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Sample records for affect neural activity

  1. Neural activities during affective processing in people with Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tatia M C; Sun, Delin; Leung, Mei-Kei; Chu, Leung-Wing; Keysers, Christian

    2013-03-01

    This study examined brain activities in people with Alzheimer's disease when viewing happy, sad, and fearful facial expressions of others. A functional magnetic resonance imaging and a voxel-based morphometry methodology together with a passive viewing of emotional faces paradigm were employed to compare the affective processing in 12 people with mild Alzheimer's disease and 12 matched controls. The main finding was that the clinical participants showed reduced activations in regions associated with the motor simulation system (the ventral premotor cortex) and in regions associated with emotional simulation-empathy (the anterior insula and adjacent frontal operculum). This regional decline in blood oxygen level-dependent signals appeared to be lateralized in the left hemisphere and was not related to any structural degeneration in the clinical participants. Furthermore, the regions that showed changes in neural activity differed for the 3 emotional facial expressions studied. Findings of our study indicate that neural changes in regions associated with the motor and emotional simulation systems might play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:22840336

  2. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  3. Neural Activation Underlying Cognitive Control in the Context of Neutral and Affectively Charged Pictures in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Connie; White, Lauren K.; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; Fox, Nathan A.

    2012-01-01

    The neural correlates of cognitive control for typically developing 9-year-old children were examined using dense-array ERPs and estimates of cortical activation (LORETA) during a go/no-go task with two conditions: a neutral picture condition and an affectively charged picture condition. Activation was estimated for the entire cortex after which…

  4. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder☆

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Rachel C.; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A.; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  5. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin; Blair, Karina S.; van Beek, Martijn; Rees, Geraint; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Lutz, Antoine; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness meditation training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act on attention through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures has made it difficult to distinguish the role of these mechanisms. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6-week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention. Although both groups improved significantly on a response-inhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group by time interactions on negative affect-related RTs or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response-inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Collectively our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, and indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training. PMID:23115195

  6. Menstrual cycle phase does not affect sympathetic neural activity in women with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Stickford, Abigail SL; VanGundy, Tiffany B; Levine, Benjamin D; Fu, Qi

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Patients with the postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) are primarily premenopausal women, which may be attributed to female sex hormones. We tested the hypothesis that hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle alter sympathetic neural activity and orthostatic tolerance in POTS women. Ten POTS women were studied during the early follicular (EF) and mid-luteal (ML) phases of the menstrual cycle. Haemodynamics and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) were measured when supine, during 60 deg upright tilt for 45 min or until presyncope, and during the cold pressor test (CPT) and Valsalva manoeuvres. Blood pressure and total peripheral resistance were higher during rest and tilting in the ML than EF phase; however, heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output were similar between phases. There were no mean ± SD differences in MSNA burst frequency (8 ± 8 EF phase vs. 10 ± 10 bursts min–1 ML phase at rest; 34 ± 15 EF phase vs. 36 ± 16 bursts min–1 ML phase at 5 min tilt), burst incidence or total activity, nor any differences in the cardiovagal and sympathetic baroreflex sensitivities between phases under any condition. The incidence of presyncope was also the same between phases. There were no differences in haemodynamic or sympathetic responses to CPT or Valsalva. These results suggest that the menstrual cycle does not affect sympathetic neural activity but modulates blood pressure and vasoconstriction in POTS women during tilting. Thus, factors other than sympathetic neural activity are probably responsible for the symptoms of orthostatic intolerance across the menstrual cycle in women with POTS. Key points Women with the postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) report fluctuations in orthostatic tolerance throughout the menstrual cycle. The mechanism(s) underlying blood pressure control across the menstrual cycle in women with POTS are unknown. The findings of the present study indicate that the menstrual

  7. BDNFval66met affects neural activation pattern during fear conditioning and 24 h delayed fear recall

    PubMed Central

    Golkar, Armita; Lindström, Kara M.; Haaker, Jan; Öhman, Arne; Schalling, Martin; Ingvar, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the most abundant neutrophin in the mammalian central nervous system, is critically involved in synaptic plasticity. In both rodents and humans, BDNF has been implicated in hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent learning and memory and has more recently been linked to fear extinction processes. Fifty-nine healthy participants, genotyped for the functional BDNFval66met polymorphism, underwent a fear conditioning and 24h-delayed extinction protocol while skin conductance and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses (functional magnetic resonance imaging) were acquired. We present the first report of neural activation pattern during fear acquisition ‘and’ extinction for the BDNFval66met polymorphism using a differential conditioned stimulus (CS)+ > CS− comparison. During conditioning, we observed heightened allele dose-dependent responses in the amygdala and reduced responses in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in BDNFval66met met-carriers. During early extinction, 24h later, we again observed heightened responses in several regions ascribed to the fear network in met-carriers as opposed to val-carriers (insula, amygdala, hippocampus), which likely reflects fear memory recall. No differences were observed during late extinction, which likely reflects learned extinction. Our data thus support previous associations of the BDNFval66met polymorphism with neural activation in the fear and extinction network, but speak against a specific association with fear extinction processes. PMID:25103087

  8. Self-control, negative affect and neural activity during effortful cognition in deprived smokers

    PubMed Central

    Sayette, Michael A.; Fiez, Julie A.

    2014-01-01

    The vast majority of attempts to quit smoking cigarettes are unsuccessful. Negative affect (NA) is one of the primary factors contributing to smoking relapse, in part because it interferes with psychological processes that are essential for self-regulation and coping. Converging evidence suggests that NA may be less of a problem for smokers with high relative to low dispositional self-control, but very little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this effect. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to address this issue by examining the associations between trait self-control, state levels of NA and patterns of brain activation in nicotine-deprived smokers (n = 117) during the performance of a verbal n-back paradigm (a task requiring cognitive processes that support self-regulation). While the activation of several brain regions linked to executive control correlated positively and negatively with state NA and trait self-control, respectively, an interaction between these factors was identified in only one region: the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We conclude that the functions supported by the vmPFC are an important source of variability in smokers’ self-regulatory functioning and propose that the region may contribute to the use of implicit forms of self-control under demanding circumstances. PMID:23620601

  9. Impact of negative affectively charged stimuli and response style on cognitive-control-related neural activation: An ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Lamm, C.; Pine, D. S.; Fox, N. A.

    2013-01-01

    The canonical AX-CPT task measures two forms of cognitive control: sustained goal-oriented control (“proactive” control) and transient changes in cognitive control following unexpected events (“reactive” control). We modified this task by adding negative and neutral International Affective Picture System (IAPS) pictures to assess the effects of negative emotion on these two forms of cognitive control. Proactive and reactive control styles were assessed based on measures of behavior and electrophysiology, including the N2 event-related potential component and source space activation (Low Resolution Tomography [LORETA]). We found slower reaction-times and greater DLPFC activation for negative relative to neutral stimuli. Additionally, we found that a proactive style of responding was related to less prefrontal activation (interpreted to reflect increased efficiency of processing) during actively maintained previously cued information and that a reactive style of responding was related to less prefrontal activation (interpreted to reflect increased efficiency of processing) during just-in-time environmentally triggered information. This pattern of results was evident in relatively neutral contexts, but in the face of negative emotion, these associations were not found, suggesting potential response style-by-emotion interaction effects on prefrontal neural activation PMID:24021156

  10. Evaluation of the legal consequences of action affects neural activity and emotional experience during the resolution of moral dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Pletti, Carolina; Sarlo, Michela; Palomba, Daniela; Rumiati, Rino; Lotto, Lorella

    2015-03-01

    In any modern society killing is regarded as a severe violation of the legal codes that is subjected to penal judgment. Therefore, it is likely that people take legal consequences into account when deciding about the hypothetical killing of one person in classic moral dilemmas, with legal concerns contributing to decision-making. In particular, by differing for the degree of intentionality and emotional salience, Footbridge- and Trolley-type dilemmas might promote differential assignment of blame and punishment while implicating the same severity of harm. The present study was aimed at comparing the neural activity, subjective emotional reactions, and behavioral choices in two groups of participants who either took (Legal group) or did not take (No Legal group) legal consequences into account when deciding on Footbridge-type and Trolley-type moral dilemmas. Stimulus- and response-locked ERPs were measured to investigate the neural activity underlying two separate phases of the decision process. No difference in behavioral choices was found between groups. However, the No Legal group reported greater overall emotional impact, associated with lower preparation for action, suggesting greater conflict between alternative motor responses representing the different decision choices. In contrast, the Legal group showed an overall dampened affective experience during decision-making associated with greater overall action readiness and intention to act, reflecting lower conflict in responding. On these bases, we suggest that in moral dilemmas legal consequences of actions provide a sort of reference point on which people can rely to support a decision, independent of dilemma type. PMID:25638294

  11. Early social experience affects neural activity to affiliative facial gestures in newborn nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Vanderwert, Ross E.; Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Paukner, Annika; Suomi, Stephen J.; Fox, Nathan A.; Ferrari, Pier F.

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental issue in cognitive neuroscience is how the brain encodes others’ actions and intentions. The discovery of an action-production-perception mechanism underpinning such a capacity advanced our knowledge of how these processes occur; however, no study has examined how the early postnatal environment may shape action-production-perception. Here we examined the effects of social experience on action-production-perception in 3-day-old rhesus macaques that were raised either with or without their biological mothers. We measured neonatal imitation skills and brain electrical activity responses while infants produced and observed facial gestures. We hypothesized that early social experiences may shape brain activity, as assessed via electroencephalogram suppression in the alpha band (5-7 Hz in infants, known as the mu rhythm) during action observation, and lead to more proficient imitation skills. Consistent with this hypothesis, infants reared by their mothers were more likely to imitate lipsmacking—a natural, affiliative gesture—and exhibited greater mu rhythm desynchronization while viewing lipsmacking gestures than nursery-reared infants. These effects were not found in response to tongue protrusion, a meaningless gesture, or a nonsocial control. These data suggest that socially enriched early experiences in the first days after birth increase brain sensitivity to socially relevant actions. PMID:26022835

  12. A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction.

    PubMed

    Anders, Silke; de Jong, Roos; Beck, Christian; Haynes, John-Dylan; Ethofer, Thomas

    2016-04-19

    Being able to comprehend another person's intentions and emotions is essential for successful social interaction. However, it is currently unknown whether the human brain possesses a neural mechanism that attracts people to others whose mental states they can easily understand. Here we show that the degree to which a person feels attracted to another person can change while they observe the other's affective behavior, and that these changes depend on the observer's confidence in having correctly understood the other's affective state. At the neural level, changes in interpersonal attraction were predicted by activity in the reward system of the observer's brain. Importantly, these effects were specific to individual observer-target pairs and could not be explained by a target's general attractiveness or expressivity. Furthermore, using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we found that neural activity in the reward system of the observer's brain varied as a function of how well the target's affective behavior matched the observer's neural representation of the underlying affective state: The greater the match, the larger the brain's intrinsic reward signal. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that reward-related neural activity during social encounters signals how well an individual's "neural vocabulary" is suited to infer another person's affective state, and that this intrinsic reward might be a source of changes in interpersonal attraction. PMID:27044071

  13. A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction

    PubMed Central

    Anders, Silke; de Jong, Roos; Beck, Christian; Haynes, John-Dylan; Ethofer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Being able to comprehend another person’s intentions and emotions is essential for successful social interaction. However, it is currently unknown whether the human brain possesses a neural mechanism that attracts people to others whose mental states they can easily understand. Here we show that the degree to which a person feels attracted to another person can change while they observe the other’s affective behavior, and that these changes depend on the observer’s confidence in having correctly understood the other’s affective state. At the neural level, changes in interpersonal attraction were predicted by activity in the reward system of the observer’s brain. Importantly, these effects were specific to individual observer–target pairs and could not be explained by a target’s general attractiveness or expressivity. Furthermore, using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we found that neural activity in the reward system of the observer’s brain varied as a function of how well the target’s affective behavior matched the observer’s neural representation of the underlying affective state: The greater the match, the larger the brain’s intrinsic reward signal. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that reward-related neural activity during social encounters signals how well an individual’s “neural vocabulary” is suited to infer another person’s affective state, and that this intrinsic reward might be a source of changes in interpersonal attraction. PMID:27044071

  14. Dynamic Artificial Neural Networks with Affective Systems

    PubMed Central

    Schuman, Catherine D.; Birdwell, J. Douglas

    2013-01-01

    Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are processors that are trained to perform particular tasks. We couple a computational ANN with a simulated affective system in order to explore the interaction between the two. In particular, we design a simple affective system that adjusts the threshold values in the neurons of our ANN. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that this simple affective system can control the firing rate of the ensemble of neurons in the ANN, as well as to explore the coupling between the affective system and the processes of long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD), and the effect of the parameters of the affective system on its performance. We apply our networks with affective systems to a simple pole balancing example and briefly discuss the effect of affective systems on network performance. PMID:24303015

  15. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  16. Affective traits link to reliable neural markers of incentive anticipation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Charlene C.; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Katovich, Kiefer; Knutson, Brian

    2013-01-01

    While theorists have speculated that different affective traits are linked to reliable brain activity during anticipation of gains and losses, few have directly tested this prediction. We examined these associations in a community sample of healthy human adults (n = 52) as they played a Monetary Incentive Delay Task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI). Factor analysis of personality measures revealed that subjects independently varied in trait Positive Arousal and Negative Arousal. In a subsample (n = 14) retested over 2.5 years later, left nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activity during anticipation of large gains (+$5.00) and right anterior insula activity during anticipation of large losses (−$5.00) showed significant test-retest reliability (intraclass correlations > 0.50, p’s < 0.01). In the full sample (n = 52), trait Positive Arousal correlated with individual differences in left NAcc activity during anticipation of large gains, while trait Negative Arousal correlated with individual differences in right anterior insula activity during anticipation of large losses. Associations of affective traits with neural activity were not attributable to the influence of other potential confounds (including sex, age, wealth, and motion). Together, these results demonstrate selective links between distinct affective traits and reliably-elicited activity in neural circuits associated with anticipation of gain versus loss. The findings thus reveal neural markers for affective dimensions of healthy personality, and potentially for related psychiatric symptoms. PMID:24001457

  17. Sex differences in the neural correlates of affective experience

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Touroutoglou, Alexandra; Dickerson, Bradford C.

    2014-01-01

    People believe that women are more emotionally intense than men, but the scientific evidence is equivocal. In this study, we tested the novel hypothesis that men and women differ in the neural correlates of affective experience, rather than in the intensity of neural activity, with women being more internally (interoceptively) focused and men being more externally (visually) focused. Adult men (n = 17) and women (n = 17) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging study while viewing affectively potent images and rating their moment-to-moment feelings of subjective arousal. We found that men and women do not differ overall in their intensity of moment-to-moment affective experiences when viewing evocative images, but instead, as predicted, women showed a greater association between the momentary arousal ratings and neural responses in the anterior insula cortex, which represents bodily sensations, whereas men showed stronger correlations between their momentary arousal ratings and neural responses in the visual cortex. Men also showed enhanced functional connectivity between the dorsal anterior insula cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which constitutes the circuitry involved with regulating shifts of attention to the world. These results demonstrate that the same affective experience is realized differently in different people, such that women’s feelings are relatively more self-focused, whereas men’s feelings are relatively more world-focused. PMID:23596188

  18. Analysis of optical neural stimulation effects on neural networks affected by neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zverev, M.; Fanjul-Vélez, F.; Salas-García, I.; Ortega-Quijano, N.; Arce-Diego, J. L.

    2016-03-01

    The number of people in risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease increases as the life expectancy grows due to medical advances. Multiple techniques have been developed to improve patient's condition, from pharmacological to invasive electrodes approaches, but no definite cure has yet been discovered. In this work Optical Neural Stimulation (ONS) has been studied. ONS stimulates noninvasively the outer regions of the brain, mainly the neocortex. The relationship between the stimulation parameters and the therapeutic response is not totally clear. In order to find optimal ONS parameters to treat a particular neurodegenerative disease, mathematical modeling is necessary. Neural networks models have been employed to study the neural spiking activity change induced by ONS. Healthy and pathological neocortical networks have been considered to study the required stimulation to restore the normal activity. The network consisted of a group of interconnected neurons, which were assigned 2D spatial coordinates. The optical stimulation spatial profile was assumed to be Gaussian. The stimulation effects were modeled as synaptic current increases in the affected neurons, proportional to the stimulation fluence. Pathological networks were defined as the healthy ones with some neurons being inactivated, which presented no synaptic conductance. Neurons' electrical activity was also studied in the frequency domain, focusing specially on the changes of the spectral bands corresponding to brain waves. The complete model could be used to determine the optimal ONS parameters in order to achieve the specific neural spiking patterns or the required local neural activity increase to treat particular neurodegenerative pathologies.

  19. Ongoing neural development of affective theory of mind in adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Weigelt, Sarah; Döhnel, Katrin; Smolka, Michael N.; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Affective Theory of Mind (ToM), an important aspect of ToM, involves the understanding of affective mental states. This ability is critical in the developmental phase of adolescence, which is often related with socio-emotional problems. Using a developmentally sensitive behavioral task in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated the neural development of affective ToM throughout adolescence. Eighteen adolescent (ages 12–14 years) and 18 young adult women (aged 19–25 years) were scanned while evaluating complex affective mental states depicted by actors in video clips. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) showed significantly stronger activation in adolescents in comparison to adults in the affective ToM condition. Current results indicate that the vmPFC might be involved in the development of affective ToM processing in adolescence. PMID:23716712

  20. Ongoing neural development of affective theory of mind in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Nora C; Weigelt, Sarah; Döhnel, Katrin; Smolka, Michael N; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-07-01

    Affective Theory of Mind (ToM), an important aspect of ToM, involves the understanding of affective mental states. This ability is critical in the developmental phase of adolescence, which is often related with socio-emotional problems. Using a developmentally sensitive behavioral task in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated the neural development of affective ToM throughout adolescence. Eighteen adolescent (ages 12-14 years) and 18 young adult women (aged 19-25 years) were scanned while evaluating complex affective mental states depicted by actors in video clips. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) showed significantly stronger activation in adolescents in comparison to adults in the affective ToM condition. Current results indicate that the vmPFC might be involved in the development of affective ToM processing in adolescence. PMID:23716712

  1. Expressive suppression and neural responsiveness to nonverbal affective cues.

    PubMed

    Petrican, Raluca; Rosenbaum, R Shayna; Grady, Cheryl

    2015-10-01

    Optimal social functioning occasionally requires concealment of one's emotions in order to meet one's immediate goals and environmental demands. However, because emotions serve an important communicative function, their habitual suppression disrupts the flow of social exchanges and, thus, incurs significant interpersonal costs. Evidence is accruing that the disruption in social interactions, linked to habitual expressive suppression use, stems not only from intrapersonal, but also from interpersonal causes, since the suppressors' restricted affective displays reportedly inhibit their interlocutors' emotionally expressive behaviors. However, expressive suppression use is not known to lead to clinically significant social impairments. One explanation may be that over the lifespan, individuals who habitually suppress their emotions come to compensate for their interlocutors' restrained expressive behaviors by developing an increased sensitivity to nonverbal affective cues. To probe this issue, the present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan healthy older women while they viewed silent videos of a male social target displaying nonverbal emotional behavior, together with a brief verbal description of the accompanying context, and then judged the target's affect. As predicted, perceivers who reported greater habitual use of expressive suppression showed increased neural processing of nonverbal affective cues. This effect appeared to be coordinated in a top-down manner via cognitive control. Greater neural processing of nonverbal cues among perceivers who habitually suppress their emotions was linked to increased ventral striatum activity, suggestive of increased reward value/personal relevance ascribed to emotionally expressive nonverbal behaviors. These findings thus provide neural evidence broadly consistent with the hypothesized link between habitual use of expressive suppression and compensatory development of increased responsiveness to

  2. Emotional task management: neural correlates of switching between affective and non-affective task-sets

    PubMed Central

    Reeck, Crystal

    2015-01-01

    Although task-switching has been investigated extensively, its interaction with emotionally salient task content remains unclear. Prioritized processing of affective stimulus content may enhance accessibility of affective task-sets and generate increased interference when switching between affective and non-affective task-sets. Previous research has demonstrated that more dominant task-sets experience greater switch costs, as they necessitate active inhibition during performance of less entrenched tasks. Extending this logic to the affective domain, the present experiment examined (a) whether affective task-sets are more dominant than non-affective ones, and (b) what neural mechanisms regulate affective task-sets, so that weaker, non-affective task-sets can be executed. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, participants categorized face stimuli according to either their gender (non-affective task) or their emotional expression (affective task). Behavioral results were consistent with the affective task dominance hypothesis: participants were slower to switch to the affective task, and cross-task interference was strongest when participants tried to switch from the affective to the non-affective task. These behavioral costs of controlling the affective task-set were mirrored in the activation of a right-lateralized frontostriatal network previously implicated in task-set updating and response inhibition. Connectivity between amygdala and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was especially pronounced during cross-task interference from affective features. PMID:25552571

  3. Neural Affective Mechanisms Predict Market-Level Microlending

    PubMed Central

    Genevsky, Alexander; Knutson, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Humans sometimes share with others whom they may never meet or know, in violation of the dictates of pure self-interest. Research has not established which neuropsychological mechanisms support lending decisions, nor whether their influence extends to markets involving significant financial incentives. In two studies, we found that neural affective mechanisms influence the success of requests for microloans. In a large Internet database of microloan requests (N = 13,500), we found that positive affective features of photographs promoted the success of those requests. We then established that neural activity (i.e., in the nucleus accumbens) and self-reported positive arousal in a neuroimaging sample (N = 28) predicted the success of loan requests on the Internet, above and beyond the effects of the neuroimaging sample’s own choices (i.e., to lend or not). These findings suggest that elicitation of positive arousal can promote the success of loan requests, both in the laboratory and on the Internet. They also highlight affective neuroscience’s potential to probe neuropsychological mechanisms that drive microlending, enhance the effectiveness of loan requests, and forecast market-level behavior. PMID:26187248

  4. Neural Correlates of Affective Influence on Choice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piech, Richard M.; Lewis, Jade; Parkinson, Caroline H.; Owen, Adrian M.; Roberts, Angela C.; Downing, Paul E.; Parkinson, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Making the right choice depends crucially on the accurate valuation of the available options in the light of current needs and goals of an individual. Thus, the valuation of identical options can vary considerably with motivational context. The present study investigated the neural structures underlying context dependent evaluation. We instructed…

  5. Dissociating the Neural Correlates of Experiencing and Imagining Affective Touch.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Molly V; Anderson, Laura C; Bolling, Danielle Z; Pelphrey, Kevin A; Kaiser, Martha D

    2015-09-01

    This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined experiencing and imagining gentle arm and palm touch to determine whether these processes activate overlapping or distinct brain regions. Although past research shows brain responses to experiencing and viewing touch, this study investigates neural processing of touch absent of visual stimulation. C-tactile (CT) nerves, present in hairy skin, respond specifically to caress-like touch. CT-targeted touch activates "social brain" regions including insula, right posterior superior temporal sulcus, amygdala, temporal poles, and orbitofrontal cortex ( McGlone et al. 2012). We addressed whether activations reflect sensory input-driven mechanisms, cognitive-based mechanisms, or both. We identified a functional dissociation between insula regions. Posterior insula responded during experienced touch. Anterior insula responded during both experienced and imagined touch. To isolate stimulus-independent mechanisms recruited during physical experience of CT-targeted touch, we identified regions active to experiencing and imagining such touch. These included amygdala and temporal pole. We posit that the dissociation of insula function suggests posterior and anterior insula involvement in distinct yet interacting processes: coding physical stimulation and affective interpretation of touch. Regions active during experiencing and imagining CT-targeted touch are associated with social processes indicating that imagining touch conjures affective aspects of experiencing such touch. PMID:24700583

  6. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space. PMID:26491431

  7. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space. PMID:26491431

  8. Neural correlates of valence generalization in an affective conditioning paradigm.

    PubMed

    Schick, Anita; Adam, Ruth; Vollmayr, Barbara; Kuehner, Christine; Kanske, Philipp; Wessa, Michèle

    2015-10-01

    In case of uncertainty, predictions that are based on prior, similar experiences guide our decision by processes of generalization. Over-generalization of negative information has been identified as an important feature of several psychopathologies, including anxiety disorders and depression, and might underlie biased interpretation of ambiguous information. Here, we investigated the neural correlates of valence generalization to ambiguous stimuli using a translational affective conditioning task during fMRI. Twenty-five healthy individuals participated in a conditioning procedure with (1) an initial acquisition phase, where participants learned the positive and negative valence of two different tones (reference tones) through their responses and subsequent feedback and (2) a test phase, where participants were presented with the previously learned reference tones and three additional tones with intermediate frequency to the learned reference tones. By recording the responses to these intermediate stimuli we were able to assess the participantsí interpretation of ambiguous tones as either positive or negative. Behavioral results revealed a graded response pattern to the three intermediate tones, which was mirrored on the neural level. More specifically, parametric analyses OF BOLD responses to all five tones revealed a linear effect in bilateral anterior insula and SMA with lowest activation to the negative reference tone and highest activation to the positive negative tone. In addition, a cluster in the SMA showed a reverse-quadratic response, i.e., the strongest response for the most ambiguous tone. These findings suggest overlapping regions in the salience network that mediate valence generalization and decision-making under ambiguity, potentially underlying biased ambiguous cue interpretation. PMID:26057359

  9. Linear circuits for neural networks and affective computing.

    PubMed

    Frenger, P

    1999-01-01

    Biological phenomena are often modeled with software on digital computers, even though the events may be analog in nature. The author describes the use of linear circuitry in two areas of biological simulation: artificial neural networks and affective computing. The operational amplifier, with the assistance of some new analog chips and simple digital microcontrollers, is featured prominently in these linear designs. PMID:11143356

  10. Aging Affects Neural Synchronization to Speech-Related Acoustic Modulations

    PubMed Central

    Goossens, Tine; Vercammen, Charlotte; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2016-01-01

    As people age, speech perception problems become highly prevalent, especially in noisy situations. In addition to peripheral hearing and cognition, temporal processing plays a key role in speech perception. Temporal processing of speech features is mediated by synchronized activity of neural oscillations in the central auditory system. Previous studies indicate that both the degree and hemispheric lateralization of synchronized neural activity relate to speech perception performance. Based on these results, we hypothesize that impaired speech perception in older persons may, in part, originate from deviances in neural synchronization. In this study, auditory steady-state responses that reflect synchronized activity of theta, beta, low and high gamma oscillations (i.e., 4, 20, 40, and 80 Hz ASSR, respectively) were recorded in young, middle-aged, and older persons. As all participants had normal audiometric thresholds and were screened for (mild) cognitive impairment, differences in synchronized neural activity across the three age groups were likely to be attributed to age. Our data yield novel findings regarding theta and high gamma oscillations in the aging auditory system. At an older age, synchronized activity of theta oscillations is increased, whereas high gamma synchronization is decreased. In contrast to young persons who exhibit a right hemispheric dominance for processing of high gamma range modulations, older adults show a symmetrical processing pattern. These age-related changes in neural synchronization may very well underlie the speech perception problems in aging persons. PMID:27378906

  11. Interaction Between Optical and Neural Factors Affecting Visual Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabesan, Ramkumar

    The human eye suffers from higher order aberrations, in addition to conventional spherical and cylindrical refractive errors. Advanced optical techniques have been devised to correct them in order to achieve superior retinal image quality. However, vision is not completely defined by the optical quality of the eye, but also depends on how the image quality is processed by the neural system. In particular, how neural processing is affected by the past visual experience with optical blur has remained largely unexplored. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the interaction of optical and neural factors affecting vision. To achieve this goal, pathological keratoconic eyes were chosen as the ideal population to study since they are severely afflicted by degraded retinal image quality due to higher order aberrations and their neural system has been exposed to that habitually for a long period of time. Firstly, we have developed advanced customized ophthalmic lenses for correcting the higher order aberration of keratoconic eyes and demonstrated their feasibility in providing substantial visual benefit over conventional corrective methodologies. However, the achieved visual benefit was significantly smaller than that predicted optically. To better understand this, the second goal of the thesis was set to investigate if the neural system optimizes its underlying mechanisms in response to the long-term visual experience with large magnitudes of higher order aberrations. This study was facilitated by a large-stroke adaptive optics vision simulator, enabling us to access the neural factors in the visual system by manipulating the limit imposed by the optics of the eye. Using this instrument, we have performed a series of experiments to establish that habitual exposure to optical blur leads to an alteration in neural processing thereby alleviating the visual impact of degraded retinal image quality, referred to as neural compensation. However, it was also found that

  12. Musical expertise affects neural bases of letter recognition.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Manfredi, Mirella; Zani, Alberto; Adorni, Roberta

    2013-02-01

    It is known that early music learning (playing of an instrument) modifies functional brain structure (both white and gray matter) and connectivity, especially callosal transfer, motor control/coordination and auditory processing. We compared visual processing of notes and words in 15 professional musicians and 15 controls by recording their synchronized bioelectrical activity (ERPs) in response to words and notes. We found that musical training in childhood (from age ~8 years) modifies neural mechanisms of word reading, whatever the genetic predisposition, which was unknown. While letter processing was strongly left-lateralized in controls, the fusiform (BA37) and inferior occipital gyri (BA18) were activated in both hemispheres in musicians for both word and music processing. The evidence that the neural mechanism of letter processing differed in musicians and controls (being absolutely bilateral in musicians) suggests that musical expertise modifies the neural mechanisms of letter reading. PMID:23238370

  13. Associative memory model with spontaneous neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurikawa, Tomoki; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2012-05-01

    We propose a novel associative memory model wherein the neural activity without an input (i.e., spontaneous activity) is modified by an input to generate a target response that is memorized for recall upon the same input. Suitable design of synaptic connections enables the model to memorize input/output (I/O) mappings equaling 70% of the total number of neurons, where the evoked activity distinguishes a target pattern from others. Spontaneous neural activity without an input shows chaotic dynamics but keeps some similarity with evoked activities, as reported in recent experimental studies.

  14. Neural processing associated with cognitive and affective Theory of Mind in adolescents and adults.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Catherine L; Fontaine, Nathalie M G; Bird, Geoffrey; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Brito, Stephane A De; McCrory, Eamon J P; Viding, Essi

    2012-01-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute thoughts, intentions and beliefs to others. This involves component processes, including cognitive perspective taking (cognitive ToM) and understanding emotions (affective ToM). This study assessed the distinction and overlap of neural processes involved in these respective components, and also investigated their development between adolescence and adulthood. While data suggest that ToM develops between adolescence and adulthood, these populations have not been compared on cognitive and affective ToM domains. Using fMRI with 15 adolescent (aged 11-16 years) and 15 adult (aged 24-40 years) males, we assessed neural responses during cartoon vignettes requiring cognitive ToM, affective ToM or physical causality comprehension (control). An additional aim was to explore relationships between fMRI data and self-reported empathy. Both cognitive and affective ToM conditions were associated with neural responses in the classic ToM network across both groups, although only affective ToM recruited medial/ventromedial PFC (mPFC/vmPFC). Adolescents additionally activated vmPFC more than did adults during affective ToM. The specificity of the mPFC/vmPFC response during affective ToM supports evidence from lesion studies suggesting that vmPFC may integrate affective information during ToM. Furthermore, the differential neural response in vmPFC between adult and adolescent groups indicates developmental changes in affective ToM processing. PMID:21467048

  15. Affective state and locus of control modulate the neural response to threat.

    PubMed

    Harnett, Nathaniel G; Wheelock, Muriah D; Wood, Kimberly H; Ladnier, Jordan C; Mrug, Sylvie; Knight, David C

    2015-11-01

    The ability to regulate the emotional response to threat is critical to healthy emotional function. However, the response to threat varies considerably from person-to-person. This variability may be partially explained by differences in emotional processes, such as locus of control and affective state, which vary across individuals. Although the basic neural circuitry that mediates the response to threat has been described, the impact individual differences in affective state and locus of control have on that response is not well characterized. Understanding how these factors influence the neural response to threat would provide new insight into processes that mediate emotional function. Therefore, the present study used a Pavlovian conditioning procedure to investigate the influence individual differences in locus of control, positive affect, and negative affect have on the brain and behavioral responses to predictable and unpredictable threats. Thirty-two healthy volunteers participated in a fear conditioning study in which predictable and unpredictable threats (i.e., unconditioned stimulus) were presented during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Locus of control showed a linear relationship with learning-related ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity such that the more external an individual's locus of control, the greater their differential response to predictable versus unpredictable threat. In addition, positive and negative affectivity showed a curvilinear relationship with dorsolateral PFC, dorsomedial PFC, and insula activity, such that those with high or low affectivity showed reduced regional activity compared to those with an intermediate level of affectivity. Further, activity within the PFC, as well as other regions including the amygdala, were linked with the peripheral emotional response as indexed by skin conductance and electromyography. The current findings demonstrate that the neural response to threat within brain regions

  16. How Many People Are Affected By or Are at Risk for Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... are affected by or are at risk for neural tube defects? Skip sharing on social media links Share this: ... with spina bifida. 1 The other types of neural tube defects are less common. About 340 infants are born ...

  17. Distracted and down: neural mechanisms of affective interference in subclinical depression.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Roselinde H; Andrews-Hanna, Jessica R; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Warren, Stacie L; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A; Heller, Wendy; Banich, Marie T

    2015-05-01

    Previous studies have shown that depressed individuals have difficulty directing attention away from negative distractors, a phenomenon known as affective interference. However, findings are mixed regarding the neural mechanisms and network dynamics of affective interference. The present study addressed these issues by comparing neural activation during emotion-word and color-word Stroop tasks in participants with varying levels of (primarily subclinical) depression. Depressive symptoms predicted increased activation to negative distractors in areas of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), regions implicated in cognitive control and internally directed attention, respectively. Increased dACC activity was also observed in the group-average response to incongruent distractors, suggesting that dACC activity during affective interference is related to overtaxed cognitive control. In contrast, regions of PCC were deactivated across the group in response to incongruent distractors, suggesting that PCC activity during affective interference represents task-independent processing. A psychophysiological interaction emerged in which higher depression predicted more positively correlated activity between dACC and PCC during affective interference, i.e. greater connectivity between cognitive control and internal-attention systems. These findings suggest that, when individuals high in depression are confronted by negative material, increased attention to internal thoughts and difficulty shifting resources to the external world interfere with goal-directed behavior. PMID:25062838

  18. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

    Skouras, Stavros; Gray, Marcus; Critchley, Hugo; Koelsch, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was the investigation of interaction effects between functional MRI scanner noise and affective neural processes. Stimuli comprised of psychoacoustically balanced musical pieces, expressing three different emotions (fear, neutral, joy). Participants (N=34, 19 female) were split into two groups, one subjected to continuous scanning and another subjected to sparse temporal scanning that features decreased scanner noise. Tests for interaction effects between scanning group (sparse/quieter vs continuous/noisier) and emotion (fear, neutral, joy) were performed. Results revealed interactions between the affective expression of stimuli and scanning group localized in bilateral auditory cortex, insula and visual cortex (calcarine sulcus). Post-hoc comparisons revealed that during sparse scanning, but not during continuous scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for fear, as well as stronger for fear than for neutral in bilateral auditory cortex. During continuous scanning, but not during sparse scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for neutral in the left auditory cortex and for joy than for fear in the calcarine sulcus. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to show a statistical interaction effect between scanner noise and affective processes and extends evidence suggesting scanner noise to be an important factor in functional MRI research that can affect and distort affective brain processes. PMID:24260420

  19. Neural networks underlying affective states in a multimodal virtual environment: contributions to boredom

    PubMed Central

    Mathiak, Krystyna A.; Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    The interaction of low perceptual stimulation or goal-directed behavior with a negative subjective evaluation may lead to boredom. This contribution to boredom may shed light on its neural correlates, which are poorly characterized so far. A video game served as simulation of free interactive behavior without interruption of the game’s narrative. Thirteen male German volunteers played a first-person shooter game (Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two independent coders performed the time-based analysis of the audio-visual game content. Boredom was operationalized as interaction of prolonged absence of goal-directed behavior with lowered affect in the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). A decrease of positive affect (PA) correlated with response amplitudes in bilateral insular clusters extending into the amygdala to prolonged inactive phases in a game play and an increase in negative affect (NA) was associated with higher responses in bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Precuneus and hippocampus responses were negatively correlated with changes in NA. We describe for the first time neural contributions to boredom, using a video game as complex virtual environment. Further our study confirmed that PA and NA are separable constructs, reflected by distinct neural patterns. PA may be associated with afferent limbic activity whereas NA with affective control. PMID:24348366

  20. The Neural Basis of Risky Choice with Affective Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Suter, Renata S.; Pachur, Thorsten; Hertwig, Ralph; Endestad, Tor; Biele, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Both normative and many descriptive theories of decision making under risk are based on the notion that outcomes are weighted by their probability, with subsequent maximization of the (subjective) expected outcome. Numerous investigations from psychology, economics, and neuroscience have produced evidence consistent with this notion. However, this research has typically investigated choices involving relatively affect-poor, monetary outcomes. We compared choice in relatively affect-poor, monetary lottery problems with choice in relatively affect-rich medical decision problems. Computational modeling of behavioral data and model-based neuroimaging analyses provide converging evidence for substantial differences in the respective decision mechanisms. Relative to affect-poor choices, affect-rich choices yielded a more strongly curved probability weighting function of cumulative prospect theory, thus signaling that the psychological impact of probabilities is strongly diminished for affect-rich outcomes. Examining task-dependent brain activation, we identified a region-by-condition interaction indicating qualitative differences of activation between affect-rich and affect-poor choices. Moreover, brain activation in regions that were more active during affect-poor choices (e.g., the supramarginal gyrus) correlated with individual trial-by-trial decision weights, indicating that these regions reflect processing of probabilities. Formal reverse inference Neurosynth meta-analyses suggested that whereas affect-poor choices seem to be based on brain mechanisms for calculative processes, affect-rich choices are driven by the representation of outcomes’ emotional value and autobiographical memories associated with them. These results provide evidence that the traditional notion of expectation maximization may not apply in the context of outcomes laden with affective responses, and that understanding the brain mechanisms of decision making requires the domain of the decision

  1. Common and Segregated Neural Substrates for Automatic Conceptual and Affective Priming as Revealed by Event-Related Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Hongyan; Hu, Zhiguo; Peng, Danling; Yang, Yanhui; Li, Kuncheng

    2010-01-01

    The brain activity associated with automatic semantic priming has been extensively studied. Thus far there has been no prior study that directly contrasts the neural mechanisms of semantic and affective priming. The present study employed event-related fMRI to examine the common and distinct neural bases underlying conceptual and affective priming…

  2. How Tissue Mechanical Properties Affect Enteric Neural Crest Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, N.R.; Gazguez, E.; Bidault, L.; Guilbert, T.; Vias, C.; Vian, E.; Watanabe, Y.; Muller, L.; Germain, S.; Bondurand, N.; Dufour, S.; Fleury, V.

    2016-01-01

    Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a population of multipotent cells that migrate extensively during vertebrate development. Alterations to neural crest ontogenesis cause several diseases, including cancers and congenital defects, such as Hirschprung disease, which results from incomplete colonization of the colon by enteric NCCs (ENCCs). We investigated the influence of the stiffness and structure of the environment on ENCC migration in vitro and during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in chicken and mouse embryos. We showed using tensile stretching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) that the mesenchyme of the gut was initially soft but gradually stiffened during the period of ENCC colonization. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy revealed that this stiffening was associated with a gradual organization and enrichment of collagen fibers in the developing gut. Ex-vivo 2D cell migration assays showed that ENCCs migrated on substrates with very low levels of stiffness. In 3D collagen gels, the speed of the ENCC migratory front decreased with increasing gel stiffness, whereas no correlation was found between porosity and ENCC migration behavior. Metalloprotease inhibition experiments showed that ENCCs actively degraded collagen in order to progress. These results shed light on the role of the mechanical properties of tissues in ENCC migration during development. PMID:26887292

  3. How Tissue Mechanical Properties Affect Enteric Neural Crest Cell Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevalier, N. R.; Gazguez, E.; Bidault, L.; Guilbert, T.; Vias, C.; Vian, E.; Watanabe, Y.; Muller, L.; Germain, S.; Bondurand, N.; Dufour, S.; Fleury, V.

    2016-02-01

    Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a population of multipotent cells that migrate extensively during vertebrate development. Alterations to neural crest ontogenesis cause several diseases, including cancers and congenital defects, such as Hirschprung disease, which results from incomplete colonization of the colon by enteric NCCs (ENCCs). We investigated the influence of the stiffness and structure of the environment on ENCC migration in vitro and during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in chicken and mouse embryos. We showed using tensile stretching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) that the mesenchyme of the gut was initially soft but gradually stiffened during the period of ENCC colonization. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy revealed that this stiffening was associated with a gradual organization and enrichment of collagen fibers in the developing gut. Ex-vivo 2D cell migration assays showed that ENCCs migrated on substrates with very low levels of stiffness. In 3D collagen gels, the speed of the ENCC migratory front decreased with increasing gel stiffness, whereas no correlation was found between porosity and ENCC migration behavior. Metalloprotease inhibition experiments showed that ENCCs actively degraded collagen in order to progress. These results shed light on the role of the mechanical properties of tissues in ENCC migration during development.

  4. How Tissue Mechanical Properties Affect Enteric Neural Crest Cell Migration.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, N R; Gazguez, E; Bidault, L; Guilbert, T; Vias, C; Vian, E; Watanabe, Y; Muller, L; Germain, S; Bondurand, N; Dufour, S; Fleury, V

    2016-01-01

    Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a population of multipotent cells that migrate extensively during vertebrate development. Alterations to neural crest ontogenesis cause several diseases, including cancers and congenital defects, such as Hirschprung disease, which results from incomplete colonization of the colon by enteric NCCs (ENCCs). We investigated the influence of the stiffness and structure of the environment on ENCC migration in vitro and during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in chicken and mouse embryos. We showed using tensile stretching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) that the mesenchyme of the gut was initially soft but gradually stiffened during the period of ENCC colonization. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy revealed that this stiffening was associated with a gradual organization and enrichment of collagen fibers in the developing gut. Ex-vivo 2D cell migration assays showed that ENCCs migrated on substrates with very low levels of stiffness. In 3D collagen gels, the speed of the ENCC migratory front decreased with increasing gel stiffness, whereas no correlation was found between porosity and ENCC migration behavior. Metalloprotease inhibition experiments showed that ENCCs actively degraded collagen in order to progress. These results shed light on the role of the mechanical properties of tissues in ENCC migration during development. PMID:26887292

  5. Information transmission in oscillatory neural activity.

    PubMed

    Koepsell, Kilian; Sommer, Friedrich T

    2008-11-01

    Periodic neural activity not locked to the stimulus or to motor responses is usually ignored. Here, we present new tools for modeling and quantifying the information transmission based on periodic neural activity that occurs with quasi-random phase relative to the stimulus. We propose a model to reproduce characteristic features of oscillatory spike trains, such as histograms of inter-spike intervals and phase locking of spikes to an oscillatory influence. The proposed model is based on an inhomogeneous Gamma process governed by a density function that is a product of the usual stimulus-dependent rate and a quasi-periodic function. Further, we present an analysis method generalizing the direct method (Rieke et al. in Spikes: exploring the neural code. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1999; Brenner et al. in Neural Comput 12(7):1531-1552, 2000) to assess the information content in such data. We demonstrate these tools on recordings from relay cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. PMID:18985377

  6. Culture conditions affect the cholinergic development of an isolated subpopulation of chick mesencephalic neural crest cells.

    PubMed

    Barald, K F

    1989-10-01

    Although neural crest cells are known to be very responsive to environmental cues during their development, recent evidence indicates that at least some subpopulations may be committed to a specific differentiation program prior to migration. Because the neural crest is composed of a heterogeneous mixture of cells that contributes to many vertebrate cell lineages, assessing the properties of specific subpopulations and the effect of the environment on their development has been difficult. To address this problem, we have isolated a pure subpopulation of chick mesencephalic neural crest cells by fluorescence no-flow cytometry after labeling them with monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) to a 75-kDa cell surface antigen that is associated with high affinity choline uptake. When cultures of chick mesencephalic neural crest cells are labeled with these Mabs and a fluorescent second step antibody, approximately 5% of the cells are antigen-positive (A+). After sorting, 100% of the resulting cultured mesencephalic neural crest cells are A+. The Mabs we used also label all of the neurons of the embryonic chick and quail ciliary ganglion in vivo and in vitro. We have compared the effect of various cell culture media on the isolated neural crest subpopulation and the heterogeneous chick mesencephalic neural crest from which it was derived. A+ cells were passaged and grown in a variety of media, each of which differently affected its characteristics and development. A+ cells proliferated in the presence of 15% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and high concentrations (10-15%) of chick embryo extract, but did not differentiate, although they retained basal levels of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity. However, in chick serum and high (25 mM as opposed to 7 mM) K+, and heart-, iris-, or lung-conditioned medium, all of which are known to promote survival and/or cholinergic development of ciliary ganglion neurons, the cells ceased to proliferate and all of the cells in the culture became

  7. Neural activation during response competition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hazeltine, E.; Poldrack, R.; Gabrieli, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    The flanker task, introduced by Eriksen and Eriksen [Eriksen, B. A., & Eriksen, C. W. (1974). Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a target letter in a nonsearch task. Perception & Psychophysics, 16, 143--149], provides a means to selectively manipulate the presence or absence of response competition while keeping other task demands constant. We measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of the flanker task. In accordance with previous behavioral studies, trials in which the flanking stimuli indicated a different response than the central stimulus were performed significantly more slowly than trials in which all the stimuli indicated the same response. This reaction time effect was accompanied by increases in activity in four regions: the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the supplementary motor area, the left superior parietal lobe, and the left anterior parietal cortex. The increases were not due to changes in stimulus complexity or the need to overcome previously learned associations between stimuli and responses. Correspondences between this study and other experiments manipulating response interference suggest that the frontal foci may be related to response inhibition processes whereas the posterior foci may be related to the activation of representations of the inappropriate responses.

  8. Neural predictive control for active buffet alleviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pado, Lawrence E.; Lichtenwalner, Peter F.; Liguore, Salvatore L.; Drouin, Donald

    1998-06-01

    The adaptive neural control of aeroelastic response (ANCAR) and the affordable loads and dynamics independent research and development (IRAD) programs at the Boeing Company jointly examined using neural network based active control technology for alleviating undesirable vibration and aeroelastic response in a scale model aircraft vertical tail. The potential benefits of adaptive control includes reducing aeroelastic response associated with buffet and atmospheric turbulence, increasing flutter margins, and reducing response associated with nonlinear phenomenon like limit cycle oscillations. By reducing vibration levels and thus loads, aircraft structures can have lower acquisition cost, reduced maintenance, and extended lifetimes. Wind tunnel tests were undertaken on a rigid 15% scale aircraft in Boeing's mini-speed wind tunnel, which is used for testing at very low air speeds up to 80 mph. The model included a dynamically scaled flexible fail consisting of an aluminum spar with balsa wood cross sections with a hydraulically powered rudder. Neural predictive control was used to actuate the vertical tail rudder in response to strain gauge feedback to alleviate buffeting effects. First mode RMS strain reduction of 50% was achieved. The neural predictive control system was developed and implemented by the Boeing Company to provide an intelligent, adaptive control architecture for smart structures applications with automated synthesis, self-optimization, real-time adaptation, nonlinear control, and fault tolerance capabilities. It is designed to solve complex control problems though a process of automated synthesis, eliminating costly control design and surpassing it in many instances by accounting for real world non-linearities.

  9. Psychophysiology of neural, cognitive and affective integration: fMRI and autonomic indicants.

    PubMed

    Critchley, Hugo D

    2009-08-01

    Behaviour is shaped by environmental challenge in the context of homoeostatic need. Emotional and cognitive processes evoke patterned changes in bodily state that may signal emotional state to others. This dynamic modulation of visceral state is neurally mediated by sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system. Moreover neural afferents convey representations of the internal state of the body back to the brain to further influence emotion and cognition. Neuroimaging and lesion studies implicate specific regions of limbic forebrain in the behavioural generation of autonomic arousal states. Activity within these regions may predict emotion-specific autonomic response patterns within and between bodily organs, with implications for psychosomatic medicine. Feedback from the viscera is mapped hierarchically in the brain to influence efferent signals, and ultimately at the cortical level to engender and reinforce affective responses and subjective feeling states. Again neuroimaging and patient studies suggest discrete neural substrates for these representations, notably regions of insula and orbitofrontal cortex. Individual differences in conscious access to these interoceptive representations predict differences in emotional experience, but equally the misperception of heightened arousal level may evoke changes in emotional behaviour through engagement of the same neural centres. Perturbation of feedback may impair emotional reactivity and, in the context of inflammatory states give rise to cognitive, affective and psychomotor expressions of illness. Changes in visceral state during emotion may be mirrored in the responses of others, permitting a corresponding representation in the observer. The degree to which individuals are susceptible to this 'contagion' predicts individual differences in questionnaire ratings of empathy. Together these neuroimaging and clinical studies highlight the dynamic relationship between mind and body and help

  10. Neural Correlates of Affect Processing and Aggression in Methamphetamine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Payer, Doris E.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; London, Edythe D.

    2012-01-01

    Context Methamphetamine abuse is associated with high rates of aggression, but few studies have addressed the contributing neurobiological factors. Objective To quantify aggression, investigate function of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, and assess relationships between brain function and behavior in methamphetamine-dependent individuals. Design In a case-control study, aggression and brain activation were compared between methamphetamine-dependent and control participants. Setting Participants were recruited from the general community to an academic research center. Participants Thirty-nine methamphetamine-dependent volunteers (16 women) who were abstinent for 7 to 10 days and 37 drug-free control volunteers (18 women) participated in the study; subsets completed self-report and behavioral measures. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed on 25 methamphetamine-dependent and 23 control participants. Main outcome measures We measured self-reported and perpetrated aggression, and self-reported alexithymia. Brain activation was assessed using fMRI during visual processing of facial affect (affect matching), and symbolic processing (affect labeling), the latter representing an incidental form of emotion regulation. Results Methamphetamine-dependent participants self-reported more aggression and alexithymia than control participants and escalated perpetrated aggression more following provocation. Alexithymia scores correlated with measures of aggression. During affect matching, fMRI showed no differences between groups in amygdala activation, but found lower activation in methamphetamine-dependent than control participants in bilateral ventral inferior frontal gyrus. During affect labeling, participants recruited dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and exhibited decreased amygdala activity, consistent with successful emotion regulation; there was no group difference in this effect. The magnitude of decrease in amygdala activity during affect labeling

  11. Seismic active control by neural networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Y.

    1998-01-01

    A study on the application of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to activate structural control under seismic loads is carried out. The structure considered is a single-degree-of-freedom (SDF) system with an active bracing device. The control force is computed by a trained neural network. The feed-forward neural network architecture and an adaptive back-propagation training algorithm is used in the study. The neural net is trained to reproduce the function that represents the response-excitation relationship of the SDF system under seismic loads. The input-output training patterns are generated randomly. In the back-propagation training algorithm, the learning rate is determined by ensuring the decrease of the error function at each epoch. The computer program implemented is validated by solving the classification of the XOR problem. Then, the trained ANN is used to compute the control force according to the control strategy. If the control force exceeds the actuator's capacity limit, it is set equal to that limit. The concept of the control strategy employed herein is to apply the control force at every time step to cancel the system velocity induced at the preceding time step so that the gradual rhythmic buildup of the response is destroyed. The ground motions considered in the numerical example are the 1940 El Centro earthquake and the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake in California. The system responses with and without the control are calculated and compared. The feasibility and potential of applying ANNs to seismic active control is asserted by the promising results obtained from the numerical examples studied.

  12. Power to Punish Norm Violations Affects the Neural Processes of Fairness-Related Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xuemei; Zheng, Li; Li, Lin; Guo, Xiuyan; Wang, Qianfeng; Lord, Anton; Hu, Zengxi; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Punishing norm violations is considered an important motive during rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). The present study investigates the impact of the power to punish norm violations on people’s responses to unfairness and associated neural correlates. In the UG condition participants had the power to punish norm violations, while an alternate condition, the impunity game (IG), was presented where participants had no power to punish norm violations since rejection only reduced the responder’s income to zero. Results showed that unfair offers were rejected more often in UG compared to IG. At the neural level, anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active when participants received and rejected unfair offers in both UG and IG. Moreover, greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was observed when participants rejected than accepted unfair offers in UG but not in IG. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation was higher in UG than IG when unfair offers were accepted as well as when rejecting unfair offers in IG as opposed to UG. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the power to punish norm violations affects not only people’s behavioral responses to unfairness but also the neural correlates of the fairness-related social decision-making process. PMID:26696858

  13. Power to Punish Norm Violations Affects the Neural Processes of Fairness-Related Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xuemei; Zheng, Li; Li, Lin; Guo, Xiuyan; Wang, Qianfeng; Lord, Anton; Hu, Zengxi; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Punishing norm violations is considered an important motive during rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). The present study investigates the impact of the power to punish norm violations on people's responses to unfairness and associated neural correlates. In the UG condition participants had the power to punish norm violations, while an alternate condition, the impunity game (IG), was presented where participants had no power to punish norm violations since rejection only reduced the responder's income to zero. Results showed that unfair offers were rejected more often in UG compared to IG. At the neural level, anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active when participants received and rejected unfair offers in both UG and IG. Moreover, greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was observed when participants rejected than accepted unfair offers in UG but not in IG. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation was higher in UG than IG when unfair offers were accepted as well as when rejecting unfair offers in IG as opposed to UG. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the power to punish norm violations affects not only people's behavioral responses to unfairness but also the neural correlates of the fairness-related social decision-making process. PMID:26696858

  14. Modeling neural activity with cumulative damage distributions.

    PubMed

    Leiva, Víctor; Tejo, Mauricio; Guiraud, Pierre; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Orio, Patricio; Marmolejo-Ramos, Fernando

    2015-10-01

    Neurons transmit information as action potentials or spikes. Due to the inherent randomness of the inter-spike intervals (ISIs), probabilistic models are often used for their description. Cumulative damage (CD) distributions are a family of probabilistic models that has been widely considered for describing time-related cumulative processes. This family allows us to consider certain deterministic principles for modeling ISIs from a probabilistic viewpoint and to link its parameters to values with biological interpretation. The CD family includes the Birnbaum-Saunders and inverse Gaussian distributions, which possess distinctive properties and theoretical arguments useful for ISI description. We expand the use of CD distributions to the modeling of neural spiking behavior, mainly by testing the suitability of the Birnbaum-Saunders distribution, which has not been studied in the setting of neural activity. We validate this expansion with original experimental and simulated electrophysiological data. PMID:25998210

  15. Tuning to the significant: neural and genetic processes underlying affective enhancement of visual perception and memory.

    PubMed

    Markovic, Jelena; Anderson, Adam K; Todd, Rebecca M

    2014-02-01

    Emotionally arousing events reach awareness more easily and evoke greater visual cortex activation than more mundane events. Recent studies have shown that they are also perceived more vividly and that emotionally enhanced perceptual vividness predicts memory vividness. We propose that affect-biased attention (ABA) - selective attention to emotionally salient events - is an endogenous attentional system tuned by an individual's history of reward and punishment. We present the Biased Attention via Norepinephrine (BANE) model, which unifies genetic, neuromodulatory, neural and behavioural evidence to account for ABA. We review evidence supporting BANE's proposal that a key mechanism of ABA is locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) activity, which interacts with activity in hubs of affective salience networks to modulate visual cortex activation and heighten the subjective vividness of emotionally salient stimuli. We further review literature on biased competition and look at initial evidence for its potential as a neural mechanism behind ABA. We also review evidence supporting the role of the LC-NE system as a driving force of ABA. Finally, we review individual differences in ABA and memory including differences in sensitivity to stimulus category and valence. We focus on differences arising from a variant of the ADRA2b gene, which codes for the alpha2b adrenoreceptor as a way of investigating influences of NE availability on ABA in humans. PMID:24269973

  16. Persistent neural activity in head direction cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taube, Jeffrey S.; Bassett, Joshua P.; Oman, C. M. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    Many neurons throughout the rat limbic system discharge in relation to the animal's directional heading with respect to its environment. These so-called head direction (HD) cells exhibit characteristics of persistent neural activity. This article summarizes where HD cells are found, their major properties, and some of the important experiments that have been conducted to elucidate how this signal is generated. The number of HD and angular head velocity cells was estimated for several brain areas involved in the generation of the HD signal, including the postsubiculum, anterior dorsal thalamus, lateral mammillary nuclei and dorsal tegmental nucleus. The HD cell signal has many features in common with what is known about how neural integration is accomplished in the oculomotor system. The nature of the HD cell signal makes it an attractive candidate for using neural network models to elucidate the signal's underlying mechanisms. The conditions that any network model must satisfy in order to accurately represent how the nervous system generates this signal are highlighted and areas where key information is missing are discussed.

  17. Compassion-based emotion regulation up-regulates experienced positive affect and associated neural networks.

    PubMed

    Engen, Haakon G; Singer, Tania

    2015-09-01

    Emotion regulation research has primarily focused on techniques that attenuate or modulate the impact of emotional stimuli. Recent evidence suggests that this mode regulation can be problematic in the context of regulation of emotion elicited by the suffering of others, resulting in reduced emotional connectedness. Here, we investigated the effects of an alternative emotion regulation technique based on the up-regulation of positive affect via Compassion-meditation on experiential and neural affective responses to depictions of individuals in distress, and compared these with the established emotion regulation strategy of Reappraisal. Using fMRI, we scanned 15 expert practitioners of Compassion-meditation either passively viewing, or using Compassion-meditation or Reappraisal to modulate their emotional reactions to film clips depicting people in distress. Both strategies effectively, but differentially regulated experienced affect, with Compassion primarily increasing positive and Reappraisal primarily decreasing negative affect. Imaging results showed that Compassion, relative to both passive-viewing and Reappraisal increased activation in regions involved in affiliation, positive affect and reward processing including ventral striatum and medial orbitfrontal cortex. This network was shown to be active prior to stimulus presentation, suggesting that the regulatory mechanism of Compassion is the stimulus-independent endogenous generation of positive affect. PMID:25698699

  18. Deep Neural Networks with Multistate Activation Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chenghao; Xu, Yanyan; Ke, Dengfeng; Su, Kaile

    2015-01-01

    We propose multistate activation functions (MSAFs) for deep neural networks (DNNs). These MSAFs are new kinds of activation functions which are capable of representing more than two states, including the N-order MSAFs and the symmetrical MSAF. DNNs with these MSAFs can be trained via conventional Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) as well as mean-normalised SGD. We also discuss how these MSAFs perform when used to resolve classification problems. Experimental results on the TIMIT corpus reveal that, on speech recognition tasks, DNNs with MSAFs perform better than the conventional DNNs, getting a relative improvement of 5.60% on phoneme error rates. Further experiments also reveal that mean-normalised SGD facilitates the training processes of DNNs with MSAFs, especially when being with large training sets. The models can also be directly trained without pretraining when the training set is sufficiently large, which results in a considerable relative improvement of 5.82% on word error rates. PMID:26448739

  19. Active voltammetric microsensors with neural signal processing.

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, M. C.

    1998-12-11

    Many industrial and environmental processes, including bioremediation, would benefit from the feedback and control information provided by a local multi-analyte chemical sensor. For most processes, such a sensor would need to be rugged enough to be placed in situ for long-term remote monitoring, and inexpensive enough to be fielded in useful numbers. The multi-analyte capability is difficult to obtain from common passive sensors, but can be provided by an active device that produces a spectrum-type response. Such new active gas microsensor technology has been developed at Argonne National Laboratory. The technology couples an electrocatalytic ceramic-metallic (cermet) microsensor with a voltammetric measurement technique and advanced neural signal processing. It has been demonstrated to be flexible, rugged, and very economical to produce and deploy. Both narrow interest detectors and wide spectrum instruments have been developed around this technology. Much of this technology's strength lies in the active measurement technique employed. The technique involves applying voltammetry to a miniature electrocatalytic cell to produce unique chemical ''signatures'' from the analytes. These signatures are processed with neural pattern recognition algorithms to identify and quantify the components in the analyte. The neural signal processing allows for innovative sampling and analysis strategies to be employed with the microsensor. In most situations, the whole response signature from the voltammogram can be used to identify, classify, and quantify an analyte, without dissecting it into component parts. This allows an instrument to be calibrated once for a specific gas or mixture of gases by simple exposure to a multi-component standard rather than by a series of individual gases. The sampled unknown analytes can vary in composition or in concentration, the calibration, sensing, and processing methods of these active voltammetric microsensors can detect, recognize, and

  20. Neural Coding of Cooperative vs. Affective Human Interactions: 150 ms to Code the Action's Purpose

    PubMed Central

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Riva, Federica; Paganelli, Laura; Cappa, Stefano F.; Canessa, Nicola; Perani, Daniela; Zani, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    The timing and neural processing of the understanding of social interactions was investigated by presenting scenes in which 2 people performed cooperative or affective actions. While the role of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in understanding actions and intentions is widely accepted, little is known about the time course within which these aspects of visual information are automatically extracted. Event-Related Potentials were recorded in 35 university students perceiving 260 pictures of cooperative (e.g., 2 people dragging a box) or affective (e.g., 2 people smiling and holding hands) interactions. The action's goal was automatically discriminated at about 150–170 ms, as reflected by occipito/temporal N170 response. The swLORETA inverse solution revealed the strongest sources in the right posterior cingulate cortex (CC) for affective actions and in the right pSTS for cooperative actions. It was found a right hemispheric asymmetry that involved the fusiform gyrus (BA37), the posterior CC, and the medial frontal gyrus (BA10/11) for the processing of affective interactions, particularly in the 155–175 ms time window. In a later time window (200–250 ms) the processing of cooperative interactions activated the left post-central gyrus (BA3), the left parahippocampal gyrus, the left superior frontal gyrus (BA10), as well as the right premotor cortex (BA6). Women showed a greater response discriminative of the action's goal compared to men at P300 and anterior negativity level (220–500 ms). These findings might be related to a greater responsiveness of the female vs. male MNS. In addition, the discriminative effect was bilateral in women and was smaller and left-sided in men. Evidence was provided that perceptually similar social interactions are discriminated on the basis of the agents' intentions quite early in neural processing, differentially activating regions devoted to face/body/action coding, the limbic system and the MNS. PMID:21760948

  1. Can Neural Activity Propagate by Endogenous Electrical Field?

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Chen; Shivacharan, Rajat S.; Zhang, Mingming

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that synaptic transmissions and gap junctions are the major governing mechanisms for signal traveling in the neural system. Yet, a group of neural waves, either physiological or pathological, share the same speed of ∼0.1 m/s without synaptic transmission or gap junctions, and this speed is not consistent with axonal conduction or ionic diffusion. The only explanation left is an electrical field effect. We tested the hypothesis that endogenous electric fields are sufficient to explain the propagation with in silico and in vitro experiments. Simulation results show that field effects alone can indeed mediate propagation across layers of neurons with speeds of 0.12 ± 0.09 m/s with pathological kinetics, and 0.11 ± 0.03 m/s with physiologic kinetics, both generating weak field amplitudes of ∼2–6 mV/mm. Further, the model predicted that propagation speed values are inversely proportional to the cell-to-cell distances, but do not significantly change with extracellular resistivity, membrane capacitance, or membrane resistance. In vitro recordings in mice hippocampi produced similar speeds (0.10 ± 0.03 m/s) and field amplitudes (2.5–5 mV/mm), and by applying a blocking field, the propagation speed was greatly reduced. Finally, osmolarity experiments confirmed the model's prediction that cell-to-cell distance inversely affects propagation speed. Together, these results show that despite their weak amplitude, electric fields can be solely responsible for spike propagation at ∼0.1 m/s. This phenomenon could be important to explain the slow propagation of epileptic activity and other normal propagations at similar speeds. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural activity (waves or spikes) can propagate using well documented mechanisms such as synaptic transmission, gap junctions, or diffusion. However, the purpose of this paper is to provide an explanation for experimental data showing that neural signals can propagate by means other than synaptic

  2. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. An Activity for Demonstrating the Concept of a Neural Circuit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kreiner, David S.

