our findings suggest that adult age differences in mechanisms of WM encoding contribute to adult age differences in limits of visual-spatial WM capacity. PMID:23415947

  3. Comprehensive evaluation of cortical structure abnormalities in drug-naïve, adult patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: a surface-based morphometry study.

    PubMed

    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan; Zutshi, Amit; Jindal, Sachin; Srikanth, Subbamma G; Kovoor, Jerry M E; Kumar, J Keshav; Janardhan Reddy, Y C

    2012-09-01

    The study objective was to comprehensively evaluate drug-naïve, adult patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for cortical structure abnormalities in comparison with healthy controls. In this cross-sectional study of case-control design, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (1-mm) was performed in drug-naïve OCD patients (N = 50) & age- sex-, education- and handedness-matched healthy controls (N = 40). We examined cortical volume, thickness, surface area & local Gyrification Index (LGI) through a completely automated surface-based morphometric analysis using FreeSurfer software. OCD symptoms and insight were assessed using Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Symptom (Y-BOCS) check-list and severity scale. Illness severity was assessed using Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGI-S) Scale. OCD patients had significantly deficient volume, thickness and surface area of right anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG). Right lingual gyrus surface area was found to be significantly decreased in patients. Y-BOCS obsession score had significant negative correlation with left frontal pole volume. Y-BOCS compulsion score had significant negative correlations with right ACG volume and surface area and right lateral orbitofrontal cortex LGI. CGI-Severity score had significant negative correlations with right lingual gyrus volume, thickness and surface area as well as right lateral orbitofrontal area. Y-BOCS insight score showed a significant negative correlation with LGI of left medial OFC and left rostral ACG. Identification of novel deficits involving occipital brain regions and first-time observations of relevant correlations between various illness characteristics and cortical measures in OCD patients supports a network involving anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal and occipital brain regions in the pathogenesis of OCD. PMID:22770508

  4. The Effect of Short-Term Auditory Training on Speech in Noise Perception and Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials in Adults with Cochlear Implants.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Nathan; Purdy, Suzanne C; Sharma, Mridula; Giles, Ellen; Narne, Vijay

    2016-02-01

    This study investigated whether a short intensive psychophysical auditory training program is associated with speech perception benefits and changes in cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) in adult cochlear implant (CI) users. Ten adult implant recipients trained approximately 7 hours on psychophysical tasks (Gap-in-Noise Detection, Frequency Discrimination, Spectral Rippled Noise [SRN], Iterated Rippled Noise, Temporal Modulation). Speech performance was assessed before and after training using Lexical Neighborhood Test (LNT) words in quiet and in eight-speaker babble. CAEPs evoked by a natural speech stimulus /baba/ with varying syllable stress were assessed pre- and post-training, in quiet and in noise. SRN psychophysical thresholds showed a significant improvement (78% on average) over the training period, but performance on other psychophysical tasks did not change. LNT scores in noise improved significantly post-training by 11% on average compared with three pretraining baseline measures. N1P2 amplitude changed post-training for /baba/ in quiet (p = 0.005, visit 3 pretraining versus visit 4 post-training). CAEP changes did not correlate with behavioral measures. CI recipients' clinical records indicated a plateau in speech perception performance prior to participation in the study. A short period of intensive psychophysical training produced small but significant gains in speech perception in noise and spectral discrimination ability. There remain questions about the most appropriate type of training and the duration or dosage of training that provides the most robust outcomes for adults with CIs. PMID:27587925

  5. Physiological role for amyloid precursor protein in adult experience-dependent plasticity.

    PubMed

    Marik, Sally A; Olsen, Olav; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Gilbert, Charles D

    2016-07-12

    Changes in neural circuits after experience-dependent plasticity are brought about by the formation of new circuits via axonal growth and pruning. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology, adeno-associated virus-delivered fluorescent proteins, analysis of mutant mice, and two-photon microscopy, we follow long-range horizontally projecting axons in primary somatosensory cortex before and after selective whisker plucking. Whisker plucking induces axonal growth and pruning of horizontal projecting axons from neurons located in the surrounding intact whisker representations. We report that amyloid precursor protein is crucial for axonal pruning and contributes in a cell autonomous way. PMID:27354516

  6. Notch Is Required in Adult Drosophila Sensory Neurons for Morphological and Functional Plasticity of the Olfactory Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Struhl, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convey odor information to the central brain, but like other sensory neurons were thought to play a passive role in memory formation and storage. Here we show that Notch, part of an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway, is required in adult Drosophila ORNs for the structural and functional plasticity of olfactory glomeruli that is induced by chronic odor exposure. Specifically, we show that Notch activity in ORNs is necessary for the odor specific increase in the volume of glomeruli that occurs as a consequence of prolonged odor exposure. Calcium imaging experiments indicate that Notch in ORNs is also required for the chronic odor induced changes in the physiology of ORNs and the ensuing changes in the physiological response of their second order projection neurons (PNs). We further show that Notch in ORNs acts by both canonical cleavage-dependent and non-canonical cleavage-independent pathways. The Notch ligand Delta (Dl) in PNs switches the balance between the pathways. These data define a circuit whereby, in conjunction with odor, N activity in the periphery regulates the activity of neurons in the central brain and Dl in the central brain regulates N activity in the periphery. Our work highlights the importance of experience dependent plasticity at the first olfactory synapse. PMID:26011623

  7. Remodeling sensory cortical maps implants specific behavioral memory.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, K M; Miasnikov, A A; Weinberger, N M

    2013-08-29

    Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich in sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels the adult sensory cortex. Here, expansion in the primary auditory cortical (A1) tonotopic map of rats was induced by pairing a 3.66-kHz tone with activation of the nucleus basalis, mimicking the effects of natural associative learning. Remodeling of A1 produced de novo specific behavioral memory, but neither memory nor plasticity was consistently at the frequency of the paired tone, which typically decreased in A1 representation. Rather, there was a specific match between individual subjects' area of expansion and the tone that was strongest in each animal's memory, as determined by post-training frequency generalization gradients. These findings provide the first demonstration of a match between the artificial induction of specific neural representational plasticity and artificial induction of behavioral memory. As such, together with prior and present findings for detection, correlation and mimicry of plasticity with the acquisition of memory, they satisfy a key criterion for neural substrates of memory. This demonstrates that directly remodeling sensory cortical maps is sufficient for the specificity of memory formation. PMID:23639876

  8. Gene-environment interaction in programming hippocampal plasticity: focus on adult neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Koehl, Muriel

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between genes and environment are a critical feature of development and both contribute to shape individuality. They are at the core of vulnerability resiliency for mental illnesses. During the early postnatal period, several brain structures involved in cognitive and emotional processing, such as the hippocampus, still develop and it is likely that interferences with this neuronal development, which is genetically determined, might lead to long-lasting structural and functional consequences and increase the risk of developing psychopathology. One particular target is adult neurogenesis, which is involved in the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes. Insights into the dynamic interplay between genes and environmental factors in setting up individual rates of neurogenesis have come from laboratory studies exploring experience-dependent changes in adult neurogenesis as a function of individual’s genetic makeup. These studies have implications for our understanding of the mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis, which could constitute a link between environmental challenges and psychopathology. PMID:26300723

  9. Relationships between in vivo microdamage and the remarkable regional material and strain heterogeneity of cortical bone of adult deer, elk, sheep and horse calcanei.

    PubMed

    Skedros, John G; Sybrowsky, Christian L; Anderson, Wm Erick; Chow, Frank

    2011-12-01

    Natural loading of the calcanei of deer, elk, sheep and horses produces marked regional differences in prevalent/predominant strain modes: compression in the dorsal cortex, shear in medial-lateral cortices, and tension/shear in the plantar cortex. This consistent non-uniform strain distribution is useful for investigating mechanisms that mediate the development of the remarkable regional material variations of these bones (e.g. collagen orientation, mineralization, remodeling rates and secondary osteon morphotypes, size and population density). Regional differences in strain-mode-specific microdamage prevalence and/or morphology might evoke and sustain the remodeling that produces this material heterogeneity in accordance with local strain characteristics. Adult calcanei from 11 animals of each species (deer, elk, sheep and horses) were transversely sectioned and examined using light and confocal microscopy. With light microscopy, 20 linear microcracks were identified (deer: 10; elk: six; horse: four; sheep: none), and with confocal microscopy substantially more microdamage with typically non-linear morphology was identified (deer: 45; elk: 24; horse: 15; sheep: none). No clear regional patterns of strain-mode-specific microdamage were found in the three species with microdamage. In these species, the highest overall concentrations occurred in the plantar cortex. This might reflect increased susceptibility of microdamage in habitual tension/shear. Absence of detectable microdamage in sheep calcanei may represent the (presumably) relatively greater physical activity of deer, elk and horses. Absence of differences in microdamage prevalence/morphology between dorsal, medial and lateral cortices of these bones, and the general absence of spatial patterns of strain-mode-specific microdamage, might reflect the prior emergence of non-uniform osteon-mediated adaptations that reduce deleterious concentrations of microdamage by the adult stage of bone development. PMID

  10. Relationships between in vivo microdamage and the remarkable regional material and strain heterogeneity of cortical bone of adult deer, elk, sheep and horse calcanei

    PubMed Central

    Skedros, John G; Sybrowsky, Christian L; Anderson, Wm Erick; Chow, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Natural loading of the calcanei of deer, elk, sheep and horses produces marked regional differences in prevalent/predominant strain modes: compression in the dorsal cortex, shear in medial–lateral cortices, and tension/shear in the plantar cortex. This consistent non-uniform strain distribution is useful for investigating mechanisms that mediate the development of the remarkable regional material variations of these bones (e.g. collagen orientation, mineralization, remodeling rates and secondary osteon morphotypes, size and population density). Regional differences in strain-mode-specific microdamage prevalence and/or morphology might evoke and sustain the remodeling that produces this material heterogeneity in accordance with local strain characteristics. Adult calcanei from 11 animals of each species (deer, elk, sheep and horses) were transversely sectioned and examined using light and confocal microscopy. With light microscopy, 20 linear microcracks were identified (deer: 10; elk: six; horse: four; sheep: none), and with confocal microscopy substantially more microdamage with typically non-linear morphology was identified (deer: 45; elk: 24; horse: 15; sheep: none). No clear regional patterns of strain-mode-specific microdamage were found in the three species with microdamage. In these species, the highest overall concentrations occurred in the plantar cortex. This might reflect increased susceptibility of microdamage in habitual tension/shear. Absence of detectable microdamage in sheep calcanei may represent the (presumably) relatively greater physical activity of deer, elk and horses. Absence of differences in microdamage prevalence/morphology between dorsal, medial and lateral cortices of these bones, and the general absence of spatial patterns of strain-mode-specific microdamage, might reflect the prior emergence of non-uniform osteon-mediated adaptations that reduce deleterious concentrations of microdamage by the adult stage of bone development. PMID

  11. On the plasticity of semantic generalizations: Children and adults modify their verb lexicalization biases in response to changing input

    PubMed Central

    Shafto, Carissa L.; Havasi, Catherine; Snedeker, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Languages differ in how they package the components of an event into words to form sentences. For example, while some languages typically encode the manner of motion in the verb (e.g., running), others more often use verbs that encode the path (e.g., ascending). Prior research has demonstrated that children and adults have lexicalization biases; i.e. they assume that novel motion verbs will reflect the dominant pattern of their own language. These experiments explored the plasticity of these biases. In Experiments 1 and 2 we taught English-speaking adults motion verbs, varying the proportion of manner and path verbs in the training set; their interpretation of subsequent verbs closely reflected the probabilistic variation in the input. In Experiments 3 and 4, five-year-old children also systematically shifted their lexicalization biases to reflect the verbs that they were taught. We conclude that lexicalization biases are adaptive inferences about verb meaning that are updated on the basis of experience. PMID:24001149

  12. Proliferation and Glia-Directed Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells in the Subventricular Zone of the Lateral Ventricle and the Migratory Pathway to the Lesions after Cortical Devascularization of Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Feng; Bai, Hua-Jing; Liu, Jun-Qi; Tian, Mo; Wang, Yong-Xue; Niu, Xin; Si, Yin-Chu

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the effects of cortical devascularization on the proliferation, differentiation, and migration of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle of adult rats. 60 adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into control group and devascularized group. At 15 and 30 days after cerebral cortices were devascularized, rats were euthanized and immunohistochemical analysis was performed. The number of PCNA-, Vimentin-, and GFAP-positive cells in the bilateral SVZ of the lateral wall and the superior wall of the lateral ventricles of 15- and 30-day devascularized groups increased significantly compared with the control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). The area density of PCNA-, Vimentin-, and GFAP-positive cells in cortical lesions of 15- and 30-day devascularized groups increased significantly compared with the control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). PCNA-, GFAP-, and Vimentin-positive cells in the SVZ migrated through the rostral migratory stream (RMS), and PCNA-, GFAP-, and Vimentin-positive cells from both the ipsilateral and contralateral dorsolateral SVZ (dl-SVZ) migrated into the corpus callosum (CC) and accumulated, forming a migratory pathway within the CC to the lesioned site. Our study suggested that cortical devascularization induced proliferation, glia-directed differentiation, and migration of NSCs from the SVZ through the RMS or directly to the corpus callosum and finally migrating radially to cortical lesions. This may play a significant role in neural repair. PMID:27294116

  13. Deficient plasticity in the hippocampus and the spiral of addiction: focus on adult neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Canales, Juan J

    2013-01-01

    Addiction is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder which causes disruption at multiple levels, including cognitive, emotional, and behavioral domains. Traditional biological theories of addiction have focused on the mesolimbic dopamine pathway and the nucleus accumbens as anatomical substrates mediating addictive-like behaviors. More recently, we have begun to recognize the engagement and dynamic influence of a much broader circuitry which encompasses the frontal cortex, the amygdala, and the hippocampus. In particular, neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus has become a major focus of attention due to its ability to influence memory, motivation, and affect, all of which are disrupted in addiction. First, I summarize toxicological data that reveal strongly suppressive effects of drug exposure on adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Then, I discuss the impact of deficient neurogenesis on learning and memory function, stress responsiveness and affective behavior, as they relate to addiction. Finally, I examine recent behavioral observations that implicate neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus in the emergence and maintenance of addictive behavior. The evidence reviewed here suggests that deficient neurogenesis is associated with several components of the downward spiraling loop that characterizes addiction, including elevated sensitivity to drug-induced reward and reinforcement, enhanced neurohormonal responsiveness, emergence of a negative affective state, memory impairment, and inflexible behavior. PMID:22976276

  14. Oxytocin enables maternal behaviour by balancing cortical inhibition.

    PubMed

    Marlin, Bianca J; Mitre, Mariela; D'amour, James A; Chao, Moses V; Froemke, Robert C

    2015-04-23

    Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behaviour. However, little is known about when, where and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here we show how oxytocin enables pup retrieval behaviour in female mice by enhancing auditory cortical pup call responses. Retrieval behaviour required the left but not right auditory cortex, was accelerated by oxytocin in the left auditory cortex, and oxytocin receptors were preferentially expressed in the left auditory cortex. Neural responses to pup calls were lateralized, with co-tuned and temporally precise excitatory and inhibitory responses in the left cortex of maternal but not pup-naive adults. Finally, pairing calls with oxytocin enhanced responses by balancing the magnitude and timing of inhibition with excitation. Our results describe fundamental synaptic mechanisms by which oxytocin increases the salience of acoustic social stimuli. Furthermore, oxytocin-induced plasticity provides a biological basis for lateralization of auditory cortical processing. PMID:25874674

  15. Oxytocin Enables Maternal Behavior by Balancing Cortical Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Marlin, Bianca J.; Mitre, Mariela; D’amour, James A.; Chao, Moses V.; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behavior. However, little is known about when, where, and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here we show how oxytocin enables pup retrieval behavior in female mice by enhancing auditory cortical pup call responses. Retrieval behavior required left but not right auditory cortex, was accelerated by oxytocin in left auditory cortex, and oxytocin receptors were preferentially expressed in left auditory cortex. Neural responses to pup calls were lateralized, with co-tuned and temporally-precise excitatory and inhibitory responses in left cortex of maternal but not pup-naive adults. Finally, pairing calls with oxytocin enhanced responses by balancing the magnitude and timing of inhibition with excitation. Our results describe fundamental synaptic mechanisms by which oxytocin increases the salience of acoustic social stimuli. Furthermore, oxytocin-induced plasticity provides a biological basis for lateralization of auditory cortical processing. PMID:25874674

  16. Comparisons of the effects of a foam pad, mung bean bag, and plastic bead bag on postural stability disturbance in healthy young adults

    PubMed Central

    Siriphorn, Akkradate; Chamonchant, Dannaovarat; Boonyong, Sujitra

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of unstable support surfaces, i.e. foam pad, mung bean bag, and plastic bead bag, on postural stability disturbance. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-two healthy young adults (11 male and 11 female; aged 21.09 ± 1.44 years; BMI 20.40 ± 1.40 kg/m2) participated in the study. The Balance Master™ was used to evaluate the limit of stability and the unilateral stance performance. Each participant was assessed while standing on the following surfaces: 1) a firm surface, 2) a foam pad, 3) a mung bean bag, and 4) a plastic bead bag. The order of surfaces was randomly assigned. [Results] The mung bean bag and plastic bead bag showed greater disturbances in limit of stability and unilateral stance than the foam pad. There was no significant difference in postural stability disturbance between the mung bean bag and plastic bead bag. [Conclusion] These results suggested that both the mung bean bag and plastic bead bag could be used as a low-cost tool for balance assessment instead of a foam pad in healthy young adults. PMID:27065085

  17. Cortical thickness in human V1 associated with central vision loss

    PubMed Central

    Burge, Wesley K.; Griffis, Joseph C.; Nenert, Rodolphe; Elkhetali, Abdurahman; DeCarlo, Dawn K.; ver Hoef, Lawrence W.; Ross, Lesley A.; Visscher, Kristina M.

    2016-01-01

    Better understanding of the extent and scope of visual cortex plasticity following central vision loss is essential both for clarifying the mechanisms of brain plasticity and for future development of interventions to retain or restore visual function. This study investigated structural differences in primary visual cortex between normally-sighted controls and participants with central vision loss due to macular degeneration (MD). Ten participants with MD and ten age-, gender-, and education-matched controls with normal vision were included. The thickness of primary visual cortex was assessed using T1-weighted anatomical scans, and central and peripheral cortical regions were carefully compared between well-characterized participants with MD and controls. Results suggest that, compared to controls, participants with MD had significantly thinner cortex in typically centrally-responsive primary visual cortex – the region of cortex that normally receives visual input from the damaged area of the retina. Conversely, peripherally-responsive primary visual cortex demonstrated significantly increased cortical thickness relative to controls. These results suggest that central vision loss may give rise to cortical thinning, while in the same group of people, compensatory recruitment of spared peripheral vision may give rise to cortical thickening. This work furthers our understanding of neural plasticity in the context of adult vision loss. PMID:27009536

  18. Astroglial Plasticity Is Implicated in Hippocampal Remodelling in Adult Rats Exposed to Antenatal Dexamethasone

    PubMed Central

    Shende, Vishvesh H.; McArthur, Simon; Gillies, Glenda E.; Opacka-Juffry, Jolanta

    2015-01-01

    The long-term effects of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on brain remodelling in 3-month-old male Sprague Dawley rats whose mothers had been treated with dexamethasone were investigated in the present study. Dorsal hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens volume, cell numbers, and GFAP-immunoreactive astroglial cell morphology were analysed using stereology. Total brain volume as assessed by micro-CT was not affected by the treatment. The relative volume of the dorsal hippocampus (% of total brain volume) showed a moderate, by 8%, but significant reduction in dexamethasone-treated versus control animals. Dexamethasone had no effect on the total and GFAP-positive cell numbers in the hippocampal subregions, basolateral amygdala, and nucleus accumbens. Morphological analysis indicated that numbers of astroglial primary processes were not affected in any of the hippocampal subregions analysed but significant reductions in the total primary process length were observed in CA1 by 32%, CA3 by 50%, and DG by 25%. Mean primary process length values were also significantly decreased in CA1 by 25%, CA3 by 45%, and DG by 25%. No significant astroglial morphological changes were found in basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. We propose that the dexamethasone-dependent impoverishment of hippocampal astroglial morphology is the case of maladaptive glial plasticity induced prenatally. PMID:26345609

  19. Plasticity of the histamine H3 receptors after acute vestibular lesion in the adult cat

    PubMed Central

    Tighilet, Brahim; Mourre, Christiane; Lacour, Michel

    2014-01-01

    After unilateral vestibular neurectomy (UVN) many molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlie the neurophysiological reorganizations occurring in the vestibular nuclei (VN) complex, as well as the behavioral recovery process. As a key regulator, the histaminergic system appears to be a likely candidate because drugs interfering with histamine (HA) neurotransmission facilitate behavioral recovery after vestibular lesion. This study aimed at analyzing the post-lesion changes of the histaminergic system by quantifying binding to histamine H3 receptors (H3R; mediating namely histamine autoinhibition) using a histamine H3 receptor agonist ([3H]N-α-methylhistamine). Experiments were done in brain sections of control cats (N = 6) and cats submitted to UVN and killed 1 (N = 6) or 3 (N = 6) weeks after the lesion. UVN induced a bilateral decrease in binding density of the agonist [3H]N-α-methylhistamine to H3R in the tuberomammillary nuclei (TMN) at 1 week post-lesion, with a predominant down-regulation in the ipsilateral TMN. The bilateral decrease remained at the 3 weeks survival time and became symmetric. Concerning brainstem structures, binding density in the VN, the prepositus hypoglossi, the subdivisions of the inferior olive decreased unilaterally on the ipsilateral side at 1 week and bilaterally 3 weeks after UVN. Similar changes were observed in the subdivisions of the solitary nucleus only 1 week after the lesion. These findings indicate vestibular lesion induces plasticity of the histamine H3R, which could contribute to vestibular function recovery. PMID:24427120

  20. Plasticity of the histamine H3 receptors after acute vestibular lesion in the adult cat.

    PubMed

    Tighilet, Brahim; Mourre, Christiane; Lacour, Michel

    2014-01-01

    After unilateral vestibular neurectomy (UVN) many molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlie the neurophysiological reorganizations occurring in the vestibular nuclei (VN) complex, as well as the behavioral recovery process. As a key regulator, the histaminergic system appears to be a likely candidate because drugs interfering with histamine (HA) neurotransmission facilitate behavioral recovery after vestibular lesion. This study aimed at analyzing the post-lesion changes of the histaminergic system by quantifying binding to histamine H3 receptors (H3R; mediating namely histamine autoinhibition) using a histamine H3 receptor agonist ([(3)H]N-α-methylhistamine). Experiments were done in brain sections of control cats (N = 6) and cats submitted to UVN and killed 1 (N = 6) or 3 (N = 6) weeks after the lesion. UVN induced a bilateral decrease in binding density of the agonist [(3)H]N-α-methylhistamine to H3R in the tuberomammillary nuclei (TMN) at 1 week post-lesion, with a predominant down-regulation in the ipsilateral TMN. The bilateral decrease remained at the 3 weeks survival time and became symmetric. Concerning brainstem structures, binding density in the VN, the prepositus hypoglossi, the subdivisions of the inferior olive decreased unilaterally on the ipsilateral side at 1 week and bilaterally 3 weeks after UVN. Similar changes were observed in the subdivisions of the solitary nucleus only 1 week after the lesion. These findings indicate vestibular lesion induces plasticity of the histamine H3R, which could contribute to vestibular function recovery. PMID:24427120

  1. Plasticity in speech production and perception: A study of accent change in young adults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Bronwen G.; Iverson, Paul

    2005-04-01

    This study investigated plasticity in speech production and perception among university students, as individuals change their accent from regional to educated norms. Subjects were tested before beginning university, 3 months later and on completion of their first year of study. At each stage they were recorded reading a set of test words and a short passage. They also completed two perceptual tasks; they found best exemplar locations for vowels embedded in carrier sentences and identified words in noise. The results demonstrated that subjects changed their spoken accent after attending university. The changes were linked to sociolinguistic factors; subjects who were highly motivated to fit in with their university community changed their accent more. There was some evidence for a link between production and perception; between-subject differences in production and perception were correlated. However, this relationship was weaker for within-subject changes in accent over time. The results suggest that there were limitations in the ability of these subjects to acquire new phonological rules.

  2. NF-KappaB in Long-Term Memory and Structural Plasticity in the Adult Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-κB is one of the crucial components in the molecular switch that converts short- to long-term memory—a process that requires de novo gene expression. Here, the researches published on NF-κB and downstream target genes in mammals will be reviewed, which are necessary for structural plasticity and long-term memory, both under normal and pathological conditions in the brain. Genetic evidence has revealed that NF-κB regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-κB subunits, a severe defect in hippocampal adult neurogenesis was observed during aging. Proliferation of neural precursors is increased; however, axon outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and tissue homeostasis of the dentate gyrus are hampered. In this process, the NF-κB target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-κB activity seems to be crucial in regulating structural plasticity and replenishment of granule cells within the hippocampus throughout the life. In addition to the function of NF-κB in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-κB homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-κB in the nervous system. PMID:26635522

  3. Go/No Go task performance predicts cortical thickness in the caudal inferior frontal gyrus in young adults with and without ADHD.

    PubMed

    Newman, Erik; Jernigan, Terry L; Lisdahl, Krista M; Tamm, Leanne; Tapert, Susan F; Potkin, Steven G; Mathalon, Daniel; Molina, Brooke; Bjork, James; Castellanos, F Xavier; Swanson, James; Kuperman, Joshua M; Bartsch, Hauke; Chen, Chi-Hua; Dale, Anders M; Epstein, Jeffery N; Group, Mta Neuroimaging

    2016-09-01

    Response inhibition deficits are widely believed to be at the core of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Several studies have examined neural architectural correlates of ADHD, but research directly examining structural correlates of response inhibition is lacking. Here we examine the relationship between response inhibition as measured by a Go/No Go task, and cortical surface area and thickness of the caudal inferior frontal gyrus (cIFG), a region implicated in functional imaging studies of response inhibition, in a sample of 114 young adults with and without ADHD diagnosed initially during childhood. We used multiple linear regression models to test the hypothesis that Go/No Go performance would be associated with cIFG surface area or thickness. Results showed that poorer Go/No Go performance was associated with thicker cIFG cortex, and this effect was not mediated by ADHD status or history of substance use. However, independent of Go/No Go performance, persistence of ADHD symptoms and more frequent cannabis use were associated with thinner cIFG. Go/No Go performance was not associated with cortical surface area. The association between poor inhibitory functioning and thicker cIFG suggests that maturation of this region may differ in low performing participants. An independent association of persistent ADHD symptoms and frequent cannabis use with thinner cIFG cortex suggests that distinct neural mechanisms within this region may play a role in inhibitory function, broader ADHD symptomatology, and cannabis use. These results contribute to Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) by revealing novel associations between neural architectural phenotypes and basic neurobehavioral processes measured dimensionally. PMID:26404018

  4. Evaluation of cortical plasticity in children with cerebral palsy undergoing constraint-induced movement therapy based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Jianwei; Khan, Bilal; Hervey, Nathan; Tian, Fenghua; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Clegg, Nancy J.; Smith, Linsley; Roberts, Heather; Tulchin-Francis, Kirsten; Shierk, Angela; Shagman, Laura; MacFarlane, Duncan; Liu, Hanli; Alexandrakis, George

    2015-04-01

    Sensorimotor cortex plasticity induced by constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in six children (10.2±2.1 years old) with hemiplegic cerebral palsy was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The activation laterality index and time-to-peak/duration during a finger-tapping task and the resting-state functional connectivity were quantified before, immediately after, and 6 months after CIMT. These fNIRS-based metrics were used to help explain changes in clinical scores of manual performance obtained concurrently with imaging time points. Five age-matched healthy children (9.8±1.3 years old) were also imaged to provide comparative activation metrics for normal controls. Interestingly, the activation time-to-peak/duration for all sensorimotor centers displayed significant normalization immediately after CIMT that persisted 6 months later. In contrast to this improved localized activation response, the laterality index and resting-state connectivity metrics that depended on communication between sensorimotor centers improved immediately after CIMT, but relapsed 6 months later. In addition, for the subjects measured in this work, there was either a trade-off between improving unimanual versus bimanual performance when sensorimotor activation patterns normalized after CIMT, or an improvement occurred in both unimanual and bimanual performance but at the cost of very abnormal plastic changes in sensorimotor activity.

