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Sample records for age-related spatial learning

  1. Tocotrienol rich fraction reverses age-related deficits in spatial learning and memory in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Taridi, Nursiati Mohamad; Abd Rani, Nazirah; Abd Latiff, Azian; Ngah, Wan Zurinah Wan; Mazlan, Musalmah

    2014-09-01

    Little is known about the effect of vitamin E on brain function. Therefore, in this study we evaluated the effect of tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) on behavioral impairment and oxidative stress in aged rats. Thirty-six male Wistar rats (young: 3-months-old; aged: 21-months-old) were treated with either the control (olive oil) or TRF (200 mg/kg) for 3 months. Behavioral studies were performed using the open field test and Morris water maze (MWM) task. Blood was taken for assessment of DNA damage, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and vitamin E, and erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity. Brains were also collected to measure vitamin E levels. Results showed that aged rats exhibited reduced exploratory activity, enhanced anxiety and decreased spatial learning and memory compared with young rats. DNA damage and plasma MDA were increased, and vitamin E levels in plasma and brain were reduced in aged rats. Aged rats supplemented with TRF showed a markedly reduced level of anxiety, improved spatial learning and memory, reduced amount and severity of DNA damage, a reduced level of MDA, and increased levels of antioxidant enzyme activity and plasma/brain vitamin E compared with age-matched controls. In conclusion, TRF supplementation reverses spatial learning and memory decline and decreases oxidative stress in aged rats.

  2. Age-Related Wayfinding Differences in Real Large-Scale Environments: Detrimental Motor Control Effects during Spatial Learning Are Mediated by Executive Decline?

    PubMed Central

    Taillade, Mathieu; Sauzéon, Hélène; Arvind Pala, Prashant; Déjos, Marie; Larrue, Florian; Gross, Christian; N’Kaoua, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate motor control activity (active vs. passive condition) with regards to wayfinding and spatial learning difficulties in large-scale spaces for older adults. We compared virtual reality (VR)-based wayfinding and spatial memory (survey and route knowledge) performances between 30 younger and 30 older adults. A significant effect of age was obtained on the wayfinding performances but not on the spatial memory performances. Specifically, the active condition deteriorated the survey measure in all of the participants and increased the age-related differences in the wayfinding performances. Importantly, the age-related differences in the wayfinding performances, after an active condition, were further mediated by the executive measures. All of the results relative to a detrimental effect of motor activity are discussed in terms of a dual task effect as well as executive decline associated with aging. PMID:23843992

  3. Age-related similarities and differences in monitoring spatial cognition.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Robert; Moffat, Scott D

    2017-03-31

    Spatial cognitive performance is impaired in later adulthood but it is unclear whether the metacognitive processes involved in monitoring spatial cognitive performance are also compromised. Inaccurate monitoring could affect whether people choose to engage in tasks that require spatial thinking and also the strategies they use in spatial domains such as navigation. The current experiment examined potential age differences in monitoring spatial cognitive performance in a variety of spatial domains including visual-spatial working memory, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, navigation, and place learning. Younger and older adults completed a 2D mental rotation test, 3D mental rotation test, paper folding test, spatial memory span test, two virtual navigation tasks, and a cognitive mapping test. Participants also made metacognitive judgments of performance (confidence judgments, judgments of learning, or navigation time estimates) on each trial for all spatial tasks. Preference for allocentric or egocentric navigation strategies was also measured. Overall, performance was poorer and confidence in performance was lower for older adults than younger adults. In most spatial domains, the absolute and relative accuracy of metacognitive judgments was equivalent for both age groups. However, age differences in monitoring accuracy (specifically relative accuracy) emerged in spatial tasks involving navigation. Confidence in navigating for a target location also mediated age differences in allocentric navigation strategy use. These findings suggest that with the possible exception of navigation monitoring, spatial cognition may be spared from age-related decline even though spatial cognition itself is impaired in older age.

  4. Age-related decline in associative learning in healthy Chinese adults.

    PubMed

    Lee, Annie; Archer, Jo; Wong, Caroline Kai Yun; Chen, Shen-Hsing Annabel; Qiu, Anqi

    2013-01-01

    Paired associates learning (PAL) has been widely used in aging-related research, suggesting an age-related decline in associative learning. However, there are several cognitive processes (attention, spatial and recognition memory, strategy, and associative learning) involved in PAL. It is unclear which component contributes to the decline in PAL performance associated with age effects. The present study determines whether age effects on associative learning are independent of other cognitive processes involved in PAL. Using a validated computerized cognitive program (CANTAB), we examined cognitive performance of associative learning, spatial and recognition memory, attention and strategy use in 184 Singaporean Chinese adults aged from 21 to 80 years old. Linear regression revealed significant age-related decline in associative learning, spatial and recognition memory, and the level of strategy use. This age-related decline in associative learning remains even after adjusting for attention, spatial and recognition memory, and strategy use. These results show that age effects on associative learning are independent of other cognitive processes involved in PAL.

  5. Learning and Aging Related Changes in Intrinsic Neuronal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Oh, M. Matthew; Oliveira, Fernando A.; Disterhoft, John F.

    2010-01-01

    A goal of many laboratories that study aging is to find a key cellular change(s) that can be manipulated and restored to a young-like state, and thus, reverse the age-related cognitive deficits. We have chosen to focus our efforts on the alteration of intrinsic excitability (as reflected by the postburst afterhyperpolarization, AHP) during the learning process in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We have consistently found that the postburst AHP is significantly reduced in hippocampal pyramidal neurons from young adults that have successfully learned a hippocampus-dependent task. In the context of aging, the baseline intrinsic excitability of hippocampal neurons is decreased and therefore cognitive learning is impaired. In aging animals that are able to learn, neuron changes in excitability similar to those seen in young neurons during learning occur. Our challenge, then, is to understand how and why excitability changes occur in neurons from aging brains and cause age-associated learning impairments. After understanding the changes, we should be able to formulate strategies for reversing them, thus making old neurons function more as they did when they were young. Such a reversal should rescue the age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:20552042

  6. Age-Related Differences in Learning Disabled and Skilled Readers' Working Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2003-01-01

    Examined whether age-related working memory deficits in learning disabled (LD) readers across four age groups (7, 10, 13, and 20) reflected retrieval efficiency or storage capacity problems. Found that LD readers' working memory performance was inferior to skilled readers' on verbal and visual-spatial working memory tasks across all ages.…

  7. Age-related differences in perceptuomotor procedural learning in children.

    PubMed

    Lejeune, Caroline; Catale, Corinne; Schmitz, Xavier; Quertemont, Etienne; Meulemans, Thierry

    2013-10-01

    Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known about the development of procedural learning or the role played by explicit cognitive processes during learning. The main objectives of this study were (a) to determine whether procedural learning performance improves with age by comparing groups of 7-year-old children, 10-year-old children, and adults and (b) to investigate the role played by executive functions during the acquisition in these three age groups. The 76 participants were assessed on a computerized adaptation of the mirror tracing paradigm. Results revealed that the youngest children had more difficulty in adapting to the task (they were slower and committed more errors at the beginning of the learning process) than 10-year-olds, but despite this age effect observed at the outset, all children improved performance across trials and transferred their skill to a different figure as well as adults. Correlational analyses showed that inhibition abilities play a key role in the performance of 10-year-olds and adults at the beginning of the learning but not in that of 7-year-olds. Overall, our results suggest that the age-related differences observed in our procedural learning task are at least partly due to the differential involvement of inhibition abilities, which may facilitate learning (so long as they are sufficiently developed) during the initial steps of the learning process; however, they would not be a necessary condition for skill learning to occur.

  8. Age-related spatial working memory deficits in homing pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Coppola, Vincent J; Hough, Gerald; Bingman, Verner P

    2014-12-01

    The hippocampus is particularly susceptible to age-related degeneration that, like hippocampal lesions, is thought to lead to age-related decline in spatial memory and navigation. Lesions to the avian hippocampal formation (HF) also result in impaired spatial memory and navigation, but the relationship between aging and HF-dependent spatial cognition is unknown. To investigate possible age-related decline in avian spatial cognition, the current study investigated spatial working memory performance in older homing pigeons (10+ years of age). Pigeons completed a behavioral procedure nearly identical to the delayed spatial, win-shift procedure in a modified radial arm maze that has been previously used to study spatial working memory in rats and pigeons. The results revealed that the older pigeons required a greater number of choices to task completion and were less accurate with their first 4 choices as compared to younger pigeons (1-2 years of age). In addition, older pigeons were more likely to adopt a stereotyped sampling strategy, which explained in part their impaired performance. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate an age-related impairment of HF-dependent, spatial memory in birds. Implications and future directions of the findings are discussed.

  9. High cognitive reserve is associated with a reduced age-related deficit in spatial conflict resolution

    PubMed Central

    Puccioni, Olga; Vallesi, Antonino

    2012-01-01

    Several studies support the existence of a specific age-related difficulty in suppressing potentially distracting information. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether spatial conflict resolution is selectively affected by aging. The way aging affects individuals could be modulated by many factors determined by the socieconomic status: we investigated whether factors such as cognitive reserve (CR) and years of education may play a compensatory role against age-related deficits in the spatial domain. A spatial Stroop task with no feature repetitions was administered to a sample of 17 non-demented older adults (69–79 years-old) and 18 younger controls (18–34 years-old) matched for gender and years of education. The two age groups were also administered with measures of intelligence and CR. The overall spatial Stroop effect did not differ according to age, neither for speed nor for accuracy. The two age groups equally showed sequential effects for congruent trials: reduced response times (RTs) if another congruent trial preceded them, and accuracy at ceiling. For incongruent trials, older adults, but not younger controls, were influenced by congruency of trialn−1, since RTs increased with preceding congruent trials. Interestingly, such an age-related modulation negatively correlated with CR. These findings suggest that spatial conflict resolution in aging is predominantly affected by general slowing, rather than by a more specific deficit. However, a high level of CR seems to play a compensatory role for both factors. PMID:23248595

  10. Loss of CB1 receptors leads to differential age-related changes in reward-driven learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Albayram, Onder; Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras; Zimmer, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor signaling dissociates between reward-associated and aversive memories. The influence of CB1 receptors on the aversion-driven spatial learning in the Morris water maze test is strongly age-dependent: mice with genetic deletion of CB1 receptors (Cnr1−/−) show superior learning when young but inferior learning when old compared to age-matched wild-type mice. Whether the reward-driven spatial learning is influenced in the same way by CB1 receptor signaling as the aversion-driven learning remains unclear. Thus, we examined the performance of Cn1−/− and their wild-type littermates at ages of 2-, 5-, and 12-months-old in the eight-arm radial maze test—a reward-motivated model of spatial learning. Interestingly, 2-months-old Cnr1−/− mice had a superior learning ability to wild-type mice. At the age of 5-months, Cnr1−/− mice showed the same performance as the wild-type littermates. However, 12-months-old Cnr1−/− mice showed significantly impaired performances in each parameter of the test. Accordingly, this study provides compelling support for our previous result that genetic deletion of CB1 receptor leads to early onset of age-related memory decline, similarly affecting both reward and aversion-driven learning. PMID:23227007

  11. Residual abilities in age-related macular degeneration to process spatial frequencies during natural scene categorization.

    PubMed

    Musel, Benoit; Hera, Ruxandra; Chokron, Sylvie; Alleysson, David; Chiquet, Christophe; Romanet, Jean-Paul; Guyader, Nathalie; Peyrin, Carole

    2011-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by a central vision loss. We explored the relationship between the retinal lesions in AMD patients and the processing of spatial frequencies in natural scene categorization. Since the lesion on the retina is central, we expected preservation of low spatial frequency (LSF) processing and the impairment of high spatial frequency (HSF) processing. We conducted two experiments that differed in the set of scene stimuli used and their exposure duration. Twelve AMD patients and 12 healthy age-matched participants in Experiment 1 and 10 different AMD patients and 10 healthy age-matched participants in Experiment 2 performed categorization tasks of natural scenes (Indoors vs. Outdoors) filtered in LSF and HSF. Experiment 1 revealed that AMD patients made more no-responses to categorize HSF than LSF scenes, irrespective of the scene category. In addition, AMD patients had longer reaction times to categorize HSF than LSF scenes only for indoors. Healthy participants' performance was not differentially affected by spatial frequency content of the scenes. In Experiment 2, AMD patients demonstrated the same pattern of errors as in Experiment 1. Furthermore, AMD patients had longer reaction times to categorize HSF than LSF scenes, irrespective of the scene category. Again, spatial frequency processing was equivalent for healthy participants. The present findings point to a specific deficit in the processing of HSF information contained in photographs of natural scenes in AMD patients. The processing of LSF information is relatively preserved. Moreover, the fact that the deficit is more important when categorizing HSF indoors, may lead to new perspectives for rehabilitation procedures in AMD.

  12. Age-Related Changes in the Ability to Switch between Temporal and Spatial Attention.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Eleanor; Holland, Carol; Kessler, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Background: Identifying age-related changes in cognition that contribute towards reduced driving performance is important for the development of interventions to improve older adults' driving and prolong the time that they can continue to drive. While driving, one is often required to switch from attending to events changing in time, to distribute attention spatially. Although there is extensive research into both spatial attention and temporal attention and how these change with age, the literature on switching between these modalities of attention is limited within any age group. Methods: Age groups (21-30, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+ years) were compared on their ability to switch between detecting a target in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream and detecting a target in a visual search display. To manipulate the cost of switching, the target in the RSVP stream was either the first item in the stream (Target 1st), towards the end of the stream (Target Mid), or absent from the stream (Distractor Only). Visual search response times and accuracy were recorded. Target 1st trials behaved as no-switch trials, as attending to the remaining stream was not necessary. Target Mid and Distractor Only trials behaved as switch trials, as attending to the stream to the end was required. Results: Visual search response times (RTs) were longer on "Target Mid" and "Distractor Only" trials in comparison to "Target 1st" trials, reflecting switch-costs. Larger switch-costs were found in both the 40-49 and 60-69 years group in comparison to the 21-30 years group when switching from the Target Mid condition. Discussion: Findings warrant further exploration as to whether there are age-related changes in the ability to switch between these modalities of attention while driving. If older adults display poor performance when switching between temporal and spatial attention while driving, then the development of an intervention to preserve and improve this ability would be

  13. Age-Related Changes in the Ability to Switch between Temporal and Spatial Attention

    PubMed Central

    Callaghan, Eleanor; Holland, Carol; Kessler, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Background: Identifying age-related changes in cognition that contribute towards reduced driving performance is important for the development of interventions to improve older adults’ driving and prolong the time that they can continue to drive. While driving, one is often required to switch from attending to events changing in time, to distribute attention spatially. Although there is extensive research into both spatial attention and temporal attention and how these change with age, the literature on switching between these modalities of attention is limited within any age group. Methods: Age groups (21–30, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69 and 70+ years) were compared on their ability to switch between detecting a target in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream and detecting a target in a visual search display. To manipulate the cost of switching, the target in the RSVP stream was either the first item in the stream (Target 1st), towards the end of the stream (Target Mid), or absent from the stream (Distractor Only). Visual search response times and accuracy were recorded. Target 1st trials behaved as no-switch trials, as attending to the remaining stream was not necessary. Target Mid and Distractor Only trials behaved as switch trials, as attending to the stream to the end was required. Results: Visual search response times (RTs) were longer on “Target Mid” and “Distractor Only” trials in comparison to “Target 1st” trials, reflecting switch-costs. Larger switch-costs were found in both the 40–49 and 60–69 years group in comparison to the 21–30 years group when switching from the Target Mid condition. Discussion: Findings warrant further exploration as to whether there are age-related changes in the ability to switch between these modalities of attention while driving. If older adults display poor performance when switching between temporal and spatial attention while driving, then the development of an intervention to preserve and

  14. Spatial and temporal age-related spectral alterations in benign human breast tissue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theophilou, Georgios; Fogarty, Simon W.; Trevisan, Júlio; Strong, Rebecca J.; Heys, Kelly A.; Patel, Imran I.; Stringfellow, Helen F.; Martin-Hirsch, Pierre L.; Martin, Francis L.

    2016-02-01

    Epidemiological evidence suggests that cancers attributable to exogenous carcinogenic agents may appear decades after initiating exposures. Environmental factors including lifestyle and/or diet have been implicated in the aetiology of breast cancer. Breast tissue undergoes continuous molecular and morphological changes from the time of thelarche to menopause and thereafter. These alterations are both cyclical and longitudinal, and can be influenced by several environmental factors including exposure to oestrogens. Research into the latent period leading to breast carcinogenesis has been mostly limited to when hyperplastic lesions are present. Investigations to identify a biomarker of commitment to disease in normal breast tissue are hindered by the molecular and histological diversity of disease-free breast tissue. Benign tissue from reduction mammoplasties provides an opportunity to study biochemical differences between women of similar ages as well as alterations with advancing age. Herein, synchrotron radiation-based Fourier-transform infrared (SR-FTIR) microspectroscopy was used to examine the terminal ductal lobular epithelium (TDLU) and, intra- and inter-lobular epithelium to identify spatial and temporal changes within these areas. Principal component analysis (PCA) followed by linear discriminant analysis of mid-infrared spectra revealed unambiguous inter-individual as well as age-related differences in each histological compartment interrogated. Moreover, exploratory PCA of luminal and myoepithelial cells within the TDLU indicated the presence of specific cells, potentially stem cells. Understanding alterations within benign tissue may assist in the identification of alterations in latent pre-clinical stages of breast cancer.

  15. Neuroanatomical and cognitive mediators of age-related differences in perceptual priming and learning

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali

    2009-01-01

    Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to those cognitive skills. The data were analyzed within a hierarchical path modeling framework. In addition to finding age-related decrease in both perceptual priming and learning, we observed several dissociations with regards to their neural and cognitive mediators. Larger visual cortex volume was associated with greater repetition priming, but not perceptual skill learning, and neither process depended upon hippocampal volume. In contrast, the volumes of the prefrontal gray and white matter were differentially related to both processes via direct and indirect effects of cognitive resources. The results indicate that age-related differences in perceptual priming and skill learning have dissociable cognitive and neural correlates. PMID:19586211

  16. Altered Hippocampal Transcript Profile Accompanies an Age-Related Spatial Memory Deficit in Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verbitsky, Miguel; Yonan, Amanda L.; Malleret, Gael; Kandel, Eric R.; Gilliam, T. Conrad; Pavlidis, Paul

    2004-01-01

    We have carried out a global survey of age-related changes in mRNA levels in the 57BL/6NIA mouse hippocampus and found a difference in the hippocampal gene expression profile between 2-month-old young mice and 15-month-old middle-aged mice correlated with an age-related cognitive deficit in hippocampal-based explicit memory formation. Middle-aged…

  17. The effect of normal aging and age-related macular degeneration on perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Astle, Andrew T.; Blighe, Alan J.; Webb, Ben S.; McGraw, Paul V.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated whether perceptual learning could be used to improve peripheral word identification speed. The relationship between the magnitude of learning and age was established in normal participants to determine whether perceptual learning effects are age invariant. We then investigated whether training could lead to improvements in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Twenty-eight participants with normal vision and five participants with AMD trained on a word identification task. They were required to identify three-letter words, presented 10° from fixation. To standardize crowding across each of the letters that made up the word, words were flanked laterally by randomly chosen letters. Word identification performance was measured psychophysically using a staircase procedure. Significant improvements in peripheral word identification speed were demonstrated following training (71% ± 18%). Initial task performance was correlated with age, with older participants having poorer performance. However, older adults learned more rapidly such that, following training, they reached the same level of performance as their younger counterparts. As a function of number of trials completed, patients with AMD learned at an equivalent rate as age-matched participants with normal vision. Improvements in word identification speed were maintained at least 6 months after training. We have demonstrated that temporal aspects of word recognition can be improved in peripheral vision with training across a range of ages and these learned improvements are relatively enduring. However, training targeted at other bottlenecks to peripheral reading ability, such as visual crowding, may need to be incorporated to optimize this approach. PMID:26605694

  18. Motherhood mitigates aging-related decrements in learning and memory and positively affects brain aging in the rat.

    PubMed

    Gatewood, Jessica D; Morgan, Melissa D; Eaton, Mollie; McNamara, Ilan M; Stevens, Lillian F; Macbeth, Abbe H; Meyer, Elizabeth A A; Lomas, Lisa M; Kozub, Frederick J; Lambert, Kelly G; Kinsley, Craig Howard

    2005-07-30

    The current work examined spatial learning and memory (i.e., latencies to find a baited food well) in age-matched nulliparous, primiparous and multiparous (NULL, PRIM and MULT, zero, one or two pregnancies and lactations, respectively). We tested at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age in a dry land version of the Morris water maze (Main task), and at 12, 18 and 24 months in the same task in which the original location of the baited well was changed (Reversal task). We show that PRIM/MULT rats, compared to the age-matched NULL females, learned the spatial tasks significantly better and exhibited attenuated memory decline, up to 24 months of age. Furthermore, at the conclusion of behavioral testing, we investigated levels of these animals' hippocampal (CA1 and dentate gyrus) immunoreactive amyloid precursor protein (APP), a marker of neurodegeneration and age-related cognitive loss. MULTs had significantly reduced APP in both CA1 and DG, relative to PRIMs and NULLs, and PRIMs had a trend (p<0.06) toward a reduction in APP compared to NULLs in DG. Further, level of APP was negatively correlated with performance in the two tasks (viz., more APP, worse maze performance). Reproduction, therefore, with its attendant natural endocrine and postpartum sensory experiences, may facilitate lifelong learning and memory, and may mitigate markers of neural aging, in the rat. Combining natural hormonal exposure with subsequent substantial experience with stimuli from the offspring may preserve the aged parous female brain relative to that of NULL females.

  19. Auditory Perceptual Learning in Adults with and without Age-Related Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Karawani, Hanin; Bitan, Tali; Attias, Joseph; Banai, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Introduction : Speech recognition in adverse listening conditions becomes more difficult as we age, particularly for individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Whether these difficulties can be eased with training remains debated, because it is not clear whether the outcomes are sufficiently general to be of use outside of the training context. The aim of the current study was to compare training-induced learning and generalization between normal-hearing older adults and those with ARHL. Methods : Fifty-six listeners (60–72 y/o), 35 participants with ARHL, and 21 normal hearing adults participated in the study. The study design was a cross over design with three groups (immediate-training, delayed-training, and no-training group). Trained participants received 13 sessions of home-based auditory training over the course of 4 weeks. Three adverse listening conditions were targeted: (1) Speech-in-noise, (2) time compressed speech, and (3) competing speakers, and the outcomes of training were compared between normal and ARHL groups. Pre- and post-test sessions were completed by all participants. Outcome measures included tests on all of the trained conditions as well as on a series of untrained conditions designed to assess the transfer of learning to other speech and non-speech conditions. Results : Significant improvements on all trained conditions were observed in both ARHL and normal-hearing groups over the course of training. Normal hearing participants learned more than participants with ARHL in the speech-in-noise condition, but showed similar patterns of learning in the other conditions. Greater pre- to post-test changes were observed in trained than in untrained listeners on all trained conditions. In addition, the ability of trained listeners from the ARHL group to discriminate minimally different pseudowords in noise also improved with training. Conclusions : ARHL did not preclude auditory perceptual learning but there was little generalization to

  20. Automated age-related macular degeneration classification in OCT using unsupervised feature learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venhuizen, Freerk G.; van Ginneken, Bram; Bloemen, Bart; van Grinsven, Mark J. J. P.; Philipsen, Rick; Hoyng, Carel; Theelen, Thomas; Sánchez, Clara I.

    2015-03-01

    Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disorder with high prevalence in elderly people. The disease mainly affects the central part of the retina, and could ultimately lead to permanent vision loss. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is becoming the standard imaging modality in diagnosis of AMD and the assessment of its progression. However, the evaluation of the obtained volumetric scan is time consuming, expensive and the signs of early AMD are easy to miss. In this paper we propose a classification method to automatically distinguish AMD patients from healthy subjects with high accuracy. The method is based on an unsupervised feature learning approach, and processes the complete image without the need for an accurate pre-segmentation of the retina. The method can be divided in two steps: an unsupervised clustering stage that extracts a set of small descriptive image patches from the training data, and a supervised training stage that uses these patches to create a patch occurrence histogram for every image on which a random forest classifier is trained. Experiments using 384 volume scans show that the proposed method is capable of identifying AMD patients with high accuracy, obtaining an area under the Receiver Operating Curve of 0:984. Our method allows for a quick and reliable assessment of the presence of AMD pathology in OCT volume scans without the need for accurate layer segmentation algorithms.

  1. Age-Related Differences in the Relation between Motivation to Learn and Transfer of Training in Adult Continuing Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gegenfurtner, Andreas; Vauras, Marja

    2012-01-01

    This meta-analysis (k = 38, N = 6977) examined age-related differences in the relation between motivation to learn and transfer of training, using data derived from the literature on adult continuing education of the past 25 years. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, a lifespan approach to expectancy theory, and research on interest and…

  2. Ameliorative effect of traditional Japanese medicine yokukansan on age-related impairments of working memory and reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Mizoguchi, K; Shoji, H; Tanaka, Y; Tabira, T

    2011-03-17

    Aging is thought to impair prefrontal cortical (PFC) structure-sensitive cognitive functions and flexibility, such as working memory and reversal learning. A traditional Japanese medicine, yokukansan (YKS), is frequently used to treat age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease in Japan, but its pharmacological properties have not been elucidated. The present study was designed to examine whether YKS improves age-related cognitive deficits using aged rats. YKS was administered to 21-month-old rats for 3 months. The ability to learn initially a reward rule for a T-maze discrimination task (initial learning) was examined in young control (4-month-old), aged control (24-month-old) and YKS-treated aged (24-month-old) rats. Subsequently, working memory and reversal learning were examined in delayed alternation and reversal discrimination T-maze tasks, respectively. Locomotor activity was also measured in new environments. Although performance accuracy in the initial learning procedure did not differ among any experimental groups, accuracy in the delayed alternation task was significantly decreased in aged rats compared to young rats. Aged rats also showed significant decreases in accuracy in the reversal discrimination task. YKS treatment significantly ameliorated the age-related decreases in accuracy in the delayed alternation and reversal discrimination tasks. The ameliorative effects of YKS on impaired delayed alternation performance were reduced by intracranial infusions of a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, into the prelimbic cortical region of the PFC, and the YKS effects on impaired reversal learning were done by the infusions into the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Locomotor activity did not change in any experimental group. Thus, YKS ameliorated age-related impairments of working memory and reversal learning, which might be mediated by a dopaminergic mechanism in the PFC structure. These investigations provide information

  3. Age-related Dysregulation of Inflammation and Innate Immunity: Lessons Learned from Rodent Models

    PubMed Central

    Brubaker, Aleah L.; Palmer, Jessica L.; Kovacs, Elizabeth J.

    2011-01-01

    In the elderly patient population, it has become increasingly evident that immune dysregulation is a contributing factor to age-related pathologies and their associated morbidity and mortality. In particular, elderly subjects are plagued by poor responses to infectious challenge and immunization and are at heightened risk for the development of autoimmune, neuroinflammatory and tumor-associated pathologies. Rodent models of aging and age-related disorders have been utilized to better describe how innate immune cell dysfunction contributes to these clinical scenarios. As the elderly population continues to increase in size, use of these aging rodent models to study immune dysregulation may translate into increased healthy living years for these individuals. PMID:22396887

  4. Age-Related Differences in Foreign Language Learning. Revisiting the Empirical Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munoz, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    This paper focuses on the effects of age on second language learning, specifically in foreign language settings. It begins by pointing out that the effects of learners' initial age of learning in foreign language learning settings are partially different from those in naturalistic language learning settings and, furthermore, that studies in the…

  5. Age-independent and age-related deficits in visuospatial learning, sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity in PDAPP mice.

    PubMed

    Huitrón-Reséndiz, Salvador; Sánchez-Alavez, Manuel; Gallegos, Roger; Berg, Greta; Crawford, Elena; Giacchino, Jeannie L; Games, Dora; Henriksen, Steven J; Criado, José R

    2002-02-22

    Recent studies demonstrated that mice overexpressing the human mutant beta-amyloid precursor protein (hbetaAPP; PDAPP mice) show age-independent and age-related deficits in spatial learning. We used behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to determine in young and aged PDAPP mice whether deficits in spatial learning also involve alterations in sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity. Consistent with earlier studies, young PDAPP mice exhibited selective age-independent deficits using spatial, but not random and serial strategies in the circular maze. Aged PDAPP mice exhibited deficits using all search strategies. The core body temperature (Tb) in young and aged PDAPP mice was significantly lower than in age-matched non-transgenic (non-Tg) littermates. During the dark period, the motor activity (LMA) was significantly increased in young PDAPP mice, but not in aged PDAPP mice. During the light period, young PDAPP mice showed a reduction in the generation of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. In contrast, aged PDAPP mice exhibited a reduction in the amount of time spent in W and an increase in SWS during the light period. Aged PDAPP mice also showed an increase in the amount of time spent in W and a reduction in REM sleep during the dark period. Our findings support previous reports indicating deficits in spatial learning in young and aged PDAPP mice. These data also suggest that PDAPP mice exhibit age-independent and age-related deficits in neural mechanisms regulating visuospatial learning, the total amount and the circadian distribution of sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity.

  6. Are There Age-Related Differences in the Ability to Learn Configural Responses?

    PubMed

    Clark, Rachel; Freedberg, Michael; Hazeltine, Eliot; Voss, Michelle W

    2015-01-01

    Age is often associated with a decline in cognitive abilities that are important for maintaining functional independence, such as learning new skills. Many forms of motor learning appear to be relatively well preserved with age, while learning tasks that involve associative binding tend to be negatively affected. The current study aimed to determine whether age differences exist on a configural response learning task, which includes aspects of motor learning and associative binding. Young (M = 24 years) and older adults (M = 66.5 years) completed a modified version of a configural learning task. Given the requirement of associative binding in the configural relationships between responses, we predicted older adults would show significantly less learning than young adults. Older adults demonstrated lower performance (slower reaction time and lower accuracy). However, contrary to our prediction, older adults showed similar rates of learning as indexed by a configural learning score compared to young adults. These results suggest that the ability to acquire knowledge incidentally about configural response relationships is largely unaffected by cognitive aging. The configural response learning task provides insight into the task demands that constrain learning abilities in older adults.

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

    PubMed

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  8. Age-Related Differences in Cortical Activity during a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task with Facial Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  9. What can we learn about age-related macular degeneration from other retinal diseases?

    PubMed

    Zack, D J; Dean, M; Molday, R S; Nathans, J; Redmond, T M; Stone, E M; Swaroop, A; Valle, D; Weber, B H

    1999-11-03

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.

  10. Age-related changes in the cerebral substrates of cognitive procedural learning.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Valérie; Beaunieux, Hélène; Chételat, Gaël; Platel, Hervé; Landeau, Brigitte; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis

    2009-04-01

    Cognitive procedural learning occurs in three qualitatively different phases (cognitive, associative, and autonomous). At the beginning of this process, numerous cognitive functions are involved, subtended by distinct brain structures such as the prefrontal and parietal cortex and the cerebellum. As the learning progresses, these cognitive components are gradually replaced by psychomotor abilities, reflected by the increasing involvement of the cerebellum, thalamus, and occipital regions. In elderly subjects, although cognitive studies have revealed a learning effect, performance levels differ during the acquisition of a procedure. The effects of age on the learning of a cognitive procedure have not yet been examined using functional imaging. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the cerebral substrates involved in the learning of a cognitive procedure, comparing a group of older subjects with young controls. For this purpose, we performed a positron emission tomography activation study using the Tower of Toronto task. A direct comparison of the two groups revealed the involvement of a similar network of brain regions at the beginning of learning (cognitive phase). However, the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, whereas it ceased in the younger controls. We assume that this additional activation in the older group during the associative and autonomous phases reflected compensatory processes and the fact that some older subjects failed to fully automate the procedure.

  11. MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry Spatially Maps Age-Related Deamidation and Truncation of Human Lens Aquaporin-0

    PubMed Central

    Wenke, Jamie L.; Rose, Kristie L.; Spraggins, Jeffrey M.; Schey, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To spatially map human lens Aquaporin-0 (AQP0) protein modifications, including lipidation, truncation, and deamidation, from birth through middle age using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Methods Human lens sections were water-washed to facilitate detection of membrane protein AQP0. We acquired MALDI images from eight human lenses ranging in age from 2 months to 63 years. In situ tryptic digestion was used to generate peptides of AQP0 and peptide images were acquired on a 15T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometer. Peptide extracts were analyzed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and database searched to identify peptides observed in MALDI imaging experiments. Results Unmodified, truncated, and fatty acid–acylated forms of AQP0 were detected in protein imaging experiments. Full-length AQP0 was fatty acid acylated in the core and cortex of young (2- and 4-month) lenses. Acylated and unmodified AQP0 were C-terminally truncated in older lens cores. Deamidated tryptic peptides (+0.9847 Da) were mass resolved from unmodified peptides by FTICR MS. Peptide images revealed differential localization of un-, singly-, and doubly-deamidated AQP0 C-terminal peptide (239–263). Deamidation was present at 4 months and increases with age. Liquid chromatography–MS/MS results indicated N246 undergoes deamidation more rapidly than N259. Conclusions Results indicated AQP0 fatty acid acylation and deamidation occur during early development. Progressive age-related AQP0 processing, including deamidation and truncation, was mapped in human lenses as a function of age. The localization of these modified AQP0 forms suggests where AQP0 functions may change throughout lens development and aging. PMID:26574799

  12. Ageing-Related Experiences of Adults with Learning Disability Resident in Rural Areas: One Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wark, Stuart; Canon-Vanry, Miranda; Ryan, Peta; Hussain, Rafat; Knox, Marie; Edwards, Meaghan; Parmenter, Marie; Parmenter, Trevor; Janicki, Matthew; Leggatt-Cook, Chez

    2015-01-01

    Background: Access to support services in rural areas is known to be problematic both in Australia, and in other countries around the world, but the majority of research on the population of people ageing with learning disability has so far focussed on metropolitan residents. The authors report about select aspects of the lived experience of older…

  13. Transfer learning based classification of optical coherence tomography images with diabetic macular edema and dry age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Karri, S. P. K.; Chakraborty, Debjani; Chatterjee, Jyotirmoy

    2017-01-01

    We present an algorithm for identifying retinal pathologies given retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. Our approach fine-tunes a pre-trained convolutional neural network (CNN), GoogLeNet, to improve its prediction capability (compared to random initialization training) and identifies salient responses during prediction to understand learned filter characteristics. We considered a data set containing subjects with diabetic macular edema, or dry age-related macular degeneration, or no pathology. The fine-tuned CNN could effectively identify pathologies in comparison to classical learning. Our algorithm aims to demonstrate that models trained on non-medical images can be fine-tuned for classifying OCT images with limited training data. PMID:28270969

  14. The Canine Sand Maze: an Appetitive Spatial Memory Paradigm Sensitive to Age-Related Change in Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Salvin, Hannah E; McGreevy, Paul D; Sachdev, Perminder S; Valenzuela, Michael J

    2011-01-01

    Aged dogs exhibit a spectrum of cognitive abilities including a syndrome similar to Alzheimer's disease. A major impediment to research so far has been the lack of a quick and accurate test of visuospatial memory appropriate for community-based animals. We therefore report on the development and validation of the Canine Sand Maze. A 4.5-m-diameter circular pool was filled with a sand and powdered food reward mix to a depth of 10 cm. Dogs were given 4 habituation and 16 learning trials which alternated a food reward being half (control trials) or fully-buried (acquisition trials) in a fixed location. After a 90-min break, a probe trial was conducted. Cognitively normal, aged (> 8 years, n  =  11) and young (1–4 years, n  =  11), breed-matched dogs were compared. After correction for differences in control trials, average probe times were 2.97 and 10.81 s for young and aged dogs, respectively. In the probe trial, both groups spent significantly more time in the target quadrant but there was a trend for young dogs to cross a 1 m2 annulus zone around the buried reward more frequently (2.6 times) than aged dogs (1.5 times). Test–retest reliability in a subset of young dogs (n  =  5) was high. On the basis of these findings, the Canine Sand Maze is presented as a quick, sensitive and nonaversive tool for assessing spatial learning and reference memory in dogs. PMID:21541168

  15. The effectiveness of unitization in mitigating age-related relational learning impairments depends on existing cognitive status

    PubMed Central

    D’Angelo, Maria C.; Smith, Victoria M.; Kacollja, Arber; Zhang, Felicia; Binns, Malcolm A.; Barense, Morgan D.; Ryan, Jennifer D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Binding relations among items in the transverse patterning (TP) task is dependent on the integrity of the hippocampus and its extended network. Older adults have impaired TP learning, corresponding to age-related reductions in hippocampal volumes. Unitization is a training strategy that can mitigate TP impairments in amnesia by reducing reliance on hippocampal-dependent relational binding and increasing reliance on fused representations. Here we examined whether healthy older adults and those showing early signs of cognitive decline would also benefit from unitization. Although both groups of older adults had neuropsychological performance within the healthy range, their TP learning differed both under standard and unitized training conditions. Healthy older adults with impaired TP learning under standard training benefited from unitized training. Older adults who failed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) showed greater impairments under standard conditions, and showed no evidence of improvement with unitization. These individuals’ failures to benefit from unitization may be a consequence of early deficits not seen in older adults who pass the MoCA. PMID:27049878

  16. Age-Related Visual and Kinesthetic Encoding Effects on Spatial Memory of a Maze-Like Floor Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinnott, Jan D.; And Others

    As part of an experimental research program on lifespan naturalistic and laboratory memory for spatial representation, investigators examined interactions between the effects of visual and kinesthetic encoding and age on memory for space using a modification of the Sinnott (1987) human maze paradigm. It was hypothesized that an age effect favoring…

  17. Spatial Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fu, Zhengling

    2016-01-01

    Spatial language constitutes part of the basic fabric of language. Although languages may have the same number of terms to cover a set of spatial relations, they do not always do so in the same way. Spatial languages differ across languages quite radically, thus providing a real semantic challenge for second language learners. The essay first…

  18. Combined Administration of Levetiracetam and Valproic Acid Attenuates Age Related Hyperactivity of CA3 Place Cells, Reduces Place Field Area, and Increases Spatial Information Content in Aged Rat Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Robitsek, RJ; Ratner, MH; Stewart, TM; Eichenbaum, H; Farb, DH

    2015-01-01

    Learning and memory deficits associated with age-related mild cognitive impairment have long been attributed to impaired processing within the hippocampus. Hyperactivity within the hippocampal CA3 region that is associated with aging is mediated in part by a loss of inhibitory interneurons and thought to underlie impaired performance in spatial memory tasks, including the abnormal tendency in aged animals to pattern complete spatial representations. Here, we asked whether the spatial firing patterns of simultaneously recorded CA3 and CA1 neurons in young and aged rats could be manipulated pharmacologically to selectively reduce CA3 hyperactivity and thus, according to hypothesis, the associated abnormality in spatial representations. We used chronically implanted high-density tetrodes to record the spatial firing properties of CA3 and CA1 units during animal exploration for food in familiar and novel environments. Aged CA3 place cells have higher firing rates, larger place fields, less spatial information content, and respond less to a change from a familiar to a novel environment than young CA3 cells. We also find that the combination of levetiracetam (LEV) + valproic acid (VPA), previously shown to act as a cognitive enhancer in tests of spatial memory, attenuate CA3 place cell firing rates, reduce place field area, and increase spatial information content in aged but not young adult rats. This is consistent with drug enhancing the specificity of neuronal firing with respect to spatial location. Contrary to expectation, however, LEV + VPA reduces place cell discrimination between novel and familiar environments, i.e., spatial correlations increase, independent of age even though drug enhances performance in cognitive tasks. The results demonstrate that spatial information content, or the number of bits of information encoded per action potential, may be the key correlate for enhancement of spatial memory by LEV + VPA. PMID:25941121

  19. Combined administration of levetiracetam and valproic acid attenuates age-related hyperactivity of CA3 place cells, reduces place field area, and increases spatial information content in aged rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Robitsek, Jonathan; Ratner, Marcia H; Stewart, Tara; Eichenbaum, Howard; Farb, David H

    2015-12-01

    Learning and memory deficits associated with age-related mild cognitive impairment have long been attributed to impaired processing within the hippocampus. Hyperactivity within the hippocampal CA3 region that is associated with aging is mediated in part by a loss of functional inhibitory interneurons and thought to underlie impaired performance in spatial memory tasks, including the abnormal tendency in aged animals to pattern complete spatial representations. Here, we asked whether the spatial firing patterns of simultaneously recorded CA3 and CA1 neurons in young and aged rats could be manipulated pharmacologically to selectively reduce CA3 hyperactivity and thus, according to hypothesis, the associated abnormality in spatial representations. We used chronically implanted high-density tetrodes to record the spatial firing properties of CA3 and CA1 units during animal exploration for food in familiar and novel environments. Aged CA3 place cells have higher firing rates, larger place fields, less spatial information content, and respond less to a change from a familiar to a novel environment than young CA3 cells. We also find that the combination of levetiracetam (LEV) + valproic acid (VPA), previously shown to act as a cognitive enhancer in tests of spatial memory, attenuate CA3 place cell firing rates, reduce place field area, and increase spatial information content in aged but not young adult rats. This is consistent with drug enhancing the specificity of neuronal firing with respect to spatial location. Contrary to expectation, however, LEV + VPA reduces place cell discrimination between novel and familiar environments, i.e., spatial correlations increase, independent of age even though drug enhances performance in cognitive tasks. The results demonstrate that spatial information content, or the number of bits of information encoded per action potential, may be the key correlate for enhancement of spatial memory by LEV + VPA.

  20. Age-related dedifferentiation of learning systems: an fMRI study of implicit and explicit learning.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Nancy A; Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-12-01

    Abundant research finds that in young adults explicit learning (EL) is more dependent on the medial temporal lobes (MTL) whereas implicit learning (IL) is more dependent on the striatum. Using fMRI, we investigated age differences in each task and whether this differentiation is preserved in older adults. Results indicated that, while young recruited the MTL for EL and striatum for IL, both activations were significantly reduced in older adults. Additionally, results indicated that older adults recruited the MTL for IL, and this activation was significantly greater in older compared with young adults. A significant Task × Age interaction was found in both regions-with young preferentially recruiting the MTL for EL and striatum for IL, and older adults showing no preferential recruit for either task. Finally, young adults demonstrated significant negative correlations between activity in the striatum and MTL during both the EL and IL tasks. These correlations were attenuated in older adults. Taken together results support dedifferentiation in aging across memory systems.

  1. Learning Anatomy Enhances Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Klaassen, Tim P. F. M.; Donders, A. R. T.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial ability is an important factor in learning anatomy. Students with high scores on a mental rotation test (MRT) systematically score higher on anatomy examinations. This study aims to investigate if learning anatomy also oppositely improves the MRT-score. Five hundred first year students of medicine ("n" = 242, intervention) and…

  2. Age-related spatial cognitive impairment is correlated with a decrease in ChAT in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and forebrain of SAMP8 mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Chen, Hong; Sun, Xiaojiang

    2009-05-01

    At present, the mechanisms underlying cognitive disorders remain unclear. The senescence-accelerated mice (SAM) prone/8 (P8) has been proposed as a useful model for the study of aging, and SAM resistant/1 (R1) is its control as a normal aging strain. The purpose of this study was to investigate choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) expression in SAM brain. The age-related decline of learning and memory ability in P8 mice (4, 8 and 12 months old, n=10 for each group) was proved in Morris water maze test (MWM). After the behavioral test, protein and mRNA levels of ChAT were determined in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and forebrain by means of immunostaining, Western blotting, and real time quantitative PCR (QPCR). Comparing with 4-month-old P8 and R1, 8- and 12-month-old P8 showed age-related cognitive impairment in MWM test. The latencies of the 4-month-old P8 in a hidden platform trial were significantly shorter, and the retention time was significantly longer than that of the older P8 groups. In addition, significantly low level of ChAT protein was observed in older P8 groups. Comparing with the 4-month-old P8, ChAT mRNA in the 12-month-old P8 declined significantly in all three regions of P8 brain. Pearson correlation test showed that the latencies in the MWM were positively correlated with the level of ChAT in P8. Such phenomenon could not be detected in normal aging R1 mice. These findings suggest that the decrease of ChAT in P8 mice was responsible for the age-related learning and memory impairments in some sense.

  3. Age-Related Differences in Associative Learning of Landmarks and Heading Directions in a Virtual Navigation Task

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Jimmy Y.; Moffat, Scott D.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have showed that spatial memory declines with age but have not clarified the relevance of different landmark cues for specifying heading directions among different age groups. This study examined differences between younger, middle-aged and older adults in route learning and memory tasks after they navigated a virtual maze that contained: (a) critical landmarks that were located at decision points (i.e., intersections) and (b) non-critical landmarks that were located at non-decision points (i.e., the sides of the route). Participants were given a recognition memory test for critical and non-critical landmarks and also given a landmark-direction associative learning task. Compared to younger adults, older adults committed more navigation errors during route learning and were poorer at associating the correct heading directions with both critical and non-critical landmarks. Notably, older adults exhibited a landmark-direction associative memory deficit at decision points; this was the first finding to show that an associative memory deficit exist among older adults in a navigational context for landmarks that are pertinent for reaching a goal, and suggest that older adults may expend more cognitive resources on the encoding of landmark/object features than on the binding of landmark and directional information. This study is also the first to show that older adults did not have a tendency to process non-critical landmarks, which were regarded as distractors/irrelevant cues for specifying the directions to reach the goal, to an equivalent or larger extent than younger adults. We explain this finding in view of the low number of non-critical cues in our virtual maze (relative to a real-world urban environment) that might not have evoked older adults’ usual tendency toward processing or encoding distractors. We explain the age differences in navigational and cognitive performance with regards to functional and structural changes in the hippocampus and

  4. Age-related decline in verbal learning is moderated by demographic factors, working memory capacity, and presence of amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Constantinidou, Fofi; Zaganas, Ioannis; Papastefanakis, Emmanouil; Kasselimis, Dimitrios; Nidos, Andreas; Simos, Panagiotis G

    2014-09-01

    Age-related memory changes are highly varied and heterogeneous. The study examined the rate of decline in verbal episodic memory as a function of education level, auditory attention span and verbal working memory capacity, and diagnosis of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Data were available on a community sample of 653 adults aged 17-86 years and 70 patients with a-MCI recruited from eight broad geographic areas in Greece and Cyprus. Measures of auditory attention span and working memory capacity (digits forward and backward) and verbal episodic memory (Auditory Verbal Learning Test [AVLT]) were used. Moderated mediation regressions on data from the community sample did not reveal significant effects of education level on the rate of age-related decline in AVLT indices. The presence of a-MCI was a significant moderator of the direct effect of Age on both immediate and delayed episodic memory indices. The rate of age-related decline in verbal episodic memory is normally mediated by working memory capacity. Moreover, in persons who display poor episodic memory capacity (a-MCI group), age-related memory decline is expected to advance more rapidly for those who also display relatively poor verbal working memory capacity.

  5. Age-related differences in practice-dependent resting-state functional connectivity related to motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Mary, Alison; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Leproult, Rachel; De Tiège, Xavier; Peigneux, Philippe

    2017-02-01

    Decreased neural plasticity is observed with healthy ageing in the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex thought to participate in motor learning and memory consolidation processes. In the present magnetoencephalography study, the post-training reorganization of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and its relation with motor learning and early consolidation in 14 young (19-30 years) and 14 old (66-70 years) healthy participants were investigated. At the behavioral level, participants were trained on a motor sequence learning task then retested 20-30 min later for transient offline gains in performance. Using a sensorimotor seed-based approach, rsFC relying on beta band power envelope correlation was estimated immediately before and 10 min after the learning episode. Post-training changes in rsFC (from before to after learning) were correlated with motor learning performance and with the offline improvement in performance within the hour after learning. Young and old participants exhibited differential patterns of sensorimotor-related rsFC, bearing specific relationships with motor learning and consolidation. Our findings suggest that rsFC changes following learning reflect the offline processing of the new motor skill and contribute to the early memory consolidation within the hour after learning. Furthermore, differences in post-training changes in rsFC between young and old participants support the hypothesis that ageing modulates the neural circuits underlying the learning of a new motor skill and the early subsequent consolidation stages. Hum Brain Mapp 38:923-937, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. An Age-Related Mechanism of Emotion Regulation: Regulating Sadness Promotes Children's Learning by Broadening Information Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Elizabeth L.

    2016-01-01

    Emotion regulation predicts positive academic outcomes like learning, but little is known about "why". Effective emotion regulation likely promotes learning by broadening the scope of what may be attended to after an emotional event. One hundred twenty-six 6- to 13-year-olds' (54% boys) regulation of sadness was examined for changes in…

  7. The Best Time to Acquire New Skills: Age-Related Differences in Implicit Sequence Learning across the Human Lifespan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janacsek, Karolina; Fiser, Jozsef; Nemeth, Dezso

    2012-01-01

    Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such…

  8. The best time to acquire new skills: age-related differences in implicit sequence learning across the human lifespan.

    PubMed

    Janacsek, Karolina; Fiser, József; Nemeth, Dezso

    2012-07-01

    Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs. low-probability events--measured by raw reaction time (RT)--exhibited a rapid decrement around age of 12. Accuracy and z-transformed data showed partially different developmental curves, suggesting a re-evaluation of analysis methods in developmental research. The decrement in raw RT differences supports an extension of the traditional two-stage lifespan skill acquisition model: in addition to a decline above the age 60 reported in earlier studies, sensitivity to raw probabilities and, therefore, acquiring new skills is significantly more effective until early adolescence than later in life. These results suggest that due to developmental changes in early adolescence, implicit skill learning processes undergo a marked shift in weighting raw probabilities vs. more complex interpretations of events, which, with appropriate timing, prove to be an optimal strategy for human skill learning.

  9. Age-related behavioural and neurofunctional patterns of second language word learning: different ways of being successful.

    PubMed

    Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés

    2014-08-01

    This study aimed at investigating the neural basis of word learning as a function of age and word type. Ten young and ten elderly French-speaking participants were trained by means of a computerized Spanish word program. Both age groups reached a similar naming accuracy, but the elderly required significantly more time. Despite equivalent performance, distinct neural networks characterized the ceiling. While the young cohort showed subcortical activations, the elderly recruited the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left lingual gyrus and the precuneus. The learning trajectory of the elderly, the neuroimaging findings together with their performance on the Stroop suggest that the young adults relied on control processing areas whereas the elderly relied on episodic memory circuits, which may reflect resorting to better preserved cognitive resources. Finally, the recruitment of visual processing areas by the elderly may reflect the impact of the language training method used.

  10. Age-Related Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction for Short-Term Word Learning in Children with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pittman, Andrea

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To determine the rate of word learning for children with hearing loss (HL) in quiet and in noise compared to normal-hearing (NH) peers. The effects of digital noise reduction (DNR) were examined for children with HL. Method: Forty-one children with NH and 26 children with HL were grouped by age (8-9 years and 11-12 years). The children…

  11. Effect of GIS Learning on Spatial Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jongwon; Bednarz, Robert

    2009-01-01

    A spatial-skills test is used to examine the effect of GIS learning on the spatial thinking ability of college students. Eighty students at a large state university completed pre- and post- spatial-skills tests administered during the 2003 fall semester. Analysis of changes in the students' test scores revealed that GIS learning helped students…

  12. Differential effects of aging on spatial learning through exploratory navigation and map reading

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Naohide; DeGirolamo, Gregory J.

    2012-01-01

    It has been shown that abilities in spatial learning and memory are adversely affected by aging. The present study was conducted to investigate whether increasing age has equal consequences for all types of spatial learning or impacts certain types of spatial learning selectively. Specifically, two major types of spatial learning, exploratory navigation and map reading, were contrasted. By combining a neuroimaging finding that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is especially important for exploratory navigation and a neurological finding that the MTL is susceptible to age-related atrophy, it was hypothesized that spatial learning through exploratory navigation would exhibit a greater decline in later life than spatial learning through map reading. In an experiment, young and senior participants learned locations of landmarks in virtual environments either by navigating in them in the first-person perspective or by seeing aerial views of the environments. Results showed that senior participants acquired less accurate memories of the layouts of landmarks than young participants when they navigated in the environments, but the two groups did not differ in spatial learning performance when they viewed the environments from the aerial perspective. These results suggest that spatial learning through exploratory navigation is particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aging, whereas elderly adults may be able to maintain their map reading skills relatively well. PMID:22701423

  13. [Age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Sayen, Alexandra; Hubert, Isabelle; Berrod, Jean-Paul

    2011-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is the first cause of blindness in patients over 50 in the western world. The disease has been traditionally classified into early and late stages with dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular) forms: neovascular form is characterized by new blood vessels development under the macula (choroidal neovascularisation) which lead to a rapid decline of vision associated with metamorphopsia and requiring an urgent ophtalmological examination. Optical coherence tomography is now one of the most important part of the examination for diagnosis and treatment. Patient with age related maculopathy should consider taking a dietary supplement such that used in AREDS. The treatment of the wet ARMD has largely beneficied since year 2006 of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab given as repeated intravitreal injections. A systematic follow up each 4 to 8 week in required for several years. There is no effective treatment at the moment for dry AMD. For patients with binocular visual acuity under 60/200 rehabilitation includes low vision specialist, vision aids and psychological support.

  14. EPA/DHA and Vitamin A Supplementation Improves Spatial Memory and Alleviates the Age-related Decrease in Hippocampal RXRγ and Kinase Expression in Rats.

    PubMed

    Létondor, Anne; Buaud, Benjamin; Vaysse, Carole; Richard, Emmanuel; Layé, Sophie; Pallet, Véronique; Alfos, Serge

    2016-01-01

    Studies suggest that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and vitamin A are critical to delay aged-related cognitive decline. These nutrients regulate gene expression in the brain by binding to nuclear receptors such as the retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and the retinoic acid receptors (RARs). Moreover, EPA/DHA and retinoids activate notably kinase signaling pathways such as AKT or MAPK, which includes ERK1/2. This suggests that these nutrients may modulate brain function in a similar way. Therefore, we investigated in middle-aged rats the behavioral and molecular effects of supplementations with EPA/DHA and vitamin A alone or combined. 18-month-old rats exhibited reference and working memory deficits in the Morris water maze, associated with a decrease in serum vitamin A and hippocampal EPA/DHA contents. RARα, RXRβ, and RXRγ mRNA expression and CAMKII, AKT, ERK1/2 expression were decreased in the hippocampus of middle-aged rats. A combined EPA/DHA and vitamin A supplementation had a beneficial additive effect on reference memory but not in working memory in middle-aged rats, associated with an alleviation of the age-related decrease in RXRγ, CAMKII, AKT, and ERK1 expression in the hippocampus. This study provides a new combined nutritional strategy to delay brain aging.

  15. Volumetric image classification using homogeneous decomposition and dictionary learning: A study using retinal optical coherence tomography for detecting age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Albarrak, Abdulrahman; Coenen, Frans; Zheng, Yalin

    2017-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) (volumetric) diagnostic imaging techniques are indispensable with respect to the diagnosis and management of many medical conditions. However there is a lack of automated diagnosis techniques to facilitate such 3D image analysis (although some support tools do exist). This paper proposes a novel framework for volumetric medical image classification founded on homogeneous decomposition and dictionary learning. In the proposed framework each image (volume) is recursively decomposed until homogeneous regions are arrived at. Each region is represented using a Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) which is transformed into a set of feature vectors. The Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) is then used to generate a "dictionary" and the Improved Fisher Kernel (IFK) approach is used to encode feature vectors so as to generate a single feature vector for each volume, which can then be fed into a classifier generator. The principal advantage offered by the framework is that it does not require the detection (segmentation) of specific objects within the input data. The nature of the framework is fully described. A wide range of experiments was conducted with which to analyse the operation of the proposed framework and these are also reported fully in the paper. Although the proposed approach is generally applicable to 3D volumetric images, the focus for the work is 3D retinal Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images in the context of the diagnosis of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The results indicate that excellent diagnostic predictions can be produced using the proposed framework.

  16. Spatial Learning and Computer Simulations in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindgren, Robb; Schwartz, Daniel L.

    2009-01-01

    Interactive simulations are entering mainstream science education. Their effects on cognition and learning are often framed by the legacy of information processing, which emphasized amodal problem solving and conceptual organization. In contrast, this paper reviews simulations from the vantage of research on perception and spatial learning,…

  17. Severity of spatial learning impairment in aging: Development of a learning index for performance in the Morris water maze.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Michela; Burwell, Rebecca; Burchinal, Margaret

    2015-08-01

    The Morris water maze task was originally designed to assess the rat's ability to learn to navigate to a specific location in a relatively large spatial environment. This article describes new measures that provide information about the spatial distribution of the rat's search during both training and probe trial performance. The basic new measure optimizes the use of computer tracking to identify the rat's position with respect to the target location. This proximity measure was found to be highly sensitive to age-related impairment in an assessment of young and aged male Long-Evans rats. Also described is the development of a learning index that provides a continuous, graded measure of the severity of age-related impairment in the task. An index of this type should be useful in correlational analyses with other neurobiological or behavioral measures for the study of individual differences in functional/biological decline in aging.

  18. Age-related difference in size of brain regions for song learning in adult male dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis).

    PubMed

    Corbitt, Cynthia; Deviche, Pierre

    2005-01-01

    In seasonally breeding adult male songbirds, the volumes of several song control regions (SCRs) change seasonally in parallel with plasma testosterone (T) levels and decrease following gonadectomy. Testosterone treatment to castrates prevents this decrease, indicating T dependency. During the breeding season, second-year (SY: birds entering their first breeding season) free-ranging male Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) have smaller testes than older (after second-year, ASY: birds entering at least their second breeding season) birds. SY males also have lower plasma T concentrations than ASY males at the beginning of the breeding season. We investigated differences in song structure of the two age groups and the relationship between age differences in gonadal function and SCR sizes. The average number of syllables per song, syllable duration, trill rate, song duration, and variability in song duration were age-independent. Two brain regions that are thought to be involved primarily in song learning and perception were 13 and 18% larger, respectively, in SY than in ASY males, the opposite of what would be expected based solely on reproductive measures (testis mass and cloacal protuberance width). In contrast, the volumes of two regions that directly control song expression did not differ with age. The lack of age-related size differences in regions that are required for song production may indicate that male juncos of all ages have similar brain space requirements for motor production. Where there were size differences, they were restricted to regions primarily controlling vocal behavior acquisition/perception, suggesting that first time breeders need more brain space than experienced breeders to acquire crystallized song and/or acoustically perceive aspects of their environment.