    2012-01-01

    College students in two sections of a general psychology course participated in a demonstration of a simple neural circuit. The activity was based on a neural circuit that Jeffress proposed for localizing sounds. Students in one section responded to a questionnaire prior to participating in the activity, while students in the other section…

  4. Identifying Emotions on the Basis of Neural Activation.

    PubMed

    Kassam, Karim S; Markey, Amanda R; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Loewenstein, George; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-01-01

    We attempt to determine the discriminability and organization of neural activation corresponding to the experience of specific emotions. Method actors were asked to self-induce nine emotional states (anger, disgust, envy, fear, happiness, lust, pride, sadness, and shame) while in an fMRI scanner. Using a Gaussian Naïve Bayes pooled variance classifier, we demonstrate the ability to identify specific emotions experienced by an individual at well over chance accuracy on the basis of: 1) neural activation of the same individual in other trials, 2) neural activation of other individuals who experienced similar trials, and 3) neural activation of the same individual to a qualitatively different type of emotion induction. Factor analysis identified valence, arousal, sociality, and lust as dimensions underlying the activation patterns. These results suggest a structure for neural representations of emotion and inform theories of emotional processing. PMID:23840392

  5. The sound of emotions-Towards a unifying neural network perspective of affective sound processing.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Trost, Wiebke; Kotz, Sonja A

    2016-09-01

    Affective sounds are an integral part of the natural and social environment that shape and influence behavior across a multitude of species. In human primates, these affective sounds span a repertoire of environmental and human sounds when we vocalize or produce music. In terms of neural processing, cortical and subcortical brain areas constitute a distributed network that supports our listening experience to these affective sounds. Taking an exhaustive cross-domain view, we accordingly suggest a common neural network that facilitates the decoding of the emotional meaning from a wide source of sounds rather than a traditional view that postulates distinct neural systems for specific affective sound types. This new integrative neural network view unifies the decoding of affective valence in sounds, and ascribes differential as well as complementary functional roles to specific nodes within a common neural network. It also highlights the importance of an extended brain network beyond the central limbic and auditory brain systems engaged in the processing of affective sounds. PMID:27189782

  6. Healthy Adolescents' Neural Response to Reward: Associations with Puberty, Positive Affect, and Depressive Symptoms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes, Erika E.; Ryan, Neal D.; Phillips, Mary L.; Manuck, Stephen B.; Worthman, Carol M.; Moyles, Donna L.; Tarr, Jill A.; Sciarrillo, Samantha R.; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Changes in reward-related behavior are an important component of normal adolescent affective development. Understanding the neural underpinnings of these normative changes creates a foundation for investigating adolescence as a period of vulnerability to affective disorders, substance use disorders, and health problems. Studies of…

  7. Quantitative modeling of multiscale neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Peter A.; Rennie, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    The electrical activity of the brain has been observed for over a century and is widely used to probe brain function and disorders, chiefly through the electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded by electrodes on the scalp. However, the connections between physiology and EEGs have been chiefly qualitative until recently, and most uses of the EEG have been based on phenomenological correlations. A quantitative mean-field model of brain electrical activity is described that spans the range of physiological and anatomical scales from microscopic synapses to the whole brain. Its parameters measure quantities such as synaptic strengths, signal delays, cellular time constants, and neural ranges, and are all constrained by independent physiological measurements. Application of standard techniques from wave physics allows successful predictions to be made of a wide range of EEG phenomena, including time series and spectra, evoked responses to stimuli, dependence on arousal state, seizure dynamics, and relationships to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Fitting to experimental data also enables physiological parameters to be infered, giving a new noninvasive window into brain function, especially when referenced to a standardized database of subjects. Modifications of the core model to treat mm-scale patchy interconnections in the visual cortex are also described, and it is shown that resulting waves obey the Schroedinger equation. This opens the possibility of classical cortical analogs of quantum phenomena.

  8. Classification of the extracellular fields produced by activated neural structures

    PubMed Central

    Richerson, Samantha; Ingram, Mark; Perry, Danielle; Stecker, Mark M

    2005-01-01

    Background Classifying the types of extracellular potentials recorded when neural structures are activated is an important component in understanding nerve pathophysiology. Varying definitions and approaches to understanding the factors that influence the potentials recorded during neural activity have made this issue complex. Methods In this article, many of the factors which influence the distribution of electric potential produced by a traveling action potential are discussed from a theoretical standpoint with illustrative simulations. Results For an axon of arbitrary shape, it is shown that a quadrupolar potential is generated by action potentials traveling along a straight axon. However, a dipole moment is generated at any point where an axon bends or its diameter changes. Next, it is shown how asymmetric disturbances in the conductivity of the medium surrounding an axon produce dipolar potentials, even during propagation along a straight axon. Next, by studying the electric fields generated by a dipole source in an insulating cylinder, it is shown that in finite volume conductors, the extracellular potentials can be very different from those in infinite volume conductors. Finally, the effects of impulses propagating along axons with inhomogeneous cable properties are analyzed. Conclusion Because of the well-defined factors affecting extracellular potentials, the vague terms far-field and near-field potentials should be abandoned in favor of more accurate descriptions of the potentials. PMID:16146569

  9. Neural network with formed dynamics of activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dunin-Barkovskii, V.L.; Osovets, N.B.

    1995-03-01

    The problem of developing a neural network with a given pattern of the state sequence is considered. A neural network structure and an algorithm, of forming its bond matrix which lead to an approximate but robust solution of the problem are proposed and discussed. Limiting characteristics of the serviceability of the proposed structure are studied. Various methods of visualizing dynamic processes in a neural network are compared. Possible applications of the results obtained for interpretation of neurophysiological data and in neuroinformatics systems are discussed.

  10. Graphene microelectrode arrays for neural activity detection.

    PubMed

    Du, Xiaowei; Wu, Lei; Cheng, Ji; Huang, Shanluo; Cai, Qi; Jin, Qinghui; Zhao, Jianlong

    2015-09-01

    We demonstrate a method to fabricate graphene microelectrode arrays (MEAs) using a simple and inexpensive method to solve the problem of opaque electrode positions in traditional MEAs, while keeping good biocompatibility. To study the interface differences between graphene-electrolyte and gold-electrolyte, graphene and gold electrodes with a large area were fabricated. According to the simulation results of electrochemical impedances, the gold-electrolyte interface can be described as a classical double-layer structure, while the graphene-electrolyte interface can be explained by a modified double-layer theory. Furthermore, using graphene MEAs, we detected the neural activities of neurons dissociated from Wistar rats (embryonic day 18). The signal-to-noise ratio of the detected signal was 10.31 ± 1.2, which is comparable to those of MEAs made with other materials. The long-term stability of the MEAs is demonstrated by comparing differences in Bode diagrams taken before and after cell culturing. PMID:25712492

  11. Misexpression of BRE gene in the developing chick neural tube affects neurulation and somitogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guang; Li, Yan; Wang, Xiao-Yu; Chuai, Manli; Yeuk-Hon Chan, John; Lei, Jian; Münsterberg, Andrea; Lee, Kenneth Ka Ho; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    The brain and reproductive expression (BRE) gene is expressed in numerous adult tissues and especially in the nervous and reproductive systems. However, little is known about BRE expression in the developing embryo or about its role in embryonic development. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to reveal the spatiotemporal expression pattern for BRE in chick embryo during development. To determine the importance of BRE in neurogenesis, we overexpressed BRE and also silenced BRE expression specifically in the neural tube. We established that overexpressing BRE in the neural tube indirectly accelerated Pax7+ somite development and directly increased HNK-1+ neural crest cell (NCC) migration and TuJ-1+ neurite outgrowth. These altered morphogenetic processes were associated with changes in the cell cycle of NCCs and neural tube cells. The inverse effect was obtained when BRE expression was silenced in the neural tube. We also determined that BMP4 and Shh expression in the neural tube was affected by misexpression of BRE. This provides a possible mechanism for how altering BRE expression was able to affect somitogenesis, neurogenesis, and NCC migration. In summary, our results demonstrate that BRE plays an important role in regulating neurogenesis and indirectly somite differentiation during early chick embryo development. PMID:25568339

  12. Activity-dependent neural plasticity from bench to bedside.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Karunesh; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2013-10-30

    Much progress has been made in understanding how behavioral experience and neural activity can modify the structure and function of neural circuits during development and in the adult brain. Studies of physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent plasticity in animal models have suggested potential therapeutic approaches for a wide range of brain disorders in humans. Physiological and electrical stimulations as well as plasticity-modifying molecular agents may facilitate functional recovery by selectively enhancing existing neural circuits or promoting the formation of new functional circuits. Here, we review the advances in basic studies of neural plasticity mechanisms in developing and adult nervous systems and current clinical treatments that harness neural plasticity, and we offer perspectives on future development of plasticity-based therapy. PMID:24183023

  13. Mesoscopic Patterns of Neural Activity Support Songbird Cortical Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Time-locked sequences of neural activity can be found throughout the vertebrate forebrain in various species and behavioral contexts. From “time cells” in the hippocampus of rodents to cortical activity controlling movement, temporal sequence generation is integral to many forms of learned behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying sequence generation are not well known. Here, we describe a spatial and temporal organization of the songbird premotor cortical microcircuit that supports sparse sequences of neural activity. Multi-channel electrophysiology and calcium imaging reveal that neural activity in premotor cortex is correlated with a length scale of 100 µm. Within this length scale, basal-ganglia–projecting excitatory neurons, on average, fire at a specific phase of a local 30 Hz network rhythm. These results show that premotor cortical activity is inhomogeneous in time and space, and that a mesoscopic dynamical pattern underlies the generation of the neural sequences controlling song. PMID:26039895

  14. Mesoscopic patterns of neural activity support songbird cortical sequences.

    PubMed

    Markowitz, Jeffrey E; Liberti, William A; Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J

    2015-06-01

    Time-locked sequences of neural activity can be found throughout the vertebrate forebrain in various species and behavioral contexts. From "time cells" in the hippocampus of rodents to cortical activity controlling movement, temporal sequence generation is integral to many forms of learned behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying sequence generation are not well known. Here, we describe a spatial and temporal organization of the songbird premotor cortical microcircuit that supports sparse sequences of neural activity. Multi-channel electrophysiology and calcium imaging reveal that neural activity in premotor cortex is correlated with a length scale of 100 µm. Within this length scale, basal-ganglia-projecting excitatory neurons, on average, fire at a specific phase of a local 30 Hz network rhythm. These results show that premotor cortical activity is inhomogeneous in time and space, and that a mesoscopic dynamical pattern underlies the generation of the neural sequences controlling song. PMID:26039895

  15. Analysing human neural stem cell ontogeny by consecutive isolation of Notch active neural progenitors

    PubMed Central

    Edri, Reuven; Yaffe, Yakey; Ziller, Michael J.; Mutukula, Naresh; Volkman, Rotem; David, Eyal; Jacob-Hirsch, Jasmine; Malcov, Hagar; Levy, Carmit; Rechavi, Gideon; Gat-Viks, Irit; Meissner, Alexander; Elkabetz, Yechiel

    2015-01-01

    Decoding heterogeneity of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived neural progeny is fundamental for revealing the origin of diverse progenitors, for defining their lineages, and for identifying fate determinants driving transition through distinct potencies. Here we have prospectively isolated consecutively appearing PSC-derived primary progenitors based on their Notch activation state. We first isolate early neuroepithelial cells and show their broad Notch-dependent developmental and proliferative potential. Neuroepithelial cells further yield successive Notch-dependent functional primary progenitors, from early and midneurogenic radial glia and their derived basal progenitors, to gliogenic radial glia and adult-like neural progenitors, together recapitulating hallmarks of neural stem cell (NSC) ontogeny. Gene expression profiling reveals dynamic stage-specific transcriptional patterns that may link development of distinct progenitor identities through Notch activation. Our observations provide a platform for characterization and manipulation of distinct progenitor cell types amenable for developing streamlined neural lineage specification paradigms for modelling development in health and disease. PMID:25799239

  16. Autistic traits are associated with diminished neural response to affective touch

    PubMed Central

    Voos, Avery C.; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    ‘Social brain’ circuitry has recently been implicated in processing slow, gentle touch targeting a class of slow-conducting, unmyelinated nerves, CT afferents, which are present only in the hairy skin of mammals. Given the importance of such ‘affective touch’ in social relationships, the current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study aimed to replicate the finding of ‘social brain’ involvement in processing CT-targeted touch and to examine the relationship between the neural response and individuals’ social abilities. During an fMRI scan, 19 healthy adults received alternating blocks of slow (CT-optimal) and fast (non-optimal) brushing to the forearm. Relative to fast touch, the slow touch activated contralateral insula, superior temporal sulcus (STS), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and amygdala. Connectivity analyses revealed co-activation of the mPFC, insula and amygdala during slow touch. Additionally, participants’ autistic traits negatively correlated with the response to slow touch in the OFC and STS. The current study replicates and extends findings of the involvement of a network of ‘social brain’ regions in processing CT-targeted affective touch, emphasizing the multimodal nature of this system. Variability in the brain response to such touch illustrates a tight coupling of social behavior and social brain function in typical adults. PMID:22267520

  17. A PTK7/Ror2 Co-Receptor Complex Affects Xenopus Neural Crest Migration

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Hanna; Rollwitz, Erik; Borchers, Annette

    2015-01-01

    Neural crest cells are a highly migratory pluripotent cell population that generates a wide array of different cell types and failure in their migration can result in severe birth defects and malformation syndromes. Neural crest migration is controlled by various means including chemotaxis, repellent guidance cues and cell-cell interaction. Non-canonical Wnt PCP (planar cell polarity) signaling has previously been shown to control cell-contact mediated neural crest cell guidance. PTK7 (protein tyrosine kinase 7) is a transmembrane pseudokinase and a known regulator of Wnt/PCP signaling, which is expressed in Xenopus neural crest cells and required for their migration. PTK7 functions as a Wnt co-receptor; however, it remains unclear by which means PTK7 affects neural crest migration. Expressing fluorescently labeled proteins in Xenopus neural crest cells we find that PTK7 co-localizes with the Ror2 Wnt-receptor. Further, co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that PTK7 interacts with Ror2. The PTK7/Ror2 interaction is likely relevant for neural crest migration, because Ror2 expression can rescue the PTK7 loss of function migration defect. Live cell imaging of explanted neural crest cells shows that PTK7 loss of function affects the formation of cell protrusions as well as cell motility. Co-expression of Ror2 can rescue these defects. In vivo analysis demonstrates that a kinase dead Ror2 mutant cannot rescue PTK7 loss of function. Thus, our data suggest that Ror2 can substitute for PTK7 and that the signaling function of its kinase domain is required for this effect. PMID:26680417

  18. Neural activation in arousal and reward areas of the brain in day-active and night-active grass rats.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Ruiz, A; Nixon, J P; Smale, L; Nunez, A A

    2010-01-20

    In the diurnal unstriped Nile grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus) access to a running wheel can trigger a shift in active phase preference, with some individuals becoming night-active (NA), while others continue to be day-active (DA). To investigate the contributions of different neural systems to the support of this shift in locomotor activity, we investigated the association between chronotype and Fos expression during the day and night in three major nuclei in the basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic (ACh) arousal system - medial septum (MS), vertical and horizontal diagonal band of Broca (VDB and HDB respectively) -, and whether neural activation in these areas was related to neural activity in the orexinergic system. We also measured Fos expression in dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic cells of two components of the reward system that also participate in arousal - the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and supramammillary nucleus (SUM). NAs and DAs were compared to animals with no wheels. NAs had elevated Fos expression at night in ACh cells, but only in the HDB. In the non-cholinergic cells of the BF of NAs, enhanced nocturnal Fos expression was almost universally seen, but only associated with activation of the orexinergic system for the MS/VDB region. For some of the areas and cell types of the BF, the patterns of Fos expression of DAs appeared similar to those of NAs, but were never associated with activation of the orexinergic system. Also common to DAs and NAs was a general increase in Fos expression in non-dopaminergic cells of the SUM and anterior VTA. Thus, in this diurnal species, voluntary exercise and a shift to a nocturnal chronotype changes neural activity in arousal and reward areas of the brain known to regulate a broad range of neural functions and behaviors, which may be also affected in human shift workers. PMID:19837140

  19. Social stress, autonomic neural activation, and cardiac activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Sgoifo, A; Koolhaas, J; De Boer, S; Musso, E; Stilli, D; Buwalda, B; Meerlo, P

    1999-11-01

    Animal models of social stress represent a useful experimental tool to investigate the relationship between psychological stress, autonomic neural activity and cardiovascular disease. This paper summarizes the results obtained in a series of experiments performed on rats and aimed at verifying whether social challenges produce specific modifications in the autonomic neural control of heart rate and whether these changes can be detrimental for cardiac electrical stability. Short-term electrocardiographic recordings were performed via radiotelemetry and the autonomic input to the heart evaluated by means of time-domain heart rate variability measures. Compared to other stress contexts, a social defeat experience produces a strong shift of autonomic balance toward sympathetic dominance, poorly antagonized by vagal rebound, and associated with the occurrence of cardiac tachyarrhythmias. These effects were particularly severe when a wild-type strain of rats was studied. The data also suggest that the cardiac autonomic responses produced by different types of social contexts (dominant-subordinate interaction, dominant-dominant confrontation, social defeat) are related to different degrees of emotional activation, which in turn are likely modulated by the social rank of the experimental animal and the opponent, the prior experience with the stressor, and the level of controllability over the stimulus. PMID:10580306

  20. Technologies for imaging neural activity in large volumes.

    PubMed

    Ji, Na; Freeman, Jeremy; Smith, Spencer L

    2016-08-26

    Neural circuitry has evolved to form distributed networks that act dynamically across large volumes. Conventional microscopy collects data from individual planes and cannot sample circuitry across large volumes at the temporal resolution relevant to neural circuit function and behaviors. Here we review emerging technologies for rapid volume imaging of neural circuitry. We focus on two critical challenges: the inertia of optical systems, which limits image speed, and aberrations, which restrict the image volume. Optical sampling time must be long enough to ensure high-fidelity measurements, but optimized sampling strategies and point-spread function engineering can facilitate rapid volume imaging of neural activity within this constraint. We also discuss new computational strategies for processing and analyzing volume imaging data of increasing size and complexity. Together, optical and computational advances are providing a broader view of neural circuit dynamics and helping elucidate how brain regions work in concert to support behavior. PMID:27571194

  1. Neural Activity Reveals Preferences Without Choices

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alec; Bernheim, B. Douglas; Camerer, Colin

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the feasibility of inferring the choices people would make (if given the opportunity) based on their neural responses to the pertinent prospects when they are not engaged in actual decision making. The ability to make such inferences is of potential value when choice data are unavailable, or limited in ways that render standard methods of estimating choice mappings problematic. We formulate prediction models relating choices to “non-choice” neural responses and use them to predict out-of-sample choices for new items and for new groups of individuals. The predictions are sufficiently accurate to establish the feasibility of our approach. PMID:25729468

  2. The Age of Cortical Neural Networks Affects Their Interactions with Magnetic Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Tay, Andy; Kunze, Anja; Jun, Dukwoo; Hoek, Eric; Di Carlo, Dino

    2016-07-01

    Despite increasing use of nanotechnology in neuroscience, the characterization of interactions between magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and primary cortical neural networks remains underdeveloped. In particular, how the age of primary neural networks affects MNP uptake and endocytosis is critical when considering MNP-based therapies for age-related diseases. Here, primary cortical neural networks are cultured up to 4 weeks and with CCL11/eotaxin, an age-inducing chemokine, to create aged neural networks. As the neural networks are aged, their association with membrane-bound starch-coated ferromagnetic nanoparticles (fMNPs) increases while their endocytic mechanisms are impaired, resulting in reduced internalization of chitosan-coated fMNPs. The age of the neurons also negates the neuroprotective effects of chitosan coatings on fMNPs, attributing to decreased intracellular trafficking and increased colocalization of MNPs with lysosomes. These findings demonstrate the importance of age and developmental stage of primary neural cells when developing in vitro models for fMNP therapeutics targeting age-related diseases. PMID:27228954

  3. OCT detection of neural activity in American cockroach nervous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorczyńska, Iwona; Wyszkowska, Joanna; Bukowska, Danuta; Ruminski, Daniel; Karnowski, Karol; Stankiewicz, Maria; Wojtkowski, Maciej

    2013-03-01

    We show results of a project which focuses on detection of activity in neural tissue with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) methods. Experiments were performed in neural cords dissected from the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana L.). Functional OCT imaging was performed with ultrahigh resolution spectral / Fourier domain OCT system (axial resolution 2.5 μm). Electrical stimulation (voltage pulses) was applied to the sensory cercal nerve of the neural cord. Optical detection of functional activation of the sample was performed in the connective between the terminal abdominal ganglion and the fifth abdominal ganglion. Functional OCT data were collected over time with the OCT beam illuminating selected single point in the connectives (i.e. OCT M-scans were acquired). Phase changes of the OCT signal were analyzed to visualize occurrence of activation in the neural cord. Electrophysiology recordings (microelectrode method) were also performed as a reference method to demonstrate electrical response of the sample to stimulation.

  4. Losing the music: aging affects the perception and subcortical neural representation of musical harmony.

    PubMed

    Bones, Oliver; Plack, Christopher J

    2015-03-01

    When two musical notes with simple frequency ratios are played simultaneously, the resulting musical chord is pleasing and evokes a sense of resolution or "consonance". Complex frequency ratios, on the other hand, evoke feelings of tension or "dissonance". Consonance and dissonance form the basis of harmony, a central component of Western music. In earlier work, we provided evidence that consonance perception is based on neural temporal coding in the brainstem (Bones et al., 2014). Here, we show that for listeners with clinically normal hearing, aging is associated with a decline in both the perceptual distinction and the distinctiveness of the neural representations of different categories of two-note chords. Compared with younger listeners, older listeners rated consonant chords as less pleasant and dissonant chords as more pleasant. Older listeners also had less distinct neural representations of consonant and dissonant chords as measured using a Neural Consonance Index derived from the electrophysiological "frequency-following response." The results withstood a control for the effect of age on general affect, suggesting that different mechanisms are responsible for the perceived pleasantness of musical chords and affective voices and that, for listeners with clinically normal hearing, age-related differences in consonance perception are likely to be related to differences in neural temporal coding. PMID:25740534

  5. Losing the Music: Aging Affects the Perception and Subcortical Neural Representation of Musical Harmony

    PubMed Central

    Plack, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    When two musical notes with simple frequency ratios are played simultaneously, the resulting musical chord is pleasing and evokes a sense of resolution or “consonance”. Complex frequency ratios, on the other hand, evoke feelings of tension or “dissonance”. Consonance and dissonance form the basis of harmony, a central component of Western music. In earlier work, we provided evidence that consonance perception is based on neural temporal coding in the brainstem (Bones et al., 2014). Here, we show that for listeners with clinically normal hearing, aging is associated with a decline in both the perceptual distinction and the distinctiveness of the neural representations of different categories of two-note chords. Compared with younger listeners, older listeners rated consonant chords as less pleasant and dissonant chords as more pleasant. Older listeners also had less distinct neural representations of consonant and dissonant chords as measured using a Neural Consonance Index derived from the electrophysiological “frequency-following response.” The results withstood a control for the effect of age on general affect, suggesting that different mechanisms are responsible for the perceived pleasantness of musical chords and affective voices and that, for listeners with clinically normal hearing, age-related differences in consonance perception are likely to be related to differences in neural temporal coding. PMID:25740534

  6. Active Sampling in Evolving Neural Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parisi, Domenico

    1997-01-01

    Comments on Raftopoulos article (PS 528 649) on facilitative effect of cognitive limitation in development and connectionist models. Argues that the use of neural networks within an "Artificial Life" perspective can more effectively contribute to the study of the role of cognitive limitations in development and their genetic basis than can using…

  7. Compassionate attitude towards others' suffering activates the mesolimbic neural system.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji-Woong; Kim, Sung-Eun; Kim, Jae-Jin; Jeong, Bumseok; Park, Chang-Hyun; Son, Ae Ree; Song, Ji Eun; Ki, Seon Wan

    2009-08-01

    Compassion is one of the essential components which enable individuals to enter into and maintain relationships of caring. Compassion tends to motivate us to help people who are emotionally suffering. It is also known that a feeling of intrinsic reward may occur as a result of experiencing compassion for others. We conducted this study to understand the neural nature of compassion for other people's emotional state. Twenty-one healthy normal volunteers participated in this study. We used a 2 x 2 factorial design in which each subject was asked to assume a compassionate attitude or passive attitude while viewing the sad or neutral facial affective pictures during functional magnetic imaging. The main effect of a compassionate attitude was observed in the medial frontal cortex, the subgenual frontal cortex, the inferior frontal cortex and the midbrain regions. A test of the interaction between a compassionate attitude and sad facial affect revealed significant activations in the midbrain-ventral striatum/septal network region. The results of this study suggest that taking a compassionate attitude towards other people's sad expressions modulate the activities of the midbrain-ventral striatum/septal region network, which is known to play a role in the prosocial/social approach motivation and its accompanied rewarding feeling. PMID:19428038

  8. Monitoring Neural Activity with Bioluminescence during Natural Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Naumann, Eva A.; Kampff, Adam R.; Prober, David A.; Schier, Alexander F.; Engert, Florian

    2010-01-01

    Existing techniques for monitoring neural activity in awake, freely behaving vertebrates are invasive and difficult to target to genetically identified neurons. Here we describe the use of bioluminescence to non-invasively monitor the activity of genetically specified neurons in freely behaving zebrafish. Transgenic fish expressing the Ca2+-sensitive photoprotein GFP-apoAequorin (GA) in most neurons generated large and fast bioluminescent signals related to neural activity, neuroluminescence, that could be recorded continuously for many days. To test the limits of this technique, GA was specifically targeted to the hypocretin-positive neurons of the hypothalamus. We found that neuroluminescence generated by this group of ~20 neurons was associated with periods of increased locomotor activity and identified two classes of neural activity corresponding to distinct swim latencies. Thus, our neuroluminescence assay can report, with high temporal resolution and sensitivity, the activity of small subsets of neurons during unrestrained behavior. PMID:20305645

  9. Neural mechanisms underlying the effects of face-based affective signals on memory for faces: a tentative model

    PubMed Central

    Tsukiura, Takashi

    2012-01-01

    In our daily lives, we form some impressions of other people. Although those impressions are affected by many factors, face-based affective signals such as facial expression, facial attractiveness, or trustworthiness are important. Previous psychological studies have demonstrated the impact of facial impressions on remembering other people, but little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying this psychological process. The purpose of this article is to review recent functional MRI (fMRI) studies to investigate the effects of face-based affective signals including facial expression, facial attractiveness, and trustworthiness on memory for faces, and to propose a tentative concept for understanding this affective-cognitive interaction. On the basis of the aforementioned research, three brain regions are potentially involved in the processing of face-based affective signals. The first candidate is the amygdala, where activity is generally modulated by both affectively positive and negative signals from faces. Activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), as the second candidate, increases as a function of perceived positive signals from faces; whereas activity in the insular cortex, as the third candidate, reflects a function of face-based negative signals. In addition, neuroscientific studies have reported that the three regions are functionally connected to the memory-related hippocampal regions. These findings suggest that the effects of face-based affective signals on memory for faces could be modulated by interactions between the regions associated with the processing of face-based affective signals and the hippocampus as a memory-related region. PMID:22837740

  10. Lag Synchronization of Switched Neural Networks via Neural Activation Function and Applications in Image Encryption.

    PubMed

    Wen, Shiping; Zeng, Zhigang; Huang, Tingwen; Meng, Qinggang; Yao, Wei

    2015-07-01

    This paper investigates the problem of global exponential lag synchronization of a class of switched neural networks with time-varying delays via neural activation function and applications in image encryption. The controller is dependent on the output of the system in the case of packed circuits, since it is hard to measure the inner state of the circuits. Thus, it is critical to design the controller based on the neuron activation function. Comparing the results, in this paper, with the existing ones shows that we improve and generalize the results derived in the previous literature. Several examples are also given to illustrate the effectiveness and potential applications in image encryption. PMID:25594985

  11. Neural net forecasting for geomagnetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez, J. V.; Tajima, T.; Horton, W.

    1993-01-01

    We use neural nets to construct nonlinear models to forecast the AL index given solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data. We follow two approaches: (1) the state space reconstruction approach, which is a nonlinear generalization of autoregressive-moving average models (ARMA) and (2) the nonlinear filter approach, which reduces to a moving average model (MA) in the linear limit. The database used here is that of Bargatze et al. (1985).

  12. Reduced respiratory neural activity elicits phrenic motor facilitation.

    PubMed

    Mahamed, Safraaz; Strey, Kristi A; Mitchell, Gordon S; Baker-Herman, Tracy L

    2011-03-15

    We hypothesized that reduced respiratory neural activity elicits compensatory mechanisms of plasticity that enhance respiratory motor output. In urethane-anesthetized and ventilated rats, we reversibly reduced respiratory neural activity for 25-30 min using: hypocapnia (end tidal CO(2)=30 mmHg), isoflurane (~1%) or high frequency ventilation (HFV; ~100 breaths/min). In all cases, increased phrenic burst amplitude was observed following restoration of respiratory neural activity (hypocapnia: 92±22%; isoflurane: 65±22%; HFV: 54±13% baseline), which was significantly greater than time controls receiving the same surgery, but no interruptions in respiratory neural activity (3±5% baseline, p<0.05). Hypocapnia also elicited transient increases in respiratory burst frequency (9±2 versus 1±1bursts/min, p<0.05). Our results suggest that reduced respiratory neural activity elicits a unique form of plasticity in respiratory motor control which we refer to as inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). iPMF may prevent catastrophic decreases in respiratory motor output during ventilatory control disorders associated with abnormal respiratory activity. PMID:21167322

  13. Reduced respiratory neural activity elicits phrenic motor facilitation

    PubMed Central

    Mahamed, Safraaz; Strey, Kristi A.; Mitchell, Gordon S.; Baker-Herman, Tracy L.

    2011-01-01

    We hypothesized that reduced respiratory neural activity elicits compensatory mechanisms of plasticity that enhance respiratory motor output. In urethane-anesthetized and ventilated rats, we reversibly reduced respiratory neural activity for 25–30 min using: hypocapnia (end tidal CO2 = 30 mmHg), isoflurane (~ 1%) or high frequency ventilation (HFV; ~100 breaths/min). In all cases, increased phrenic burst amplitude was observed following restoration of respiratory neural activity (hypocapnia: 92 ± 22%; isoflurane: 65 ± 22%; HFV: 54 ± 13% baseline), which was significantly greater than time controls receiving the same surgery, but no interruptions in respiratory neural activity (3 ± 5% baseline, p<0.05). Hypocapnia also elicited transient increases in respiratory burst frequency (9 ± 2 versus 1 ± 1 bursts/min, p<0.05). Our results suggest that reduced respiratory neural activity elicits a unique form of plasticity in respiratory motor control which we refer to as inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). iPMF may prevent catastrophic decreases in respiratory motor output during ventilatory control disorders associated with abnormal respiratory activity. PMID:21167322

  14. Neural correlates of dueling affective reactions to win–win choices

    PubMed Central

    Shenhav, Amitai; Buckner, Randy L.

    2014-01-01

    Win–win choices cause anxiety, often more so than decisions lacking the opportunity for a highly desired outcome. These anxious feelings can paradoxically co-occur with positive feelings, raising important implications for individual decision styles and general well-being. Across three studies, people chose between products that varied in personal value. Participants reported feeling most positive and most anxious when choosing between similarly high-valued products. Behavioral and neural results suggested that this paradoxical experience resulted from parallel evaluations of the expected outcome (inducing positive affect) versus the cost of choosing a response (inducing anxiety). Positive feelings were reduced when there was no high-value option, and anxiety was reduced when only one option was highly valued. Dissociable regions within the striatum and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) tracked these dueling affective reactions during choice. Ventral regions, associated with stimulus valuation, tracked positive feelings and the value of the best item. Dorsal regions, associated with response valuation, tracked anxiety. In addition to tracking anxiety, the dorsal mPFC was associated with conflict during the current choice, and activity levels across individual items predicted whether that choice would later be reversed during an unexpected reevaluation phase. By revealing how win–win decisions elicit responses in dissociable brain systems, these results help resolve the paradox of win–win choices. They also provide insight into behaviors that are associated with these two forms of affect, such as why we are pulled toward good options but may still decide to delay or avoid choosing among them. PMID:25024178

  15. TLR2 Activation Inhibits Embryonic Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Okun, Eitan; Griffioen, Kathleen J.; Gen-Son, Tae; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Roberts, Nicholas J.; Mughal, Mohamed R.; Hutchison, Emmette; Cheng, Aiwu; Arumugam, Thiruma V.; Lathia, Justin D.; van Praag, Henriette; Mattson, Mark P.

    2010-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play essential roles in innate immunity, and increasing evidence indicates that these receptors are expressed in neurons, astrocytes and microglia in the brain, where they mediate responses to infection, stress and injury. To address the possibility that TLR2 heterodimer activation could affect progenitor cells in the developing brain, we analyzed the expression of TLR2 throughout the mouse cortical development, and assessed the role of TLR2 heterodimer activation in neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation. TLR2 mRNA and protein was expressed in the cortex in embryonic and early postnatal stages of development, and in cultured cortical NPC. While NPC from TLR2-deficient and wild type embryos had the same proliferative capacity, TLR2 activation by the synthetic bacterial lipopeptides Pam3CSK4 and FSL1, or low molecular weight hyaluronan, an endogenous ligand for TLR2, inhibited neurosphere formation in vitro. Intracerebral in utero administration of TLR2 ligands resulted in ventricular dysgenesis characterized by increased ventricle size, reduced proliferative area around the ventricles, increased cell density, an increase in PH3+ cells and a decrease in BrdU+ cells in the sub-ventricular zone. Our findings indicate that loss of TLR2 does not result in defects in cerebral development. However, TLR2 is expressed and functional in the developing telencephalon from early embryonic stages and infectious agent-related activation of TLR2 inhibits NPC proliferation. TLR2–mediated inhibition of NPC proliferation may therefore be a mechanism by which infection, ischemia and inflammation adversely affect brain development. PMID:20456021

  16. Optical imaging of neural and hemodynamic brain activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schei, Jennifer Lynn

    Optical imaging technologies can be used to record neural and hemodynamic activity. Neural activity elicits physiological changes that alter the optical tissue properties. Specifically, changes in polarized light are concomitant with neural depolarization. We measured polarization changes from an isolated lobster nerve during action potential propagation using both reflected and transmitted light. In transmission mode, polarization changes were largest throughout the center of the nerve, suggesting that most of the optical signal arose from the inner nerve bundle. In reflection mode, polarization changes were largest near the edges, suggesting that most of the optical signal arose from the outer sheath. To overcome irregular cell orientation found in the brain, we measured polarization changes from a nerve tied in a knot. Our results show that neural activation produces polarization changes that can be imaged even without regular cell orientations. Neural activation expends energy resources and elicits metabolic delivery through blood vessel dilation, increasing blood flow and volume. We used spectroscopic imaging techniques combined with electrophysiological measurements to record evoked neural and hemodynamic responses from the auditory cortex of the rat. By using implantable optics, we measured responses across natural wake and sleep states, as well as responses following different amounts of sleep deprivation. During quiet sleep, evoked metabolic responses were larger compared to wake, perhaps because blood vessels were more compliant. When animals were sleep deprived, evoked hemodynamic responses were smaller following longer periods of deprivation. These results suggest that prolonged neural activity through sleep deprivation may diminish vascular compliance as indicated by the blunted vascular response. Subsequent sleep may allow vessels to relax, restoring their ability to deliver blood. These results also suggest that severe sleep deprivation or chronic

  17. Neural activity associated with distinguishing concurrent auditory objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alain, Claude; Schuler, Benjamin M.; McDonald, Kelly L.

    2002-02-01

    The neural processes underlying concurrent sound segregation were examined by using event-related brain potentials. Participants were presented with complex sounds comprised of multiple harmonics, one of which could be mistuned so that it was no longer an integer multiple of the fundamental. In separate blocks of trials, short-, middle-, and long-duration sounds were presented and participants indicated whether they heard one sound (i.e., buzz) or two sounds (i.e., buzz plus another sound with a pure-tone quality). The auditory stimuli were also presented while participants watched a silent movie in order to evaluate the extent to which the mistuned harmonic could be automatically detected. The perception of the mistuned harmonic as a separate sound was associated with a biphasic negative-positive potential that peaked at about 150 and 350 ms after sound onset, respectively. Long duration sounds also elicited a sustained potential that was greater in amplitude when the mistuned harmonic was perceptually segregated from the complex sound. The early negative wave, referred to as the object-related negativity (ORN), was present during both active and passive listening, whereas the positive wave and the mistuning-related changes in sustained potentials were present only when participants attended to the stimuli. These results are consistent with a two-stage model of auditory scene analysis in which the acoustic wave is automatically decomposed into perceptual groups that can be identified by higher executive functions. The ORN and the positive waves were little affected by sound duration, indicating that concurrent sound segregation depends on transient neural responses elicited by the discrepancy between the mistuned harmonic and the harmonic frequency expected based on the fundamental frequency of the incoming stimulus.

  18. Can Neural Activity Propagate by Endogenous Electrical Field?

    PubMed

    Qiu, Chen; Shivacharan, Rajat S; Zhang, Mingming; Durand, Dominique M

    2015-12-01

    It is widely accepted that synaptic transmissions and gap junctions are the major governing mechanisms for signal traveling in the neural system. Yet, a group of neural waves, either physiological or pathological, share the same speed of ∼0.1 m/s without synaptic transmission or gap junctions, and this speed is not consistent with axonal conduction or ionic diffusion. The only explanation left is an electrical field effect. We tested the hypothesis that endogenous electric fields are sufficient to explain the propagation with in silico and in vitro experiments. Simulation results show that field effects alone can indeed mediate propagation across layers of neurons with speeds of 0.12 ± 0.09 m/s with pathological kinetics, and 0.11 ± 0.03 m/s with physiologic kinetics, both generating weak field amplitudes of ∼2-6 mV/mm. Further, the model predicted that propagation speed values are inversely proportional to the cell-to-cell distances, but do not significantly change with extracellular resistivity, membrane capacitance, or membrane resistance. In vitro recordings in mice hippocampi produced similar speeds (0.10 ± 0.03 m/s) and field amplitudes (2.5-5 mV/mm), and by applying a blocking field, the propagation speed was greatly reduced. Finally, osmolarity experiments confirmed the model's prediction that cell-to-cell distance inversely affects propagation speed. Together, these results show that despite their weak amplitude, electric fields can be solely responsible for spike propagation at ∼0.1 m/s. This phenomenon could be important to explain the slow propagation of epileptic activity and other normal propagations at similar speeds. PMID:26631463

  19. A Sensitive and Specific Neural Signature for Picture-Induced Negative Affect

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Luke J.; Gianaros, Peter J.; Manuck, Stephen B.; Krishnan, Anjali; Wager, Tor D.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging has identified many correlates of emotion but has not yet yielded brain representations predictive of the intensity of emotional experiences in individuals. We used machine learning to identify a sensitive and specific signature of emotional responses to aversive images. This signature predicted the intensity of negative emotion in individual participants in cross validation (n =121) and test (n = 61) samples (high–low emotion = 93.5% accuracy). It was unresponsive to physical pain (emotion–pain = 92% discriminative accuracy), demonstrating that it is not a representation of generalized arousal or salience. The signature was comprised of mesoscale patterns spanning multiple cortical and subcortical systems, with no single system necessary or sufficient for predicting experience. Furthermore, it was not reducible to activity in traditional “emotion-related” regions (e.g., amygdala, insula) or resting-state networks (e.g., “salience,” “default mode”). Overall, this work identifies differentiable neural components of negative emotion and pain, providing a basis for new, brain-based taxonomies of affective processes. PMID:26098873

  20. Social status modulates neural activity in the mentalizing network

    PubMed Central

    Muscatell, Keely A.; Morelli, Sylvia A.; Falk, Emily B.; Way, Baldwin M.; Pfeifer, Jennifer H.; Galinsky, Adam D.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; Dapretto, Mirella; Eisenberger, Naomi I.

    2013-01-01

    The current research explored the neural mechanisms linking social status to perceptions of the social world. Two fMRI studies provide converging evidence that individuals lower in social status are more likely to engage neural circuitry often involved in ‘mentalizing’ or thinking about others' thoughts and feelings. Study 1 found that college students' perception of their social status in the university community was related to neural activity in the mentalizing network (e.g., DMPFC, MPFC, precuneus/PCC) while encoding social information, with lower social status predicting greater neural activity in this network. Study 2 demonstrated that socioeconomic status, an objective indicator of global standing, predicted adolescents' neural activity during the processing of threatening faces, with individuals lower in social status displaying greater activity in the DMPFC, previously associated with mentalizing, and the amygdala, previously associated with emotion/salience processing. These studies demonstrate that social status is fundamentally and neurocognitively linked to how people process and navigate their social worlds. PMID:22289808

  1. A neural networks study of quinone compounds with trypanocidal activity.

    PubMed

    de Molfetta, Fábio Alberto; Angelotti, Wagner Fernando Delfino; Romero, Roseli Aparecida Francelin; Montanari, Carlos Alberto; da Silva, Albérico Borges Ferreira

    2008-10-01

    This work investigates neural network models for predicting the trypanocidal activity of 28 quinone compounds. Artificial neural networks (ANN), such as multilayer perceptrons (MLP) and Kohonen models, were employed with the aim of modeling the nonlinear relationship between quantum and molecular descriptors and trypanocidal activity. The calculated descriptors and the principal components were used as input to train neural network models to verify the behavior of the nets. The best model for both network models (MLP and Kohonen) was obtained with four descriptors as input. The descriptors were T5 (torsion angle), QTS1 (sum of absolute values of the atomic charges), VOLS2 (volume of the substituent at region B) and HOMO-1 (energy of the molecular orbital below HOMO). These descriptors provide information on the kind of interaction that occurs between the compounds and the biological receptor. Both neural network models used here can predict the trypanocidal activity of the quinone compounds with good agreement, with low errors in the testing set and a high correctness rate. Thanks to the nonlinear model obtained from the neural network models, we can conclude that electronic and structural properties are important factors in the interaction between quinone compounds that exhibit trypanocidal activity and their biological receptors. The final ANN models should be useful in the design of novel trypanocidal quinones having improved potency. PMID:18629551

  2. Nutri-epigenomic Studies Related to Neural Tube Defects: Does Folate Affect Neural Tube Closure Via Changes in DNA Methylation?

    PubMed

    Rochtus, Anne; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), affecting 1-2 per 1000 pregnancies, are severe congenital malformations that arise from the failure of neurulation during early embryonic development. The methylation hypothesis suggests that folate prevents NTDs by stimulating cellular methylation reactions. Folate is central to the one-carbon metabolism that produces pyrimidines and purines for DNA synthesis and for the generation of the methyldonor S-adenosyl-methionine. This review focuses on the relation between the folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, DNA methylation and NTDs. Studies will be discussed that investigated global or locus-specific DNA methylation differences in patients with NTDs. Folate deficiency may increase NTD risk by decreasing DNA methylation, but to date, human studies vary widely in study design in terms of analyzing different clinical subtypes of NTDs, using different methylation quantification assays and using DNA isolated from diverse types of tissues. Some studies have focused mainly on global DNA methylation differences while others have quantified specific methylation differences for imprinted genes, transposable elements and DNA repair enzymes. Findings of global DNA hypomethylation and LINE-1 hypomethylation suggest that epigenetic alterations may disrupt neural tube closure. However, current research does not support a linear relation between red blood cell folate concentration and DNA methylation. Further studies are required to better understand the interaction between folate, DNA methylation changes and NTDs. PMID:26349489

  3. Integration of active devices on smart polymers for neural interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avendano-Bolivar, Adrian Emmanuel

    The increasing ability to ever more precisely identify and measure neural interactions and other phenomena in the central and peripheral nervous systems is revolutionizing our understanding of the human body and brain. To facilitate further understanding, more sophisticated neural devices, perhaps using microelectronics processing, must be fabricated. Materials often used in these neural interfaces, while compatible with these fabrication processes, are not optimized for long-term use in the body and are often orders of magnitude stiffer than the tissue with which they interact. Using the smart polymer substrates described in this work, suitability for processing as well as chronic implantation is demonstrated. We explore how to integrate reliable circuitry onto these flexible, biocompatible substrates that can withstand the aggressive environment of the body. To increase the capabilities of these devices beyond individual channel sensing and stimulation, active electronics must also be included onto our systems. In order to add this functionality to these substrates and explore the limits of these devices, we developed a process to fabricate single organic thin film transistors with mobilities up to 0.4 cm2/Vs and threshold voltages close to 0V. A process for fabricating organic light emitting diodes on flexible substrates is also addressed. We have set a foundation and demonstrated initial feasibility for integrating multiple transistors onto thin-film flexible devices to create new applications, such as matrix addressable functionalized electrodes and organic light emitting diodes. A brief description on how to integrate waveguides for their use in optogenetics is addressed. We have built understanding about device constraints on mechanical, electrical and in vivo reliability and how various conditions affect the electronics' lifetime. We use a bi-layer gate dielectric using an inorganic material such as HfO 2 combined with organic Parylene-c. A study of

  4. Emotion disrupts neural activity during selective attention in psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Sadeh, Naomi; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Heller, Wendy; Herrington, John D; Engels, Anna S; Warren, Stacie L; Crocker, Laura D; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A

    2013-03-01

    Dimensions of psychopathy are theorized to be associated with distinct cognitive and emotional abnormalities that may represent unique neurobiological risk factors for the disorder. This hypothesis was investigated by examining whether the psychopathic personality dimensions of fearless-dominance and impulsive-antisociality moderated neural activity and behavioral responses associated with selective attention and emotional processing during an emotion-word Stroop task in 49 adults. As predicted, the dimensions evidenced divergent selective-attention deficits and sensitivity to emotional distraction. Fearless-dominance was associated with disrupted attentional control to positive words, and activation in right superior frontal gyrus mediated the relationship between fearless-dominance and errors to positive words. In contrast, impulsive-antisociality evidenced increased behavioral interference to both positive and negative words and correlated positively with recruitment of regions associated with motivational salience (amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, insula), emotion regulation (temporal cortex, superior frontal gyrus) and attentional control (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex). Individuals high on both dimensions had increased recruitment of regions related to attentional control (temporal cortex, rostral anterior cingulate cortex), response preparation (pre-/post-central gyri) and motivational value (orbitofrontal cortex) in response to negative words. These findings provide evidence that the psychopathy dimensions represent dual sets of risk factors characterized by divergent dysfunction in cognitive and affective processes. PMID:22210673

  5. Encapsulating Elastically Stretchable Neural Interfaces: Yield, Resolution, and Recording/Stimulation of Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Barclay; Goletiani, Cezar; Yu, Zhe; Wagner, Sigurd

    2013-01-01

    A high resolution elastically stretchable microelectrode array (SMEA) to interface with neural tissue is described. The SMEA consists of an elastomeric substrate, such as poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), elastically stretchable gold conductors, and an electrically insulating encapsulating layer in which contact holes are opened. We demonstrate the feasibility of producing contact holes with 40 µm × 40 µm openings, show why the adhesion of the encapsulation layer to the underlying silicone substrate is weakened during contact hole fabrication, and provide remedies. These improvements result in greatly increased fabrication yield and reproducibility. An SMEA with 28 microelectrodes was fabricated. The contact holes (100 µm × 100 µm) in the encapsulation layer are only ~10% the size of the previous generation, allowing a larger number of microelectrodes per unit area, thus affording the capability to interface with a smaller neural population per electrode. This new SMEA is used to record spontaneous and evoked activity in organotypic hippocampal tissue slices at 0% strain before stretching, at 5 % and 10 % equibiaxial strain, and again at 0% strain after relaxation. The noise of the recordings increases with increasing strain. The frequency of spontaneous neural activity also increases when the SMEA is stretched. Upon relaxation, the noise returns to pre-stretch levels, while the frequency of neural activity remains elevated. Stimulus-response curves at each strain level are measured. The SMEA shows excellent biocompatibility for at least two weeks. PMID:24093006

  6. A modified dynamic evolving neural-fuzzy approach to modeling customer satisfaction for affective design.

    PubMed

    Kwong, C K; Fung, K Y; Jiang, Huimin; Chan, K Y; Siu, Kin Wai Michael

    2013-01-01

    Affective design is an important aspect of product development to achieve a competitive edge in the marketplace. A neural-fuzzy network approach has been attempted recently to model customer satisfaction for affective design and it has been proved to be an effective one to deal with the fuzziness and non-linearity of the modeling as well as generate explicit customer satisfaction models. However, such an approach to modeling customer satisfaction has two limitations. First, it is not suitable for the modeling problems which involve a large number of inputs. Second, it cannot adapt to new data sets, given that its structure is fixed once it has been developed. In this paper, a modified dynamic evolving neural-fuzzy approach is proposed to address the above mentioned limitations. A case study on the affective design of mobile phones was conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology. Validation tests were conducted and the test results indicated that: (1) the conventional Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) failed to run due to a large number of inputs; (2) the proposed dynamic neural-fuzzy model outperforms the subtractive clustering-based ANFIS model and fuzzy c-means clustering-based ANFIS model in terms of their modeling accuracy and computational effort. PMID:24385884

  7. A Modified Dynamic Evolving Neural-Fuzzy Approach to Modeling Customer Satisfaction for Affective Design

    PubMed Central

    Kwong, C. K.; Fung, K. Y.; Jiang, Huimin; Chan, K. Y.

    2013-01-01

    Affective design is an important aspect of product development to achieve a competitive edge in the marketplace. A neural-fuzzy network approach has been attempted recently to model customer satisfaction for affective design and it has been proved to be an effective one to deal with the fuzziness and non-linearity of the modeling as well as generate explicit customer satisfaction models. However, such an approach to modeling customer satisfaction has two limitations. First, it is not suitable for the modeling problems which involve a large number of inputs. Second, it cannot adapt to new data sets, given that its structure is fixed once it has been developed. In this paper, a modified dynamic evolving neural-fuzzy approach is proposed to address the above mentioned limitations. A case study on the affective design of mobile phones was conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology. Validation tests were conducted and the test results indicated that: (1) the conventional Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) failed to run due to a large number of inputs; (2) the proposed dynamic neural-fuzzy model outperforms the subtractive clustering-based ANFIS model and fuzzy c-means clustering-based ANFIS model in terms of their modeling accuracy and computational effort. PMID:24385884

  8. An fMRI study of the interface between affective and cognitive neural circuitry in pediatric bipolar disorder

    PubMed Central

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; O’Connor, Megan Marlow; Harral, Erin M.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

    The pathophysiology of pediatric bipolar disorder impacts both affective and cognitive brain systems. Understanding disturbances in the neural circuits subserving these abilities is critical for characterizing developmental aberrations associated with the disorder and developing improved treatments. Our objective is to use functional neuroimaging with pediatric bipolar disorder patients employing a task that probes the functional integrity of attentional control and affect processing. Ten euthymic unmedicated pediatric bipolar patients and healthy controls matched for age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, and IQ were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In a pediatric color word matching paradigm, subjects were asked to match the color of a word with one of two colored circles below. Words had either a positive, negative or neutral emotional valence, and were presented in 30 second blocks. In the negative affect condition, relative to the neutral condition, patients with bipolar disorder demonstrated greater activation of bilateral pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and left amygdala, and less activation in right rostral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dorsolateral PFC at the junction of the middle frontal and inferior frontal gyri. In the positive affect condition, there was no reduced activation of PFC or increased amygdala activation. The pattern of reduced activation of ventrolateral PFC and greater amygdala activation in bipolar children in response to negative stimuli suggests both disinhibition of emotional reactivity in the limbic system and reduced function in PFC systems that regulate those responses. Higher cortical cognitive areas such as the dorsolateral PFC may also be adversely affected by exaggerated emotional responsivity to negative emotions. This pattern of functional alteration in affective and cognitive circuitry may contribute to the reduced capacity for affect regulation and behavioral self-control in pediatric

  9. Increased cell proliferation and neural activity by physostigmine in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yunkyoung; Lee, Bongkyu; Jeong, Sumin; Park, Ji-Won; Han, Inn-Oc; Lee, Chang-Joong

    2016-08-26

    Physostigmine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, is known to affect the brain function in various aspects. This study was conducted to test whether physostigmine affects cell proliferation in the telencephalon of zebrafish. BrdU-labeled cells was prominently observed in the ventral zone of the ventral telencephalon of zebrafish. The increased number of BrdU- and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-labeled cells were shown in zebrafish treated with 200μM physostigmine, which was inhibited by pretreatment with 200μM scopolamine. iNOS mRNA expression was increased in the brain of zebrafish treated with 200μM physostigmine. Consistently, aminoguanidine, an iNOS inhibitor, attenuated the increase in the number of BrdU-labeled cells by physostigmine treatment. Zebrafish also showed seizure-like locomotor activity characterized by a rapid and abrupt movement during a 30min treatment with 200μM physostigmine. Neural activity in response to an electrical stimulus was increased in the isolated telencephalon of zebrafish continuously perfused with 200μM physostigmine. None of the number of BrdU-labeled cells, neural activity, or locomotor activity was affected by treatment with 20μM physostigmine. These results suggest that 200μM physostigmine increased neural activity and induced cell proliferation via nitric oxide production in zebrafish. PMID:27378362

  10. Generating Coherent Patterns of Activity from Chaotic Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Sussillo, David; Abbott, L. F.

    2009-01-01

    Neural circuits display complex activity patterns both spontaneously and when responding to a stimulus or generating a motor output. How are these two forms of activity related? We develop a procedure called FORCE learning for modifying synaptic strengths either external to or within a model neural network to change chaotic spontaneous activity into a wide variety of desired activity patterns. FORCE learning works even though the networks we train are spontaneously chaotic and we leave feedback loops intact and unclamped during learning. Using this approach, we construct networks that produce a wide variety of complex output patterns, input-output transformations that require memory, multiple outputs that can be switched by control inputs, and motor patterns matching human motion capture data. Our results reproduce data on pre-movement activity in motor and premotor cortex, and suggest that synaptic plasticity may be a more rapid and powerful modulator of network activity than generally appreciated. PMID:19709635

  11. Topographic organization of Hebbian neural connections by synchronous wave activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mihaliuk, Eugene; Wackerbauer, Renate; Showalter, Kenneth

    2001-03-01

    Experimental studies have revealed that the refinement of early, imprecise connections in the developing visual system involves activity in the retina before the onset of vision. We study the evolution of initially random unidirectional connections between two excitable layers of FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons with simulated spontaneous activity in the input layer. Lateral coupling within the layers yields synchronous neural wave activity that serves as a template for the Hebbian learning process, which establishes topographically precise interlayer connections.

  12. A point process framework for relating neural spiking activity to spiking history, neural ensemble, and extrinsic covariate effects.

    PubMed

    Truccolo, Wilson; Eden, Uri T; Fellows, Matthew R; Donoghue, John P; Brown, Emery N

    2005-02-01

    Multiple factors simultaneously affect the spiking activity of individual neurons. Determining the effects and relative importance of these factors is a challenging problem in neurophysiology. We propose a statistical framework based on the point process likelihood function to relate a neuron's spiking probability to three typical covariates: the neuron's own spiking history, concurrent ensemble activity, and extrinsic covariates such as stimuli or behavior. The framework uses parametric models of the conditional intensity function to define a neuron's spiking probability in terms of the covariates. The discrete time likelihood function for point processes is used to carry out model fitting and model analysis. We show that, by modeling the logarithm of the conditional intensity function as a linear combination of functions of the covariates, the discrete time point process likelihood function is readily analyzed in the generalized linear model (GLM) framework. We illustrate our approach for both GLM and non-GLM likelihood functions using simulated data and multivariate single-unit activity data simultaneously recorded from the motor cortex of a monkey performing a visuomotor pursuit-tracking task. The point process framework provides a flexible, computationally efficient approach for maximum likelihood estimation, goodness-of-fit assessment, residual analysis, model selection, and neural decoding. The framework thus allows for the formulation and analysis of point process models of neural spiking activity that readily capture the simultaneous effects of multiple covariates and enables the assessment of their relative importance. PMID:15356183

  13. How treatment affects the brain: meta-analysis evidence of neural substrates underpinning drug therapy and psychotherapy in major depression.

    PubMed

    Boccia, Maddalena; Piccardi, Laura; Guariglia, Paola

    2016-06-01

    The idea that modifications of affect, behavior and cognition produced by psychotherapy are mediated by biological underpinnings predates the advent of the modern neurosciences. Recently, several studies demonstrated that psychotherapy outcomes are linked to modifications in specific brain regions. This opened the debate over the similarities and dissimilarities between psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. In this study, we used activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis to investigate the effects of psychotherapy (PsyTh) and pharmacotherapy (DrugTh) on brain functioning in Major Depression (MD). Our results demonstrate that the two therapies modify different neural circuits. Specifically, PsyTh induces selective modifications in the left inferior and superior frontal gyri, middle temporal gyrus, lingual gyrus and middle cingulate cortex, as well as in the right middle frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus. Otherwise, DrugTh selectively affected brain activation in the right insula in MD patients. These results are in line with previous evidence of the synergy between psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy but they also demonstrate that the two therapies have different neural underpinnings. PMID:26164169

  14. Controlling neural activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V.; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2013-03-01

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its simple nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behavior. To understand how the activity in its interneurons coordinate different motor programs to lead the animal to food, here we used optogenetics and new optical tools to manipulate neural activity directly in freely moving animals to evoke chemotactic behavior. By deducing the classes of activity patterns triggered during chemotaxis and exciting individual neurons with these patterns, we identified interneurons that control the essential locomotory programs for this behavior. Notably, we discovered that controlling the dynamics of activity in just one interneuron pair was sufficient to force the animal to locate, turn towards and track virtual light gradients.

  15. Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    People sometimes solve problems with a unique process called insight, accompanied by an “Aha!” experience. It has long been unclear whether different cognitive and neural processes lead to insight versus noninsight solutions, or if solutions differ only in subsequent subjective feeling. Recent behavioral studies indicate distinct patterns of performance and suggest differential hemispheric involvement for insight and noninsight solutions. Subjects solved verbal problems, and after each correct solution indicated whether they solved with or without insight. We observed two objective neural correlates of insight. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (Experiment 1) revealed increased activity in the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus for insight relative to noninsight solutions. The same region was active during initial solving efforts. Scalp electroencephalogram recordings (Experiment 2) revealed a sudden burst of high-frequency (gamma-band) neural activity in the same area beginning 0.3 s prior to insight solutions. This right anterior temporal area is associated with making connections across distantly related information during comprehension. Although all problem solving relies on a largely shared cortical network, the sudden flash of insight occurs when solvers engage distinct neural and cognitive processes that allow them to see connections that previously eluded them. PMID:15094802

  16. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively in voting-connected activities. Accordingly, the quoted language should be broadly construed to apply to...

  17. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively in voting-connected activities. Accordingly, the quoted language should be broadly construed to apply to...

  18. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively in voting-connected activities. Accordingly, the quoted language should be broadly construed to apply to...

  19. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively in voting-connected activities. Accordingly, the quoted language should be broadly construed to apply to...

  20. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively in voting-connected activities. Accordingly, the quoted language should be broadly construed to apply to...

  1. Anthropogenic changes in sodium affect neural and muscle development in butterflies.

    PubMed

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C; Espeset, Anne; Boser, Christopher J; White, William A; Smykalski, Rhea

    2014-07-15

    The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of selection. We use butterflies as a study system to test whether changes in sodium availability due to road salt runoff have significant effects on the development of sodium-limited traits, such as neural and muscle tissue. We first document how road salt runoff can elevate sodium concentrations in the tissue of some plant groups by 1.5-30 times. Using monarch butterflies reared on roadside- and prairie-collected milkweed, we then show that road salt runoff can result in increased muscle mass (in males) and neural investment (in females). Finally, we use an artificial diet manipulation in cabbage white butterflies to show that variation in sodium chloride per se positively affects male flight muscle and female brain size. Variation in sodium not only has different effects depending on sex, but also can have opposing effects on the same tissue: across both species, males increase investment in flight muscle with increasing sodium, whereas females show the opposite pattern. Taken together, our results show that anthropogenic changes in sodium availability can affect the development of traits in roadside-feeding herbivores. This research suggests that changing micronutrient availability could alter selection on foraging behavior for some roadside-developing invertebrates. PMID:24927579

  2. Anthropogenic changes in sodium affect neural and muscle development in butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C.; Espeset, Anne; Boser, Christopher J.; White, William A.; Smykalski, Rhea

    2014-01-01

    The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of selection. We use butterflies as a study system to test whether changes in sodium availability due to road salt runoff have significant effects on the development of sodium-limited traits, such as neural and muscle tissue. We first document how road salt runoff can elevate sodium concentrations in the tissue of some plant groups by 1.5–30 times. Using monarch butterflies reared on roadside- and prairie-collected milkweed, we then show that road salt runoff can result in increased muscle mass (in males) and neural investment (in females). Finally, we use an artificial diet manipulation in cabbage white butterflies to show that variation in sodium chloride per se positively affects male flight muscle and female brain size. Variation in sodium not only has different effects depending on sex, but also can have opposing effects on the same tissue: across both species, males increase investment in flight muscle with increasing sodium, whereas females show the opposite pattern. Taken together, our results show that anthropogenic changes in sodium availability can affect the development of traits in roadside-feeding herbivores. This research suggests that changing micronutrient availability could alter selection on foraging behavior for some roadside-developing invertebrates. PMID:24927579

  3. Dynamic neural activity during stress signals resilient coping.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Rajita; Lacadie, Cheryl M; Constable, R Todd; Seo, Dongju

    2016-08-01

    Active coping underlies a healthy stress response, but neural processes supporting such resilient coping are not well-known. Using a brief, sustained exposure paradigm contrasting highly stressful, threatening, and violent stimuli versus nonaversive neutral visual stimuli in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we show significant subjective, physiologic, and endocrine increases and temporally related dynamically distinct patterns of neural activation in brain circuits underlying the stress response. First, stress-specific sustained increases in the amygdala, striatum, hypothalamus, midbrain, right insula, and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) regions supported the stress processing and reactivity circuit. Second, dynamic neural activation during stress versus neutral runs, showing early increases followed by later reduced activation in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), left DLPFC, hippocampus, and left insula, suggested a stress adaptation response network. Finally, dynamic stress-specific mobilization of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VmPFC), marked by initial hypoactivity followed by increased VmPFC activation, pointed to the VmPFC as a key locus of the emotional and behavioral control network. Consistent with this finding, greater neural flexibility signals in the VmPFC during stress correlated with active coping ratings whereas lower dynamic activity in the VmPFC also predicted a higher level of maladaptive coping behaviors in real life, including binge alcohol intake, emotional eating, and frequency of arguments and fights. These findings demonstrate acute functional neuroplasticity during stress, with distinct and separable brain networks that underlie critical components of the stress response, and a specific role for VmPFC neuroflexibility in stress-resilient coping. PMID:27432990

  4. Early Interfaced Neural Activity from Chronic Amputated Nerves

    PubMed Central

    Garde, Kshitija; Keefer, Edward; Botterman, Barry; Galvan, Pedro; Romero, Mario I.

    2009-01-01

    Direct interfacing of transected peripheral nerves with advanced robotic prosthetic devices has been proposed as a strategy for achieving natural motor control and sensory perception of such bionic substitutes, thus fully functionally replacing missing limbs in amputees. Multi-electrode arrays placed in the brain and peripheral nerves have been used successfully to convey neural control of prosthetic devices to the user. However, reactive gliosis, micro hemorrhages, axonopathy and excessive inflammation currently limit their long-term use. Here we demonstrate that enticement of peripheral nerve regeneration through a non-obstructive multi-electrode array, after either acute or chronic nerve amputation, offers a viable alternative to obtain early neural recordings and to enhance long-term interfacing of nerve activity. Non-restrictive electrode arrays placed in the path of regenerating nerve fibers allowed the recording of action potentials as early as 8 days post-implantation with high signal-to-noise ratio, as long as 3 months in some animals, and with minimal inflammation at the nerve tissue-metal electrode interface. Our findings suggest that regenerative multi-electrode arrays of open design allow early and stable interfacing of neural activity from amputated peripheral nerves and might contribute towards conveying full neural control and sensory feedback to users of robotic prosthetic devices. PMID:19506704

  5. Application of neural networks to seismic active control

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yu

    1995-07-01

    An exploratory study on seismic active control using an artificial neural network (ANN) is presented in which a singledegree-of-freedom (SDF) structural system is controlled by a trained neural network. A feed-forward neural network and the backpropagation training method are used in the study. In backpropagation training, the learning rate is determined by ensuring the decrease of the error function at each training cycle. The training patterns for the neural net are generated randomly. Then, the trained ANN is used to compute the control force according to the control algorithm. The control strategy proposed herein is to apply the control force at every time step to destroy the build-up of the system response. The ground motions considered in the simulations are the N21E and N69W components of the Lake Hughes No. 12 record that occurred in the San Fernando Valley in California on February 9, 1971. Significant reduction of the structural response by one order of magnitude is observed. Also, it is shown that the proposed control strategy has the ability to reduce the peak that occurs during the first few cycles of the time history. These promising results assert the potential of applying ANNs to active structural control under seismic loads.

  6. Systematic fluctuation expansion for neural network activity equations

    PubMed Central

    Buice, Michael A.; Cowan, Jack D.; Chow, Carson C.

    2009-01-01

    Population rate or activity equations are the foundation of a common approach to modeling for neural networks. These equations provide mean field dynamics for the firing rate or activity of neurons within a network given some connectivity. The shortcoming of these equations is that they take into account only the average firing rate while leaving out higher order statistics like correlations between firing. A stochastic theory of neural networks which includes statistics at all orders was recently formulated. We describe how this theory yields a systematic extension to population rate equations by introducing equations for correlations and appropriate coupling terms. Each level of the approximation yields closed equations, i.e. they depend only upon the mean and specific correlations of interest, without an ad hoc criterion for doing so. We show in an example of an all-to-all connected network how our system of generalized activity equations captures phenomena missed by the mean field rate equations alone. PMID:19852585

  7. Dynamical criticality in the collective activity of a neural population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mora, Thierry

    The past decade has seen a wealth of physiological data suggesting that neural networks may behave like critical branching processes. Concurrently, the collective activity of neurons has been studied using explicit mappings to classic statistical mechanics models such as disordered Ising models, allowing for the study of their thermodynamics, but these efforts have ignored the dynamical nature of neural activity. I will show how to reconcile these two approaches by learning effective statistical mechanics models of the full history of the collective activity of a neuron population directly from physiological data, treating time as an additional dimension. Applying this technique to multi-electrode recordings from retinal ganglion cells, and studying the thermodynamics of the inferred model, reveals a peak in specific heat reminiscent of a second-order phase transition.

  8. Role of emergent neural activity in visual map development.

    PubMed

    Ackman, James B; Crair, Michael C

    2014-02-01

    The initial structural and functional development of visual circuits in reptiles, birds, and mammals happens independent of sensory experience. After eye opening, visual experience further refines and elaborates circuits that are critical for normal visual function. Innate genetic programs that code for gradients of molecules provide gross positional information for developing nerve cells, yet much of the cytoarchitectural complexity and synaptogenesis of neurons depends on calcium influx, neurotransmitter release, and neural activity before the onset of vision. In fact, specific spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity, or 'retinal waves', emerge amidst the development of the earliest connections made between excitable cells in the developing eye. These patterns of spontaneous activity, which have been observed in all amniote retinae examined to date, may be an evolved adaptation for species with long gestational periods before the onset of functional vision, imparting an informational robustness and redundancy to guide development of visual maps across the nervous system. Recent experiments indicate that retinal waves play a crucial role in the development of interconnections between different parts of the visual system, suggesting that these spontaneous patterns serve as a template-matching mechanism to prepare higher-order visually associative circuits for the onset of visuomotor learning and behavior. Key questions for future studies include determining the exact sources and nature of spontaneous activity during development, characterizing the interactions between neural activity and transcriptional gene regulation, and understanding the extent of circuit connectivity governed by retinal waves within and between sensory-motor systems. PMID:24492092

  9. Do recreational activities affect coastal biodiversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riera, Rodrigo; Menci, Cristiano; Sanabria-Fernández, José Antonio; Becerro, Mikel A.

