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Sample records for age-related spatial learning

  1. Maternal inflammation linearly exacerbates offspring age-related changes of spatial learning and memory, and neurobiology until senectitude.

    PubMed

    Li, Xue-Wei; Cao, Lei; Wang, Fang; Yang, Qi-Gang; Tong, Jing-Jing; Li, Xue-Yan; Chen, Gui-Hai

    2016-06-01

    Maternal inflammation during pregnancy can elevate the risk of neurodegenerative disorders in offspring. However, how it affects age-related impairments of spatial learning and memory and changes in the neurobiological indictors in the offspring in later adulthood is still elusive. In this study, the CD-1 mice with maternal gestational inflammation due to receiving lipopolysaccharide (LPS, i.p. 50 or 25μg/kg) were divided into 3-, 12-, 18-, and 22-month-old groups. The spatial learning and memory were evaluated using a six-radial arm water maze and the levels of presynaptic proteins (synaptotagmin-1 and syntaxin-1) and histone acetylation (H3K9ac and H4K8ac) in the dorsal hippocampus were detected using the immunohistochemical method. The results indicated that there were significant age-related impairments of spatial learning and memory, decreased levels of H4K8ac, H3K9ac, and syntaxin-1, and increased levels of synaptotagmin-1 in the offspring mice from 12 months old to 22 months old compared to the same-age controls. Maternal LPS treatment significantly exacerbated the offspring impairments of spatial learning and memory, the reduction of H3K9ac, H4K8ac, and syntaxin-1, and the increment of synaptotagmin-1 from 12 months old to 22 months old compared to the same-age control groups. The changes in the neurobiological indicators significantly correlated with the impairments of spatial learning and memory. Furthermore, this correlation, besides the age and LPS-treatment effects, also showed a dose-dependent effect. Our results suggest that maternal inflammation during pregnancy could exacerbate age-related impairments of spatial learning and memory, and neurobiochemical indicators in the offspring CD-1 mice from midlife to senectitude.

  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. Dissecting the age-related decline on spatial learning and memory tasks in rodent models: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in senescent synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Thomas C.

    2012-01-01

    In humans, heterogeneity in the decline of hippocampal-dependent episodic memory is observed during aging. Rodents have been employed as models of age-related cognitive decline and the spatial water maze has been used to show variability in the emergence and extent of impaired hippocampal-dependent memory. Impairment in the consolidation of intermediate-term memory for rapidly acquired and flexible spatial information emerges early, in middle-age. As aging proceeds, deficits may broaden to include impaired incremental learning of a spatial reference memory. The extent and time course of impairment has been be linked to senescence of calcium (Ca2+) regulation and Ca2+-dependent synaptic plasticity mechanisms in region CA1. Specifically, aging is associated with altered function of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs), and ryanodine receptors (RyRs) linked to intracellular Ca2+ stores (ICS). In young animals, NMDAR activation induces long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission (NMDAR-LTP), which is thought to mediate the rapid consolidation of intermediate-term memory. Oxidative stress, starting in middle-age, reduces NMDAR function. In addition, VDCCs and ICS can actively inhibit NMDAR-dependent LTP and oxidative stress enhances the role of VDCC and RyR-ICS in regulating synaptic plasticity. Blockade of L-type VDCCs promotes NMDAR-LTP and memory in older animals. Interestingly, pharmacological or genetic manipulations to reduce hippocampal NMDAR function readily impair memory consolidation or rapid learning, generally leaving incremental learning intact. Finally, evidence is mounting to indicate a role for VDCC-dependent synaptic plasticity in associative learning and the consolidation of remote memories. Thus, VDCC-dependent synaptic plasticity and extrahippocampal systems may contribute to incremental learning deficits observed with advanced aging. PMID:22307057

  4. 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.…

  5. 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.

  6. An age-related deficit in spatial-feature reference memory in homing pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Coppola, Vincent J; Flaim, Mary E; Carney, Samantha N; Bingman, Verner P

    2015-03-01

    Age-related memory decline in mammals has been well documented. By contrast, very little is known about memory decline in birds as they age. In the current study we trained younger and older homing pigeons on a reference memory task in which a goal location could be encoded by spatial and feature cues. Consistent with a previous working memory study, the results revealed impaired acquisition of combined spatial-feature reference memory in older compared to younger pigeons. Following memory acquisition, we used cue-conflict probe trials to provide an initial assessment of possible age-related differences in cue preference. Both younger and older pigeons displayed a similarly modest preference for feature over spatial cues.

  7. 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

  8. Chronic [D-Ala2]-growth hormone-releasing hormone administration attenuates age-related deficits in spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Thornton, P L; Ingram, R L; Sonntag, W E

    2000-02-01

    The age-related decline in growth hormone is one of the most robust endocrine markers of biological aging and has been hypothesized to contribute to the physiological deficits observed in aged animals. However, there have been few studies of the impact of this hormonal decline on brain aging. In this study, the effect of long-term subcutaneous administration of [D-Ala2]-growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) on one measure of brain function, memory, was investigated. Animals were injected daily with 2.3 microg of [D-Ala2]-GHRH or saline from 9 to 30 months of age, and the spatial learning and reference memory of animals were assessed by using the Morris water maze and compared with those of 6-month-old animals. Results indicated that spatial memory decreased with age and that chronic [D-Ala2]-GHRH prevented this age-related decrement (24% improvement in the annulus-40 time and 23% improvement in the number of platform crossings compared with saline treated, age-matched controls; p < .05 each). No changes were noted in sensorimotor performance. [D-Ala2]-GHRH attenuated the age-related decline in plasma concentrations of insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) (p <.05). These data suggest that growth hormone and IGF-1 have important effects on brain function, that the decline in growth hormone and IGF-1 with age contributes to impairments in reference memory, and that these changes can be reversed by the chronic administration of GHRH.

  9. Reaction time inconsistency in a spatial stroop task: age-related differences through childhood and adulthood.

    PubMed

    Williams, Benjamin R; Strauss, Esther H; Hultsch, David F; Hunter, Michael A

    2007-07-01

    Age-related differences in inconsistency of reaction time (RT) across the life span were examined on a task with differing levels of demand on executive control. A total of 546 participants, aged 5 to 76 years, completed a spatial Stroop task that permitted observations under three conditions (congruent, incongruent, and neutral) according to the correspondence between the required response (based on stimulus direction) and stimulus location. An interference effect was observed across all ages. Analyses of neutral condition data replicated previous research demonstrating RT inconsistency follows a U-shaped developmental curve across the life span. The relationship between age and inconsistency, however, depended on condition: inconsistency in the congruent condition was higher than inconsistency in both the neutral and incongruent conditions across middle-aged groups. Reaction time inconsistency may reflect processing efficiency that is maximal in young adulthood and may also be sensitive to fluctuations in performance that reflect momentarily highly efficient responding.

  10. Age-Related Effects of Study Time Allocation on Memory Performance in a Verbal and a Spatial Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krueger, Lacy E.

    2012-01-01

    Past studies have suggested that study time allocation partially mediates age relations on memory performance in a verbal task. To identify whether this applied to a different material modality, participants ages 20-87 completed a spatial task in addition to a traditional verbal task. In both the verbal and the spatial task, increased age was…

  11. 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.

  12. Student journals: a means of assessing transformative learning in aging related courses.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Adrienne L; Pitman Brown, Pamela; Morales, Justin P

    2015-01-01

    In courses where topics are sensitive or even considered taboo for discussion, it can be difficult to assess students' deeper learning. In addition, incorporating a wide variety of students' values and beliefs, designing instructional strategies and including varied assessments adds to the difficulty. Journal entries or response notebooks can highlight reflection upon others' viewpoints, class readings, and additional materials. These are useful across all educational levels in deep learning and comprehension strategies assessments. Journaling meshes with transformative learning constructs, allowing for critical self-reflection essential to transformation. Qualitative analysis of journals in a death and dying class reveals three transformative themes: awareness of others, questioning, and comfort. Students' journal entries demonstrate transformative learning via communication with others through increased knowledge/exposure to others' experiences and comparing/contrasting others' personal beliefs with their own. Using transformative learning within gerontology and geriatrics education, as well as other disciplined aging-related courses is discussed. PMID:25386895

  13. Complex maze learning in rodents as a model of age-related memory impairment.

    PubMed

    Ingram, D K

    1988-01-01

    Research is reviewed concerning the age-related learning deficit observed in a 14-unit T-maze (Stone maze). Rats and mice of several strains representing different adult age groups are first trained to criterion in one-way active avoidance in a straight runway. Then training in the Stone maze is conducted which involves negotiation of five maze segments to avoid footshock. Results indicate a robust age-related impairment in acquisition observed in males and females, and in outbred, inbred, and hybrid strains. Pharmacological studies using the muscarinic antagonist, scopolamine, in young and aged rats indicate cholinergic involvement for accurate encoding during acquisition of this task. Retention aspects of storage and retrieval do not appear to be affected by scopolamine treatment. Bilateral electrolytic lesions to the fimbria-fornix of young rats also produce an acquisition deficit to implicate involvement of the septo-hippocampal cholinergic system in Stone maze learning. A salient feature of Stone maze performance is the tendency to demonstrate an alternation strategy in solving the maze. This strategy is exacerbated by impairment of cholinergic neurotransmission with either scopolamine treatment or fimbria-fornix lesions. Various models of hippocampal function are applied toward the psychological characterization of the Stone maze task without complete success. Future research is outlined to provide more thorough psychological characterization of maze performance, to analyze the specificity of cholinergic involvement in the task, and to test possible therapeutic interventions for alleviating the age-related impairments observed.

  14. 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…

  15. Age-related changes in learning across early childhood: a new imitation task.

    PubMed

    Dickerson, Kelly; Gerhardstein, Peter; Zack, Elizabeth; Barr, Rachel

    2013-11-01

    Imitation plays a critical role in social and cognitive development, but the social learning mechanisms contributing to the development of imitation are not well understood. We developed a new imitation task designed to examine social learning mechanisms across the early childhood period. The new task involves assembly of abstract-shaped puzzle pieces in an arbitrary sequence on a magnet board. Additionally, we introduce a new scoring system that extends traditional goal-directed imitation scoring to include measures of both children's success at copying gestures (sliding the puzzle pieces) and goals (connecting the puzzle pieces). In Experiment 1, we demonstrated an age-invariant baseline from 1.5 to 3.5 years of age, accompanied by age-related changes in success at copying goals and gestures from a live demonstrator. In Experiment 2, we applied our new task to learning following a video demonstration. Imitation performance in the video demonstration group lagged behind that of the live demonstration group, showing a protracted video deficit effect. Across both experiments, children were more likely to copy gestures at earlier ages, suggesting mimicry, and only later copy both goals and gestures, suggesting imitation. Taken together, the findings suggest that different social learning strategies may predominate in imitation learning dependent upon the degree of object affordance, task novelty, and task complexity. PMID:22786801

  16. Isoflurane exposure during mid-adulthood attenuates age-related spatial memory impairment in APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Su, Diansan; Zhao, Yanxing; Xu, Huan; Wang, Beilei; Chen, Xuemei; Chen, Jie; Wang, Xiangrui

    2012-01-01

    Many in vitro findings suggest that isoflurane exposure might accelerate the process of Alzheimer Disease (AD); however, no behavioral evidence exists to support this theory. In the present study, we hypothesized that exposure of APP/PS1 transgenic mice to isoflurane during mid-adulthood, which is the pre-symptomatic phase of amyloid beta (Abeta) deposition, would alter the progression of AD. Seven-month-old Tg(APPswe,PSEN1dE9)85Dbo/J transgenic mice and their wild-type littermates were exposed to 1.1% isoflurane for 2 hours per day for 5 days. Learning and memory ability was tested 48 hours and 5 months following isoflurane exposure using the Morris Water Maze and Y maze, respectively. Abeta deposition and oligomers in the hippocampus were measured by immunohistochemistry or Elisa 5 months following isoflurane exposure. We found that the performance of both the transgenic and wild-type mice in the Morris Water Maze significantly improved 48 hours following isoflurane exposure. The transgenic mice made significantly fewer discrimination errors in the Y maze following isoflurane exposure, and no differences were found between wild-type littermates 5 months following isoflurane exposure. For the transgenic mice, the Abeta plaque and oligomers in the hippocampus was significantly decreased in the 5 months following isoflurane exposure. In summary, repeated isoflurane exposure during the pre-symptomatic phase not only improved spatial memory in both the APP/PS1 transgenic and wild-type mice shortly after the exposure but also prevented age-related decline in learning and memory and attenuated the Abeta plaque and oligomers in the hippocampus of transgenic mice.

  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. Age-Related Differences in Spatial Frequency Processing during Scene Categorization.

    PubMed

    Ramanoël, Stephen; Kauffmann, Louise; Cousin, Emilie; Dojat, Michel; Peyrin, Carole

    2015-01-01

    Visual analysis of real-life scenes starts with the parallel extraction of different visual elementary features at different spatial frequencies. The global shape of the scene is mainly contained in low spatial frequencies (LSF), and the edges and borders of objects are mainly contained in high spatial frequencies (HSF). The present fMRI study investigates the effect of age on the spatial frequency processing in scenes. Young and elderly participants performed a categorization task (indoor vs. outdoor) on LSF and HSF scenes. Behavioral results revealed performance degradation for elderly participants only when categorizing HSF scenes. At the cortical level, young participants exhibited retinotopic organization of spatial frequency processing, characterized by medial activation in the anterior part of the occipital lobe for LSF scenes (compared to HSF), and the lateral activation in the posterior part of the occipital lobe for HSF scenes (compared to LSF). Elderly participants showed activation only in the anterior part of the occipital lobe for LSF scenes (compared to HSF), but not significant activation for HSF (compared to LSF). Furthermore, a ROI analysis revealed that the parahippocampal place area, a scene-selective region, was less activated for HSF than LSF for elderly participants only. Comparison between groups revealed greater activation of the right inferior occipital gyrus in young participants than in elderly participants for HSF. Activation of temporo-parietal regions was greater in elderly participants irrespective of spatial frequencies. The present findings indicate a specific low-contrasted HSF deficit for normal elderly people, in association with an occipito-temporal cortex dysfunction, and a functional reorganization of the categorization of filtered scenes. PMID:26288146

  19. Age-Related Differences in Spatial Frequency Processing during Scene Categorization

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Visual analysis of real-life scenes starts with the parallel extraction of different visual elementary features at different spatial frequencies. The global shape of the scene is mainly contained in low spatial frequencies (LSF), and the edges and borders of objects are mainly contained in high spatial frequencies (HSF). The present fMRI study investigates the effect of age on the spatial frequency processing in scenes. Young and elderly participants performed a categorization task (indoor vs. outdoor) on LSF and HSF scenes. Behavioral results revealed performance degradation for elderly participants only when categorizing HSF scenes. At the cortical level, young participants exhibited retinotopic organization of spatial frequency processing, characterized by medial activation in the anterior part of the occipital lobe for LSF scenes (compared to HSF), and the lateral activation in the posterior part of the occipital lobe for HSF scenes (compared to LSF). Elderly participants showed activation only in the anterior part of the occipital lobe for LSF scenes (compared to HSF), but not significant activation for HSF (compared to LSF). Furthermore, a ROI analysis revealed that the parahippocampal place area, a scene-selective region, was less activated for HSF than LSF for elderly participants only. Comparison between groups revealed greater activation of the right inferior occipital gyrus in young participants than in elderly participants for HSF. Activation of temporo-parietal regions was greater in elderly participants irrespective of spatial frequencies. The present findings indicate a specific low-contrasted HSF deficit for normal elderly people, in association with an occipito-temporal cortex dysfunction, and a functional reorganization of the categorization of filtered scenes. PMID:26288146

  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 effects on spatial memory across viewpoint changes relative to different reference frames.

    PubMed

    Montefinese, Maria; Sulpizio, Valentina; Galati, Gaspare; Committeri, Giorgia

    2015-07-01

    Remembering object positions across different views is a fundamental competence for acting and moving appropriately in a large-scale space. Behavioural and neurological changes in elderly subjects suggest that the spatial representations of the environment might decline compared to young participants. However, no data are available on the use of different reference frames within topographical space in aging. Here we investigated the use of allocentric and egocentric frames in aging, by asking young and older participants to encode the location of a target in a virtual room relative either to stable features of the room (allocentric environment-based frame), or to an unstable objects set (allocentric objects-based frame), or to the viewer's viewpoint (egocentric frame). After a viewpoint change of 0° (absent), 45° (small) or 135° (large), participants judged whether the target was in the same spatial position as before relative to one of the three frames. Results revealed a different susceptibility to viewpoint changes in older than young participants. Importantly, we detected a worst performance, in terms of reaction times, for older than young participants in the allocentric frames. The deficit was more marked for the environment-based frame, for which a lower sensitivity was revealed as well as a worst performance even when no viewpoint change occurred. Our data provide new evidence of a greater vulnerability of the allocentric, in particular environment-based, spatial coding with aging, in line with the retrogenesis theory according to which cognitive changes in aging reverse the sequence of acquisition in mental development. PMID:25037856

  2. 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…

  3. Long-term caloric restriction in mice may prevent age-related learning impairment via suppression of apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lina; Wang, Rong; Dong, Wen; Li, Yun; Xu, Baolei; Zhang, Jingshuang; Zhao, Zhiwei

    2016-12-15

    Caloric restriction (CR) is the most reliable intervention to extend lifespan and prevent age-related disorders in various species from yeast to rodents. However, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been clearly defined. Therefore, we aimed to identify the underlying mechanisms of long-term CR on age-related learning impairment in C57/BL mice. Thirty six-week-old male C57/BL mice were randomly divided into three groups: normal control group (NC group, n=10), high energy group (HE group, n=10), and CR group (n=10). After 10 months, the Morris water maze test was performed to monitor learning abilities. Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to monitor changes in protein and mRNA levels associated with apoptosis-related proteins in the hippocampus. The average escape latency was lower in the CR group compared with the NC group, and the average time taken to first cross the platform in the CR group was significantly shorter than the HE group. Both Bcl-2 protein and mRNA expression levels in the CR group were significantly higher than those of the NC group and HE group. The expression of Bax, Caspase-3 and PARP protein in the CR group was significantly lower than the NC group. Our findings demonstrate that long-term CR may prevent age-related learning impairments via suppressing apoptosis in mice. PMID:27452805

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26317773

  5. 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

  6. Age-related changes in deterministic learning from positive versus negative performance feedback.

    PubMed

    van de Vijver, Irene; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; de Wit, Sanne

    2015-01-01

    Feedback-based learning declines with age. Because older adults are generally biased toward positive information ("positivity effect"), learning from positive feedback may be less impaired than learning from negative outcomes. The literature documents mixed results, due possibly to variability between studies in task design. In the current series of studies, we investigated the influence of feedback valence on reinforcement learning in young and older adults. We used nonprobabilistic learning tasks, to more systematically study the effects of feedback magnitude, learning of stimulus-response (S-R) versus stimulus-outcome (S-O) associations, and working-memory capacity. In most experiments, older adults benefitted more from positive than negative feedback, but only with large feedback magnitudes. Positivity effects were pronounced for S-O learning, whereas S-R learning correlated with working-memory capacity in both age groups. These results underline the context dependence of positivity effects in learning and suggest that older adults focus on high gains when these are informative for behavior.

  7. Age-related changes in consolidation of perceptual and muscle-based learning of motor skills.

    PubMed

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2013-01-01

    Improvements in motor sequence learning come about via goal-based learning of the sequence of visual stimuli and muscle-based learning of the sequence of movement responses. In young adults, consolidation of goal-based learning is observed after intervals of sleep but not following wake, whereas consolidation of muscle-based learning is greater following intervals with wake compared to sleep. While the benefit of sleep on motor sequence learning has been shown to decline with age, how sleep contributes to consolidation of goal-based vs. muscle-based learning in older adults (OA) has not been disentangled. We trained young (n = 62) and older (n = 50) adults on a motor sequence learning task and re-tested learning following 12 h intervals containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. To probe consolidation of goal-based learning of the sequence, half of the participants were re-tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was the same but, due to a shift in stimulus-response mapping, the movement response sequence differed. To probe consolidation of muscle-based learning, the remaining participants were tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was novel, but now the sequence of movements used for responding was unchanged. In young adults, there was a significant condition (goal-based vs. muscle-based learning) by interval (sleep vs. wake) interaction, F(1,58) = 6.58, p = 0.013: goal-based learning tended to be greater following sleep compared to wake, t(29) = 1.47, p = 0.072. Conversely, muscle-based learning was greater following wake than sleep, t(29) = 2.11, p = 0.021. Unlike young adults, this interaction was not significant in OA, F(1,46) = 0.04, p = 0.84, nor was there a main effect of interval, F(1,46) = 1.14, p = 0.29. Thus, OA do not preferentially consolidate sequence learning over wake or sleep.

  8. 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

    1999-11-01

    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.

  9. 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. PMID:18537110

  10. Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Baker, Nicholas; Wolschin, Florian; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-10-01

    Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS(2)) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.

  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. Neural correlates of the age-related changes in motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in older adults.

    PubMed

    King, Bradley R; Fogel, Stuart M; Albouy, Geneviève; Doyon, Julien

    2013-01-01

    As the world's population ages, a deeper understanding of the relationship between aging and motor learning will become increasingly relevant in basic research and applied settings. In this context, this review aims to address the effects of age on motor sequence learning (MSL) and motor adaptation (MA) with respect to behavioral, neurological, and neuroimaging findings. Previous behavioral research investigating the influence of aging on motor learning has consistently reported the following results. First, the initial acquisition of motor sequences is not altered, except under conditions of increased task complexity. Second, older adults demonstrate deficits in motor sequence memory consolidation. And, third, although older adults demonstrate deficits during the exposure phase of MA paradigms, the aftereffects following removal of the sensorimotor perturbation are similar to young adults, suggesting that the adaptive ability of older adults is relatively intact. This paper will review the potential neural underpinnings of these behavioral results, with a particular emphasis on the influence of age-related dysfunctions in the cortico-striatal system on motor learning.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    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.