  19. Spatial learning and goldfish telencephalon NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Yolanda; Vargas, Juan Pedro; Portavella, Manuel; López, Juan Carlos

    2006-05-01

    Recent results have demonstrated that the mammalian hippocampus and the dorso-lateral telencephalon of ray-finned fishes share functional similarities in relation to spatial memory systems. In the present study, we investigated whether the physiological mechanisms of this hippocampus-dependent spatial memory system were also similar in mammals and ray-finned fishes, and therefore possibly conserved through evolution in vertebrates. In Experiment 1, we studied the effects of the intracranial administration of the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 during the acquisition of a spatial task. The results indicated dose-dependent drug-induced impairment of spatial memory. Experiment 2 evaluated if the MK-801 produced disruption of retrieval of a learned spatial response. Data showed that the administration of MK-801 did not impair the retrieval of the information previously stored. The last experiment analyzed the involvement of the telencephalic NMDA receptors in a spatial and in a cue task. Results showed a clear impairment in spatial learning but not in cue learning when NMDA receptors were blocked. As a whole, these results indicate that physiological mechanisms of this hippocampus-dependent system could be a general feature in vertebrate, and therefore phylogenetically conserved.

  20. Extreme Learning Machines for spatial environmental data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuenberger, Michael; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2015-12-01

    The use of machine learning algorithms has increased in a wide variety of domains (from finance to biocomputing and astronomy), and nowadays has a significant impact on the geoscience community. In most real cases geoscience data modelling problems are multivariate, high dimensional, variable at several spatial scales, and are generated by non-linear processes. For such complex data, the spatial prediction of continuous (or categorical) variables is a challenging task. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential of the recently developed Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) for environmental data analysis, modelling and spatial prediction purposes. An important contribution of this study deals with an application of a generic self-consistent methodology for environmental data driven modelling based on Extreme Learning Machine. Both real and simulated data are used to demonstrate applicability of ELM at different stages of the study to understand and justify the results.

  1. Physical exercise, neuroplasticity, spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Cassilhas, Ricardo C; Tufik, Sergio; de Mello, Marco Túlio

    2016-03-01

    There has long been discussion regarding the positive effects of physical exercise on brain activity. However, physical exercise has only recently begun to receive the attention of the scientific community, with major interest in its effects on the cognitive functions, spatial learning and memory, as a non-drug method of maintaining brain health and treating neurodegenerative and/or psychiatric conditions. In humans, several studies have shown the beneficial effects of aerobic and resistance exercises in adult and geriatric populations. More recently, studies employing animal models have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying neuroplasticity related to physical exercise-induced spatial learning and memory improvement, even under neurodegenerative conditions. In an attempt to clarify these issues, the present review aims to discuss the role of physical exercise in the improvement of spatial learning and memory and the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neuroplasticity.

  2. 1'-Acetoxychavicol acetate ameliorates age-related spatial memory deterioration by increasing serum ketone body production as a complementary energy source for neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Kojima-Yuasa, Akiko; Yamamoto, Tomiya; Yaku, Keisuke; Hirota, Shiori; Takenaka, Shigeo; Kawabe, Kouichi; Matsui-Yuasa, Isao

    2016-09-25

    1'-Acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) is naturally obtained from the rhizomes and seeds of Alpinia galangal. Here, we examined the effect of ACA on learning and memory in senescence-accelerated mice prone 8 (SAMP8). In mice that were fed a control diet containing 0.02% ACA for 25 weeks, the learning ability in the Morris water maze test was significantly enhanced in comparison with mice that were fed the control diet alone. In the Y-maze test, SAMP8 mice showed decreased spontaneous alterations in comparison with senescence-accelerated resistant/1 (SAMR1) mice, a homologous control, which was improved by ACA pretreatment. Serum metabolite profiles were obtained by GC-MS analysis, and each metabolic profile was plotted on a 3D score plot. Based upon the diagram, it can be seen that the distribution areas for the three groups were completely separate. Furthermore, the contents of β-hydroxybutyric acid and palmitic acid in the serum of SAMP8-ACA mice were higher than those of SAMP8-control mice and SAMR1-control mice. We also found that SAMR1 mice did not show histological abnormalities, whereas histological damage in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in SAMP8-control mice was observed. However, SAMP8-ACA mice were observed in a similar manner as SAMR1 mice. These findings confirm that ACA increases the serum concentrations of β-hydroxybutyric acid and palmitic acid levels and thus these fuels might contribute to the maintenance of the cognitive performance of SAMP8 mice.

  3. An age-related decline in striatal taurine is correlated with a loss of dopaminergic markers.

    PubMed

    Dawson, R; Pelleymounter, M A; Cullen, M J; Gollub, M; Liu, S

    1999-02-01

    Taurine is present in high concentration in the mammalian brain and is known to decline with aging. The present studies examined the relationship between the loss of striatal neurotransmitters and spatial learning ability in aged male Long-Evans rats. The effects of intrahippocampal infusions of neurotrophic factors-nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor-were also examined for their ability to ameliorate the age-related decline in brain amino acid content. Taurine content was found to be significantly reduced in the striatum of aged rats (26 months old) that were impaired in spatial learning performance when compared to young unimpaired rats (5 months old). Aged rats that were behaviorally unimpaired had more modest reductions in taurine. Striatal dopamine content was also significantly reduced in aged learning-impaired rats. There was a significant (p < 0.001) correlation (r=0.61) between the striatal content of taurine and dopamine, but no such correlation was found for other striatal transmitters (glutamate, serotonin, norepinephrine). Treatment with neurotrophins had little effect on the age-related decline in striatal amino acids, although NGF treatment did improve spatial learning. These studies suggest (1) a link between age-related declines in striatal dopamine and taurine and (2) that NGF-induced improvement in spatial learning is not related to mechanisms involving changes in taurine or glutamate content.

  4. Machine learning based detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Zhang, Yaonan; Yao, Zhaomin; Zhao, Ruixue; Zhou, Fengfeng

    2016-12-01

    Non-lethal macular diseases greatly impact patients' life quality, and will cause vision loss at the late stages. Visual inspection of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images by the experienced clinicians is the main diagnosis technique. We proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) model to discriminate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME) and healthy macula. The linear configuration pattern (LCP) based features of the OCT images were screened by the Correlation-based Feature Subset (CFS) selection algorithm. And the best model based on the sequential minimal optimization (SMO) algorithm achieved 99.3% in the overall accuracy for the three classes of samples.

  5. Machine learning based detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu; Zhang, Yaonan; Yao, Zhaomin; Zhao, Ruixue; Zhou, Fengfeng

    2016-01-01

    Non-lethal macular diseases greatly impact patients’ life quality, and will cause vision loss at the late stages. Visual inspection of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images by the experienced clinicians is the main diagnosis technique. We proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) model to discriminate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME) and healthy macula. The linear configuration pattern (LCP) based features of the OCT images were screened by the Correlation-based Feature Subset (CFS) selection algorithm. And the best model based on the sequential minimal optimization (SMO) algorithm achieved 99.3% in the overall accuracy for the three classes of samples. PMID:28018716

  6. Dorsal Hippocampus Function in Learning and Expressing a Spatial Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Norman M.; Gaskin, Stephane

    2006-01-01

    Learning to discriminate between spatial locations defined by two adjacent arms of a radial maze in the conditioned cue preference paradigm requires two kinds of information: latent spatial learning when the rats explore the maze with no food available, and learning about food availability in two spatial locations when the rats are then confined…

  7. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... version of this page please turn Javascript on. Age-related Macular Degeneration About AMD Click for more ... a leading cause of vision loss among people age 60 and older. It causes damage to the ...

  8. The Effect of Spatial Working Memory Deterioration on Strategic Visuomotor Learning across Aging

    PubMed Central

    Uresti-Cabrera, Luis A.; Diaz, Rosalinda; Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Methods. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Results. The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. Discussion. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging. PMID:26290623

  9. Age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lim, Laurence S; Mitchell, Paul; Seddon, Johanna M; Holz, Frank G; Wong, Tien Y

    2012-05-05

    Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness worldwide. With ageing populations in many countries, more than 20% might have the disorder. Advanced age-related macular degeneration, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet) and geographic atrophy (late dry), is associated with substantial, progressive visual impairment. Major risk factors include cigarette smoking, nutritional factors, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic markers, including genes regulating complement, lipid, angiogenic, and extracellular matrix pathways. Some studies have suggested a declining prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, perhaps due to reduced exposure to modifiable risk factors. Accurate diagnosis combines clinical examination and investigations, including retinal photography, angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Dietary anti-oxidant supplementation slows progression of the disease. Treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration incorporates intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents, occasionally combined with other modalities. Evidence suggests that two commonly used anti-VEGF therapies, ranibizumab and bevacizumab, have similar efficacy, but possible differences in systemic safety are difficult to assess. Future treatments include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, and regenerative and topical therapies.

  10. Implicitly learned suppression of irrelevant spatial locations.

    PubMed

    Leber, Andrew B; Gwinn, Rachael E; Hong, Yoolim; O'Toole, Ryan J

    2016-12-01

    How do we ignore a salient, irrelevant stimulus whose location is predictable? A variety of studies using instructional manipulations have shown that participants possess the capacity to exert location-based suppression. However, for the visual search challenges we face in daily life, we are not often provided explicit instructions and are unlikely to consciously deliberate on what our best strategy might be. Instead, we might rely on our past experience-in the form of implicit learning-to exert strategic control. In this paper, we tested whether implicit learning could drive spatial suppression. In Experiment 1, participants searched displays in which one location contained a target, while another contained a salient distractor. An arrow cue pointed to the target location with 70 % validity. Also, unbeknownst to the participants, the same arrow cue predicted the distractor location with 70 % validity. Results showed facilitated RTs to the predicted target location, confirming target enhancement. Critically, distractor interference was reduced at the predicted distractor location, revealing that participants used spatial suppression. Further, we found that participants had no explicit knowledge of the cue-distractor contingencies, confirming that the learning was implicit. In Experiment 2, to seek further evidence for suppression, we modified the task to include occasional masked probes following the arrow cue; we found worse probe identification accuracy at the predicted distractor location than control locations, providing converging evidence that observers spatially suppressed the predicted distractor locations. These results reveal an ecologically desirable mechanism of suppression, which functions without the need for conscious knowledge or externally guided instructions.

  11. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Budzinskaia, M V

    2014-01-01

    The review provides an update on the pathogenesis and new treatment modalities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The impact of polymorphism in particular genes, including complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2/LOC387715), and serine peptidase (HTRA1), on AMD development is discussed. Clinical presentations of different forms of exudative AMD, that is classic, occult, or more often mixed choroidal neovascularization, retinal angiomatous proliferation, and choroidal polypoidal vasculopathy, are described. Particular attention is paid to the results of recent clinical trials and safety issues around the therapy.

  12. Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Sonia

    2015-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. AMD is diagnosed based on characteristic retinal findings in individuals older than 50. Early detection and treatment are critical in increasing the likelihood of retaining good and functional vision.

  13. Assessing Spatial Learning and Memory in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Vorhees, Charles V.; Williams, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    Maneuvering safely through the environment is central to survival of almost all species. The ability to do this depends on learning and remembering locations. This capacity is encoded in the brain by two systems: one using cues outside the organism (distal cues), allocentric navigation, and one using self-movement, internal cues and nearby proximal cues, egocentric navigation. Allocentric navigation involves the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and surrounding structures; in humans this system encodes allocentric, semantic, and episodic memory. This form of memory is assessed in laboratory animals in many ways, but the dominant form of assessment is the Morris water maze (MWM). Egocentric navigation involves the dorsal striatum and connected structures; in humans this system encodes routes and integrated paths and, when overlearned, becomes procedural memory. In this article, several allocentric assessment methods for rodents are reviewed and compared with the MWM. MWM advantages (little training required, no food deprivation, ease of testing, rapid and reliable learning, insensitivity to differences in body weight and appetite, absence of nonperformers, control methods for proximal cue learning, and performance effects) and disadvantages (concern about stress, perhaps not as sensitive for working memory) are discussed. Evidence-based design improvements and testing methods are reviewed for both rats and mice. Experimental factors that apply generally to spatial navigation and to MWM specifically are considered. It is concluded that, on balance, the MWM has more advantages than disadvantages and compares favorably with other allocentric navigation tasks. PMID:25225309

  14. Age-related eye disease.

    PubMed

    Voleti, Vinod B; Hubschman, Jean-Pierre

    2013-05-01

    As with many organs, compromised function of the eye is accompanied with age and has become increasingly prevalent with the aging population. When decreased visual loss becomes significant, patients' ability to perform activities of daily living becomes compromised. This decrease in function is met with morbidity and mortality, as well as a large socioeconomic burden throughout the world. This review summarizes the most common age-related eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and age-related macular degeneration. Although our understanding of the genetic and biochemical pathways of these diseases is sill at its primitive stages, we have become able to help our patients improve the quality of life as they age.

  15. Spatial short-term memory in children with nonverbal learning disabilities: impairment in encoding spatial configuration.

    PubMed

    Narimoto, Tadamasa; Matsuura, Naomi; Takezawa, Tomohiro; Mitsuhashi, Yoshinori; Hiratani, Michio

    2013-01-01

    The authors investigated whether impaired spatial short-term memory exhibited by children with nonverbal learning disabilities is due to a problem in the encoding process. Children with or without nonverbal learning disabilities performed a simple spatial test that required them to remember 3, 5, or 7 spatial items presented simultaneously in random positions (i.e., spatial configuration) and to decide if a target item was changed or all items including the target were in the same position. The results showed that, even when the spatial positions in the encoding and probe phases were similar, the mean proportion correct of children with nonverbal learning disabilities was 0.58 while that of children without nonverbal learning disabilities was 0.84. The authors argue with the results that children with nonverbal learning disabilities have difficulty encoding relational information between spatial items, and that this difficulty is responsible for their impaired spatial short-term memory.

  16. Low Calorie Diet Affects Aging-Related Factors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Issue Past Issues Research News From NIH Low Calorie Diet Affects Aging-Related Factors Past Issues / Summer ... learn more about the effects of sustained low-calorie diets in humans on factors affecting aging. This ...

  17. Spatially Distributed Instructions Improve Learning Outcomes and Efficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jang, Jooyoung; Schunn, Christian D.; Nokes, Timothy J.

    2011-01-01

    Learning requires applying limited working memory and attentional resources to intrinsic, germane, and extraneous aspects of the learning task. To reduce the especially undesirable extraneous load aspects of learning environments, cognitive load theorists suggest that spatially integrated learning materials should be used instead of spatially…

  18. Age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Querques, Giuseppe; Avellis, Fernando Onofrio; Querques, Lea; Bandello, Francesco; Souied, Eric H

    2011-01-01

    Clinical question: Is there any new knowledge about the pathogenesis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Results: We now understand better the biochemical and pathological pathways involved in the genesis of AMD. Treatment of exudative AMD is based on intravitreal injection of new antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs for which there does not yet exist a unique recognized strategy of administration. No therapies are actually available for atrophic AMD, despite some experimental new pharmacological approaches. Implementation: strategy of administration, safety of intravitreal injection PMID:21654887

  19. Age-related learning and memory deficits in rats: role of altered brain neurotransmitters, acetylcholinesterase activity and changes in antioxidant defense system.

    PubMed

    Haider, Saida; Saleem, Sadia; Perveen, Tahira; Tabassum, Saiqa; Batool, Zehra; Sadir, Sadia; Liaquat, Laraib; Madiha, Syeda

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress from generation of increased reactive oxygen species or free radicals of oxygen has been reported to play an important role in the aging. To investigate the relationship between the oxidative stress and memory decline during aging, we have determined the level of lipid peroxidation, activities of antioxidant enzymes, and activity of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) in brain and plasma as well as biogenic amine levels in brain from Albino-Wistar rats at age of 4 and 24 months. The results showed that the level of lipid peroxidation in the brain and plasma was significantly higher in older than that in the young rats. The activities of antioxidant enzymes displayed an age-dependent decline in both brain and plasma. Glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities were found to be significantly decreased in brain and plasma of aged rats. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) was also significantly decreased in plasma of aged rats; however, a decreased tendency (non-significant) of SOD in brain was also observed. AChE activity in brain and plasma was significantly decreased in aged rats. Learning and memory of rats in the present study was assessed by Morris Water Maze (MWM) and Elevated plus Maze (EPM) test. Short-term memory and long-term memory was impaired significantly in older rats, which was evident by a significant increase in the latency time in MWM and increase in transfer latency in EPM. Moreover, a marked decrease in biogenic amines (NA, DA, and 5-HT) was also found in the brain of aged rats. In conclusion, our data suggest that increased oxidative stress, decline of antioxidant enzyme activities, altered AChE activity, and decreased biogenic amines level in the brain of aged rats may potentially be involved in diminished memory function.

  20. Guidance of Spatial Attention by Incidental Learning and Endogenous Cuing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.

    2013-01-01

    Our visual system is highly sensitive to regularities in the environment. Locations that were important in one's previous experience are often prioritized during search, even though observers may not be aware of the learning. In this study we characterized the guidance of spatial attention by incidental learning of a target's spatial probability,…

  1. Development of Critical Spatial Thinking through GIS Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Minsung; Bednarz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    This study developed an interview-based critical spatial thinking oral test and used the test to investigate the effects of Geographic Information System (GIS) learning on three components of critical spatial thinking: evaluating data reliability, exercising spatial reasoning, and assessing problem-solving validity. Thirty-two students at a large…

  2. Think3d!: Improving mathematics learning through embodied spatial training.

    PubMed

    Burte, Heather; Gardony, Aaron L; Hutton, Allyson; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-01-01

    Spatial thinking skills positively relate to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) outcomes, but spatial training is largely absent in elementary school. Elementary school is a time when children develop foundational cognitive skills that will support STEM learning throughout their education. Spatial thinking should be considered a foundational cognitive skill. The present research examined the impact of an embodied spatial training program on elementary students' spatial and mathematical thinking. Students in rural elementary schools completed spatial and math assessments prior to and after participating in an origami and pop-up paper engineering-based program, called Think3d!. Think3d! uses embodied tasks, such as folding and cutting paper, to train two-dimensional to three-dimensional spatial thinking. Analyses explored spatial thinking gains, mathematics gains - specifically for problem types expected to show gains from spatial training - and factors predicting mathematics gains. Results showed spatial thinking gains in two assessments. Using a math categorization to target problems more and less likely to be impacted by spatial training, we found that all students improved on real-world math problems and older students improved on visual and spatial math problems. Further, the results are suggestive of developmental time points for implementing embodied spatial training related to applying spatial thinking to math. Finally, the spatial thinking assessment that was most highly related to training activities also predicted math performance gains. Future research should explore developmental issues related to how embodied spatial training might support STEM learning and outcomes.

  3. Overcoming Age-Related Differences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agullo, Gloria Luque

    2006-01-01

    One of the most controversial issues in foreign language (FL) teaching is the age at which language learning should start. Nowadays it is recognized that in second language contexts maturational constraints make an early start advisable, but there is still disagreement regarding the problem of when to start or the best way to learn in foreign…

  4. Age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Lily K; Eaton, Angie

    2013-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and the prevalence of the disease increases exponentially with every decade after age 50 years. It is a multifactorial disease involving a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, metabolic, and functional factors. Besides smoking, hypertension, obesity, and certain dietary habits, a growing body of evidence indicates that inflammation and the immune system may play a key role in the development of the disease. AMD may progress from the early form to the intermediate form and then to the advanced form, where two subtypes exist: the nonneovascular (dry) type and the neovascular (wet) type. The results from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study have shown that for the nonneovascular type of AMD, supplementation with high-dose antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and zinc is recommended for those with the intermediate form of AMD in one or both eyes or with advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD in one eye. As for the neovascular type of the advanced AMD, the current standard of therapy is intravitreal injections of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. In addition, lifestyle and dietary modifications including improved physical activity, reduced daily sodium intake, and reduced intake of solid fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and refined grain foods are recommended. To date, no study has demonstrated that AMD can be cured or effectively prevented. Clearly, more research is needed to fully understand the pathophysiology as well as to develop prevention and treatment strategies for this devastating disease.

  5. Effects of chronic adult dietary restriction on spatial learning in the aged F344 x BN hybrid F1 rat.

    PubMed

    Fitting, Sylvia; Booze, Rosemarie M; Gilbert, Candace A; Mactutus, Charles F

    2008-02-27

    Dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to increase life span and reduce disease incidence across a variety of species. Recent research suggests that chronic adult DR may also alter age-related cognitive decline. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the potential deficits in spatial learning ability in the aged F344 x BN hybrid F1 rat with specific attention to the contributory effects of motoric impairments and (2) to determine the influence of chronic adult DR on any such impairments. The Morris water maze (MWM) task was employed with a 1.8 m diameter tank, 10 cm2 escape platform, 28 degrees C water, and an automated collapsing central starting platform. Spatial learning impairments in the aged rats were evident on all dependent measures during training and the probe test. Motoric function, as reflected in measures of strength and locomotion demonstrated profound age-related performance impairments that were attenuated by chronic adult DR. The present data also replicate previous reports, indicating that DR attenuates the age-related impairments of performance in the MWM as indexed by the latency measure in acquisition, but critically was dissociated from any DR effect on measures of preference and, more critically, accuracy in the probe test. Collectively, the most parsimonious interpretation of DR effects on MWM performance would appear to be the preservation of motoric, and not cognitive, function.

  6. Spatial Ability Learning through Educational Robotics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Julià, Carme; Antolí, Juan Òscar

    2016-01-01

    Several authors insist on the importance of students' acquisition of spatial abilities and visualization in order to have academic success in areas such as science, technology or engineering. This paper proposes to discuss and analyse the use of educational robotics to develop spatial abilities in 12 year old students. First of all, a course to…

  7. Learning To Make Music Enhances Spatial Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hetland, Lois

    2000-01-01

    Examines whether active instruction in music enhances preschool and elementary school student performance on spatial tasks. Reports that music enhances the spatial-temporal performance of children during and up to two years following the instruction and that the effect is moderate and consistent. Includes references. (CMK)

  8. Rectangular Array Model Supporting Students' Spatial Structuring in Learning Multiplication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanty, Nenden Octavarulia; Wijaya, Surya

    2012-01-01

    We examine how rectangular array model can support students' spatial structuring in learning multiplication. To begin, we define what we mean by spatial structuring as the mental operation of constructing an organization or form for an object or set of objects. For that reason, the eggs problem was chosen as the starting point in which the…

  9. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Willingham, Daniel T.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies of motor learning have described the importance of cognitive processes during the early stages of learning; however, the precise nature of these processes and their neural correlates remains unclear. The present study investigated whether spatial working memory (SWM) contributes to visuomotor adaptation depending on the stage of…

  10. Exploring Visuospatial Thinking in Learning about Mineralogy: Spatial Orientation Ability and Spatial Visualization Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozdemir, Gokhan

    2010-01-01

    This mixed-method research attempted to clarify the role of visuospatial abilities in learning about mineralogy. Various sources of data--including quantitative pre- and postmeasures of spatial visualization and spatial orientation tests and achievement scores on six measures and qualitative unstructured observations, interviews, and field trip…

  11. Spatial parameters at the basis of social transfer of learning.

    PubMed

    Lugli, Luisa; Iani, Cristina; Milanese, Nadia; Sebanz, Natalie; Rubichi, Sandro

    2015-06-01

    Recent research indicates that practicing on a joint spatial compatibility task with an incompatible stimulus-response mapping affects subsequent joint Simon task performance, eliminating the social Simon effect. It has been well established that in individual contexts, for transfer of learning to occur, participants need to practice an incompatible association between stimulus and response positions. The mechanisms underlying transfer of learning in joint task performance are, however, less well understood. The present study was aimed at assessing the relative contribution of 3 different spatial relations characterizing the joint practice context: stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and participant-response relations. In 3 experiments, the authors manipulated the stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and response-participant associations. We found that learning from the practice task did not transfer to the subsequent task when during practice stimulus-response associations were spatially incompatible and stimulus-participant associations were compatible (Experiment 1). However, a transfer of learning was evident when stimulus-participant associations were spatially incompatible. This occurred both when response-participant associations were incompatible (Experiment 2) and when they were compatible (Experiment 3). These results seem to support an agent corepresentation account of correspondence effects emerging in joint settings since they suggest that, in social contexts, critical to obtain transfer-of-learning effects is the spatial relation between stimulus and participant positions while the spatial relation between stimulus and response positions is irrelevant.

  12. Altering spatial priority maps via reward-based learning.

    PubMed

    Chelazzi, Leonardo; Eštočinová, Jana; Calletti, Riccardo; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Sani, Ilaria; Della Libera, Chiara; Santandrea, Elisa

    2014-06-18

    Spatial priority maps are real-time representations of the behavioral salience of locations in the visual field, resulting from the combined influence of stimulus driven activity and top-down signals related to the current goals of the individual. They arbitrate which of a number of (potential) targets in the visual scene will win the competition for attentional resources. As a result, deployment of visual attention to a specific spatial location is determined by the current peak of activation (corresponding to the highest behavioral salience) across the map. Here we report a behavioral study performed on healthy human volunteers, where we demonstrate that spatial priority maps can be shaped via reward-based learning, reflecting long-lasting alterations (biases) in the behavioral salience of specific spatial locations. These biases exert an especially strong influence on performance under conditions where multiple potential targets compete for selection, conferring competitive advantage to targets presented in spatial locations associated with greater reward during learning relative to targets presented in locations associated with lesser reward. Such acquired biases of spatial attention are persistent, are nonstrategic in nature, and generalize across stimuli and task contexts. These results suggest that reward-based attentional learning can induce plastic changes in spatial priority maps, endowing these representations with the "intelligent" capacity to learn from experience.

  13. Modified Navigation Instructions for Spatial Navigation Assistance Systems Lead to Incidental Spatial Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gramann, Klaus; Hoepner, Paul; Karrer-Gauss, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Spatial cognitive skills deteriorate with the increasing use of automated GPS navigation and a general decrease in the ability to orient in space might have further impact on independence, autonomy, and quality of life. In the present study we investigate whether modified navigation instructions support incidental spatial knowledge acquisition. A virtual driving environment was used to examine the impact of modified navigation instructions on spatial learning while using a GPS navigation assistance system. Participants navigated through a simulated urban and suburban environment, using navigation support to reach their destination. Driving performance as well as spatial learning was thereby assessed. Three navigation instruction conditions were tested: (i) a control group that was provided with classical navigation instructions at decision points, and two other groups that received navigation instructions at decision points including either (ii) additional irrelevant information about landmarks or (iii) additional personally relevant information (i.e., individual preferences regarding food, hobbies, etc.), associated with landmarks. Driving performance revealed no differences between navigation instructions. Significant improvements were observed in both modified navigation instruction conditions on three different measures of spatial learning and memory: subsequent navigation of the initial route without navigation assistance, landmark recognition, and sketch map drawing. Future navigation assistance systems could incorporate modified instructions to promote incidental spatial learning and to foster more general spatial cognitive abilities. Such systems might extend mobility across the lifespan. PMID:28243219

  14. Modified Navigation Instructions for Spatial Navigation Assistance Systems Lead to Incidental Spatial Learning.

    PubMed

    Gramann, Klaus; Hoepner, Paul; Karrer-Gauss, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Spatial cognitive skills deteriorate with the increasing use of automated GPS navigation and a general decrease in the ability to orient in space might have further impact on independence, autonomy, and quality of life. In the present study we investigate whether modified navigation instructions support incidental spatial knowledge acquisition. A virtual driving environment was used to examine the impact of modified navigation instructions on spatial learning while using a GPS navigation assistance system. Participants navigated through a simulated urban and suburban environment, using navigation support to reach their destination. Driving performance as well as spatial learning was thereby assessed. Three navigation instruction conditions were tested: (i) a control group that was provided with classical navigation instructions at decision points, and two other groups that received navigation instructions at decision points including either (ii) additional irrelevant information about landmarks or (iii) additional personally relevant information (i.e., individual preferences regarding food, hobbies, etc.), associated with landmarks. Driving performance revealed no differences between navigation instructions. Significant improvements were observed in both modified navigation instruction conditions on three different measures of spatial learning and memory: subsequent navigation of the initial route without navigation assistance, landmark recognition, and sketch map drawing. Future navigation assistance systems could incorporate modified instructions to promote incidental spatial learning and to foster more general spatial cognitive abilities. Such systems might extend mobility across the lifespan.

  15. Culturally inconsistent spatial structure reduces learning.

    PubMed

    McCrink, Koleen; Shaki, Samuel

    2016-09-01

    Human adults tend to use a spatial continuum to organize any information they consider to be well-ordered, with a sense of initial and final position. The directionality of this spatial mapping is mediated by the culture of the subject, largely as a function of the prevailing reading and writing habits (for example, from left-to-right for English speakers or right-to-left for Hebrew speakers). In the current study, we tasked American and Israeli subjects with encoding and recalling a set of arbitrary pairings, consisting of frequently ordered stimuli (letters with shapes: Experiment 1) or infrequently ordered stimuli (color terms with shapes: Experiment 2), that were serially presented in a left-to-right, right-to-left, or central-only manner. The subjects were better at recalling information that contained ordinal stimuli if the spatial flow of presentation during encoding matched the dominant directionality of the subjects' culture, compared to information encoded in the non-dominant direction. This phenomenon did not extend to infrequently ordered stimuli (e.g., color terms). These findings suggest that adults implicitly harness spatial organization to support memory, and this harnessing process is culturally mediated in tandem with our spatial biases.

  16. Experimental evidence for spatial learning on octopuses (octopus bimaculoides).

    PubMed

    Boal, J G; Dunham, A W; Williams, K T; Hanlon, R T

    2000-09-01

    Octopuses forage far from temporary home dens to which they return for shelter. Spatial tasks may assess learning. Octopuses (Octopus bimaculoides) were placed in a novel arena, and their movements were tracked for 72 hr. Movements around the arena decreased across time, consistent with exploratory learning. Next, octopuses were given 23 hr to move around an arena; after a 24-hr delay, their memory of a burrow location was tested. Most remembered the location of the open burrow, demonstrating learning in 1 day. Finally, octopuses were trained to locate a single open escape burrow among 6 possible locations. Retention was tested after a week and was immediately followed by reversal training (location rotated 180 degrees ). Octopuses learned the original location of the burrow, remembering it for a week. Path lengths increased significantly after reversal, gradually improving and showing relearning. Octopuses show exploratory behavior, learning, and retention of spatial information.

  17. Spatial Variation in the Storages and Age-Related Dynamics of Forest Carbon Sequestration in Different Climate Zones—Evidence from Black Locust Plantations on the Loess Plateau of China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Taijun; Ren, Bowen; Wang, Dahui; Liu, Guobin

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the long-term influences of climate change on the amount of potential carbon (C) sequestration in forest ecosystems, including age-related dynamics, remains unclear. This study used two similar age-sequences of black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the semi-arid and semi-humid zones of China’s Loess Plateau to assess the variation in C stocks and age-related dynamics. Our results demonstrated that black locust forests of the semi-humid zone stored significantly more C than did forests in the semi-arid zone, across the chronosequence (p < 0.001). The C carrying capacity of the plantations was measured at 166.4 Mg C ha−1 (1 Mg = 106 g) in the semi-humid zone, while the semi-arid zone had a capacity of only 79.4 Mg C ha−1. Soil organic C (SOC) increased continuously with stand age in the semi-arid zone (R2 = 0.84, p = 0.010). However, in the semi-humid zone, SOC declined sharply by 47.8% after the initial stage (5 to 10 y). The C stock in trees increased continuously with stand age in the semi-humid zone (R2 = 0.83, p = 0.011), yet in the semi-arid zone, it decreased dramatically from 43.0 Mg C ha−1 to 28.4 Mg C ha−1 during the old forest stage (38 to 56 y). The shift from being a net C sink to a net C source occurred at the initial stage in the semi-humid zone versus at the old forest stage in the semi-arid zone after reforestation. Surprisingly, with the exception of the initial and later stages (55 y), the patterns of C allocation among trees, soils, understory and litter were not statistically different between the two climate zones. Our results suggest that climate factors can alter the potential amount and age-related dynamics of forest C sequestration. PMID:25799100

  18. Spatial variation in the storages and age-related dynamics of forest carbon sequestration in different climate zones-evidence from black locust plantations on the Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Li, Taijun; Ren, Bowen; Wang, Dahui; Liu, Guobin

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the long-term influences of climate change on the amount of potential carbon (C) sequestration in forest ecosystems, including age-related dynamics, remains unclear. This study used two similar age-sequences of black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the semi-arid and semi-humid zones of China's Loess Plateau to assess the variation in C stocks and age-related dynamics. Our results demonstrated that black locust forests of the semi-humid zone stored significantly more C than did forests in the semi-arid zone, across the chronosequence (p < 0.001). The C carrying capacity of the plantations was measured at 166.4 Mg C ha-1 (1 Mg = 106 g) in the semi-humid zone, while the semi-arid zone had a capacity of only 79.4 Mg C ha-1. Soil organic C (SOC) increased continuously with stand age in the semi-arid zone (R2 = 0.84, p = 0.010). However, in the semi-humid zone, SOC declined sharply by 47.8% after the initial stage (5 to 10 y). The C stock in trees increased continuously with stand age in the semi-humid zone (R2 = 0.83, p = 0.011), yet in the semi-arid zone, it decreased dramatically from 43.0 Mg C ha-1 to 28.4 Mg C ha-1 during the old forest stage (38 to 56 y). The shift from being a net C sink to a net C source occurred at the initial stage in the semi-humid zone versus at the old forest stage in the semi-arid zone after reforestation. Surprisingly, with the exception of the initial and later stages (55 y), the patterns of C allocation among trees, soils, understory and litter were not statistically different between the two climate zones. Our results suggest that climate factors can alter the potential amount and age-related dynamics of forest C sequestration.

  19. Engineering genders: A spatial analysis of engineering, gender, and learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidler-Lewis, Joanna R.

    This three article dissertation is an investigation into the ontology of learning insofar as learning is a process of becoming. In each article I explore the general questions of who is learning, in what ways, and with what consequences. The context for this research is undergraduate engineering education with particular attention to the construction of gender in this context. The first article is an examination of the organization of freshman engineering design. The second article draws on Lefebvre's spatial triad as both a theory and method for studying learning. The third article is an interview study of LGBTQA students creating their futures as engineers.

  20. Landscapes, Spatial Justice and Learning Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Felicity

    2012-01-01

    This paper draws on a study of a community-based adult education initiative, "Cumbria Credits," which took place during the period of serious economic decline which hit sections of the farming and the wider community in Cumbria during 2001. It draws on the principles underpinning Edward Soja's notion of "spatial justice" to explore transformations…

  1. Visual and Spatial Modes in Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramadas, Jayashree

    2009-01-01

    This paper surveys some major trends from research on visual and spatial thinking coming from cognitive science, developmental psychology, science literacy, and science studies. It explores the role of visualisation in creativity, in building mental models, and in the communication of scientific ideas, in order to place these findings in the…

  2. Spatial learning and psychomotor performance of C57BL/6 mice: age sensitivity and reliability of individual differences.

    PubMed

    de Fiebre, Nancyellen C; Sumien, Nathalie; Forster, Michael J; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2006-09-01

    Two tests often used in aging research, the elevated path test and the Morris water maze test, were examined for their application to the study of brain aging in a large sample of C57BL/6JNia mice. Specifically, these studies assessed: (1) sensitivity to age and the degree of interrelatedness among different behavioral measures derived from these tests, (2) the effect of age on variation in the measurements, and (3) the reliability of individual differences in performance on the tests. Both tests detected age-related deficits in group performance that occurred independently of each other. However, analysis of data obtained on the Morris water maze test revealed three relatively independent components of cognitive performance. Performance in initial acquisition of spatial learning in the Morris maze was not highly correlated with performance during reversal learning (when mice were required to learn a new spatial location), whereas performance in both of those phases was independent of spatial performance assessed during a single probe trial administered at the end of acquisition training. Moreover, impaired performance during initial acquisition could be detected at an earlier age than impairments in reversal learning. There were modest but significant age-related increases in the variance of both elevated path test scores and in several measures of learning in the Morris maze test. Analysis of test scores of mice across repeated testing sessions confirmed reliability of the measurements obtained for cognitive and psychomotor function. Power calculations confirmed that there are sufficiently large age-related differences in elevated path test performance, relative to within age variability, to render this test useful for studies into the ability of an intervention to prevent or reverse age-related deficits in psychomotor performance. Power calculations indicated a need for larger sample sizes for detection of intervention effects on cognitive components of the

  3. Visual influences on auditory spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    King, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The visual and auditory systems frequently work together to facilitate the identification and localization of objects and events in the external world. Experience plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining congruent visual–auditory associations, so that the different sensory cues associated with targets that can be both seen and heard are synthesized appropriately. For stimulus location, visual information is normally more accurate and reliable and provides a reference for calibrating the perception of auditory space. During development, vision plays a key role in aligning neural representations of space in the brain, as revealed by the dramatic changes produced in auditory responses when visual inputs are altered, and is used throughout life to resolve short-term spatial conflicts between these modalities. However, accurate, and even supra-normal, auditory localization abilities can be achieved in the absence of vision, and the capacity of the mature brain to relearn to localize sound in the presence of substantially altered auditory spatial cues does not require visuomotor feedback. Thus, while vision is normally used to coordinate information across the senses, the neural circuits responsible for spatial hearing can be recalibrated in a vision-independent fashion. Nevertheless, early multisensory experience appears to be crucial for the emergence of an ability to match signals from different sensory modalities and therefore for the outcome of audiovisual-based rehabilitation of deaf patients in whom hearing has been restored by cochlear implantation. PMID:18986967

  4. Age-related changes in wavelength discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Shinomori, Keizo; Schefrin, Brooke E.; Werner, John S.

    2008-01-01

    Wavelength discrimination functions (420 to 620–650 nm) were measured for four younger (mean 30.9 years) and four older (mean 72.5 years) observers. Stimuli consisted of individually determined isoluminant monochromatic lights (10 Td) presented in each half of a 2° circular bipartite field with use of a Maxwellian-view optical system. A spatial two-alternative forced-choice method was used in combination with a staircase procedure to determine discrimination thresholds across the spectrum. Small but consistent elevations in discrimination thresholds were found for older compared with younger observers. Because the retinal illuminance of the stimuli was equated across all observers, these age-related losses in discrimination are attributable to neural changes. Analyses of these data reveal a significant change in Weber fraction across adulthood for a chromatically opponent pathway receiving primarily antagonistic signals from middle-wavelength-sensitive and long-wavelength-sensitive cones but not for a short-wavelength-sensitive cone pathway. PMID:11205976

  5. Age-Related Changes in Creative Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roskos-Ewoldsen, Beverly; Black, Sheila R.; Mccown, Steven M.

    2008-01-01

    Age-related differences in cognitive processes were used to understand age-related declines in creativity. According to the Geneplore model (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992), there are two phases of creativity--generating an idea and exploring the implications of the idea--each with different underlying cognitive processes. These two phases are…

  6. Nutrition and age-related eye diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vision loss among the elderly is an important health problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65 [1]. Age-related cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the major diseases resulting in visu...

  7. Spatial reversal learning is robust to total sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Leenaars, Cathalijn H C; Joosten, Ruud N J M A; Kramer, Michiel; Post, Ger; Eggels, Leslie; Wuite, Mark; Dematteis, Maurice; Feenstra, Matthijs G P; Van Someren, Eus J W

    2012-04-21

    Sleep deprivation affects cognitive functions that depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as cognitive flexibility, and the consolidation of newly learned information. The identification of cognitive processes that are either robustly sensitive or robustly insensitive to the same experimental sleep deprivation procedure, will allow us to better focus on the specific effects of sleep on cognition, and increase understanding of the mechanisms involved. In the present study we investigate whether sleep deprivation differentially affects the two separate cognitive processes of acquisition and consolidation of a spatial reversal task. After training on a spatial discrimination between two levers in a Skinner box, male Wistar rats were exposed to a reversal of the previously learned stimulus-response contingency. We first evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the acquisition of reversal learning. Performance on reversal learning after 12h of sleep deprivation (n=12) was compared to performance after control conditions (n=12). The second experiment evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the consolidation of reversal learning; the first session of reversal learning was followed by 3h of nap prevention (n=8) or undisturbed control conditions (n=8). The experiments had sufficient statistical power (0.90 and 0.81, respectively) to detect differences with medium effect sizes. Neither the acquisition, nor the consolidation, of reversal learning was affected by acute sleep deprivation. Together with previous findings, these results help to further delineate the role of sleep in cognitive processing.

  8. Emotional Multiagent Reinforcement Learning in Spatial Social Dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chao; Zhang, Minjie; Ren, Fenghui; Tan, Guozhen

    2015-12-01

    Social dilemmas have attracted extensive interest in the research of multiagent systems in order to study the emergence of cooperative behaviors among selfish agents. Understanding how agents can achieve cooperation in social dilemmas through learning from local experience is a critical problem that has motivated researchers for decades. This paper investigates the possibility of exploiting emotions in agent learning in order to facilitate the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas. In particular, the spatial version of social dilemmas is considered to study the impact of local interactions on the emergence of cooperation in the whole system. A double-layered emotional multiagent reinforcement learning framework is proposed to endow agents with internal cognitive and emotional capabilities that can drive these agents to learn cooperative behaviors. Experimental results reveal that various network topologies and agent heterogeneities have significant impacts on agent learning behaviors in the proposed framework, and under certain circumstances, high levels of cooperation can be achieved among the agents.

  9. Cartographical Imaginations: Spatiality, Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard; Cervero, Ron; Clarke, Julia; Morgan-Klein, Brenda; Usher, Robin; Wilson, Arthur

    Recent empirical and theoretical literature in cultural geography, feminist and postcolonial philosophy, cultural studies, and political economy, was explored in an examination of the significance of spatiality to the changes taking place in the policy, practice, and study of adult education and lifelong learning. The following were among the key…

  10. Learning Anatomy: Do New Computer Models Improve Spatial Understanding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garg, Amit; Norman, Geoff; Spero, Lawrence; Taylor, Ian

    1999-01-01

    Assesses desktop-computer models that rotate in virtual three-dimensional space. Compares spatial learning with a computer carpal-bone model horizontally rotating at 10-degree views with the same model rotating at 90-degree views. (Author/CCM)

  11. Learning in Authentic Contexts: Projects Integrating Spatial Technologies and Fieldwork

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Kuo-Hung

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, professional practice has been an issue of concern in higher education. The purpose of this study is to design students' projects to facilitate collaborative learning in authentic contexts. Ten students majoring in Management Information Systems conducted fieldwork with spatial technologies to collect data and provided information…

  12. Visual Spatial Skill: A Consequence of Learning to Read?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Zhou, Yanling; Cho, Jeung-Ryeul; Aram, Dorit; Levin, Iris; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2011-01-01

    Does learning to read influence one's visual skill? In Study 1, kindergartners from Hong Kong, Korea, Israel, and Spain were tested on word reading and a task of visual spatial skill. Chinese and Korean kindergartners significantly outperformed Israeli and Spanish readers on the visual task. Moreover, in all cultures except Korea, good readers…

  13. Genetic mapping of variation in spatial learning in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Steinberger, Daniela; Reynolds, David S; Ferris, Pushpindar; Lincoln, Rachael; Datta, Susmita; Stanley, Joanna; Paterson, Andrea; Dawson, Gerard R; Flint, Jonathan

    2003-03-15

    Inbred strains of mice are known to differ in their performance in the Morris water maze task, a test of spatial discrimination and place navigation in rodents, but the genetic basis of individual variation in spatial learning is unknown. We have mapped genetic effects that contribute to the difference between two strains, DBA/2 and C57BL6/J, using an F2 intercross and methods to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found two QTL, one on chromosome 4 and one on chromosome 12, that influence behavior in the probe trial of the water maze (genome-wide significance p = 0.017 and 0.015, respectively). By including tests of avoidance conditioning and behavior in a novel environment, we show that the QTL on chromosomes 4 and 12 specifically influence variation in spatial learning. QTL that influence differences in fearful behavior (on chromosomes 1, 3, 7, 15, and 19) operate while mice are trained in the water maze apparatus.

  14. Spatial learning in the restrained American cockroach Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyung-Wook; Lent, David D; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2004-01-01

    Spatial learning abilities were tested in restrained cockroaches by observing antennal projection responses towards the positions of a learned visual cue perceived monocularly by one eye in the context of a second stimulus provided to the contralateral eye. Memory of the position of the conditioning stimulus relative to the contralateral reference stimulus was tested by altering the relative positions of the two stimuli. Memory of the conditioning stimulus is retained if the angle between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus is maintained. The results suggest that during learning the insect recognizes spatial relationships between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus. Possible mechanisms, such as retinotopic matching versus angular matching, are discussed.

  15. What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

    MedlinePlus

    ... of Low Vision Age-Related Macular Degeneration Vision Simulator AMD Pictures and Videos: What Does Macular Degeneration ... degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but ...

  16. Aging-Related Hormone Changes in Men

    MedlinePlus

    Healthy Lifestyle Men's health Aging-related hormone changes in men — sometimes called male menopause — are different from those ... to erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a healthy diet and include physical ...

  17. X-82 to Treat Age-related Macular Degeneration

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-01-12

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); Macular Degeneration; Exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration; AMD; Macular Degeneration, Age-related, 10; Eye Diseases; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Diseases

  18. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Noble, Daniel W A; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms.

  19. Sharp wave ripples during learning stabilize the hippocampal spatial map.

    PubMed

    Roux, Lisa; Hu, Bo; Eichler, Ronny; Stark, Eran; Buzsáki, György

    2017-04-10

    Cognitive representation of the environment requires a stable hippocampal map, but the mechanisms maintaining a given map are unknown. Because sharp wave-ripples (SPW-R) orchestrate both retrospective and prospective spatial information, we hypothesized that disrupting neuronal activity during SPW-Rs affects spatial representation. Mice learned new sets of three goal locations daily in a multiwell maze. We used closed-loop SPW-R detection at goal locations to trigger optogenetic silencing of a subset of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Control place cells (nonsilenced or silenced outside SPW-Rs) largely maintained the location of their place fields after learning and showed increased spatial information content. In contrast, the place fields of SPW-R-silenced place cells remapped, and their spatial information remained unaltered. SPW-R silencing did not impact the firing rates or proportions of place cells. These results suggest that interference with SPW-R-associated activity during learning prevents stabilization and refinement of hippocampal maps.

  20. Daily running promotes spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Alaei, Hojjatallah; Moloudi, Rohallah; Sarkaki, Ali Reza; Azizi-Malekabadi, Hamid; Hanninen, Osmo

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that physical activity improves learning and memory. Present study was performed to determine the effects of acute, chronic and continuous exercise with different periods on spatial learning and memory recorded as the latency and length of swim path in the Morris water maze testing in subsequent 8 days. Four rat groups were included as follows: 1- Group C (controls which did not exercise). 2- Group A (30 days treadmill running before and 8 days during the Morris water maze testing period). 3- Group B (30 days exercise before the Morris water maze testing period only) and 4- Group D (8 days exercise only during the Morris water maze testing period). The results showed that chronic (30 days) and continuous (during 8 days of Morris water maze testing days) treadmill training produced a significant enhancement in spatial learning and memory which was indicated by decreases in path length and latency to reach the platform in the Morris water maze test (p < 0.05). The benefits in these tests were lost in three days, if the daily running session was abandoned. In group D with acute treadmill running (8 days exercise only) the difference between the Group A disappeared in one week and benefit seemed to be obtained in comparison with the controls without running program. In conclusion the chronic and daily running exercises promoted learning and memory in Morris water maze, but the benefits were lost in few days without daily running sessions in adult rats. Key pointsDaily running influence on spatial memory.The velocity of learning can be influenced by running activity.Path length is important parameter for measuring the speed of learning.

  1. Supervised Recognition of Age-Related Spanish Temporal Phrases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galicia-Haro, Sofia N.; Gelbukh, Alexander F.

    This paper reports research on temporal expressions shaped by a common temporal expression for a period of years modified by an adverb of time. From a Spanish corpus we found that some of those phrases are age-related expressions. To determine automatically the temporal phrases with such meaning we analyzed a bigger sample obtained from the Internet. We analyzed these examples to define the relevant features to support a learning method. We present some preliminary results when a decision tree is applied.

  2. Visual spatial skill: a consequence of learning to read?

    PubMed

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Zhou, Yanling; Cho, Jeung-Ryeul; Aram, Dorit; Levin, Iris; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2011-06-01

    Does learning to read influence one's visual skill? In Study 1, kindergartners from Hong Kong, Korea, Israel, and Spain were tested on word reading and a task of visual spatial skill. Chinese and Korean kindergartners significantly outperformed Israeli and Spanish readers on the visual task. Moreover, in all cultures except Korea, good readers scored significantly higher on the visual task than did less good readers. In Study 2, we followed 215 Hong Kong Chinese kindergartners across 1year, with word reading and visual skills tested twice. In this study, word reading at Time 1 by itself predicted 13% of unique variance in visual skill at Time 2. Together, these results underscore the potential importance of the process of learning to read for shaping one's visual spatial skill development.

  3. Age-related changes in triathlon performances.

    PubMed

    Lepers, R; Sultana, F; Bernard, T; Hausswirth, C; Brisswalter, J

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was two-fold: i) to analyse age-related declines in swimming, cycling, and running performances for Olympic and Ironman triathlons, and ii) to compare age-related changes in these three disciplines between the Olympic and Ironman triathlons. Swimming, cycling, running and total time performances of the top 10 males between 20 and 70 years of age (in 5 years intervals) were analysed for two consecutive world championships (2006 and 2007) for Olympic and Ironman distances. There was a lesser age-related decline in cycling performance (p<0.01) compared with running and swimming after 55 years of age for Olympic distance and after 50 years of age for Ironman distance. With advancing age, the performance decline was less pronounced (p<0.01) for Olympic than for Ironman triathlon in cycling (>55 years) and running (>50 years), respectively. In contrast, an age-related decline in swimming performance seemed independent of triathlon distance. The age-related decline in triathlon performance is specific to the discipline, with cycling showing less declines in performance with age than swimming and running. The magnitude of the declines in cycling and running performance at Ironman distance is greater than at Olympic distance, suggesting that task duration exerts an important influence on the magnitude of the age-associated changes in triathlon performance.

  4. Overview of age-related ocular conditions.

    PubMed

    Akpek, Esen K; Smith, Roderick A

    2013-05-01

    The United States is an aging society. The number of Americans 65 years or older is expected to more than double over the next 40 years, from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million in 2050, with aging baby boomers accounting for most of the increase. As the society ages, the prevalence of age-related diseases, including diseases of the eye, will continue to increase. By 2020, age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss, is expected to affect 2.95 million individuals in the United States. Likewise, the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma, estimated at 2.2 million in 2000, is projected to increase by 50%, to 3.36 million by 2020. As the eye ages, it undergoes a number of physiologic changes that may increase susceptibility to disease. Environmental and genetic factors are also major contributors to the development of age-related ocular diseases. This article reviews the physiology of the aging eye and the epidemiology and pathophysiology of 4 major age-related ocular diseases: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye.

  5. Women match men when learning a spatial skill.

    PubMed

    Spence, Ian; Yu, Jingjie Jessica; Feng, Jing; Marshman, Jeff

    2009-07-01

    Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a matched-pair two-wave longitudinal design. Participants were screened with the use of an attentional visual field task, with the objective of selecting and matching 10 male-female pairs, over a wide range (30% to 57% correct). Subsequently, 20 participants 17-23 years of age (selected from 43 screened) were trained for 10 hr (distributed over several sessions) by playing a first-person shooter video game. This genre is known to be highly effective in enhancing spatial skills. All 20 participants improved, with matched members of the male-female pairs achieving very similar gains, independent of starting level. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the learning trajectory of women is not inferior to that of men when acquiring a basic spatial skill. Training methods that develop basic spatial skills may be essential to achieve gender parity in both basic and complex spatial tasks.

  6. Reversal of age-related increase in brain protein oxidation, decrease in enzyme activity, and loss in temporal and spatial memory by chronic administration of the spin-trapping compound N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone

    SciTech Connect

    Carney, J.M.; Starke-Reed, P.E.; Oliver, C.N.; Landum, R.W.; Cheng, M.S.; Wu, J.F.; Floyd, R.A. )

    1991-05-01

    Oxygen free radicals and oxidative events have been implicated as playing a role in bringing about the changes in cellular function that occur during aging. Brain readily undergoes oxidative damage, so it is important to determine if aging-induced changes in brain may be associated with oxidative events. Previously we demonstrated that brain damage caused by an ischemia/reperfusion insult involved oxidative events. In addition, pretreatment with the spin-trapping compound N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone (PBN) diminished the increase in oxidized protein and the loss of glutamine synthetase (GS) activity that accompanied ischemia/reperfusion injury in brain. We report here that aged gerbils had a significantly higher level of oxidized protein as assessed by carbonyl residues and decreased GS and neutral protease activities as compared to young adult gerbils. We also found that chronic treatment with the spin-trapping compound PBN caused a decrease in the level of oxidized protein and an increase in both GS and neutral protease activity in aged Mongolian gerbil brain. In contrast to aged gerbils, PBN treatment of young adult gerbils had no significant effect on brain oxidized protein content or GS activity. Male gerbils, young adults (3 months of age) and retired breeders (15-18 months of age), were treated with PBN for 14 days with twice daily dosages of 32 mg/kg. If PBN administration was ceased after 2 weeks, the significantly decreased level of oxidized protein and increased GS and neutral protease activities in old gerbils changed in a monotonic fashion back to the levels observed in aged gerbils prior to PBN administration. We also report that old gerbils make more errors than young animals and that older gerbils treated with PBN made fewer errors in a radial arm maze test for temporal and spatial memory than the untreated aged controls.

  7. Spatial learning transiently disturbed by intraventricular administration of ouabain.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Hua; Tada, Tsuyoshi; Nakazato, Fumi; Tanaka, Yuichiro; Hongo, Kazuhiro

    2004-01-01

    The presence of sodium-potassium-adenosine triphosphatase (Na+,K+-ATPase) on the surface of arachnoid cells indicates that active transport of electrolytes and water occurs there. Previously, we accidentally found that intraventricular administration of TGF-beta1 impaired rat spatial learning. Levels of Na+,K+ -ATPase were decreased in arachnoid cells with fibrosis. To characterize the role of the Na+,K+ -ATPase, Wistar rats were intraventricularly administered a total of 200 microl of ouabain, at concentrations of 10(-5), 10(-4) and 10(-3) M, for one week with an osmotic pump, and were examined with a Morris water maze. Latency for reaching the platform did not significantly differ between ouabain-administered rats and controls. Spatial learning was impaired in a dose-dependent manner. Na+,K+ -ATPase activity of arachnoid cells ceased during ouabain administration, and recovered completely three weeks after the end of ouabain administration. The present results suggest that the Na+,K+ -ATPase on the surface of arachnoid cells contributes to maintenance of rat spatial learning.

  8. [Pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Kaarniranta, Kai; Seitsonen, Sanna; Paimela, Tuomas; Meri, Seppo; Immonen, Ilkka

    2009-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a multiform disease of the macula, the region responsible for detailed central vision. In recent years, plenty of new knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease has been obtained, and the treatment of exudative macular degeneration has greatly progressed. The number of patients with age-related macular degeneration will multiply in the following decades, because knowledge of mechanisms of development of macular degeneration that could be subject to therapeutic measures is insufficient. Central underlying factors are genetic inheritance, exposure of the retina to chronic oxidative stress and accumulation of inflammation-inducing harmful proteins into or outside of retinal cells.

  9. [New aspects in age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Turlea, C

    2012-01-01

    Being the leading cause of blindness in modern world Age Related Macular Degeneration has beneficiated in the last decade of important progress in diagnosis, classification and the discovery of diverse factors who contribute to the etiology of this disease. Treatments have arised who can postpone the irreversible evolution of the disease and thus preserve vision. Recent findings have identified predisposing genetic factors and also inflamatory and imunological parameters that can be modified trough a good and adequate prevention and therapy This articole reviews new aspects of patology of Age Related Macular Degeneration like the role of complement in maintaining inflamation and the role of oxidative stress on different structures of the retina.

  10. Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald, Jr.

    2008-01-01

    This article reviews the research literature on driving and age-related macular degeneration, which is motivated by the link between driving and the quality of life of older adults and their increased collision rate. It addresses the risk of crashes, driving performance, driving difficulty, self-regulation, and interventions to enhance, safety,…

  11. Depression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry

    2008-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling…

  12. Age Related Changes in Preventive Health Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leventhal, Elaine A.; And Others

    Health behavior may be influenced by age, beliefs, and symptomatology. To examine age-related health beliefs and behaviors with respect to six diseases (the common cold, colon-rectal cancer, lung cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, and senility), 396 adults (196 males, 200 females) divided into three age groups completed a questionnaire…

  13. Nucleus incertus inactivation impairs spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Nategh, Mohsen; Nikseresht, Sara; Khodagholi, Fariba; Motamedi, Fereshteh

    2015-02-01

    Nucleus incertus (NI) is a pontine nucleus which releases mainly GABA and relaxin-3 in rats. Its suggested functions include response to stress, arousal, and modulation of hippocampal theta rhythm. Since the role of NI in learning and memory has not been well characterized, therefore the involvement of this nucleus in spatial learning and memory and the aftermath hippocampal levels of c-fos and pCREB were evaluated. NI was targeted by implanting cannula in male rats. For reference memory, NI was inactivated by lidocaine (0.4 μl, 4%) at three stages of acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in Morris water maze paradigm. For working memory, NI was inactivated in acquisition and retrieval phases. Injection of lidocaine prior to the first training session of reference memory significantly increased the distance moved, suggesting that inactivation of NI delays acquisition in this spatial task. Inactivation also interfered with the retrieval phase of spatial reference memory, as the time in target quadrant for lidocaine group was less, and the escape latency was higher compared to the control group. However, no difference was observed in the consolidation phase. In the working memory task, with inter-trial intervals of 75 min, the escape latency was higher when NI was inactivated in the retrieval phase. In addition, c-fos and pCREB/CREB levels decreased in NI-inhibited rats. This study suggests that nucleus incertus might participate in acquisition of spatial reference, and retrieval of both spatial reference and working memory. Further studies should investigate possible roles of NI in the hippocampal plasticity.