    2016-09-01

    Human activities are largely affecting coastal communities worldwide. Recreational perturbations have been overlooked in comparison to other perturbations, yet they are potential threats to marine biodiversity. They affect coastal communities in different ways, underpinning consistent shifts in fish and invertebrates assemblages. Several sites were sampled subjected to varying effects by recreational fishermen (low and high pressure) and scuba divers (low and high) in an overpopulated Atlantic island. Non-consistent differences in ecological, trophic and functional diversity were found in coastal communities, considering both factors ("diving" and "fishing"). Multivariate analyses only showed significant differences in benthic invertebrates between intensively-dived and non-dived sites. The lack of clear trends may be explained by the depletion of coastal resources in the study area, an extensively-affected island by overfishing.

  10. Neural responses to affective and cognitive theory of mind in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunjoo; Kyeong, Sunghyon; Cheon, Keun-Ah; Park, Bumhee; Oh, Maeng-Keun; Chun, Ji Won; Park, Hae-Jeong; Kim, Jae-Jin; Song, Dong-Ho

    2016-05-16

    Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterized by an impaired Theory of Mind (ToM). Recent evidence suggested that two aspects of ToM (cognitive ToM versus affective ToM) are differentially impaired in individuals with ASD. In this study, we examined the neural correlates of cognitive and affective ToM in children and adolescents with ASD compared to typically developing children (TDCs). Twelve children and adolescents with ASD and 12 age, IQ matched TDCs participated in this functional MRI study. The ToM task involved the attribution of cognitive and affective mental states to a cartoon character based on verbal and eye-gaze cues. In cognitive ToM tasks, ASD participants recruited the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and superior temporal gyrus (STG) to a greater extent than did TDCs. In affective ToM tasks, both ASD and TDC participants showed more activation in the insula and other subcortical regions than in cognitive ToM tasks. Correlational analysis revealed that greater activation of the mPFC/ACC regions was associated with less symptom severity in ASD patients. In sum, our study suggests that the recruitment of additional prefrontal resources can compensate for the successful behavioral performance in the ToM task in ASD participants. PMID:27084690

  11. Optogenetic feedback control of neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Jonathan P; Fong, Ming-fai; Millard, Daniel C; Whitmire, Clarissa J; Stanley, Garrett B; Potter, Steve M

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetic techniques enable precise excitation and inhibition of firing in specified neuronal populations and artifact-free recording of firing activity. Several studies have suggested that optical stimulation provides the precision and dynamic range requisite for closed-loop neuronal control, but no approach yet permits feedback control of neuronal firing. Here we present the ‘optoclamp’, a feedback control technology that provides continuous, real-time adjustments of bidirectional optical stimulation in order to lock spiking activity at specified targets over timescales ranging from seconds to days. We demonstrate how this system can be used to decouple neuronal firing levels from ongoing changes in network excitability due to multi-hour periods of glutamatergic or GABAergic neurotransmission blockade in vitro as well as impinging vibrissal sensory drive in vivo. This technology enables continuous, precise optical control of firing in neuronal populations in order to disentangle causally related variables of circuit activation in a physiologically and ethologically relevant manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07192.001 PMID:26140329

  12. Monitoring activity in neural circuits with genetically encoded indicators

    PubMed Central

    Broussard, Gerard J.; Liang, Ruqiang; Tian, Lin

    2014-01-01

    Recent developments in genetically encoded indicators of neural activity (GINAs) have greatly advanced the field of systems neuroscience. As they are encoded by DNA, GINAs can be targeted to genetically defined cellular populations. Combined with fluorescence microscopy, most notably multi-photon imaging, GINAs allow chronic simultaneous optical recordings from large populations of neurons or glial cells in awake, behaving mammals, particularly rodents. This large-scale recording of neural activity at multiple temporal and spatial scales has greatly advanced our understanding of the dynamics of neural circuitry underlying behavior—a critical first step toward understanding the complexities of brain function, such as sensorimotor integration and learning. Here, we summarize the recent development and applications of the major classes of GINAs. In particular, we take an in-depth look at the design of available GINA families with a particular focus on genetically encoded calcium indicators (GCaMPs), sensors probing synaptic activity, and genetically encoded voltage indicators. Using the family of the GCaMP as an example, we review established sensor optimization pipelines. We also discuss practical considerations for end users of GINAs about experimental methods including approaches for gene delivery, imaging system requirements, and data analysis techniques. With the growing toolbox of GINAs and with new microscopy techniques pushing beyond their current limits, the age of light can finally achieve the goal of broad and dense sampling of neuronal activity across time and brain structures to obtain a dynamic picture of brain function. PMID:25538558

  13. The effects of gratitude expression on neural activity.

    PubMed

    Kini, Prathik; Wong, Joel; McInnis, Sydney; Gabana, Nicole; Brown, Joshua W

    2016-03-01

    Gratitude is a common aspect of social interaction, yet relatively little is known about the neural bases of gratitude expression, nor how gratitude expression may lead to longer-term effects on brain activity. To address these twin issues, we recruited subjects who coincidentally were entering psychotherapy for depression and/or anxiety. One group participated in a gratitude writing intervention, which required them to write letters expressing gratitude. The therapy-as-usual control group did not perform a writing intervention. After three months, subjects performed a "Pay It Forward" task in the fMRI scanner. In the task, subjects were repeatedly endowed with a monetary gift and then asked to pass it on to a charitable cause to the extent they felt grateful for the gift. Operationalizing gratitude as monetary gifts allowed us to engage the subjects and quantify the gratitude expression for subsequent analyses. We measured brain activity and found regions where activity correlated with self-reported gratitude experience during the task, even including related constructs such as guilt motivation and desire to help as statistical controls. These were mostly distinct from brain regions activated by empathy or theory of mind. Also, our between groups cross-sectional study found that a simple gratitude writing intervention was associated with significantly greater and lasting neural sensitivity to gratitude - subjects who participated in gratitude letter writing showed both behavioral increases in gratitude and significantly greater neural modulation by gratitude in the medial prefrontal cortex three months later. PMID:26746580

  14. Folate-related gene variants in Irish families affected by neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Fisk Green, Ridgely; Byrne, Julianne; Crider, Krista S.; Gallagher, Margaret; Koontz, Deborah; Berry, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid use can often prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). Variants of genes involved in folate metabolism in mothers and children have been associated with occurrence of NTDs. We identified Irish families with individuals affected by neural tube defects. In these families, we observed that neural tube defects and birth defects overall occurred at a higher rate in the maternal lineage compared with the paternal lineage. The goal of this study was to look for evidence for genetic effects that could explain the discrepancy in the occurrence of these birth defects in the maternal vs. paternal lineage. We genotyped blood samples from 322 individuals from NTD-affected Irish families, identified through their membership in spina bifida associations. We looked for differences in distribution in maternal vs. paternal lineages of five genetic polymorphisms: the DHFR 19 bp deletion, MTHFD1 1958G>A, MTHFR 1298A>C, MTHFR 677C>T, and SLC19A1 80A>G. In addition to looking at genotypes individually, we determined the number of genotypes associated with decreased folate metabolism in each relative (“risk genotypes”) and compared the distribution of these genotypes in maternal vs. paternal relatives. Overall, maternal relatives had a higher number of genotypes associated with lower folate metabolism than paternal relatives (p = 0.017). We expected that relatives would share the same risk genotype as the individuals with NTDs and/or their mothers. However, we observed that maternal relatives had an over-abundance of any risk genotype, rather than one specific genotype. The observed genetic effects suggest an epigenetic mechanism in which decreased folate metabolism results in epigenetic alterations related to the increased rate of NTDs and other birth defects seen in the maternal lineage. Future studies on the etiology of NTDs and other birth defects could benefit from including multigenerational extended families, in order to explore potential epigenetic

  15. Neural correlates of cognitive and affective processing in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress symptoms: Does gender matter?

    PubMed Central

    Crozier, Joseph C.; Wang, Lihong; Huettel, Scott A.; De Bellis, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship of gender to cognitive and affective processing in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Maltreated (N=29; n=13 females, n=16 males) and non-maltreated participants (N=45; n=26 females, n=19 males) performed an emotional oddball task that involved detection of targets with fear or scrambled face distractors. Results were moderated by gender. During the executive component of this task, left precuneus/posterior middle cingulate hypoactivation to fear versus calm or scrambled face targets were seen in maltreated versus control males and may represent dysfunction and less resilience in attentional networks. Maltreated males also showed decreased activation in the inferior frontal gyrus compared to control males. No differences were found in females. Posterior cingulate activations positively correlated with PTSD symptoms. While viewing fear faces, maltreated females exhibited decreased activity in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and cerebellum I–VI; whereas maltreated males exhibited increased activity in left hippocampus, fusiform cortex, right cerebellar crus I, and visual cortex compared to their same gender controls. Gender by maltreatment effects were not attributable to demographic, clinical, or maltreatment parameters. Maltreated girls and boys exhibited distinct patterns of neural activations during executive and affective processing, a new finding in the maltreatment literature. PMID:24621958

  16. Neural correlates of cognitive and affective processing in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress symptoms: does gender matter?

    PubMed

    Crozier, Joseph C; Wang, Lihong; Huettel, Scott A; De Bellis, Michael D

    2014-05-01

    We investigated the relationship of gender to cognitive and affective processing in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Maltreated (N = 29, 13 females, 16 males) and nonmaltreated participants (N = 45, 26 females, 19 males) performed an emotional oddball task that involved detection of targets with fear or scrambled face distractors. Results were moderated by gender. During the executive component of this task, left precuneus/posterior middle cingulate hypoactivation to fear versus calm or scrambled face targets were seen in maltreated versus control males and may represent dysfunction and less resilience in attentional networks. Maltreated males also showed decreased activation in the inferior frontal gyrus compared to control males. No differences were found in females. Posterior cingulate activations positively correlated with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. While viewing fear faces, maltreated females exhibited decreased activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and cerebellum I-VI, whereas maltreated males exhibited increased activity in the left hippocampus, fusiform cortex, right cerebellar crus I, and visual cortex compared to their same-gender controls. Gender by maltreatment effects were not attributable to demographic, clinical, or maltreatment parameters. Maltreated girls and boys exhibited distinct patterns of neural activations during executive and affective processing, a new finding in the maltreatment literature. PMID:24621958

  17. Persistent Activity in Neural Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Barak, Omri; Tsodyks, Misha

    2007-01-01

    Persistent activity states (attractors), observed in several neocortical areas after the removal of a sensory stimulus, are believed to be the neuronal basis of working memory. One of the possible mechanisms that can underlie persistent activity is recurrent excitation mediated by intracortical synaptic connections. A recent experimental study revealed that connections between pyramidal cells in prefrontal cortex exhibit various degrees of synaptic depression and facilitation. Here we analyze the effect of synaptic dynamics on the emergence and persistence of attractor states in interconnected neural networks. We show that different combinations of synaptic depression and facilitation result in qualitatively different network dynamics with respect to the emergence of the attractor states. This analysis raises the possibility that the framework of attractor neural networks can be extended to represent time-dependent stimuli. PMID:17319739

  18. Like or Dislike? Affective Preference Modulates Neural Response to Others' Gains and Losses

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Qiuling; Qu, Lulu; Li, Xuebing

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the brain responds differentially to others' gains and losses relative to one's own, moderated by social context factors such as competition and interpersonal relationships. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that the neural response to others' outcomes could be modulated by a short-term induced affective preference. We engaged 17 men and 18 women in a social-exchange game, in which two confederates played fairly or unfairly. Both men and women rated the fair player as likable and the unfair players as unlikable. Afterwards, ERPs were recorded while participants observed each confederates playing a gambling game individually. This study examines feedback related negativity (FRN), an ERP component sensitive to negative feedback. ANOVA showed a significant interaction in which females but not males displayed stronger FRNs when observing likable players' outcomes compared to unlikable ones'. However, males did not respond differently under either circumstance. These findings suggest that, at least in females, the neural response is influenced by a short-term induced affective preference. PMID:25171075

  19. Pushing the Limits: Cognitive, Affective, and Neural Plasticity Revealed by an Intensive Multifaceted Intervention.

    PubMed

    Mrazek, Michael D; Mooneyham, Benjamin W; Mrazek, Kaita L; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2016-01-01

    Scientific understanding of how much the adult brain can be shaped by experience requires examination of how multiple influences combine to elicit cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity. Using an intensive multifaceted intervention, we discovered that substantial and enduring improvements can occur in parallel across multiple cognitive and neuroimaging measures in healthy young adults. The intervention elicited substantial improvements in physical health, working memory, standardized test performance, mood, self-esteem, self-efficacy, mindfulness, and life satisfaction. Improvements in mindfulness were associated with increased degree centrality of the insula, greater functional connectivity between insula and somatosensory cortex, and reduced functional connectivity between posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and somatosensory cortex. Improvements in working memory and reading comprehension were associated with increased degree centrality of a region within the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) that was extensively and predominately integrated with the executive control network. The scope and magnitude of the observed improvements represent the most extensive demonstration to date of the considerable human capacity for change. These findings point to higher limits for rapid and concurrent cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity than is widely assumed. PMID:27047361

  20. Pushing the Limits: Cognitive, Affective, and Neural Plasticity Revealed by an Intensive Multifaceted Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Mrazek, Michael D.; Mooneyham, Benjamin W.; Mrazek, Kaita L.; Schooler, Jonathan W.

    2016-01-01

    Scientific understanding of how much the adult brain can be shaped by experience requires examination of how multiple influences combine to elicit cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity. Using an intensive multifaceted intervention, we discovered that substantial and enduring improvements can occur in parallel across multiple cognitive and neuroimaging measures in healthy young adults. The intervention elicited substantial improvements in physical health, working memory, standardized test performance, mood, self-esteem, self-efficacy, mindfulness, and life satisfaction. Improvements in mindfulness were associated with increased degree centrality of the insula, greater functional connectivity between insula and somatosensory cortex, and reduced functional connectivity between posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and somatosensory cortex. Improvements in working memory and reading comprehension were associated with increased degree centrality of a region within the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) that was extensively and predominately integrated with the executive control network. The scope and magnitude of the observed improvements represent the most extensive demonstration to date of the considerable human capacity for change. These findings point to higher limits for rapid and concurrent cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity than is widely assumed. PMID:27047361

  1. Like or dislike? Affective preference modulates neural response to others' gains and losses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Qu, Chen; Luo, Qiuling; Qu, Lulu; Li, Xuebing

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the brain responds differentially to others' gains and losses relative to one's own, moderated by social context factors such as competition and interpersonal relationships. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that the neural response to others' outcomes could be modulated by a short-term induced affective preference. We engaged 17 men and 18 women in a social-exchange game, in which two confederates played fairly or unfairly. Both men and women rated the fair player as likable and the unfair players as unlikable. Afterwards, ERPs were recorded while participants observed each confederates playing a gambling game individually. This study examines feedback related negativity (FRN), an ERP component sensitive to negative feedback. ANOVA showed a significant interaction in which females but not males displayed stronger FRNs when observing likable players' outcomes compared to unlikable ones'. However, males did not respond differently under either circumstance. These findings suggest that, at least in females, the neural response is influenced by a short-term induced affective preference. PMID:25171075

  2. Loss of CDK5RAP2 affects neural but not non-neural mESC differentiation into cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Nadine; Ravindran, Ethiraj; Zaqout, Sami; Neubert, Gerda; Schindler, Detlev; Ninnemann, Olaf; Gräf, Ralph; Seiler, Andrea E M; Kaindl, Angela M

    2015-01-01

    Biallelic mutations in the gene encoding centrosomal CDK5RAP2 lead to autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH), a disorder characterized by pronounced reduction in volume of otherwise architectonical normal brains and intellectual deficit. The current model for the microcephaly phenotype in MCPH invokes a premature shift from symmetric to asymmetric neural progenitor-cell divisions with a subsequent depletion of the progenitor pool. The isolated neural phenotype, despite the ubiquitous expression of CDK5RAP2, and reports of progressive microcephaly in individual MCPH cases prompted us to investigate neural and non-neural differentiation of Cdk5rap2-depleted and control murine embryonic stem cells (mESC). We demonstrate an accumulating proliferation defect of neurally differentiating Cdk5rap2-depleted mESC and cell death of proliferative and early postmitotic cells. A similar effect does not occur in non-neural differentiation into beating cardiomyocytes, which is in line with the lack of non-central nervous system features in MCPH patients. Our data suggest that MCPH is not only caused by premature differentiation of progenitors, but also by reduced propagation and survival of neural progenitors. PMID:25942099

  3. Loss of CDK5RAP2 affects neural but not non-neural mESC differentiation into cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Kraemer, Nadine; Ravindran, Ethiraj; Zaqout, Sami; Neubert, Gerda; Schindler, Detlev; Ninnemann, Olaf; Gräf, Ralph; Seiler, Andrea EM; Kaindl, Angela M

    2015-01-01

    Biallelic mutations in the gene encoding centrosomal CDK5RAP2 lead to autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH), a disorder characterized by pronounced reduction in volume of otherwise architectonical normal brains and intellectual deficit. The current model for the microcephaly phenotype in MCPH invokes a premature shift from symmetric to asymmetric neural progenitor-cell divisions with a subsequent depletion of the progenitor pool. The isolated neural phenotype, despite the ubiquitous expression of CDK5RAP2, and reports of progressive microcephaly in individual MCPH cases prompted us to investigate neural and non-neural differentiation of Cdk5rap2-depleted and control murine embryonic stem cells (mESC). We demonstrate an accumulating proliferation defect of neurally differentiating Cdk5rap2-depleted mESC and cell death of proliferative and early postmitotic cells. A similar effect does not occur in non-neural differentiation into beating cardiomyocytes, which is in line with the lack of non-central nervous system features in MCPH patients. Our data suggest that MCPH is not only caused by premature differentiation of progenitors, but also by reduced propagation and survival of neural progenitors. PMID:25942099

  4. Curvaceous female bodies activate neural reward centers in men

    PubMed Central

    Spicer, Kristen Rae

    2010-01-01

    Facial symmetry, masculinity and shoulder-to-hip ratios in men convey information to mates about reproductive/genetic quality, the so-called “good genes” hypothesis. On the other hand waist-to-hip ratio conveys important reproductive information about women to men. Here using fMRI, men showed activation in neural reward centers when they viewed and rated the attractiveness of surgically optimally configured female bodies. PMID:20714414

  5. Internal models for interpreting neural population activity during sensorimotor control

    PubMed Central

    Golub, Matthew D; Yu, Byron M; Chase, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    To successfully guide limb movements, the brain takes in sensory information about the limb, internally tracks the state of the limb, and produces appropriate motor commands. It is widely believed that this process uses an internal model, which describes our prior beliefs about how the limb responds to motor commands. Here, we leveraged a brain-machine interface (BMI) paradigm in rhesus monkeys and novel statistical analyses of neural population activity to gain insight into moment-by-moment internal model computations. We discovered that a mismatch between subjects’ internal models and the actual BMI explains roughly 65% of movement errors, as well as long-standing deficiencies in BMI speed control. We then used the internal models to characterize how the neural population activity changes during BMI learning. More broadly, this work provides an approach for interpreting neural population activity in the context of how prior beliefs guide the transformation of sensory input to motor output. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10015.001 PMID:26646183

  6. Efficient Universal Computing Architectures for Decoding Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Benjamin I.; Turicchia, Lorenzo; Wattanapanitch, Woradorn; Davidson, Thomas J.; Sarpeshkar, Rahul

    2012-01-01

    The ability to decode neural activity into meaningful control signals for prosthetic devices is critical to the development of clinically useful brain– machine interfaces (BMIs). Such systems require input from tens to hundreds of brain-implanted recording electrodes in order to deliver robust and accurate performance; in serving that primary function they should also minimize power dissipation in order to avoid damaging neural tissue; and they should transmit data wirelessly in order to minimize the risk of infection associated with chronic, transcutaneous implants. Electronic architectures for brain– machine interfaces must therefore minimize size and power consumption, while maximizing the ability to compress data to be transmitted over limited-bandwidth wireless channels. Here we present a system of extremely low computational complexity, designed for real-time decoding of neural signals, and suited for highly scalable implantable systems. Our programmable architecture is an explicit implementation of a universal computing machine emulating the dynamics of a network of integrate-and-fire neurons; it requires no arithmetic operations except for counting, and decodes neural signals using only computationally inexpensive logic operations. The simplicity of this architecture does not compromise its ability to compress raw neural data by factors greater than . We describe a set of decoding algorithms based on this computational architecture, one designed to operate within an implanted system, minimizing its power consumption and data transmission bandwidth; and a complementary set of algorithms for learning, programming the decoder, and postprocessing the decoded output, designed to operate in an external, nonimplanted unit. The implementation of the implantable portion is estimated to require fewer than 5000 operations per second. A proof-of-concept, 32-channel field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation of this portion is consequently energy efficient

  7. Oxytocin reduces neural activity in the pain circuitry when seeing pain in others

    PubMed Central

    Hermans, Erno J.; Keysers, Christian; van Honk, Jack

    2015-01-01

    Our empathetic abilities allow us to feel the pain of others. This phenomenon of vicarious feeling arises because the neural circuitry of feeling pain and seeing pain in others is shared. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is considered a robust facilitator of empathy, as intranasal OXT studies have repeatedly been shown to improve cognitive empathy (e.g. mind reading and emotion recognition). However, OXT has not yet been shown to increase neural empathic responses to pain in others, a core aspect of affective empathy. Effects of OXT on empathy for pain are difficult to predict, because OXT evidently has pain-reducing properties. Accordingly, OXT might paradoxically decrease empathy for pain. Here, using functional neuroimaging we show robust activation in the neural circuitry of pain (insula and sensorimotor regions) when subjects observe pain in others. Crucially, this empathy-related activation in the neural circuitry of pain is strongly reduced after intranasal OXT, specifically in the left insula. OXT on the basis of our neuroimaging data thus remarkably decreases empathy for pain, but further research including behavioral measures are necessary to draw definite conclusions. PMID:25818690

  8. Oxytocin reduces neural activity in the pain circuitry when seeing pain in others.

    PubMed

    Bos, Peter A; Montoya, Estrella R; Hermans, Erno J; Keysers, Christian; van Honk, Jack

    2015-06-01

    Our empathetic abilities allow us to feel the pain of others. This phenomenon of vicarious feeling arises because the neural circuitry of feeling pain and seeing pain in others is shared. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is considered a robust facilitator of empathy, as intranasal OXT studies have repeatedly been shown to improve cognitive empathy (e.g. mind reading and emotion recognition). However, OXT has not yet been shown to increase neural empathic responses to pain in others, a core aspect of affective empathy. Effects of OXT on empathy for pain are difficult to predict, because OXT evidently has pain-reducing properties. Accordingly, OXT might paradoxically decrease empathy for pain. Here, using functional neuroimaging we show robust activation in the neural circuitry of pain (insula and sensorimotor regions) when subjects observe pain in others. Crucially, this empathy-related activation in the neural circuitry of pain is strongly reduced after intranasal OXT, specifically in the left insula. OXT on the basis of our neuroimaging data thus remarkably decreases empathy for pain, but further research including behavioral measures is necessary to draw definite conclusions. PMID:25818690

  9. Touching moments: desire modulates the neural anticipation of active romantic caress

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J.; Ferri, Francesca; Gallese, Vittorio

    2014-01-01

    A romantic caress is a basic expression of affiliative behavior and a primary reinforcer. Given its inherent affective valence, its performance also would imply the prediction of reward values. For example, touching a person for whom one has strong passionate feelings likely is motivated by a strong desire for physical contact and associated with the anticipation of hedonic experiences. The present study aims at investigating how the anticipatory neural processes of active romantic caress are modulated by the intensity of the desire for affective contact as reflected by passionate feelings for the other. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning was performed in romantically involved partners using a paradigm that allowed to isolate the specific anticipatory representations of active romantic caress, compared with control caress, while testing for the relationship between neural activity and measures of feelings of passionate love for the other. The results demonstrated that right posterior insula activity in anticipation of romantic caress significantly co-varied with the intensity of desire for union with the other. This effect was independent of the sensory-affective properties of the performed touch, like its pleasantness. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis showed that the same posterior insula cluster interacted with brain regions related to sensory-motor functions as well as to the processing and anticipation of reward. The findings provide insight on the neural substrate mediating between the desire for and the performance of romantic caress. In particular, we propose that anticipatory activity patterns in posterior insula may modulate subsequent sensory-affective processing of skin-to-skin contact. PMID:24616676

  10. Electrodermal activity analysis during affective haptic elicitation.

    PubMed

    Greco, Alberto; Valenza, Gaetano; Nardelli, Mimma; Bianchi, Matteo; Lanata, Antonio; Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale

    2015-08-01

    This paper investigates how the autonomic nervous system dynamics, quantified through the analysis of the electrodermal activity (EDA), is modulated according to affective haptic stimuli. Specifically, a haptic display able to convey caress-like stimuli is presented to 32 healthy subjects (16 female). Each stimulus is changed according to six combinations of three velocities and two forces levels of two motors stretching a strip of fabric. Subjects were also asked to score each stimulus in terms of arousal (high/low activation) and valence (pleasant/unpleasant), in agreement with the circumplex model of affect. EDA was processed using a deconvolutive method, separating tonic and phasic components. A statistical analysis was performed in order to identify significant differences in EDA features among force and velocity levels, as well as in their valence and arousal scores. Results show that the simulated caress induced by the haptic display significantly affects the EDA. In detail, the phasic component seems to be inversely related to the valence score. This finding is new and promising, since it can be used, e.g., as an additional cue for haptics design. PMID:26737605

  11. The neural substrates of affective face recognition in patients with Hwa-Byung and healthy individuals in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Byeong-Taek; Paik, Jong-Woo; Kang, Rhee-Hun; Chung, Sun-Yong; Kwon, Ho-In; Khang, Hyun-Soo; Lyoo, In Kyoon; Chae, Jeong-Ho; Kwon, Jung-Hye; Kim, Jong-Woo; Lee, Min-Soo; Ham, Byung-Joo

    2009-01-01

    Hwa-Byung (HB) is a Korean culture-bound psychiatric syndrome caused by the suppression of anger. HB patients have various psychological and somatic symptoms, such as chest discomfort, a sensation of heat, and the sensation of having an epigastric mass. In this study, we measured brain activity in HB patients and healthy individuals in response to affective facial stimuli. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the current study measured neural responses to neutral, sad, and angry facial stimuli in 12 healthy individuals and 12 patients with HB. In response to all types of facial stimuli, HB patients showed increased activations in the lingual gyrus and fusiform gyrus compared with healthy persons, but they showed relatively lower activation in the thalamus. We also found that patients with HB showed lower activity in response to the neutral condition in the right ACC than healthy controls. The current study indicates that the suppression of affect results in aberrant function of the brain regions of the visual pathway, and functional impairment in the ACC may contribute to the pathophysiology of HB. PMID:18609429

  12. Perception of race-related features modulates neural activity associated with action observation and imitation.

    PubMed

    Earls, Holly A; Englander, Zoë A; Morris, James P

    2013-05-29

    The present study examines whether race-specific features affect biological motion perception. Activation of the neural action observation and imitation network was measured using functional MRI. During scanning, individuals were asked to imitate and observe basic hand movements of own-race and other-race actors. Results indicate that three key areas often associated with action observation and imitation, the inferior parietal lobule, superior parietal lobule, and superior temporal sulcus, were more active when participants imitated and observed hand movements of own-race relative to other-race actors. These findings indicate that several regions associated with the neural imitation/observation network are sensitive to race-related features. PMID:23571693

  13. Shared and nonshared neural networks of cognitive and affective theory-of-mind: a neuroimaging study using cartoon picture stories.

    PubMed

    Schlaffke, Lara; Lissek, Silke; Lenz, Melanie; Juckel, Georg; Schultz, Thomas; Tegenthoff, Martin; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias; Brüne, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the ability to represent one's own and others' cognitive and affective mental states. Recent imaging studies have aimed to disentangle the neural networks involved in cognitive as opposed to affective ToM, based on clinical observations that the two can functionally dissociate. Due to large differences in stimulus material and task complexity findings are, however, inconclusive. Here, we investigated the neural correlates of cognitive and affective ToM in psychologically healthy male participants (n = 39) using functional brain imaging, whereby the same set of stimuli was presented for all conditions (affective, cognitive and control), but associated with different questions prompting either a cognitive or affective ToM inference. Direct contrasts of cognitive versus affective ToM showed that cognitive ToM recruited the precuneus and cuneus, as well as regions in the temporal lobes bilaterally. Affective ToM, in contrast, involved a neural network comprising prefrontal cortical structures, as well as smaller regions in the posterior cingulate cortex and the basal ganglia. Notably, these results were complemented by a multivariate pattern analysis (leave one study subject out), yielding a classifier with an accuracy rate of more than 85% in distinguishing between the two ToM-conditions. The regions contributing most to successful classification corresponded to those found in the univariate analyses. The study contributes to the differentiation of neural patterns involved in the representation of cognitive and affective mental states of others. PMID:25131828

  14. Neural Activation During Submaximal Contractions Seems More Reflective of Neuromuscular Ageing than Maximal Voluntary Activation

    PubMed Central

    Scaglioni, Gil; Narici, Marco V.; Martin, Alain

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at testing the hypothesis that differences in neural activation strategy during submaximal but not maximal plantarflexions exist between young and older men. Eleven young men (YM, 26 ± 4 years) and thirteen old men (OM, 76 ± 3 years) volunteered for the investigation. Maximal voluntary torque (MVT) was 38.2%, lower (p < 0.001) in OM than in YM, while voluntary activation was equivalent (~97%). The relationship between the interpolated twitch-torque and the voluntary torque (IT-VT relationship) was composite (curvilinear + exponential) for both age-groups. However, the OM showed accentuated concavity, as attested by the occurrence of the deviation from linearity at a lower contraction intensity (OM: 54.9 vs. YM: 71.9% MVT). In conclusion, ageing does not affect the capacity to fully activate the plantar flexors during maximal performances, but it alters the activation pattern for submaximal levels of effort. The greater age-related concavity of the IT-VT relationship suggests that, during submaximal contractions, OM need to reach a level of activation higher than YM to develop an equivalent relative torque. PMID:26941638

  15. Common and segregated neural substrates for automatic conceptual and affective priming as revealed by event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongyan; Hu, Zhiguo; Peng, Danling; Yang, Yanhui; Li, Kuncheng

    2010-02-01

    The brain activity associated with automatic semantic priming has been extensively studied. Thus far there has been no prior study that directly contrasts the neural mechanisms of semantic and affective priming. The present study employed event-related fMRI to examine the common and distinct neural bases underlying conceptual and affective priming with a lexical decision task. A special type of emotional word, a dual-meaning word containing both conceptual meaning and affective meaning, was adopted as target. Short stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) (50 ms) was used to emphasize automatic processing. Fifteen participants were scanned in the present study. We found that the left middle/superior temporal gyrus was the brain region involved in both automatic conceptual and affective priming effects, suggesting general lexical-semantic processing that share in the two types of priming. The left inferior frontal gyrus and right superior temporal gyrus were found to be the conceptual-specific areas in automatic priming effect, consistent with the role of these areas in more extensive within-category semantic processes. The results also revealed that the left fusiform gyrus and left insula were the affective-specific regions in automatic priming effect, demonstrating the involvement of the left fusiform gyrus in automatic affective priming effect, and clarifying the role of the insula in emotional processing rather than conceptual processing. Despite comparable behavioral effects of automatic conceptual priming and affective priming, the present study revealed a neural dissociation of the two types of priming, as well as the shared neural bases. PMID:20018360

  16. The Generation Effect: Activating Broad Neural Circuits During Memory Encoding

    PubMed Central

    Rosner, Zachary A.; Elman, Jeremy A.; Shimamura, Arthur P.

    2012-01-01

    The generation effect is a robust memory phenomenon in which actively producing material during encoding acts to improve later memory performance. In an fMRI analysis, we explored the neural basis of this effect. During encoding, participants generated synonyms from word-fragment cues (e.g. GARBAGE-W_ST_) or read other synonym pairs (e.g. GARBAGE-WASTE). Compared to simply reading target words, generating target words significantly improved later recognition memory performance. During encoding, this benefit was associated with a broad neural network that involved both prefrontal (inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus) and posterior cortex (inferior temporal gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, ventral posterior parietal cortex). These findings define the prefrontal-posterior cortical dynamics associated with the mnemonic benefits underlying the generation effect. PMID:23079490

  17. Minimalist Social-Affective Value for Use in Joint Action: A Neural-Computational Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Robert; Almér, Alexander; Lindblad, Gustaf; Gander, Pierre; Michael, John; Vesper, Cordula

    2016-01-01

    Joint Action is typically described as social interaction that requires coordination among two or more co-actors in order to achieve a common goal. In this article, we put forward a hypothesis for the existence of a neural-computational mechanism of affective valuation that may be critically exploited in Joint Action. Such a mechanism would serve to facilitate coordination between co-actors permitting a reduction of required information. Our hypothesized affective mechanism provides a value function based implementation of Associative Two-Process (ATP) theory that entails the classification of external stimuli according to outcome expectancies. This approach has been used to describe animal and human action that concerns differential outcome expectancies. Until now it has not been applied to social interaction. We describe our Affective ATP model as applied to social learning consistent with an “extended common currency” perspective in the social neuroscience literature. We contrast this to an alternative mechanism that provides an example implementation of the so-called social-specific value perspective. In brief, our Social-Affective ATP mechanism builds upon established formalisms for reinforcement learning (temporal difference learning models) nuanced to accommodate expectations (consistent with ATP theory) and extended to integrate non-social and social cues for use in Joint Action. PMID:27601989

  18. Minimalist Social-Affective Value for Use in Joint Action: A Neural-Computational Hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Robert; Almér, Alexander; Lindblad, Gustaf; Gander, Pierre; Michael, John; Vesper, Cordula

    2016-01-01

    Joint Action is typically described as social interaction that requires coordination among two or more co-actors in order to achieve a common goal. In this article, we put forward a hypothesis for the existence of a neural-computational mechanism of affective valuation that may be critically exploited in Joint Action. Such a mechanism would serve to facilitate coordination between co-actors permitting a reduction of required information. Our hypothesized affective mechanism provides a value function based implementation of Associative Two-Process (ATP) theory that entails the classification of external stimuli according to outcome expectancies. This approach has been used to describe animal and human action that concerns differential outcome expectancies. Until now it has not been applied to social interaction. We describe our Affective ATP model as applied to social learning consistent with an "extended common currency" perspective in the social neuroscience literature. We contrast this to an alternative mechanism that provides an example implementation of the so-called social-specific value perspective. In brief, our Social-Affective ATP mechanism builds upon established formalisms for reinforcement learning (temporal difference learning models) nuanced to accommodate expectations (consistent with ATP theory) and extended to integrate non-social and social cues for use in Joint Action. PMID:27601989

  19. Hormonal contraceptive use is associated with neural and affective changes in healthy young women.

    PubMed

    Lisofsky, Nina; Riediger, Michaela; Gallinat, Jürgen; Lindenberger, Ulman; Kühn, Simone

    2016-07-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has demonstrated that female gonadal hormones can alter the structure and function of adult women's brains. So far, we do not know how hormonal contraceptives affect female brain structure, in part because within-person longitudinal observations are lacking. Here, we compared 28 young women before and after three months of regular contraceptive intake with 28 naturally cycling women of comparable age. The goal was to explore within-person neural change in women using contraceptives. Neuroimaging, hormonal, cognitive, and affect data were collected at two time points for each participant. A voxel-wise whole-brain comparison of both groups revealed decreased gray matter volume in the left amygdala/anterior parahippocampal gyrus in women using contraceptives as compared to the control group. Resting-state functional connectivity of this region with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex changed from positive to negative connectivity following contraceptive intake whereas the opposite held for the control group. An exploratory analysis revealed that gray matter volume in the left amygdala/anterior parahippocampal gyrus was associated with positive affect at the second time point. There were no systematic differences in cognitive performance change between the groups. These findings provide initial insights into effects of hormonal contraceptives on the human brain and expand previous findings on hormone-related amygdala/hippocampal complex plasticity. The affected brain regions may be related to psychological wellbeing, underlining the importance of future studies on contraceptive-induced brain changes. PMID:27109356

  20. Intra-day signal instabilities affect decoding performance in an intracortical neural interface system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perge, János A.; Homer, Mark L.; Malik, Wasim Q.; Cash, Sydney; Eskandar, Emad; Friehs, Gerhard; Donoghue, John P.; Hochberg, Leigh R.

    2013-06-01

    Objective. Motor neural interface systems (NIS) aim to convert neural signals into motor prosthetic or assistive device control, allowing people with paralysis to regain movement or control over their immediate environment. Effector or prosthetic control can degrade if the relationship between recorded neural signals and intended motor behavior changes. Therefore, characterizing both biological and technological sources of signal variability is important for a reliable NIS. Approach. To address the frequency and causes of neural signal variability in a spike-based NIS, we analyzed within-day fluctuations in spiking activity and action potential amplitude recorded with silicon microelectrode arrays implanted in the motor cortex of three people with tetraplegia (BrainGate pilot clinical trial, IDE). Main results. 84% of the recorded units showed a statistically significant change in apparent firing rate (3.8 ± 8.71 Hz or 49% of the mean rate) across several-minute epochs of tasks performed on a single session, and 74% of the units showed a significant change in spike amplitude (3.7 ± 6.5 µV or 5.5% of mean spike amplitude). 40% of the recording sessions showed a significant correlation in the occurrence of amplitude changes across electrodes, suggesting array micro-movement. Despite the relatively frequent amplitude changes, only 15% of the observed within-day rate changes originated from recording artifacts such as spike amplitude change or electrical noise, while 85% of the rate changes most likely emerged from physiological mechanisms. Computer simulations confirmed that systematic rate changes of individual neurons could produce a directional ‘bias’ in the decoded neural cursor movements. Instability in apparent neuronal spike rates indeed yielded a directional bias in 56% of all performance assessments in participant cursor control (n = 2 participants, 108 and 20 assessments over two years), resulting in suboptimal performance in these sessions

  1. Detection of interplanetary activity using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gothoskar, Pradeep; Khobragade, Shyam

    1995-12-01

    Early detection of interplanetary activity is important when attempting to associate, with better accuracy, interplanetary phenomena with solar activity and geomagnetic disturbances. However, for a large number of interplanetary observations to be done every day, extensive data analysis is required, leading to a delay in the detection of transient interplanetary activity. In particular, the interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations done with Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) need extensive human effort to reduce the data and to model, often subjectively, the scintillation power spectra. We have implemented an artificial neural network (ANN) to detect interplanetary activity using the power spectrum scintillation. The ANN was trained to detect the disturbed power spectra, used as an indicator of the interplanetary activity, and to recognize normal and strong scattering spectra from a large data base of IPS spectra. The coincidence efficiency of classification by the network compared with the experts' judgement to detect the normal, disturbed and strong scattering spectra was found to be greater than 80 per cent. The neural network, when applied during the IPS mapping programme to provide early indication of interplanetary activity, would significantly help the ongoing efforts to predict geomagnetic disturbances.

  2. A neural network model for olfactory glomerular activity prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soh, Zu; Tsuji, Toshio; Takiguchi, Noboru; Ohtake, Hisao

    2012-12-01

    Recently, the importance of odors and methods for their evaluation have seen increased emphasis, especially in the fragrance and food industries. Although odors can be characterized by their odorant components, their chemical information cannot be directly related to the flavors we perceive. Biological research has revealed that neuronal activity related to glomeruli (which form part of the olfactory system) is closely connected to odor qualities. Here we report on a neural network model of the olfactory system that can predict glomerular activity from odorant molecule structures. We also report on the learning and prediction ability of the proposed model.

  3. Neural activity triggers neuronal oxidative metabolism followed by astrocytic glycolysis.

    PubMed

    Kasischke, Karl A; Vishwasrao, Harshad D; Fisher, Patricia J; Zipfel, Warren R; Webb, Watt W

    2004-07-01

    We have found that two-photon fluorescence imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) provides the sensitivity and spatial three-dimensional resolution to resolve metabolic signatures in processes of astrocytes and neurons deep in highly scattering brain tissue slices. This functional imaging reveals spatiotemporal partitioning of glycolytic and oxidative metabolism between astrocytes and neurons during focal neural activity that establishes a unifying hypothesis for neurometabolic coupling in which early oxidative metabolism in neurons is eventually sustained by late activation of the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle. Our model integrates existing views of brain energy metabolism and is in accord with known macroscopic physiological changes in vivo. PMID:15232110

  4. Neural mechanisms by which gravitational stimuli and stress affect the secretion of renin and other hormones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ganong, William F.

    1987-01-01

    The present goal is to determine by the production of discrete lesions the parts of the hypothalamus and brainstem that are involved in serotonin-mediated increases in renin secretion. A variety of stimuli which act in different ways to increase renin stimuli were developed and standardized. The experiments with p-chloroamphetamine (PCA) demonstrated that there is a serotonergic pathway which projects from the dorsal raphe nuclei to the paraventricular nuclei and the vetromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus; that projection from paraventricular nuclei to the brainstem and spinal cord may be oxytocinergic; and that the pathway from the spinal cord to the renin secreting cells is sympathetic. The demonstration that paraventicular lesions lower circulating renin substrate is important because it raises the possibility that substrate secretion is under neural control, either via the pituitary or by direct neural pathways. The discovery that lesions of the ventromedial nuclei appear to abolish the increase in renin secretion produced by many different stimuli without affecting the concentration of renin substrate in the plasma makes the position of the hypothalamus in the regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance more prominent than previously suspected.

  5. An Affective Circumplex Model of Neural Systems Subserving Valence, Arousal, & Cognitive Overlay During the Appraisal of Emotional Faces

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Andrew J.; Posner, Jonathan; Gorman, Daniel; Colibazzi, Tiziano; Yu, Shan; Wang, Zhishun; Kangarlu, Alayar; Zhu, Hongtu; Russell, James; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2008-01-01

    Increasing evidence supports the existence of distinct neural systems that subserve two dimensions of affect – arousal and valence. Ten adult participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during which they were presented a range of standardized faces and then asked, during the scan, to rate the emotional expressions of the faces along the dimensions of arousal and valence. Lower ratings of arousal accompanied greater activity in the amygdala complex, cerebellum, dorsal pons, and right medial prefrontal cortex. More negative ratings of valence accompanied greater activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate and parietal cortices. Extreme ratings of valence (highly positive and highly negative ratings) accompanied greater activity in the temporal cortex and fusiform gyrus. Building on an empirical literature which suggests that the amygdala serves as a salience and ambiguity detector, we interpret our findings as showing that a face rated has having low arousal is more ambiguous and a face rated as having extreme valence is more personally salient. This explains how both low arousal and extreme valence lead to greater activation of an ambiguity/salience system subserved by the amygdala, cerebellum, and dorsal pons. In addition, the right medial prefrontal cortex appears to down-regulate individual ratings of arousal, whereas the fusiform and related temporal cortices seem to up-regulate individual assessments of extreme valence when individual ratings are studied relative to group reference ratings for each stimulus. The simultaneous assessment of the effects of arousal and valence proved essential for the identification of neural systems contributing to the processing of emotional faces. PMID:18440572

  6. COMT Val108/158 Met Genotype Affects Neural but not Cognitive Processing in Healthy Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Need, Anna C.; LaBar, Kevin S.; Waters-Metenier, Sheena; Cirulli, Elizabeth T.; Kragel, James; Goldstein, David B.; Cabeza, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    The relationship between cognition and a functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methlytransferase (COMT) gene, val108/158met, is one of debate in the literature. Furthermore, based on the dopaminergic differences associated with the COMT val108/158met genotype, neural differences during cognition may be present, regardless of genotypic differences in cognitive performance. To investigate these issues the current study aimed to 1) examine the effects of COMT genotype using a large sample of healthy individuals (n = 496–1218) and multiple cognitive measures, and using a subset of the sample (n = 22), 2) examine whether COMT genotype effects medial temporal lobe (MTL) and frontal activity during successful relational memory processing, and 3) investigate group differences in functional connectivity associated with successful relational memory processing. Results revealed no significant group difference in cognitive performance between COMT genotypes in any of the 19 cognitive measures. However, in the subset sample, COMT val homozygotes exhibited significantly decreased MTL and increased prefrontal activity during both successful relational encoding and retrieval, and reduced connectivity between these regions compared with met homozygotes. Taken together, the results suggest that although the COMT val108/158met genotype has no effect on cognitive behavioral measures in healthy individuals, it is associated with differences in neural process underlying cognitive output. PMID:19641018

  7. Static stretch affects neural stem cell differentiation in an extracellular matrix-dependent manner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arulmoli, Janahan; Pathak, Medha M.; McDonnell, Lisa P.; Nourse, Jamison L.; Tombola, Francesco; Earthman, James C.; Flanagan, Lisa A.

    2015-02-01

    Neural stem and progenitor cell (NSPC) fate is strongly influenced by mechanotransduction as modulation of substrate stiffness affects lineage choice. Other types of mechanical stimuli, such as stretch (tensile strain), occur during CNS development and trauma, but their consequences for NSPC differentiation have not been reported. We delivered a 10% static equibiaxial stretch to NSPCs and examined effects on differentiation. We found static stretch specifically impacts NSPC differentiation into oligodendrocytes, but not neurons or astrocytes, and this effect is dependent on particular extracellular matrix (ECM)-integrin linkages. Generation of oligodendrocytes from NSPCs was reduced on laminin, an outcome likely mediated by the α6 laminin-binding integrin, whereas similar effects were not observed for NSPCs on fibronectin. Our data demonstrate a direct role for tensile strain in dictating the lineage choice of NSPCs and indicate the dependence of this phenomenon on specific substrate materials, which should be taken into account for the design of biomaterials for NSPC transplantation.

  8. Language affects patterns of brain activation associated with perceptual decision.

    PubMed

    Tan, Li Hai; Chan, Alice H D; Kay, Paul; Khong, Pek-Lan; Yip, Lawrance K C; Luke, Kang-Kwong

    2008-03-11

    Well over half a century ago, Benjamin Lee Whorf [Carroll JB (1956) Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA)] proposed that language affects perception and thought and is used to segment nature, a hypothesis that has since been tested by linguistic and behavioral studies. Although clear Whorfian effects have been found, it has not yet been demonstrated that language influences brain activity associated with perception and/or immediate postperceptual processes (referred hereafter as "perceptual decision"). Here, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that brain regions mediating language processes participate in neural networks activated by perceptual decision. When subjects performed a perceptual discrimination task on easy-to-name and hard-to-name colored squares, largely overlapping cortical regions were identified, which included areas of the occipital cortex critical for color vision and regions in the bilateral frontal gyrus. Crucially, however, in comparison with hard-to-name colored squares, perceptual discrimination of easy-to-name colors evoked stronger activation in the left posterior superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule, two regions responsible for word-finding processes, as demonstrated by a localizer experiment that uses an explicit color patch naming task. This finding suggests that the language-processing areas of the brain are directly involved in visual perceptual decision, thus providing neuroimaging support for the Whorf hypothesis. PMID:18316728

  9. Inference of other's internal neural models from active observation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyung-Joong; Cho, Sung-Bae

    2015-02-01

    Recently, there have been several attempts to replicate theory of mind, which explains how humans infer the mental states of other people using multiple sensory input, with artificial systems. One example of this is a robot that observes the behavior of other artificial systems and infers their internal models, mapping sensory inputs to the actuator's control signals. In this paper, we present the internal model as an artificial neural network, similar to biological systems. During inference, an observer can use an active incremental learning algorithm to guess an actor's internal neural model. This could significantly reduce the effort needed to guess other people's internal models. We apply an algorithm to the actor-observer robot scenarios with/without prior knowledge of the internal models. To validate our approach, we use a physics-based simulator with virtual robots. A series of experiments reveal that the observer robot can construct an "other's self-model", validating the possibility that a neural-based approach can be used as a platform for learning cognitive functions. PMID:25617791

  10. Error-related electromyographic activity over the corrugator supercilii is associated with neural performance monitoring.

    PubMed

    Elkins-Brown, Nathaniel; Saunders, Blair; Inzlicht, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Emerging research in social and affective neuroscience has implicated a role for affect and motivation in performance monitoring and cognitive control. No study, however, has investigated whether facial electromyography (EMG) over the corrugator supercilii-a measure associated with negative affect and the exertion of effort-is related to neural performance monitoring. Here, we explored these potential relationships by simultaneously measuring the error-related negativity, error positivity (Pe), and facial EMG over the corrugator supercilii muscle during a punished, inhibitory control task. We found evidence for increased facial EMG activity over the corrugator immediately following error responses, and this activity was related to the Pe for both between- and within-subject analyses. These results are consistent with the idea that early, avoidance-motivated processes are associated with performance monitoring, and that such processes may also be related to orienting toward errors, the emergence of error awareness, or both. PMID:26470645

  11. Dietary blueberry supplementation affects growth but not vascularization of neural transplants

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Lauren M; Small, Brent J; Bickford, Paula C; Umphlet, Claudia D; Moore, Alfred B; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte E

    2009-01-01

    Transplantation of neural tissue has been attempted as a treatment method for neurodegenerative disorders. Grafted neurons survive to a lesser extent into middle-aged or aged hosts, and survival rates of < 10% of grafted neurons is common. Antioxidant diets, such as blueberry, can exert powerful effects on developing neurons and blood vessels in vitro, but studies are lacking that examine the effects of these diets on transplanted tissues. In this study, we examined the effects of a blueberry diet on survival, growth, and vascularization of fetal hippocampal tissue to the anterior chamber of the eye of young or middle-aged female rats. Previous work from our group showed significant increase in neuronal survival and development with blueberry diet in grafts. However, the effects of antioxidant diet on vascular development in grafts have not been explored previously. The age of the host affected individual vessel morphology in that aged hosts contained grafts with thick, undeveloped walls, and wider lumen. The blood–brain barrier also appeared to be affected by the age of the host. The blueberry diet did not affect vessel morphology or density of vessel-associated protein markers but gave rise to significantly increased growth capacity, cytoarchitecture, and the final size of hippocampal grafts. PMID:18285804

  12. Motor Neuron Activation in Peripheral Nerves Using Infrared Neural Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, EJ; Tyler, DJ

    2014-01-01

    Objective Localized activation of peripheral axons may improve selectivity of peripheral nerve interfaces. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) employs localized delivery to activate neural tissue. This study investigated INS to determine whether localized delivery limited functionality in larger mammalian nerves. Approach The rabbit sciatic nerve was stimulated extraneurally with 1875 nm-wavelength infrared light, electrical stimulation, or a combination of both. Infrared-sensitive regions (ISR) of the nerve surface and electromyogram (EMG) recruitment of the Medial Gastrocnemius, Lateral Gastrocnemius, Soleus, and Tibialis Anterior were the primary output measures. Stimulation applied included infrared-only, electrical-only, and combined infrared and electrical. Main results 81% of nerves tested were sensitive to INS, with 1.7± 0.5 ISR detected per nerve. INS was selective to a single muscle within 81% of identified ISR. Activation energy threshold did not change significantly with stimulus power, but motor activation decreased significantly when radiant power was decreased. Maximum INS levels typically recruited up to 2–9% of any muscle. Combined infrared and electrical stimulation differed significantly from electrical recruitment in 7% of cases. Significance The observed selectivity of INS indicates it may be useful in augmenting rehabilitation, but significant challenges remain in increasing sensitivity and response magnitude to improve the functionality of INS. PMID:24310923

  13. Motor neuron activation in peripheral nerves using infrared neural stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, E. J.; Tyler, D. J.

    2014-02-01

    Objective. Localized activation of peripheral axons may improve selectivity of peripheral nerve interfaces. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) employs localized delivery to activate neural tissue. This study investigated INS to determine whether localized delivery limited functionality in larger mammalian nerves. Approach. The rabbit sciatic nerve was stimulated extraneurally with 1875 nm wavelength infrared light, electrical stimulation, or a combination of both. Infrared-sensitive regions (ISR) of the nerve surface and electromyogram (EMG) recruitment of the Medial Gastrocnemius, Lateral Gastrocnemius, Soleus, and Tibialis Anterior were the primary output measures. Stimulation applied included infrared-only, electrical-only, and combined infrared and electrical. Main results. 81% of nerves tested were sensitive to INS, with 1.7 ± 0.5 ISR detected per nerve. INS was selective to a single muscle within 81% of identified ISR. Activation energy threshold did not change significantly with stimulus power, but motor activation decreased significantly when radiant power was decreased. Maximum INS levels typically recruited up to 2-9% of any muscle. Combined infrared and electrical stimulation differed significantly from electrical recruitment in 7% of cases. Significance. The observed selectivity of INS indicates that it may be useful in augmenting rehabilitation, but significant challenges remain in increasing sensitivity and response magnitude to improve the functionality of INS.

  14. Infrared neural stimulation fails to evoke neural activity in the deaf guinea pig cochlea.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Alexander C; Fallon, James B; Wise, Andrew K; Wade, Scott A; Shepherd, Robert K; Stoddart, Paul R

    2015-06-01

    At present there is some debate as to the processes by which infrared neural stimulation (INS) activates neurons in the cochlea, as the lasers used for INS can potentially generate a range of secondary stimuli e.g. an acoustic stimulus is produced when the light is absorbed by water. To clarify whether INS in the cochlea requires functioning hair cells and to explore the potential relevance to cochlear implants, experiments using INS were performed in the cochleae of both normal hearing and profoundly deaf guinea pigs. A response to laser stimulation was readily evoked in normal hearing cochlea. However, no response was evoked in any profoundly deaf cochleae, for either acute or chronic deafening, contrary to previous work where a response was observed after acute deafening with ototoxic drugs. A neural response to electrical stimulation was readily evoked in all cochleae after deafening. The absence of a response from optical stimuli in profoundly deaf cochleae suggests that the response from INS in the cochlea is hair cell mediated. PMID:25796297

  15. Supervised learning for neural manifold using spatiotemporal brain activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Po-Chih; Chen, Yong-Sheng; Chen, Li-Fen

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Determining the means by which perceived stimuli are compactly represented in the human brain is a difficult task. This study aimed to develop techniques for the construction of the neural manifold as a representation of visual stimuli. Approach. We propose a supervised locally linear embedding method to construct the embedded manifold from brain activity, taking into account similarities between corresponding stimuli. In our experiments, photographic portraits were used as visual stimuli and brain activity was calculated from magnetoencephalographic data using a source localization method. Main results. The results of 10 × 10-fold cross-validation revealed a strong correlation between manifolds of brain activity and the orientation of faces in the presented images, suggesting that high-level information related to image content can be revealed in the brain responses represented in the manifold. Significance. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is applicable to investigation into the inherent patterns of brain activity.

  16. Spontaneous neural activity in the primary visual cortex of retinal degenerated rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Chen, Ke; Xu, Ping; Ng, Tsz Kin; Chan, Leanne Lai Hang

    2016-06-01

    Retinal degeneration (RD) models have been widely used to study retinal degenerative diseases for a long time. The biological and electrophysiological presentations of changes in the retina during degeneration progress have been well investigated; thus, the present study is aimed at investigating the electrophysiological effects of RD in the primary visual cortex. We extracellularly recorded the spontaneous neural activities in the primary visual cortex of RD rats. The firing rate, interspike interval (ISI) and Lempel-Ziv (LZ) complexity of spontaneous neural activities were subsequently analyzed. When compared to the control group, it was found that the neurons in primary visual cortex of the RD model fired more frequently. In addition, there was a decrease in LZ complexity of spontaneous neural firing in the RD model. These results suggest that the progress of RD may not only affect the retina itself but also the primary visual cortex, which may result in an unbalanced inhibition-excitation system as well as the decreased arising rate of new patterns of spontaneous activities. PMID:27132087

  17. Tools for Resolving Functional Activity and Connectivity within Intact Neural Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Jennings, Joshua H.; Stuber, Garret D.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian neural circuits are sophisticated biological systems that choreograph behavioral processes vital for survival. While the inherent complexity of discrete neural circuits has proven difficult to decipher, many parallel methodological developments promise to help delineate the function and connectivity of molecularly defined neural circuits. Here, we review recent technological advances designed to precisely monitor and manipulate neural circuit activity. We propose a holistic, multifaceted approach for unraveling how behavioral states are manifested through the cooperative interactions between discrete neurocircuit elements. PMID:24405680

  18. Brain Activity, Personality Traits and Affect: Electrocortical Activity in Reaction to Affective Film Stimuli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makvand Hosseini, Sh.; Azad Fallah, P.; Rasoolzadeh Tabatabaei, S. K.; Ghannadyan Ladani, S. H.; Heise, C.

    We studied the patterns of activation over the cerebral cortex in reaction to affective film stimuli in four groups of extroverts, introverts, neurotics and emotionally stables. Measures of extraversion and neuroticism were collected and resting EEG was recorded from 40 right handed undergraduate female students (19-23) on one occasion for five 30s periods in baseline condition and in affective states. Mean log-transformed absolute alpha power was extracted from 12 electrode sites and analyzed. Patterns of activation were different in personality groups. Different patterns of asymmetries were observed in personality groups in reaction to affective stimuli. Results were partly consistent with approach and withdrawal model and provided supportive evidence for the role of right frontal asymmetry in negative affects in two groups (introverts and emotionally stables) as well as the role of right central asymmetry (increase on right and decrease on left) in active affective states (anxiety and happiness) in all personality groups. Results were also emphasized on the role of decrease activity relative to baseline in cortical regions (bilaterally in frontal and unilaterally in left parietal and temporal regions) in moderating of positive and negative emotion.

  19. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis of optogenetic modulation of neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Gu, L.; Ghosh, N.; Mohanty, S. K.

    2013-02-01

    Here, we introduce a computational procedure to examine whether optogenetically activated neuronal firing recordings could be characterized as multifractal series. Optogenetics is emerging as a valuable experimental tool and a promising approach for studying a variety of neurological disorders in animal models. The spiking patterns from cortical region of the brain of optogenetically-stimulated transgenic mice were analyzed using a sophisticated fluctuation analysis method known as multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA). We observed that the optogenetically-stimulated neural firings are consistent with a multifractal process. Further, we used MFDFA to monitor the effect of chemically induced pain (formalin injection) and optogenetic treatment used to relieve the pain. In this case, dramatic changes in parameters characterizing a multifractal series were observed. Both the generalized Hurst exponent and width of singularity spectrum effectively differentiates the neural activities during control and pain induction phases. The quantitative nature of the analysis equips us with better measures to quantify pain. Further, it provided a measure for effectiveness of the optogenetic stimulation in inhibiting pain. MFDFA-analysis of spiking data from other deep regions of the brain also turned out to be multifractal in nature, with subtle differences in the parameters during pain-induction by formalin injection and inhibition by optogenetic stimulation. Characterization of neuronal firing patterns using MFDFA will lead to better understanding of neuronal response to optogenetic activation and overall circuitry involved in the process.

  20. The neural mechanisms underlying the aging-related enhancement of positive affects: electrophysiological evidences

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Xianxin; Yang, Jiemin; Cai, AYan; Ding, XinSheng; Liu, Wenwen; Li, Hong; Yuan, JiaJin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies reported that old adults, relative to young adults, showed improvement of emotional stability and increased experiences of positive affects. Methods: In order to better understand the neural underpinnings behind the aging-related enhancement of positive affects, it is necessary to investigate whether old and young adults differ in the threshold of eliciting positive or negative emotional reactions. However, no studies have examined emotional reaction differences between old and young adults by manipulating the intensity of emotional stimuli to date. To clarify this issue, the present study examined the impact of aging on the brain’s susceptibility to affective pictures of varying emotional intensities. We recorded event-related potentials (ERP) for highly negative (HN), mildly negative (MN) and neutral pictures in the negative experimental block; and for highly positive (HP), mildly positive (MP) and neutral pictures in the positive experimental block, when young and old adults were required to count the number of pictures, irrespective of the emotionality of the pictures. Results: Event-related potentials results showed that LPP (late positive potentials) amplitudes were larger for HN and MN stimuli compared to neutral stimuli in young adults, but not in old adults. By contrast, old adults displayed larger LPP amplitudes for HP and MP relative to neutral stimuli, while these effects were absent for young adults. In addition, old adults reported more frequent perception of positive stimuli and less frequent perception of negative stimuli than young adults. The post-experiment stimulus assessment showed more positive ratings of Neutral and MP stimuli, and reduced arousal ratings of HN stimuli in old compared to young adults. Conclusion: These results suggest that old adults are more resistant to the impact of negative stimuli, while they are equipped with enhanced attentional bias for positive stimuli. The implications of these results

  1. Healthy Adolescents' Neural Response to Reward: Associations with Puberty, Positive Affect, and Depressive Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Erika E.; Ryan, Neal D.; Phillips, Mary L.; Manuck, Stephen B.; Worthman, Carol M.; Moyles, Donna L.; Tarr, Jill A.; Sciarrillo, Samantha R.; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2009-01-01

    Objective Changes in reward-related behavior are an important component of normal adolescent affective development. Understanding the neural underpinnings of these normative changes creates a foundation for investigating adolescence as a period of vulnerability to affective disorders, substance use disorders, and health problems. Studies of reward-related brain function have revealed conflicting findings regarding developmental change in the reactivity of the striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and have not considered puberty. The current study focused on puberty-specific changes in brain function and their association with mood. Method A sample of 77 healthy adolescents (26 pre/early pubertal, 51 mid/late pubertal) recruited in a narrow age range (M=11.94 years, SD=.75) were assessed for sexual maturation and circulating testosterone, completed an fMRI guessing task with monetary reward, and underwent experience sampling of mood in natural environments. For comparison, 19 healthy adults completed the fMRI assessment. Results Adolescents with more advanced pubertal maturation exhibited less striatal and more mPFC reactivity during reward outcome than similarly aged adolescents with less advanced maturation. Testosterone was positively correlated with striatal reactivity in boys during reward anticipation and negatively correlated with striatal reactivity in girls and boys during reward outcome. Striatal reactivity was positively correlated with real-world subjective positive affect and negatively correlated with depressive symptoms. mPFC reactivity was positively correlated with depressive symptoms. Conclusions Reward-related brain function changes with puberty and is associated with adolescents' positive affect and depressive symptoms. Increased reward-seeking behavior at this developmental point could serve to compensate for these changes. PMID:20215938

  2. Afferent vagal nerve stimulation resets baroreflex neural arc and inhibits sympathetic nerve activity

    PubMed Central

    Saku, Keita; Kishi, Takuya; Sakamoto, Kazuo; Hosokawa, Kazuya; Sakamoto, Takafumi; Murayama, Yoshinori; Kakino, Takamori; Ikeda, Masataka; Ide, Tomomi; Sunagawa, Kenji

    2014-01-01

    Abstract It has been established that vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) benefits patients and/or animals with heart failure. However, the impact of VNS on sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) remains unknown. In this study, we investigated how vagal afferent stimulation (AVNS) impacts baroreflex control of SNA. In 12 anesthetized Sprague–Dawley rats, we controlled the pressure in isolated bilateral carotid sinuses (CSP), and measured splanchnic SNA and arterial pressure (AP). Under a constant CSP, increasing the voltage of AVNS dose dependently decreased SNA and AP. The averaged maximal inhibition of SNA was ‐28.0 ± 10.3%. To evaluate the dynamic impacts of AVNS on SNA, we performed random AVNS using binary white noise sequences, and identified the transfer function from AVNS to SNA and that from SNA to AP. We also identified transfer functions of the native baroreflex from CSP to SNA (neural arc) and from SNA to AP (peripheral arc). The transfer function from AVNS to SNA strikingly resembled the baroreflex neural arc and the transfer functions of SNA to AP were indistinguishable whether we perturbed ANVS or CSP, indicating that they likely share common central and peripheral neural mechanisms. To examine the impact of AVNS on baroreflex, we changed CSP stepwise and measured SNA and AP responses with or without AVNS. AVNS resets the sigmoidal neural arc downward, but did not affect the linear peripheral arc. In conclusion, AVNS resets the baroreflex neural arc and induces sympathoinhibition in the same manner as the control of SNA and AP by the native baroreflex. PMID:25194023

  3. Temperature systematically modifies neural activity for sweet taste

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Temperature can modify neural and behavioral responses to taste stimuli that elicit “sweetness,” a perception linked to intake of calorie-laden foods. However, the role of temperature in the neural representation of sweet taste is poorly understood. Here we made electrophysiological recordings from gustatory neurons in the medulla of inbred mice to study how adjustments in taste solution temperature to cool (18°C), ambient (22°C), and warm (30°C and 37°C) values changed the magnitude and latency of gustatory activity to sucrose (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.17, 0.31, and 0.56 M). Analysis of 22 sucrose-best neurons revealed that temperature markedly influenced responses to sucrose, which, across concentrations, were largest when solutions were warmed to 30°C. However, reducing solution temperature from warm to ambient to cool progressively steepened the slope of the sucrose concentration-response function computed across cells (P < 0.05), indicating that mean activity to sucrose increased more rapidly with concentration steps under cooling than with warming. Thus the slope of the sucrose concentration-response function shows an inverse relation with temperature. Temperature also influenced latency to the first spike of the sucrose response. Across neurons, latencies were shorter when sucrose solutions were warmed and longer, by hundreds of milliseconds, when solutions were cooled (P < 0.05), indicating that temperature is also a temporal parameter of sucrose activity. Our findings reveal that temperature systematically modifies the timing of gustatory activity to sucrose in the mammalian brain and how this activity changes with concentration. Results further highlight how oral somatosensory cues function as physiological modulators of gustatory processing. PMID:24966301

  4. Fast calcium sensor proteins for monitoring neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Badura, Aleksandra; Sun, Xiaonan Richard; Giovannucci, Andrea; Lynch, Laura A.; Wang, Samuel S.-H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. A major goal of the BRAIN Initiative is the development of technologies to monitor neuronal network activity during active information processing. Toward this goal, genetically encoded calcium indicator proteins have become widely used for reporting activity in preparations ranging from invertebrates to awake mammals. However, slow response times, the narrow sensitivity range of Ca2+ and in some cases, poor signal-to-noise ratio still limit their usefulness. Here, we review recent improvements in the field of neural activity-sensitive probe design with a focus on the GCaMP family of calcium indicator proteins. In this context, we present our newly developed Fast-GCaMPs, which have up to 4-fold accelerated off-responses compared with the next-fastest GCaMP, GCaMP6f. Fast-GCaMPs were designed by destabilizing the association of the hydrophobic pocket of calcium-bound calmodulin with the RS20 binding domain, an intramolecular interaction that protects the green fluorescent protein chromophore. Fast-GCaMP6f-RS06 and Fast-GCaMP6f-RS09 have rapid off-responses in stopped-flow fluorimetry, in neocortical brain slices, and in the intact cerebellum in vivo. Fast-GCaMP6f variants should be useful for tracking action potentials closely spaced in time, and for following neural activity in fast-changing compartments, such as axons and dendrites. Finally, we discuss strategies that may allow tracking of a wider range of neuronal firing rates and improve spike detection. PMID:25558464

  5. Rejuvenation of MPTP-induced human neural precursor cell senescence by activating autophagy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Liang; Dong, Chuanming; Sun, Chenxi; Ma, Rongjie; Yang, Danjing; Zhu, Hongwen; Xu, Jun

    2015-08-21

    Aging of neural stem cell, which can affect brain homeostasis, may be caused by many cellular mechanisms. Autophagy dysfunction was found in aged and neurodegenerative brains. However, little is known about the relationship between autophagy and human neural stem cell (hNSC) aging. The present study used 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to treat neural precursor cells (NPCs) derived from human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line H9 and investigate related molecular mechanisms involved in this process. MPTP-treated NPCs were found to undergo premature senescence [determined by increased senescence-associated-β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species level, and decreased proliferation] and were associated with impaired autophagy. Additionally, the cellular senescence phenotypes were manifested at the molecular level by a significant increase in p21 and p53 expression, a decrease in SOD2 expression, and a decrease in expression of some key autophagy-related genes such as Atg5, Atg7, Atg12, and Beclin 1. Furthermore, we found that the senescence-like phenotype of MPTP-treated hNPCs was rejuvenated through treatment with a well-known autophagy enhancer rapamycin, which was blocked by suppression of essential autophagy gene Beclin 1. Taken together, these findings reveal the critical role of autophagy in the process of hNSC aging, and this process can be reversed by activating autophagy. - Highlights: • We successfully establish hESC-derived neural precursor cells. • MPTP treatment induced senescence-like state in hESC-derived NPCs. • MPTP treatment induced impaired autophagy of hESC-derived NPCs. • MPTP-induced hESC-derived NPC senescence was rejuvenated by activating autophagy.