  16. A mid-life vitamin A supplementation prevents age-related spatial memory deficits and hippocampal neurogenesis alterations through CRABP-I.

    PubMed

    Touyarot, Katia; Bonhomme, Damien; Roux, Pascale; Alfos, Serge; Lafenêtre, Pauline; Richard, Emmanuel; Higueret, Paul; Pallet, Véronique

    2013-01-01

    Age-related memory decline including spatial reference memory is considered to begin at middle-age and coincides with reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Moreover, a dysfunction of vitamin A hippocampal signalling pathway has been involved in the appearance of age-related memory deficits but also in adult hippocampal neurogenesis alterations. The present study aims at testing the hypothesis that a mid-life vitamin A supplementation would be a successful strategy to prevent age-related memory deficits. Thus, middle-aged Wistar rats were submitted to a vitamin A enriched diet and were tested 4 months later in a spatial memory task. In order to better understand the potential mechanisms mediating the effects of vitamin A supplementation on hippocampal functions, we studied different aspects of hippocampal adult neurogenesis and evaluated hippocampal CRABP-I expression, known to modulate differentiation processes. Here, we show that vitamin A supplementation from middle-age enhances spatial memory and improves the dendritic arborisation of newborn immature neurons probably resulting in a better survival and neuronal differentiation in aged rats. Moreover, our results suggest that hippocampal CRABP-I expression which controls the intracellular availability of retinoic acid (RA), may be an important regulator of neuronal differentiation processes in the aged hippocampus. Thus, vitamin A supplementation from middle-age could be a good strategy to maintain hippocampal plasticity and functions. PMID:23977218

  17. A Mid-Life Vitamin A Supplementation Prevents Age-Related Spatial Memory Deficits and Hippocampal Neurogenesis Alterations through CRABP-I

    PubMed Central

    Touyarot, Katia; Bonhomme, Damien; Roux, Pascale; Alfos, Serge; Lafenêtre, Pauline; Richard, Emmanuel; Higueret, Paul; Pallet, Véronique

    2013-01-01

    Age-related memory decline including spatial reference memory is considered to begin at middle-age and coincides with reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Moreover, a dysfunction of vitamin A hippocampal signalling pathway has been involved in the appearance of age-related memory deficits but also in adult hippocampal neurogenesis alterations. The present study aims at testing the hypothesis that a mid-life vitamin A supplementation would be a successful strategy to prevent age-related memory deficits. Thus, middle-aged Wistar rats were submitted to a vitamin A enriched diet and were tested 4 months later in a spatial memory task. In order to better understand the potential mechanisms mediating the effects of vitamin A supplementation on hippocampal functions, we studied different aspects of hippocampal adult neurogenesis and evaluated hippocampal CRABP-I expression, known to modulate differentiation processes. Here, we show that vitamin A supplementation from middle-age enhances spatial memory and improves the dendritic arborisation of newborn immature neurons probably resulting in a better survival and neuronal differentiation in aged rats. Moreover, our results suggest that hippocampal CRABP-I expression which controls the intracellular availability of retinoic acid (RA), may be an important regulator of neuronal differentiation processes in the aged hippocampus. Thus, vitamin A supplementation from middle-age could be a good strategy to maintain hippocampal plasticity and functions. PMID:23977218

  18. A factorial analysis of age-related changes in the spatial structure of three Puerto Rican cities.

    PubMed

    Trevino-Richard, T; Krain, M A

    1986-12-01

    This study employed factor analysis of census tract data for three Puerto Rican cities, San Juan, Ponce, and Mayaguez, in 1960 and 1970 to test the general hypotheses that economic development (1) transforms the pattern of spatial distribution of populations of cities in underdeveloped areas to resemble that of cities in developed areas (i.e., a "convergence" phenomenon), and that (2) this transformation involves the emergence of aged and late life cycle factors as major determinants of urban spatial distribution in these cities. Both hypotheses were substantially confirmed in connection with differences between stages (city comparisons) and in connection with time differences (comparisons between 1960 and 1970). It is concluded that spatial differentiation on the basis of age and life stage are major features of the economic development of cities. Policy implications of these findings are discussed.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  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 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

  3. ESTROGENS AND AGE-RELATED MEMORY DECLINE IN RODENTS: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

    PubMed Central

    Frick, Karyn M.

    2009-01-01

    The question of whether ovarian hormone therapy can prevent or reduce age-related memory decline in menopausal women has been the subject of much recent debate. Although numerous studies have demonstrated a beneficial effect of estrogen and/or progestin therapy for certain types of memory in menopausal women, recent clinical trials suggest that such therapy actually increases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Because rodent models have been frequently used to examine the effects of age and/or ovarian hormone deficiency on mnemonic function, rodent models of age-related hormone and memory decline may be useful in helping to resolve this issue. This review will focus on evidence suggesting that estradiol modulates memory, particularly hippocampal-dependent memory, in young and aging female rats and mice. Various factors affecting the mnemonic response to estradiol in aging females will be highlighted to illustrate the complications inherent to studies of estrogen therapy in aging females. Avenues for future development of estradiol-based therapies will also be discussed, and it is argued that an approach to drug development based on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying estrogenic modulation of memory may lead to promising future treatments for reducing age-related mnemonic decline. PMID:18835561

  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. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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. PMID:27242514

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27242514

  11. 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,…

  12. Active and passive contributions to spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R; Warren, William H

    2012-02-01

    It seems intuitively obvious that active exploration of a new environment will lead to better spatial learning than will passive exposure. However, the literature on this issue is decidedly mixed-in part, because the concept itself is not well defined. We identify five potential components of active spatial learning and review the evidence regarding their role in the acquisition of landmark, route, and survey knowledge. We find that (1) idiothetic information in walking contributes to metric survey knowledge, (2) there is little evidence as yet that decision making during exploration contributes to route or survey knowledge, (3) attention to place-action associations and relevant spatial relations contributes to route and survey knowledge, although landmarks and boundaries appear to be learned without effort, (4) route and survey information are differentially encoded in subunits of working memory, and (5) there is preliminary evidence that mental manipulation of such properties facilitates spatial learning. Idiothetic information appears to be necessary to reveal the influence of attention and, possibly, decision making in survey learning, which may explain the mixed results in desktop virtual reality. Thus, there is indeed an active advantage in spatial learning, which manifests itself in the task-dependent acquisition of route and survey knowledge.

  13. Perceptual and cognitive spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Bedford, F L

    1993-06-01

    Ss were taught novel mappings between visual space and motor space with either a variant on a prism adaptation paradigm (Experiments 1 and 2) or a nonperceptual cognitive task (Experiments 3 and 4). First, discrimination training specified that 1 visual location required a new pointing response but another location did not. This led to unusual generalization unlike typical generalization decrement. Second, training at 9 locations specified that 1 location required a new response but that the remaining 8 did not. This simple isolation mapping was unlearnable and instead a flat function fit through all of space. In contrast, for the cognitive paradigm, not only was isolation of one region of space easily learned, it was the preferred pattern of generalization. Implications for perceptual learning, as well as the qualitative distinctions between perceptual and cognitive learning, are discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26646070

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:27481192

  18. 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.

  19. Spatial Reference Frame of Incidentally Learned Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.

    2013-01-01

    Visual attention prioritizes information presented at particular spatial locations. These locations can be defined in reference frames centered on the environment or on the viewer. This study investigates whether incidentally learned attention uses a viewer-centered or environment-centered reference frame. Participants conducted visual search on a…

  20. Experimental Analysis of Spatial Learning in Goldfish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Kotaro; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2005-01-01

    The present study examined spatial learning in goldfish using a new apparatus that was an open-field circular pool with latticed holes. The subjects were motivated to reach the baited hole. We examined gustatory cues, intramaze cues, the possibility that the subject could see the food, etc. In Experiment 1, the position of the baited hole was…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Spatial integration in human geometry learning.

    PubMed

    Prados, Jose; Alvarez, Beatriz; Reynolds, Glyn

    2011-10-31

    In a 2-D computer based search task, human participants were exposed to a compound stimulus containing both geometric and non-geometric information (a rectangle with colored walls) in such a way that a non-geometric cue, C1, was paired with a geometric cue, G1. Previous reinforcement of either kind of cue (geometric and non-geometric) resulted in second order conditioning (SOC) when the participants were tested with the cue that was never paired with reinforcement (Experiment 1). Similarly, if one of the cues was reinforced following the non-reinforced exposure to the compound, a sensory preconditioning (SPC) effect was observed (Experiment 3). These results show that associations can be formed between geometric and non-geometric cues, a finding that is incompatible with the concept of a geometric module impenetrable to non-geometric information. In Experiments 2 and 4, we found evidence for SOC and SPC using exclusively geometric cues, suggesting that the associative learning principles that apply to other domains also rule spatial geometry learning in humans. This research suggests that spatial representations can be enlarged by successively integrating information bits through the linkage of common elements.

  4. Spatial learning by mice in three dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Jonathan J.; Harding, Elizabeth; Fortier, Mathilde; James, Benjamin; Donnett, Megan; Kerslake, Alasdair; O’Leary, Alice; Zhang, Ningyu; Jeffery, Kate

    2015-01-01

    We tested whether mice can represent locations distributed throughout three-dimensional space, by developing a novel three-dimensional radial arm maze. The three-dimensional radial maze, or “radiolarian” maze, consists of a central spherical core from which arms project in all directions. Mice learn to retrieve food from the ends of the arms without omitting any arms or re-visiting depleted ones. We show here that mice can learn both a standard working memory task, in which all arms are initially baited, and also a reference memory version in which only a subset are ever baited. Comparison with a two-dimensional analogue of the radiolarian maze, the hexagon maze, revealed equally good working-memory performance in both mazes if all the arms were initially baited, but reduced working and reference memory in the partially baited radiolarian maze. This suggests intact three-dimensional spatial representation in mice over short timescales but impairment of the formation and/or use of long-term spatial memory of the maze. We discuss potential mechanisms for how mice solve the three-dimensional task, and reasons for the impairment relative to its two-dimensional counterpart, concluding with some speculations about how mammals may represent three-dimensional space. PMID:25930216

  5. Spatial learning by mice in three dimensions.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jonathan J; Harding, Elizabeth; Fortier, Mathilde; James, Benjamin; Donnett, Megan; Kerslake, Alasdair; O'Leary, Alice; Zhang, Ningyu; Jeffery, Kate

    2015-08-01

    We tested whether mice can represent locations distributed throughout three-dimensional space, by developing a novel three-dimensional radial arm maze. The three-dimensional radial maze, or "radiolarian" maze, consists of a central spherical core from which arms project in all directions. Mice learn to retrieve food from the ends of the arms without omitting any arms or re-visiting depleted ones. We show here that mice can learn both a standard working memory task, in which all arms are initially baited, and also a reference memory version in which only a subset are ever baited. Comparison with a two-dimensional analogue of the radiolarian maze, the hexagon maze, revealed equally good working-memory performance in both mazes if all the arms were initially baited, but reduced working and reference memory in the partially baited radiolarian maze. This suggests intact three-dimensional spatial representation in mice over short timescales but impairment of the formation and/or use of long-term spatial memory of the maze. We discuss potential mechanisms for how mice solve the three-dimensional task, and reasons for the impairment relative to its two-dimensional counterpart, concluding with some speculations about how mammals may represent three-dimensional space.

  6. [Presbycusis - Age Related Hearing Loss].

    PubMed

    Fischer, N; Weber, B; Riechelmann, H

    2016-07-01

    Presbycusis or age related hearing loss can be defined as a progressive, bilateral and symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss due to age related degeneration of inner ear structures. It can be considered a multifactorial complex disorder with environmental and genetic factors. The molecular, electrophysiological and histological damage at different levels of the inner ear cause a progressive hearing loss, which usually affects the high frequencies of hearing. The resulting poor speech recognition has a negative impact on cognitive, emotional and social function in older adults. Recent investigations revealed an association between hearing impairment and social isolation, anxiety, depression and cognitive decline in elderly. These findings emphasize the importance of diagnosis and treating hearing loss in the elderly population. Hearing aids are the most commonly used devices for treating presbycusis. The technical progress of implantable hearing devices allows an effective hearing rehabilitation even in elderly with severe hearing loss. However, most people with hearing impairments are not treated adequately. PMID:27392191

  7. Assessing spatial learning and memory in rodents.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. Hippocampal synaptotagmin-4 is correlated with impaired spatial learning and memory in SAMP8 mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qi-Gang; Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Fang; Wang, Long-Hai

    2015-10-21

    The mechanism underlying age-related cognitive impairment remains unclear. To determine whether synaptotagmin (Syt)-1 and Syt-4 are involved in age-related cognitive impairment, we used a radial six-arm water maze (RAWM) to evaluate spatial learning and memory deficits in the senescence accelerated prone mouse 8. The Syt-1 and Syt-4 levels of different subregions of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) were detected through immunohistochemistry. The RAWM results revealed that 13- and 9-month-old mice exhibited longer latencies and more errors in both the learning and memory phases than 5-month-old mice. Similar results were observed in the comparison of 13-month-old mice to 9-month-old mice. Compared with the 9- and/or 5-month-old mice, the 13-month-old mice exhibited higher Syt-1 and Syt-4 levels in the majority of the DH subregions with the exception of Syt-1 in the dentate gyrus-hilus and Syt-4 in the dentate gyrus-hilus and cornu ammonis 1 pyramidal cell layer. With the exception of Syt-1 in the 9-month-old mice, the Syt-1 and Syt-4 levels in several DH subregions overall and in each group were significantly correlated with the performances on the RAWM. Therefore, the altered Syt-1 and Syt-4 levels in the different DH layers may have been involved in the impairments in spatial learning and memory during normal aging.

  11. 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.

  12. Learning Hierarchical Spectral-Spatial Features for Hyperspectral Image Classification.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yicong; Wei, Yantao

    2016-07-01

    This paper proposes a spectral-spatial feature learning (SSFL) method to obtain robust features of hyperspectral images (HSIs). It combines the spectral feature learning and spatial feature learning in a hierarchical fashion. Stacking a set of SSFL units, a deep hierarchical model called the spectral-spatial networks (SSN) is further proposed for HSI classification. SSN can exploit both discriminative spectral and spatial information simultaneously. Specifically, SSN learns useful high-level features by alternating between spectral and spatial feature learning operations. Then, kernel-based extreme learning machine (KELM), a shallow neural network, is embedded in SSN to classify image pixels. Extensive experiments are performed on two benchmark HSI datasets to verify the effectiveness of SSN. Compared with state-of-the-art methods, SSN with a deep hierarchical architecture obtains higher classification accuracy in terms of the overall accuracy, average accuracy, and kappa ( κ ) coefficient of agreement, especially when the number of the training samples is small.

  13. 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.

  14. Spatial learning in men undergoing alcohol detoxification.

    PubMed

    Ceccanti, Mauro; Hamilton, Derek; Coriale, Giovanna; Carito, Valentina; Aloe, Luigi; Chaldakov, George; Romeo, Marina; Ceccanti, Marco; Iannitelli, Angela; Fiore, Marco

    2015-10-01

    Alcohol dependence is a major public health problem worldwide. Brain and behavioral disruptions including changes in cognitive abilities are common features of alcohol addiction. Thus, the present study was aimed to investigate spatial learning and memory in 29 alcoholic men undergoing alcohol detoxification by using a virtual Morris maze task. As age-matched controls we recruited 29 men among occasional drinkers without history of alcohol dependence and/or alcohol related diseases and with a negative blood alcohol level at the time of testing. We found that the responses to the virtual Morris maze are impaired in men undergoing alcohol detoxification. Notably they showed increased latencies in the first movement during the trials, increased latencies in retrieving the hidden platform and increased latencies in reaching the visible platform. These findings were associated with reduced swimming time in the target quadrant of the pool where the platform had been during the 4 hidden platform trials of the learning phase compared to controls. Such increasing latency responses may suggest motor control, attentional and motivational deficits due to alcohol detoxification. PMID:26143187

  15. Preserved neuron number in the hippocampus of aged rats with spatial learning deficits.

    PubMed Central

    Rapp, P R; Gallagher, M

    1996-01-01

    Hippocampal neuron loss is widely viewed as a hallmark of normal aging. Moreover, neuronal degeneration is thought to contribute directly to age-related deficits in learning and memory supported by the hippocampus. By taking advantage of improved methods for quantifying neuron number, the present study reports evidence challenging these long-standing concepts. The status of hippocampal-dependent spatial learning was evaluated in young and aged Long-Evans rats using the Morris water maze, and the total number of neurons in the principal cell layers of the dentate gyrus and hippocampus was quantified according to the optical fractionator technique. For each of the hippocampal fields, neuron number was preserved in the aged subjects as a group and in aged individuals with documented learning and memory deficits indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. The findings demonstrate that hippocampal neuronal degeneration is not an inevitable consequence of normal aging and that a loss of principal neurons in the hippocampus fails to account for age-related learning and memory impairment. The observed preservation of neuron number represents an essential foundation for identifying the neurobiological effects of hippocampal aging that account for cognitive decline. Images Fig. 2 PMID:8790433

  16. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Garcia Layana, A

    1998-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the occidental world. Patients suffering this process have an important reduction on their quality of life being handicapped to read, to write, to recognise faces of their friends, or even to watch the television. One of the main problems of that disease is the absence of an effective treatment able to revert the process. Laser treatment is only useful in a limited number of patients, and even in these cases recurrent lesions are frequent. These facts and the progressive ageing of our society establish the ARMD as one of the biggest aim of medical investigations for the next century, and currently is focus of attention in the most industrialised countries. One of the most promising pieces of research is focused in the investigation of the risk factors associated with the age-related macular degeneration, in order to achieve a prophylactic treatment avoiding its appearance. Diet elements such as fat ingestion or reduced antioxidant intakes are being investigated as some of these factors, what open a new possibility for a prophylactic treatment. Finally, research is looking for new therapeutic modalities such as selective radiotherapy in order to improve or maintain the vision of these patients.

  17. 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,…

  18. 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…

  19. Elevated dynorphin in the hippocampal formation of aged rats: Relation to cognitive impairment on a spatial learning task

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Hannkuang; Owyang, V.; Hong, Jaushyong; Gallagher, M. )

    1989-04-01

    Radioimmunoassay revealed increased dynorphin A(1-8)-like immunoreactivity (dynA(1-8)LI) in the aged rat brain. Among a number of brain regions examined, an age-related dynA(1-8)LI elevation was found only in the hippocampal formation and frontal cortex. Moreover, the increase in dynA(1-8)LI in the aged hippocampus was associated with a decline in spatial learning ability: dynA(1-8)LI distinguished aged rats that were behaviorally impaired from aged cohorts that learned the spatial task as rapidly as younger animals. Northern blot hybridization using a {sup 32}P-labeled complementary RNA probe encoding rat prodynorphin indicated that the abundance of prodynorphin mRNA was also significantly increased in the hippocampal formation of aged rats with identified spatial learning impairments.

  20. 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…

  1. Hyperspecificity in Visual Implicit Learning: Learning of Spatial Layout Is Contingent on Item Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Yuhong; Song, Joo-Hyun

    2005-01-01

    Humans conduct visual search faster when the same display is presented for a 2nd time, showing implicit learning of repeated displays. This study examines whether learning of a spatial layout transfers to other layouts that are occupied by items of new shapes or colors. The authors show that spatial context learning is sometimes contingent on item…

  2. Age-related atrial fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Gramley, Felix; Lorenzen, Johann; Knackstedt, Christian; Rana, Obaida R; Saygili, Erol; Frechen, Dirk; Stanzel, Sven; Pezzella, Francesco; Koellensperger, Eva; Weiss, Christian; Münzel, Thomas; Schauerte, Patrick

    2009-03-01

    Many age-related diseases are associated with, and may be promoted by, cardiac fibrosis. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, hypoxia-induced factor (HIF), and the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) system have been implicated in fibrogenesis. Thus, we investigated whether age is related to these systems and to atrial fibrosis. Right atrial appendages (RAA) obtained during heart surgery (n = 115) were grouped according to patients' age (<50 years, 51-60 years, 61-70 years, or >70 years). Echocardiographic ejection fractions (EF) and fibrosis using Sirius-red-stained histological sections were determined. TGF-beta was determined by quantitative RT-PCR and hypoxia-related factors [HIF1 alpha, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-receptor, CD34 (a surrogate marker for microvessel density), the factor inhibiting HIF (FIH), and prolyl hydroxylase 3 (PHD 3)] were detected by immunostaining. MMP-2 and -9 activity were determined zymographically, and mRNA levels of their common tissue inhibitor TIMP-1 were determined by RT-PCR. Younger patients (<50 years) had significantly less fibrosis (10.1% +/- 4.4% vs 16.6% +/- 8.3%) than older individuals (>70 years). While HIF1 alpha, FIH, the VEGF-receptor, and CD34 were significantly elevated in the young, TGF-beta and PHD3 were suppressed in these patients. MMP-2 and -9 activity was found to be higher while TIMP-1 levels were lower in older patients. Statistical analysis proved age to be the only factor influencing fibrogenesis. With increasing age, RAAs develop significantly more fibrosis. An increase of fibrotic and decrease of hypoxic signalling and microvessel density, coupled with differential expression of MMPs and TIMP-1 favouring fibrosis may have helped promote atrial fibrogenesis. PMID:19234766

  3. 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)

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase does not impair spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Bannerman, D M; Chapman, P F; Kelly, P A; Butcher, S P; Morris, R G

    1994-12-01

    Nitric oxide (NO), a putative intercellular messenger in the CNS, may be involved in certain forms of synaptic plasticity and learning. This article reports a series of experiments investigating the effects of N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) upon various forms of learning and memory in the watermaze. L-NAME (75 mg/kg, i.p., sufficient to bring about > 90% inhibition of NO synthesis in brain) produced an apparent impairment in spatial learning when given to naive rats during acquisition (3 d, six training trials per day). This impairment was dose related, stereoselective, and attenuated by coadministration of L-arginine. A second study showed that L-NAME did not affect the retention of a previously learned spatial task. In addition, in a visual discrimination task, the rate at which criterion levels of performance were reached was unaffected by L-NAME. Thus, inhibition of NO synthase may cause a selective impairment of spatial learning without effect upon retention. However, analysis of the early training trials of the visual discrimination task revealed significantly elevated escape latencies in the L-NAME-treated rats, suggesting that inhibition of NO synthase may have more general effects. As normal rats learn the spatial task very rapidly, the possibility arises that the apparent deficit in learning is due to a disruption of some process other than learning per se. A further series of experiments investigated this possibility. L-NAME was found not to impair the learning of a new platform position in the same spatial environment. Surprisingly, L-NAME also had no effect on spatial learning in a second watermaze located in a novel spatial environment by rats well practiced with all aspects of watermaze training. Finally, L-NAME had no effect on spatial learning in naive rats trained with just one trial per day. Thus, systemic injection of an NO synthase inhibitor impairs behavioral performance in two tasks during their initial acquisition, but the

  7. 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…

  8. Interactive versus Observational Learning of Spatial Visualization of Geometric Transformat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Glenn Gordon; Middleton, James A.