  14. Hippocampal lesion prevents spatial relational learning in adult macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Lavenex, Pamela Banta; Amaral, David G; Lavenex, Pierre

    2006-04-26

    The role of the hippocampus in spatial learning and memory has been extensively studied in rodents. Comparable studies in nonhuman primates, however, are few, and findings are often contradictory. This may be attributable to the failure to distinguish between allocentric and egocentric spatial representations in experimental designs. For this experiment, six adult monkeys received bilateral hippocampal ibotenic acid lesions, and six control subjects underwent sham surgery. Freely moving monkeys then foraged for food located in two arrays of three distinct locations among 18 locations distributed in an open-field arena. Multiple goals and four pseudorandomly chosen entrance points precluded the monkeys' ability to rely on an egocentric strategy to identify food locations. Monkeys were tested in two conditions. First, local visual cues marked the food locations. Second, no local cues marked the food locations, so that monkeys had to rely on an allocentric (spatial relational) representation of the environment to discriminate these locations. Both hippocampal-lesioned and control monkeys discriminated the food locations in the presence of local cues. However, in the absence of local cues, control subjects discriminated the food locations, whereas hippocampal-lesioned monkeys were unable to do so. Interestingly, histological analysis of the brain of one control monkey whose behavior was identical to that of the experimentally lesioned animals revealed a bilateral ischemic lesion restricted to the hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that the adult monkey hippocampal formation is critical for the establishment or use of allocentric spatial representations and that selective damage of the hippocampus prevents spatial relational learning in adult nonhuman primates.

  15. Topological Schemas of Cognitive Maps and Spatial Learning

    PubMed Central

    Babichev, Andrey; Cheng, Sen; Dabaghian, Yuri A.

    2016-01-01

    Spatial navigation in mammals is based on building a mental representation of their environment—a cognitive map. However, both the nature of this cognitive map and its underpinning in neural structures and activity remains vague. A key difficulty is that these maps are collective, emergent phenomena that cannot be reduced to a simple combination of inputs provided by individual neurons. In this paper we suggest computational frameworks for integrating the spiking signals of individual cells into a spatial map, which we call schemas. We provide examples of four schemas defined by different types of topological relations that may be neurophysiologically encoded in the brain and demonstrate that each schema provides its own large-scale characteristics of the environment—the schema integrals. Moreover, we find that, in all cases, these integrals are learned at a rate which is faster than the rate of complete training of neural networks. Thus, the proposed schema framework differentiates between the cognitive aspect of spatial learning and the physiological aspect at the neural network level. PMID:27014045

  16. Early handling effect on female rat spatial and non-spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Plescia, Fulvio; Marino, Rosa A M; Navarra, Michele; Gambino, Giuditta; Brancato, Anna; Sardo, Pierangelo; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2014-03-01

    This study aims at providing an insight into early handling procedures on learning and memory performance in adult female rats. Early handling procedures were started on post-natal day 2 until 21, and consisted in 15 min, daily separations of the dams from their litters. Assessment of declarative memory was carried out in the novel-object recognition task; spatial learning, reference- and working memory were evaluated in the Morris water maze (MWM). Our results indicate that early handling induced an enhancement in: (1) declarative memory, in the object recognition task, both at 1h and 24h intervals; (2) reference memory in the probe test and working memory and behavioral flexibility in the "single-trial and four-trial place learning paradigm" of the MWM. Short-term separation by increasing maternal care causes a dampening in HPA axis response in the pups. A modulated activation of the stress response may help to protect brain structures, involved in cognitive function. In conclusion, this study shows the long-term effects of a brief maternal separation in enhancing object recognition-, spatial reference- and working memory in female rats, remarking the impact of early environmental experiences and the consequent maternal care on the behavioral adaptive mechanisms in adulthood.

  17. Optical perceptron learning for binary classification with spatial light rebroadcasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAulay, Alastair D.; Wang, Junqing; Xu, Xin

    1993-03-01

    Binary classification of an object in a two-dimensional image is considered. A spatial light rebroadcaster is shown to be advantageous for learning in this case because it can store the weights and permit upward and downward adjustments. Two learning algorithms, based on the perceptron, are considered. A modification of the perceptron algorithm is developed so that only positive weights are needed. This is convenient because light intensity is positive only. The modified algorithm is shown to converge in a finite number of steps for positive linear separable classes. Optical experiments show the classification of four characters in two groups, in which alternative groupings are used to show robustness. In the second group of experiments the complements of the two-dimensional characters are used, and the convergence is equally fast. Adding the results from the original and complementary patterns provides a discrimination superior to that obtained using either on its own.

  18. Prevention of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Simon Chi Yan; Chan, Clement Wai Nang

    2010-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world. Although effective treatment modalities such as anti-VEGF treatment have been developed for neovascular AMD, there is still no effective treatment for geographical atrophy, and therefore the most cost-effective management of AMD is to start with prevention. This review looks at current evidence on preventive measures targeted at AMD. Modalities reviewed include (1) nutritional supplements such as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formula, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acid, and berry extracts, (2) lifestyle modifications, including smoking and body-mass-index, and (3) filtering sunlight, i.e. sunglasses and blue-blocking intraocular lenses. In summary, the only proven effective preventive measures are stopping smoking and the AREDS formula. PMID:20862519

  19. Allocentric spatial learning and memory deficits in Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Lavenex, Pamela Banta; Bostelmann, Mathilde; Brandner, Catherine; Costanzo, Floriana; Fragnière, Emilie; Klencklen, Giuliana; Lavenex, Pierre; Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Studies have shown that persons with Down syndrome (DS) exhibit relatively poor language capacities, and impaired verbal and visuoperceptual memory, whereas their visuospatial memory capacities appear comparatively spared. Individuals with DS recall better where an object was previously seen than what object was previously seen. However, most of the evidence concerning preserved visuospatial memory comes from tabletop or computerized experiments which are biased toward testing egocentric (viewpoint-dependent) spatial representations. Accordingly, allocentric (viewpoint-independent) spatial learning and memory capacities may not be necessary to perform these tasks. Thus, in order to more fully characterize the spatial capacities of individuals with DS, allocentric processes underlying real-world navigation must also be investigated. We tested 20 participants with DS and 16 mental age-matched, typically developing (TD) children in a real-world, allocentric spatial (AS) memory task. During local cue (LC) trials, participants had to locate three rewards marked by local color cues, among 12 locations distributed in a 4 m × 4 m arena. During AS trials, participants had to locate the same three rewards, in absence of LCs, based on their relations to distal environmental cues. All TD participants chose rewarded locations in LC and AS trials at above chance level. In contrast, although all but one of the participants with DS exhibited a preference for the rewarded locations in LC trials, only 50% of participants with DS chose the rewarded locations at above chance level in AS trials. As a group, participants with DS performed worse than TD children on all measures of task performance. These findings demonstrate that individuals with DS are impaired at using an AS representation to learn and remember discrete locations in a controlled environment, suggesting persistent and pervasive deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory in DS. PMID:25762946

  20. Aging-related inflammation in osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Greene, M A; Loeser, R F

    2015-11-01

    It is well accepted that aging is an important contributing factor to the development of osteoarthritis (OA). The mechanisms responsible appear to be multifactorial and may include an age-related pro-inflammatory state that has been termed "inflamm-aging." Age-related inflammation can be both systemic and local. Systemic inflammation can be promoted by aging changes in adipose tissue that result in increased production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Numerous studies have shown an age-related increase in blood levels of IL-6 that has been associated with decreased physical function and frailty. Importantly, higher levels of IL-6 have been associated with an increased risk of knee OA progression. However, knockout of IL-6 in male mice resulted in worse age-related OA rather than less OA. Joint tissue cells, including chondrocytes and meniscal cells, as well as the neighboring infrapatellar fat in the knee joint, can be a local source of inflammatory mediators that increase with age and contribute to OA. An increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators that include cytokines and chemokines, as well as matrix-degrading enzymes important in joint tissue destruction, can be the result of cell senescence and the development of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Further studies are needed to better understand the basis for inflamm-aging and its role in OA with the hope that this work will lead to new interventions targeting inflammation to reduce not only joint tissue destruction but also pain and disability in older adults with OA.

  1. Spatial learning and memory deficits induced by exposure to iron-56-particle radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shukitt-Hale, B.; Casadesus, G.; McEwen, J. J.; Rabin, B. M.; Joseph, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    It has previously been shown that exposing rats to particles of high energy and charge (HZE) disrupts the functioning of the dopaminergic system and behaviors mediated by this system, such as motor performance and an amphetamine-induced conditioned taste aversion; these adverse behavioral and neuronal effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. Because cognition declines with age, spatial learning and memory were assessed in the Morris water maze 1 month after whole-body irradiation with 1.5 Gy of 1 GeV/nucleon high-energy (56)Fe particles, to test the cognitive behavioral consequences of radiation exposure. Irradiated rats demonstrated cognitive impairment compared to the control group as seen in their increased latencies to find the hidden platform, particularly on the reversal day when the platform was moved to the opposite quadrant. Also, the irradiated group used nonspatial strategies during the probe trials (swim with no platform), i.e. less time spent in the platform quadrant, fewer crossings of and less time spent in the previous platform location, and longer latencies to the previous platform location. These findings are similar to those seen in aged rats, suggesting that an increased release of reactive oxygen species may be responsible for the induction of radiation- and age-related cognitive deficits. If these decrements in behavior also occur in humans, they may impair the ability of astronauts to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere.

  2. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) ameliorates age-related deficits in water maze performance, especially in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kougias, Daniel G; Hankosky, Emily R; Gulley, Joshua M; Juraska, Janice M

    2017-03-01

    Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is commonly supplemented to maintain muscle in elderly and clinical populations and has potential as a nootropic. Previously, we have shown that in both male and female rats, long-term HMB supplementation prevents age-related dendritic shrinkage within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and improves cognitive flexibility and working memory performance that are both age- and sex-specific. In this study, we further explore the cognitive effects by assessing visuospatial learning and memory with the Morris water maze. Female rats were ovariectomized at 11months of age to model human menopause. At 12months of age, male and female rats received relatively short- or long-term (1- or 7-month) dietary HMB (450mg/kg/dose) supplementation twice a day prior to testing. Spatial reference learning and memory was assessed across four days in the water maze with four trials daily and a probe trial on the last day. Consistent with previous work, there were age-related deficits in water maze performance in both sexes. However, these deficits were ameliorated in HMB-treated males during training and in both sexes during probe trial performance. Thus, HMB supplementation prevented the age-related decrement in water maze performance, especially in male rats.

  3. Active and Passive Spatial Learning in Human Navigation: Acquisition of Graph Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R.; Warren, William H.

    2015-01-01

    It is known that active exploration of a new environment leads to better spatial learning than does passive visual exposure. We ask whether specific components of active learning differentially contribute to particular forms of spatial knowledge--the "exploration-specific learning hypothesis". Previously, we found that idiothetic…

  4. Learning from Heterogeneous Data Sources: An Application in Spatial Proteomics.

    PubMed

    Breckels, Lisa M; Holden, Sean B; Wojnar, David; Mulvey, Claire M; Christoforou, Andy; Groen, Arnoud; Trotter, Matthew W B; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Lilley, Kathryn S; Gatto, Laurent

    2016-05-01

    Sub-cellular localisation of proteins is an essential post-translational regulatory mechanism that can be assayed using high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS). These MS-based spatial proteomics experiments enable us to pinpoint the sub-cellular distribution of thousands of proteins in a specific system under controlled conditions. Recent advances in high-throughput MS methods have yielded a plethora of experimental spatial proteomics data for the cell biology community. Yet, there are many third-party data sources, such as immunofluorescence microscopy or protein annotations and sequences, which represent a rich and vast source of complementary information. We present a unique transfer learning classification framework that utilises a nearest-neighbour or support vector machine system, to integrate heterogeneous data sources to considerably improve on the quantity and quality of sub-cellular protein assignment. We demonstrate the utility of our algorithms through evaluation of five experimental datasets, from four different species in conjunction with four different auxiliary data sources to classify proteins to tens of sub-cellular compartments with high generalisation accuracy. We further apply the method to an experiment on pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells to classify a set of previously unknown proteins, and validate our findings against a recent high resolution map of the mouse stem cell proteome. The methodology is distributed as part of the open-source Bioconductor pRoloc suite for spatial proteomics data analysis.

  5. Learning from Heterogeneous Data Sources: An Application in Spatial Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Breckels, Lisa M.; Holden, Sean B.; Wojnar, David; Mulvey, Claire M.; Christoforou, Andy; Groen, Arnoud; Trotter, Matthew W. B.; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Lilley, Kathryn S.; Gatto, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Sub-cellular localisation of proteins is an essential post-translational regulatory mechanism that can be assayed using high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS). These MS-based spatial proteomics experiments enable us to pinpoint the sub-cellular distribution of thousands of proteins in a specific system under controlled conditions. Recent advances in high-throughput MS methods have yielded a plethora of experimental spatial proteomics data for the cell biology community. Yet, there are many third-party data sources, such as immunofluorescence microscopy or protein annotations and sequences, which represent a rich and vast source of complementary information. We present a unique transfer learning classification framework that utilises a nearest-neighbour or support vector machine system, to integrate heterogeneous data sources to considerably improve on the quantity and quality of sub-cellular protein assignment. We demonstrate the utility of our algorithms through evaluation of five experimental datasets, from four different species in conjunction with four different auxiliary data sources to classify proteins to tens of sub-cellular compartments with high generalisation accuracy. We further apply the method to an experiment on pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells to classify a set of previously unknown proteins, and validate our findings against a recent high resolution map of the mouse stem cell proteome. The methodology is distributed as part of the open-source Bioconductor pRoloc suite for spatial proteomics data analysis. PMID:27175778

  6. Preventing painful age-related bone fractures

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Michelle L; Chartier, Stephane R; Mitchell, Stefanie A

    2016-01-01

    Age-related bone fractures are usually painful and have highly negative effects on a geriatric patient’s functional status, quality of life, and survival. Currently, there are few analgesic therapies that fully control bone fracture pain in the elderly without significant unwanted side effects. However, another way of controlling age-related fracture pain would be to preemptively administer an osteo-anabolic agent to geriatric patients with high risk of fracture, so as to build new cortical bone and prevent the fracture from occurring. A major question, however, is whether an osteo-anabolic agent can stimulate the proliferation of osteogenic cells and build significant amounts of new cortical bone in light of the decreased number and responsiveness of osteogenic cells in aging bone. To explore this question, geriatric and young mice, 20 and 4 months old, respectively, received either vehicle or a monoclonal antibody that sequesters sclerostin (anti-sclerostin) for 28 days. From days 21 to 28, animals also received sustained administration of the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), which labels the DNA of dividing cells. Animals were then euthanized at day 28 and the femurs were examined for cortical bone formation, bone mineral density, and newly borne BrdU+ cells in the periosteum which is a tissue that is pivotally involved in the formation of new cortical bone. In both the geriatric and young mice, anti-sclerostin induced a significant increase in the thickness of the cortical bone, bone mineral density, and the proliferation of newly borne BrdU+ cells in the periosteum. These results suggest that even in geriatric animals, anti-sclerostin therapy can build new cortical bone and increase the proliferation of osteogenic cells and thus reduce the likelihood of painful age-related bone fractures. PMID:27837171

  7. Age-related eye disease and gender.

    PubMed

    Zetterberg, Madeleine

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, the prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment and blindness is 285 millions, with 65% of visually impaired and 82% of all blind people being 50 years and older. Meta-analyses have shown that two out of three blind people are women, a gender discrepancy that holds true for both developed and developing countries. Cataract accounts for more than half of all blindness globally and gender inequity in access to cataract surgery is the major cause of the higher prevalence of blindness in women. In addition to gender differences in cataract surgical coverage, population-based studies on the prevalence of lens opacities indicate that women have a higher risk of developing cataract. Laboratory as well as epidemiologic studies suggest that estrogen may confer antioxidative protection against cataractogenesis, but the withdrawal effect of estrogen in menopause leads to increased risk of cataract in women. For the other major age-related eye diseases; glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, data are inconclusive. Due to anatomic factors, angle closure glaucoma is more common in women, whereas the dominating glaucoma type; primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is more prevalent in men. Diabetic retinopathy also has a male predominance and vascular/circulatory factors have been implied both in diabetic retinopathy and in POAG. For AMD, data on gender differences are conflicting although some studies indicate increased prevalence of drusen and neovascular AMD in women. To conclude, both biologic and socioeconomic factors must be considered when investigating causes of gender differences in the prevalence of age-related eye disease.

  8. Hippocampal Insulin Resistance Impairs Spatial Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Piroli, Gerardo G.; Lawrence, Robert C.; Wrighten, Shayna A.; Green, Adrienne J.; Wilson, Steven P.; Sakai, Randall R.; Kelly, Sandra J.; Wilson, Marlene A.; Mott, David D.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin receptors (IRs) are expressed in discrete neuronal populations in the central nervous system, including the hippocampus. To elucidate the functional role of hippocampal IRs independent of metabolic function, we generated a model of hippocampal-specific insulin resistance using a lentiviral vector expressing an IR antisense sequence (LV-IRAS). LV-IRAS effectively downregulates IR expression in the rat hippocampus without affecting body weight, adiposity, or peripheral glucose homeostasis. Nevertheless, hippocampal neuroplasticity was impaired in LV-IRAS–treated rats. High-frequency stimulation, which evoked robust long-term potentiation (LTP) in brain slices from LV control rats, failed to evoke LTP in LV-IRAS–treated rats. GluN2B subunit levels, as well as the basal level of phosphorylation of GluA1, were reduced in the hippocampus of LV-IRAS rats. Moreover, these deficits in synaptic transmission were associated with impairments in spatial learning. We suggest that alterations in the expression and phosphorylation of glutamate receptor subunits underlie the alterations in LTP and that these changes are responsible for the impairment in hippocampal-dependent learning. Importantly, these learning deficits are strikingly similar to the impairments in complex task performance observed in patients with diabetes, which strengthens the hypothesis that hippocampal insulin resistance is a key mediator of cognitive deficits independent of glycemic control. PMID:26216852

  9. Pathophysiology of age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Campisi, Giuseppina; Chiappelli, Martina; De Martinis, Massimo; Franco, Vito; Ginaldi, Lia; Guiglia, Rosario; Licastro, Federico; Lio, Domenico

    2009-01-01

    A Symposium regarding the Pathophysiology of Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing was held in Palermo, Italy on 7-8 April 2009. Three lectures from that Symposium by G. Campisi, L. Ginaldi and F. Licastro are here summarized. Ageing is a complex process which negatively impacts on the development of various bodily systems and its ability to function. A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity's greatest dreams. Thus, a better understanding of the pathophysiology of age-related diseases is urgently required to improve our understanding of maintaining good health in the elderly and to program possible therapeutic intervention. PMID:19737378

  10. Depression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry

    2008-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling diseases. This article discusses the effect of depression on vision-related disability in patients with AMD, suggests methods for screening for depression, and summarizes interventions for preventing depression in this high-risk group.

  11. [Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)].

    PubMed

    Michels, Stephan; Kurz-Levin, Malaika

    2009-03-01

    Today age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause for legal blindness in western industrialized countries. The prevalence of this disease rises with increasing age. A multifactorial pathogenesis of AMD is postulated including genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors. The most relevant modifiable risk factor is smoking. Up to today there is no cure of this chronic disease. Prophylaxis, including a healthy diet and antioxidants as nutrional supplements for selected patients, aims to slow down the disease progression. Significant progress has been made in the treatment of the neovascular form of the disease using inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

  12. Age-Related Differences and Cognitive Correlates of Self-Reported and Direct Navigation Performance: The Effect of Real and Virtual Test Conditions Manipulation.

    PubMed

    Taillade, Mathieu; N'Kaoua, Bernard; Sauzéon, Hélène

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the effect of aging on direct navigation measures and self-reported ones according to the real-virtual test manipulation. Navigation (wayfinding tasks) and spatial memory (paper-pencil tasks) performances, obtained either in real-world or in virtual-laboratory test conditions, were compared between young (n = 32) and older (n = 32) adults who had self-rated their everyday navigation behavior (SBSOD scale). Real age-related differences were observed in navigation tasks as well as in paper-pencil tasks, which investigated spatial learning relative to the distinction between survey-route knowledge. The manipulation of test conditions (real vs. virtual) did not change these age-related differences, which are mostly explained by age-related decline in both spatial abilities and executive functioning (measured with neuropsychological tests). In contrast, elderly adults did not differ from young adults in their self-reporting relative to everyday navigation, suggesting some underestimation of navigation difficulties by elderly adults. Also, spatial abilities in young participants had a mediating effect on the relations between actual and self-reported navigation performance, but not for older participants. So, it is assumed that the older adults carried out the navigation task with fewer available spatial abilities compared to young adults, resulting in inaccurate self-estimates.

  13. Age-Related Differences and Cognitive Correlates of Self-Reported and Direct Navigation Performance: The Effect of Real and Virtual Test Conditions Manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Taillade, Mathieu; N'Kaoua, Bernard; Sauzéon, Hélène

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the effect of aging on direct navigation measures and self-reported ones according to the real-virtual test manipulation. Navigation (wayfinding tasks) and spatial memory (paper-pencil tasks) performances, obtained either in real-world or in virtual-laboratory test conditions, were compared between young (n = 32) and older (n = 32) adults who had self-rated their everyday navigation behavior (SBSOD scale). Real age-related differences were observed in navigation tasks as well as in paper-pencil tasks, which investigated spatial learning relative to the distinction between survey-route knowledge. The manipulation of test conditions (real vs. virtual) did not change these age-related differences, which are mostly explained by age-related decline in both spatial abilities and executive functioning (measured with neuropsychological tests). In contrast, elderly adults did not differ from young adults in their self-reporting relative to everyday navigation, suggesting some underestimation of navigation difficulties by elderly adults. Also, spatial abilities in young participants had a mediating effect on the relations between actual and self-reported navigation performance, but not for older participants. So, it is assumed that the older adults carried out the navigation task with fewer available spatial abilities compared to young adults, resulting in inaccurate self-estimates. PMID:26834666

  14. Spatial Abilities at Different Scales: Individual Differences in Aptitude-Test Performance and Spatial-Layout Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegarty, Mary; Montello, Daniel R.; Richardson, Anthony E.; Ishikawa, Toru; Lovelace, Kristin

    2006-01-01

    Most psychometric tests of spatial ability are paper-and-pencil tasks at the ''figural'' scale of space, in that they involve inspecting, imagining or mentally transforming small shapes or manipulable objects. Environmental spatial tasks, such as wayfinding or learning the layout of a building or city, are carried out in larger spaces that…

  15. Teachers' Spatial Anxiety Relates to 1st-and 2nd-Graders' Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunderson, Elizabeth A.; Ramirez, Gerardo; Beilock, Sian L.; Levine, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Teachers' anxiety about an academic domain, such as math, can impact students' learning in that domain. We asked whether this relation held in the domain of spatial skill, given the importance of spatial skill for success in math and science and its malleability at a young age. We measured 1st-and 2nd-grade teachers' spatial anxiety…

  16. [Treatment options for age-related infertility].

    PubMed

    Belaisch-Allart, Joëlle

    2010-06-20

    There has been a consistent trend towards delayed childbearing in most Western countries. Treatment options for age-related infertility includes controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF). A sharp decline in pregnancy rate with advancing female age is noted with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) including IVF. Evaluation and treatment of infertility should not be delayed in women 35 years and older. No treatment other than oocyte donation has been shown to be effective for women over 40 and for those with compromised ovarian reserve, but its pratice is not easy in France hence the procreative tourism. As an increasing number of couples choose to postpone childbearing, they should be informed that maternal age is an important risk factor for failure to conceive.

  17. Medical bioremediation of age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Mathieu, Jacques M; Schloendorn, John; Rittmann, Bruce E; Alvarez, Pedro JJ

    2009-01-01

    Catabolic insufficiency in humans leads to the gradual accumulation of a number of pathogenic compounds associated with age-related diseases, including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and macular degeneration. Removal of these compounds is a widely researched therapeutic option, but the use of antibodies and endogenous human enzymes has failed to produce effective treatments, and may pose risks to cellular homeostasis. Another alternative is "medical bioremediation," the use of microbial enzymes to augment missing catabolic functions. The microbial genetic diversity in most natural environments provides a resource that can be mined for enzymes capable of degrading just about any energy-rich organic compound. This review discusses targets for biodegradation, the identification of candidate microbial enzymes, and enzyme-delivery methods. PMID:19358742

  18. Sleep after spatial learning promotes covert reorganization of brain activity.

    PubMed

    Orban, Pierre; Rauchs, Géraldine; Balteau, Evelyne; Degueldre, Christian; Luxen, André; Maquet, Pierre; Peigneux, Philippe

    2006-05-02

    Sleep promotes the integration of recently acquired spatial memories into cerebral networks for the long term. In this study, we examined how sleep deprivation hinders this consolidation process. Using functional MRI, we mapped regional cerebral activity during place-finding navigation in a virtual town, immediately after learning and 3 days later, in subjects either allowed regular sleep (RS) or totally sleep-deprived (TSD) on the first posttraining night. At immediate and delayed retrieval, place-finding navigation elicited increased brain activity in an extended hippocampo-neocortical network in both RS and TSD subjects. Behavioral performance was equivalent between groups. However, striatal navigation-related activity increased more at delayed retrieval in RS than in TSD subjects. Furthermore, correlations between striatal response and behavioral performance, as well as functional connectivity between the striatum and the hippocampus, were modulated by posttraining sleep. These data suggest that brain activity is restructured during sleep in such a way that navigation in the virtual environment, initially related to a hippocampus-dependent spatial strategy, becomes progressively contingent in part on a response-based strategy mediated by the striatum. Both neural strategies eventually relate to equivalent performance levels, indicating that covert reorganization of brain patterns underlying navigation after sleep is not necessarily accompanied by overt changes in behavior.

  19. Place field repetition and spatial learning in a multicompartment environment.

    PubMed

    Grieves, Roddy M; Jenkins, Bryan W; Harland, Bruce C; Wood, Emma R; Dudchenko, Paul A

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that place cells in the hippocampus possess firing fields that repeat in physically similar, parallel environments. These results imply that it should be difficult for animals to distinguish parallel environments at a behavioral level. To test this, we trained rats on a novel odor-location task in an environment with four parallel compartments which had previously been shown to yield place field repetition. A second group of animals was trained on the same task, but with the compartments arranged in different directions, an arrangement we hypothesised would yield less place field repetition. Learning of the odor-location task in the parallel compartments was significantly impaired relative to learning in the radially arranged compartments. Fewer animals acquired the full discrimination in the parallel compartments compared to those trained in the radial compartments, and the former also required many more sessions to reach criterion compared to the latter. To confirm that the arrangement of compartments yielded differences in place cell repetition, in a separate group of animals we recorded from CA1 place cells in both environments. We found that CA1 place cells exhibited repeated fields across four parallel local compartments, but did not do so when the same compartments were arranged radially. To confirm that the differences in place field repetition across the parallel and radial compartments depended on their angular arrangement, and not incidental differences in access to an extra-maze visual landmark, we repeated the recordings in a second set of rats in the absence of the orientation landmark. We found, once again, that place fields showed repetition in parallel compartments, and did not do so in radially arranged compartments. Thus place field repetition, or lack thereof, in these compartments was not dependent on extra-maze cues. Together, these results imply that place field repetition constrains spatial learning.

  20. Situated student learning and spatial informational analysis for environmental problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Timothy Paul

    Ninth and tenth grade high school Biology student research teams used spatial information analysis tools to site a prairie restoration plot on a 55 acre campus during a four-week environment unit. Students made use of innovative technological practices by applying geographic information systems (GIS) approaches to solving environmental and land use problems. Student learning was facilitated by starting with the students' initial conceptions of computing, local landscape and biological environment, and then by guiding them through a problem-based science project process. The project curriculum was framed by the perspective of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) where students were provided with learning opportunities designed to allow them to act like GIS practitioners. Sociocultural lenses for learning were employed to create accounts of human mental processes that recognize the essential relationship between these processes and their cultural, historical, and institutional settings (Jacob, 1997; Wertsch, 1991). This research investigated how student groups' meaning-making actions were mediated by GIS tools on the periphery of a scientific community of practice. Research observations focused on supporting interpretations of learners' socially constructed actions and the iterative building of assertions from multiple sources. These included the artifacts students produced, the tools they used, the cultural contexts that constrained their activity, and how people begin to adopt ways of speaking (speech genres) of the referent community to negotiate meanings and roles. Students gathered field observations and interpreted attributes of landscape entities from the GIS data to advocate for an environmental decision. However, even while gaining proficiencies with GIS tools, most students did not begin to appropriate roles from the GIS community of practice. Students continued to negotiate their project actions simply as school exercises motivated by

  1. A reinforcement learning approach to model interactions between landmarks and geometric cues during spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Sheynikhovich, Denis; Arleo, Angelo

    2010-12-13

    In contrast to predictions derived from the associative learning theory, a number of behavioral studies suggested the absence of competition between geometric cues and landmarks in some experimental paradigms. In parallel to these studies, neurobiological experiments suggested the existence of separate independent memory systems which may not always interact according to classic associative principles. In this paper we attempt to combine these two lines of research by proposing a model of spatial learning that is based on the theory of multiple memory systems. In our model, a place-based locale strategy uses activities of modeled hippocampal place cells to drive navigation to a hidden goal, while a stimulus-response taxon strategy, presumably mediated by the dorso-lateral striatum, learns landmark-approaching behavior. A strategy selection network, proposed to reside in the prefrontal cortex, implements a simple reinforcement learning rule to switch behavioral strategies. The model is used to reproduce the results of a behavioral experiment in which an interaction between a landmark and geometric cues was studied. We show that this model, built on the basis of neurobiological data, can explain the lack of competition between the landmark and geometry, potentiation of geometry learning by the landmark, and blocking. Namely, we propose that the geometry potentiation is a consequence of cooperation between memory systems during learning, while blocking is due to competition between the memory systems during action selection.

  2. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    Kenney, Jana; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate, and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24 h) when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: in the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas novel spatial content facilitates long-term depression (LTD). We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience. In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200 Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli) elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4 h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in LTP that lasted for over 24 h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1 Hz, 900 pulses) resulted in short-term depression (STD) that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark) cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike (PS) but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation. PMID:24194716

  3. Active and Passive Spatial Learning in Human Navigation: Acquisition of Survey Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R.; Warren, William H.

    2013-01-01

    It seems intuitively obvious that active exploration of a new environment would lead to better spatial learning than would passive visual exposure. It is unclear, however, which components of active learning contribute to spatial knowledge, and previous literature is decidedly mixed. This experiment tests the contributions of 4 components to…

  4. A Cognitive Component Analysis Approach for Developing Game-Based Spatial Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Pi-Hsia; Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Lee, Yueh-Hsun; Su, I-Hsiang

    2012-01-01

    Spatial ability has been recognized as one of the most important factors affecting the mathematical performance of students. Previous studies on spatial learning have mainly focused on developing strategies to shorten the problem-solving time of learners for very specific learning tasks. Such an approach usually has limited effects on improving…

  5. Differential recruitment of brain networks following route and cartographic map learning of spatial environments.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Copara, Milagros; Ekstrom, Arne D

    2012-01-01

    An extensive neuroimaging literature has helped characterize the brain regions involved in navigating a spatial environment. Far less is known, however, about the brain networks involved when learning a spatial layout from a cartographic map. To compare the two means of acquiring a spatial representation, participants learned spatial environments either by directly navigating them or learning them from an aerial-view map. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants then performed two different tasks to assess knowledge of the spatial environment: a scene and orientation dependent perceptual (SOP) pointing task and a judgment of relative direction (JRD) of landmarks pointing task. We found three brain regions showing significant effects of route vs. map learning during the two tasks. Parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortex showed greater activation following route compared to map learning during the JRD but not SOP task while inferior frontal gyrus showed greater activation following map compared to route learning during the SOP but not JRD task. We interpret our results to suggest that parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortex were involved in translating scene and orientation dependent coordinate information acquired during route learning to a landmark-referenced representation while inferior frontal gyrus played a role in converting primarily landmark-referenced coordinates acquired during map learning to a scene and orientation dependent coordinate system. Together, our results provide novel insight into the different brain networks underlying spatial representations formed during navigation vs. cartographic map learning and provide additional constraints on theoretical models of the neural basis of human spatial representation.

  6. Working memory involvement in spatial text processing: what advantages are gained from extended learning and visuo-spatial strategies?

    PubMed

    Meneghetti, Chiara; De Beni, Rossana; Gyselinck, Valérie; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2011-08-01

    The study investigates the relationships between working memory (WM), amount of learning, and strategies used in spatial description. WM involvement and strategies reported were assumed to change, depending on whether the text learning was extensive or limited. Two experiments were carried out using dual-task paradigm: participants listened to spatial text three times and concurrently one group performed a spatial concurrent task, one group a verbal task (to measure WM involvement), and one group no secondary task. In Experiment 1, participants listened three consecutive times then performed recall tasks (one verbal - verification test; one spatial - graphical representation). In Experiment 2, recall tasks were performed after first and third listening. The strategies used were ascertained through a questionnaire. Results showed that the verification test was impaired by the verbal concurrent task after listening three times (Experiment 1) and after first listening (Experiment 2). The graphical representation performance was impaired by verbal and spatial concurrent tasks, detected only after listening three times, not after a single time (Experiments 1 and 2). The strategies most used were visuo-spatial; their relationship with WM changes as a function of number of times of listening. Overall, the results showed that extensive learning allows construction of a spatial mental representation that is modulated by WM and strategies.

  7. Statistical physics of age related macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Family, Fereydoon; Mazzitello, K. I.; Arizmendi, C. M.; Grossniklaus, H. E.

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. We introduce a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth and aggregation that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in the aging RPE. Our results agree with a linear growth of the number of lipofuscin granules with age. We apply the dynamic scaling approach to our model and find excellent data collapse for the cluster size distribution. An unusual feature of our model is that while small particles are removed from the RPE the larger ones become fixed and grow by aggregation.

  8. Age-related crosslink in skin collagen

    SciTech Connect

    Yamauchi, M.; Mechanic, G.

    1986-05-01

    A stable crosslinking amino acid was isolated from mature bovine skin collagen and its structure was identified as histidinohydroxylysinonorleucine (HHL) using fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry and /sup 1/H, /sup 13/C-NMR. This newly identified crosslink has a linkage between C-2 histidine and C-6 of lysine in the latter's portion of hydroxylysinonorleucine. Quantitative studies using various aged samples of cow and human skin collagen indicated that this acid-heat stable nonreducible compound was the major age-related crosslink. In case of cow skin collagen, for example, during early embryonic development (3 and 5 month old embryos) the content of HHL stayed less than 0.01 residue/mole of collagen, however from the middle of gestation period (7 month old embryo) through the maturation stage it showed rapid increase with age and reached approximately 0.5 residues/mole of collagen in the 3 year old animal. Small increments (up to 0.65 res/mole of collagen) were observed in the 9 year old cow. The amounts of the crosslink unlike pyridinoline do not decrease with aging. Similar patterns were observed in human skin collagen.

  9. Physics of Age Related Macular Degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Family, Fereydoon

    2009-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. In this talk I will discuss a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in AMD [K.I. Mazzitello, C.M. Arizmendi, Fereydoon Family, H. E. Grossniklaus, Physical Review E (2009)]. I will also present an overview of our theoretical and computational efforts in modeling some other aspects of the physics of AMD, including CNV and the breakdown of Bruch's membrane [Ongoing collaboration with Abbas Shirinifard and James A. Glazier, Biocomplexity Institute and Department of Physics, Indiana University, Y. Jiang, Los Alamos, and Hans E. Grossniklaus, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University].

  10. Mechanisms of age-related bone loss.

    PubMed

    Mosekilde, L

    2001-01-01

    The human skeleton is formed and modelled during childhood and youth through the influence of hormones and daily mechanical usage. Around the age of 20-25 years, the skeleton achieves its maximum mass and strength. Thereafter, and throughout adult life, bone is lost at an almost constant rate due to the dynamic bone turnover process: the remodelling process. During this process, small packets of bone are renewed by teams of bone cells coupled together in time and space. In an adult human skeleton there will be 1-2 million active remodelling sites at any time point. The vast number of turnover units combined with a slightly negative balance at the completion of each process leads to the age-related loss of bone mass mentioned above and, concomitantly, to loss of structural continuity and strength. The magnitude of this loss will be determined by hormonal factors, nutrition and mechanical usage. As a consequence of the remodelling process, the bone tissue of the skeleton will always be younger than the age of the individual. However, as a consequence of the remodelling process, osteopenia and osteoporotic fractures will also occur. In this article, the remodelling-induced changes in the human spine will be used as an example of ageing bone.

  11. Animal models of age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Pennesi, Mark E; Neuringer, Martha; Courtney, Robert J

    2012-08-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss of those over the age of 65 in the industrialized world. The prevalence and need to develop effective treatments for AMD has lead to the development of multiple animal models. AMD is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors with the unique anatomy of the human macula. Models in mice, rats, rabbits, pigs and non-human primates have recreated many of the histological features of AMD and provided much insight into the underlying pathological mechanisms of this disease. In spite of the large number of models developed, no one model yet recapitulates all of the features of human AMD. However, these models have helped reveal the roles of chronic oxidative damage, inflammation and immune dysregulation, and lipid metabolism in the development of AMD. Models for induced choroidal neovascularization have served as the backbone for testing new therapies. This article will review the diversity of animal models that exist for AMD as well as their strengths and limitations.

  12. Animal models of age related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pennesi, Mark E.; Neuringer, Martha; Courtney, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss of those over the age of 65 in the industrialized world. The prevalence and need to develop effective treatments for AMD has lead to the development of multiple animal models. AMD is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors with the unique anatomy of the human macula. Models in mice, rats, rabbits, pigs and non-human primates have recreated many of the histological features of AMD and provided much insight into the underlying pathological mechanisms of this disease. In spite of the large number of models developed, no one model yet recapitulates all of the features of human AMD. However, these models have helped reveal the roles of chronic oxidative damage, inflammation and immune dysregulation, and lipid metabolism in the development of AMD. Models for induced choroidal neovascularization have served as the backbone for testing new therapies. This article will review the diversity of animal models that exist for AMD as well as their strengths and limitations. PMID:22705444

  13. Age-related associative deficits and the isolation effect.

    PubMed

    Badham, Stephen P; Maylor, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    If all but one of the items in a list are similar (e.g., all black except one red), memory for the different item is enhanced (the isolation effect). Older adults generally show similar or smaller isolation effects compared to young adults, which has been attributed to age-related deficits in associative memory whereby older adults are less able to associate an isolated stimulus to its isolating feature. Experiment 1 examined the isolation effect for isolation based on spatial position, modality and color; in Experiment 2, the criterion for isolation was the associative relation between stimuli. The results consistently showed no differences between young and older participants in the magnitude of the isolation effect. Whilst age deficits in associative memory may act to reduce the isolation effect in older adults, age deficits in self-initiated processing and inhibitory functionality may counteract this reduction by enhancing the isolation effect in older adults.

  14. Age related macular degeneration and visual disability.

    PubMed

    Christoforidis, John B; Tecce, Nicola; Dell'Omo, Roberto; Mastropasqua, Rodolfo; Verolino, Marco; Costagliola, Ciro

    2011-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central blindness or low vision among the elderly in industrialized countries. AMD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Among modifiable environmental risk factors, cigarette smoking has been associated with both the dry and wet forms of AMD and may increase the likelihood of worsening pre-existing AMD. Despite advances, the treatment of AMD has limitations and affected patients are often referred for low vision rehabilitation to help them cope with their remaining eyesight. The characteristic visual impairment for both forms of AMD is loss of central vision (central scotoma). This loss results in severe difficulties with reading that may be only partly compensated by magnifying glasses or screen-projection devices. The loss of central vision associated with the disease has a profound impact on patient quality of life. With progressive central visual loss, patients lose their ability to perform the more complex activities of daily living. Common vision aids include low vision filters, magnifiers, telescopes and electronic aids. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) is a new subspecialty emerging from the traditional fields of ophthalmology, optometry, occupational therapy, and sociology, with an ever-increasing impact on the usual concepts of research, education, and services for visually impaired patients. Relatively few ophthalmologists practise LVR and fewer still routinely use prismatic image relocation (IR) in AMD patients. IR is a method of stabilizing oculomotor functions with the purpose of promoting better function of preferred retinal loci (PRLs). The aim of vision rehabilitation therapy consists in the achievement of techniques designed to improve PRL usage. The use of PRLs to compensate for diseased foveae has offered hope to these patients in regaining some function. However, in a recently published meta-analysis, prism spectacles were found to be unlikely to be of

  15. Age-related forgetting in locomotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Malone, Laura A; Bastian, Amy J

    2016-02-01

    The healthy aging process affects the ability to learn and remember new facts and tasks. Prior work has shown that motor learning can be adversely affected by non-motor deficits, such as time. Here we investigated how age, and a dual task influence the learning and forgetting of a new walking pattern. We studied healthy younger (<30 yo) and older adults (>50 yo) as they alternated between 5-min bouts of split-belt treadmill walking and resting. Older subjects learned a new walking pattern at the same rate as younger subjects, but forgot some of the new pattern during the rest breaks. We tested if forgetting was due to reliance on a cognitive strategy that was not fully engaged after rest breaks. When older subjects performed a dual cognitive task to reduce strategic control of split-belt walking, their adaptation rate slowed, but they still forgot much of the new pattern during the rest breaks. Our results demonstrate that the healthy aging process is one component that weakens motor memories during rest breaks and that this phenomenon cannot be explained solely by reliance on a conscious strategy in older adults.

  16. Spatial Visualization Learning in Engineering: Traditional Methods vs. a Web-Based Tool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pedrosa, Carlos Melgosa; Barbero, Basilio Ramos; Miguel, Arturo Román

    2014-01-01

    This study compares an interactive learning manager for graphic engineering to develop spatial vision (ILMAGE_SV) to traditional methods. ILMAGE_SV is an asynchronous web-based learning tool that allows the manipulation of objects with a 3D viewer, self-evaluation, and continuous assessment. In addition, student learning may be monitored, which…

  17. Mobile Devices and Spatial Enactments of Learning: iPads in Lower Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Bente

    2016-01-01

    Based on ethnographic studies of students' learning, this paper investigates how new spatial enactments of learning that include mobile technologies engage students in specific ways that enable them to learn. Data used in the paper have been collected in three lower secondary schools (7-9th form, ages 13-15) where students and teachers have been…

  18. Using Mobile Devices to Enhance the Interactive Learning for Spatial Geometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Kuo-En; Wu, Lin-Jung; Lai, Shing-Chuang; Sung, Yao-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop a hands-on spatial geometry learning system to facilitate the learning of geometry. The development of this system was based on Duval's four critical elements of geometric learning: perceptual apprehension, sequential apprehension, operative apprehension, and discursive apprehension. The system offers…

  19. Nut consumption and age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Grosso, G; Estruch, R

    2016-02-01

    Current knowledge on the effects of nut consumption on human health has rapidly increased in recent years and it now appears that nuts may play a role in the prevention of chronic age-related diseases. Frequent nut consumption has been associated with better metabolic status, decreased body weight as well as lower body weight gain over time and thus reduce the risk of obesity. The effect of nuts on glucose metabolism, blood lipids, and blood pressure is still controversial. However, significant decreased cardiovascular risk has been reported in a number of observational and clinical intervention studies. Thus, findings from cohort studies show that increased nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality (especially that due to cardiovascular-related causes). Similarly, nut consumption has been also associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, endometrial, and pancreatic neoplasms. Evidence regarding nut consumption and neurological or psychiatric disorders is scarce, but a number of studies suggest significant protective effects against depression, mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's disease. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, particularly related to their mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA, as well as vitamin and polyphenol content). MUFA have been demonstrated to improve pancreatic beta-cell function and regulation of postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity. PUFA may act on the central nervous system protecting neuronal and cell-signaling function and maintenance. The fiber and mineral content of nuts may also confer health benefits. Nuts therefore show promise as useful adjuvants to prevent, delay or ameliorate a number of chronic conditions in older people. Their association with decreased mortality suggests a potential in reducing disease burden, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive impairments.

  20. The anterior claustrum and spatial reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Grasby, Katrina; Talk, Andrew

    2013-03-07

    The claustrum is a small structure of poorly understood function situated subcortically in the basal forebrain. The fact that it is extensively and reciprocally connected with the cerebral cortex has led to suggestions that it is involved in coordination of cortical activity. In this study, we created excitotoxic lesions to the anterior claustrum of rats and tested performance on three tasks that involve neural processing in one or more frontal and limbic cortical structures. We tested reversal learning and spatial working memory in a water maze and tested latent inhibition using conditioned taste aversion. Lesioned rats were not impaired at acquiring the initial location of the platform in a water maze, but were impaired at acquiring a switched location in the reversal phase. The lesioned rats also exhibited an increased rate of perseverance errors compared to control rats during reversal. Lesioned rats were not impaired in the working memory task or latent inhibition. These results indicate that cell loss in the claustrum may lead to deficits in behavioral flexibility, and are consistent with theories of claustral function that suggest it may help coordinate information necessary for at least some cortical-dependent tasks.

  1. Blockade of hippocampal bradykinin B1 receptors improves spatial learning and memory deficits in middle-aged rats.

    PubMed

    Bitencourt, Rafael M; Guerra de Souza, Ana C; Bicca, Maíra A; Pamplona, Fabrício A; de Mello, Nelson; Passos, Giselle F; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Calixto, João B; Prediger, Rui D

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that targeting bradykinin receptors is a promising strategy to counteract the cognitive impairment related with aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The hippocampus is critical for cognition, and abnormalities in this brain region are linked to the decline in mental ability. Nevertheless, the impact of bradykinin signaling on hippocampal function is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine the role of hippocampal bradykinin receptors B1R and B2R on the cognitive decline of middle-aged rats. Twelve-month-old rats exhibited impaired ability to acquire and retrieve spatial information in the Morris water maze task. A single intra-hippocampal injection of the selective B1R antagonist des-Arg(9)-[Leu(8)]-bradykinin (DALBK, 3 nmol), but not the selective B2R antagonist D-Arg-[Hyp(3),Thi(5),D-Tic(7),Oic(8)]-BK (Hoe 140, 3 nmol), reversed the spatial learning and memory deficits on these animals. However, both drugs did not affect the cognitive function in 3-month-old rats, suggesting absence of nootropic properties. Molecular biology analysis revealed an up-regulation of B1R expression in the hippocampal CA1 sub-region and in the pre-frontal cortex of 12-month-old rats, whereas no changes in the B2R expression were observed in middle-aged rats. These findings provide new evidence that inappropriate hippocampal B1R expression and activation exert a critical role on the spatial learning and memory deficits in middle-aged rats. Therefore, selective B1R antagonists, especially orally active non-peptide antagonists, may represent drugs of potential interest to counteract the age-related cognitive decline.

  2. Association of Age Related Macular Degeneration and Age Related Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Ghasemi, Hassan; Pourakbari, Malihe Shahidi; Entezari, Morteza; Yarmohammadi, Mohammad Ebrahim

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the association between age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and sensory neural hearing impairment (SHI). Methods: In this case-control study, hearing status of 46 consecutive patients with ARMD were compared with 46 age-matched cases without clinical ARMD as a control group. In all patients, retinal involvements were confirmed by clinical examination, fluorescein angiography (FA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). All participants were examined with an otoscope and underwent audiological tests including pure tone audiometry (PTA), speech reception threshold (SRT), speech discrimination score (SDS), tympanometry, reflex tests and auditory brainstem response (ABR). Results: A significant (P = 0.009) association was present between ARMD, especially with exudative and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) components, and age-related hearing impairment primarily involving high frequencies. Patients had higher SRT and lower SDS against anticipated presbycusis than control subjects. Similar results were detected in exudative, CNV and scar patterns supporting an association between late ARMD with SRT and SDS abnormalities. ABR showed significantly prolonged wave I and IV latency times in ARMD (P = 0.034 and 0.022, respectively). Average latency periods for wave I in geographic atrophy (GA) and CNV, and that for wave IV in drusen patterns of ARMD were significantly higher than controls (P = 0.030, 0.007 and 0.050, respectively). Conclusion: The association between ARMD and age-related SHI may be attributed to common anatomical components such as melanin in these two sensory organs. PMID:27195086

  3. Age-related changes to the neural correlates of working memory which emerge after midlife.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, Helen N; White, David J; Ellis, Kathryn A; Stough, Con; Camfield, David; Silberstein, Richard; Pipingas, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40-60 years) and an older group (61-82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance.

  4. Statins for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gehlbach, Peter; Li, Tianjing; Hatef, Elham

    2016-01-01

    Background Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive late onset disorder of the macula affecting central vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years in industrialized countries. Recent epidemiologic, genetic, and pathological evidence has shown AMD shares a number of risk factors with atherosclerosis, leading to the hypothesis that statins may exert protective effects in AMD. Objectives The objective of this review was to examine the effectiveness of statins compared with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in delaying the onset and progression of AMD. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (2014, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to June 2014), EMBASE (January 1980 to June 2014), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (January 1982 to June 2014), PubMed (January 1946 to June 2014), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 5 June 2014. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared statins with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in participants who were either susceptible to or diagnosed as having early stages of AMD. Data collection and analysis We used standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. Two authors independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria, abstracted data, and assessed risk of bias. We did not perform meta-analysis due to heterogeneity in the interventions and outcomes among the

  5. Stills, Not Full Motion, for Interactive Spatial Training: American, Turkish and Taiwanese Female Pre-Service Teachers Learn Spatial Visualization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Glenn Gordon; Gerretson, Helen; Olkun, Sinan; Yuan, Yuan; Dogbey, James; Erdem, Aliye

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated how female elementary education pre-service teachers in the United States, Turkey and Taiwan learned spatial skills from structured activities involving discrete, as opposed to continuous, transformations in interactive computer programs, and how these activities transferred to non-related standardized tests of spatial…

  6. How spatial abilities and dynamic visualizations interplay when learning functional anatomy with 3D anatomical models.

    PubMed

    Berney, Sandra; Bétrancourt, Mireille; Molinari, Gaëlle; Hoyek, Nady

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of dynamic visualizations of three-dimensional (3D) models in anatomy curricula may be an adequate solution for spatial difficulties encountered with traditional static learning, as they provide direct visualization of change throughout the viewpoints. However, little research has explored the interplay between learning material presentation formats, spatial abilities, and anatomical tasks. First, to understand the cognitive challenges a novice learner would be faced with when first exposed to 3D anatomical content, a six-step cognitive task analysis was developed. Following this, an experimental study was conducted to explore how presentation formats (dynamic vs. static visualizations) support learning of functional anatomy, and affect subsequent anatomical tasks derived from the cognitive task analysis. A second aim was to investigate the interplay between spatial abilities (spatial visualization and spatial relation) and presentation formats when the functional anatomy of a 3D scapula and the associated shoulder flexion movement are learned. Findings showed no main effect of the presentation formats on performances, but revealed the predictive influence of spatial visualization and spatial relation abilities on performance. However, an interesting interaction between presentation formats and spatial relation ability for a specific anatomical task was found. This result highlighted the influence of presentation formats when spatial abilities are involved as well as the differentiated influence of spatial abilities on anatomical tasks.

  7. Engineering Genders: A Spatial Analysis of Engineering, Gender, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weidler-Lewis, Joanna R.

    2016-01-01

    This three article dissertation is an investigation into the ontology of learning insofar as learning is a process of becoming. In each article I explore the general questions of who is learning, in what ways, and with what consequences. The context for this research is undergraduate engineering education with particular attention to the…

  8. Interaction between Locale and Taxon Strategies in Human Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redhead, Edward S.; Hamilton, Derek A.

    2007-01-01

    Three computer-based experiments which tested human participants in a non-immersive virtual watermaze task sought to determine factors which dictate whether the presence of a visual platform disrupts locale learning and taxon learning. In Experiment 1, the visible platform disrupted locale but not taxon learning based on viewpoint-independent and…

  9. Spatial tuning and brain state account for dorsal hippocampal CA1 activity in a non-spatial learning task

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Kevin Q; Lubenov, Evgueniy V; Papadopoulou, Maria; Siapas, Athanassios G

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is a brain area crucial for episodic memory in humans. In contrast, studies in rodents have highlighted its role in spatial learning, supported by the discovery of place cells. Efforts to reconcile these views have found neurons in the rodent hippocampus that respond to non-spatial events but have not unequivocally dissociated the spatial and non-spatial influences on these cells. To disentangle these influences, we trained freely moving rats in trace eyeblink conditioning, a hippocampally dependent task in which the animal learns to blink in response to a tone. We show that dorsal CA1 pyramidal neurons are all place cells, and do not respond to the tone when the animal is moving. When the animal is inactive, the apparent tone-evoked responses reflect an arousal-mediated resumption of place-specific firing. These results suggest that one of the main output stages of the hippocampus transmits only spatial information, even in this non-spatial task. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14321.001 PMID:27487561

  10. Bangle (Zingiber purpureum) Improves Spatial Learning, Reduces Deficits in Memory, and Promotes Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus of Senescence-Accelerated Mouse P8.

    PubMed

    Nakai, Megumi; Iizuka, Michiro; Matsui, Nobuaki; Hosogi, Kazuko; Imai, Akiko; Abe, Noriaki; Shiraishi, Hisashi; Hirata, Ayumu; Yagi, Yusuke; Jobu, Kohei; Yokota, Junko; Kato, Eishin; Hosoda, Shinya; Yoshioka, Saburo; Harada, Kenichi; Kubo, Miwa; Fukuyama, Yoshiyasu; Miyamura, Mitsuhiko

    2016-05-01

    Bangle (Zingiber purpureum) is a tropical ginger that is used as a spice in Southeast Asia. Phenylbutenoid dimers isolated from Bangle have exhibited neurotrophic effects in primary cultured rat cortical neurons and PC12 cells. Furthermore, chronic treatment with phenylbutenoid dimers enhances hippocampal neurogenesis in olfactory bulbectomized mice. In this study, we investigated the effects of Bangle extract on behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo. SAMP8 mice, which are an established model for accelerated aging, with age-related learning and memory impairments, were given a Bangle-containing diet for 1 month, and subsequent behavioral tests and immunohistochemistry for Ki67, a proliferating cell marker, were performed. We found that the Bangle-containing diet improved spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze and significantly increased the numbers of Ki67-positive cells in the dentate gyrus of the SAMP8 mice. In addition, the Bangle extract exhibited a neurotrophin-like activity as indicated by the induction of neurite sprouting in PC12 cells. Our results suggest that Bangle is beneficial for the prevention of age-related progression of cognitive impairment.

  11. The Joint Role of Spatial Ability and Imagery Strategy in Sustaining the Learning of Spatial Descriptions under Spatial Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meneghetti, Chiara; De Beni, Rossana; Gyselinck, Valerie; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates the joint role of spatial ability, imagery strategy and visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in spatial text processing. A set of 180 participants, half of them trained on the use of imagery strategy (training vs no-training groups), was further divided according to participants' high or low mental rotation ability…

  12. Women Match Men when Learning a Spatial Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spence, Ian; Yu, Jingjie Jessica; Feng, Jing; Marshman, Jeff

    2009-01-01

    Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a…

  13. Improving Social Interactions in Virtual Learning Environments: Guidance on Spatial Factors for Online Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez-Serrano, Maria Jose; Gonzales-Sanchez, Margarita

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports on a project in which students' interactions with learning environments are investigated from the perspective of the spatial factors. Our research examines a significant dimension generated under the interrelationship between the subject and the virtual space, by establishing that spatial dimensions may determine the level of…

  14. Probing the Relationship between Process of Spatial Problems Solving and Science Learning: An Eye Tracking Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Yi-Chun; Yang, Fang-Ying

    2014-01-01

    There were two purposes in the study. One was to explore the cognitive activities during spatial problem solving and the other to probe the relationship between spatial ability and science concept learning. Twenty university students participated in the study. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations Test (PVRT) was used to assess the spatial…

  15. Learning to Think Spatially: What Do Students "See" in Numeracy Test Items?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diezmann, Carmel M.; Lowrie, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Learning to think spatially in mathematics involves developing proficiency with graphics. This paper reports on 2 investigations of spatial thinking and graphics. The first investigation explored the importance of graphics as 1 of 3 communication systems (i.e. text, symbols, graphics) used to provide information in numeracy test items. The results…

  16. Age Differences in Recall and Information Processing in Verbal and Spatial Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mungas, Dan; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Three age groups of 24 people each completed verbal word list tasks and spatial learning tasks 5 times each. Significant age differences were found for total recall and type of task. Younger subjects showed increased levels of clustering--organizing information according to semantic or spatial clusters. Age was not related to temporal order of…

  17. Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca Mulatta) Maintain Learning Set Despite Second-Order Stimulus-Response Spatial Discontiguity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beran, Michael J.; Washburn, David A.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    2007-01-01

    In many discrimination-learning tests, spatial separation between stimuli and response loci disrupts performance in rhesus macaques. However, monkeys are unaffected by such stimulus-response spatial discontiguity when responses occur through joystick-based computerized movement of a cursor. To examine this discrepancy, five monkeys were tested on…

  18. Spatial Abilities in an Elective Course of Applied Anatomy after a Problem-Based Learning Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langlois, Jean; Wells, George A.; Lecourtois, Marc; Bergeron, Germain; Yetisir, Elizabeth; Martin, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    A concern on the level of anatomy knowledge reached after a problem-based learning curriculum has been documented in the literature. Spatial anatomy, arguably the highest level in anatomy knowledge, has been related to spatial abilities. Our first objective was to test the hypothesis that residents are interested in a course of applied anatomy…

  19. Representation of Survey and Route Spatial Descriptions in Children with Nonverbal (Visuospatial) Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mammarella, Irene C.; Meneghetti, Chiara; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Gitti, Filippo; Gomez, Claudia; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2009-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the types of difficulty encountered by children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities (NLD) during the processing of spatial information derived from descriptions. Two spatial descriptions--one in survey, one in route perspective--and one nonspatial description were orally presented to children aged…

  20. Spatial Ability: Its Influence on Learning with Visualizations--A Meta-Analytic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffler, Tim N.