  6. Visualization and Manipulation of Neural Activity in the Developing Vertebrate Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiayi; Ackman, James B.; Dhande, Onkar S.; Crair, Michael C.

    2011-01-01

    Neural activity during vertebrate development has been unambiguously shown to play a critical role in sculpting circuit formation and function. Patterned neural activity in various parts of the developing nervous system is thought to modulate neurite outgrowth, axon targeting, and synapse refinement. The nature and role of patterned neural activity during development has been classically studied with in vitro preparations using pharmacological manipulations. In this review we discuss newly available and developing molecular–genetic tools for the visualization and manipulation of neural activity patterns specifically during development. PMID:22121343

  7. Prenatal and acute cocaine exposure affects neural responses and habituation to visual stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Riley, Elizabeth; Kopotiyenko, Konstantin; Zhdanova, Irina

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants have many effects on visual function, from adverse following acute and prenatal exposure to therapeutic on attention deficit. To determine the impact of prenatal and acute cocaine exposure on visual processing, we studied neuronal responses to visual stimuli in two brain regions of a transgenic larval zebrafish expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP-HS. We found that both red light (LF) and dark (DF) flashes elicited similar responses in the optic tectum neuropil (TOn), while the dorsal telencephalon (dTe) responded only to LF. Acute cocaine (0.5 μM) reduced neuronal responses to LF in both brain regions but did not affect responses to DF. Repeated stimulus presentation (RSP) led to habituation of dTe neurons to LF. Acute cocaine prevented habituation. TOn habituated to DF, but not LF, and DF habituation was not modified by cocaine. Remarkably, prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) prevented the effects of acute cocaine on LF response amplitude and habituation later in development in both brain regions, but did not affect DF responses. We discovered that, in spite of similar neural responses to LF and DF in the TO (superior colliculus in mammals), responses to LF are more complex, involving dTe (homologous to the cerebral cortex), and are more vulnerable to cocaine. Our results demonstrate that acute cocaine exposure affects visual processing differentially by brain region, and that PCE modifies zebrafish visual processing in multiple structures in a stimulus-dependent manner. These findings are in accordance with the major role that the optic tectum and cerebral cortex play in sustaining visual attention, and support the hypothesis that modification of these areas by PCE may be responsible for visual deficits noted in humans. This model offers new methodological approaches for studying the adverse and therapeutic effects of psychostimulants on attention, and for the development of new pharmacological interventions. PMID:26379509

  8. Prenatal and acute cocaine exposure affects neural responses and habituation to visual stimuli.

    PubMed

    Riley, Elizabeth; Kopotiyenko, Konstantin; Zhdanova, Irina

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants have many effects on visual function, from adverse following acute and prenatal exposure to therapeutic on attention deficit. To determine the impact of prenatal and acute cocaine exposure on visual processing, we studied neuronal responses to visual stimuli in two brain regions of a transgenic larval zebrafish expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP-HS. We found that both red light (LF) and dark (DF) flashes elicited similar responses in the optic tectum neuropil (TOn), while the dorsal telencephalon (dTe) responded only to LF. Acute cocaine (0.5 μM) reduced neuronal responses to LF in both brain regions but did not affect responses to DF. Repeated stimulus presentation (RSP) led to habituation of dTe neurons to LF. Acute cocaine prevented habituation. TOn habituated to DF, but not LF, and DF habituation was not modified by cocaine. Remarkably, prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) prevented the effects of acute cocaine on LF response amplitude and habituation later in development in both brain regions, but did not affect DF responses. We discovered that, in spite of similar neural responses to LF and DF in the TO (superior colliculus in mammals), responses to LF are more complex, involving dTe (homologous to the cerebral cortex), and are more vulnerable to cocaine. Our results demonstrate that acute cocaine exposure affects visual processing differentially by brain region, and that PCE modifies zebrafish visual processing in multiple structures in a stimulus-dependent manner. These findings are in accordance with the major role that the optic tectum and cerebral cortex play in sustaining visual attention, and support the hypothesis that modification of these areas by PCE may be responsible for visual deficits noted in humans. This model offers new methodological approaches for studying the adverse and therapeutic effects of psychostimulants on attention, and for the development of new pharmacological interventions. PMID:26379509

  9. Conditions of activity bubble uniqueness in dynamic neural fields.

    PubMed

    Mikhailova, Inna; Goerick, Christian

    2005-02-01

    Dynamic neural fields (DNFs) offer a rich spectrum of dynamic properties like hysteresis, spatiotemporal information integration, and coexistence of multiple attractors. These properties make DNFs more and more popular in implementations of sensorimotor loops for autonomous systems. Applications often imply that DNFs should have only one compact region of firing neurons (activity bubble), whereas the rest of the field should not fire (e.g., if the field represents motor commands). In this article we prove the conditions of activity bubble uniqueness in the case of locally symmetric input bubbles. The qualitative condition on inhomogeneous inputs used in earlier work on DNFs is transfered to a quantitative condition of a balance between the internal dynamics and the input. The mathematical analysis is carried out for the two-dimensional case with methods that can be extended to more than two dimensions. The article concludes with an example of how our theoretical results facilitate the practical use of DNFs. PMID:15685393

  10. Independent Components of Neural Activity Carry Information on Individual Populations

    PubMed Central

    Głąbska, Helena; Potworowski, Jan; Łęski, Szymon; Wójcik, Daniel K.

    2014-01-01

    Local field potential (LFP), the low-frequency part of the potential recorded extracellularly in the brain, reflects neural activity at the population level. The interpretation of LFP is complicated because it can mix activity from remote cells, on the order of millimeters from the electrode. To understand better the relation between the recordings and the local activity of cells we used a large-scale network thalamocortical model to compute simultaneous LFP, transmembrane currents, and spiking activity. We used this model to study the information contained in independent components obtained from the reconstructed Current Source Density (CSD), which smooths transmembrane currents, decomposed further with Independent Component Analysis (ICA). We found that the three most robust components matched well the activity of two dominating cell populations: superior pyramidal cells in layer 2/3 (rhythmic spiking) and tufted pyramids from layer 5 (intrinsically bursting). The pyramidal population from layer 2/3 could not be well described as a product of spatial profile and temporal activation, but by a sum of two such products which we recovered in two of the ICA components in our analysis, which correspond to the two first principal components of PCA decomposition of layer 2/3 population activity. At low noise one more cell population could be discerned but it is unlikely that it could be recovered in experiment given typical noise ranges. PMID:25153730

  11. Endogenous testosterone levels are associated with neural activity in men with schizophrenia during facial emotion processing.

    PubMed

    Ji, Ellen; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Lenroot, Rhoshel; Catts, Stanley V; Vercammen, Ans; White, Christopher; Gur, Raquel E; Weickert, Thomas W

    2015-06-01

    Growing evidence suggests that testosterone may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia given that testosterone has been linked to cognition and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Here, we determine the extent to which serum testosterone levels are related to neural activity in affective processing circuitry in men with schizophrenia. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal changes as 32 healthy controls and 26 people with schizophrenia performed a facial emotion identification task. Whole brain analyses were performed to determine regions of differential activity between groups during processing of angry versus non-threatening faces. A follow-up ROI analysis using a regression model in a subset of 16 healthy men and 16 men with schizophrenia was used to determine the extent to which serum testosterone levels were related to neural activity. Healthy controls displayed significantly greater activation than people with schizophrenia in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). There was no significant difference in circulating testosterone levels between healthy men and men with schizophrenia. Regression analyses between activation in the IFG and circulating testosterone levels revealed a significant positive correlation in men with schizophrenia (r=.63, p=.01) and no significant relationship in healthy men. This study provides the first evidence that circulating serum testosterone levels are related to IFG activation during emotion face processing in men with schizophrenia but not in healthy men, which suggests that testosterone levels modulate neural processes relevant to facial emotion processing that may interfere with social functioning in men with schizophrenia. PMID:25796490

  12. A Neural Mechanism for Nonconscious Activation of Conditioned Placebo and Nocebo Responses.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Karin B; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Chen, Xiaoyan; Kirsch, Irving; Ingvar, Martin; Gollub, Randy L; Kong, Jian

    2015-10-01

    Fundamental aspects of human behavior operate outside of conscious awareness. Yet, theories of conditioned responses in humans, such as placebo and nocebo effects on pain, have a strong emphasis on conscious recognition of contextual cues that trigger the response. Here, we investigated the neural pathways involved in nonconscious activation of conditioned pain responses, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy participants. Nonconscious compared with conscious activation of conditioned placebo analgesia was associated with increased activation of the orbitofrontal cortex, a structure with direct connections to affective brain regions and basic reward processing. During nonconscious nocebo, there was increased activation of the thalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. In contrast to previous assumptions about conditioning in humans, our results show that conditioned pain responses can be elicited independently of conscious awareness and our results suggest a hierarchical activation of neural pathways for nonconscious and conscious conditioned responses. Demonstrating that the human brain has a nonconscious mechanism for responding to conditioned cues has major implications for the role of associative learning in behavioral medicine and psychiatry. Our results may also open up for novel approaches to translational animal-to-human research since human consciousness and animal cognition is an inherent paradox in all behavioral science. PMID:25452576

  13. A Neural Mechanism for Nonconscious Activation of Conditioned Placebo and Nocebo Responses

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Karin B.; Kaptchuk, Ted J.; Chen, Xiaoyan; Kirsch, Irving; Ingvar, Martin; Gollub, Randy L.; Kong, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Fundamental aspects of human behavior operate outside of conscious awareness. Yet, theories of conditioned responses in humans, such as placebo and nocebo effects on pain, have a strong emphasis on conscious recognition of contextual cues that trigger the response. Here, we investigated the neural pathways involved in nonconscious activation of conditioned pain responses, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy participants. Nonconscious compared with conscious activation of conditioned placebo analgesia was associated with increased activation of the orbitofrontal cortex, a structure with direct connections to affective brain regions and basic reward processing. During nonconscious nocebo, there was increased activation of the thalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. In contrast to previous assumptions about conditioning in humans, our results show that conditioned pain responses can be elicited independently of conscious awareness and our results suggest a hierarchical activation of neural pathways for nonconscious and conscious conditioned responses. Demonstrating that the human brain has a nonconscious mechanism for responding to conditioned cues has major implications for the role of associative learning in behavioral medicine and psychiatry. Our results may also open up for novel approaches to translational animal-to-human research since human consciousness and animal cognition is an inherent paradox in all behavioral science. PMID:25452576

  14. Changes in spontaneous neural activity immediately after an acoustic trauma: implications for neural correlates of tinnitus.

    PubMed

    Noreña, A J; Eggermont, J J

    2003-09-01

    Changes in spontaneous activity, recorded over 15-min periods before, immediately after and within hours after an acute acoustic trauma, were studied in primary auditory cortex of ketamine-anesthetized cats. We focused on the spontaneous firing rate (SFR), the peak cross-correlation coefficient (rho) and burst-firing activity. Multi-units (MUs) were grouped according to characteristic frequency (CF): MUs with a CF below the trauma-tone frequency (TF) were labeled as Be, those with a CF within 1 octave above the TF were labeled as Ab1 and those with a CF more than 1 octave above the TF were labeled as Ab2. Immediately after the trauma, the SFR was not significantly changed. The percentage of time that neurons were bursting, the mean burst duration, the number of spikes per burst and the mean inter-spike interval in a burst were enhanced. rho was locally increased in the Ab1-Ab2 and Ab2-Ab2 groups. A few hours post trauma, the SFR was increased in the Be and Ab2 groups, whereas burst-firing returned to pre-exposure levels. Moreover, rho was elevated in the Be-Ab2, Ab1-Ab2 and Ab2-Ab2 groups; this increase was significantly correlated to the changes in SFR. The results are discussed in the context of a neural correlate of tinnitus. PMID:13679145

  15. Maternal vitamin levels in pregnancies affected by congenital malformations other than neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Marie; Mills, James L.; Molloy, Anne M.; Troendle, James F.; Brody, Lawrence C.; Conley, Mary; Mc Donnell, Robert; Scott, John M.; Kirke, Peadar N.

    2012-01-01

    Background Periconceptional use of folic acid prevents most neural tube defects (NTDs). Whether folic acid and/or multivitamins can prevent other congenital anomalies is not clear. This study tested whether maternal blood levels of folate and vitamin B12 in pregnancies affected by congenital malformations excluding NTDs are lower when compared to non-affected pregnancies. Methods We measured pregnancy red cell folate (RCF), vitamin B12, and homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in blood samples taken at the first antenatal clinic in Dublin maternity hospitals in 1986–1990 when vitamin supplementation was rare. The cases were mothers who delivered a baby with a congenital malformation other than NTD identified by the Dublin EUROCAT Registry; controls were a systematic sample of mothers of offspring without congenital malformations from the same hospitals in the same time period. Results The median maternal levels of RCF and tHcy did not differ significantly between cases and controls for any of the congenital malformation groups examined (RCF: all malformations 275.9 ug/L v controls 271.2; p=0.77; tHcy: all malformations 7.5 umol/L v controls 7.6; p=0.57). In an unadjusted analysis vitamin B12 was significantly higher in case-mothers whose babies had cleft palate only (p=0.006), musculoskeletal malformations (p=0.034) and midline defects (p=0.039) but not after adjustment for multiple testing. Conclusions Our data suggest that low maternal folate and B12 levels or high tHcy levels in early pregnancy are not associated with all congenital malformations excluding NTDs. Fortification with folic acid or B12 may not have a beneficial effect in the prevention of these anomalies. PMID:21591245

  16. Perceptual Salience and Reward Both Influence Feedback-Related Neural Activity Arising from Choice.

    PubMed

    Lou, Bin; Hsu, Wha-Yin; Sajda, Paul

    2015-09-23

    For day-to-day decisions, multiple factors influence our choice between alternatives. Two dimensions of decision making that substantially affect choice are the objective perceptual properties of the stimulus (e.g., salience) and its subjective value. Here we measure EEGs in human subjects to relate their feedback-evoked EEG responses to estimates of prediction error given a neurally derived expected value for each trial. Unlike in traditional reinforcement learning paradigms, in our experiment the reward itself is not probabilistic; rather, it is a fixed value, which, when combined with the variable stimulus salience, yields uncertainty in the choice. We find that feedback-evoked event-related potentials (ERPs), specifically those classically termed feedback-related negativity, are modulated by both the reward level and stimulus salience. Using single-trial analysis of the EEG, we show stimulus-locked EEG components reflecting perceived stimulus salience can be combined with the level of reward to create an estimate of expected reward. This expected reward is used to form a prediction error that correlates with the trial-by-trial variability of the feedback ERPs for negative, but not positive, feedback. This suggests that the valence of prediction error is more important than the valence of the actual feedback, since only positive rewards were delivered in the experiment (no penalty or loss). Finally, we show that these subjectively defined prediction errors are informative of the riskiness of the subject's choice on the subsequent trial. In summary, our work shows that neural correlates of stimulus salience interact with value information to yield neural representations of subjective expected reward. Significance statement: How we make perceptual decisions depends on sensory evidence and the value of our options. These two factors often interact to yield subjective decisions; i.e., individuals integrate sensory evidence and value to form their own estimates of

  17. Perceptual Salience and Reward Both Influence Feedback-Related Neural Activity Arising from Choice

    PubMed Central

    Lou, Bin; Hsu, Wha-Yin

    2015-01-01

    For day-to-day decisions, multiple factors influence our choice between alternatives. Two dimensions of decision making that substantially affect choice are the objective perceptual properties of the stimulus (e.g., salience) and its subjective value. Here we measure EEGs in human subjects to relate their feedback-evoked EEG responses to estimates of prediction error given a neurally derived expected value for each trial. Unlike in traditional reinforcement learning paradigms, in our experiment the reward itself is not probabilistic; rather, it is a fixed value, which, when combined with the variable stimulus salience, yields uncertainty in the choice. We find that feedback-evoked event-related potentials (ERPs), specifically those classically termed feedback-related negativity, are modulated by both the reward level and stimulus salience. Using single-trial analysis of the EEG, we show stimulus-locked EEG components reflecting perceived stimulus salience can be combined with the level of reward to create an estimate of expected reward. This expected reward is used to form a prediction error that correlates with the trial-by-trial variability of the feedback ERPs for negative, but not positive, feedback. This suggests that the valence of prediction error is more important than the valence of the actual feedback, since only positive rewards were delivered in the experiment (no penalty or loss). Finally, we show that these subjectively defined prediction errors are informative of the riskiness of the subject's choice on the subsequent trial. In summary, our work shows that neural correlates of stimulus salience interact with value information to yield neural representations of subjective expected reward. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How we make perceptual decisions depends on sensory evidence and the value of our options. These two factors often interact to yield subjective decisions; i.e., individuals integrate sensory evidence and value to form their own estimates of

  18. Oxytocin affects spontaneous neural oscillations in trauma-exposed war veterans.

    PubMed

    Eidelman-Rothman, Moranne; Goldstein, Abraham; Levy, Jonathan; Weisman, Omri; Schneiderman, Inna; Mankuta, David; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Feldman, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to combat-related trauma often leads to lifetime functional impairments. Previous research demonstrated the effects of oxytocin (OT) administration on brain regions implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); yet OT's effects on brain patterns in trauma-exposed veterans have not been studied. In the current study the effects of OT on spontaneous brain oscillatory activity were measured in 43 veterans using magnetoencephalography (MEG): 28 veterans who were exposed to a combat-related trauma and 15 trauma-unexposed controls. Participants participated in two experimental sessions and were administered OT or placebo (PBO) in a double-blind, placebo-control, within-subject design. Following OT/PBO administration, participants underwent a whole-head MEG scan. Plasma and salivary OT levels were assessed each session. Spontaneous brain activity measured during a 2-min resting period was subjected to source-localization analysis. Trauma-exposed veterans showed higher resting-state alpha (8-13 Hz) activity compared to controls in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), specifically in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), indicating decreased neural activity in these regions. The higher alpha activity was "normalized" following OT administration and under OT, group differences were no longer found. Increased resting-state alpha was associated with lower baseline plasma OT, reduced salivary OT reactivity, and more re-experiencing symptoms. These findings demonstrate effects of OT on resting-state brain functioning in prefrontal regions subserving working memory and cognitive control, which are disrupted in PTSD. Results raise the possibility that OT, traditionally studied in social contexts, may also enhance performance in cognitive tasks associated with working memory and cognitive control following trauma exposure. PMID:26175673

  19. Oxytocin affects spontaneous neural oscillations in trauma-exposed war veterans

    PubMed Central

    Eidelman-Rothman, Moranne; Goldstein, Abraham; Levy, Jonathan; Weisman, Omri; Schneiderman, Inna; Mankuta, David; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Feldman, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to combat-related trauma often leads to lifetime functional impairments. Previous research demonstrated the effects of oxytocin (OT) administration on brain regions implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); yet OT’s effects on brain patterns in trauma-exposed veterans have not been studied. In the current study the effects of OT on spontaneous brain oscillatory activity were measured in 43 veterans using magnetoencephalography (MEG): 28 veterans who were exposed to a combat-related trauma and 15 trauma-unexposed controls. Participants participated in two experimental sessions and were administered OT or placebo (PBO) in a double-blind, placebo-control, within-subject design. Following OT/PBO administration, participants underwent a whole-head MEG scan. Plasma and salivary OT levels were assessed each session. Spontaneous brain activity measured during a 2-min resting period was subjected to source-localization analysis. Trauma-exposed veterans showed higher resting-state alpha (8–13 Hz) activity compared to controls in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), specifically in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), indicating decreased neural activity in these regions. The higher alpha activity was “normalized” following OT administration and under OT, group differences were no longer found. Increased resting-state alpha was associated with lower baseline plasma OT, reduced salivary OT reactivity, and more re-experiencing symptoms. These findings demonstrate effects of OT on resting-state brain functioning in prefrontal regions subserving working memory and cognitive control, which are disrupted in PTSD. Results raise the possibility that OT, traditionally studied in social contexts, may also enhance performance in cognitive tasks associated with working memory and cognitive control following trauma exposure. PMID:26175673

  20. Slits Affect the Timely Migration of Neural Crest Cells via Robo Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Giovannone, Dion; Reyes, Michelle; Reyes, Rachel; Correa, Lisa; Martinez, Darwin; Ra, Hannah; Gomez, Gustavo; Kaiser, Josh; Ma, Le; Stein, Mary-Pat; de Bellard, Maria Elena

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Background Neural crest cells emerge by delamination from the dorsal neural tube and give rise to various components of the peripheral nervous system in vertebrate embryos. These cells change from non-motile into highly motile cells migrating to distant areas before further differentiation. Mechanisms controlling delamination and subsequent migration of neural crest cells are not fully understood. Slit2, a chemorepellant for axonal guidance that repels and stimulates motility of trunk neural crest cells away from the gut has recently been suggested to be a tumor suppressor molecule. The goal of this study was to further investigate the role of Slit2 in trunk neural crest cell migration by constitutive expression in neural crest cells. Results We found that Slit gain-of-function significantly impaired neural crest cell migration while Slit loss-of-function favored migration. In addition, we observed that the distribution of key cytoskeletal markers was disrupted in both gain and loss of function instances. Conclusions These findings suggest that Slit molecules might be involved in the processes that allow neural crest cells to begin migration and transitioning to a mesenchymal type. PMID:22689303

  1. Interpreting collective neural activity underlying spatial navigation in virtual reality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshulam, Leenoy; Gauthier, Jeff; Tank, David; Bialek, William

    2015-03-01

    Traditionally, cognitive- demanding processes like spatial navigation were studied by recording the activity of single neurons. However, recent technological progress allows imaging the simultaneous activity of large neuronal populations in awake behaving animals. This progress in experimental work calls for a similar adjustments of the modeling frameworks. To achieve a description of the ``real thermodynamics'' of the neural system, we construct maximum entropy models for optical imaging data taken in vivo, from the hippocampus of mice navigating in a virtual reality environment. This provides a natural extension of statistical mechanics applicable to brain activity, by focusing on the interactions between cells rather than on single cell's activity. We aim to determine how the topology of the energy landscape predicted by the model corresponds to the location of the animal in the environment. Since large subpopulations of the neurons in this area are spatially modulated, we expect the landscape to exhibit a large ``valley'' structure of local minima, corresponding to the animal's position along the environment. Such a finding is especially of interest because the location information emerges solely from the activity patterns that are accessible to the brain.

  2. Effects of Temporal Context and Temporal Expectancy on Neural Activity in Inferior Temporal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Britt; Sheinberg, David L.

    2008-01-01

    Timing is critical. The same event can mean different things at different times and some events are more likely to occur at one time than another. We used a cued visual classification task to evaluate how changes in temporal context affect neural responses in inferior temporal cortex, an extrastriate visual area known to be involved in object processing. On each trial a first image cued a temporal delay before a second target image appeared. The animal’s task was to classify the second image by pressing one of two buttons previously associated with that target. All images were used as both cues and targets. Whether an image cued a delay time or signaled a button press depended entirely upon whether it was the first or second picture in a trial. This paradigm allowed us to compare inferior temporal cortex neural activity to the same image subdivided by temporal context and expectation. Neuronal spiking was more robust and visually evoked local field potentials (LFP’s) larger for target presentations than for cue presentations. On invalidly cued trials, when targets appeared unexpectedly early, the magnitude of the evoked LFP was reduced and delayed and neuronal spiking was attenuated. Spike field coherence increased in the beta-gamma frequency range for expected targets. In conclusion, different neural responses in higher order ventral visual cortex may occur for the same visual image based on manipulations of temporal attention. PMID:18206961

  3. Reduction in Neural Performance following Recovery from Anoxic Stress Is Mimicked by AMPK Pathway Activation

    PubMed Central

    Money, Tomas G. A.; Sproule, Michael K. J.; Hamour, Amr F.; Robertson, R. Meldrum

    2014-01-01

    Nervous systems are energetically expensive to operate and maintain. Both synaptic and action potential signalling require a significant investment to maintain ion homeostasis. We have investigated the tuning of neural performance following a brief period of anoxia in a well-characterized visual pathway in the locust, the LGMD/DCMD looming motion-sensitive circuit. We hypothesised that the energetic cost of signalling can be dynamically modified by cellular mechanisms in response to metabolic stress. We examined whether recovery from anoxia resulted in a decrease in excitability of the electrophysiological properties in the DCMD neuron. We further examined the effect of these modifications on behavioural output. We show that recovery from anoxia affects metabolic rate, flight steering behaviour, and action potential properties. The effects of anoxia on action potentials can be mimicked by activation of the AMPK metabolic pathway. We suggest this is evidence of a coordinated cellular mechanism to reduce neural energetic demand following an anoxic stress. Together, this represents a dynamically-regulated means to link the energetic demands of neural signaling with the environmental constraints faced by the whole animal. PMID:24533112

  4. Reduction in neural performance following recovery from anoxic stress is mimicked by AMPK pathway activation.

    PubMed

    Money, Tomas G A; Sproule, Michael K J; Hamour, Amr F; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2014-01-01

    Nervous systems are energetically expensive to operate and maintain. Both synaptic and action potential signalling require a significant investment to maintain ion homeostasis. We have investigated the tuning of neural performance following a brief period of anoxia in a well-characterized visual pathway in the locust, the LGMD/DCMD looming motion-sensitive circuit. We hypothesised that the energetic cost of signalling can be dynamically modified by cellular mechanisms in response to metabolic stress. We examined whether recovery from anoxia resulted in a decrease in excitability of the electrophysiological properties in the DCMD neuron. We further examined the effect of these modifications on behavioural output. We show that recovery from anoxia affects metabolic rate, flight steering behaviour, and action potential properties. The effects of anoxia on action potentials can be mimicked by activation of the AMPK metabolic pathway. We suggest this is evidence of a coordinated cellular mechanism to reduce neural energetic demand following an anoxic stress. Together, this represents a dynamically-regulated means to link the energetic demands of neural signaling with the environmental constraints faced by the whole animal. PMID:24533112

  5. Brain Functional Effects of Psychopharmacological Treatment in Major Depression: A Focus on Neural Circuitry of Affective Processing

    PubMed Central

    Wessa, Michèle; Lois, Giannis

    2015-01-01

    In the last two decades, neuroimaging research has reached a much deeper understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of major depression (MD) and has converged on functional alterations in limbic and prefrontal neural networks, which are mainly linked to altered emotional processing observed in MD patients. To date, a considerable number of studies have sought to investigate how these neural networks change with pharmacological antidepressant treatment. In the current review, we therefore discuss results from a) pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies investigating the effects of selective serotonin or noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors on neural activation patterns in relation to emotional processing in healthy individuals, b) treatment studies in patients with unipolar depression assessing changes in neural activation patterns before and after antidepressant pharmacotherapy, and c) predictive neural biomarkers of clinical response in depression. Comparing results from pharmacological fMRI studies in healthy individuals and treatment studies in depressed patients nicely showed parallel findings, mainly for a reduction of limbic activation in response to negative stimuli. A thorough investigation of the empirical findings highlights the importance of the specific paradigm employed in every study which may account for some of the discrepant findings reported in treatment studies in depressed patients. PMID:26412066

  6. Activation of endogenous neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis therapy.

    PubMed

    Michailidou, Iliana; de Vries, Helga E; Hol, Elly M; van Strien, Miriam E

    2014-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, leading to severe neurological deficits. Current MS treatment regimens, consist of immunomodulatory agents aiming to reduce the rate of relapses. However, these agents are usually insufficient to treat chronic neurological disability. A promising perspective for future therapy of MS is the regeneration of lesions with replacement of the damaged oligodendrocytes or neurons. Therapies targeting to the enhancement of endogenous remyelination, aim to promote the activation of either the parenchymal oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or the subventricular zone-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). Less studied but highly potent, is the strategy of neuronal regeneration with endogenous NSCs that although being linked to numerous limitations, is anticipated to ameliorate cognitive disability in MS. Focusing on the forebrain, this review highlights the role of NSCs in the regeneration of MS lesions. PMID:25653584

  7. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity.

    PubMed

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called "essential" fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications. PMID:27228907

  8. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity

    PubMed Central

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called “essential” fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications. PMID:27228907

  9. Activation of endogenous neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis therapy

    PubMed Central

    Michailidou, Iliana; de Vries, Helga E.; Hol, Elly M.; van Strien, Miriam E.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, leading to severe neurological deficits. Current MS treatment regimens, consist of immunomodulatory agents aiming to reduce the rate of relapses. However, these agents are usually insufficient to treat chronic neurological disability. A promising perspective for future therapy of MS is the regeneration of lesions with replacement of the damaged oligodendrocytes or neurons. Therapies targeting to the enhancement of endogenous remyelination, aim to promote the activation of either the parenchymal oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or the subventricular zone-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). Less studied but highly potent, is the strategy of neuronal regeneration with endogenous NSCs that although being linked to numerous limitations, is anticipated to ameliorate cognitive disability in MS. Focusing on the forebrain, this review highlights the role of NSCs in the regeneration of MS lesions. PMID:25653584

  10. Effects of Near-Infrared Laser on Neural Cell Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochizuki-Oda, Noriko; Kataoka, Yosky; Yamada, Hisao; Awazu, Kunio

    2004-08-01

    Near-infrared laser has been used to relieve patients from various kinds of pain caused by postherpetic neuralgesia, myofascial dysfunction, surgical and traumatic wound, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinically, He-Ne (λ=632.8 nm, 780 nm) and Ga-Al-As (805 ± 25 nm) lasers are used to irradiate trigger points or nerve ganglion. However the precise mechanisms of such biological actions of the laser have not yet been resolved. Since laser therapy is often effective to suppress the pain caused by hyperactive excitation of sensory neurons, interactions with laser light and neural cells are suggested. As neural excitation requires large amount of energy liberated from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), we examined the effect of 830-nm laser irradiation on the energy metabolism of the rat central nervous system and isolated mitochondria from brain. The diode laser was applied for 15 min with irradiance of 4.8 W/cm2 on a 2 mm-diameter spot at the brain surface. Tissue ATP content of the irradiated area in the cerebral cortex was 19 % higher than that of the non-treated area (opposite side of the cortex), whereas the ADP content showed no significant difference. Irradiation at another wavelength (652 nm) had no effect on either ATP or ADP contents. The temperature of the brain tissue was increased 4.5 - 5.0 °C during the irradiation of both 830-nm and 652-nm laser light. Direct irradiation of the mitochondrial suspension did not show any wavelength-dependent acceleration of respiration rate nor ATP synthesis. These results suggest that the increase in tissue ATP content did not result from the thermal effect, but from specific effect of the laser operated at 830 nm. Electrophysiological studies showed the hyperpolarization of membrane potential of isolated neurons and decrease in membrane resistance with irradiation of the laser, suggesting an activation of potassium channels. Intracellular ATP is reported to regulate some kinds of potassium channels. Possible mechanisms

  11. Can simple interactions capture complex features of neural activity underlying behavior in a virtual reality environment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshulam, Leenoy; Gauthier, Jeffrey; Brody, Carlos; Tank, David; Bialek, William

    The complex neural interactions which are abundant in most recordings of neural activity are relatively poorly understood. A prime example of such interactions can be found in the in vivo neural activity which underlies complex behaviors of mice, imaged in brain regions such as hippocampus and parietal cortex. Experimental techniques now allow us to accurately follow these neural interactions in the simultaneous activity of large neuronal populations of awake behaving animals. Here, we demonstrate that pairwise maximum entropy models can predict a surprising number of properties of the neural activity. The models, that are constrained with activity rates and interactions between pairs of neurons, are well fit to the activity `states' in the hippocampus and cortex of mice performing cognitive tasks while navigating in a virtual reality environment.

  12. Affective Neural Responses Modulated by Serotonin Transporter Genotype in Clinical Anxiety and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Oathes, Desmond J.; Hilt, Lori M.; Nitschke, Jack B.

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin transporter gene variants are known to interact with stressful life experiences to increase chances of developing affective symptoms, and these same variants have been shown to influence amygdala reactivity to affective stimuli in non-psychiatric populations. The impact of these gene variants on affective neurocircuitry in anxiety and mood disorders has been studied less extensively. Utilizing a triallelic assay (5-HTTLPR and rs25531) to assess genetic variation linked with altered serotonin signaling, this fMRI study investigated genetic influences on amygdala and anterior insula activity in 50 generalized anxiety disorder patients, 26 of whom also met DSM-IV criteria for social anxiety disorder and/or major depressive disorder, and 39 healthy comparison subjects. A Group x Genotype interaction was observed for both the amygdala and anterior insula in a paradigm designed to elicit responses in these brain areas during the anticipation of and response to aversive pictures. Patients who are S/LG carriers showed less activity than their LA/LA counterparts in both regions and less activity than S/LG healthy comparison subjects in the amygdala. Moreover, patients with greater insula responses reported higher levels of intolerance of uncertainty, an association that was particularly pronounced for patients with two LA alleles. A genotype effect was not established in healthy controls. These findings link the serotonin transporter gene to affective circuitry findings in anxiety and depression psychopathology and further suggest that its impact on patients may be different from effects typically observed in healthy populations. PMID:25675343

  13. Decorrelation of Neural-Network Activity by Inhibitory Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Einevoll, Gaute T.; Diesmann, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Correlations in spike-train ensembles can seriously impair the encoding of information by their spatio-temporal structure. An inevitable source of correlation in finite neural networks is common presynaptic input to pairs of neurons. Recent studies demonstrate that spike correlations in recurrent neural networks are considerably smaller than expected based on the amount of shared presynaptic input. Here, we explain this observation by means of a linear network model and simulations of networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We show that inhibitory feedback efficiently suppresses pairwise correlations and, hence, population-rate fluctuations, thereby assigning inhibitory neurons the new role of active decorrelation. We quantify this decorrelation by comparing the responses of the intact recurrent network (feedback system) and systems where the statistics of the feedback channel is perturbed (feedforward system). Manipulations of the feedback statistics can lead to a significant increase in the power and coherence of the population response. In particular, neglecting correlations within the ensemble of feedback channels or between the external stimulus and the feedback amplifies population-rate fluctuations by orders of magnitude. The fluctuation suppression in homogeneous inhibitory networks is explained by a negative feedback loop in the one-dimensional dynamics of the compound activity. Similarly, a change of coordinates exposes an effective negative feedback loop in the compound dynamics of stable excitatory-inhibitory networks. The suppression of input correlations in finite networks is explained by the population averaged correlations in the linear network model: In purely inhibitory networks, shared-input correlations are canceled by negative spike-train correlations. In excitatory-inhibitory networks, spike-train correlations are typically positive. Here, the suppression of input correlations is not a result of the mere existence of correlations between

  14. Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Swallowing and Neural Activation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Heather; Lazarus, Cathy; Arvedson, Joan; Schooling, Tracy; Frymark, Tobi

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To systematically review the literature examining the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on swallowing and neural activation. The review was conducted as part of a series examining the effects of oral motor exercises (OMEs) on speech, swallowing, and neural activation. Method: A systematic search was conducted to…

  15. Neural activation during processing of aversive faces predicts treatment outcome in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Charlet, Katrin; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Richter, Anne; Naundorf, Karina; Dornhof, Lina; Weinfurtner, Christopher E J; König, Friederike; Walaszek, Bernadeta; Schubert, Florian; Müller, Christian A; Gutwinski, Stefan; Seissinger, Annette; Schmitz, Lioba; Walter, Henrik; Beck, Anne; Gallinat, Jürgen; Kiefer, Falk; Heinz, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Neuropsychological studies reported decoding deficits of emotional facial expressions in alcohol-dependent patients, and imaging studies revealed reduced prefrontal and limbic activation during emotional face processing. However, it remains unclear whether this reduced neural activation is mediated by alcohol-associated volume reductions and whether it interacts with treatment outcome. We combined analyses of neural activation during an aversive face-cue-comparison task and local gray matter volumes (GM) using Biological Parametric Mapping in 33 detoxified alcohol-dependent patients and 33 matched healthy controls. Alcoholics displayed reduced activation toward aversive faces-neutral shapes in bilateral fusiform gyrus [FG; Brodmann areas (BA) 18/19], right middle frontal gyrus (BA46/47), right inferior parietal gyrus (BA7) and left cerebellum compared with controls, which were explained by GM differences (except for cerebellum). Enhanced functional activation in patients versus controls was found in left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial frontal gyrus (BA10/11), even after GM reduction control. Increased ACC activation correlated significantly with less (previous) lifetime alcohol intake [Lifetime Drinking History (LDH)], longer abstinence and less subsequent binge drinking in patients. High LDH appear to impair treatment outcome via its neurotoxicity on ACC integrity. Thus, high activation of the rostral ACC elicited by affective faces appears to be a resilience factor predicting better treatment outcome. Although no group differences were found, increased FG activation correlated with patients' higher LDH. Because high LDH correlated with worse task performance for facial stimuli in patients, elevated activation in the fusiform 'face' area may reflect inefficient compensatory activation. Therapeutic interventions (e.g. emotion evaluation training) may enable patients to cope with social stress and to decrease relapses after detoxification. PMID

  16. Volitional control of neural activity: implications for brain–computer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Fetz, Eberhard E

    2007-01-01

    Successful operation of brain–computer interfaces (BCI) and brain–machine interfaces (BMI) depends significantly on the degree to which neural activity can be volitionally controlled. This paper reviews evidence for such volitional control in a variety of neural signals, with particular emphasis on the activity of cortical neurons. Some evidence comes from conventional experiments that reveal volitional modulation in neural activity related to behaviours, including real and imagined movements, cognitive imagery and shifts of attention. More direct evidence comes from studies on operant conditioning of neural activity using biofeedback, and from BCI/BMI studies in which neural activity controls cursors or peripheral devices. Limits in the degree of accuracy of control in the latter studies can be attributed to several possible factors. Some of these factors, particularly limited practice time, can be addressed with long-term implanted BCIs. Preliminary observations with implanted circuits implementing recurrent BCIs are summarized. PMID:17234689

  17. Neural Response during the Activation of the Attachment System in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Buchheim, Anna; Erk, Susanne; George, Carol; Kächele, Horst; Martius, Philipp; Pokorny, Dan; Spitzer, Manfred; Walter, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are characterized by emotional instability, impaired emotion regulation and unresolved attachment patterns associated with abusive childhood experiences. We investigated the neural response during the activation of the attachment system in BPD patients compared to healthy controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Eleven female patients with BPD without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 17 healthy female controls matched for age and education were telling stories in the scanner in response to the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP), an eight-picture set assessment of adult attachment. The picture set includes theoretically-derived attachment scenes, such as separation, death, threat and potential abuse. The picture presentation order is designed to gradually increase the activation of the attachment system. Each picture stimulus was presented for 2 min. Analyses examine group differences in attachment classifications and neural activation patterns over the course of the task. Unresolved attachment was associated with increasing amygdala activation over the course of the attachment task in patients as well as controls. Unresolved controls, but not patients, showed activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ). We interpret this as a neural signature of BPD patients’ inability to exert top-down control under conditions of attachment distress. These findings point to possible neural mechanisms for underlying affective dysregulation in BPD in the context of attachment trauma and fear. PMID:27531977

  18. Neural Response during the Activation of the Attachment System in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: An fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Buchheim, Anna; Erk, Susanne; George, Carol; Kächele, Horst; Martius, Philipp; Pokorny, Dan; Spitzer, Manfred; Walter, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are characterized by emotional instability, impaired emotion regulation and unresolved attachment patterns associated with abusive childhood experiences. We investigated the neural response during the activation of the attachment system in BPD patients compared to healthy controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Eleven female patients with BPD without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 17 healthy female controls matched for age and education were telling stories in the scanner in response to the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP), an eight-picture set assessment of adult attachment. The picture set includes theoretically-derived attachment scenes, such as separation, death, threat and potential abuse. The picture presentation order is designed to gradually increase the activation of the attachment system. Each picture stimulus was presented for 2 min. Analyses examine group differences in attachment classifications and neural activation patterns over the course of the task. Unresolved attachment was associated with increasing amygdala activation over the course of the attachment task in patients as well as controls. Unresolved controls, but not patients, showed activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ). We interpret this as a neural signature of BPD patients' inability to exert top-down control under conditions of attachment distress. These findings point to possible neural mechanisms for underlying affective dysregulation in BPD in the context of attachment trauma and fear. PMID:27531977

  19. Activity-Dependent Modulation of Neural Circuit Synaptic Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Tessier, Charles R.; Broadie, Kendal

    2009-01-01

    In many nervous systems, the establishment of neural circuits is known to proceed via a two-stage process; (1) early, activity-independent wiring to produce a rough map characterized by excessive synaptic connections, and (2) subsequent, use-dependent pruning to eliminate inappropriate connections and reinforce maintained synapses. In invertebrates, however, evidence of the activity-dependent phase of synaptic refinement has been elusive, and the dogma has long been that invertebrate circuits are “hard-wired” in a purely activity-independent manner. This conclusion has been challenged recently through the use of new transgenic tools employed in the powerful Drosophila system, which have allowed unprecedented temporal control and single neuron imaging resolution. These recent studies reveal that activity-dependent mechanisms are indeed required to refine circuit maps in Drosophila during precise, restricted windows of late-phase development. Such mechanisms of circuit refinement may be key to understanding a number of human neurological diseases, including developmental disorders such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and autism, which are hypothesized to result from defects in synaptic connectivity and activity-dependent circuit function. This review focuses on our current understanding of activity-dependent synaptic connectivity in Drosophila, primarily through analyzing the role of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in the Drosophila FXS disease model. The particular emphasis of this review is on the expanding array of new genetically-encoded tools that are allowing cellular events and molecular players to be dissected with ever greater precision and detail. PMID:19668708

  20. Temporal-Spatial Neural Activation Patterns Linked to Perceptual Encoding of Emotional Salience

    PubMed Central

    Todd, Rebecca M.; Taylor, Margot J.; Robertson, Amanda; Cassel, Daniel B.; Doesberg, Sam M.; Lee, Daniel H.; Shek, Pang N.; Pang, Elizabeth W.

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that we continuously filter incoming sensory information, selectively allocating attention to what is important while suppressing distracting or irrelevant information. Yet questions remain about spatiotemporal patterns of neural processes underlying attentional biases toward emotionally significant aspects of the world. One index of affectively biased attention is an emotional variant of an attentional blink (AB) paradigm, which reveals enhanced perceptual encoding for emotionally salient over neutral stimuli under conditions of limited executive attention. The present study took advantage of the high spatial and temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activation related to emotional and neutral targets in an AB task. MEG data were collected while participants performed a rapid stimulus visual presentation task in which two target stimuli were embedded in a stream of distractor words. The first target (T1) was a number and the second (T2) either an emotionally salient or neutral word. Behavioural results replicated previous findings of greater accuracy for emotionally salient than neutral T2 words. MEG source analyses showed that activation in orbitofrontal cortex, characterized by greater power in the theta and alpha bands, and dorsolateral prefrontal activation were associated with successful perceptual encoding of emotionally salient relative to neutral words. These effects were observed between 250 and 550 ms, latencies associated with discrimination of perceived from unperceived stimuli. These data suggest that important nodes of both emotional salience and frontoparietal executive systems are associated with the emotional modulation of the attentional blink. PMID:24727751

  1. Light-Activated Ion Channels for Remote Control of Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, James J.; Kramer, Richard H.

    2009-01-01

    Light-activated ion channels provide a new opportunity to precisely and remotely control neuronal activity for experimental applications in neurobiology. In the past few years, several strategies have arisen that allow light to control ion channels and therefore neuronal function. Light-based triggers for ion channel control include caged compounds, which release active neurotransmitters when photolyzed with light, and natural photoreceptive proteins, which can be expressed exogenously in neurons. More recently, a third type of light trigger has been introduced: a photoisomerizable tethered ligand that directly controls ion channel activity in a light-dependent manner. Beyond the experimental applications for light-gated ion channels, there may be clinical applications in which these light-sensitive ion channels could prove advantageous over traditional methods. Electrodes for neural stimulation to control disease symptoms are invasive and often difficult to reposition between cells in tissue. Stimulation by chemical agents is difficult to constrain to individual cells and has limited temporal accuracy in tissue due to diffusional limitations. In contrast, ion channels that can be directly activated with light allow control with unparalleled spatial and temporal precision. The goal of this chapter is to describe light-regulated ion channels and how they have been tailored to control different aspects of neural activity, and how to use these channels to manipulate and better understand development, function, and plasticity of neurons and neural circuits. PMID:19195553

  2. Amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex activation during affective startle modulation: a PET study of fear.

    PubMed

    Pissiota, Anna; Frans, Orjan; Michelgård, Asa; Appel, Lieuwe; Långström, Bengt; Flaten, Magne Arve; Fredrikson, Mats

    2003-09-01

    The human startle response is modulated by emotional experiences, with startle potentiation associated with negative affect. We used positron emission tomography with 15O-water to study neural networks associated with startle modulation by phobic fear in a group of subjects with specific snake or spider phobia, but not both, during exposure to pictures of their feared and non-feared objects, paired and unpaired with acoustic startle stimuli. Measurement of eye electromyographic activity confirmed startle potentiation during the phobic as compared with the non-phobic condition. Employing a factorial design, we evaluated brain correlates of startle modulation as the interaction between startle and affect, using the double subtraction contrast (phobic startle vs. phobic alone) vs. (non-phobic startle vs. non-phobic alone). As a result of startle potentiation, a significant increase in regional cerebral blood flow was found in the left amygdaloid-hippocampal region, and medially in the affective division of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). These results provide evidence from functional brain imaging for a modulatory role of the amygdaloid complex on startle reactions in humans. They also point to the involvement of the affective ACC in the processing of startle stimuli during emotionally aversive experiences. The co-activation of these areas may reflect increased attention to fear-relevant stimuli. Thus, we suggest that the amygdaloid area and the ACC form part of a neural system dedicated to attention and orientation to danger, and that this network modulates startle during negative affect. PMID:12956731

  3. Affective neural responses modulated by serotonin transporter genotype in clinical anxiety and depression.

    PubMed

    Oathes, Desmond J; Hilt, Lori M; Nitschke, Jack B

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin transporter gene variants are known to interact with stressful life experiences to increase chances of developing affective symptoms, and these same variants have been shown to influence amygdala reactivity to affective stimuli in non-psychiatric populations. The impact of these gene variants on affective neurocircuitry in anxiety and mood disorders has been studied less extensively. Utilizing a triallelic assay (5-HTTLPR and rs25531) to assess genetic variation linked with altered serotonin signaling, this fMRI study investigated genetic influences on amygdala and anterior insula activity in 50 generalized anxiety disorder patients, 26 of whom also met DSM-IV criteria for social anxiety disorder and/or major depressive disorder, and 39 healthy comparison subjects. A Group x Genotype interaction was observed for both the amygdala and anterior insula in a paradigm designed to elicit responses in these brain areas during the anticipation of and response to aversive pictures. Patients who are S/L(G) carriers showed less activity than their L(A)/L(A) counterparts in both regions and less activity than S/L(G) healthy comparison subjects in the amygdala. Moreover, patients with greater insula responses reported higher levels of intolerance of uncertainty, an association that was particularly pronounced for patients with two LA alleles. A genotype effect was not established in healthy controls. These findings link the serotonin transporter gene to affective circuitry findings in anxiety and depression psychopathology and further suggest that its impact on patients may be different from effects typically observed in healthy populations. PMID:25675343

  4. Neural pathways that mediate the effects of afferent stimuli on paraventricular nucleus multiunit activity in freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Mor, G; Saphier, D; Feldman, S

    1987-01-01

    The direct involvement of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in the control of adrenocortical secretion is now generally accepted. In order to contribute to our understanding of the electrical activity of cells in this region during adrenocortical activation, we have recorded multiunit electrical activity (MUA) in response to acute neural stimuli in freely moving male rats and have examined the pathways involved. Photic, acoustic, olfactory, and sciatic nerve stimulation all increased PVN MUA by between 130% and 250%. These responses were selectively blocked, according to the stimulus modality tested, by radiofrequency lesions of central neural structures. Thus PVN responses to photic stimulation were blocked by lesions of the suprachiasmatic nuclei and reduced by mammillary peduncle lesions but were unaffected by lesions of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis. Responses to acoustic stimulation were blocked by lesions of the mammillary peduncles but not by those placed in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, the septum, or the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis. Lesions of the septum blocked the response to sciatic nerve stimulation but did not affect the response to olfactory stimulation with amyl acetate fumes, which was blocked by lesions of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis. The data confirm those obtained in endocrine studies concerning the neural pathways involved in the transmission of neural stimuli that produce adrenocortical activation. PMID:3625806

  5. Sensitive red protein calcium indicators for imaging neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Dana, Hod; Mohar, Boaz; Sun, Yi; Narayan, Sujatha; Gordus, Andrew; Hasseman, Jeremy P; Tsegaye, Getahun; Holt, Graham T; Hu, Amy; Walpita, Deepika; Patel, Ronak; Macklin, John J; Bargmann, Cornelia I; Ahrens, Misha B; Schreiter, Eric R; Jayaraman, Vivek; Looger, Loren L; Svoboda, Karel; Kim, Douglas S

    2016-01-01

    Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) allow measurement of activity in large populations of neurons and in small neuronal compartments, over times of milliseconds to months. Although GFP-based GECIs are widely used for in vivo neurophysiology, GECIs with red-shifted excitation and emission spectra have advantages for in vivo imaging because of reduced scattering and absorption in tissue, and a consequent reduction in phototoxicity. However, current red GECIs are inferior to the state-of-the-art GFP-based GCaMP6 indicators for detecting and quantifying neural activity. Here we present improved red GECIs based on mRuby (jRCaMP1a, b) and mApple (jRGECO1a), with sensitivity comparable to GCaMP6. We characterized the performance of the new red GECIs in cultured neurons and in mouse, Drosophila, zebrafish and C. elegans in vivo. Red GECIs facilitate deep-tissue imaging, dual-color imaging together with GFP-based reporters, and the use of optogenetics in combination with calcium imaging. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12727.001 PMID:27011354

  6. Sensitive red protein calcium indicators for imaging neural activity.

    PubMed

    Dana, Hod; Mohar, Boaz; Sun, Yi; Narayan, Sujatha; Gordus, Andrew; Hasseman, Jeremy P; Tsegaye, Getahun; Holt, Graham T; Hu, Amy; Walpita, Deepika; Patel, Ronak; Macklin, John J; Bargmann, Cornelia I; Ahrens, Misha B; Schreiter, Eric R; Jayaraman, Vivek; Looger, Loren L; Svoboda, Karel; Kim, Douglas S

    2016-01-01

    Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) allow measurement of activity in large populations of neurons and in small neuronal compartments, over times of milliseconds to months. Although GFP-based GECIs are widely used for in vivo neurophysiology, GECIs with red-shifted excitation and emission spectra have advantages for in vivo imaging because of reduced scattering and absorption in tissue, and a consequent reduction in phototoxicity. However, current red GECIs are inferior to the state-of-the-art GFP-based GCaMP6 indicators for detecting and quantifying neural activity. Here we present improved red GECIs based on mRuby (jRCaMP1a, b) and mApple (jRGECO1a), with sensitivity comparable to GCaMP6. We characterized the performance of the new red GECIs in cultured neurons and in mouse, Drosophila, zebrafish and C. elegans in vivo. Red GECIs facilitate deep-tissue imaging, dual-color imaging together with GFP-based reporters, and the use of optogenetics in combination with calcium imaging. PMID:27011354

  7. Neural Mechanisms of Attentional Control Differentiate Trait and State Negative Affect

    PubMed Central

    Crocker, Laura D.; Heller, Wendy; Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Warren, Stacie L.; Bredemeier, Keith; Sutton, Bradley P.; Banich, Marie T.; Miller, Gregory A.

    2012-01-01

    The present research examined the hypothesis that cognitive processes are modulated differentially by trait and state negative affect (NA). Brain activation associated with trait and state NA was measured by fMRI during an attentional control task, the emotion-word Stroop. Performance on the task was disrupted only by state NA. Trait NA was associated with reduced activity in several regions, including a prefrontal area that has been shown to be involved in top-down, goal-directed attentional control. In contrast, state NA was associated with increased activity in several regions, including a prefrontal region that has been shown to be involved in stimulus-driven aspects of attentional control. Results suggest that NA has a significant impact on cognition, and that state and trait NA disrupt attentional control in distinct ways. PMID:22934089

  8. Patterns of Neural Activity in Networks with Complex Connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solla, Sara A.

    2008-03-01

    An understanding of emergent dynamics on complex networks requires investigating the interplay between the intrinsic dynamics of the node elements and the connectivity of the network in which they are embedded. In order to address some of these questions in a specific scenario of relevance to the dynamical states of neural ensembles, we have studied the collective behavior of excitable model neurons in a network with small-world topology. The small-world network has local lattice order, but includes a number of randomly placed connections that may provide connectivity shortcuts. This topology bears a schematic resemblance to the connectivity of the cerebral cortex, in which neurons are most strongly coupled to nearby cells within fifty to a hundred micrometers, but also make projections to cells millimeters away. We find that the dynamics of this small-world network of excitable neurons depend mostly on both the density of shortcuts and the delay associated with neuronal projections. In the regime of low shortcut density, the system exhibits persistent activity in the form of propagating waves, which annihilate upon collision and are spawned anew via the re-injection of activity through shortcut connections. As the density of shortcuts reaches a critical value, the system undergoes a transition to failure. The critical shortcut density results from matching the time associated with a recurrent path through the network to an intrinsic recovery time of the individual neurons. Furthermore, if the delay associated with neuronal interactions is sufficiently long, activity reemerges above the critical density of shortcuts. The activity in this regime exhibits long, chaotic transients composed of noisy, large-amplitude population bursts.

  9. Sensory Entrainment Mechanisms in Auditory Perception: Neural Synchronization Cortico-Striatal Activation

    PubMed Central

    Sameiro-Barbosa, Catia M.; Geiser, Eveline

    2016-01-01

    The auditory system displays modulations in sensitivity that can align with the temporal structure of the acoustic environment. This sensory entrainment can facilitate sensory perception and is particularly relevant for audition. Systems neuroscience is slowly uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying the behaviorally observed sensory entrainment effects in the human sensory system. The present article summarizes the prominent behavioral effects of sensory entrainment and reviews our current understanding of the neural basis of sensory entrainment, such as synchronized neural oscillations, and potentially, neural activation in the cortico-striatal system. PMID:27559306

  10. Sensory Entrainment Mechanisms in Auditory Perception: Neural Synchronization Cortico-Striatal Activation.

    PubMed

    Sameiro-Barbosa, Catia M; Geiser, Eveline

    2016-01-01

    The auditory system displays modulations in sensitivity that can align with the temporal structure of the acoustic environment. This sensory entrainment can facilitate sensory perception and is particularly relevant for audition. Systems neuroscience is slowly uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying the behaviorally observed sensory entrainment effects in the human sensory system. The present article summarizes the prominent behavioral effects of sensory entrainment and reviews our current understanding of the neural basis of sensory entrainment, such as synchronized neural oscillations, and potentially, neural activation in the cortico-striatal system. PMID:27559306

  11. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one’s own personality traits and of others’ opinion about one’s own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one’s own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback. PMID:26842975

  12. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback.

    PubMed

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one's own personality traits and of others' opinion about one's own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one's own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback. PMID:26842975

  13. SNW1 is a critical regulator of spatial BMP activity, neural plate border formation, and neural crest specification in vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Wu, Mary Y; Ramel, Marie-Christine; Howell, Michael; Hill, Caroline S

    2011-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) gradients provide positional information to direct cell fate specification, such as patterning of the vertebrate ectoderm into neural, neural crest, and epidermal tissues, with precise borders segregating these domains. However, little is known about how BMP activity is regulated spatially and temporally during vertebrate development to contribute to embryonic patterning, and more specifically to neural crest formation. Through a large-scale in vivo functional screen in Xenopus for neural crest fate, we identified an essential regulator of BMP activity, SNW1. SNW1 is a nuclear protein known to regulate gene expression. Using antisense morpholinos to deplete SNW1 protein in both Xenopus and zebrafish embryos, we demonstrate that dorsally expressed SNW1 is required for neural crest specification, and this is independent of mesoderm formation and gastrulation morphogenetic movements. By exploiting a combination of immunostaining for phosphorylated Smad1 in Xenopus embryos and a BMP-dependent reporter transgenic zebrafish line, we show that SNW1 regulates a specific domain of BMP activity in the dorsal ectoderm at the neural plate border at post-gastrula stages. We use double in situ hybridizations and immunofluorescence to show how this domain of BMP activity is spatially positioned relative to the neural crest domain and that of SNW1 expression. Further in vivo and in vitro assays using cell culture and tissue explants allow us to conclude that SNW1 acts upstream of the BMP receptors. Finally, we show that the requirement of SNW1 for neural crest specification is through its ability to regulate BMP activity, as we demonstrate that targeted overexpression of BMP to the neural plate border is sufficient to restore neural crest formation in Xenopus SNW1 morphants. We conclude that through its ability to regulate a specific domain of BMP activity in the vertebrate embryo, SNW1 is a critical regulator of neural plate border formation and

  14. Methylmercury Exposure during Early Xenopus laevis Development Affects Cell Proliferation and Death but not Neural Progenitor Specification

    PubMed Central

    Huyck, Ryan W.; Nagarkar, Maitreyi; Olsen, Nina; Clamons, Samuel E.; Saha, Margaret S.

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a widespread environmental toxin that preferentially and adversely affects developing organisms. To investigate the impact of MeHg toxicity on the formation of the vertebrate nervous system at physiologically relevant concentrations, we designed a graded phenotype scale for evaluating Xenopus laevis embryos exposed to MeHg in solution. Embryos displayed a range of abnormalities in response to MeHg, particularly in brain development, which is influenced by both MeHg concentration and the number of embryos per ml of exposure solution. A TC50 of ~50 μg/l and LC50 of ~100 μg/l were found when maintaining embryos at a density of one per ml, and both increased with increasing embryo density. In situ hybridization and microarray analysis showed no significant change in expression of early neural patterning genes including sox2, en2, or delta; however a noticeable decrease was observed in the terminal neural differentiation genes GAD and xGAT, but not xVGlut. PCNA, a marker for proliferating cells, was negatively correlated with MeHg dose, with a significant reduction in cell number in the forebrain and spinal cord of exposed embryos by tadpole stages. Conversely, the number of apoptotic cells in neural regions detected by a TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling) assay was significantly increased. These results provide evidence that disruption of embryonic neural development by MeHg may not be directly due to a loss of neural progenitor specification and gene transcription, but to a more general decrease in cell proliferation and increase in cell death throughout the developing nervous system. PMID:25496965

  15. Neural Correlates of Facial Affect Processing in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, A. Ting; Dapretto, Mirella; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine the neural basis of impairments in interpreting facial emotions in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Method: Twelve children and adolescents with ASD and 12 typically developing (TD) controls matched faces by emotion and assigned a label to facial expressions while undergoing functional magnetic…

  16. Physical methods for generating and decoding neural activity in Hirudo verbana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliori, Benjamin John

    The interface between living nervous systems and hardware is an excellent proving ground for precision experimental methods and information classification systems. Nervous systems are complex (104 -- 10 15(!) connections), fragile, and highly active in intricate, constantly evolving patterns. However, despite the conveniently electrical nature of neural transmission, the interface between nervous systems and hardware poses significant experimental difficulties. As the desire for direct interfaces with neural signals continues to expand, the need for methods of generating and measuring neural activity with high spatiotemporal precision has become increasingly critical. In this thesis, I describe advances I have made in the ability to modify, generate, measure, and understand neural signals both in- and ex-vivo. I focus on methods developed for transmitting and extracting signals in the intact nervous system of Hirudo verbana (the medicinal leech), an animal with a minimally complex nervous system (10000 neurons distributed in packets along a nerve cord) that exhibits a diverse array of behaviors. To introduce artificial activity patterns, I developed a photothermal activation system in which a highly focused laser is used to irradiate carbon microparticles in contact with target neurons. The resulting local temperature increase generates an electrical current that forces the target neuron to fire neural signals, thereby providing a unique neural input mechanism. These neural signals can potentially be used to alter behavioral choice or generate specific behavioral output, and can be used endogenously in many animal models. I also describe new tools developed to expand the application of this method. In complement to this input system, I describe a new method of analyzing neural output signals involved in long-range coordination of behaviors. Leech behavioral signals are propagated between neural packets as electrical pulses in the nerve connective, a bundle of

  17. Biologically active extracts with kidney affections applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascu (Neagu), Mihaela; Pascu, Daniela-Elena; Cozea, Andreea; Bunaciu, Andrei A.; Miron, Alexandra Raluca; Nechifor, Cristina Aurelia

    2015-12-01

    This paper is aimed to select plant materials rich in bioflavonoid compounds, made from herbs known for their application performances in the prevention and therapy of renal diseases, namely kidney stones and urinary infections (renal lithiasis, nephritis, urethritis, cystitis, etc.). This paper presents a comparative study of the medicinal plant extracts composition belonging to Ericaceae-Cranberry (fruit and leaves) - Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and Bilberry (fruit) - Vaccinium myrtillus L. Concentrated extracts obtained from medicinal plants used in this work were analyzed from structural, morphological and compositional points of view using different techniques: chromatographic methods (HPLC), scanning electronic microscopy, infrared, and UV spectrophotometry, also by using kinetic model. Liquid chromatography was able to identify the specific compounds of the Ericaceae family, present in all three extracts, arbutosid, as well as specific components of each species, mostly from the class of polyphenols. The identification and quantitative determination of the active ingredients from these extracts can give information related to their therapeutic effects.