    2003-01-01

    This study compared interaction with a computer vs. observation as learning situations for low and high ability student's learning of spatial visualization and geometric transformations. Thirty-two fifth grade boys took the Differential Aptitude Test, Space Relations Subset (DAT), and then participated in the experiment. Pre-test and post-test…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27208418

  13. 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. PMID:25799100

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Structural and functional neuroplasticity in human learning of spatial routes.

    PubMed

    Keller, Timothy A; Just, Marcel Adam

    2016-01-15

    Recent findings with both animals and humans suggest that decreases in microscopic movements of water in the hippocampus reflect short-term neuroplasticity resulting from learning. Here we examine whether such neuroplastic structural changes concurrently alter the functional connectivity between hippocampus and other regions involved in learning. We collected both diffusion-weighted images and fMRI data before and after humans performed a 45min spatial route-learning task. Relative to a control group with equal practice time, there was decreased diffusivity in the posterior-dorsal dentate gyrus of the left hippocampus in the route-learning group accompanied by increased synchronization of fMRI-measured BOLD signal between this region and cortical areas, and by changes in behavioral performance. These concurrent changes characterize the multidimensionality of neuroplasticity as it enables human spatial learning.

  17. Acquiring new spatial intuitions: learning to reason about rotations.

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    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 of simple rotations. Learning consisted of the acquisition of spatial intuitions: there was encoding of useful spatiotemporal information in specific problem types and a gradual accumulation of this understanding across the domain. This pattern of learning through the accumulation of intuitions is especially interesting for rotational motion, in which an elegant domain-wide kinematics is available to support insightful learning. Individual ability to reason about rotations correlated highly with mastery motivation, skill in fluid reasoning, and skill in reasoning about spatial transformations. Thus, general cognitive advantages aided the understanding of individual rotations without guaranteeing immediate generalization across the domain.

  18. Optimal Spatial Prediction Using Ensemble Machine Learning.

    PubMed

    Davies, Molly Margaret; van der Laan, Mark J

    2016-05-01

    Spatial prediction is an important problem in many scientific disciplines. Super Learner is an ensemble prediction approach related to stacked generalization that uses cross-validation to search for the optimal predictor amongst all convex combinations of a heterogeneous candidate set. It has been applied to non-spatial data, where theoretical results demonstrate it will perform asymptotically at least as well as the best candidate under consideration. We review these optimality properties and discuss the assumptions required in order for them to hold for spatial prediction problems. We present results of a simulation study confirming Super Learner works well in practice under a variety of sample sizes, sampling designs, and data-generating functions. We also apply Super Learner to a real world dataset. PMID:27130244

  19. Nicotine attenuates spatial learning deficits induced by sodium metavanadate.

    PubMed

    Azami, Kian; Tabrizian, Kaveh; Hosseini, Rohollah; Seyedabadi, Mohammad; Shariatpanahi, Marjan; Noorbakhsh, Farshid; Kebriaeezadeh, Abbas; Ostad, Seyed Nasser; Sharifzadeh, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    Learning can be severely impaired as a consequence of exposure to environmental pollutants. Vanadium (V), a metalloid which is widely distributed in the environment, has been shown to exert toxic effects on a variety of biological systems including the nervous system. However, studies exploring the impact of vanadium on learning are limited. Herein, we investigated the effects of oral administration of sodium metavanadate (SMV) (15, 20 and 25mg/kg/day for 2weeks) on spatial learning using Morris water maze (MWM). Our results showed that pre-training administration of sodium metavanadate impaired learning in Morris water maze. Analyzing the role of cholinergic system in SMV-induced learning deficit, we found that bilateral intra-hippocampal infusion of nicotine (1μg/side) during training could significantly diminish the SMV-induced learning impairment. We next examined the expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) as cholinergic markers in CA1 region of hippocampus as well as in medial septal area (MSA). Our molecular analyses showed that vanadium administration decreased ChAT and VAChT protein expression, an effect that was attenuated by nicotine. Altogether, our results confirmed the toxic effects of SMV on spatial acquisition, while also pointing to the neuroprotective effects of nicotine on SMV-induced impairments in learning capabilities. These findings might open a new avenue for the prevention of vanadium adverse effects on spatial learning and memory through activation of cholinergic signaling pathway.

  20. Abnormal differentiation of newborn granule cells in age-related working memory impairments.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Myriel; Yee, Benjamin K; Feldon, Joram; Knuesel, Irene

    2010-11-01

    Age-related declines in spatial memory have been linked to abnormal functional properties and connectivity of newborn granule cells. However, the relationship between adult neurogenesis, aging, and cognitive performance seems more complex than previously anticipated, likely due to the difficulty of disentangling alterations related to training as such and those associated with cognitive performance. Here, we investigated how different aspects of adult neurogenesis might be related to training, age and cognitive performance amongst aged subjects by comparing behaviourally naïve and tested rats of 3, 6, 24mo of age. We separated aged rats into learning-impaired and -unimpaired groups based on their performance in the Morris water maze to investigate neurogenesis-related morphological and neurochemical changes. We report an age-related decline in cell proliferation and maturation independent of cognitive performance and testing. We confirm an age-related altered differentiation of newborn neurons which was particularly prominent in learning-impaired rats. This was associated with an abnormally prolonged expression of the early progenitor marker Nestin, potentially also affecting maturation, survival/integration of newborn neurons into existing neuronal networks, which might underlie the individual differences in cognitive performance during aging.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. Spatial context learning survives interference from working memory load

    PubMed Central

    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 addresses the relationship between these two mechanisms. Specifically we ask: Is implicit learning of spatial context affected by the amount of working memory load devoted to an irrelevant task? We tested observers in visual search tasks where search displays occasionally repeated. Observers became faster searching repeated displays than unrepeated ones, showing contextual cueing. We found that the size of contextual cueing was unaffected by whether observers learned repeated displays under unitary attention or when their attention was divided using working memory manipulations. These results held when working memory was loaded by colors, dot patterns, individual dot locations, or multiple potential targets. We conclude that spatial context learning is robust to interference from manipulations that limit the availability of attention and working memory. PMID:20853996

  6. Cued and spatial learning in the water maze: equivalent learning in male and female mice.

    PubMed

    Baldan Ramsey, Lissandra C; Pittenger, Christopher

    2010-10-11

    Mammals navigate a complex environment using a variety of strategies, which can operate in parallel and even compete with one another. We have recently described a variant water maze task in which two of these strategies, hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and striatum-dependent cued learning, can be dissociated. Male rodents perform better at some spatial learning tasks, while female rodents more readily learn certain striatum-dependent behavioral strategies. We therefore predicted that sex would differentially influence spatial and cued learning in the water maze. We trained adult male and female C57Bl/6 mice for 7 days in the two-cue variant of the water maze, with probe trials on days 5 and 7. In two independent experiments, males and females performed similarly, with both groups showing good spatial learning after 5 and 7 days of training, and both groups showing trend-level cued learning after 5 days and robust learning after 7. Therefore, contrary to our hypothesis, sex does not significantly affect cued or spatial learning in this task.

  7. Spatial context learning in pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Gibson, Brett M; Leber, Andrew B; Mehlman, Max L

    2015-10-01

    In a seminal paper in the cognitive sciences, Chun and Jiang (1998) described the contextual cueing paradigm in which they used artificial stimuli and showed that people became faster to locate a target when the background predicted the location of a target compared to when it did not. Here we examined contextual cueing in pigeons for the first time using artificial stimuli and procedures similar to those of Chun and Jiang. In the first test, we had pigeons search for a target among a display of seven distractors; during one condition, the position of the distractors predicted the location of the target, and in the second condition, there was no relationship between the two. In a second test, we presented the pigeons with the predictive displays from Test 1 and a second set of displays that also predicted the location of a target to see if learning about one set of predictive backgrounds disrupted learning about a second set. The pigeons were quick to acquire context-based knowledge and retain that information when faced with additional contexts. The results suggest that contextual cueing can occur for a variety of stimuli in nonhuman animals and that it may be a common mechanism for processing visual information across a wide variety of species.

  8. Chronic acarbose treatment alleviates age-related behavioral and biochemical changes in SAMP8 mice.

    PubMed

    Tong, Jing-Jing; Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Fang; Li, Xue-Wei; Cao, Lei; Sui, Xu; Tao, Fei; Yan, Wen-Wen; Wei, Zhao-Jun

    2015-05-01

    The administration of maintaining the homeostasis of insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling and/or glucose metabolism may reverse brain aging. In the present study, we investigated the effect of acarbose, an inhibitor of α-glucosidase, on age-related behavioral and biochemical changes. The SAMP8 mice were randomly divided into old control group and acarbose-treatment group. The mice in the acarbose group were administered acarbose (20 mg/kg/d, dissolved in drinking water) orally from 3 to 9 months of age when a new group of 3-month-old mice was added as young controls. The results showed that the aged controls exhibited declines in sensorimotor ability, open field anxiety, spatial and non-spatial memory abilities, decreased serum insulin levels, increased IGF-1 receptor and synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) levels and decreased insulin receptor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and syntaxin 1 (Stx1) levels in the hippocampal layers. The age-related behavioral deficits correlated with the serological and histochemical data. Chronic acarbose treatment relieved these age-related changes, especially with respect to learning and memory abilities. This protective effect of acarbose on age-related behavioral impairments might be related to changes in the insulin system and the levels of BDNF, IGF-1R, and the pre-synaptic proteins Syt1 and Stx1. In conclusion, long-term treatment with acarbose ameliorated the behavioral deficits and biochemical changes in old SAMP8 mice and promoted successful aging. This study provides insight into the potential of acarbose for the treatment of brain aging.

  9. Finding faults: analogical comparison supports spatial concept learning in geoscience.

    PubMed

    Jee, Benjamin D; Uttal, David H; Gentner, Dedre; Manduca, Cathy; Shipley, Thomas F; Sageman, Bradley

    2013-05-01

    A central issue in education is how to support the spatial thinking involved in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated whether and how the cognitive process of analogical comparison supports learning of a basic spatial concept in geoscience, fault. Because of the high variability in the appearance of faults, it may be difficult for students to learn the category-relevant spatial structure. There is abundant evidence that comparing analogous examples can help students gain insight into important category-defining features (Gentner in Cogn Sci 34(5):752-775, 2010). Further, comparing high-similarity pairs can be especially effective at revealing key differences (Sagi et al. 2012). Across three experiments, we tested whether comparison of visually similar contrasting examples would help students learn the fault concept. Our main findings were that participants performed better at identifying faults when they (1) compared contrasting (fault/no fault) cases versus viewing each case separately (Experiment 1), (2) compared similar as opposed to dissimilar contrasting cases early in learning (Experiment 2), and (3) viewed a contrasting pair of schematic block diagrams as opposed to a single block diagram of a fault as part of an instructional text (Experiment 3). These results suggest that comparison of visually similar contrasting cases helped distinguish category-relevant from category-irrelevant features for participants. When such comparisons occurred early in learning, participants were more likely to form an accurate conceptual representation. Thus, analogical comparison of images may provide one powerful way to enhance spatial learning in geoscience and other STEM disciplines. PMID:23436210

  10. Finding faults: analogical comparison supports spatial concept learning in geoscience.

    PubMed

    Jee, Benjamin D; Uttal, David H; Gentner, Dedre; Manduca, Cathy; Shipley, Thomas F; Sageman, Bradley

    2013-05-01

    A central issue in education is how to support the spatial thinking involved in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated whether and how the cognitive process of analogical comparison supports learning of a basic spatial concept in geoscience, fault. Because of the high variability in the appearance of faults, it may be difficult for students to learn the category-relevant spatial structure. There is abundant evidence that comparing analogous examples can help students gain insight into important category-defining features (Gentner in Cogn Sci 34(5):752-775, 2010). Further, comparing high-similarity pairs can be especially effective at revealing key differences (Sagi et al. 2012). Across three experiments, we tested whether comparison of visually similar contrasting examples would help students learn the fault concept. Our main findings were that participants performed better at identifying faults when they (1) compared contrasting (fault/no fault) cases versus viewing each case separately (Experiment 1), (2) compared similar as opposed to dissimilar contrasting cases early in learning (Experiment 2), and (3) viewed a contrasting pair of schematic block diagrams as opposed to a single block diagram of a fault as part of an instructional text (Experiment 3). These results suggest that comparison of visually similar contrasting cases helped distinguish category-relevant from category-irrelevant features for participants. When such comparisons occurred early in learning, participants were more likely to form an accurate conceptual representation. Thus, analogical comparison of images may provide one powerful way to enhance spatial learning in geoscience and other STEM disciplines.

  11. Age-related differences in multiple task monitoring.

    PubMed

    Todorov, Ivo; Del Missier, Fabio; Mäntylä, Timo

    2014-01-01

    Coordinating multiple tasks with narrow deadlines is particularly challenging for older adults because of age related decline in cognitive control functions. We tested the hypothesis that multiple task performance reflects age- and gender-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability. Young and older adults completed a multitasking session with four monitoring tasks as well as separate tasks measuring executive functioning and spatial ability. For both age groups, men exceeded women in multitasking, measured as monitoring accuracy. Individual differences in executive functioning and spatial ability were independent predictors of young adults' monitoring accuracy, but only spatial ability was related to sex differences. For older adults, age and executive functioning, but not spatial ability, predicted multitasking performance. These results suggest that executive functions contribute to multiple task performance across the adult life span and that reliance on spatial skills for coordinating deadlines is modulated by age.

  12. Age-Related Differences in Multiple Task Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Todorov, Ivo; Del Missier, Fabio; Mäntylä, Timo

    2014-01-01

    Coordinating multiple tasks with narrow deadlines is particularly challenging for older adults because of age related decline in cognitive control functions. We tested the hypothesis that multiple task performance reflects age- and gender-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability. Young and older adults completed a multitasking session with four monitoring tasks as well as separate tasks measuring executive functioning and spatial ability. For both age groups, men exceeded women in multitasking, measured as monitoring accuracy. Individual differences in executive functioning and spatial ability were independent predictors of young adults' monitoring accuracy, but only spatial ability was related to sex differences. For older adults, age and executive functioning, but not spatial ability, predicted multitasking performance. These results suggest that executive functions contribute to multiple task performance across the adult life span and that reliance on spatial skills for coordinating deadlines is modulated by age. PMID:25215609

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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)

  17. Implicit transfer of spatial structure in visuomotor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Kanji; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2014-11-01

    Implicit learning and transfer in sequence learning are essential in daily life. Here, we investigated the implicit transfer of visuomotor sequences following a spatial transformation. In the two experiments, participants used trial and error to learn a sequence consisting of several button presses, known as the m×n task (Hikosaka et al., 1995). After this learning session, participants learned another sequence in which the button configuration was spatially transformed in one of the following ways: mirrored, rotated, and random arrangement. Our results showed that even when participants were unaware of the transformation rules, accuracy of transfer session in the mirrored and rotated groups was higher than that in the random group (i.e., implicit transfer occurred). Both those who noticed the transformation rules and those who did not (i.e., explicit and implicit transfer instances, respectively) showed faster performance in the mirrored sequences than in the rotated sequences. Taken together, the present results suggest that people can use their implicit visuomotor knowledge to spatially transform sequences and that implicit transfers are modulated by a transformation cost, similar to that in explicit transfer.

  18. Spatial relational learning in rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus).

    PubMed

    Henderson, Jonathan; Hurly, T Andrew; Healy, Susan D

    2006-07-01

    There is increasing evidence that animals can learn abstract spatial relationships, and successfully transfer this knowledge to novel situations. In this study, rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) were trained to feed from either the lower or the higher of two flowers. When presented with a test pair of flowers, one of which was at a novel height, they chose the flower in the appropriate spatial position rather than the flower at the correct height. This response may also have been influenced by a preference for taller flowers as acquisition of the task during experimental training occurred more readily when the reward flower was the taller of the pair. Thus, it appears that although learning abstract relationships may be a general phenomenon across contexts, and perhaps across species, the ease with which they are learned and the context in which they are subsequently used may not be the same.

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-08-16

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

  20. Facilitation of learning spatial relations among locations by visual cues: implications for theoretical accounts of spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Sturz, Bradley R; Brown, Michael F; Kelly, Debbie M

    2009-04-01

    Human participants searched in a real environment or interactive 3-D virtual environment open field for four hidden goal locations arranged in a 2 x 2 square configuration in a 5 x 5 matrix of raised bins. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: cues + pattern or pattern only. The participants experienced a training phase, followed by a testing phase. Visual cues specified the goal locations during training only for the cues + pattern group. Both groups were then tested in the absence of visual cues. The results in both environments indicated that the participants learned the spatial relations among goal locations. However, visual cues during training facilitated learning of the spatial relations among goal locations: In both environments, the participants trained with the visual cues made fewer errors during testing than did those trained only with the pattern. The results suggest that learning based on the spatial relations among locations may not be susceptible to cue competition effects and have implications for standard associative and dual-system accounts of spatial learning. PMID:19293099

  1. Deterioration of spatial learning performances in lipopolysaccharide-treated mice.

    PubMed

    Arai, K; Matsuki, N; Ikegaya, Y; Nishiyama, N

    2001-11-01

    It is well demonstrated that acute or chronic stress leads to reduction of learning ability. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, induces profound physiological and behavioral changes, including fever, decrease in food motivation, and decrease in social behavior. These changes might be interpreted as an acute stress reaction to the LPS. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the effects of LPS (400-800 microg/kg, i.p.) on spatial learning performances using C57BL/6J male mice. In the Morris water-maze task, spatial learning performances were examined in six trials of training for two consecutive days. LPS-treated mice took a longer time to reach the hidden platform than control mice (F(1,60)=4.80801, P<0.05 at 600 microg/kg). In addition, injection of LPS decreased the percent of correct choices in the Y-maze test (P<0.05 at 800 microg/kg). LPS, however, did not alter the body weight, grip tone, motor activity or swimming speed. Taken together, these results indicate that LPS treatment specifically impaired spatial learning performances.

  2. Later developments: molecular keys to age-related memory impairment.

    PubMed

    Barad, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Age-related memory impairment, a cognitive decline not clearly related to any gross pathology, is progressive and widespread in the population, although not universal. While the mechanisms of learning and memory remain incompletely understood, the study of their molecular mechanisms is already yielding promising approaches toward therapy for such "normal" declines in the efficiency of learning. This review presents the rationale and results for two such approaches. One approach, partial inhibition of the type IV cAMP specific phosphodiesterase, appears to act indirectly. Although little evidence supports an age-related decline in this system, considerable evidence indicates that this approach can facilitate the transition from short-term to long-term memory and thus counterbalance defects in long-term memory, which may be due to other causes. A second approach, inhibition of l-type voltage gated calcium channels (LVGCCs) may be a specific corrective for a molecular pathology of aging, as substantial evidence indicates that an ongoing increase occurs throughout the lifespan in the density of these channels in hippocampal pyramidal cells, with a concomitant reduction in cellular excitability. Because LVGCCs are also crucial to extinction, a paradigm of inhibitory learning, age-related memory impairment may be an unfortunate side effect of a developmental process necessary to the maturation of the ability to suppress inappropriate behavior, an interpretation consistent with the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging.

  3. 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.

  4. Short forms of the "reference-" and "working-memory" Morris water maze for assessing age-related deficits.

    PubMed

    Lindner, M D; Balch, A H; VanderMaelen, C P

    1992-09-01

    Short forms of the reference- and working-memory versions of the Morris water maze, each limited to 10 trials, were examined for their reliability and sensitivity to age-related deficits in 16- and 24-month F-344 rats, relative to 2- to 2.5-month young controls. The reference-memory task used long intertrial intervals of 23 h, but required learning only one target location, while the working-memory task used shorter intertrial intervals of 60 min but required learning many different target locations. The reference-memory task was very reliable, revealed large age-related deficits, and correctly identified almost all aged rats as impaired relative to young controls. The working-memory task was less reliable, revealed smaller deficits than the reference memory task at 24 months, and did not discriminate as well between 2.5- and 24-month rats. Furthermore, in the working-memory task 16- and 24-month rats had longer swim paths than 2- to 2.5-month rats on the first trial of each trial pair, which is suggestive of a deficit in processing spatial information and raises questions about the validity of this test as a specific test of working memory. Although the working-memory procedures may be preferable under certain conditions, perhaps as a measure specific to hippocampal dysfunction, the reference-memory task seems more sensitive to age-related deficits and more accurately identifies older rats as impaired. These results are consistent with previous reports that age-related deficits in acquiring spatial learning tasks are common and that the magnitude of the deficit increases as the length of the retention interval increases.

  5. Age-Related Cognitive Deficits In Rhesus Monkeys Mirror Human Deficits on an Automated Test Battery

    PubMed Central

    Nagahara, Alan H.; Bernot, Tim; Tuszynski, Mark H.