  5. Evaluation of cortical plasticity in children with cerebral palsy undergoing constraint-induced movement therapy based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jianwei; Khan, Bilal; Hervey, Nathan; Tian, Fenghua; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Clegg, Nancy J.; Smith, Linsley; Roberts, Heather; Tulchin-Francis, Kirsten; Shierk, Angela; Shagman, Laura; MacFarlane, Duncan; Liu, Hanli; Alexandrakis, George

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. Sensorimotor cortex plasticity induced by constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in six children (10.2±2.1 years old) with hemiplegic cerebral palsy was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The activation laterality index and time-to-peak/duration during a finger-tapping task and the resting-state functional connectivity were quantified before, immediately after, and 6 months after CIMT. These fNIRS-based metrics were used to help explain changes in clinical scores of manual performance obtained concurrently with imaging time points. Five age-matched healthy children (9.8±1.3 years old) were also imaged to provide comparative activation metrics for normal controls. Interestingly, the activation time-to-peak/duration for all sensorimotor centers displayed significant normalization immediately after CIMT that persisted 6 months later. In contrast to this improved localized activation response, the laterality index and resting-state connectivity metrics that depended on communication between sensorimotor centers improved immediately after CIMT, but relapsed 6 months later. In addition, for the subjects measured in this work, there was either a trade-off between improving unimanual versus bimanual performance when sensorimotor activation patterns normalized after CIMT, or an improvement occurred in both unimanual and bimanual performance but at the cost of very abnormal plastic changes in sensorimotor activity. PMID:25900145

  6. Cav1.1 controls frequency-dependent events regulating adult skeletal muscle plasticity.

    PubMed

    Jorquera, Gonzalo; Altamirano, Francisco; Contreras-Ferrat, Ariel; Almarza, Gonzalo; Buvinic, Sonja; Jacquemond, Vincent; Jaimovich, Enrique; Casas, Mariana

    2013-03-01

    An important pending question in neuromuscular biology is how skeletal muscle cells decipher the stimulation pattern coming from motoneurons to define their phenotype as slow or fast twitch muscle fibers. We have previously shown that voltage-gated L-type calcium channel (Cav1.1) acts as a voltage sensor for activation of inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate [Ins(1,4,5)P₃]-dependent Ca(2+) signals that regulates gene expression. ATP released by muscle cells after electrical stimulation through pannexin-1 channels plays a key role in this process. We show now that stimulation frequency determines both ATP release and Ins(1,4,5)P₃ production in adult skeletal muscle and that Cav1.1 and pannexin-1 colocalize in the transverse tubules. Both ATP release and increased Ins(1,4,5)P₃ was seen in flexor digitorum brevis fibers stimulated with 270 pulses at 20 Hz, but not at 90 Hz. 20 Hz stimulation induced transcriptional changes related to fast-to-slow muscle fiber phenotype transition that required ATP release. Addition of 30 µM ATP to fibers induced the same transcriptional changes observed after 20 Hz stimulation. Myotubes lacking the Cav1.1-α1 subunit released almost no ATP after electrical stimulation, showing that Cav1.1 has a central role in this process. In adult muscle fibers, ATP release and the transcriptional changes produced by 20 Hz stimulation were blocked by both the Cav1.1 antagonist nifedipine (25 µM) and by the Cav1.1 agonist (-)S-BayK 8644 (10 µM). We propose a new role for Cav1.1, independent of its calcium channel activity, in the activation of signaling pathways allowing muscle fibers to decipher the frequency of electrical stimulation and to activate specific transcriptional programs that define their phenotype. PMID:23321639

  7. Plasticity in the adult oculomotor system: offline consolidation phase gains in saccade sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Meital, Noya; Korinth, Sebastian Peter; Karni, Avi

    2013-08-28

    When do adults gain in learning an oculomotor sequence? Here we show that oculomotor training can result not only in performance gains within the training session, but also induce robust offline gains in both speed and accuracy. Participants were trained and tested over two consecutive days to perform a sequence of successive saccades. Saccades were directed to four target letters, presented simultaneously at fixed positions. A two alternative-forced choice question, after each trial, ensured that all targets were perceived. Eye tracking measures were tested at the beginning and end of the training session as well as at 24 h post-training. Practice resulted in within-session gains in accuracy and a reduction of target fixation duration (although total trial duration remained unchanged). In addition, the total average path length traveled by the eye increased, reflecting a decrease in undershoot saccades. At 24 h post-training, however, additional gains were expressed in both speed and accuracy of performance; the total trial duration as well as the fixation-position-offsets and the number of corrective saccades decreased. The expression of delayed gains indicates offline skill consolidation processes in the eye-movement control system. Our results show that the optimization of some aspect, specifically saccade speed parameters, of oculomotor sequence performance evolves mainly offline, during the post-training consolidation phase, a pattern suggestive of learning in an expert system. PMID:23867864

  8. Cortical reorganization after experimental traumatic brain injury: a functional autoradiography study.

    PubMed

    Harris, Neil G; Chen, Szu-Fu; Pickard, John D

    2013-07-01

    Cortical sensorimotor (SM) maps are a useful readout for providing a global view of the underlying status of evoked brain function, as well as a gross overview of ongoing mechanisms of plasticity. Recent evidence in the rat controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury model shows that the ipsilesional (injured) hemisphere is temporarily permissive for axon sprouting. This would predict that size and spatial alterations in cortical maps may occur much earlier than previously tested and that they might be useful as potential markers of the postinjury plasticity period as well as indicators of outcome. We investigated the evolution of changes in brain activation evoked by affected hindlimb electrical stimulation at 4, 7, and 30 days following CCI or sham injury over the hindlimb cortical region of adult rats. [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine autoradiography was used to quantitatively examine the local cerebral blood flow changes in response to hindlimb stimulation as a marker for neuronal activity. The results show that although ipsilesional hindlimb SM activity was persistently depressed from 4 days, additional novel regions of ipsilesional activity appeared concurrently within SM barrel and S2 regions as well as posterior auditory cortex. Simultaneously with this was the appearance of evoked activity within the intact, contralesional cortex that was maximal at 4 and 7 days, compared to stimulated sham-injured rats, where activation was solely unilateral. By 30 days, however, contralesional activation had greatly subsided and existing ipsilesional activity was enhanced within the same novel cortical regions that were identified acutely. These data indicate that significant reorganization of the cortical SM maps occurs after injury that evolves with a particular postinjury time course. We discuss these data in terms of the known mechanisms of plasticity that are likely to underlie these map changes, with particular reference to the differences and similarities that exist between

  9. Can short-term oral fine motor training affect precision of task performance and induce cortical plasticity of the jaw muscles?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Kumar, Abhishek; Kothari, Mohit; Luo, Xiaoping; Trulsson, Mats; Svensson, Krister G; Svensson, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The aim was to test the hypothesis that short-term oral sensorimotor training of the jaw muscles would increase the precision of task performance and induce neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. Fifteen healthy volunteers performed six series with ten trials of an oral sensorimotor task. The task was to manipulate and position a spherical chocolate candy in between the anterior teeth and split it into two equal halves. The precision of the task performance was evaluated by comparing the ratio between the two split halves. A series of "hold-and-split" tasks was also performed before and after the training. The hold force and split force along with the electromyographic (EMG) activity of jaw muscles were recorded. Motor-evoked potentials and cortical motor maps of the right masseter muscle were evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation. There was a significant effect of series on the precision of the task performance during the short-term oral sensorimotor training (P < 0.002). The hold force during the "hold-and-split" task was significantly lower after training than before the short-term training (P = 0.011). However, there was no change in the split force and the EMG activity of the jaw muscles before and after the training. Further, there was a significant increase in the amplitude of the motor-evoked potentials (P < 0.016) and in the motor cortex map areas (P = 0.033), after the short-term oral sensorimotor training. Therefore, short-term oral sensorimotor task training increased the precision of task performance and induced signs of neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. PMID:26914481

  10. Spinal Interneurons and Forelimb Plasticity after Incomplete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Rombola, Angela M.; Rousseau, Celeste A.; Mercier, Lynne M.; Fitzpatrick, Garrett M.; Reier, Paul J.; Fuller, David D.; Lane, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Cervical spinal cord injury (cSCI) disrupts bulbospinal projections to motoneurons controlling the upper limbs, resulting in significant functional impairments. Ongoing clinical and experimental research has revealed several lines of evidence for functional neuroplasticity and recovery of upper extremity function after SCI. The underlying neural substrates, however, have not been thoroughly characterized. The goals of the present study were to map the intraspinal motor circuitry associated with a defined upper extremity muscle, and evaluate chronic changes in the distribution of this circuit following incomplete cSCI. Injured animals received a high cervical (C2) lateral hemisection (Hx), which compromises supraspinal input to ipsilateral spinal motoneurons controlling the upper extremities (forelimb) in the adult rat. A battery of behavioral tests was used to characterize the time course and extent of forelimb motor recovery over a 16 week period post-injury. A retrograde transneuronal tracer – pseudorabies virus – was used to define the motor and pre-motor circuitry controlling the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) muscle in spinal intact and injured animals. In the spinal intact rat, labeling was observed unilaterally within the ECRL motoneuron pool and within spinal interneurons bilaterally distributed within the dorsal horn and intermediate gray matter. No changes in labeling were observed 16 weeks post-injury, despite a moderate degree of recovery of forelimb motor function. These results suggest that recovery of the forelimb function assessed following C2Hx injury does not involve recruitment of new interneurons into the ipsilateral ECRL motor pathway. However, the functional significance of these existing interneurons to motor recovery requires further exploration. PMID:25625912

  11. Distinct cis-Regulatory Elements from the Dlx1/Dlx2 Locus Mark Different Progenitor Cell Populations in the Ganglionic Eminences and Different Subtypes of Adult Cortical Interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Ghanem, Noël; Yu, Man; Long, Jason; Hatch, Gary; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Ekker, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Distinct subtypes of cortical GABAergic interneurons provide inhibitory signals that are indispensable for neural network function. The Dlx homeobox genes have a central role in regulating their development and function. We have characterized the activity of three cis-regulatory sequences involved in forebrain expression of vertebrate Dlx genes: upstream regulatory element 2 (URE2), I12b, and I56i. The three regulatory elements display regional and temporal differences in their activities within the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE), medial ganglionic eminence (MGE), and caudal ganglionic eminence (CGE) and label distinct populations of tangentially migrating neurons at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and E13.5. We provide evidence that the dorsomedial and ventral MGE are distinct sources of tangentially migrating neurons during midgestation. In the adult cortex, URE2 and I12b/I56i are differentially expressed in parvalbumin-, calretinin-, neuropeptide Y-, and neuronal nitric oxide synthase-positive interneurons; I12b and I56i were specifically active in somatostatin-, vasoactive intestinal peptide-, and calbindin-positive interneurons. These data suggest that interneuron subtypes use distinct combinations of Dlx1/Dlx2 enhancers from the time they are specified through adulthood. PMID:17494687

  12. Long-Term Upregulation of Inflammation and Suppression of Cell Proliferation in the Brain of Adult Rats Exposed to Traumatic Brain Injury Using the Controlled Cortical Impact Model

    PubMed Central

    Acosta, Sandra A.; Tajiri, Naoki; Shinozuka, Kazutaka; Ishikawa, Hiroto; Grimmig, Bethany; Diamond, David; Sanberg, Paul R.; Bickford, Paula C.; Kaneko, Yuji; Borlongan, Cesar V.

    2013-01-01

    The long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically the detrimental effects of inflammation on the neurogenic niches, are not very well understood. In the present in vivo study, we examined the prolonged pathological outcomes of experimental TBI in different parts of the rat brain with special emphasis on inflammation and neurogenesis. Sixty days after moderate controlled cortical impact injury, adult Sprague-Dawley male rats were euthanized and brain tissues harvested. Antibodies against the activated microglial marker, OX6, the cell cycle-regulating protein marker, Ki67, and the immature neuronal marker, doublecortin, DCX, were used to estimate microglial activation, cell proliferation, and neuronal differentiation, respectively, in the subventricular zone (SVZ), subgranular zone (SGZ), striatum, thalamus, and cerebral peduncle. Stereology-based analyses revealed significant exacerbation of OX6-positive activated microglial cells in the striatum, thalamus, and cerebral peduncle. In parallel, significant decrements in Ki67-positive proliferating cells in SVZ and SGZ, but only trends of reduced DCX-positive immature neuronal cells in SVZ and SGZ were detected relative to sham control group. These results indicate a progressive deterioration of the TBI brain over time characterized by elevated inflammation and suppressed neurogenesis. Therapeutic intervention at the chronic stage of TBI may confer abrogation of these deleterious cell death processes. PMID:23301065

  13. Plasticity of intrinsic excitability in mature granule cells of the dentate gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Rojas, Jeffrey; Heine, Martin; Kreutz, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    The dentate gyrus is the main entry gate for cortical input to the hippocampus and one of the few brain areas where adult neurogenesis occurs. Several studies have shown that it is relatively difficult to induce synaptic plasticity in mature but not in newborn dentate granule cells. In the present work we have systematically addressed how classical protocols to induce synaptic plasticity affect action potential firing and intrinsic excitability in mature granule cells. We found that stimulation paradigms considered to be relevant for learning processes consistently modified the probability to generate action potentials in response to a given synaptic input in mature cells, in some paradigms even without any modification of synaptic strength. Collectively the results suggest that plasticity of intrinsic dendritic excitability has a lower induction-threshold than synaptic plasticity in mature granule cells and that this form of plasticity might be an important mechanism by which mature granule cells contribute to hippocampal function. PMID:26857841

  14. Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G. Christopher; Boynton, Geoffrey M.; Fine, Ione

    2016-01-01

    Early blind subjects exhibit superior abilities for processing auditory motion, which are accompanied by enhanced BOLD responses to auditory motion within hMT+ and reduced responses within right planum temporale (rPT). Here, by comparing BOLD responses to auditory motion in hMT+ and rPT within sighted controls, early blind, late blind, and sight-recovery individuals, we were able to separately examine the effects of developmental and adult visual deprivation on cortical plasticity within these two areas. We find that both the enhanced auditory motion responses in hMT+ and the reduced functionality in rPT are driven by the absence of visual experience early in life; neither loss nor recovery of vision later in life had a discernable influence on plasticity within these areas. Cortical plasticity as a result of blindness has generally be presumed to be mediated by competition across modalities within a given cortical region. The reduced functionality within rPT as a result of early visual loss implicates an additional mechanism for cross modal plasticity as a result of early blindness—competition across different cortical areas for functional role. PMID:27458357

  15. Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G Christopher; Boynton, Geoffrey M; Fine, Ione

    2016-01-01

    Early blind subjects exhibit superior abilities for processing auditory motion, which are accompanied by enhanced BOLD responses to auditory motion within hMT+ and reduced responses within right planum temporale (rPT). Here, by comparing BOLD responses to auditory motion in hMT+ and rPT within sighted controls, early blind, late blind, and sight-recovery individuals, we were able to separately examine the effects of developmental and adult visual deprivation on cortical plasticity within these two areas. We find that both the enhanced auditory motion responses in hMT+ and the reduced functionality in rPT are driven by the absence of visual experience early in life; neither loss nor recovery of vision later in life had a discernable influence on plasticity within these areas. Cortical plasticity as a result of blindness has generally be presumed to be mediated by competition across modalities within a given cortical region. The reduced functionality within rPT as a result of early visual loss implicates an additional mechanism for cross modal plasticity as a result of early blindness-competition across different cortical areas for functional role. PMID:27458357

  16. Cortical and subcortical plasticity in the brains of humans, primates, and rats after damage to sensory afferents in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Kaas, Jon H.; Qi, Hui-Xin; Burish, Mark; Gharbawie, Omar; Onifer, Stephen M.; Massey, James M.

    2008-01-01

    The failure of injured axons to regenerate following spinal cord injury deprives brain neurons of their normal sources of activation. These injuries also result in the reorganization of affected areas of the central nervous system that is thought to drive both the ensuing recovery of function and the formation of maladaptive neuronal circuitry. Better understanding of the physiological consequences of novel synaptic connections produced by injury and the mechanisms that control their formation are important to the development of new successful strategies for the treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries. Here we discuss the anatomical, physiological and behavioral changes that take place in response to injury-induced plasticity after damage to the dorsal column pathway in rats and monkeys. Complete section of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord at a high cervical level in monkeys and rats interrupts the ascending axon branches of low threshold mechanoreceptor afferents subserving the forelimb and the rest of the lower body. Such lesions render the corresponding part of the somatotopic representation of primary somatosensory cortex totally unresponsive to tactile stimuli. There are also behavioral consequences of the sensory loss, including an impaired use of the hand/forelimb in manipulating small objects. In monkeys, if some of the afferents from the hand remain intact after dorsal column lesions, these remaining afferents extensively reactivate portions of somatosensory cortex formerly representing the hand. This functional reorganization develops over a postoperative period of one month, during which hand use rapidly improves. These recoveries appear to be mediated, at least in part, by the sprouting of preserved afferents within the cuneate nucleus of the dorsal column-trigeminal complex. In rats, such functional collateral sprouting has been promoted by the post-lesion digestion of the perineuronal net in the cuneate nucleus. Thus, this and other

  17. Arrhythmic Song Exposure Increases ZENK Expression in Auditory Cortical Areas and Nucleus Taeniae of the Adult Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Lampen, Jennifer; Jones, Katherine; McAuley, J. Devin; Chang, Soo-Eun; Wade, Juli

    2014-01-01

    Rhythm is important in the production of motor sequences such as speech and song. Deficits in rhythm processing have been implicated in human disorders that affect speech and language processing, including stuttering, autism, and dyslexia. Songbirds provide a tractable model for studying the neural underpinnings of rhythm processing due to parallels with humans in neural structures and vocal learning patterns. In this study, adult zebra finches were exposed to naturally rhythmic conspecific song or arrhythmic song. Immunohistochemistry for the immediate early gene ZENK was used to detect neural activation in response to these two types of stimuli. ZENK was increased in response to arrhythmic song in the auditory association cortex homologs, caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and caudomedial mesopallium (CMM), and the avian amygdala, nucleus taeniae (Tn). CMM also had greater ZENK labeling in females than males. The increased neural activity in NCM and CMM during perception of arrhythmic stimuli parallels increased activity in the human auditory cortex following exposure to unexpected, or perturbed, auditory stimuli. These auditory areas may be detecting errors in arrhythmic song when comparing it to a stored template of how conspecific song is expected to sound. CMM may also be important for females in evaluating songs of potential mates. In the context of other research in songbirds, we suggest that the increased activity in Tn may be related to the value of song for assessing mate choice and bonding or it may be related to perception of arrhythmic song as aversive. PMID:25259620

  18. Imprinting and recalling cortical ensembles.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Yang, Weijian; Bando, Yuki; Peterka, Darcy S; Yuste, Rafael

    2016-08-12

    Neuronal ensembles are coactive groups of neurons that may represent building blocks of cortical circuits. These ensembles could be formed by Hebbian plasticity, whereby synapses between coactive neurons are strengthened. Here we report that repetitive activation with two-photon optogenetics of neuronal populations from ensembles in the visual cortex of awake mice builds neuronal ensembles that recur spontaneously after being imprinted and do not disrupt preexisting ones. Moreover, imprinted ensembles can be recalled by single- cell stimulation and remain coactive on consecutive days. Our results demonstrate the persistent reconfiguration of cortical circuits by two-photon optogenetics into neuronal ensembles that can perform pattern completion. PMID:27516599

  19. Cortical thinning in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Martina; Motzkin, Julian C.; Philippi, Carissa L.; Kirk, Gregory R.; Newman, Joseph P.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Koenigs, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Objective Psychopathy is a personality disorder associated with severely antisocial behavior and a host of cognitive and affective deficits. The neuropathological basis of the disorder has not been clearly established. Cortical thickness is a sensitive measure of brain structure that has been used to identify neurobiological abnormalities in a number of psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study is to evaluate cortical thickness and corresponding functional connectivity in criminal psychopaths. Method Using T1 MRI data, we computed cortical thickness maps in a sample of adult male prison inmates selected based on psychopathy diagnosis (n=21 psychopathic inmates, n=31 non-psychopathic inmates). Using rest-fMRI data from a subset of these inmates (n=20 psychopathic inmates, n=20 non-psychopathic inmates), we then computed functional connectivity within networks exhibiting significant thinning among psychopaths. Results Relative to non-psychopaths, psychopaths exhibited significantly thinner cortex in a number of regions, including left insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral precentral gyrus, bilateral anterior temporal cortex, and right inferior frontal gyrus. These neurostructural differences were not due to differences in age, IQ, or substance abuse. Psychopaths also exhibited a corresponding reduction in functional connectivity between left insula and left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusions Psychopathy is associated with a distinct pattern of cortical thinning and reduced functional connectivity. PMID:22581200

  20. Opioid Receptor-Dependent Sex Differences in Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Pathway of the Adult Rat

    PubMed Central

    Harte-Hargrove, Lauren C.; Varga-Wesson, Ada; Duffy, Aine M.; Milner, Teresa A.

    2015-01-01

    The mossy fiber (MF) pathway is critical to hippocampal function and influenced by gonadal hormones. Physiological data are limited, so we asked whether basal transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) differed in slices of adult male and female rats. The results showed small sex differences in basal transmission but striking sex differences in opioid receptor sensitivity and LTP. When slices were made from females on proestrous morning, when serum levels of 17β-estradiol peak, the nonspecific opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (1 μm) enhanced MF transmission but there was no effect in males, suggesting preferential opioid receptor-dependent inhibition in females when 17β-estradiol levels are elevated. The μ-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist Cys2,Tyr3,Orn5,Pen7-amide (CTOP; 300 nm) had a similar effect but the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist naltrindole (NTI; 1 μm) did not, implicating MORs in female MF transmission. The GABAB receptor antagonist saclofen (200 μm) occluded effects of CTOP but the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (10 μm) did not. For LTP, a low-frequency (LF) protocol was used because higher frequencies elicited hyperexcitability in females. Proestrous females exhibited LF-LTP but males did not, suggesting a lower threshold for synaptic plasticity when 17β-estradiol is elevated. NTI blocked LF-LTP in proestrous females, but CTOP did not. Electron microscopy revealed more DOR-labeled spines of pyramidal cells in proestrous females than males. Therefore, we suggest that increased postsynaptic DORs mediate LF-LTP in proestrous females. The results show strong MOR regulation of MF transmission only in females and identify a novel DOR-dependent form of MF LTP specific to proestrus. PMID:25632146

  1. Time in Cortical Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Shadlen, Michael N.; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Nobre, Anna C.; Buonomano, Dean V.

    2015-01-01

    Time is central to cognition. However, the neural basis for time-dependent cognition remains poorly understood. We explore how the temporal features of neural activity in cortical circuits and their capacity for plasticity can contribute to time-dependent cognition over short time scales. This neural activity is linked to cognition that operates in the present or anticipates events or stimuli in the near future. We focus on deliberation and planning in the context of decision making as a cognitive process that integrates information across time. We progress to consider how temporal expectations of the future modulate perception. We propose that understanding the neural basis for how the brain tells time and operates in time will be necessary to develop general models of cognition. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Time is central to cognition. However, the neural basis for time-dependent cognition remains poorly understood. We explore how the temporal features of neural activity in cortical circuits and their capacity for plasticity can contribute to time-dependent cognition over short time scales. We propose that understanding the neural basis for how the brain tells time and operates in time will be necessary to develop general models of cognition. PMID:26468192

  2. Associative Hebbian Synaptic Plasticity in Primate Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shiyong; Rozas, Carlos; Treviño, Mario; Contreras, Jessica; Yang, Sunggu; Song, Lihua; Yoshioka, Takashi; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2014-01-01

    In primates, the functional connectivity of adult primary visual cortex is susceptible to be modified by sensory training during perceptual learning. It is widely held that this type of neural plasticity might involve mechanisms like long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). NMDAR-dependent forms of LTP and LTD are particularly attractive because in rodents they can be induced in a Hebbian manner by near coincidental presynaptic and postsynaptic firing, in a paradigm termed spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). These fundamental properties of LTP and LTD, Hebbian induction and NMDAR dependence, have not been examined in primate cortex. Here we demonstrate these properties in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), and also show that, like in rodents, STDP is gated by neuromodulators. These findings indicate that the cellular principles governing cortical plasticity are conserved across mammalian species, further validating the use of rodents as a model system. PMID:24872561

  3. Olfactory Enrichment Influences Adult Neurogenesis Modulating GAD67 and Plasticity-Related Molecules Expression in Newborn Cells of the Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Peretto, Paolo; Fasolo, Aldo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2009-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic region of the adult mammalian brain characterized by continuous integration of inhibitory interneurons of the granule (GC) and periglomerular cell (PGC) types. Adult-generated OB interneurons are selected to survive in an experience-dependent way but the mechanisms that mediate the effects of experience on OB neurogenesis are unknown. Here we focus on the new-generated PGC population which is composed by multiple subtypes. Using paradigms of olfactory enrichment and/or deprivation combined to BrdU injections and quantitative confocal immunohistochemical analyses, we studied the effects of olfactory experience on adult-generated PGCs at different survival time and compared PGC to GC modulation. We show that olfactory enrichment similarly influences PGCs and GCs, increasing survival of newborn cells and transiently modulating GAD67 and plasticity-related molecules expression. However, PGC maturation appears to be delayed compared to GCs, reflecting a different temporal dynamic of adult generated olfactory interneuron integration. Moreover, olfactory enrichment or deprivation do not selectively modulate the survival of specific PGC phenotypes, supporting the idea that the integration rate of distinct PGC subtypes is independent from olfactory experience. PMID:19626121

  4. Cortical neurons express nerve growth factor receptors in advanced age and Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed Central

    Mufson, E J; Kordower, J H

    1992-01-01

    Using a monoclonal antibody directed against the primate nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor, we examined the expression of NGF receptors within neuronal perikarya of normal adult human cerebral cortex (27-98 years old) and individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD). This expression of cortical NGF receptors was compared with that seen in other neurological diseases and normal human development as well as in young and aged nonhuman primates. NGF receptor-containing cortical neurons were not observed in young adults (less than 50 years old) and were observed only infrequently in non-demented elderly individuals (50-80 years old). In contrast, numerous NGF receptor-containing cortical neurons were seen in AD patients of all ages and in one 98-year-old nondemented patient. In advanced age and AD, numerous NGF receptor-positive neurons were located within laminae II-VI of temporal association cortices whereas only a few were seen in the subicular complex, entorhinal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdaloid complex. These perikarya appeared healthy, with bipolar, fusiform, or multipolar morphologies and extended varicose dendritic arbors. These neurons failed to express neurofibrillary tangle-bearing material. In contrast to AD, NGF receptor-containing cortical neurons were not observed in Parkinson disease, Pick disease, or Shy-Drager syndrome. The NGF receptor-containing cortical neurons seen in advanced age and AD were similar in morphology to those observed in human fetal cortex. No NGF receptor-containing cortical neurons were observed in young or aged nonhuman primates. These findings suggest that neurons within the human cerebral cortex exhibit plasticity in their expression of NGF receptors in AD and extreme advanced aging. Images PMID:1309947

  5. 8-Oxoguanine accumulation in mitochondrial DNA causes mitochondrial dysfunction and impairs neuritogenesis in cultured adult mouse cortical neurons under oxidative conditions

    PubMed Central

    Leon, Julio; Sakumi, Kunihiko; Castillo, Erika; Sheng, Zijing; Oka, Sugako; Nakabeppu, Yusaku

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are implicated in aging-related neurodegenerative disorders. 8-Oxoguanine (8-oxoG), a common oxidised base lesion, is often highly accumulated in brains from patients with neurodegenerative disorders. MTH1 hydrolyses 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine triphosphate (8-oxo-dGTP) to 8-oxo-dGMP and pyrophosphate in nucleotide pools, while OGG1 excises 8-oxoG paired with cytosine in DNA, thereby minimising the accumulation of 8-oxoG in DNA. Mth1/Ogg1-double knockout (TO-DKO) mice are highly susceptible to neurodegeneration under oxidative conditions and show increased accumulation of 8-oxoG in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in neurons, suggesting that 8-oxoG accumulation in mtDNA causes mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we evaluated the contribution of MTH1 and OGG1 to the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction during neuritogenesis in vitro. We isolated cortical neurons from adult wild-type and TO-DKO mice and maintained them with or without antioxidants for 2 to 5 days and then examined neuritogenesis. In the presence of antioxidants, both TO-DKO and wild-type neurons exhibited efficient neurite extension and arborisation. However, in the absence of antioxidants, the accumulation of 8-oxoG in mtDNA of TO-DKO neurons was increased resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. Cells also exhibited poor neurite outgrowth with decreased complexity of neuritic arborisation, indicating that MTH1 and OGG1 are essential for neuritogenesis under oxidative conditions. PMID:26912170

  6. Anthropogenic host plant expansion leads a nettle-feeding butterfly out of the forest: consequences for larval survival and developmental plasticity in adult morphology

    PubMed Central

    Merckx, Thomas; Serruys, Mélanie; Van Dyck, Hans

    2015-01-01

    Recent anthropogenic eutrophication has meant that host plants of nettle-feeding insects became quasi-omnipresent in fertile regions of Western Europe. However, host plant resource quality – in terms of microclimate and nutritional value – may vary considerably between the ‘original’ forest habitat and ‘recent’ agricultural habitat. Here, we compared development in both environmental settings using a split-brood design, so as to explore to what extent larval survival and adult morphology in the nettle-feeding butterfly Aglais urticae are influenced by the anthropogenic environment. Nettles along field margins had higher C/N ratios and provided warmer microclimates to larvae. Larvae developed 20% faster and tended to improve their survival rates, on the agricultural land compared to woodland. Our split-brood approach indicated plastic responses within families, but also family effects in the phenotypic responses. Adult males and females had darker wing pigmentation in the drier and warmer agricultural environment, which contrasts with the thermal melanism hypothesis. Developmental plasticity in response to this microclimatically different and more variable habitat was associated with a broader phenotypic parameter space for the species. Both habitat expansion and developmental plasticity are likely contributors to the ecological and evolutionary success of these nettle-feeding insects in anthropogenic environments under high nitrogen load. PMID:25926881

  7. Otx2 binding to perineuronal nets persistently regulates plasticity in the mature visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Beurdeley, Marine; Spatazza, Julien; Lee, Henry H C; Sugiyama, Sayaka; Bernard, Clémence; Di Nardo, Ariel A; Hensch, Takao K; Prochiantz, Alain