  18. Affective Response to Physical Activity: Testing for Measurement Invariance of the Physical Activity Affect Scale across Active and Non-Active Individuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Laura C.; Tompkins, Sara Anne; Schmiege, Sarah J.; Nilsson, Renea; Bryan, Angela

    2010-01-01

    Affective responses to physical activity are assumed to play a role in exercise initiation and maintenance. The Physical Activity Affect Scale measures four dimensions of an individual's affective response to exercise. Group differences in the interpretation of scale items can impact the interpretability of mean differences, underscoring the need…

  19. Retinoic Acid Activity in Undifferentiated Neural Progenitors Is Sufficient to Fulfill Its Role in Restricting Fgf8 Expression for Somitogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Thomas J.; Brade, Thomas; Sandell, Lisa L.; Lewandoski, Mark; Trainor, Paul A.; Colas, Alexandre; Mercola, Mark; Duester, Gregg

    2015-01-01

    Bipotent axial stem cells residing in the caudal epiblast during late gastrulation generate neuroectodermal and presomitic mesodermal progeny that coordinate somitogenesis with neural tube formation, but the mechanism that controls these two fates is not fully understood. Retinoic acid (RA) restricts the anterior extent of caudal fibroblast growth factor 8 (Fgf8) expression in both mesoderm and neural plate to control somitogenesis and neurogenesis, however it remains unclear where RA acts to control the spatial expression of caudal Fgf8. Here, we found that mouse Raldh2-/- embryos, lacking RA synthesis and displaying a consistent small somite defect, exhibited abnormal expression of key markers of axial stem cell progeny, with decreased Sox2+ and Sox1+ neuroectodermal progeny and increased Tbx6+ presomitic mesodermal progeny. The Raldh2-/- small somite defect was rescued by treatment with an FGF receptor antagonist. Rdh10 mutants, with a less severe RA synthesis defect, were found to exhibit a small somite defect and anterior expansion of caudal Fgf8 expression only for somites 1–6, with normal somite size and Fgf8 expression thereafter. Rdh10 mutants were found to lack RA activity during the early phase when somites are small, but at the 6-somite stage RA activity was detected in neural plate although not in presomitic mesoderm. Expression of a dominant-negative RA receptor in mesoderm eliminated RA activity in presomitic mesoderm but did not affect somitogenesis. Thus, RA activity in the neural plate is sufficient to prevent anterior expansion of caudal Fgf8 expression associated with a small somite defect. Our studies provide evidence that RA restriction of Fgf8 expression in undifferentiated neural progenitors stimulates neurogenesis while also restricting the anterior extent of the mesodermal Fgf8 mRNA gradient that controls somite size, providing new insight into the mechanism that coordinates somitogenesis with neurogenesis. PMID:26368825

  20. What shall I be, what must I be: neural correlates of personal goal activation

    PubMed Central

    Strauman, Timothy J.; Detloff, Allison M.; Sestokas, Rima; Smith, David V.; Goetz, Elena L.; Rivera, Christine; Kwapil, Lori

    2013-01-01

    How is the brain engaged when people are thinking about their hopes, dreams, and obligations? Regulatory focus theory postulates two classes of personal goals and motivational systems for pursuing them. Ideal goals, such as hopes and aspirations, are pursued via the promotion system through “making good things happen.” Ought goals, such as obligations or responsibilities, are pursued via the prevention system through “keeping bad things from happening.” This study investigated the neural correlates of ideal and ought goal priming using an event-related fMRI design with rapid masked stimulus presentations. We exposed participants to their self-identified ideal and ought goals, yoked-control words and non-words. We also examined correlations between goal-related activation and measures of regulatory focus, behavioral activation/inhibition, and negative affect. Ideal priming led to activation in frontal and occipital regions as well as caudate and thalamus, whereas prevention goal priming was associated with activation in precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. Individual differences in dysphoric/anxious affect and regulatory focus, but not differences in BAS/BIS strength, were predictive of differential activation in response to goal priming. The regions activated in response to ideal and ought goal priming broadly map onto the cortical midline network that has been shown to index processing of self-referential stimuli. Individual differences in regulatory focus and negative affect impact this network and appeared to influence the strength and accessibility of the promotion and prevention systems. The results support a fundamental distinction between promotion and prevention and extend our understanding of how personal goals influence behavior. PMID:23316145

  1. Neural correlates of cross-modal affective priming by music in Williams syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lense, Miriam D; Gordon, Reyna L; Key, Alexandra P F; Dykens, Elisabeth M

    2014-04-01

    Emotional connection is the main reason people engage with music, and the emotional features of music can influence processing in other domains. Williams syndrome (WS) is a neurodevelopmental genetic disorder where musicality and sociability are prominent aspects of the phenotype. This study examined oscillatory brain activity during a musical affective priming paradigm. Participants with WS and age-matched typically developing controls heard brief emotional musical excerpts or emotionally neutral sounds and then reported the emotional valence (happy/sad) of subsequently presented faces. Participants with WS demonstrated greater evoked fronto-central alpha activity to the happy vs sad musical excerpts. The size of these alpha effects correlated with parent-reported emotional reactivity to music. Although participant groups did not differ in accuracy of identifying facial emotions, reaction time data revealed a music priming effect only in persons with WS, who responded faster when the face matched the emotional valence of the preceding musical excerpt vs when the valence differed. Matching emotional valence was also associated with greater evoked gamma activity thought to reflect cross-modal integration. This effect was not present in controls. The results suggest a specific connection between music and socioemotional processing and have implications for clinical and educational approaches for WS. PMID:23386738

  2. Neural activity patterns evoked by a spouse's incongruent emotional reactions when recalling marriage-relevant experiences.

    PubMed

    Petrican, Raluca; Rosenbaum, Rachel Shayna; Grady, Cheryl

    2015-10-01

    Resonance with the inner states of another social actor is regarded as a hallmark of emotional closeness. Nevertheless, sensitivity to potential incongruities between one's own and an intimate partner's subjective experience is reportedly also important for close relationship quality. Here, we tested whether perceivers show greater neurobehavioral responsiveness to a spouse's positive (rather than negative) context-incongruent emotions, and whether this effect is influenced by the perceiver's satisfaction with the relationship. Thus, we used fMRI to scan older long-term married female perceivers while they judged either their spouse's or a stranger's affect, based on incongruent nonverbal and verbal cues. The verbal cues were selected to evoke strongly polarized affective responses. Higher perceiver marital satisfaction predicted greater neural processing of the spouse's (rather than the strangers) nonverbal cues. Nevertheless, across all perceivers, greater neural processing of a spouse's (rather than a stranger's) nonverbal behavior was reliably observed only when the behavior was positive and the context was negative. The spouse's positive (rather than negative) nonverbal behavior evoked greater activity in putative mirror neuron areas, such as the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL). This effect was related to a stronger inhibitory influence of cognitive control areas on mirror system activity in response to a spouse's negative nonverbal cues, an effect that strengthened with increasing perceiver marital satisfaction. Our valence-asymmetric findings imply that neurobehavioral responsiveness to a close other's emotions may depend, at least partly, on cognitive control resources, which are used to support the perceiver's interpersonal goals (here, goals that are relevant to relationship stability). PMID:26219536

  3. Neural Encoding of Odors during Active Sampling and in Turbulent Plumes.

    PubMed

    Huston, Stephen J; Stopfer, Mark; Cassenaer, Stijn; Aldworth, Zane N; Laurent, Gilles

    2015-10-21

    Sensory inputs are often fluctuating and intermittent, yet animals reliably utilize them to direct behavior. Here we ask how natural stimulus fluctuations influence the dynamic neural encoding of odors. Using the locust olfactory system, we isolated two main causes of odor intermittency: chaotic odor plumes and active sampling behaviors. Despite their irregularity, chaotic odor plumes still drove dynamic neural response features including the synchronization, temporal patterning, and short-term plasticity of spiking in projection neurons, enabling classifier-based stimulus identification and activating downstream decoders (Kenyon cells). Locusts can also impose odor intermittency through active sampling movements with their unrestrained antennae. Odors triggered immediate, spatially targeted antennal scanning that, paradoxically, weakened individual neural responses. However, these frequent but weaker responses were highly informative about stimulus location. Thus, not only are odor-elicited dynamic neural responses compatible with natural stimulus fluctuations and important for stimulus identification, but locusts actively increase intermittency, possibly to improve stimulus localization. PMID:26456047

  4. The optimization of force inputs for active structural acoustic control using a neural network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabell, R. H.; Lester, H. C.; Silcox, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper investigates the use of a neural network to determine which force actuators, of a multi-actuator array, are best activated in order to achieve structural-acoustic control. The concept is demonstrated using a cylinder/cavity model on which the control forces, produced by piezoelectric actuators, are applied with the objective of reducing the interior noise. A two-layer neural network is employed and the back propagation solution is compared with the results calculated by a conventional, least-squares optimization analysis. The ability of the neural network to accurately and efficiently control actuator activation for interior noise reduction is demonstrated.

  5. Distinct neural activation patterns underlie economic decisions in high and low psychopathy scorers

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Pedro R.; Ferreira-Santos, Fernando; Barbosa, Fernando; Marques-Teixeira, João; Marsh, Abigail A.

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathic traits affect social functioning and the ability to make adaptive decisions in social interactions. This study investigated how psychopathy affects the neural mechanisms that are recruited to make decisions in the ultimatum game. Thirty-five adult participants recruited from the community underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning while they performed the ultimatum game under high and low cognitive load. Across load conditions, high psychopathy scorers rejected unfair offers in the same proportion as low scorers, but perceived them as less unfair. Among low scorers, the perceived fairness of offers predicted acceptance rates, whereas in high scorers no association was found. Imaging results revealed that responses in each group were associated with distinct patterns of brain activation, indicating divergent decision mechanisms. Acceptance of unfair offers was associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity in low scorers and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity in high scorers. Overall, our findings point to distinct motivations for rejecting unfair offers in individuals who vary in psychopathic traits, with rejections in high psychopathy scorers being probably induced by frustration. Implications of these results for models of ventromedial prefrontal cortex dysfunction in psychopathy are discussed. PMID:23748499

  6. Individual differences in symptom severity and behavior predict neural activation during face processing in adolescents with autism

    PubMed Central

    Scherf, K. Suzanne; Elbich, Daniel; Minshew, Nancy; Behrmann, Marlene

    2014-01-01

    Despite the impressive literature describing atypical neural activation in visuoperceptual face processing regions in autism, almost nothing is known about whether these perturbations extend to more affective regions in the circuitry and whether they bear any relationship to symptom severity or atypical behavior. Using fMRI, we compared face-, object-, and house-related activation in adolescent males with high-functioning autism (HFA) and typically developing (TD) matched controls. HFA adolescents exhibited hypo-activation throughout the core visuoperceptual regions, particularly in the right hemisphere, as well as in some of the affective/motivational face-processing regions, including the posterior cingulate cortex and right anterior temporal lobe. Conclusions about the relative hyper- or hypo-activation of the amygdala depended on the nature of the contrast that was used to define the activation. Individual differences in symptom severity predicted the magnitude of face activation, particularly in the right fusiform gyrus. Also, among the HFA adolescents, face recognition performance predicted the magnitude of face activation in the right anterior temporal lobe, a region that supports face individuation in TD adults. Our findings reveal a systematic relation between the magnitude of neural dysfunction, severity of autism symptoms, and variation in face recognition behavior in adolescents with autism. In so doing, we uncover brain–behavior relations that underlie one of the most prominent social deficits in autism and help resolve discrepancies in the literature. PMID:25610767

  7. Affective Response to a Loved One's Pain: Insula Activity as a Function of Individual Differences

    PubMed Central

    Mazzola, Viridiana; Latorre, Valeria; Petito, Annamaria; Gentili, Nicoletta; Fazio, Leonardo; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Arciero, Giampiero; Bondolfi, Guido

    2010-01-01

    Individual variability in emotion processing may be associated with genetic variation as well as with psychological predispositions such as dispositional affect styles. Our previous fMRI study demonstrated that amygdala reactivity was independently predicted by affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone) and genotype of the serotonin transporter in a discrimination task of fearful facial expressions. Since the insula is associated with the subjective evaluation of bodily states and is involved in human feelings, we explored whether its activity could also vary in function of individual differences. In the present fMRI study, the association between dispositional affects and insula reactivity has been examined in two groups of healthy participants categorized according to affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone). Images of the faces of partners and strangers, in both painful and neutral situations, were used as visual stimuli. Interaction analyses indicate significantly different activations in the two groups in reaction to a loved one's pain: the phobic prone group exhibited greater activation in the left posterior insula. These results demonstrate that affective-cognitive style is associated with insula activity in pain empathy processing, suggesting a greater involvement of the insula in feelings for a certain cohort of people. In the mapping of individual differences, these results shed new light on variability in neural networks of emotion. PMID:21179564

  8. Whether others were treated equally affects neural responses to unfairness in the Ultimatum Game.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Li; Guo, Xiuyan; Zhu, Lei; Li, Jianqi; Chen, Luguang; Dienes, Zoltan

    2015-03-01

    People expect to be treated equivalently as others in like circumstances. The present study investigated that whether and how equal or unequal treatments of others in like circumstances affected individuals' responses to unfairness through justifying their reference points for fairness considerations. Twenty-five participants were scanned while they were playing an adapted version of the Ultimatum Game as responders. During the experiment, the participant was not only informed of the offer given by her/his proposer but also informed of the division scheme of another proposer-responder pair. It turned out that participants were more likely to accept unequal offers and reported higher fairness ratings when other responders received unequal offers compared with equal offers. Stronger bilateral anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus activities were observed when only participants (but not other responders) received equal offers, whereas greater right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was found when both of them received unequal offers, especially when participants accepted the unequal offers. Taken together, the results demonstrated that whether others in like circumstances were offered equally also plays an important role in responders' fairness-related social decision making. PMID:24847114

  9. Chronic social stress in puberty alters appetitive male sexual behavior and neural metabolic activity.

    PubMed

    Bastida, Christel C; Puga, Frank; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Jennings, Kimberly J; Wommack, Joel C; Delville, Yvon

    2014-07-01

    Repeated social subjugation in early puberty lowers testosterone levels. We used hamsters to investigate the effects of social subjugation on male sexual behavior and metabolic activity within neural systems controlling social and motivational behaviors. Subjugated animals were exposed daily to aggressive adult males in early puberty for postnatal days 28 to 42, while control animals were placed in empty clean cages. On postnatal day 45, they were tested for male sexual behavior in the presence of receptive female. Alternatively, they were tested for mate choice after placement at the base of a Y-maze containing a sexually receptive female in one tip of the maze and an ovariectomized one on the other. Social subjugation did not affect the capacity to mate with receptive females. Although control animals were fast to approach females and preferred ovariectomized individuals, subjugated animals stayed away from them and showed no preference. Cytochrome oxidase activity was reduced within the preoptic area and ventral tegmental area in subjugated hamsters. In addition, the correlation of metabolic activity of these areas with the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and anterior parietal cortex changed significantly from positive in controls to negative in subjugated animals. These data show that at mid-puberty, while male hamsters are capable of mating, their appetitive sexual behavior is not fully mature and this aspect of male sexual behavior is responsive to social subjugation. Furthermore, metabolic activity and coordination of activity in brain areas related to sexual behavior and motivation were altered by social subjugation. PMID:24852486

  10. Chronic Social Stress in Puberty Alters Appetitive Male Sexual Behavior and Neural Metabolic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Bastida, Christel C.; Puga, Frank; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Jennings, Kimberly J.; Wommack, Joel C.; Delville, Yvon

    2014-01-01

    Repeated social subjugation in early puberty lowers testosterone levels. We used hamsters to investigate the effects of social subjugation on male sexual behavior and metabolic activity within neural systems controlling social and motivational behaviors. Subjugated animals were exposed daily to aggressive adult males in early puberty for postnatal days 28 to 42, while control animals were placed in empty clean cages. On postnatal day 45, they were tested for male sexual behavior in the presence of receptive female. Alternatively, they were tested for mate choice after placement at the base of a Y-maze containing a sexually receptive female in one tip of the maze and an ovariectomized one on the other. Social subjugation did not affect the capacity to mate with receptive females. Although control animals were fast to approach females and preferred ovariectomized individuals, subjugated animals stayed away from them and showed no preference. Cytochrome oxidase activity was reduced within the preoptic area and ventral tegmental area in subjugated hamsters. In addition, the correlation of metabolic activity of these areas with the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and anterior parietal cortex changed significantly from positive in controls to negative in subjugated animals. These data show that at mid-puberty, while male hamsters are capable of mating, their appetitive sexual behavior is not fully mature and this aspect of male sexual behavior is responsive to social subjugation. Furthermore, metabolic activity and coordination of activity in brain areas related to sexual behavior and motivation was altered by social subjugation. PMID:24852486

  11. Neural System Antigens Are Recognized by Autoantibodies from Patients Affected by a New Variant of Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceus in Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Michael S.; Yi, Hong; Gao, Weiqing; Hashimoto, Takashi; Grossniklaus, Hans E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Endemic pemphigus foliaceus (EPF), is also known as “fogo selvagem” or “wild fire,” reflecting the intense burning sensation of the skin reported by patients with this disease. Based on this finding, we tested for neural autoreactivity in patients affected by a new variant of EPF (El Bagre-EPF). Methods We tested 20 El Bagre-EPF patients, 20 normal controls from the endemic area, and 20 age- and sex-matched normal controls from outside the endemic area. We tested for autoreactivity to several immunoglobulins and complement. Both human skin and bovine tail were used as antigens. Results We detected autoreactivity to neural structures, mechanoreceptors, nerves, perineural cell layers of the arachnoid envelope around the optic nerve, brain structures, and to neuromuscular spindles; these structures colocalized with several neural markers. The patient antibodies also colocalized with desmoplakins 1 and 2, with the armadillo repeat protein deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome and with p0071 antibodies. Autoreactivity was also found associated with neurovascular bundles innervating the skin, and immunoelectron microscopy using protein A gold against patient antibodies was positive against the nerve axons. Paucicellularity of the intraepidermal nerve endings and defragmentation of the neural plexus were seen in 70% of the cases and not in the controls from the endemic area (p<0.005). Neuropsychological and/or behavioral symptoms were detected in individuals from the endemic area, including sensorimotor axonal neuropathy. Conclusions Our findings may explain for the first time the “pose of pemphigus,” representing a dorsiflexural posture seen in EPF patients vis-a-vis the weakness of the extensor nerves, and furthermore, the autoreactivity to nerves in EPF could explain the “burning sensation” encountered in EPF disease. PMID:21210298

  12. The fiber-optic imaging and manipulation of neural activity during animal behavior.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Murayama, Masanori

    2016-02-01

    Recent progress with optogenetic probes for imaging and manipulating neural activity has further increased the relevance of fiber-optic systems for neural circuitry research. Optical fibers, which bi-directionally transmit light between separate sites (even at a distance of several meters), can be used for either optical imaging or manipulating neural activity relevant to behavioral circuitry mechanisms. The method's flexibility and the specifications of the light structure are well suited for following the behavior of freely moving animals. Furthermore, thin optical fibers allow researchers to monitor neural activity from not only the cortical surface but also deep brain regions, including the hippocampus and amygdala. Such regions are difficult to target with two-photon microscopes. Optogenetic manipulation of neural activity with an optical fiber has the advantage of being selective for both cell-types and projections as compared to conventional electrophysiological brain tissue stimulation. It is difficult to extract any data regarding changes in neural activity solely from a fiber-optic manipulation device; however, the readout of data is made possible by combining manipulation with electrophysiological recording, or the simultaneous application of optical imaging and manipulation using a bundle-fiber. The present review introduces recent progress in fiber-optic imaging and manipulation methods, while also discussing fiber-optic system designs that are suitable for a given experimental protocol. PMID:26427958

  13. Hemodynamic correlates of spontaneous neural activity measured by human whole-head resting state EEG+fNIRS.

    PubMed

    Keles, Hasan Onur; Barbour, Randall L; Omurtag, Ahmet

    2016-09-01

    The brains of awake, resting human subjects display spontaneously occurring neural activity patterns whose magnitude is typically many times greater than those triggered by cognitive or perceptual performance. Evoked and resting state activations affect local cerebral hemodynamic properties through processes collectively referred to as neurovascular coupling. Its investigation calls for an ability to track both the neural and vascular aspects of brain function. We used scalp electroencephalography (EEG), which provided a measure of the electrical potentials generated by cortical postsynaptic currents. Simultaneously we utilized functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to continuously monitor hemoglobin concentration changes in superficial cortical layers. The multi-modal signal from 18 healthy adult subjects allowed us to investigate the association of neural activity in a range of frequencies over the whole-head to local changes in hemoglobin concentrations. Our results verified the delayed alpha (8-16Hz) modulation of hemodynamics in posterior areas known from the literature. They also indicated strong beta (16-32Hz) modulation of hemodynamics. Analysis revealed, however, that beta modulation was likely generated by the alpha-beta coupling in EEG. Signals from the inferior electrode sites were dominated by scalp muscle related activity. Our study aimed to characterize the phenomena related to neurovascular coupling observable by practical, cost-effective, and non-invasive multi-modal techniques. PMID:27236081

  14. Neural Activity during Encoding Predicts False Memories Created by Misinformation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okado, Yoko; Stark, Craig E. L.

    2005-01-01

    False memories are often demonstrated using the misinformation paradigm, in which a person's recollection of a witnessed event is altered after exposure to misinformation about the event. The neural basis of this phenomenon, however, remains unknown. The authors used fMRI to investigate encoding processes during the viewing of an event and…

  15. Crossmodal deficit in dyslexic children: practice affects the neural timing of letter-speech sound integration

    PubMed Central

    Žarić, Gojko; Fraga González, Gorka; Tijms, Jurgen; van der Molen, Maurits W.; Blomert, Leo; Bonte, Milene

    2015-01-01

    A failure to build solid letter-speech sound associations may contribute to reading impairments in developmental dyslexia. Whether this reduced neural integration of letters and speech sounds changes over time within individual children and how this relates to behavioral gains in reading skills remains unknown. In this research, we examined changes in event-related potential (ERP) measures of letter-speech sound integration over a 6-month period during which 9-year-old dyslexic readers (n = 17) followed a training in letter-speech sound coupling next to their regular reading curriculum. We presented the Dutch spoken vowels /a/ and /o/ as standard and deviant stimuli in one auditory and two audiovisual oddball conditions. In one audiovisual condition (AV0), the letter “a” was presented simultaneously with the vowels, while in the other (AV200) it was preceding vowel onset for 200 ms. Prior to the training (T1), dyslexic readers showed the expected pattern of typical auditory mismatch responses, together with the absence of letter-speech sound effects in a late negativity (LN) window. After the training (T2), our results showed earlier (and enhanced) crossmodal effects in the LN window. Most interestingly, earlier LN latency at T2 was significantly related to higher behavioral accuracy in letter-speech sound coupling. On a more general level, the timing of the earlier mismatch negativity (MMN) in the simultaneous condition (AV0) measured at T1, significantly related to reading fluency at both T1 and T2 as well as with reading gains. Our findings suggest that the reduced neural integration of letters and speech sounds in dyslexic children may show moderate improvement with reading instruction and training and that behavioral improvements relate especially to individual differences in the timing of this neural integration. PMID:26157382

  16. High baseline activity in inferior temporal cortex improves neural and behavioral discriminability during visual categorization

    PubMed Central

    Emadi, Nazli; Rajimehr, Reza; Esteky, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Spontaneous firing is a ubiquitous property of neural activity in the brain. Recent literature suggests that this baseline activity plays a key role in perception. However, it is not known how the baseline activity contributes to neural coding and behavior. Here, by recording from the single neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys performing a visual categorization task, we thoroughly explored the relationship between baseline activity, the evoked response, and behavior. Specifically we found that a low-frequency (<8 Hz) oscillation in the spike train, prior and phase-locked to the stimulus onset, was correlated with increased gamma power and neuronal baseline activity. This enhancement of the baseline activity was then followed by an increase in the neural selectivity and the response reliability and eventually a higher behavioral performance. PMID:25404900

  17. Explorative data analysis for changes in neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blythe, Duncan A. J.; Meinecke, Frank C.; von Bünau, Paul; Müller, Klaus-Robert

    2013-04-01

    Neural recordings are non-stationary time series, i.e. their properties typically change over time. Identifying specific changes, e.g., those induced by a learning task, can shed light on the underlying neural processes. However, such changes of interest are often masked by strong unrelated changes, which can be of physiological origin or due to measurement artifacts. We propose a novel algorithm for disentangling such different causes of non-stationarity and in this manner enable better neurophysiological interpretation for a wider set of experimental paradigms. A key ingredient is the repeated application of Stationary Subspace Analysis (SSA) using different temporal scales. The usefulness of our explorative approach is demonstrated in simulations, theory and EEG experiments with 80 brain-computer interfacing subjects.

  18. A role for correlated spontaneous activity in the assembly of neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Kirkby, Lowry; Sack, Georgeann; Firl, Alana; Feller, Marla B.

    2015-01-01

    Before the onset of sensory transduction, developing neural circuits spontaneously generate correlated activity in distinct spatial and temporal patterns. During this period of patterned activity, sensory maps develop and initial coarse connections are refined, which are critical steps in the establishment of adult neural circuits. Over the last decade there has been substantial evidence that altering the pattern of spontaneous activity disrupts refinement, but the mechanistic understanding of this process remains incomplete. In this review, we discuss recent experimental and theoretical progress towards the process of activity-dependent refinement, focusing on circuits in the visual, auditory and motor systems. While many outstanding questions remain, the combination of several novel approaches have brought us closer to a comprehensive understanding of how complex neural circuits are established by patterned spontaneous activity during development. PMID:24314725

  19. The MEG topography and the source model of abnormal neural activities associated with brain lesions

    SciTech Connect

    Ueno, S.; Iramina, K.; Ozaki, H.; Harada, K.

    1986-09-01

    A source model is proposed to simulate spatial distributions of abnormal MEG and EEG activities generated by abnormal neural activities such as the delta activity associated with brain tumors. Brain tumor itself is electrically silent and the spherical shell around the tumor might generate abnormal neural activities. The sources of these neural activities are represented by combinations of multiple current dipoles. The head is assumed to be a spherical volume conductor. Electrical potentials and magnetic fields over the surface of the spheres are calculated. The computer simulation shows that the MEG topography and EEG topography vary variously with combinations of location and orientation of the dipoles. In a special case, however, that the dipoles orient in the same direction or orient radially, the spatial patterns of the MEGs and EEGs generated by numerous dipoles are analogous to those generated by single dipoles.

  20. Coupling of total hemoglobin concentration, oxygenation, and neural activity in rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Devor, Anna; Dunn, Andrew K; Andermann, Mark L; Ulbert, Istvan; Boas, David A; Dale, Anders M

    2003-07-17

    Recent advances in brain imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), offer great promise for noninvasive mapping of brain function. However, the indirect nature of the imaging signals to the underlying neural activity limits the interpretation of the resulting maps. The present report represents the first systematic study with sufficient statistical power to quantitatively characterize the relationship between changes in blood oxygen content and the neural spiking and synaptic activity. Using two-dimensional optical measurements of hemodynamic signals, simultaneous recordings of neural activity, and an event-related stimulus paradigm, we demonstrate that (1) there is a strongly nonlinear relationship between electrophysiological measures of neuronal activity and the hemodynamic response, (2) the hemodynamic response continues to grow beyond the saturation of electrical activity, and (3) the initial increase in deoxyhemoglobin that precedes an increase in blood volume is counterbalanced by an equal initial decrease in oxyhemoglobin. PMID:12873390

  1. Fractal Patterns of Neural Activity Exist within the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus and Require Extrinsic Network Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Kun; Meijer, Johanna H.; Shea, Steven A.; vanderLeest, Henk Tjebbe; Pittman-Polletta, Benjamin; Houben, Thijs; van Oosterhout, Floor; Deboer, Tom; Scheer, Frank A. J. L.

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian central circadian pacemaker (the suprachiasmatic nucleus, SCN) contains thousands of neurons that are coupled through a complex network of interactions. In addition to the established role of the SCN in generating rhythms of ∼24 hours in many physiological functions, the SCN was recently shown to be necessary for normal self-similar/fractal organization of motor activity and heart rate over a wide range of time scales—from minutes to 24 hours. To test whether the neural network within the SCN is sufficient to generate such fractal patterns, we studied multi-unit neural activity of in vivo and in vitro SCNs in rodents. In vivo SCN-neural activity exhibited fractal patterns that are virtually identical in mice and rats and are similar to those in motor activity at time scales from minutes up to 10 hours. In addition, these patterns remained unchanged when the main afferent signal to the SCN, namely light, was removed. However, the fractal patterns of SCN-neural activity are not autonomous within the SCN as these patterns completely broke down in the isolated in vitro SCN despite persistence of circadian rhythmicity. Thus, SCN-neural activity is fractal in the intact organism and these fractal patterns require network interactions between the SCN and extra-SCN nodes. Such a fractal control network could underlie the fractal regulation observed in many physiological functions that involve the SCN, including motor control and heart rate regulation. PMID:23185285

  2. Affection of Fundamental Brain Activity By Using Sounds For Patients With Prosodic Disorders: A Pilot Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imai, Emiko; Katagiri, Yoshitada; Seki, Keiko; Kawamata, Toshio

    2011-06-01

    We present a neural model of the production of modulated speech streams in the brain, referred to as prosody, which indicates the limbic structure essential for producing prosody both linguistically and emotionally. This model suggests that activating the fundamental brain including monoamine neurons at the basal ganglia will potentially contribute to helping patients with prosodic disorders coming from functional defects of the fundamental brain to overcome their speech problem. To establish effective clinical treatment for such prosodic disorders, we examine how sounds affect the fundamental activity by using electroencephalographic measurements. Throughout examinations with various melodious sounds, we found that some melodies with lilting rhythms successfully give rise to the fast alpha rhythms at the electroencephalogram which reflect the fundamental brain activity without any negative feelings.

  3. Use of Artificial Neural Networks to Examine Parameters Affecting the Immobilization of Streptokinase in Chitosan

    PubMed Central

    Modaresi, Seyed Mohamad Sadegh; Faramarzi, Mohammad Ali; Soltani, Arash; Baharifar, Hadi; Amani, Amir

    2014-01-01

    Streptokinase is a potent fibrinolytic agent which is widely used in treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and acute myocardial infarction (MI). Major limitation of this enzyme is its short biological half-life in the blood stream. Our previous report showed that complexing streptokinase with chitosan could be a solution to overcome this limitation. The aim of this research was to establish an artificial neural networks (ANNs) model for identifying main factors influencing the loading efficiency of streptokinase, as an essential parameter determining efficacy of the enzyme. Three variables, namely, chitosan concentration, buffer pH and enzyme concentration were considered as input values and the loading efficiency was used as output. Subsequently, the experimental data were modeled and the model was validated against a set of unseen data. The developed model indicated chitosan concentration as probably the most important factor, having reverse effect on the loading efficiency. PMID:25587327

  4. Use of artificial neural networks to examine parameters affecting the immobilization of streptokinase in chitosan.

    PubMed

    Modaresi, Seyed Mohamad Sadegh; Faramarzi, Mohammad Ali; Soltani, Arash; Baharifar, Hadi; Amani, Amir

    2014-01-01

    Streptokinase is a potent fibrinolytic agent which is widely used in treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and acute myocardial infarction (MI). Major limitation of this enzyme is its short biological half-life in the blood stream. Our previous report showed that complexing streptokinase with chitosan could be a solution to overcome this limitation. The aim of this research was to establish an artificial neural networks (ANNs) model for identifying main factors influencing the loading efficiency of streptokinase, as an essential parameter determining efficacy of the enzyme. Three variables, namely, chitosan concentration, buffer pH and enzyme concentration were considered as input values and the loading efficiency was used as output. Subsequently, the experimental data were modeled and the model was validated against a set of unseen data. The developed model indicated chitosan concentration as probably the most important factor, having reverse effect on the loading efficiency. PMID:25587327

  5. The presence of a culturally similar or dissimilar social partner affects neural responses to emotional stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Kate A.; Yu, Dian; Liu, Yi; Han, Shihui

    2013-01-01

    Background Emotional responding is sensitive to social context; however, little emphasis has been placed on the mechanisms by which social context effects changes in emotional responding. Objective We aimed to investigate the effects of social context on neural responses to emotional stimuli to inform on the mechanisms underpinning context-linked changes in emotional responding. Design We measured event-related potential (ERP) components known to index specific emotion processes and self-reports of explicit emotion regulation strategies and emotional arousal. Female Chinese university students observed positive, negative, and neutral photographs, whilst alone or accompanied by a culturally similar (Chinese) or dissimilar researcher (British). Results There was a reduction in the positive versus neutral differential N1 amplitude (indexing attentional capture by positive stimuli) in the dissimilar relative to alone context. In this context, there was also a corresponding increase in amplitude of a frontal late positive potential (LPP) component (indexing engagement of cognitive control resources). In the similar relative to alone context, these effects on differential N1 and frontal LPP amplitudes were less pronounced, but there was an additional decrease in the amplitude of a parietal LPP component (indexing motivational relevance) in response to positive stimuli. In response to negative stimuli, the differential N1 component was increased in the similar relative to dissimilar and alone (trend) context. Conclusion These data suggest that neural processes engaged in response to emotional stimuli are modulated by social context. Possible mechanisms for the social-context-linked changes in attentional capture by emotional stimuli include a context-directed modulation of the focus of attention, or an altered interpretation of the emotional stimuli based on additional information proportioned by the context. PMID:24693352

  6. Intersubject variability in fearful face processing: the link between behavior and neural activation.

    PubMed

    Doty, Tracy J; Japee, Shruti; Ingvar, Martin; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2014-12-01

    Stimuli that signal threat show considerable variability in the extents to which they enhance behavior, even among healthy individuals. However, the neural underpinning of this behavioral variability is not well understood. By manipulating expectation of threat in an fMRI study of fearful versus neutral face categorization, we uncovered a network of areas underlying variability in threat processing in healthy adults. We explicitly altered expectations by presenting face images at three different expectation levels: 80 %, 50 %, and 20 %. Subjects were instructed to report as quickly and accurately as possible whether the face was fearful (signaled threat) or not. An uninformative cue preceded each face by 4 s. By taking the difference between reaction times (RTs) to fearful and neutral faces, we quantified an overall fear RT bias (i.e., faster to fearful than to neutral faces) for each subject. This bias correlated positively with late-trial fMRI activation (8 s after the face) during unexpected-fearful-face trials in bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the left subgenual cingulate cortex, and the right caudate nucleus, and correlated negatively with early-trial fMRI activation (4 s after the cue) during expected-neutral-face trials in bilateral dorsal striatum and the right ventral striatum. These results demonstrate that the variability in threat processing among healthy adults is reflected not only in behavior, but also in the magnitude of activation in medial prefrontal and striatal regions that appear to encode affective value. PMID:24841078

  7. Real-time Neural Network predictions of geomagnetic activity indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, R.; Reiff, P. H.

    2009-12-01

    The Boyle potential or the Boyle Index (BI), Φ (kV)=10-4 (V/(km/s))2 + 11.7 (B/nT) sin3(θ/2), is an empirically-derived formula that can characterize the Earth's polar cap potential, which is readily derivable in real time using the solar wind data from ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer). The BI has a simplistic form that utilizes a non-magnetic "viscous" and a magnetic "merging" component to characterize the magnetospheric behavior in response to the solar wind. We have investigated its correlation with two of conventional geomagnetic activity indices in Kp and the AE index. We have shown that the logarithms of both 3-hr and 1-hr averages of the BI correlate well with the subsequent Kp: Kp = 8.93 log10(BI) - 12.55 along with 1-hr BI correlating with the subsequent log10(AE): log10(AE) = 1.78 log10(BI) - 3.6. We have developed a new set of algorithms based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) suitable for short term space weather forecasts with an enhanced lead-time and better accuracy in predicting Kp and AE over some leading models; the algorithms omit the time history of its targets to utilize only the solar wind data. Inputs to our ANN models benefit from the BI and its proven record as a forecasting parameter since its initiation in October, 2003. We have also performed time-sensitivity tests using cross-correlation analysis to demonstrate that our models are as efficient as those that incorporates the time history of the target indices in their inputs. Our algorithms can predict the upcoming full 3-hr Kp, purely from the solar wind data and achieve a linear correlation coefficient of 0.840, which means that it predicts the upcoming Kp value on average to within 1.3 step, which is approximately the resolution of the real-time Kp estimate. Our success in predicting Kp during a recent unexpected event (22 July ’09) is shown in the figure. Also, when predicting an equivalent "one hour Kp'', the correlation coefficient is 0.86, meaning on average a prediction

  8. Perceptual similarity of visual patterns predicts dynamic neural activation patterns measured with MEG.

    PubMed

    Wardle, Susan G; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Grootswagers, Tijl; Khaligh-Razavi, Seyed-Mahdi; Carlson, Thomas A

    2016-05-15

    Perceptual similarity is a cognitive judgment that represents the end-stage of a complex cascade of hierarchical processing throughout visual cortex. Previous studies have shown a correspondence between the similarity of coarse-scale fMRI activation patterns and the perceived similarity of visual stimuli, suggesting that visual objects that appear similar also share similar underlying patterns of neural activation. Here we explore the temporal relationship between the human brain's time-varying representation of visual patterns and behavioral judgments of perceptual similarity. The visual stimuli were abstract patterns constructed from identical perceptual units (oriented Gabor patches) so that each pattern had a unique global form or perceptual 'Gestalt'. The visual stimuli were decodable from evoked neural activation patterns measured with magnetoencephalography (MEG), however, stimuli differed in the similarity of their neural representation as estimated by differences in decodability. Early after stimulus onset (from 50ms), a model based on retinotopic organization predicted the representational similarity of the visual stimuli. Following the peak correlation between the retinotopic model and neural data at 80ms, the neural representations quickly evolved so that retinotopy no longer provided a sufficient account of the brain's time-varying representation of the stimuli. Overall the strongest predictor of the brain's representation was a model based on human judgments of perceptual similarity, which reached the limits of the maximum correlation with the neural data defined by the 'noise ceiling'. Our results show that large-scale brain activation patterns contain a neural signature for the perceptual Gestalt of composite visual features, and demonstrate a strong correspondence between perception and complex patterns of brain activity. PMID:26899210

  9. Altered Neural Activity Associated with Mindfulness during Nociception: A Systematic Review of Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Bilevicius, Elena; Kolesar, Tiffany A.; Kornelsen, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To assess the neural activity associated with mindfulness-based alterations of pain perception. Methods: The Cochrane Central, EMBASE, Ovid Medline, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched on 2 February 2016. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were independently screened by two reviewers. Data were independently extracted from records that included topics of functional neuroimaging, pain, and mindfulness interventions. Results: The literature search produced 946 total records, of which five met the inclusion criteria. Records reported pain in terms of anticipation (n = 2), unpleasantness (n = 5), and intensity (n = 5), and how mindfulness conditions altered the neural activity during noxious stimulation accordingly. Conclusions: Although the studies were inconsistent in relating pain components to neural activity, in general, mindfulness was able to reduce pain anticipation and unpleasantness ratings, as well as alter the corresponding neural activity. The major neural underpinnings of mindfulness-based pain reduction consisted of altered activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:27104572

  10. An event-related examination of neural activity during social interactions

    PubMed Central

    Khatcherian, Stephanie M.; Ball, Aaron B.; Rosen, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Social exclusion is known to cause alterations in neural activity and perceptions of social distress. However, previous research is largely limited to examining social interactions as a unitary phenomenon without investigating adjustments in neural and attentional processes that occur during social interactions. To address this limitation, we examined neural activity on a trial-by-trial basis during different social interactions. Our results show conflict monitoring neural alarm activation, indexed by the N2, in response to specific exclusionary events; even during interactions that are inclusionary overall and in the absence of self-reported feelings of social pain. Furthermore, we show enhanced attentional activation to exclusionary events, indexed by the P3b, during exclusionary, compared with inclusionary, interactions, and this P3b activation was associated with self-reported social distress following prolonged social exclusion. Finally, both the N2 and P3b showed larger amplitudes in the earlier stages of exclusion compared with later stages, suggesting heightened early sensitivity for both components. Together, these findings provide novel insights into the dynamic neural and perceptual processes of exclusion that exist during social interactions and the relationship between discrete events within interactions and the more general contexts of the social interactions. PMID:22577169

  11. Psychosocial versus physiological stress - Meta-analyses on deactivations and activations of the neural correlates of stress reactions.

    PubMed

    Kogler, Lydia; Müller, Veronika I; Chang, Amy; Eickhoff, Simon B; Fox, Peter T; Gur, Ruben C; Derntl, Birgit

    2015-10-01

    Stress is present in everyday life in various forms and situations. Two stressors frequently investigated are physiological and psychosocial stress. Besides similar subjective and hormonal responses, it has been suggested that they also share common neural substrates. The current study used activation-likelihood-estimation meta-analysis to test this assumption by integrating results of previous neuroimaging studies on stress processing. Reported results are cluster-level FWE corrected. The inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the anterior insula (AI) were the only regions that demonstrated overlapping activation for both stressors. Analysis of physiological stress showed consistent activation of cognitive and affective components of pain processing such as the insula, striatum, or the middle cingulate cortex. Contrarily, analysis across psychosocial stress revealed consistent activation of the right superior temporal gyrus and deactivation of the striatum. Notably, parts of the striatum appeared to be functionally specified: the dorsal striatum was activated in physiological stress, whereas the ventral striatum was deactivated in psychosocial stress. Additional functional connectivity and decoding analyses further characterized this functional heterogeneity and revealed higher associations of the dorsal striatum with motor regions and of the ventral striatum with reward processing. Based on our meta-analytic approach, activation of the IFG and the AI seems to indicate a global neural stress reaction. While physiological stress activates a motoric fight-or-flight reaction, during psychosocial stress attention is shifted towards emotion regulation and goal-directed behavior, and reward processing is reduced. Our results show the significance of differentiating physiological and psychosocial stress in neural engagement. Furthermore, the assessment of deactivations in addition to activations in stress research is highly recommended. PMID:26123376

  12. Two-stage neural algorithm for defect detection and characterization uses an active thermography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudzik, Sebastian

    2015-07-01

    In the paper a two-stage neural algorithm for defect detection and characterization is presented. In order to estimate the defect depth two neural networks trained on data obtained using an active thermography were employed. The first stage of the algorithm is developed to detect the defect by a classification neural network. Then the defects depth is estimated using a regressive neural network. In this work the results of experimental investigations and simulations are shown. Further, the sensitivity analysis of the presented algorithm was conducted and the impacts of emissivity error and the ambient temperature error on the depth estimation errors were studied. The results were obtained using a test sample made of material with a low thermal diffusivity.

  13. Insular Activity during Passive Viewing of Aversive Stimuli Reflects Individual Differences in State Negative Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meriau, Katja; Wartenburger, Isabell; Kazzer, Philipp; Prehn, Kristin; Villringer, Arno; van der Meer, Elke; Heekeren, Hauke R.

    2009-01-01

    People differ with regard to how they perceive, experience, and express negative affect. While trait negative affect reflects a stable, sustained personality trait, state negative affect represents a stimulus limited and temporally acute emotion. So far, little is known about the neural systems mediating the relationship between negative affect…

  14. Pitch underlies activation of the vocal system during affective vocalization.

    PubMed

    Belyk, Michel; Brown, Steven

    2016-07-01

    Affective prosody is that aspect of speech that conveys a speaker's emotional state through modulations in various vocal parameters, most prominently pitch. While a large body of research implicates the cingulate vocalization area in controlling affective vocalizations in monkeys, no systematic test of functional homology for this area has yet been reported in humans. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain activations when subjects produced affective vocalizations in the form of exclamations vs non-affective vocalizations with similar pitch contours. We also examined the perception of affective vocalizations by having participants make judgments about either the emotions being conveyed by recorded affective vocalizations or the pitch contours of the same vocalizations. Production of affective vocalizations and matched pitch contours activated a highly overlapping set of brain areas, including the larynx-phonation area of the primary motor cortex and a region of the anterior cingulate cortex that is consistent with the macro-anatomical position of the cingulate vocalization area. This overlap contradicts the dominant view that these areas form two distinct vocal pathways with dissociable functions. Instead, we propose that these brain areas are nodes in a single vocal network, with an emphasis on pitch modulation as a vehicle for affective expression. PMID:26078385

  15. Epigenetic activation of Sox2 gene in the developing vertebrate neural plate

    PubMed Central

    Bouzas, Santiago O.; Marini, Melisa S.; Torres Zelada, Eliana; Buzzi, Ailín L.; Morales Vicente, David A.; Strobl-Mazzulla, Pablo H.

    2016-01-01

    One of the earliest manifestations of neural induction is onset of expression of the neural marker Sox2, mediated by the activation of the enhancers N1 and N2. By using loss and gain of function, we find that Sox2 expression requires the activity of JmjD2A and the Msk1 kinase, which can respectively demethylate the repressive H3K9me3 mark and phosphorylate the activating H3S10 (H3S10ph) mark. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation reveals that the adaptor protein 14-3-3, known to bind to H3S10ph, interacts with JMJD2A and may be involved in its recruitment to regulatory regions of the Sox2 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation reveals dynamic binding of JMJD2A to the Sox2 promoter and N-1 enhancer at the time of neural plate induction. Finally, we show a clear temporal antagonism on the occupancy of H3K9me3 and H3S10ph modifications at the promoter of the Sox2 locus before and after the neural plate induction. Taken together, our results propose a series of epigenetic events necessary for the early activation of the Sox2 gene in neural progenitor cells. PMID:27099369

  16. Epigenetic activation of Sox2 gene in the developing vertebrate neural plate.

    PubMed

    Bouzas, Santiago O; Marini, Melisa S; Torres Zelada, Eliana; Buzzi, Ailín L; Morales Vicente, David A; Strobl-Mazzulla, Pablo H

    2016-06-15

    One of the earliest manifestations of neural induction is onset of expression of the neural marker Sox2, mediated by the activation of the enhancers N1 and N2. By using loss and gain of function, we find that Sox2 expression requires the activity of JmjD2A and the Msk1 kinase, which can respectively demethylate the repressive H3K9me3 mark and phosphorylate the activating H3S10 (H3S10ph) mark. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation reveals that the adaptor protein 14-3-3, known to bind to H3S10ph, interacts with JMJD2A and may be involved in its recruitment to regulatory regions of the Sox2 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation reveals dynamic binding of JMJD2A to the Sox2 promoter and N-1 enhancer at the time of neural plate induction. Finally, we show a clear temporal antagonism on the occupancy of H3K9me3 and H3S10ph modifications at the promoter of the Sox2 locus before and after the neural plate induction. Taken together, our results propose a series of epigenetic events necessary for the early activation of the Sox2 gene in neural progenitor cells. PMID:27099369

  17. Feasibility of Neural Stimulation With Floating-Light-Activated Microelectrical Stimulators

    PubMed Central

    Abdo, Ammar; Sahin, Mesut

    2011-01-01

    Neural microstimulation is becoming a powerful tool for the restoration of impaired functions in the central nervous system. Microelectrode arrays with fine wire interconnects have traditionally been used in the development of these neural prosthetic devices. However, these interconnects are usually the most vulnerable part of the neuroprosthetic implant that can eventually cause the device to fail. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of floating-light-activated microelectrical stimulators (FLAMES) for wireless neural stimulation. A computer model was developed to simulate the micro stimulators for typical requirements of neural activation in the human white and gray matters. First, the photon densities due to a circular laser beam were simulated in the neural tissue at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Temperature elevation in the tissue was calculated and the laser power was retrospectively adjusted to 325 and 250 mW/cm2 in the gray and white matters, respectively, to limit ΔT to 0.5 °C. Total device area of the FLAMES increased with all parameters considered but decreased with the output voltage. We conclude that the number of series photodiodes in the device can be used as a free parameter to minimize the device size. The results suggest that floating, optically activated stimulators are feasible at submillimeter sizes for the activation of the brain cortex or the spinal cord. PMID:21552457

  18. Transform-invariant feature based functional MR image registration and neural activity modelling.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jiaqi; Hao, Qi; Hu, Fei

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, a set of non-rigid image registration and neural activity modelling methods using functional MR Images (fMRI) are proposed based on transform-invariant feature representations. Our work made two contributions. First, we propose to use a transform-invariant feature to improve image registration performance of Iterative Closest Point (ICP) based methods. The proposed feature utilises Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM) to describe the local topological structure of fMRI data. Second, we propose to use a 3-dimensional Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) based descriptor to represent neural activities related to drinking behaviour. As a result, neural activities patterns of different subjects drinking water or intaking glucose can be recognised, with strong robustness against various artefacts. PMID:23900434

  19. Sensorimotor Encoding by Synchronous Neural Ensemble Activity at Multiple Levels of the Somatosensory System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nocolelis, Miguel A. L.; Baccala, Luiz A.; Lin, Rick C. S.; Chapin, John K.

    1995-06-01

    Neural ensemble processing of sensorimotor information during behavior was investigated by simultaneously recording up to 48 single neurons at multiple relays of the rat trigeminal somatosensory system. Cortical, thalamic, and brainstem neurons exhibited widespread 7- to 12-hertz synchronous oscillations, which began during attentive immobility and reliably predicted the imminent onset of rhythmic whisker twitching. Each oscillatory cycle began as a traveling wave of neural activity in the cortex that then spread to the thalamus. Just before the onset of rhythmic whisker twitching, the oscillations spread to the spinal trigeminal brainstem complex. Thereafter, the oscillations at all levels were synchronous with whisker protraction. Neural structures manifesting these rhythms also exhibited distributed spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal ensemble activity in response to tactile stimulation. Thus, multilevel synchronous activity in this system may encode not only sensory information but also the onset and temporal domain of tactile exploratory movements.

  20. Increased Neural Activation during Picture Encoding and Retrieval in 60-Year-Olds Compared to 20-Year-Olds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgmans, S.; van Boxtel, M. P. J.; Vuurman, E. F. P. M.; Evers, E. A. T.; Jolles, J.

    2010-01-01

    Brain aging has been associated with both reduced and increased neural activity during task execution. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether increased neural activation during memory encoding and retrieval is already present at the age of 60 as well as to obtain more insight into the mechanism behind increased activity.…

  1. Corrugator activity confirms immediate negative affect in surprise.

    PubMed

    Topolinski, Sascha; Strack, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of surprise entails a complex of immediate responses, such as cognitive interruption, attention allocation to, and more systematic processing of the surprising stimulus. All these processes serve the ultimate function to increase processing depth and thus cognitively master the surprising stimulus. The present account introduces phasic negative affect as the underlying mechanism responsible for this switch in operating mode. Surprising stimuli are schema-discrepant and thus entail cognitive disfluency, which elicits immediate negative affect. This affect in turn works like a phasic cognitive tuning switching the current processing mode from more automatic and heuristic to more systematic and reflective processing. Directly testing the initial elicitation of negative affect by surprising events, the present experiment presented high and low surprising neutral trivia statements to N = 28 participants while assessing their spontaneous facial expressions via facial electromyography. High compared to low surprising trivia elicited higher corrugator activity, indicative of negative affect and mental effort, while leaving zygomaticus (positive affect) and frontalis (cultural surprise expression) activity unaffected. Future research shall investigate the mediating role of negative affect in eliciting surprise-related outcomes. PMID:25762956

  2. Corrugator activity confirms immediate negative affect in surprise

    PubMed Central

    Topolinski, Sascha; Strack, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of surprise entails a complex of immediate responses, such as cognitive interruption, attention allocation to, and more systematic processing of the surprising stimulus. All these processes serve the ultimate function to increase processing depth and thus cognitively master the surprising stimulus. The present account introduces phasic negative affect as the underlying mechanism responsible for this switch in operating mode. Surprising stimuli are schema-discrepant and thus entail cognitive disfluency, which elicits immediate negative affect. This affect in turn works like a phasic cognitive tuning switching the current processing mode from more automatic and heuristic to more systematic and reflective processing. Directly testing the initial elicitation of negative affect by surprising events, the present experiment presented high and low surprising neutral trivia statements to N = 28 participants while assessing their spontaneous facial expressions via facial electromyography. High compared to low surprising trivia elicited higher corrugator activity, indicative of negative affect and mental effort, while leaving zygomaticus (positive affect) and frontalis (cultural surprise expression) activity unaffected. Future research shall investigate the mediating role of negative affect in eliciting surprise-related outcomes. PMID:25762956

  3. Neural Activation during Anticipation of Near Pain-Threshold Stimulation among the Pain-Fearful

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhou; Jackson, Todd; Huang, Chengzhi

    2016-01-01

    Fear of pain (FOP) can increase risk for chronic pain and disability but little is known about corresponding neural responses in anticipation of potential pain. In this study, more (10 women, 6 men) and less (7 women, 6 men) pain-fearful groups underwent whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during anticipation of near pain-threshold stimulation. Groups did not differ in the proportion of stimuli judged to be painful but pain-fearful participants reported significantly more state fear prior to stimulus exposure. Within the entire sample, stronger activation was found in several pain perception regions (e.g., bilateral insula, midcingulate cortex (MCC), thalamus, superior frontal gyrus) and visual areas linked to decoding stimulus valences (inferior orbital cortex) during anticipation of “painful” stimuli. Between groups and correlation analyses indicated pain-fearful participants experienced comparatively more activity in regions implicated in evaluating potential threats and processing negative emotions during anticipation (i.e., MCC, mid occipital cortex, superior temporal pole), though group differences were not apparent in most so-called “pain matrix” regions. In sum, trait- and task-based FOP is associated with enhanced responsiveness in regions involved in threat processing and negative affect during anticipation of potentially painful stimulation. PMID:27489536

  4. Neural Activation during Anticipation of Near Pain-Threshold Stimulation among the Pain-Fearful.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhou; Jackson, Todd; Huang, Chengzhi

    2016-01-01

    Fear of pain (FOP) can increase risk for chronic pain and disability but little is known about corresponding neural responses in anticipation of potential pain. In this study, more (10 women, 6 men) and less (7 women, 6 men) pain-fearful groups underwent whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during anticipation of near pain-threshold stimulation. Groups did not differ in the proportion of stimuli judged to be painful but pain-fearful participants reported significantly more state fear prior to stimulus exposure. Within the entire sample, stronger activation was found in several pain perception regions (e.g., bilateral insula, midcingulate cortex (MCC), thalamus, superior frontal gyrus) and visual areas linked to decoding stimulus valences (inferior orbital cortex) during anticipation of "painful" stimuli. Between groups and correlation analyses indicated pain-fearful participants experienced comparatively more activity in regions implicated in evaluating potential threats and processing negative emotions during anticipation (i.e., MCC, mid occipital cortex, superior temporal pole), though group differences were not apparent in most so-called "pain matrix" regions. In sum, trait- and task-based FOP is associated with enhanced responsiveness in regions involved in threat processing and negative affect during anticipation of potentially painful stimulation. PMID:27489536

  5. Look out for strangers! Sustained neural activity during visual working memory maintenance of other-race faces is modulated by implicit racial prejudice.

    PubMed

    Sessa, Paola; Tomelleri, Silvia; Luria, Roy; Castelli, Luigi; Reynolds, Michael; Dell'Acqua, Roberto

    2012-03-01

    We tested the ability of white participants to encode and retain over a brief period of time information about the identity of white and black people, using faces as stimuli in a standard change detection task and tracking neural activity using electroencephalography. Neural responses recorded over the posterior parietal cortex reflecting visual working memory activity increased in amplitude as a function of the number of faces that had to be maintained in memory. Critically, these memory-related neural responses varied as a function of participants' implicit racial prejudice toward black people. High-prejudiced participants encoded black people faces with a lower degree of precision compared to low-prejudiced participants, suggesting that the class of mental operations affected by implicit racial prejudice includes basic cognitive mechanisms underpinning the encoding and maintenance of faces' visual representations in visual working memory. PMID:21768206

  6. GABAergic neural activity involved in salicylate-induced auditory cortex gain enhancement.

    PubMed

    Lu, J; Lobarinas, E; Deng, A; Goodey, R; Stolzberg, D; Salvi, R J; Sun, W

    2011-08-25

    Although high doses of sodium salicylate impair cochlear function, it paradoxically enhances sound-evoked activity in the auditory cortex (AC) and augments acoustic startle reflex responses, neural and behavioral metrics associated with hyperexcitability and hyperacusis. To explore the neural mechanisms underlying salicylate (SS)-induced hyperexcitability and "increased central gain," we examined the effects of GABA receptor agonists and antagonists on SS-induced hyperexcitability in the AC and startle reflex responses. Consistent with our previous findings, local or systemic application of SS significantly increased the amplitude of sound-evoked AC neural activity, but generally reduced spontaneous activity in the AC. Systemic injection of SS also significantly increased the acoustic startle reflex. S-baclofen or R-baclofen, GABA-B agonists, which suppressed sound-evoked AC neural firing rate and local field potentials, also suppressed the SS-induced enhancement of the AC field potential and the acoustic startle reflex. Local application of vigabatrin, which enhances GABA concentration in the brain, suppressed the SS-induced enhancement of AC firing rate. Systemic injection of vigabatrin also reduced the SS-induced enhancement of acoustic startle reflex. Collectively, these results suggest that the sound-evoked behavioral and neural hyperactivity induced by SS may arise from a SS-induced suppression of GABAergic inhibition in the AC. PMID:21664433

  7. Information content of neural networks with self-control and variable activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollé, D.; Amari, S. I.; Dominguez Carreta, D. R. C.; Massolo, G.

    2001-02-01

    A self-control mechanism for the dynamics of neural networks with variable activity is discussed using a recursive scheme for the time evolution of the local field. It is based upon the introduction of a self-adapting time-dependent threshold as a function of both the neural and pattern activity in the network. This mechanism leads to an improvement of the information content of the network as well as an increase of the storage capacity and the basins of attraction. Different architectures are considered and the results are compared with numerical simulations.

  8. 12-Deoxyphorbols Promote Adult Neurogenesis by Inducing Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation via PKC Activation

    PubMed Central

    Geribaldi-Doldán, Noelia; Flores-Giubi, Eugenia; Murillo-Carretero, Maribel; García-Bernal, Francisco; Carrasco, Manuel; Macías-Sánchez, Antonio J.; Domínguez-Riscart, Jesús; Verástegui, Cristina; Hernández-Galán, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Background: Neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders frequently occur after brain insults associated with neuronal loss. Strategies aimed to facilitate neuronal renewal by promoting neurogenesis constitute a promising therapeutic option to treat neuronal death-associated disorders. In the adult brain, generation of new neurons occurs physiologically throughout the entire life controlled by extracellular molecules coupled to intracellular signaling cascades. Proteins participating in these cascades within neurogenic regions constitute potential pharmacological targets to promote neuronal regeneration of injured areas of the central nervous system. Methodology: We have performed in vitro and in vivo approaches to determine neural progenitor cell proliferation to understand whether activation of kinases of the protein kinase C family facilitates neurogenesis in the adult brain. Results: We have demonstrated that protein kinase C activation by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate induces neural progenitor cell proliferation in vitro. We also show that the nontumorogenic protein kinase C activator prostratin exerts a proliferative effect on neural progenitor cells in vitro. This effect can be reverted by addition of the protein kinase C inhibitor G06850, demonstrating that the effect of prostratin is mediated by protein kinase C activation. Additionally, we show that prostratin treatment in vivo induces proliferation of neural progenitor cells within the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Finally, we describe a library of diterpenes with a 12-deoxyphorbol structure similar to that of prostratin that induces a stronger effect than prostratin on neural progenitor cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: This work suggests that protein kinase C activation is a promising strategy to expand the endogenous neural progenitor cell population to promote neurogenesis and highlights the potential of 12-deoxyphorbols as pharmaceutical

  9. Mapping neural circuits with activity-dependent nuclear import of a transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Masuyama, Kaoru; Zhang, Yi; Rao, Yi; Wang, Jing W

    2012-03-01

    Abstract: Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a calcium-responsive transcription factor. We describe here an NFAT-based neural tracing method-CaLexA (calcium-dependent nuclear import of LexA)-for labeling active neurons in behaving animals. In this system, sustained neural activity induces nuclear import of the chimeric transcription factor LexA-VP16-NFAT, which in turn drives green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter expression only in active neurons. We tested this system in Drosophila and found that volatile sex pheromones excite specific neurons in the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, complex courtship behavior associated with multi-modal sensory inputs activated neurons in the ventral nerve cord. This method harnessing the mechanism of activity-dependent nuclear import of a transcription factor can be used to identify active neurons in specific neuronal population in behaving animals. PMID:22236090

  10. Immune Challenge Activates Neural Inputs to the Ventrolateral Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis

    PubMed Central

    Bienkowski, Michael S.; Rinaman, Linda

    2011-01-01

    Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation in response to infection is an important mechanism by which the nervous system can suppress inflammation. HPA output is controlled by the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Previously, we determined that noradrenergic inputs to the PVN contribute to, but do not entirely account for, the ability of bacterial endotoxin (i.e., lipopolysacharide, LPS) to activate the HPA axis. The present study investigated LPS-induced recruitment of neural inputs to the ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (vlBNST). GABAergic projections from the vlBNST inhibit PVN neurons at the apex of the HPA axis; thus, we hypothesize that LPS treatment activates inhibitory inputs to the vlBNST to thereby “disinhibit” the PVN and increase HPA output. To test this hypothesis, retrograde neural tracer was iontophoretically delivered into the vlBNST of adult male rats to retrogradely label central sources of axonal input. After one week, rats were injected i.p. with either LPS (200 µg/kg BW) or saline vehicle, and then perfused with fixative 2.5 hours later. Brains were processed for immunohistochemical localization of retrograde tracer and the immediate-early gene product, Fos (a marker of neural activation). Brain regions that provide inhibitory input to the vlBNST (e.g., caudal nucleus of the solitary tract, central amygdala, dorsolateral BNST) were preferentially activated by LPS, whereas sources of excitatory input (e.g., paraventricular thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex) were not activated or were activated less robustly. These results suggest that LPS treatment recruits central neural systems that actively suppress vlBNST neural activity, thereby removing a potent source of inhibitory control over the HPA axis. PMID:21402087

  11. A mutation in the tuft mouse disrupts TET1 activity and alters the expression of genes that are crucial for neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Fong, Keith S K; Hufnagel, Robert B; Khadka, Vedbar S; Corley, Michael J; Maunakea, Alika K; Fogelgren, Ben; Ahmed, Zubair M; Lozanoff, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Genetic variations affecting neural tube closure along the head result in malformations of the face and brain. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common birth defects in humans. We previously reported a mouse mutant called tuft that arose spontaneously in our wild-type 3H1 colony. Adult tuft mice present midline craniofacial malformations with or without an anterior cephalocele. In addition, affected embryos presented neural tube closure defects resulting in insufficient closure of the anterior neuropore or exencephaly. Here, through whole-genome sequencing, we identified a nonsense mutation in the Tet1 gene, which encodes a methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET1), co-segregating with the tuft phenotype. This mutation resulted in premature termination that disrupts the catalytic domain that is involved in the demethylation of cytosine. We detected a significant loss of TET enzyme activity in the heads of tuft embryos that were homozygous for the mutation and had NTDs. RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis indicated that multiple gene pathways associated with neural tube closure were dysregulated in tuft embryo heads. Among them, the expressions of Cecr2, Epha7 and Grhl2 were significantly reduced in some embryos presenting neural tube closure defects, whereas one or more components of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway mediating planar cell polarity and convergent extension were affected in others. We further show that the recombinant mutant TET1 protein was capable of entering the nucleus and affected the expression of endogenous Grhl2 in IMCD-3 (inner medullary collecting duct) cells. These results indicate that TET1 is an epigenetic determinant for regulating genes that are crucial to closure of the anterior neural tube and its mutation has implications to craniofacial development, as presented by the tuft mouse. PMID:26989192

  12. A mutation in the tuft mouse disrupts TET1 activity and alters the expression of genes that are crucial for neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    Khadka, Vedbar S.; Corley, Michael J.; Maunakea, Alika K.; Fogelgren, Ben; Ahmed, Zubair M.; Lozanoff, Scott

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genetic variations affecting neural tube closure along the head result in malformations of the face and brain. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common birth defects in humans. We previously reported a mouse mutant called tuft that arose spontaneously in our wild-type 3H1 colony. Adult tuft mice present midline craniofacial malformations with or without an anterior cephalocele. In addition, affected embryos presented neural tube closure defects resulting in insufficient closure of the anterior neuropore or exencephaly. Here, through whole-genome sequencing, we identified a nonsense mutation in the Tet1 gene, which encodes a methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET1), co-segregating with the tuft phenotype. This mutation resulted in premature termination that disrupts the catalytic domain that is involved in the demethylation of cytosine. We detected a significant loss of TET enzyme activity in the heads of tuft embryos that were homozygous for the mutation and had NTDs. RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis indicated that multiple gene pathways associated with neural tube closure were dysregulated in tuft embryo heads. Among them, the expressions of Cecr2, Epha7 and Grhl2 were significantly reduced in some embryos presenting neural tube closure defects, whereas one or more components of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway mediating planar cell polarity and convergent extension were affected in others. We further show that the recombinant mutant TET1 protein was capable of entering the nucleus and affected the expression of endogenous Grhl2 in IMCD-3 (inner medullary collecting duct) cells. These results indicate that TET1 is an epigenetic determinant for regulating genes that are crucial to closure of the anterior neural tube and its mutation has implications to craniofacial development, as presented by the tuft mouse. PMID:26989192

  13. Improved training of neural networks for the nonlinear active control of sound and vibration.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, M; Paillard, B; Le Dinh, C T

    1999-01-01

    Active control of sound and vibration has been the subject of a lot of research in recent years, and examples of applications are now numerous. However, few practical implementations of nonlinear active controllers have been realized. Nonlinear active controllers may be required in cases where the actuators used in active control systems exhibit nonlinear characteristics, or in cases when the structure to be controlled exhibits a nonlinear behavior. A multilayer perceptron neural-network based control structure was previously introduced as a nonlinear active controller, with a training algorithm based on an extended backpropagation scheme. This paper introduces new heuristical training algorithms for the same neural-network control structure. The objective is to develop new algorithms with faster convergence speed (by using nonlinear recursive-least-squares algorithms) and/or lower computational loads (by using an alternative approach to compute the instantaneous gradient of the cost function). Experimental results of active sound control using a nonlinear actuator with linear and nonlinear controllers are presented. The results show that some of the new algorithms can greatly improve the learning rate of the neural-network control structure, and that for the considered experimental setup a neural-network controller can outperform linear controllers. PMID:18252535

  14. Temporal coherency between receptor expression, neural activity and AP-1-dependent transcription regulates Drosophila motoneuron dendrite development

    PubMed Central

    Vonhoff, Fernando; Kuehn, Claudia; Blumenstock, Sonja; Sanyal, Subhabrata; Duch, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    Neural activity has profound effects on the development of dendritic structure. Mechanisms that link neural activity to nuclear gene expression include activity-regulated factors, such as CREB, Crest or Mef2, as well as activity-regulated immediate-early genes, such as fos and jun. This study investigates the role of the transcriptional regulator AP-1, a Fos-Jun heterodimer, in activity-dependent dendritic structure development. We combine genetic manipulation, imaging and quantitative dendritic architecture analysis in a Drosophila single neuron model, the individually identified motoneuron MN5. First, Dα7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and AP-1 are required for normal MN5 dendritic growth. Second, AP-1 functions downstream of activity during MN5 dendritic growth. Third, using a newly engineered AP-1 reporter we demonstrate that AP-1 transcriptional activity is downstream of Dα7 nAChRs and Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) signaling. Fourth, AP-1 can have opposite effects on dendritic development, depending on the timing of activation. Enhancing excitability or AP-1 activity after MN5 cholinergic synapses and primary dendrites have formed causes dendritic branching, whereas premature AP-1 expression or induced activity prior to excitatory synapse formation disrupts dendritic growth. Finally, AP-1 transcriptional activity and dendritic growth are affected by MN5 firing only during development but not in the adult. Our results highlight the importance of timing in the growth and plasticity of neuronal dendrites by defining a developmental period of activity-dependent AP-1 induction that is temporally locked to cholinergic synapse formation and dendritic refinement, thus significantly refining prior models derived from chronic expression studies. PMID:23293292

  15. Imaging Imageability: Behavioral Effects and Neural Correlates of Its Interaction with Affect and Context.

    PubMed

    Westbury, Chris F; Cribben, Ivor; Cummine, Jacqueline

    2016-01-01

    The construct of imageability refers to the extent to which a word evokes a tangible sensation. Previous research (Westbury et al., 2013) suggests that the behavioral effects attributed to a word's imageability can be largely or wholly explained by two objective constructs, contextual density and estimated affect. Here, we extend these previous findings in two ways. First, we show that closely matched stimuli on the three measures of contextual density, estimated affect, and human-judged imageability show a three-way interaction in explaining variance in LD RTs, but that imagebility accounts for no additional variance after contextual density and estimated affect are entered first. Secondly, we demonstrate that the loci and functional connectivity (via graphical models) of the brain regions implicated in processing the three variables during that task are largely over-lapping and similar. These two lines of evidence support the conclusion that the effect usually attributed to human-judged imageability is largely or entirely due to the effects of other correlated measures that are directly computable. PMID:27471455

  16. Imaging Imageability: Behavioral Effects and Neural Correlates of Its Interaction with Affect and Context

    PubMed Central

    Westbury, Chris F.; Cribben, Ivor; Cummine, Jacqueline

    2016-01-01

    The construct of imageability refers to the extent to which a word evokes a tangible sensation. Previous research (Westbury et al., 2013) suggests that the behavioral effects attributed to a word's imageability can be largely or wholly explained by two objective constructs, contextual density and estimated affect. Here, we extend these previous findings in two ways. First, we show that closely matched stimuli on the three measures of contextual density, estimated affect, and human-judged imageability show a three-way interaction in explaining variance in LD RTs, but that imagebility accounts for no additional variance after contextual density and estimated affect are entered first. Secondly, we demonstrate that the loci and functional connectivity (via graphical models) of the brain regions implicated in processing the three variables during that task are largely over-lapping and similar. These two lines of evidence support the conclusion that the effect usually attributed to human-judged imageability is largely or entirely due to the effects of other correlated measures that are directly computable. PMID:27471455

  17. Application of neural networks with orthogonal activation functions in control of dynamical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolić, Saša S.; Antić, Dragan S.; Milojković, Marko T.; Milovanović, Miroslav B.; Perić, Staniša Lj.; Mitić, Darko B.