    2010-01-01

    Aged non-human primates are a valuable model for gaining insight into mechanisms underlying neural decline with aging and during the course of neurodegenerative disorders. Behavioral studies are a valuable component of aged primate models, but are difficult to perform, time consuming, and often of uncertain relevance to human cognitive measures. We now report findings from an automated cognitive test battery in aged primates using equipment that is identical, and tasks that are similar, to those employed in human aging and Alzheimer’s disease studies. Young (7.1 ± 0.8 years) and aged (23.0 ± 0.5 years) rhesus monkeys underwent testing on a modified version of the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB), examining cognitive performance on separate tasks that sample features of visuospatial learning, spatial working memory, discrimination learning, and skilled motor performance. We find selective cognitive impairments among aged subjects in visuospatial learning and spatial working memory, but not in delayed recall of previously learned discriminations. Aged monkeys also exhibit slower speed in skilled motor function. Thus, aged monkeys behaviorally characterized on a battery of automated tests reveal patterns of age-related cognitive impairment that mirror in quality and severity those of aged humans, and differ fundamentally from more severe patterns of deficits observed in Alzheimer’s Disease. PMID:18760505

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. Learning Visual Spatial Pooling by Strong PCA Dimension Reduction.

    PubMed

    Hosoya, Haruo; Hyvärinen, Aapo

    2016-07-01

    In visual modeling, invariance properties of visual cells are often explained by a pooling mechanism, in which outputs of neurons with similar selectivities to some stimulus parameters are integrated so as to gain some extent of invariance to other parameters. For example, the classical energy model of phase-invariant V1 complex cells pools model simple cells preferring similar orientation but different phases. Prior studies, such as independent subspace analysis, have shown that phase-invariance properties of V1 complex cells can be learned from spatial statistics of natural inputs. However, those previous approaches assumed a squaring nonlinearity on the neural outputs to capture energy correlation; such nonlinearity is arguably unnatural from a neurobiological viewpoint but hard to change due to its tight integration into their formalisms. Moreover, they used somewhat complicated objective functions requiring expensive computations for optimization. In this study, we show that visual spatial pooling can be learned in a much simpler way using strong dimension reduction based on principal component analysis. This approach learns to ignore a large part of detailed spatial structure of the input and thereby estimates a linear pooling matrix. Using this framework, we demonstrate that pooling of model V1 simple cells learned in this way, even with nonlinearities other than squaring, can reproduce standard tuning properties of V1 complex cells. For further understanding, we analyze several variants of the pooling model and argue that a reasonable pooling can generally be obtained from any kind of linear transformation that retains several of the first principal components and suppresses the remaining ones. In particular, we show how the classic Wiener filtering theory leads to one such variant. PMID:27171856

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:12657702

  12. 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

  13. Implicit Learning of Viewpoint-Independent Spatial Layouts

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchiai, Taiga; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2012-01-01

    We usually perceive things in our surroundings as unchanged despite viewpoint changes caused by self-motion. The visual system therefore must have a function to process objects independently of viewpoint. In this study, we examined whether viewpoint-independent spatial layout can be obtained implicitly. For this purpose, we used a contextual cueing effect, a learning effect of spatial layout in visual search displays known to be an implicit effect. We investigated the transfer of the contextual cueing effect to images from a different viewpoint by using visual search displays of 3D objects. For images from a different viewpoint, the contextual cueing effect was maintained with self-motion but disappeared when the display changed without self-motion. This indicates that there is an implicit learning effect in environment-centered coordinates and suggests that the spatial representation of object layouts can be obtained and updated implicitly. We also showed that binocular disparity plays an important role in the layout representations. PMID:22740837

  14. Topological Schemas of Cognitive Maps and Spatial Learning.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Spatial Generalization in Operant Learning: Lessons from Professional Basketball

    PubMed Central

    Neiman, Tal; Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2014-01-01

    In operant learning, behaviors are reinforced or inhibited in response to the consequences of similar actions taken in the past. However, because in natural environments the “same” situation never recurs, it is essential for the learner to decide what “similar” is so that he can generalize from experience in one state of the world to future actions in different states of the world. The computational principles underlying this generalization are poorly understood, in particular because natural environments are typically too complex to study quantitatively. In this paper we study the principles underlying generalization in operant learning of professional basketball players. In particular, we utilize detailed information about the spatial organization of shot locations to study how players adapt their attacking strategy in real time according to recent events in the game. To quantify this learning, we study how a make \\ miss from one location in the court affects the probabilities of shooting from different locations. We show that generalization is not a spatially-local process, nor is governed by the difficulty of the shot. Rather, to a first approximation, players use a simplified binary representation of the court into 2 pt and 3 pt zones. This result indicates that rather than using low-level features, generalization is determined by high-level cognitive processes that incorporate the abstract rules of the game. PMID:24853373

  16. Spatial generalization in operant learning: lessons from professional basketball.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Tal; Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2014-05-01

    In operant learning, behaviors are reinforced or inhibited in response to the consequences of similar actions taken in the past. However, because in natural environments the "same" situation never recurs, it is essential for the learner to decide what "similar" is so that he can generalize from experience in one state of the world to future actions in different states of the world. The computational principles underlying this generalization are poorly understood, in particular because natural environments are typically too complex to study quantitatively. In this paper we study the principles underlying generalization in operant learning of professional basketball players. In particular, we utilize detailed information about the spatial organization of shot locations to study how players adapt their attacking strategy in real time according to recent events in the game. To quantify this learning, we study how a make\\miss from one location in the court affects the probabilities of shooting from different locations. We show that generalization is not a spatially-local process, nor is governed by the difficulty of the shot. Rather, to a first approximation, players use a simplified binary representation of the court into 2 pt and 3 pt zones. This result indicates that rather than using low-level features, generalization is determined by high-level cognitive processes that incorporate the abstract rules of the game. PMID:24853373

  17. Spatial generalization in operant learning: lessons from professional basketball.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Tal; Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2014-05-01

    In operant learning, behaviors are reinforced or inhibited in response to the consequences of similar actions taken in the past. However, because in natural environments the "same" situation never recurs, it is essential for the learner to decide what "similar" is so that he can generalize from experience in one state of the world to future actions in different states of the world. The computational principles underlying this generalization are poorly understood, in particular because natural environments are typically too complex to study quantitatively. In this paper we study the principles underlying generalization in operant learning of professional basketball players. In particular, we utilize detailed information about the spatial organization of shot locations to study how players adapt their attacking strategy in real time according to recent events in the game. To quantify this learning, we study how a make\\miss from one location in the court affects the probabilities of shooting from different locations. We show that generalization is not a spatially-local process, nor is governed by the difficulty of the shot. Rather, to a first approximation, players use a simplified binary representation of the court into 2 pt and 3 pt zones. This result indicates that rather than using low-level features, generalization is determined by high-level cognitive processes that incorporate the abstract rules of the game.

  18. Immunology of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ambati, Jayakrishna; Atkinson, John P.; Gelfand, Bradley D.

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in aged individuals. Recent advances have highlighted the essential role of immune processes in the development, progression and treatment of AMD. In this Review we discuss recent discoveries related to the immunological aspects of AMD pathogenesis. We outline the diverse immune cell types, inflammatory activators and pathways that are involved. Finally, we discuss the future of inflammation-directed therapeutics to treat AMD in the growing aged population. PMID:23702979

  19. [Epidemiology of age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Leveziel, N; Delcourt, C; Zerbib, J; Dollfus, H; Kaplan, J; Benlian, P; Coscas, G; Souied, E H; Soubrane, G

    2009-06-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial and polygenic disease and is the main cause of vision loss in developed countries. The environmental factors of ARMD can modify prevalence and incidence of this disease. This article is a review of the main environmental factors currently recognized as at risk or protective factor for ARMD. Modification of these factors is of crucial importance because it could delay the onset of exudative or atrophic forms of the disease. PMID:19515460

  20. Allocentric spatial learning and memory deficits in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-07-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  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. 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.

  7. Age-related hair pigment loss.

    PubMed

    Tobin, Desmond J

    2015-01-01

    Humans are social animals that communicate disproportionately via potent genetic signals imbued in the skin and hair, including racial, ethnic, health, gender, and age status. For the vast majority of us, age-related hair pigment loss becomes the inescapable signal of our disappearing youth. The hair follicle (HF) pigmentary unit is a wonderful tissue for studying mechanisms generally regulating aging, often before this becomes evident elsewhere in the body. Given that follicular melanocytes (unlike those in the epidermis) are regulated by the hair growth cycle, this cycle is likely to impact the process of aging in the HF pigmentary unit. The formal identification of melanocyte stem cells in the mouse skin has spurred a flurry of reports on the potential involvement of melanocyte stem cell depletion in hair graying (i.e., canities). Caution is recommended, however, against simple extrapolation of murine data to humans. Regardless, hair graying in both species is likely to involve an age-related imbalance in the tissue's oxidative stress handling that will impact not only melanogenesis but also melanocyte stem cell and melanocyte homeostasis and survival. There is some emerging evidence that the HF pigmentary unit may have regenerative potential, even after it has begun to produce white hair fibers. It may therefore be feasible to develop strategies to modulate some aging-associated changes to maintain melanin production for longer. PMID:26370651

  8. [Age-related changes of the brain].

    PubMed

    Paltsyn, A A; Komissarova, S V

    2015-01-01

    The first morphological signs of aging of the brain are found in the white matter already at a young age (20-40 years), and later (40-50 years) in a gray matter. After the 40-50 years appear and in subsequently are becoming more pronounced functional manifestations of morphological changes: the weakening of sensory-motor and cognitive abilities. While in principle this dynamic of age-related changes is inevitable, the rate of their development to a large extent determined by the genetic characteristics and lifestyle of the individual. According to modem concepts age-related changes in the number of nerve cells are different in different parts of the brain. However, these changes are not large and are not the main cause of senile decline brain. The main processes that contribute to the degradation of the brain develop as in the bodies of neurons and in neuropil. In the bodies of neurons--it is a damage (usually decrease) of the level of expression of many genes, and especially of the genes determining cell communication. In neuropil: reduction in the number of synapses and the strength of synaptic connections, reduction in the number of dendritic spines and axonal buttons, reduction in the number and thickness of the dendritic branches, demyelination of axons. As the result of these events, it becomes a violation of the rate of formation and rebuilding neuronal circuits. It is deplete associative ability, brain plasticity, and memory. PMID:27116888

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. How do spatial learning and memory occur in the brain? Coordinated learning of entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells.

    PubMed

    Pilly, Praveen K; Grossberg, Stephen

    2012-05-01

    Spatial learning and memory are important for navigation and formation of episodic memories. The hippocampus and medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) are key brain areas for spatial learning and memory. Place cells in hippocampus fire whenever an animal is located in a specific region in the environment. Grid cells in the superficial layers of MEC provide inputs to place cells and exhibit remarkable regular hexagonal spatial firing patterns. They also exhibit a gradient of spatial scales along the dorsoventral axis of the MEC, with neighboring cells at a given dorsoventral location having different spatial phases. A neural model shows how a hierarchy of self-organizing maps, each obeying the same laws, responds to realistic rat trajectories by learning grid cells with hexagonal grid firing fields of multiple spatial scales and place cells with unimodal firing fields that fit neurophysiological data about their development in juvenile rats. The hippocampal place fields represent much larger spaces than the grid cells to support navigational behaviors. Both the entorhinal and hippocampal self-organizing maps amplify and learn to categorize the most energetic and frequent co-occurrences of their inputs. Top-down attentional mechanisms from hippocampus to MEC help to dynamically stabilize these spatial memories in both the model and neurophysiological data. Spatial learning through MEC to hippocampus occurs in parallel with temporal learning through lateral entorhinal cortex to hippocampus. These homologous spatial and temporal representations illustrate a kind of "neural relativity" that may provide a substrate for episodic learning and memory.

  13. 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…

  14. [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. PMID:20623902

  15. [Epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Brandl, C; Stark, K J; Wintergerst, M; Heinemann, M; Heid, I M; Finger, R P

    2016-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of blindness in industrialized societies. Population-based epidemiological investigations generate important data on prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and future trends. This review summarizes the most important epidemiological studies on AMD with a focus on their transferability to Germany including existing evidence for the main risk factors for AMD development and progression. Future tasks, such as the standardization of grading systems and the use of recent retinal imaging technology in epidemiological studies are discussed. In Germany, epidemiological data on AMD are scarce. However, the need for epidemiological research in ophthalmology is currently being addressed by several recently started population-based studies. PMID:27541733

  16. Inflammation in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ozaki, Ema; Campbell, Matthew; Kiang, Anna-Sophia; Humphries, Marian; Doyle, Sarah L; Humphries, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness in elderly individuals in the developed world, affecting 30-50 million people worldwide. AMD primarily affects the macular region of the retina that is responsible for the majority of central, color and daytime vision. The presence of drusen, extracellular protein aggregates that accumulate under the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), is a major pathological hallmark in the early stages of the disease. The end stage 'dry' and 'wet' forms of the disease culminate in vision loss and are characterized by focal degeneration of the RPE and cone photoreceptors, and choroidal neovascularization (CNV), respectively. Being a multifactorial and genetically heterogeneous disease, the pathophysiology of AMD remains unclear, yet, there is ample evidence supporting immunological and inflammatory processes. Here, we review the recent literature implicating some of these immune processes in human AMD and in animal models. PMID:24664703

  17. Consequences of Age-Related Cognitive Declines

    PubMed Central

    Salthouse, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Adult age differences in a variety of cognitive abilities are well documented, and many of those abilities have been found to be related to success in the workplace and in everyday life. However, increased age is seldom associated with lower levels of real-world functioning, and the reasons for this lab-life discrepancy are not well understood. This article briefly reviews research concerned with relations of age to cognition, relations of cognition to successful functioning outside the laboratory, and relations of age to measures of work performance and achievement. The final section discusses several possible explanations for why there are often little or no consequences of age-related cognitive declines in everyday functioning. PMID:21740223

  18. 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

  19. Age-related macular degeneration: current treatments

    PubMed Central

    Hubschman, Jean Pierre; Reddy, Shantan; Schwartz, Steven D

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Although important progress has been made in understanding age-related macular degeneration (AMD), management of the disease continues to be a challenge. AMD research has led to a widening of available treatment options and improved prognostic perspectives. This essay reviews these treatment options. Design: Interpretative essay. Methods: Literature review and interpretation. Results: Current treatments to preserve vision in patients with non-exudative AMD include antioxidant vitamins and mineral supplementations. Exudative AMD is currently most often treated monthly with anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. However, investigators are beginning to experiment with combination therapy and surgical approaches in an attempt to limit the number of treatment and reduce the financial burden on the health care system. Conclusion: By better understanding the basis and pathogenesis of AMD, newer therapies will continue to be developed that target specific pathways in patients with AMD, with the hoped for outcome of better management of the disease and improved visual acuity. PMID:19668560

  20. Dissociable effects of selective lesions to hippocampal subsystems on exploratory behavior, contextual learning, and spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Good, M; Honey, R C

    1997-06-01

    Rats received excitotoxic lesions of different subsystems within the hippocampal system--either the hippocampus proper (cornu ammonis and dentate gyrus; hippocampal lesions) or the entorhinal cortex-subicular region (entorhinal lesions). Subsequently, their activity in an operant chamber was monitored both before and after footshock had been delivered (Experiment 1). Rats with hippocampal lesions showed enhanced activity before the delivery of footshock and reduced freezing after the delivery of shock. Rats with entorhinal lesions showed control levels of activity before the delivery of footshock and control levels of freezing after the delivery of footshock. Both types of lesion impaired spatial learning in a water maze (Experiment 2). These results suggest that the deficits arising from damage to the hippocampal system in contextual and spatial learning have different origins. PMID:9189263

  1. Baclofen infused in rat hippocampal formation impairs spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Arolfo, M P; Zanudio, M A; Ramirez, O A

    1998-01-01

    Recent studies show that baclofen, a selective GABA(B) agonist, impairs different kinds of learning. In the present study we investigated the effect of microinfused baclofen into the hippocampus of male Wistar rats, on the performance in the Morris water maze. Rats of 8-10 weeks of age were implanted with cannulae aimed bilaterally at the hippocampal formation. Baclofen (1 microl of 0.2 mM, 2.0 mM, and 20.0 mM) or sterilized saline was microinfused 1 h before each daily session (3 trials/session, 1 session/day) for 4 days. On the fifth day, the animals did not receive drug or saline injections and the retention of the location of the escape platform was tested in a 30 s free swim trial. Results from the free swim trial indicate that the doses of baclofen used during training affected the ability of the rats to swim to the target quadrant. Although no significant difference compared with the saline group was observed, the experimental rats showed a more generalized swim trajectory in the area of the target and both adjacent quadrants. Moreover, 1 microl of 20.0 mM baclofen also impaired the acquisition. We suggest that baclofen has an impairing action on spatial learning, although more studies should be conducted to reach a more precise conclusion.

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

    PubMed Central

    Grieves, Roddy M.; Jenkins, Bryan W.; Harland, Bruce C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Spatial Learning Depends on Both the Addition and Removal of New Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dupret, David; Fabre, Annabelle; Döbrössy, Màtè Dàniel; Panatier, Aude; Rodríguez, José Julio; Lamarque, Stéphanie; Lemaire, Valerie; Oliet, Stephane H. R

    2007-01-01

    The role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in spatial learning remains a matter of debate. Here, we show that spatial learning modifies neurogenesis by inducing a cascade of events that resembles the selective stabilization process characterizing development. Learning promotes survival of relatively mature neurons, apoptosis of more immature cells, and finally, proliferation of neural precursors. These are three interrelated events mediating learning. Thus, blocking apoptosis impairs memory and inhibits learning-induced cell survival and cell proliferation. In conclusion, during learning, similar to the selective stabilization process, neuronal networks are sculpted by a tightly regulated selection and suppression of different populations of newly born neurons. PMID:17683201

  7. 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

  8. Aging, frailty and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Fulop, T; Larbi, A; Witkowski, J M; McElhaney, J; Loeb, M; Mitnitski, A; Pawelec, G

    2010-10-01

    The concept of frailty as a medically distinct syndrome has evolved based on the clinical experience of geriatricians and is clinically well recognizable. Frailty is a nonspecific state of vulnerability, which reflects multisystem physiological change. These changes underlying frailty do not always achieve disease status, so some people, usually very elderly, are frail without a specific life threatening illness. Current thinking is that not only physical but also psychological, cognitive and social factors contribute to this syndrome and need to be taken into account in its definition and treatment. Together, these signs and symptoms seem to reflect a reduced functional reserve and consequent decrease in adaptation (resilience) to any sort of stressor and perhaps even in the absence of extrinsic stressors. The overall consequence is that frail elderly are at higher risk for accelerated physical and cognitive decline, disability and death. All these characteristics associated with frailty can easily be applied to the definition and characterization of the aging process per se and there is little consensus in the literature concerning the physiological/biological pathways associated with or determining frailty. It is probably true to say that a consensus view would implicate heightened chronic systemic inflammation as a major contributor to frailty. This review will focus on the relationship between aging, frailty and age-related diseases, and will highlight possible interventions to reduce the occurrence and effects of frailty in elderly people. PMID:20559726

  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 macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ambati, Jayakrishna; Fowler, Benjamin J.

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive condition that is untreatable in up to 90% of patients, is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. The two forms of AMD, wet and dry, are classified based on the presence or absence of blood vessels that have disruptively invaded the retina, respectively. A detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wet AMD has led to several robust FDA-approved therapies. In contrast, there are not any approved treatments for dry AMD. In this review, we provide insight into the critical effector pathways that mediate each form of disease. The interplay of immune and vascular systems for wet AMD, and the proliferating interest in hunting for gene variants to explain AMD pathogenesis, are placed in the context of the latest clinical and experimental data. Emerging models of dry AMD pathogenesis are presented, with a focus on DICER1 deficit and the toxic accumulation of retinal debris. A recurring theme that spans most aspects of AMD pathogenesis is defective immune modulation in the classically immune-privileged ocular haven. Interestingly, the latest advances in AMD research highlight common molecular disease pathways with other common neurodegenerations. Finally, the therapeutic potential of intervening at known mechanisms of AMD pathogenesis is discussed. PMID:22794258

  11. Age related degradation in operating nuclear plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hermann, R.A.; Davis, J.A.; Banic, M.J.

    1995-12-01

    The aging issues being addressed for today`s operating commercial nuclear power plants encompass a wide spectrum of components, complexities, and reasons for concern. Issues include such things as the intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) of boiling water reactor (BWR) internals, the degradation of pressurized water reactor (PWR) Alloy 600 components by primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) to those associated with significant portions of piping systems, such as service water systems. a discussion of the regulatory activity and action associated with the above issues is provided. Proactive NRC/Industry programs for inspection and repair or replacement of affected components are essential for continued operation of these nuclear reactors. These programs are also essential as licensees consider license extensions for their facilities. These plants are licensed for 40 years and can be granted an extension for an additional 20 years of operation if all of the NRC rules and regulations are met. Proper handling of potential age related problems will be a key consideration in the granting of a license extension.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Using the Spatial Learning Index to Evaluate Performance on the Water Maze

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Inês Tomás; Burwell, Rebecca D.