    2012-07-01

    Specific transfer of (orthodenticle homeobox 2) Otx2 homeoprotein into GABAergic interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV) is necessary and sufficient to open, then close, a critical period (CP) of plasticity in the developing mouse visual cortex. The accumulation of endogenous Otx2 in PV cells suggests the presence of specific Otx2 binding sites. Here, we find that perineuronal nets (PNNs) on the surfaces of PV cells permit the specific, constitutive capture of Otx2. We identify a 15 aa domain containing an arginine-lysine doublet (RK peptide) within Otx2, bearing prototypic traits of a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) binding sequence that mediates Otx2 binding to PNNs, and specifically to chondroitin sulfate D and E, with high affinity. Accordingly, PNN hydrolysis by chondroitinase ABC reduces the amount of endogenous Otx2 in PV cells. Direct infusion of RK peptide similarly disrupts endogenous Otx2 localization to PV cells, reduces PV and PNN expression, and reopens plasticity in adult mice. The closure of one eye during this transient window reduces cortical acuity and is specific to the RK motif, as an Alanine-Alanine variant or a scrambled peptide fails to reactivate plasticity. Conversely, this transient reopening of plasticity in the adult restores binocular vision in amblyopic mice. Thus, one function of PNNs is to facilitate the persistent internalization of Otx2 by PV cells to maintain CP closure. The pharmacological use of the Otx2 GAG binding domain offers a novel, potent therapeutic tool with which to restore cortical plasticity in the mature brain. PMID:22764251

  8. A dynamic zone defines interneuron remodeling in the adult neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei-Chung Allen; Chen, Jerry L.; Huang, Hayden; Leslie, Jennifer H.; Amitai, Yael; So, Peter T.; Nedivi, Elly

    2008-01-01

    The contribution of structural remodeling to long-term adult brain plasticity is unclear. Here, we investigate features of GABAergic interneuron dendrite dynamics and extract clues regarding its potential role in cortical function and circuit plasticity. We show that remodeling interneurons are contained within a “dynamic zone” corresponding to a superficial strip of layers 2/3, and remodeling dendrites respect the lower border of this zone. Remodeling occurs primarily at the periphery of dendritic fields with addition and retraction of new branch tips. We further show that dendrite remodeling is not intrinsic to a specific interneuron class. These data suggest that interneuron remodeling is not a feature predetermined by genetic lineage, but rather, it is imposed by cortical laminar circuitry. Our findings are consistent with dynamic GABAergic modulation of feedforward and recurrent connections in response to top-down feedback and suggest a structural component to functional plasticity of supragranular neocortical laminae. PMID:19066223

  9. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  10. Insights into cortical mechanisms of behavior from microstimulation experiments

    PubMed Central

    Histed, Mark H.; Ni, Amy M.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2012-01-01

    Even the simplest behaviors depend on a large number of neurons that are distributed across many brain regions. Because electrical microstimulation can change the activity of localized subsets of neurons, it has provided valuable evidence that specific neurons contribute to particular behaviors. Here we review what has been learned about cortical function from behavioral studies using microstimulation in animals and humans. Experiments that examine how microstimulation affects the perception of stimuli have shown that the effects of microstimulation are usually highly specific and can be related to the stimuli preferred by neurons at the stimulated site. Experiments that ask subjects to detect cortical microstimulation in the absence of other stimuli have provided further insights. Although subjects typically can detect microstimulation of primary sensory or motor cortex, they are generally unable to detect stimulation of most of cortex without extensive practice. With practice, however, stimulation of any part of cortex can become detected. These training effects suggest that some patterns of cortical activity cannot be readily accessed to guide behavior, but that the adult brain retains enough plasticity to learn to process novel patterns of neuronal activity arising anywhere in cortex. PMID:22307059

  11. Sleep and developmental plasticity not just for kids.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    In a variety of mammalian species, sleep amounts are highest during developmental periods of rapid brain development and synaptic plasticity than at any other time in life [Frank, M. G. & Heller, H. C. (1997a). Development of REM and slow wave sleep in the rat. American Journal of Physiology, 272, R1792-R1799; Jouvet-Mounier, D., Astic, L., & Lacote, D. (1970). Ontogenesis of the states of sleep in rat, cat and guinea pig during the first postnatal month. Developmental Psychobiology, 2, 216-239; Roffwarg, H. P., Muzio, J. N., & Dement, W. C. (1966). Ontogenetic development of the human sleep-dream cycle. Science, 604-619]. Many of the mechanisms governing developmental plasticity also mediate plasticity in the adult brain. Therefore, studying the role of sleep in developmental plasticity may provide insights more generally into sleep function across the lifespan. In this chapter, I review the evidence that supports a critical role for sleep in developmental brain plasticity. I begin with an overview of past studies that support a role for sleep in general brain maturation. This is followed by more recent findings in the developing visual cortex that more specifically address a possible role for sleep in cortical plasticity. PMID:21854965

  12. Chronic stress, cortical plasticity and neuroecology.

    PubMed

    Reser, Jared Edward

    2016-08-01

    Prolonged psychological stress and accompanying elevations in blood cortisol are known to induce hypometabolism and decreasing synaptic density in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This article evaluates and explores evidence supporting the hypothesis that these, and other, selective effects of prolonged stress constitute a neuroecological program that adaptively modifies behavior in mammals experiencing adverse conditions. Three complementary hypotheses are proposed: (1) chronic stress signifies that the prevailing environment is life-threatening, indicating that the animal should decrease activity in brain areas capable of inhibiting the stress axis; (2) stress signifies that the environment is unpredictable, that high-level cognition may be less effective, and that the animal should increase its reliance on defensive, procedural and instinctual behaviors mediated by lower brain centers; and (3) stress indicates that environmental events are proving difficult to systemize based on delayed associations, and thus the maintenance of contextual, task-relevant information in the PFC need not be maintained for temporally-extended periods. Humans, along with countless other species of vertebrates, have been shown to make predictive, adaptive responses to chronic stress in many systems including metabolic, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and even amygdalar and striatal systems. It is proposed in this article that humans and other mammals may also have an inducible, cerebrocortical response to pronounced stress that mediates a transition from time-intensive, explicit (controlled/attentional/top-down) processing of information to quick, implicit (automatic/preattentive/bottom-up) processing. PMID:27334119

  13. Cortical Plasticity Associated with Stuttering Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neumann, Katrin; Preibisch, Christine; Euler, Harald A.; von Gudenberg, Alexander Wolff; Lanfermann, Heinrich; Gall, Volker; Giraud, Anne-Lise

    2005-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have indicated that persistent developmental stuttering (PDS) may be associated both with an abnormality in white matter of left-hemispheric speech areas and a right-hemispheric hyperactivity. The latter may compensate for the deficient structural connectivity in the left hemisphere. To investigate the effects of stuttering…

  14. Norepinephrine is necessary for experience-dependent plasticity in the developing mouse auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Kathryn N; Liles, L Cameron; Weinshenker, David; Liu, Robert C

    2015-02-11

    Critical periods are developmental windows during which the stimuli an animal encounters can reshape response properties in the affected system to a profound degree. Despite this window's importance, the neural mechanisms that regulate it are not completely understood. Pioneering studies in visual cortex initially indicated that norepinephrine (NE) permits ocular dominance column plasticity during the critical period, but later research has suggested otherwise. More recent work implicating NE in experience-dependent plasticity in the adult auditory cortex led us to re-examine the role of NE in critical period plasticity. Here, we exposed dopamine β-hydroxylase knock-out (Dbh(-/-)) mice, which lack NE completely from birth, to a biased acoustic environment during the auditory cortical critical period. This manipulation led to a redistribution of best frequencies (BFs) across auditory cortex in our control mice, consistent with prior work. By contrast, Dbh(-/-) mice failed to exhibit the expected redistribution of BFs, even though NE-deficient and NE-competent mice showed comparable auditory cortical organization when reared in a quiet colony environment. These data suggest that while intrinsic tonotopic patterning of auditory cortical circuitry occurs independently from NE, NE is required for critical period plasticity in auditory cortex. PMID:25673838

  15. A Sensitive Period for Language in the Visual Cortex: Distinct Patterns of Plasticity in Congenitally versus Late Blind Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bedny, Marina; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Dravida, Swethasri; Saxe, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that blindness enables visual circuits to contribute to language processing. We examined whether this dramatic functional plasticity has a sensitive period. BOLD fMRI signal was measured in congenitally blind, late blind (blindness onset 9-years-old or later) and sighted participants while they performed a sentence…

  16. Maternal dietary loads of α-tocopherol depress protein kinase C signaling and synaptic plasticity in rat postnatal developing hippocampus and promote permanent deficits in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Betti, Michele; Ambrogini, Patrizia; Minelli, Andrea; Floridi, Alessandro; Lattanzi, Davide; Ciuffoli, Stefano; Bucherelli, Corrado; Prospero, Emilia; Frontini, Andrea; Santarelli, Lory; Baldi, Elisabetta; Benetti, Fernando; Galli, Francesco; Cuppini, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) supplementation has been tested as prophylaxis against gestational disorders associated with oxidative damage. However, recent evidence showing that high maternal α-tocopherol intake can adversely affect offspring development raises concerns on the safety of vitamin E extradosages during pregnancy. Besides acting as an antioxidant, α-tocopherol depresses cell proliferation and modulates cell signaling through inhibiting protein kinase C (PKC), a kinase that is deeply involved in neural maturation and plasticity. Possible effects of α-tocopherol loads in the maturing brain, where PKC dysregulation is associated to developmental dysfunctions, are poorly known. Here, supranutritional doses of α-tocopherol were fed to pregnant and lactating dams to evaluate the effects on PKC signaling and morphofunctional maturation in offspring hippocampus. Results showed that maternal supplementation potentiates hippocampal α-tocopherol incorporation in offspring and leads to marked decrease of PKC phosphorylation throughout postnatal maturation, accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of growth-associated protein-43 and myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, two PKC substrates involved in neural development and plasticity. Although processes of neuronal maturation, synapse formation and targeting appeared unaffected, offspring of supplemented mothers displayed a marked reduction of long-term synaptic plasticity in juvenile hippocampus. Interestingly, this impairment persisted in adulthood, when a deficit in hippocampus-dependent, long-lasting spatial memory was also revealed. In conclusion, maternal supplementation with elevated doses of α-tocopherol can influence cell signaling and synaptic plasticity in developing hippocampus and promotes permanent adverse effects in adult offspring. The present results emphasize the need to evaluate the safety of supranutritional maternal intake of α-tocopherol in humans. PMID:20382010

  17. The intimate relationship of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons with the polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule revisited across development and adult plasticity.

    PubMed

    Franceschini, Isabelle; Desroziers, Elodie; Caraty, Alain; Duittoz, Anne

    2010-12-01

    The neurohormone gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is critical for all the aspects of reproductive life in vertebrates. GnRH is secreted by a small number of neurons dispersed within the preoptic-hypothalamic region. These neurons are derived from the embryonic olfactory pit. They then migrate along olfactory, vomeronasal and terminal nerves to their final destination. Classical approaches to study the regulation of GnRH secretion during the reproductive cycle have focused on the various neuronal inputs on GnRH neurons and their regulation by ovarian steroids. However, it is well known that steroids will change the microenvironment of neuronal networks and can induce plasticity and functional changes. In this review, we will focus on the intimate relationship of developing and adult GnRH neurons with the polysialylated form of neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), a major molecular actor in the morphogenesis and adult plasticity of the nervous system. We will first recapitulate the spatiotemporal relationship between PSA-NCAM and migrating GnRH neurons during embryogenesis of various vertebrate species and discuss its importance for GnRH neuron development as shown by various loss of function studies. In the adult, we will review the relationships between PSA-NCAM and GnRH neurons across various physiological states, and open the discussion to the use of new model systems that can help to unravel the function and mechanism of action of PSA-NCAM on GnRH neuronal network activity and GnRH release. PMID:21143658

  18. The Synaptic Proteome during Development and Plasticity of the Mouse Visual Cortex*

    PubMed Central

    Dahlhaus, Martijn; Wan Li, Ka; van der Schors, Roel C.; Saiepour, M. Hadi; van Nierop, Pim; Heimel, J. Alexander; Hermans, Josephine M.; Loos, Maarten; Smit, August B.; Levelt, Christiaan N.

    2011-01-01

    During brain development, the neocortex shows periods of enhanced plasticity, which enables the acquisition of knowledge and skills that we use and build on in adult life. Key to persistent modifications of neuronal connectivity and plasticity of the neocortex are molecular changes occurring at the synapse. Here we used isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification to measure levels of 467 synaptic proteins in a well-established model of plasticity in the mouse visual cortex and the regulation of its critical period. We found that inducing visual cortex plasticity by monocular deprivation during the critical period increased levels of kinases and proteins regulating the actin-cytoskeleton and endocytosis. Upon closure of the critical period with age, proteins associated with transmitter vesicle release and the tubulin- and septin-cytoskeletons increased, whereas actin-regulators decreased in line with augmented synapse stability and efficacy. Maintaining the visual cortex in a plastic state by dark rearing mice into adulthood only partially prevented these changes and increased levels of G-proteins and protein kinase A subunits. This suggests that in contrast to the general belief, dark rearing does not simply delay cortical development but may activate signaling pathways that specifically maintain or increase the plasticity potential of the visual cortex. Altogether, this study identified many novel candidate plasticity proteins and signaling pathways that mediate synaptic plasticity during critical developmental periods or restrict it in adulthood. PMID:21398567

  19. Ocular Dominance Plasticity after Stroke Was Preserved in PSD-95 Knockout Mice.

    PubMed

    Greifzu, Franziska; Parthier, Daniel; Goetze, Bianka; Schlüter, Oliver M; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity is essential to enable rehabilitation when the brain suffers from injury, such as following a stroke. One of the most established models to study cortical plasticity is ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1) of the mammalian brain induced by monocular deprivation (MD). We have previously shown that OD-plasticity in adult mouse V1 is absent after a photothrombotic (PT) stroke lesion in the adjacent primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Exposing lesioned mice to conditions which reduce the inhibitory tone in V1, such as raising animals in an enriched environment or short-term dark exposure, preserved OD-plasticity after an S1-lesion. Here we tested whether modification of excitatory circuits can also be beneficial for preserving V1-plasticity after stroke. Mice lacking postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), a signaling scaffold present at mature excitatory synapses, have lifelong juvenile-like OD-plasticity caused by an increased number of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) -silent synapses in V1 but unaltered inhibitory tone. In fact, using intrinsic signal optical imaging, we show here that OD-plasticity was preserved in V1 of adult PSD-95 KO mice after an S1-lesion but not in PSD-95 wildtype (WT)-mice. In addition, experience-enabled enhancement of the optomotor reflex of the open eye after MD was compromised in both lesioned PSD-95 KO and PSD-95 WT mice. Basic V1-activation and retinotopic map quality were, however, not different between lesioned PSD-95 KO mice and their WT littermates. The preserved OD-plasticity in the PSD-95 KO mice indicates that V1-plasticity after a distant stroke can be promoted by either changes in excitatory circuitry or by lowering the inhibitory tone in V1 as previously shown. Furthermore, the present data indicate that an increased number of AMPA-silent synapses preserves OD-plasticity not only in the healthy brain, but also in another experimental paradigm of

  20. Ocular Dominance Plasticity after Stroke Was Preserved in PSD-95 Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Greifzu, Franziska; Parthier, Daniel; Goetze, Bianka; Schlüter, Oliver M.; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity is essential to enable rehabilitation when the brain suffers from injury, such as following a stroke. One of the most established models to study cortical plasticity is ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1) of the mammalian brain induced by monocular deprivation (MD). We have previously shown that OD-plasticity in adult mouse V1 is absent after a photothrombotic (PT) stroke lesion in the adjacent primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Exposing lesioned mice to conditions which reduce the inhibitory tone in V1, such as raising animals in an enriched environment or short-term dark exposure, preserved OD-plasticity after an S1-lesion. Here we tested whether modification of excitatory circuits can also be beneficial for preserving V1-plasticity after stroke. Mice lacking postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), a signaling scaffold present at mature excitatory synapses, have lifelong juvenile-like OD-plasticity caused by an increased number of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) -silent synapses in V1 but unaltered inhibitory tone. In fact, using intrinsic signal optical imaging, we show here that OD-plasticity was preserved in V1 of adult PSD-95 KO mice after an S1-lesion but not in PSD-95 wildtype (WT)-mice. In addition, experience-enabled enhancement of the optomotor reflex of the open eye after MD was compromised in both lesioned PSD-95 KO and PSD-95 WT mice. Basic V1-activation and retinotopic map quality were, however, not different between lesioned PSD-95 KO mice and their WT littermates. The preserved OD-plasticity in the PSD-95 KO mice indicates that V1-plasticity after a distant stroke can be promoted by either changes in excitatory circuitry or by lowering the inhibitory tone in V1 as previously shown. Furthermore, the present data indicate that an increased number of AMPA-silent synapses preserves OD-plasticity not only in the healthy brain, but also in another experimental paradigm of

  1. A sensitive period for language in the visual cortex: Distinct patterns of plasticity in congenitally versus late blind adults

    PubMed Central

    Bedny, Marina; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Dravida, Swethasri; Saxe, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that blindness enables visual circuits to contribute to language processing. We examined whether this dramatic functional plasticity has a sensitive period. BOLD fMRI signal was measured in congenitally blind, late blind (blindness onset 9-years-old or later) and sighted participants while they performed a sentence comprehension task. In a control condition, participants listened to backwards speech and made match/non-match to sample judgments. In both, congenitally and late blind participants BOLD signal increased in bilateral foveal-pericalcarine cortex during response preparation, irrespective of whether the stimulus was a sentence or backwards speech. However, only in congenitally blind people left occipital areas (pericalcarine, extrastriate, fusiform and lateral) responded more to sentences than backwards speech. We conclude that age of blindness onset constrains the non-visual functions of occipital cortex: while plasticity is present in both congenitally and late blind individuals, recruitment of visual circuits for language depends on blindness during childhood. PMID:22154509

  2. Network Plasticity as Bayesian Inference

    PubMed Central

    Legenstein, Robert; Maass, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    General results from statistical learning theory suggest to understand not only brain computations, but also brain plasticity as probabilistic inference. But a model for that has been missing. We propose that inherently stochastic features of synaptic plasticity and spine motility enable cortical networks of neurons to carry out probabilistic inference by sampling from a posterior distribution of network configurations. This model provides a viable alternative to existing models that propose convergence of parameters to maximum likelihood values. It explains how priors on weight distributions and connection probabilities can be merged optimally with learned experience, how cortical networks can generalize learned information so well to novel experiences, and how they can compensate continuously for unforeseen disturbances of the network. The resulting new theory of network plasticity explains from a functional perspective a number of experimental data on stochastic aspects of synaptic plasticity that previously appeared to be quite puzzling. PMID:26545099

  3. Changes in Early Cortical Visual Processing Predict Enhanced Reactivity in Deaf Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Bottari, Davide; Caclin, Anne; Giard, Marie-Hélène; Pavani, Francesco

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with profound deafness rely critically on vision to interact with their environment. Improvement of visual performance as a consequence of auditory deprivation is assumed to result from cross-modal changes occurring in late stages of visual processing. Here we measured reaction times and event-related potentials (ERPs) in profoundly deaf adults and hearing controls during a speeded visual detection task, to assess to what extent the enhanced reactivity of deaf individuals could reflect plastic changes in the early cortical processing of the stimulus. We found that deaf subjects were faster than hearing controls at detecting the visual targets, regardless of their location in the visual field (peripheral or peri-foveal). This behavioural facilitation was associated with ERP changes starting from the first detectable response in the striate cortex (C1 component) at about 80 ms after stimulus onset, and in the P1 complex (100–150 ms). In addition, we found that P1 peak amplitudes predicted the response times in deaf subjects, whereas in hearing individuals visual reactivity and ERP amplitudes correlated only at later stages of processing. These findings show that long-term auditory deprivation can profoundly alter visual processing from the earliest cortical stages. Furthermore, our results provide the first evidence of a co-variation between modified brain activity (cortical plasticity) and behavioural enhancement in this sensory-deprived population. PMID:21980501

  4. Identification of hot spots of DNA methylation in the adult male adrenal in response to in utero exposure to the ubiquitous endocrine disruptor plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Arguelles, D B; Papadopoulos, V

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to environmental toxicants during fetal development alters gene expression and promotes disease later in life. Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer widely used for the manufacturing of consumer products. Exposure to DEHP has been associated with obesity, asthma, and low T levels. In utero exposure of pregnant dams to DEHP from gestational day 14 until birth resulted in reduced levels of serum T and aldosterone in the adult male offspring. Because DEHP is rapidly cleared from the body, the effects observed in the adult are likely epigenetic in origin. Under the same experimental conditions, we used reduced-representation bisulfite sequencing to assess changes in DNA methylation. We identified hot spots of DNA methylation changes primarily within CpG islands followed by shelf regions of the genome known to control regional gene expression. We also identified epigenomic areas responsive to exposure to environmental levels of DEHP and found the chromosomal region that houses genes controlling immune responsiveness to be a primary target of DEHP. These data suggest that DEHP phthalate exposure early in life induces epigenetic changes that may be linked to altered gene expression and function in the adult. PMID:25330100

  5. Cortical Synaptic Inhibition Declines during Auditory Learning

    PubMed Central

    von Trapp, Gardiner; Mowery, Todd M.; Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory learning is associated with an enhanced representation of acoustic cues in primary auditory cortex, and modulation of inhibitory strength is causally involved in learning. If this inhibitory plasticity is associated with task learning and improvement, its expression should emerge and persist until task proficiency is achieved. We tested this idea by measuring changes to cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission as adult gerbils progressed through the process of associative learning and perceptual improvement. Using either of two procedures, aversive or appetitive conditioning, animals were trained to detect amplitude-modulated noise and then tested daily. Following each training session, a thalamocortical brain slice was generated, and inhibitory synaptic properties were recorded from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. Initial associative learning was accompanied by a profound reduction in the amplitude of spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs). However, sIPSC amplitude returned to control levels when animals reached asymptotic behavioral performance. In contrast, paired-pulse ratios decreased in trained animals as well as in control animals that experienced unpaired conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. This latter observation suggests that inhibitory release properties are modified during behavioral conditioning, even when an association between the sound and reinforcement cannot occur. These results suggest that associative learning is accompanied by a reduction of postsynaptic inhibitory strength that persists for several days during learning and perceptual improvement. PMID:25904785

  6. Infiltrating cells from host brain restore the microglial population in grafted cortical tissue.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cong; Tao, Sijue; Fang, Yukun; Guo, Jing; Zhu, Lirui; Zhang, Shengxiang

    2016-01-01

    Transplantation of embryonic cortical tissue is considered as a promising therapy for brain injury. Grafted neurons can reestablish neuronal network and improve cortical function of the host brain. Microglia is a key player in regulating neuronal survival and plasticity, but its activation and dynamics in grafted cortical tissue remain unknown. Using two-photon intravital imaging and parabiotic model, here we investigated the proliferation and source of microglia in the donor region by transplanting embryonic cortical tissue into adult cortex. Live imaging showed that the endogenous microglia of the grafted tissue were rapidly lost after transplantation. Instead, host-derived microglia infiltrated and colonized the graft. Parabiotic model suggested that the main source of infiltrating cells is the parenchyma of the host brain. Colonized microglia proliferated and experienced an extensive morphological transition and eventually differentiated into resting ramified morphology. Collectively, these results demonstrated that donor tissue has little contribution to the activated microglia and host brain controls the microglial population in the graft. PMID:27615195

  7. Lifelong plasticity in the rat auditory cortex: basic mechanisms and role of sensory experience.

    PubMed

    de Villers-Sidani, Etienne; Merzenich, Michael M

    2011-01-01

    The rodent auditory cortex has provided a particularly useful model for studying cortical plasticity phenomenology and mechanisms, both in infant and in adult animal models. Much of our initial understanding of the neurological processes underlying learning-induced changes in the cortex stems from the early exploitation of this model. More recent studies have provided a rich and elaborate demonstration of the "rules" governing representational plasticity induced during the critical period (CP) and in the longer post-CP "adult" plasticity epoch. These studies have also contributed importantly to the application of these "rules" to the development of practical training tools designed to improve the functional capacities of the auditory, language, and reading capacities of both children with developmental impairments and adults with acquired impairments in the auditory/aural speed and related cognitive domains. Using age as a connecting thread, we review recent studies performed in the rat primary auditory cortex (A1) that have provided further insight into the role of sensory experience in the shaping auditory signal representations, and into their possible role in shaping the machinery that regulates "adult" plasticity in A1. With this background, the role of auditory training in the remediation of auditory processing impairments is briefly discussed. PMID:21741548

  8. On the Plasticity of Semantic Generalizations: Children and Adults Modify Their Verb Lexicalization Biases in Response to Changing Input

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shafto, Carissa L.; Havasi, Catherine; Snedeker, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Languages differ in how they package the components of an event into words to form sentences. For example, while some languages typically encode the manner of motion in the verb (e.g., running), others more often use verbs that encode the path (e.g., ascending). Prior research has demonstrated that children and adults have lexicalization biases;…

  9. Plastic Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? Plastic Surgery KidsHealth > For Teens > Plastic Surgery Print A ... her forehead lightened with a laser? What Is Plastic Surgery? Just because the name includes the word " ...

  10. Passive exercise of the hind limbs after complete thoracic transection of the spinal cord promotes cortical reorganization.

    PubMed

    Graziano, Alessandro; Foffani, Guglielmo; Knudsen, Eric B; Shumsky, Jed; Moxon, Karen A

    2013-01-01

    Physical exercise promotes neural plasticity in the brain of healthy subjects and modulates pathophysiological neural plasticity after sensorimotor loss, but the mechanisms of this action are not fully understood. After spinal cord injury, cortical reorganization can be maximized by exercising the non-affected body or the residual functions of the affected body. However, exercise per se also produces systemic changes - such as increased cardiovascular fitness, improved circulation and neuroendocrine changes - that have a great impact on brain function and plasticity. It is therefore possible that passive exercise therapies typically applied below the level of the lesion in patients with spinal cord injury could put the brain in a more plastic state and promote cortical reorganization. To directly test this hypothesis, we applied passive hindlimb bike exercise after complete thoracic transection of the spinal cord in adult rats. Using western blot analysis, we found that the level of proteins associated with plasticity - specifically ADCY1 and BDNF - increased in the somatosensory cortex of transected animals that received passive bike exercise compared to transected animals that received sham exercise. Using electrophysiological techniques, we then verified that neurons in the deafferented hindlimb cortex increased their responsiveness to tactile stimuli delivered to the forelimb in transected animals that received passive bike exercise compared to transected animals that received sham exercise. Passive exercise below the level of the lesion, therefore, promotes cortical reorganization after spinal cord injury, uncovering a brain-body interaction that does not rely on intact sensorimotor pathways connecting the exercised body parts and the brain. PMID:23349859

  11. β2-adrenoceptor stimulation restores frontal cortex plasticity and improves visuospatial performance in hidden-prenatally-malnourished young-adult rats.

    PubMed

    Sáez-Briones, Patricio; Soto-Moyano, Rubén; Burgos, Héctor; Castillo, Amparo; Valladares, Luis; Morgan, Carlos; Pérez, Hernán; Barra, Rafael; Constandil, Luis; Laurido, Claudio; Hernández, Alejandro

    2015-03-01

    Moderate reduction in dietary protein composition of pregnant rats from 25% to 8% casein, calorically compensated by carbohydrates, has been described as a "hidden malnutrition" because it does not alter body and brain weights of pups at birth. However, this dietary treatment leads to altered central noradrenergic systems, impaired cortical long-term potentiation (LTP) and worsened visuo-spatial memory performance. Given the increasing interest on the role played by β2-adrenoceptors (β2-ARs) on brain plasticity, the present study aimed to address the following in hidden-malnourished and eutrophic control rats: (i) the expression levels of β2-ARs in the frontal cortex determined by immunohistochemistry, and (ii) the effect of the β2 selective agonist clenbuterol on both LTP elicited in vivo in the prefrontal cortex and visuospatial performance measured in an eight-arm radial maze. Our results showed that, prenatally malnourished rats exhibited a significant reduction of neocortical β2-AR expression in adulthood. Concomitantly, they were unable to elicit and maintain prefrontal cortex LTP and exhibited lower visuospatial learning performance. Administration of clenbuterol (0.019, 0.038 and 0.075 mg/kg i.p.) enhanced LTP in malnourished and control animals and restored visuospatial learning performance in malnourished but not in normal rats, in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that decreased density of neocortical β2-ARs during postnatal life, subsequent to hidden prenatal malnutrition might affect some synaptic networks required to elicit neocortical LTP and form visuospatial memory, since those neuroplastic deficits were counteracted by β2-AR stimulation. PMID:25464009

  12. The effect of larval and early adult experience on behavioural plasticity of the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Aphidiinae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villagra, Cristian A.; Pennacchio, Francesco; Niemeyer, Hermann M.