    2016-04-01

    In this article, we present a new method for the synthesis of almost and quasi-orthogonal polynomials of arbitrary order. Filters designed on the bases of these functions are generators of generalised quasi-orthogonal signals for which we derived and presented necessary mathematical background. Based on theoretical results, we designed and practically implemented generalised first-order (k = 1) quasi-orthogonal filter and proved its quasi-orthogonality via performed experiments. Designed filters can be applied in many scientific areas. In this article, generated functions were successfully implemented in Nonlinear Auto Regressive eXogenous (NARX) neural network as activation functions. One practical application of the designed orthogonal neural network is demonstrated through the example of control of the complex technical non-linear system - laboratory magnetic levitation system. Obtained results were compared with neural networks with standard activation functions and orthogonal functions of trigonometric shape. The proposed network demonstrated superiority over existing solutions in the sense of system performances.

  18. Nicotinergic Modulation of Attention-Related Neural Activity Differentiates Polymorphisms of DRD2 and CHRNA4 Receptor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Breckel, Thomas P. K.; Giessing, Carsten; Gieseler, Anja; Reuter, Martin; Thiel, Christiane M.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive and neuronal effects of nicotine show high interindividual variability. Recent findings indicate that genetic variations that affect the cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter system impact performance in cognitive tasks and effects of nicotine. The current pharmacogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study aimed to investigate epistasis effects of CHRNA4/DRD2 variations on behavioural and neural correlates of visuospatial attention after nicotine challenge using a data driven partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) approach. Fifty young healthy non-smokers were genotyped for CHRNA4 (rs1044396) and DRD2 (rs6277). They received either 7 mg transdermal nicotine or a matched placebo in a double blind within subject design prior to performing a cued target detection task with valid and invalid trials. On behavioural level, the strongest benefits of nicotine in invalid trials were observed in participants carrying both, the DRD2 T- and CHRNA4 C+ variant. Neurally, we were able to demonstrate that different DRD2/CHRNA4 groups can be decoded from the pattern of brain activity in invalid trials under nicotine. Neural substrates of interindividual variability were found in a network of attention-related brain regions comprising the pulvinar, the striatum, the middle and superior frontal gyri, the insula, the left precuneus, and the right middle temporal gyrus. Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in the CHRNA4 and DRD2 genes are a relevant source of individual variability in pharmacological studies with nicotine. PMID:26079805

  19. Monitoring Affect States during Effortful Problem Solving Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Mello, Sidney K.; Lehman, Blair; Person, Natalie

    2010-01-01

    We explored the affective states that students experienced during effortful problem solving activities. We conducted a study where 41 students solved difficult analytical reasoning problems from the Law School Admission Test. Students viewed videos of their faces and screen captures and judged their emotions from a set of 14 states (basic…

  20. Optogenetic Perturbation of Neural Activity with Laser Illumination in Semi-intact Drosophila Larvae in Motion

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Teruyuki; Fushiki, Akira; Nose, Akinao; Kohsaka, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Drosophila larval locomotion is a splendid model system in developmental and physiological neuroscience, by virtue of the genetic accessibility of the underlying neuronal components in the circuits1-6. Application of optogenetics7,8 in the larval neural circuit allows us to manipulate neuronal activity in spatially and temporally patterned ways9-13. Typically, specimens are broadly illuminated with a mercury lamp or LED, so specificity of the target neurons is controlled by binary gene expression systems such as the Gal4-UAS system14,15. In this work, to improve the spatial resolution to "sub-genetic resolution", we locally illuminated a subset of neurons in the ventral nerve cord using lasers implemented in a conventional confocal microscope. While monitoring the motion of the body wall of the semi-intact larvae, we interactively activated or inhibited neural activity with channelrhodopsin16,17 or halorhodopsin18-20, respectively. By spatially and temporally restricted illumination of the neural tissue, we can manipulate the activity of specific neurons in the circuit at a specific phase of behavior. This method is useful for studying the relationship between the activities of a local neural assembly in the ventral nerve cord and the spatiotemporal pattern of motor output. PMID:23851598

  1. Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds

    PubMed Central

    van den Heuvel, Marion I.; Donkers, Franc C. L.; Winkler, István; Otte, Renée A.

    2015-01-01

    Maternal anxiety during pregnancy has been consistently shown to negatively affect offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of positive maternal traits/states during pregnancy on the offspring. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of the mother’s mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy on the infant’s neurocognitive functioning at 9 months of age. Mothers reported mindfulness using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and anxiety using the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) at ±20.7 weeks of gestation. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured from 79 infants in an auditory oddball paradigm designed to measure auditory attention—a key aspect of early neurocognitive functioning. For the ERP responses elicited by standard sounds, higher maternal mindfulness was associated with lower N250 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.097), whereas higher maternal anxiety was associated with higher N250 amplitudes (P < 0.05, η2 = 0.057). Maternal mindfulness was also positively associated with the P150 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.130). These results suggest that infants prenatally exposed to higher levels of maternal mindfulness devote fewer attentional resources to frequently occurring irrelevant sounds. The results show that positive traits and experiences of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child. Emphasizing the beneficial effects of a positive psychological state during pregnancy may promote healthy behavior in pregnant women. PMID:24925904

  2. Metabonomics classifies pathways affected by bioactive compounds. Artificial neural network classification of NMR spectra of plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Ott, Karl-Heinz; Araníbar, Nelly; Singh, Bijay; Stockton, Gerald W

    2003-03-01

    The biochemical mode-of-action (MOA) for herbicides and other bioactive compounds can be rapidly and simultaneously classified by automated pattern recognition of the metabonome that is embodied in the 1H NMR spectrum of a crude plant extract. The ca. 300 herbicides that are used in agriculture today affect less than 30 different biochemical pathways. In this report, 19 of the most interesting MOAs were automatically classified. Corn (Zea mays) plants were treated with various herbicides such as imazethapyr, glyphosate, sethoxydim, and diuron, which represent various biochemical modes-of-action such as inhibition of specific enzymes (acetohydroxy acid synthase [AHAS], protoporphyrin IX oxidase [PROTOX], 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase [EPSPS], acetyl CoA carboxylase [ACC-ase], etc.), or protein complexes (photosystems I and II), or major biological process such as oxidative phosphorylation, auxin transport, microtubule growth, and mitosis. Crude isolates from the treated plants were subjected to 1H NMR spectroscopy, and the spectra were classified by artificial neural network analysis to discriminate the herbicide modes-of-action. We demonstrate the use and refinement of the method, and present cross-validated assignments for the metabolite NMR profiles of over 400 plant isolates. The MOA screen also recognizes when a new mode-of-action is present, which is considered extremely important for the herbicide discovery process, and can be used to study deviations in the metabolism of compounds from a chemical synthesis program. The combination of NMR metabolite profiling and neural network classification is expected to be similarly relevant to other metabonomic profiling applications, such as in drug discovery. PMID:12590124

  3. Individual differences in distraction by motion predicted by neural activity in MT/V5

    PubMed Central

    Lechak, Jennifer R.; Leber, Andrew B.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals differ substantially in their susceptibility to distraction by irrelevant visual information. Previous research has uncovered how individual variability in the goal-driven component of attentional control influences distraction, yet it remains unknown whether other sources of variability between individuals also predict distraction. In this fMRI study, we showed that an individual's inherent sensitivity to passively viewed visual motion predicts his/her susceptibility to distraction by motion. Bilateral MT/V5 was localized in participants during passive viewing of moving stimuli, affording a baseline measure of motion sensitivity. Next, participants performed a visual search task with an irrelevant motion singleton distractor, and both behavioral and neural indices of distraction were recorded. Results revealed that both of these indices were predicted by the independent index of motion sensitivity. An additional analysis of moment-to-moment fluctuations in distraction within individuals revealed that distraction could be predicted by pretrial fMRI activity in several brain regions, including MT+, which likely reflected the observer's momentary propensity to process motion. Together, these results shed light on how variability in factors other than goal-driven processing, both within and between individuals, affects attentional control and one's perception of the visual world. PMID:22375110

  4. Altered insula activation in anticipation of changing emotional states: neural mechanisms underlying cognitive flexibility in Special Operations Forces personnel.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Alan N; Fitzpatrick, Summer; Strigo, Irina A; Potterat, Eric G; Johnson, Douglas C; Matthews, Scott C; Orden, Karl F Van; Swain, Judith L; Paulus, Martin P

    2012-03-01

    Individuals who perform optimally in extreme conditions, such as elite military warriors, can provide valuable insight into the neurobehavioral mechanisms underlying extraordinary performance. In the current study, we examined the degree to which Navy SEALs, when compared with healthy volunteers, could show more right anterior insula activation when shifting from anticipating one emotion to another during functional MRI. Consistent with our hypothesis, SEALs showed attenuated insula activation to negative image relative to positive image anticipation and greater right anterior insula activation during affective set-shifting. These findings suggest that elite warriors show combined (a) minimal reactivity during negative stimuli and (b) an enhanced ability to efficiently change their physiological state. These neural changes may underlie their ability to perform well in stressful situations. PMID:22222502

  5. Using near-infrared spectroscopy to assess neural activation during object processing in infants.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Teresa; Bortfeld, Heather; Woods, Rebecca; Wruck, Eric; Boas, David A

    2005-01-01

    The capacity to represent the world in terms of numerically distinct objects (i.e., object individuation) is a milestone in early cognitive development and forms the foundation for more complex thought and behavior. Over the past 10 to 15 yr, infant researchers have expended a great deal of effort to identify the origins and development of this capacity. In contrast, relatively little is known about the neural mechanisms that underlie the ability to individuate objects, in large part because there are a limited number of noninvasive techniques available to measure brain functioning in human infants. Recent research suggests that near-IR spectroscopy (NIRS), an optical imaging technique that uses relative changes in total hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation as an indicator of neural activation, may be a viable procedure for assessing the relation between object processing and brain function in human infants. We examine the extent to which increased neural activation, as measured by NIRS, could be observed in two neural areas known to be involved in object processing, the primary visual cortex and the inferior temporal cortex, during an object processing task. Infants aged 6.5 months are presented with a visual event in which two featurally distinct objects emerge successively to opposite sides of an occluder and neuroimaging data are collected. As predicted, increased neural activation is observed in both the primary visual and inferior cortex during the visual event, suggesting that these neural areas support object processing in the young infant. The outcome has important implications for research in cognitive development, developmental neuroscience, and optical imaging. PMID:15847576

  6. Electrical and Optical Activation of Mesoscale Neural Circuits with Implications for Coding

    PubMed Central

    Millard, Daniel C.; Whitmire, Clarissa J.; Gollnick, Clare A.; Rozell, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Artificial activation of neural circuitry through electrical microstimulation and optogenetic techniques is important for both scientific discovery of circuit function and for engineered approaches to alleviate various disorders of the nervous system. However, evidence suggests that neural activity generated by artificial stimuli differs dramatically from normal circuit function, in terms of both the local neuronal population activity at the site of activation and the propagation to downstream brain structures. The precise nature of these differences and the implications for information processing remain unknown. Here, we used voltage-sensitive dye imaging of primary somatosensory cortex in the anesthetized rat in response to deflections of the facial vibrissae and electrical or optogenetic stimulation of thalamic neurons that project directly to the somatosensory cortex. Although the different inputs produced responses that were similar in terms of the average cortical activation, the variability of the cortical response was strikingly different for artificial versus sensory inputs. Furthermore, electrical microstimulation resulted in highly unnatural spatial activation of cortex, whereas optical input resulted in spatial cortical activation that was similar to that induced by sensory inputs. A thalamocortical network model suggested that observed differences could be explained by differences in the way in which artificial and natural inputs modulate the magnitude and synchrony of population activity. Finally, the variability structure in the response for each case strongly influenced the optimal inputs for driving the pathway from the perspective of an ideal observer of cortical activation when considered in the context of information transmission. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Artificial activation of neural circuitry through electrical microstimulation and optogenetic techniques is important for both scientific discovery and clinical translation. However, neural

  7. Aggression- and sex-induced neural activity across vasotocin populations in the brown anole.

    PubMed

    Kabelik, David; Alix, Veronica C; Burford, Emily R; Singh, Leah J

    2013-03-01

    Activity within the social behavior neural network is modulated by the neuropeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its mammalian homologue arginine vasopressin (AVP). However, central AVT/AVP release causes different behavioral effects across species and social environments. These differences may be due to the activation of different neuronal AVT/AVP populations or to similar activity patterns causing different behavioral outputs. We examined neural activity (assessed as Fos induction) within AVT neurons in male brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) participating in aggressive or sexual encounters. Lizards possess simple amniote nervous systems, and their examination provides a comparative framework to complement avian and mammalian studies. In accordance with findings in other species, AVT neurons in the anole paraventricular nucleus (PVN) were activated during aggressive encounters; but unlike in other species, a positive correlation was found between aggression levels and activation. Activation of AVT neurons within the supraoptic nucleus (SON) occurred nonspecifically with participation in either aggressive or sexual encounters. Activation of AVT neurons in the preoptic area (POA) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) was associated with engagement in sexual behaviors. The above findings are congruent with neural activation patterns observed in other species, even when the behavioral outputs (i.e., aggression level) differed. However, aggressive encounters also increased activation of AVT neurons in the BNST, which is incongruous with findings in other species. Thus, some species differences involve the encoding of social stimuli as different neural activation patterns within the AVT/AVP network, whereas other behavioral differences arise downstream of this system. PMID:23201179

  8. Using Perfusion fMRI to Measure Continuous Changes in Neural Activity with Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Ingrid R.; Rao, Hengyi; Moore, Katherine Sledge; Wang, Jiongjiong; Detre, John A.; Aguirre, Geoffrey K.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we examine the suitability of a relatively new imaging technique, "arterial spin labeled perfusion imaging," for the study of continuous, gradual changes in neural activity. Unlike BOLD imaging, the perfusion signal is stable over long time-scales, allowing for accurate assessment of continuous performance. In addition, perfusion…

  9. Differences in Feedback- and Inhibition-Related Neural Activity in Adult ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dibbets, Pauline; Evers, Lisbeth; Hurks, Petra; Marchetta, Natalie; Jolles, Jelle

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine response inhibition- and feedback-related neural activity in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using event-related functional MRI. Sixteen male adults with ADHD and 13 healthy/normal controls participated in this study and performed a modified Go/NoGo task. Behaviourally,…

  10. Specific and Nonspecific Neural Activity during Selective Processing of Visual Representations in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Hwamee; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2010-01-01

    In this fMRI study, we investigated prefrontal cortex (PFC) and visual association regions during selective information processing. We recorded behavioral responses and neural activity during a delayed recognition task with a cue presented during the delay period. A specific cue ("Face" or "Scene") was used to indicate which one of the two…

  11. Differential neural activity patterns for spatial relations in humans: a MEG study.

    PubMed

    Scott, Nicole M; Leuthold, Arthur; Sera, Maria D; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2016-02-01

    Children learn the words for above-below relations earlier than for left-right relations, despite treating these equally well in a simple visual categorization task. Even as adults--conflicts in congruency, such as when a stimulus is depicted in a spatially incongruent manner with respect to salient global cues--can be challenging. Here we investigated the neural correlates of encoding and maintaining in working memory above-below and left-right relational planes in 12 adults using magnetoencephalography in order to discover whether above-below relations are represented by the brain differently than left-right relations. Adults performed perfectly on the task behaviorally, so any differences in neural activity were attributed to the stimuli's cognitive attributes. In comparing above-below to left-right relations during stimulus encoding, we found the greatest differences in neural activity in areas associated with space and movement. In comparing congruent to incongruent trials, we found the greatest differential activity in premotor areas. For both contrasts, brain areas involved in the encoding phase were also involved in the maintenance phase, which provides evidence that those brain areas are particularly important in representing the relational planes or congruency types throughout the trial. When comparing neural activity associated with the relational planes during working memory, additional right posterior areas were implicated, whereas the congruent-incongruent contrast implicated additional bilateral frontal and temporal areas. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis left-right relations are represented differently than above-below relations. PMID:26514809

  12. A Shared Neural Substrate for Mentalizing and the Affective Component of Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Razafimandimby, Annick; Jobard, Gaël; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy) or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness). To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences), we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM) and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task. PMID:23342148

  13. A shared neural substrate for mentalizing and the affective component of sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Razafimandimby, Annick; Jobard, Gaël; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy) or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness). To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences), we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM) and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task. PMID:23342148

  14. Global robust dissipativity of interval recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Huang, Lihong; Guo, Zhenyuan

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, the problems of robust dissipativity and robust exponential dissipativity are discussed for a class of recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations. We extend an invariance principle for the study of the dissipativity problem of delay systems to the discontinuous case. Based on the developed theory, some novel criteria for checking the global robust dissipativity and global robust exponential dissipativity of the addressed neural network model are established by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functionals and employing the theory of Filippov systems and matrix inequality techniques. The effectiveness of the theoretical results is shown by two examples with numerical simulations. PMID:27475061

  15. Global robust dissipativity of interval recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Lian; Huang, Lihong; Guo, Zhenyuan

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, the problems of robust dissipativity and robust exponential dissipativity are discussed for a class of recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations. We extend an invariance principle for the study of the dissipativity problem of delay systems to the discontinuous case. Based on the developed theory, some novel criteria for checking the global robust dissipativity and global robust exponential dissipativity of the addressed neural network model are established by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functionals and employing the theory of Filippov systems and matrix inequality techniques. The effectiveness of the theoretical results is shown by two examples with numerical simulations.

  16. Toward an evolutionary perspective on conceptual representation: species-specific calls activate visual and affective processing systems in the macaque.

    PubMed

    Gil-da-Costa, Ricardo; Braun, Allen; Lopes, Marco; Hauser, Marc D; Carson, Richard E; Herscovitch, Peter; Martin, Alex

    2004-12-14

    Non-human primates produce a diverse repertoire of species-specific calls and have rich conceptual systems. Some of their calls are designed to convey information about concepts such as predators, food, and social relationships, as well as the affective state of the caller. Little is known about the neural architecture of these calls, and much of what we do know is based on single-cell physiology from anesthetized subjects. By using positron emission tomography in awake rhesus macaques, we found that conspecific vocalizations elicited activity in higher-order visual areas, including regions in the temporal lobe associated with the visual perception of object form (TE/TEO) and motion (superior temporal sulcus) and storing visual object information into long-term memory (TE), as well as in limbic (the amygdala and hippocampus) and paralimbic regions (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) associated with the interpretation and memory-encoding of highly salient and affective material. This neural circuitry strongly corresponds to the network shown to support representation of conspecifics and affective information in humans. These findings shed light on the evolutionary precursors of conceptual representation in humans, suggesting that monkeys and humans have a common neural substrate for representing object concepts. PMID:15583132

  17. Sensory activity affects sensory axon development in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Peckol, E L; Zallen, J A; Yarrow, J C; Bargmann, C I

    1999-05-01

    The simple nervous system of the nematode C. elegans consists of 302 neurons with highly reproducible morphologies, suggesting a hard-wired program of axon guidance. Surprisingly, we show here that sensory activity shapes sensory axon morphology in C. elegans. A class of mutants with deformed sensory cilia at their dendrite endings have extra axon branches, suggesting that sensory deprivation disrupts axon outgrowth. Mutations that alter calcium channels or membrane potential cause similar defects. Cell-specific perturbations of sensory activity can cause cell-autonomous changes in axon morphology. Although the sensory axons initially reach their targets in the embryo, the mutations that alter sensory activity cause extra axon growth late in development. Thus, perturbations of activity affect the maintenance of sensory axon morphology after an initial pattern of innervation is established. This system provides a genetically tractable model for identifying molecular mechanisms linking neuronal activity to nervous system structure. PMID:10101123

  18. Techniques for extracting single-trial activity patterns from large-scale neural recordings.

    PubMed

    Churchland, Mark M; Yu, Byron M; Sahani, Maneesh; Shenoy, Krishna V

    2007-10-01

    Large, chronically implanted arrays of microelectrodes are an increasingly common tool for recording from primate cortex and can provide extracellular recordings from many (order of 100) neurons. While the desire for cortically based motor prostheses has helped drive their development, such arrays also offer great potential to advance basic neuroscience research. Here we discuss the utility of array recording for the study of neural dynamics. Neural activity often has dynamics beyond that driven directly by the stimulus. While governed by those dynamics, neural responses may nevertheless unfold differently for nominally identical trials, rendering many traditional analysis methods ineffective. We review recent studies - some employing simultaneous recording, some not - indicating that such variability is indeed present both during movement generation and during the preceding premotor computations. In such cases, large-scale simultaneous recordings have the potential to provide an unprecedented view of neural dynamics at the level of single trials. However, this enterprise will depend not only on techniques for simultaneous recording but also on the use and further development of analysis techniques that can appropriately reduce the dimensionality of the data, and allow visualization of single-trial neural behavior. PMID:18093826

  19. Chromatin Remodeling Inactivates Activity Genes and Regulates Neural Coding

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Kelly K.; Hemberg, Martin; Reddy, Naveen C.; Cho, Ha Y.; Guthrie, Arden N.; Oldenborg, Anna; Heiney, Shane A.; Ohmae, Shogo; Medina, Javier F.; Holy, Timothy E.; Bonni, Azad

    2016-01-01

    Activity-dependent transcription influences neuronal connectivity, but the roles and mechanisms of inactivation of activity-dependent genes have remained poorly understood. Genome-wide analyses in the mouse cerebellum revealed that the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) complex deposits the histone variant H2A.z at promoters of activity-dependent genes, thereby triggering their inactivation. Purification of translating mRNAs from synchronously developing granule neurons (Sync-TRAP) showed that conditional knockout of the core NuRD subunit Chd4 impairs inactivation of activity-dependent genes when neurons undergo dendrite pruning. Chd4 knockout or expression of NuRD-regulated activity genes impairs dendrite pruning. Imaging of behaving mice revealed hyperresponsivity of granule neurons to sensorimotor stimuli upon Chd4 knockout. Our findings define an epigenetic mechanism that inactivates activity-dependent transcription and regulates dendrite patterning and sensorimotor encoding in the brain. PMID:27418512

  20. Neural Mechanism by which Gravitational Stimuli and Stress Affect the Secretion of Renin and Other Hormones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ganong, W. F.; Gotoh, E.; Alper, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    The serotonin-releasing drug p-chloroamphetamine (PCA), as well as L-propranolol and chloriasondamine were used in a study which established that the pathway from the hypothalamus to the kidneys is sympathetic. Which hypothalamic nuclei mediate the response to PCA is being investigated experiments are being conducted to determine a readily reproducible psychological stimulus to renin secretion that can be used in rats. The effects of equithesin, urethane, and inactin on plasma renin activity were examined in preparation for tilting experiments. The relation of vasopressin-secreting neurons in the brain sem to PCA response was explored in Brattleboro rats that are congenitally unable to produce vasopressin in their hypothalami.

  1. Neuronal Heterotopias Affect the Activities of Distant Brain Areas and Lead to Behavioral Deficits.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kazuhiro; Kubo, Ken-ichiro; Endo, Toshihiro; Yoshida, Keitaro; Benner, Seico; Ito, Yukiko; Aizawa, Hidenori; Aramaki, Michihiko; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Tanaka, Kohichi; Takata, Norio; Tanaka, Kenji F; Mimura, Masaru; Tohyama, Chiharu; Kakeyama, Masaki; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2015-09-01

    Neuronal heterotopia refers to brain malformations resulting from deficits of neuronal migration. Individuals with heterotopias show a high incidence of neurological deficits, such as epilepsy. More recently, it has come to be recognized that focal heterotopias may also show a range of psychiatric problems, including cognitive and behavioral impairments. However, because focal heterotopias are not always located in the brain areas responsible for the symptoms, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. In this study, we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited spatial working memory deficit and low competitive dominance behavior, which have been shown to be closely associated with the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents. Analysis of the mPFC activity revealed that the immediate-early gene expression was decreased and the local field potentials of the mPFC were altered in the mice with heterotopias compared with the control mice. Moreover, activation of these ectopic and overlying sister neurons using the DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) system improved the working memory deficits. These findings suggest that cortical regions containing focal heterotopias can affect distant brain regions and give rise to behavioral abnormalities. Significance statement: Recent studies reported that patients with heterotopias have a variety of clinical symptoms, such as cognitive disturbance, psychiatric symptoms, and autistic behavior. However, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. Here we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited behavioral deficits that have been shown to be associated with the mPFC activity in rodents. The existence of heterotopias indeed altered the neural activities of the mPFC, and

  2. Wide-field optical mapping of neural activity and brain haemodynamics: considerations and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Shaik, Mohammed A; Kim, Sharon H; Kozberg, Mariel G; Thibodeaux, David N; Zhao, Hanzhi T; Yu, Hang; Hillman, Elizabeth M C

    2016-10-01

    Although modern techniques such as two-photon microscopy can now provide cellular-level three-dimensional imaging of the intact living brain, the speed and fields of view of these techniques remain limited. Conversely, two-dimensional wide-field optical mapping (WFOM), a simpler technique that uses a camera to observe large areas of the exposed cortex under visible light, can detect changes in both neural activity and haemodynamics at very high speeds. Although WFOM may not provide single-neuron or capillary-level resolution, it is an attractive and accessible approach to imaging large areas of the brain in awake, behaving mammals at speeds fast enough to observe widespread neural firing events, as well as their dynamic coupling to haemodynamics. Although such wide-field optical imaging techniques have a long history, the advent of genetically encoded fluorophores that can report neural activity with high sensitivity, as well as modern technologies such as light emitting diodes and sensitive and high-speed digital cameras have driven renewed interest in WFOM. To facilitate the wider adoption and standardization of WFOM approaches for neuroscience and neurovascular coupling research, we provide here an overview of the basic principles of WFOM, considerations for implementation of wide-field fluorescence imaging of neural activity, spectroscopic analysis and interpretation of results.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574312

  3. How does the anthropogenic activity affect the spring discharge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Yonghong; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Jiaojiao; Li, Ruifang; Hao, Pengmei; Zhan, Hongbin

    2016-09-01

    Karst hydrological process has largely been altered by climate change and human activity. In many places throughout the world, human activity (e.g. groundwater pumping and dewatering from mining) has intensified and surpassed climate change, where human activity becomes the primary factor that affects groundwater system. But it is still largely unclear how the human activity affects spring discharge in magnitude and periodicity. This study investigates the effects of anthropogenic activity on spring discharge, using the Xin'an Springs of China as an example. The Xin'an Spring discharge were divided into two time periods: the pre-development period from 1956 to 1971 and the post-development period from 1972 to 2013. We confirm the dividing time (i.e. 1971) of these two periods using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Then the wavelet transform and wavelet coherence were used to analyze the karst hydrological processes for the two periods respectively. We analyze the correlations of precipitation and the Xin'an spring discharge with the monsoons including the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and the West North Pacific Monsoon (WNPM) and the climate teleconnections including El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), respectively. The results indicated that the spring discharge was attenuated about 19.63% under the influence of human activity in the Xin'an Springs basin. However, human activity did not alter the size of the resonance frequencies between the spring discharge and the monsoons. In contrast, it reinforced the periodicities of the monsoons-driven spring discharge. It suggested that human has adapted to the major climate periodicities, and human activity had the same rhyme with the primary climate periodicity. In return, human activity enhances the correlation between the monsoons and the spring discharge.

  4. Hierarchical Interaction Structure of Neural Activities in Cortical Slice Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Gustavo S.; Gireesh, Elakkat D.; Plenz, Dietmar; Nakahara, Hiroyuki

    2010-01-01

    Recent advances in the analysis of neuronal activities suggest that the instantaneous activity patterns can be mostly explained by considering only first-order and pairwise interactions between recorded elements, i.e., action potentials or local field potentials (LFP), and do not require higher-than-pairwise-order interactions. If generally applicable, this pairwise approach greatly simplifies the description of network interactions. However, an important question remains: are the recorded elements the units of interaction that best describe neuronal activity patterns? To explore this, we recorded spontaneous LFP peak activities in cortical organotypic cultures using planar, integrated 60-microelectrode arrays. We compared predictions obtained using a pairwise approach with those using a hierarchical approach that uses two different spatial units for describing the activity interactions: single electrodes and electrode clusters. In this hierarchical model, short-range interactions within each cluster were modeled by pairwise interactions of electrode activities and long-range interactions were modeled by pairwise interactions of cluster activities. Despite the relatively low number of parameters used, the hierarchical model provided a more accurate description of the activity patterns than the pairwise model when applied to ensembles of 10 electrodes. Furthermore, the hierarchical model was successfully applied to a larger-scale data of ~60 electrodes. Electrode activities within clusters were highly correlated and spatially contiguous. In contrast, long-range interactions were diffuse, suggesting the presence of higher-than-pairwise-order interactions involved in the LFP peak activities. Thus, the identification of appropriate units of interaction may allow for the successful characterization of neuronal activities in large-scale networks. PMID:20592194

  5. Neural activity promotes long-distance, target-specific regeneration of adult retinal axons.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jung-Hwan A; Stafford, Benjamin K; Nguyen, Phong L; Lien, Brian V; Wang, Chen; Zukor, Katherine; He, Zhigang; Huberman, Andrew D

    2016-08-01

    Axons in the mammalian CNS fail to regenerate after injury. Here we show that if the activity of mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is increased by visual stimulation or using chemogenetics, their axons regenerate. We also show that if enhancement of neural activity is combined with elevation of the cell-growth-promoting pathway involving mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), RGC axons regenerate long distances and re-innervate the brain. Analysis of genetically labeled RGCs revealed that this regrowth can be target specific: RGC axons navigated back to their correct visual targets and avoided targets incorrect for their function. Moreover, these regenerated connections were successful in partially rescuing a subset of visual behaviors. Our findings indicate that combining neural activity with activation of mTOR can serve as powerful tool for enhancing axon regeneration, and they highlight the remarkable capacity of CNS neurons to re-establish accurate circuit connections in adulthood. PMID:27399843

  6. Correlates of reward-predictive value in learning-related hippocampal neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Okatan, Murat

    2009-01-01

    Temporal difference learning (TD) is a popular algorithm in machine learning. Two learning signals that are derived from this algorithm, the predictive value and the prediction error, have been shown to explain changes in neural activity and behavior during learning across species. Here, the predictive value signal is used to explain the time course of learning-related changes in the activity of hippocampal neurons in monkeys performing an associative learning task. The TD algorithm serves as the centerpiece of a joint probability model for the learning-related neural activity and the behavioral responses recorded during the task. The neural component of the model consists of spiking neurons that compete and learn the reward-predictive value of task-relevant input signals. The predictive-value signaled by these neurons influences the behavioral response generated by a stochastic decision stage, which constitutes the behavioral component of the model. It is shown that the time course of the changes in neural activity and behavioral performance generated by the model exhibits key features of the experimental data. The results suggest that information about correct associations may be expressed in the hippocampus before it is detected in the behavior of a subject. In this way, the hippocampus may be among the earliest brain areas to express learning and drive the behavioral changes associated with learning. Correlates of reward-predictive value may be expressed in the hippocampus through rate remapping within spatial memory representations, they may represent reward-related aspects of a declarative or explicit relational memory representation of task contingencies, or they may correspond to reward-related components of episodic memory representations. These potential functions are discussed in connection with hippocampal cell assembly sequences and their reverse reactivation during the awake state. The results provide further support for the proposal that neural

  7. Altered temporal variance and neural synchronization of spontaneous brain activity in anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zirui; Wang, Zhiyao; Zhang, Jianfeng; Dai, Rui; Wu, Jinsong; Li, Yuan; Liang, Weimin; Mao, Ying; Yang, Zhong; Holland, Giles; Zhang, Jun; Northoff, Georg

    2014-11-01

    Recent studies at the cellular and regional levels have pointed out the multifaceted importance of neural synchronization and temporal variance of neural activity. For example, neural synchronization and temporal variance has been shown by us to be altered in patients in the vegetative state (VS). This finding nonetheless leaves open the question of whether these abnormalities are specific to VS or rather more generally related to the absence of consciousness. The aim of our study was to investigate the changes of inter- and intra-regional neural synchronization and temporal variance of resting state activity in anesthetic-induced unconsciousness state. Applying an intra-subject design, we compared resting state activity in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) between awake versus anesthetized states in the same subjects. Replicating previous studies, we observed reduced functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) and thalamocortical network in the anesthetized state. Importantly, intra-regional synchronization as measured by regional homogeneity (ReHo) and temporal variance as measured by standard deviation (SD) of the BOLD signal were significantly reduced in especially the cortical midline regions, while increased in the lateral cortical areas in the anesthetized state. We further found significant frequency-dependent effects of SD in the thalamus, which showed abnormally high SD in Slow-5 (0.01-0.027 Hz) in the anesthetized state. Our results show for the first time of altered temporal variance of resting state activity in anesthesia. Combined with our findings in the vegetative state, these findings suggest a close relationship between temporal variance, neural synchronization and consciousness. PMID:24867379

  8. Early capillary flux homogenization in response to neural activation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jonghwan; Wu, Weicheng; Boas, David A

    2016-02-01

    This Brief Communication reports early homogenization of capillary network flow during somatosensory activation in the rat cerebral cortex. We used optical coherence tomography and statistical intensity variation analysis for tracing changes in the red blood cell flux over hundreds of capillaries nearly at the same time with 1-s resolution. We observed that while the mean capillary flux exhibited a typical increase during activation, the standard deviation of the capillary flux exhibited an early decrease that happened before the mean flux increase. This network-level data is consistent with the theoretical hypothesis that capillary flow homogenizes during activation to improve oxygen delivery. PMID:26661145

  9. A new perspective on behavioral inconsistency and neural noise in aging: compensatory speeding of neural communication

    PubMed Central

    Hong, S. Lee; Rebec, George V.

    2012-01-01

    This paper seeks to present a new perspective on the aging brain. Here, we make connections between two key phenomena of brain aging: (1) increased neural noise or random background activity; and (2) slowing of brain activity. Our perspective proposes the possibility that the slowing of neural processing due to decreasing nerve conduction velocities leads to a compensatory speeding of neuron firing rates. These increased firing rates lead to a broader distribution of power in the frequency spectrum of neural oscillations, which we propose, can just as easily be interpreted as neural noise. Compensatory speeding of neural activity, as we present, is constrained by the: (A) availability of metabolic energy sources; and (B) competition for frequency bandwidth needed for neural communication. We propose that these constraints lead to the eventual inability to compensate for age-related declines in neural function that are manifested clinically as deficits in cognition, affect, and motor behavior. PMID:23055970

  10. Mild mutations in the pan neural gene prospero affect male-specific behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Grosjean, Yaël; Savy, Mathilde; Soichot, Julien; Everaerts, Claude; Cézilly, Frank; Ferveur, Jean François

    2004-01-30

    The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most appropriate model organisms to study the genetics of behaviour. Here, we focus on prospero (pros), a key gene for the development of the nervous system which specifies multiple aspects from the early formation of the embryonic central nervous system to the formation of larval and adult sensory organs. We studied the effects on locomotion, courtship and mating behaviour of three mild pros mutations. These newly isolated pros mutations were induced after the incomplete excision of a transposable genomic element that, before excision, caused a lethal phenotype during larval development. Strikingly, these mutant strains, but not the strains with a clean excision, produced a high frequency of heterozygous flies, after more than 50 generations in the lab. We investigated the factors that could decrease the fitness of homozygotes relatively to heterozygous pros mutant flies. Flies of both genotypes had slightly different levels of fertility. More strikingly, homozygous mutant males had a lower sexual activity than heterozygous males and failed to mate in a competitive situation. No similar effect was detected in mutant females. These findings suggest that mild mutations in pros did not alter vital functions during development but drastically changed adult male behaviour and reproductive fitness. PMID:14744542

  11. Neural portraits of perception: reconstructing face images from evoked brain activity.

    PubMed

    Cowen, Alan S; Chun, Marvin M; Kuhl, Brice A

    2014-07-01

    Recent neuroimaging advances have allowed visual experience to be reconstructed from patterns of brain activity. While neural reconstructions have ranged in complexity, they have relied almost exclusively on retinotopic mappings between visual input and activity in early visual cortex. However, subjective perceptual information is tied more closely to higher-level cortical regions that have not yet been used as the primary basis for neural reconstructions. Furthermore, no reconstruction studies to date have reported reconstructions of face images, which activate a highly distributed cortical network. Thus, we investigated (a) whether individual face images could be accurately reconstructed from distributed patterns of neural activity, and (b) whether this could be achieved even when excluding activity within occipital cortex. Our approach involved four steps. (1) Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify components that efficiently represented a set of training faces. (2) The identified components were then mapped, using a machine learning algorithm, to fMRI activity collected during viewing of the training faces. (3) Based on activity elicited by a new set of test faces, the algorithm predicted associated component scores. (4) Finally, these scores were transformed into reconstructed images. Using both objective and subjective validation measures, we show that our methods yield strikingly accurate neural reconstructions of faces even when excluding occipital cortex. This methodology not only represents a novel and promising approach for investigating face perception, but also suggests avenues for reconstructing 'offline' visual experiences-including dreams, memories, and imagination-which are chiefly represented in higher-level cortical areas. PMID:24650597

  12. Notch Activity Modulates the Responsiveness of Neural Progenitors to Sonic Hedgehog Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Jennifer H.; Yang, Linlin; Dessaud, Eric; Chuang, Katherine; Moore, Destaye M.; Rohatgi, Rajat; Briscoe, James; Novitch, Bennett G.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Throughout the developing nervous system, neural stem and progenitor cells give rise to diverse classes of neurons and glia in a spatially and temporally coordinated manner. In the ventral spinal cord, much of this diversity emerges through the morphogen actions of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). Interpretation of the Shh gradient depends on both the amount of ligand and duration of exposure, but the mechanisms permitting prolonged responses to Shh are not well understood. We demonstrate that Notch signaling plays an essential role in this process, enabling neural progenitors to attain sufficiently high levels of Shh pathway activity needed to direct the ventral-most cell fates. Notch activity regulates subcellular localization of the Shh receptor Patched1, gating the translocation of the key effector Smoothened to primary cilia and its downstream signaling activities. These data reveal an unexpected role for Notch shaping the interpretation of the Shh morphogen gradient and influencing cell fate determination. PMID:25936505

  13. Optical coherence tomography for cross-sectional imaging of neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Yi-Jou; Black, Adam J.; Landowne, David; Akkin, Taner

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. We report a functional optical coherence tomography cross-sectional scanner to detect neural activity using unmyelinated nerves dissected from squid. The nerves, unstained or stained with a voltage-sensitive dye, were imaged in a nerve chamber. Transient phase changes from backscattered light were detected during action potential propagation. The results show that the scanner can provide high spatiotemporal resolution cross-sectional images of neural activity (15  μs/A-line; 0.25  ms/B-scan; ∼8.5×5.5  μm2 in xz). The advantage of this method compared to monitoring a single depth profile z is a dramatic increase in the number of available sites that can be measured in two spatial dimensions xz with lateral scanning; therefore, the study demonstrates that two-dimensional monitoring of small-scale functional activity would also be feasible. PMID:26217674

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Linking neural activity and molecular oscillations in the SCN

    PubMed Central

    Colwell, Christopher S.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) function as part of a central timing circuit that drives daily changes in our behaviour and underlying physiology. A hallmark feature of SCN neuronal populations is that they are mostly electrically silent during the night, start to fire action potentials near dawn and then continue to generate action potentials with a slow and steady pace all day long. Sets of currents are responsible for this daily rhythm, with the strongest evidence for persistent Na+ currents, L-type Ca2+ currents, hyperpolarization-activated currents (IH), large-conductance Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) currents and fast delayed rectifier (FDR) K+ currents. These rhythms in electrical activity are crucial for the function of the circadian timing system, including the expression of clock genes, and decline with ageing and disease. This article reviews our current understanding of the ionic and molecular mechanisms that drive the rhythmic firing patterns in the SCN. PMID:21886186

  16. Modulation of neural activity during object naming: effects of time and practice.

    PubMed

    van Turennout, Miranda; Bielamowicz, Lisa; Martin, Alex

    2003-04-01

    Repeated exposure to objects improves our ability to identify and name them, even after a long delay. Previous brain imaging studies have demonstrated that this experience-related facilitation of object naming is associated with neural changes in distinct brain regions. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the modulation of neural activity in the object naming system as a function of experience and time. Pictures of common objects were presented repeatedly for naming at different time intervals (1 h, 6 h and 3 days) before scanning, or at 30 s intervals during scanning. The results revealed that as objects became more familiar with experience, activity in occipitotemporal and left inferior frontal regions decreased while activity in the left insula and basal ganglia increased. In posterior regions, reductions in activity as a result of multiple repetitions did not interact with time, whereas in left inferior frontal cortex larger decreases were observed when repetitions were spaced out over time. This differential modulation of activity in distinct brain regions provides support for the idea that long-lasting object priming is mediated by two neural mechanisms. The first mechanism may involve changes in object-specific representations in occipitotemporal cortices, the second may be a form of procedural learning involving a reorganization in brain circuitry that leads to more efficient name retrieval. PMID:12631567

  17. Implications of the Dependence of Neuronal Activity on Neural Network States for the Design of Brain-Machine Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Panzeri, Stefano; Safaai, Houman; De Feo, Vito; Vato, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can improve the quality of life of patients with sensory and motor disabilities by both decoding motor intentions expressed by neural activity, and by encoding artificially sensed information into patterns of neural activity elicited by causal interventions on the neural tissue. Yet, current BMIs can exchange relatively small amounts of information with the brain. This problem has proved difficult to overcome by simply increasing the number of recording or stimulating electrodes, because trial-to-trial variability of neural activity partly arises from intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation, and so is shared among neurons. Here we review recent progress in characterizing the state dependence of neural responses, and in particular of how neural responses depend on endogenous slow fluctuations of network excitability. We then elaborate on how this knowledge may be used to increase the amount of information that BMIs exchange with brain. Knowledge of network state can be used to fine-tune the stimulation pattern that should reliably elicit a target neural response used to encode information in the brain, and to discount part of the trial-by-trial variability of neural responses, so that they can be decoded more accurately. PMID:27147955

  18. Dampened neural activity and abolition of epileptic-like activity in cortical slices by active ingredients of spices

    PubMed Central

    Pezzoli, Maurizio; Elhamdani, Abdeladim; Camacho, Susana; Meystre, Julie; González, Stephanie Michlig; le Coutre, Johannes; Markram, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Active ingredients of spices (AIS) modulate neural response in the peripheral nervous system, mainly through interaction with TRP channel/receptors. The present study explores how different AIS modulate neural response in layer 5 pyramidal neurons of S1 neocortex. The AIS tested are agonists of TRPV1/3, TRPM8 or TRPA1. Our results demonstrate that capsaicin, eugenol, menthol, icilin and cinnamaldehyde, but not AITC dampen the generation of APs in a voltage- and time-dependent manner. This effect was further tested for the TRPM8 ligands in the presence of a TRPM8 blocker (BCTC) and on TRPM8 KO mice. The observable effect was still present. Finally, the influence of the selected AIS was tested on in vitro gabazine-induced seizures. Results coincide with the above observations: except for cinnamaldehyde, the same AIS were able to reduce the number, duration of the AP bursts and increase the concentration of gabazine needed to elicit them. In conclusion, our data suggests that some of these AIS can modulate glutamatergic neurons in the brain through a TRP-independent pathway, regardless of whether the neurons are stimulated intracellularly or by hyperactive microcircuitry. PMID:25359561

  19. Expression of constitutively active FoxO3 in murine forebrain leads to a loss of neural progenitors.

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Strassburger, Uta; Schips, Tobias G; Maier, Harald J; Kloiber, Katharina; Mannella, Francesca; Braunstein, Kerstin E; Holzmann, Karlheinz; Ushmorov, Alexey; Liebau, Stefan; Boeckers, Tobias M; Wirth, Thomas

    2012-12-01

    Inactivation of FoxO proteins by phosphorylation is the result of a number of stimuli, including the insulin/IGF pathway. We were interested in the consequence of blunting this pathway by employing transgenic mice with tetracycline-controllable conditional expression of a constitutively active allele of FOXO3 under the control of the forebrain-specific CaMKIIα promoter. Although transgene-expressing mice were viable, brain weight was reduced by 30% in adult animals. Brains showed an isocortex compression with normal cortical layering, and a size reduction in regions known to depend on adult neurogenesis, i.e., the olfactory bulbs and the dentate gyrus. On postnatal activation of the transgene, adult neurogenesis was also severely affected. Investigating the molecular basis of this phenotype, we observed enhanced apoptosis starting from embryonic day E10.5 and a subsequent loss of progenitors in the ventricular/subventricular zones, but not in the isocortex or the striatum of adult mice. The enhanced apoptosis was accompanied by increased expression of PIK3IP1, which we identified as a direct transcriptional target of FOXO3. Transfection of Pik3ip1 into differentiating neural progenitors resulted in a significant reduction of viable cells. We therefore conclude that neural progenitors are particularly vulnerable to FOXO3-induced apoptosis, which is mediated by PIK3IP1, a negative PI3 kinase regulator. PMID:22935140

  20. Metal Toxicity Affects Fungal and Bacterial Activities in Soil Differently

    PubMed Central

    Rajapaksha, R. M. C. P.; Tobor-Kapłon, M. A; Bååth, E.

    2004-01-01

    Although the toxic effect of heavy metals on soil microorganism activity is well known, little is known about the effects on different organism groups. The influence of heavy metal addition on total, bacterial, and fungal activities was therefore studied for up to 60 days in a laboratory experiment using forest soil contaminated with different concentrations of Zn or Cu. The effects of the metals differed between the different activity measurements. During the first week after metal addition, the total activity (respiration rate) decreased by 30% at the highest level of contamination and then remained stable during the 60 days of incubation. The bacterial activity (thymidine incorporation rate) decreased during the first days with the level of metal contamination, resulting in a 90% decrease at the highest level of contamination. Bacterial activity then slowly recovered to values similar to those of the control soil. The recovery was faster when soil pH, which had decreased due to metal addition, was restored to control values by liming. Fungal activity (acetate-in-ergosterol incorporation rate) initially increased with the level of metal contamination, being up to 3 and 7 times higher than that in the control samples during the first week at the highest levels of Zn and Cu addition, respectively. The positive effect of metal addition on fungal activity then decreased, but fungal activity was still higher in contaminated than in control soil after 35 days. This is the first direct evidence that fungal and bacterial activities in soil are differently affected by heavy metals. The different responses of bacteria and fungi to heavy metals were reflected in an increase in the relative fungal/bacterial ratio (estimated using phospholipid fatty acid analysis) with increased metal load. PMID:15128558

  1. Metal toxicity affects fungal and bacterial activities in soil differently.

    PubMed

    Rajapaksha, R M C P; Tobor-Kapłon, M A; Bååth, E

    2004-05-01

    Although the toxic effect of heavy metals on soil microorganism activity is well known, little is known about the effects on different organism groups. The influence of heavy metal addition on total, bacterial, and fungal activities was therefore studied for up to 60 days in a laboratory experiment using forest soil contaminated with different concentrations of Zn or Cu. The effects of the metals differed between the different activity measurements. During the first week after metal addition, the total activity (respiration rate) decreased by 30% at the highest level of contamination and then remained stable during the 60 days of incubation. The bacterial activity (thymidine incorporation rate) decreased during the first days with the level of metal contamination, resulting in a 90% decrease at the highest level of contamination. Bacterial activity then slowly recovered to values similar to those of the control soil. The recovery was faster when soil pH, which had decreased due to metal addition, was restored to control values by liming. Fungal activity (acetate-in-ergosterol incorporation rate) initially increased with the level of metal contamination, being up to 3 and 7 times higher than that in the control samples during the first week at the highest levels of Zn and Cu addition, respectively. The positive effect of metal addition on fungal activity then decreased, but fungal activity was still higher in contaminated than in control soil after 35 days. This is the first direct evidence that fungal and bacterial activities in soil are differently affected by heavy metals. The different responses of bacteria and fungi to heavy metals were reflected in an increase in the relative fungal/bacterial ratio (estimated using phospholipid fatty acid analysis) with increased metal load. PMID:15128558

  2. Quantitative meta-analysis of neural activity in posttraumatic stress disorder

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In recent years, neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have played a significant role in elucidating the neural underpinnings of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, a detailed understanding of the neural regions implicated in the disorder remains incomplete because of considerable variability in findings across studies. The aim of this meta-analysis was to identify consistent patterns of neural activity across neuroimaging study designs in PTSD to improve understanding of the neurocircuitry of PTSD. Methods We conducted a literature search for PET and fMRI studies of PTSD that were published before February 2011. The article search resulted in 79 functional neuroimaging PTSD studies. Data from 26 PTSD peer-reviewed neuroimaging articles reporting results from 342 adult patients and 342 adult controls were included. Peak activation coordinates from selected articles were used to generate activation likelihood estimate maps separately for symptom provocation and cognitive-emotional studies of PTSD. A separate meta-analysis examined the coupling between ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala activity in patients. Results Results demonstrated that the regions most consistently hyperactivated in PTSD patients included mid- and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and when ROI studies were included, bilateral amygdala. By contrast, widespread hypoactivity was observed in PTSD including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the inferior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, decreased ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity was associated with increased amygdala activity. Conclusions These results provide evidence for a neurocircuitry model of PTSD that emphasizes alteration in neural networks important for salience detection and emotion regulation. PMID:22738125

  3. Neural control of glutamine synthetase activity in rat skeletal muscles.

    PubMed

    Feng, B; Konagaya, M; Konagaya, Y; Thomas, J W; Banner, C; Mill, J; Max, S R

    1990-05-01

    The mechanism of glutamine synthetase induction in rat skeletal muscle after denervation or limb immobilization was investigated. Adult male rats were subjected to midthigh section of the sciatic nerve. At 1, 2, and 5 h and 1, 2, and 7 days after denervation, rats were killed and denervated, and contralateral control soleus and plantaris muscles were excised, weighted, homogenized, and assayed for glutamine synthetase. Glutamine synthetase activity increased approximately twofold 1 h after denervation in both muscles. By 7 days postdenervation enzyme activity had increased to three times the control level in plantaris muscle and to four times the control level in soleus muscle. Increased enzyme activity after nerve section was associated with increased maximum velocity with no change in apparent Michaelis constant. Immunotitration with an antiglutamine synthetase antibody suggested that denervation caused an increase in the number of glutamine synthetase molecules in muscle. However, Northern-blot analysis revealed no increase in the steady-state level of glutamine synthetase mRNA after denervation. A mixing experiment failed to yield evidence for the presence of a soluble factor involved in regulating the activity of glutamine synthetase in denervated muscle. A combination of denervation and dexamethasone injections resulted in additive increases in glutamine synthetase. Thus the mechanism underlying increased glutamine synthetase after denervation appears to be posttranscriptional and is distinct from that of the glucocorticoid-mediated glutamine synthetase induction previously described by us. PMID:1970709

  4. Litter Environment Affects Behavior and Brain Metabolic Activity of Adult Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Crews, David; Rushworth, David; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Ogawa, Sonoko

    2009-01-01

    In mammals, the formative environment for social and anxiety-related behaviors is the family unit; in the case of rodents, this is the litter and the mother-young bond. A deciding factor in this environment is the sex ratio of the litter and, in the case of mice lacking functional copies of gene(s), the ratio of the various genotypes in the litter. Both Sex and Genotype ratios of the litter affect the nature and quality of the individual's behavior later in adulthood, as well as metabolic activity in brain nuclei that underlie these behaviors. Mice were raised in litters reconstituted shortly after to birth to control for sex ratio and genotype ratio (wild type pups versus pups lacking a functional estrogen receptor α). In both males and females, the Sex and Genotype of siblings in the litter affected aggressive behaviors as well as patterns of metabolic activity in limbic nuclei in the social behavior network later in adulthood. Further, this pattern in males varied depending upon the Genotype of their brothers and sisters. Principal Components Analysis revealed two components comprised of several amygdalar and hypothalamic nuclei; the VMH showed strong correlations in both clusters, suggesting its pivotal nature in the organization of two neural networks. PMID:19707539

  5. Serotonin and Dopamine: Unifying Affective, Activational, and Decision Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991

  6. Factors affecting the behavior of unburned carbon upon steam activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zhe

    The main objective of this study is to investigate the factors that could affect the behavior of unburned carbon samples upon steam activation. Through this work, the relationships among the factors that could influence the carbon-steam reaction with the surface area of the produced activated carbon were explored. Statistical analysis was used to relate the chemical and physical properties of the unburned carbon to the surface area of the activated carbon. Six unburned carbons were selected as feedstocks for activated carbon, and marked as UCA through UCF. The unburned carbons were activated using steam at 850°C for 90 minutes, and the surface areas of their activated counterparts were measured using N2 adsorption isotherms at 77K. The activated carbons produced from different unburned carbon precursors presented different surface areas at similar carbon burn-off levels. Moreover, in different carbon burn-off regions, the sequences for surface area of activated carbons from different unburned carbon samples were different. The factors that may affect the carbon-steam gasification reactions, including the concentration of carbon active sites, the crystallite size of the carbon, the intrinsic porous structure of carbon, and the inorganic impurities, were investigated. All unburned carbons investigated in this study were similar in that they showed the very broad (002) and (10 ) carbon peaks, which are characteristic of highly disordered carbonaceous materials. In this study, the unburned carbon samples contained about 17--48% of inorganic impurities. Compared to coals, the unburned carbon samples contain a larger amount of inorganic impurities as a result of the burn-off, or at lease part, of the carbon during the combustion process. These inorganic particles were divided into two groups in terms of the way they are associated with carbon particles: free single particles, and particles combined with carbon particles. As indicated from the present work, unburned

  7. Optimal Recognition Method of Human Activities Using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oniga, Stefan; József, Sütő

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this research is an exhaustive analysis of the various factors that may influence the recognition rate of the human activity using wearable sensors data. We made a total of 1674 simulations on a publically released human activity database by a group of researcher from the University of California at Berkeley. In a previous research, we analyzed the influence of the number of sensors and their placement. In the present research we have examined the influence of the number of sensor nodes, the type of sensor node, preprocessing algorithms, type of classifier and its parameters. The final purpose is to find the optimal setup for best recognition rates with lowest hardware and software costs.

  8. Blocking mPTP on Neural Stem Cells and Activating the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α7 Subunit on Microglia Attenuate Aβ-Induced Neurotoxicity on Neural Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qingzhuang; Wang, Kewan; Jiang, Deqi; Wang, Yan; Xiao, Xiaodan; Zhu, Ning; Li, Mingxing; Jia, Siyuan; Wang, Yong

    2016-06-01

    β-Amyloid (Aβ) can stimulate microglia to release a variety of proinflammatory cytokines and induce neurotoxicity. Nicotine has been reported to inhibit TNF-α, IL-1, and ROS production in microglia. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) plays an important role in neurotoxicity as well. Here, we investigated whether activating the microglial α7-nAChR has a neuroprotective role on neural stem cells (NSCs) and the function of mPTP in NSCs in this process. The expression of α7-nAChR in rat NSCs was detected by immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. The viability of microglia and NSCs was examined by MTT assay. The mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and morphological characteristics of NSCs was measured by JC-1 staining and transmission electron microscopy respectively. The distribution of cytochrome c in the subcellular regions of NSCs was visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy, and the expression levels of cyclophilin D and cleaved caspase-3 were assayed by western blot. The apoptotic rate of NSCs was measured by flow cytometry. The expression of α7-nAChR was detected in microglial cells, but no expression was found in NSCs. The viability of rat microglial cells and NSCs was not affected by reagents or coculture itself. Aβ1-42-mediated microglial activation impaired the morphology and the ΔΨm of mitochondria of NSCs as well as increased cell apoptosis. However, the damage was attenuated when the α7-nAChRs on microglial cells were activated or the mPTPs on NSCs were blocked. Blockade of mPTPs on NSCs and activation of α7-nAChRs on microglia exhibit neuroprotective roles in Aβ-induced neurotoxicity of NSCs. PMID:26875732

  9. Placebo-Activated Neural Systems are Linked to Antidepressant Responses

    PubMed Central

    Peciña, Marta; Bohnert, Amy S. B.; Sikora, Magdalena; Avery, Erich T.; Langenecker, Scott A.; Mickey, Brian J.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2016-01-01

    Importance High placebo responses have been observed across a wide range of pathologies, severely impacting drug development. Objective Here we examined neurochemical mechanisms underlying the formation of placebo effects in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Participants Thirty-five medication-free MDD patients. Design and Intervention We performed a single-blinded two-week cross-over randomized controlled trial of two identical oral placebos (described as having either “active” or “inactive” fast-acting antidepressant-like effects) followed by a 10-week open-label treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or in some cases, another agent as clinically indicated. The volunteers were studied with PET and the μ-opioid receptor (MOR)-selective radiotracer [11C]carfentanil after each 1-week “inactive” and “active” oral placebo treatment. In addition, 1 mL of isotonic saline was administered intravenously (i.v.) within sight of the volunteer during PET scanning every 4 min over 20 min only after the 1-week active placebo treatment, with instructions that the compound may be associated with the activation of brain systems involved in mood improvement. This challenge stimulus was utilized to test the individual capacity to acutely activate endogenous opioid neurotransmision under expectations of antidepressant effect. Setting A University Health System. Main Outcomes and Measures Changes in depressive symptoms in response to “active” placebo and antidepressant. Baseline and activation measures of MOR binding. Results Higher baseline MOR binding in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was associated with better response to antidepressant treatment (r=0.48; p=0.02). Reductions in depressive symptoms after 1-week of “active” placebo treatment, compared to the “inactive”, were associated with increased placebo-induced μ-opioid neurotransmission in a network of regions implicated in emotion, stress regulation, and the

  10. Differences in neural activity when processing emotional arousal and valence in autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Angela; Wang, Zhishun; Huo, Yuankai; Goh, Suzanne; Russell, James A; Peterson, Bradley S

    2016-02-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulty recognizing and interpreting facial expressions of emotion, which may impair their ability to navigate and communicate successfully in their social, interpersonal environments. Characterizing specific differences between individuals with ASD and their typically developing (TD) counterparts in the neural activity subserving their experience of emotional faces may provide distinct targets for ASD interventions. Thus we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a parametric experimental design to identify brain regions in which neural activity correlated with ratings of arousal and valence for a broad range of emotional faces. Participants (51 ASD, 84 TD) were group-matched by age, sex, IQ, race, and socioeconomic status. Using task-related change in blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal as a measure, and covarying for age, sex, FSIQ, and ADOS scores, we detected significant differences across diagnostic groups in the neural activity subserving the dimension of arousal but not valence. BOLD-signal in TD participants correlated inversely with ratings of arousal in regions associated primarily with attentional functions, whereas BOLD-signal in ASD participants correlated positively with arousal ratings in regions commonly associated with impulse control and default-mode activity. Only minor differences were detected between groups in the BOLD signal correlates of valence ratings. Our findings provide unique insight into the emotional experiences of individuals with ASD. Although behavioral responses to face-stimuli were comparable across diagnostic groups, the corresponding neural activity for our ASD and TD groups differed dramatically. The near absence of group differences for valence correlates and the presence of strong group differences for arousal correlates suggest that individuals with ASD are not atypical in all aspects of emotion-processing. Studying these similarities

  11. Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials.