    2010-01-01

    This meta-analytical review focuses on the role of spatial ability when learning with pictorial visualizations. By means of selective theoretical review and meta-analysis (the latter regarding 27 different experiments from 19 studies), several sub-factors of spatial ability are considered as well as dynamic and non-dynamic, interactive and…

  1. Comparison of Visual-Spatial Performance Strategy Training in Children with Turner Syndrome and Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Janet K.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Thirteen females with Turner syndrome, 13 females with nonverbal learning disabilities, and 14 males with nonverbal learning disabilities, ages 7-14, were taught via a cognitive behavioral modification approach to verbally mediate a spatial matching task. All three groups showed significant task improvement after the training, with no significant…

  2. How Spatial Abilities and Dynamic Visualizations Interplay When Learning Functional Anatomy with 3D Anatomical Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berney, Sandra; Bétrancourt, Mireille; Molinari, Gaëlle; Hoyek, Nady

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of dynamic visualizations of three-dimensional (3D) models in anatomy curricula may be an adequate solution for spatial difficulties encountered with traditional static learning, as they provide direct visualization of change throughout the viewpoints. However, little research has explored the interplay between learning material…

  3. Disruption of estrogen receptor β gene impairs spatial learning in female mice

    PubMed Central

    Rissman, Emilie F.; Heck, Amy L.; Leonard, Julie E.; Shupnik, Margaret A.; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2002-01-01

    Here we provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that estradiol (E2) affects learning and memory via the newly discovered estrogen receptor β (ERβ). In this study, ERβ knockout (ERβKO) and wild-type littermates were tested for spatial learning in the Morris water maze after ovariectomy, appropriate control treatment, or one of two physiological doses of E2. Regardless of treatment, all wild-type females displayed significant learning. However, ERβKOs given the low dose of E2 were delayed in learning acquisition, and ERβKOs administered the higher dose of E2 failed to learn the task. These data show that ERβ is required for optimal spatial learning and may have implications for hormone replacement therapy in women. PMID:11891272

  4. Acquiring New Spatial Intuitions: Learning to Reason about Rotations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pani, John R.; Chariker, Julia H.; Dawson, Thomas E.; Johnson, Nathan

    2005-01-01

    There are certain simple rotations of objects that most people cannot reason about accurately. Reliable gaps in the understanding of a fundamental physical domain raise the question of how learning to reason in that domain might proceed. Using virtual reality techniques, this project investigated the nature of learning to reason across the domain…

  5. A critical review of chronic stress effects on spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Cheryl D

    2010-06-30

    The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.

  6. Age-related characteristics of brain development in children living in the north.

    PubMed

    Soroko, S I; Burykh, E A; Sidorenko, G V

    2006-09-01

    The morphofunctional age-related development of the brain was studied in schoolchildren living in the difficult climatological-geographic and socioeconomic conditions of the north (Arkhangel'sk region). Of the 62 students in country middle schools, EEG amplitude-frequency, time, and spatial measures corresponded to age norms (European norms) in only 10 cases (16%). A further 26 children (53%) showed minor abnormalities in the form of an inadequate degree of organization of the temporospatial EEG pattern, mainly in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, with increases in the levels of the theta and delta rhythms, and the absence of any marked "functional nucleus" in the alpha rhythm. In the remaining 14 children (29%), EEG measures showed more marked delays in mental development (DMD), which were combined with learning difficulties and abnormal behavior. The retardation in the morphofunctional development of the brain in northern children averaged 1.5-2 years, which coincides with delays in hormonal and physical development described by other authors.

  7. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward

    PubMed Central

    Sha, Li Z.; Remington, Roger W.

    2015-01-01

    This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention. PMID:26105657

  8. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W

    2015-10-01

    This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention.

  9. Near or far: The effect of spatial distance and vocabulary knowledge on word learning.

    PubMed

    Axelsson, Emma L; Perry, Lynn K; Scott, Emilly J; Horst, Jessica S

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated the role of spatial distance in word learning. Two-year-old children saw three novel objects named while the objects were either in close proximity to each other or spatially separated. Children were then tested on their retention for the name-object associations. Keeping the objects spatially separated from each other during naming was associated with increased retention for children with larger vocabularies. Children with a lower vocabulary size demonstrated better retention if they saw objects in close proximity to each other during naming. This demonstrates that keeping a clear view of objects during naming improves word learning for children who have already learned many words, but keeping objects within close proximal range is better for children at earlier stages of vocabulary acquisition. The effect of distance is therefore not equal across varying vocabulary sizes. The influences of visual crowding, cognitive load, and vocabulary size on word learning are discussed.

  10. Modulation of spatial and stimulus-response learning strategies by exogenous cortisol in healthy young women.

    PubMed

    Schwabe, Lars; Oitzl, Melly S; Richter, Steffen; Schächinger, Hartmut

    2009-04-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) are known to influence learning and memory processes. While most studies focus on the effects of GCs on the performance within a single memory system, we asked whether GCs modulate also the transition between hippocampus-dependent spatial and caudate nucleus-dependent stimulus-response memory systems. Eighty-four young healthy women received a placebo, 5 or 30 mg hydrocortisone orally. One hour later, participants were asked to locate a win-card in a 3D model of a room. The card could be located via two strategies: spatial (multiple distal cues) and stimulus-response (a single proximal cue). Relocation of the proximal cue after 12 trials revealed the strategy, number of trials to learning criterion the performance. As expected, more trials were needed to acquire the task with hydrocortisone. Remarkably, hydrocortisone switched the use of learning strategies towards more spatial learning (dose-dependently: placebo 4% < 5 mg 21%< 30 mg 32%), independent of autonomic and subjective arousal. The learning curves of spatial and stimulus-response learners were comparable. Our results demonstrate that exogenous GCs prior to learning affect the performance within a memory system and also coordinate the use of multiple memory systems. Taking into account this dual action of GCs will contribute to a better understanding of stress (hormone) effects on learning and memory.

  11. Retrosplenial cortex lesions impair water maze strategies learning or spatial place learning depending on prior experience of the rat.

    PubMed

    Cain, Donald P; Humpartzoomian, Richard; Boon, Francis

    2006-06-30

    There has been debate whether lesions strictly limited to retrosplenial (RS) cortex impair spatial navigation, and how robust and reliable any such impairment is. The present study used a detailed behavioral analysis with naive or strategies-pretrained rats given RS lesions and trained in a water maze (WM). Naive RS lesioned rats failed to acquire the required WM strategies throughout training. Strategies-pretrained RS lesioned rats were specifically impaired in spatial place memory without a WM strategies impairment. Additional training overcame the spatial memory impairment. Thus the behavioral consequences of the lesion depend on the specific previous experience of the animal. The use of appropriate training and testing techniques has revealed experience-dependant dissociable impairments in WM strategies learning and in spatial memory, indicating that RS cortex is involved in both forms of learning.

  12. [Depression in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration].

    PubMed

    Narváez, Yamile Reveiz; Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos

    2012-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a cause for disability in the elderly since it greatly affects their quality of life and increases depression likelihood. This article discusses the negative effect depression has on patients with age-related macular degeneration and summarizes the interventions available for decreasing their depression index.

  13. Slowing Down: Age-Related Neurobiological Predictors of Processing Speed

    PubMed Central

    Eckert, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    Processing speed, or the rate at which tasks can be performed, is a robust predictor of age-related cognitive decline and an indicator of independence among older adults. This review examines evidence for neurobiological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, which is guided in part by our source based morphometry findings that unique patterns of frontal and cerebellar gray matter predict age-related variation in processing speed. These results, together with the extant literature on morphological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, suggest that specific neural systems undergo declines and as a result slow processing speed. Future studies of processing speed – dependent neural systems will be important for identifying the etiologies for processing speed change and the development of interventions that mitigate gradual age-related declines in cognitive functioning and enhance healthy cognitive aging. PMID:21441995

  14. Evolution of learning strategies in temporally and spatially variable environments: a review of theory.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kenichi; Feldman, Marcus W

    2014-02-01

    The theoretical literature from 1985 to the present on the evolution of learning strategies in variable environments is reviewed, with the focus on deterministic dynamical models that are amenable to local stability analysis, and on deterministic models yielding evolutionarily stable strategies. Individual learning, unbiased and biased social learning, mixed learning, and learning schedules are considered. A rapidly changing environment or frequent migration in a spatially heterogeneous environment favors individual learning over unbiased social learning. However, results are not so straightforward in the context of learning schedules or when biases in social learning are introduced. The three major methods of modeling temporal environmental change--coevolutionary, two-timescale, and information decay--are compared and shown to sometimes yield contradictory results. The so-called Rogers' paradox is inherent in the two-timescale method as originally applied to the evolution of pure strategies, but is often eliminated when the other methods are used. Moreover, Rogers' paradox is not observed for the mixed learning strategies and learning schedules that we review. We believe that further theoretical work is necessary on learning schedules and biased social learning, based on models that are logically consistent and empirically pertinent.

  15. Evolution of learning strategies in temporally and spatially variable environments: A review of theory.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kenichi; Feldman, Marcus W

    2013-09-23

    The theoretical literature from 1985 to the present on the evolution of learning strategies in variable environments is reviewed, with the focus on deterministic dynamical models that are amenable to local stability analysis, and on deterministic models yielding evolutionarily stable strategies. Individual learning, unbiased and biased social learning, mixed learning, and learning schedules are considered. A rapidly changing environment or frequent migration in a spatially heterogeneous environment favors individual learning over unbiased social learning. However, results are not so straightforward in the context of learning schedules or when biases in social learning are introduced. The three major methods of modeling temporal environmental change-coevolutionary, two-timescale, and information decay-are compared and shown to sometimes yield contradictory results. The so-called Rogers' paradox is inherent in the two-timescale method as originally applied to the evolution of pure strategies, but is often eliminated when the other methods are used. Moreover, Rogers' paradox is not observed for the mixed learning strategies and learning schedules that we review. We believe that further theoretical work is necessary on learning schedules and biased social learning, based on models that are logically consistent and empirically pertinent.

  16. Acute pentobarbital treatment impairs spatial learning and memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Tan, Tao; Tu, Man; He, Wenting; Dong, Zhifang; Han, Huili

    2015-10-01

    Reports of the effects of pentobarbital on learning and memory are contradictory. Some studies have not shown any interference with learning and memory, whereas others have shown that pentobarbital impairs memory and that these impairments can last for long periods. However, it is unclear whether acute local microinjections of pentobarbital affect learning and memory, and if so, the potential mechanisms are also unclear. Here, we reported that the intra-hippocampal infusion of pentobarbital (8.0mM, 1μl per side) significantly impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory retrieval. Moreover, in vitro electrophysiological recordings revealed that these behavioral changes were accompanied by impaired hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) and suppressed neuronal excitability as reflected by a decrease in the number of action potentials (APs). These results suggest that acute pentobarbital application causes spatial learning and memory deficits that might be attributable to the suppression of synaptic plasticity and neuronal excitability.

  17. Interprofessional learning at work: what spatial theory can tell us about workplace learning in an acute care ward.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Linda Rosemary; Hopwood, Nick; Boud, David

    2014-05-01

    It is widely recognized that every workplace potentially provides a rich source of learning. Studies focusing on health care contexts have shown that social interaction within and between professions is crucial in enabling professionals to learn through work, address problems and cope with challenges of clinical practice. While hospital environments are beginning to be understood in spatial terms, the links between space and interprofessional learning at work have not been explored. This paper draws on Lefebvre's tri-partite theoretical framework of perceived, conceived and lived space to enrich understandings of interprofessional learning on an acute care ward in an Australian teaching hospital. Qualitative analysis was undertaken using data from observations of Registered Nurses at work and semi-structured interviews linked to observed events. The paper focuses on a ward round, the medical workroom and the Registrar's room, comparing and contrasting the intended (conceived), practiced (perceived) and pedagogically experienced (lived) spatial dimensions. The paper concludes that spatial theory has much to offer understandings of interprofessional learning in work, and the features of work environments and daily practices that produce spaces that enable or constrain learning.

  18. Dynamic microglial modulation of spatial learning and social behavior.

    PubMed

    Torres, Luisa; Danver, Joan; Ji, Kyungmin; Miyauchi, Jeremy T; Chen, Danling; Anderson, Maria E; West, Brian L; Robinson, John K; Tsirka, Stella E

    2016-07-01

    Microglia are active players in inflammation, but also have important supporting roles in CNS maintenance and function, including modulation of neuronal activity. We previously observed an increase in the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current in organotypic brain slices after depletion of microglia using clodronate. Here, we describe that local hippocampal depletion of microglia by clodronate alters performance in tests of spatial memory and sociability. Global depletion of microglia by high-dose oral administration of a Csf1R inhibitor transiently altered spatial memory but produced no change in sociability behavior. Microglia depletion and behavior effects were both reversible, consistent with a dynamic role for microglia in the regulation of such behaviors.

  19. Spatial learning of the water maze: progression of brain circuits mapped with cytochrome oxidase histochemistry.

    PubMed

    Conejo, N M; González-Pardo, H; Gonzalez-Lima, F; Arias, J L

    2010-03-01

    The progression of brain circuits involved in spatial learning tasks is still a matter of debate. In addition, the participation of individual regions at different stages of spatial learning remains a controversial issue. In order to address these questions, we used quantitative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry as a metabolic brain mapping method applied to rats (Rattus norvegicus) trained in a water maze for 1, 3 or 5 days of training. Sustained changes throughout training were found in the lateral septal nucleus and anteroventral thalamic nucleus. As compared to naïve or habituation groups, rats with 1 day of training in the spatial learning task showed involvement of the lateral mammillary nucleus, basolateral amygdala and anterodorsal thalamic nucleus. By 5 days of training, there were mean changes in the hippocampal CA3 field and the prefrontal cortex. The regions involved and their pattern of network interactions changed progressively over days of training. At 1-day there was an open serial network of pairwise correlations. At 3-days there was a more closed reciprocal network of intercorrelations. At 5-days there were three separate parallel networks. In addition, brain-behavior correlations showed that CA1 and CA3 hippocampal fields together with the parietal cortex are related to the mastery of the spatial learning task. The present study extends previous findings on the progressive contribution of neural networks to spatial learning.

  20. Hippocampus-dependent place learning enables spatial flexibility in C57BL6/N mice.

    PubMed

    Kleinknecht, Karl R; Bedenk, Benedikt T; Kaltwasser, Sebastian F; Grünecker, Barbara; Yen, Yi-Chun; Czisch, Michael; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2012-01-01

    Spatial navigation is a fundamental capability necessary in everyday life to locate food, social partners, and shelter. It results from two very different strategies: (1) place learning which enables for flexible way finding and (2) response learning that leads to a more rigid "route following." Despite the importance of knockout techniques that are only available in mice, little is known about mice' flexibility in spatial navigation tasks. Here we demonstrate for C57BL6/N mice in a water-cross maze (WCM) that only place learning enables spatial flexibility and relearning of a platform position, whereas response learning does not. This capability depends on an intact hippocampal formation, since hippocampus lesions by ibotenic acid (IA) disrupted relearning. In vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed a volume loss of ≥60% of the hippocampus as a critical threshold for relearning impairments. In particular the changes in the left ventral hippocampus were indicative of relearning deficits. In summary, our findings establish the importance of hippocampus-dependent place learning for spatial flexibility and provide a first systematic analysis on spatial flexibility in mice.

  1. Hyperspectral Imagery Super-Resolution by Compressive Sensing Inspired Dictionary Learning and Spatial-Spectral Regularization

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei; Xiao, Liang; Liu, Hongyi; Wei, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Due to the instrumental and imaging optics limitations, it is difficult to acquire high spatial resolution hyperspectral imagery (HSI). Super-resolution (SR) imagery aims at inferring high quality images of a given scene from degraded versions of the same scene. This paper proposes a novel hyperspectral imagery super-resolution (HSI-SR) method via dictionary learning and spatial-spectral regularization. The main contributions of this paper are twofold. First, inspired by the compressive sensing (CS) framework, for learning the high resolution dictionary, we encourage stronger sparsity on image patches and promote smaller coherence between the learned dictionary and sensing matrix. Thus, a sparsity and incoherence restricted dictionary learning method is proposed to achieve higher efficiency sparse representation. Second, a variational regularization model combing a spatial sparsity regularization term and a new local spectral similarity preserving term is proposed to integrate the spectral and spatial-contextual information of the HSI. Experimental results show that the proposed method can effectively recover spatial information and better preserve spectral information. The high spatial resolution HSI reconstructed by the proposed method outperforms reconstructed results by other well-known methods in terms of both objective measurements and visual evaluation. PMID:25608212

  2. Understanding the Correlations Among Undergraduates’ Spatial Reasoning Skills and Their Ability to Learn Astronomy Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyer, Inge

    2012-01-01

    We tacitly assume that astronomy is a conceptual domain deeply entrenched in three dimensions and that learners need to utilize spatial thinking to develop understanding of the field. In particular, cognitive science generally views students’ spatial thinking abilities as something that can be enhanced through purposeful instruction, whereas aptitude and ability to learn complex ideas might be immutable. Yet, precise investigations into the underlying relationship between students’ spatial reasoning ability and their ability to learn astronomy content in college science classes are beginning to reveal insight into how students cognitively engage in learning astronomy. In support, researchers at the CAPER Center for Astronomy and Physics Education Research conducted a first-steps correlational study of 148 non-science majoring undergraduate students. Using a single group, multiple-measures, longitudinal study design, students’ cognition was measured for pretest and posttest gains in astronomy understanding using established assessment tools, including the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) over the duration of instruction. In the middle of the semester they were tested for spatial reasoning ability using a subset of reliable spatial thinking assessment tools from the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC). Results suggest some instructional techniques can be predicted as successful a priori while others are as yet unresolved. This work was supported, in part, by the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowment.

  3. Sleep Enhances a Spatially Mediated Generalization of Learned Values

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Tolat, Anisha; Spiers, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is thought to play an important role in memory consolidation. Here we tested whether sleep alters the subjective value associated with objects located in spatial clusters that were navigated to in a large-scale virtual town. We found that sleep enhances a generalization of the value of high-value objects to the value of locally clustered…

  4. Women and Spatial Change: Learning Resources for Social Science Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rengert, Arlene C., Ed.; Monk, Janice J., Ed.

    Six units focusing on the effects of spatial change on women are designed to supplement college introductory courses in geography and the social sciences. Unit 1, Woman and Agricultural Landscapes, focuses on how women contributed to landscape change in prehistory, women's impact on the environment, and the hypothesis that women developed…

  5. Relationship between Spatial Abilities, Mental Rotation and Functional Anatomy Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guillot, Aymeric; Champely, Stephane; Batier, Christophe; Thiriet, Patrice; Collet, Christian

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between visuo-spatial representation, mental rotation (MR) and functional anatomy examination results. A total of 184 students completed the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT), Mental Rotation Test (MRT) and Gordon Test of Visual Imagery Control. The time spent on personal assignment was also considered.…

  6. Sex and boldness explain individual differences in spatial learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Carazo, Pau; Noble, Daniel W. A.; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding individual differences in cognitive performance is a major challenge to animal behaviour and cognition studies. We used the Eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii) to examine associations between exploration, boldness and individual variability in spatial learning, a dimension of lizard cognition with important bearing on fitness. We show that males perform better than females in a biologically relevant spatial learning task. This is the first evidence for sex differences in learning in a reptile, and we argue that it is probably owing to sex-specific selective pressures that may be widespread in lizards. Across the sexes, we found a clear association between boldness after a simulated predatory attack and the probability of learning the spatial task. In contrast to previous studies, we found a nonlinear association between boldness and learning: both ‘bold’ and ‘shy’ behavioural types were more successful learners than intermediate males. Our results do not fit with recent predictions suggesting that individual differences in learning may be linked with behavioural types via high–low-risk/reward trade-offs. We suggest the possibility that differences in spatial cognitive performance may arise in lizards as a consequence of the distinct environmental variability and complexity experienced by individuals as a result of their sex and social tactics. PMID:24619443

  7. Using the Morris water maze to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice.

    PubMed

    Barnhart, Christopher D; Yang, Dongren; Lein, Pamela J

    2015-01-01

    Mouse models have been indispensable for elucidating normal and pathological processes that influence learning and memory. A widely used method for assessing these cognitive processes in mice is the Morris water maze, a classic test for examining spatial learning and memory. However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed. While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains. Here, we present experimental evidence that weanling mice can be trained in the Morris water maze beginning on postnatal day 24. Maze-trained weanling mice exhibit significant improvements in spatial learning over the training period and results of the probe trial indicate the development of spatial memory. There were no sex differences in the animals' performance in these tasks. In addition, molecular biomarkers of synaptic plasticity are upregulated in maze-trained mice at the transcript level. These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

  8. Hippocampal 5-HT1A Receptor and Spatial Learning and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Glikmann-Johnston, Yifat; Saling, Michael M.; Reutens, David C.; Stout, Julie C.

    2015-01-01

    Spatial cognition is fundamental for survival in the topographically complex environments inhabited by humans and other animals. The hippocampus, which has a central role in spatial cognition, is characterized by high concentration of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) receptor binding sites, particularly of the 1A receptor (5-HT1A) subtype. This review highlights converging evidence for the role of hippocampal 5-HT1A receptors in spatial learning and memory. We consider studies showing that activation or blockade of the 5-HT1A receptors using agonists or antagonists, respectively, lead to changes in spatial learning and memory. For example, pharmacological manipulation to induce 5-HT release, or to block 5-HT uptake, have indicated that increased extracellular 5-HT concentrations maintain or improve memory performance. In contrast, reduced levels of 5-HT have been shown to impair spatial memory. Furthermore, the lack of 5-HT1A receptor subtype in single gene knockout mice is specifically associated with spatial memory impairments. These findings, along with evidence from recent cognitive imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with 5-HT1A receptor ligands, and studies of individual genetic variance in 5-HT1A receptor availability, strongly suggests that 5-HT, mediated by the 5-HT1A receptor subtype, plays a key role in spatial learning and memory. PMID:26696889

  9. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M.; Nocera, Joe R.; Drucker, Jonathan H.; Tran, Stella M.; Butler, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered. PMID:26074807

  10. Selective enhancement of spatial learning under chronic psychosocial stress.

    PubMed

    Bartolomucci, Alessandro; de Biurrun, Gabriel; Czéh, Boldizsár; van Kampen, Marja; Fuchs, Eberhard

    2002-06-01

    The hippocampus has long been proved to be implicated in several learning and memory processes. Being integrated into the limbic-hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hippocampus also plays an active role in the regulation of the stress response. Long lasting elevated levels of glucocorticoids resulting from a prolonged stress exposure affect hippocampal functions and structure, inducing learning and memory alterations and suppressing cell proliferation in the adult dentate gyrus. Here, adult male tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) exposed to chronic psychosocial stress were tested repeatedly on a holeboard apparatus using two different learning tasks devised to evaluate hippocampal-dependent and hippocampal-independent cognitive function. We show that chronic stress enhanced learning in animals performing the hippocampal-dependent task, whereas no stress-induced effect was found in the hippocampal-independent task. Additionally, after five weeks of stress, cell proliferation was reduced in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These results indicate that specific memory processes not only may remain intact, but indeed are facilitated by chronic stress, despite elevated cortisol levels and suppressed hippocampal cell proliferation.

  11. Spatial Learning Deficits in Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schandler, Steven L.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Investigated whether visuospatial deficits displayed by chronic alcoholics are present in persons at risk for alcoholism. Compared 17 social drinkers who were children of alcoholics and 17 who had no family alcoholism history. Visuospatial learning of children of alcoholics was significantly poorer than that of subjects with no family alcoholism…

  12. Spatial Context Learning Survives Interference from Working Memory Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vickery, Timothy J.; Sussman, Rachel S.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    The human visual system is constantly confronted with an overwhelming amount of information, only a subset of which can be processed in complete detail. Attention and implicit learning are two important mechanisms that optimize vision. This study addressed the relationship between these two mechanisms. Specifically we asked, Is implicit learning…

  13. Location-Aware Mobile Learning of Spatial Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karavirta, Ville

    2013-01-01

    Learning an algorithm--a systematic sequence of operations for solving a problem with given input--is often difficult for students due to the abstract nature of the algorithms and the data they process. To help students understand the behavior of algorithms, a subfield in computing education research has focused on algorithm…

  14. [An improved N-FINDR endmember extraction algorithm based on manifold learning and spatial information].

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-yan; Gao, Kun; Ni, Guo-qiang; Zhu, Zhen-yu; Cheng, Hao-bo

    2013-09-01

    An improved N-FINDR endmember extraction algorithm by combining manifold learning and spatial information is presented under nonlinear mixing assumptions. Firstly, adaptive local tangent space alignment is adapted to seek potential intrinsic low-dimensional structures of hyperspectral high-diemensional data and reduce original data into a low-dimensional space. Secondly, spatial preprocessing is used by enhancing each pixel vector in spatially homogeneous areas, according to the continuity of spatial distribution of the materials. Finally, endmembers are extracted by looking for the largest simplex volume. The proposed method can increase the precision of endmember extraction by solving the nonlinearity of hyperspectral data and taking advantage of spatial information. Experimental results on simulated and real hyperspectral data demonstrate that the proposed approach outperformed the geodesic simplex volume maximization (GSVM), vertex component analysis (VCA) and spatial preprocessing N-FINDR method (SPPNFINDR).

  15. Spatial Visualization Tasks to Support Students' Spatial Structuring in Learning Volume Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Revina, Shintia; Zulkardi; Darmawijoyo; van Galen, Frans

    2011-01-01

    Many prior researches found that most of students in grade five tended to have difficulty in fully grasping the concept of volume measurement because they have to build their competence in spatial structuring. The unit of volume "packing" measurement must be integrated and coordinated in three-dimension. On the other hand, it is revealed…

  16. Differential activation of hippocampus and amygdala following spatial learning under stress.

    PubMed

    Akirav, I; Sandi, C; Richter-Levin, G

    2001-08-01

    We examined the activation of memory-related processes in the hippocampus and the amygdala following spatial learning under stress, in the rat. Animals were trained in a water maze in a massed spatial task under two stress conditions (cold and warm water). In the dorsal CA1, training was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of ERK2 only in animals that have acquired the task (irrespective of whether they were trained in cold or warm water). In the amygdala, significant activation of ERK2 was found only in animals that learned the task well under high levels of stress. Hence, the results suggest that the amygdala and the hippocampus are differentially activated following spatial learning, depending on the level of stress involved.

  17. Sleep enhances a spatially mediated generalization of learned values

    PubMed Central

    Tolat, Anisha; Spiers, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is thought to play an important role in memory consolidation. Here we tested whether sleep alters the subjective value associated with objects located in spatial clusters that were navigated to in a large-scale virtual town. We found that sleep enhances a generalization of the value of high-value objects to the value of locally clustered objects, resulting in an impaired memory for the value of high-valued objects. Our results are consistent with (a) spatial context helping to bind items together in long-term memory and serve as a basis for generalizing across memories and (b) sleep mediating memory effects on salient/reward-related items. PMID:26373834

  18. Spatial and Temporal knowledge representation techniques for traditional machine learning classifiers applied to remote sensing data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cervone, G.; Kafatos, M.

    2005-12-01

    Formulating general hypotheses from limited observations is one of the fundamental principles of scientific discovery. The data mining approach consists, among others, in generating new knowledge analyzing massive amounts of data and using background knowledge. Knowledge representation is one of the fundamental topics of data mining, because the representation language dictates which algorithms to use, as well as the effective usefulness of the learned hypotheses. Programs that use richer representation languages have the advantage of generating hypotheses that are compact and easy to understand, and the disadvantage of being more complex, slower and ususally with more control parameters. On the other hand, programs that use simpler representaiton languages overcome these shortcomings, but fail to generate hypotheses that can be easily interpreted and used for problem solving and decision making. Symbolic machine learning methods, such as decision rule classifiers, use a complex representation language which can be used to describe difficult concepts, and allow to cope with spatial and temporal data, such as remote sensing data. Because data are usually collected as a sequence of observations over time and in specific locations, very often it is necessary to find relations not only in the data per se, but also in the temporal and spatial distribution of the observations. Due to the increasingly large amount of spatial and temporal data collected and analyzed in several fields such as remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS), bioinformatics, medicine, bank transactions, etc, spatial and temporal knowledge representaion has become a problem of crucial importance. Present research investigates methods to use existing symbolic machine learning classifiers with temporal and spatial data. The data are converted in a representation language which is suitable to learn spatial and temporal relationship without modifying the existing algorithms. Results from

  19. Spatial cues more salient than color cues in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) reversal learning.

    PubMed

    Gaudio, Jennifer L; Snowdon, Charles T

    2008-11-01

    Animals living in stable home ranges have many potential cues to locate food. Spatial and color cues are important for wild Callitrichids (marmosets and tamarins). Field studies have assigned the highest priority to distal spatial cues for determining the location of food resources with color cues serving as a secondary cue to assess relative ripeness, once a food source is located. We tested two hypotheses with captive cotton-top tamarins: (a) Tamarins will demonstrate higher rates of initial learning when rewarded for attending to spatial cues versus color cues. (b) Tamarins will show higher rates of correct responses when transferred from color cues to spatial cues than from spatial cues to color cues. The results supported both hypotheses. Tamarins rewarded based on spatial location made significantly more correct choices and fewer errors than tamarins rewarded based on color cues during initial learning. Furthermore, tamarins trained on color cues showed significantly increased correct responses and decreased errors when cues were reversed to reward spatial cues. Subsequent reversal to color cues induced a regression in performance. For tamarins spatial cues appear more salient than color cues in a foraging task.

  20. Age-related decline in global form suppression.

    PubMed

    Wiegand, Iris; Finke, Kathrin; Töllner, Thomas; Starman, Kornelija; Müller, Hermann J; Conci, Markus

    2015-12-01

    Visual selection of illusory 'Kanizsa' figures, an assembly of local elements that induce the percept of a whole object, is facilitated relative to configurations composed of the same local elements that do not induce a global form--an instance of 'global precedence' in visual processing. Selective attention, i.e., the ability to focus on relevant and ignore irrelevant information, declines with increasing age; however, how this deficit affects selection of global vs. local configurations remains unknown. On this background, the present study examined for age-related differences in a global-local task requiring selection of either a 'global' Kanizsa- or a 'local' non-Kanizsa configuration (in the presence of the respectively other configuration) by analyzing event-related lateralizations (ERLs). Behaviorally, older participants showed a more pronounced global-precedence effect. Electrophysiologically, this effect was accompanied by an early (150-225 ms) 'positivity posterior contralateral' (PPC), which was elicited for older, but not younger, participants, when the target was a non-Kanizsa configuration and the Kanizsa figure a distractor (rather than vice versa). In addition, timing differences in the subsequent (250-500 ms) posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) indicated that attentional resources were allocated faster to Kanizsa, as compared to non-Kanizsa, targets in both age groups, while the allocation of spatial attention seemed to be generally delayed in older relative to younger age. Our results suggest that the enhanced global-local asymmetry in the older age group originated from less effective suppression of global distracter forms on early processing stages--indicative of older observers having difficulties with disengaging from a global default selection mode and switching to the required local state of attentional resolution.

  1. Learning the spatial features of a locomotor task is slowed after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Tyrell, Christine M.; Helm, Erin

    2014-01-01

    The capacity for humans to learn a new walking pattern has been explored with a split-belt treadmill during single sessions of adaptation, but the split-belt treadmill can also be used to study longer-term motor learning. Although the literature provides some information about motor learning after stroke, existing studies have primarily involved the upper extremity and the results are mixed. The purpose of this study was to characterize learning of a novel locomotor task in stroke survivors. We hypothesized that the presence of neurological dysfunction from stroke would result in slower learning of a locomotor task and decreased retention of what was learned and that these deficits would be related to level of sensorimotor impairment. Sixteen participants with stroke and sixteen neurologically intact participants walked on a split-belt treadmill for 15 min on 5 consecutive days and during a retention test. Step length and limb phase were measured to capture learning of the spatial and temporal aspects of walking. Learning the spatial pattern of split-belt treadmill walking was slowed after stroke compared with neurologically intact subjects, whereas there were no differences between these two groups in learning the temporal pattern. During the retention test, poststroke participants demonstrated equal retention of the split-belt treadmill walking pattern compared with those who were neurologically intact. The results suggest that although stroke survivors are slower to learn a new spatial pattern of gait, if given sufficient time they are able to do so to the same extent as those who are neurologically intact. PMID:24790172

  2. Gait disorder as a predictor of spatial learning and memory impairment in aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing M.; Meng, Zhaoxiang; Yin, Zhenglu

    2017-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether gait dysfunction is a predictor of severe spatial learning and memory impairment in aged mice. Methods A total of 100 12-month-old male mice that had no obvious abnormal motor ability and whose Morris water maze performances were not significantly different from those of two-month-old male mice were selected for the study. The selected aged mice were then divided into abnormal or normal gait groups according to the results from the quantitative gait assessment. Gaits of aged mice were defined as abnormal when the values of quantitative gait parameters were two standard deviations (SD) lower or higher than those of 2-month-old male mice. Gait parameters included stride length, variability of stride length, base of support, cadence, and average speed. After nine months, mice exhibiting severe spatial learning and memory impairment were separated from mice with mild or no cognitive dysfunction. The rate of severe spatial learning and memory impairment in the abnormal and normal gait groups was tested by a chi-square test and the correlation between gait dysfunction and decline in cognitive function was tested using a diagnostic test. Results The 12-month-old aged mice were divided into a normal gait group (n = 75) and an abnormal gait group (n = 25). Nine months later, three mice in the normal gait group and two mice in the abnormal gait group had died. The remaining mice were subjected to the Morris water maze again, and 17 out of 23 mice in the abnormal gait group had developed severe spatial learning and memory impairment, including six with stride length deficits, 15 with coefficient of variation (CV) in stride length, two with base of support (BOS) deficits, five with cadence dysfunction, and six with average speed deficits. In contrast, only 15 out of 72 mice in the normal gait group developed severe spatial learning and memory impairment. The rate of severe spatial learning and memory impairment was significantly higher in

  3. Spatial working memory and arithmetic deficits in children with nonverbal learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Irene Cristina; Lucangeli, Daniela; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2010-01-01

    Visuospatial working memory and its involvement in arithmetic were examined in two groups of 7- to 11-year-olds: one comprising children described by teachers as displaying symptoms of nonverbal learning difficulties (N = 21), the other a control group without learning disabilities (N = 21). The two groups were matched for verbal abilities, age, gender, and sociocultural level. The children were presented with a visuospatial working memory battery of recognition tests involving visual, spatial-sequential and spatial-simultaneous processes, and two arithmetic tasks (number ordering and written calculations). The two groups were found to differ on some spatial tasks but not in the visual working memory tasks. On the arithmetic tasks, the children with nonverbal learning difficulties made more errors than controls in calculation and were slower in number ordering. A discriminant function analysis confirmed the crucial role of spatial-sequential working memory in distinguishing between the two groups. Results are discussed with reference to spatial working memory and arithmetic difficulties in nonverbal learning disabilities. Implications for the relationship between visuospatial working memory and arithmetic are also considered.

  4. Loss of spatial learning in a patient with topographical disorientation in new environments

    PubMed Central

    Turriziani, P; Carlesimo, G; Perri, R; Tomaiuolo, F; Caltagirone, C

    2003-01-01

    The case is described of a patient who, following cerebral hypoxia, developed severe difficulty in orienting himself in new environments in the context of a mild global amnesic syndrome. Some episodes he related suggested that his main difficulty was remembering the spatial/directional value of landmarks he recognised. A neuroradiological examination documented severe bilateral atrophy of the hippocampi associated with atrophic changes in the cerebral hemispheres, most marked in the dorsal regions. Neuropsychological and experimental evaluation showed a severe deficit of spatial learning with substantially preserved ability to learn verbal and visual-object information. He was also virtually unable to learn a route in a maze task based exclusively on spatial data, but the availability of visual cues substantially improved his learning. Finally, he performed within normal limits on various tests investigating knowledge acquired premorbidly regarding famous buildings, routes in the town he had been living in since childhood, and geography. Topographical disorientation may be subtended by a specific difficulty in storing the spatial/directional value of visual landmarks in novel environments. The hippocampus appears to be involved in the acquisition of new topographical spatial knowledge. PMID:12486268

  5. Telencephalic neurocircuitry and synaptic plasticity in rodent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Pooters, Tine; Van der Jeugd, Ann; Callaerts-Vegh, Zsuzsanna; D'Hooge, Rudi

    2015-09-24

    Spatial learning and memory in rodents represent close equivalents of human episodic declarative memory, which is especially sensitive to cerebral aging, neurodegeneration, and various neuropsychiatric disorders. Many tests and protocols are available for use in laboratory rodents, but Morris water maze and radial-arm maze remain the most widely used as well as the most valid and reliable spatial tests. Telencephalic neurocircuitry that plays functional roles in spatial learning and memory includes hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal-hippocampal circuitry comprises the major associative system in the rodent brain, and is critical for navigation in physical space, whereas interconnections between prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum are probably more important for motivational or goal-directed aspects of spatial learning. Two major forms of synaptic plasticity, namely long-term potentiation, a lasting increase in synaptic strength between simultaneously activated neurons, and long-term depression, a decrease in synaptic strength, have been found to occur in hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. These and other phenomena of synaptic plasticity are probably crucial for the involvement of telencephalic neurocircuitry in spatial learning and memory. They also seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of two brain pathologies with episodic declarative memory impairments as core symptoms, namely Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Further research emphasis on rodent telencephalic neurocircuitry could be relevant to more valid and reliable preclinical research on these most devastating brain disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  6. Interleukin-1beta induces anorexia but not spatial learning and memory deficits in the rat.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Lisa M; Sutherland, Robert J

    2006-06-30

    Sickness behaviors are a set of adaptive responses to infection that include lethargy, anorexia, and, of direct relevance to this work, learning and memory impairments. The proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) has been proposed as the primary peripheral mediator of these sickness behaviors, though few studies have investigated the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on learning and memory. We used three different versions of the Morris water task (Morris water task), a spatial learning and memory task, to separately assess the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on acquisition, consolidation, and retention of spatial location information. Using a dose that induced anorexia, assessed as a significant reduction in body weight, we observed no performance impairments in the IL-1beta-treated rats across the different versions of the task, suggesting that peripheral IL-1beta alone is insufficient to induce spatial learning and memory impairments in the rat. The observed dissociation of anorexia and cognitive dysfunction suggests that, either spatial learning and memory are not principal components of the sickness response, or cognitive dysfunction requires different or additional peripheral mediator(s).

  7. Spatial learning while navigating with severely degraded viewing: The role of attention and mobility monitoring.

    PubMed

    Rand, Kristina M; Creem-Regehr, Sarah H; Thompson, William B

    2015-06-01

    The ability to navigate without getting lost is an important aspect of quality of life. In 5 studies, we evaluated how spatial learning is affected by the increased demands of keeping oneself safe while walking with degraded vision (mobility monitoring). We proposed that safe low vision mobility requires attentional resources, providing competition for those needed to learn a new environment. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants navigated along paths in a real-world indoor environment with simulated degraded vision or normal vision. Memory for object locations seen along the paths was better with normal compared with degraded vision. With degraded vision, memory was better when participants were guided by an experimenter (low monitoring demands) versus unguided (high monitoring demands). In Experiments 3 and 4, participants walked while performing an auditory task. Auditory task performance was superior with normal compared with degraded vision. With degraded vision, auditory task performance was better when guided compared with unguided. In Experiment 5, participants performed both the spatial learning and auditory tasks under degraded vision. Results showed that attention mediates the relationship between mobility-monitoring demands and spatial learning. These studies suggest that more attention is required and spatial learning is impaired when navigating with degraded viewing.

  8. Spatial learning while navigating with severely degraded viewing: The role of attention and mobility monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Kristina M.; Creem-Regehr, Sarah H.; Thompson, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to navigate without getting lost is an important aspect of quality of life. In five studies, we evaluated how spatial learning is affected by the increased demands of keeping oneself safe while walking with degraded vision (mobility monitoring). We proposed that safe low-vision mobility requires attentional resources, providing competition for those needed to learn a new environment. In Experiments 1 and 2 participants navigated along paths in a real-world indoor environment with simulated degraded vision or normal vision. Memory for object locations seen along the paths was better with normal compared to degraded vision. With degraded vision, memory was better when participants were guided by an experimenter (low monitoring demands) versus unguided (high monitoring demands). In Experiments 3 and 4, participants walked while performing an auditory task. Auditory task performance was superior with normal compared to degraded vision. With degraded vision, auditory task performance was better when guided compared to unguided. In Experiment 5, participants performed both the spatial learning and auditory tasks under degraded vision. Results showed that attention mediates the relationship between mobility-monitoring demands and spatial learning. These studies suggest that more attention is required and spatial learning is impaired when navigating with degraded viewing. PMID:25706766

  9. Can zebrafish learn spatial tasks? An empirical analysis of place and single CS-US associative learning.

    PubMed

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-08-01

    The zebrafish may be an ideal tool with which genes underlying learning and memory can be identified and functionally investigated. From a translational viewpoint, relational learning and episodic memory are particularly important as their impairment is the hallmark of prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases. Recent reports suggest that zebrafish are capable of solving complex relational-type associative learning tasks, namely spatial learning tasks. However, it is not known whether good performance in these tasks was truly based upon relational learning or upon a single CS-US association. Here we study whether zebrafish can find a rewarding stimulus (sight of conspecifics) based upon a single associative cue or/and upon the location of the reward using a method conceptually similar to 'context and cue dependent fear conditioning' employed with rodents. Our results confirm that zebrafish can form an association between a salient visual cue and the rewarding stimulus and at the same time they can also learn where the reward is presented. Although our results do not prove that zebrafish form a dynamic spatial map of their surroundings and use this map to locate their reward, they do show that these fish perform similarly to rodents whose hippocampal function is unimpaired. These results further strengthen the notion that complex cognitive abilities exist in the zebrafish and thus they may be analyzed using the excellent genetic tool set developed for this simple vertebrate.

  10. Can zebrafish learn spatial tasks? An empirical analysis of place and single CS-US associative learning

    PubMed Central

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish may be an ideal tool with which genes underlying learning and memory can be identified and functionally investigated. From a translational viewpoint, relational learning and episodic memory are particularly important as their impairment is the hallmark of prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases. Recent reports suggest that zebrafish are capable of solving complex relational-type associative learning tasks, namely spatial learning tasks. However, it is not known whether good performance in these tasks was truly based upon relational learning or upon a single CS-US association. Here we study whether zebrafish can find a rewarding stimulus (sight of conspecifics) based upon a single associative cue or/and upon the location of the reward using a method conceptually similar to ‘context and cue dependent fear conditioning’ employed with rodents. Our results confirm that zebrafish can form an association between a salient visual cue and the rewarding stimulus and at the same time they can also learn where the reward is presented. Although our results do not prove that zebrafish form a dynamic spatial map of their surroundings and use this map to locate their reward, they do show that these fish perform similarly to rodents whose hippocampal function is unimpaired. These results further strengthen the notion that complex cognitive abilities exist in the zebrafish and thus they may be analyzed using the excellent genetic tool set developed for this simple vertebrate. PMID:22633962

  11. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram, enhances inhibition of prepotent responding and spatial reversal learning.

    PubMed

    Brown, Holden D; Amodeo, Dionisio A; Sweeney, John A; Ragozzino, Michael E

    2012-11-01

    Previous findings indicate treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) facilitates behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a learned response pattern. The present experiment investigated whether acute treatment with the SSRI, escitalopram, affects behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a naturally biased response pattern (elevated conflict test) and/or reversal of a learned response pattern (spatial reversal learning). An additional experiment was carried out to determine whether escitalopram, at doses that affected behavioral flexibility, also reduced anxiety as tested in the elevated plus-maze. In each experiment, Long-Evans rats received an intraperitoneal injection of either saline or escitalopram (0.03, 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg) 30 min prior to behavioral testing. Escitalopram, at all doses tested, enhanced acquisition in the elevated conflict test, but did not affect performance in the elevated plus-maze. Escitalopram (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg) did not alter acquisition of the spatial discrimination, but facilitated reversal learning. In the elevated conflict and spatial reversal learning test, escitalopram enhanced the ability to maintain the relevant strategy after being initially selected. The present findings suggest that enhancing serotonin transmission with an SSRI facilitates inhibitory processes when conditions require a shift away from either a naturally biased response pattern or a learned choice pattern.

  12. Acquisition of knowledge about spatial location: assessing the generality of the mechanism of learning.

    PubMed

    Chamizo, V D

    2003-02-01

    A selection of studies in the last 20 years is reviewed. These studies show basic Pavlovian phenomena in the spatial domain (like blocking, overshadowing, latent inhibition, and perceptual learning) with nonhuman subjects, specifically with rats, both in the radial maze and in the circular pool. The generality of these phenomena with respect to other species and to other spatial preparations is also discussed. The conclusion is that the mechanism responsible for the acquisition of knowledge about spatial location seems to be associative in nature.

  13. Changes in brain cholinergic markers and spatial learning in old galanin-overexpressing mice.

    PubMed

    Pirondi, S; D'Intino, G; Gusciglio, M; Massella, A; Giardino, L; Kuteeva, E; Ogren, S-O; Hökfelt, T; Calzà, L

    2007-03-23

    The cholinergic forebrain system is involved in learning and memory, and its age-dependent decline correlates with a decrease in cognitive performance. Since the neuropeptide galanin participates in cholinergic neuron regulation, we have studied 19- to 23-month-old male mice overexpressing galanin under the platelet-derived growth factor B promoter (GalOE) and wild-type (WT) littermates by monitoring behavioral, neurochemical and morphological/histochemical parameters. In the Morris water maze test, old transgenic animals showed a significant impairment in escape latency in the hidden platform test compared to age-matched WT animals. The morphological/histochemical studies revealed that cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain display a slight, age- but not genotype-related, alteration in choline acetyltransferase- (ChAT) immunoreactivity. The neurochemical studies showed an age-related decline in ChAT activity in the cerebral cortex of all mice, whereas in the hippocampal formation this effect was seen in GalOE but not WT animals. Expression of BDNF mRNA in the hippocampal formation, as evaluated by RT-PCR, was reduced in old animals; no age- or genotype-induced variations in NGF mRNA expression were observed. These data suggest that galanin overexpression further accentuates the age-related decline of the cholinergic system activity in male mice, resulting in impairment of water maze performance in old animals.

  14. The effect of arsenite on spatial learning: Involvement of autophagy and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    BonakdarYazdi, Behnoosh; Khodagholi, Fariba; Shaerzadeh, Fatemeh; Sharifzadeh, Azadeh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Sanati, Mehdi; Mehdizadeh, Hajar; Payandehmehr, Borna; Vali, Leila; Jahromi, Mehrnoush Moghaddasi; Taghizadeh, Ghorban; Sharifzadeh, Mohammad

    2017-02-05

    Spatial learning plays a major role in one's information recording. Arsenic is one of ubiquitous environmental toxins with known neurological effects. However, studies investigating the effects of arsenic on spatial learning and related mechanisms are limited. This study was planned toexaminethe effects of bilateral intra-hippocampal infusion of different concentrations of sodium arsenite (5, 10 and 100nM, 5µl/side) on spatial learning in Wistar rats. Moreover, we evaluated levels of LC3-II, Atg7 and Atg12 as reliable biomarkers of autophagy and caspase-3 and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio as indicators of apoptosis in the hippocampus. Interestingly, low concentrations of sodium arsenite (5 and 10nM) significantly increased spatial acquisition but pre-training administration of sodium arsenite100nM did not significantly alter spatial learning. LC3-II levels were significantly increased in groups treated with sodium arsenite 5 and 10nM and decreased in the group receiving arsenite 100nM compared to the control group. Atg7 and Atg12 levels were obviously higher in all groups treated with sodium arsenite compared to control. However, caspase-3 cleavage and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio were notably greater in 100nM, and lesser in 5nM arsenite group in comparison with control animals. The results of this study showed that the low concentrations of sodium arsenite could facilitate spatial learning. This facilitation could be attributed to neuronal autophagy induced by low concentrations of sodium arsenite. These findings may help to clarify the regulatory pathways for apoptosis and autophagy balance due to sodium arsenite.

  15. A consistent but non-coincident visual pattern facilitates the learning of spatial relations among locations.

    PubMed

    Katz, Scott S; Brown, Michael F; Sturz, Bradley R

    2014-02-01

    Human participants searched in a dynamic three-dimensional computer-generated virtual-environment open-field search task for four hidden goal locations arranged in a diamond configuration located in a 5 × 5 matrix of raised bins. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: visual pattern or visual random. All participants experienced 30 trials in which four goal locations maintained the same spatial relations to each other (i.e., a diamond pattern), but this diamond pattern moved to random locations within the 5 × 5 matrix from trial to trial. For participants in the visual pattern group, four locations were marked in a distinct color and arranged in a diamond pattern that moved to a random location independent of the hidden spatial pattern from trial to trial throughout the experimental session. For participants in the visual random group, four random locations were marked with a distinct color and moved to random locations independent from the hidden spatial pattern from trial to trial throughout the experimental session. As a result, the visual cues for the visual pattern group were consistent but not coincident with the hidden spatial pattern, whereas the visual cues for the visual random group were neither consistent nor coincident with the hidden spatial pattern. Results indicated that participants in both groups learned the spatial configuration of goal locations and that the presence of consistent but noncoincident visual cues facilitated the learning of spatial relations among locations.

  16. Effects of testosterone on spatial learning and memory in adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Spritzer, Mark D.; Daviau, Emily D.; Coneeny, Meagan K.; Engelman, Shannon M.; Prince, W. Tyler; Rodriguez-Wisdom, Karlye N.

    2011-01-01

    A male advantage over females for spatial tasks has been well documented in both humans and rodents, but it remains unclear how the activational effects of testosterone influence spatial ability in males. In a series of experiments, we tested how injections of testosterone influenced the spatial working and reference memory of castrated male rats. In the eight-arm radial maze, testosterone injections (0.500 mg/rat) reduced the number of working memory errors during the early blocks of testing but had no effect on the number of reference memory errors relative to the castrated control group. In a reference memory version of the Morris water maze, injections of a wide range of testosterone doses (0.0625-1.000 mg/rat) reduced path lengths to the hidden platform, indicative of improved spatial learning. This improved learning was independent of testosterone dose, with all treatment groups showing better performance than the castrated control males. Furthermore, this effect was only observed when rats were given testosterone injections starting seven days prior to water maze testing and not when injections were given only on the testing days. We also observed that certain doses of testosterone (0.250 and 1.000 mg/rat) increased perseverative behavior in a reversal-learning task. Finally, testosterone did not have a clear effect on spatial working memory in the Morris water maze, although intermediate doses seemed to optimize performance. Overall, the results indicate that testosterone can have positive activational effects on spatial learning and memory, but the duration of testosterone replacement and the nature of the spatial task modify these effects. PMID:21295035

  17. Adaptive social learning strategies in temporally and spatially varying environments : how temporal vs. spatial variation, number of cultural traits, and costs of learning influence the evolution of conformist-biased transmission, payoff-biased transmission, and individual learning.

    PubMed

    Nakahashi, Wataru; Wakano, Joe Yuichiro; Henrich, Joseph

    2012-12-01

    Long before the origins of agriculture human ancestors had expanded across the globe into an immense variety of environments, from Australian deserts to Siberian tundra. Survival in these environments did not principally depend on genetic adaptations, but instead on evolved learning strategies that permitted the assembly of locally adaptive behavioral repertoires. To develop hypotheses about these learning strategies, we have modeled the evolution of learning strategies to assess what conditions and constraints favor which kinds of strategies. To build on prior work, we focus on clarifying how spatial variability, temporal variability, and the number of cultural traits influence the evolution of four types of strategies: (1) individual learning, (2) unbiased social learning, (3) payoff-biased social learning, and (4) conformist transmission. Using a combination of analytic and simulation methods, we show that spatial-but not temporal-variation strongly favors the emergence of conformist transmission. This effect intensifies when migration rates are relatively high and individual learning is costly. We also show that increasing the number of cultural traits above two favors the evolution of conformist transmission, which suggests that the assumption of only two traits in many models has been conservative. We close by discussing how (1) spatial variability represents only one way of introducing the low-level, nonadaptive phenotypic trait variation that so favors conformist transmission, the other obvious way being learning errors, and (2) our findings apply to the evolution of conformist transmission in social interactions. Throughout we emphasize how our models generate empirical predictions suitable for laboratory testing.

  18. Beneficial effect of Boswellia serrata gum resin on spatial learning and the dendritic tree of dentate gyrus granule cells in aged rats

    PubMed Central

    Hosseini-Sharifabad, Mohammad; Kamali-Ardakani, Razieh; Hosseini-Sharifabad, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The hippocampal formation, particularly the dentate gyrus (DG), shows age-related morphological changes that could cause memory decline. It is indicated that Boswellia resins attenuates memory deficits and the major component of Boswellia serrata (Bs) gum resin, beta boswellic acid increased neurite outgrowth and branching in hippocampal neurons. This study was designed to investigate the effect of Boswellia treatment on spatial learning performance and the morphology of dentate granule cells in aged rats. Materials and Methods: Sixteen male Wistar rats (24 months old) were divided into experimental and control groups. Experimental group was intragastrically administered with the aqueous extract of Bs (100 mg/kg/d for 8 weeks) and control group received a similar volume of water. Spatial learning performance of rats was tested using Morris water maze task. At the end of experiment, the brain was removed and the right hippocampus was serially sectioned for morphometric analysis. The Cavalieri principle was employed to estimate the volume of the DG. A quantitative Golgi study was used to analyze the dendritic trees of dentate granule cells. Results: Chronic treatment with Bs improved spatial learning capability during the three acquisition days. Comparisons also revealed that Bs-treated aged rat had greater DG with increased dendritic complexity in the dentate granule cells than control rats. Hippocampal granule cells of Bs-treated aged rats had more dendritic segments, larger arbors, more numerical branching density and more dendritic spines in comparison to control animals. Conclusion: This study provided a neuro-anatomical basis for memory improvement due to chronic treatment with Bs. PMID:27222832

  19. A Transgenic Model for Learning Defects: Role of NF1 in Drosophila Visual-Spatial Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    mutants, and can be rescued by reducing Ras activity either genetically or pharmacologically. Conversely, olfactory learning defects observed in Nf1...which is distinct from the Mushroom Body region that is essential for olfactory learning. We hypothesize that visual learning defects in Nf1 mutant...also assayed olfactory learning acuity in Nf1 mutant flies that have been fed drugs that reduce Ras activity, or affect downstream targets of Ras/NF1

  20. Enhancement of spatial learning by predator odor in mice: involvement of amygdala and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Galliot, Emmanuel; Levaillant, Maryline; Beard, Elidie; Millot, Jean-Louis; Pourié, Gregory

    2010-02-01

    Olfaction has particular links with learning and memory compared with other sensory cues, due to the interrelations between their neural circuitry. The present study deals with the effects of a putative stressor (i.e. a predator odor) on visuo-spatial learning in mice. Firstly, the results show that a predator odor spread during the Morris water maze task led to learning enhancement. In addition, a stereotaxic approach was used to investigate the involvement of the amygdala in this hippocampus-dependent type of learning. Thus, the performance of mice in visuo-spatial learning under predator odor conditions was dramatically reduced by an ibotenate bilateral amygdala lesion. The involvement of the amygdala was confirmed by a reduced expression of c-fos in the CA1 hippocampus of amygdala-lesioned mice at the end of the learning procedure. Mild exposure to a predator odor during hippocampus-dependent learning therefore leads to an enhancement of performance through the co-activation of the amygdala, probably by a stress mediated mechanism.

  1. Seizures in early life suppress hippocampal dendrite growth while impairing spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Masataka; Gu, Xue; Swann, John W

    2011-11-01

    Impaired learning and memory are common in epilepsy syndromes of childhood. Clinical investigations suggest that the developing brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of intractable seizure disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated reduced volumes in brain regions involved in learning and memory. The earlier the onset of an epilepsy the larger the effects seem to be on both brain anatomy and cognition. Thus, childhood epilepsy has been proposed to interfere in some unknown way with brain development. Experiments reported here explore these ideas by examining the effects of seizures in infant mice on learning and memory and on the growth of CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cell dendrites. Fifteen brief seizures were induced by flurothyl between postnatal days 7 and 11 in mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in hippocampal pyramidal cells. One to 44days later, dendritic arbors were reconstructed to measure growth. Spatial learning and memory were also assessed in a water maze. Our results show that recurrent seizures produced marked deficits in learning and memory. Seizures also dramatically slowed the growth of basilar dendrites while neurons in littermate control mice continued to add new dendritic branches and lengthen existing branches. When experiments were performed in older mice, seizures had no measureable effects on either dendrite arbor complexity or spatial learning and memory. Our results suggest that the recurring seizures of intractable childhood epilepsy contribute to associated learning and memory deficits by suppressing dendrite growth.

  2. Failure to learn a new spatial format in children with developmental dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Pontillo, Maria; De Luca, Maria; Ellis, Andrew W.; Marinelli, Chiara Valeria; Spinelli, Donatella; Zoccolotti, Pierluigi

    2014-01-01

    A general problem in studying children with developmental dyslexia is how to separate inefficiency in learning on the one hand from exposure to written texts on the other. To evaluate dyslexic children's learning abilities with graphemic materials, we tested their improvement in a condition that minimized previous experience with words (i.e., “novel words”) and with the standard, horizontal spatial letter array (i.e., a non-canonical “zigzag” format). We selected five pairs of children with dyslexia and (younger) typically developing readers matched for reading speed and accuracy in these specific conditions. Reading performance on novel words in the zigzag format was measured in 23 sessions; learning curves were fitted by power functions. Similar to typically developing readers, children with dyslexia improved their reading of novel words presented in the new format; however, their rate of learning was slower than that of typically developing readers. Furthermore, their learning to read in the new format did not generalize to novel untrained items, whereas significant generalization was present in typically developing readers. As the failure to generalize learning of the spatial format could not be attributed to reduced experience, it indicates a genuine disability and points to impaired perceptual learning as a factor in developmental dyslexia. PMID:24785494

  3. Chlorpheniramine impairs spatial choice learning in telencephalon-ablated fish.

    PubMed

    Romaguera, Fernanda; Mattioli, Rosana

    2008-01-01

    This work investigated the effect of the H1 receptor blockade in the forebrain of ablated Carassius auratus in a simple stimulus-response learning task using a T-maze test with positive reinforcement. The goldfish were submitted to surgery for removal of both telencephalic lobes five days before beginning the experiment. A T-shaped glass aquarium was employed, with two feeders located at the extremities of the long arm. One of the two feeders was blocked. The experimental trials were performed in nine consecutive days. Each fish was individually placed in the short arm and confined there for thirty seconds, then it was allowed to swim through the aquarium to search for food for ten minutes (maximum period). Time to find food was analysed in seconds. Animals were injected intraperitoneally with chlorpheniramine (CPA) at 16 mg/kg of body weight or saline after every trial, ten minutes after being placed back in the home aquarium. The results show that all the training latencies of the A-SAL group were higher than the latencies of the S-SAL group. The S-SAL group had decreased latencies from the second trial on, while the S-CPA group showed decreased latencies after the fourth trial. The A-SAL group showed reduced latencies after the fifth trial, but the A-CPA group maintained the latencies throughout the experiment. This suggests that CPA impairs the consolidation of learning both on telencephalon ablated animals and in sham-operated ones through its action on mesencephalic structures of the brain and/or on the cerebellum in teleost fish.