    2007-11-01

    The relevance of the integration of preimaginal and eclosion experiences on the subsequent habitat preferences and mate finding by the adult has been rarely tested in holometabolous insects. In this work, the effect of larval and early adult experiences on the behavioural responses of adult males of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi, towards volatiles from the host-plant complex (HPC) and from conspecific females were evaluated. Two experience factors were considered: host diet (normal diet=ND; artificial diet=AD), and eclosion, i.e. extraction or non-extraction of the parasitoid larva from the parasitised aphid (extracted=EX; non-extracted=NE). Thus, four treatments were set up: ND/NE, ND/EX, AD/NE and AD/EX. Glass Y-tube olfactometers were used to investigate the responses of adult A. ervi males to the odour sources used. Males from the ND/NE treatment showed a shorter latency to the first choice of olfactometer arms, displayed a marked preference towards the HPC olfactometer arm, and spent more time in the HPC arm than males from the other treatments. Only the interaction of host diet and eclosion experiences proved to be relevant in explaining the differences in latency to first choice, time spent in olfactometers arms, and behaviours displayed in the olfactometer arms. These results show the importance of the integration of larval and eclosion experiences in the development of stereotyped responses of the adults. This process may involve memory retention from the preimaginal and emergence period, but further research is needed to disentangle the contribution of each stage. The response to conspecific females was much less affected by the treatments in relation to first arm choice and times in olfactometer arms, suggesting a pheromone-mediated behaviour, even though a prompter and more intense wing fanning courtship behaviour was registered in the ND/NE males compared to males from the AD/NE treatment. These results show that sexual behaviours are less

  13. The effect of larval and early adult experience on behavioural plasticity of the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Aphidiinae).

    PubMed

    Villagra, Cristian A; Pennacchio, Francesco; Niemeyer, Hermann M

    2007-11-01

    The relevance of the integration of preimaginal and eclosion experiences on the subsequent habitat preferences and mate finding by the adult has been rarely tested in holometabolous insects. In this work, the effect of larval and early adult experiences on the behavioural responses of adult males of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi, towards volatiles from the host-plant complex (HPC) and from conspecific females were evaluated. Two experience factors were considered: host diet (normal diet=ND; artificial diet=AD), and eclosion, i.e. extraction or non-extraction of the parasitoid larva from the parasitised aphid (extracted=EX; non-extracted=NE). Thus, four treatments were set up: ND/NE, ND/EX, AD/NE and AD/EX. Glass Y-tube olfactometers were used to investigate the responses of adult A. ervi males to the odour sources used. Males from the ND/NE treatment showed a shorter latency to the first choice of olfactometer arms, displayed a marked preference towards the HPC olfactometer arm, and spent more time in the HPC arm than males from the other treatments. Only the interaction of host diet and eclosion experiences proved to be relevant in explaining the differences in latency to first choice, time spent in olfactometers arms, and behaviours displayed in the olfactometer arms. These results show the importance of the integration of larval and eclosion experiences in the development of stereotyped responses of the adults. This process may involve memory retention from the preimaginal and emergence period, but further research is needed to disentangle the contribution of each stage. The response to conspecific females was much less affected by the treatments in relation to first arm choice and times in olfactometer arms, suggesting a pheromone-mediated behaviour, even though a prompter and more intense wing fanning courtship behaviour was registered in the ND/NE males compared to males from the AD/NE treatment. These results show that sexual behaviours are less

  14. Large-Scale Functional Reorganization in Adult Monkey Cortex after Peripheral Nerve Injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garraghty, Preston E.; Kaas, Jon H.

    1991-08-01

    In adult monkeys, peripheral nerve injuries induce dramatic examples of neural plasticity in somatosensory cortex. It has been suggested that a cortical distance limit exists and that the amount of plasticity that is possible after injury is constrained by this limit. We have investigated this possibility by depriving a relatively large expanse of cortex by transecting and ligating both the median and the ulnar nerves to the hand. Electrophysiological recording in cortical areas 3b and 1 in three adult squirrel monkeys no less than 2 months after nerve transection has revealed that cutaneous responsiveness is regained throughout the deprived cortex and that a roughly normal topographic order is reestablished for the reorganized cortex.

  15. Older Adults Benefit from Music Training Early in Life: Biological Evidence for Long-Term Training-Driven Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    White-Schwoch, Travis; Carr, Kali Woodruff; Anderson, Samira; Strait, Dana L.

    2013-01-01

    Aging results in pervasive declines in nervous system function. In the auditory system, these declines include neural timing delays in response to fast-changing speech elements; this causes older adults to experience difficulty understanding speech, especially in challenging listening environments. These age-related declines are not inevitable, however: older adults with a lifetime of music training do not exhibit neural timing delays. Yet many people play an instrument for a few years without making a lifelong commitment. Here, we examined neural timing in a group of human older adults who had nominal amounts of music training early in life, but who had not played an instrument for decades. We found that a moderate amount (4–14 years) of music training early in life is associated with faster neural timing in response to speech later in life, long after training stopped (>40 years). We suggest that early music training sets the stage for subsequent interactions with sound. These experiences may interact over time to sustain sharpened neural processing in central auditory nuclei well into older age. PMID:24198359

  16. Effects of long-term agomelatine treatment on the cognitive performance and hippocampal plasticity of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Demir Özkay, Ümide; Söztutar, Erdem; Can, Özgür Devrim; Üçel, Umut İrfan; Öztürk, Yusuf; Ulupinar, Emel

    2015-08-01

    Agomelatine is an antidepressant with a distinct pharmacological mechanism of action as an MT1 and MT2 receptor agonist and as a 5-HT2C receptor antagonist. We evaluated the chronic effects of agomelatine administration (40 mg/kg, 20 weeks) on the cognitive performance of rats in the Morris water maze task. We applied unbiased stereological quantification methods to estimate the total numbers of granular and pyramidal neurons located in the dorsal hippocampus. We also analyzed the dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region using the Golgi-Cox impregnation method. The agomelatine-treated group found the hidden platform more quickly than did the control group and spent significantly more time in the target quadrant. Agomelatine administration caused significant volumetric and numerical enhancements in granular and pyramidal neurons in the dentate gyrus and CA1-3 subregions, respectively. Increased densities of the mushroom and stubby types of spines, with no alteration in the thin-shaped spines, were observed in the agomelatine-treated group. These results showed that long-term agomelatine administration induced a nootropic effect supported by structural changes. Enhancement of the more stable types of dendritic spines might indicate improved adaptive capacity in hippocampal neurons. Future studies will provide a better understanding of the effect of this drug on synaptic plasticity. PMID:26110225

  17. Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency is associated with changes of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Grecksch, Gisela; Rüthrich, Heinz; Höllt, Volker; Becker, Axel

    2009-12-01

    Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency is considered a neurodevelopmental animal model in schizophrenia research. Vitamin D deficiency in female rats causes morphological, cellular and molecular changes in the brain and alters behaviour and nerve growth factors expression in their offspring. Prenatal depleted animals showed a significant impairment of latent inhibition, a feature often associated with schizophrenia and of hole board habituation. Interestingly, memory consolidation of brightness discrimination was improved. Possible functional effects of altered brain development that results from prenatal vitamin D deficiency were characterized by investigation of potentiation phenomena in the hippocampus in freely moving rats. Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency induced an enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) using either weak tetanic or strong tetanic stimulation, whereas the response to test stimuli was not changed. The classic neuroleptic drug haloperidol (Hal) and the atypical neuroleptic risperidone (Ris) in doses, which normalized behavioural disturbances in prenatal vitamin D-deficient animals without any side effects on the normal behaviour decreased the enhanced LTP in the experimental group to control level. Interestingly, the effect of the substances was different in experimental and control rats. The LTP was enhanced in control animals by the low doses of the drugs effective in our behavioural experiments. It can be suggested, that changes in brain development induced by prenatal vitamin D deficiency lead to specific functional alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. LTP is considered a cellular correlate of learning and memory. The better retention performance in brightness discrimination seems in accordance with enhanced potentiation level. PMID:19647946

  18. Phasic dopamine neuron activity elicits unique mesofrontal plasticity in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Mastwal, Surjeet; Ye, Yizhou; Ren, Ming; Jimenez, Dennisse V; Martinowich, Keri; Gerfen, Charles R; Wang, Kuan Hong

    2014-07-16

    The mesofrontal dopaminergic circuit, which connects the midbrain motivation center to the cortical executive center, is engaged in control of motivated behaviors. In addition, deficiencies in this circuit are associated with adolescent-onset psychiatric disorders in humans. Developmental studies suggest that the mesofrontal circuit exhibits a protracted maturation through adolescence. However, whether the structure and function of this circuit are modifiable by activity in dopaminergic neurons during adolescence remains unknown. Using optogenetic stimulation and in vivo two-photon imaging in adolescent mice, we found that phasic, but not tonic, dopamine neuron activity induces the formation of mesofrontal axonal boutons. In contrast, in adult mice, the effect of phasic activity diminishes. Furthermore, our results showed that dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission regulate this axonal plasticity in adolescence and inhibition of dopamine D2-type receptors restores this plasticity in adulthood. Finally, we found that phasic activation of dopamine neurons also induces greater changes in mesofrontal circuit activity and psychomotor response in adolescent mice than in adult mice. Together, our findings demonstrate that the structure and function of the mesofrontal circuit are modifiable by phasic activity in dopaminergic neurons during adolescence and suggest that the greater plasticity in adolescence may facilitate activity-dependent strengthening of dopaminergic input and improvement in behavioral control. PMID:25031392

  19. Evolution of phenotypic plasticity in colonizing species.

    PubMed

    Lande, Russell

    2015-05-01

    I elaborate an hypothesis to explain inconsistent empirical findings comparing phenotypic plasticity in colonizing populations or species with plasticity from their native or ancestral range. Quantitative genetic theory on the evolution of plasticity reveals that colonization of a novel environment can cause a transient increase in plasticity: a rapid initial increase in plasticity accelerates evolution of a new optimal phenotype, followed by slow genetic assimilation of the new phenotype and reduction of plasticity. An association of colonization with increased plasticity depends on the difference in the optimal phenotype between ancestral and colonized environments, the difference in mean, variance and predictability of the environment, the cost of plasticity, and the time elapsed since colonization. The relative importance of these parameters depends on whether a phenotypic character develops by one-shot plasticity to a constant adult phenotype or by labile plasticity involving continuous and reversible development throughout adult life. PMID:25558898

  20. Structural Plasticity, Effectual Connectivity, and Memory in Cortex.

    PubMed

    Knoblauch, Andreas; Sommer, Friedrich T

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory is commonly attributed to the modification of synaptic strengths in neuronal networks. More recent experiments have also revealed a major role of structural plasticity including elimination and regeneration of synapses, growth and retraction of dendritic spines, and remodeling of axons and dendrites. Here we work out the idea that one likely function of structural plasticity is to increase "effectual connectivity" in order to improve the capacity of sparsely connected networks to store Hebbian cell assemblies that are supposed to represent memories. For this we define effectual connectivity as the fraction of synaptically linked neuron pairs within a cell assembly representing a memory. We show by theory and numerical simulation the close links between effectual connectivity and both information storage capacity of neural networks and effective connectivity as commonly employed in functional brain imaging and connectome analysis. Then, by applying our model to a recently proposed memory model, we can give improved estimates on the number of cell assemblies that can be stored in a cortical macrocolumn assuming realistic connectivity. Finally, we derive a simplified model of structural plasticity to enable large scale simulation of memory phenomena, and apply our model to link ongoing adult structural plasticity to recent behavioral data on the spacing effect of learning. PMID:27378861

  1. Structural Plasticity, Effectual Connectivity, and Memory in Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Knoblauch, Andreas; Sommer, Friedrich T.

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory is commonly attributed to the modification of synaptic strengths in neuronal networks. More recent experiments have also revealed a major role of structural plasticity including elimination and regeneration of synapses, growth and retraction of dendritic spines, and remodeling of axons and dendrites. Here we work out the idea that one likely function of structural plasticity is to increase “effectual connectivity” in order to improve the capacity of sparsely connected networks to store Hebbian cell assemblies that are supposed to represent memories. For this we define effectual connectivity as the fraction of synaptically linked neuron pairs within a cell assembly representing a memory. We show by theory and numerical simulation the close links between effectual connectivity and both information storage capacity of neural networks and effective connectivity as commonly employed in functional brain imaging and connectome analysis. Then, by applying our model to a recently proposed memory model, we can give improved estimates on the number of cell assemblies that can be stored in a cortical macrocolumn assuming realistic connectivity. Finally, we derive a simplified model of structural plasticity to enable large scale simulation of memory phenomena, and apply our model to link ongoing adult structural plasticity to recent behavioral data on the spacing effect of learning. PMID:27378861

  2. Decreased functional connectivity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortical networks in adult macaques with neonatal hippocampal lesions: Relations to visual working memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Meng, Yuguang; Hu, Xiaoping; Bachevalier, Jocelyne; Zhang, Xiaodong

    2016-10-01

    Neonatal hippocampal lesions in monkeys impairs normal performance on both relational and working memory tasks, suggesting that the early lesions have impacted the normal development of prefrontal-hippocampal functional interactions necessary for normal performance on these tasks. Given that working memory processes engage distributed neuronal networks associated with the prefrontal cortex, it is critical to explore the integrity of distributed neural networks of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) following neonatal hippocampal lesions in monkeys. We used resting-state functional MRI to assess functional connectivity of dlPFC networks in monkeys with neonatal neurotoxic hippocampal lesion (Neo-Hibo, n=4) and sham-operated control animals (Neo-C, n=4). Significant differences in the patterns of dlPFC functional networks were found between Groups Neo-Hibo and Neo-C. The within-group maps and the between-group comparisons yielded a highly coherent picture showing altered interactions of core regions of the working memory network (medial prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex) as well as the dorsal (fundus of superior temporal area and superior temporal cortex) and ventral (V4 and infero-temporal cortex) visual processing areas in animals with Neo-Hibo lesions. Correlations between functional connectivity changes and working memory impairment in the same animals were found only between the dlPFC and visual cortical areas (V4 and infero-temporal cortex). Thus, the impact of the neonatal hippocampal lesions extends to multiple cortical areas interconnected with the dlPFC. PMID:27063864

  3. Treadmill training induced lumbar motoneuron dendritic plasticity and behavior recovery in adult rats after a thoracic contusive spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongxing; Liu, Nai-Kui; Zhang, Yi Ping; Deng, Lingxiao; Lu, Qing-Bo; Shields, Christopher B; Walker, Melissa J; Li, Jianan; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2015-09-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is devastating, causing sensorimotor impairments and paralysis. Persisting functional limitations on physical activity negatively affect overall health in individuals with SCI. Physical training may improve motor function by affecting cellular and molecular responses of motor pathways in the central nervous system (CNS) after SCI. Although motoneurons form the final common path for motor output from the CNS, little is known concerning the effect of exercise training on spared motoneurons below the level of injury. Here we examined the effect of treadmill training on morphological, trophic, and synaptic changes in the lumbar motoneuron pool and on behavior recovery after a moderate contusive SCI inflicted at the 9th thoracic vertebral level (T9) using an Infinite Horizon (IH, 200 kDyne) impactor. We found that treadmill training significantly improved locomotor function, assessed by Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor rating scale, and reduced foot drops, assessed by grid walking performance, as compared with non-training. Additionally, treadmill training significantly increased the total neurite length per lumbar motoneuron innervating the soleus and tibialis anterior muscles of the hindlimbs as compared to non-training. Moreover, treadmill training significantly increased the expression of a neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the lumbar motoneurons as compared to non-training. Finally, treadmill training significantly increased synaptic density, identified by synaptophysin immunoreactivity, in the lumbar motoneuron pool as compared to non-training. However, the density of serotonergic terminals in the same regions did not show a significant difference between treadmill training and non-training. Thus, our study provides a biological basis for exercise training as an effective medical practice to improve recovery after SCI. Such an effect may be mediated by synaptic plasticity, and neurotrophic modification in the

  4. Nogo Receptor 1 Limits Ocular Dominance Plasticity but not Turnover of Axonal Boutons in a Model of Amblyopia.

    PubMed

    Frantz, Michael G; Kast, Ryan J; Dorton, Hilary M; Chapman, Katherine S; McGee, Aaron W

    2016-05-01

    The formation and stability of dendritic spines on excitatory cortical neurons are correlated with adult visual plasticity, yet how the formation, loss, and stability of postsynaptic spines register with that of presynaptic axonal varicosities is unknown. Monocular deprivation has been demonstrated to increase the rate of formation of dendritic spines in visual cortex. However, we find that monocular deprivation does not alter the dynamics of intracortical axonal boutons in visual cortex of either adult wild-type (WT) mice or adult NgR1 mutant (ngr1-/-) mice that retain critical period visual plasticity. Restoring normal vision for a week following long-term monocular deprivation (LTMD), a model of amblyopia, partially restores ocular dominance (OD) in WT andngr1-/- mice but does not alter the formation or stability of axonal boutons. Both WT andngr1-/- mice displayed a rapid return of normal OD within 8 days after LTMD as measured with optical imaging of intrinsic signals. In contrast, single-unit recordings revealed thatngr1-/- exhibited greater recovery of OD by 8 days post-LTMD. Our findings support a model of structural plasticity in which changes in synaptic connectivity are largely postsynaptic. In contrast, axonal boutons appear to be stable during changes in cortical circuit function. PMID:25662716

  5. Cortical astrocytes rewire somatosensory cortical circuits for peripheral neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Hideaki; Ishikawa, Tatsuya; Shibata, Keisuke; Inada, Hiroyuki; Roh, Seung Eon; Kim, Sang Jeong; Moorhouse, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term treatments to ameliorate peripheral neuropathic pain that includes mechanical allodynia are limited. While glial activation and altered nociceptive transmission within the spinal cord are associated with the pathogenesis of mechanical allodynia, changes in cortical circuits also accompany peripheral nerve injury and may represent additional therapeutic targets. Dendritic spine plasticity in the S1 cortex appears within days following nerve injury; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this plasticity and whether it has a causal relationship to allodynia remain unsolved. Furthermore, it is not known whether glial activation occurs within the S1 cortex following injury or whether it contributes to this S1 synaptic plasticity. Using in vivo 2-photon imaging with genetic and pharmacological manipulations of murine models, we have shown that sciatic nerve ligation induces a re-emergence of immature metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) signaling in S1 astroglia, which elicits spontaneous somatic Ca2+ transients, synaptogenic thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) release, and synapse formation. This S1 astrocyte reactivation was evident only during the first week after injury and correlated with the temporal changes in S1 extracellular glutamate levels and dendritic spine turnover. Blocking the astrocytic mGluR5-signaling pathway suppressed mechanical allodynia, while activating this pathway in the absence of any peripheral injury induced long-lasting (>1 month) allodynia. We conclude that reawakened astrocytes are a key trigger for S1 circuit rewiring and that this contributes to neuropathic mechanical allodynia. PMID:27064281

  6. Cortical astrocytes rewire somatosensory cortical circuits for peripheral neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sun Kwang; Hayashi, Hideaki; Ishikawa, Tatsuya; Shibata, Keisuke; Shigetomi, Eiji; Shinozaki, Youichi; Inada, Hiroyuki; Roh, Seung Eon; Kim, Sang Jeong; Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu; Moorhouse, Andrew J; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko; Fukazawa, Yugo; Koizumi, Schuichi; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-05-01

    Long-term treatments to ameliorate peripheral neuropathic pain that includes mechanical allodynia are limited. While glial activation and altered nociceptive transmission within the spinal cord are associated with the pathogenesis of mechanical allodynia, changes in cortical circuits also accompany peripheral nerve injury and may represent additional therapeutic targets. Dendritic spine plasticity in the S1 cortex appears within days following nerve injury; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this plasticity and whether it has a causal relationship to allodynia remain unsolved. Furthermore, it is not known whether glial activation occurs within the S1 cortex following injury or whether it contributes to this S1 synaptic plasticity. Using in vivo 2-photon imaging with genetic and pharmacological manipulations of murine models, we have shown that sciatic nerve ligation induces a re-emergence of immature metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) signaling in S1 astroglia, which elicits spontaneous somatic Ca2+ transients, synaptogenic thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) release, and synapse formation. This S1 astrocyte reactivation was evident only during the first week after injury and correlated with the temporal changes in S1 extracellular glutamate levels and dendritic spine turnover. Blocking the astrocytic mGluR5-signaling pathway suppressed mechanical allodynia, while activating this pathway in the absence of any peripheral injury induced long-lasting (>1 month) allodynia. We conclude that reawakened astrocytes are a key trigger for S1 circuit rewiring and that this contributes to neuropathic mechanical allodynia. PMID:27064281

  7. Frontal cortical thinning and subcortical volume reductions in early adulthood obesity.

    PubMed

    Marqués-Iturria, Idoia; Pueyo, Roser; Garolera, Maite; Segura, Bàrbara; Junqué, Carme; García-García, Isabel; José Sender-Palacios, María; Vernet-Vernet, María; Narberhaus, Ana; Ariza, Mar; Jurado, María Ángeles

    2013-11-30

    Obesity depends on homeostatic and hedonic food intake behavior, mediated by brain plasticity changes in cortical and subcortical structures. The aim of this study was to investigate cortical thickness and subcortical volumes of regions related to food intake behavior in a healthy young adult sample with obesity. Thirty-seven volunteers, 19 with obesity (age=33.7±5.7 (20-39) years body-mass index (BMI)=36.08±5.92 (30.10-49.69)kg/m(2)) and 18 controls (age=32.3±5.9 (21-40) years; BMI=22.54±1.94 (19.53-24.97)kg/m(2)) participated in the study. Patients with neuropsychiatric or biomedical disorders were excluded. We used FreeSurfer software to analyze structural magnetic resonance images (MRI) and obtain global brain measures, cortical thickness and subcortical volume estimations. Finally, correlation analyses were performed for brain structure data and obesity measures. There were no between-group differences in age, gender, intelligence or education. Results showed cortical thickness reductions in obesity in the left superior frontal and right medial orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, the obesity group had lower ventral diencephalon and brainstem volumes than controls, while there were no differences in any other subcortical structure. There were no statistically significant correlations between brain structure and obesity measures. Overall, our work provides evidence of the structural brain characteristics associated with metabolically normal obesity. We found reductions in cortical thickness, ventral diencephalon and brainstem volumes in areas that have been implicated in food intake behavior. PMID:24041490

  8. Cytoarchitectural, behavioural and neurophysiological dysfunctions in the BCNU-treated rat model of cortical dysplasia.

    PubMed

    Inverardi, Francesca; Chikhladze, Maia; Donzelli, Andrea; Moroni, Ramona Frida; Regondi, Maria Cristina; Pennacchio, Paolo; Zucca, Ileana; Corradini, Irene; Braida, Daniela; Sala, Mariaelvina; Franceschetti, Silvana; Frassoni, Carolina

    2013-01-01

    Cortical dysplasias (CDs) include a spectrum of cerebral lesions resulting from cortical development abnormalities during embryogenesis that lead to cognitive disabilities and epilepsy. The experimental model of CD obtained by means of in utero administration of BCNU (1-3-bis-chloroethyl-nitrosurea) to pregnant rats on embryonic day 15 mimics the histopathological abnormalities observed in many patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the behavioural, electrophysiological and anatomical profile of BCNU-treated rats in order to determine whether cortical and hippocampal lesions can directly lead to cognitive dysfunction. The BCNU-treated rats showed impaired short-term working memory but intact long-term aversive memory, whereas their spontaneous motor activity and anxiety-like response were normal. The histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses, made after behavioural tests, revealed the disrupted integrity of neuronal populations and connecting fibres in hippocampus and prefrontal and entorhinal cortices, which are involved in memory processes. An electrophysiological evaluation of the CA1 region of in vitro hippocampal slices indicated a decrease in the efficiency of excitatory synaptic transmission and impaired paired pulse facilitation, but enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP) associated with hyperexcitability in BCNU-treated rats compared with controls. The enhanced LTP, associated with hyperexcitability, may indicate a pathological distortion of long-term plasticity. These findings suggest that prenatal developmental insults at the time of peak cortical neurogenesis can induce anatomical abnormalities associated with severe impairment of spatial working memory in adult BCNU-treated rats and may help to clarify the pathophysiological mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction that is often associated with epilepsy in patients with CD. PMID:23095101

  9. Lentiviral silencing of GSK-3β in adult dentate gyrus impairs contextual fear memory and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Chew, Benjamin; Ryu, Jae Ryun; Ng, Teclise; Ma, Dongliang; Dasgupta, Ananya; Neo, Sin Hui; Zhao, Jing; Zhong, Zhong; Bichler, Zoë; Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Goh, Eyleen L K

    2015-01-01

    Attempts have been made to use glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK3β) inhibitors for prophylactic treatment of neurocognitive conditions. However the use of lithium, a non-specific inhibitor of GSK3β results in mild cognitive impairment in humans. The effects of global GSK3β inhibition or knockout on learning and memory in healthy adult mice are also inconclusive. Our study aims to better understand the role of GSK3β in learning and memory through a more regionally, targeted approach, specifically performing lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GSK3β within the dentate gyrus (DG). DG-GSK3β-silenced mice showed impaired contextual fear memory retrieval. However, cue fear memory, spatial memory, locomotor activity and anxiety levels were similar to control. These GSK3β-silenced mice also showed increased induction and maintenance of DG long-term potentiation (DG-LTP) compared to control animals. Thus, this region-specific, targeted knockdown of GSK3β in the DG provides better understanding on the role of GSK3β in learning and memory. PMID:26157370

  10. Neuronal plasticity in the mushroom body calyx during adult maturation in the honeybee and possible pheromonal influences.

    PubMed

    Muenz, Thomas S; Groh, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Le Conte, Yves; Plettner, Erika; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    Honeybee workers express a pronounced age-dependent polyethism switching from various indoor duties to foraging outside the hive. This transition is accompanied by tremendous changes in the sensory environment that sensory systems and higher brain centers have to cope with. Foraging and age have earlier been shown to be associated with volume changes in the mushroom bodies (MBs). Using age- and task-controlled bees this study provides a detailed framework of neuronal maturation processes in the MB calyx during the course of natural behavioral maturation. We show that the MB calyx volume already increases during the first week of adult life. This process is mainly driven by broadening of the Kenyon cell dendritic branching pattern and then followed by pruning of projection neuron axonal boutons during the actual transition from indoor to outdoor duties. To further investigate the flexible regulation of division of labor and its neuronal correlates in a honeybee colony, we studied the modulation of the nurse-forager transition via a chemical communication system, the primer pheromone ethyl oleate (EO). EO is found at high concentrations on foragers in contrast to nurse bees and was shown to delay the onset of foraging. In this study, EO effects on colony behavior were not as robust as expected, and we found no direct correlation between EO treatment and synaptic maturation in the MB calyx. In general, we assume that the primer pheromone EO rather acts in concert with other factors influencing the onset of foraging with its effect being highly adaptive. PMID:25784170

  11. Lentiviral silencing of GSK-3β in adult dentate gyrus impairs contextual fear memory and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Benjamin; Ryu, Jae Ryun; Ng, Teclise; Ma, Dongliang; Dasgupta, Ananya; Neo, Sin Hui; Zhao, Jing; Zhong, Zhong; Bichler, Zoë; Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Goh, Eyleen L. K.

    2015-01-01

    Attempts have been made to use glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK3β) inhibitors for prophylactic treatment of neurocognitive conditions. However the use of lithium, a non-specific inhibitor of GSK3β results in mild cognitive impairment in humans. The effects of global GSK3β inhibition or knockout on learning and memory in healthy adult mice are also inconclusive. Our study aims to better understand the role of GSK3β in learning and memory through a more regionally, targeted approach, specifically performing lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GSK3β within the dentate gyrus (DG). DG-GSK3β-silenced mice showed impaired contextual fear memory retrieval. However, cue fear memory, spatial memory, locomotor activity and anxiety levels were similar to control. These GSK3β-silenced mice also showed increased induction and maintenance of DG long-term potentiation (DG-LTP) compared to control animals. Thus, this region-specific, targeted knockdown of GSK3β in the DG provides better understanding on the role of GSK3β in learning and memory. PMID:26157370

  12. The subependymal zone neurogenic niche: a beating heart in the centre of the brain: how plastic is adult neurogenesis? Opportunities for therapy and questions to be addressed.

    PubMed

    Kazanis, Ilias

    2009-11-01

    The mammalian brain is a remarkably complex organ comprising millions of neurons, glia and various other cell types. Its impressive cytoarchitecture led to the long standing belief that it is a structurally static organ and thus very sensitive to injury. However, an area of striking structural flexibility has been recently described at the centre of the brain. It is the subependymal zone of the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles. The subependymal zone--like a beating heart--continuously sends new cells to different areas of the brain: neurons to the olfactory bulbs and glial cells to the cortex and the corpus callosum. Interestingly, the generation and flow of cells changes in response to signals from anatomically remote areas of the brain or even from the external environment of the organism, therefore indicating that subependymal neurogenesis--as a system--is integrated in the overall homeostatic function of the brain. In this review, it will be attempted to describe the fundamental structural and functional characteristics of the subependymal neurogenic niche and to summarize the available evidence regarding its plasticity. Special focus is given on issues such as whether adult neural stem cells are activated after neurodegeneration, whether defects in neurogenesis contribute to neuropathological conditions and whether monitoring changes in neurogenic activity can have a diagnostic value. PMID:19773354

  13. Synapse plasticity in motor, sensory, and limbo-prefrontal cortex areas as measured by degrading axon terminals in an environment model of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).