    PubMed

    Gearhardt, Ashley N; Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L; Brownell, Kelly D

    2014-07-01

    Adolescents view thousands of food commercials annually, but the neural response to food advertising and its association with obesity is largely unknown. This study is the first to examine how neural response to food commercials differs from other stimuli (e.g. non-food commercials and television show) and to explore how this response may differ by weight status. The blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation was measured in 30 adolescents ranging from lean to obese in response to food and non-food commercials imbedded in a television show. Adolescents exhibited greater activation in regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. occipital gyrus), attention (e.g. parietal lobes), cognition (e.g. temporal gyrus and posterior cerebellar lobe), movement (e.g. anterior cerebellar cortex), somatosensory response (e.g. postcentral gyrus) and reward [e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] during food commercials. Obese participants exhibited less activation during food relative to non-food commercials in neural regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. cuneus), attention (e.g. posterior cerebellar lobe), reward (e.g. ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ACC) and salience detection (e.g. precuneus). Obese participants did exhibit greater activation in a region implicated in semantic control (e.g. medial temporal gyrus). These findings may inform current policy debates regarding the impact of food advertising to minors. PMID:23576811

  12. Escargot and Scratch regulate neural commitment by antagonizing Notch activity in Drosophila sensory organs.

    PubMed

    Ramat, Anne; Audibert, Agnès; Louvet-Vallée, Sophie; Simon, Françoise; Fichelson, Pierre; Gho, Michel

    2016-08-15

    During Notch (N)-mediated binary cell fate decisions, cells adopt two different fates according to the levels of N pathway activation: an Noff-dependent or an Non-dependent fate. How cells maintain these N activity levels over time remains largely unknown. We address this question in the cell lineage that gives rise to the Drosophila mechanosensory organs. In this lineage a primary precursor cell undergoes a stereotyped sequence of oriented asymmetric cell divisions and transits through two neural precursor states before acquiring a neuron identity. Using a combination of genetic and cell biology strategies, we show that Escargot and Scratch, two transcription factors belonging to the Snail superfamily, maintain Noff neural commitment by directly blocking the transcription of N target genes. We propose that Snail factors act by displacing proneural transcription activators from DNA binding sites. As such, Snail factors maintain the Noff state in neural precursor cells by buffering any ectopic variation in the level of N activity. Since Escargot and Scratch orthologs are present in other precursor cells, our findings are fundamental for understanding precursor cell fate acquisition in other systems. PMID:27471258

  13. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement. PMID:24120277

  14. Neural substrates activated by viewing others expressing fatigue: a magnetoencephalography study.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Akira; Tanaka, Masaaki; Yamano, Emi; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2012-05-21

    The neural substrates of the fatigue sensation have not been totally identified. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that seeing emotional changes in others activates brain regions involved in experiencing similar emotions. We hypothesized that there exists a mirror system regarding the fatigue sensation and that brain regions associated with the fatigue sensation may be activated by viewing other individuals expressing fatigue. In this study, we attempted to identify the neural substrates activated by viewing other fatigued individuals using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Twelve healthy participants were enrolled in our study after providing written informed consent. During MEG recordings, they viewed a set of pictures projected on a screen. The pictures, which were presented in a randomized order, were of a person with a fatigued or neutral facial expression. When participants viewed pictures of people with fatigued expressions, we were able to estimate equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in 9 of 12 participants approximately 300 ms after the onset of each picture presentation. When they viewed pictures of people with neutral expressions, we were not able to estimate corresponding ECDs for any participant. The PCC is the brain region activated by viewing others expressing fatigue, suggesting existence of the shared neural substrates of felt and observed fatigue. PMID:22502975

  15. Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials

    PubMed Central

    Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L.; Brownell, Kelly D.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents view thousands of food commercials annually, but the neural response to food advertising and its association with obesity is largely unknown. This study is the first to examine how neural response to food commercials differs from other stimuli (e.g. non-food commercials and television show) and to explore how this response may differ by weight status. The blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation was measured in 30 adolescents ranging from lean to obese in response to food and non-food commercials imbedded in a television show. Adolescents exhibited greater activation in regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. occipital gyrus), attention (e.g. parietal lobes), cognition (e.g. temporal gyrus and posterior cerebellar lobe), movement (e.g. anterior cerebellar cortex), somatosensory response (e.g. postcentral gyrus) and reward [e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] during food commercials. Obese participants exhibited less activation during food relative to non-food commercials in neural regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. cuneus), attention (e.g. posterior cerebellar lobe), reward (e.g. ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ACC) and salience detection (e.g. precuneus). Obese participants did exhibit greater activation in a region implicated in semantic control (e.g. medial temporal gyrus). These findings may inform current policy debates regarding the impact of food advertising to minors. PMID:23576811

  16. Dopamine-induced dissociation of BOLD and neural activity in macaque visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Zaldivar, Daniel; Rauch, Alexander; Whittingstall, Kevin; Logothetis, Nikos K; Goense, Jozien

    2014-12-01

    Neuromodulators determine how neural circuits process information during cognitive states such as wakefulness, attention, learning, and memory. fMRI can provide insight into their function and dynamics, but their exact effect on BOLD responses remains unclear, limiting our ability to interpret the effects of changes in behavioral state using fMRI. Here, we investigated the effects of dopamine (DA) injections on neural responses and haemodynamic signals in macaque primary visual cortex (V1) using fMRI (7T) and intracortical electrophysiology. Aside from DA's involvement in diseases such as Parkinson's and schizophrenia, it also plays a role in visual perception. We mimicked DAergic neuromodulation by systemic injection of L-DOPA and Carbidopa (LDC) or by local application of DA in V1 and found that systemic application of LDC increased the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and amplitude of the visually evoked neural responses in V1. However, visually induced BOLD responses decreased, whereas cerebral blood flow (CBF) responses increased. This dissociation of BOLD and CBF suggests that dopamine increases energy metabolism by a disproportionate amount relative to the CBF response, causing the reduced BOLD response. Local application of DA in V1 had no effect on neural activity, suggesting that the dopaminergic effects are mediated by long-range interactions. The combination of BOLD-based and CBF-based fMRI can provide a signature of dopaminergic neuromodulation, indicating that the application of multimodal methods can improve our ability to distinguish sensory processing from neuromodulatory effects. PMID:25456449

  17. Deep neural nets as a method for quantitative structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junshui; Sheridan, Robert P; Liaw, Andy; Dahl, George E; Svetnik, Vladimir

    2015-02-23

    Neural networks were widely used for quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) in the 1990s. Because of various practical issues (e.g., slow on large problems, difficult to train, prone to overfitting, etc.), they were superseded by more robust methods like support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), which arose in the early 2000s. The last 10 years has witnessed a revival of neural networks in the machine learning community thanks to new methods for preventing overfitting, more efficient training algorithms, and advancements in computer hardware. In particular, deep neural nets (DNNs), i.e. neural nets with more than one hidden layer, have found great successes in many applications, such as computer vision and natural language processing. Here we show that DNNs can routinely make better prospective predictions than RF on a set of large diverse QSAR data sets that are taken from Merck's drug discovery effort. The number of adjustable parameters needed for DNNs is fairly large, but our results show that it is not necessary to optimize them for individual data sets, and a single set of recommended parameters can achieve better performance than RF for most of the data sets we studied. The usefulness of the parameters is demonstrated on additional data sets not used in the calibration. Although training DNNs is still computationally intensive, using graphical processing units (GPUs) can make this issue manageable. PMID:25635324

  18. Neural activation in the "reward circuit" shows a nonlinear response to facial attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xiaoyun; Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Zhang, Yi

    2010-01-01

    Positive behavioral responses to attractive faces have led neuroscientists to investigate underlying neural mechanisms in a "reward circuit" that includes brain regions innervated by dopamine pathways. Using male faces ranging from attractive to extremely unattractive, disfigured ones, this study is the first to demonstrate heightened responses to both rewarding and aversive faces in numerous areas of this putative reward circuit. Parametric analyses employing orthogonal linear and nonlinear regressors revealed positive nonlinear effects in anterior cingulate cortex, lateral orbital frontal cortex (LOFC), striatum (nucleus accumbens, caudate, putamen), and ventral tegmental area, in addition to replicating previously documented linear effects in medial orbital frontal cortex (MOFC) and LOFC and nonlinear effects in amygdala and MOFC. The widespread nonlinear responses are consistent with single cell recordings in animals showing responses to both rewarding and aversive stimuli, and with some human fMRI investigations of non-face stimuli. They indicate that the reward circuit does not process face valence with any simple dissociation of function across structures. Perceiver gender modulated some responses to our male faces: Women showed stronger linear effects, and men showed stronger nonlinear effects, which may have functional implications. Our discovery of nonlinear responses to attractiveness throughout the reward circuit echoes the history of amygdala research: Early work indicated a linear response to threatening stimuli, including faces; later work also revealed a nonlinear response with heightened activation to affectively salient stimuli regardless of valence. The challenge remains to determine how such dual coding influences feelings, such as pleasure and pain, and guides goal-related behavioral responses, such as approach and avoidance. PMID:20221946

  19. Neural Activation in the ‘Reward Circuit’ Shows a Nonlinear Response to Facial Attractiveness

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xiaoyun; Zebrowitz, Leslie A.; Zhang, Yi

    2010-01-01

    Positive behavioral responses to attractive faces have led neuroscientists to investigate underlying neural mechanisms in a ‘reward circuit’ that includes brain regions innervated by dopamine pathways. Using male faces ranging from attractive to extremely unattractive, disfigured ones, this study is the first to demonstrate heightened responses to both rewarding and aversive faces in numerous areas of this putative reward circuit. Parametric analyses employing orthogonal linear and nonlinear regressors revealed positive nonlinear effects in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), lateral orbitofrontal cortex (LOFC), striatum (nucleus accumbens (NAC), caudate, putamen), and ventral tegmental area (VTA), in addition to replicating previously documented linear effects in MOFC and LOFC and nonlinear effects in AMY and MOFC. The widespread nonlinear responses are consistent both with single cell recordings in animals showing responses to both rewarding and aversive stimuli and some human fMRI investigations of non-face stimuli. They indicate that the reward circuit does not process face valence with any simple dissociation of function across structures. Perceiver gender modulated some responses to our male faces: women showed stronger linear effects, and men showed stronger nonlinear effects, which may have functional implications. Our discovery of nonlinear responses to attractiveness throughout the reward circuit echoes the history of amygdala research: early work indicated a linear response to threatening stimuli, including faces; later work also revealed a nonlinear response with heightened activation to affectively salient stimuli regardless of valence. The challenge remains to determine how such dual coding influences feelings, like pleasure and pain, and guides goal-related behavioral responses, like approach and avoidance. PMID:20221946

  20. Mutual information and self-control of a fully-connected low-activity neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollé, D.; Carreta, D. Dominguez

    2000-11-01

    A self-control mechanism for the dynamics of a three-state fully connected neural network is studied through the introduction of a time-dependent threshold. The self-adapting threshold is a function of both the neural and the pattern activity in the network. The time evolution of the order parameters is obtained on the basis of a recently developed dynamical recursive scheme. In the limit of low activity the mutual information is shown to be the relevant parameter in order to determine the retrieval quality. Due to self-control an improvement of this mutual information content as well as an increase of the storage capacity and an enlargement of the basins of attraction are found. These results are compared with numerical simulations.

  1. Single-cell transcriptome analyses reveal signals to activate dormant neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuping; Coskun, Volkan; Liang, Aibing; Yu, Juehua; Cheng, Liming; Ge, Weihong; Shi, Zhanping; Zhang, Kunshan; Li, Chun; Cui, Yaru; Lin, Haijun; Luo, Dandan; Wang, Junbang; Lin, Connie; Dai, Zachary; Zhu, Hongwen; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Jie; Liu, Hailiang; deVellis, Jean; Horvath, Steve; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2015-05-21

    The scarcity of tissue-specific stem cells and the complexity of their surrounding environment have made molecular characterization of these cells particularly challenging. Through single-cell transcriptome and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we uncovered molecular properties of CD133(+)/GFAP(-) ependymal (E) cells in the adult mouse forebrain neurogenic zone. Surprisingly, prominent hub genes of the gene network unique to ependymal CD133(+)/GFAP(-) quiescent cells were enriched for immune-responsive genes, as well as genes encoding receptors for angiogenic factors. Administration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activated CD133(+) ependymal neural stem cells (NSCs), lining not only the lateral but also the fourth ventricles and, together with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), elicited subsequent neural lineage differentiation and migration. This study revealed the existence of dormant ependymal NSCs throughout the ventricular surface of the CNS, as well as signals abundant after injury for their activation. PMID:26000486

  2. Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Kirkovski, Melissa; Enticott, Peter G; Hughes, Matthew E; Rossell, Susan L; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2016-03-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPj) are highly involved in social understanding, a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to investigate sex differences in the neural correlates of social understanding in 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 23 matched controls. There were no differences in neural activity in the mPFC or rTPj between groups during social processing. Whole brain analysis revealed decreased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus in males with ASD compared to control males while processing social information. This pattern was not observed in the female sub-sample. The current study indicates that sex mediates the neurobiology of ASD, particularly with respect to processing social information. PMID:26520145

  3. Thermal dependence of neural activity in the hamster hippocampal slice preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horowitz, J. M.; Thomas, M. P.; Eckerman, P.

    1987-01-01

    1. Neural activity was recorded in an in vitro hamster hippocampal slice preparation while the temperature of the Ringer's solution bathing in the slice was controlled at selected levels. 2. The amplitude of the population spike (action potentials from a group of pyramidal cells) was measured as bath temperature was lowered from 35 degrees C to temperatures where a response could not be evoked. 3. Plots of population spike amplitude versus temperature have bell-shaped curves. The population spikes increased in amplitude as temperature was lowered from 35 degrees C, reached a peak amplitude between 25 and 20 degrees C, and then decreased until a response could not be evoked when temperature was further lowered. 4. These in vitro results obtained in the slice preparation are related to in vivo hippocampal studies. Results are interpreted as consistent with the proposal reviewed here that neural activity in the hippocampus plays a role at specific stages of entrance into and arousal from hibernation.

  4. Association between vasovagal hypotension and low sympathetic neural activity during presyncope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooke, William H.; Convertino, Victor A.

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that an underlying mechanism for susceptibility of patients and astronauts to presyncope includes hypoadrenergic responses to orthostatic stress. However, data used to reach this conclusion are open to various interpretations. In this report, maintenance of sympathetic neural activity (MSNA; peroneal nerve microneurography) during -60 mmHg lower body negative pressure (LBNP) was associated with maintenance of orthostatic tolerance, and disappearance of MSNA was associated with hypotension and pre-syncope. However, MSNA was substantially higher during progressive increases of negative pressure in the presyncopal subject, compared to the non-presyncopal subjects. The data from this case report question the notion that orthostatic hypotension occurs due to inadequate sympathetic neural activation during orthostatic stress in apparently normal, healthy subjects.

  5. Category-based induction from similarity of neural activation.

    PubMed

    Weber, Matthew J; Osherson, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    The idea that similarity might be an engine of inductive inference dates back at least as far as David Hume. However, Hume's thesis is difficult to test without begging the question, since judgments of similarity may be infected by inferential processes. We present a one-parameter model of category-based induction that generates predictions about arbitrary statements of conditional probability over a predicate and a set of items. The prediction is based on the unconditional probabilities and similarities that characterize that predicate and those items. To test Hume's thesis, we collected brain activation from various regions of the ventral visual stream during a categorization task that did not invite comparison of categories. We then calculated the similarity of those activation patterns using a simple measure of vectorwise similarity and supplied those similarities to the model. The model's outputs correlated well with subjects' judgments of conditional probability. Our results represent a promising first step toward confirming Hume's thesis; similarity, assessed without reference to induction, may well drive inductive inference. PMID:24254747

  6. BOLD Responses in Human Primary Visual Cortex are Insensitive to Substantial Changes in Neural Activity.

    PubMed

    Swettenham, J B; Muthukumaraswamy, S D; Singh, K D

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between blood oxygenation level dependent-functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) metrics were explored using low-level visual stimuli known to elicit a rich variety of neural responses. Stimuli were either perceptually isoluminant red/green or luminance-modulated black/yellow square-wave gratings with spatial frequencies of 0.5, 3, and 6 cycles per degree. Neural responses were measured with BOLD-fMRI (3-tesla) and whole head MEG. For all stimuli, the BOLD response showed bilateral activation of early visual cortex that was greater in the contralateral hemisphere. There was variation between individuals but weak, or no evidence, of amplitude dependence on either spatial frequency or the presence of luminance contrast. In contrast, beamformer analysis of MEG data showed activation in contralateral early visual cortex and revealed: (i) evoked responses with stimulus-dependent amplitude and latency; (ii) gamma and high-beta oscillations, with spatial frequency dependent peaks at approximately 30 and 50 Hz, but only for luminance-modulated gratings; (iii) The gamma and beta oscillations appeared to show different spatial frequency tuning profiles; (iv) much weaker gamma and beta responses, and at higher oscillation frequencies, for isoluminant compared to luminance-modulated gratings. The results provide further evidence that the relationship between the fMRI-BOLD response and cortical neural activity is complex, with BOLD-fMRI being insensitive to substantial changes in neural activity. All stimuli were clearly visible to participants and so the paucity of gamma oscillations to isoluminant stimuli is inconsistent with theories of their role in conscious visual perception. PMID:23482840

  7. Prediction of Spatiotemporal Patterns of Neural Activity from Pairwise Correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marre, O.; El Boustani, S.; Frégnac, Y.; Destexhe, A.

    2009-04-01

    We designed a model-based analysis to predict the occurrence of population patterns in distributed spiking activity. Using a maximum entropy principle with a Markovian assumption, we obtain a model that accounts for both spatial and temporal pairwise correlations among neurons. This model is tested on data generated with a Glauber spin-glass system and is shown to correctly predict the occurrence probabilities of spatiotemporal patterns significantly better than Ising models only based on spatial correlations. This increase of predictability was also observed on experimental data recorded in parietal cortex during slow-wave sleep. This approach can also be used to generate surrogates that reproduce the spatial and temporal correlations of a given data set.

  8. Prediction of Spatiotemporal Patterns of Neural Activity from Pairwise Correlations

    SciTech Connect

    Marre, O.; El Boustani, S.; Fregnac, Y.; Destexhe, A.

    2009-04-03

    We designed a model-based analysis to predict the occurrence of population patterns in distributed spiking activity. Using a maximum entropy principle with a Markovian assumption, we obtain a model that accounts for both spatial and temporal pairwise correlations among neurons. This model is tested on data generated with a Glauber spin-glass system and is shown to correctly predict the occurrence probabilities of spatiotemporal patterns significantly better than Ising models only based on spatial correlations. This increase of predictability was also observed on experimental data recorded in parietal cortex during slow-wave sleep. This approach can also be used to generate surrogates that reproduce the spatial and temporal correlations of a given data set.

  9. Evaluation of macrophage antiviral activity in patients affected by neoplasia.

    PubMed

    Merendino, R A; Iannello, D; Arena, A; Bonina, L; Greco, V; Mesiti, M; Chillemi, S; Mastroeni, P

    1988-01-01

    The intrinsic antiviral activity of macrophages has been studied in healthy donors and in patients affected by breast cancer and melanoma. In vitro differentiated macrophages from blood-derived monocytes were infected with measles virus, herpes simplex virus type 2 and adenovirus 17. The challenge was carried out with different multiplicities of infection and the synthesis of virus was tested by evaluating the single cycle growth curve in 24 h. The results obtained show that the restriction of virus infectivity by macrophages is strongly influenced by the multiplicity of infection. This was particularly evident with the adenovirus 17. Moreover, macrophages from patients with melanoma and breast cancer showed an impairment of the intrinsic antiviral activity in comparison with normal subjects. PMID:2842553

  10. Activities affecting surface water resources: A general overview

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    In November 1987, P.E.I. signed a federal/provincial work-sharing arrangement on water resource management focusing on groundwater pollution, surface water degradation and estuarine eutrophication. The surface water program was designed to identify current surface water uses and users within 12 major watersheds across the Island containing 26 individual rivers, as well as problems arising due to practices that degrade the quality of surface water and restricts its value to other user groups. This report presents a general overview of the program, covering the general characteristics of the Island; operations in agriculture, fish and wildlife, forestry, recreation, fisheries, and industry; alterations of natural features of waterways; wetlands; additional watershed activities such as hydrometric stations and subdivision development; and activities affecting surface water resources such as sedimentation sources, pollution point sources and instream obstructions.

  11. [Folate and iron in fertile age women from a Venezuelan community affected by incidence of neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Mariela, Montilva; Jham, Papale; Nieves, García-Casal María; Yelitza, Berné; Yudith, Ontiveros; Lourdes, Durán

    2010-06-01

    The objective of this transversal study was to determine folate and iron nutritional status of women in fertile age from Municipio Jiménez, Lara State, Venezuela. The sampling was probabilistic by conglomerates from the urban and rural areas, selecting 15 conglomerates from which women between 12 and 45 years (269), were studied. After signing informed consent, participating were interviewed for personal data, antecedents related to folate and iron, socioeconomic data (Graffar-Mendez Castellano method and unsatisfied basic needs). In blood sample was determined Hemoglobin, and Erythrocytic Folate (FE). Serum was obtained to determine Ferritin and Serum Folate (FS). 53.53% of the sample presented low FS levels, 10.78% were FS deficient. Severe FE deficiency was present in 80.7% of the cases, moderate deficiency affected 5.9%. For both tests, median was higher for women in treatment with Acido Fólico or pregnant (p = 0.000), median for FE was higher for adults (p = 0.001) and in non poor women (p = 0.011). There were no significant differences for coffee, alcohol, anticonceptive consumption, urban or rural resident or socioeconomic strata. The prevalence of anemia was 11.2% being significantly more frequent in adults than in adolescents (p = 0.029) and in urban women (p = 0.042). Low ferritin were found in 37.3% of the sample, the effect of different variables was not statistically significant. In conclusion, there is a high prevalence of iron and folate deficiencies in women of fertile age from Municipio Jiménez, which could constitute a conditioning factor for the appearance of neural tube defects. PMID:21427880

  12. Optical imaging of fast light-evoked fast neural activation in amphibian retina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Xin-Cheng; George, John S.

    2006-02-01

    High performance functional imaging is needed for dynamic measurements of neural processing in retina. Emerging techniques of visual prosthesis also require advanced methodology for reliable validation of electromagnetic stimulation of the retina. Imaging of fast intrinsic optical responses associated with neural activation promises a variety of technical advantages over traditional single and multi-channel electrophysiological techniques for these purposes, but the application of fast optical signals for neural imaging has been limited by low signal to noise ratio and high background light intensity. However, using optimized near infrared probe light and improved optical systems, we have improved the optical signals substantially, allowing single pass measurements. Fast photodiode measurements typically disclose dynamic transmitted light changes of whole retina at the level of 10 -4 dI/I, where dI is the dynamic optical change and I is the baseline light intensity. Using a fast high performance CCD, we imaged fast intrinsic optical responses from isolated retina activated by a visible light flash. Fast, high resolution imaging disclosed larger local optical responses, and showed evidence of multiple response components with both negative- and positive-going signals, on different timescales. Darkfield imaging techniques further enhanced the sensitivity of optical measurements. At single cell resolution, brightfield imaging disclosed maxima of optical responses ~5% dI/I, while darkfield imaging showed maxima of optical responses exceeding 10% dI/I. In comparison with simultaneous electrophysiological recording, optical imaging provided much better localized patterns of response over the activated area of the retina.

  13. ACTIVATION OF PERK KINASE IN NEURAL CELLS BY PROTEASOME INHIBITOR TREATMENT

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Le; Ebenezer, Philip J; Dasuri, Kalavathi; Bruce-Keller, Annadora J.; Fernandez-Kim, Sun Ok; Liu, Ying; Keller, Jeffrey N.

    2010-01-01

    Inhibition of the proteasome proteolytic pathway occurs as the result of normal aging, as well as in a variety of neurodegenerative conditions, and is believed to promote cellular toxicity in each of these conditions through diverse mechanisms. In the present study we examined whether proteasome inhibition alters the protein kinase (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK). Our studies demonstrate that proteasome inhibitors induce the transient activation of PERK in both primary rat neurons as well as the N2a neural cell line. Experiments with siRNA to PERK demonstrated that the modulation of PERK was not significant involved in regulating toxicity, ubiquitinated protein levels, or ribosome perturbations in response to proteasome inhibitor treatment. Surprisingly, PERK was observed to be involved in the upregulation of p38 kinase following proteasome inhibitor treatment. Taken together, these data demonstrate the ability of proteasome inhibition to activate PERK and demonstrate evidence for novel cross talk between PERK and the activation of p38 kinase in neural cells following proteasome inhibition. Taken together, these data have implications for understanding the basis by which proteasome inhibition alters neural homeostasis, and the basis by which cell signaling cascades are regulated by proteasome inhibition. PMID:19860852

  14. Kinetics of exercise-induced neural activation; interpretive dilemma of altered cerebral perfusion.

    PubMed

    Miyazawa, Taiki; Horiuchi, Masahiro; Ichikawa, Daisuke; Sato, Kohei; Tanaka, Naoki; Bailey, Damian M; Ogoh, Shigehiko

    2012-02-01

    Neural activation decreases cerebral deoxyhaemoglobin (HHb(C)) and increases oxyhaemoglobin concentration (O(2)Hb(C)). In contrast, patients who present with restricted cerebral blood flow, such as those suffering from cerebral ischaemia or Alzheimer's disease, and during the course of ageing the converse occurs, in that HHb(C) increases and O(2)Hb(C) decreases during neural activation. In the present study, we examined the interpretive implications of altered exercise-induced cerebral blood flow for cortical oxygenation in healthy subjects. Both O(2)Hb(C) and HHb(C) (prefrontal cortex) were determined in 11 healthy men using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Middle cerebral artery mean blood velocity (MCA V(mean)) was determined via transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Measurements were performed during contralateral hand-grip exercise during suprasystolic bilateral thigh-cuff occlusion (Cuff+) and within 2 s of cuff release (Cuff-) for the acute manipulation of cerebral perfusion. During Cuff+, both MCA V(mean) and O(2)Hb(C) increased during exercise, whereas HHb(C) decreased. In contrast, the opposite occurred during the Cuff- manipulation. These findings highlight the inverse relationship between cerebral blood flow and cerebral oxygenation as determined by NIRS, which has interpretive implications for the kinetics underlying exercise-induced neural activation. PMID:22041980

  15. Dynamics of modularity of neural activity in the brain during development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deem, Michael; Chen, Man

    2014-03-01

    Theory suggests that more modular systems can have better response functions at short times. This theory suggests that greater cognitive performance may be achieved for more modular neural activity, and that modularity of neural activity may, therefore, likely increase with development in children. We study the relationship between age and modularity of brain neural activity in developing children. The value of modularity calculated from fMRI data is observed to increase during childhood development and peak in young adulthood. We interpret these results as evidence of selection for plasticity in the cognitive function of the human brain. We present a model to illustrate how modularity can provide greater cognitive performance at short times and enhance fast, low-level, automatic cognitive processes. Conversely, high-level, effortful, conscious cognitive processes may not benefit from modularity. We use quasispecies theory to predict how the average modularity evolves with age, given a fitness function extracted from the model. We suggest further experiments exploring the effect of modularity on cognitive performance and suggest that modularity may be a potential biomarker for injury, rehabilitation, or disease.

  16. Differential effects of ballistic versus sensorimotor training on rate of force development and neural activation in humans.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Markus; Gruber, Stefanie B H; Taube, Wolfgang; Schubert, Martin; Beck, Sandra C; Gollhofer, Albert

    2007-02-01

    Balancing exercises on instable bases (sensorimotor training [SMT]) are often used in the rehabilitation process of an injured athlete to restore joint function. Recently it was shown that SMT was able to enhance rate of force development (RFD) in a maximal voluntary muscle contraction. The purpose of this study was to compare adaptations on strength capacity following ballistic strength training (BST) with those following an SMT during a training period of 1 microcycle (4 weeks). Maximum voluntary isometric strength (MVC), maximum RFD (RFDmax) and the corresponding neural activation of M. soleus (SOL), M. gastrocnemius (GAS), and M. tibialis anterior (TIB) were measured during plantar flexion in 33 healthy subjects. The subjects were randomly assigned to a SMT, BST, or control group. RFDmax increased significantly stronger following BST (48 +/- 16%; p < 0.01) compared to SMT (14 +/- 5%; p < 0.05), whereas MVC remained unchanged in both groups. Median frequencies of the electromyographic power spectrum during the first 200 ms of contraction for GAS increased following both BST (45 +/- 21%; p < 0.05) and SMT (45 +/- 22%; p < 0.05), but median frequencies for SOL increased only after SMT (13 +/- 4%; p < 0.05). Additionally, mean amplitude voltage increased following BST for SOL (38 +/- 12%; p < 0.01) and for GAS (73 +/- 23%; p < 0.01) during the first 100 ms, whereas it remained unchanged after SMT. It is concluded that BST and SMT may induce different neural adaptations that specifically affect recruitment and discharge rates of motor units at the beginning of voluntary contraction. Specific neural adaptations indicate that SMT might be used complementarily to BST, especially in sports that require contractile explosive properties in situations with high postural demands, e.g., during jumps in ball sports. PMID:17313292

  17. Amygdala atrophy affects emotion-related activity in face-responsive regions in frontotemporal degeneration.

    PubMed

    De Winter, François-Laurent; Van den Stock, Jan; de Gelder, Beatrice; Peeters, Ronald; Jastorff, Jan; Sunaert, Stefan; Vanduffel, Wim; Vandenberghe, Rik; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu

    2016-09-01

    In the healthy brain, modulatory influences from the amygdala commonly explain enhanced activation in face-responsive areas by emotional facial expressions relative to neutral expressions. In the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) facial emotion recognition is impaired and has been associated with atrophy of the amygdala. By combining structural and functional MRI in 19 patients with bvFTD and 20 controls we investigated the neural effects of emotion in face-responsive cortex and its relationship with amygdalar gray matter (GM) volume in neurodegeneration. Voxel-based morphometry revealed decreased GM volume in anterior medio-temporal regions including amygdala in patients compared to controls. During fMRI, we presented dynamic facial expressions (fear and chewing) and their spatiotemporally scrambled versions. We found enhanced activation for fearful compared to neutral faces in ventral temporal cortex and superior temporal sulcus in controls, but not in patients. In the bvFTD group left amygdalar GM volume correlated positively with emotion-related activity in left fusiform face area (FFA). This correlation was amygdala-specific and driven by GM in superficial and basolateral (BLA) subnuclei, consistent with reported amygdalar-cortical networks. The data suggests that anterior medio-temporal atrophy in bvFTD affects emotion processing in distant posterior areas. PMID:27389802

  18. Inactivation of Geminin in neural crest cells affects the generation and maintenance of enteric progenitor cells, leading to enteric aganglionosis.

    PubMed

    Stathopoulou, Athanasia; Natarajan, Dipa; Nikolopoulou, Pinelopi; Patmanidi, Alexandra L; Lygerou, Zoi; Pachnis, Vassilis; Taraviras, Stavros

    2016-01-15

    Neural crest cells comprise a multipotent, migratory cell population that generates a diverse array of cell and tissue types, during vertebrate development. Enteric Nervous System controls the function of the gastrointestinal tract and is mainly derived from the vagal and sacral neural crest cells. Deregulation on self-renewal and differentiation of the enteric neural crest cells is evident in enteric nervous system disorders, such as Hirschsprung disease, characterized by the absence of ganglia in a variable length of the distal bowel. Here we show that Geminin is essential for Enteric Nervous System generation as mice that lacked Geminin expression specifically in neural crest cells revealed decreased generation of vagal neural crest cells, and enteric neural crest cells (ENCCs). Geminin-deficient ENCCs showed increased apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation during the early stages of gut colonization. Furthermore, decreased number of committed ENCCs in vivo and the decreased self-renewal capacity of enteric progenitor cells in vitro, resulted in almost total aganglionosis resembling a severe case of Hirschsprung disease. Our results suggest that Geminin is an important regulator of self-renewal and survival of enteric nervous system progenitor cells. PMID:26658318

  19. Noise influence on spike activation in a Hindmarsh–Rose small-world neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhe, Sun; Micheletto, Ruggero

    2016-07-01

    We studied the role of noise in neural networks, especially focusing on its relation to the propagation of spike activity in a small sized system. We set up a source of information using a single neuron that is constantly spiking. This element called initiator x o feeds spikes to the rest of the network that is initially quiescent and subsequently reacts with vigorous spiking after a transitional period of time. We found that noise quickly suppresses the initiator’s influence and favors spontaneous spike activity and, using a decibel representation of noise intensity, we established a linear relationship between noise amplitude and the interval from the initiator’s first spike and the rest of the network activation. We studied the same process with networks of different sizes (number of neurons) and found that the initiator x o has a measurable influence on small networks, but as the network grows in size, spontaneous spiking emerges disrupting its effects on networks of more than about N = 100 neurons. This suggests that the mechanism of internal noise generation allows information transmission within a small neural neighborhood, but decays for bigger network domains. We also analyzed the Fourier spectrum of the whole network membrane potential and verified that noise provokes the reduction of main θ and α peaks before transitioning into chaotic spiking. However, network size does not reproduce a similar phenomena; instead we recorded a reduction in peaks’ amplitude, a better sharpness and definition of Fourier peaks, but not the evident degeneration to chaos observed with increasing external noise. This work aims to contribute to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of propagation of spontaneous spiking in neural networks and gives a quantitative assessment of how noise can be used to control and modulate this phenomenon in Hindmarsh‑Rose (H‑R) neural networks.

  20. Long-range neural activity evoked by premotor cortex stimulation: a TMS/EEG co-registration study

    PubMed Central

    Zanon, Marco; Battaglini, Piero P.; Jarmolowska, Joanna; Pizzolato, Gilberto; Busan, Pierpaolo

    2013-01-01

    The premotor cortex is one of the fundamental structures composing the neural networks of the human brain. It is implicated in many behaviors and cognitive tasks, ranging from movement to attention and eye-related activity. Therefore, neural circuits that are related to premotor cortex have been studied to clarify their connectivity and/or role in different tasks. In the present work, we aimed to investigate the propagation of the neural activity evoked in the dorsal premotor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation/electroencephalography (TMS/EEG). Toward this end, interest was focused on the neural dynamics elicited in long-ranging temporal and spatial networks. Twelve healthy volunteers underwent a single-pulse TMS protocol in a resting condition with eyes closed, and the evoked activity, measured by EEG, was compared to a sham condition in a time window ranging from 45 ms to about 200 ms after TMS. Spatial and temporal investigations were carried out with sLORETA. TMS was found to induce propagation of neural activity mainly in the contralateral sensorimotor and frontal cortices, at about 130 ms after delivery of the stimulus. Different types of analyses showed propagated activity also in posterior, mainly visual, regions, in a time window between 70 and 130 ms. Finally, a likely “rebounding” activation of the sensorimotor and frontal regions, was observed in various time ranges. Taken together, the present findings further characterize the neural circuits that are driven by dorsal premotor cortex activation in healthy humans. PMID:24324426

  1. The Synapse Project: Engagement in mentally challenging activities enhances neural efficiency

    PubMed Central

    McDonough, Ian M.; Haber, Sara; Bischof, Gérard N.; Park, Denise C.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Correlational and limited experimental evidence suggests that an engaged lifestyle is associated with the maintenance of cognitive vitality in old age. However, the mechanisms underlying these engagement effects are poorly understood. We hypothesized that mental effort underlies engagement effects and used fMRI to examine the impact of high-challenge activities (digital photography and quilting) compared with low-challenge activities (socializing or performing low-challenge cognitive tasks) on neural function at pretest, posttest, and one year after the engagement program. Methods: In the scanner, participants performed a semantic-classification task with two levels of difficulty to assess the modulation of brain activity in response to task demands. Results: The High-Challenge group, but not the Low-Challenge group, showed increased modulation of brain activity in medial frontal, lateral temporal, and parietal cortex—regions associated with attention and semantic processing—some of which were maintained a year later. This increased modulation stemmed from decreases in brain activity during the easy condition for the High-Challenge group and was associated with time committed to the program, age, and cognition. Conclusions: Sustained engagement in cognitively demanding activities facilitated cognition by increasing neural efficiency. Mentally-challenging activities may be neuroprotective and an important element to maintaining a healthy brain into late adulthood. PMID:26484698

  2. Can the activities of the large scale cortical network be expressed by neural energy? A brief review.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rubin; Zhu, Yating

    2016-02-01

    This paper mainly discusses and summarize that the changes of biological energy in the brain can be expressed by the biophysical energy we constructed. Different from the electrochemical energy, the biophysical energy proposed in the paper not only can be used to simulate the activity of neurons but also be used to simulate the neural activity of large scale cortical networks, so that the scientific nature of the neural energy coding was discussed. PMID:26834857

  3. Stretch-activated ion channel Piezo1 directs lineage choice in human neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Medha M; Nourse, Jamison L; Tran, Truc; Hwe, Jennifer; Arulmoli, Janahan; Le, Dai Trang T; Bernardis, Elena; Flanagan, Lisa A; Tombola, Francesco

    2014-11-11

    Neural stem cells are multipotent cells with the ability to differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Lineage specification is strongly sensitive to the mechanical properties of the cellular environment. However, molecular pathways transducing matrix mechanical cues to intracellular signaling pathways linked to lineage specification remain unclear. We found that the mechanically gated ion channel Piezo1 is expressed by brain-derived human neural stem/progenitor cells and is responsible for a mechanically induced ionic current. Piezo1 activity triggered by traction forces elicited influx of Ca(2+), a known modulator of differentiation, in a substrate-stiffness-dependent manner. Inhibition of channel activity by the pharmacological inhibitor GsMTx-4 or by siRNA-mediated Piezo1 knockdown suppressed neurogenesis and enhanced astrogenesis. Piezo1 knockdown also reduced the nuclear localization of the mechanoreactive transcriptional coactivator Yes-associated protein. We propose that the mechanically gated ion channel Piezo1 is an important determinant of mechanosensitive lineage choice in neural stem cells and may play similar roles in other multipotent stem cells. PMID:25349416

  4. A current model of neural circuitry active in forming mental images

    PubMed Central

    Brodziak, Andrzej

    2013-01-01

    My aim here is to formulate a compact, intuitively understandable model of neural circuits active in imagination that would be consistent with the current state of knowledge, but that would be simple enough to be able to use for teaching. I argue that such a model should be based on the recent idea of “concept neurons” and circuits of 2 separate loops necessary for recalling mental images and consolidation of memory traces of long-term memory. This paper discusses the role of the hippocampus and temporal lobe, emphasizing the essential importance of recurrent pathways and oscillations occurring in the upper layers of hierarchical neural structures, as well as oscillations in thalamo-cortical loops. The elaborated model helps explain specific processes such as imagining future situations, novel objects, and anticipated action, as well as imagination concerning oneself, which is indispensable for the sense of identity and self-awareness. I attempt to present this compact, simple model of neural circuitry active in imagination by using some intuitive, demonstrative figures. PMID:24335907

  5. New rabies virus variants for monitoring and manipulating activity and gene expression in defined neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Osakada, Fumitaka; Mori, Takuma; Cetin, Ali H.; Marshel, James H.; Virgen, Beatriz; Callaway, Edward M.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Glycoprotein-deleted (ΔG) rabies virus is a powerful tool for studies of neural circuit structure. Here we describe the development and demonstrate the utility of new resources that allow experiments directly investigating relationships between the structure and function of neural circuits. New methods and reagents allowed efficient production of twelve novel ΔG rabies variants from plasmid DNA. These new rabies viruses express useful neuroscience tools, including: the Ca++ indicator GCaMP3, for monitoring activity; Channelrhodopsin-2, for photoactivation; allatostatin receptor, for inactivation by ligand application; rtTA, ERT2CreERT2, or FLPo, for control of gene expression. These new tools allow neurons targeted based on their connectivity, to have their function assayed or their activity or gene expression manipulated. Combining these tools with in vivo imaging and optogenetic methods, and/or inducible gene expression in transgenic mice, will facilitate experiments investigating neural circuit development, plasticity, and function that have not been possible with existing reagents. PMID:21867879

  6. Programmable active pixel sensor to investigate neural interactions within the retina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Matthew D.; Prydderch, Mark L.; Morrison, James D.; Murdoch, Derek; Mathieson, Keith

    2009-05-01

    Detection of the visual scene by the eye and the resultant neural interactions of the retina-brain system give us our perception of sight. We have developed an Active Pixel Sensor (APS) to be used as a tool for both furthering understanding of these interactions via experimentation with the retina and to make developments towards a realisable retinal prosthesis. The sensor consists of 469 pixels in a hexagonal array. The pixels are interconnected by a programmable neural network to mimic lateral interactions between retinal cells. Outputs from the sensor are in the form of biphasic current pulse trains suitable to stimulate retinal cells via a biocompatible array. The APS will be described with initial characterisation and test results.

  7. Active vibration control of flexible cantilever plates using piezoelectric materials and artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdeljaber, Osama; Avci, Onur; Inman, Daniel J.

    2016-02-01

    The study presented in this paper introduces a new intelligent methodology to mitigate the vibration response of flexible cantilever plates. The use of the piezoelectric sensor/actuator pairs for active control of plates is discussed. An intelligent neural network based controller is designed to control the optimal voltage applied on the piezoelectric patches. The control technique utilizes a neurocontroller along with a Kalman Filter to compute the appropriate actuator command. The neurocontroller is trained based on an algorithm that incorporates a set of emulator neural networks which are also trained to predict the future response of the cantilever plate. Then, the neurocontroller is evaluated by comparing the uncontrolled and controlled responses under several types of dynamic excitations. It is observed that the neurocontroller reduced the vibration response of the flexible cantilever plate significantly; the results demonstrated the success and robustness of the neurocontroller independent of the type and distribution of the excitation force.

  8. Reconstruction of Neural Activity from EEG Data Using Dynamic Spatiotemporal Constraints.

    PubMed

    Giraldo-Suarez, E; Martinez-Vargas, J D; Castellanos-Dominguez, G

    2016-11-01

    We present a novel iterative regularized algorithm (IRA) for neural activity reconstruction that explicitly includes spatiotemporal constraints, performing a trade-off between space and time resolutions. For improving the spatial accuracy provided by electroencephalography (EEG) signals, we explore a basis set that describes the smooth, localized areas of potentially active brain regions. In turn, we enhance the time resolution by adding the Markovian assumption for brain activity estimation at each time period. Moreover, to deal with applications that have either distributed or localized neural activity, the spatiotemporal constraints are expressed through [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] norms, respectively. For the purpose of validation, we estimate the neural reconstruction performance in time and space separately. Experimental testing is carried out on artificial data, simulating stationary and non-stationary EEG signals. Also, validation is accomplished on two real-world databases, one holding Evoked Potentials and another with EEG data of focal epilepsy. Moreover, responses of functional magnetic resonance imaging for the former EEG data have been measured in advance, allowing to contrast our findings. Obtained results show that the [Formula: see text]-based IRA produces a spatial resolution that is comparable to the one achieved by some widely used sparse-based estimators of brain activity. At the same time, the [Formula: see text]-based IRA outperforms other similar smooth solutions, providing a spatial resolution that is lower than the sparse [Formula: see text]-based solution. As a result, the proposed IRA is a promising method for improving the accuracy of brain activity reconstruction. PMID:27354190

  9. The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Influences Reading Ability and Patterns of Neural Activation in Children.

    PubMed

    Jasińska, Kaja K; Molfese, Peter J; Kornilov, Sergey A; Mencl, W Einar; Frost, Stephen J; Lee, Maria; Pugh, Kenneth R; Grigorenko, Elena L; Landi, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how genes impact the brain's functional activation for learning and cognition during development remains limited. We asked whether a common genetic variant in the BDNF gene (the Val66Met polymorphism) modulates neural activation in the young brain during a critical period for the emergence and maturation of the neural circuitry for reading. In animal models, the bdnf variation has been shown to be associated with the structure and function of the developing brain and in humans it has been associated with multiple aspects of cognition, particularly memory, which are relevant for the development of skilled reading. Yet, little is known about the impact of the Val66Met polymorphism on functional brain activation in development, either in animal models or in humans. Here, we examined whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (dbSNP rs6265) is associated with children's (age 6-10) neural activation patterns during a reading task (n = 81) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), genotyping, and standardized behavioral assessments of cognitive and reading development. Children homozygous for the Val allele at the SNP rs6265 of the BDNF gene outperformed Met allele carriers on reading comprehension and phonological memory, tasks that have a strong memory component. Consistent with these behavioral findings, Met allele carriers showed greater activation in reading-related brain regions including the fusiform gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus as well as greater activation in the hippocampus during a word and pseudoword reading task. Increased engagement of memory and spoken language regions for Met allele carriers relative to Val/Val homozygotes during reading suggests that Met carriers have to exert greater effort required to retrieve phonological codes. PMID:27551971

  10. The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Influences Reading Ability and Patterns of Neural Activation in Children

    PubMed Central

    Jasińska, Kaja K.; Molfese, Peter J.; Kornilov, Sergey A.; Mencl, W. Einar; Frost, Stephen J.; Lee, Maria; Pugh, Kenneth R.; Grigorenko, Elena L.; Landi, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how genes impact the brain’s functional activation for learning and cognition during development remains limited. We asked whether a common genetic variant in the BDNF gene (the Val66Met polymorphism) modulates neural activation in the young brain during a critical period for the emergence and maturation of the neural circuitry for reading. In animal models, the bdnf variation has been shown to be associated with the structure and function of the developing brain and in humans it has been associated with multiple aspects of cognition, particularly memory, which are relevant for the development of skilled reading. Yet, little is known about the impact of the Val66Met polymorphism on functional brain activation in development, either in animal models or in humans. Here, we examined whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (dbSNP rs6265) is associated with children’s (age 6–10) neural activation patterns during a reading task (n = 81) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), genotyping, and standardized behavioral assessments of cognitive and reading development. Children homozygous for the Val allele at the SNP rs6265 of the BDNF gene outperformed Met allele carriers on reading comprehension and phonological memory, tasks that have a strong memory component. Consistent with these behavioral findings, Met allele carriers showed greater activation in reading–related brain regions including the fusiform gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus as well as greater activation in the hippocampus during a word and pseudoword reading task. Increased engagement of memory and spoken language regions for Met allele carriers relative to Val/Val homozygotes during reading suggests that Met carriers have to exert greater effort required to retrieve phonological codes. PMID:27551971

  11. Inactivity-induced respiratory plasticity: protecting the drive to breathe in disorders that reduce respiratory neural activity.

    PubMed

    Strey, K A; Baertsch, N A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2013-11-01

    Multiple forms of plasticity are activated following reduced respiratory neural activity. For example, in ventilated rats, a central neural apnea elicits a rebound increase in phrenic and hypoglossal burst amplitude upon resumption of respiratory neural activity, forms of plasticity called inactivity-induced phrenic and hypoglossal motor facilitation (iPMF and iHMF), respectively. Here, we provide a conceptual framework for plasticity following reduced respiratory neural activity to guide future investigations. We review mechanisms giving rise to iPMF and iHMF, present new data suggesting that inactivity-induced plasticity is observed in inspiratory intercostals (iIMF) and point out gaps in our knowledge. We then survey conditions relevant to human health characterized by reduced respiratory neural activity and discuss evidence that inactivity-induced plasticity is elicited during these conditions. Understanding the physiological impact and circumstances in which inactivity-induced respiratory plasticity is elicited may yield novel insights into the treatment of disorders characterized by reductions in respiratory neural activity. PMID:23816599

  12. Neural activity tied to reading predicts individual differences in extended-text comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Mossbridge, Julia A.; Grabowecky, Marcia; Paller, Ken A.; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Reading comprehension depends on neural processes supporting the access, understanding, and storage of words over time. Examinations of the neural activity correlated with reading have contributed to our understanding of reading comprehension, especially for the comprehension of sentences and short passages. However, the neural activity associated with comprehending an extended text is not well-understood. Here we describe a current-source-density (CSD) index that predicts individual differences in the comprehension of an extended text. The index is the difference in CSD-transformed event-related potentials (ERPs) to a target word between two conditions: a comprehension condition with words from a story presented in their original order, and a scrambled condition with the same words presented in a randomized order. In both conditions participants responded to the target word, and in the comprehension condition they also tried to follow the story in preparation for a comprehension test. We reasoned that the spatiotemporal pattern of difference-CSDs would reflect comprehension-related processes beyond word-level processing. We used a pattern-classification method to identify the component of the difference-CSDs that accurately (88%) discriminated good from poor comprehenders. The critical CSD index was focused at a frontal-midline scalp site, occurred 400–500 ms after target-word onset, and was strongly correlated with comprehension performance. Behavioral data indicated that group differences in effort or motor preparation could not explain these results. Further, our CSD index appears to be distinct from the well-known P300 and N400 components, and CSD transformation seems to be crucial for distinguishing good from poor comprehenders using our experimental paradigm. Once our CSD index is fully characterized, this neural signature of individual differences in extended-text comprehension may aid the diagnosis and remediation of reading comprehension deficits. PMID

  13. Neural activity during emotion recognition after combined cognitive plus social cognitive training in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hooker, Christine I; Bruce, Lori; Fisher, Melissa; Verosky, Sara C; Miyakawa, Asako; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2012-08-01

    Cognitive remediation training has been shown to improve both cognitive and social cognitive deficits in people with schizophrenia, but the mechanisms that support this behavioral improvement are largely unknown. One hypothesis is that intensive behavioral training in cognition and/or social cognition restores the underlying neural mechanisms that support targeted skills. However, there is little research on the neural effects of cognitive remediation training. This study investigated whether a 50 h (10-week) remediation intervention which included both cognitive and social cognitive training would influence neural function in regions that support social cognition. Twenty-two stable, outpatient schizophrenia participants were randomized to a treatment condition consisting of auditory-based cognitive training (AT) [Brain Fitness Program/auditory module ~60 min/day] plus social cognition training (SCT) which was focused on emotion recognition [~5-15 min per day] or a placebo condition of non-specific computer games (CG) for an equal amount of time. Pre and post intervention assessments included an fMRI task of positive and negative facial emotion recognition, and standard behavioral assessments of cognition, emotion processing, and functional outcome. There were no significant intervention-related improvements in general cognition or functional outcome. fMRI results showed the predicted group-by-time interaction. Specifically, in comparison to CG, AT+SCT participants had a greater pre-to-post intervention increase in postcentral gyrus activity during emotion recognition of both positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, among all participants, the increase in postcentral gyrus activity predicted behavioral improvement on a standardized test of emotion processing (MSCEIT: Perceiving Emotions). Results indicate that combined cognition and social cognition training impacts neural mechanisms that support social cognition skills. PMID:22695257

  14. Neural activity tied to reading predicts individual differences in extended-text comprehension.

    PubMed

    Mossbridge, Julia A; Grabowecky, Marcia; Paller, Ken A; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Reading comprehension depends on neural processes supporting the access, understanding, and storage of words over time. Examinations of the neural activity correlated with reading have contributed to our understanding of reading comprehension, especially for the comprehension of sentences and short passages. However, the neural activity associated with comprehending an extended text is not well-understood. Here we describe a current-source-density (CSD) index that predicts individual differences in the comprehension of an extended text. The index is the difference in CSD-transformed event-related potentials (ERPs) to a target word between two conditions: a comprehension condition with words from a story presented in their original order, and a scrambled condition with the same words presented in a randomized order. In both conditions participants responded to the target word, and in the comprehension condition they also tried to follow the story in preparation for a comprehension test. We reasoned that the spatiotemporal pattern of difference-CSDs would reflect comprehension-related processes beyond word-level processing. We used a pattern-classification method to identify the component of the difference-CSDs that accurately (88%) discriminated good from poor comprehenders. The critical CSD index was focused at a frontal-midline scalp site, occurred 400-500 ms after target-word onset, and was strongly correlated with comprehension performance. Behavioral data indicated that group differences in effort or motor preparation could not explain these results. Further, our CSD index appears to be distinct from the well-known P300 and N400 components, and CSD transformation seems to be crucial for distinguishing good from poor comprehenders using our experimental paradigm. Once our CSD index is fully characterized, this neural signature of individual differences in extended-text comprehension may aid the diagnosis and remediation of reading comprehension deficits. PMID

  15. Using convolutional neural networks for human activity classification on micro-Doppler radar spectrograms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Tyler S.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents the findings of using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to classify human activity from micro-Doppler features. An emphasis on activities involving potential security threats such as holding a gun are explored. An automotive 24 GHz radar on chip was used to collect the data and a CNN (normally applied to image classification) was trained on the resulting spectrograms. The CNN achieves an error rate of 1.65 % on classifying running vs. walking, 17.3 % error on armed walking vs. unarmed walking, and 22 % on classifying six different actions.

  16. Neural adhesion, growth, and activity on carbon nanotubes and carbonized nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franca, Eric William

    This dissertation focuses on how the physical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbonized nanofibers (CNFs) affect the physiological and electrophysiological properties of neurons and neural networks and how this may affect the efficacy of these nanomaterials as microelectrode materials. In general, the pursuit of increasing electrode sensitivity while maintaining low noise levels is addressed by investigating and utilizing novel electrode materials. Carbon nanomaterials have a native conductivity and nano-scale roughness that should decrease microelectrode noise levels and impedance by virtue of a substantially increased surface area. In addition to the beneficial microelectrode properties, these carbon nanomaterials could increase the integration of the electrode to the neural tissue. The work here is an investigation of how selected CNT and CNF materials affect the viability, outgrowth, and adhesion of cortical neurons in vitro and how the physical and chemical properties of each substrate correlates to these measurements. The intent is that properties detailed in vitro can be assumed to extrapolate to performance in vivo assuming the same materials are utilized for invasive, implanted microelectrodes. Carbon nanotubes were deposited by a layer-by-layer (LBL) method with poly(ethylenimine) (PEI). Carbon nanofiber substrates were prepared in conjunction with collaborators via electrospinning a photosensitive polymer (SU-8), photopatterning, and pyrolyzing the depositions. In addition to these substrates, control samples were prepared in the form of PEI-treated glass coverslips, carbonized thin films, SU-8 thin films, and SU-8 nanofibers. The primary variable between all of these substrates is the roughness or topography of each deposition (ranging from 0.26 nm to 160 nm average roughness). Physical and chemical characteristics of the depositions are presented in addition to the electrical characteristics which make them attractive as

  17. Altered neural activation during prepotent response inhibition in breast cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kam, Julia W Y; Boyd, Lara A; Hsu, Chun L; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C; Lim, Howard J; Hayden, Sherri; Campbell, Kristin L

    2016-09-01

    While impairments in executive functions have been reported in breast cancer survivors (BCS) who have undergone adjuvant chemotherapy, only a limited number of functional neuroimaging studies have associated alterations in cerebral activity with executive functions deficits in BCS. Using fMRI, the current study assessed the neural basis underlying a specific facet of executive function, namely prepotent response inhibition. 12 BCS who self-reported cognitive problems up to 3 years following cancer treatment and 12 female healthy comparisons (HC) performed the Stroop task. We compared their neural activation between the incongruent and neutral experimental conditions. Relative to the HC group, BCS showed lower blood-oxygen level dependent signal in several frontal regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex, a region critical for response inhibition. Our data indicates reduced neural activation in BCS during a prepotent response inhibition task, providing support for the prevailing notion of neural alterations observed in BCS treated with chemotherapy. PMID:26489975

  18. Thinking about the thoughts of others; temporal and spatial neural activation during false belief reasoning.

    PubMed

    Mossad, Sarah I; AuCoin-Power, Michelle; Urbain, Charline; Smith, Mary Lou; Pang, Elizabeth W; Taylor, Margot J

    2016-07-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to understand the perspectives, mental states and beliefs of others in order to anticipate their behaviour and is therefore crucial to social interactions. Although fMRI has been widely used to establish the neural networks implicated in ToM, little is known about the timing of ToM-related brain activity. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the neural processes underlying ToM, as MEG provides very accurate timing and excellent spatial localization of brain processes. We recorded MEG activity during a false belief task, a reliable measure of ToM, in twenty young adults (10 females). MEG data were recorded in a 151 sensor CTF system (MISL, Coquitlam, BC) and data were co-registered to each participant's MRI (Siemens 3T) for source reconstruction. We found stronger right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) activations in the false belief condition from 150ms to 225ms, in the right precuneus from 275ms to 375ms, in the right inferior frontal gyrus from 200ms to 300ms and the superior frontal gyrus from 300ms to 400ms. Our findings extend the literature by demonstrating the timing and duration of neural activity in the main regions involved in the "mentalizing" network, showing that activations related to false belief in adults are predominantly right lateralized and onset around 100ms. The sensitivity of MEG will allow us to determine spatial and temporal differences in the brain processes in ToM in younger populations or those who demonstrate deficits in this ability. PMID:27039146

  19. Selective neural activation in a histologically derived model of peripheral nerve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butson, Christopher R.; Miller, Ian O.; Normann, Richard A.; Clark, Gregory A.

    2011-06-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a general term for therapeutic methods that use electrical stimulation to aid or replace lost ability. For FES systems that communicate with the nervous system, one critical component is the electrode interface through which the machine-body information transfer must occur. In this paper, we examine the influence of inhomogeneous tissue conductivities and positions of nodes of Ranvier on activation of myelinated axons for neuromuscular control as a function of electrode configuration. To evaluate these effects, we developed a high-resolution bioelectric model of a fascicle from a stained cross-section of cat sciatic nerve. The model was constructed by digitizing a fixed specimen of peripheral nerve, extruding the image along the axis of the nerve, and assigning each anatomical component to one of several different tissue types. Electrodes were represented by current sources in monopolar, transverse bipolar, and longitudinal bipolar configurations; neural activation was determined using coupled field-neuron simulations with myelinated axon cable models. We found that the use of an isotropic tissue medium overestimated neural activation thresholds compared with the use of physiologically based, inhomogeneous tissue medium, even after controlling for mean impedance levels. Additionally, the positions of the cathodic sources relative to the nodes of Ranvier had substantial effects on activation, and these effects were modulated by the electrode configuration. Our results indicate that physiologically based tissue properties cause considerable variability in the neural response, and the inclusion of these properties is an important component in accurately predicting activation. The results are used to suggest new electrode designs to enable selective stimulation of small diameter fibers.

  20. Emotion Regulation and Excess Weight: Impaired Affective Processing Characterized by Dysfunctional Insula Activation and Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Fernanda; Martínez-Zalacaín, Ignacio; Cano, Marta; Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando; Yucel, Murat; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Emotion-regulation strategies are understood to influence food intake. This study examined the neurophysiological underpinnings of negative emotion processing and emotion regulation in individuals with excess weight compared to normal-weight controls. Fifteen participants with excess-weight (body mass index >25) and sixteen normal-weight controls (body mass index 18–25) performed an emotion-regulation task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were exposed to 24 negative affective or neutral pictures that they were instructed to Observe (neutral pictures), Maintain (sustain the emotion elicited by negative pictures) or Regulate (down-regulate the emotion provoked by negative pictures through previously trained reappraisal techniques). When instructed to regulate negative emotions by means of cognitive reappraisal, participants with excess weight displayed persistently heightened activation in the right anterior insula. Decreased responsivity was also found in right anterior insula, the orbitofrontal cortex and cerebellum during negative emotion experience in participants with excess weight. Psycho-physiological interaction analyses showed that excess-weight participants had decreased negative functional coupling between the right anterior insula and the right dlPFC, and the bilateral dmPFC during cognitive reappraisal. Our findings support contentions that excess weight is linked to an abnormal pattern of neural activation and connectivity during the experience and regulation of negative emotions, with the insula playing a key role in these alterations. We posit that ineffective regulation of emotional states contributes to the acquisition and preservation of excess weight. PMID:27003840

  1. Interactivity and reward-related neural activation during a serious videogame.

    PubMed

    Cole, Steven W; Yoo, Daniel J; Knutson, Brian

    2012-01-01

    This study sought to determine whether playing a "serious" interactive digital game (IDG)--the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients--activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. Healthy undergraduates were randomized to groups in which they were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) as they either actively played Re-Mission or as they passively observed a gameplay audio-visual stream generated by a yoked active group subject. Onset of interactive game play robustly activated mesolimbic projection regions including the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, as well as a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus. During interactive gameplay, subjects showed extended activation of the thalamus, anterior insula, putamen, and motor-related regions, accompanied by decreased activation in parietal and medial prefrontal cortex. Offset of interactive gameplay activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate. Between-group comparisons of within-subject contrasts confirmed that mesolimbic activation was significantly more pronounced in the active playgroup than in the passive exposure control group. Individual difference analyses also found the magnitude of parahippocampal activation following gameplay onset to correlate with positive attitudes toward chemotherapy assessed both at the end of the scanning session and at an unannounced one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that IDG-induced activation of reward-related mesolimbic neural circuits stems primarily from participatory engagement in gameplay (interactivity), rather than from the effects of vivid and dynamic sensory stimulation. PMID:22442733

  2. Deep Convolutional and LSTM Recurrent Neural Networks for Multimodal Wearable Activity Recognition.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, Francisco Javier; Roggen, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Human activity recognition (HAR) tasks have traditionally been solved using engineered features obtained by heuristic processes. Current research suggests that deep convolutional neural networks are suited to automate feature extraction from raw sensor inputs. However, human activities are made of complex sequences of motor movements, and capturing this temporal dynamics is fundamental for successful HAR. Based on the recent success of recurrent neural networks for time series domains, we propose a generic deep framework for activity recognition based on convolutional and LSTM recurrent units, which: (i) is suitable for multimodal wearable sensors; (ii) can perform sensor fusion naturally; (iii) does not require expert knowledge in designing features; and (iv) explicitly models the temporal dynamics of feature activations. We evaluate our framework on two datasets, one of which has been used in a public activity recognition challenge. Our results show that our framework outperforms competing deep non-recurrent networks on the challenge dataset by 4% on average; outperforming some of the previous reported results by up to 9%. Our results show that the framework can be applied to homogeneous sensor modalities, but can also fuse multimodal sensors to improve performance. We characterise key architectural hyperparameters' influence on performance to provide insights about their optimisation. PMID:26797612

  3. Neural activity related to cognitive and emotional empathy in post-traumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Tempesta, Daniela; Pino, Maria Chiara; Nigri, Anna; Catalucci, Alessia; Guadagni, Veronica; Gallucci, Massimo; Iaria, Giuseppe; Ferrara, Michele

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the empathic ability and its functional brain correlates in post-traumatic stress disorder subjects (PTSD). Seven PTSD subjects and ten healthy controls, all present in the L'Aquila area during the earthquake of the April 2009, underwent fMRI during which they performed a modified version of the Multifaceted Empathy Test. PTSD patients showed impairments in implicit and explicit emotional empathy, but not in cognitive empathy. Brain responses during cognitive empathy showed an increased activation in patients compared to controls in the right medial frontal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus. During implicit emotional empathy responses patients with PTSD, compared to controls, exhibited greater neural activity in the left pallidum and right insula; instead the control group showed an increased activation in right inferior frontal gyrus. Finally, in the explicit emotional empathy responses the PTSD group showed a reduced neural activity in the left insula and the left inferior frontal gyrus. The behavioral deficit limited to the emotional empathy dimension, accompanied by different patterns of activation in empathy related brain structures, represent a first piece of evidence of a dissociation between emotional and cognitive empathy in PTSD patients. The present findings support the idea that empathy is a multidimensional process, with different facets depending on distinct anatomical substrates. PMID:25555525

  4. Deep Convolutional and LSTM Recurrent Neural Networks for Multimodal Wearable Activity Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Ordóñez, Francisco Javier; Roggen, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Human activity recognition (HAR) tasks have traditionally been solved using engineered features obtained by heuristic processes. Current research suggests that deep convolutional neural networks are suited to automate feature extraction from raw sensor inputs. However, human activities are made of complex sequences of motor movements, and capturing this temporal dynamics is fundamental for successful HAR. Based on the recent success of recurrent neural networks for time series domains, we propose a generic deep framework for activity recognition based on convolutional and LSTM recurrent units, which: (i) is suitable for multimodal wearable sensors; (ii) can perform sensor fusion naturally; (iii) does not require expert knowledge in designing features; and (iv) explicitly models the temporal dynamics of feature activations. We evaluate our framework on two datasets, one of which has been used in a public activity recognition challenge. Our results show that our framework outperforms competing deep non-recurrent networks on the challenge dataset by 4% on average; outperforming some of the previous reported results by up to 9%. Our results show that the framework can be applied to homogeneous sensor modalities, but can also fuse multimodal sensors to improve performance. We characterise key architectural hyperparameters’ influence on performance to provide insights about their optimisation. PMID:26797612

  5. Human activities recognition by head movement using partial recurrent neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Henry C. C.; Jia, Kui; De Silva, Liyanage C.

    2003-06-01

    Traditionally, human activities recognition has been achieved mainly by the statistical pattern recognition methods or the Hidden Markov Model (HMM). In this paper, we propose a novel use of the connectionist approach for the recognition of ten simple human activities: walking, sitting down, getting up, squatting down and standing up, in both lateral and frontal views, in an office environment. By means of tracking the head movement of the subjects over consecutive frames from a database of different color image sequences, and incorporating the Elman model of the partial recurrent neural network (RNN) that learns the sequential patterns of relative change of the head location in the images, the proposed system is able to robustly classify all the ten activities performed by unseen subjects from both sexes, of different race and physique, with a recognition rate as high as 92.5%. This demonstrates the potential of employing partial RNN to recognize complex activities in the increasingly popular human-activities-based applications.

  6. Inaudible high-frequency sounds affect brain activity: hypersonic effect.

    PubMed

    Oohashi, T; Nishina, E; Honda, M; Yonekura, Y; Fuwamoto, Y; Kawai, N; Maekawa, T; Nakamura, S; Fukuyama, H; Shibasaki, H

    2000-06-01

    Although it is generally accepted that humans cannot perceive sounds in the frequency range above 20 kHz, the question of whether the existence of such "inaudible" high-frequency components may affect the acoustic perception of audible sounds remains unanswered. In this study, we used noninvasive physiological measurements of brain responses to provide evidence that sounds containing high-frequency components (HFCs) above the audible range significantly affect the brain activity of listeners. We used the gamelan music of Bali, which is extremely rich in HFCs with a nonstationary structure, as a natural sound source, dividing it into two components: an audible low-frequency component (LFC) below 22 kHz and an HFC above 22 kHz. Brain electrical activity and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured as markers of neuronal activity while subjects were exposed to sounds with various combinations of LFCs and HFCs. None of the subjects recognized the HFC as sound when it was presented alone. Nevertheless, the power spectra of the alpha frequency range of the spontaneous electroencephalogram (alpha-EEG) recorded from the occipital region increased with statistical significance when the subjects were exposed to sound containing both an HFC and an LFC, compared with an otherwise identical sound from which the HFC was removed (i.e., LFC alone). In contrast, compared with the baseline, no enhancement of alpha-EEG was evident when either an HFC or an LFC was presented separately. Positron emission tomography measurements revealed that, when an HFC and an LFC were presented together, the rCBF in the brain stem and the left thalamus increased significantly compared with a sound lacking the HFC above 22 kHz but that was otherwise identical. Simultaneous EEG measurements showed that the power of occipital alpha-EEGs correlated significantly with the rCBF in the left thalamus. Psychological evaluation indicated that the subjects felt the sound containing an HFC to be more

  7. Mild blast events alter anxiety, memory, and neural activity patterns in the anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Xie, Kun; Kuang, Hui; Tsien, Joe Z

    2013-01-01

    There is a general interest in understanding of whether and how exposure to emotionally traumatizing events can alter memory function and anxiety behaviors. Here we have developed a novel laboratory-version of mild blast exposure comprised of high decibel bomb explosion sound coupled with strong air blast to mice. This model allows us to isolate the effects of emotionally fearful components from those of traumatic brain injury or bodily injury typical associated with bomb blasts. We demonstrate that this mild blast exposure is capable of impairing object recognition memory, increasing anxiety in elevated O-maze test, and resulting contextual generalization. Our in vivo neural ensemble recording reveal that such mild blast exposures produced diverse firing changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region processing emotional memory and inhibitory control. Moreover, we show that these real-time neural ensemble patterns underwent post-event reverberations, indicating rapid consolidation of those fearful experiences. Identification of blast-induced neural activity changes in the frontal brain may allow us to better understand how mild blast experiences result in abnormal changes in memory functions and excessive fear generalization related to post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:23741416

  8. Mild Blast Events Alter Anxiety, Memory, and Neural Activity Patterns in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Kun; Kuang, Hui; Tsien, Joe Z.