  4. The modified Location Learning Test: norms for the assessment of spatial memory function in neuropsychological patients.

    PubMed

    Kessels, Roy P C; Nys, Gudrun M S; Brands, Augustina M A; van den Berg, Esther; Van Zandvoort, Martine J E

    2006-12-01

    This study examines the applicability of the modified Location Learning Test (mLLT) as a test of spatial memory in neuropsychological patients. Three groups of participants were examined: stroke patients, patients with diabetes mellitus and healthy participants (N=411). Three error measures were computed, the Total Score (index of overall performance), the Learning Index (the learning curve over subsequent trials) and the Delayed Recall Score, measuring decay over time. The Learning Index was the most sensitive measure, showing differences between the three groups as well as lateralization effects within the stroke group. Also, the mLLT correlated significantly with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, as well as with age and education level. Regression-based normative data were computed based on the healthy participants. In all, the mLLT appears to be a sensitive and valid test for the detection of object-location memory impairments in clinical groups.

  5. User Control and Task Authenticity for Spatial Learning in 3D Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dalgarno, Barney; Harper, Barry

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes two empirical studies which investigated the importance for spatial learning of view control and object manipulation within 3D environments. A 3D virtual chemistry laboratory was used as the research instrument. Subjects, who were university undergraduate students (34 in the first study and 80 in the second study), undertook…

  6. THE EFFECT OF SELECTED SPATIAL DESIGN FACTORS IN EDUCATIONAL DISPLAYS ON LEARNING AND RETENTION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ROCKETT, AGNES M.; SAUL, EZRA V.

    CRITERIA WERE DEVELOPED FOR THE DESIGN OF LABELS IN VERBAL-PICTORIAL EDUCATIONAL DISPLAYS. THE INFLUENCE OF SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF LABELS ON EASE OF LEARNING AND DEGREE OF RETENTION WAS INVESTIGATED. THIRTY ANATOMICAL PARTS OF THE HUMAN DIGESTIVE TRACT WERE LABELED ON 10 CHARTS SHOWING THE SAME DIAGRAM OF THE HUMAN BODY, BUT WITH DIFFERENT…

  7. Who Benefits from Learning with 3D Models?: The Case of Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huk, T.

    2006-01-01

    Empirical studies that focus on the impact of three-dimensional (3D) visualizations on learning are to date rare and inconsistent. According to the ability-as-enhancer hypothesis, high spatial ability learners should benefit particularly as they have enough cognitive capacity left for mental model construction. In contrast, the…

  8. Semantic Features, Perceptual Expectations, and Frequency as Factors in the Learning of Polar Spatial Adjective Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunckley, Candida J. Lutes; Radtke, Robert C.

    Two semantic theories of word learning, a perceptual complexity hypothesis (H. Clark, 1970) and a quantitative complexity hypothesis (E. Clark, 1972) were tested by teaching 24 preschoolers and 16 college students CVC labels for five polar spatial adjective concepts having single word representations in English, and for three having no direct…

  9. Variable impact of chronic stress on spatial learning and memory in BXD mice.

    PubMed

    Shea, Chloe J A; Carhuatanta, Kimberly A K; Wagner, Jessica; Bechmann, Naomi; Moore, Raquel; Herman, James P; Jankord, Ryan

    2015-10-15

    The effects of chronic stress on learning are highly variable across individuals. This variability stems from gene-environment interactions. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects genetic predictors of learning are unclear. Thus, we aim to determine whether the genetic pathways that predict spatial memory performance are altered by previous exposure to chronic stress. Sixty-two BXD recombinant inbred strains of mice, as well as parent strains C57BL/6J and DBA/2J, were randomly assigned as behavioral control or to a chronic variable stress paradigm and then underwent behavioral testing to assess spatial memory and learning performance using the Morris water maze. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was completed for average escape latency times for both control and stress animals. Loci on chromosomes 5 and 10 were found in both control and stress environmental populations; eight additional loci were found to be unique to either the control or stress environment. In sum, results indicate that certain genetic loci predict spatial memory performance regardless of prior stress exposure, while exposure to stress also reveals unique genetic predictors of training during the memory task. Thus, we find that genetic predictors contributing to spatial learning and memory are susceptible to the presence of chronic stress.

  10. Increasing Content-Area Learning: A Comparison of Mnemonic and Visual-Spatial Direct Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scruggs, Thomas E.; And Others

    In two experiments, learning disabled (LD) students were taught attributes of North American minerals via mnemonic instruction, free study, or a visual-spatial display condition similar to that proposed by Engelmann and Carnine (1982). In the first experiement, 36 junior high school-age LD students were taught specific attribute values (hardness =…

  11. Incidental Learning of Links during Navigation: The Role of Visuo-Spatial Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rouet, Jean-Francois; Voros, Zsofia; Pleh, Csaba

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the impact of readers' visuo-spatial (VS) capacity on their incidental learning of page links during the exploration of simple hierarchical hypertextual documents. Forty-three university students were asked to explore a series of hypertexts for a limited period of time. Then the participants were asked to recall the layout and the…

  12. Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Spatial thinking is a cognitive skill that can be used in everyday life, the workplace, and science to structure problems, find answers, and express solutions using the properties of space. It can be learned and taught formally to students using appropriately designed tools, technologies, and curricula. This report explains the nature and…

  13. Neurobiological and Endocrine Correlates of Individual Differences in Spatial Learning Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandi, Carmen; Cordero, M. Isabel; Merino, Jose J.; Kruyt, Nyika D.; Regan, Ciaran M.; Murphy, Keith J.

    2004-01-01

    The polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) has been implicated in activity-dependent synaptic remodeling and memory formation. Here, we questioned whether training-induced modulation of PSA-NCAM expression might be related to individual differences in spatial learning abilities. At 12 h posttraining, immunohistochemical analyses…

  14. Blocking of Spatial Learning between Enclosure Geometry and a Local Landmark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Paul N.; Alexander, Tim

    2008-01-01

    In a virtual environment, blocking of spatial learning to locate an invisible target was found reciprocally between a distinctively shaped enclosure and a local landmark within its walls. The blocking effect was significantly stronger when the shape of the enclosure rather than the landmark served as the blocking cue. However, the extent to which…

  15. Does Spatial Ability Help the Learning of Anatomy in a Biomedical Science Course?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweeney, Kevin; Hayes, Jennifer A.; Chiavaroli, Neville

    2014-01-01

    A three-dimensional appreciation of the human body is the cornerstone of clinical anatomy. Spatial ability has previously been found to be associated with students' ability to learn anatomy and their examination performance. The teaching of anatomy has been the subject of major change over the last two decades with the reduction in time spent…

  16. The Effects of Spatial Configuration on Preschoolers' Attention Strategies, Selective Attention, and Incidental Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blumberg, Fran C.; Torenberg, Meira

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of spatial arrangement on preschool children's selective attention and incidental learning. Three- and four-year old children were shown a multi-coloured box designated as a "special place" containing miniature chairs and models of animals. One category of objects were designated as relevant and one as…

  17. Learning the Visualisation of Three-Dimensional Spatial Relationships in Diagrams at Different Ages in Bahrain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seddon, G. M.; Shubber, K. E.

    1985-01-01

    Evaluated effectiveness of six instructional programs (each dealing with a different aspect of a spatial task related to diagrams of three-dimensional structures) with Bahraini students (ages 13- to 17-years-old). All brought about a significant degree of learning over all age groups. Implications of these and other findings are discussed.…

  18. Showercap Mindmap: A Spatial Activity for Learning Physiology Terminology and Location

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vanags, Thea; Budimlic, Mira; Herbert, Elissa; Montgomery, Melena M.; Vickers, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to…

  19. A Computer-Based Spatial Learning Strategy Approach That Improves Reading Comprehension and Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponce, Hector R.; Mayer, Richard E.; Lopez, Mario J.

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the effectiveness of a computer-based spatial learning strategy approach for improving reading comprehension and writing. In reading comprehension, students received scaffolded practice in translating passages into graphic organizers. In writing, students received scaffolded practice in planning to write by filling in graphic…

  20. Fractal dimensions: A new paradigm to assess spatial memory and learning using Morris water maze.

    PubMed

    Singh, Surjeet; Kaur, Harpreet; Sandhir, Rajat

    2016-02-15

    Morris water maze has been widely used for analysis of cognitive functions and relies on the time taken by animal to find the platform i.e. escape latency as a parameter to quantify spatial memory and learning. However, escape latency is confounded by swimming speed which is not necessarily a cognitive factor. Rather, path length may be a more appropriate and reliable parameter to assess spatial learning. This paper presents fractal dimension as a new paradigm to assess spatial memory and learning in animals. Male wistar rats were administrated with pentylenetetrazole and scopolamine to induce chronic epilepsy and dementia respectively. Fractal dimension of the random path followed by the animals on Morris water maze was analyzed and statistically compared among different experimental groups; the results suggest that fractal dimension is more reliable and accurate parameter to assess cognitive deficits compared to escape latency. Thus, the present study suggests that fractal dimensions could be used as an independent parameter to assess spatial memory and learning in animals using Morris water maze.

  1. Fluoxetine Restores Spatial Learning but Not Accelerated Forgetting in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkas, Lisa; Redhead, Edward; Taylor, Matthew; Shtaya, Anan; Hamilton, Derek A.; Gray, William P.

    2012-01-01

    Learning and memory dysfunction is the most common neuropsychological effect of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, and because the underlying neurobiology is poorly understood, there are no pharmacological strategies to help restore memory function in these patients. We have demonstrated impairments in the acquisition of an allocentric spatial task,…

  2. Knockdown of Nurr1 in the Rat Hippocampus: Implications to Spatial Discrimination Learning and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colon-Cesario, Wanda I.; Martinez-Montemayor, Michelle M.; Morales, Sohaira; Felix, Jahaira; Cruz, Juan; Adorno, Monique; Pereira, Lixmar; Colon, Nydia; Maldonado-Vlaar, Carmen S.; Pena de Ortiz, Sandra

    2006-01-01

    Nurr1 expression is up-regulated in the brain following associative learning experiences, but its relevance to cognitive processes remains unclear. In these studies, rats initially received bilateral hippocampal infusions of control or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) 1 hour prior to training in a holeboard spatial discrimination task. Such…

  3. Spatial Visualization as Mediating between Mathematics Learning Strategy and Mathematics Achievement among 8th Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabab'h, Belal; Veloo, Arsaythamby

    2015-01-01

    Jordanian 8th grade students revealed low achievement in mathematics through four periods (1999, 2003, 2007 & 2011) of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This study aimed to determine whether spatial visualization mediates the affect of Mathematics Learning Strategies (MLS) factors namely mathematics attitude,…

  4. Spatially-varying metric learning for diffeomorphic image registration: a variational framework.

    PubMed

    Vialard, François-Xavier; Risser, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces a variational strategy to learn spatially-varying metrics on large groups of images, in the Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (LDDMM) framework. Spatially-varying metrics we learn not only favor local deformations but also correlated deformations in different image regions and in different directions. In addition, metric parameters can be efficiently estimated using a gradient descent method. We first describe the general strategy and then show how to use it on 3D medical images with reasonable computational ressources. Our method is assessed on the 3D brain images of the LPBA40 dataset. Results are compared with ANTS-SyN and LDDMM with spatially-homogeneous metrics.

  5. Spatial water maze learning using celestial cues by the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Galea, L A

    1994-03-31

    The Morris water maze is widely used to evaluate to evaluate the spatial learning ability of rodents under laboratory settings. The present study demonstrates that reproductive male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, are able to acquire and retain a spatial water maze task using celestial cues. Voles were able to acquire a modified outdoor Morris water maze task over 4 trials per day, whereby they had to learn and remember the location of a submerged hidden platform, using the position of the sun and associated celestial cues. Their proficiency on this task was related to the availability of the celestial cues, with voles displaying significantly poorer spatial navigation on overcast than clear days and when the testing time (and position of the sun and associated celestial cues) was shifted from morning to afternoon. These findings with meadow voles support the ecological relevance of the water maze task.

  6. Representation of survey and route spatial descriptions in children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Irene C; Meneghetti, Chiara; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Gitti, Filippo; Gomez, Claudia; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2009-11-01

    This study aims to investigate the types of difficulty encountered by children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities (NLD) during the processing of spatial information derived from descriptions. Two spatial descriptions--one in survey, one in route perspective--and one nonspatial description were orally presented to children aged 9-12 divided in three groups: (i) with NLD (N=12), (ii) with reading disability (RD) (N=11), and (iii) without learning disabilities who served as controls (N=16). Children performed two tasks: sentence verification and location. In the verification task, NLD performed worse in survey text than control and RD groups. Moreover, in the location task NLD were worse than controls in both survey and route descriptions, but significantly poorer than the RD group only in the survey description. The results are discussed considering their implications in understanding the neuropsychological profile of NLD and the processes involved by different types of spatial descriptions.

  7. Parainflammation, chronic inflammation, and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2015-11-01

    Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune-privileged tissue as a result of its unique anatomic and physiologic properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate-immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergoes low levels of activation (parainflammation). In many cases, this parainflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration, this parainflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal parainflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors, and old age. Dysregulated parainflammation (chronic inflammation) in age-related macular degeneration damages the blood retina barrier, resulting in the breach of retinal-immune privilege, leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate-immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in age-related macular degeneration and explores the difference between beneficial parainflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of age-related macular degeneration.

  8. Treadmill exercise enhances spatial learning ability through suppressing hippocampal apoptosis in Huntington's disease rats.

    PubMed

    Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, You-Mi; Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Chang-Ju; Lee, Kwang-Sik; Kim, Kijeong; Ha, Jonglin; Chung, Yong-Rak

    2015-06-01

    Huntington's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and characterized as involuntary movement. Quinolinic acid has been used to produce an animal model of Huntington's disease. In the present study, the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial-learning ability and motor coordination focusing on the apoptosis in the hippocampus was investigated using quinolinic acid-induced Huntington's disease rats. Huntington's disease was induced by unilateral intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid (2 μL of 100 nmol) using stereotaxic instrument. The rats in the treadmill exercise groups were subjected to run on a treadmill for 30 min once a day during 14 days. Spatial learning ability and motor coordination were determined by radial 8-arm maze test and rota-rod test. Immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 and western blot for Bax and Bcl-2 were also conducted for the detection of apoptosis. In the present results, spatial learning ability and motor coordination were deteriorated by intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid. In contrast, treadmill exercise exerted ameliorating effect on quinolinic acid-induced deterioration of spatial learning ability and motor coordination. Bcl-2 expression in the hippocampus was de-creased and expressions of casepase-3 and Bax in the hippocampus were increased in the quinolinic acid-induced Huntington's disease rats. Treadmill exercise increased Bcl-2 expression and decreased expressions of casepase-3 and Bax in the Huntington's disease rats. The present results showed that treadmill exercise might ameliorate quinolinic acid-induced loss of spatial learning ability and motor coordination by suppressing apoptosis in the hippocampus.

  9. Sleep directly following learning benefits consolidation of spatial associative memory.

    PubMed

    Talamini, Lucia M; Nieuwenhuis, Ingrid L C; Takashima, Atsuko; Jensen, Ole

    2008-04-01

    The last decade has brought forth convincing evidence for a role of sleep in non-declarative memory. A similar function of sleep in episodic memory is supported by various correlational studies, but direct evidence is limited. Here we show that cued recall of face-location associations is significantly higher following a 12-h retention interval containing sleep than following an equally long period of waking. Furthermore, retention is significantly higher over a 24-h sleep-wake interval than over an equally long wake-sleep interval. This difference occurs because retention during sleep was significantly better when sleep followed learning directly, rather than after a day of waking. These data demonstrate a beneficial effect of sleep on memory that cannot be explained solely as a consequence of reduced interference. Rather, our findings suggest a competitive consolidation process, in which the fate of a memory depends, at least in part, on its relative stability at sleep onset: Strong memories tend to be preserved, while weaker memories erode still further. An important aspect of memory consolidation may thus result from the removal of irrelevant memory "debris."

  10. Exposure to radiation accelerates normal brain aging and produces deficits in spatial learning and memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukitt-Hale, B.; Casadesus, G.; Carey, A.; Rabin, B. M.; Joseph, J. A.

    Previous studies have shown that radiation exposure, particularly to particles of high energy and charge (HZE particles), produces deficits in spatial learning and memory. These adverse behavioral effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. It is possible that these shared effects may be produced by the same mechanism; oxidative stress damage to the central nervous system caused by an increased release of reactive oxygen species is likely responsible for the deficits seen in aging and following irradiation. Both aged and irradiated rats display cognitive impairment in tests of spatial learning and memory such as the Morris water maze and the radial arm maze. These rats have decrements in the ability to build spatial representations of the environment and they utilize non-spatial strategies to solve tasks. Furthermore, they show a lack of spatial preference, due to a decline in the ability to process or retain place (position of a goal with reference to a "map" provided by the configuration of numerous cues in the environment) information. These declines in spatial memory occur in measures dependent on both reference and working memory, and in the flexibility to reset mental images. These results show that irradiation with high-energy particles produces age-like decrements in cognitive behavior that may impair the ability of astronauts to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere. Supported by NASA Grants NAG9-1190 and NAG9-1529

  11. Acute stress differentially affects spatial configuration learning in high and low cortisol-responding healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Thomas; Smeets, Tom; Giesbrecht, Timo; Quaedflieg, Conny W. E. M.; Merckelbach, Harald

    2013-01-01

    Background Stress and stress hormones modulate memory formation in various ways that are relevant to our understanding of stress-related psychopathology, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Particular relevance is attributed to efficient memory formation sustained by the hippocampus and parahippocampus. This process is thought to reduce the occurrence of intrusions and flashbacks following trauma, but may be negatively affected by acute stress. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that the efficiency of visuo-spatial processing and learning based on the hippocampal area is related to PTSD symptoms. Objective The current study investigated the effect of acute stress on spatial configuration learning using a spatial contextual cueing task (SCCT) known to heavily rely on structures in the parahippocampus. Method Acute stress was induced by subjecting participants (N = 34) to the Maastricht Acute Stress Test (MAST). Following a counterbalanced within-subject approach, the effects of stress and the ensuing hormonal (i.e., cortisol) activity on subsequent SCCT performance were compared to SCCT performance following a no-stress control condition. Results Acute stress did not impact SCCT learning overall, but opposing effects emerged for high versus low cortisol responders to the MAST. Learning scores following stress were reduced in low cortisol responders, while high cortisol-responding participants showed improved learning. Conclusions The effects of stress on spatial configuration learning were moderated by the magnitude of endogenous cortisol secretion. These findings suggest a possible mechanism by which cortisol responses serve an adaptive function during stress and trauma, and this may prove to be a promising route for future research in this area. PMID:23671762

  12. The spatial learning and memory performance in methamphetamine–sensitized and withdrawn rats

    PubMed Central

    Bigdeli, Imanollah; Asia, Masomeh Nikfarjam- Haft; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein; Fadaei, Atefeh

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): There is controversial evidence about the effect of methamphetamine (METH) on spatial memory. We tested the time- dependent effects of METH on spatial short-term (working) and long-term (reference) memory in METH –sensitized and withdrawn rats in the Morris water maze. Materials and Methods: Rats were sensitized to METH (2 mg/kg, daily/5 days, SC). Rats were trained in water maze (4 trials/day/for 5 days). Probe test was performed 24 hr after training. Two days after probe test, working memory training (2 trials/day/for 5 days) was conducted. Acquisition–retention interval was 75 min. The treatment was continued per day 30 and 120 min before the test. Two groups of METH –sensitized rats were trained in reference memory after a longer period of withdrawal (30 days). Results: Sensitized rats exhibited significantly longer escape latencies on the training, spent significantly less time in the target zone (all, P<0.05), and their working memory impaired 30 min after injection. While, METH has no effect on the spatial learning process 120 min after injection, and rats spent significantly less time in the target zone (P<0.05), as well it has no effect on working memory. Also, impairment of reference memory persisted after prolonged abstinence. Conclusion: Our findings indicated that METH impaired spatial learning and memory 30 min after injection, but spared spatial learning, either acquisition or retention of spatial working, but partially impaired retention of spatial reference memory following 120 min after injection in sensitized rats, which persisted even after prolonged abstinence. PMID:25945235

  13. Pathophysiology of ageing, longevity and age related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bürkle, Alexander; Caselli, Graziella; Franceschi, Claudio; Mariani, Erminia; Sansoni, Paolo; Santoni, Angela; Vecchio, Giancarlo; Witkowski, Jacek M; Caruso, Calogero

    2007-01-01

    On April 18, 2007 an international meeting on Pathophysiology of Ageing, Longevity and Age-Related Diseases was held in Palermo, Italy. Several interesting topics on Cancer, Immunosenescence, Age-related inflammatory diseases and longevity were discussed. In this report we summarize the most important issues. However, ageing must be considered an unavoidable end point of the life history of each individual, nevertheless the increasing knowledge on ageing mechanisms, allows envisaging many different strategies to cope with, and delay it. So, a better understanding of pathophysiology of ageing and age-related disease is essential for giving everybody a reasonable chance for living a long and enjoyable final part of the life. PMID:17683521

  14. Age-related macular degeneration: current treatment and future options.

    PubMed

    Moutray, Tanya; Chakravarthy, Usha

    2011-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment among older adults in the developed world. Epidemiological studies have revealed a number of genetic, ocular and environmental risk factors for this condition, which can be addressed by disease reduction strategies. We discuss the various treatment options for dry and exudative age-related macular degeneration available and explain how the recommended treatment depends on the exact type, location and extent of the degeneration. Currently, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition therapy is the best available treatment for exudative age-related macular degeneration but is limited by the need for repeated intravitreal injections. The current treatment regime is being refined through research on optimal treatment frequency and duration and type of anti-VEGF drug. Different modes of drug delivery are being developed and in the future other methods of VEGF inhibition may be used.

  15. Selective importance of the rat anterior thalamic nuclei for configural learning involving distal spatial cues.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Julie R; Amin, Eman; Aggleton, John P

    2014-01-01

    To test potential parallels between hippocampal and anterior thalamic function, rats with anterior thalamic lesions were trained on a series of biconditional learning tasks. The anterior thalamic lesions did not disrupt learning two biconditional associations in operant chambers where a specific auditory stimulus (tone or click) had a differential outcome depending on whether it was paired with a particular visual context (spot or checkered wall-paper) or a particular thermal context (warm or cool). Likewise, rats with anterior thalamic lesions successfully learnt a biconditional task when they were reinforced for digging in one of two distinct cups (containing either beads or shredded paper), depending on the particular appearance of the local context on which the cup was placed (one of two textured floors). In contrast, the same rats were severely impaired at learning the biconditional rule to select a specific cup when in a particular location within the test room. Place learning was then tested with a series of go/no-go discriminations. Rats with anterior thalamic nuclei lesions could learn to discriminate between two locations when they were approached from a constant direction. They could not, however, use this acquired location information to solve a subsequent spatial biconditional task where those same places dictated the correct choice of digging cup. Anterior thalamic lesions produced a selective, but severe, biconditional learning deficit when the task incorporated distal spatial cues. This deficit mirrors that seen in rats with hippocampal lesions, so extending potential interdependencies between the two sites.

  16. Selective importance of the rat anterior thalamic nuclei for configural learning involving distal spatial cues

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, Julie R; Amin, Eman; Aggleton, John P

    2013-01-01

    To test potential parallels between hippocampal and anterior thalamic function, rats with anterior thalamic lesions were trained on a series of biconditional learning tasks. The anterior thalamic lesions did not disrupt learning two biconditional associations in operant chambers where a specific auditory stimulus (tone or click) had a differential outcome depending on whether it was paired with a particular visual context (spot or checkered wall-paper) or a particular thermal context (warm or cool). Likewise, rats with anterior thalamic lesions successfully learnt a biconditional task when they were reinforced for digging in one of two distinct cups (containing either beads or shredded paper), depending on the particular appearance of the local context on which the cup was placed (one of two textured floors). In contrast, the same rats were severely impaired at learning the biconditional rule to select a specific cup when in a particular location within the test room. Place learning was then tested with a series of go/no-go discriminations. Rats with anterior thalamic nuclei lesions could learn to discriminate between two locations when they were approached from a constant direction. They could not, however, use this acquired location information to solve a subsequent spatial biconditional task where those same places dictated the correct choice of digging cup. Anterior thalamic lesions produced a selective, but severe, biconditional learning deficit when the task incorporated distal spatial cues. This deficit mirrors that seen in rats with hippocampal lesions, so extending potential interdependencies between the two sites. PMID:24215178

  17. Sex differences in neurogenesis and activation of new neurons in response to spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Chow, Carmen; Epp, Jonathan R; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Barha, Cindy K; Galea, Liisa A M

    2013-08-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is often associated with hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Throughout a new neuron's development, it is differentially sensitive to factors that can influence its survival and functionality. Previous research shows that spatial training that occurred 6-10 days after an injection of the DNA synthesis marker, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), increased cell survival in male rats. Because sex differences in spatial cognition and hippocampal neurogenesis have been reported, it is unclear whether spatial training would influence hippocampal neurogenesis in the same way in males and females. Therefore, this study examined sex differences in hippocampal neurogenesis following training in a spatial task. Male and female rats were trained in the spatial or cued version of the Morris water maze 6-10 days after one injection of BrdU (200mg/kg). Twenty days following BrdU injection, all animals were given a probe trial and perfused. Males performed better in the spatial, but not cue, task than females. Spatial training increased BrdU-labeled cells relative to cue training only in males, but both males and females showed greater activation of new cells (BrdU co-labeled with immediate early gene product zif268) after spatial training compared to cue training. Furthermore, performance during spatial training was positively correlated with cell activation in females but not males. This study shows that while spatial training differentially regulates hippocampal neurogenesis in males and females, the activity of new neurons in response to spatial memory retrieval is similar. These findings highlight the importance of sex on neural plasticity and cognition.

  18. Repeated acquisition and performance chamber for mice: a paradigm for assessment of spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A I; Cory-Slechta, D A; Murg, S L; Federoff, H J

    2000-11-01

    these two strains under these experimental conditions and thus precluding the ability to make systematic strain comparisons of learning capabilities. Hippocampal lesions in C57BL/6J mice resulted in substantially longer latencies and increased errors in the learning but not the performance component, demonstrating the importance of this region to spatial learning as measured in the RAPC. In aggregate, this positive reinforcement-based operant paradigm to evaluate murine spatial learning detects strain differences and hippocampal dependence and permits explicit differentiation of the impact of noncognitive contributions to learning measures on a within-subject, within-session basis.

  19. CKD increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Liew, Gerald; Mitchell, Paul; Wong, Tien Yin; Iyengar, Sudha K; Wang, Jie Jin

    2008-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States and often coexists with chronic kidney disease. Both conditions share common genetic and environmental risk factors. A total of 1183 participants aged 54+ were examined in the population-based, prospective cohort Blue Mountains Eye Study (Australia) to determine if chronic kidney disease increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Moderate chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) based on the Cockcroft-Gault equation) was present in 24% of the population (286 of 1183). The 5-yr incidence of early age-related macular degeneration was 3.9% in participants with no/mild chronic kidney disease (35 of 897) and 17.5% in those with moderate chronic kidney disease (50 of 286). After adjusting for age, sex, cigarette smoking, hypertension, complement factor H polymorphism, and other risk factors, persons with moderate chronic kidney disease were 3 times more likely to develop early age-related macular degeneration than persons with no/mild chronic kidney disease (odds ratio = 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 5.7, P < 0.0001). Each SD (14.8 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)) decrease in Cockcroft-Gault estimated glomerular filtration rate was associated with a doubling of the adjusted risk for early age-related macular degeneration (odds ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 2.8, P < 0.0001). In conclusion, persons with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk of early age-related macular degeneration, suggesting the possibility of shared pathophysiologic mechanisms between the two conditions.

  20. Search strategy selection in the Morris water maze indicates allocentric map formation during learning that underpins spatial memory formation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Jake; Churilov, Leonid; Hannan, Anthony J; Renoir, Thibault

    2017-03-01

    Using a Matlab classification algorithm, we demonstrate that a highly salient distal cue array is required for significantly increased likelihoods of spatial search strategy selection during Morris water maze spatial learning. We hypothesized that increased spatial search strategy selection during spatial learning would be the key measure demonstrating the formation of an allocentric map to the escape location. Spatial memory, as indicated by quadrant preference for the area of the pool formally containing the hidden platform, was assessed as the main measure that this allocentric map had formed during spatial learning. Our C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) mice exhibit quadrant preference in the highly salient cue paradigm but not the low, corresponding with a 120% increase in the odds of a spatial search strategy selection during learning. In contrast, quadrant preference remains absent in serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1AR) knockout (KO) mice, who exhibit impaired search strategy selection during spatial learning. Additionally, we also aimed to assess the impact of the quality of the distal cue array on the spatial learning curves of both latency to platform and path length using mixed-effect regression models and found no significant associations or interactions. In contrast, we demonstrated that the spatial learning curve for search strategy selection was absent during training in the low saliency paradigm. Therefore, we propose that allocentric search strategy selection during spatial learning is the learning parameter in mice that robustly indicates the formation of a cognitive map for the escape goal location. These results also suggest that both latency to platform and path length spatial learning curves do not discriminate between allocentric and egocentric spatial learning and do not reliably predict spatial memory formation. We also show that spatial memory, as indicated by the absolute time in the quadrant formerly containing the hidden platform alone (without

  1. Age-related decline in emotional prosody discrimination: acoustic correlates.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Rachel L C; Kingston, Rachel A

    2014-01-01

    It is now accepted that older adults have difficulty recognizing prosodic emotion cues, but it is not clear at what processing stage this ability breaks down. We manipulated the acoustic characteristics of tones in pitch, amplitude, and duration discrimination tasks to assess whether impaired basic auditory perception coexisted with our previously demonstrated age-related prosodic emotion perception impairment. It was found that pitch perception was particularly impaired in older adults, and that it displayed the strongest correlation with prosodic emotion discrimination. We conclude that an important cause of age-related impairment in prosodic emotion comprehension exists at the fundamental sensory level of processing.

  2. Learning new movement patterns: a study on good and poor writers comparing learning conditions emphasizing spatial, timing or abstract characteristics.

    PubMed

    Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2011-08-01

    In the earliest stages of motor-skill learning cognitive, visuo-spatial and dynamic processes play an important role. Which of these should be addressed first when children need to learn a new complex movement sequence? This study compares three learning methods in a within-subject design by having 18 good and 18 poor 8-year-old writers master unfamiliar, letter-like patterns by (1) tracing a trajectory on a screen, (2) tracking a moving target (pursuit), and (3) performing the pattern using written explicit instructions. Following each 10-trial learning phase, the children completed a short test phase. Besides errors and kinematic data, Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) was used to calculate the deviation for each pattern from the ideal shape (DTW-distance). As predicted, the number of errors and DTW-distance were very low during the learning phase of the tracing and pursuit conditions and higher in the explicit condition. Conversely, in the test phase, tracing yielded the highest DTW-distance and the explicit condition the lowest DTW-distance and error percentages. The results were remarkably similar for the good and poor writers. The poor learning results of the tracing condition and the good results of the explicit condition have important implications for the teaching of handwriting and remedial therapy.

  3. Spatial learning and memory retention in the grey bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum).

    PubMed

    Schluessel, Vera; Bleckmann, Horst

    2012-12-01

    Like other vertebrates, fish can learn to solve a wide variety of tasks; however, many of their cognitive abilities, particularly in cartilaginous fishes, still remain unknown. This study investigated memory retention capabilities of spatial learning tasks in the grey bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum, n=8) after behavioural training in a two-choice experiment (T-maze). Sharks learned to obtain food at a goal location, either by performing a specific turn response or by using a variety of external landmarks for guidance. Following successful training, sharks were subjected to several training breaks ranging from one to six weeks, after which they were tested again for memory retention capabilities. Sharks successfully mastered the spatial tasks after 5-21 sessions and retained this knowledge in the absence of reinforcement for a period of up to six weeks. This is the first study to show that sharks, like stingrays and other vertebrates, can solve spatial tasks and retain spatial knowledge for an extended period of time, possibly aiding them in activities such as food retrieval, predator avoidance, mate choice and habitat selection.

  4. Showercap Mindmap: a spatial activity for learning physiology terminology and location.

    PubMed

    Vanags, Thea; Budimlic, Mira; Herbert, Elissa; Montgomery, Melena M; Vickers, Tracy

    2012-06-01

    Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to mark brain regions and affix labels to another participant's head. The control group learned the material verbally through a game. When tested verbally, both the control and experimental groups recalled more of the 10 terms immediately after the activity (+106% and +83%, respectively) and 2 wk later (+53% and +31%, respectively) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005). When participants' knowledge was tested spatially (labeling a brain diagram), the experimental group recalled more terms at the posttest (+76%) and followup (+73%) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005), but the control group who showed no improvement at either time point (+12% and +14%, respectively). These findings support the notion that spatial and multisensory learning produces improved spatial recall over time while also supporting the notion of transfer-appropriate processing.

  5. SVR learning-based spatiotemporal fuzzy logic controller for nonlinear spatially distributed dynamic systems.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xian-Xia; Jiang, Ye; Li, Han-Xiong; Li, Shao-Yuan

    2013-10-01

    A data-driven 3-D fuzzy-logic controller (3-D FLC) design methodology based on support vector regression (SVR) learning is developed for nonlinear spatially distributed dynamic systems. Initially, the spatial information expression and processing as well as the fuzzy linguistic expression and rule inference of a 3-D FLC are integrated into spatial fuzzy basis functions (SFBFs), and then the 3-D FLC can be depicted by a three-layer network structure. By relating SFBFs of the 3-D FLC directly to spatial kernel functions of an SVR, an equivalence relationship of the 3-D FLC and the SVR is established, which means that the 3-D FLC can be designed with the help of the SVR learning. Subsequently, for an easy implementation, a systematic SVR learning-based 3-D FLC design scheme is formulated. In addition, the universal approximation capability of the proposed 3-D FLC is presented. Finally, the control of a nonlinear catalytic packed-bed reactor is considered as an application to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed 3-D FLC.

  6. Systems genetic analysis of hippocampal neuroanatomy and spatial learning in mice

    PubMed Central

    Delprato, Anna; Bonheur, Brice; Algéo, Marie-Paule; Rosay, Philippe; Lu, Lu; Williams, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Variation in hippocampal neuroanatomy correlates well with spatial learning ability in mice. Here we have studied both hippocampal neuroanatomy and behavior in 53 isogenic BXD recombinant strains derived from C57BL/6J and DBA/2J parents. A combination of experimental, neuroinformatic, and systems genetics methods were used to test the genetic bases of variation and covariation among traits. Data were collected on seven hippocampal subregions in CA3 and CA4 after testing spatial memory in an 8-arm radial maze task. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for hippocampal structure, including the areas of the intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fibers, stratum radiatum, and stratum pyramidale, and for a spatial learning parameter, error rate. We identified multiple loci and gene variants linked to either structural differences or behavior. Gpc4 and Tenm2 are strong candidate genes that may modulate intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fiber areas. Analysis of gene-expression networks and trait correlations highlight several processes influencing morphometrical variation and spatial learning. PMID:26449520

  7. Spatial learning-related changes in metabolic activity of limbic structures at different posttask delays.

    PubMed

    Méndez-López, M; Méndez, M; Sampedro-Piquero, P; Arias, J L

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the functional contribution of brain limbic system regions at different moments after the acquisition of a short-term spatial memory task performed in the Morris water maze. Adult male Wistar rats were submitted to a matching-to-sample procedure with a hidden platform. The trials were made up of two daily identical visits to the platform, sample (swim-1) and retention (swim-2). To study oxidative metabolic activity, we applied cytochrome oxidase (COx) histochemistry. Densitometric measurements were taken at 1.5, 6, 24, and 48 hr posttask. An untrained group was added to explore the COx changes not specific to the learning process. The brain regions studied showed a different pattern of metabolic activity at different time points after the spatial memory task. Specifically, a significant increase of COx was found in the septal dentate gyrus, anteromedial thalamus, medial mammillary nucleus, and entorhinal cortex at early moments after learning. The entorhinal cortex maintained an increase of COx at later stages of the posttask period. In addition, an increase of COx activity was found in the supramammillary nucleus and the retrosplenial, perirhinal, and parietal cortices a long time after learning. These findings suggest that diencephalic and cortical regions are involved in this spatial learning and contribute at different moments to process this information.

  8. Sex-related differences in spatial learning during the early postnatal development of the rat.

    PubMed

    Cimadevilla, J M; González-Pardo, H; López, L; Diaz, F; Cueto, E G; Garcia-Moreno, L M; Arias, J L

    1999-06-01

    Some authors have reported that male rats younger than 21 days old are unable to perform spatial learning correctly because they have still not developed the ability to use extra-maze cues. In experiment 1, we analyzed spatial learning in 14-, 21-, 30- and 42-day-old rats using the Morris water maze (MWM). According to our results, a good performance was observed in 30-day-old male rats whereas this was not observed in female rats until they were 42 days old. In experiment 2 we studied the role of sex hormones in this kind of learning using the MWM and 30-day-old rats (castrated male rats and female rats treated with testosterone propionate (TP) after birth). The latter group, the male control group and the castrated males all solved the task correctly. The objective of experiment 3 was to determine possible differences between the sexes in the use of taxon strategies in the T water maze. To summarize, sexual dimorphism was only observed in spatial learning during development.

  9. 4SPPIces: A Case Study of Factors in a Scripted Collaborative-Learning Blended Course across Spatial Locations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez-Sanagustin, Mar; Santos, Patricia; Hernandez-Leo, Davinia; Blat, Josep

    2012-01-01

    Computer-Supported Collaborative Blended Learning (CSCBL) scripts are complex learning situations in which formal and informal activities conducted at different spatial locations are coordinated and integrated into one unique learning setting through the use of technology. We define a conceptual model identifying four factors to be considered when…

  10. Context-specific effects of estradiol on spatial learning and memory in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Rensel, M A; Salwiczek, L; Roth, J; Schlinger, B A

    2013-02-01

    Estradiol is known to impact cognitive function including spatial learning and memory, with studies focused largely on rodent models. Estrogens can be produced peripherally or centrally as neuroestrogens, and the specific role for neuroestrogens in memory processes remains unresolved. Many songbirds possess remarkable spatial memory capabilities and also express the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase abundantly in the hippocampus, suggesting that locally-produced estrogens may promote the acquisition or retrieval of spatial memories in these birds. We examined the effect of estradiol on spatial memory in three contexts in the zebra finch: retrieval after discrimination training, retrieval after familiarization but without discrimination training, and memory acquisition, using a combination of estradiol implants and oral dosing with the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD). Retrieval of spatial memory in both contexts was impaired when estradiol production was blocked. However, spatial memory acquisition was enhanced when estradiol production was inhibited whereas estradiol replacement impaired acquisition. These results provide evidence for a context-specific role of estradiol in songbird spatial memory, results that find accord with some mammalian studies but have not yet been observed in birds.

  11. The Effects of Restricted Peripheral Field-of-View on Spatial Learning while Navigating

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Recent work with simulated reductions in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity has found decrements in survey spatial learning as well as increased attentional demands when navigating, compared to performance with normal vision. Given these findings, and previous work showing that peripheral field loss has been associated with impaired mobility and spatial memory for room-sized spaces, we investigated the role of peripheral vision during navigation using a large-scale spatial learning paradigm. First, we aimed to establish the magnitude of spatial memory errors at different levels of field restriction. Second, we tested the hypothesis that navigation under these different levels of restriction would use additional attentional resources. Normally sighted participants walked on novel real-world paths wearing goggles that restricted the field-of-view (FOV) to severe (15°, 10°, 4°, or 0°) or mild angles (60°) and then pointed to remembered target locations using a verbal reporting measure. They completed a concurrent auditory reaction time task throughout each path to measure cognitive load. Only the most severe restrictions (4° and blindfolded) showed impairment in pointing error compared to the mild restriction (within-subjects). The 10° and 4° conditions also showed an increase in reaction time on the secondary attention task, suggesting that navigating with these extreme peripheral field restrictions demands the use of limited cognitive resources. This comparison of different levels of field restriction suggests that although peripheral field loss requires the actor to use more attentional resources while navigating starting at a less extreme level (10°), spatial memory is not negatively affected until the restriction is very severe (4°). These results have implications for understanding of the mechanisms underlying spatial learning during navigation and the approaches that may be taken to develop assistance for navigation with visual impairment. PMID

  12. The impact of symbolic and non-symbolic quantity on spatial learning.

    PubMed

    McCrink, Koleen; Galamba, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    An implicit mapping of number to space via a "mental number line" occurs automatically in adulthood. Here, we systematically explore the influence of differing representations of quantity (no quantity, non-symbolic magnitudes, and symbolic numbers) and directional flow of stimuli (random flow, left-to-right, or right-to-left) on learning and attention via a match-to-sample working memory task. When recalling a cognitively demanding string of spatial locations, subjects performed best when information was presented right-to-left. When non-symbolic or symbolic numerical arrays were embedded in these spatial locations, and mental number line congruency prompted, this effect was attenuated and in some cases reversed. In particular, low-performing female participants who viewed increasing non-symbolic number arrays paired with the spatial locations exhibited better recall for left-to-right directional flow information relative to right-to-left, and better processing for the left side of space relative to the right side of space. The presence of symbolic number during spatial learning enhanced recall to a greater degree than non-symbolic number--especially for female participants, and especially when cognitive load is high--and this difference was independent of directional flow of information. We conclude that quantity representations have the potential to scaffold spatial memory, but this potential is subtle, and mediated by the nature of the quantity and the gender and performance level of the learner.

  13. A Context for Teaching Aging-Related Public Policy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, David K.

    1999-01-01

    Describes two points of view regarding age-related public programs (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security): that of devolutionists who would curtail them and safety netters who maintain the government's role is indispensable. Uses Relative Deprivation theory as a framework for teaching public policy about aging. (SK)

  14. Glycosaminoglycans in the Human Cornea: Age-Related Changes

    PubMed Central

    Pacella, Elena; Pacella, Fernanda; De Paolis, Giulio; Parisella, Francesca Romana; Turchetti, Paolo; Anello, Giulia; Cavallotti, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    AIM To investigate possible age-related changes in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the human cornea. The substances today called GAGs were previously referred to as mucopolysaccharides. METHODS Samples of human cornea were taken from 12 younger (age 21 ± 1.2) and 12 older (age 72 ± 1.6) male subjects. Samples were weighed, homogenized, and used for biochemical and molecular analyses. All the quantitative results were statistically analyzed. RESULTS The human cornea appears to undergo age-related changes, as evidenced by our biochemical and molecular results. The total GAG and hyaluronic acid counts were significantly higher in the younger subjects than in the older subjects. The sulfated heavy GAGs, such as chondroitin, dermatan, keratan, and heparan sulfate, were lower in the younger subjects than in the older subjects. DISCUSSION GAGs of the human cornea undergo numerous age-related changes. Their quantity is significantly altered in the elderly in comparison with younger subjects. GAGs play an important role in age-related diseases of the human cornea. PMID:25674020

  15. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutritional epigenetics has emerged as a novel mechanism underlying gene–diet interactions, further elucidating the modulatory role of nutrition in aging and age-related disease development. Epigenetics is defined as a heritable modification to the DNA that regulates chromosome architecture and modu...

  16. Age-Related Differences in Moral Identity across Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krettenauer, Tobias; Murua, Lourdes Andrea; Jia, Fanli

    2016-01-01

    In this study, age-related differences in adults' moral identity were investigated. Moral identity was conceptualized a context-dependent self-structure that becomes differentiated and (re)integrated in the course of development and that involves a broad range of value-orientations. Based on a cross-sectional sample of 252 participants aged 14 to…

  17. Nutritional modulation of age-related macular degeneration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated wi...

  18. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Age-Related Cognitive Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2011-01-01

    There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the…

  19. [Impact of thymic function in age-related immune deterioration].

    PubMed

    Ferrando-Martínez, Sara; de la Fuente, Mónica; Guerrero, Juan Miguel; Leal, Manuel; Muñoz-Fernández, M Ángeles

    2013-01-01

    Age-related biological deterioration also includes immune system deterioration and, in consequence, a rise in the incidence and prevalence of infections and cancers, as well as low responses to vaccination strategies. Out of all immune cell subsets, T-lymphocytes seem to be involved in most of the age-related defects. Since T-lymphocytes mature during their passage through the thymus, and the thymus shows an age-related process of atrophy, thymic regression has been proposed as the triggering event of this immune deterioration in elderly people. Historically, it has been accepted that the young thymus sets the T-lymphocyte repertoire during the childhood, whereupon atrophy begins until the elderly thymus is a non-functional evolutionary trace. However, a rising body of knowledge points toward the thymus functioning during adulthood. In the elderly, higher thymic function is associated with a younger immune system, while thymic function failure is associated with all-cause mortality. Therefore, any new strategy focused on the improvement of the elderly quality of life, especially those trying to influence the immune system, should take into account, together with peripheral homeostasis, thymus function as a key element in slowing down age-related decline.

  20. Age-Related Health Stereotypes and Illusory Correlation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madey, Scott F.; Chasteen, Alison L.

    2004-01-01

    This experiment investigated how age-related health stereotypes affect people's judgments of younger and older patients' medical compliance. Previous research has shown that stereotypes of young adults include healthy components, but stereotypes of older adults include both healthy and unhealthy components (Hummert, 1990). We predicted that…

  1. Age-Related Differences in Idiom Production in Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conner, Peggy S.; Hyun, Jungmoon; O'Connor Wells, Barbara; Anema, Inge; Goral, Mira; Monereau-Merry, Marie-Michelle; Rubino, Daniel; Kuckuk, Raija; Obler, Loraine K.

    2011-01-01

    To investigate whether idiom production was vulnerable to age-related difficulties, we asked 40 younger (ages 18-30) and 40 older healthy adults (ages 60-85) to produce idiomatic expressions in a story-completion task. Younger adults produced significantly more correct idiom responses (73%) than did older adults (60%). When older adults generated…

  2. The Experience of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Elaine Y. H.; Guymer, Robyn H.; Hassell, Jennifer B.; Keeffe, Jill E.

    2004-01-01

    This qualitative article describes the impact of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) among 15 participants: how a person makes sense of ARMD, the effect of ARMD on the person's quality of life, the psychological disturbances associated with the limitations of ARMD, and the influence of ARMD on social interactions. Such in-depth appreciation of…

  3. Awareness, Knowledge, and Concern about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cimarolli, Verena R.; Laban-Baker, Allie; Hamilton, Wanda S.; Stuen, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)--a common eye disease causing vision loss--can be detected early through regular eye-health examinations, and measures can be taken to prevent visual decline. Getting eye examinations requires certain levels of awareness, knowledge, and concern related to AMD. However, little is known about AMD-related…

  4. Immunohistochemical visualization of hippocampal neuron activity after spatial learning in a mouse model of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Provenzano, Giovanni; Pangrazzi, Luca; Poli, Andrea; Berardi, Nicoletta; Bozzi, Yuri

    2015-05-12

    Induction of phosphorylated extracellular-regulated kinase (pERK) is a reliable molecular readout of learning-dependent neuronal activation. Here, we describe a pERK immunohistochemistry protocol to study the profile of hippocampal neuron activation following exposure to a spatial learning task in a mouse model characterized by cognitive deficits of neurodevelopmental origin. Specifically, we used pERK immunostaining to study neuronal activation following Morris water maze (MWM, a classical hippocampal-dependent learning task) in Engrailed-2 knockout (En2(-/-)) mice, a model of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As compared to wild-type (WT) controls, En2(-/-) mice showed significant spatial learning deficits in the MWM. After MWM, significant differences in the number of pERK-positive neurons were detected in specific hippocampal subfields of En2(-/-) mice, as compared to WT animals. Thus, our protocol can robustly detect differences in pERK-positive neurons associated to hippocampal-dependent learning impairment in a mouse model of ASD. More generally, our protocol can be applied to investigate the profile of hippocampal neuron activation in both genetic or pharmacological mouse models characterized by cognitive deficits.

  5. Immune challenge but not dietary restriction affects spatial learning in the wild subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum.

    PubMed

    Schleich, Cristian E; Zenuto, Roxana R; Cutrera, Ana P

    2015-02-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that learning and triggering an immune response are both metabolically expensive and thus likely to be subject to nutritional trade-offs between them and other competing demands. Therefore, we evaluated if an immune challenge with a novel antigen affects spatial learning in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum under two different dietary conditions. The results showed that immune-challenged animals were affected in their spatial learning capabilities, increasing the number of errors and marginally the time required to reach the goal of a complex labyrinth. No effect of the dietary restriction nor interaction between factors were observed. This work provides support for the existence of a trade-off between the costs of the immune defense and learning abilities, indicating that when investment is required to fight infection, fewer resources are available for learning. The absence of effect of nutritional condition on this trade-off suggests that other physiological processes, besides cognition, may be limited by the energetic resources necessary to the more immediately critical immune response.

  6. Knockdown of Nurr1 in the rat hippocampus: implications to spatial discrimination learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Colón-Cesario, Wanda I; Martínez-Montemayor, Michelle M; Morales, Sohaira; Félix, Jahaira; Cruz, Juan; Adorno, Monique; Pereira, Lixmar; Colón, Nydia; Maldonado-Vlaar, Carmen S; Peña de Ortiz, Sandra

    2006-01-01

    Nurr1 expression is up-regulated in the brain following associative learning experiences, but its relevance to cognitive processes remains unclear. In these studies, rats initially received bilateral hippocampal infusions of control or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) 1 h prior to training in a holeboard spatial discrimination task. Such pre-training infusions of nurr1 antisense ODNs caused a moderate effect in learning the task and also impaired LTM tested 7 d later. In a second experiment, ODN infusions were given immediately after the animals had received two sessions of training, during which all animals showed normal learning. Although antisense treated rats were significantly impaired during the post-infusion stages of acquisition of the task, no group differences were observed during the LTM test given 7 d later. These animals were subjected 3 d later to reversal training in the same maze in the absence of any additional treatments. Remarkably, rats previously treated with antisense ODNs displayed perseveration: The animals were fixated with the previously learned pattern of baited holes, causing them to be significantly impaired in the extinction of acquired spatial preferences and future learning. We postulate that Nurr1 function in the hippocampus is important for normal cognitive processes.

  7. Age-Related Changes in 1/f Neural Electrophysiological Noise.

    PubMed

    Voytek, Bradley; Kramer, Mark A; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q; Tempesta, Zechari R; Knight, Robert T; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-09-23

    Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15-53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20-30 years) and older (60-70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <-1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. Significance statement: Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise-induced deficits in

  8. Perceptual learning to discriminate the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Mancini, Flavia; Dolgevica, Karina; Steckelmacher, James; Haggard, Patrick; Friston, Karl; Iannetti, Giandomenico D.

    2016-01-01

    Accurate discrimination of the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli is essential to guide appropriate behaviour. The ability to discriminate the attributes of sensory stimuli is continuously refined by practice, even throughout adulthood - a phenomenon called perceptual learning. In the visual domain, perceptual learning to discriminate one of the features that define a visual stimulus (e.g., its orientation) can transfer to a different feature of the same stimulus (e.g., its contrast). Here, we performed two experiments on 48 volunteers to characterize perceptual learning in nociception, which has been rarely studied. We investigated whether learning to discriminate either the intensity or the location of nociceptive stimuli (1) occurs during practice and is subsequently maintained, (2) requires feedback on performance, and (3) transfers to the other, unpractised stimulus feature. First, we found clear evidence that perceptual learning in discriminating both the intensity and the location of nociceptive stimuli occurs, and is maintained for at least 3 hours after practice. Second, learning occurs only when feedback is provided during practice. Finally, learning is largely confined to the feature for which feedback was provided. We discuss these effects in a predictive coding framework, and consider implications for future studies. PMID:27996022

  9. Persistent and stable biases in spatial learning mechanisms predict navigational style.

    PubMed

    Furman, Andrew J; Clements-Stephens, Amy M; Marchette, Steven A; Shelton, Amy L

    2014-12-01

    A wealth of evidence in rodents and humans supports the central roles of two learning systems--hippocampal place learning and striatal response learning--in the formation of spatial representations to support navigation. Individual differences in the ways that these mechanisms are engaged during initial encoding and subsequent navigation may provide a powerful framework for explaining the wide range of variability found in the strategies and solutions that make up human navigational styles. Previous work has revealed that activation in the hippocampal and striatal networks during learning could predict navigational style. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the relative activations in these systems during both initial encoding and the act of dynamic navigation in a learned environment. Participants learned a virtual environment and were tested on subsequent navigation to targets within the environment. We observed that a given individual had a consistent balance of memory system engagement across both initial encoding and subsequent navigation, a balance that successfully predicted the participants' tendencies to use novel shortcuts versus familiar paths during dynamic navigation. This was further supported by the observation that the activation during subsequent retrieval was not dependent on the type of solution used on a given trial. Taken together, our results suggest a model in which the place- and response-learning systems are present in parallel to support a variety of navigational behaviors, but stable biases in the engagement of these systems influence what solutions might be available for any given individual.

  10. Mice with Deficient BK Channel Function Show Impaired Prepulse Inhibition and Spatial Learning, but Normal Working and Spatial Reference Memory

    PubMed Central

    Azzopardi, Erin; Ruettiger, Lukas; Ruth, Peter; Schmid, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variations in the large-conductance, voltage- and calcium activated potassium channels (BK channels) have been recently implicated in mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia which all come along with severe cognitive impairments. In the present study we investigate the effects of functional BK channel deletion on cognition using a genetic mouse model with a knock-out of the gene for the pore forming α-subunit of the channel. We tested the F1 generation of a hybrid SV129/C57BL6 mouse line in which the slo1 gene was deleted in both parent strains. We first evaluated hearing and motor function to establish the suitability of this model for cognitive testing. Auditory brain stem responses to click stimuli showed no threshold differences between knockout mice and their wild-type littermates. Despite of muscular tremor, reduced grip force, and impaired gait, knockout mice exhibited normal locomotion. These findings allowed for testing of sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle reflex, as well as of working memory, spatial learning and memory in the Y-maze and the Morris water maze, respectively. Prepulse inhibition on the first day of testing was normal, but the knockout mice did not improve over the days of testing as their wild-type littermates did. Spontaneous alternation in the y-maze was normal as well, suggesting that the BK channel knock-out does not impair working memory. In the Morris water maze knock-out mice showed significantly slower acquisition of the task, but normal memory once the task was learned. Thus, we propose a crucial role of the BK channels in learning, but not in memory storage or recollection. PMID:24303038

  11. The Effects of Theta Precession on Spatial Learning and Simplicial Complex Dynamics in a Topological Model of the Hippocampal Spatial Map

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Mamiko; Brandt, Vicky; Dabaghian, Yuri

    2014-01-01

    Learning arises through the activity of large ensembles of cells, yet most of the data neuroscientists accumulate is at the level of individual neurons; we need models that can bridge this gap. We have taken spatial learning as our starting point, computationally modeling the activity of place cells using methods derived from algebraic topology, especially persistent homology. We previously showed that ensembles of hundreds of place cells could accurately encode topological information about different environments (“learn” the space) within certain values of place cell firing rate, place field size, and cell population; we called this parameter space the learning region. Here we advance the model both technically and conceptually. To make the model more physiological, we explored the effects of theta precession on spatial learning in our virtual ensembles. Theta precession, which is believed to influence learning and memory, did in fact enhance learning in our model, increasing both speed and the size of the learning region. Interestingly, theta precession also increased the number of spurious loops during simplicial complex formation. We next explored how downstream readout neurons might define co-firing by grouping together cells within different windows of time and thereby capturing different degrees of temporal overlap between spike trains. Our model's optimum coactivity window correlates well with experimental data, ranging from ∼150–200 msec. We further studied the relationship between learning time, window width, and theta precession. Our results validate our topological model for spatial learning and open new avenues for connecting data at the level of individual neurons to behavioral outcomes at the neuronal ensemble level. Finally, we analyzed the dynamics of simplicial complex formation and loop transience to propose that the simplicial complex provides a useful working description of the spatial learning process. PMID:24945927

  12. The importance of spatial ability and mental models in learning anatomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Allison K.

    As a foundational course in medical education, gross anatomy serves to orient medical and veterinary students to the complex three-dimensional nature of the structures within the body. Understanding such spatial relationships is both fundamental and crucial for achievement in gross anatomy courses, and is essential for success as a practicing professional. Many things contribute to learning spatial relationships; this project focuses on a few key elements: (1) the type of multimedia resources, particularly computer-aided instructional (CAI) resources, medical students used to study and learn; (2) the influence of spatial ability on medical and veterinary students' gross anatomy grades and their mental models; and (3) how medical and veterinary students think about anatomy and describe the features of their mental models to represent what they know about anatomical structures. The use of computer-aided instruction (CAI) by gross anatomy students at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) was assessed through a questionnaire distributed to the regional centers of the IUSM. Students reported using internet browsing, PowerPoint presentation software, and email on a daily bases to study gross anatomy. This study reveals that first-year medical students at the IUSM make limited use of CAI to study gross anatomy. Such studies emphasize the importance of examining students' use of CAI to study gross anatomy prior to development and integration of electronic media into the curriculum and they may be important in future decisions regarding the development of alternative learning resources. In order to determine how students think about anatomical relationships and describe the features of their mental models, personal interviews were conducted with select students based on students' ROT scores. Five typologies of the characteristics of students' mental models were identified and described: spatial thinking, kinesthetic approach, identification of anatomical structures

  13. Spatial sequence memory and spatial error monitoring in the Groton Maze Learning Task (GMLT): A validation study of GMLT sub-measures in healthy children.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Elizabeth; Maruff, Paul; Paul, Jacob; Reeve, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The stepping-stone variant of the hidden pathway maze learning (HPML) task paradigm has been extensively used to investigate cognitive functions in neuropsychology and neuropharmacology. Previous studies have used total error across trials, as well as rule-break errors and learning errors, to define spatial memory and/or executive function in healthy and impaired adults and children. However, the construct validity of performance measures on HPML tasks has not been established in healthy children. To assess the construct validity of measures of exploratory and rule-break errors on the Groton Maze Learning Task (GMLT) measures of spatial sequence memory (Corsi Blocks Task) and spatial error monitoring (Continuous Paired Associate Learning; CPAL) were used. The results indicate that Corsi span predicted GMLT spatial sequence memory and CPAL accuracy predicted GMLT spatial error monitoring. The construct validity of the GMLT as a measure of spatial memory and executive function are discussed with regard to prior research using HPML tasks in neuropsychological contexts.