    PubMed

    Neufeld, Janina; Teuchert-Noodt, Gertraud; Grafen, Keren; Winter, York; Witte, A Veronica

    2009-01-01

    Still little is known about naturally occurring synaptogenesis in the adult neocortex and related impacts of epigenetic influences. We therefore investigated (pre)synaptic plasticity in various cortices of adult rodents, visualized by secondary lysosome accumulations (LA) in remodeling axon terminals. Twenty-two male gerbils from either enriched (ER) or impoverished rearing (IR) were used for quantification of silver-stained LA. ER-animals showed rather low LA densities in most primary fields, whereas barrel and secondary/associative cortices exhibited higher densities and layer-specific differences. In IR-animals, these differences were evened out or even inverted. Basic plastic capacities might be linked with remodeling of local intrinsic circuits in the context of cortical map adaptation in both IR- and ER-animals. Frequently described disturbances due to IR in multiple corticocortical and extracortical afferent systems, including the mesocortical dopamine projection, might have led to maladaptations in the plastic capacities of prefronto-limbic areas, as indicated by different LA densities in IR- compared with ER-animals. PMID:19809517

  14. Effect of pycnogenol and spirulina on vancomycin-induced renal cortical oxidative stress, apoptosis, and autophagy in adult male albino rat.

    PubMed

    Bayomy, Naglaa A; Abdelaziz, Eman Z; Said, Mona A; Badawi, Marwa S; El-Bakary, Reda H

    2016-08-01

    Vancomycin-induced nephrotoxicity has been reported to occur in 5%-25% of patients who were administered with it. Several natural antioxidants were found to be effective against drug-induced toxicity. We evaluated the possible protective effects of spirulina and pycnogenol alone or in combination on vancomycin-induced renal cortical oxidative stress. Forty-nine rats were randomly divided into 7 groups: group I, control; group II, received spirulina 1000 mg/kg per day; group III, received pycnogenol 200 mg/kg per day; group IV, received vancomycin 200 mg/kg per day every 12 h; group V, (spirulina + vancomycin); group VI, (pycnogenol + vancomycin); and group VII, (pycnogenol + spirulina + vancomycin). At the end of the experiment, kidney functions were estimated and then the kidneys were removed, weighed, and sampled for histopathological, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical studies. Administration of spirulina and pycnogenol alone or in combination decreased elevated serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, renal malondialdehyde, and immunoexpression of the proapoptotic protein (Bax), autophagic marker protein (LC3/B), and inducible nitric oxide synthase induced by vancomycin. They increased reduced glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and immunoexpression of the antiapoptotic protein (Bcl2). They also ameliorated the morphological changes induced by vancomycin. The combination therapy of spirulina and pycnogenol showed better protective effects than the corresponding monotherapy. PMID:27203524

  15. Wiring stability of the adult Drosophila olfactory circuit after lesion.

    PubMed

    Berdnik, Daniela; Chihara, Takahiro; Couto, Africa; Luo, Liqun

    2006-03-29

    Neuronal wiring plasticity in response to experience or injury has been reported in many parts of the adult nervous system. For instance, visual or somatosensory cortical maps can reorganize significantly in response to peripheral lesions, yet a certain degree of stability is essential for neuronal circuits to perform their dedicated functions. Previous studies on lesion-induced neuronal reorganization have primarily focused on systems that use continuous neural maps. Here, we assess wiring plasticity in a discrete neural map represented by the adult Drosophila olfactory circuit. Using conditional expression of toxins, we genetically ablated specific classes of neurons and examined the consequences on their synaptic partners or neighboring classes in the adult antennal lobe. We find no alteration of connection specificity between olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) and their postsynaptic targets, the projection neurons (PNs). Ablating an ORN class maintains PN dendrites within their glomerular borders, and ORN axons normally innervating an adjacent target do not expand. Likewise, ablating PN classes does not alter their partner ORN axon connectivity. Interestingly, an increase in the contralateral ORN axon terminal density occurs in response to the removal of competing ipsilateral ORNs. Therefore, plasticity in this circuit can occur but is confined within a glomerulus, thereby retaining the wiring specificity of ORNs and PNs. We conclude that, although adult olfactory neurons can undergo plastic changes in response to the loss of competition, the olfactory circuit overall is extremely stable in preserving segregated information channels in this discrete map. PMID:16571743

  16. Plastic Jellyfish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moseley, Christine

    2000-01-01

    Presents an environmental science activity designed to enhance students' awareness of the hazards of plastic waste for wildlife in aquatic environments. Discusses how students can take steps to reduce the effects of plastic waste. (WRM)

  17. Development of Cortical Circuitry and Cognitive Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldman-Rakic, Patricia S.

    1987-01-01

    Recent studies on the biological development of the prefrontal cortex in rhesus monkeys are reviewed. These studies have elucidated the basic neural circuitry underlying the delayed-response function in adult nonhuman primates and suggest that a critical mass of cortical synapses is important for the emergence of this cognitive function. (BN)

  18. Compensatory plasticity: time matters

    PubMed Central

    Lazzouni, Latifa; Lepore, Franco

    2014-01-01

    Plasticity in the human and animal brain is the rule, the base for development, and the way to deal effectively with the environment for making the most efficient use of all the senses. When the brain is deprived of one sensory modality, plasticity becomes compensatory: the exception that invalidates the general loss hypothesis giving the opportunity of effective change. Sensory deprivation comes with massive alterations in brain structure and function, behavioral outcomes, and neural interactions. Blind individuals do as good as the sighted and even more, show superior abilities in auditory, tactile and olfactory processing. This behavioral enhancement is accompanied with changes in occipital cortex function, where visual areas at different levels become responsive to non-visual information. The intact senses are in general used more efficiently in the blind but are also used more exclusively. New findings are disentangling these two aspects of compensatory plasticity. What is due to visual deprivation and what is dependent on the extended use of spared modalities? The latter seems to contribute highly to compensatory changes in the congenitally blind. Short-term deprivation through the use of blindfolds shows that cortical excitability of the visual cortex is likely to show rapid modulatory changes after few minutes of light deprivation and therefore changes are possible in adulthood. However, reorganization remains more pronounced in the congenitally blind. Cortico-cortical pathways between visual areas and the areas of preserved sensory modalities are inhibited in the presence of vision, but are unmasked after loss of vision or blindfolding as a mechanism likely to drive cross-modal information to the deafferented visual cortex. The development of specialized higher order visual pathways independently from early sensory experience is likely to preserve their function and switch to the intact modalities. Plasticity in the blind is also accompanied with

  19. MicroRNA-181 promotes synaptogenesis and attenuates axonal outgrowth in cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Kos, Aron; Olde Loohuis, Nikkie; Meinhardt, Julia; van Bokhoven, Hans; Kaplan, Barry B; Martens, Gerard J; Aschrafi, Armaz

    2016-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are non-coding gene transcripts abundantly expressed in both the developing and adult mammalian brain. They act as important modulators of complex gene regulatory networks during neuronal development and plasticity. miR-181c is highly abundant in cerebellar cortex and its expression is increased in autism patients as well as in an animal model of autism. To systematically identify putative targets of miR-181c, we repressed this miR in growing cortical neurons and found over 70 differentially expressed target genes using transcriptome profiling. Pathway analysis showed that the miR-181c-modulated genes converge on signaling cascades relevant to neurite and synapse developmental processes. To experimentally examine the significance of these data, we inhibited miR-181c during rat cortical neuronal maturation in vitro; this loss-of miR-181c function resulted in enhanced neurite sprouting and reduced synaptogenesis. Collectively, our findings suggest that miR-181c is a modulator of gene networks associated with cortical neuronal maturation. PMID:27017280

  20. Noradrenaline depletion blocks behavioral sparing and alters cortical morphogenesis after neonatal frontal cortex damage in rats.

    PubMed

    Kolb, B; Sutherland, R J

    1992-06-01

    The possibility that cortical noradrenaline (NA) is necessary for sparing of function that occurs after neonatal frontal cortex damage was examined. Spatial localization by rats with frontal cortex damage on postnatal day 7 (P7) was better than that by rats with similar damage sustained as adults. The sparing was abolished in rats depleted of cortical NA by means of neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6HDA) administration. The blockade of sparing in the P7 frontal operates was associated with a smaller brain, thinner cortex, and reduced cortical dendritic branching relative to saline-treated P7 frontal operates. NA depletion alone in unoperated rats did not affect spatial learning but did reduce brain size and dendritic branching. Rats with frontal lesions on P4 did not show sparing of spatial localization, and 6HDA administration had no additional behavioral effect. Overall, these data are consistent with the notion that NA has some general function in maintaining some forms of plasticity in posterior cortex. PMID:1607943

  1. Neonatal cortical ablation disrupts multisensory development in superior colliculus

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wan; Jiang, Huai; Stein, Barry E.

    2006-01-01

    The ability of cat superior colliculus (SC) neurons to synthesize information from different senses depends on influences from two areas of the cortex: the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (AES) and the rostral lateral suprasylvian sulcus (rLS). Reversibly deactivating the inputs to the SC from either of these areas in normal adults severely compromises this ability and the SC-mediated behaviors that depend on it. In the present study we found that removal of these areas in neonatal animals precluded the normal development of multisensory SC processes. At maturity there was a substantial decrease in the incidence of multisensory neurons, and those multisensory neurons that did develop were highly abnormal. Their cross-modal receptive field register was severely compromised, as was their ability to integrate cross-modal stimuli. Apparently, despite the impressive plasticity of the neonatal brain, it cannot compensate for the early loss of these cortices. Surprisingly, however, neonatal removal of either AES or rLS had comparatively minor consequences on these properties. At maturity multisensory SC neurons were quite common: they developed the characteristic spatial register among their unisensory receptive fields and exhibited normal adult-like multisensory integration. These observations suggest that during early ontogeny, when the multisensory properties of SC neurons are being crafted, AES and rLS may have the ability to compensate for the loss of one another’s cortico-collicular influences so that normal multisensory processes can develop in the SC. PMID:16267111

  2. Negative childhood experiences alter a prefrontal-insular-motor cortical network in healthy adults: A preliminary multimodal rsfMRI-fMRI-MRS-dMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Niall W.; Hayes, Dave J.; Wiebking, Christine; Tiret, Brice; Pietruska, Karin; Chen, David Q.; Rainville, Pierre; Marjańska, Malgorzata; Mohammid, Omar; Doyon, Julien; Hodaie, Mojgan; Northoff, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Research in humans and animals has shown that negative childhood experiences (NCE) can have long-term effects on the structure and function of the brain. Alterations have been noted in grey and white matter, in the brain’s resting state, on the glutamatergic system, and on neural and behavioural responses to aversive stimuli. These effects can be linked to psychiatric disorder such as depression and anxiety disorders that are influenced by excessive exposure to early life stressors. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of NCEs on these systems. Resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI), aversion task fMRI, glutamate magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) were combined with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) in healthy subjects to examine the impact of NCEs on the brain. Low CTQ scores, a measure of NCEs, were related to higher resting state glutamate levels and higher resting state entropy in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). CTQ scores, mPFC glutamate and entropy, correlated with neural BOLD responses to the anticipation of aversive stimuli in regions throughout the aversion-related network, with strong correlations between all measures in the motor cortex and left insula. Structural connectivity strength, measured using mean fractional anisotropy, between the mPFC and left insula correlated to aversion-related signal changes in the motor cortex. These findings highlight the impact of NCEs on multiple inter-related brain systems. In particular, they highlight the role of a prefrontal-insular-motor cortical network in the processing and responsivity to aversive stimuli and its potential adaptability by NCEs. PMID:26287448

  3. Negative childhood experiences alter a prefrontal-insular-motor cortical network in healthy adults: A preliminary multimodal rsfMRI-fMRI-MRS-dMRI study.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Niall W; Hayes, Dave J; Wiebking, Christine; Tiret, Brice; Pietruska, Karin; Chen, David Q; Rainville, Pierre; Marjańska, Małgorzata; Ayad, Omar; Doyon, Julien; Hodaie, Mojgan; Northoff, Georg

    2015-11-01

    Research in humans and animals has shown that negative childhood experiences (NCE) can have long-term effects on the structure and function of the brain. Alterations have been noted in grey and white matter, in the brain's resting state, on the glutamatergic system, and on neural and behavioural responses to aversive stimuli. These effects can be linked to psychiatric disorder such as depression and anxiety disorders that are influenced by excessive exposure to early life stressors. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of NCEs on these systems. Resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI), aversion task fMRI, glutamate magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) were combined with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) in healthy subjects to examine the impact of NCEs on the brain. Low CTQ scores, a measure of NCEs, were related to higher resting state glutamate levels and higher resting state entropy in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). CTQ scores, mPFC glutamate and entropy, correlated with neural BOLD responses to the anticipation of aversive stimuli in regions throughout the aversion-related network, with strong correlations between all measures in the motor cortex and left insula. Structural connectivity strength, measured using mean fractional anisotropy, between the mPFC and left insula correlated to aversion-related signal changes in the motor cortex. These findings highlight the impact of NCEs on multiple inter-related brain systems. In particular, they highlight the role of a prefrontal-insular-motor cortical network in the processing and responsivity to aversive stimuli and its potential adaptability by NCEs. PMID:26287448

  4. Experience-dependent gene expression in adult visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiabin; Yamahachi, Homare; Gilbert, Charles D

    2010-03-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity of the adult visual cortex underlies perceptual learning and recovery of function following central nervous system lesions. To reveal the signal transduction cascades involved in adult cortical plasticity, we utilized a model of remapping of cortical topography following binocular retinal lesions. In this model, the lesion projection zone (LPZ) of primary visual cortex (V1) recovers visually driven activity by the sprouting of horizontal axonal connections originating from the cells in the surrounding region. To explore the molecular mechanism underlying this process, we used gene microarrays from an expression library prepared from Macaque V1. By microarray analysis of gene expression levels in the LPZ and the surrounding region, and subsequent confirmation with Quantitative Real-Time polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization, the participation of a number of genes was observed, including the Rho GTPase family. Its role in regulation of cytoskeleton assembly provides a possible link between the alteration of neural activity and cortical functional reorganization. PMID:19571270

  5. Alteration of Cingulate Long-Term Plasticity and Behavioral Sensitization to Inflammation by Environmental Enrichment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shum, Fanny W. F.; Wu, Long-Jun; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Toyoda, Hiroki; Xu, Hui; Ren, Ming; Pinaud, Raphael; Ko, Shanelle W.; Lee, Yong-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Zhuo, Min

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to an enriched environment (EE) has been shown to induce cortical plasticity. Considerable amount of research is focused on the effects of EE in the hippocampus; however, effects of EE on other brain regions and the mechanisms involved are not well known. To investigate this, we induced cortical plasticity by placing mice in an EE for one…

  6. Reduced dorsolateral prefrontal cortical hemodynamic response in adult obsessive-compulsive disorder as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy during the verbal fluency task

    PubMed Central

    Hirosawa, Rikuei; Narumoto, Jin; Sakai, Yuki; Nishida, Seiji; Ishida, Takuya; Nakamae, Takashi; Takei, Yuichi; Fukui, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Conclusion Patients with OCD have reduced prefrontal, especially right dorsolateral prefrontal, cortical hemodynamic responses as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy during the verbal fluency task. These results support the hypothesis that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a role in the pathophysiology of OCD. PMID:23874098

  7. Prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol alters social behavior in adult rats: Relationship to structural plasticity and immediate early gene expression in frontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Derek A.; Akers, Katherine G.; Rice, James P.; Johnson, Travis E.; Candelaria-Cook, Felicha T.; Maes, Levi I.; Rosenberg, Martina; Valenzuela, C. Fernando; Savage, Daniel D.

    2009-01-01

    The goals of the present study were to characterize the effects of prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol on adult social behavior, and to evaluate fetal-ethanol-related effects on dendritic morphology, structural plasticity and activity-related immediate early gene (IEG) expression in the agranular insular (AID) and prelimbic (Cg3) regions of frontal cortex. Baseline fetal-ethanol-related alterations in social behavior were limited to reductions in social investigation in males. Repeated experience with novel cage-mates resulted in comparable increases in wrestling and social investigation among saccharin- and ethanol-exposed females, whereas social behavioral effects among males were more evident in ethanol-exposed animals. Male ethanol-exposed rats also displayed profound increases in wrestling when social interaction was motivated by 24 hours of isolation. Baseline decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in ethanol-exposed rats that were always housed with the same cage-mate. Modest experience-related decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in saccharin-exposed rats housed with various cage-mates. In contrast, fetal-ethanol-exposed rats displayed experience-related increases in dendritic length in AID, and no experience-related changes in spine density. The only effect observed in Cg3 was a baseline increase in basilar dendritic length among male ethanol-exposed rats. Robust increases in activity-related IEG expression in AID (c-fos and Arc) and Cg3 (c-fos) were observed following social interaction in saccharin-exposed rats, however, activity-related increases in IEG expression were not observed in fetal-ethanol-exposed rats in either region. The results indicate that deficits in social behavior are among the long-lasting behavioral consequences of moderate ethanol exposure during brain development, and implicate AID, and to a lesser degree Cg3, in fetal-ethanol-related social behavior

  8. Processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain: Insights from simultaneous interpreters.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes. PMID:24699036

  9. The expansion of adult stem/progenitor cells and their marker expression fluctuations are linked with pituitary plastic adaptation during gestation and lactancy.

    PubMed

    Vaca, Alicia Maldré; Guido, Carolina Beatriz; Sosa, Liliana Del Valle; Nicola, Juan Pablo; Mukdsi, Jorge; Petiti, Juan Pablo; Torres, Alicia Ines

    2016-08-01

    Extensive evidence has revealed variations in the number of hormone-producing cells in the pituitary gland, which occur under physiological conditions such as gestation and lactancy. It has been proposed that new hormone-producing cells differentiate from stem cells. However, exactly how and when this takes place is not clear. In this work, we used immunoelectron microscopy to identify adult pituitary stem/progenitor cells (SC/P) localized in the marginal zone (MZ), and additionally, we detected GFRa2-, Sox2-, and Sox9-positive cells in the adenoparenchyma (AP) by fluorescence microscopy. Then, we evaluated fluctuations of SC/P mRNA and protein level markers in MZ and AP during gestation and lactancy. An upregulation in stemness markers was shown at term of gestation (AT) in MZ, whereas there were more progenitor cell markers in the middle of gestation and active lactancy. Concerning committed cell markers, we detected a rise in AP at beginning of lactancy (d1L). We performed a BrdU uptake analysis in MZ and AP cells. The highest level of BrdU uptake was observed in MZ AT cells, whereas in AP this was detected in d1L, followed by a decrease in both the MZ and AP. Finally, we detected double immunostaining for BrdU-GFRa2 in MZ AT cells and BrdU-Sox9 in the AP d1L cells. Taken together, we hypothesize that the expansion of the SC/P niche took place mainly in MZ from pituitary rats in AT and d1L. These results suggest that the SC niche actively participates in pituitary plasticity during these reproductive states, contributing to the origin of hormone cell populations. PMID:27302752

  10. Transfer effects in task-set cost and dual-task cost after dual-task training in older and younger adults: further evidence for cognitive plasticity in attentional control in late adulthood.

    PubMed

    Bherer, Louis; Kramer, Arthur F; Peterson, Matthew S; Colcombe, Stanley; Erickson, Kirk; Becic, Ensar

    2008-01-01

    Older adults' difficulties in performing two tasks concurrently have been well documented (Kramer & Madden, 2008). It has been observed that the age-related differences in dual-task performance are larger when the two tasks require similar motor responses (2001) and that in some conditions older adults also show greater susceptibility than younger adults to input interference (Hein & Schubert, 2004). The authors recently observed that even when the two tasks require motor responses, both older and younger adults can learn to perform a visual discrimination task and an auditory discrimination task faster and more accurately (Bherer et al., 2005). In the present study, the authors extended this finding to a dual-task condition that involves two visual tasks requiring two motor responses. Older and younger adults completed a dual-task training program in which continuous individualized adaptive feedback was provided to enhance performance. The results indicate that, even with similar motor responses and two visual stimuli, both older and younger adults showed substantial gains in performance after training and that the improvement generalized to new task combinations involving new stimuli. These results suggest that dual-task skills can be substantially improved in older adults and that cognitive plasticity in attentional control is still possible in old age. PMID:18568979

  11. Alpha calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II in learning-dependent plasticity of mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Skibinska-Kijek, A; Radwanska, A; Kossut, M

    2008-02-01

    Calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), and more specifically its alpha subunit, is widely believed to be fundamental for hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In the cerebral cortex, deprivation-evoked plasticity was shown to depend on alphaCaMKII autophosphorylation abilities. Here we analyzed how learning-induced functional reorganization of cortical representations affected alphaCaMKII in adult Swiss mice. Mice were subjected to short-lasting sensory training in which stimulation of whiskers was paired with tail shock. The pairing results in enlargement of functional representation of vibrissae activated during the training. alphaCaMKII protein and its autophosphorylation level were determined by Western-blotting in somatosensory cortex crude synaptosomal fraction (P2) and postsynaptic protein-enriched, Triton X-100 insoluble fraction (TIF). The first training session resulted in an increase in alphaCaMKII autophosphorylation at autonomy site observed in TIF. A similar increase was also observed after the first session of just whiskers stimulation, which alone does not induce rearrangement of cortical representations. These data indicate that increased autophosphorylation of postsynaptic alphaCaMKII is not a correlate of induction phase of plasticity related reorganization of cortical representation of vibrissae. The increase observed in both experimental groups was transient and did not persist in the maintenance phase of the plastic change. Furthermore, we found that the training caused a delayed upregulation of alphaCaMKII protein level in crude synaptosomal fraction, but not in TIF, and the upregulation was not accompanied by an increase in autophosphorylation level of the kinase. The result indicates alphaCaMKII involvement in the late phase of plastic change and suggests the participation of a presynaptic pool of kinase rather than postsynaptic at this point. PMID:18164137

  12. Acute stress and hippocampal output: exploring dorsal CA1 and subicular synaptic plasticity simultaneously in anesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    MacDougall, Matthew J; Howland, John G

    2013-01-01

    The Cornu Ammonis-1 (CA1) subfield and subiculum (SUB) serve as major output structures of the hippocampal formation. Exploring forms of synaptic plasticity simultaneously within these two output regions may improve understanding of the dynamics of hippocampal circuitry and information transfer between hippocampal and cortical brain regions. Using a novel dual-channel electrophysiological preparation in urethane-anesthetized adult male Sprague-Dawley rats in vivo, we examined the effects of acute restraint stress (30 min) on short- and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity in both CA1 and SUB by stimulating the CA3 region. Paired-pulse facilitation was disrupted in SUB but not CA1 in the dual-channel experiments following exposure to acute stress. Disruptions in CA1 PPF were evident in subsequent single-channel experiments with a more anterior recording site. Acute stress disrupted long-term potentiation induced by high-frequency stimulation (10 bursts of 20 pulses at 200 Hz) in both CA1 and SUB. Low-frequency stimulation (900 pulses at 1 Hz) did not alter CA1 plasticity while a late-developing potentiation was evident in SUB that was disrupted following exposure to acute stress. These findings highlight differences in the sensitivity to acute stress for distinct forms of synaptic plasticity within synapses in hippocampal output regions. The findings are discussed in relation to normal and aberrant forms of hippocampal-cortical information processing. PMID:24303119

  13. Conditional deletion of Mecp2 in parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic cells results in the absence of critical period plasticity.

    PubMed

    He, Ling-jie; Liu, Nan; Cheng, Tian-lin; Chen, Xiao-jing; Li, Yi-ding; Shu, You-sheng; Qiu, Zi-long; Zhang, Xiao-hui

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the X-linked gene encoding the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) impair postnatal development of the brain. Here we use neuronal-type specific gene deletion in mice to show that conditional Mecp2 deletion in GABAergic parvalbumin-expressing (PV) cells (PV-Mecp2(-/y)) does not cause most Rett-syndrome-like behaviours, but completely abolishes experience-dependent critical period plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) that develops normal visual functions. However, selective loss of Mecp2 in GABAergic somatostatin-expressing cells or glutamatergic pyramidal cells does not affect the critical period plasticity. MeCP2-deficient PV cells exhibit high intrinsic excitability, selectively reduced efficacy of recurrent excitatory synapses in V1 layer 4 circuits, and decreased evoked visual responses in vivo. Enhancing cortical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibition with diazepam infusion can restore critical period plasticity in both young and adult PV-Mecp2(-/y) mice. Thus, MeCP2 expression in inhibitory PV cells during the critical period is essential for local circuit functions underlying experience-dependent cortical plasticity. PMID:25297674

  14. Reorganization of human cortical motor output maps following traumatic forearm amputation.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Leone, A; Peris, M; Tormos, J M; Pascual, A P; Catalá, M D

    1996-09-01

    We report the results of serial transcranial magnetic stimulation mapping of cortical motor outputs to the face and upper extremity in a subject studied before and repeatedly after traumatic amputation of the right arm immediately below the elbow. The results of the mapping studies illustrate the time course of plastic changes in the motor cortical representation in humans following a traumatic amputation and allow the correlation of subjective perceptions of phantom limbs with the reorganization of cortical outputs. PMID:8930960

  15. Plastics Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Tommy G.

    This curriculum guide is designed to assist junior high schools industrial arts teachers in planning new courses and revising existing courses in plastics technology. Addressed in the individual units of the guide are the following topics: introduction to production technology; history and development of plastics; safety; youth leadership,…

  16. Computational implications of cooperative plasticity induction at nearby dendritic sites.

    PubMed

    Morita, Kenji

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed that plasticity is not regulated independently at individual synapses but rather that there is cooperativity or associativity between nearby synapses in the dendritic tree of individual cortical pyramidal cells. Here, I summarize experimental results regarding such cooperative plasticity and its underlying mechanisms and consider their computational implications. PMID:19126862

  17. Overweight is not associated with cortical thickness alterations in children

    PubMed Central

    Sharkey, Rachel J.; Karama, Sherif; Dagher, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Several studies report an association between body mass index (BMI) and cortical thickness in adults. Some studies demonstrate diffuse cortical thinning in obesity, while others report effects in areas that are associated with self-regulation, such as lateral prefrontal cortex. Methods: This study used multilevel modeling of data from the NIH Pediatric MRI Data Repository, a mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional database, to examine the relationship between cortical thickness and body weight in children. Cortical thickness was computed at 81,942 vertices of 716 MRI scans from 378 children aged between 4 and 18 years. Body mass index Z score for age was computed for each participant. We performed vertex-wise statistical analysis of the relationship between cortical thickness and BMI, accounting for age and gender. In addition, cortical thickness was extracted from regions of interest in prefrontal cortex and insula. Results: No significant association between cortical thickness and BMI was found, either by statistical parametric mapping or by region of interest analysis. Results remained negative when the analysis was restricted to children aged 12–18. Conclusions: The correlation between BMI and cortical thickness was not found in this large pediatric sample. The association between BMI and cortical thinning develops after adolescence. This has implications for the nature of the relationship between brain anatomy and weight gain. PMID:25698918

  18. Cortical maturation and myelination in healthy toddlers and young children.

    PubMed

    Deoni, Sean C L; Dean, Douglas C; Remer, Justin; Dirks, Holly; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan

    2015-07-15

    The maturation of cortical structures, and the establishment of their connectivity, are critical neurodevelopmental processes that support and enable cognitive and behavioral functioning. Measures of cortical development, including thickness, curvature, and gyrification have been extensively studied in older children, adolescents, and adults, revealing regional associations with cognitive performance, and alterations with disease or pathology. In addition to these gross morphometric measures, increased attention has recently focused on quantifying more specific indices of cortical structure, in particular intracortical myelination, and their relationship to cognitive skills, including IQ, executive functioning, and language performance. Here we analyze the progression of cortical myelination across early childhood, from 1 to 6 years of age, in vivo for the first time. Using two quantitative imaging techniques, namely T1 relaxation time and myelin water fraction (MWF) imaging, we characterize myelination throughout the cortex, examine developmental trends, and investigate hemispheric and gender-based differences. We present a pattern of cortical myelination that broadly mirrors established histological timelines, with somatosensory, motor and visual cortices myelinating by 1 year of age; and frontal and temporal cortices exhibiting more protracted myelination. Developmental trajectories, defined by logarithmic functions (increasing for MWF, decreasing for T1), were characterized for each of 68 cortical regions. Comparisons of trajectories between hemispheres and gender revealed no significant differences. Results illustrate the ability to quantitatively map cortical myelination throughout early neurodevelopment, and may provide an important new tool for investigating typical and atypical development. PMID:25944614

  19. Cortical maturation and myelination in healthy toddlers and young children

    PubMed Central

    Deoni, Sean C.L.; Dean, Douglas C.; Remer, Justin; Dirks, Holly; O’Muircheartaigh, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    The maturation of cortical structures, and the establishment of their connectivity, are critical neurodevelopmental processes that support and enable cognitive and behavioral functioning. Measures of cortical development, including thickness, curvature, and gyrification have been extensively studied in older children, adolescents, and adults, revealing regional associations with cognitive performance, and alterations with disease or pathology. In addition to these gross morphometric measures, increased attention has recently focused on quantifying more specific indices of cortical structure, in particular intracortical myelination, and their relationship to cognitive skills, including IQ, executive functioning, and language performance. Here we analyze the progression of cortical myelination across early childhood, from 1 to 6 years of age, in vivo for the first time. Using two quantitative imaging techniques, namely T1 relaxation time and myelin water fraction (MWF) imaging, we characterize myelination throughout the cortex, examine developmental trends, and investigate hemispheric and gender-based differences. We present a pattern of cortical myelination that broadly mirrors established histological timelines, with somatosensory, motor and visual cortices myelinating by 1 year of age; and frontal and temporal cortices exhibiting more protracted myelination. Developmental trajectories, defined by logarithmic functions (increasing for MWF, decreasing for T1), were characterized for each of 68 cortical regions. Comparisons of trajectories between hemispheres and gender revealed no significant differences. Results illustrate the ability to quantitatively map cortical myelination throughout early neurodevelopment, and may provide an important new tool for investigating typical and atypical development. PMID:25944614

  20. Stroke rehabilitation using noninvasive cortical stimulation: aphasia.

    PubMed

    Mylius, Veit; Zouari, Hela G; Ayache, Samar S; Farhat, Wassim H; Lefaucheur, Jean-Pascal

    2012-08-01

    Poststroke aphasia results from the lesion of cortical areas involved in the motor production of speech (Broca's aphasia) or in the semantic aspects of language comprehension (Wernicke's aphasia). Such lesions produce an important reorganization of speech/language-specific brain networks due to an imbalance between cortical facilitation and inhibition. In fact, functional recovery is associated with changes in the excitability of the damaged neural structures and their connections. Two main mechanisms are involved in poststroke aphasia recovery: the recruitment of perilesional regions of the left hemisphere in case of small lesion and the acquisition of language processing ability in homotopic areas of the nondominant right hemisphere when left hemispheric language abilities are permanently lost. There is some evidence that noninvasive cortical stimulation, especially when combined with language therapy or other therapeutic approaches, can promote aphasia recovery. Cortical stimulation was mainly used to either increase perilesional excitability or reduce contralesional activity based on the concept of reciprocal inhibition and maladaptive plasticity. However, recent studies also showed some positive effects of the reinforcement of neural activities in the contralateral right hemisphere, based on the potential compensatory role of the nondominant hemisphere in stroke recovery. PMID:23002940

  1. Accelerated longitudinal cortical thinning in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Dongming; Lebel, Catherine; Treit, Sarah; Evans, Alan; Beaulieu, Christian

    2015-01-01

    It remains unclear if changes of the cerebral cortex occur gradually from childhood to adulthood, or if adolescence marks a differential period of cortical development. In the current study of 90 healthy volunteers aged 5-32years (48 females, 85 right handed) with 180 scans (2 scans for each participant with ~4year gaps), thinning of overall mean thickness and across the four major cortical lobes bilaterally was observed across this full age span. However, the thinning rate, calculated as Δcortical thickness/Δage (mm/year) between scans of each participant, revealed an accelerated cortical thinning during adolescence, which was preceded by less thinning in childhood and followed by decelerated thinning in young adulthood. Males and females showed similarly faster thinning rates during adolescence relative to young adults. The underlying basis and role of accelerated cortical thinning during adolescence for cognition, behaviour and disorders that appear at such a stage of development remains to be determined in future work. PMID:25312772

  2. Lifespan Differences in Cortical Dynamics of Auditory Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Viktor; Gruber, Walter; Klimesch, Wolfgang; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2009-01-01

    Using electroencephalographic recordings (EEG), we assessed differences in oscillatory cortical activity during auditory-oddball performance between children aged 9-13 years, younger adults, and older adults. From childhood to old age, phase synchronization increased within and between electrodes, whereas whole power and evoked power decreased. We…

  3. Pharmacology of cortical inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Krnjević, K.; Randić, Mirjana; Straughan, D. W.