    2016-01-01

    The Morris Water Maze was developed in 1981, and quickly became the standard task for assessing spatial memory and spatial navigation. Twenty years ago, (Gallagher, Burwell, & Burchinal, 1993) reported new variables and measures, including a spatial learning index, that greatly enhanced the utility of the Morris Water Maze for assessing subtle differences in performance on the task. The learning index provided a single number that could be used to elucidate neurobiological measures of hippocampal dysfunction, for example correlation of learning performance with a biomarker of aging. In this review, as part of the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Behavioral Neuroscience, we describe how the spatial learning index has contributed to the field of learning and memory, how it has advanced our understanding of normal and pathological cognitive aging, and how it has contributed to translation of findings into other species. Finally, we provide instruction into how the learning index can be extended to other tasks and datasets. PMID:26214218

  16. Using the spatial learning index to evaluate performance on the water maze.

    PubMed

    Tomás Pereira, Inês; Burwell, Rebecca D

    2015-08-01

    The Morris water maze was developed in 1981 and quickly became the standard task for assessing spatial memory and spatial navigation. Twenty years ago, Gallagher, Burwell, and Burchinal (1993) reported new variables and measures, including a spatial learning index, that greatly enhanced the utility of the Morris water maze for assessing subtle differences in performance on the task. The learning index provided a single number that could be used to elucidate neurobiological measures of hippocampal dysfunction, for example, correlation of learning performance with a biomarker of aging. In this review, as part of the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Behavioral Neuroscience, we describe how the spatial learning index has contributed to the field of learning and memory, how it has advanced our understanding of normal and pathological cognitive aging, and how it has contributed to translation of findings into other species. Finally, we provide instruction into how the learning index can be extended to other tasks and data sets.

  17. GENETICS OF HUMAN AGE RELATED DISORDERS.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, I; Thukral, N; Hasija, Y

    2015-01-01

    Aging is an inevitable biological phenomenon. The incidence of age related disorders (ARDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases increase rapidly with aging. ARDs are becoming a key social and economic trouble for the world's elderly population (above 60 years), which is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050. Advancement in understanding of genetic associations, particularly through genome wide association studies (GWAS), has revealed a substantial contribution of genes to human aging and ARDs. In this review, we have focused on the recent understanding of the extent to which genetic predisposition may influence the aging process. Further analysis of the genetic association studies through pathway analysis several genes associated with multiple ARDs have been highlighted such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cadherin 13 (CDH13), CDK5 regulatory subunit associated protein 1 (CDKAL-1), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), indicating that these genes could play a pivotal role in ARD causation. These genes were found to be significantly enriched in Jak-STAT signalling pathway, asthma and allograft rejection. Further, interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin (INS), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), estrogen receptor1 (ESR1), transforming growth factor, beta 1(TGFB1) and calmodulin 1 (CALM1) were found to be highly interconnected in network analysis. We believe that extensive research on the presence of common genetic variants among various ARDs may facilitate scientists to understand the biology behind ARDs causation. PMID:26856084

  18. 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

  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. Age-related forgetting in locomotor adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Malone, Laura A.; Bastian, Amy J.

    2016-01-01

    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-minute 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 weakens motor memories during rest breaks and that this phenomenon cannot be explained solely by reliance on a conscious strategy in older adults. PMID:26589520

  1. Chronic difluoromethylornithine treatment impairs spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Neeraj; Zhang, Hu; Liu, Ping

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are essential in maintaining normal cellular function. The present study investigated the effects of chronic treatment of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO, 3% in drinking water), a potent inhibitor of putrescine synthesis, for 54 consecutive days on animals'behavior and neurochemical levels in the CA1, CA2/3 and dentate gyrus sub-regions of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. The DFMO group showed performance impairments in the place navigation and the probe test conducted 24 h after the training in the reference memory version of the water maze task, but not in the elevated plus maze, open field, object recognition, cued navigation and the working memory version of the water maze task when compared to the control group (drinking water only). DFMO treatment resulted in approximately 80-90% and 20% of reductions in the putrescine and spermidine levels, respectively, in the four brain regions examined, and a small reduction in agmatine level in the CA2/3, with no effects on spermine, glutamate and γ-aminobutyrate. The DFMO group showed decreased body weight relative to the control one. However, there were no significant differences between groups in the normalized brain, kidney and liver weights. The present study demonstrates that chronic treatment of DFMO depletes putrescine and decreases spermidine levels in the brain, inhibits growth, and impairs spatial learning and memory in the reference memory version of the water maze specifically. These findings merit further investigation to fully understand the functional role of endogenous polyamines in learning and memory.

  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. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Grasby, Katrina; Talk, Andrew

    2013-03-01

    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.

  5. Age-Related Changes in the Misinformation Effect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Rachel; Hayne, Harlene

    2001-01-01

    Two experiments examined relation between age-related changes in retention and age-related changes in the misinformation effect. Found large age-related retention differences when participants were interviewed immediately and after 1 day, but after 6 weeks, differences were minimal. Exposure to misleading information increased commission errors.…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Cardiovascular Fitness and Cognitive Spatial Learning in Rodents and in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Barak, Boaz; Feldman, Noa

    2015-01-01

    The association between cardiovascular fitness and cognitive functions in both animals and humans is intensely studied. Research in rodents shows that a higher cardiovascular fitness has beneficial effects on hippocampus-dependent spatial abilities, and the underlying mechanisms were largely teased out. Research into the impact of cardiovascular fitness on spatial learning in humans, however, is more limited, and involves mostly behavioral and imaging studies. Herein, we point out the state of the art in the field of spatial learning and cardiovascular fitness. The differences between the methodologies utilized to study spatial learning in humans and rodents are emphasized along with the neuronal basis of these tasks. Critical gaps in the study of spatial learning in the context of cardiovascular fitness between the two species are discussed. PMID:25227128

  9. Formation of spatial and nonspatial memory in different condensed versions of short-term learning in Morris water maze.

    PubMed

    Zots, M A; Ivashkina, O I; Ivanova, A A; Anokhin, K V

    2014-03-01

    We studied the formation of spatial and nonspatial memory in mice during learning in three different condensed versions of Morris water maze task. Learning in combined version caused the formation of both spatial and nonspatial memory, whereas learning in condensed versions (spatial and nonspatial) led to memory formation specific for the version.

  10. Spatial Conditions: An Unheeded Medium in Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keiding, Tina Bering

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses spatiality as an educational category by asking how spatiality influences students' experiences of interactions in project-based teaching. It examines students' experiences with two different spatial conditions--namely, separate rooms, each accommodating a single group, or a much larger open space hosting multiple groups. It…

  11. 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.

  12. Inflammatory insult during pregnancy accelerates age-related behavioral and neurobiochemical changes in CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Li, Xue-Yan; Wang, Fang; Chen, Gui-Hai; Li, Xue-Wei; Yang, Qi-Gang; Cao, Lei; Yan, Wen-Wen

    2016-06-01

    Data shows that inflammation during pregnancy significantly exerts a long-term influence on offspring, such as increasing the risk of adult cognition decline in animals. However, it is unclear whether gestational inflammation affects the neurobehavioral and neurobiochemical outcomes in the mother-self during aging. In this study, pregnant CD-1 mice intraperitoneally received lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in two doses (25 and 50 g/kg, respectively) or normal saline daily during gestational days 15-17. At the age of 15 months, a battery of behavioral tasks was employed to evaluate their species-typical behaviors, sensorimotor ability, anxiety levels, and spatial learning and memory abilities. An immunohistochemical method was utilized preliminarily to detect neurobiochemical indicators consisting of amyloid-β, phosphorylated tau, presynaptic proteins synaptotagmin-1 and syntaxin-1, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and histone-4 acetylation on the K8 site (H4K8ac). The behavioral results showed that LPS exposure during pregnancy exacerbated a decline in 15-month-old CD-1 mice's abilities to nest, their sensorimotor and spatial learning and memory capabilities, and increased their anxiety levels. The neurobiochemical results indicated that gestational LPS exposure also intensified age-related hippocampal changes, including increased amyloid-β42, phosphorylated tau, synaptotagmin-1 and GFAP, and decreased syntaxin-1 and H4K8ac. Our results suggested that the inflammatory insult during pregnancy could be an important risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease, and the H4K8 acetylation might play an important role in the underlying mechanism. This study offers a perspective for improving strategies that support healthy development and successful aging.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Learning through EC directive based SEA in spatial planning? Evidence from the Brunswick Region in Germany

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, Thomas B.; Kidd, Sue; Jha-Thakur, Urmila; Gazzola, Paola; Peel, Deborah

    2009-11-15

    This paper presents results of an international comparative research project, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) on the 'learning potential of appraisal (strategic environmental assessment - SEA) in spatial planning'. In this context, aspects of 'single-loop' and 'double-loop' learning, as well as of individual, organisational and social learning are discussed for emerging post-EC Directive German practice in the planning region (Zweckverband) of Brunswick (Braunschweig), focusing on four spatial plan SEAs from various administrative levels in the region. It is found that whilst SEA is able to lead to plan SEA specific knowledge acquisition, comprehension, application and analysis ('single-loop learning'), it is currently resulting only occasionally in wider synthesis and evaluation ('double-loop learning'). Furthermore, whilst there is evidence that individual and occasionally organisational learning may be enhanced through SEA, most notably in small municipalities, social learning appears to be happening only sporadically.

  16. Spatial and nonspatial implicit motor learning in Korsakoff's amnesia: evidence for selective deficits.

    PubMed

    Van Tilborg, Ilse A D A; Kessels, Roy P C; Kruijt, Pauline; Wester, Arie J; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2011-10-01

    Patients with amnesia have deficits in declarative memory but intact memory for motor and perceptual skills, which suggests that explicit memory and implicit memory are distinct. However, the evidence that implicit motor learning is intact in amnesic patients is contradictory. This study investigated implicit sequence learning in amnesic patients with Korsakoff's syndrome (N = 20) and matched controls (N = 14), using the classical Serial Reaction Time Task and a newly developed Pattern Learning Task in which the planning and execution of the responses are more spatially demanding. Results showed that implicit motor learning occurred in both groups of participants; however, on the Pattern Learning Task, the percentage of errors did not increase in the Korsakoff group in the random test phase, which is indicative of less implicit learning. Thus, our findings show that the performance of patients with Korsakoff's syndrome is compromised on an implicit learning task with a strong spatial response component.

  17. 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.

  18. Mineralocorticoid receptors guide spatial and stimulus-response learning in mice.

    PubMed

    Arp, J Marit; ter Horst, Judith P; Kanatsou, Sofia; Fernández, Guillén; Joëls, Marian; Krugers, Harm J; Oitzl, Melly S

    2014-01-01

    Adrenal corticosteroid hormones act via mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the brain, influencing learning and memory. MRs have been implicated in the initial behavioral response in novel situations, which includes behavioral strategies in learning tasks. Different strategies can be used to solve navigational tasks, for example hippocampus-dependent spatial or striatum-dependent stimulus-response strategies. Previous studies suggested that MRs are involved in spatial learning and induce a shift between learning strategies when animals are allowed a choice between both strategies. In the present study, we further explored the role of MRs in spatial and stimulus-response learning in two separate circular holeboard tasks using female mice with forebrain-specific MR deficiency and MR overexpression and their wildtype control littermates. In addition, we studied sex-specific effects using male and female MR-deficient mice. First, we found that MR-deficient compared to control littermates and MR-overexpressing mice display altered exploratory and searching behavior indicative of impaired acquisition of novel information. Second, female (but not male) MR-deficient mice were impaired in the spatial task, while MR-overexpressing female mice showed improved performance in the spatial task. Third, MR-deficient mice were also impaired in the stimulus-response task compared to controls and (in the case of females) MR-overexpressing mice. We conclude that MRs are important for coordinating the processing of information relevant for spatial as well as stimulus-response learning.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. How Do Biases in Spatial Memory Change as Children and Adults Are Learning Locations?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Recker, Kara M.; Plumert, Jodie M.; Hund, Alycia M.; Reimer, Rachel

    2007-01-01

    This investigation tracked changes in categorical bias (i.e., placing objects belonging to the same spatial group closer together than they really are) while 7-, 9-, and 11-year-olds and adults were learning a set of locations. Participants learned the locations of 20 objects marked by dots on the floor of an open square box divided into…

  7. 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.

  8. The Age-Related Orientational Changes of Human Semicircular Canals

    PubMed Central

    Lyu, Hui-Ying; Chen, Ke-Guang; Yin, Dong-Ming; Hong, Juan; Yang, Lin; Zhang, Tian-Yu; Dai, Pei-Dong

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Some changes are found in the labyrinth anatomy during postnatal development. Although the spatial orientation of semicircular canals was thought to be stable after birth, we investigated the age-related orientational changes of human semicircular canals during development. Methods We retrospectively studied the computed tomography (CT) images of both ears of 76 subjects ranged from 1 to 70 years old. They were divided into 4 groups: group A (1–6 years), group B (7–12 years), group C (13–18 years), and group D (>18 years). The anatomical landmarks of the inner ear structures were determined from CT images. Their coordinates were imported into MATLAB software for calculating the semicircular canals orientation, angles between semicircular canal planes and the jugular bulb (JB) position. Differences between age groups were analyzed using multivariate statistics. Relationships between variables were analyzed using Pearson analysis. Results The angle between the anterior semicircular canal plane and the coronal plane, and the angle between the horizontal semicircular canal plane and the coronal plane were smaller in group D than those in group A (P<0.05). The JB position, especially the anteroposterior position of right JB, correlated to the semicircular canals orientation (P<0.05). However, no statistically significant differences in the angles between ipsilateral canal planes among different age groups were found. Conclusion The semicircular canals had tendencies to tilt anteriorly simultaneously as a whole with age. The JB position correlated to the spatial arrangement of semicircular canals, especially the right JB. Our calculation method helps detect developmental and pathological changes in vestibular anatomy. PMID:27090280

  9. The effects of telencephalic pallial lesions on spatial, temporal, and emotional learning in goldfish.

    PubMed

    Portavella, M; Vargas, J P; Torres, B; Salas, C

    In mammals, the pallial amygdala is implicated in emotional learning and memory, whereas the hippocampus is involved in spatial, contextual, or relational memory. This review presents a set of experiments aimed to study the involvement of the dorsomedial and dorsolateral telencephalon of goldfish in spatial and active avoidance learning. Results showed that (1) medial lesions impaired both acquisition and retention of conditioned avoidance response in two-way active avoidance learning experiments with stimuli overlapping (emotional factor) and with an interstimuli gap (temporal and emotional factors), and (2) the medial lesion did not affect spatial learning (spatial, contextual, or relational factors). In contrast, lateral lesions did not impair conditioned avoidance response with stimuli overlapping, but affected conditioned avoidance response with an interstimuli gap and spatial learning. These results support the presence of two differentiated memory systems in teleost fish based on discrete pallial regions: emotional (dorsomedial telencephalon) and spatial/temporal or relational (dorsolateral telencephalon). Furthermore, these functional data support the homology between the medial pallium of the teleost and the pallial amygdala of land vertebrates, and between the teleost lateral pallium and the mammalian hippocampus.

  10. [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. PMID:26572116

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Segregation of neural circuits involved in spatial learning in reaching and navigational space.

    PubMed

    Nemmi, Federico; Boccia, Maddalena; Piccardi, Laura; Galati, Gaspare; Guariglia, Cecilia

    2013-07-01

    Recent behavioral and neuropsychological studies suggest that visuo-spatial memory for reaching and navigational space is dissociated. In the present fMRI study, we investigated the hypothesis that learning spatial sequences in reaching and navigational space is processed by partially segregated neural systems. To this aim, we adapted the Corsi block tapping test (CBT) and the walking Corsi test (WalCT); the latter is a modification of the CBT in which subjects observe and reproduce spatial sequences by walking in a room instead of tapping wooden blocks on a table. Subjects were scanned while learning supra-span sequences of spatial locations through observation of video clips in which an actor tapped the blocks within reaching space (CBT) or walked on tiles placed on a carpet (WalCT). A large cerebral network spanning from visual occipital to parietal to frontal areas was activated during learning of both the CBT and the WalCT sequences. Within this network right lingual gyrus, calcarine sulcus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were specifically associated with learning in navigational space, whereas left inferior temporal gyrus, lingual and fusiform gyrus and middle occipital gyrus were associated with learning sequences in reaching space. These results support the idea of a partial segregation between neural circuits for reaching and navigational space not only in the domain of perception and action planning but also in spatial learning and long-term memory. PMID:23615031

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Hippocampal α-adrenoceptors involve in the effect of histamine on spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Torkaman-Boutorabi, Anahita; Danyali, Fatemeh; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2014-04-22

    Spatial learning is a model of higher human cognitive functions which is used for studying animal behavior. Histaminergic and noradrenergic systems play a modulatory role in learning and memory. The present study aimed to test the effects of α-adrenoceptor agonist/antagonist microinjection into the CA1 region of dorsal hippocampus on histamine-induced spatial learning facilitation in the water maze task. Pre-training intra-CA1 microinjection of α1- or α2-adrenergic agonist, phenylephrine (0.0025μg/rat) or clonidine (0.05μg/rat) decreased traveled distance and escape latency at the start of the training phase, suggesting a spatial learning facilitation; while the higher dose of the drugs (phenylephrine 0.005μg/rat, clonidine 0.2 and 0.5μg/rat) increased the performance level at the end of the training phase, indicating a water maze spatial acquisition impairment. However, α1-receptor antagonist, prazosin (1μg/rat) impaired spatial learning; α2-receptor antagonist, yohimbine (0.25μg/rat) facilitated spatial acquisition. Moreover, pre-training intra-CA1 microinjection of a subthreshold dose of phenylephrine (0.001μg/rat) reversed histamine response, while ineffective dose co-administration of clonidine (0.1μg/rat) potentiated histamine (0.01μg/rat) response. Subthreshold dose of prazosin or yohimbine did not alter histamine response. Bilateral infusion of histamine (0.05μg/rat) facilitated spatial learning by itself. Furthermore, the drug's injections had no effect on swimming speed on the training days of MWM. These results suggest that α-adrenergic receptors of the dorsal hippocampal CA1 regions may play an important role in histamine-induced facilitation of spatial acquisition.

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

    PubMed Central

    Aoki, Kenichi; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24211681

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:24404847

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:19969098

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23293591

  6. 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.

  7. [Impairment effects of tail suspension stress on spatial memory and its reversal learning in mice].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Qin; Wang, Gong-Wu; Duan, Qiu-Yan; Teng, Shi-Tong

    2011-08-01

    Present work investigated the effects of tail suspension stress (TSS) on spatial memory acquisition, consolidation, and its reversal learning in mice. Eighty-one adult male KM mice were divided into four groups (each group including a TSS subgroup and its control subgroup): absolute spatial memory acquisition and consolidation groups (group AA and CA); relative spatial memory acquisition and consolidation groups (group AR and CR). TSS (20 min) was performed immediately before (acquisition) or after (consolidation) a daily training. Results showed that there was no significant difference between control animals and TSS animals in each group in early spatial memory training days (5-8 d of training). Along with training, the performance of control animals improved significantly, but the performance of TSS animals improved slightly (group AA, CA and AR) or even did not change (group CR) (P<0.01). Reversal learning was also impaired in TSS animals (P<0.01). The results indicated that TSS could impair spatial memory acquisition, consolidation and reversal learning (especially the relative spatial memory consolidation and its reversal learning) in mice.

  8. Hyperspectral imagery super-resolution by compressive sensing inspired dictionary learning and spatial-spectral regularization.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-19

    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.

  9. Visual Priming Enhances the Effects of Non-Spatial Cognitive Rehabilitation Training on Spatial Learning after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Clarice M.; Kumar, Krishma; Koesarie, Kathleen; Brough, Elizabeth; Ritter, Anne C.; Brayer, Samuel W.; Thiels, Edda; Skidmore, Elizabeth R.; Wagner, Amy K.

    2015-01-01

    Previous work demonstrates that spatial (explicit) and non-spatial (implicit) elements of place learning in the Morris water maze (MWM) task can be dissociated and examined in the context of experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). Providing non-spatial cognitive training (CT) after injury can improve place learning compared to untrained controls. In the present study, we hypothesized that brief exposure to extra-maze cues, in conjunction with CT, may further improve MWM performance and extra-maze cue utilization compared to CT alone. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=66) received controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury or sham surgery. Beginning D8 post-surgery, CCI and Sham rats received 6 days to no training (NT) or cognitive training with/without brief, non-contextualized exposure to extra-maze cues (BE and CT, respectively). Acquisition (D14-D18), Visible Platform (VP; D19), Carryover (CO; D20-D26), and periodic probe trials were performed. Platform latencies, peripheral and target zone time allocation, and search strategies were assessed. CCI/BE rats had shorter acquisition trial latencies than CCI/NT (p<0.001) and tended to have shorter latencies than CCI/CT rats (p<0.10). Both BE and CT reduced peripheral zone swimming for CCI rats vs. CCI/NT. CCI/BE animals increased spatial swim strategies from D14 to D18 relative to CCI/CT and showed similar swim strategy selection to the Sham/NT group. These data suggest that visual priming improves initial place learning in the MWM. These results support the visual priming response as another clinically relevant experimental rehabilitation construct, to use when assessing injury and treatment effects of behavioral and pharmacological therapies on cognition after TBI. PMID:25665829

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Spatial Constraints on Learning in Visual Search: Modeling Contextual Cuing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Chun, Marvin M.

    2007-01-01

    Predictive visual context facilitates visual search, a benefit termed contextual cuing (M. M. Chun & Y. Jiang, 1998). In the original task, search arrays were repeated across blocks such that the spatial configuration (context) of all of the distractors in a display predicted an embedded target location. The authors modeled existing results using…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Circadian activity associated with spatial learning and memory in aging rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Haley, G E; Landauer, N; Renner, L; Weiss, A; Hooper, K; Urbanski, H F; Kohama, S G; Neuringer, M; Raber, J

    2009-05-01

    In rodents, spatial learning and memory tests require navigation, whereas in nonhuman primates these tests generally do not involve a navigational component, thus assessing nonhomologous neural systems. To allow closer parallels between rodent and primate studies, we developed a navigational spatial learning and memory task for nonhuman primates and assessed the performance of elderly (19-25 years) female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). The animals were allowed to navigate in a room containing a series of food ports. After they learned to retrieve food from the ports, a single port was repeatedly baited and the animals were tested until they learned the correct location. The location of the baited port was then changed (shift position). We also determined whether test performance was associated with circadian activity measured with accelerometers. Performance measures included trials to criterion, search strategies, and several indices of circadian activity. Animals learned the task as reflected in their search strategies. Correlations were found between the number of initial or shift trials and circadian activity parameters including day activity, dark:light activity ratio, sleep latency, and wake bouts. Thus, disruptions in circadian rhythms in nonhuman primates are associated with poorer performance on this novel test. These data support the usefulness of this spatial navigational test to assess spatial learning and memory in rhesus monkeys and the importance of circadian activity in performance.