  14. Dietary compound score and risk of age-related macular degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: Because foods provide many nutrients, which may interact with each other to modify risk for multifactorial diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we sought to develop a composite scoring system to summarize the combined effect of multiple dietary nutrients on AMD risk. Th...

  15. Inflammation During Gestation Induced Spatial Memory and Learning Deficits: Attenuated by Physical Exercise in Juvenile Rats

    PubMed Central

    Thangarajan, Rajesh; Rai, Kiranmai. S.; Gopalakrishnan, Sivakumar; Perumal, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    Background Gestational infections induced inflammation (GIII) is a cause of various postnatal neurological deficits in developing countries. Such intra uterine insults could result in persistent learning-memory disabilities. There are no studies elucidating the efficacy of adolescence exercise on spatial learning- memory abilities of young adult rats pre-exposed to inflammatory insult during fetal life. Aims and Objectives The present study addresses the efficacy of physical (running) exercise during adolescent period in attenuating spatial memory deficits induced by exposure to GIII in rats. Materials and Methods Pregnant Wistar dams were randomly divided into control and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) groups, injected intra peritoneally (i.p) with saline (0.5ml) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (0.5mg/kg) on alternate days from gestation day 14 (GD 14) till delivery. After parturition, pups were divided into 3 groups (n=6/group) a) Sham control and LPS group divided into 2 subgroups- b) LPS and c) LPS exercise group. Running exercise was given only to LPS exercise group during postnatal days (PNDs) 30 to 60 (15min/day). Spatial learning and memory performance was assessed by Morris water maze test (MWM), on postnatal day 61 to 67 in all groups. Results Young rats pre-exposed to GIII and subjected to running exercise through juvenile period displayed significant decrease in latency to reach escape platform and spent significant duration in target quadrant in MWM test, compared to age matched LPS group. Results of the current study demonstrated that exercise through juvenile/adolescent period effectively mitigates gestational inflammation-induced cognitive deficits in young adult rats. Conclusion Inflammation during gestation impairs offspring’s spatial memory and learning abilities. Whereas, early postnatal physical exercise attenuates, to higher extent, cognitive impairment resulted from exposure to LPS induced inflammation during intrauterine growth period. PMID:26266117

  16. Between-task transfer of learning from spatial compatibility to a color stroop task.

    PubMed

    Marini, Maddalena; Iani, Cristina; Nicoletti, Roberto; Rubichi, Sandro

    2011-01-01

    Responses to a relevant stimulus dimension are faster and more accurate when the stimulus and response spatially correspond compared to when they do not, even though stimulus position is irrelevant (Simon effect). It has been demonstrated that practicing with an incompatible spatial stimulus-response (S-R) mapping before performing a Simon task can eliminate this effect. In the present study we assessed whether a learned spatially incompatible S-R mapping can be transferred to a nonspatial conflict task, hence supporting the view that transfer effects are due to acquisition of a general "respond to the opposite stimulus value" rule. To this aim, we ran two experiments in which participants performed a spatial compatibility task with either a compatible or an incompatible mapping and then transferred, after a 5 min delay, to a color Stroop task. In Experiment 1, responses were executed by pressing one of two keys on the keyboard in both practice and transfer tasks. In Experiment 2, responses were manual in the practice task and vocal in the transfer task. The spatially incompatible practice significantly reduced the color Stroop effect only when responses were manual in both tasks. These results suggest that during practice participants develop a response-selection strategy of emitting the alternative spatial response.

  17. Effects of Housing on Methamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity and Spatial Learning and Memory.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Arnold; Jablonski, Sarah A; Amos-Kroohs, Robyn M; Barnes, Anna C; Williams, Michael T; Vorhees, Charles V

    2017-03-27

    Severe stress potentiates methamphetamine (MA) neurotoxicity. However, whether moderate stress increases or decreases the neurotoxic effects of MA is unknown. We assessed the effects of MA (4 × 10 mg/kg at 2 h intervals) in combination with prior barren-cage housing in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats on monoamines and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) in one cohort and spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze in another cohort. MA reduced dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) in the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens, 5-HT in the hippocampus, and increased GFAP in neostriatum and nucleus accumbens compared with saline controls. In neostriatum, barren-cage housing protected against MA-induced increases in GFAP, but it did not prevent DA and 5-HT reductions, although it did increase hippocampal norepinephrine. MA impaired spatial learning during acquisition, reversal, and shift phases and impaired reference memory on reversal and shift probe trials. Barren-cage housing enhanced performance during acquisition but not during reversal or shift or on probe trials. The data indicate that prior barren-cage housing moderates MA-induced neostriatal astrogliosis and initial spatial learning, but has no protective effect when the platform is smaller and relocated and therefore requires cognitive flexibility in relearning.

  18. Dopamine release from the locus coeruleus to the dorsal hippocampus promotes spatial learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Kempadoo, Kimberly A.; Mosharov, Eugene V.; Choi, Se Joon; Sulzer, David; Kandel, Eric R.

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurotransmission in the dorsal hippocampus is critical for a range of functions from spatial learning and synaptic plasticity to the deficits underlying psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the presumed source of dopamine in the dorsal hippocampus. However, there is a surprising scarcity of VTA dopamine axons in the dorsal hippocampus despite the dense network of dopamine receptors. We have explored this apparent paradox using optogenetic, biochemical, and behavioral approaches and found that dopaminergic axons and subsequent dopamine release in the dorsal hippocampus originate from neurons of the locus coeruleus (LC). Photostimulation of LC axons produced an increase in dopamine release in the dorsal hippocampus as revealed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Furthermore, optogenetically induced release of dopamine from the LC into the dorsal hippocampus enhanced selective attention and spatial object recognition via the dopamine D1/D5 receptor. These results suggest that spatial learning and memory are energized by the release of dopamine in the dorsal hippocampus from noradrenergic neurons of the LC. The present findings are critical for identifying the neural circuits that enable proper attention selection and successful learning and memory. PMID:27930324

  19. Dopamine release from the locus coeruleus to the dorsal hippocampus promotes spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Kempadoo, Kimberly A; Mosharov, Eugene V; Choi, Se Joon; Sulzer, David; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-12-20

    Dopamine neurotransmission in the dorsal hippocampus is critical for a range of functions from spatial learning and synaptic plasticity to the deficits underlying psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the presumed source of dopamine in the dorsal hippocampus. However, there is a surprising scarcity of VTA dopamine axons in the dorsal hippocampus despite the dense network of dopamine receptors. We have explored this apparent paradox using optogenetic, biochemical, and behavioral approaches and found that dopaminergic axons and subsequent dopamine release in the dorsal hippocampus originate from neurons of the locus coeruleus (LC). Photostimulation of LC axons produced an increase in dopamine release in the dorsal hippocampus as revealed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Furthermore, optogenetically induced release of dopamine from the LC into the dorsal hippocampus enhanced selective attention and spatial object recognition via the dopamine D1/D5 receptor. These results suggest that spatial learning and memory are energized by the release of dopamine in the dorsal hippocampus from noradrenergic neurons of the LC. The present findings are critical for identifying the neural circuits that enable proper attention selection and successful learning and memory.

  20. Impairment of simultaneous-spatial working memory in nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disability: a treatment case study.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Irene C; Coltri, Silvia; Lucangeli, Daniela; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2009-10-01

    We report the case of B.A., an 11-year-old child with a nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disability (NLD). Detailed psychometric and neuropsychological assessment on visuospatial working memory (VSWM) revealed specific simultaneous-spatial working memory impairment. A treatment targeting simultaneous-spatial working memory was given to B.A. for seven sessions (over one month); this resulted in improvement of simultaneous-spatial working memory, with the benefit that the training was maintained after six months. Discussion of clinical and theoretical implications is given, taking account of the distinctions that can be made between the different components of visuospatial working memory and different subtypes of NLD, thus allowing the tailoring of specific training to target the impaired VSWM component.

  1. Age-Related Evolution Patterns in Online Handwriting

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing age from handwriting (HW) has important applications, as it is key to distinguishing normal HW evolution with age from abnormal HW change, potentially triggered by neurodegenerative decline. We propose, in this work, an original approach for online HW style characterization based on a two-level clustering scheme. The first level generates writer-independent word clusters from raw spatial-dynamic HW information. At the second level, each writer's words are converted into a Bag of Prototype Words that is augmented by an interword stability measure. This two-level HW style representation is input to an unsupervised learning technique, aiming at uncovering HW style categories and their correlation with age. To assess the effectiveness of our approach, we propose information theoretic measures to quantify the gain on age information from each clustering layer. We have carried out extensive experiments on a large public online HW database, augmented by HW samples acquired at Broca Hospital in Paris from people mostly between 60 and 85 years old. Unlike previous works claiming that there is only one pattern of HW change with age, our study reveals three major aging HW styles, one specific to aged people and the two others shared by other age groups. PMID:27752277

  2. Spatial learning and action planning in a prefrontal cortical network model.

    PubMed

    Martinet, Louis-Emmanuel; Sheynikhovich, Denis; Benchenane, Karim; Arleo, Angelo

    2011-05-01

    The interplay between hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) is fundamental to spatial cognition. Complementing hippocampal place coding, prefrontal representations provide more abstract and hierarchically organized memories suitable for decision making. We model a prefrontal network mediating distributed information processing for spatial learning and action planning. Specific connectivity and synaptic adaptation principles shape the recurrent dynamics of the network arranged in cortical minicolumns. We show how the PFC columnar organization is suitable for learning sparse topological-metrical representations from redundant hippocampal inputs. The recurrent nature of the network supports multilevel spatial processing, allowing structural features of the environment to be encoded. An activation diffusion mechanism spreads the neural activity through the column population leading to trajectory planning. The model provides a functional framework for interpreting the activity of PFC neurons recorded during navigation tasks. We illustrate the link from single unit activity to behavioral responses. The results suggest plausible neural mechanisms subserving the cognitive "insight" capability originally attributed to rodents by Tolman & Honzik. Our time course analysis of neural responses shows how the interaction between hippocampus and PFC can yield the encoding of manifold information pertinent to spatial planning, including prospective coding and distance-to-goal correlates.

  3. Quantitative spatiotemporal image analysis of fluorescein angiography in age-related macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berger, Jeffrey W.

    1998-06-01

    Interpretation and analysis of retinal angiographic studies has been largely qualitative. Quantitative analysis of pathologic fundus features will facilitate interpretation and potentiate clinical studies where precise image metrology is vital. Fluorescein angiography studies of patients with age- related macular degeneration were digitized. Sequential temporal images were spatially-registered with polynomial warping algorithms, allowing for the construction of a three- dimensional (two spatial and one temporal) angiogram vector. Temporal profiles through spatially-registered, temporally- sequential pixels were computed. Characteristic temporal profiles for fundus background, retinal vasculature, retinal pigment epithelial atrophy, and choroidal neovascular (CNV) membranes were observed, allowing for pixel assignment and fundus feature quantitation. Segmentation and quantitation of fundus features including geographic atrophy and CNV is facilitated by spatio-temporal image analysis.

  4. How the Learning Path and the Very Structure of a Multifloored Environment Influence Human Spatial Memory

    PubMed Central

    Dollé, Laurent; Droulez, Jacques; Bennequin, Daniel; Berthoz, Alain; Thibault, Guillaume

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have explored how humans memorize landmarks in complex multifloored buildings. They have observed that participants memorize an environment either by floors or by vertical columns, influenced by the learning path. However, the influence of the building’s actual structure is not yet known. In order to investigate this influence, we conducted an experiment using an object-in-place protocol in a cylindrical building to contrast with previous experiments which used rectilinear environments. Two groups of 15 participants were taken on a tour with a first person perspective through a virtual cylindrical three-floored building. They followed either a route discovering floors one at a time, or a route discovering columns (by simulated lifts across floors). They then underwent a series of trials, in which they viewed a camera movement reproducing either a segment of the learning path (familiar trials), or performing a shortcut relative to the learning trajectory (novel trials). We observed that regardless of the learning path, participants better memorized the building by floors, and only participants who had discovered the building by columns also memorized it by columns. This expands on previous results obtained in a rectilinear building, where the learning path favoured the memory of its horizontal and vertical layout. Taken together, these results suggest that both learning mode and an environment’s structure influence the spatial memory of complex multifloored buildings. PMID:26770288

  5. Mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration and therapeutic opportunities.

    PubMed

    van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; LeCouter, Jennifer; Yaspan, Brian L; Ye, Weilan

    2014-01-01

    As the age of the population increases in many nations, age-related degenerative diseases pose significant socioeconomic challenges. One of the key degenerative diseases that compromise quality of life is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a multi-faceted condition that affects the central retina, which ultimately leads to blindness in millions of people worldwide. The pathophysiology and risk factors for AMD are complex, and the symptoms manifest in multiple related but distinct forms. The ability to develop effective treatments for AMD will depend on a thorough understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, risk factors, and driver molecular pathways, as well as the ability to develop useful animal models. This review provides an overview of the aforementioned aspects in AMD.

  6. Neuroanatomy accounts for age-related changes in risk preferences

    PubMed Central

    Grubb, Michael A.; Tymula, Agnieszka; Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Glimcher, Paul W.; Levy, Ifat

    2016-01-01

    Many decisions involve uncertainty, or ‘risk', regarding potential outcomes, and substantial empirical evidence has demonstrated that human aging is associated with diminished tolerance for risky rewards. Grey matter volume in a region of right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) is predictive of preferences for risky rewards in young adults, with less grey matter volume indicating decreased tolerance for risk. That grey matter loss in parietal regions is a part of healthy aging suggests that diminished rPPC grey matter volume may have a role in modulating risk preferences in older adults. Here we report evidence for this hypothesis and show that age-related declines in rPPC grey matter volume better account for age-related changes in risk preferences than does age per se. These results provide a basis for understanding the neural mechanisms that mediate risky choice and a glimpse into the neurodevelopmental dynamics that impact decision-making in an aging population. PMID:27959326

  7. Investigations Into Age-related Changes in the Human Mandible().

    PubMed

    Parr, Nicolette M; Passalacqua, Nicholas V; Skorpinski, Katie

    2017-03-02

    While changes in mandibular shape over time are not widely recognized by skeletal biologists, mandibular remodeling and associated changes in gross morphology may result from a number of causes related to mechanical stress such as antemortem tooth loss, changes in bite force, or alterations of masticatory performance. This study investigated the relationship between age-related changes and antemortem tooth loss in adult humans via dry bone measurements. This study examined 10 standard mandibular measurements as well as individual antemortem tooth loss scores using the Eichner Index from a total of 319 female and male individuals with ages ranging from 16 to 99 years. Results indicate that few mandibular measurements exhibited age-related changes, and most were affected by antemortem tooth loss.

  8. Stem cell transplantation improves aging-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ikehara, Susumu; Li, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Aging is a complex process of damage accumulation, and has been viewed as experimentally and medically intractable. The number of patients with age-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer has increased recently. Aging-related diseases are related to a deficiency of the immune system, which results from an aged thymus and bone marrow cells. Intra bone marrow-bone marrow transplantation (IBM-BMT) is a useful method to treat intractable diseases. This review summarizes findings that IBM-BMT can improve and treat aging-related diseases, including T2DM, osteoporosis and AD, in animal models. PMID:25364723

  9. Epigenetics of Aging and Aging-related Disease

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging. PMID:24833581

  10. Epigenetics of aging and aging-related disease.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Anne; Berger, Shelley L

    2014-06-01

    Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging.

  11. Mitochondrial aging and age-related dysfunction of mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Chistiakov, Dimitry A; Sobenin, Igor A; Revin, Victor V; Orekhov, Alexander N; Bobryshev, Yuri V

    2014-01-01

    Age-related changes in mitochondria are associated with decline in mitochondrial function. With advanced age, mitochondrial DNA volume, integrity and functionality decrease due to accumulation of mutations and oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In aged subjects, mitochondria are characterized by impaired function such as lowered oxidative capacity, reduced oxidative phosphorylation, decreased ATP production, significant increase in ROS generation, and diminished antioxidant defense. Mitochondrial biogenesis declines with age due to alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and inhibition of mitophagy, an autophagy process that removes dysfunctional mitochondria. Age-dependent abnormalities in mitochondrial quality control further weaken and impair mitochondrial function. In aged tissues, enhanced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis contributes to an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells. However, implementation of strategies such as caloric restriction and regular physical training may delay mitochondrial aging and attenuate the age-related phenotype in humans.

  12. Glial dysfunction causes age-related memory impairment in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Daisuke; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Ueno, Kohei; Ueno, Taro; Saeki, Shinjiro; Matsuno, Motomi; Naganos, Shintaro; Miyashita, Tomoyuki; Hirano, Yukinori; Nishikawa, Hiroyuki; Taoka, Masato; Yamauchi, Yoshio; Isobe, Toshiaki; Honda, Yoshiko; Kodama, Tohru; Masuda, Tomoko; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-11-19

    Several aging phenotypes, including age-related memory impairment (AMI), are thought to be caused by cumulative oxidative damage. In Drosophila, age-related impairments in 1 hr memory can be suppressed by reducing activity of protein kinase A (PKA). However, the mechanism for this effect has been unclear. Here we show that decreasing PKA suppresses AMI by reducing activity of pyruvate carboxylase (PC), a glial metabolic enzyme whose amounts increase upon aging. Increased PC activity causes AMI through a mechanism independent of oxidative damage. Instead, increased PC activity is associated with decreases in D-serine, a glia-derived neuromodulator that regulates NMDA receptor activity. D-serine feeding suppresses both AMI and memory impairment caused by glial overexpression of dPC, indicating that an oxidative stress-independent dysregulation of glial modulation of neuronal activity contributes to AMI in Drosophila.

  13. Ageism, age relations, and garment industry work in Montreal.

    PubMed

    McMullin, J A; Marshall, V W

    2001-02-01

    This study examined the complexities of age relations at work. Garment workers believed that their fate was linked to ageism and that their work experience was discounted by management. Managers wanted to be rid of older workers because they commanded higher wages than younger workers. The issue was cost reduction, and age was implicated unintendedly. Still, managers seemed to use stereotypical images to discourage older workers and they did not organize work routines to facilitate the adaptation of them. Instead, they subcontracted the easy jobs, relying on the experience of the older employees for difficult work while not adapting the workplace. Theoretically, the authors argue that ageism and age discrimination can best be understood through a recognition of the importance of structured age relations and human agency.

  14. Idiom understanding in adulthood: examining age-related differences.

    PubMed

    Hung, Pei-Fang; Nippold, Marilyn A

    2014-03-01

    Idioms are figurative expressions such as hold your horses, kick the bucket, and lend me a hand, which commonly occur in everyday spoken and written language. Hence, the understanding of these expressions is essential for daily communication. In this study, we examined idiom understanding in healthy adults in their 20s, 40s, 60s and 80s (n=30 per group) to determine if performance would show an age-related decline. Participants judged their own familiarity with a set of 20 idioms, explained the meaning of each, described a situation in which the idiom could be used, and selected the appropriate interpretation from a set of choices. There was no evidence of an age-related decline on any tasks. Rather, the 60s group reported greater familiarity and offered better explanations than did the 20s group. Moreover, greater familiarity with idioms was associated with better understanding in adults.

  15. Lipids, Lipoproteins, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahimi, Katayoon B.; Handa, James T.

    2011-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. While excellent treatment has emerged for neovascular disease, treatment for early AMD is lacking due to an incomplete understanding of the early molecular events. A prominent age-related change is the accumulation of neutral lipid in normal Bruch's membrane (BrM) throughout adulthood and also disease-related BrM accumulations called basal deposits and drusen. AMD lesion formation has thus been conceptualized as sharing mechanisms with atherosclerotic plaque formation, where low-density lipoprotein (LDL) retention within the arterial wall initiates a cascade of pathologic events. However, we do not yet understand how lipoproteins contribute to AMD. This paper explores how systemic and local production of lipoproteins might contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:21822496

  16. Spatial learning and memory in male mice with altered growth hormone action.

    PubMed

    Basu, Amrita; McFarlane, Hewlet G; Kopchick, John J

    2017-04-04

    Growth hormone (GH) has a significant influence on cognitive performance in humans and other mammals. To understand the influence of altered GH action on cognition, we assessed spatial learning and memory using a Barnes maze (BM) comparing twelve-month old, male, bovine GH (bGH) and GH receptor antagonist (GHA) transgenic mice and their corresponding wild type (WT) littermates. During the acquisition training period in the BM, bGH mice showed increased latency, traveled longer path lengths and made more errors to reach the target than WT mice indicating significantly poorer learning. Short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) trials showed significantly suppressed memory retention in bGH mice when compared to the WT group. Conversely, GHA mice showed significantly better learning parameters (latency, path length and errors) and increased use of an efficient search strategy than WT mice. Our study indicates a negative impact of GH excess and a beneficial effect of the inhibition of GH action on spatial learning and memory and, therefore, cognitive performance in male mice. Further research to elucidate GH's role in brain function will facilitate identifying therapeutic applications of GH or GHA for neuropathological and neurodegenerative conditions.

  17. Focal adhesion kinase regulates neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Monje, Francisco J; Kim, Eun-Jung; Pollak, Daniela D; Cabatic, Maureen; Li, Lin; Baston, Arthur; Lubec, Gert

    2012-01-01

    The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase abundantly expressed in the mammalian brain and highly enriched in neuronal growth cones. Inhibitory and facilitatory activities of FAK on neuronal growth have been reported and its role in neuritic outgrowth remains controversial. Unlike other tyrosine kinases, such as the neurotrophin receptors regulating neuronal growth and plasticity, the relevance of FAK for learning and memory in vivo has not been clearly defined yet. A comprehensive study aimed at determining the role of FAK in neuronal growth, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory was therefore undertaken using the mouse model. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments indicated that FAK is a critical regulator of hippocampal cell morphology. FAK mediated neurotrophin-induced neuritic outgrowth and FAK inhibition affected both miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials and activity-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation prompting us to explore the possible role of FAK in spatial learning and memory in vivo. Our data indicate that FAK has a growth-promoting effect, is importantly involved in the regulation of the synaptic function and mediates in vivo hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

  18. Learning of spatial statistics in nonhuman primates: contextual cueing in baboons (Papio papio).

    PubMed

    Goujon, Annabelle; Fagot, Joel

    2013-06-15

    A growing number of theories of cognition suggest that many of our behaviors result from the ability to implicitly extract and use statistical redundancies present in complex environments. In an attempt to develop an animal model of statistical learning mechanisms in humans, the current study investigated spatial contextual cueing (CC) in nonhuman primates. Twenty-five baboons (Papio papio) were trained to search for a target (T) embedded within configurations of distrators (L) that were either predictive or non-predictive of the target location. Baboons exhibited an early CC effect, which remained intact after a 6-week delay and stable across extensive training of 20,000 trials. These results demonstrate the baboons' ability to learn spatial contingencies, as well as the robustness of CC as a cognitive phenomenon across species. Nevertheless, in both the youngest and oldest baboons, CC required many more trials to emerge than in baboons of intermediate age. As a whole, these results reveal strong similarities between CC in humans and baboons, suggesting similar statistical learning mechanisms in these two species. Therefore, baboons provide a valid model to investigate how statistical learning mechanisms develop and/or age during the life span, as well as how these mechanisms are implemented in neural networks, and how they have evolved throughout the phylogeny.

  19. Versatile Functions of Caveolin-1 in Aging-related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Kim Cuc Thi

    2017-01-01

    Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a trans-membrane protein that is a major component of the caveolae structure on the plasma membrane. Cav-1 is involved in the regulation of various cellular processes, including cell growth, differentiation, endocytosis, and in particular it has been implied in cellular senescence. Here we review current knowledge about Cav-1 in cellular signaling and discuss the role of Cav-1 in aging-related diseases. PMID:28184336

  20. Age-related changes in ultra-triathlon performances

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The age-related decline in performance has been investigated in swimmers, runners and triathletes. No study has investigated the age-related performance decline in ultra-triathletes. The purpose of this study was to analyse the age-related declines in swimming, cycling, running and overall race time for both Triple Iron ultra-triathlon (11.4-km swimming, 540-km cycling and 126.6-km running) and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon (38-km swimming, 1,800-km cycling and 420-km running). Methods The age and performances of 423 male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes and 119 male Deca Iron ultra-triathletes were analysed from 1992 to 2010 using regression analyses and ANOVA. Results The mean age of the finishers was significantly higher for Deca Iron ultra-triathletes (41.3 ± 3.1 years) compared to a Triple Iron ultra-triathletes (38.5 ± 3.3 years) (P < 0.05). For both ultra-distances, the fastest overall race times were achieved between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Deca Iron ultra-triathletes achieved the same level of performance in swimming and cycling between 25 and 54 years of age. Conclusions The magnitudes of age-related declines in performance in the three disciplines of ultra-triathlon differ slightly between Triple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon. Although the ages of Triple Iron ultra-triathletes were on average younger compared to Deca Iron ultra-triathletes, the fastest race times were achieved between 25 and 44 years for both distances. Further studies should investigate the motivation and training of ultra-triathletes to gain better insights in ultra-triathlon performance. PMID:23849327

  1. Complement pathway biomarkers and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2016-01-01

    In the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) ‘inflammation model', local inflammation plus complement activation contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of the disease. Multiple genetic associations have now been established correlating the risk of development or progression of AMD. Stratifying patients by their AMD genetic profile may facilitate future AMD therapeutic trials resulting in meaningful clinical trial end points with smaller sample sizes and study duration. PMID:26493033

  2. Vitreomacular traction and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Green-Simms, Amy E; Bakri, Sophie J

    2011-05-01

    The interaction between the vitreous and the internal limiting membrane of the retina is important in the pathoetiology of numerous ocular disease processes. Recent studies have focused on the vitreo-retinal interface in the context of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), linking vitreo-retinal adhesion to exudative AMD in particular. This review summarizes our knowledge of vitreous anatomy and recent investigations regarding vitreomacular adhesion and AMD.

  3. Dietary Approaches that Delay Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Everitt, Arthur V; Hilmer, Sarah N; Brand-Miller, Jennie C; Jamieson, Hamish A; Truswell, A Stewart; Sharma, Anita P; Mason, Rebecca S; Morris, Brian J; Le Couteur, David G

    2006-01-01

    Reducing food intake in lower animals such as the rat decreases body weight, retards many aging processes, delays the onset of most diseases of old age, and prolongs life. A number of clinical trials of food restriction in healthy adult human subjects running over 2–15 years show significant reductions in body weight, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lifestyle interventions that lower energy balance by reducing body weight such as physical exercise can also delay the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In general, clinical trials are suggesting that diets high in calories or fat along with overweight are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and dementia. There is a growing literature indicating that specific dietary constituents are able to influence the development of age-related diseases, including certain fats (trans fatty acids, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats) and cholesterol for cardiovascular disease, glycemic index and fiber for diabetes, fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular disease, and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and bone fracture. In addition, there are dietary compounds from different functional foods, herbs, and neutraceuticals such as ginseng, nuts, grains, and polyphenols that may affect the development of age-related diseases. Long-term prospective clinical trials will be needed to confirm these diet—disease relationships. On the basis of current research, the best diet to delay age-related disease onset is one low in calories and saturated fat and high in wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and which maintains a lean body weight. Such a diet should become a key component of healthy aging, delaying age-related diseases and perhaps intervening in the aging process itself. Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that nutrition in childhood

  4. Smoking and age-related macular degeneration: review and update.

    PubMed

    Velilla, Sara; García-Medina, José Javier; García-Layana, Alfredo; Dolz-Marco, Rosa; Pons-Vázquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durán, M Dolores; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Arévalo, J Fernando; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Gallego-Pinazo, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main socioeconomical health issues worldwide. AMD has a multifactorial etiology with a variety of risk factors. Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for AMD development and progression. The present review summarizes the epidemiological studies evaluating the association between smoking and AMD, the mechanisms through which smoking induces damage to the chorioretinal tissues, and the relevance of advising patients to quit smoking for their visual health.

  5. Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Review and Update

    PubMed Central

    Velilla, Sara; García-Medina, José Javier; García-Layana, Alfredo; Pons-Vázquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durán, M. Dolores; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Arévalo, J. Fernando; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Gallego-Pinazo, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main socioeconomical health issues worldwide. AMD has a multifactorial etiology with a variety of risk factors. Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for AMD development and progression. The present review summarizes the epidemiological studies evaluating the association between smoking and AMD, the mechanisms through which smoking induces damage to the chorioretinal tissues, and the relevance of advising patients to quit smoking for their visual health. PMID:24368940

  6. Early detection of age related macular degeneration: current status.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Roy; Loewenstein, Anat

    2015-01-01

    Early diagnosis and treatment of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a main cause of severe vision loss in age related macular degeneration (AMD), is crucial in order to preserve vision and the quality of life of patients. This review summarizes current literature on the subject of early detection of CNV, both in the clinic setting and mainly in the patient's home. New technologies are evolving to allow for earlier detection and thus vision preservation in AMD patients.

  7. Hhip haploinsufficiency sensitizes mice to age-related emphysema.

    PubMed

    Lao, Taotao; Jiang, Zhiqiang; Yun, Jeong; Qiu, Weiliang; Guo, Feng; Huang, Chunfang; Mancini, John Dominic; Gupta, Kushagra; Laucho-Contreras, Maria E; Naing, Zun Zar Chi; Zhang, Li; Perrella, Mark A; Owen, Caroline A; Silverman, Edwin K; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-08-09

    Genetic variants in Hedgehog interacting protein (HHIP) have consistently been associated with the susceptibility to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary function levels, including the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), in general population samples by genome-wide association studies. However, in vivo evidence connecting Hhip to age-related FEV1 decline and emphysema development is lacking. Herein, using Hhip heterozygous mice (Hhip(+/-)), we observed increased lung compliance and spontaneous emphysema in Hhip(+/-) mice starting at 10 mo of age. This increase was preceded by increases in oxidative stress levels in the lungs of Hhip(+/-) vs. Hhip(+/+) mice. To our knowledge, these results provide the first line of evidence that HHIP is involved in maintaining normal lung function and alveolar structures. Interestingly, antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine treatment in mice starting at age of 5 mo improved lung function and prevented emphysema development in Hhip(+/-) mice, suggesting that N-acetyl cysteine treatment limits the progression of age-related emphysema in Hhip(+/-) mice. Therefore, reduced lung function and age-related spontaneous emphysema development in Hhip(+/-) mice may be caused by increased oxidative stress levels in murine lungs as a result of haploinsufficiency of Hhip.

  8. Age-related differences in working memory updating components.

    PubMed

    Linares, Rocío; Bajo, M Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate possible age-related changes throughout childhood and adolescence in different component processes of working memory updating (WMU): retrieval, transformation, and substitution. A set of numerical WMU tasks was administered to four age groups (8-, 11-, 14-, and 21-year-olds). To isolate the effect of each of the WMU components, participants performed different versions of a task that included different combinations of the WMU components. The results showed an expected overall decrease in response times and an increase in accuracy performance with age. Most important, specific age-related changes in the retrieval component were found, demonstrating that the effect of retrieval on accuracy was larger in children than in adolescents or young adults. These findings indicate that the availability of representations from outside the focus of attention may change with age. Thus, the retrieval component of updating could contribute to the age-related changes observed in the performance of many updating tasks.

  9. Neuroanatomical substrates of age-related cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2011-01-01

    There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure, and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the age-related cognitive changes. Although this conclusion may well be true, it is widely recognized that simple correlations are not sufficient to warrant causal conclusions, and other types of correlational information, such as mediation and correlations between longitudinal brain changes and longitudinal cognitive changes, also have limitations with respect to causal inferences. These issues are discussed, and the existing results on relations of regional volume, white matter hyperintensities, and DTI measures of white matter integrity to age and to measures of cognitive functioning are reviewed. It is concluded that at the current time the evidence that these aspects of brain structure are neuroanatomical substrates of age-related cognitive decline is weak. The final section contains several suggestions concerned with measurement and methodology that may lead to stronger conclusions in the future. PMID:21463028

  10. The Age-related Positivity Effect and Tobacco Warning Labels

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Megan E.; Peters, Ellen; Ferketich, Amy K.; Klein, Elizabeth G.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives This study tested whether age is a factor in viewing time for tobacco warning labels. The approach drew from previous work demonstrating an age-related positivity effect, whereby older adults show preferences toward positive and away from negative stimuli. Methods Participants were 295 daily smokers from Appalachian Ohio (age range: 21–68). All participants took part in an eye-tracking paradigm that captured the attention paid to elements of health warning labels in the context of magazine advertisements. Participants also reported on their past cessation attempts and their beliefs about the dangers of smoking. Results Consistent with theory on age-related positivity, older age predicted weaker beliefs about smoking risks, but only among those with no past-year quit attempts. In support of our primary hypothesis, older age was also related to a lower percentage of time spent viewing tobacco warning labels, both overall (text + image) and for the graphic image alone. These associations remained after controlling for cigarettes smoked per day. Conclusions Overall, findings suggest that age is an important consideration for the design of future graphic warning labels and other tobacco risk communications. For older adults, warning labels may need to be tailored to overcome the age-related positivity effect. PMID:27617273

  11. Distinct discrimination learning strategies and their relation with spatial memory and attentional control in 4- to 14-year-olds.

    PubMed

    Schmittmann, Verena D; van der Maas, Han L J; Raijmakers, Maartje E J

    2012-04-01

    Behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuropsychological studies have revealed large developmental differences in various learning paradigms where learning from positive and negative feedback is essential. The differences are possibly due to the use of distinct strategies that may be related to spatial working memory and attentional control. In this study, strategies in performing a discrimination learning task were distinguished in a cross-sectional sample of 302 children from 4 to 14 years of age. The trial-by-trial accuracy data were analyzed with mathematical learning models. The best-fitting model revealed three learning strategies: hypothesis testing, slow abrupt learning, and nonlearning. The proportion of hypothesis-testing children increased with age. Nonlearners were present only in the youngest age group. Feature preferences for the irrelevant dimension had a detrimental effect on performance in the youngest age group. The executive functions spatial working memory and attentional control significantly predicted posterior learning strategy probabilities after controlling for age.

  12. Interaction between age and perceptual similarity in olfactory discrimination learning in F344 rats: relationships with spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Wendy M; Gaynor, Leslie S; Burke, Sara N; Setlow, Barry; Smith, David W; Bizon, Jennifer L

    2017-02-07

    Emerging evidence suggests that aging is associated with a reduced ability to distinguish perceptually similar stimuli in one's environment. As the ability to accurately perceive and encode sensory information is foundational for explicit memory, understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of discrimination impairments that emerge with advancing age could help elucidate the mechanisms of mnemonic decline. To this end, there is a need for preclinical approaches that robustly and reliably model age-associated perceptual discrimination deficits. Taking advantage of rodents' exceptional olfactory abilities, the present study applied rigorous psychophysical techniques to the evaluation of discrimination learning in young and aged F344 rats. Aging did not influence odor detection thresholds or the ability to discriminate between perceptually distinct odorants. In contrast, aged rats were disproportionately impaired relative to young on problems that required discriminations between perceptually similar olfactory stimuli. Importantly, these disproportionate impairments in discrimination learning did not simply reflect a global learning impairment in aged rats, as they performed other types of difficult discriminations on par with young rats. Among aged rats, discrimination deficits were strongly associated with spatial learning deficits. These findings reveal a new, sensitive behavioral approach for elucidating the neural mechanisms of cognitive decline associated with normal aging.

  13. Use of Games as a Learner-Centered Strategy in Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Aging-Related Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmall, Vicki; Grabinski, C. Joanne; Bowman, Sally

    2008-01-01

    Based on their experience as designers and/or users of games as a learner-centered strategy in gerontology, geriatric, and aging-related courses and training programs, the authors note multiple advantages of using games as a learning tool, list six relevant games (including order information), and suggest a variety of ways games can be used. They…

  14. Age-related changes in contrast gain related to the M and P pathways

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Sarah L.; Werner, John S.

    2010-01-01

    Neural contributions to the age-related reduction in spatial vision are incontrovertible. Whether there are differential age-related changes in the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) pathways across the life span has not been tested extensively. We studied psychophysically the contrast gain signature of the M and P pathways for 13 younger and 13 older observers. Two separate paradigms thought to separate the M and P pathways based on their contrast gain signature were used. A four-square array was presented as an increment or decrement on a background of 115 Td for 35 ms, with one test square presented at a slightly higher or lower retinal illumination. Using a four-alternative forced-choice procedure, the observer's task was to choose the unique square. The two paradigms differed only in the pretrial adaptation and inter-stimulus array. Data were fitted with models of contrast discrimination derived from the unique contrast gain signatures. The fitted models indicate a change in the discrimination functions with age for both the M and P pathways, revealing a shift in the contrast gain slope. Results indicate that both M and P pathways undergo age-related changes, but functional losses appear greater for the P pathway under the conditions tested. PMID:20465324

  15. Learning Bayesian networks from big meteorological spatial datasets. An alternative to complex network analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutiérrez, Jose Manuel; San Martín, Daniel; Herrera, Sixto; Santiago Cofiño, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The growing availability of spatial datasets (observations, reanalysis, and regional and global climate models) demands efficient multivariate spatial modeling techniques for many problems of interest (e.g. teleconnection analysis, multi-site downscaling, etc.). Complex networks have been recently applied in this context using graphs built from pairwise correlations between the different stations (or grid boxes) forming the dataset. However, this analysis does not take into account the full dependence structure underlying the data, gien by all possible marginal and conditional dependencies among the stations, and does not allow a probabilistic analysis of the dataset. In this talk we introduce Bayesian networks as an alternative multivariate analysis and modeling data-driven technique which allows building a joint probability distribution of the stations including all relevant dependencies in the dataset. Bayesian networks is a sound machine learning technique using a graph to 1) encode the main dependencies among the variables and 2) to obtain a factorization of the joint probability distribution of the stations given by a reduced number of parameters. For a particular problem, the resulting graph provides a qualitative analysis of the spatial relationships in the dataset (alternative to complex network analysis), and the resulting model allows for a probabilistic analysis of the dataset. Bayesian networks have been widely applied in many fields, but their use in climate problems is hampered by the large number of variables (stations) involved in this field, since the complexity of the existing algorithms to learn from data the graphical structure grows nonlinearly with the number of variables. In this contribution we present a modified local learning algorithm for Bayesian networks adapted to this problem, which allows inferring the graphical structure for thousands of stations (from observations) and/or gridboxes (from model simulations) thus providing new

  16. Route learning in Korsakoff's syndrome: Residual acquisition of spatial memory despite profound amnesia.

    PubMed

    Oudman, Erik; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Nijboer, Tanja C W; Wijnia, Jan W; Seekles, Maaike L; Postma, Albert

    2016-03-01

    Korsakoff's syndrome (KS) is characterized by explicit amnesia, but relatively spared implicit memory. The aim of this study was to assess to what extent KS patients can acquire spatial information while performing a spatial navigation task. Furthermore, we examined whether residual spatial acquisition in KS was based on automatic or effortful coding processes. Therefore, 20 KS patients and 20 matched healthy controls performed six tasks on spatial navigation after they navigated through a residential area. Ten participants per group were instructed to pay close attention (intentional condition), while 10 received mock instructions (incidental condition). KS patients showed hampered performance on a majority of tasks, yet their performance was superior to chance level on a route time and distance estimation tasks, a map drawing task and a route walking task. Performance was relatively spared on the route distance estimation task, but there were large variations between participants. Acquisition in KS was automatic rather than effortful, since no significant differences were obtained between the intentional and incidental condition on any task, whereas for the healthy controls, the intention to learn was beneficial for the map drawing task and the route walking task. The results of this study suggest that KS patients are still able to acquire spatial information during navigation on multiple domains despite the presence of the explicit amnesia. Residual acquisition is most likely based on automatic coding processes.

  17. Activation of NO-cGMP Signaling Rescues Age-Related Memory Impairment in Crickets

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Matsumoto, Chihiro S.; Takahashi, Toshihumi; Mizunami, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Age-related memory impairment (AMI) is a common feature and a debilitating phenotype of brain aging in many animals. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying AMI are still largely unknown. The cricket Gryllus bimaculatus is a useful experimental animal for studying age-related changes in learning and memory capability; because the cricket has relatively short life-cycle and a high capability of olfactory learning and memory. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation in crickets have been examined in detail. In the present study, we trained male crickets of different ages by multiple-trial olfactory conditioning to determine whether AMI occurs in crickets. Crickets 3 weeks after the final molt (3-week-old crickets) exhibited levels of retention similar to those of 1-week-old crickets at 30 min or 2 h after training; however they showed significantly decreased levels of 1-day retention, indicating AMI in long-term memory (LTM) but not in anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) in olfactory learning of crickets. Furthermore, 3-week-old crickets injected with a nitric oxide (NO) donor, a cyclic GMP (cGMP) analog or a cyclic AMP (cAMP) analog into the hemolymph before conditioning exhibited a normal level of LTM, the same level as that in 1-week-old crickets. The rescue effect by NO donor or cGMP analog injection was absent when the crickets were injected after the conditioning. For the first time, an NO donor and a cGMP analog were found to antagonize the age-related impairment of LTM formation, suggesting that deterioration of NO synthase (NOS) or molecules upstream of NOS activation is involved in brain-aging processes. PMID:27616985

  18. Possible Signaling Pathways Mediating Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1-Dependent Spatial Learning and Memory in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomoe Y.; Nakao, Shu; Nakajo, Yukako; Takahashi, Jun C.; Wakabayashi, Shigeo; Yanamoto, Hiroji

    2017-01-01

    Intracellular Ca2+ signaling regulates diverse functions of the nervous system. Many of these neuronal functions, including learning and memory, are regulated by neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1). However, the pathways by which NCS-1 regulates these functions remain poorly understood. Consistent with the findings of previous reports, we revealed that NCS-1 deficient (Ncs1-/-) mice exhibit impaired spatial learning and memory function in the Morris water maze test, although there was little change in their exercise activity, as determined via treadmill-analysis. Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; a key regulator of memory function) and dopamine was significantly reduced in the Ncs1-/- mouse brain, without changes in the levels of glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor or nerve growth factor. Although there were no gross structural abnormalities in the hippocampi of Ncs1-/- mice, electron microscopy analysis revealed that the density of large dense core vesicles in CA1 presynaptic neurons, which release BDNF and dopamine, was decreased. Phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-α (CaMKII-α, which is known to trigger long-term potentiation and increase BDNF levels, was significantly reduced in the Ncs1-/- mouse brain. Furthermore, high voltage electric potential stimulation, which increases the levels of BDNF and promotes spatial learning, significantly increased the levels of NCS-1 concomitant with phosphorylated CaMKII-α in the hippocampus; suggesting a close relationship between NCS-1 and CaMKII-α. Our findings indicate that NCS-1 may regulate spatial learning and memory function at least in part through activation of CaMKII-α signaling, which may directly or indirectly increase BDNF production. PMID:28122057

  19. Enriched childhood experiences moderate age-related motor and cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Metzler, Megan J.; Saucier, Deborah M.; Metz, Gerlinde A.

    2012-01-01

    Aging is associated with deterioration of skilled manual movement. Specifically, aging corresponds with increased reaction time, greater movement duration, segmentation of movement, increased movement variability, and reduced ability to adapt to external forces and inhibit previously learned sequences. Moreover, it is thought that decreased lateralization of neural function in older adults may point to increased neural recruitment as a compensatory response to deterioration of key frontal and intra-hemispheric networks, particularly of callosal structures. However, factors that mediate age-related motor decline are not well understood. Here we show that music training in childhood is associated with reduced age-related decline of bimanual and unimanual motor skills in a MIDI keyboard motor learning task. Compared to older adults without music training, older adults with more than a year of music training demonstrated proficient bimanual and unimanual movement, evidenced by enhanced speed and decreased movement errors. Further, this group demonstrated significantly better implicit learning in the weather prediction task, a non-motor task. The performance of older adults with music training in those tasks was comparable to young adults. Older adults, however, displayed greater verbal ability compared to young adults irrespective of a past history of music training. Our results indicate that music training early in life may reduce age-associated decline of neural motor and cognitive networks. PMID:23423702

  20. Motor Skills Enhance Procedural Memory Formation and Protect against Age-Related Decline

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Nils C. J.; Genzel, Lisa; Konrad, Boris N.; Pawlowski, Marcel; Neville, David; Fernández, Guillén; Steiger, Axel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to consolidate procedural memories declines with increasing age. Prior knowledge enhances learning and memory consolidation of novel but related information in various domains. Here, we present evidence that prior motor experience–in our case piano skills–increases procedural learning and has a protective effect against age-related decline for the consolidation of novel but related manual movements. In our main experiment, we tested 128 participants with a sequential finger-tapping motor task during two sessions 24 hours apart. We observed enhanced online learning speed and offline memory consolidation for piano players. Enhanced memory consolidation was driven by a strong effect in older participants, whereas younger participants did not benefit significantly from prior piano experience. In a follow up independent control experiment, this compensatory effect of piano experience was not visible after a brief offline period of 30 minutes, hence requiring an extended consolidation window potentially involving sleep. Through a further control experiment, we rejected the possibility that the decreased effect in younger participants was caused by training saturation. We discuss our results in the context of the neurobiological schema approach and suggest that prior experience has the potential to rescue memory consolidation from age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27333186

  1. Neural stem cell deforestation as the main force driving the age-related decline in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Encinas, Juan M; Sierra, Amanda

    2012-02-14

    Newborn neurons derived from radial glia-like stem cells located in the dentate gyrus integrate into the adult hippocampal circuitry and participate in memory formation, spatial learning, pattern separation, fear conditioning, and anxiety. This process takes place throughout the life span of mammals, including humans; however, it follows a sharp declining curve. New neurons are generated abundantly during youth but very scarcely in the aged brain. The absolute number of newly generated neurons, or neurogenic output, is determined at different levels along the neurogenic cascade: the activation of quiescent stem cells; the mitotic potential of proliferating precursors; and the survival of neuronal fate-committed precursors. A continuous depletion of the hippocampal neural stem cell pool has been recently proposed as the main force underlying the age-related decline of neurogenesis, in contrast to the previous view of population of neural stem cells whose number remains constant but loses its ability to bear fruit. Nevertheless, the diminished neurogenic output may be reflecting other phenomena such as decreased mitotic capability of proliferating progenitors, decreased survival or changes in differentiation. We describe herein the most important events in determining the amount of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and examine the literature to understand the effects of age throughout the cascade.

  2. Age-related differences in sleep-based memory consolidation: A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Gui, Wen-Jun; Li, Hui-Jie; Guo, Yu-Hua; Peng, Peng; Lei, Xu; Yu, Jing

    2017-02-02

    A period of post-learning sleep benefits memory consolidation compared with an equal-length wake interval. However, whether this sleep-based memory consolidation changes as a function of age remains controversial. Here we report a meta-analysis that investigates the age differences in the sleep-based memory consolidation in two types of memory: declarative memory and procedural memory. The meta-analysis included 22 comparisons of the performance between young adults (N =640) and older adults (N =529) on behavioral tasks measuring sleep-based memory consolidation. Our results showed a significant overall sleep-based beneficial effect in young adults but not in older adults. However, further analyses suggested that the age differences were mainly manifested in sleep-based declarative memory consolidation but not in procedural memory consolidation. We discussed the possible underlying mechanisms for the age-related degradation in sleep-based memory consolidation. Further research is needed to determine the crucial components for sleep-related memory consolidation in older adults such as age-related changes in neurobiological and cardiovascular functions, which may play an important role in this context and have the potential to delineate the interrelationships between age-related changes in sleep and memory.

  3. Long term consequences on spatial learning-memory of low-calorie diet during adolescence in female rats; hippocampal and prefrontal cortex BDNF level, expression of NeuN and cell proliferation in dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Kaptan, Zülal; Akgün-Dar, Kadriye; Kapucu, Ayşegül; Dedeakayoğulları, Huri; Batu, Şule; Üzüm, Gülay

    2015-08-27

    Calorie restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. Obesity during adolescence may adversely affect cognition in adulthood but, to date effects of CR have not been investigated. We hypothesized that feeding with as low as 15% low-calorie diet (LCD) during adolescence would increase hippocampal and prefrontal BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels, proliferative cells and neuron numbers in dentate gyrus (DG), thus positively affecting spatial memory in adulthood. Spatial learning-memory function was improved in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats fed with LCD during adolescence. PCNA (Proliferating cell nuclear antigen-cell proliferation marker) expressing cells and NeuN (Neuronal nuclear antigen-neuron marker) expressing cells in hippocampus DG which are critically involved in memory were increased. Hippocampus and prefrontal cortex BDNF levels were increased while serum glucose levels and level of lipid peroxidation indicator malondialdehyde in serum and hippocampus were reduced. Our unique results suggest that improved cognition in adult rats with LCD feeding during adolescence may result from the increase of neurogenesis and BDNF. These findings reveal the importance of nutrition in adolescence for cognitive function in adulthood. Our results may be useful for further studies aiming to treat age-related cognitive impairments.

  4. Selecting statistical or machine learning techniques for regional landslide susceptibility modelling by evaluating spatial prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetz, Jason; Brenning, Alexander; Petschko, Helene; Leopold, Philip

    2015-04-01

    With so many techniques now available for landslide susceptibility modelling, it can be challenging to decide on which technique to apply. Generally speaking, the criteria for model selection should be tied closely to end users' purpose, which could be spatial prediction, spatial analysis or both. In our research, we focus on comparing the spatial predictive abilities of landslide susceptibility models. We illustrate how spatial cross-validation, a statistical approach for assessing spatial prediction performance, can be applied with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) as a prediction measure for model comparison. Several machine learning and statistical techniques are evaluated for prediction in Lower Austria: support vector machine, random forest, bundling with penalized linear discriminant analysis, logistic regression, weights of evidence, and the generalized additive model. In addition to predictive performance, the importance of predictor variables in each model was estimated using spatial cross-validation by calculating the change in AUROC performance when variables are randomly permuted. The susceptibility modelling techniques were tested in three areas of interest in Lower Austria, which have unique geologic conditions associated with landslide occurrence. Overall, we found for the majority of comparisons that there were little practical or even statistically significant differences in AUROCs. That is the models' prediction performances were very similar. Therefore, in addition to prediction, the ability to interpret models for spatial analysis and the qualitative qualities of the prediction surface (map) are considered and discussed. The measure of variable importance provided some insight into the model behaviour for prediction, in particular for "black-box" models. However, there were no clear patterns in all areas of interest to why certain variables were given more importance over others.

  5. Effect of intranasal manganese administration on neurotransmission and spatial learning in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Blecharz-Klin, Kamilla; Piechal, Agnieszka; Joniec-Maciejak, Ilona; Pyrzanowska, Justyna; Widy-Tyszkiewicz, Ewa

    2012-11-15

    The effect of intranasal manganese chloride (MnCl{sub 2}·4H{sub 2}O) exposure on spatial learning, memory and motor activity was estimated in Morris water maze task in adult rats. Three-month-old male Wistar rats received for 2 weeks MnCl{sub 2}·4H{sub 2}O at two doses the following: 0.2 mg/kg b.w. (Mn0.2) or 0.8 mg/kg b.w. (Mn0.8) per day. Control (Con) and manganese-exposed groups were observed for behavioral performance and learning in water maze. ANOVA for repeated measurements did not show any significant differences in acquisition in the water maze between the groups. However, the results of the probe trial on day 5, exhibited spatial memory deficits following manganese treatment. After completion of the behavioral experiment, the regional brain concentrations of neurotransmitters and their metabolites were determined via HPLC in selected brain regions, i.e. prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. ANOVA demonstrated significant differences in the content of monoamines and metabolites between the treatment groups compared to the controls. Negative correlations between platform crossings on the previous platform position in Southeast (SE) quadrant during the probe trial and neurotransmitter turnover suggest that impairment of spatial memory and cognitive performance after manganese (Mn) treatment is associated with modulation of the serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission in the brain. These findings show that intranasally applied Mn can impair spatial memory with significant changes in the tissue level and metabolism of monoamines in several brain regions. -- Highlights: ► Intranasal exposure to manganese in rats impairs spatial memory in the water maze. ► Regional changes in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain have been identified. ► Cognitive disorder correlates with modulation of 5-HT, NA and DA neurotransmission.

  6. Recognition and Control of the Progression of Age-Related Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Hong Miao; Liu, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Recent breakthroughs have provided notable insights into both the pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies for age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Simultaneously, these breakthroughs enhance our knowledge about this neurodegenerative disease and raise the question of whether the disorder is preventable or even treatable. Discoveries relating to ARHL have revealed a unique link between ARHL and the underlying pathologies. Therefore, we need to better understand the pathogenesis or the mechanism of ARHL and learn how to take full advantage of various therapeutic strategies to prevent the progression of ARHL. PMID:23915327

  7. Double dissociation between the contributions of the septal and temporal hippocampus to spatial learning: the role of prior experience.

    PubMed

    de Hoz, Livia; Martin, Stephen J

    2014-08-01

    The mammalian hippocampus is anatomically heterogeneous along its longitudinal axis, and there is evidence that distinct functions are executed by different septotemporal subregions. The best documented example is the dependency of spatial learning on the septal, but not the temporal, hippocampus. Here, we carried out a watermaze memory task in rats with partial lesions of the septal or temporal hippocampus made either before or after training. We then studied memory retention, reversal, and new spatial learning in a novel environment. This resulted in the surprising finding that spatial learning in a new environment is dependent on the temporal hippocampus in rats with preoperative experience of a different pool. Rats with septal hippocampal lesions made after learning not only retained the focused search strategy that was acquired during preoperative training, but were also capable of rapid spatial learning in a second pool. This demonstrates that once spatial information has been acquired in one context, related new learning in a different context can be mediated by the temporal hippocampus, a result that challenges the widely held view that spatial memory is an exclusive function of the septal hippocampus.

  8. Sharpening coarse-to-fine stereo vision by perceptual learning: asymmetric transfer across the spatial frequency spectrum.

    PubMed

    Li, Roger W; Tran, Truyet T; Craven, Ashley P; Leung, Tsz-Wing; Chat, Sandy W; Levi, Dennis M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons in the early visual cortex are finely tuned to different low-level visual features, forming a multi-channel system analysing the visual image formed on the retina in a parallel manner. However, little is known about the potential 'cross-talk' among these channels. Here, we systematically investigated whether stereoacuity, over a large range of target spatial frequencies, can be enhanced by perceptual learning. Using narrow-band visual stimuli, we found that practice with coarse (low spatial frequency) targets substantially improves performance, and that the improvement spreads from coarse to fine (high spatial frequency) three-dimensional perception, generalizing broadly across untrained spatial frequencies and orientations. Notably, we observed an asymmetric transfer of learning across the spatial frequency spectrum. The bandwidth of transfer was broader when training was at a high spatial frequency than at a low spatial frequency. Stereoacuity training is most beneficial when trained with fine targets. This broad transfer of stereoacuity learning contrasts with the highly specific learning reported for other basic visual functions. We also revealed strategies to boost learning outcomes 'beyond-the-plateau'. Our investigations contribute to understanding the functional properties of the network subserving stereovision. The ability to generalize may provide a key principle for restoring impaired binocular vision in clinical situations.

  9. Sharpening coarse-to-fine stereo vision by perceptual learning: asymmetric transfer across the spatial frequency spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Truyet T.; Craven, Ashley P.; Leung, Tsz-Wing; Chat, Sandy W.; Levi, Dennis M.

    2016-01-01

    Neurons in the early visual cortex are finely tuned to different low-level visual features, forming a multi-channel system analysing the visual image formed on the retina in a parallel manner. However, little is known about the potential ‘cross-talk’ among these channels. Here, we systematically investigated whether stereoacuity, over a large range of target spatial frequencies, can be enhanced by perceptual learning. Using narrow-band visual stimuli, we found that practice with coarse (low spatial frequency) targets substantially improves performance, and that the improvement spreads from coarse to fine (high spatial frequency) three-dimensional perception, generalizing broadly across untrained spatial frequencies and orientations. Notably, we observed an asymmetric transfer of learning across the spatial frequency spectrum. The bandwidth of transfer was broader when training was at a high spatial frequency than at a low spatial frequency. Stereoacuity training is most beneficial when trained with fine targets. This broad transfer of stereoacuity learning contrasts with the highly specific learning reported for other basic visual functions. We also revealed strategies to boost learning outcomes ‘beyond-the-plateau’. Our investigations contribute to understanding the functional properties of the network subserving stereovision. The ability to generalize may provide a key principle for restoring impaired binocular vision in clinical situations. PMID:26909178

  10. Compensatory responses to age-related decline in odor quality acuity: cholinergic neuromodulation and olfactory enrichment.