    2013-01-01

    There is a general interest in understanding of whether and how exposure to emotionally traumatizing events can alter memory function and anxiety behaviors. Here we have developed a novel laboratory-version of mild blast exposure comprised of high decibel bomb explosion sound coupled with strong air blast to mice. This model allows us to isolate the effects of emotionally fearful components from those of traumatic brain injury or bodily injury typical associated with bomb blasts. We demonstrate that this mild blast exposure is capable of impairing object recognition memory, increasing anxiety in elevated O-maze test, and resulting contextual generalization. Our in vivo neural ensemble recording reveal that such mild blast exposures produced diverse firing changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region processing emotional memory and inhibitory control. Moreover, we show that these real-time neural ensemble patterns underwent post-event reverberations, indicating rapid consolidation of those fearful experiences. Identification of blast-induced neural activity changes in the frontal brain may allow us to better understand how mild blast experiences result in abnormal changes in memory functions and excessive fear generalization related to post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:23741416

  9. Out-of-sync: disrupted neural activity in emotional circuitry during film viewing in melancholic depression.

    PubMed

    Guo, Christine C; Nguyen, Vinh T; Hyett, Matthew P; Parker, Gordon B; Breakspear, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    While a rich body of research in controlled experiments has established changes in the neural circuitry of emotion in major depressive disorders, little is known as to how such alterations might translate into complex, naturalistic settings--namely involving dynamic multimodal stimuli with rich contexts, such as those provided by films. Neuroimaging paradigms employing dynamic natural stimuli alleviate the anxiety often associated with complex tasks and eschew the need for laboratory-style abstractions, hence providing an ecologically valid means of elucidating neural underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disorders. To probe the neurobiological signature of refined depression subtypes, we acquired functional neuroimaging data in patients with the melancholic subtype of major depressive disorder during free viewing of emotionally salient films. We found a marked disengagement of ventromedial prefrontal cortex during natural viewing of a film with negative emotional valence in patients with melancholia. This effect significantly correlated with depression severity. Such changes occurred on the background of diminished consistency of neural activity in visual and auditory sensory networks, as well as higher-order networks involved in emotion and attention, including bilateral intraparietal sulcus and right anterior insula. These findings may reflect a failure to re-allocate resources and diminished reactivity to external emotional stimuli in melancholia. PMID:26112251

  10. Amygdala neural activity reflects spatial attention towards stimuli promising reward or threatening punishment

    PubMed Central

    Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Humans and other animals routinely identify and attend to sensory stimuli so as to rapidly acquire rewards or avoid aversive experiences. Emotional arousal, a process mediated by the amygdala, can enhance attention to stimuli in a non-spatial manner. However, amygdala neural activity was recently shown to encode spatial information about reward-predictive stimuli, and to correlate with spatial attention allocation. If representing the motivational significance of sensory stimuli within a spatial framework reflects a general principle of amygdala function, then spatially selective neural responses should also be elicited by sensory stimuli threatening aversive events. Recordings from amygdala neurons were therefore obtained while monkeys directed spatial attention towards stimuli promising reward or threatening punishment. Neural responses encoded spatial information similarly for stimuli associated with both valences of reinforcement, and responses reflected spatial attention allocation. The amygdala therefore may act to enhance spatial attention to sensory stimuli associated with rewarding or aversive experiences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04478.001 PMID:25358090

  11. Out-of-sync: disrupted neural activity in emotional circuitry during film viewing in melancholic depression

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Christine C.; Nguyen, Vinh T.; Hyett, Matthew P.; Parker, Gordon B.; Breakspear, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    While a rich body of research in controlled experiments has established changes in the neural circuitry of emotion in major depressive disorders, little is known as to how such alterations might translate into complex, naturalistic settings - namely involving dynamic multimodal stimuli with rich contexts, such as those provided by films. Neuroimaging paradigms employing dynamic natural stimuli alleviate the anxiety often associated with complex tasks and eschew the need for laboratory-style abstractions, hence providing an ecologically valid means of elucidating neural underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disorders. To probe the neurobiological signature of refined depression subtypes, we acquired functional neuroimaging data in patients with the melancholic subtype of major depressive disorder during free viewing of emotionally salient films. We found a marked disengagement of ventromedial prefrontal cortex during natural viewing of a film with negative emotional valence in patients with melancholia. This effect significantly correlated with depression severity. Such changes occurred on the background of diminished consistency of neural activity in visual and auditory sensory networks, as well as higher-order networks involved in emotion and attention, including bilateral intraparietal sulcus and right anterior insula. These findings may reflect a failure to re-allocate resources and diminished reactivity to external emotional stimuli in melancholia. PMID:26112251

  12. Microglia-derived TNFα induces apoptosis in neural precursor cells via transcriptional activation of the Bcl-2 family member Puma

    PubMed Central

    Guadagno, J; Xu, X; Karajgikar, M; Brown, A; Cregan, S P

    2013-01-01

    Neuroinflammation is a common feature of acute neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injury, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Previous studies have demonstrated that acute neuroinflammation can adversely affect the survival of neural precursor cells (NPCs) and thereby limit the capacity for regeneration and repair. However, the mechanisms by which neuroinflammatory processes induce NPC death remain unclear. Microglia are key mediators of neuroinflammation and when activated to induce a pro-inflammatory state produce a number of factors that could affect NPC survival. Importantly, in the present study we demonstrate that tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) produced by lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia is necessary and sufficient to trigger apoptosis in mouse NPCs in vitro. Furthermore, we demonstrate that microglia-derived TNFα induces NPC apoptosis via a mitochondrial pathway regulated by the Bcl-2 family protein Bax. BH3-only proteins are known to play a key role in regulating Bax activation and we demonstrate that microglia-derived TNFα induces the expression of the BH3-only family member Puma in NPCs via an NF-κB-dependent mechanism. Specifically, we show that NF-κB is activated in NPCs treated with conditioned media from activated microglia and that Puma induction and NPC apoptosis is blocked by the NF-κB inhibitor BAY-117082. Importantly, we have determined that NPC apoptosis induced by activated microglia-derived TNFα is attenuated in Puma-deficient NPCs, indicating that Puma induction is required for NPC death. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that Puma-deficient NPCs exhibit an ∼13-fold increase in survival as compared with wild-type NPCs following transplantation into the inflammatory environment of the injured spinal cord in vivo. In summary, we have identified a key signaling pathway that regulates neuroinflammation induced apoptosis

  13. Microglia-derived TNFα induces apoptosis in neural precursor cells via transcriptional activation of the Bcl-2 family member Puma.

    PubMed

    Guadagno, J; Xu, X; Karajgikar, M; Brown, A; Cregan, S P

    2013-01-01

    Neuroinflammation is a common feature of acute neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injury, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Previous studies have demonstrated that acute neuroinflammation can adversely affect the survival of neural precursor cells (NPCs) and thereby limit the capacity for regeneration and repair. However, the mechanisms by which neuroinflammatory processes induce NPC death remain unclear. Microglia are key mediators of neuroinflammation and when activated to induce a pro-inflammatory state produce a number of factors that could affect NPC survival. Importantly, in the present study we demonstrate that tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) produced by lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia is necessary and sufficient to trigger apoptosis in mouse NPCs in vitro. Furthermore, we demonstrate that microglia-derived TNFα induces NPC apoptosis via a mitochondrial pathway regulated by the Bcl-2 family protein Bax. BH3-only proteins are known to play a key role in regulating Bax activation and we demonstrate that microglia-derived TNFα induces the expression of the BH3-only family member Puma in NPCs via an NF-κB-dependent mechanism. Specifically, we show that NF-κB is activated in NPCs treated with conditioned media from activated microglia and that Puma induction and NPC apoptosis is blocked by the NF-κB inhibitor BAY-117082. Importantly, we have determined that NPC apoptosis induced by activated microglia-derived TNFα is attenuated in Puma-deficient NPCs, indicating that Puma induction is required for NPC death. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that Puma-deficient NPCs exhibit an ∼13-fold increase in survival as compared with wild-type NPCs following transplantation into the inflammatory environment of the injured spinal cord in vivo. In summary, we have identified a key signaling pathway that regulates neuroinflammation induced apoptosis

  14. Phase locked neural activity in the human brainstem predicts preference for musical consonance

    PubMed Central

    Bones, Oliver; Hopkins, Kathryn; Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Plack, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    When musical notes are combined to make a chord, the closeness of fit of the combined spectrum to a single harmonic series (the ‘harmonicity’ of the chord) predicts the perceived consonance (how pleasant and stable the chord sounds; McDermott, Lehr, & Oxenham, 2010). The distinction between consonance and dissonance is central to Western musical form. Harmonicity is represented in the temporal firing patterns of populations of brainstem neurons. The current study investigates the role of brainstem temporal coding of harmonicity in the perception of consonance. Individual preference for consonant over dissonant chords was measured using a rating scale for pairs of simultaneous notes. In order to investigate the effects of cochlear interactions, notes were presented in two ways: both notes to both ears or each note to different ears. The electrophysiological frequency following response (FFR), reflecting sustained neural activity in the brainstem synchronised to the stimulus, was also measured. When both notes were presented to both ears the perceptual distinction between consonant and dissonant chords was stronger than when the notes were presented to different ears. In the condition in which both notes were presented to the both ears additional low-frequency components, corresponding to difference tones resulting from nonlinear cochlear processing, were observable in the FFR effectively enhancing the neural harmonicity of consonant chords but not dissonant chords. Suppressing the cochlear envelope component of the FFR also suppressed the additional frequency components. This suggests that, in the case of consonant chords, difference tones generated by interactions between notes in the cochlea enhance the perception of consonance. Furthermore, individuals with a greater distinction between consonant and dissonant chords in the FFR to individual harmonics had a stronger preference for consonant over dissonant chords. Overall, the results provide compelling

  15. An Intelligent Active Video Surveillance System Based on the Integration of Virtual Neural Sensors and BDI Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregorio, Massimo De

    In this paper we present an intelligent active video surveillance system currently adopted in two different application domains: railway tunnels and outdoor storage areas. The system takes advantages of the integration of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and symbolic Artificial Intelligence (AI). This hybrid system is formed by virtual neural sensors (implemented as WiSARD-like systems) and BDI agents. The coupling of virtual neural sensors with symbolic reasoning for interpreting their outputs, makes this approach both very light from a computational and hardware point of view, and rather robust in performances. The system works on different scenarios and in difficult light conditions.

  16. Inhibition of Protease-Activated Receptor 1 Does not Affect Dendritic Homeostasis of Cultured Mouse Dentate Granule Cells

    PubMed Central

    Schuldt, Gerlind; Galanis, Christos; Strehl, Andreas; Hick, Meike; Schiener, Sabine; Lenz, Maximilian; Deller, Thomas; Maggio, Nicola; Vlachos, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Protease-activated receptors (PARs) are widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). While a firm link between PAR1-activation and functional synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties exists, studies on the role of PAR1 in neural structural plasticity are scarce. The physiological function of PAR1 in the brain remains not well understood. We here sought to determine whether prolonged pharmacologic PAR1-inhibition affects dendritic morphologies of hippocampal neurons. To address this question we employed live-cell microscopy of mouse dentate granule cell dendrites in 3-week old entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures prepared from Thy1-GFP mice. A subset of cultures were treated with the PAR1-inhibitor SCH79797 (1 μM; up to 3 weeks). No major effects of PAR1-inhibition on static and dynamic parameters of dentate granule cell dendrites were detected under control conditions. Granule cells of PAR1-deficient slice cultures showed unaltered dendritic morphologies, dendritic spine densities and excitatory synaptic strength. Furthermore, we report that PAR1-inhibition does not prevent dendritic retraction following partial deafferentation in vitro. Consistent with this finding, no major changes in PAR1-mRNA levels were detected in the denervated dentate gyrus (DG). We conclude that neural PAR1 is not involved in regulating the steady-state dynamics or deafferentation-induced adaptive changes of cultured dentate granule cell dendrites. These results indicate that drugs targeting neural PAR1-signals may not affect the stability and structural integrity of neuronal networks in healthy brain regions. PMID:27378862

  17. Inhibition of Protease-Activated Receptor 1 Does not Affect Dendritic Homeostasis of Cultured Mouse Dentate Granule Cells.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Gerlind; Galanis, Christos; Strehl, Andreas; Hick, Meike; Schiener, Sabine; Lenz, Maximilian; Deller, Thomas; Maggio, Nicola; Vlachos, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Protease-activated receptors (PARs) are widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). While a firm link between PAR1-activation and functional synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties exists, studies on the role of PAR1 in neural structural plasticity are scarce. The physiological function of PAR1 in the brain remains not well understood. We here sought to determine whether prolonged pharmacologic PAR1-inhibition affects dendritic morphologies of hippocampal neurons. To address this question we employed live-cell microscopy of mouse dentate granule cell dendrites in 3-week old entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures prepared from Thy1-GFP mice. A subset of cultures were treated with the PAR1-inhibitor SCH79797 (1 μM; up to 3 weeks). No major effects of PAR1-inhibition on static and dynamic parameters of dentate granule cell dendrites were detected under control conditions. Granule cells of PAR1-deficient slice cultures showed unaltered dendritic morphologies, dendritic spine densities and excitatory synaptic strength. Furthermore, we report that PAR1-inhibition does not prevent dendritic retraction following partial deafferentation in vitro. Consistent with this finding, no major changes in PAR1-mRNA levels were detected in the denervated dentate gyrus (DG). We conclude that neural PAR1 is not involved in regulating the steady-state dynamics or deafferentation-induced adaptive changes of cultured dentate granule cell dendrites. These results indicate that drugs targeting neural PAR1-signals may not affect the stability and structural integrity of neuronal networks in healthy brain regions. PMID:27378862

  18. Bioimpedance Harmonic Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool to Assess Regional Circulation and Neural Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudraya, I. S.; Revenko, S. V.; Khodyreva, L. A.; Markosyan, T. G.; Dudareva, A. A.; Ibragimov, A. R.; Romich, V. V.; Kirpatovsky, V. I.

    2013-04-01

    The novel technique based on harmonic analysis of bioimpedance microvariations with original hard- and software complex incorporating a high-resolution impedance converter was used to assess the neural activity and circulation in human urinary bladder and penis in patients with pelvic pain, erectile dysfunction, and overactive bladder. The therapeutic effects of shock wave therapy and Botulinum toxin detrusor injections were evaluated quantitatively according to the spectral peaks at low 0.1 Hz frequency (M for Mayer wave), respiratory (R) and cardiac (C) rhythms with their harmonics. Enhanced baseline regional neural activity identified according to M and R peaks was found to be presumably sympathetic in pelvic pain patients, and parasympathetic - in patients with overactive bladder. Total pulsatile activity and pulsatile resonances found in the bladder as well as in the penile spectrum characterised regional circulation and vascular tone. The abnormal spectral parameters characteristic of the patients with genitourinary diseases shifted to the norm in the cases of efficient therapy. Bioimpedance harmonic analysis seems to be a potent tool to assess regional peculiarities of circulatory and autonomic nervous activity in the course of patient treatment.

  19. Neural activation in speech production and reading aloud in native and non-native languages.

    PubMed

    Berken, Jonathan A; Gracco, Vincent L; Chen, Jen-Kai; Soles, Jennika; Watkins, Kate E; Baum, Shari; Callahan, Megan; Klein, Denise

    2015-05-15

    We used fMRI to investigate neural activation in reading aloud in bilinguals differing in age of acquisition. Three groups were compared: French-English bilinguals who acquired two languages from birth (simultaneous), French-English bilinguals who learned their L2 after the age of 5 years (sequential), and English-speaking monolinguals. While the bilingual groups contrasted in age of acquisition, they were matched for language proficiency, although sequential bilinguals produced speech with a less native-like accent in their L2 than in their L1. Simultaneous bilinguals activated similar brain regions to an equivalent degree when reading in their two languages. In contrast, sequential bilinguals more strongly activated areas related to speech-motor control and orthographic to phonological mapping, the left inferior frontal gyrus, left premotor cortex, and left fusiform gyrus, when reading aloud in L2 compared to L1. In addition, the activity in these regions showed a significant positive correlation with age of acquisition. The results provide evidence for the engagement of overlapping neural substrates for processing two languages when acquired in native context from birth. However, it appears that the maturation of certain brain regions for both speech production and phonological encoding is limited by a sensitive period for L2 acquisition regardless of language proficiency. PMID:25776210

  20. Analytically tractable studies of traveling waves of activity in integrate-and-fire neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jie; Osan, Remus

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to other large-scale network models for propagation of electrical activity in neural tissue that have no analytical solutions for their dynamics, we show that for a specific class of integrate and fire neural networks the acceleration depends quadratically on the instantaneous speed of the activity propagation. We use this property to analytically compute the network spike dynamics and to highlight the emergence of a natural time scale for the evolution of the traveling waves. These results allow us to examine other applications of this model such as the effect that a nonconductive gap of tissue has on further activity propagation. Furthermore we show that activity propagation also depends on local conditions for other more general connectivity functions, by converting the evolution equations for network dynamics into a low-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations. This approach greatly enhances our intuition into the mechanisms of the traveling waves evolution and significantly reduces the simulation time for this class of models.

  1. Heightened Functional Neural Activation to Psychological Stress Covaries With Exaggerated Blood Pressure Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Gianaros, Peter J.; Jennings, J. Richard; Sheu, Lei K.; Derbyshire, Stuart W.G.; Matthews, Karen A.

    2016-01-01

    Individuals who show exaggerated blood pressure reactions to psychological stressors are at increased risk for hypertension, atherosclerosis, and stroke. We tested whether individuals who show exaggerated stressor-induced blood pressure reactivity also show heightened stressor-induced neural activation in brain areas involved in controlling the cardiovascular system. In a functional MRI study, 46 postmenopausal women (mean age: 68.04; SD: 1.35 years) performed a standardized Stroop color-word interference task that served as a stressor to increase blood pressure. Across individuals, a larger task-induced rise in blood pressure covaried with heightened and correlated patterns of activation in brain areas implicated previously in stress-related cardiovascular control: the perigenual and posterior cingulate cortex, bilateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, and cerebellum. Entered as a set in hierarchical regression analyses, activation values in these brain areas uniquely predicted the magnitude of task-induced changes in systolic (ΔR2=0.54; P<0.001) and diastolic (ΔR2=0.27; P<0.05) blood pressure after statistical control for task accuracy and subjective reports of task stress. Heightened stressor-induced activation of cingulate, prefrontal, insular, and cerebellar brain areas may represent a functional neural phenotype that characterizes individuals who are prone to show exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity. PMID:17101844

  2. Tracking cortical entrainment in neural activity: auditory processes in human temporal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Thwaites, Andrew; Nimmo-Smith, Ian; Fonteneau, Elisabeth; Patterson, Roy D.; Buttery, Paula; Marslen-Wilson, William D.

    2015-01-01

    A primary objective for cognitive neuroscience is to identify how features of the sensory environment are encoded in neural activity. Current auditory models of loudness perception can be used to make detailed predictions about the neural activity of the cortex as an individual listens to speech. We used two such models (loudness-sones and loudness-phons), varying in their psychophysiological realism, to predict the instantaneous loudness contours produced by 480 isolated words. These two sets of 480 contours were used to search for electrophysiological evidence of loudness processing in whole-brain recordings of electro- and magneto-encephalographic (EMEG) activity, recorded while subjects listened to the words. The technique identified a bilateral sequence of loudness processes, predicted by the more realistic loudness-sones model, that begin in auditory cortex at ~80 ms and subsequently reappear, tracking progressively down the superior temporal sulcus (STS) at lags from 230 to 330 ms. The technique was then extended to search for regions sensitive to the fundamental frequency (F0) of the voiced parts of the speech. It identified a bilateral F0 process in auditory cortex at a lag of ~90 ms, which was not followed by activity in STS. The results suggest that loudness information is being used to guide the analysis of the speech stream as it proceeds beyond auditory cortex down STS toward the temporal pole. PMID:25713530

  3. Analytically tractable studies of traveling waves of activity in integrate-and-fire neural networks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Osan, Remus

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to other large-scale network models for propagation of electrical activity in neural tissue that have no analytical solutions for their dynamics, we show that for a specific class of integrate and fire neural networks the acceleration depends quadratically on the instantaneous speed of the activity propagation. We use this property to analytically compute the network spike dynamics and to highlight the emergence of a natural time scale for the evolution of the traveling waves. These results allow us to examine other applications of this model such as the effect that a nonconductive gap of tissue has on further activity propagation. Furthermore we show that activity propagation also depends on local conditions for other more general connectivity functions, by converting the evolution equations for network dynamics into a low-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations. This approach greatly enhances our intuition into the mechanisms of the traveling waves evolution and significantly reduces the simulation time for this class of models. PMID:27300901

  4. Right hemisphere neural activations in the recall of waking fantasies and of dreams.

    PubMed

    Benedetti, Francesco; Poletti, Sara; Radaelli, Daniele; Ranieri, Rebecca; Genduso, Valeria; Cavallotti, Simone; Castelnovo, Anna; Smeraldi, Enrico; Scarone, Silvio; D'Agostino, Armando

    2015-10-01

    The story-like organization of dreams is characterized by a pervasive bizarreness of events and actions that resembles psychotic thought, and largely exceeds that observed in normal waking fantasies. Little is known about the neural correlates of the confabulatory narrative construction of dreams. In this study, dreams, fantasies elicited by ambiguous pictorial stimuli, and non-imaginative first- and third-person narratives from healthy participants were recorded, and were then studied for brain blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging on a 3.0-Tesla scanner while listening to their own narrative reports and attempting a retrieval of the corresponding experience. In respect to non-bizarre reports of daytime activities, the script-driven recall of dreams and fantasies differentially activated a right hemisphere network including areas in the inferior frontal gyrus, and superior and middle temporal gyrus. Neural responses were significantly greater for fantasies than for dreams in all regions, and inversely proportional to the degree of bizarreness observed in narrative reports. The inferior frontal gyrus, superior and middle temporal gyrus have been implicated in the semantic activation, integration and selection needed to build a coherent story representation and to resolve semantic ambiguities; in deductive and inferential reasoning; in self- and other-perspective taking, theory of mind, moral and autobiographical reasoning. Their degree of activation could parallel the level of logical robustness or inconsistency experienced when integrating information and mental representations in the process of building fantasy and dream narratives. PMID:25871325

  5. Emergence of spatially heterogeneous burst suppression in a neural field model of electrocortical activity

    PubMed Central

    Bojak, Ingo; Stoyanov, Zhivko V.; Liley, David T. J.

    2015-01-01

    Burst suppression in the electroencephalogram (EEG) is a well-described phenomenon that occurs during deep anesthesia, as well as in a variety of congenital and acquired brain insults. Classically it is thought of as spatially synchronous, quasi-periodic bursts of high amplitude EEG separated by low amplitude activity. However, its characterization as a “global brain state” has been challenged by recent results obtained with intracranial electrocortigraphy. Not only does it appear that burst suppression activity is highly asynchronous across cortex, but also that it may occur in isolated regions of circumscribed spatial extent. Here we outline a realistic neural field model for burst suppression by adding a slow process of synaptic resource depletion and recovery, which is able to reproduce qualitatively the empirically observed features during general anesthesia at the whole cortex level. Simulations reveal heterogeneous bursting over the model cortex and complex spatiotemporal dynamics during simulated anesthetic action, and provide forward predictions of neuroimaging signals for subsequent empirical comparisons and more detailed characterization. Because burst suppression corresponds to a dynamical end-point of brain activity, theoretically accounting for its spatiotemporal emergence will vitally contribute to efforts aimed at clarifying whether a common physiological trajectory is induced by the actions of general anesthetic agents. We have taken a first step in this direction by showing that a neural field model can qualitatively match recent experimental data that indicate spatial differentiation of burst suppression activity across cortex. PMID:25767438

  6. Forecast and restoration of geomagnetic activity indices by using the software-computational neural network complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkhatov, Nikolay; Revunov, Sergey

    2010-05-01

    It is known that currently used indices of geomagnetic activity to some extent reflect the physical processes occurring in the interaction of the perturbed solar wind with Earth's magnetosphere. Therefore, they are connected to each other and with the parameters of near-Earth space. The establishment of such nonlinear connections is interest. For such purposes when the physical problem is complex or has many parameters the technology of artificial neural networks is applied. Such approach for development of the automated forecast and restoration method of geomagnetic activity indices with the establishment of creative software-computational neural network complex is used. Each neural network experiments were carried out at this complex aims to search for a specific nonlinear relation between the analyzed indices and parameters. At the core of the algorithm work program a complex scheme of the functioning of artificial neural networks (ANN) of different types is contained: back propagation Elman network, feed forward network, fuzzy logic network and Kohonen layer classification network. Tools of the main window of the complex (the application) the settings used by neural networks allow you to change: the number of hidden layers, the number of neurons in the layer, the input and target data, the number of cycles of training. Process and the quality of training the ANN is a dynamic plot of changing training error. Plot of comparison of network response with the test sequence is result of the network training. The last-trained neural network with established nonlinear connection for repeated numerical experiments can be run. At the same time additional training is not executed and the previously trained network as a filter input parameters get through and output parameters with the test event are compared. At statement of the large number of different experiments provided the ability to run the program in a "batch" mode is stipulated. For this purpose the user a

  7. Imaging Neural Activity Using Thy1-GCaMP Transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Qian; Cichon, Joseph; Wang, Wenting; Qiu, Li; Lee, Seok-Jin R.; Campbell, Nolan R.; DeStefino, Nicholas; Goard, Michael J.; Fu, Zhanyan; Yasuda, Ryohei; Looger, Loren L.; Arenkiel, Benjamin R.; Gan, Wen-Biao; Feng, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    Summary The ability to chronically monitor neuronal activity in the living brain is essential for understanding the organization and function of the nervous system. The genetically encoded green fluorescent protein based calcium sensor GCaMP provides a powerful tool for detecting calcium transients in neuronal somata, processes, and synapses that are triggered by neuronal activities. Here we report the generation and characterization of transgenic mice that express improved GCaMPs in various neuronal subpopulations under the control of the Thy1 promoter. In vitro and in vivo studies show that calcium transients induced by spontaneous and stimulus-evoked neuronal activities can be readily detected at the level of individual cells and synapses in acute brain slices, as well as chronically in awake behaving animals. These GCaMP transgenic mice allow investigation of activity patterns in defined neuronal populations in the living brain, and will greatly facilitate dissecting complex structural and functional relationships of neural networks. PMID:23083733

  8. Social status alters defeat-induced neural activation in Syrian hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Kathleen E.; Curry, Daniel W.; Cooper, Matthew A.

    2012-01-01

    While exposure to social stress leads to increased depression-like and anxiety-like behavior, some individuals are more vulnerable than others to these stress-induced changes in behavior. Prior social experience is one factor that can modulate how individuals respond to stressful events. In this study we investigated whether experience-dependent resistance to the behavioral consequences of social defeat was associated with a specific pattern of neural activation. We paired weight-matched male Syrian hamsters in daily aggressive encounters for two weeks, during which they formed a stable dominance relationship. We also included controls that were exposed to an empty cage each day for two weeks. Twenty-four hours after the final pairing or empty cage exposure, half of the subjects were socially defeated in 3, 5-min encounters, while the others were not socially defeated. Twenty-four hours after social defeat, animals were tested for conditioned defeat in a 5-min social interaction test with a non-aggressive intruder. We collected brains following social defeat and processed tissue for c-Fos immunoreactivity. We found that dominants were more likely to counter-attack the resident aggressor during social defeat than were subordinates, and they showed less submissive and defensive behavior at conditioned defeat testing compared to subordinates. Also, social status was associated with distinct patterns of defeat-induced neural activation in select brain regions including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, and lateral septum. Our results indicate that social status is an important form of prior experience that predicts both initial coping style and the degree of resistance to social defeat. Further, the differences in defeat-induced neural activation suggest possible brain regions that may control resistance to conditioned defeat in dominant individuals. PMID:22433296

  9. Predicting variations of perceptual performance across individuals from neural activity using pattern classifiers.

    PubMed

    Das, Koel; Giesbrecht, Barry; Eckstein, Miguel P

    2010-07-15

    Within the past decade computational approaches adopted from the field of machine learning have provided neuroscientists with powerful new tools for analyzing neural data. For instance, previous studies have applied pattern classification algorithms to electroencephalography data to predict the category of presented visual stimuli, human observer decision choices and task difficulty. Here, we quantitatively compare the ability of pattern classifiers and three ERP metrics (peak amplitude, mean amplitude, and onset latency of the face-selective N170) to predict variations across individuals' behavioral performance in a difficult perceptual task identifying images of faces and cars embedded in noise. We investigate three different pattern classifiers (Classwise Principal Component Analysis, CPCA; Linear Discriminant Analysis, LDA; and Support Vector Machine, SVM), five training methods differing in the selection of training data sets and three analyses procedures for the ERP measures. We show that all three pattern classifier algorithms surpass traditional ERP measurements in their ability to predict individual differences in performance. Although the differences across pattern classifiers were not large, the CPCA method with training data sets restricted to EEG activity for trials in which observers expressed high confidence about their decisions performed the highest at predicting perceptual performance of observers. We also show that the neural activity predicting the performance across individuals was distributed through time starting at 120ms, and unlike the face-selective ERP response, sustained for more than 400ms after stimulus presentation, indicating that both early and late components contain information correlated with observers' behavioral performance. Together, our results further demonstrate the potential of pattern classifiers compared to more traditional ERP techniques as an analysis tool for modeling spatiotemporal dynamics of the human brain and

  10. Sex Differences in Neural Activation to Facial Expressions Denoting Contempt and Disgust

    PubMed Central

    Aleman, André; Swart, Marte

    2008-01-01

    The facial expression of contempt has been regarded to communicate feelings of moral superiority. Contempt is an emotion that is closely related to disgust, but in contrast to disgust, contempt is inherently interpersonal and hierarchical. The aim of this study was twofold. First, to investigate the hypothesis of preferential amygdala responses to contempt expressions versus disgust. Second, to investigate whether, at a neural level, men would respond stronger to biological signals of interpersonal superiority (e.g., contempt) than women. We performed an experiment using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in which participants watched facial expressions of contempt and disgust in addition to neutral expressions. The faces were presented as distractors in an oddball task in which participants had to react to one target face. Facial expressions of contempt and disgust activated a network of brain regions, including prefrontal areas (superior, middle and medial prefrontal gyrus), anterior cingulate, insula, amygdala, parietal cortex, fusiform gyrus, occipital cortex, putamen and thalamus. Contemptuous faces did not elicit stronger amygdala activation than did disgusted expressions. To limit the number of statistical comparisons, we confined our analyses of sex differences to the frontal and temporal lobes. Men displayed stronger brain activation than women to facial expressions of contempt in the medial frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and superior temporal gyrus. Conversely, women showed stronger neural responses than men to facial expressions of disgust. In addition, the effect of stimulus sex differed for men versus women. Specifically, women showed stronger responses to male contemptuous faces (as compared to female expressions), in the insula and middle frontal gyrus. Contempt has been conceptualized as signaling perceived moral violations of social hierarchy, whereas disgust would signal violations of physical purity. Thus, our results suggest a

  11. A multichannel integrated circuit for electrical recording of neural activity, with independent channel programmability.

    PubMed

    Mora Lopez, Carolina; Prodanov, Dimiter; Braeken, Dries; Gligorijevic, Ivan; Eberle, Wolfgang; Bartic, Carmen; Puers, Robert; Gielen, Georges

    2012-04-01

    Since a few decades, micro-fabricated neural probes are being used, together with microelectronic interfaces, to get more insight in the activity of neuronal networks. The need for higher temporal and spatial recording resolutions imposes new challenges on the design of integrated neural interfaces with respect to power consumption, data handling and versatility. In this paper, we present an integrated acquisition system for in vitro and in vivo recording of neural activity. The ASIC consists of 16 low-noise, fully-differential input channels with independent programmability of its amplification (from 100 to 6000 V/V) and filtering (1-6000 Hz range) capabilities. Each channel is AC-coupled and implements a fourth-order band-pass filter in order to steeply attenuate out-of-band noise and DC input offsets. The system achieves an input-referred noise density of 37 nV/√Hz, a NEF of 5.1, a CMRR > 60 dB, a THD < 1% and a sampling rate of 30 kS/s per channel, while consuming a maximum of 70 μA per channel from a single 3.3 V. The ASIC was implemented in a 0.35 μm CMOS technology and has a total area of 5.6 × 4.5 mm². The recording system was successfully validated in in vitro and in vivo experiments, achieving simultaneous multichannel recordings of cell activity with satisfactory signal-to-noise ratios. PMID:23852975

  12. Gaussian-Process Factor Analysis for Low-Dimensional Single-Trial Analysis of Neural Population Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Byron M.; Cunningham, John P.; Santhanam, Gopal; Ryu, Stephen I.; Shenoy, Krishna V.; Sahani, Maneesh

    2009-01-01

    We consider the problem of extracting smooth, low-dimensional neural trajectories that summarize the activity recorded simultaneously from many neurons on individual experimental trials. Beyond the benefit of visualizing the high-dimensional, noisy spiking activity in a compact form, such trajectories can offer insight into the dynamics of the neural circuitry underlying the recorded activity. Current methods for extracting neural trajectories involve a two-stage process: the spike trains are first smoothed over time, then a static dimensionality-reduction technique is applied. We first describe extensions of the two-stage methods that allow the degree of smoothing to be chosen in a principled way and that account for spiking variability, which may vary both across neurons and across time. We then present a novel method for extracting neural trajectories—Gaussian-process factor analysis (GPFA)—which unifies the smoothing and dimensionality-reduction operations in a common probabilistic framework. We applied these methods to the activity of 61 neurons recorded simultaneously in macaque premotor and motor cortices during reach planning and execution. By adopting a goodness-of-fit metric that measures how well the activity of each neuron can be predicted by all other recorded neurons, we found that the proposed extensions improved the predictive ability of the two-stage methods. The predictive ability was further improved by going to GPFA. From the extracted trajectories, we directly observed a convergence in neural state during motor planning, an effect that was shown indirectly by previous studies. We then show how such methods can be a powerful tool for relating the spiking activity across a neural population to the subject's behavior on a single-trial basis. Finally, to assess how well the proposed methods characterize neural population activity when the underlying time course is known, we performed simulations that revealed that GPFA performed tens of percent

  13. Neural activity in the suprachiasmatic circadian clock of nocturnal mice anticipating a daytime meal.

    PubMed

    Dattolo, T; Coomans, C P; van Diepen, H C; Patton, D F; Power, S; Antle, M C; Meijer, J H; Mistlberger, R E

    2016-02-19

    Circadian rhythms in mammals are regulated by a system of circadian oscillators that includes a light-entrainable pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and food-entrainable oscillators (FEOs) elsewhere in the brain and body. In nocturnal rodents, the SCN promotes sleep in the day and wake at night, while FEOs promote an active state in anticipation of a predictable daily meal. For nocturnal animals to anticipate a daytime meal, wake-promoting signals from FEOs must compete with sleep-promoting signals from the SCN pacemaker. One hypothesis is that FEOs impose a daily rhythm of inhibition on SCN output that is timed to permit the expression of activity prior to a daytime meal. This hypothesis predicts that SCN activity should decrease prior to the onset of anticipatory activity and remain suppressed through the scheduled mealtime. To assess the hypothesis, neural activity in the SCN of mice anticipating a 4-5-h daily meal in the light period was measured using FOS immunohistochemistry and in vivo multiple unit electrophysiology. SCN FOS, quantified by optical density, was significantly reduced at the expected mealtime in food-anticipating mice with access to a running disk, compared to ad libitum-fed and acutely fasted controls. Group differences were not significant when FOS was quantified by other methods, or in mice without running disks. SCN electrical activity was markedly decreased during locomotion in some mice but increased in others. Changes in either direction were concurrent with locomotion, were not specific to food anticipation, and were not sustained during longer pauses. Reduced FOS indicates a net suppression of SCN activity that may depend on the intensity or duration of locomotion. The timing of changes in SCN activity relative to locomotion suggests that any effect of FEOs on SCN output is mediated indirectly, by feedback from neural or systemic correlates of locomotion. PMID:26701294

  14. When a good taste turns bad: Neural mechanisms underlying the emergence of negative affect and associated natural reward devaluation by cocaine.

    PubMed

    Carelli, Regina M; West, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    An important feature of cocaine addiction in humans is the emergence of negative affect (e.g., dysphoria, irritability, anhedonia), postulated to play a key role in craving and relapse. Indeed, the DSM-IV recognizes that social, occupational and/or recreational activities become reduced as a consequence of repeated drug use where previously rewarding experiences (e.g., food, job, family) become devalued as the addict continues to seek and use drug despite serious negative consequences. Here, research in the Carelli laboratory is reviewed that examined neurobiological mechanisms that may underlie these processes using a novel animal model. Oromotor responses (taste reactivity) were examined as rats learned that intraoral infusion of a sweet (e.g., saccharin) predicts impending but delayed access to cocaine self-administration. We showed that rats exhibit aversive taste reactivity (i.e., gapes/rejection responses) during infusion of the sweet paired with impending cocaine, similar to aversive responses observed during infusion of quinine, a bitter tastant. Critically, the expression of this pronounced aversion to the sweet predicted the subsequent motivation to self-administer cocaine. Electrophysiology studies show that this shift in palatability corresponds to an alteration in nucleus accumbens (NAc) cell firing; neurons that previously responded with inhibition during infusion of the palatable sweet shifted to excitatory activity during infusion of the cocaine-devalued tastant. This excitatory response profile is typically observed during infusion of quinine, indicating that the once palatable sweet becomes aversive following its association with impending but delayed cocaine, and NAc neurons encode this aversive state. We also review electrochemical studies showing a shift (from increase to decrease) in rapid NAc dopamine release during infusion of the cocaine-paired tastant as the aversive state developed, again, resulting in responses similar to quinine

  15. Integration of Optical Manipulation and Electrophysiological Tools to Modulate and Record Activity in Neural Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Difato, F.; Schibalsky, L.; Benfenati, F.; Blau, A.

    2011-07-01

    We present an optical system that combines IR (1064 nm) holographic optical tweezers with a sub-nanosecond-pulsed UV (355 nm) laser microdissector for the optical manipulation of single neurons and entire networks both on transparent and non-transparent substrates in vitro. The phase-modulated laser beam can illuminate the sample concurrently or independently from above or below assuring compatibility with different types of microelectrode array and patch-clamp electrophysiology. By combining electrophysiological and optical tools, neural activity in response to localized stimuli or injury can be studied and quantified at sub-cellular, cellular, and network level.

  16. Relations among pure-tone sound stimuli, neural activity, and the loudness sensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howes, W. L.

    1972-01-01

    Both the physiological and psychological responses to pure-tone sound stimuli are used to derive formulas which: (1) relate the loudness, loudness level, and sound-pressure level of pure tones; (2) apply continuously over most of the acoustic regime, including the loudness threshold; and (3) contain no undetermined coefficients. Some of the formulas are fundamental for calculating the loudness of any sound. Power-law formulas relating the pure-tone sound stimulus, neural activity, and loudness are derived from published data.

  17. Fluctuations in nuclear envelope's potential mediate synchronization of early neural activity.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masayuki

    2011-03-01

    Neural progenitor cells and developing neurons show periodic, synchronous Ca(2+) rises even before synapse formation, and the origin of the synchronous activity remains unknown. Here, fluorescence measurement revealed that the membrane potential of the nuclear envelope, which forms an intracellular Ca(2+) store, changed with a release of Ca(2+) and generated spontaneous, periodic bursts of fluctuations in potential. Furthermore, changes in the nuclear envelope's potential underlay spike burst generations. These results support the model that voltage fluctuations of the nuclear envelope synchronize Ca(2+) release between cells and also function as a current noise generator to cause synchronous burst discharges. PMID:21296053

  18. Relaxation training affects success and activation on a teaching test.

    PubMed

    Helin, P; Hänninen, O

    1987-12-01

    We studied the effects of an audiocassette-relaxation training period (ART) and its timing on success at a teaching test (lecture type), on observed tension and on a number of physiological responses. The electrical activity of the upper trapezius muscle (EMG), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), of female and male instructor candidates, were examined before, during and after the teaching test as well as during its critique. The relaxation period (18 min) was presented either on the preceding night (ARTnt) or immediately before the teaching test (ARTimm). The influence of personality (types A-B and extrovert-introvert) was also studied. ART improved success at the teaching test in both sexes. In males (but not in females), ARTimm decreased EMG level during the test, but ARTnt increased EMG at the test period as compared to the control group. In females, both ARTnt and ARTimm lowered HR more than in the control group. ARTimm lowered systolic BP in both sexes. Personality types affected the ART responses; ART was more beneficial for type A than B subjects. PMID:3325481

  19. Triphasic spike-timing-dependent plasticity organizes networks to produce robust sequences of neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Waddington, Amelia; Appleby, Peter A.; De Kamps, Marc; Cohen, Netta

    2012-01-01

    Synfire chains have long been proposed to generate precisely timed sequences of neural activity. Such activity has been linked to numerous neural functions including sensory encoding, cognitive and motor responses. In particular, it has been argued that synfire chains underlie the precise spatiotemporal firing patterns that control song production in a variety of songbirds. Previous studies have suggested that the development of synfire chains requires either initial sparse connectivity or strong topological constraints, in addition to any synaptic learning rules. Here, we show that this necessity can be removed by using a previously reported but hitherto unconsidered spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) rule and activity-dependent excitability. Under this rule the network develops stable synfire chains that possess a non-trivial, scalable multi-layer structure, in which relative layer sizes appear to follow a universal function. Using computational modeling and a coarse grained random walk model, we demonstrate the role of the STDP rule in growing, molding and stabilizing the chain, and link model parameters to the resulting structure. PMID:23162457

  20. Shaping prestimulus neural activity with auditory rhythmic stimulation improves the temporal allocation of attention.

    PubMed

    Ronconi, Luca; Pincham, Hannah L; Cristoforetti, Giulia; Facoetti, Andrea; Szűcs, Dénes

    2016-05-01

    Human attention fluctuates across time, and even when stimuli have identical physical characteristics and the task demands are the same, relevant information is sometimes consciously perceived and at other times not. A typical example of this phenomenon is the attentional blink, where participants show a robust deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Previous electroencephalographical (EEG) studies showed that neural correlates of correct T2 report are not limited to the RSVP period, but extend before visual stimulation begins. In particular, reduced oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) before the onset of the RSVP has been linked to lower T2 accuracy. We therefore examined whether auditory rhythmic stimuli presented at a rate of 10 Hz (within the alpha band) could increase oscillatory alpha-band activity and improve T2 performance in the attentional blink time window. Behaviourally, the auditory rhythmic stimulation worked to enhance T2 accuracy. This enhanced perception was associated with increases in the posterior T2-evoked N2 component of the event-related potentials and this effect was observed selectively at lag 3. Frontal and posterior oscillatory alpha-band activity was also enhanced during auditory stimulation in the pre-RSVP period and positively correlated with T2 accuracy. These findings suggest that ongoing fluctuations can be shaped by sensorial events to improve the allocation of attention in time. PMID:26986506

  1. Artificial neural network and multiple regression model for nickel(II) adsorption on powdered activated carbons.

    PubMed

    Hema, M; Srinivasan, K

    2011-07-01

    Nickel removal efficiency of powered activated carbons of coconut oilcake, neem oilcake and commercial carbon was investigated by using artificial neural network. The effective parameters for the removal of nickel (%R) by adsorption process, which included the pH, contact time (T), distinctiveness of activated carbon (Cn), amount of activated carbon (Cw) and initial concentration of nickel (Co) were investigated. Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) Back-propagation algorithm is used to train the network. The network topology was optimized by varying number of hidden layer and number of neurons in hidden layer. The model was developed in terms of training; validation and testing of experimental data, the test subsets that each of them contains 60%, 20% and 20% of total experimental data, respectively. Multiple regression equation was developed for nickel adsorption system and the output was compared with both simulated and experimental outputs. Standard deviation (SD) with respect to experimental output was quite higher in the case of regression model when compared with ANN model. The obtained experimental data best fitted with the artificial neural network. PMID:23029923

  2. Optical Recording of Suprathreshold Neural Activity with Single-cell and Single-spike Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Ranganathan, Gayathri Nattar; Koester, Helmut J.

    2012-01-01

    Signaling of information in the vertebrate central nervous system is often carried by populations of neurons rather than individual neurons. Also propagation of suprathreshold spiking activity involves populations of neurons. Empirical studies addressing cortical function directly thus require recordings from populations of neurons with high resolution. Here we describe an optical method and a deconvolution algorithm to record neural activity from up to 100 neurons with single-cell and single-spike resolution. This method relies on detection of the transient increases in intracellular somatic calcium concentration associated with suprathreshold electrical spikes (action potentials) in cortical neurons. High temporal resolution of the optical recordings is achieved by a fast random-access scanning technique using acousto-optical deflectors (AODs)1. Two-photon excitation of the calcium-sensitive dye results in high spatial resolution in opaque brain tissue2. Reconstruction of spikes from the fluorescence calcium recordings is achieved by a maximum-likelihood method. Simultaneous electrophysiological and optical recordings indicate that our method reliably detects spikes (>97% spike detection efficiency), has a low rate of false positive spike detection (< 0.003 spikes/sec), and a high temporal precision (about 3 msec) 3. This optical method of spike detection can be used to record neural activity in vitro and in anesthetized animals in vivo3,4. PMID:22972033

  3. Dynamic reorganization of neural activity in motor cortex during new sequence production.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaofeng; Ashe, James

    2015-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that primary motor cortex (M1) neurons are modulated during the performance of a sequence of movements, it is not known how this neural activity in the M1 reorganizes during new learning of sequence-dependent motor skills. Here we trained monkeys to move to each of four spatial targets to produce multiple distinct sequences of movements in which the spatial organization of the targets determined uniquely the serial order of the movements. After the monkeys memorized the sequences, we changed one element of these over-practised sequences and the subjects were required to learn the new sequence through trial and error. When one element in an over-learned four-element sequence was changed, the sequence-specific neural activity was totally disrupted, but relatively minor changes in the direction-specific activity were observed. The data suggest that sequential motor skills are represented within M1 in the context of the complete sequential behavior rather than as a series of single consecutive movements; and sequence-specific neurons in the M1 are involved in new learning of sequence by using memorized knowledge to acquire complex motor skill efficiently. PMID:26202600

  4. Social Exclusion in Middle Childhood: Rejection Events, Slow-wave Neural Activity and Ostracism Distress

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, Michael J.; Wu, Jia; Molfese, Peter J.; Mayes, Linda C.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined neural activity with event-related potentials (ERPs) in middle childhood during a computer-simulated ball-toss game, Cyberball. Experiencing fair play initially, children were ultimately excluded by the other players. We focused specifically on “not my turn” events within fair play and rejection events within social exclusion. Dense-array ERPs revealed that rejection events are perceived rapidly. Condition differences (“not my turn” vs. rejection) were evident in a posterior ERP peaking at 420 ms consistent, with a larger P3 effect for rejection events indicating that in middle childhood rejection events are differentiated in < 500 ms. Condition differences were evident for slow-wave activity (500–900 ms) in the medial frontal cortical region and the posterior occipital-parietal region, with rejection events more negative frontally and more positive posteriorly. Distress from the rejection experience was associated with a more negative frontal slow wave and a larger late positive slow wave, but only for rejection events. Source modeling with Geosouce software suggested that slow wave neural activity in cortical regions previously identified in functional imaging studies of ostracism, including subgenual cortex, ventral anterior cingulate cortex and insula was greater for rejection events vs. “not my turn” events. PMID:20628967

  5. Co-speech gestures influence neural activity in brain regions associated with processing semantic information.

    PubMed

    Dick, Anthony Steven; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Hasson, Uri; Skipper, Jeremy I; Small, Steven L

    2009-11-01

    Everyday communication is accompanied by visual information from several sources, including co-speech gestures, which provide semantic information listeners use to help disambiguate the speaker's message. Using fMRI, we examined how gestures influence neural activity in brain regions associated with processing semantic information. The BOLD response was recorded while participants listened to stories under three audiovisual conditions and one auditory-only (speech alone) condition. In the first audiovisual condition, the storyteller produced gestures that naturally accompany speech. In the second, the storyteller made semantically unrelated hand movements. In the third, the storyteller kept her hands still. In addition to inferior parietal and posterior superior and middle temporal regions, bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus and left anterior inferior frontal gyrus responded more strongly to speech when it was further accompanied by gesture, regardless of the semantic relation to speech. However, the right inferior frontal gyrus was sensitive to the semantic import of the hand movements, demonstrating more activity when hand movements were semantically unrelated to the accompanying speech. These findings show that perceiving hand movements during speech modulates the distributed pattern of neural activation involved in both biological motion perception and discourse comprehension, suggesting listeners attempt to find meaning, not only in the words speakers produce, but also in the hand movements that accompany speech. PMID:19384890

  6. Shaping prestimulus neural activity with auditory rhythmic stimulation improves the temporal allocation of attention

    PubMed Central

    Pincham, Hannah L.; Cristoforetti, Giulia; Facoetti, Andrea; Szűcs, Dénes

    2016-01-01

    Human attention fluctuates across time, and even when stimuli have identical physical characteristics and the task demands are the same, relevant information is sometimes consciously perceived and at other times not. A typical example of this phenomenon is the attentional blink, where participants show a robust deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Previous electroencephalographical (EEG) studies showed that neural correlates of correct T2 report are not limited to the RSVP period, but extend before visual stimulation begins. In particular, reduced oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) before the onset of the RSVP has been linked to lower T2 accuracy. We therefore examined whether auditory rhythmic stimuli presented at a rate of 10 Hz (within the alpha band) could increase oscillatory alpha-band activity and improve T2 performance in the attentional blink time window. Behaviourally, the auditory rhythmic stimulation worked to enhance T2 accuracy. This enhanced perception was associated with increases in the posterior T2-evoked N2 component of the event-related potentials and this effect was observed selectively at lag 3. Frontal and posterior oscillatory alpha-band activity was also enhanced during auditory stimulation in the pre-RSVP period and positively correlated with T2 accuracy. These findings suggest that ongoing fluctuations can be shaped by sensorial events to improve the allocation of attention in time. PMID:26986506

  7. Neural control of computer cursor velocity by decoding motor cortical spiking activity in humans with tetraplegia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sung-Phil; Simeral, John D.; Hochberg, Leigh R.; Donoghue, John P.; Black, Michael J.

    2008-12-01

    Computer-mediated connections between human motor cortical neurons and assistive devices promise to improve or restore lost function in people with paralysis. Recently, a pilot clinical study of an intracortical neural interface system demonstrated that a tetraplegic human was able to obtain continuous two-dimensional control of a computer cursor using neural activity recorded from his motor cortex. This control, however, was not sufficiently accurate for reliable use in many common computer control tasks. Here, we studied several central design choices for such a system including the kinematic representation for cursor movement, the decoding method that translates neuronal ensemble spiking activity into a control signal and the cursor control task used during training for optimizing the parameters of the decoding method. In two tetraplegic participants, we found that controlling a cursor's velocity resulted in more accurate closed-loop control than controlling its position directly and that cursor velocity control was achieved more rapidly than position control. Control quality was further improved over conventional linear filters by using a probabilistic method, the Kalman filter, to decode human motor cortical activity. Performance assessment based on standard metrics used for the evaluation of a wide range of pointing devices demonstrated significantly improved cursor control with velocity rather than position decoding. Disclosure. JPD is the Chief Scientific Officer and a director of Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems (CYKN); he holds stock and receives compensation. JDS has been a consultant for CYKN. LRH receives clinical trial support from CYKN.

  8. Can modular psychological concepts like affect and emotion be assigned to a distinct subset of regional neural circuits?. Comment on "The quartet theory of human emotions: An integrative and neurofunctional model" by S. Koelsch et al.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fehr, Thorsten; Herrmann, Manfred

    2015-06-01

    The proposed Quartet Theory of Human Emotions by Koelsch and co-workers [11] adumbrates evidence from various scientific sources to integrate and assign the psychological concepts of 'affect' and 'emotion' to four brain circuits or to four neuronal core systems for affect-processing in the brain. The authors differentiate between affect and emotion and assign several facultative, or to say modular, psychological domains and principles of information processing, such as learning and memory, antecedents of affective activity, emotion satiation, cognitive complexity, subjective quality feelings, degree of conscious appraisal, to different affect systems. Furthermore, they relate orbito-frontal brain structures to moral affects as uniquely human, and the hippocampus to attachment-related affects. An additional feature of the theory describes 'emotional effector-systems' for motor-related processes (e.g., emotion-related actions), physiological arousal, attention and memory that are assumed to be cross-linked with the four proposed affect systems. Thus, higher principles of emotional information processing, but also modular affect-related issues, such as moral and attachment related affects, are thought to be handled by these four different physiological sub-systems that are on the other side assumed to be highly interwoven at both physiological and functional levels. The authors also state that the proposed sub-systems have many features in common, such as the selection and modulation of biological processes related to behaviour, perception, attention and memory. The latter aspect challenges an ongoing discussion about the mind-body problem: To which degree do the proposed sub-systems 'sufficiently' cover the processing of complex modular or facultative emotional/affective and/or cognitive phenomena? There are current models and scientific positions that almost completely reject the idea that modular psychological phenomena are handled by a distinct selection of

  9. Tcf7l1 protects the anterior neural fold from adopting the neural crest fate.

    PubMed

    Mašek, Jan; Machoň, Ondřej; Kořínek, Vladimír; Taketo, M Mark; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2016-06-15

    The neural crest (NC) is crucial for the evolutionary diversification of vertebrates. NC cells are induced at the neural plate border by the coordinated action of several signaling pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin. NC cells are normally generated in the posterior neural plate border, whereas the anterior neural fold is devoid of NC cells. Using the mouse model, we show here that active repression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for maintenance of neuroepithelial identity in the anterior neural fold and for inhibition of NC induction. Conditional inactivation of Tcf7l1, a transcriptional repressor of Wnt target genes, leads to aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the anterior neuroectoderm and its conversion into NC. This reduces the developing prosencephalon without affecting the anterior-posterior neural character. Thus, Tcf7l1 defines the border between the NC and the prospective forebrain via restriction of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling gradient. PMID:27302397

  10. High glucose environment inhibits cranial neural crest survival by activating excessive autophagy in the chick embryo

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao-Yu; Li, Shuai; Wang, Guang; Ma, Zheng-Lai; Chuai, Manli; Cao, Liu; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    High glucose levels induced by maternal diabetes could lead to defects in neural crest development during embryogenesis, but the cellular mechanism is still not understood. In this study, we observed a defect in chick cranial skeleton, especially parietal bone development in the presence of high glucose levels, which is derived from cranial neural crest cells (CNCC). In early chick embryo, we found that inducing high glucose levels could inhibit the development of CNCC, however, cell proliferation was not significantly involved. Nevertheless, apoptotic CNCC increased in the presence of high levels of glucose. In addition, the expression of apoptosis and autophagy relevant genes were elevated by high glucose treatment. Next, the application of beads soaked in either an autophagy stimulator (Tunicamycin) or inhibitor (Hydroxychloroquine) functionally proved that autophagy was involved in regulating the production of CNCC in the presence of high glucose levels. Our observations suggest that the ERK pathway, rather than the mTOR pathway, most likely participates in mediating the autophagy induced by high glucose. Taken together, our observations indicated that exposure to high levels of glucose could inhibit the survival of CNCC by affecting cell apoptosis, which might result from the dysregulation of the autophagic process. PMID:26671447

  11. Theory-of-mind-related neural activity for one's romantic partner predicts partner well-being.

    PubMed

    Dodell-Feder, David; Felix, Steven; Yung, Matthew G; Hooker, Christine I

    2016-04-01

    Healthy social relationships are linked to myriad positive physical and mental health outcomes, raising the question of how to enhance relationship formation and quality. Behavioral data suggest that theory of mind (ToM) may be one such process. ToM is supported by a network of brain regions including the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus (PC). However, little research has investigated how the ToM network supports healthy social relationships. Here, we investigate whether recruitment of the ToM network when thinking about the mental states of one's romantic partner predicts the partner's well-being. We find that selectivity in left TPJ (LTPJ) and PC for beliefs vs physical attributes of one's partner is positively associated with partner well-being the day of and day after a meaningful encounter. Furthermore, LTPJ and PC selectivity moderated how the partner's perception of being understood during the encounter affected their later well-being. Finally, we find the association between ToM-related neural selectivity and well-being robust to other factors related to the relationship and the encounter. Together, these data suggest that selective engagement of the neural network supporting ToM may be a key ingredient for the development and maintenance of healthy romantic relationships. PMID:26609107

  12. Fine-tuned SRF activity controls asymmetrical neuronal outgrowth: implications for cortical migration, neural tissue lamination and circuit assembly.

    PubMed

    Scandaglia, Marilyn; Benito, Eva; Morenilla-Palao, Cruz; Fiorenza, Anna; Del Blanco, Beatriz; Coca, Yaiza; Herrera, Eloísa; Barco, Angel

    2015-01-01

    The stimulus-regulated transcription factor Serum Response Factor (SRF) plays an important role in diverse neurodevelopmental processes related to structural plasticity and motile functions, although its precise mechanism of action has not yet been established. To further define the role of SRF in neural development and distinguish between cell-autonomous and non cell-autonomous effects, we bidirectionally manipulated SRF activity through gene transduction assays that allow the visualization of individual neurons and their comparison with neighboring control cells. In vitro assays showed that SRF promotes survival and filopodia formation and is required for normal asymmetric neurite outgrowth, indicating that its activation favors dendrite enlargement versus branching. In turn, in vivo experiments demonstrated that SRF-dependent regulation of neuronal morphology has important consequences in the developing cortex and retina, affecting neuronal migration, dendritic and axonal arborization and cell positioning in these laminated tissues. Overall, our results show that the controlled and timely activation of SRF is essential for the coordinated growth of neuronal processes, suggesting that this event regulates the switch between neuronal growth and branching during developmental processes. PMID:26638868

  13. Fine-tuned SRF activity controls asymmetrical neuronal outgrowth: implications for cortical migration, neural tissue lamination and circuit assembly

    PubMed Central

    Scandaglia, Marilyn; Benito, Eva; Morenilla-Palao, Cruz; Fiorenza, Anna; del Blanco, Beatriz; Coca, Yaiza; Herrera, Eloísa; Barco, Angel

    2015-01-01

    The stimulus-regulated transcription factor Serum Response Factor (SRF) plays an important role in diverse neurodevelopmental processes related to structural plasticity and motile functions, although its precise mechanism of action has not yet been established. To further define the role of SRF in neural development and distinguish between cell-autonomous and non cell-autonomous effects, we bidirectionally manipulated SRF activity through gene transduction assays that allow the visualization of individual neurons and their comparison with neighboring control cells. In vitro assays showed that SRF promotes survival and filopodia formation and is required for normal asymmetric neurite outgrowth, indicating that its activation favors dendrite enlargement versus branching. In turn, in vivo experiments demonstrated that SRF-dependent regulation of neuronal morphology has important consequences in the developing cortex and retina, affecting neuronal migration, dendritic and axonal arborization and cell positioning in these laminated tissues. Overall, our results show that the controlled and timely activation of SRF is essential for the coordinated growth of neuronal processes, suggesting that this event regulates the switch between neuronal growth and branching during developmental processes. PMID:26638868

  14. Metabolic control of adult neural stem cell activity by Fasn-dependent lipogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Knobloch, Marlen; Braun, Simon M. G.; Zurkirchen, Luis; von Schoultz, Carolin; Zamboni, Nicola; Arauzo-Bravo, Marcos J.; Kovacs, Werner J.; Karalay, Özlem; Suter, Ueli; Machado, Raquel A. C.; Roccio, Marta; Lutolf, Matthias P.; Semenkovich, Clay F.; Jessberger, Sebastian

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms controlling the proliferative activity of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) have a pivotal role to ensure life-long neurogenesis in the mammalian brain1. How metabolic programs are coupled with NSPC activity remains unknown. Here we show that fatty acid synthase (Fasn), the key enzyme of de novo lipogenesis2, is highly active in adult NSPCs and that conditional deletion of Fasn in mouse NSPCs impairs adult neurogenesis. The rate of de novo lipid synthesis and subsequent proliferation of NSPCs is regulated by Spot14, a gene previously implicated in lipid metabolism3–5, that we found to be selectively expressed in low proliferating adult NSPCs. Spot14 reduces the availability of malonyl-CoA6, which is an essential substrate for Fasn to fuel lipogenesis. Thus, we identify here a functional coupling between the regulation of lipid metabolism and adult NSPC proliferation. PMID:23201681

  15. Spatial Patterns of Persistent Neural Activity Vary with the Behavioral Context of Short-Term Memory

    PubMed Central

    Daie, Kayvon

    2015-01-01

    Summary A short-term memory can be evoked by different inputs and control separate targets in different behavioral contexts. To address the circuit mechanisms underlying context-dependent memory function, we determined through optical imaging how memory is encoded at the whole-network level in two behavioral settings. Persistent neural activity maintaining a memory of desired eye position was imaged throughout the oculomotor integrator after saccadic or optokinetic stimulation. While eye position was encoded by the amplitude of network activity, the spatial patterns of firing were context-dependent: cells located caudally generally were most persistent following saccadic input, whereas cells located rostrally were most persistent following optokinetic input. To explain these data, we computationally identified four independent modes of network activity and found these were differentially accessed by saccadic and optokinetic inputs. These results show how a circuit can simultaneously encode memory value and behavioral context, respectively, in its amplitude and spatial pattern of persistent firing. PMID:25661184

  16. Microglia Sculpt Postnatal Neural Circuits in an Activity and Complement-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Schafer, Dorothy P; Lehrman, Emily K; Kautzman, Amanda G; Koyama, Ryuta; Mardinly, Alan R; Yamasaki, Ryo; Ransohoff, Richard M; Greenberg, Michael E; Barres, Ben A; Stevens, Beth

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Microglia are the resident CNS immune cells and active surveyors of the extracellular environment. While past work has focused on the role of these cells during disease, recent imaging studies reveal dynamic interactions between microglia and synaptic elements in the healthy brain. Despite these intriguing observations, the precise function of microglia at remodeling synapses and the mechanisms that underlie microglia-synapse interactions remain elusive. In the current study, we demonstrate a role for microglia in activity-dependent synaptic pruning in the postnatal retinogeniculate system. We show that microglia engulf presynaptic inputs during peak retinogeniculate pruning and engulfment is dependent upon neural activity and the microglia-specific phagocytic signaling pathway, complement receptor 3(CR3)/C3. Furthermore, disrupting microglia-specific CR3/C3 signaling resulted in sustained deficits in synaptic connectivity. These results define a role for microglia during postnatal development and identify underlying mechanisms by which microglia engulf and remodel developing synapses. PMID:22632727

  17. Toxoplasma gondii exposure affects neural processing speed as measured by acoustic startle latency in schizophrenia and controls

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Bradley D.; Hubbard, Sydney; Rivera, Hilda N.; Wilkins, Patricia P.; Fisch, Marylynn C.; Hopkins, Myfanwy H.; Hasenkamp, Wendy; Gross, Robin; Bliwise, Nancy; Jones, Jeffrey L.; Duncan, Erica

    2013-01-01

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii (TOXO) infection in schizophrenia (SCZ) is elevated compared to controls (odds ratio=2.73). TOXO infection is associated with psychomotor slowing in rodents and non-psychiatric humans. Latency of the acoustic startle response, an index of neural processing speed, is the time it takes for a startling stimulus to elicit the reflexive response through a three-synapse subcortical circuit. We report a significant slowing of latency in TOXO seropositive SCZ vs. seronegative SCZ, and in TOXO seropositive controls vs. seronegative controls. Latency was likewise slower in SCZ subjects than in controls. These findings indicate a slowing of neural processing speed with chronic TOXO infection; the slowest startle latency was seen in the TOXO seropositive SCZ group. PMID:23953218

  18. Differences in neural activation for object-directed grasping in chimpanzees and humans.

    PubMed

    Hecht, Erin E; Murphy, Lauren E; Gutman, David A; Votaw, John R; Schuster, David M; Preuss, Todd M; Orban, Guy A; Stout, Dietrich; Parr, Lisa A

    2013-08-28

    The human faculty for object-mediated action, including tool use and imitation, exceeds that of even our closest primate relatives and is a key foundation of human cognitive and cultural uniqueness. In humans and macaques, observing object-directed grasping actions activates a network of frontal, parietal, and occipitotemporal brain regions, but differences in human and macaque activation suggest that this system has been a focus of selection in the primate lineage. To study the evolution of this system, we performed functional neuroimaging in humans' closest living relatives, chimpanzees. We compare activations during performance of an object-directed manual grasping action, observation of the same action, and observation of a mimed version of the action that consisted of only movements without results. Performance and observation of the same action activated a distributed frontoparietal network similar to that reported in macaques and humans. Like humans and unlike macaques, these regions were also activated by observing movements without results. However, in a direct chimpanzee/human comparison, we also identified unique aspects of human neural responses to observed grasping. Chimpanzee activation showed a prefrontal bias, including significantly more activity in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, whereas human activation was more evenly distributed across more posterior regions, including significantly more activation in ventral premotor cortex, inferior parietal cortex, and inferotemporal cortex. This indicates a more "bottom-up" representation of observed action in the human brain and suggests that the evolution of tool use, social learning, and cumulative culture may have involved modifications of frontoparietal interactions. PMID:23986247

  19. CBP histone acetyltransferase activity regulates embryonic neural differentiation in the normal and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome brain.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Weaver, Ian C G; Gauthier-Fisher, Andrée; Wang, Haoran; He, Ling; Yeomans, John; Wondisford, Frederic; Kaplan, David R; Miller, Freda D

    2010-01-19

    Increasing evidence indicates that epigenetic changes regulate cell genesis. Here, we ask about neural precursors, focusing on CREB binding protein (CBP), a histone acetyltransferase that, when haploinsufficient, causes Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS), a genetic disorder with cognitive dysfunction. We show that neonatal cbp(+/-) mice are behaviorally impaired, displaying perturbed vocalization behavior. cbp haploinsufficiency or genetic knockdown with siRNAs inhibited differentiation of embryonic cortical precursors into all three neural lineages, coincident with decreased CBP binding and histone acetylation at promoters of neuronal and glial genes. Inhibition of histone deacetylation rescued these deficits. Moreover, CBP phosphorylation by atypical protein kinase C zeta was necessary for histone acetylation at neural gene promoters and appropriate differentiation. These data support a model in which environmental cues regulate CBP activity and histone acetylation to control neural precursor competency to differentiate, and indicate that cbp haploinsufficiency disrupts this mechanism, thereby likely causing cognitive dysfunction in RTS. PMID:20152182

  20. Average synaptic activity and neural networks topology: a global inverse problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burioni, Raffaella; Casartelli, Mario; di Volo, Matteo; Livi, Roberto; Vezzani, Alessandro

    2014-03-01

    The dynamics of neural networks is often characterized by collective behavior and quasi-synchronous events, where a large fraction of neurons fire in short time intervals, separated by uncorrelated firing activity. These global temporal signals are crucial for brain functioning. They strongly depend on the topology of the netwo