    1966-01-01

    1. We have studied the effects of various pharmacological agents on the cortical inhibitory process described in the previous two papers (Krnjević, Randić & Straughan, 1966a, b); the drugs were mostly administered directly by iontophoresis from micropipettes and by systemic injection (I.V.). 2. Strychnine given by iontophoresis or by the application of a strong solution to the cortical surface potentiated excitatory effects, but very large iontophoretic doses also depressed neuronal firing. Subconvulsive and even convulsive systemic doses had little or no effect at the cortical level. There was no evidence, with any method of application, that strychnine directly interferes with the inhibitory process. 3. Tetanus toxin, obtained from two different sources and injected into the cortex 12-48 hr previously, also failed to block cortical inhibition selectively. As with strychnine, there was some evidence of increased responses to excitatory inputs. 4. Other convulsant drugs which failed to block cortical inhibition included picrotoxin, pentamethylene tetrazole, thiosemicarbazide, longchain ω-amino acids and morphine. 5. The inhibition was not obviously affected by cholinomimetic agents or by antagonists of ACh. 6. α- and β-antagonists of adrenergic transmission were also ineffective. 7. Cortical inhibition was fully developed in the presence of several general anaesthetics, including ether, Dial, pentobarbitone, Mg and chloralose. A temporary reduction in inhibition which is sometimes observed after systemic doses of pentobarbitone, is probably secondary to a fall in blood pressure. 8. Several central excitants such as amphetamine, caffeine and lobeline also failed to show any specific antagonistic action on cortical inhibition. 9. In view of the possibility that GABA is the chemical agent mediating cortical inhibition, an attempt was made to find a selective antagonist of its depressant action on cortical neurones. None of the agents listed above, nor any other

  4. Auditory map plasticity: Diversity in causes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Schreiner, Christoph E.; Polley, Daniel B.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory cortical maps have been a long-standing focus of studies that assess the expression, mechanisms, and consequences of sensory plasticity. Here we discuss recent progress in understanding how auditory experience transforms spatially organized sound representations at higher levels of the central auditory pathways. New insights into the mechanisms underlying map changes have been achieved and more refined interpretations of various map plasticity effects and their consequences in terms of behavioral corollaries and learning as well as other cognitive aspects have been offered. The systematic organizational principles of cortical sound processing remains a key-aspect in studying and interpreting the role of plasticity in hearing. PMID:24492090

  5. Auditory map plasticity: diversity in causes and consequences.

    PubMed

    Schreiner, Christoph E; Polley, Daniel B

    2014-02-01

    Auditory cortical maps have been a long-standing focus of studies that assess the expression, mechanisms, and consequences of sensory plasticity. Here we discuss recent progress in understanding how auditory experience transforms spatially organized sound representations at higher levels of the central auditory pathways. New insights into the mechanisms underlying map changes have been achieved and more refined interpretations of various map plasticity effects and their consequences in terms of behavioral corollaries and learning as well as other cognitive aspects have been offered. The systematic organizational principles of cortical sound processing remain a key aspect in studying and interpreting the role of plasticity in hearing. PMID:24492090

  6. Experience, Cortical Remapping, and Recovery in Brain Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wittenberg, George F.

    2009-01-01

    Recovery of motor function in brain and spinal cord disorders is an area of active research that seeks to maximize improvement after an episode of neuronal death or dysfunction. Recovery likely results from changes in structure and function of undamaged neurons, and this plasticity is a target for rehabilitative strategies. Sensory and motor function are mapped onto brain regions somatotopically, and these maps have been demonstrated to change in response to experience, particularly in development, but also in adults after injury. The map concept, while appealing, is limited, as the fine structure of the motor representation is not well-ordered somatotopically. But after stroke, the spared areas of the main cortical map for movement appears to participate in representing affected body parts, expanding representation in an experience dependent manner. This occurs in both animal models, and in human clinical trials, although one must be cautious in comparing the results of invasive electrophysiological techniques with non-invasive ones such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. Developmental brain disorders, such as cerebral palsy, and embryonic abnormalities, such as dysmelia, demonstrate the potential of the human brain to remap the motor system. Future therapies may be able to use that potential to maximize recovery. PMID:19770044

  7. Cement line staining in undecalcified thin sections of cortical bone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bain, S. D.; Impeduglia, T. M.; Rubin, C. T.

    1990-01-01

    A technique for demonstrating cement lines in thin, undecalcified, transverse sections of cortical bone has been developed. Cortical bone samples are processed and embedded undecalcified in methyl methacrylate plastic. After sectioning at 3-5 microns, cross-sections are transferred to a glass slide and flattened for 10 min. Sections of cortical bone are stained for 20 sec free-floating in a fresh solution of 1% toluidine blue dissolved in 0.1% formic acid. The section is dehydrated in t-butyl alcohol, cleared in xylene, and mounted with Eukitt's medium. Reversal lines appear as thin, scalloped, dark blue lines against a light blue matrix, whereas bone formation arrest lines are thicker with a smooth contour. With this technique cellular detail, osteoid differentiation, and fluorochrome labels are retained. Results demonstrate the applicability of a one-step staining method for cement lines which will facilitate the assessment of bone remodeling activity in thin sections of undecalcified cortical bone.

  8. Massive cortical reorganization in sighted Braille readers.

    PubMed

    Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Bola, Łukasz; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Śliwińska, Magdalena W; Amedi, Amir; Szwed, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    The brain is capable of large-scale reorganization in blindness or after massive injury. Such reorganization crosses the division into separate sensory cortices (visual, somatosensory...). As its result, the visual cortex of the blind becomes active during tactile Braille reading. Although the possibility of such reorganization in the normal, adult brain has been raised, definitive evidence has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate such extensive reorganization in normal, sighted adults who learned Braille while their brain activity was investigated with fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Subjects showed enhanced activity for tactile reading in the visual cortex, including the visual word form area (VWFA) that was modulated by their Braille reading speed and strengthened resting-state connectivity between visual and somatosensory cortices. Moreover, TMS disruption of VWFA activity decreased their tactile reading accuracy. Our results indicate that large-scale reorganization is a viable mechanism recruited when learning complex skills. PMID:26976813

  9. Roles for short-term synaptic plasticity in behavior.

    PubMed

    Fortune, Eric S; Rose, Gary J

    2002-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is phylogenetically widespread in ascending sensory systems of vertebrate brains. Such plasticity is found at all levels of sensory processing, including in sensory cortices. The functional roles of this apparently ubiquitous short-term synaptic plasticity, however, are not well understood. Data obtained in midbrain electrosensory neurons of Eigenmannia suggest that this plasticity has at least two roles in sensory processing; enhancing low-pass temporal filtering and generating phase shifts used in processing moving sensory images. Short-term synaptic plasticity may serve similar roles in other sensory modalities, including vision. PMID:14692501

  10. The Neurophysiologist Perspective into MS Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Houdayer, Elise; Comi, Giancarlo; Leocani, Letizia

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a frequent, highly debilitating inflammatory demyelinating disease, starting to manifest in early adulthood and presenting a wide variety of symptoms, which are often resistant to pharmacological treatments. Cortical dysfunctions have been demonstrated to be key components of MS condition, and plasticity of the corticospinal motor system is highly involved in major MS symptoms, such as fatigue, spasticity, or pain. Cortical dysfunction in MS can be studied with neurophysiological tools, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and related techniques (evoked potentials) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). These techniques are now widely used to provide essential elements of MS diagnosis and can also be used to modulate plasticity. Indeed, the recent development of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques able to induce cortical plasticity, such as repetitive TMS or transcranial direct current stimulation, has brought promising results as add-on treatments. In this review, we will focus on the use of these tools (EEG and TMS) to study plasticity in MS and on the major techniques used to modulate plasticity in MS. PMID:26388835

  11. Development and aging of cortical thickness correspond to genetic organization patterns

    PubMed Central

    Fjell, Anders M.; Grydeland, Håkon; Krogsrud, Stine K.; Rohani, Darius A.; Ferschmann, Lia; Storsve, Andreas B.; Tamnes, Christian K.; Sala-Llonch, Roser; Due-Tønnessen, Paulina; Bjørnerud, Atle; Sølsnes, Anne Elisabeth; Håberg, Asta K.; Skranes, Jon; Bartsch, Hauke; Chen, Chi-Hua; Thompson, Wesley K.; Panizzon, Matthew S.; Kremen, William S.; Dale, Anders M.; Walhovd, Kristine B.

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing realization that early life influences have lasting impact on brain function and structure. Recent research has demonstrated that genetic relationships in adults can be used to parcellate the cortex into regions of maximal shared genetic influence, and a major hypothesis is that genetically programmed neurodevelopmental events cause a lasting impact on the organization of the cerebral cortex observable decades later. Here we tested how developmental and lifespan changes in cortical thickness fit the underlying genetic organizational principles of cortical thickness in a longitudinal sample of 974 participants between 4.1 and 88.5 y of age with a total of 1,633 scans, including 773 scans from children below 12 y. Genetic clustering of cortical thickness was based on an independent dataset of 406 adult twins. Developmental and adult age-related changes in cortical thickness followed closely the genetic organization of the cerebral cortex, with change rates varying as a function of genetic similarity between regions. Cortical regions with overlapping genetic architecture showed correlated developmental and adult age change trajectories and vice versa for regions with low genetic overlap. Thus, effects of genes on regional variations in cortical thickness in middle age can be traced to regional differences in neurodevelopmental change rates and extrapolated to further adult aging-related cortical thinning. This finding suggests that genetic factors contribute to cortical changes through life and calls for a lifespan perspective in research aimed at identifying the genetic and environmental determinants of cortical development and aging. PMID:26575625

  12. Development and aging of cortical thickness correspond to genetic organization patterns.

    PubMed

    Fjell, Anders M; Grydeland, Håkon; Krogsrud, Stine K; Amlien, Inge; Rohani, Darius A; Ferschmann, Lia; Storsve, Andreas B; Tamnes, Christian K; Sala-Llonch, Roser; Due-Tønnessen, Paulina; Bjørnerud, Atle; Sølsnes, Anne Elisabeth; Håberg, Asta K; Skranes, Jon; Bartsch, Hauke; Chen, Chi-Hua; Thompson, Wesley K; Panizzon, Matthew S; Kremen, William S; Dale, Anders M; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2015-12-15

    There is a growing realization that early life influences have lasting impact on brain function and structure. Recent research has demonstrated that genetic relationships in adults can be used to parcellate the cortex into regions of maximal shared genetic influence, and a major hypothesis is that genetically programmed neurodevelopmental events cause a lasting impact on the organization of the cerebral cortex observable decades later. Here we tested how developmental and lifespan changes in cortical thickness fit the underlying genetic organizational principles of cortical thickness in a longitudinal sample of 974 participants between 4.1 and 88.5 y of age with a total of 1,633 scans, including 773 scans from children below 12 y. Genetic clustering of cortical thickness was based on an independent dataset of 406 adult twins. Developmental and adult age-related changes in cortical thickness followed closely the genetic organization of the cerebral cortex, with change rates varying as a function of genetic similarity between regions. Cortical regions with overlapping genetic architecture showed correlated developmental and adult age change trajectories and vice versa for regions with low genetic overlap. Thus, effects of genes on regional variations in cortical thickness in middle age can be traced to regional differences in neurodevelopmental change rates and extrapolated to further adult aging-related cortical thinning. This finding suggests that genetic factors contribute to cortical changes through life and calls for a lifespan perspective in research aimed at identifying the genetic and environmental determinants of cortical development and aging. PMID:26575625

  13. Repetition Suppression for Speech Processing in the Associative Occipital and Parietal Cortex of Congenitally Blind Adults

    PubMed Central

    Arnaud, Laureline; Sato, Marc; Ménard, Lucie; Gracco, Vincent L.

    2013-01-01

    In the congenitally blind (CB), sensory deprivation results in cross-modal plasticity, with visual cortical activity observed for various auditory tasks. This reorganization has been associated with enhanced auditory abilities and the recruitment of visual brain areas during sound and language processing. The questions we addressed are whether visual cortical activity might also be observed in CB during passive listening to auditory speech and whether cross-modal plasticity is associated with adaptive differences in neuronal populations compared to sighted individuals (SI). We focused on the neural substrate of vowel processing in CB and SI adults using a repetition suppression (RS) paradigm. RS has been associated with enhanced or accelerated neural processing efficiency and synchronous activity between interacting brain regions. We evaluated whether cortical areas in CB were sensitive to RS during repeated vowel processing and whether there were differences across the two groups. In accordance with previous studies, both groups displayed a RS effect in the posterior temporal cortex. In the blind, however, additional occipital, temporal and parietal cortical regions were associated with predictive processing of repeated vowel sounds. The findings suggest a more expanded role for cross-modal compensatory effects in blind persons during sound and speech processing and a functional transfer of specific adaptive properties across neural regions as a consequence of sensory deprivation at birth. PMID:23717628

  14. Synaptic strength modulation after cortical trauma: a role in epileptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Avramescu, Sinziana; Timofeev, Igor

    2008-07-01

    Traumatic brain injuries are often followed by abnormal hyperexcitability, leading to acute seizures and epilepsy. Previous studies documented the rewiring capacity of neocortical neurons in response to various cortical and subcortical lesions. However, little information is available on the functional consequences of these anatomical changes after cortical trauma and the adaptation of synaptic connectivity to a decreased input produced by chronic deafferentation. In this study, we recorded intracellular (IC) activities of cortical neurons simultaneously with extracellular (EC) unit activities and field potentials of neighboring cells in cat cortex, after a large transection of the white matter underneath the suprasylvian gyrus, in acute and chronic conditions (at 2, 4, and 6 weeks) in ketamine-xylazine-anesthetized cats. Using EC spikes to compute the spike-triggered averages of IC membrane potential, we found an increased connection probability and efficacy between cortical neurons weeks after cortical trauma. Inhibitory interactions showed no significant changes in the traumatized cortex compared with control. The increased synaptic efficacy was accompanied by enhanced input resistance and intrinsic excitability of cortical neurons, as well as by increased duration of silent network periods. Our electrophysiological data revealed functional consequences of previously reported anatomical changes in the injured cortex. We suggest that homeostatic synaptic plasticity compensating the decreased activity in the undercut cortex leads to an uncontrollable cortical hyperexcitability and seizure generation. PMID:18596152

  15. The foundations of cross-modal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitch, Ithai; Bai, Jihong

    2016-01-01

    Cross-modal plasticity is a striking adaptive feature of the brain, whereby the loss of one sensory modality induces cortical reorganization that leads to enhanced sensory performance in remaining modalities. Much is known about the macroscopic modifications in the brain that underly cross-modal plasticity and the associated changes in sensory performance. In contrast there is relatively scant information about the molecular and cellular underpinnings of this mechanism. We hypothesized that cross-modal plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system. As such, it should be found in organisms with brains that are substantially less complex than our own. Indeed, we discovered a cross-modal plasticity mechanism in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, whose nervous system is composed of only 302 neurons. Taking advantage of the simplicity of the C. elegans nervous system, we were able to comprehensively study cross-modal plasticity from molecule through circuit to behavior. PMID:27195068

  16. The foundations of cross-modal plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Rabinowitch, Ithai; Bai, Jihong

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cross-modal plasticity is a striking adaptive feature of the brain, whereby the loss of one sensory modality induces cortical reorganization that leads to enhanced sensory performance in remaining modalities. Much is known about the macroscopic modifications in the brain that underly cross-modal plasticity and the associated changes in sensory performance. In contrast there is relatively scant information about the molecular and cellular underpinnings of this mechanism. We hypothesized that cross-modal plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system. As such, it should be found in organisms with brains that are substantially less complex than our own. Indeed, we discovered a cross-modal plasticity mechanism in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, whose nervous system is composed of only 302 neurons. Taking advantage of the simplicity of the C. elegans nervous system, we were able to comprehensively study cross-modal plasticity from molecule through circuit to behavior. PMID:27195068

  17. Cortical State and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kenneth D.; Thiele, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Preface The brain continuously adapts its processing machinery to behavioural demands. To achieve this it rapidly modulates the operating mode of cortical circuits, controlling the way information is transformed and routed. This article will focus on two experimental approaches by which the control of cortical information processing has been investigated: the study of state-dependent cortical processing in rodents, and attention in the primate visual system. Both processes involve a modulation of low-frequency activity fluctuations and spiking correlation, and are mediated by common receptor systems. We suggest that selective attention involves processes similar to state change, operating at a local columnar level to enhance the representation of otherwise nonsalient features while suppressing internally generated activity patterns. PMID:21829219

  18. Cortical motion deafness.

    PubMed

    Ducommun, Christine Y; Michel, Christoph M; Clarke, Stephanie; Adriani, Michela; Seeck, Margitta; Landis, Theodor; Blanke, Olaf

    2004-09-16

    The extent to which the auditory system, like the visual system, processes spatial stimulus characteristics such as location and motion in separate specialized neuronal modules or in one homogeneously distributed network is unresolved. Here we present a patient with a selective deficit for the perception and discrimination of auditory motion following resection of the right anterior temporal lobe and the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG). Analysis of stimulus identity and location within the auditory scene remained intact. In addition, intracranial auditory evoked potentials, recorded preoperatively, revealed motion-specific responses selectively over the resected right posterior STG, and electrical cortical stimulation of this region was experienced by the patient as incoming moving sounds. Collectively, these data present a patient with cortical motion deafness, providing evidence that cortical processing of auditory motion is performed in a specialized module within the posterior STG. PMID:15363389

  19. Cortical dynamics revisited.

    PubMed

    Singer, Wolf

    2013-12-01

    Recent discoveries on the organisation of the cortical connectome together with novel data on the dynamics of neuronal interactions require an extension of classical concepts on information processing in the cerebral cortex. These new insights justify considering the brain as a complex, self-organised system with nonlinear dynamics in which principles of distributed, parallel processing coexist with serial operations within highly interconnected networks. The observed dynamics suggest that cortical networks are capable of providing an extremely high-dimensional state space in which a large amount of evolutionary and ontogenetically acquired information can coexist and be accessible to rapid parallel search. PMID:24139950

  20. Age-dependent effect of hearing loss on cortical inhibitory synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.

    2012-01-01

    The developmental plasticity of excitatory synapses is well established, particularly as a function of age. If similar principles apply to inhibitory synapses, then we would expect manipulations during juvenile development to produce a greater effect and experience-dependent changes to persist into adulthood. In this study, we first characterized the maturation of cortical inhibitory synapse function from just before the onset of hearing through adulthood. We then examined the long-term effects of developmental conductive hearing loss (CHL). Whole cell recordings from gerbil thalamocortical brain slices revealed a significant decrease in the decay time of inhibitory currents during the first 3 mo of normal development. When assessed in adults, developmental CHL led to an enduring decrease of inhibitory synaptic strength, whereas the maturation of synaptic decay time was only delayed. Early CHL also depressed the maximum discharge rate of fast-spiking, but not low-threshold-spiking, inhibitory interneurons. We then asked whether adult onset CHL had a similar effect, but neither inhibitory current amplitude nor decay time was altered. Thus inhibitory synapse function displays a protracted development during which deficits can be induced by juvenile, but not adult, hearing loss. These long-lasting changes to inhibitory function may contribute to the auditory processing deficits associated with early hearing loss. PMID:22090457

  1. The Convallis rule for unsupervised learning in cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Yger, Pierre; Harris, Kenneth D

    2013-10-01

    The phenomenology and cellular mechanisms of cortical synaptic plasticity are becoming known in increasing detail, but the computational principles by which cortical plasticity enables the development of sensory representations are unclear. Here we describe a framework for cortical synaptic plasticity termed the "Convallis rule", mathematically derived from a principle of unsupervised learning via constrained optimization. Implementation of the rule caused a recurrent cortex-like network of simulated spiking neurons to develop rate representations of real-world speech stimuli, enabling classification by a downstream linear decoder. Applied to spike patterns used in in vitro plasticity experiments, the rule reproduced multiple results including and beyond STDP. However STDP alone produced poorer learning performance. The mathematical form of the rule is consistent with a dual coincidence detector mechanism that has been suggested by experiments in several synaptic classes of juvenile neocortex. Based on this confluence of normative, phenomenological, and mechanistic evidence, we suggest that the rule may approximate a fundamental computational principle of the neocortex. PMID:24204224

  2. The Convallis Rule for Unsupervised Learning in Cortical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Yger, Pierre; Harris, Kenneth D.

    2013-01-01

    The phenomenology and cellular mechanisms of cortical synaptic plasticity are becoming known in increasing detail, but the computational principles by which cortical plasticity enables the development of sensory representations are unclear. Here we describe a framework for cortical synaptic plasticity termed the “Convallis rule”, mathematically derived from a principle of unsupervised learning via constrained optimization. Implementation of the rule caused a recurrent cortex-like network of simulated spiking neurons to develop rate representations of real-world speech stimuli, enabling classification by a downstream linear decoder. Applied to spike patterns used in in vitro plasticity experiments, the rule reproduced multiple results including and beyond STDP. However STDP alone produced poorer learning performance. The mathematical form of the rule is consistent with a dual coincidence detector mechanism that has been suggested by experiments in several synaptic classes of juvenile neocortex. Based on this confluence of normative, phenomenological, and mechanistic evidence, we suggest that the rule may approximate a fundamental computational principle of the neocortex. PMID:24204224

  3. Plastic Bronchitis.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Bruce K

    2016-09-01

    Plastic bronchitis is an uncommon and probably underrecognized disorder, diagnosed by the expectoration or bronchoscopic removal of firm, cohesive, branching casts. It should not be confused with purulent mucous plugging of the airway as seen in patients with cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis. Few medications have been shown to be effective and some are now recognized as potentially harmful. Current research directions in plastic bronchitis research include understanding the genetics of lymphatic development and maldevelopment, determining how abnormal lymphatic malformations contribute to cast formation, and developing new treatments. PMID:27514587

  4. Early depolarizing GABA controls critical period plasticity in the rat visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Deidda, Gabriele; Allegra, Manuela; Cerri, Chiara; Naskar, Shovan; Bony, Guillaume; Zunino, Giulia; Bozzi, Yuri; Caleo, Matteo; Cancedda, Laura

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Hyperpolarizing and inhibitory GABA regulates “critical periods” for plasticity in sensory cortices. Here, we examine the role of early, depolarizing GABA in controlling plasticity mechanisms. We report that brief interference with depolarizing GABA during early development prolonged critical period plasticity in visual cortical circuits, without affecting overall development of the visual system. The effects on plasticity were accompanied by dampened inhibitory neurotransmission, down-regulation of BDNF expression, and reduced density of extracellular matrix-perineuronal nets. Early interference with depolarizing GABA decreased perinatal BDNF signaling, and pharmacological increase of BDNF signaling during GABA interference rescued the effects on plasticity and its regulators later in life. We conclude that depolarizing GABA exerts a long-lasting, selective modulation of plasticity of cortical circuits by a strong crosstalk with BDNF. PMID:25485756

  5. Downregulation of immediate-early genes linking to suppression of neuronal plasticity in rats after 28-day exposure to glycidol

    SciTech Connect

    Akane, Hirotoshi; Saito, Fumiyo; Shiraki, Ayako; Takeyoshi, Masahiro; Imatanaka, Nobuya; Itahashi, Megu; Murakami, Tomoaki; Shibutani, Makoto

    2014-09-01

    We previously found that the 28-day oral toxicity study of glycidol at 200 mg/kg/day in rats resulted in axonopathy in both the central and peripheral nervous systems and aberrations in the late-stage of hippocampal neurogenesis targeting the process of neurite extension. To capture the neuronal parameters in response to glycidol toxicity, these animals were subjected to region-specific global gene expression profiling in four regions of cerebral and cerebellar architectures, followed by immunohistochemical analysis of selected gene products. Expression changes of genes related to axonogenesis and synaptic transmission were observed in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, cingulate cortex and cerebellar vermis at 200 mg/kg showing downregulation in most genes. In the corpus callosum, genes related to growth, survival and functions of glial cells fluctuated their expression. Immunohistochemically, neurons expressing gene products of immediate-early genes, i.e., Arc, Fos and Jun, decreased in their number in the dentate granule cell layer, cingulate cortex and cerebellar vermis. We also applied immunohistochemical analysis in rat offspring after developmental exposure to glycidol through maternal drinking water. The results revealed increases of Arc{sup +} neurons at 1000 ppm and Fos{sup +} neurons at ≥ 300 ppm in the dentate granule cell layer of offspring only at the adult stage. These results suggest that glycidol suppressed neuronal plasticity in the brain after 28-day exposure to young adult animals, in contrast to the operation of restoration mechanism to increase neuronal plasticity at the adult stage in response to aberrations in neurogenesis after developmental exposure. - Highlights: • Neuronal toxicity parameters after 28-day glycidol treatment were examined in rats. • Region-specific global gene expression profiling was conducted in brain regions. • Cortical tissues downregulated genes on axonogenesis and synaptic transmission. • Cortical tissues

  6. The Cortical Signature of Central Poststroke Pain: Gray Matter Decreases in Somatosensory, Insular, and Prefrontal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Krause, T; Asseyer, S; Taskin, B; Flöel, A; Witte, A V; Mueller, K; Fiebach, J B; Villringer, K; Villringer, A; Jungehulsing, G J

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that cortical structural plasticity plays a crucial role in the emergence and maintenance of chronic pain. Various distinct pain syndromes have accordingly been linked to specific patterns of decreases in regional gray matter volume (GMV). However, it is not known whether central poststroke pain (CPSP) is also associated with cortical structural plasticity. To determine this, we employed T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T and voxel-based morphometry in 45 patients suffering from chronic subcortical sensory stroke with (n = 23) and without CPSP (n = 22), and healthy matched controls (n = 31). CPSP patients showed decreases in GMV in comparison to healthy controls, involving secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), anterior as well as posterior insular cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Comparing CPSP patients to nonpain patients revealed a similar but more restricted pattern of atrophy comprising S2, ventrolateral prefrontal and temporal cortex. Additionally, GMV in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex negatively correlated to pain intensity ratings. This shows for the first time that CPSP is accompanied by a unique pattern of widespread structural plasticity, which involves the sensory-discriminative areas of insular/somatosensory cortex, but also expands into prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, where emotional aspects of pain are processed. PMID:25129889

  7. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics

    MedlinePlus

    2014 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics Cosmetic Procedure Trends 2014 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report Please credit the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS when citing statistical data or using ...

  8. Plastics Technician.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center on Education and Training for Employment.