    PubMed

    Mandairon, Nathalie; Peace, Shane T; Boudadi, Karim; Boxhorn, Christine E; Narla, Venkata Anupama; Suffis, Sara D; Cleland, Thomas A

    2011-12-01

    The perceptual differentiation of odors can be measured behaviorally using generalization gradients. The steepness of these gradients defines a form of olfactory acuity for odor quality that depends on neural circuitry within the olfactory bulb and is regulated by cholinergic activity therein as well as by associative learning. Using this system as a reduced model for age-related cognitive decline, we show that aged mice, while maintaining almost the same baseline behavioral performance as younger mice, are insensitive to the effects of acutely elevated acetylcholine, which sharpens generalization gradients in young adult mice. Moreover, older mice exhibit evidence of chronically elevated acetylcholine levels in the olfactory bulb, suggesting that their insensitivity to further elevated levels of acetylcholine may arise because the maximum capacity of the system to respond to acetylcholine has already been reached. We propose a model in which an underlying, age-related, progressive deficit is mitigated by a compensatory cholinergic feedback loop that acts to retard the behavioral effects of what would otherwise be a substantial age-related decline in olfactory plasticity. We also treated mice with 10-day regimens of olfactory environmental enrichment and/or repeated systemic injections of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine. Each treatment alone sharpened odor quality acuity, but administering both treatments together had no greater effect than either alone. Age was not a significant main effect in this study, suggesting that some capacity for acetylcholine-dependent plasticity is still present in aged mice despite their sharply reduced ability to respond to acute increases in acetylcholine levels. These results suggest a dynamical framework for understanding age-related decline in neural circuit processing in which the direct effects of aging can be mitigated, at least temporarily, by systemic compensatory responses. In particular, a decline in

  11. Ensemble learning for spatial interpolation of soil potassium content based on environmental information.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Du, Peijun; Wang, Dongchen

    2015-01-01

    One important method to obtain the continuous surfaces of soil properties from point samples is spatial interpolation. In this paper, we propose a method that combines ensemble learning with ancillary environmental information for improved interpolation of soil properties (hereafter, EL-SP). First, we calculated the trend value for soil potassium contents at the Qinghai Lake region in China based on measured values. Then, based on soil types, geology types, land use types, and slope data, the remaining residual was simulated with the ensemble learning model. Next, the EL-SP method was applied to interpolate soil potassium contents at the study site. To evaluate the utility of the EL-SP method, we compared its performance with other interpolation methods including universal kriging, inverse distance weighting, ordinary kriging, and ordinary kriging combined geographic information. Results show that EL-SP had a lower mean absolute error and root mean square error than the data produced by the other models tested in this paper. Notably, the EL-SP maps can describe more locally detailed information and more accurate spatial patterns for soil potassium content than the other methods because of the combined use of different types of environmental information; these maps are capable of showing abrupt boundary information for soil potassium content. Furthermore, the EL-SP method not only reduces prediction errors, but it also compliments other environmental information, which makes the spatial interpolation of soil potassium content more reasonable and useful.

  12. Robotic guidance benefits the learning of dynamic, but not of spatial movement characteristics.

    PubMed

    Lüttgen, Jenna; Heuer, Herbert

    2012-10-01

    Robotic guidance is an engineered form of haptic-guidance training and intended to enhance motor learning in rehabilitation, surgery, and sports. However, its benefits (and pitfalls) are still debated. Here, we investigate the effects of different presentation modes on the reproduction of a spatiotemporal movement pattern. In three different groups of participants, the movement was demonstrated in three different modalities, namely visual, haptic, and visuo-haptic. After demonstration, participants had to reproduce the movement in two alternating recall conditions: haptic and visuo-haptic. Performance of the three groups during recall was compared with regard to spatial and dynamic movement characteristics. After haptic presentation, participants showed superior dynamic accuracy, whereas after visual presentation, participants performed better with regard to spatial accuracy. Added visual feedback during recall always led to enhanced performance, independent of the movement characteristic and the presentation modality. These findings substantiate the different benefits of different presentation modes for different movement characteristics. In particular, robotic guidance is beneficial for the learning of dynamic, but not of spatial movement characteristics.

  13. Experimental field study of spatial memory and learning in wild capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus).

    PubMed

    Garber, P A; Paciulli, L M

    1997-01-01

    Despite a large body of data on diet and ranging patterns in prosimians, monkeys and apes, little is known regarding the types of information that non-human primates use when making foraging decisions. In a series of controlled field experiments, we tested the ability of wild capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at La Suerte Biological Research Station in north-eastern Costa Rica to remember the spatial positions of 13 feeding platforms and use olfactory and visual cues to identify baited (real bananas) versus sham (plastic bananas) feeding sites. The results indicate that when 'place' was predictable, the capuchins learned the spatial locations of food and non-food sites rapidly (one-trial learning). In a second experiment, the positions of baited feeding sites were random. In the absence of other information, the capuchins used the presence of a local landmark cue (yellow block) placed at reward platforms to select feeding sites. In a final experiment, there was evidence that expectations regarding the amount of food available at a platform (2 bananas vs. 1/2 banana) had a significant influence on capuchin foraging decisions. Although the capuchins were sensitive to changes in experimental conditions, when they were given conflicting cues, spatial information was predominant over other information in selecting feeding sites.

  14. Spatial learning affects thread tension control in orb-web spiders.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Kensuke

    2013-08-23

    Although it is well known that spatial learning can be important in the biology of predators that actively move around in search for food, comparatively little is known about ways in which spatial learning might function in the strategies of sit-and-wait predators. In this study, Cyclosa octotuberculata, an orb-web spider that uses its legs to contract radial threads of its web to increase thread tension, was trained to capture prey in limited web sectors. After training, spiders that had captured prey in horizontal web sectors applied more tension on radial threads connected to horizontal sectors than spiders that had captured prey in vertical sectors. This result suggests that the effect of experience on C. octotuberculata's behaviour is not expressed in the way the trained spider responds to prey-derived stimuli and is instead expressed in behaviour by which the spider anticipates the likely direction from which prey will arrive in the future. This illustrates that learning can be important even when the predator remains in one location during foraging bouts.

  15. Resveratrol ameliorates spatial learning memory impairment induced by Aβ1-42 in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Zhang, Yu; Li, Jianguo; Zhang, Ce

    2017-03-06

    β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition is considered partially responsible for cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, resveratrol has been reported to play a potential role as a neuroprotective biofactor by modulating Aβ pathomechanisms, including through anti-neuronal apoptotic, anti-oxidative stress, and anti-neuroinflammatory effects. In addition, SIRT1 has been demonstrated to modulate learning and memory function by regulating the expression of cAMP response binding protein (CREB), which involves in modulating the expression of SIRT1. However, whether resveratrol can alleviate Aβ-induced cognitive dysfunction, whether SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation in the hippocampus are affected by Aβ, and whether resveratrol influences these effects remain unknown. In the present study, we used a hippocampal injection model in rats to investigate the effects of resveratrol on Aβ1-42-induced impairment of spatial learning, memory and synaptic plasticity as well as on alterations of SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation. We found that resveratrol significantly reversed the water maze behavioral impairment and the attenuation of long-term potentiation (LTP) in area CA1 that were induced by hippocampal injection of Aβ1-42. Interestingly, resveratrol also prevented the Aβ1-42-induced reductions in SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation in rat hippocampus. In conclusion, in rats, resveratrol protects neurons against Aβ1-42-induced disruption of spatial learning, memory and hippocampal LTP. The mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects may involve rescue of SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation.

  16. Hippocampal strata theta oscillations change their frequency and coupling during spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Pérez, J Jesús; Gutiérrez-Guzmán, Blanca E; Olvera-Cortés, María E

    2016-11-19

    The theta rhythm is necessary for hippocampal-dependent spatial learning. It has been proposed that each hippocampal stratum can generate a current theta dipole. Therefore, considering that each hippocampal circuit (CA1, CA3, and Dentate Gyrus (DG)) contributes differently to distinct aspects of a spatial memory, the theta oscillations on each stratum and their couplings may exhibit oscillatory dynamics associated with different stages of learning. To test this hypothesis, the theta oscillations from five hippocampal strata were recorded in the rat during different stages of learning in a Morris maze. The peak power, the relative power (RP) and the coherence between hippocampal strata were analyzed. The early acquisition stage of the Morris task was characterized by the predominance of slow frequency theta activity and high coupling between specific hippocampal strata at slow frequencies. However, on the last training day, the theta oscillations were faster in all hippocampal strata, with tighter coupling at fast frequencies between the CA3 pyramidal stratum and other strata. Our results suggest that modifications to the theta frequency and its coupling can be a means by which the hippocampus differentially operates during acquisition and retrieval states.

  17. Horses fail to use social learning when solving spatial detour tasks.

    PubMed

    Rørvang, Maria Vilain; Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup; Christensen, Janne Winther

    2015-07-01

    Social animals should have plenty of opportunities to learn from conspecifics, but most studies have failed to document social learning in horses. This study investigates whether young Icelandic horses can learn a spatial detour task through observation of a trained demonstrator horse of either the same age (Experiments 1 and 2, n = 22) or older (Experiment 3, n = 24). Observer horses were allowed to observe the demonstrator being led three times through the detour route immediately before being given the opportunity to solve the task themselves. Controls were allowed only to observe the demonstrator horse eating at the final position, but not the demonstration of the route. Although we found a tendency towards better performance by observer horses in the second experiment, we were unable to repeat this result in a similar set-up with a new group of horses and older, dominant demonstrator horses. We conclude that horses exposed to prior demonstration did not perform better than control horses in solving spatial detour tasks.

  18. Aging-Related Hyperexcitability in CA3 Pyramidal Neurons Is Mediated by Enhanced A-Type K+ Channel Function and Expression

    PubMed Central

    Simkin, Dina; Hattori, Shoai; Ybarra, Natividad; Musial, Timothy F.; Buss, Eric W.; Richter, Hannah; Oh, M. Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Aging-related impairments in hippocampus-dependent cognition have been attributed to maladaptive changes in the functional properties of pyramidal neurons within the hippocampal subregions. Much evidence has come from work on CA1 pyramidal neurons, with CA3 pyramidal neurons receiving comparatively less attention despite its age-related hyperactivation being postulated to interfere with spatial processing in the hippocampal circuit. Here, we use whole-cell current-clamp to demonstrate that aged rat (29–32 months) CA3 pyramidal neurons fire significantly more action potentials (APs) during theta-burst frequency stimulation and that this is associated with faster AP repolarization (i.e., narrower AP half-widths and enlarged fast afterhyperpolarization). Using a combination of patch-clamp physiology, pharmacology, Western blot analyses, immunohistochemistry, and array tomography, we demonstrate that these faster AP kinetics are mediated by enhanced function and expression of Kv4.2/Kv4.3 A-type K+ channels, particularly within the perisomatic compartment, of CA3 pyramidal neurons. Thus, our study indicates that inhibition of these A-type K+ channels can restore the intrinsic excitability properties of aged CA3 pyramidal neurons to a young-like state. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Age-related learning deficits have been attributed, in part, to altered hippocampal pyramidal neuronal function with normal aging. Much evidence has come from work on CA1 neurons, with CA3 neurons receiving comparatively less attention despite its age-related hyperactivation being postulated to interfere with spatial processing. Hence, we conducted a series of experiments to identify the cellular mechanisms that underlie the hyperexcitability reported in the CA3 region. Contrary to CA1 neurons, we demonstrate that postburst afterhyperpolarization is not altered with aging and that aged CA3 pyramidal neurons are able to fire significantly more action potentials and that this is associated with

  19. The role of epigenetics in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-12-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: 'ocular epigenetic mechanisms', 'human disease epigenetics', and 'age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was 'epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used the

  20. Multifocal electroretinogram: age-related changes for different luminance levels

    PubMed Central

    Gerth, Christina; Garcia, Susan M.; Ma, Lei; Keltner, John L.; Werner, John S.

    2008-01-01

    Background Age-related changes in the first-order multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) responses were measured for two different luminance levels (200 and 700 cd·m−2). The relative contribution of optical and neural factors to senescent change in response was evaluated. Methods Data were obtained from one eye of each of 71 normal phakic subjects, age 9−80 years. The mfERG responses were recorded with the 7” stimulus-refractor unit (EDI) and VERIS 4.3 using the following protocol: bipolar contact lens, 103 hexagons, consecutive stimulation with 200 and 700 cd·m−2, pupils ≥6 mm, amplification of 105, filter cut-offs at 10 and 300 Hz. Results Age-correlated decreases in amplitude and response density and increases in P1 implicit time were found for both luminance levels. The mean response density (nV·deg−2) was higher for the 700 cd·m−2 stimulus, but the rate of change with age was not significantly different from that obtained with the 200 cd·m−2 stimulus. Implicit time was not significantly different for the two light levels, nor was the rate of change with age. The decrease in response density and the increase in implicit time with age were significant across all retinal regions, dividing the 50 deg stimulus into six concentric rings. Age-related change in response density was greatest for the central retina and decreased with increasing retinal eccentricity. Conclusion Log mfERG response changes linearly as a function of age. Analyses of the effects of reduced ocular media transmission and increased stray light, along with ancillary data obtained from pseudophakes, imply that age-related changes in the mfERG are due to both optical and neural factors. PMID:11935277

  1. Age-related changes in the central auditory system.

    PubMed

    Ouda, Ladislav; Profant, Oliver; Syka, Josef

    2015-07-01

    Aging is accompanied by the deterioration of hearing that complicates our understanding of speech, especially in noisy environments. This deficit is partially caused by the loss of hair cells as well as by the dysfunction of the stria vascularis. However, the central part of the auditory system is also affected by processes accompanying aging that may run independently of those affecting peripheral receptors. Here, we review major changes occurring in the central part of the auditory system during aging. Most of the information that is focused on age-related changes in the central auditory system of experimental animals arises from experiments using immunocytochemical targeting on changes in the glutamic-acid-decarboxylase, parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin. These data are accompanied by information about age-related changes in the number of neurons as well as about changes in the behavior of experimental animals. Aging is in principle accompanied by atrophy of the gray as well as white matter, resulting in the enlargement of the cerebrospinal fluid space. The human auditory cortex suffers not only from atrophy but also from changes in the content of some metabolites in the aged brain, as shown by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition to this, functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals differences between activation of the central auditory system in the young and old brain. Altogether, the information reviewed in this article speaks in favor of specific age-related changes in the central auditory system that occur mostly independently of the changes in the inner ear and that form the basis of the central presbycusis.

  2. Age-related degradation of Westinghouse 480-volt circuit breakers

    SciTech Connect

    Subudhi, M.; Shier, W.; MacDougall, E. )

    1990-07-01

    An aging assessment of Westinghouse DS-series low-voltage air circuit breakers was performed as part of the Nuclear Plant Aging Research (NPAR) program. The objectives of this study are to characterize age-related degradation within the breaker assembly and to identify maintenance practices to mitigate their effect. Since this study has been promulgated by the failures of the reactor trip breakers at the McGuire Nuclear Station in July 1987, results relating to the welds in the breaker pole lever welds are also discussed. The design and operation of DS-206 and DS-416 breakers were reviewed. Failure data from various national data bases were analyzed to identify the predominant failure modes, causes, and mechanisms. Additional operating experiences from one nuclear station and two industrial breaker-service companies were obtained to develop aging trends of various subcomponents. The responses of the utilities to the NRC Bulletin 88-01, which discusses the center pole lever welds, were analyzed to assess the final resolution of failures of welds in the reactor trips. Maintenance recommendations, made by the manufacturer to mitigate age-related degradation were reviewed, and recommendations for improving the monitoring of age-related degradation are discussed. As described in Volume 2 of this NUREG, the results from a test program to assess degradation in breaker parts through mechanical cycling are also included. The testing has characterized the cracking of center-pole lever welds, identified monitoring techniques to determine aging in breakers, and provided information to augment existing maintenance programs. Recommendations to improve breaker reliability using effective maintenance, testing, and inspection programs are suggested. 13 refs., 21 figs., 8 tabs.

  3. Age-related deterioration of rod vision in mice.

    PubMed

    Kolesnikov, Alexander V; Fan, Jie; Crouch, Rosalie K; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2010-08-18

    Even in healthy individuals, aging leads to deterioration in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual field, and dark adaptation. Little is known about the neural mechanisms that drive the age-related changes of the retina and, more specifically, photoreceptors. According to one hypothesis, the age-related deterioration in rod function is due to the limited availability of 11-cis-retinal for rod pigment formation. To determine how aging affects rod photoreceptors and to test the retinoid-deficiency hypothesis, we compared the morphological and functional properties of rods of adult and aged B6D2F1/J mice. We found that the number of rods and the length of their outer segments were significantly reduced in 2.5-year-old mice compared with 4-month-old animals. Aging also resulted in a twofold reduction in the total level of opsin in the retina. Behavioral tests revealed that scotopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were decreased by twofold in aged mice, and rod ERG recordings demonstrated reduced amplitudes of both a- and b-waves. Sensitivity of aged rods determined from single-cell recordings was also decreased by 1.5-fold, corresponding to not more than 1% free opsin in these photoreceptors, and kinetic parameters of dim flash response were not altered. Notably, the rate of rod dark adaptation was unaffected by age. Thus, our results argue against age-related deficiency of 11-cis-retinal in the B6D2F1/J mouse rod visual cycle. Surprisingly, the level of cellular dark noise was increased in aged rods, providing an alternative mechanism for their desensitization.

  4. Effects of Vitreomacular Adhesion on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Eui Chun; Koh, Hyoung Jun

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we review the association between vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Meta-analyses have shown that eyes with neovascular AMD are twice as likely to have VMA as normal eyes. VMA in neovascular AMD may induce inflammation, macular traction, decrease in oxygenation, sequestering of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and other cytokines or may directly stimulate VEGF production. VMA may also interfere with the treatment effects of anti-VEGF therapy, which is the standard treatment for neovascular AMD, and releasing VMA can improve the treatment response to anti-VEGF treatment in neovascular AMD. We also reviewed currently available methods of relieving VMA. PMID:26425354

  5. Age-related macular degeneration: Complement in action.

    PubMed

    van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; Strauss, Erich C; Yaspan, Brian L

    2016-06-01

    The complement system plays a key role in host-defense against common pathogens but must be tightly controlled to avoid inflammation and tissue damage. Polymorphisms in genes encoding two important negative regulators of the alternative complement pathway, complement factor H (CFH) and complement factor I (CFI), are associated with the risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision impairment in the ageing population. In this review, we will discuss the genetic basis of AMD and the potential impact of complement de-regulation on disease pathogenesis. Finally, we will highlight recent therapeutic approaches aimed at controlling complement activation in patients with AMD.

  6. Normal tear protein profiles and age-related changes.

    PubMed Central

    McGill, J I; Liakos, G M; Goulding, N; Seal, D V

    1984-01-01

    The specific and non-specific tear proteins have been analysed by means of the ELISA technique to establish the normal and age-related values. There is a linear and related decline of lysozyme and lactoferrin with age, and a similar but unrelated reduction in tear volume. IgA levels gradually decline, while caeruloplasmin and IgG both increase after the fifth decade. The results suggest that tear IgG and caeruloplasmin are probably transudates from the serum, that IgA is secreted independently of tear volume, and that lysozyme and lactoferrin are secreted at the same site but independently of tear volume. PMID:6712908

  7. Imaging geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Göbel, Arno P; Fleckenstein, Monika; Schmitz-Valckenberg, Steffen; Brinkmann, Christian K; Holz, Frank G

    2011-01-01

    Advances in retinal imaging technology have largely contributed to the understanding of the natural history, prognostic markers and disease mechanisms of geographic atrophy (GA) due to age-related macular degeneration. There is still no therapy available to halt or slow the disease process. In order to evaluate potential therapeutic effects in interventional trials, there is a need for precise quantification of the GA progression rate. Fundus autofluorescence imaging allows for accurate identification and segmentation of atrophic areas and currently represents the gold standard for evaluating progressive GA enlargement. By means of high-resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, distinct microstructural alterations related to GA can be visualized.

  8. The Synergetic Effect of Learning Styles on the Interaction between Virtual Environments and the Enhancement of Spatial Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hauptman, Hanoch; Cohen, Arie

    2011-01-01

    Students have difficulty learning 3D geometry; spatial thinking is an important aspect of the learning processes in this academic area. In light of the unique features of virtual environments and the influence of metacognitive processes (e.g., self-regulating questions) on the teaching of mathematics, we assumed that a combination of…

  9. Distinct Discrimination Learning Strategies and Their Relation with Spatial Memory and Attentional Control in 4- to 14-Year-Olds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmittmann, Verena D.; van der Maas, Han L. J.; Raijmakers, Maartje E. J.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuropsychological studies have revealed large developmental differences in various learning paradigms where learning from positive and negative feedback is essential. The differences are possibly due to the use of distinct strategies that may be related to spatial working memory and attentional control. In…

  10. The impact of fornix lesions in rats on spatial learning tasks sensitive to anterior thalamic and hippocampal damage

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, Julie R.; Amin, Eman; Wright, Nicholas F.; Dillingham, Christopher M.; Aggleton, John P.

    2015-01-01

    The present study sought to understand how the hippocampus and anterior thalamic nuclei are conjointly required for spatial learning by examining the impact of cutting a major tract (the fornix) that interconnects these two sites. The initial experiments examined the consequences of fornix lesions in rats on spatial biconditional discrimination learning. The rationale arose from previous findings showing that fornix lesions spare the learning of spatial biconditional tasks, despite the same task being highly sensitive to both hippocampal and anterior thalamic nuclei lesions. In the present study, fornix lesions only delayed acquisition of the spatial biconditional task, pointing to additional contributions from non-fornical routes linking the hippocampus with the anterior thalamic nuclei. The same fornix lesions spared the learning of an analogous nonspatial biconditional task that used local contextual cues. Subsequent tests, including T-maze place alternation, place learning in a cross-maze, and a go/no-go place discrimination, highlighted the impact of fornix lesions when distal spatial information is used flexibly to guide behaviour. The final experiment examined the ability to learn incidentally the spatial features of a square water-maze that had differently patterned walls. Fornix lesions disrupted performance but did not stop the rats from distinguishing the various corners of the maze. Overall, the results indicate that interconnections between the hippocampus and anterior thalamus, via the fornix, help to resolve problems with flexible spatial and temporal cues, but the results also signal the importance of additional, non-fornical contributions to hippocampal-anterior thalamic spatial processing, particularly for problems with more stable spatial solutions. PMID:25453745

  11. Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training.

    PubMed

    Graziano, A B; Peterson, M; Shaw, G L

    1999-03-01

    It was predicted, based on a mathematical model of the cortex, that early music training would enhance spatial-temporal reasoning. We have demonstrated that preschool children given six months of piano keyboard lessons improved dramatically on spatial-temporal reasoning while children in appropriate control groups did not improve. It was then predicted that the enhanced spatial-temporal reasoning from piano keyboard training could lead to enhanced learning of specific math concepts, in particular proportional math, which is notoriously difficult to teach using the usual language-analytic methods. We report here the development of Spatial-Temporal Math Video Game software designed to teach fractions and proportional math, and its strikingly successful use in a study involving 237 second-grade children (age range six years eight months-eight years five months). Furthermore, as predicted, children given piano keyboard training along with the Math Video Game training scored significantly higher on proportional math and fractions than children given a control training along with the Math Video Game. These results were readily measured using the companion Math Video Game Evaluation Program. The training time necessary for children on the Math Video Game is very short, and they rapidly reach a high level of performance. This suggests that, as predicted, we are tapping into fundamental cortical processes of spatial-temporal reasoning. This spatial-temporal approach is easily generalized to teach other math and science concepts in a complementary manner to traditional language-analytic methods, and at a younger age. The neural mechanisms involved in thinking through fractions and proportional math during training with the Math Video Game might be investigated in EEG coherence studies along with priming by specific music.

  12. From brain synapses to systems for learning and memory: Object recognition, spatial navigation, timed conditioning, and movement control.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, Stephen

    2015-09-24

    This article provides an overview of neural models of synaptic learning and memory whose expression in adaptive behavior depends critically on the circuits and systems in which the synapses are embedded. It reviews Adaptive Resonance Theory, or ART, models that use excitatory matching and match-based learning to achieve fast category learning and whose learned memories are dynamically stabilized by top-down expectations, attentional focusing, and memory search. ART clarifies mechanistic relationships between consciousness, learning, expectation, attention, resonance, and synchrony. ART models are embedded in ARTSCAN architectures that unify processes of invariant object category learning, recognition, spatial and object attention, predictive remapping, and eye movement search, and that clarify how conscious object vision and recognition may fail during perceptual crowding and parietal neglect. The generality of learned categories depends upon a vigilance process that is regulated by acetylcholine via the nucleus basalis. Vigilance can get stuck at too high or too low values, thereby causing learning problems in autism and medial temporal amnesia. Similar synaptic learning laws support qualitatively different behaviors: Invariant object category learning in the inferotemporal cortex; learning of grid cells and place cells in the entorhinal and hippocampal cortices during spatial navigation; and learning of time cells in the entorhinal-hippocampal system during adaptively timed conditioning, including trace conditioning. Spatial and temporal processes through the medial and lateral entorhinal-hippocampal system seem to be carried out with homologous circuit designs. Variations of a shared laminar neocortical circuit design have modeled 3D vision, speech perception, and cognitive working memory and learning. A complementary kind of inhibitory matching and mismatch learning controls movement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  13. Spatial learning in a virtual reality-based task is altered in very preterm children.

    PubMed

    Cimadevilla, José M; Roldán, Lola; París, María; Arnedo, Marisa; Roldán, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Very preterm births prevent a complete development of the nervous system. The hippocampus is especially vulnerable in this population since the perinatal period is critical for its growth and development. Learning and memory abilities, like spatial memory, depend on the hippocampal integrity. In this study we applied virtual-reality-based tasks to assess spatial memory in a sample of 20 very preterm children of 7 and 8 years of age. Two different conditions of difficulty were used. Very preterm children performed poorly in the task in comparison with the control group. They committed more errors than controls searching for the rewarded positions. However, no significant differences were observed in the mean speed, an index of the motor abilities and joystick handling. These results suggest that the hippocampal function is affected in this sample. Nevertheless, other variables to consider are discussed.

  14. Magnetic resonance histology of age-related nephropathy in the Sprague Dawley rat.

    PubMed

    Xie, Luke; Cianciolo, Rachel E; Hulette, Brian; Lee, Ha Won; Qi, Yi; Cofer, Gary; Johnson, G Allan

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic resonance histology (MRH) has become a valuable tool in evaluating drug-induced toxicity in preclinical models. However, its application in renal injury has been limited. This study tested the hypothesis that MRH could detect image-based biomarkers of chronic disease, inflammation, or age-related degeneration in the kidney, laying the foundation for more extensive use in evaluating drug toxicity. We examined the entire intact kidney in a spontaneous model of chronic progressive nephropathy. Kidneys from male Sprague Dawley rats were imaged at 8 weeks (n = 4) and 52 weeks (n =4) on a 9.4 T system dedicated to MR microscopy. Several potential contrast mechanisms were explored to optimize the scanning protocols. Full coverage of the entire kidney was achieved with isotropic spatial resolution at 31 microns (voxel volume = 30 pL) using a gradient recalled echo sequence. Isotropic spatial resolution of 15 microns (voxel volume < 4 pL) was achieved in a biopsy core specimen. Qualitative age-related structural changes, such as renal cortical microvasculature, tubular dilation, interstitial fibrosis, and glomerular architecture, were apparent. The nondestructive 3D images allowed measurement of quantitative differences of kidney volume, pelvis volume, main vessel volume, glomerular size, as well as thickness of the cortex, outer medulla, and inner medulla.

  15. Moringa oleifera mitigates memory impairment and neurodegeneration in animal model of age-related dementia.

    PubMed

    Sutalangka, Chatchada; Wattanathorn, Jintanaporn; Muchimapura, Supaporn; Thukham-mee, Wipawee

    2013-01-01

    To date, the preventive strategy against dementia is still essential due to the rapid growth of its prevalence and the limited therapeutic efficacy. Based on the crucial role of oxidative stress in age-related dementia and the antioxidant and nootropic activities of Moringa oleifera, the enhancement of spatial memory and neuroprotection of M. oleifera leaves extract in animal model of age-related dementia was determined. The possible underlying mechanism was also investigated. Male Wistar rats, weighing 180-220 g, were orally given M. oleifera leaves extract at doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg at a period of 7 days before and 7 days after the intracerebroventricular administration of AF64A bilaterally. Then, they were assessed memory, neuron density, MDA level, and the activities of SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and AChE in hippocampus. The results showed that the extract improved spatial memory and neurodegeneration in CA1, CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of hippocampus together with the decreased MDA level and AChE activity but increased SOD and CAT activities. Therefore, our data suggest that M. oleifera leaves extract is the potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant. The possible mechanism might occur partly via the decreased oxidative stress and the enhanced cholinergic function. However, further explorations concerning active ingredient(s) are still required.

  16. Moringa oleifera Mitigates Memory Impairment and Neurodegeneration in Animal Model of Age-Related Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Sutalangka, Chatchada; Wattanathorn, Jintanaporn; Muchimapura, Supaporn; Thukham-mee, Wipawee

    2013-01-01

    To date, the preventive strategy against dementia is still essential due to the rapid growth of its prevalence and the limited therapeutic efficacy. Based on the crucial role of oxidative stress in age-related dementia and the antioxidant and nootropic activities of Moringa oleifera, the enhancement of spatial memory and neuroprotection of M. oleifera leaves extract in animal model of age-related dementia was determined. The possible underlying mechanism was also investigated. Male Wistar rats, weighing 180–220 g, were orally given M. oleifera leaves extract at doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg at a period of 7 days before and 7 days after the intracerebroventricular administration of AF64A bilaterally. Then, they were assessed memory, neuron density, MDA level, and the activities of SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and AChE in hippocampus. The results showed that the extract improved spatial memory and neurodegeneration in CA1, CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of hippocampus together with the decreased MDA level and AChE activity but increased SOD and CAT activities. Therefore, our data suggest that M. oleifera leaves extract is the potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant. The possible mechanism might occur partly via the decreased oxidative stress and the enhanced cholinergic function. However, further explorations concerning active ingredient(s) are still required. PMID:24454988

  17. Compliance instead of flexibility? On age-related differences in cognitive control during visual search.

    PubMed

    Mertes, Christine; Wascher, Edmund; Schneider, Daniel

    2017-02-11

    The effect of healthy aging on cognitive control of irrelevant visual information was investigated by using event-related potentials. Participants performed a spatial cuing task where an irrelevant color cue that was either contingent (color search) or noncontingent (shape search) on the attentional set was presented before a target with different stimulus-onset asynchronies. In the contingent condition, attentional capture appeared independent of age and persisted over the stimulus-onset asynchronies but was markedly pronounced for elderly people. Accordingly, event-related potential analyses revealed that both older and younger adults initially selected the irrelevant cue when it was contingent on the attentional set and transferred spatial cue information into working memory. However, only younger adults revealed inhibitory mechanisms to compensate for attentional capture. It is proposed that this age-related lack of reactive inhibition leads to stickiness in visual processing whenever information is contingent on the attentional set, unveiling older adults' "Achilles' heel" in cognitive control.

  18. Aging-related dysregulation of dopamine and angiotensin receptor interaction.

    PubMed

    Villar-Cheda, Begoña; Dominguez-Meijide, Antonio; Valenzuela, Rita; Granado, Noelia; Moratalla, Rosario; Labandeira-Garcia, Jose L

    2014-07-01

    It is not known whether the aging-related decrease in dopaminergic function leads to the aging-related higher vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons and risk for Parkinson's disease. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a major role in the inflammatory response, neuronal oxidative stress, and dopaminergic vulnerability via type 1 (AT1) receptors. In the present study, we observed a counterregulatory interaction between dopamine and angiotensin receptors. We observed overexpression of AT1 receptors in the striatum and substantia nigra of young adult dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-deficient mice and young dopamine-depleted rats, together with compensatory overexpression of AT2 receptors or compensatory downregulation of angiotensinogen and/or angiotensin. In aged rats, we observed downregulation of dopamine and dopamine receptors and overexpression of AT1 receptors in aged rats, without compensatory changes observed in young animals. L-Dopa therapy inhibited RAS overactivity in young dopamine-depleted rats, but was ineffective in aged rats. The results suggest that dopamine may play an important role in modulating oxidative stress and inflammation in the substantia nigra and striatum via the RAS, which is impaired by aging.

  19. Age-related ultrasonic properties of breast tissue in vivo.

    PubMed

    Katz-Hanani, Ilana; Rothstein, Tamara; Gaitini, Diana; Gallimidi, Zahava; Azhari, Haim

    2014-09-01

    The aim of the current work was to quantify the ultrasonic properties of the whole breast in vivo as a function of age. Forty-four women were scanned using a computerized ultrasonic scanner developed in our laboratory. Raster scans in two orthogonal views, mediolateral and craniocaudal, were obtained using the ultrasonic through-transmission method. By combining the information from the two views, we estimated two acoustic properties: speed of sound and attenuation coefficient. On the basis of the results, both the attenuation coefficient and the speed of sound follow a three-phase age-related pattern. During the first phase, which corresponds to ages 20 to 35 y, both properties decrease with time and then remain roughly unchanged until about 55 y. During the third phase corresponding to ages >55 y, values decrease again with time. The mean speed of sound decreases from 1504 ± 35 m/s at <30 y to 1452 ± 9 m/s at >60 y (p < 0.01), and the attenuation coefficient decreases from 1.27 ± 0.32 to 0.96 ± 0.13 dB/cm/MHz (p < 0.03), respectively. In conclusion, both the ultrasonic speed of sound and the attenuation coefficient of breast tissue are age related. Both parameters decrease during life, markedly during the first and third phases. These changes may be attributed to anatomic and physiologic changes associated with reproductivity and menopause.

  20. Age-related changes to the production of linguistic prosody

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, Daniel R.

    The production of speech prosody (the rhythm, pausing, and intonation associated with natural speech) is critical to effective communication. The current study investigated the impact of age-related changes to physiology and cognition in relation to the production of two types of linguistic prosody: lexical stress and the disambiguation of syntactically ambiguous utterances. Analyses of the acoustic correlates of stress: speech intensity (or sound-pressure level; SPL), fundamental frequency (F0), key word/phrase duration, and pause duration revealed that both young and older adults effectively use these acoustic features to signal linguistic prosody, although the relative weighting of cues differed by group. Differences in F0 were attributed to age-related physiological changes in the laryngeal subsystem, while group differences in duration measures were attributed to relative task complexity and the cognitive-linguistic load of these respective tasks. The current study provides normative acoustic data for older adults which informs interpretation of clinical findings as well as research pertaining to dysprosody as the result of disease processes.

  1. Parainflammation, chronic inflammation and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune privileged tissue due to its unique anatomical and physiological properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergo low levels of activation (para-inflammation). In many cases, this para-inflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), this para-inflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal para-inflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors and old age. Dysregulated para-inflammation (chronic inflammation) in AMD damages the blood retina barrier (BRB), resulting in the breach of retinal immune privilege leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in AMD, and explores the difference between beneficial para-inflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of AMD. PMID:26292978

  2. The DrugAge database of aging-related drugs.

    PubMed

    Barardo, Diogo; Thornton, Daniel; Thoppil, Harikrishnan; Walsh, Michael; Sharifi, Samim; Ferreira, Susana; Anžič, Andreja; Fernandes, Maria; Monteiro, Patrick; Grum, Tjaša; Cordeiro, Rui; De-Souza, Evandro Araújo; Budovsky, Arie; Araujo, Natali; Gruber, Jan; Petrascheck, Michael; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Zhavoronkov, Alexander; Moskalev, Alexey; de Magalhães, João Pedro

    2017-03-16

    Aging is a major worldwide medical challenge. Not surprisingly, identifying drugs and compounds that extend lifespan in model organisms is a growing research area. Here, we present DrugAge (http://genomics.senescence.info/drugs/), a curated database of lifespan-extending drugs and compounds. At the time of writing, DrugAge contains 1316 entries featuring 418 different compounds from studies across 27 model organisms, including worms, flies, yeast and mice. Data were manually curated from 324 publications. Using drug-gene interaction data, we also performed a functional enrichment analysis of targets of lifespan-extending drugs. Enriched terms include various functional categories related to glutathione and antioxidant activity, ion transport and metabolic processes. In addition, we found a modest but significant overlap between targets of lifespan-extending drugs and known aging-related genes, suggesting that some but not most aging-related pathways have been targeted pharmacologically in longevity studies. DrugAge is freely available online for the scientific community and will be an important resource for biogerontologists.

  3. Exploring age-related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits. In searching for the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of meditation, studies have revealed practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities, just to name a few. These findings not only imply a close link between meditation and brain structure, but also suggest possible modulating effects of meditation on age-related brain atrophy. Given that normal aging is associated with significant loss of brain tissue, meditation-induced growth and/or preservation might manifest as a seemingly reduced brain age in meditators (i.e., cerebral measures characteristic of younger brains). Surprisingly, there are only three published studies that have addressed the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. This paper reviews these three studies with respect to the brain attributes studied, the analytical strategies applied, and the findings revealed. The review concludes with an elaborate discussion on the significance of existing studies, implications and directions for future studies, as well as the overall relevance of this field of research.

  4. Auditory white noise reduces age-related fluctuations in balance.

    PubMed

    Ross, J M; Will, O J; McGann, Z; Balasubramaniam, R

    2016-09-06

    Fall prevention technologies have the potential to improve the lives of older adults. Because of the multisensory nature of human balance control, sensory therapies, including some involving tactile and auditory noise, are being explored that might reduce increased balance variability due to typical age-related sensory declines. Auditory white noise has previously been shown to reduce postural sway variability in healthy young adults. In the present experiment, we examined this treatment in young adults and typically aging older adults. We measured postural sway of healthy young adults and adults over the age of 65 years during silence and auditory white noise, with and without vision. Our results show reduced postural sway variability in young and older adults with auditory noise, even in the absence of vision. We show that vision and noise can reduce sway variability for both feedback-based and exploratory balance processes. In addition, we show changes with auditory noise in nonlinear patterns of sway in older adults that reflect what is more typical of young adults, and these changes did not interfere with the typical random walk behavior of sway. Our results suggest that auditory noise might be valuable for therapeutic and rehabilitative purposes in older adults with typical age-related balance variability.

  5. Nutritional influences on age-related skeletal muscle loss.

    PubMed

    Welch, Ailsa A

    2014-02-01

    Age-related muscle loss impacts on whole-body metabolism and leads to frailty and sarcopenia, which are risk factors for fractures and mortality. Although nutrients are integral to muscle metabolism the relationship between nutrition and muscle loss has only been extensively investigated for protein and amino acids. The objective of the present paper is to describe other aspects of nutrition and their association with skeletal muscle mass. Mechanisms for muscle loss relate to imbalance in protein turnover with a number of anabolic pathways of which the mechanistic TOR pathway and the IGF-1-Akt-FoxO pathways are the most characterised. In terms of catabolism the ubiquitin proteasome system, apoptosis, autophagy, inflammation, oxidation and insulin resistance are among the major mechanisms proposed. The limited research associating vitamin D, alcohol, dietary acid-base load, dietary fat and anti-oxidant nutrients with age-related muscle loss is described. Vitamin D may be protective for muscle loss; a more alkalinogenic diet and diets higher in the anti-oxidant nutrients vitamin C and vitamin E may also prevent muscle loss. Although present recommendations for prevention of sarcopenia focus on protein, and to some extent on vitamin D, other aspects of the diet including fruits and vegetables should be considered. Clearly, more research into other aspects of nutrition and their role in prevention of muscle loss is required.

  6. Differential spatial activity patterns of acupuncture by a machine learning based analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Youbo; Bai, Lijun; Xue, Ting; Zhong, Chongguang; Liu, Zhenyu; Tian, Jie

    2011-03-01

    Acupoint specificity, lying at the core of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, underlies the theoretical basis of acupuncture application. However, recent studies have reported that acupuncture stimulation at nonacupoint and acupoint can both evoke similar signal intensity decreases in multiple regions. And these regions were spatially overlapped. We used a machine learning based Support Vector Machine (SVM) approach to elucidate the specific neural response pattern induced by acupuncture stimulation. Group analysis demonstrated that stimulation at two different acupoints (belong to the same nerve segment but different meridians) could elicit distinct neural response patterns. Our findings may provide evidence for acupoint specificity.

  7. Perceptrons with Hebbian Learning Based on Wave Ensembles in Spatially Patterned Potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinosa-Ortega, T.; Liew, T. C. H.

    2015-03-01

    A general scheme to realize a perceptron for hardware neural networks is presented, where multiple interconnections are achieved by a superposition of Schrödinger waves. Spatially patterned potentials process information by coupling different points of reciprocal space. The necessary potential shape is obtained from the Hebbian learning rule, either through exact calculation or construction from a superposition of known optical inputs. This allows implementation in a wide range of compact optical systems, including (1) any nonlinear optical system, (2) optical systems patterned by optical lithography, and (3) exciton-polariton systems with phonon or nuclear spin interactions.

  8. HIPPOCAMPAL ADULT NEUROGENESIS: ITS REGULATION AND POTENTIAL ROLE IN SPATIAL LEARNING AND MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Pan, Yongliang; Liu, Yan; Zhang, Zhibin; Wang, Zuoxin

    2016-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis, defined here as progenitor cell division generating functionally integrated neurons in the adult brain, occurs within the hippocampus of numerous mammalian species including humans. The present review details various endogenous (e.g., neurotransmitters) and environmental (e.g., physical exercise) factors that have been shown to influence hippocampal adult neurogenesis. In addition, the potential involvement of adult-generated neurons in naturally-occurring spatial learning behavior is discussed by summarizing the literature focusing on traditional animal models (e.g., rats and mice), non-traditional animal models (e.g., tree shrews), as well as natural populations (e.g., chickadees and Siberian chipmunk). PMID:27174001

  9. Serotonergic modulation of septo-hippocampal and septo-mammillary theta activity during spatial learning, in the rat.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Guzmán, Blanca Erika; Hernández-Pérez, J Jesús; Olvera-Cortés, María Esther

    2017-02-15

    Theta activity has been related to the processing of spatial information and the formation of hippocampus-dependent memory. The medial septum (MS) plays an important role in the control and coordination of theta activity, as well as in the modulation of learning. It has been established that increased serotonergic activity may desynchronize theta activity, while reduced serotonergic activity produces continuous and persistent theta activity in the hippocampus. We investigate whether serotonin acting on the medial septum could modify spatial learning and the functional relationship between septo-hippocampal and septo-mammillary theta activity. The serotonin was depleted (5HT-D) from the medial septum by the injection of 5,7 DHT (5,7- dihydroxytryptamine). Theta activity was recorded in the dorsal hippocampus, MS and mammillary nuclei (SUM, MM) of Sprague-Dawley male rats during spatial learning in the Morris water maze. Spatial learning was facilitated, and the frequency of the hippocampal theta activity during the first days of training increased (to 8.5Hz) in the 5HT-D group, unlike the vehicle group. Additionally, the coherence between the MS-hippocampus and the MS-mammillary nuclei was higher during the second day of the test compared to the vehicle group. We demonstrated that septal serotonin depletion facilitates the acquisition of spatial information in association with a higher functional coupling of the medial septum with the hippocampus and mammillary nuclei. Serotonin, acting in the medial septum, modulates hippocampal theta activity and spatial learning.

  10. Autophagy involving age-related cognitive behavior and hippocampus injury is modulated by different caloric intake in mice

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wen; Wang, Rong; Ma, Li-Na; Xu, Bao-Lei; Zhang, Jing-Shuang; Zhao, Zhi-Wei; Wang, Yu-Lan; Zhang, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicated that different caloric intake may influence neuronal function. Excessive caloric intake associated with accelerated aging of the brain and increased the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. And low caloric intake (caloric restriction, CR) could delay aging, and protect the central nervous system from neurodegenerative disorders. The underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, thirty six-week-old male C57/BL male mice were randomly divided into three different dietary groups: normal control (NC) group (fed standard diet), CR group (fed low-caloric diet) and high-calorie (HC) group (fed high-caloric diet). After 10 months, spatial memory ability was determined by Morris water maze. Pathological changes of the hippocampus cells were detected with HE and Nissl staining. The expression of proteins involved in autophagy in the hippocampus was determined by immunofluorescence and Western blot. The result of Morris water maze showed that the learning and memory capacity significantly increased in the CR group, and significantly decreased in the HC group. HE and Nissl staining showed cells damaged obviously in the HC group. The expression of mTOR and p62 was increased in the HC group, and decreased in the CR group. The expression of Beclin1, LC3 and cathepsin B was decreased in the HC group, and increased in the CR group. Our findings demonstrate that long-term high caloric intake is a risk factor that can significantly contribute to the development of neurological disease via suppressing autophagy, and CR may prevent age-related learning ability impairment via activating autophagy in mice. PMID:26380026

  11. An eye movement analysis of the spatial contiguity effect in multimedia learning.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Cheryl I; Mayer, Richard E

    2012-06-01

    In three studies, eye movements of participants were recorded while they viewed a single-slide multimedia presentation about how car brakes work. Some of the participants saw an integrated presentation in which each segment of words was presented near its corresponding area of the diagram (integrated group, Experiments 1 and 3) or an integrated presentation that also included additional labels identifying each part (integrated-with-labels group, Experiment 2), whereas others saw a separated presentation in which the words were presented as a paragraph below the diagrams (separated group, Experiments 1 and 2) or as a legend below the diagrams (legend group, Experiment 3). On measures of cognitive processing during learning, the integrated groups made significantly more eye-movements from text to diagram and vice versa (integrative transitions; d = 1.65 in Experiment 1, d = 0.85 in Experiment 2, and d = 1.44 in Experiment 3) and significantly more eye-movements from the text to the corresponding part of the diagram (corresponding transitions; d = 2.02 in Experiment 1 and d = 1.35 in Experiment 3) than the separated groups. On measures of learning outcome the integrated groups significantly outperformed the separated groups on transfer test score in Experiment 1(d = .80) and Experiment 2 (d = .73) but not in Experiment 3 (d = .35). Spatial contiguity encourages more attempts to integrate words and pictures and enables more successful integration of words and pictures during learning, which can result in meaningful learning outcomes.

  12. Spatial learning results in elevated agmatine levels in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ping; Collie, Nicola D; Chary, Sree; Jing, Yu; Zhang, Hu

    2008-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that agmatine, a metabolite of L-arginine by arginine decarboxylase, is a novel neurotransmitter, and exogenous agmatine can modulate behavior functions including learning and memory. However, direct evidence of its involvement in learning and memory processes is currently lacking. This study measured agmatine levels in the hippocampus, parahippocampal region, cerebellum, and vestibular nucleus in rats that were trained to find a hidden escape platform in the water-maze task, or forced to swim in the pool with no platform presented, or kept in the holding-box, using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Compared with the swimming only group and holding-box group, agmatine levels were significantly increased in the CA1 and dentate gyrus subregions of the hippocampus, the entorhinal cortex and the vestibular nucleus in the water-maze training group. These results, for the first time, demonstrate spatial learning-induced region-specific elevation in agmatine, and raise a novel issue of the involvement of agmatine in the processes of learning and memory.

  13. Three dimensional spatial memory and learning in real and virtual environments.

    PubMed

    Oman, Charles M; Shebilske, Wayne L; Richards, Jason T; Tubre, Travis C; Beall, Andrew C; Natapoff, Alan

    2002-01-01

    Human orientation and spatial cognition partly depends on our ability to remember sets of visual landmarks and imagine their relationship to us from a different viewpoint. We normally make large body rotations only about a single axis which is aligned with gravity. However, astronauts who try to recognize environments rotated in 3 dimensions report that their terrestrial ability to imagine the relative orientation of remembered landmarks does not easily generalize. The ability of human subjects to learn to mentally rotate a simple array of six objects around them was studied in 1-G laboratory experiments. Subjects were tested in a cubic chamber (n = 73) and a equivalent virtual environment (n = 24), analogous to the interior of a space station node module. A picture of an object was presented at the center of each wall. Subjects had to memorize the spatial relationships among the six objects and learn to predict the direction to a specific object if their body were in a specified 3D orientation. Percent correct learning curves and response times were measured. Most subjects achieved high accuracy from a given viewpoint within 20 trials, regardless of roll orientation, and learned a second view direction with equal or greater ease. Performance of the subject group that used a head mounted display/head tracker was qualitatively similar to that of the second group tested in a physical node simulator. Body position with respect to gravity had a significant but minor effect on performance of each group, suggesting that results may also apply to weightless situations. A correlation was found between task performance measures and conventional paper-and-pencil tests of field independence and 2&3 dimensional figure rotation ability.

  14. Neurogenesis in a rat model of age-related cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Bizon, J L; Lee, H J; Gallagher, M

    2004-08-01

    Age-related decrements in hippocampal neurogenesis have been suggested as a basis for learning impairment during aging. In the current study, a rodent model of age-related cognitive decline was used to evaluate neurogenesis in relation to hippocampal function. New hippocampal cell survival was assessed approximately 1 month after a series of intraperitoneal injections of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Correlational analyses between individual measures of BrdU-positive cells and performance on the Morris water maze task provided no indication that this measure of neurogenesis was more preserved in aged rats with intact cognitive abilities. On the contrary, among aged rats, higher numbers of BrdU-positive cells in the granule cell layer were associated with a greater degree of impairment on the learning task. Double-labelling studies confirmed that the majority of the BrdU+ cells were of the neuronal phenotype; the proportion of differentiated neurons was not different across a broad range of cognitive abilities. These data demonstrate that aged rats that maintain cognitive function do so despite pronounced reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition, these findings suggest the interesting possibility that impaired hippocampal function is associated with greater survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons at advanced ages.

  15. Age-related epigenetic regulation in the brain and its role in neuronal diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim-Ha, Jeongsil; Kim, Young-Joon

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates many brain functions are mediated by epigenetic regulation of neural genes, and their dysregulations result in neuronal disorders. Experiences such as learning and recall, as well as physical exercise, induce neuronal activation through epigenetic modifications and by changing the noncoding RNA profiles. Animal models, brain samples from patients, and the development of diverse analytical methods have broadened our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the brain. Diverse and specific epigenetic changes are suggested to correlate with neuronal development, learning and memory, aging and age-related neuronal diseases. Although the results show some discrepancies, a careful comparison of the data (including methods, regions and conditions examined) would clarify the problems confronted in understanding epigenetic regulation in the brain. PMID:27866512

  16. Sex-dependent effects of developmental exposure to different pesticides on spatial learning. The role of induced neuroinflammation in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Giménez, Belén; Llansola, Marta; Hernández-Rabaza, Vicente; Cabrera-Pastor, Andrea; Malaguarnera, Michele; Agusti, Ana; Felipo, Vicente

    2017-01-01

    The use of pesticides has been associated with impaired neurodevelopment in children. The aims of this work were to assess: 1) the effects on spatial learning of developmental exposure to pesticides 2) if the effects are sex-dependent and 3) if hippocampal neuroinflammation is associated with the impairment of spatial learning. We analyzed the effects of developmental exposure to four pesticides: chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, endosulfan and cypermethrin. Exposure was from gestational day 7 to post-natal day 21 and spatial learning and memory was assessed when the rats were young adults. The effects of pesticides on spatial learning were pesticide and gender-dependent. Carbaryl did not affect spatial learning in males or females. Endosulfan and chlorpyrifos impaired learning in males but not in females. Cypermethrin improved spatial learning in the Morris water maze both in males and females while impaired learning in the radial maze only in males. Spatial learning ability was lower in control female rats than in males. All pesticides induced neuroinflammation, increasing IL-1b content in the hippocampus and there is a negative correlation between IL-1b levels in the hippocampus and spatial learning. Neuroinflammation would contribute to the effects of pesticides on spatial learning.

  17. Teaching students to think spatially through embodied actions: Design principles for learning environments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

    PubMed

    DeSutter, D; Stieff, M

    2017-01-01

    Spatial thinking is a vital component of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum. However, to date, broad development of learning environments that target domain-specific spatial thinking is incomplete. The present article visits the problem of improving spatial thinking by first reviewing the evidence that the human mind is embodied: that cognition, memory, and knowledge representation maintain traces of sensorimotor impressions from acting and perceiving in a physical environment. In particular, we review the evidence that spatial cognition and the ways that humans perceive and conceive of space are embodied. We then propose a set of design principles to aid researchers, designers, and practitioners in creating and evaluating learning environments that align principled embodied actions to targets of spatial thinking in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

  18. The role of epigenetics in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: ‘ocular epigenetic mechanisms', ‘human disease epigenetics', and ‘age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was ‘epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used

  19. E-Learning in Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyas, Anjana; König, Gerhard

    2016-06-01

    Science and technology are evolving leaps and bounds. The advancements in GI-Science for natural and built environment helps in improving the quality of life. Learning through education and training needs to be at par with those advancements, which plays a vital role in utilization of technology. New technologies that creates new opportunities have enabled Geomatics to broaden the horizon (skills and competencies). Government policies and decisions support the use of geospatial science in various sectors of governance. Mapping, Land management, Urban planning, Environmental planning, Industrialization are some of the areas where the geomatics has become a baseline for decision making at national level. There is a need to bridge the gap between developments in geospatial science and its utilization and implementation. To prepare a framework for standardisation it is important to understand the theories of education and prevailing practices, with articulate goals exploring variety of teaching techniques. E-Learning is an erudition practice shaped for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources through digital and network-enabled technology. It is a shift from traditional education or training to ICT-based flexible and collaborative learning based on the community of learners, academia, professionals, experts and facilitators. Developments in e-learning is focussed on computer assisted learning which has become popular because of its potential for providing more flexible access to content and instruction at any time, from any place (Means et al, 2009). With the advent of the geo-spatial technology, fast development in the software and hardware, the demand for skilled manpower is increasing and the need is for training, education, research and dissemination. It suggests inter-organisational cooperation between academia, industry, government and international collaboration. There is a

  20. Effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on spatial learning ability in hypothyroid rats: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sung-Hyun; Song, MinYoung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This pilot study analyzed the degradation of spatial learning ability caused by hypothyroidism using aerobic and anaerobic exercise. [Subjects and Methods] The experiments were performed on 11, four-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats. Hypothyroidism-induced rats receiving propylthiouracil (PTU) treatment were divided into aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and control groups. Each group performed exercise and rest for four weeks. Changes in lethargy, memory deterioration, and thyroid function were measured in each group by blood analysis and open field and Morris water maze tests. [Results] After four weeks, blood analysis revealed that the thyroid hormone levels had returned to normal in the aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and control groups, whereas the open field and Morris water maze tests showed that the aerobic and anaerobic exercise groups had faster recovery compared to that of the control group. In addition, comparison of aerobic and anaerobic groups showed that the anaerobic exercise group had faster recovery compared to that of the aerobic group. [Conclusion] The findings of this study suggest that exercise helped to improve lethargy and deteriorated spatial learning ability caused by hypothyroidism and to recover function in rats. Anaerobic exercise was more beneficial than aerobic exercise in alleviating symptoms. PMID:28174480

  1. The effect of retrosplenial cortex lesions in rats on incidental and active spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J D; Hindley, E L; Pearce, J M; Vann, S D; Aggleton, J P

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the importance of the retrosplenial cortex for the incidental learning of the spatial arrangement of distinctive features within a scene. In a modified Morris water-maze, rats spontaneously learnt the location of an escape platform prior to swimming to that location. For this, rats were repeatedly placed on a submerged platform in one corner of either a rectangular (Experiment 1) or square (Experiments 2, 3) pool with walls of different appearance. The rats were then released in the center of the pool for their first test trial. In Experiment 1, the correct corner and its diagonally opposite partner (also correct) were specified by the geometric properties of the pool. Rats with retrosplenial lesions took longer to first reach a correct corner, subsequently showing an attenuated preference for the correct corners. A reduced preference for the correct corner was also found in Experiment 2, when platform location was determined by the juxtaposition of highly salient visual cues (black vs. white walls). In Experiment 3, less salient visual cues (striped vs. white walls) led to a robust lesion impairment, as the retrosplenial lesioned rats showed no preference for the correct corner. When subsequently trained actively to swim to the correct corner over successive trials, retrosplenial lesions spared performance on all three discriminations. The findings not only reveal the importance of the retrosplenial cortex for processing various classes of visuospatial information but also highlight a broader role in the incidental learning of the features of a spatial array, consistent with the translation of scene information.

  2. The effects of bilateral lesions to the dorsal tegmental nucleus on spatial learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, Jessica A; Ingram, Matthew L; Snow, Anna C; Thorpe, Christina M; Martin, Gerard M; Skinner, Darlene M

    2013-12-01

    The head-direction (HD) signal is believed to originate in the dorsal tegmental nucleus (DTN) and lesions to this structure have been shown to disrupt HD cell firing in other areas along the HD cell circuit. To investigate the role of the DTN in spatial navigation, rats with bilateral, electrolytic (Experiment 1), or neurotoxic (Experiment 2) lesions to the DTN were compared with sham controls on two tasks that differed in difficulty and could be solved using directional heading. Rats were first trained on a direction problem in a water T maze where they learned to travel either east or west from two locations in the experimental room. DTN-lesioned rats were impaired relative to sham controls, both early in training, on the first block of eight trials, and on the total trials taken to reach criterion. In the food-foraging task, rats were trained to leave a home cage at the periphery of a circular table, find food in the center of the table and return to the home cage. Again, DTN-lesioned rats were impaired relative to sham rats, making more errors on the return component of the foraging trip. These data extend previous cell-recording studies and behavioral tests in which rats with electrolytic DTN lesions were used, and they demonstrate the importance of the direction system to spatial learning.

  3. Paternal treadmill exercise enhances spatial learning and memory related to hippocampus among male offspring.

    PubMed

    Yin, M M; Wang, W; Sun, J; Liu, S; Liu, X L; Niu, Y M; Yuan, H R; Yang, F Y; Fu, L

    2013-09-15

    Both epidemiologic and laboratory studies suggest that parents can shape their offspring's development. Recently, it has been shown that maternal exercise during pregnancy benefits the progeny's brain function. However, little is known regarding the influence of paternal exercise on their offspring's phenotype. In this study we attempt to determine the effects of 6 weeks paternal treadmill exercise on spatial learning and memory and the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and reelin in their male offspring. Sibling males were divided into two groups: the control (C) and the exercise group (E). The mice in the E group were exercised on a motor-driven rodent treadmill for 5 days per week for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks of exercise, the male mouse was mated with its sibling female. After weaning, male pups underwent behavioral assessment (Open field and Morris water maze tests). Immunohistochemistry staining, real time-PCR and western blot were performed to determine hippocampal BDNF and reelin expression of the male pups after behavior tasks. Our results showed that paternal treadmill exercise improved the spatial learning and memory capability of male pups, which was accompanied by significantly increased expression of BDNF and reelin, as compared to those of C group. Our results provide novel evidence that paternal treadmill exercise can enhance the brain functions of their F1 male offspring.