  16. Spatial Learning Requires mGlu5 Signalling in the Dorsal Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shawn Zheng Kai; Ganella, Despina E; Dick, Alec Lindsay Ward; Duncan, Jhodie R; Ong-Palsson, Emma; Bathgate, Ross A D; Kim, Jee Hyun; Lawrence, Andrew J

    2015-06-01

    We examined the role of hippocampal metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) in spatial learning and memory. Although it has been shown that mGlu5 signalling is required for certain forms of learning and memory, its role in spatial learning is unclear since studies using pharmacological or knockout mice models provide inconsistent findings. Additionally, the location in the brain where mGlu5 signalling may modulate such learning is yet to be precisely delineated. We stereotaxically injected rAAV-Cre into the dorsal hippocampus of mGlu5(loxP/loxP) mice to knockdown mGlu5 in that region. We show for the first time that knockdown of mGlu5 in the dorsal hippocampus is sufficient to impair spatial learning in Morris Water Maze. Locomotor activity and memory retrieval were unaffected by the mGlu5 knockdown. Taken together, these findings support a key role for dorsal hippocampal mGlu5 signalling in spatial learning.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Contributions of Medial Temporal Lobe and Striatal Memory Systems to Learning and Retrieving Overlapping Spatial Memories

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Thackery I.; Stern, Chantal E.

    2014-01-01

    Many life experiences share information with other memories. In order to make decisions based on overlapping memories, we need to distinguish between experiences to determine the appropriate behavior for the current situation. Previous work suggests that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and medial caudate interact to support the retrieval of overlapping navigational memories in different contexts. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans to test the prediction that the MTL and medial caudate play complementary roles in learning novel mazes that cross paths with, and must be distinguished from, previously learned routes. During fMRI scanning, participants navigated virtual routes that were well learned from prior training while also learning new mazes. Critically, some routes learned during scanning shared hallways with those learned during pre-scan training. Overlap between mazes required participants to use contextual cues to select between alternative behaviors. Results demonstrated parahippocampal cortex activity specific for novel spatial cues that distinguish between overlapping routes. The hippocampus and medial caudate were active for learning overlapping spatial memories, and increased their activity for previously learned routes when they became context dependent. Our findings provide novel evidence that the MTL and medial caudate play complementary roles in the learning, updating, and execution of context-dependent navigational behaviors. PMID:23448868

  2. 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. PMID:26498865

  3. 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…

  4. A novel radial water tread maze tracks age-related cognitive decline in mice

    PubMed Central

    Pettan-Brewer, Christina; Touch, Dylan V.; Wiley, Jesse C.; Hopkins, Heather C.; Rabinovitch, Peter S.; Ladiges, Warren C.

    2013-01-01

    There is currently no treatment and cure for age-related dementia and cognitive impairment in humans. Mice suffer from age-related cognitive decline just as people do, but assessment is challenging because of cumbersome and at times stressful performance tasks. We developed a novel radial water tread (RWT) maze and tested male C57BL/6 (B6) and C57BL/6 x Balb/c F1 (CB6F1) mice at ages 4, 12, 20, and 28 months. B6 mice showed a consistent learning experience and memory retention that gradually decreased with age. CB6F1 mice showed a moderate learning experience in the 4 and 12 month groups, which was not evident in the 20 and 28 month groups. In conclusion, CB6F1 mice showed more severe age-related cognitive impairment compared to B6 mice and might be a suitable model for intervention studies. In addition, the RWT maze has a number of operational advantages compared to currently accepted tasks and can be used to assess age-related cognition impairment in B6 and CB6F1 mice as early as 12 months of age. PMID:24106580

  5. 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

  6. Sleep enhances a spatially mediated generalization of learned values.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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

  7. Spatial vision meets spatial cognition: examining the effect of visual blur on human visually guided route learning.

    PubMed

    Therrien, Megan E; Collin, Charles A

    2010-01-01

    Visual navigation is a task that involves processing two-dimensional light patterns on the retinas to obtain knowledge of how to move through a three-dimensional environment. Therefore, modifying the basic characteristics of the two-dimensional information provided to navigators should have important and informative effects on how they navigate. Despite this, few basic research studies have examined the effects of systematically modifying the available levels of spatial visual detail on navigation performance. In this study, we tested the effects of a range of visual blur levels--approximately equivalent to various degrees of low-pass spatial frequency filtering--on participants' visually guided route-learning performance using desktop virtual renderings of the Hebb-Williams mazes. Our findings show that the function of blur and time to finish the mazes follows a sigmoidal pattern, with the inflection point around +2 D of experienced defocus. This suggests that visually guided route learning is fairly robust to blur, with the threshold level being just above the limit for legal blindness. These findings have implications for models of route learning, as well as for practical situations in which humans must navigate under conditions of blur.

  8. New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov/news/fullstory_161359.html New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss Older people's brains have a ... the brain's ability to process speech declines with age. For the study, Alessandro Presacco and colleagues divided ...

  9. Role of intraamygdaloid acylated-ghrelin in spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Tóth, Krisztián; László, Kristóf; Lénárd, László

    2010-01-15

    According to recently published papers acylated-ghrelin (A-Ghr) modifies memory and learning. The basolateral nucleus of amygdala (ABL) participates in the regulation of memory and learning mechanisms. Previously we verified A-Ghr responsive neurons in the ABL by electrophysiological methods. In male Wistar rats effects of bilateral intraamygdaloid microinfusion of 50 ng, 100 ng A-Ghr, 15 ng Ghr receptor antagonist d-Lys3-GHRP-6 (ANT) or ANT+50 ng A-Ghr [dissolved in 0.15M sterile saline], or vehicle in 0.4 microl volume were investigated in Morris water maze paradigm. 50 ng A-Ghr significantly reduced latency to find the platform located in one of the quadrants of the maze. Effect of 50 ng A-Ghr was blocked by ANT pretreatment. ANT alone had no effect. Our results show that place learning linked memory processes are facilitated by A-Ghr in the rat ABL. It is a specific effect, because it could be eliminated by ANT pretreatment.

  10. 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

  11. Spatial learning deficits after the development of dorsomedial telencephalon lesions in goldfish.

    PubMed

    Saito, Kotaro; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2004-12-22

    The effects of lesions in the dorsal area of the caudal telencephalon (Carassius auratus) on the retention of spatial learning in goldfish were examined. The experimental paradigm was similar to the dry version of the Morris water maze for rodents. After being trained to reach a criterion, goldfish underwent surgery and were then retrained. In the retraining, dorsomedial lesions resulted in poor performance, while dorsolateral lesions did not. In a landmark task in which a small circular colored cue was set at a food location, dorsomedial lesions did not produce impairment during retraining. These results suggest that dorsomedial lesions selectively caused impairment in the retention of spatial learning.

  12. 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.

  13. Maze model to study spatial learning and memory in freely moving monkeys.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Tan, Hua; Sun, Ning-Lei; Wang, Jian-Hong; Meng, Zhi-Qiang; Li, Chuan-Yu; Fraser, Wilson A W; Hu, Xin-Tian; Carlson, Synnöve; Ma, Yuan-Ye

    2008-05-15

    Many types of mazes have been used in cognitive brain research and data obtained from those experiments, especially those from rodents' studies, support the idea that the hippocampus is related to spatial learning and memory. But the results from non-human primates researches regarding the role of the hippocampus in spatial learning and memory are controversial and inconsistent with those obtained in rodents. This might be due to the differences of the methods used in non-human primates and rodents. Several kinds of maze models including two-dimensional computerized visual maze models and three-dimensional maze models have been developed for non-human primates, but they all have some defects. Therefore, development of a maze model for non-human primates that is comparable with those used in rodents is necessary to solve the controversy. This paper describes a large-scale, three-dimensional outdoor maze model for non-human primates which can be used to study spatial learning and memory. Monkeys learn to use the maze quickly compared with two-dimensional computerized visual mazes. It has many advantages which could make up the limits of the existing three-dimensional mazes in non-human primates, and can be comparable with radial arm mazes used in rodents. Based on the results, we believe that the new maze model will be valuable in many research areas, especially in studies involving spatial learning and memory in freely moving monkeys.

  14. Treadmill exercise ameliorates disturbance of spatial learning ability in scopolamine-induced amnesia rats.

    PubMed

    Heo, Yu-Mi; Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Su-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Wook; Baek, Sang-Bin; Baek, Seung-Soo

    2014-06-01

    Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and this disease induces progressive loss of memory function Scopolamine is a non-selective muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist and it induces impairment of learning ability. Exercise is known to ameliorate memory deficits induced by various brain diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with cell proliferation in the hippocampus using the scopolamine-induced amnesia mice. For the induction of amnesia, 1 mg/kg scopolamine hydrobromide was administered intraperitoneally once a day for 14 days. Morris water maze test for spatial learning ability was conducted. Immonofluorescence for 5-bromo-2-deoxyuri-dine (BrdU) and western blot for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. In the present results, scopolamine-induced amnesia mice showed deterioration of spatial learning ability. Inhibition of cell proliferation and suppression of BDNF and TrkB expressions were observed in the scopolamine-induced amnesia mice. Treadmill exercise improved spatial learning ability and increased cell proliferation through activating of BDNF-TrkB pathway in the amnesia mice. These findings offer a possibility that treadmill exercise may provide preventive or therapeutic value for the memory loss induced by variable neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease.

  15. 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.

  16. Impaired spatial learning and reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis in histamine H1-receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Ambrée, Oliver; Buschert, Jens; Zhang, Weiqi; Arolt, Volker; Dere, Ekrem; Zlomuzica, Armin

    2014-08-01

    The histamine H1-receptor (H1R) is expressed in wide parts of the brain including the hippocampus, which is involved in spatial learning and memory. Previous studies in H1R knockout (H1R-KO) mice revealed deficits in a variety of learning and memory tasks. It was also proposed that H1R activation is crucial for neuronal differentiation of neural progenitors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate negatively reinforced spatial learning in the water-maze and to assess survival and neuronal differentiation of newborn cells in the adult hippocampus of H1R-KO mice. H1R-KO and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to the following sequence of tests: (a) cued version, (b) place learning, (c) spatial probe, (d) long-term retention and (e) reversal learning. Furthermore hippocampal neurogenesis in terms of survival and differentiation was assessed in H1R-KO and WT mice. H1R-KO mice showed normal cued learning, but impaired place and reversal learning as well as impaired long-term retention performance. In addition, a marked reduction of newborn neurons in the hippocampus but no changes in differentiation of neural progenitors into neuronal and glial lineage was found in H1R-KO mice. Our data suggest that H1R deficiency in mice is associated with pronounced deficits in hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Furthermore, we herein provide first evidence that H1R deficiency in the mouse leads to a reduced neurogenesis. However, the exact mechanisms for the reduced number of cells in H1R-KO mice remain elusive and might be due to a reduced survival of newborn hippocampal neurons and/or a reduction in cell proliferation.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The effect of subacute supplementation of taurine on spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Ito, Koichi; Arko, Matevz; Kawaguchi, Tomohiro; Kuwahara, Masayoshi; Tsubone, Hirokazu

    2009-04-01

    Although the effect of taurine on the heart and liver is well studied, there has been no direct observation concerning the effect of taurine on spatial learning and memory at the behavior level. In this study, we tested the effect of subacute taurine supplementation with evaluation by the Morris water maze method. Although swim distance to find the platform of taurine-supplemented rats was significantly longer than that of control rats due to increase of swimming velocity, escape latency and the efficacy of learning and memory was comparable in both groups. These results suggest that taurine supplemented orally does not affect the learning and memory function.

  1. 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

  2. Effects of glucocorticoids on age-related impairments of hippocampal structure and function in mice.

    PubMed

    He, Wen-Bin; Zhang, Jun-Long; Hu, Jin-Feng; Zhang, Yun; Machida, Takeo; Chen, Nai-Hong

    2008-02-01

    Effects of glucocorticoids (GCs) on maze-learning performances and hippocampal morphology were observed in male C57BL/6Cr mice. Correlations between aging, GCs and maze-learning performances were also studied. (2) Eight-arm radial maze was used in maze-learning tests. Learning performance was assessed by the parameters of time of getting all the bait, number of reentry errors into the already-entered arm with bait, and number of missed entries into an unbaited arm. Brain sections, 8 mum thick, were Nissl-stained with cresyl violet or stained immunocytochemically with antibodies against neurofilaments. (3) With aging, normal pyramidal cells decreased gradually in amount, and degenerating cells increased since the age of 18 months, accompanied with the maze-learning deficit. Here we have suggested that these changes were associated with the age-related deficits in adaptation tolerance of neurons to stress. In addition, the age-related deficits in plasticity of hippocampal neurons to GCs in young mice (3 months of age) resulted in an increase in plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentrations, degeneration of hippocampal pyramidal cells, as well as maze-learning deficits. (4) In conclusion, our data indicated that CORT caused the degeneration of hippocampal pyramidal cells and the impairment of memory.

  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. SEIZURES IN EARLY-LIFE SUPPRESS HIPPOCAMPAL DENDRITE GROWTH WHILE IMPAIRING SPATIAL LEARNING

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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 44 days 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 litter-mate 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. PMID:21777677

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  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. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Real-Time Data Display, Spatial Visualization Ability, and Learning Force and Motion Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kozhevnikov, Maria; Thornton, Ronald

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we examined how students' levels of spatial visualization ability interact with learning physics in a microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) environment. Undergraduate students who had taken an introductory physics course based on MBL tools were pre- and posttested at the beginning and at the end of the semester on spatial…

  15. 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.

  16. 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 =…

  17. 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…

  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. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Unexpected improvements of spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone intoxicated mice.

    PubMed

    Jia, Fengju; Song, Ning; Zhao, Chenyang; Xie, Junxia; Jiang, Hong

    2014-01-01

    The liposoluble insecticide rotenone is commonly used as a mitochondrial complex I inhibitor to replicate Parkinson's disease (PD) pathological features. However, there was no assessment of the spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone-induced PD models. In the present study, by rotarod test and Thioflavine T staining, we first noted the impairment of motor coordination in rotenone-treated group for 3 months, as well as alpha-synuclein inclusions in the nigral dopaminergic neurons in C57BL/6 mice with intragastrical delivery of rotenone (5 mg/Kg) for 3 months rather than 1 month. We then evaluated spatial learning and memory abilities by Morris water maze task in this model. The results showed escape latency reduced in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 3 months, indicating an improvement of learning ability. However, it was delayed slightly but not significantly in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 1 month. Similarly, we demonstrated that spatial memory ability was enhanced in 3-month-treatment group, but impaired in 1-month-treatment group. There were no proliferating cell nuclear antigen and doublecortin positive cells in the hippocampus by double immunofluorescent staining, indicating the absence of hippocampal neurogenesis in rotenone-intoxicated mice. These results suggest that spatial learning and memory abilities are disturbed in chronic rotenone-intoxicated PD model.

  2. Roles of oxytocin in spatial learning and memory in the nucleus basalis of Meynert in rats.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Yu, Long-Chuan

    2004-08-15

    The present study was performed to explore the role of oxytocin (OT) in spatial learning and memory in the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) of rats. The latency, distance and swimming path to find the platform were tested by Morris water maze and recorded by a video camera connected to a computer. Intra-NBM injections of 2 or 10 nmol of OT, but not 0.2 nmol of OT, induced significant increase on the latency of spatial learning. Rats receiving intra-NBM administrations of 2 or 10 nmol of OT showed a more random search pattern. There were no significant changes in the swimming speed in Morris water maze test after the injection of OT. Furthermore, the impaired effect of OT on the latency of spatial learning was blocked by intra-NBM injection of the selective OT antagonist Atosiban, indicating that the effect of OT was mediated by OT receptor in the NBM of rats. Moreover, there were no influences of OT or Atosiban on the retention performance in rats. The results suggest that OT plays an inhibitory role in spatial learning in the NBM; the effect is mediated by OT receptor.

  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. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24795625

  8. Spatial learning-induced egr-1 expression in telencephalon of gold fish Carassius auratus.

    PubMed

    Rajan, K Emmanuvel; Ganesh, A; Dharaneedharan, S; Radhakrishnan, K

    2011-03-01

    The immediate-early gene (egr-1) expression was used to examine the neuron's response in telencephalon of goldfish during spatial learning in small space. Fishes were pre-exposed in the experimental apparatus and trained to pick food from the tray in a rectangular-shaped arena. The apparatus was divided into identical compartments comprising three gates to provide different spatial tasks. After the fish learned to pass through the gate one, two more gates were introduced one by one. Fish made more number of attempts and took longer time (P < 0.05) to pass through the first gate than the gate two or three. This active learning induces the expression of egr-1 in telencephalon as established by western blot analysis. Subsequently, the fish learn quickly to cross the similar type of second and third gate and make fewer errors with a corresponding decline in the level of egr-1 expression. As the fish learned to pass through all the three gates, third gate was replaced by modified gate three. Interestingly, the level of egr-1 expression increased again, when the fish exhibit a high exploratory behavior to cross the modified gate three. The present study shows that egr-1 expression is induced in the telencephalon of goldfish while intensively acquiring geometric spatial information to pass through the gates. PMID:20714804

  9. 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

  10. Disruption of ripple-associated hippocampal activity during rest impairs spatial learning in the rat.

    PubMed

    Ego-Stengel, Valérie; Wilson, Matthew A

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampus plays a key role in the acquisition of new memories for places and events. Evidence suggests that the consolidation of these memories is enhanced during sleep. At the neuronal level, reactivation of awake experience in the hippocampus during sharp-wave ripple events, characteristic of slow-wave sleep, has been proposed as a neural mechanism for sleep-dependent memory consolidation. However, a causal relation between sleep reactivation and memory consolidation has not been established. Here we show that disrupting neuronal activity during ripple events impairs spatial learning. We trained rats daily in two identical spatial navigation tasks followed each by a 1-hour rest period. After one of the tasks, stimulation of hippocampal afferents selectively disrupted neuronal activity associated with ripple events without changing the sleep-wake structure. Rats learned the control task significantly faster than the task followed by rest stimulation, indicating that interfering with hippocampal processing during sleep led to decreased learning.

  11. Dusky damselfish Stegastes fuscus relational learning: evidences from associative and spatial tasks.

    PubMed

    Silveira, M M; Oliveira, J J; Luchiari, A C

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated the ability of the dusky damselfish Stegastes fuscus to associate conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (single CS-US) and to find a specific place in a clueless ambiece (spatial learning). After tested for colour preference and showing no specific colour attractively, the fish were trained to associate a colour cue with a stimulus fish (conspecific). Fish were then challenged to locate the exact place where the stimulus fish was presented. Stegastes fuscus spent most time close to the zone where stimulus was presented, even without obvious marks for orientation. The results confirm that S. fuscus show single CS-US learning and suggest the fish ability for spatial orientation. Stegastes fuscus appears to use multiple senses (sight and lateral line) for cues association and recall, and appear to perform relational learning similar to mammals. These data suggest the importance of cognitive skill for reef fishes that may have contributed to their establishment and evolutionary success in such complex environment.

  12. Mouse models of age-related mitochondrial neurosensory hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Han, Chul; Someya, Shinichi

    2013-07-01

    Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the elderly population. Overall, 10% of the population has a hearing loss in the US, and this age-related hearing disorder is projected to afflict more than 28 million Americans by 2030. Age-related hearing loss is associated with loss of sensory hair cells (sensory hearing loss) and/or spiral ganglion neurons (neuronal hearing loss) in the cochlea of the inner ear. Many lines of evidence indicate that oxidative stress and associated mitochondrial dysfunction play a central role in age-related neurodegenerative diseases and are a cause of age-related neurosensory hearing loss. Yet, the molecular mechanisms of how oxidative stress and/or mitochondrial dysfunction lead to hearing loss during aging remain unclear, and currently there is no treatment for this age-dependent disorder. Several mouse models of aging and age-related diseases have been linked to age-related mitochondrial neurosensory hearing loss. Evaluation of these animal models has offered basic knowledge of the mechanism underlying hearing loss associated with oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and aging. Here we review the evidence that specific mutations in the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that affect mitochondrial function result in increased oxidative damage and associated loss of sensory hair cells and/or spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea during aging, thereby causing hearing loss in these mouse models. Future studies comparing these models will provide further insight into fundamental knowledge about the disordered process of hearing and treatments to improve the lives of individuals with communication disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Mitochondrial function and dysfunction in neurodegeneration'.