    This document contains 16 units to consider for use in a tech prep competency profile for the occupation of plastics technician. All the units listed will not necessarily apply to every situation or tech prep consortium, nor will all the competencies within each unit be appropriate. Several units appear within each specific occupation and would…

  9. Cortical entrainment to music and its modulation by expertise

    PubMed Central

    Doelling, Keith B.; Poeppel, David

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies establish that cortical oscillations track naturalistic speech in a remarkably faithful way. Here, we test whether such neural activity, particularly low-frequency (<8 Hz; delta–theta) oscillations, similarly entrain to music and whether experience modifies such a cortical phenomenon. Music of varying tempi was used to test entrainment at different rates. In three magnetoencephalography experiments, we recorded from nonmusicians, as well as musicians with varying years of experience. Recordings from nonmusicians demonstrate cortical entrainment that tracks musical stimuli over a typical range of tempi, but not at tempi below 1 note per second. Importantly, the observed entrainment correlates with performance on a concurrent pitch-related behavioral task. In contrast, the data from musicians show that entrainment is enhanced by years of musical training, at all presented tempi. This suggests a bidirectional relationship between behavior and cortical entrainment, a phenomenon that has not previously been reported. Additional analyses focus on responses in the beta range (∼15–30 Hz)—often linked to delta activity in the context of temporal predictions. Our findings provide evidence that the role of beta in temporal predictions scales to the complex hierarchical rhythms in natural music and enhances processing of musical content. This study builds on important findings on brainstem plasticity and represents a compelling demonstration that cortical neural entrainment is tightly coupled to both musical training and task performance, further supporting a role for cortical oscillatory activity in music perception and cognition. PMID:26504238

  10. Cortical entrainment to music and its modulation by expertise.

    PubMed

    Doelling, Keith B; Poeppel, David

    2015-11-10

    Recent studies establish that cortical oscillations track naturalistic speech in a remarkably faithful way. Here, we test whether such neural activity, particularly low-frequency (<8 Hz; delta-theta) oscillations, similarly entrain to music and whether experience modifies such a cortical phenomenon. Music of varying tempi was used to test entrainment at different rates. In three magnetoencephalography experiments, we recorded from nonmusicians, as well as musicians with varying years of experience. Recordings from nonmusicians demonstrate cortical entrainment that tracks musical stimuli over a typical range of tempi, but not at tempi below 1 note per second. Importantly, the observed entrainment correlates with performance on a concurrent pitch-related behavioral task. In contrast, the data from musicians show that entrainment is enhanced by years of musical training, at all presented tempi. This suggests a bidirectional relationship between behavior and cortical entrainment, a phenomenon that has not previously been reported. Additional analyses focus on responses in the beta range (∼15-30 Hz)-often linked to delta activity in the context of temporal predictions. Our findings provide evidence that the role of beta in temporal predictions scales to the complex hierarchical rhythms in natural music and enhances processing of musical content. This study builds on important findings on brainstem plasticity and represents a compelling demonstration that cortical neural entrainment is tightly coupled to both musical training and task performance, further supporting a role for cortical oscillatory activity in music perception and cognition. PMID:26504238

  11. Learning strategy refinement reverses early sensory cortical map expansion but not behavior: Support for a theory of directed cortical substrates of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Elias, Gabriel A; Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2015-12-01

    Primary sensory cortical fields develop highly specific associative representational plasticity, notably enlarged area of representation of reinforced signal stimuli within their topographic maps. However, overtraining subjects after they have solved an instrumental task can reduce or eliminate the expansion while the successful behavior remains. As the development of this plasticity depends on the learning strategy used to solve a task, we asked whether the loss of expansion is due to the strategy used during overtraining. Adult male rats were trained in a three-tone auditory discrimination task to bar-press to the CS+ for water reward and refrain from doing so during the CS- tones and silent intertrial intervals; errors were punished by a flashing light and time-out penalty. Groups acquired this task to a criterion within seven training sessions by relying on a strategy that was "bar-press from tone-onset-to-error signal" ("TOTE"). Three groups then received different levels of overtraining: Group ST, none; Group RT, one week; Group OT, three weeks. Post-training mapping of their primary auditory fields (A1) showed that Groups ST and RT had developed significantly expanded representational areas, specifically restricted to the frequency band of the CS+ tone. In contrast, the A1 of Group OT was no different from naïve controls. Analysis of learning strategy revealed this group had shifted strategy to a refinement of TOTE in which they self-terminated bar-presses before making an error ("iTOTE"). Across all animals, the greater the use of iTOTE, the smaller was the representation of the CS+ in A1. Thus, the loss of cortical expansion is attributable to a shift or refinement in strategy. This reversal of expansion was considered in light of a novel theoretical framework (CONCERTO) highlighting four basic principles of brain function that resolve anomalous findings and explaining why even a minor change in strategy would involve concomitant shifts of involved brain

  12. Cortical Visual Impairment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Conditions Most Common Searches Adult Strabismus Amblyopia Cataract Conjunctivitis Corneal Abrasions Dilating Eye Drops Lazy eye (defined) ... Loading... Most Common Searches Adult Strabismus Amblyopia Cataract Conjunctivitis Corneal Abrasions Dilating Eye Drops Lazy eye (defined) ...

  13. Is the Alzheimer's disease cortical thickness signature a biological marker for memory?

    PubMed

    Busovaca, Edgar; Zimmerman, Molly E; Meier, Irene B; Griffith, Erica Y; Grieve, Stuart M; Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S; Williams, Leanne M; Brickman, Adam M

    2016-06-01

    Recent work suggests that analysis of the cortical thickness in key brain regions can be used to identify individuals at greatest risk for development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is unclear to what extent this "signature" is a biological marker of normal memory function - the primary cognitive domain affected by AD. We examined the relationship between the AD signature biomarker and memory functioning in a group of neurologically healthy young and older adults. Cortical thickness measurements and neuropsychological evaluations were obtained in 110 adults (age range 21-78, mean = 46) drawn from the Brain Resource International Database. The cohort was divided into young adult (n = 64, age 21-50) and older adult (n = 46, age 51-78) groups. Cortical thickness analysis was performed with FreeSurfer, and the average cortical thickness extracted from the eight regions that comprise the AD signature. Mean AD-signature cortical thickness was positively associated with performance on the delayed free recall trial of a list learning task and this relationship did not differ between younger and older adults. Mean AD-signature cortical thickness was not associated with performance on a test of psychomotor speed, as a control task, in either group. The results suggest that the AD signature cortical thickness is a marker for memory functioning across the adult lifespan. PMID:26040979

  14. Biomechanical characteristics of regenerated cortical bone in the canine mandible

    PubMed Central

    Zapata, Uriel; Opperman, Lynne A.; Kontogiorgos, Elias; Elsalanty, Mohammed E.; Dechow, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

    To test the mechanical properties of regenerate cortical bone created using Mandibular Bone Transport (MBT) distraction, five adult male American foxhound dogs underwent unilateral distraction of the mandible with a novel MBT device placed to linearly repair a 30-35 mm bone defect. The animals were sacrificed 12 weeks after the beginning of the consolidation period. Fourteen cylindrical specimens were taken from the inner (lingual) and outer (buccal) plates of the reconstructed mandible and 21 control specimens were removed from the contralateral aspect of the mandible. The mechanical properties of the 35 cylindrical cortical bone specimens were assessed by using a non-destructive pulse ultrasound technique. Results showed that all of the cortical mechanical properties exhibit higher numerical values on the control side than the MBT regenerate side. In addition, both densities and the elastic moduli in the direction of maximum stiffness of the regenerate cortical bone specimens are higher on the lingual side than the buccal side. Interestingly, there is no statistical difference between elastic modulus (E1 and E2) in orthogonal directions throughout the 35 cortical specimens. The data suggest that the regenerate canine cortical bone is not only heterogeneous, but the elastic mechanical properties tend to approximate transverse isotropy at a tissue level as opposed to control cortical bone that is orthotropic. In addition, the elastic mechanical properties are not only higher on the control side but also in the lingual anatomical position, suggesting a stress shielding effect from the presence of the reconstruction plate. PMID:21695796

  15. Dynamics of Ionic Shifts in Cortical Spreading Depression.

    PubMed

    Enger, Rune; Tang, Wannan; Vindedal, Gry Fluge; Jensen, Vidar; Johannes Helm, P; Sprengel, Rolf; Looger, Loren L; Nagelhus, Erlend A

    2015-11-01

    Cortical spreading depression is a slowly propagating wave of near-complete depolarization of brain cells followed by temporary suppression of neuronal activity. Accumulating evidence indicates that cortical spreading depression underlies the migraine aura and that similar waves promote tissue damage in stroke, trauma, and hemorrhage. Cortical spreading depression is characterized by neuronal swelling, profound elevation of extracellular potassium and glutamate, multiphasic blood flow changes, and drop in tissue oxygen tension. The slow speed of the cortical spreading depression wave implies that it is mediated by diffusion of a chemical substance, yet the identity of this substance and the pathway it follows are unknown. Intercellular spread between gap junction-coupled neurons or glial cells and interstitial diffusion of K(+) or glutamate have been proposed. Here we use extracellular direct current potential recordings, K(+)-sensitive microelectrodes, and 2-photon imaging with ultrasensitive Ca(2+) and glutamate fluorescent probes to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of ionic shifts associated with the propagation of cortical spreading depression in the visual cortex of adult living mice. Our data argue against intercellular spread of Ca(2+) carrying the cortical spreading depression wavefront and are in favor of interstitial K(+) diffusion, rather than glutamate diffusion, as the leading event in cortical spreading depression. PMID:25840424

  16. Dynamics of Ionic Shifts in Cortical Spreading Depression

    PubMed Central

    Enger, Rune; Tang, Wannan; Vindedal, Gry Fluge; Jensen, Vidar; Johannes Helm, P.; Sprengel, Rolf; Looger, Loren L.; Nagelhus, Erlend A.

    2015-01-01

    Cortical spreading depression is a slowly propagating wave of near-complete depolarization of brain cells followed by temporary suppression of neuronal activity. Accumulating evidence indicates that cortical spreading depression underlies the migraine aura and that similar waves promote tissue damage in stroke, trauma, and hemorrhage. Cortical spreading depression is characterized by neuronal swelling, profound elevation of extracellular potassium and glutamate, multiphasic blood flow changes, and drop in tissue oxygen tension. The slow speed of the cortical spreading depression wave implies that it is mediated by diffusion of a chemical substance, yet the identity of this substance and the pathway it follows are unknown. Intercellular spread between gap junction-coupled neurons or glial cells and interstitial diffusion of K+ or glutamate have been proposed. Here we use extracellular direct current potential recordings, K+-sensitive microelectrodes, and 2-photon imaging with ultrasensitive Ca2+ and glutamate fluorescent probes to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of ionic shifts associated with the propagation of cortical spreading depression in the visual cortex of adult living mice. Our data argue against intercellular spread of Ca2+ carrying the cortical spreading depression wavefront and are in favor of interstitial K+ diffusion, rather than glutamate diffusion, as the leading event in cortical spreading depression. PMID:25840424

  17. Synergistic effects of transplanted adult neural stem/progenitor cells, chondroitinase, and growth factors promote functional repair and plasticity of the chronically injured spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Karimi-Abdolrezaee, Soheila; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Wang, Jian; Schut, Desiree; Fehlings, Michael G

    2010-02-01

    The transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) is a promising therapeutic strategy for spinal cord injury (SCI). However, to date NPC transplantation has exhibited only limited success in the treatment of chronic SCI. Here, we show that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in the glial scar around the site of chronic SCI negatively influence the long-term survival and integration of transplanted NPCs and their therapeutic potential for promoting functional repair and plasticity. We targeted CSPGs in the chronically injured spinal cord by sustained infusion of chondroitinase ABC (ChABC). One week later, the same rats were treated with transplants of NPCs and transient infusion of growth factors, EGF, bFGF, and PDGF-AA. We demonstrate that perturbing CSPGs dramatically optimizes NPC transplantation in chronic SCI. Engrafted NPCs successfully integrate and extensively migrate within the host spinal cord and principally differentiate into oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, this combined strategy promoted the axonal integrity and plasticity of the corticospinal tract and enhanced the plasticity of descending serotonergic pathways. These neuroanatomical changes were also associated with significantly improved neurobehavioral recovery after chronic SCI. Importantly, this strategy did not enhance the aberrant synaptic connectivity of pain afferents, nor did it exacerbate posttraumatic neuropathic pain. For the first time, we demonstrate key biological and functional benefits for the combined use of ChABC, growth factors, and NPCs to repair the chronically injured spinal cord. These findings could potentially bring us closer to the application of NPCs for patients suffering from chronic SCI or other conditions characterized by the formation of a glial scar. PMID:20130176

  18. Cholinergic systems are essential for late-stage maturation and refinement of motor cortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Dhakshin S.; Conner, James M.; Anilkumar, Arjun A.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies reported that early postnatal cholinergic lesions severely perturb early cortical development, impairing neuronal cortical migration and the formation of cortical dendrites and synapses. These severe effects of early postnatal cholinergic lesions preclude our ability to understand the contribution of cholinergic systems to the later-stage maturation of topographic cortical representations. To study cholinergic mechanisms contributing to the later maturation of motor cortical circuits, we first characterized the temporal course of cortical motor map development and maturation in rats. In this study, we focused our attention on the maturation of cortical motor representations after postnatal day 25 (PND 25), a time after neuronal migration has been accomplished and cortical volume has reached adult size. We found significant maturation of cortical motor representations after this time, including both an expansion of forelimb representations in motor cortex and a shift from proximal to distal forelimb representations to an extent unexplainable by simple volume enlargement of the neocortex. Specific cholinergic lesions placed at PND 24 impaired enlargement of distal forelimb representations in particular and markedly reduced the ability to learn skilled motor tasks as adults. These results identify a novel and essential role for cholinergic systems in the late refinement and maturation of cortical circuits. Dysfunctions in this system may constitute a mechanism of late-onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome and schizophrenia. PMID:25505106

  19. Cholinergic systems are essential for late-stage maturation and refinement of motor cortical circuits.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Dhakshin S; Conner, James M; Anilkumar, Arjun A; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2015-03-01

    Previous studies reported that early postnatal cholinergic lesions severely perturb early cortical development, impairing neuronal cortical migration and the formation of cortical dendrites and synapses. These severe effects of early postnatal cholinergic lesions preclude our ability to understand the contribution of cholinergic systems to the later-stage maturation of topographic cortical representations. To study cholinergic mechanisms contributing to the later maturation of motor cortical circuits, we first characterized the temporal course of cortical motor map development and maturation in rats. In this study, we focused our attention on the maturation of cortical motor representations after postnatal day 25 (PND 25), a time after neuronal migration has been accomplished and cortical volume has reached adult size. We found significant maturation of cortical motor representations after this time, including both an expansion of forelimb representations in motor cortex and a shift from proximal to distal forelimb representations to an extent unexplainable by simple volume enlargement of the neocortex. Specific cholinergic lesions placed at PND 24 impaired enlargement of distal forelimb representations in particular and markedly reduced the ability to learn skilled motor tasks as adults. These results identify a novel and essential role for cholinergic systems in the late refinement and maturation of cortical circuits. Dysfunctions in this system may constitute a mechanism of late-onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome and schizophrenia. PMID:25505106

  20. Normalization of Cortical Gray Matter Deficits in Nonpsychotic Siblings of Patients with Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattai, Anand A.; Weisinger, Brian; Greenstein, Deanna; Stidd, Reva; Clasen, Liv; Miller, Rachel; Tossell, Julia W.; Rapoport, Judith L.; Gogtay, Nitin

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Cortical gray matter (GM) abnormalities in patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) progress during adolescence ultimately localizing to prefrontal and temporal cortices by early adult age. A previous study of 52 nonpsychotic siblings of COS probands had significant prefrontal and temporal GM deficits that appeared to…

  1. Photochromic plastics

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, N.Y.C.

    1990-12-31

    The benefits of photochromic glazing materials as well as other switchable devices for solar control and/or use have been analyzed. The analysis indicates that the saving in cooling costs may be significant for a commercial building. This saving can be further increased if other solar control technologies which operate in the solar spectra region outside the visible range are integrated with photochromic property. Photochromic plastics have the advantage of readiness to integrate with other solar control technologies as in the case of retrofit polyester film. The glazing applications of spirooxazines have only been considered recently. The few examples described in the preceding section are just exploratory. Improvements in photochromic performance and durability are definitely probable as more spirooxazine compounds and formulations are tested and stabilization methods are discovered. Recently, an all plastic model house was constructed by General Electric in which both photochromic and electrochromic switchable windows were employed. Thus, commercialization of photochromic plastics for glazing applications may not be as remote as it was not too long ago. 66 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Consistent cortical reconstruction and multi-atlas brain segmentation.

    PubMed

    Huo, Yuankai; Plassard, Andrew J; Carass, Aaron; Resnick, Susan M; Pham, Dzung L; Prince, Jerry L; Landman, Bennett A

    2016-09-01

    Whole brain segmentation and cortical surface reconstruction are two essential techniques for investigating the human brain. Spatial inconsistences, which can hinder further integrated analyses of brain structure, can result due to these two tasks typically being conducted independently of each other. FreeSurfer obtains self-consistent whole brain segmentations and cortical surfaces. It starts with subcortical segmentation, then carries out cortical surface reconstruction, and ends with cortical segmentation and labeling. However, this "segmentation to surface to parcellation" strategy has shown limitations in various cohorts such as older populations with large ventricles. In this work, we propose a novel "multi-atlas segmentation to surface" method called Multi-atlas CRUISE (MaCRUISE), which achieves self-consistent whole brain segmentations and cortical surfaces by combining multi-atlas segmentation with the cortical reconstruction method CRUISE. A modification called MaCRUISE(+) is designed to perform well when white matter lesions are present. Comparing to the benchmarks CRUISE and FreeSurfer, the surface accuracy of MaCRUISE and MaCRUISE(+) is validated using two independent datasets with expertly placed cortical landmarks. A third independent dataset with expertly delineated volumetric labels is employed to compare segmentation performance. Finally, 200MR volumetric images from an older adult sample are used to assess the robustness of MaCRUISE and FreeSurfer. The advantages of MaCRUISE are: (1) MaCRUISE constructs self-consistent voxelwise segmentations and cortical surfaces, while MaCRUISE(+) is robust to white matter pathology. (2) MaCRUISE achieves more accurate whole brain segmentations than independently conducting the multi-atlas segmentation. (3) MaCRUISE is comparable in accuracy to FreeSurfer (when FreeSurfer does not exhibit global failures) while achieving greater robustness across an older adult population. MaCRUISE has been made freely

  3. Malformations of cortical development and aberrant cortical networks: epileptogenesis and functional organization.

    PubMed

    Guerrini, Renzo; Barba, Carmen

    2010-12-01

    Malformations of cortical development are a major cause of drug-resistant epilepsy. Focal cortical dysplasia, heterotopia, and polymicrogyria are often manifested as discrete areas of abnormal neuronal migration and improper development of the cerebral cortex. Some of the patients harboring these malformations have obvious neurologic impairment, but others show unexpected deficits that are detectable only by screening. The role of surgical treatment of epilepsy due to localized malformations of cortical development is now established. However, its technical application can be challenging in that localization of function based on anatomic landmarks may not be reliable. Intracranial recordings have shown a high propensity for complex epileptogenic networks that may include remote cortical and subcortical regions. The MRI visible area of cortical abnormality should therefore be regarded as just an indicator of the epileptogenic zone rather than its tangible substrate. Completeness of resection, after delineation of the ictal onset zone, a key factor for successful epilepsy surgery, may be particularly difficult, and invasive EEG monitoring is necessary in most patients. Neural plasticity issues are of primary importance to surgical planning as the possibility of removing eloquent cortex permits more complete procedures with potentially higher rates of success. However, the functional consequences of malformative lesions are still poorly understood; conservation of function in the dysplastic cortex, its atypical representation, and relocation outside the malformed area are all possible. Surgical planning for associated epilepsy should therefore be based on individual assessments of structural imaging and of the major functions relevant to the area in question in the individual patient. PMID:21076336

  4. Cross-modal re-organization in adults with early stage hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Julia; Sharma, Anu

    2014-01-01

    Cortical cross-modal re-organization, or recruitment of auditory cortical areas for visual processing, has been well-documented in deafness. However, the degree of sensory deprivation necessary to induce such cortical plasticity remains unclear. We recorded visual evoked potentials (VEP) using high-density electroencephalography in nine persons with adult-onset mild-moderate hearing loss and eight normal hearing control subjects. Behavioral auditory performance was quantified using a clinical measure of speech perception-in-noise. Relative to normal hearing controls, adults with hearing loss showed significantly larger P1, N1, and P2 VEP amplitudes, decreased N1 latency, and a novel positive component (P2') following the P2 VEP. Current source density reconstruction of VEPs revealed a shift toward ventral stream processing including activation of auditory temporal cortex in hearing-impaired adults. The hearing loss group showed worse than normal speech perception performance in noise, which was strongly correlated with a decrease in the N1 VEP latency. Overall, our findings provide the first evidence that visual cross-modal re-organization not only begins in the early stages of hearing impairment, but may also be an important factor in determining behavioral outcomes for listeners with hearing loss, a finding which demands further investigation. PMID:24587400

  5. Posterior Cortical Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Crutch, Sebastian J; Lehmann, Manja; Schott, Jonathan M; Rabinovici, Gil D; Rossor, Martin N; Fox, Nick C

    2013-01-01

    Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome that is characterized by a progressive decline in visuospatial, visuoperceptual, literacy and praxic skills. The progressive neurodegeneration affecting parietal, occipital and occipito-temporal cortices which underlies PCA is attributable to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the majority of patients. However, alternative underlying aetiologies including Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and prion disease have also been identified, and not all PCA patients have atrophy on clinical imaging. This heterogeneity has led to diagnostic and terminological inconsistencies, caused difficulty comparing studies from different centres, and limited the generalizability of clinical trials and investigations of factors driving phenotypic variability. Significant challenges remain in identifying the factors associated with both the selective vulnerability of posterior cortical regions and the young age of onset seen in PCA. Greater awareness of the syndrome and agreement over the correspondence between syndrome-and disease-level classifications are required in order to improve diagnostic accuracy, research study design and clinical management. PMID:22265212

  6. Malformations of cortical development

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Trudy; Atefy, Ramin; Sheen, Volney

    2012-01-01

    Background Malformations of cortical development (MCD) are increasingly recognized as an important cause of epilepsy and developmental delay. MCD encompass a wide spectrum of disorders with various underlying genetic etiologies and clinical manifestations. High resolution imaging has dramatically improved our recognition of MCD. Review Summary This review will provide a brief overview of the stages of normal cortical development, including neuronal proliferation, neuroblast migration, and neuronal organization. Disruptions at various stages lead to characteristic MCD. Disorders of neurogenesis give rise to microcephaly (small brain) or macrocephaly (large brain). Disorders of early neuroblast migration give rise to periventricular heterotopia (neurons located along the ventricles), whereas abnormalities later in migration lead to lissencephaly (smooth brain) or subcortical band heterotopia (smooth brain with a band of heterotopic neurons under the cortex). Abnormal neuronal migration arrest give rise to over-migration of neurons in cobblestone lissencephaly. Lastly, disorders of neuronal organization cause polymicrogyria (abnormally small gyri and sulci). This review will also discuss the known genetic mutations and potential mechanisms that contribute to these syndromes. Conclusion Identification of various gene mutations has not only given us greater insight into some of the pathophysiologic basis of MCD, but also an understanding of the processes involved in normal cortical development. PMID:18469675

  7. GABAergic synapses: their plasticity and role in sensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Griffen, Trevor C.; Maffei, Arianna

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex is composed of a variety of cell types organized in a highly interconnected circuit. GABAergic neurons account for only about 20% of cortical neurons. However, they show widespread connectivity and a high degree of diversity in morphology, location, electrophysiological properties and gene expression. In addition, distinct populations of inhibitory neurons have different sensory response properties, capacities for plasticity and sensitivities to changes in sensory experience. In this review we summarize experimental evidence regarding the properties of GABAergic neurons in primary sensory cortex. We will discuss how distinct GABAergic neurons and different forms of GABAergic inhibitory plasticity may contribute to shaping sensory cortical circuit activity and function. PMID:24723851

  8. Enhanced Plasticity in Spoken Language Acquisition for Child Learners: Evidence from Phonetic Training Studies in Child and Adult Learners of English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giannakopoulou, Anastasia; Uther, Maria; Ylinen, Sari

    2013-01-01

    Speech sounds that contain multiple phonetic cues are often difficult for foreign-language learners, especially if certain cues are weighted differently in the foreign and native languages. Greek adult and child speakers of English were studied to determine the effect of native language on second-language (L2) cue weighting and, in particular, to…

  9. Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.

    PubMed

    Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M

    2006-01-01

    Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in

  10. Coordinated forms of noradrenergic plasticity in the locus coeruleus and primary auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Ana Raquel O.; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    The cerebral cortex is plastic and represents the world according to the significance of sensory stimuli. However, cortical networks are embodied within complex circuits including neuromodulatory systems such as the noradrenergic locus coeruleus, providing information about internal state and behavioral relevance. While norepinephrine is important for cortical plasticity, it is unknown how modulatory neurons themselves respond to changes of sensory input. Here we examine how locus coeruleus neurons are modified by experience, and the consequences of locus coeruleus plasticity on cortical representations and sensory perception. We made whole-cell recordings from rat locus coeruleus and primary auditory cortex (AI), pairing sounds with locus coeruleus activation. Although initially unresponsive, locus coeruleus neurons developed and maintained auditory responses afterwards. Locus coeruleus plasticity induced changes in AI responses lasting at least hours and improved auditory perception for days to weeks. Our results demonstrate that locus coeruleus is highly plastic, leading to substantial changes in regulation of brain state by norepinephrine. PMID:26301326

  11. Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity during Language Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius; Morrow, K. Leigh; Moser, Dana; Baylis, Gordon C.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The present study investigated the extent of cortical activity during overt picture naming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: Participants comprised 20 healthy, adult participants with ages ranging from 20 to 82 years. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a picture-naming task consisting of 60…

  12. Adaptive plasticity of the auditory space map in the optic tectum of adult and baby barn owls in response to external ear modification.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Esterly, S D; Olsen, J F

    1994-01-01

    1. This study demonstrates the influence of experience on the establishment and maintenance of the auditory map of space in the optic tectum of the barn owl. Auditory experience was altered either by preventing the structures of the external ears (the facial ruff and preaural flaps) from appearing in baby barn owls (baby ruff-cut owls) or by removing these structures in adults (adult ruff-cut owls). These structures shape the binaural cues used for localizing sounds in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. 2. The acoustic effects of removing the external ear structures were measured using probe tube microphones placed in the ear canals. In both baby and adult ruff-cut owls, the spatial pattern of binaural localization cues was dramatically different from normal: interaural level difference (ILD) changed with azimuth instead of with elevation, the rate of change of ILD across space was decreased relative to normal, and the rate of change of interaural time difference (ITD) across frontal space was increased relative to normal. 3. The neurophysiological representations of ITD and ILD in the optic tectum were measured before and > or = 3 mo after ruff removal in adults and beginning at 4.5 months of age in baby ruff-cut owls. Multiunit tuning to ITD and to ILD was measured using dichotic stimulation in ketamine-anesthetized owls. The tectal maps of ITD and ILD were reconstructed using visual receptive field location as a marker for recording site location in the optic tectum. 4. Adjustment of the tectal map of ITD to the altered spatial pattern of acoustic ITD was essentially complete in adults as well as in baby ruff-cut owls. This adjustment changed the magnification of ITD across the tectum, with resultant changes in ITD tuning at individual tectal sites of up to approximately 25 microseconds (approximately 5% of the physiological range) relative to normal values. 5. Adaptation of the tectal ILD map to the ruff-cut spatial pattern of acoustic ILD was

  13. Cortical trajectories during adolescence in preterm born teenagers with very low birthweight.

    PubMed

    Rimol, Lars M; Bjuland, Knut J; Løhaugen, Gro C C; Martinussen, Marit; Evensen, Kari Anne I; Indredavik, Marit S; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Eikenes, Live; Håberg, Asta K; Skranes, Jon

    2016-02-01

    While cross-sectional neuroimaging studies on cortical development predict reductions in cortical volume (surface area and thickness) during adolescence, this is the first study to undertake a longitudinal assessment of cortical surface area changes across the continuous cortical surface during this period. We studied the developmental dynamics of cortical surface area and thickness in adolescents and young adults (aged 15-20) born with very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g) as well as in term-born controls. Previous studies have demonstrated brain structural abnormalities in cortical morphology, as well as long-term motor, cognitive and behavioral impairments, in adolescents and young adults with VLBW, but the developmental dynamics throughout adolescence have not been fully explored. T1-weighted MRI scans from 51 VLBW (27 scanned twice) and 79 term-born adolescents (37 scanned twice) were used to reconstruct the cortical surface and produce longitudinal estimates of cortical surface area and cortical thickness. Linear mixed model analyses were performed, and the main effects of time and group, as well as time × group interaction effects, were investigated. In both groups, cortical surface area decreased up to 5% in some regions, and cortical thickness up to 8%, over the five-year period. The most affected regions were located on the lateral aspect of the hemispheres, in posterior temporal, parietal and to some extent frontal regions. There was no significant interaction between time and group for either morphometry variable. In conclusion, cortical thickness decreases from 15 to 20 years of age, in a similar fashion in the clinical and control groups. Moreover, we show for the first time that developmental trajectories of cortical surface area in preterm and term-born adolescents do not diverge during adolescence. PMID:26773236

  14. Cortical Clefts and Cortical Bumps: A Continuous Spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Furruqh, Farha; Thirunavukarasu, Suresh; Vivekandan, Ravichandran

    2016-01-01

    Cortical ‘clefts’ (schizencephaly) and cortical ‘bumps’ (polymicrogyria) are malformations arising due to defects in postmigrational development of neurons. They are frequently encountered together, with schizencephalic clefts being lined by polymicrogyria. We present the case of an eight-year-old boy who presented with seizures. Imaging revealed closed lip schizencephaly, polymicrogyria and a deep ‘incomplete’ cleft lined by polymicrogyria not communicating with the lateral ventricle. We speculate that hypoperfusion or ischaemic cortical injury during neuronal development may lead to a spectrum of malformations ranging from polymicrogyria to incomplete cortical clefts to schizencephaly.