  4. Discriminative learning of propagation and spatial pattern for motor imagery EEG analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinyang; Zhang, Haihong; Guan, Cuntai; Ong, Sim Heng; Ang, Kai Keng; Pan, Yaozhang

    2013-10-01

    Effective learning and recovery of relevant source brain activity patterns is a major challenge to brain-computer interface using scalp EEG. Various spatial filtering solutions have been developed. Most current methods estimate an instantaneous demixing with the assumption of uncorrelatedness of the source signals. However, recent evidence in neuroscience suggests that multiple brain regions cooperate, especially during motor imagery, a major modality of brain activity for brain-computer interface. In this sense, methods that assume uncorrelatedness of the sources become inaccurate. Therefore, we are promoting a new methodology that considers both volume conduction effect and signal propagation between multiple brain regions. Specifically, we propose a novel discriminative algorithm for joint learning of propagation and spatial pattern with an iterative optimization solution. To validate the new methodology, we conduct experiments involving 16 healthy subjects and perform numerical analysis of the proposed algorithm for EEG classification in motor imagery brain-computer interface. Results from extensive analysis validate the effectiveness of the new methodology with high statistical significance.

  5. The role of motor learning in spatial adaptation near a tool.

    PubMed

    Brown, Liana E; Doole, Robert; Malfait, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Some visual-tactile (bimodal) cells have visual receptive fields (vRFs) that overlap and extend moderately beyond the skin of the hand. Neurophysiological evidence suggests, however, that a vRF will grow to encompass a hand-held tool following active tool use but not after passive holding. Why does active tool use, and not passive holding, lead to spatial adaptation near a tool? We asked whether spatial adaptation could be the result of motor or visual experience with the tool, and we distinguished between these alternatives by isolating motor from visual experience with the tool. Participants learned to use a novel, weighted tool. The active training group received both motor and visual experience with the tool, the passive training group received visual experience with the tool, but no motor experience, and finally, a no-training control group received neither visual nor motor experience using the tool. After training, we used a cueing paradigm to measure how quickly participants detected targets, varying whether the tool was placed near or far from the target display. Only the active training group detected targets more quickly when the tool was placed near, rather than far, from the target display. This effect of tool location was not present for either the passive-training or control groups. These results suggest that motor learning influences how visual space around the tool is represented.

  6. Cell segmentation in histopathological images with deep learning algorithms by utilizing spatial relationships.

    PubMed

    Hatipoglu, Nuh; Bilgin, Gokhan

    2017-02-28

    In many computerized methods for cell detection, segmentation, and classification in digital histopathology that have recently emerged, the task of cell segmentation remains a chief problem for image processing in designing computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems. In research and diagnostic studies on cancer, pathologists can use CAD systems as second readers to analyze high-resolution histopathological images. Since cell detection and segmentation are critical for cancer grade assessments, cellular and extracellular structures should primarily be extracted from histopathological images. In response, we sought to identify a useful cell segmentation approach with histopathological images that uses not only prominent deep learning algorithms (i.e., convolutional neural networks, stacked autoencoders, and deep belief networks), but also spatial relationships, information of which is critical for achieving better cell segmentation results. To that end, we collected cellular and extracellular samples from histopathological images by windowing in small patches with various sizes. In experiments, the segmentation accuracies of the methods used improved as the window sizes increased due to the addition of local spatial and contextual information. Once we compared the effects of training sample size and influence of window size, results revealed that the deep learning algorithms, especially convolutional neural networks and partly stacked autoencoders, performed better than conventional methods in cell segmentation.

  7. The genetics of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Guymer, Robyn

    2001-07-01

    AIM: To review the genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The pathogenesis of AMD, the leading cause of severe visual disability and blindness in our community, remains unknown. However, AMD is regarded as a genetic disease where family history of AMD is a significant risk factor for the disease. Understanding the genetic factors associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for understanding the underlying disease processes. METHODS: Through a review of the literature and the use of original research findings, the current knowledge of the genetics of AMD is explored. CONCLUSION: AMD is increasing in prevalence and remains a major challenge for eye heath providers. Finding the genes that are associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for the development of preventative strategies and treatments.

  8. Developments in age-related macular degeneration: Diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Steven R

    2009-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness of Americans over age 65 years. Severe loss of vision is usually due to exudative ARMD, of which there are about 200,000 new cases in the United States annually. Until recently, only a small fraction of patients benefited from treatment, but advances in the early diagnosis of the disease and major developments in therapy have substantially improved the prognosis of patients with ARMD. Because visual loss substantially reduces quality of life, effective management of ARMD will have increasing public health importance as the population ages. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people over age 65 years should have a comprehensive eye examination every 1 to 2 years to check for cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions. Those who complain of difficulty reading, driving at night, or adapting from sunlight to indoor lighting might have macular degeneration.

  9. Age-related differences in arithmetic strategy sequential effects.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    In this article, I review a series of new findings concerning how age-related changes in strategic variations are modulated by sequential effects. Sequential effects refer to how strategy selection and strategy execution on current problems are influenced by which strategy is used on immediately preceding problems. Two sequential effects during strategy selection (i.e., strategy revisions and strategy perseverations) and during strategy execution (i.e., strategy switch costs and modulations of poorer strategy effects) are presented. I also discuss how these effects change with age during adulthood. These phenomena are important, as they shed light on arithmetic processes and how these processes change with age during adulthood. In particular, they speak to the role of executive control while participants select and execute arithmetic strategies. Finally, I discuss the implications of sequential effects for theories of strategies and of arithmetic.

  10. [Molecular genetic basis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Boĭko, É V; Churashov, S V; Kamilova, T A

    2013-01-01

    Visual loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by one or both forms of advanced disease: "wet" (neovascular) or "dry" (geographic atrophy). Immune system plays a central role in pathogenesis and progression of both AMD forms. Main genetic polymorphisms associated with risk of AMD development and progression were found to be genes that regulate inflammation especially in complement factor H gen (1q31 locus) and 10q26 locus (PLEKHAI/ARMS2/HTRA1). Association of response to treatment and genotype was shown in patients with AMD. Complete characterization of both common and rare alleles that influence AMD risk is necessary for accurate determination of individual genetic risk as well as identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention.

  11. Gene Therapies for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Pechan, Peter; Wadsworth, Samuel; Scaria, Abraham

    2014-12-18

    Pathological neovascularization is a key component of the neovascular form (also known as the wet form) of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Several preclinical studies have shown that antiangiogenesis strategies are effective for treating neovascular AMD in animal models. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the main inducers of ocular neovascularization, and several clinical trials have shown the benefits of neutralizing VEGF in patients with neovascular AMD or diabetic macular edema. In this review, we summarize several preclinical and early-stage clinical trials with intraocular gene therapies, which have the potential to reduce or eliminate the repeated intravitreal injections that are currently required for the treatment of neovascular AMD.

  12. Highly penetrant alleles in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    den Hollander, Anneke I; de Jong, Eiko K

    2014-11-06

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%-65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene-gene interactions, gene-environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted.

  13. Gene-Diet Interactions in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Rowan, Sheldon; Taylor, Allen

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a prevalent blinding disease, accounting for roughly 50 % of blindness in developed nations. Very significant advances have been made in terms of discovering genetic susceptibilities to AMD as well as dietary risk factors. To date, nutritional supplementation is the only available treatment option for the dry form of the disease known to slow progression of AMD. Despite an excellent understanding of genes and nutrition in AMD, there is remarkably little known about gene-diet interactions that may identify efficacious approaches to treat individuals. This review will summarize our current understanding of gene-diet interactions in AMD with a focus on animal models and human epidemiological studies.

  14. Molecular pathology of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiaoyan; Patel, Mrinali; Chan, Chi-Chao

    2009-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD remain largely unclear, a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is thought to exist. AMD pathology is characterized by degeneration involving the retinal photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch’s membrane, as well as, in some cases, alterations in choroidal capillaries. Recent research on the genetic and molecular underpinnings of AMD brings to light several basic molecular pathways and pathophysiological processes that might mediate AMD risk, progression, and/or response to therapy. This review summarizes, in detail, the molecular pathological findings in both humans and animal models, including genetic variations in CFH, CX3CR1, and ARMS2/HtrA1, as well as the role of numerous molecules implicated in inflammation, apoptosis, cholesterol trafficking, angiogenesis, and oxidative stress. PMID:19026761

  15. Wearable diagnostic system for age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Mohaghegh, N; Zadeh, E Ghafar; Magierowski, S

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents a novel head-mounted point-of-care diagnostic system for detection and continuous monitoring of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This wearable embedded open-source platform enables accurate monitoring of AMD by taking advantage of multiple standard graphical interface techniques such as Amsler Grid, Threshold Amsler Grid, Macular Computerized Psychophysical Test and Preferential Hyperacuity Perimeter (PHP). Here, we describe the proposed multi-Grid or so-called NGRID software and elaborate on the hardware prototype. This prototype includes a commercially available Oculus HMD incorporated with a single board computer. As the first step towards a fully integrated wearable system, this paper successfully proves the functionality of head-mounted graphical interface device ready for a live demonstration. Participants can experience this device and take a 10-minute AMD eye-exam. Furthermore, NGRID has been approved and permitted for an in-hospital clinical trial.

  16. Rapid Assessment of Age-Related Differences in Standing Balance

    PubMed Central

    Kalisch, Tobias; Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Noth, Sebastian; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2011-01-01

    As life expectancy continues to rise, in the future there will be an increasing number of older people prone to falling. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for comprehensive testing of older individuals to collect data and to identify possible risk factors for falling. Here we use a low-cost force platform to rapidly assess deficits in balance under various conditions. We tested 21 healthy older adults and 24 young adults during static stance, unidirectional and rotational displacement of their centre of pressure (COP). We found an age-related increase in postural sway during quiet standing and a reduction of maximal COP displacement in unidirectional and rotational displacement tests. Our data show that even low-cost computerized assessment tools allow for the comprehensive testing of balance performance in older subjects. PMID:21629742

  17. [Management of age-related macular degeneration. An update].

    PubMed

    García Lozano, Isabel; López García, Santiago; Elosua de Juán, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 50 in developed countries. It is a multifactorial disease resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, and the age is the only worldwide admitted risk factor. The socioeconomic impact of the disease reaches enormous proportions, if we take into account the high cost of the available antiangiogenic therapy, the strict schedule of medical visits that it requires, and the impairment that it gives rise to. The response to treatment and the visual outcomes improve with early management of the retinal lesions, thus the early diagnosis of the disease in its initial phases, based on self-control with an Amsler grid and with regular ophthalmologic assessments, is essential.

  18. Update on geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Biarnés, Marc; Monés, Jordi; Alonso, Jordi; Arias, Luis

    2011-07-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of legal blindness in older patients in developed countries, and geographic atrophy (GA) represents the advanced form of dry AMD. Although it accounts for one third of the cases of late AMD and is responsible for 20% of the cases of severe visual loss due to the disorder. GA currently lacks effective treatment, whereas antiangiogenic therapies have been shown to be successful in managing choroidal neovascularization, the other form of late AMD. Recent advances in GA epidemiology, etiology, genetics, and imaging techniques have renewed the interest in this entity, which is a cause of progressive visual loss even in treated patients with neovascular AMD. This knowledge has triggered many clinical trials targeting different molecules shown to be associated with the disease, and it is hoped that this research will translate into effective drugs for GA in the near future.

  19. Targeting MAPK Signaling in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kyosseva, Svetlana V.

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible blindness affecting elderly people in the world. AMD is a complex multifactorial disease associated with demographic, genetics, and environmental risk factors. It is well established that oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis play critical roles in the pathogenesis of AMD. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways are activated by diverse extracellular stimuli, including growth factors, mitogens, hormones, cytokines, and different cellular stressors such as oxidative stress. They regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis. This review addresses the novel findings from human and animal studies on the relationship of MAPK signaling with AMD. The use of specific MAPK inhibitors may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this debilitating eye disease. PMID:27385915

  20. Radiation Therapy for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Kishan, Amar U.; Modjtahedi, Bobeck S.; Morse, Lawrence S.; Lee, Percy

    2013-03-01

    In the enormity of the public health burden imposed by age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), much effort has been directed toward identifying effective and efficient treatments. Currently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections have demonstrated considerably efficacy in treating neovascular ARMD, but patients require frequent treatment to fully benefit. Here, we review the rationale and evidence for radiation therapy of ARMD. The results of early photon external beam radiation therapy are included to provide a framework for the sequential discussion of evidence for the usage of stereotactic radiation therapy, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The evidence suggests that these 3 modern modalities can provide a dose-dependent benefit in the treatment of ARMD. Most importantly, preliminary data suggest that all 3 can be used in conjunction with anti-VEGF therapeutics, thereby reducing the frequency of anti-VEGF injections required to maintain visual acuity.

  1. Translational strategies in aging and age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Armanios, Mary; de Cabo, Rafael; Mannick, Joan; Partridge, Linda; van Deursen, Jan; Villeda, Saul

    2015-12-01

    Aging is a risk factor for several of the world's most prevalent diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. Although our understanding of the molecular pathways that contribute to the aging process and age-related disease is progressing through the use of model organisms, how to apply this knowledge in the clinic is less clear. In September, Nature Medicine, in collaboration with the Volkswagen Foundation, hosted a conference at the beautiful Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover, Germany with the goal of broadening our understanding of the aging process and its meaning as a 'risk factor' in disease. Here, several of the speakers at that conference answer questions posed by Nature Medicine.

  2. Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Intracrine Biology: An Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Re, Richard N.

    2016-01-01

    This laboratory has studied the intracellular actions of angiotensin II and other signaling proteins that can act in the intracellular space—peptides/proteins we have called intracrines. Moreover, we have suggested that general principles of intracrine action exist and can help explain the progression of some chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetic nephropathy and congestive heart failure. Here, a similar analysis is carried out in the case of age-related macular degeneration. We propose that intracrine mechanisms are operative in this disorder. In particular, we hypothesize that intracrine loops involving renin, angiotensin II, transforming growth factor-beta, vascular endothelial growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein-4, and p53, among other factors, are involved. If this analysis is correct, it suggests a commonality of mechanism linking chronic progressive renal diseases, congestive heart failure, and macular degeneration. PMID:27999510

  3. The genetics of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gorin, M B; Breitner, J C; De Jong, P T; Hageman, G S; Klaver, C C; Kuehn, M H; Seddon, J M

    1999-11-03

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.

  4. Highly Penetrant Alleles in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    den Hollander, Anneke I.; de Jong, Eiko K.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%–65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene–gene interactions, gene–environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted. PMID:25377141

  5. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and aging: Effects on spatial learning and memory after sleep deprivation in Octodon degus.

    PubMed

    Estrada, C; Fernández-Gómez, F J; López, D; Gonzalez-Cuello, A; Tunez, I; Toledo, F; Blin, O; Bordet, R; Richardson, J C; Fernandez-Villalba, E; Herrero, M T

    2015-11-01

    The benefits of neuromodulatory procedures as a possible therapeutic application for cognitive rehabilitation have increased with the progress made in non-invasive modes of brain stimulation in aged-related disorders. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method used to examine multiple facets of the human brain and to ameliorate the impairment in cognition caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study was designed to evaluate how a chronic TMS treatment could improve learning and memory functions after sleep deprivation (SD) in old Octodon degus. SD was executed by gently handling to keep the animals awake throughout the night. Thirty young and twenty-four old O. degus females were divided in six groups (control, acute and chronic TMS treatment). Behavioral tests included; Radial Arm Maze (RAM), Barnes Maze (BM) and Novel Object Recognition (NOR). Although learning and memory functions improved in young animals with only one session of TMS treatment, a significant improvement in cognitive performance was seen in old animals after 4 and 7days of TMS, depending on the task that was performed. No side effects were observed following, which showed therapeutic potential for improving age-related cognitive performance.

  6. Age-Related Neurochemical Changes in the Vestibular Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Paul F.

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that the normal aging process is associated with impaired vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) and vestibulo-spinal reflexes, causing reduced visual acuity and postural instability. Nonetheless, the available evidence is not entirely consistent, especially with respect to the VOR. Some recent studies have reported that VOR gain can be intact even above 80 years of age. Similarly, although there is evidence for age-related hair cell loss and neuronal loss in Scarpa’s ganglion and the vestibular nucleus complex (VNC), it is not entirely consistent. Whatever structural and functional changes occur in the VNC as a result of aging, either to cause vestibular impairment or to compensate for it, neurochemical changes must underlie them. However, the neurochemical changes that occur in the VNC with aging are poorly understood because the available literature is very limited. This review summarizes and critically evaluates the available evidence relating to the noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, GABA, glycine, and nitric oxide neurotransmitter systems in the aging VNC. It is concluded that, at present, it is difficult, if not impossible, to relate the neurochemical changes observed to the function of specific VNC neurons and whether the observed changes are the cause of a functional deficit in the VNC or an effect of it. A better understanding of the neurochemical changes that occur during aging may be important for the development of potential drug treatments for age-related vestibular disorders. However, this will require the use of more sophisticated methodology such as in vivo microdialysis with single neuron recording and perhaps new technologies such as optogenetics. PMID:26973593

  7. Nutritional Modulation of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Weikel, Karen A; Taylor, Allen

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30–50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/wk of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available. PMID:22503690

  8. Age-related differences in pulmonary effects of acute and ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ozone (O3) is known to induce adverse pulmonary and systemic health effects. Importantly, children and older persons are considered at-risk populations for O3-induced dysfunction, yet the mechanisms accounting for the age-related pulmonary responses to O3 are uncertain. In this study, we examined age-related susceptibility to O3 using 1 mo (adolescent), 4 mo (young adult), 12 mo (adult) and 24 mo (senescent) male Brown Norway rats exposed to filtered air or O3 (0.25and 1.00 ppm), 6 h/day, two days/week for 1 week (acute) or 13 weeks (subchronic). Ventilatory function, assessed by whole-body plethysmography, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) biomarkers of injury and inflammation were used to examine O3-induced pulmonary effects.Relaxation time declined in all ages following the weekly exposures; however, this effect persisted only in the 24 mo rats following a five days recovery, demonstrating an inability to induce adaptation commonly seen with repeated O3 exposures. PenH was increased in all groups with an augmented response in the 4 mo rats following the subchronic O3 exposures. O3 led to increased breathing frequency and minute volume in the 1 and 4 mo animals. Markers ofpulmonary permeability were increased in all age groups. Elevations in BALF γ-glutamyl transferase activity and lung inflammation following an acute O3 exposure were noted in only the 1 and 4 mo rats, which likely received an increased effective O3 dose. These data demonstrate that ado

  9. Genetic risk factors and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

    PubMed Central

    Mousavi, Maryam; Armstrong, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in individuals older than 65 years of age. It is a multifactorial disorder and identification of risk factors enables individuals to make lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of disease. Collaboration between geneticists, ophthalmologists, and optometrists suggests that genetic risk factors play a more significant role in AMD than previously thought. The most important genes are associated with immune system modulation and the complement system, e.g., complement factor H (CFH), factor B (CFB), factor C3, and serpin peptidase inhibitor (SERPING1). Genes associated with membrane transport, e.g., ATP-binding cassette protein (ABCR) and voltage-dependent calcium channel gamma 3 (CACNG3), the vascular system, e.g., fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), fibulin-5, lysyl oxidase-like gene (LOXL1) and selectin-P (SELP), and with lipid metabolism, e.g., apolipoprotein E (APOE) and hepatic lipase (LIPC) have also been implicated. In addition, several other genes exhibit some statistical association with AMD, e.g., age-related maculopathy susceptibility protein 2 (ARMS2) and DNA excision repair protein gene (ERCC6) but more research is needed to establish their significance. Modifiable risk factors for AMD should be discussed with patients whose lifestyle and/or family history place them in an increased risk category. Furthermore, calculation of AMD risk using current models should be recommended as a tool for patient education. It is likely that AMD management in future will be increasingly influenced by assessment of genetic risk as such screening methods become more widely available.

  10. Inflammation and its role in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Anu; Paterno, Jussi J; Blasiak, Janusz; Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. Cell-associated and soluble pattern-recognition receptors, e.g. Toll-like receptors, inflammasome receptors, and complement components initiate complex cellular cascades by recognizing or sensing different pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Cytokines and chemokines represent alarm messages for leukocytes and once activated, these cells travel long distances to targeted inflamed tissues. Although it is a crucial survival mechanism, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and participates in numerous chronic age-related diseases. This article will review the onset of inflammation and link its functions to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in aged individuals in the developed countries. In this progressive disease, degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) results in the death of photoreceptors, leading to a loss of central vision. The RPE is prone to oxidative stress, a factor that together with deteriorating functionality, e.g. decreased intracellular recycling and degradation due to attenuated heterophagy/autophagy, induces inflammation. In the early phases, accumulation of intracellular lipofuscin in the RPE and extracellular drusen between RPE cells and Bruch's membrane can be clinically detected. Subsequently, in dry (atrophic) AMD there is geographic atrophy with discrete areas of RPE loss whereas in the wet (exudative) form there is neovascularization penetrating from the choroid to retinal layers. Elevations in levels of local and systemic biomarkers indicate that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease forms.

  11. Nutritional modulation of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Weikel, Karen A; Chiu, Chung-Jung; Taylor, Allen

    2012-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro- and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/week of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available.

  12. Age-related macular degeneration: Evidence of a major gene

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatt, S.; Warren, C.; Yang, H.

    1994-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness in developing countries. It remains a very poorly understood disorder. Although environmental and genetic factors have been implicated in its pathogenesis, none have been firmly implicated. The purpose of this study was to use pedigree analysis to evaluate the possible role of a major gene as a determinant of familial aggregation. Information was collected regarding occupation, smoking, sun exposure, associated medical problems and family history. 50 probands with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and 39 age, race and sex-matched controls were included in the study. In the ARMD group 15/50 (30%) of probands reported a positive family history; 22 out of 222 first degree relatives over age 60 were reported to be affected. In the control groups, none of the 138 first degree relatives over age 50 had a history of ARMD. This difference is statistically significant (p = 0.0003), indicating that genetic factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ARMD. In the ARMD group more siblings as compared to parents (16/127 vs. 5/82) were affected. 5/50 (10%) of the ARMD probands also gave a history of a second degree relative affected with ARMD, compared to none known among the relatives of controls. Data from 50 pedigrees were analyzed by complex segregation analysis under a class A regressive logistic model using the REGD program implemented in the SAGE package. Preliminary results allow rejection of a polygenic model and suggest there is a major gene for ARMD in these families. The inheritance model most compatible with the observed familial aggregation is autosomal recessive. In conclusion, these results are suggestive of a major gene effect in the etiology of ARMD. Identification of a major gene effect is a first step to further pursue linkage analysis and to search for the gene(s) involved in the causation of ARMD.

  13. Age-related Alterations in the Dynamic Behavior of Microglia

    PubMed Central

    Damani, Mausam R.; Zhao, Lian; Fontainhas, Aurora M.; Amaral, Juan; Fariss, Robert N.; Wong, Wai T.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Microglia, the primary resident immune cells of the CNS, exhibit dynamic behavior involving rapid process motility and cellular migration that is thought to underlie key functions of immune surveillance and tissue repair. Although age-related changes in microglial activation have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, how dynamic behavior in microglia is influenced by aging is not fully understood. In this study, we employed live imaging of retinal microglia in situ to compare microglial morphology and behavioral dynamics in young and aged animals. We found that aged microglia in the resting state have significantly smaller and less branched dendritic arbors, and also slower process motilities, which likely compromise their ability to continuously survey and interact with their environment. We also found that dynamic microglial responses to injury were age-dependent. While young microglia responded to extracellular ATP, an injury-associated signal, by increasing their motility and becoming more ramified, aged microglia exhibited a contrary response, becoming less dynamic and ramified. In response to laser-induced focal tissue injury, aged microglia demonstrated slower acute responses with lower rates of process motility and cellular migration compared to young microglia. Interestingly, the longer term response of disaggregation from the injury site was retarded in aged microglia, indicating that senescent microglial responses, while slower to initiate, are more sustained. Together, these altered features of microglial behavior at rest and following injury reveal an age-dependent dysregulation of immune response in the CNS that may illuminate microglial contributions to age-related neuroinflammatory degeneration. PMID:21108733

  14. History of Reading Struggles Linked to Enhanced Learning in Low Spatial Frequency Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Schneps, Matthew H.; Brockmole, James R.; Sonnert, Gerhard; Pomplun, Marc

    2012-01-01

    People with dyslexia, who face lifelong struggles with reading, exhibit numerous associated low-level sensory deficits including deficits in focal attention. Countering this, studies have shown that struggling readers outperform typical readers in some visual tasks that integrate distributed information across an expanse. Though such abilities would be expected to facilitate scene memory, prior investigations using the contextual cueing paradigm failed to find corresponding advantages in dyslexia. We suggest that these studies were confounded by task-dependent effects exaggerating known focal attention deficits in dyslexia, and that, if natural scenes were used as the context, advantages would emerge. Here, we investigate this hypothesis by comparing college students with histories of severe lifelong reading difficulties (SR) and typical readers (TR) in contexts that vary attention load. We find no differences in contextual-cueing when spatial contexts are letter-like objects, or when contexts are natural scenes. However, the SR group significantly outperforms the TR group when contexts are low-pass filtered natural scenes [F(3, 39) = 3.15, p<.05]. These findings suggest that perception or memory for low spatial frequency components in scenes is enhanced in dyslexia. These findings are important because they suggest strengths for spatial learning in a population otherwise impaired, carrying implications for the education and support of students who face challenges in school. PMID:22558210

  15. Passive and active processes in visuo-spatial memory: double dissociation in developmental learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Cornoldi, C; Rigoni, F; Venneri, A; Vecchi, T

    2000-01-01

    The distinction between passive and active visuo-spatial memory has been useful to interpret various pattern of deficits reported in individual differences studies. However, this interpretation raises the issue of task difficulty, since active tasks could be failed simply because more complex and the corresponding deficit could reflect a reduced capacity of the system. We describe two children with Nonverbal Learning Disability whose performance provides evidence of a dissociation between passive and active memory processes. One of the children showed a selective impairment in passive tasks and performed flawlessly in active tasks, whereas the second child displayed the opposite pattern. These data suggest that a qualitative difference between passive and active processes does exist and that differences in performance do not reflect a lower/higher level of task difficulty. Further, these data underlie the importance of formulating theoretical models of visuo-spatial memory including both material-related (i.e., visual vs spatial) and process-related (i.e., passive vs active) distinctions.

  16. Hierarchical Sparse Learning with Spectral-Spatial Information for Hyperspectral Imagery Denoising

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuai; Jiao, Licheng; Yang, Shuyuan

    2016-01-01

    During the acquisition process hyperspectral images (HSI) are inevitably corrupted by various noises, which greatly influence their visual impression and subsequent applications. In this paper, a novel Bayesian approach integrating hierarchical sparse learning and spectral-spatial information is proposed for HSI denoising. Based on the structure correlations, spectral bands with similar and continuous features are segmented into the same band-subset. To exploit local similarity, each subset is then divided into overlapping cubic patches. All patches can be regarded as consisting of clean image component, Gaussian noise component and sparse noise component. The first term is depicted by a linear combination of dictionary elements, where Gaussian process with Gamma distribution is applied to impose spatial consistency on dictionary. The last two terms are utilized to fully depict the noise characteristics. Furthermore, the sparseness of the model is adaptively manifested through Beta-Bernoulli process. Calculated by Gibbs sampler, the proposed model can directly predict the noise and dictionary without priori information of the degraded HSI. The experimental results on both synthetic and real HSI demonstrate that the proposed approach can better suppress the existing various noises and preserve the structure/spectral-spatial information than the compared state-of-art approaches. PMID:27763511

  17. Laminin-β1 impairs spatial learning through inhibition of ERK/MAPK and SGK1 signaling.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ying C; Ma, Yun L; Liu, Wen T; Lee, Eminy H Y

    2011-11-01

    Laminin is a major structural element of the basal lamina consisting of an α-chain, a β-chain, and a γ-chain arranged in a cross-like structure, with their C-terminal inter-coiled. Laminin is abundantly expressed in the hippocampus of mature brain and is implicated in several psychiatric disorders, but its possible role involved in learning and memory function is not known. This issue was examined here. Our results revealed that water maze training significantly decreased laminin-β1 (LB1) expression in the rat hippocampal CA1 area. Transfection of LB1 WT plasmid to hippocampal CA1 neurons impaired water maze performance in rats. Meanwhile, it decreased the phosphorylation level of ERK/MAPK and protein kinase serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase-1 (SGK1). By contrast, knockdown of endogenous LB1 expression using RNA interference (LB1 siRNA) enhanced water maze performance. Meanwhile, it increased the phosphorylation level of ERK/MAPK and SGK1. The enhancing effect of LB1 siRNA on spatial learning and on the phosphorylation of ERK/MAPK and SGK1 was blocked by co-treatment with the MEK inhibitor U0126 at a concentration that did not apparently affect spatial learning and ERK/MAPK phosphorylation alone. Further, the enhancing effect of LB1 siRNA on spatial learning and SGK1 phosphorylation was similarly blocked by co-transfection with SGK1 siRNA at a concentration that did not markedly affect spatial learning and SGK1 expression alone. These results together indicate that LB1 negatively regulates spatial learning in rats. In addition, LB1 impairs spatial learning through decreased activation of the ERK/MAPK-SGK1 signaling pathway in the rat hippocampus.

  18. Tau Reduction Diminishes Spatial Learning and Memory Deficits after Mild Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jason S.; Craft, Ryan; Yu, Gui-Qiu; Ho, Kaitlyn; Wang, Xin; Mohan, Geetha; Mangnitsky, Sergey; Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Mucke, Lennart

    2014-01-01

    Objective Because reduction of the microtubule-associated protein Tau has beneficial effects in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, we wanted to determine whether this strategy can also improve the outcome of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods We adapted a mild frontal impact model of TBI for wildtype C57Bl/6J mice and characterized the behavioral deficits it causes in these animals. The Barnes maze, Y maze, contextual and cued fear conditioning, elevated plus maze, open field, balance beam, and forced swim test were used to assess different behavioral functions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 7 Tesla) and histological analysis of brain sections were used to look for neuropathological alterations. We also compared the functional effects of this TBI model and of controlled cortical impact in mice with two, one or no Tau alleles. Results Repeated (2-hit), but not single (1-hit), mild frontal impact impaired spatial learning and memory in wildtype mice as determined by testing of mice in the Barnes maze one month after the injury. Locomotor activity, anxiety, depression and fear related behaviors did not differ between injured and sham-injured mice. MRI imaging did not reveal focal injury or mass lesions shortly after the injury. Complete ablation or partial reduction of tau prevented deficits in spatial learning and memory after repeated mild frontal impact. Complete tau ablation also showed a trend towards protection after a single controlled cortical impact. Complete or partial reduction of tau also reduced the level of axonopathy in the corpus callosum after repeated mild frontal impact. Interpretation Tau promotes or enables the development of learning and memory deficits and of axonopathy after mild TBI, and tau reduction counteracts these adverse effects. PMID:25551452

  19. Influence of Long-Term Zinc Administration on Spatial Learning and Exploratory Activity in Rats.

    PubMed

    Piechal, Agnieszka; Blecharz-Klin, Kamilla; Pyrzanowska, Justyna; Widy-Tyszkiewicz, Ewa

    2016-08-01

    Animal brain contains a significant amount of zinc, which is a cofactor for more than 300 enzymes. Moreover, it provides the basis for functioning of more than 2000 transcription factors, and it is necessary for memory formation and learning processes in the brain. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of zinc supplementation on behavior in 3-month-old rats. For this purpose, the Morris water maze paradigm, hole-board, and T-maze were used. Wistar rats received a solution of ZnSO4 in drinking water at the doses of 16 mg/kg (Zn16 group) and 32 mg/kg (Zn32 group). In rats pretreated with the lower dose of zinc, the improvement of the mean escape latency was observed in comparison to the control group and Zn32 group. During memory task, both ZnSO4-supplemented groups showed an increase in crossings over the previous platform position. Furthermore, the exploratory activity in Zn16 group was improved in comparison to Zn32 and control group. In the brains of zinc-supplemented rats, we observed the higher content of zinc, both in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. Hippocampal zinc level correlated positively with the mean annulus crossings of the Zn16 group during the probe trial. These findings show that the long-term administration of ZnS04 can improve learning, spatial memory, and exploratory activity in rats. Graphical Abstract Improvement of spatial learning, memory, and exploratory behavior.

  20. Spatial learning and memory is preserved in rats after early development in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Temple, Meredith D.; Kosik, Kenneth S.; Steward, Oswald

    2002-01-01

    This study evaluated the cognitive mapping abilities of rats that spent part of their early development in a microgravity environment. Litters of male and female Sprague-Dawley rat pups were launched into space aboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration space shuttle Columbia on postnatal day 8 or 14 and remained in space for 16 days. These animals were designated as FLT groups. Two age-matched control groups remained on Earth: those in standard vivarium housing (VIV) and those in housing identical to that aboard the shuttle (AGC). On return to Earth, animals were tested in three different tasks that measure spatial learning ability, the Morris water maze (MWM), and a modified version of the radial arm maze (RAM). Animals were also tested in an open field apparatus to measure general activity and exploratory activity. Performance and search strategies were evaluated in each of these tasks using an automated tracking system. Despite the dramatic differences in early experience, there were remarkably few differences between the FLT groups and their Earth-bound controls in these tasks. FLT animals learned the MWM and RAM as quickly as did controls. Evaluation of search patterns suggested subtle differences in patterns of exploration and in the strategies used to solve the tasks during the first few days of testing, but these differences normalized rapidly. Together, these data suggest that development in an environment without gravity has minimal long-term impact on spatial learning and memory abilities. Any differences due to development in microgravity are quickly reversed after return to earth normal gravity.

  1. Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on hippocampal volume, verbal learning, and verbal and spatial recall in late childhood.

    PubMed

    Willoughby, Karen A; Sheard, Erin D; Nash, Kelly; Rovet, Joanne

    2008-11-01

    Children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) show deficits in verbal learning and spatial memory, as well as abnormal hippocampal development. The relationship between their memory and neuroanatomic impairments, however, has not been directly explored. Given that the hippocampus is integral for the synthesis and retrieval of learned information and is particularly vulnerable to the teratogenic effects of alcohol, we assessed whether reduced learning and recall abilities in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are associated with abnormal hippocampal volumes. Nineteen children with FASDs and 18 typically developing controls aged 9 to 15 years were assessed for verbal learning and verbal and spatial recall and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Images were analyzed for total intracranial volume and for right and left hippocampal volumes. Results revealed smaller left hippocampi and poorer verbal learning and verbal and spatial recall performance in children with FASDs than controls, as well as positive correlations between selective memory indices and hippocampal volumes only in the FASD group. Additionally, hippocampal volumes increased significantly with age in controls only, suggesting that PAE may be associated with long-term abnormalities in hippocampal development that may contribute to impaired verbal learning and verbal and spatial recall.

  2. The perirhinal cortex of the rat is necessary for spatial memory retention long after but not soon after learning.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Juan M J; Vaquero, Joaquín M M

    2005-09-15

    Many observations in humans and experimental animals support the view that the hippocampus is critical immediately after learning in order for long-term memory formation to take place. However, exactly when the medial temporal cortices adjacent to the hippocampus are necessary for this process to occur normally is not yet well known. Using a spatial task, we studied whether the perirhinal cortex of rats is necessary to establish representations in long-term memory. Results showed that, in a spatial task sensitive to hippocampal lesions, control and perirhinal lesioned rats can both learn at the same rate (Experiment 1). Interestingly, a differential involvement of the perirhinal cortex in memory retention was observed as time passes after learning. Thus, 24 days following the end of learning, lesioned and control rats remembered the task perfectly as measured by a retraining test. In contrast, 74 days after the learning the perirhinal animals showed a profound impairment in the retention of the spatial information (Experiment 2). Taken together, these results suggest that the perirhinal region is critical for the formation of long-term spatial memory. However, its contribution to memory formation and retention is time-dependent, it being necessary only long after learning takes place and not during the phase immediately following acquisition.

  3. Learning of Temporal and Spatial Movement Aspects: A Comparison of Four Types of Haptic Control and Concurrent Visual Feedback.

    PubMed

    Rauter, Georg; Sigrist, Roland; Riener, Robert; Wolf, Peter

    2015-01-01

    In literature, the effectiveness of haptics for motor learning is controversially discussed. Haptics is believed to be effective for motor learning in general; however, different types of haptic control enhance different movement aspects. Thus, in dependence on the movement aspects of interest, one type of haptic control may be effective whereas another one is not. Therefore, in the current work, it was investigated if and how different types of haptic controllers affect learning of spatial and temporal movement aspects. In particular, haptic controllers that enforce active participation of the participants were expected to improve spatial aspects. Only haptic controllers that provide feedback about the task's velocity profile were expected to improve temporal aspects. In a study on learning a complex trunk-arm rowing task, the effect of training with four different types of haptic control was investigated: position control, path control, adaptive path control, and reactive path control. A fifth group (control) trained with visual concurrent augmented feedback. As hypothesized, the position controller was most effective for learning of temporal movement aspects, while the path controller was most effective in teaching spatial movement aspects of the rowing task. Visual feedback was also effective for learning temporal and spatial movement aspects.

  4. Virtual/Real transfer of spatial learning: impact of activity according to the retention delay.

    PubMed

    Wallet, Grégory; Sauzéon, Hélène; Rodrigues, Jérôme; Larrue, Florian; N'kaoua, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    Within the framework of cognitive rehabilitation using virtual reality (VR), one of the major challenges is to study beforehand the effectiveness of the virtual-real transfer of learning and to define cognitive aids. The aim of this experiment was to verify if, after learning spatial knowledge (i.e., a route) in VR, performances can be transferred to reality, then maintained in real time, and improved with the aid of an active navigation (i.e., using a joystick). Ninety student volunteers from the University of Bordeaux 2 (45 men and 45 women) participated in the experiment. The virtual environment (VE) used for learning was a replica of an area of Bordeaux. The factors tested were retention delay (Immediate vs. 48 hours) and type of navigation (Passive virtual vs. Active virtual vs. Real), using three recall tasks: wayfinding, freehand sketch and photograph classification. Our results showed that the virtual-real transfer was not degraded by a retention delay of 48 hours and that active navigation allowed performances to be optimized.

  5. Influence of the shape of the experimental room on spatial learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Ramos, J M

    2000-01-01

    Rats and other mammals can orient themselves in their habitat and locate various goals using different learning strategies. When a cartographic or local strategy is used, the animals construct and store in their long-term memories a complex representation of the extramaze space. However, exactly what constitutes the behaviorally key components of the extramaze space is still little known. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the shape of the environment that surrounds the animal is an informative factor when a cartographic strategy is used. Two experiments were performed in which the rats were trained to find food in the goal arm of a four-arm, plus-shaped maze. Experiment 1 shows that lesions to the hippocampus impair the acquisition of this task, which suggests that in fact, a cartographic strategy is necessary to solve it. In Experiment 2, in which only one group of neurologically intact rats was used, we directly manipulated the shape of the space around the maze. The results showed that once the animals have learned the task, the hiding of all the extramaze single landmarks while keeping intact the general shape of the experimental room does not affect performance. Only when the shape of the surrounding space was modified did the performance deteriorate significantly. These results are discussed in relation to the different components of the extramaze environment and the contribution of each of them to the spatial learning.

  6. Universal effect of dynamical reinforcement learning mechanism in spatial evolutionary games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hai-Feng; Wu, Zhi-Xi; Wang, Bing-Hong

    2012-06-01

    One of the prototypical mechanisms in understanding the ubiquitous cooperation in social dilemma situations is the win-stay, lose-shift rule. In this work, a generalized win-stay, lose-shift learning model—a reinforcement learning model with dynamic aspiration level—is proposed to describe how humans adapt their social behaviors based on their social experiences. In the model, the players incorporate the information of the outcomes in previous rounds with time-dependent aspiration payoffs to regulate the probability of choosing cooperation. By investigating such a reinforcement learning rule in the spatial prisoner's dilemma game and public goods game, a most noteworthy viewpoint is that moderate greediness (i.e. moderate aspiration level) favors best the development and organization of collective cooperation. The generality of this observation is tested against different regulation strengths and different types of network of interaction as well. We also make comparisons with two recently proposed models to highlight the importance of the mechanism of adaptive aspiration level in supporting cooperation in structured populations.

  7. The chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel selectively impairs learning while sparing source memory and spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Smith, Alexandra E; Slivicki, Richard A; Hohmann, Andrea G; Crystal, Jonathon D

    2017-03-01

    Chemotherapeutic agents are widely used to treat patients with systemic cancer. The efficacy of these therapies is undermined by their adverse side-effect profiles such as cognitive deficits that have a negative impact on the quality of life of cancer survivors. Cognitive side effects occur across a variety of domains, including memory, executive function, and processing speed. Such impairments are exacerbated under cognitive challenges and a subgroup of patients experience long-term impairments. Episodic memory in rats can be examined using a source memory task. In the current study, rats received paclitaxel, a taxane-derived chemotherapeutic agent, and learning and memory functioning was examined using the source memory task. Treatment with paclitaxel did not impair spatial and episodic memory, and paclitaxel treated rats were not more susceptible to cognitive challenges. Under conditions in which memory was not impaired, paclitaxel treatment impaired learning of new rules, documenting a decreased sensitivity to changes in experimental contingencies. These findings provide new information on the nature of cancer chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairments, particularly regarding the incongruent vulnerability of episodic memory and new learning following treatment with paclitaxel.

  8. Adult-generated hippocampal neurons allow the flexible use of spatially precise learning strategies.

    PubMed

    Garthe, Alexander; Behr, Joachim; Kempermann, Gerd

    2009-01-01

    Despite enormous progress in the past few years the specific contribution of newly born granule cells to the function of the adult hippocampus is still not clear. We hypothesized that in order to solve this question particular attention has to be paid to the specific design, the analysis, and the interpretation of the learning test to be used. We thus designed a behavioral experiment along hypotheses derived from a computational model predicting that new neurons might be particularly relevant for learning conditions, in which novel aspects arise in familiar situations, thus putting high demands on the qualitative aspects of (re-)learning.In the reference memory version of the water maze task suppression of adult neurogenesis with temozolomide (TMZ) caused a highly specific learning deficit. Mice were tested in the hidden platform version of the Morris water maze (6 trials per day for 5 days with a reversal of the platform location on day 4). Testing was done at 4 weeks after the end of four cycles of treatment to minimize the number of potentially recruitable new neurons at the time of testing. The reduction of neurogenesis did not alter longterm potentiation in CA3 and the dentate gyrus but abolished the part of dentate gyrus LTP that is attributed to the new neurons. TMZ did not have any overt side effects at the time of testing, and both treated mice and controls learned to find the hidden platform. Qualitative analysis of search strategies, however, revealed that treated mice did not advance to spatially precise search strategies, in particular when learning a changed goal position (reversal). New neurons in the dentate gyrus thus seem to be necessary for adding flexibility to some hippocampus-dependent qualitative parameters of learning.Our finding that a lack of adult-generated granule cells specifically results in the animal's inability to precisely locate a hidden goal is also in accordance with a specialized role of the dentate gyrus in generating a metric

  9. Aging-associated formaldehyde-induced norepinephrine deficiency contributes to age-related memory decline.

    PubMed

    Mei, Yufei; Jiang, Chun; Wan, You; Lv, Jihui; Jia, Jianping; Wang, Xiaomin; Yang, Xu; Tong, Zhiqian

    2015-08-01

    A norepinephrine (NE) deficiency has been observed in aged rats and in patients with Alzheimer's disease and is thought to cause cognitive disorder. Which endogenous factor induces NE depletion, however, is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of aging-associated formaldehyde (FA) on the inactivation of NE in vitro and in vivo, and on memory behaviors in rodents. The results showed that age-related DNA demethylation led to hippocampal FA accumulation, and when this occurred, the hippocampal NE content was reduced in healthy male rats of different ages. Furthermore, biochemical analysis revealed that FA rapidly inactivated NE in vitro and that an intrahippocampal injection of FA markedly reduced hippocampal NE levels in healthy adult rats. Unexpectedly, an injection of FA (at a pathological level) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, a NE depletor) can mimic age-related NE deficiency, long-term potentiation (LTP) impairments, and spatial memory deficits in healthy adult rats. Conversely, an injection of NE reversed age-related deficits in both LTP and memory in aged rats. In agreement with the above results, the senescence-accelerated prone 8 (SAMP8) mice also exhibited a severe deficit in LTP and memory associated with a more severe NE deficiency and FA accumulation, when compared with the age-matched, senescence-resistant 1 (SAMR1) mice. Injection of resveratrol (a natural FA scavenger) or NE into SAMP8 mice reversed FA accumulation and NE deficiency and restored the magnitude of LTP and memory. Collectively, these findings suggest that accumulated FA is a critical endogenous factor for aging-associated NE depletion and cognitive decline.

  10. EPHA2 is associated with age-related cortical cataract in mice and humans.

    PubMed

    Jun, Gyungah; Guo, Hong; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Wang, Jie Jin; Mitchell, Paul; Miao, Hui; Lee, Kristine E; Joshi, Tripti; Buck, Matthias; Chugha, Preeti; Bardenstein, David; Klein, Alison P; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E; Gong, Xiaohua; Spector, Tim D; Andrew, Toby; Hammond, Christopher J; Elston, Robert C; Iyengar, Sudha K; Wang, Bingcheng

    2009-07-01

    Age-related cataract is a major cause of blindness worldwide, and cortical cataract is the second most prevalent type of age-related cataract. Although a significant fraction of age-related cataract is heritable, the genetic basis remains to be elucidated. We report that homozygous deletion of Epha2 in two independent strains of mice developed progressive cortical cataract. Retroillumination revealed development of cortical vacuoles at one month of age; visible cataract appeared around three months, which progressed to mature cataract by six months. EPHA2 protein expression in the lens is spatially and temporally regulated. It is low in anterior epithelial cells, upregulated as the cells enter differentiation at the equator, strongly expressed in the cortical fiber cells, but absent in the nuclei. Deletion of Epha2 caused a significant increase in the expression of HSP25 (murine homologue of human HSP27) before the onset of cataract. The overexpressed HSP25 was in an underphosphorylated form, indicating excessive cellular stress and protein misfolding. The orthologous human EPHA2 gene on chromosome 1p36 was tested in three independent worldwide Caucasian populations for allelic association with cortical cataract. Common variants in EPHA2 were found that showed significant association with cortical cataract, and rs6678616 was the most significant in meta-analyses. In addition, we sequenced exons of EPHA2 in linked families and identified a new missense mutation, Arg721Gln, in the protein kinase domain that significantly alters EPHA2 functions in cellular and biochemical assays. Thus, converging evidence from humans and mice suggests that EPHA2 is important in maintaining lens clarity with age.

  11. Spatial discrimination and visual discrimination: two methods evaluating learning and memory in juvenile Göttingen minipigs.

    PubMed

    Haagensen, Annika M J; Grand, Nanna; Klastrup, Signe; Skytte, Christina; Sørensen, Dorte B

    2013-06-01

    Two methods investigating learning and memory in juvenile Göttingen minipigs were evaluated for potential use in preclinical toxicity testing. Twelve minipigs were tested using a spatial hole-board discrimination test including a learning phase and two memory phases. Five minipigs were tested in a visual discrimination test. The juvenile minipigs were able to learn the spatial hole-board discrimination test and showed improved working and reference memory during the learning phase. Performance in the memory phases was affected by the retention intervals, but the minipigs were able to remember the concept of the test in both memory phases. Working memory and reference memory were significantly improved in the last trials of the memory phases. In the visual discrimination test, the minipigs learned to discriminate between the three figures presented to them within 9-14 sessions. For the memory test, all minipigs performed 9/12 correct choices or better. Juvenile Göttingen minipigs are able to learn to perform in a spatial hole-board discrimination test as well as in a visual discrimination test, showing an increase in performance over time. Both tests have considerable scope to assess learning and memory of pigs, and we seem to have succeeded in establishing two test systems suitable for performing preclinical toxicity testing in juvenile minipigs.

  12. Age-related macular degeneration: beyond anti-angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kent, David L

    2014-01-06

    Recently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapies for neovascular age-related macular degeneration have been developed. These agents, originally developed for their anti-angiogenic mechanism of action, probably also work through an anti-permeability effect in preventing or reducing the amount of leakage from submacular neovascular tissue. Other treatment modalities include laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy with verteporfin, and submacular surgery. In reality, these latter treatments can be similarly categorized as anti-angiogenic because their sole aim is destroying or removing choroidal neovascularization (CNV). At the cellular level, CNV resembles stereotypical tissue repair that consists of several matricellular components in addition to neovascularization. In the retina, the clinical term CNV is a misnomer since the term may more appropriately be referred to as aberrant submacular repair. Furthermore, CNV raises a therapeutic conundrum: To complete or correct any reparative process in the body, angiogenesis becomes an essential component. Anti-angiogenic therapy, in all its guises, arrests repair and causes the hypoxic environment to persist, thus fueling pro-angiogenesis and further development of CNV as a component of aberrant repair. However, we realize that anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy preserves vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration, albeit temporarily and therefore, repeated treatment is needed. More importantly, however, anti-angiogenic therapy demonstrates that we can at the very least tolerate neovascular tissue beneath the macula and preserve vision in contrast to our historical approach of total vascular destruction. In this clinical scenario, it may be possible to look beyond anti-angiogenesis if our goal is facilitating submacular repair without destroying the neurosensory retina. Thus, in this situation of neovascular tolerance, it may be timely to consider treatments that facilitate

  13. Is order the defining feature of magnitude representation? An ERP study on learning numerical magnitude and spatial order of artificial symbols.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui; Chen, Chuansheng; Zhang, Hongchuan; Zhou, Xinlin; Mei, Leilei; Chen, Chunhui; Chen, Lan; Cao, Zhongyu; Dong, Qi

    2012-01-01

    Using an artificial-number learning paradigm and the ERP technique, the present study investigated neural mechanisms involved in the learning of magnitude and spatial order. 54 college students were divided into 2 groups matched in age, gender, and school major. One group was asked to learn the associations between magnitude (dot patterns) and the meaningless Gibson symbols, and the other group learned the associations between spatial order (horizontal positions on the screen) and the same set of symbols. Results revealed differentiated neural mechanisms underlying the learning processes of symbolic magnitude and spatial order. Compared to magnitude learning, spatial-order learning showed a later and reversed distance effect. Furthermore, an analysis of the order-priming effect showed that order was not inherent to the learning of magnitude. Results of this study showed a dissociation between magnitude and order, which supports the numerosity code hypothesis of mental representations of magnitude.

  14. Age-related deficits of dual-task walking: the role of foot vision.

    PubMed

    Bock, Otmar; Beurskens, Rainer

    2011-02-01

    Previous studies found that age-related deficits of dual-task walking emerge with secondary tasks that require substantial visual processing, but are absent with tasks that require little or no visual processing. We evaluated whether this is so because visual tasks typically interfere with foot vision, on which older persons depend more heavily than young ones. Young (25±3 years) and older (69±5 years) subjects walked along a straight path and checked boxes on a handheld panel, separately or concurrently. The panel was either transparent or opaque, thus allowing or blocking vision of the feet, respectively. We quantified subjects' performance by spatial and temporal gait measures, and as the speed of checking. An analysis of variance revealed significant effects of age and of condition (single, dual) for several gait measures, as well as for checking speed. The dual-task costs (ǀdual-singleǀ/single) averaged 0.04±0.14 in younger and 0.33±0.30 in older subjects; this age difference was significant in a t-test (p<0.01). Most importantly, performance measures obtained with the transparent and with the opaque panel were not significantly different. In conclusion, our study confirms previous findings about age-related deficits of walking with a concurrent visual task, documents for the first time that these deficits influence the entire spatio-temporal gait structure, but provides no support for the notion that they reflect an increased dependence on foot vision.

  15. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: A hypothesis for future research

    PubMed Central

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer's disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310

  16. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: a hypothesis for future research.

    PubMed

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri M; Wong, Patrick C M

    2013-12-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline-Alzheimer's disease and other dementias-hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis.

  17. Chronic developmental lead exposure reduces neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus but does not impair spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, M E; Kelly, M E; Samsam, T E; Goodman, J H

    2005-08-01

    The dentate granule cell (DG) layer of the hippocampal formation has the distinctive property of ongoing neurogenesis that continues throughout adult life. Although the function of these newly generated neurons and the mechanisms that control their birth are unknown, age, activity, diet and psychosocial stress have all been demonstrated to regulate this type of neurogenesis. Little information on the impact of environmental insults on this process has appeared to date. Developmental lead (Pb) exposure has been well documented to impair cognitive function in children and animals and reduce activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of rodents. Therefore, we examined the effects of this classic environmental neurotoxicant on hippocampal-dependent learning and adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Pregnant rats were exposed to a low level of Pb-acetate (0.2%) via the drinking water from late gestation (GD 16) until weaning on postnatal day 21 (PN 21). At weaning, half of the Pb-exposed animals were weaned to control drinking water and the remainder were maintained on Pb water until termination of the study. Animals were paired- housed and on PN 75 were administered a series of injections of a thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a marker of DNA synthesis that labels proliferating cells and their progeny. At 12-h intervals for 12 days, rats received an ip injection of BrdU (50 mg/kg). Subjects were sacrificed and perfused 24 h and 28 days after the last injection. Spatial learning was assessed in an independent group of animals beginning on PN 110 using a Morris water maze. No Pb-induced impairments were evident in water maze learning. Immunohistochemistry for the detection of BrdU-labeled cells was performed on 40-microm coronal sections throughout the hippocampus. Continuous exposure to Pb (Life) reduced the total number of BrdU-positive cells at 28 days without affecting the total number of labeled cells evident 24 h after the last injection

  18. Selective presynaptic terminal remodeling induced by spatial, but not cued, learning: a quantitative confocal study.

    PubMed

    McGonigal, R; Tabatadze, N; Routtenberg, A

    2012-06-01

    The hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) are capable of behaviorally selective, use-dependent structural remodeling. Indeed, we previously observed a new layer of Timm's staining induced in the stratum oriens (SO) in CA3 after spatial but not cued water maze learning (Rekart et al., (2007) Learn Mem 14:416-421). This led to the prediction that there is a learning-specific induction of presynaptic terminal plasticity of MF axons. This study confirms this prediction demonstrating, at the confocal level of analysis, terminal-specific, and behavior-selective presynaptic structural plasticity linked to long-term memory. Male adult Wistar rats were trained for 5 days to locate a hidden or visible platform in a water maze and a retention test was performed 7 days later. MF terminal subtypes, specifically identified by an antibody to zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3), were counted from confocal z-stacks in the stratum lucidum (SL) and the SO. In hidden platform trained rats, there was a significant increase in the number of large MF terminals (LMTs, 2.5-10 μm diameter, >2 μm(2) area) compared to controls both in the proximal SL (P < 0.05) and in the SO (P < 0.01). Surprisingly, there was no detectable increase in small MF terminals (SMTs, 0.5-2 μm diameter, <2 μm(2) area) in either SL or SO as a consequence of training. This distinction of the two MF terminal types is functionally important as LMTs synapse on CA3 pyramidal neurons, while SMTs are known to target inhibitory interneurons. The present findings highlight the pivotal role in memory of presynaptic structural plasticity. Because the "sprouting" observed is specific to the LMT, with no detectable change in the number of the SMT, learning may enhance net excitatory input to CA3 pyramidal neurons. Given the sparse coding of the MF-CA3 connection, and the role that granule cells play in pattern separation, the remodeling observed here may be expected to have a major impact on the long-term integration of spatial context into

  19. Selective presynaptic terminal remodeling induced by spatial, but not cued, learning: a quantitative confocal study

    PubMed Central

    McGonigal, R.; Tabatadze, N.; Routtenberg, A.

    2011-01-01

    The hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) are capable of behaviorally-selective, use-dependent structural remodeling. Indeed, we previously observed a new layer of Timm’s staining induced in the stratum oriens (SO) in CA3 after spatial but not cued water maze learning (Rekart et al., Learn. Mem. 2007; 14:416–421). This led to the prediction that there is a learning-specific induction of presynaptic terminal plasticity of MF axons. The present study confirms this prediction demonstrating, at the confocal level of analysis, terminal-specific and behavior-selective presynaptic structural plasticity linked to long-term memory. Male adult Wistar rats were trained for 5d to locate a hidden or visible platform in a water maze and a retention test was performed 7d later. MF terminal subtypes, specifically identified by an antibody to zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3), were counted from confocal z-stacks in the stratum lucidum (SL) and the SO. In hidden platform trained rats there was a significant increase in the number of large MF terminals (LMTs, 2.5–10µm diameter, >2µm2 area) compared to controls both in the proximal SL (p <0.05) and in the SO (p < 0.01). Surprisingly, there was no detectable increase in small MF terminals (SMTs, 0.5–2µm diameter, <2µm2 area) in either SL or SO as a consequence of training. This distinction of the two MF terminal types is functionally important as LMTs synapse on CA3 pyramidal neurons, while SMTs are known to target inhibitory interneurons. The present findings highlight the pivotal role in memory of presynaptic structural plasticity. Because the ‘sprouting’ observed is specific to the LMT, with no detectable change in the number of the SMT, learning may enhance net excitatory input to CA3 pyramidal neurons. Given the sparse coding of the MF-CA3 connection, and the role that granule cells play in pattern separation, the remodeling observed here may be expected to have a major impact on the long-term integration of spatial context into

  20. Stereotactic radiotherapy in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ranjbar, Mahdy; Kurz, Maximilian; Holzhey, Annekatrin; Melchert, Corinna; Rades, Dirk; Grisanti, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a new approach to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). The INTREPID trial suggested that SRT could reduce the frequency of regular intravitreal injections (IVIs) with antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs, which are necessary to control disease activity. However, the efficacy of SRT in nAMD and resulting morphological changes have not been validated under real-life circumstances, an issue, which we would like to address in this retrospective analysis. Patients who met the INTREPID criteria for best responders were eligible for SRT. A total of 32 eyes of 32 patients were treated. Thereafter, patients were examined monthly for 12 months and received pro re nata IVI of aflibercept or ranibizumab. Outcome measures were: mean number of injections, best-corrected visual acuity, and morphological changes of the outer retina-choroid complex as well as patient safety. Mean number of IVI decreased by almost 50% during the 12 months after SRT compared to the year before, whereas visual acuity increased by one line (logMAR). Morphological evaluation showed that most changes affect outer retinal layers. Stereotactic radiotherapy significantly reduced IVI retreatment in nAMD patients under real-life circumstances. Therefore, SRT might be the first step to stop visual loss as a result of IVI undertreatment, which is a major risk. PMID:28033280