  13. Age-related differences in human skin proteoglycans

    PubMed Central

    Carrino, David A; Calabro, Anthony; Darr, Aniq B; Dours-Zimmermann, Maria T; Sandy, John D; Zimmermann, Dieter R; Sorrell, J Michael; Hascall, Vincent C; Caplan, Arnold I

    2011-01-01

    Previous work has shown that versican, decorin and a catabolic fragment of decorin, termed decorunt, are the most abundant proteoglycans in human skin. Further analysis of versican indicates that four major core protein species are present in human skin at all ages examined from fetal to adult. Two of these are identified as the V0 and V1 isoforms, with the latter predominating. The other two species are catabolic fragments of V0 and V1, which have the amino acid sequence DPEAAE as their carboxyl terminus. Although the core proteins of human skin versican show no major age-related differences, the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) of adult skin versican are smaller in size and show differences in their sulfation pattern relative to those in fetal skin versican. In contrast to human skin versican, human skin decorin shows minimal age-related differences in its sulfation pattern, although, like versican, the GAGs of adult skin decorin are smaller than those of fetal skin decorin. Analysis of the catabolic fragments of decorin from adult skin reveals the presence of other fragments in addition to decorunt, although the core proteins of these additional decorin catabolic fragments have not been identified. Thus, versican and decorin of human skin show age-related differences, versican primarily in the size and the sulfation pattern of its GAGs and decorin in the size of its GAGs. The catabolic fragments of versican are detected at all ages examined, but appear to be in lower abundance in adult skin compared with fetal skin. In contrast, the catabolic fragments of decorin are present in adult skin, but are virtually absent from fetal skin. Taken together, these data suggest that there are age-related differences in the catabolism of proteoglycans in human skin. These age-related differences in proteoglycan patterns and catabolism may play a role in the age-related changes in the physical properties and injury response of human skin. PMID:20947661

  14. A complementary role of intracortical inhibition in age-related tactile degradation and its remodelling in humans.

    PubMed

    Pleger, Burkhard; Wilimzig, Claudia; Nicolas, Volkmar; Kalisch, Tobias; Ragert, Patrick; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2016-01-01

    Many attempts are currently underway to restore age-related degraded perception, however, the link between restored perception and remodeled brain function remains elusive. To understand remodeling of age-related cortical reorganization we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with assessments of tactile acuity, perceptual learning, and computational modeling. We show that aging leads to tactile degradation parallel to enhanced activity in somatosensory cortex. Using a neural field model we reconciled the empirical age-effects by weakening of cortical lateral inhibition. Using perceptual learning, we were able to partially restore tactile acuity, which however was not accompanied by the expected attenuation of cortical activity, but by a further enhancement. The neural field model reproduced these learning effects solely through a weakening of the amplitude of inhibition. These findings suggest that the restoration of age-related degraded tactile acuity on the cortical level is not achieved by re-strengthening lateral inhibition but by further weakening intracortical inhibition.

  15. 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. PMID:26171378

  16. The role of the entorhinal cortex in two forms of spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Bannerman, D M; Yee, B K; Lemaire, M; Wilbrecht, L; Jarrard, L; Iversen, S D; Rawlins, J N; Good, M A

    2001-12-01

    It is generally acknowledged that the rodent hippocampus plays an important role in spatial learning and memory. The importance of the entorhinal cortex (ERC), an area that is closely interconnected anatomically with the hippocampus, in these forms of learning is less clear cut. Recent studies using selective, fibre-sparing cytotoxic lesions have generated conflicting results, with some studies showing that spatial learning can proceed normally without the ERC, suggesting that this area is not required for normal hippocampal function. The present study compared cytotoxic and aspiration ERC lesions with both fimbria fornix (FFX) lesions and sham-operated controls on two spatial learning tasks which have repeatedly been shown to depend on the hippocampus. Both groups of ERC lesions were impaired during non-matching-to-place testing (rewarded alternation) on the elevated T-maze. However, neither of these lesions subsequently had any effect on the acquisition of a standard spatial reference memory task in the water maze. FFX lesions produced a robust and reliable impairment on both of these tasks. A second experiment confirmed that cytotoxic ERC lesions spared water maze learning but disrupted rewarded alternation on the T-maze, when the order of behavioural testing was reversed. These results confirm previous reports that ERC-lesioned animals are capable of spatial navigation in the water maze, suggesting that the ERC is not a prerequisite for normal hippocampal function in this task. The present demonstration that ERC lesions disrupt non-matching-to-place performance may, however, be consistent with the possibility that ERC lesions affect attentional mechanisms, for example, by increasing the sensitivity to recent reward history.

  17. Uncertain spatial reasoning of environmental risks in GIS using genetic learning algorithms.

    PubMed

    Shad, Rouzbeh; Shad, Arefeh

    2012-10-01

    Modeling the impact of air pollution is one of the most important approaches for managing damages to the ecosystem. This problem can be solved by sensing and modeling uncertain spatial behaviors, defining topological rules, and using inference and learning capabilities in a spatial reasoning system. Reasoning, which is the main component of such complex systems, requires that proper rules be defined through expert judgments in the knowledge-based part. Use of genetic fuzzy capabilities enables the algorithm to learn and be tuned to proper rules in a flexible manner and increases the preciseness and robustness of operations. The main objective of this paper was to design and evaluate a spatial genetic fuzzy system, with the goal of assessing environmental risks of air pollution due to oil well fires during the Persian Gulf War. Dynamic areas were extracted and monitored through images from NOAA, and the data were stored in an efficient spatial database. Initial spatial knowledge was determined by expert consideration of the application characteristics, and the inference engine was performed with genetic learning (GL) algorithms. Finally, GL (0.7 and 0.03), GL (0.7 and 0.08), GL (0.98 and 0.03), GL (0.98 and 0.08), and Cordon learning methods were evaluated with test and training data related to samples extracted from Landsat thematic mapper satellite images. Results of the implementation showed that GL (0.98, 0.03) was more precise than the other methods for learning and tuning rules in the concerned application. PMID:22068317

  18. Spatial learning associated with stimulus response in goldfish Carassius auratus: relationship to activation of CREB signalling.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel; Thangaleela, Subramanian; Balasundaram, Chellam

    2015-06-01

    Earlier, we reported spatial learning ability in goldfish (Carassius auratus) by using spatial paradigm with food reward. Therefore, we hypothesized that goldfish may use associated cue to integrate "where" and "what" for spatial memory. To test our hypothesis, we first trained goldfish to learn to cross the gate1, which is associated with spatial task. Subsequently, they were trained to learn to enter the task chamber and to identify the food reward chamber associated with visual cue (red/green light). Red and green lights were positioned randomly for each trial but always the food reward was kept in green chamber. In addition, to elucidate the role of the signalling cascade in spatial memory associated with visual cue, nicotinamide (NAM, 1000 mg/kg, i.p), a NAD(+) precursor, was used to inhibit the Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) pathway. Fishes were trained for 5 days in a maze after treating with either vehicle (VEH, DD H2O) or NAM, and then, they were individually tested for memory. We found that VEH-treated fish learned and recalled the task successfully by showing less latency and making more correct choices than NAM-treated group. Subsequent analysis showed that NAM treatment significantly down-regulated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), CREB, expression of SirT1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) in telencephalon. Taken together, our results provide behavioural evidence of spatial memory associated with visual cue in C. auratus, which could be regulated by ERK1/2-CREB-SirT1-Bdnf pathway.

  19. 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.

  20. Glutamatergic treatment strategies for age-related memory disorders.

    PubMed

    Müller, W E; Scheuer, K; Stoll, S

    1994-01-01

    Age-related changes of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors have been found in cortical areas and in the hippocampus of many species. On the basis of a variety of experimental observations it has been suggested that the decrease of NMDA receptor density might be one of the causative factors of the cognitive decline with aging. Based on these findings several strategies have been developed to improve cognition by compensating the NMDA receptor deficits in aging. The most promising approaches are the indirect activation of glutamatergic neurotransmission by agonists of the glycine site or the restoration of the age-related deficit of receptor density by several nootropics. PMID:7997073

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. A revised spatial serial learning and memory procedure using Corsi's Block-tapping apparatus.

    PubMed

    Crawford, S M; Dickson, A L; Baños, J H

    2000-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to use Corsi's Block Tapping Test as a spatial analog of Benton's Serial Digit Learning Test, using the cognitive neuroscience approach utilized in the California Verbal Learning Test. 60 normal participants, ages 19-52 years, were included and administered an 8-block sequence for 9 trials or until they recalled the entire sequence for 3 consecutive errorless trials. The score was the number of blocks tapped in the correct serial order. An interference trial was administered. Following a 10-min. delay, free recall of the original sequence, cued recall, and recognition measures were obtained. Retroactive interference was significant, but no proactive interference emerged. Scores showed a strong primacy effect. Most participants who learned the sequence to the criterion of three successive errorless trials recalled the sequence after the 10-min. delay. Scores on the cued recall and recognition trials tended to support their validity as less demanding retrieval tasks. The use of this spatial learning and memory procedure allows finer discriminations among nonverbal memory deficits and may facilitate direct comparisons with scores on verbal memory tasks such as Serial Digit Learning and the California Verbal Learning Test.

  4. Active and passive spatial learning in human navigation: acquisition of graph knowledge.

    PubMed

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R; Warren, William H

    2015-07-01

    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 information during walking is the primary active contributor to metric survey knowledge (Chrastil & Warren, 2013). In this study, we test the contributions of 3 components to topological graph and route knowledge: visual information, idiothetic information, and cognitive decision making. Four groups of participants learned the locations of 8 objects in a virtual hedge maze by (a) walking or (b) watching a video, crossed with (1) either making decisions about their path or (2) being guided through the maze. Route and graph knowledge were assessed by walking in the maze corridors from a starting object to the remembered location of a test object, with frequent detours. Decision making during exploration significantly contributed to subsequent route finding in the walking condition, whereas idiothetic information did not. Participants took novel routes and the metrically shortest routes on the majority of both direct and barrier trials, indicating that labeled graph knowledge-not merely route knowledge-was acquired. We conclude that, consistent with the exploration-specific learning hypothesis, decision making is the primary component of active learning for the acquisition of topological graph knowledge, whereas idiothetic information is the primary component for metric survey knowledge.

  5. Active and passive spatial learning in human navigation: acquisition of graph knowledge.

    PubMed

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R; Warren, William H

    2015-07-01

    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 information during walking is the primary active contributor to metric survey knowledge (Chrastil & Warren, 2013). In this study, we test the contributions of 3 components to topological graph and route knowledge: visual information, idiothetic information, and cognitive decision making. Four groups of participants learned the locations of 8 objects in a virtual hedge maze by (a) walking or (b) watching a video, crossed with (1) either making decisions about their path or (2) being guided through the maze. Route and graph knowledge were assessed by walking in the maze corridors from a starting object to the remembered location of a test object, with frequent detours. Decision making during exploration significantly contributed to subsequent route finding in the walking condition, whereas idiothetic information did not. Participants took novel routes and the metrically shortest routes on the majority of both direct and barrier trials, indicating that labeled graph knowledge-not merely route knowledge-was acquired. We conclude that, consistent with the exploration-specific learning hypothesis, decision making is the primary component of active learning for the acquisition of topological graph knowledge, whereas idiothetic information is the primary component for metric survey knowledge. PMID:25419818

  6. Chronic BDNF deficiency leads to an age-dependent impairment in spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Petzold, Anne; Psotta, Laura; Brigadski, Tanja; Endres, Thomas; Lessmann, Volkmar

    2015-04-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a crucial mediator of neural plasticity and, consequently, of memory formation. In hippocampus-dependent learning tasks BDNF also seems to play an essential role. However, there are conflicting results concerning the spatial learning ability of aging BDNF(+/-) mice in the Morris water maze paradigm. To evaluate the effect of chronic BDNF deficiency in the hippocampus on spatial learning throughout life, we conducted a comprehensive study to test differently aged BDNF(+/-) mice and their wild type littermates in the Morris water maze and to subsequently quantify their hippocampal BDNF protein levels as well as expression levels of TrkB receptors. We observed an age-dependent learning deficit in BDNF(+/-) animals, starting at seven months of age, despite stable hippocampal BDNF protein expression and continual decline of TrkB receptor expression throughout aging. Furthermore, we detected a positive correlation between hippocampal BDNF protein levels and learning performance during the probe trial in animals that showed a good learning performance during the long-term memory test.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:11031130

  10. PPARα agonist, fenofibrate, ameliorates age-related renal injury.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun Nim; Lim, Ji Hee; Kim, Min Young; Kim, Hyung Wook; Park, Cheol Whee; Chang, Yoon Sik; Choi, Bum Soon

    2016-08-01

    The kidney ages quickly compared with other organs. Expression of senescence markers reflects changes in the energy metabolism in the kidney. Two important issues in aging are mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) is a member of the ligand-activated nuclear receptor superfamily. PPARα plays a major role as a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes involved in various processes. In this study, 18-month-old male C57BL/6 mice were divided into two groups, the control group (n=7) and the fenofibrate-treated group (n=7) was fed the normal chow plus fenofibrate for 6months. The PPARα agonist, fenofibrate, improved renal function, proteinuria, histological change (glomerulosclerosis and tubular interstitial fibrosis), inflammation, and apoptosis in aging mice. This protective effect against age-related renal injury occurred through the activation of AMPK and SIRT1 signaling. The activation of AMPK and SIRT1 allowed for the concurrent deacetylation and phosphorylation of their target molecules and decreased the kidney's susceptibility to age-related changes. Activation of the AMPK-FOXO3a and AMPK-PGC-1α signaling pathways ameliorated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Our results suggest that activation of PPARα and AMPK-SIRT1 signaling may have protective effects against age-related renal injury. Pharmacological targeting of PPARα and AMPK-SIRT1 signaling molecules may prevent or attenuate age-related pathological changes in the kidney. PMID:27130813

  11. Nutritional antioxidants and age-related cataract and maculopathy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Loss of vision is the second greatest, next to death, fear among the elderly. Age-related cataract (ARC) and maculopathy (ARM) are two major causes of blindness worldwide. There are several important reasons to study relationships between risk for ARC/ARM and nutrition: (1) because it is likely that...

  12. [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.

  13. 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…

  14. Age-Related Factors in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Twyford, Charles William

    The convergence of several lines of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic research suggests possible explanations for age-related influences on language acquisition. These factors, which include cognitive development, sociocultural context, affective factors, and language input, can be helpful to language educators. By being alert to the cognitive…

  15. 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)

  16. Age-Related Differences in the Production of Textual Descriptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marini, Andrea; Boewe, Anke; Caltagirone, Carlo; Carlomagno, Sergio

    2005-01-01

    Narratives produced by 69 healthy Italian adults were analyzed for age-related changes of microlinguistic, macrolinguistic and informative aspects. The participants were divided into five age groups (20-24, 25-39, 40-59, 60-74, 75-84). One single-picture stimulus and two cartoon sequences were used to elicit three stories per subject. Age-related…

  17. Managed care implications of age-related ocular conditions.

    PubMed

    Cardarelli, William J; Smith, Roderick A

    2013-05-01

    The economic costs of age-related ocular diseases and vision loss are increasing rapidly as our society ages. In addition to the direct costs of treating age-related eye diseases, elderly persons with vision loss are at significantly increased risk for falls and fractures, experiencing social isolation, and suffering from an array of comorbid medical conditions compared with individuals with normal vision. Recent studies estimate the total economic burden (direct and indirect costs) of adult vision impairment in the United States at $51.4 billion. This figure is expected to increase as the baby boomer generation continues to age. While a number of highly effective new therapies have caused a paradigm shift in the management of several major age-related ocular diseases in recent years, these treatments come at a substantial cost. This article reviews the economic burdens and treatment-related costs of 4 major ocular diseases of aging-glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye disease-and the implications for managed care.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. Genistein improves spatial learning and memory in male rats with elevated glucose level during memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Kohara, Yumi; Kawaguchi, Shinichiro; Kuwahara, Rika; Uchida, Yutaro; Oku, Yushi; Yamashita, Kimihiro

    2015-03-01

    Cognitive dysfunction due to higher blood glucose level has been reported previously. Genistein (GEN) is a phytoestrogen that we hypothesized might lead to improved memory, despite elevated blood glucose levels at the time of memory consolidation. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared the effects of orally administered GEN on the central nervous system in normal versus glucose-loaded adult male rats. A battery of behavioral assessments was carried out. In the MAZE test, which measured spatial learning and memory, the time of normal rats was shortened by GEN treatment compared to the vehicle group, but only in the early stages of testing. In the glucose-loaded group, GEN treatment improved performance as mazes were advanced. In the open-field test, GEN treatment delayed habituation to the new environment in normal rats, and increased the exploratory behaviors of glucose-loaded rats. There were no significant differences observed for emotionality or fear-motivated learning and memory. Together, these results indicate that GEN treatment improved spatial learning and memory only in the early stages of testing in the normal state, but improved spatial learning and memory when glucose levels increased during memory consolidation.

  6. Cortical dynamics of contextually cued attentive visual learning and search: spatial and object evidence accumulation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Grossberg, Stephen

    2010-10-01

    How do humans use target-predictive contextual information to facilitate visual search? How are consistently paired scenic objects and positions learned and used to more efficiently guide search in familiar scenes? For example, humans can learn that a certain combination of objects may define a context for a kitchen and trigger a more efficient search for a typical object, such as a sink, in that context. The ARTSCENE Search model is developed to illustrate the neural mechanisms of such memory-based context learning and guidance and to explain challenging behavioral data on positive-negative, spatial-object, and local-distant cueing effects during visual search, as well as related neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging data. The model proposes how global scene layout at a first glance rapidly forms a hypothesis about the target location. This hypothesis is then incrementally refined as a scene is scanned with saccadic eye movements. The model simulates the interactive dynamics of object and spatial contextual cueing and attention in the cortical What and Where streams starting from early visual areas through medial temporal lobe to prefrontal cortex. After learning, model dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (area 46) primes possible target locations in posterior parietal cortex based on goal-modulated percepts of spatial scene gist that are represented in parahippocampal cortex. Model ventral prefrontal cortex (area 47/12) primes possible target identities in inferior temporal cortex based on the history of viewed objects represented in perirhinal cortex.

  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. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. Repeated Sleep Restriction in Adolescent Rats Altered Sleep Patterns and Impaired Spatial Learning/Memory Ability

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Su-Rong; Sun, Hui; Huang, Zhi-Li; Yao, Ming-Hui; Qu, Wei-Min

    2012-01-01

    Study Objectives: To investigate possible differences in the effect of repeated sleep restriction (RSR) during adolescence and adulthood on sleep homeostasis and spatial learning and memory ability. Design: The authors examined electroencephalograms of rats as they were subjected to 4-h daily sleep deprivation that continued for 7 consecutive days and assessed the spatial learning and memory by Morris water maze test (WMT). Participants: Adolescent and adult rats. Measurements and Results: Adolescent rats exhibited a similar amount of rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep with higher slow wave activity (SWA, 0.5-4 Hz) and fewer episodes and conversions with prolonged durations, indicating they have better sleep quality than adult rats. After RSR, adult rats showed strong rebound of REM sleep by 31% on sleep deprivation day 1; this value was 37% on sleep deprivation day 7 in adolescents compared with 20-h baseline level. On sleep deprivation day 7, SWA in adult and adolescent rats increased by 47% and 33%, and such elevation lasted for 5 h and 7 h, respectively. Furthermore, the authors investigated the effects of 4-h daily sleep deprivation immediately after the water maze training sessions on spatial cognitive performance. Adolescent rats sleep-restricted for 7 days traveled a longer distance to find the hidden platform during the acquisition training and had fewer numbers of platform crossings in the probe trial than those in the control group, something that did not occur in the sleep-deprived adult rats. Conclusions: Repeated sleep restriction (RSR) altered sleep profiles and mildly impaired spatial learning and memory capability in adolescent rats. Citation: Yang SR; Sun H; Huang ZL; Yao MH; Qu WM. Repeated sleep restriction in adolescent rats altered sleep patterns and impaired spatial learning/memory ability. SLEEP 2012;35(6):849-859. PMID:22654204

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25748826

  14. Knockdown of Nurr1 in the rat hippocampus: Implications to spatial discrimination learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:17142303

  15. Active sensing associated with spatial learning reveals memory-based attention in an electric fish.

    PubMed

    Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2016-05-01

    Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. PMID:26961107

  16. Hippocampal lesions impair rapid learning of a continuous spatial alternation task.

    PubMed

    Kim, Steve M; Frank, Loren M

    2009-01-01

    The hippocampus is essential for the formation of memories for events, but the specific features of hippocampal neural activity that support memory formation are not yet understood. The ideal experiment to explore this issue would be to monitor changes in hippocampal neural coding throughout the entire learning process, as subjects acquire and use new episodic memories to guide behavior. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether established hippocampally-dependent learning paradigms are suitable for this kind of experiment. The goal of this study was to determine whether learning of the W-track continuous alternation task depends on the hippocampal formation. We tested six rats with NMDA lesions of the hippocampal formation and four sham-operated controls. Compared to controls, rats with hippocampal lesions made a significantly higher proportion of errors and took significantly longer to reach learning criterion. The effect of hippocampal lesion was not due to a deficit in locomotion or motivation, because rats with hippocampal lesions ran well on a linear track for food reward. Rats with hippocampal lesions also exhibited a pattern of perseverative errors during early task experience suggestive of an inability to suppress behaviors learned during pretraining on a linear track. Our findings establish the W-track continuous alternation task as a hippocampally-dependent learning paradigm which may be useful for identifying changes in the neural representation of spatial sequences and reward contingencies as rats learn and apply new task rules.

  17. Finding the right motivation: genotype-dependent differences in effective reinforcements for spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Youn, Jiun; Ellenbroek, Bart A; van Eck, Inti; Roubos, Sandra; Verhage, Matthijs; Stiedl, Oliver

    2012-01-15

    Memory impairments of DBA/2J mice have been frequently reported in spatial and emotional behavior tests. However, in some memory tests involving food reward, DBA/2J mice perform equally well to C57BL/6J mice or even outperform them. Thus, it is conceivable that motivational factors differentially affect cognitive performance of different mouse strains. Therefore, spatial memory of DBA/2J and C57BL/6J mice was investigated in a modified version of the Barnes maze (mBM) test with increased complexity. The modified Barnes maze test allowed using either aversive or appetitive reinforcement, but with identical spatial cues and motor requirements. Both mouse strains acquired spatial learning in mBM tests with either reinforcement. However, DBA/2J mice learned slower than C57BL/6J mice when aversive reinforcement was used. In contrast, the two strains performed equally well when appetitive reinforcement was used. The superior performance in C57BL/6J mice in the aversive version of the mBM test was accompanied by a more frequent use of the spatial strategy. In the appetitive version of the mBM test, both strains used the spatial strategy to a similar extent. The present results demonstrate that the cognitive performance of mice depends heavily on motivational factors. Our findings underscore the importance of an effective experimental design when assessing spatial memory and challenges interpretations of impaired hippocampal function in DBA/2J mice drawn on the basis of behavior tests depending on aversive reinforcement.

  18. Mice with deficient BK channel function show impaired prepulse inhibition and spatial learning, but normal working and spatial reference memory.

    PubMed

    Typlt, Marei; Mirkowski, Magdalena; 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.