  15. Shaping the aging brain: role of auditory input patterns in the emergence of auditory cortical impairments

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Brishna; Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2013-01-01

    Age-related impairments in the primary auditory cortex (A1) include poor tuning selectivity, neural desynchronization, and degraded responses to low-probability sounds. These changes have been largely attributed to reduced inhibition in the aged brain, and are thought to contribute to substantial hearing impairment in both humans and animals. Since many of these changes can be partially reversed with auditory training, it has been speculated that they might not be purely degenerative, but might rather represent negative plastic adjustments to noisy or distorted auditory signals reaching the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the impact of exposing young adult rats to 8 weeks of low-grade broadband noise on several aspects of A1 function and structure. We then characterized the same A1 elements in aging rats for comparison. We found that the impact of noise exposure on A1 tuning selectivity, temporal processing of auditory signal and responses to oddball tones was almost indistinguishable from the effect of natural aging. Moreover, noise exposure resulted in a reduction in the population of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons and cortical myelin as previously documented in the aged group. Most of these changes reversed after returning the rats to a quiet environment. These results support the hypothesis that age-related changes in A1 have a strong activity-dependent component and indicate that the presence or absence of clear auditory input patterns might be a key factor in sustaining adult A1 function. PMID:24062649

  16. Reassessing cortical reorganization in the primary sensorimotor cortex following arm amputation.

    PubMed

    Makin, Tamar R; Scholz, Jan; Henderson Slater, David; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Tracey, Irene

    2015-08-01

    The role of cortical activity in generating and abolishing chronic pain is increasingly emphasized in the clinical community. Perhaps the most striking example of this is the maladaptive plasticity theory, according to which phantom pain arises from remapping of cortically neighbouring representations (lower face) into the territory of the missing hand following amputation. This theory has been extended to a wide range of chronic pain conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome. Yet, despite its growing popularity, the evidence to support the maladaptive plasticity theory is largely based on correlations between pain ratings and oftentimes crude measurements of cortical reorganization, with little consideration of potential contributions of other clinical factors, such as adaptive behaviour, in driving the identified brain plasticity. Here, we used a physiologically meaningful measurement of cortical reorganization to reassess its relationship to phantom pain in upper limb amputees. We identified small yet consistent shifts in lip representation contralateral to the missing hand towards, but not invading, the hand area. However, we were unable to identify any statistical relationship between cortical reorganization and phantom sensations or pain either with this measurement or with the traditional Euclidian distance measurement. Instead, we demonstrate that other factors may contribute to the observed remapping. Further research that reassesses more broadly the relationship between cortical reorganization and chronic pain is warranted. PMID:26072517

  17. Reassessing cortical reorganization in the primary sensorimotor cortex following arm amputation

    PubMed Central

    Scholz, Jan; Henderson Slater, David; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Tracey, Irene

    2015-01-01

    The role of cortical activity in generating and abolishing chronic pain is increasingly emphasized in the clinical community. Perhaps the most striking example of this is the maladaptive plasticity theory, according to which phantom pain arises from remapping of cortically neighbouring representations (lower face) into the territory of the missing hand following amputation. This theory has been extended to a wide range of chronic pain conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome. Yet, despite its growing popularity, the evidence to support the maladaptive plasticity theory is largely based on correlations between pain ratings and oftentimes crude measurements of cortical reorganization, with little consideration of potential contributions of other clinical factors, such as adaptive behaviour, in driving the identified brain plasticity. Here, we used a physiologically meaningful measurement of cortical reorganization to reassess its relationship to phantom pain in upper limb amputees. We identified small yet consistent shifts in lip representation contralateral to the missing hand towards, but not invading, the hand area. However, we were unable to identify any statistical relationship between cortical reorganization and phantom sensations or pain either with this measurement or with the traditional Euclidian distance measurement. Instead, we demonstrate that other factors may contribute to the observed remapping. Further research that reassesses more broadly the relationship between cortical reorganization and chronic pain is warranted. PMID:26072517

  18. A Developmental Switch for Hebbian Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Martens, Marijn B.; Celikel, Tansu; Tiesinga, Paul H. E.

    2015-01-01

    Hebbian forms of synaptic plasticity are required for the orderly development of sensory circuits in the brain and are powerful modulators of learning and memory in adulthood. During development, emergence of Hebbian plasticity leads to formation of functional circuits. By modeling the dynamics of neurotransmitter release during early postnatal cortical development we show that a developmentally regulated switch in vesicle exocytosis mode triggers associative (i.e. Hebbian) plasticity. Early in development spontaneous vesicle exocytosis (SVE), often considered as 'synaptic noise', is important for homogenization of synaptic weights and maintenance of synaptic weights in the appropriate dynamic range. Our results demonstrate that SVE has a permissive, whereas subsequent evoked vesicle exocytosis (EVE) has an instructive role in the expression of Hebbian plasticity. A timed onset for Hebbian plasticity can be achieved by switching from SVE to EVE and the balance between SVE and EVE can control the effective rate of Hebbian plasticity. We further show that this developmental switch in neurotransmitter release mode enables maturation of spike-timing dependent plasticity. A mis-timed or inadequate SVE to EVE switch may lead to malformation of brain networks thereby contributing to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26172394

  19. A Developmental Switch for Hebbian Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Martens, Marijn B; Celikel, Tansu; Tiesinga, Paul H E

    2015-07-01

    Hebbian forms of synaptic plasticity are required for the orderly development of sensory circuits in the brain and are powerful modulators of learning and memory in adulthood. During development, emergence of Hebbian plasticity leads to formation of functional circuits. By modeling the dynamics of neurotransmitter release during early postnatal cortical development we show that a developmentally regulated switch in vesicle exocytosis mode triggers associative (i.e. Hebbian) plasticity. Early in development spontaneous vesicle exocytosis (SVE), often considered as 'synaptic noise', is important for homogenization of synaptic weights and maintenance of synaptic weights in the appropriate dynamic range. Our results demonstrate that SVE has a permissive, whereas subsequent evoked vesicle exocytosis (EVE) has an instructive role in the expression of Hebbian plasticity. A timed onset for Hebbian plasticity can be achieved by switching from SVE to EVE and the balance between SVE and EVE can control the effective rate of Hebbian plasticity. We further show that this developmental switch in neurotransmitter release mode enables maturation of spike-timing dependent plasticity. A mis-timed or inadequate SVE to EVE switch may lead to malformation of brain networks thereby contributing to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26172394

  20. Visual Advantage in Deaf Adults Linked to Retinal Changes

    PubMed Central

    Codina, Charlotte; Pascalis, Olivier; Mody, Chris; Toomey, Peter; Rose, Jill; Gummer, Laura; Buckley, David

    2011-01-01

    The altered sensory experience of profound early onset deafness provokes sometimes large scale neural reorganisations. In particular, auditory-visual cross-modal plasticity occurs, wherein redundant auditory cortex becomes recruited to vision. However, the effect of human deafness on neural structures involved in visual processing prior to the visual cortex has never been investigated, either in humans or animals. We investigated neural changes at the retina and optic nerve head in profoundly deaf (N = 14) and hearing (N = 15) adults using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), an in-vivo light interference method of quantifying retinal micro-structure. We compared retinal changes with behavioural results from the same deaf and hearing adults, measuring sensitivity in the peripheral visual field using Goldmann perimetry. Deaf adults had significantly larger neural rim areas, within the optic nerve head in comparison to hearing controls suggesting greater retinal ganglion cell number. Deaf adults also demonstrated significantly larger visual field areas (indicating greater peripheral sensitivity) than controls. Furthermore, neural rim area was significantly correlated with visual field area in both deaf and hearing adults. Deaf adults also showed a significantly different pattern of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) distribution compared to controls. Significant correlations between the depth of the RNFL at the inferior-nasal peripapillary retina and the corresponding far temporal and superior temporal visual field areas (sensitivity) were found. Our results show that cross-modal plasticity after early onset deafness may not be limited to the sensory cortices, noting specific retinal adaptations in early onset deaf adults which are significantly correlated with peripheral vision sensitivity. PMID:21673805

  1. Review: Cortical construction in autism spectrum disorder: columns, connectivity and the subplate.

    PubMed

    Hutsler, Jeffrey J; Casanova, Manuel F

    2016-02-01

    The cerebral cortex undergoes protracted maturation during human development and exemplifies how biology and environment are inextricably intertwined in the construction of complex neural circuits. Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by a number of pathological changes arising from this developmental process. These include: (i) alterations to columnar structure that have significant implications for the organization of cortical circuits and connectivity; (ii) alterations to synaptic spines on individual cortical units that may underlie specific types of connectional changes; and (iii) alterations within the cortical subplate, a region that plays a role in proper cortical development and in regulating interregional communication in the mature brain. Although the cerebral cortex is not the only structure affected in the disorder, it is a fundamental contributor to the behaviours that characterize autism. These alterations to cortical circuitry likely underlie the behavioural phenotype in autism and contribute to the unique pattern of deficits and strengths that characterize cognitive functioning. Recent findings within the cortical subplate may indicate that alterations to cortical construction begin prenatally, before activity-dependent connections are established, and are in need of further study. A better understanding of cortical development in autism spectrum disorders will draw bridges between the microanatomical computational circuitry and the atypical behaviours that arise when that circuitry is modified. In addition, it will allow us to better exploit the constructional plasticity within the brain to design more targeted interventions that better manage atypical cortical construction and that can be applied very early in postnatal life. PMID:25630827

  2. Immobilization impairs tactile perception and shrinks somatosensory cortical maps.

    PubMed

    Lissek, Silke; Wilimzig, Claudia; Stude, Philipp; Pleger, Burkhard; Kalisch, Tobias; Maier, Christoph; Peters, Sören A; Nicolas, Volkmar; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2009-05-26

    Use is a major factor driving plasticity of cortical processing and cortical maps. As demonstrated of blind Braille readers and musicians, long-lasting and exceptional usage of the fingers results in the development of outstanding sensorimotor skills and in expansions of the cortical finger representations. However, how periods of disuse affect cortical representations and perception in humans remains elusive. Here, we report that a few weeks of hand and arm immobilization by cast wearing significantly reduced hand use and impaired tactile acuity, associated with reduced activation of the respective finger representations in the somatosensory cortex (SI), measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Hemodynamic responses in the SI correlated positively with hand-use frequency and negatively with discrimination thresholds, indicating that reduced activation was most prominent in subjects with severe perceptual impairment. We found, strikingly, compensatory effects on the contralateral, healthy hand consisting of improved perceptual performance compared to healthy controls. Two to three weeks after cast removal, perceptual and cortical changes recovered, whereas tactile acuity on the healthy side remained superior to that on the formerly immobilized side. These findings suggest that brief periods of reduced use of a limb have overt consequences and thus constitute a significant driving force of brain organization equivalent to enhanced use. PMID:19398335

  3. Immunodissection and culture of rabbit cortical collecting tubule cells

    SciTech Connect

    Spielman, W.S.; Sonnenburg, W.K.; Allen, M.L.; Arend, L.J.; Gerozissis, K.; Smith, W.L.

    1986-08-01

    A mouse monoclonal antibody designated IgG3 (rct-30) has been prepared that reacts specifically with an antigen on the surface of all cells comprising the cortical and medullary rabbit renal collecting tubule including the arcades. Plastic culture dishes coated with IgG3 (rct-30) were used to isolate collecting tubule cells from collagenase dispersions of rabbit renal cortical cells by immunoadsorption. Typically, 10W rabbit cortical collecting tubule (RCCT) cells were obtained from 5 g of renal cortex (2 kidneys). Between 20 and 30% of the RCCT cells were reactive with peanut lectin suggesting that RCCT cells are a mixture of principal and intercalated cells. Approximately 10X RCCT cells were obtained after 4 to 5 days in primary culture. Moreover, RCCT cells continued to proliferate after passaging with a doubling time of approx.32 h. RCCT cells passaged once and then cultured 4-5 days were found 1) to synthesize cAMP in response to arginine vasopressin (AVP), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), isoproterenol, and parathyroid hormone, but not calcitonin, prostaglandin D2, or prostaglandin I, and 2) to release PGE2 in response to bradykinin but not arginine vasopressin or isoproterenol. The results indicate that cultured RCCT cells retain many of the hormonal, histochemical, and morphological properties expected for a mixture of principal and intercalated rabbit cortical collecting tubule epithelia. RCCT cells should prove useful both for studying hormonal interactions in the cortical collecting tubule and as a starting population for isolating intercalated collecting tubule epithelia.

  4. Cortical basal ganglionic degeneration.

    PubMed

    Scarmeas, N; Chin, S S; Marder, K

    2001-10-01

    In this case study, we describe the symptoms, neuropsychological testing, and brain pathology of a retired mason's assistant with cortical basal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD). CBGD is an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease that is categorized under both Parkinsonian syndromes and frontal lobe dementias. It affects men and women nearly equally, and the age of onset is usually in the sixth decade of life. CBGD is characterized by Parkinson's-like motor symptoms and by deficits of movement and cognition, indicating focal brain pathology. Neuronal cell loss is ultimately responsible for the neurological symptoms. PMID:14602941

  5. Analysis of anisotropic viscoelastoplastic properties of cortical bone tissues.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Wahab, Adel A; Alam, Khurshid; Silberschmidt, Vadim V

    2011-07-01

    Bone fractures affect the health of many people and have a significant social and economic effect. Often, bones fracture due to impacts, sudden falls or trauma. In order to numerically model the fracture of a cortical bone tissue caused by an impact it is important to know parameters characterising its viscoelastoplastic behaviour. These parameters should be measured for various orientations in a bone tissue to assess bone's anisotropy linked to its microstructure. So, the first part of this study was focused on quantification of elastic-plastic behaviour of cortical bone using specimens cut along different directions with regard to the bone axis-longitudinal (axial) and transverse. Due to pronounced non-linearity of the elastic-plastic behaviour of the tissue, cyclic loading-unloading uniaxial tension tests were performed to obtain the magnitudes of elastic moduli not only from the initial loading part of the cycle but also from its unloading part. Additional tests were performed with different deformation rates to study the bone's strain-rate sensitivity. The second part of this study covered creep and relaxation properties of cortical bone for two directions and four different anatomical positions-anterior, posterior, medial and lateral-to study the variability of bone's properties. Since viscoelastoplasticity of cortical bone affects its damping properties due to energy dissipation, the Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) technique was used in the last part of our study to obtain magnitudes of storage and loss moduli for various frequencies. Based on analysis of elastic-plastic behaviour of the bovine cortical bone tissue, it was found that magnitudes of the longitudinal Young's modulus for four cortical positions were in the range of 15-24 GPa, while the transversal modulus was lower--between 10 and 15 GPa. Axial strength for various anatomical positions was also higher than transversal strength with significant differences in magnitudes for those positions

  6. Visual change detection recruits auditory cortices in early deafness.

    PubMed

    Bottari, Davide; Heimler, Benedetta; Caclin, Anne; Dalmolin, Anna; Giard, Marie-Hélène; Pavani, Francesco

    2014-07-01

    Although cross-modal recruitment of early sensory areas in deafness and blindness is well established, the constraints and limits of these plastic changes remain to be understood. In the case of human deafness, for instance, it is known that visual, tactile or visuo-tactile stimuli can elicit a response within the auditory cortices. Nonetheless, both the timing of these evoked responses and the functional contribution of cross-modally recruited areas remain to be ascertained. In the present study, we examined to what extent auditory cortices of deaf humans participate in high-order visual processes, such as visual change detection. By measuring visual ERPs, in particular the visual MisMatch Negativity (vMMN), and performing source localization, we show that individuals with early deafness (N=12) recruit the auditory cortices when a change in motion direction during shape deformation occurs in a continuous visual motion stream. Remarkably this "auditory" response for visual events emerged with the same timing as the visual MMN in hearing controls (N=12), between 150 and 300 ms after the visual change. Furthermore, the recruitment of auditory cortices for visual change detection in early deaf was paired with a reduction of response within the visual system, indicating a shift from visual to auditory cortices of part of the computational process. The present study suggests that the deafened auditory cortices participate at extracting and storing the visual information and at comparing on-line the upcoming visual events, thus indicating that cross-modally recruited auditory cortices can reach this level of computation. PMID:24636881

  7. Decoding the Formation of New Semantics: MVPA Investigation of Rapid Neocortical Plasticity during Associative Encoding through Fast Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Atir-Sharon, Tali; Gilboa, Asaf; Hazan, Hananel; Koilis, Ester; Manevitz, Larry M.

    2015-01-01

    Neocortical structures typically only support slow acquisition of declarative memory; however, learning through fast mapping may facilitate rapid learning-induced cortical plasticity and hippocampal-independent integration of novel associations into existing semantic networks. During fast mapping the meaning of new words and concepts is inferred, and durable novel associations are incidentally formed, a process thought to support early childhood's exuberant learning. The anterior temporal lobe, a cortical semantic memory hub, may critically support such learning. We investigated encoding of semantic associations through fast mapping using fMRI and multivoxel pattern analysis. Subsequent memory performance following fast mapping was more efficiently predicted using anterior temporal lobe than hippocampal voxels, while standard explicit encoding was best predicted by hippocampal activity. Searchlight algorithms revealed additional activity patterns that predicted successful fast mapping semantic learning located in lateral occipitotemporal and parietotemporal neocortex and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. By contrast, successful explicit encoding could be classified by activity in medial and dorsolateral prefrontal and parahippocampal cortices. We propose that fast mapping promotes incidental rapid integration of new associations into existing neocortical semantic networks by activating related, nonoverlapping conceptual knowledge. In healthy adults, this is better captured by unique anterior and lateral temporal lobe activity patterns, while hippocampal involvement is less predictive of this kind of learning. PMID:26257961

  8. Vibrotactile aid and brain cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Suárez, H; Cibils, D; Caffa, C; Silveira, A; Basalo, S; Svirsky, M

    1997-03-01

    Six profoundly deaf patients were studied with mapping evoked potentials (MEP) using an acoustic signal passed through the vibrotactile prosthesis. This stimulus produced an activation of the central sulcus brain cortex. When the proSthesis was placed in the presenternal area it showed N1 P1 potentials with higher voltage and a more defined cortical dipole inversion than when the prosthesis was placed in the arm or abdomen: thus the presternal stimulation is considered an adequate place for the use of vibrotactile stimulation. The MEP were recorded in 2 patients after a period of audiological training and they showed new earlier potentials. These suggest plastic changes in the processing of an acoustic signal sent from the presternal skin by the somatosensory pathway after training and involving learning procedures. PMID:9105450

  9. Object recognition by artificial cortical maps.

    PubMed

    Plebe, Alessio; Domenella, Rosaria Grazia

    2007-09-01

    Object recognition is one of the most important functions of the human visual system, yet one of the least understood, this despite the fact that vision is certainly the most studied function of the brain. We understand relatively well how several processes in the cortical visual areas that support recognition capabilities take place, such as orientation discrimination and color constancy. This paper proposes a model of the development of object recognition capability, based on two main theoretical principles. The first is that recognition does not imply any sort of geometrical reconstruction, it is instead fully driven by the two dimensional view captured by the retina. The second assumption is that all the processing functions involved in recognition are not genetically determined or hardwired in neural circuits, but are the result of interactions between epigenetic influences and basic neural plasticity mechanisms. The model is organized in modules roughly related to the main visual biological areas, and is implemented mainly using the LISSOM architecture, a recent neural self-organizing map model that simulates the effects of intercortical lateral connections. This paper shows how recognition capabilities, similar to those found in brain ventral visual areas, can develop spontaneously by exposure to natural images in an artificial cortical model. PMID:17604954

  10. Impaired development and competitive refinement of the cortical frequency map in tumor necrosis factor-α-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Sungchil; Zhang, Li S; Gibboni, Robert; Weiner, Benjamin; Bao, Shaowen

    2014-07-01

    Early experience shapes sensory representations in a critical period of heightened plasticity. This adaptive process is thought to involve both Hebbian and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Although Hebbian plasticity has been investigated as a mechanism for cortical map reorganization, less is known about the contribution of homeostatic plasticity. We investigated the role of homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the development and refinement of frequency representations in the primary auditory cortex using the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) knockout (KO), a mutant mouse with impaired homeostatic but normal Hebbian plasticity. Our results indicate that these mice develop weaker tonal responses and incomplete frequency representations. Rearing in a single-frequency revealed a normal expansion of cortical representations in KO mice. However, TNF-α KOs lacked homeostatic adjustments of cortical responses following exposure to multiple frequencies. Specifically, while this sensory over-stimulation resulted in competitive refinement of frequency tuning in wild-type controls, it broadened frequency tuning in TNF-α KOs. Our results suggest that homeostatic plasticity plays an important role in gain control and competitive interaction in sensory cortical development. PMID:23448874

  11. Review of Research: Neuroscience and the Impact of Brain Plasticity on Braille Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Cheryl Kamei

    2006-01-01

    In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make…

  12. The Effects of Obesity on Murine Cortical Bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Sophi

    This dissertation details the effects of obesity on the mechanical properties and structure of cortical bone. Obesity is associated with greater bone mineral content that might be expected to protect against fracture, which has been observed in adults. Paradoxically however, the incidence of bone fractures has been found to increase in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Femora from adolescent and adult mice fed a high-fat diet are investigated for changes in shape, tissue structure, as well as tissue-level and whole-bone mechanical properties. Results indicate increased bone size, reduced size-independent mechanical properties, but maintained size-dependent mechanical properties. Other changes in cortical bone response to obesity are observed with advancing age. This study indicates that bone quantity and bone quality play important compensatory roles in determining fracture risk, and that fracture risk may not be lessened for adults as previously thought.

  13. Massive cortical reorganization in sighted Braille readers

    PubMed Central

    Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Bola, Łukasz; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Śliwińska, Magdalena W; Amedi, Amir; Szwed, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    The brain is capable of large-scale reorganization in blindness or after massive injury. Such reorganization crosses the division into separate sensory cortices (visual, somatosensory...). As its result, the visual cortex of the blind becomes active during tactile Braille reading. Although the possibility of such reorganization in the normal, adult brain has been raised, definitive evidence has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate such extensive reorganization in normal, sighted adults who learned Braille while their brain activity was investigated with fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Subjects showed enhanced activity for tactile reading in the visual cortex, including the visual word form area (VWFA) that was modulated by their Braille reading speed and strengthened resting-state connectivity between visual and somatosensory cortices. Moreover, TMS disruption of VWFA activity decreased their tactile reading accuracy. Our results indicate that large-scale reorganization is a viable mechanism recruited when learning complex skills. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10762.001 PMID:26976813

  14. Retinoic Acid Signaling Affects Cortical Synchrony During Sleep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maret, Stéphanie; Franken, Paul; Dauvilliers, Yves; Ghyselinck, Norbert B.; Chambon, Pierre; Tafti, Mehdi

    2005-10-01

    Delta oscillations, characteristic of the electroencephalogram (EEG) of slow wave sleep, estimate sleep depth and need and are thought to be closely linked to the recovery function of sleep. The cellular mechanisms underlying the generation of delta waves at the cortical and thalamic levels are well documented, but the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain elusive. Here we demonstrate in the mouse that the gene encoding the retinoic acid receptor beta determines the contribution of delta oscillations to the sleep EEG. Thus, retinoic acid signaling, which is involved in the patterning of the brain and dopaminergic pathways, regulates cortical synchrony in the adult.

  15. Cortico-cortical communication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Roland, Per E.; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Deco, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    In principle, cortico-cortical communication dynamics is simple: neurons in one cortical area communicate by sending action potentials that release glutamate and excite their target neurons in other cortical areas. In practice, knowledge about cortico-cortical communication dynamics is minute. One reason is that no current technique can capture the fast spatio-temporal cortico-cortical evolution of action potential transmission and membrane conductances with sufficient spatial resolution. A combination of optogenetics and monosynaptic tracing with virus can reveal the spatio-temporal cortico-cortical dynamics of specific neurons and their targets, but does not reveal how the dynamics evolves under natural conditions. Spontaneous ongoing action potentials also spread across cortical areas and are difficult to separate from structured evoked and intrinsic brain activity such as thinking. At a certain state of evolution, the dynamics may engage larger populations of neurons to drive the brain to decisions, percepts and behaviors. For example, successfully evolving dynamics to sensory transients can appear at the mesoscopic scale revealing how the transient is perceived. As a consequence of these methodological and conceptual difficulties, studies in this field comprise a wide range of computational models, large-scale measurements (e.g., by MEG, EEG), and a combination of invasive measurements in animal experiments. Further obstacles and challenges of studying cortico-cortical communication dynamics are outlined in this critical review. PMID:24847217

  16. Fast Learning with Weak Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yger, Pierre; Stimberg, Marcel; Brette, Romain

    2015-09-30

    New sensory stimuli can be learned with a single or a few presentations. Similarly, the responses of cortical neurons to a stimulus have been shown to increase reliably after just a few repetitions. Long-term memory is thought to be mediated by synaptic plasticity, but in vitro experiments in cortical cells typically show very small changes in synaptic strength after a pair of presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Thus, it is traditionally thought that fast learning requires stronger synaptic changes, possibly because of neuromodulation. Here we show theoretically that weak synaptic plasticity can, in fact, support fast learning, because of the large number of synapses N onto a cortical neuron. In the fluctuation-driven regime characteristic of cortical neurons in vivo, the size of membrane potential fluctuations grows only as √N, whereas a single output spike leads to potentiation of a number of synapses proportional to N. Therefore, the relative effect of a single spike on synaptic potentiation grows as √N. This leverage effect requires precise spike timing. Thus, the large number of synapses onto cortical neurons allows fast learning with very small synaptic changes. Significance statement: Long-term memory is thought to rely on the strengthening of coactive synapses. This physiological mechanism is generally considered to be very gradual, and yet new sensory stimuli can be learned with just a few presentations. Here we show theoretically that this apparent paradox can be solved when there is a tight balance between excitatory and inhibitory input. In this case, small synaptic modifications applied to the many synapses onto a given neuron disrupt that balance and produce a large effect even for modifications induced by a single stimulus. This effect makes fast learning possible with small synaptic changes and reconciles physiological and behavioral observations. PMID:26424883

  17. Modeling cortical circuits.

    SciTech Connect

    Rohrer, Brandon Robinson; Rothganger, Fredrick H.; Verzi, Stephen J.; Xavier, Patrick Gordon

    2010-09-01

    The neocortex is perhaps the highest region of the human brain, where audio and visual perception takes place along with many important cognitive functions. An important research goal is to describe the mechanisms implemented by the neocortex. There is an apparent regularity in the structure of the neocortex [Brodmann 1909, Mountcastle 1957] which may help simplify this task. The work reported here addresses the problem of how to describe the putative repeated units ('cortical circuits') in a manner that is easily understood and manipulated, with the long-term goal of developing a mathematical and algorithmic description of their function. The approach is to reduce each algorithm to an enhanced perceptron-like structure and describe its computation using difference equations. We organize this algorithmic processing into larger structures based on physiological observations, and implement key modeling concepts in software which runs on parallel computing hardware.

  18. White matter structure changes as adults learn a second language.

    PubMed

    Schlegel, Alexander A; Rudelson, Justin J; Tse, Peter U

    2012-08-01

    Traditional models hold that the plastic reorganization of brain structures occurs mainly during childhood and adolescence, leaving adults with limited means to learn new knowledge and skills. Research within the last decade has begun to overturn this belief, documenting changes in the brain's gray and white matter as healthy adults learn simple motor and cognitive skills [Lövdén, M., Bodammer, N. C., Kühn, S., Kaufmann, J., Schütze, H., Tempelmann, C., et al. Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3878-3883, 2010; Taubert, M., Draganski, B., Anwander, A., Müller, K., Horstmann, A., Villringer, A., et al. Dynamic properties of human brain structure: Learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 11670-11677, 2010; Scholz, J., Klein, M. C., Behrens, T. E. J., & Johansen-Berg, H. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 1370-1371, 2009; Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuirer, G., Bogdahn, U., & May, A. Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427, 311-312, 2004]. Although the significance of these changes is not fully understood, they reveal a brain that remains plastic well beyond early developmental periods. Here we investigate the role of adult structural plasticity in the complex, long-term learning process of foreign language acquisition. We collected monthly diffusion tensor imaging scans of 11 English speakers who took a 9-month intensive course in written and spoken Modern Standard Chinese as well as from 16 control participants who did not study a language. We show that white matter reorganizes progressively across multiple sites as adults study a new language. Language learners exhibited progressive changes in white matter tracts associated with traditional left hemisphere language areas and their right hemisphere analogs. Surprisingly, the most significant changes

  19. Pitch perception prior to cortical maturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Bonnie K.

    Pitch perception plays an important role in many complex auditory tasks including speech perception, music perception, and sound source segregatio