  19. Qualitative differences in tactuo-spatial motor learning by left-handers.

    PubMed

    Ward, J P; Alvis, G R; Sanford, C G; Dodson, D L; Pusakulich, R L

    1989-01-01

    Tactuo-spatial performance was studied as a function of subject handedness and hand employed in learning and transfer. Seventy-eight dextral and 75 sinistral blindfolded subjects learned a finger-maze with either dominant or nondominant hand. Transfer to the untrained hand was assessed with either an identical or a mirror-image version of the maze. Left hand acquisition required fewer trials; latencies were shorter when the dominant hand was used. All dextrals and those sinistral subjects who used the right hand in acquisition showed superior transfer to the identical maze. Sinistral subjects who used the left hand in acquisition demonstrated facilitated transfer to the mirror image maze. Results are suggested to provide evidence of two qualitatively different hemispheric strategies for encoding tactuo-spatial information. PMID:2797416

  20. Postnatal exposure to predator odor (TMT) enhances spatial learning in mice adulthood.

    PubMed

    Hacquemand, R; Jacquot, L; Brand, G

    2012-04-01

    Adult behavioral and physiological responses are partly dependent on neonatal experiences. In several animal species, enriched/aprovished environments and stressful/appeasing events are crucial in the setting of adaptative behaviors. However, little is known about the effects of postnatal exposure to predator odor (as unconditioned fear-related stimulus) on spatial learning at adulthood. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a postnatal exposure to 2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT, as a predator odor) on radial arm maze (RAM), Tolman maze (TM) and Morris water maze (MWM) in mice at adulthood. The results showed that a TMT group constituted by mice exposed postnatally during 3 weeks to TMT presented significantly better spatial learning achievements in adulthood compared to a water group, postnatally exposed to water only, as well as compared to a butanol group (butanol used as an odor without ecological significance) exposed postnatally to butanol during 3 weeks. PMID:22245526

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Veterans have less age-related cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    McLay, R N; Lyketsos, C G

    2000-08-01

    Military service involves exposure to a number of stresses, both psychological and physical. On the other hand, military personnel generally maintain excellent fitness, and veterans have increased access to education and health care. The overall effect on age-related cognitive decline, whether for good or ill, of having served in the armed forces has not been investigated previously. In this study, we examined a diverse population of 208 veterans and 1,216 civilians followed as part of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study in 1981, 1982, and 1993 to 1996. We examined change in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score after a median of 11.5 years. Veterans were found to have significantly less decrease in MMSE scores at follow-up even after sex, race, and education were taken into account. These results suggest an overall positive effect of military service on the rate of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:10957857

  5. Age-related cochlear hair cell loss in the chinchilla.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, T K; Dayal, V S

    1985-01-01

    The spiral organ of the chinchilla was studied by the surface-preparation technique in four different age groups: 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 4 years, to assess age-related hair cell loss. Decrease in hair cell population is linearly related to age, and damage rate of outer hair cells is greater than that of inner hair cells. The mean percentage of damaged total outer hair cells was 0.60%, 1.16%, 1.71%, and 7.07% in animals in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 4 years of age, respectively. Outer hair cell loss was greatest in the apex of the cochlea and, of these cells, the outermost row was the most affected. Damage to inner hair cells also increases with age. Age-related apical cochlear cell loss in the chinchilla is comparable to that observed in other laboratory animals. PMID:3970507

  6. The suprachiasmatic nucleus: age-related decline in biological rhythms.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Takahiro J; Takasu, Nana N; Nakamura, Wataru

    2016-09-01

    Aging is associated with changes in sleep duration and quality, as well as increased rates of pathologic/disordered sleep. While several factors contribute to these changes, emerging research suggests that age-related changes in the mammalian central circadian clock within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) may be a key factor. Prior work from our group suggests that circadian output from the SCN declines because of aging. Furthermore, we have previously observed age-related infertility in female mice, caused by a mismatch between environmental light-dark cycles and the intrinsic, internal biological clocks. In this review, we address regulatory mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms in mammals and summarize recent literature describing the effects of aging on the circadian system.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Age-Related Hyperkyphosis: Its Causes, Consequences, and Management

    PubMed Central

    Katzman, Wendy B.; Wanek, Linda; Shepherd, John A.; Sellmeyer, Deborah E.

    2010-01-01

    Age-related postural hyperkyphosis is an exaggerated anterior curvature of the thoracic spine, sometimes referred to as Dowager’s hump or gibbous deformity. This condition impairs mobility,2,31 and increases the risk of falls33 and fractures.26 The natural history of hyperkyphosis is not firmly established. Hyperkyphosis may develop from either muscle weakness and degenerative disc disease, leading to vertebral fractures and worsening hyperkyphosis, or from initial vertebral fractures that precipitate its development. PMID:20511692

  13. Superficial Layer-Specific Histaminergic Modulation of Medial Entorhinal Cortex Required for Spatial Learning.

    PubMed

    He, Chao; Luo, Fenlan; Chen, Xingshu; Chen, Fang; Li, Chao; Ren, Shuancheng; Qiao, Qicheng; Zhang, Jun; de Lecea, Luis; Gao, Dong; Hu, Zhian

    2016-04-01

    The medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) plays a crucial role in spatial learning and memory. Whereas the MEC receives a dense histaminergic innervation from the tuberomamillary nucleus of the hypothalamus, the functions of histamine in this brain region remain unclear. Here, we show that histamine acts via H1Rs to directly depolarize the principal neurons in the superficial, but not deep, layers of the MEC when recording at somata. Moreover, histamine decreases the spontaneous GABA, but not glutamate, release onto principal neurons in the superficial layers by acting at presynaptic H3Rs without effect on synaptic release in the deep layers. Histamine-induced depolarization is mediated via inhibition of Kir channels and requires the activation of protein kinase C, whereas the inhibition of spontaneous GABA release by histamine depends on voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels and extracellular Ca(2+). Furthermore, microinjection of the H1R or H3R, but not H2R, antagonist respectively into the superficial, but not deep, layers of MEC impairs rat spatial learning as assessed by water maze tasks but does not affect the motor function and exploratory activity in an open field. Together, our study indicates that histamine plays an essential role in spatial learning by selectively regulating neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in the superficial layers of the MEC.

  14. [Effect of sodium nitrite on phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and spatial learning and memory in rats].

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhi-Hong; Fan, Ling-Ling; Hu, Yong-Mei

    2015-10-25

    The present study was aimed to explore the effect of sodium nitrite on cytoskeletal protein phosphorylation and spatial learning and memory in rats. Rats were served with drinking water containing sodium nitrite (100 mg/kg) for 60 days, then, the ability of spatial learning and memory of the rats was measured by Morris water maze. Phosphorylation level of tau and neurofilament, and the expression of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit in the hippocampus were detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. In comparison with the rats served with normal tap water, the rats served with sodium nitrite water showed significantly longer latency to find the hidden platform in Morris water maze (P < 0.05), elevated phosphorylation level of tau and neurofilament, and decreased expression of PP2A catalytic subunit (P < 0.05). These results indicated that administration of sodium nitrite could impair the spatial learning and memory of the rats, and the hyperphosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and the down-regulation of PP2A might be underlying mechanisms for the impairment.

  15. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27444019

  16. Age related alterations of adrenoreceptor activity in erythrocyte membrane.

    PubMed

    Lomsadze, G; Khetsuriani, R; Arabuli, M; Intskirveli, N; Sanikidze, T

    2011-06-01

    The aim of the study was the investigation of age-related functional alterations of adrenoreceptors and the effect of agonist and antagonist drugs on age related adrenoreceptor activity in erythrocyte membrane. The impact of isopropanol and propanol on functional activity β- adrenergic receptors in red blood cell membrane were studied in 50 practically healthy men--volunteers. (I group--75-89 years old, II group--22-30 years old). The EPR signals S1 and S2 were registered in red blood cell membrane samples after incubation with isopropanol and propanol respectively. It was found that decreasing sensitivity (functional activity) of red blood cells membrane adrenoreceptors comes with aging (S1oldage-related hypertension, heart failure, type II diabetes and other diseases, The findings suggests that the erythrocyte could be a new therapeutic marker in the treatment different diseases.

  17. Telomere length variations in aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Rizvi, Saliha; Raza, Syed Tasleem; Mahdi, Farzana

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres are gene sequences present at chromosomal ends and are responsible for maintaining genome integrity. Telomere length is maximum at birth and decreases progressively with advancing age and thus is considered as a biomarker of chronological aging. This age associated decrease in the length of telomere is linked to various ageing associated diseases like diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, cancer etc. and their associated complications. Telomere length is a result of combined effect of oxidative stress, inflammation and repeated cell replication on it, and thus forming an association between telomere length and chronological aging and related diseases. Thus, decrease in telomere length was found to be important in determining both, the variations in longevity and age-related diseases in an individual. Ongoing and progressive research in the field of telomere length dynamics has proved that aging and age-related diseases apart from having a synergistic effect on telomere length were also found to effect telomere length independently also. Here a short description about telomere length variations and its association with human aging and age-related diseases is reviewed.

  18. Adverse environmental conditions influence age-related innate immune responsiveness

    PubMed Central

    May, Linda; van den Biggelaar, Anita HJ; van Bodegom, David; Meij, Hans J; de Craen, Anton JM; Amankwa, Joseph; Frölich, Marijke; Kuningas, Maris; Westendorp, Rudi GJ

    2009-01-01

    Background- The innate immune system plays an important role in the recognition and induction of protective responses against infectious pathogens, whilst there is increasing evidence for a role in mediating chronic inflammatory diseases at older age. Despite indications that environmental conditions can influence the senescence process of the adaptive immune system, it is not known whether the same holds true for the innate immune system. Therefore we studied whether age-related innate immune responses are similar or differ between populations living under very diverse environmental conditions. Methods- We compared cross-sectional age-related changes in ex vivo innate cytokine responses in a population living under affluent conditions in the Netherlands (age 20–68 years old, n = 304) and a population living under adverse environmental conditions in Ghana (age 23–95 years old, n = 562). Results- We found a significant decrease in LPS-induced Interleukin (IL)-10 and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) production with age in the Dutch population. In Ghana a similar age-related decline in IL-10 responses to LPS, as well as to zymosan, or LPS plus zymosan, was observed. TNF production, however, did not show an age-associated decline, but increased significantly with age in response to co-stimulation with LPS and zymosan. Conclusion- We conclude that the decline in innate cytokine responses is an intrinsic ageing phenomenon, while pathogen exposure and/or selective survival drive pro-inflammatory responses under adverse living conditions. PMID:19480711

  19. Soybean β-Conglycinin Prevents Age-Related Hearing Impairment.

    PubMed

    Tanigawa, Tohru; Shibata, Rei; Kondo, Kazuhisa; Katahira, Nobuyuki; Kambara, Takahiro; Inoue, Yoko; Nonoyama, Hiroshi; Horibe, Yuichiro; Ueda, Hiromi; Murohara, Toyoaki

    2015-01-01

    Obesity-related complications are associated with the development of age-related hearing impairment. β-Conglycinin (β-CG), one of the main storage proteins in soy, offers multiple health benefits, including anti-obesity and anti-atherosclerotic effects. Here, to elucidate the potential therapeutic application of β-CG, we investigated the effect of β-CG on age-related hearing impairment. Male wild-type mice (age 6 months) were randomly divided into β-CG-fed and control groups. Six months later, the body weight was significantly lower in β-CG-fed mice than in the controls. Consumption of β-CG rescued the hearing impairment observed in control mice. Cochlear blood flow also increased in β-CG-fed mice, as did the expression of eNOS in the stria vascularis (SV), which protects vasculature. β-CG consumption also ameliorated oxidative status as assessed by 4-HNE staining. In the SV, lipofuscin granules of marginal cells and vacuolar degeneration of microvascular pericytes were decreased in β-CG-fed mice, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. β-CG consumption prevented loss of spiral ganglion cells and reduced the frequencies of lipofuscin granules, nuclear invaginations, and myelin vacuolation. Our observations indicate that β-CG ameliorates age-related hearing impairment by preserving cochlear blood flow and suppressing oxidative stress.

  20. Spatial Learning and Action Planning in a Prefrontal Cortical Network Model

    PubMed Central

    Martinet, Louis-Emmanuel; Sheynikhovich, Denis; Benchenane, Karim; Arleo, Angelo

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21625569

  1. 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

  2. Effect of methylphenidate on enhancement of spatial learning by novel alternated dual task.

    PubMed

    Veetil, Praveen Kottath; Mukkadan, Joseph Kurian

    2011-01-01

    The novel alternated dual task (ADT) arranged rats to learn T-maze spontaneous alternation task and radial arm maze (RAM) task alternatively, and by doing ADT, rats could acquire the tasks more easily than non alternated dual task (NADT) group. Also retention capacity of ADT group was significantly more and ADT help to learn a complex task faster than learning it in isolation from other tasks. In the present study effect of methylphenidate (MPD), a mood elevator, known to enhance learning and memory, on ADT procedure is assessed. Also effect of ADT procedure and MPD on spatial learning and memory are compared. Different groups were assigned by administering MPD (intraperitoneal injection at a dose of 3 mg/kg body weight) during different phases of behavioural experiments, and control groups received saline injection. MPD administration increased both acquisition and retention capacities. The amelioration attained for retention of complex task by ADT procedure, could be achieved by NADT rats only by administration of MPD. The influence of ADT procedure on acquisition and retention of TM and RAM tasks were similar to the effects of MPD, especially for the RAM task. MPD at low dose is found to enhance the learning and memory capacity in rats, than deteriorating it, supporting the use of MPD as a drug to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The recent reports suggesting the effect of MPD only on retention and not on acquisition could not be confirmed, as enhancement for both acquisition and retention was found in this study. PMID:22319900

  3. How the Learning Path and the Very Structure of a Multifloored Environment Influence Human Spatial Memory.

    PubMed

    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

  4. How the Learning Path and the Very Structure of a Multifloored Environment Influence Human Spatial Memory.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Selective lesions of the dorsomedial striatum impair serial spatial reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Castañé, Anna; Theobald, David E H; Robbins, Trevor W

    2010-06-26

    Impairments in reversal learning have been attributed to orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) dysfunction in many species. However, the role of subcortical areas interconnected with the OFC such as the striatum remains poorly understood. This study directly evaluated the contribution of core and shell sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), dorsomedial (DMS) and dorsolateral (DLS) striatum to reversal learning of an instrumental two-lever spatial discrimination task in rats. Selective NAc core, DMS and DLS lesions were achieved with microinjections of quinolinic acid and NAc shell lesions with ibotenic acid. Damage to NAc core or shell did not affect retention of a previously acquired instrumental spatial discrimination. In contrast, DLS and DMS lesions produced changes in aspects of discrimination performance such as the latency to collect earned food pellets. Neither NAc core or shell lesions nor DLS lesions affected the main indices of reversal performance. Conversely, DMS lesion rats showed a significant impairment in reversal learning. DMS damage increased the number of errors to reach criteria that were perseverative in nature. The deficit in reversal learning in DMS lesion rats was not associated with an impairment to extinguish instrumental responding. There were no effects on spontaneous locomotor activity. Our data are in agreement with recent work showing that lesions of the medial striatum in marmoset monkeys produce perseverative impairments during a serial visual discrimination reversal task and support the hypothesis that dorsomedial striatal dysfunction contributes to pathological perseveration, which is a common feature of many psychiatric disorders.

  6. 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.

  7. Promotion of Cooperation in a Spatial Public Goods Game with Long Range Learning and Mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Yao; Hua, Da-Yin

    2012-11-01

    We studied the effect of population density in a spatial public goods game. We found that the effect on the evolution of cooperation is very complex when the strategy learning and mobility of players in a long range are considered in a two-dimensional lattice. As the learning range is larger than the mobility range, the system is driven to enter into a cooperation state for a low population density, because a small local group is beneficial to sustain a high level of cooperation. As population density increases to a moderate range, the mobility of players from a domain invaded by defectors supports the evolution stability of cooperation. When the mobility range is larger than the learning range, a formation of compact domains of cooperators promotes cooperation as the population density becomes high.

  8. 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…

  9. Testing the NMDA, long-term potentiation, and cholinergic hypotheses of spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Cain, D P

    1998-03-01

    The problems and issues associated with the use of pharmacological antagonists in studies on learning and memory are considered in a review of the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, NMDA receptor-mediated long-term potentiation (LTP), and muscarinic receptors in spatial learning in the water maze. The evidence indicates that neither NMDA nor muscarinic receptors, nor NMDA receptor-mediated LTP, are required for spatial learning, although they might normally contribute to it. Detailed behavioral analyses have indicated that the water maze task is more complex than generally has been appreciated, and has a number of dissociable components. Naive rats trained under NMDA or muscarinic antagonism display sensorimotor disturbances that interfere with their ability to acquire the task. Rats made familiar with the general requirements of the task can learn the location of a hidden platform readily under NMDA or muscarinic antagonism. The ability of a rat to acquire the water maze task depends on its ability to apply instinctive behaviors to performance of the task in an adaptive manner. The instinctive behaviors undergo modification as the rat learns the general strategies required in the task. The evidence suggests that at least some of the plastic changes involved in acquiring the task occur in existing neural circuits situated in widespread areas of the brain, including sensory and motor structures in the cortex and elsewhere, and are therefore difficult to distinguish from existing sensorimotor mechanisms. More generally, the findings indicate the difficulty of inferring the occurrence or nonoccurrence of learning from behavior, and the difficulty of causally linking the action of particular receptor populations with the formation of specific memories.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Activation of NO-cGMP Signaling Rescues Age-Related Memory Impairment in Crickets.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Motor Skills Enhance Procedural Memory Formation and Protect against Age-Related Decline.

    PubMed

    Müller, Nils C J; Genzel, Lisa; Konrad, Boris N; Pawlowski, Marcel; Neville, David; Fernández, Guillén; Steiger, Axel; Dresler, Martin

    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

  14. 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

  15. Enriched childhood experiences moderate age-related motor and cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Metzler, Megan J; Saucier, Deborah M; Metz, Gerlinde A

    2013-01-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Spatial learning in pigs: effects of environmental enrichment and individual characteristics on behaviour and performance.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Jarno; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Schouten, Willem G P; Spruijt, Berry M; Wiegant, Victor M

    2009-03-01

    This study investigated the effects of both environmental enrichment and individual behavioural characteristics on spatial cognitive capabilities of pigs, using a novel latent spatial learning paradigm based on Tolman's detour experiments (1948). Pigs were housed either in 'barren' pens or in pens enriched with straw bedding from birth. Pigs were restrained in a Backtest at 10 and 17 days postpartum. Based on their escape behaviour in this test, which has been shown to reflect their behavioural style, six 'high-resisting'(HR) and six 'low-resisting' (LR) pigs were selected from each housing environment (n = 24 in total). At 12 weeks of age, pairs of pen mates (LR and HR) were exposed to a maze three times (exploration trials). Pigs were then placed individually in the maze, and social reinstatement proved to be a strong incentive to find the exit leading to the home pen. We subsequently blocked the direct route to the exit, forcing animals to find a detour (memory test 1, MT1). This test was repeated once to investigate the relative improvement, i.e. detour learning (memory test 2, MT2). Housing condition and Backtest response strongly affected exploration patterns. In spite of this, no effects on performance during the subsequent memory tests were found. Performance was substantially improved in MT2, indicating that once a goal is apparent, pigs are able to solve a complex spatial memory task easily. In conclusion, social reinstatement provided a good incentive to complete a spatial task, and the substantial improvement in performance between MT1 and MT2 stresses the need for task complexity when testing spatial memory in pigs. Housing conditions or individual behavioural style did not affect spatial memory during MT1 or MT2. However, housing environment and behavioural style strongly affected explorative behaviour of pigs in an unfamiliar maze during both exploration trials and memory tests. This implicates that apparent effects of environmental enrichment on

  19. 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

  20. Continuous blockade of brain glucocorticoid receptors facilitates spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Oitzl, M S; Fluttert, M; Sutanto, W; de Kloet, E R

    1998-12-01

    Previously, a corticosterone surge associated with a learning task was shown to facilitate cognitive processes through brain glucocorticoid receptors (GR) while chronic overexposure to this stress hormone impaired cognition. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that opposing effects on learning and memory might also occur after either phasic or continuous blockade of brain GR by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of the GR antagonist RU38486 (aGR). We used a Morris water maze procedure to assess spatial learning and memory abilities in male Wistar rats. The effect of phasic brain GR blockade was studied following daily pretraining administration of 10 and 100 ng/microL aGR i.c.v. on 3 consecutive days. This repetitive aGR treatment impaired spatial learning and memory dose-dependently in comparison with vehicle controls. For continuous brain GR blockade, animals received an i.c.v., infusion of aGR (10 and 100 ng/0.5 microL per h or vehicle) over 10 days. Infusion of 100 ng aGR per hour resulted in a long-lasting facilitation of spatial performance. The 10 ng aGR infusion also caused initially a facilitating effect, which was, however, transient and performance became impaired during retest. Possible anxiolytic properties of the drugs were excluded in view of the animals' behaviour in the elevated plus maze. Both doses of aGR infusion reduced the number of mineralocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus, but only the high dose of aGR resulted in a significant reduction of available GR sites. In conclusion, continuous administration of GR antagonist improves cognitive function, while phasic blockade of brain GR function causes a cognitive deficit.

  1. 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.

  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 changes in the meibomian gland.

    PubMed

    Nien, Chyong Jy; Paugh, Jerry R; Massei, Salina; Wahlert, Andrew J; Kao, Winston W; Jester, James V

    2009-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the age-related changes of the mouse meibomian gland. Eyelids from adult C57Bl/6 mice at 2, 6, 12 and 24 months of age were stained with specific antibodies against peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) to identify differentiating meibocytes, Oil Red O (ORO) to identify lipid, Ki67 nuclear antigen to identify cycling cells, B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp1) to identify potential stem cells and CD45 to identify immune cells. Meibomian glands from younger mice (2 and 6 months) showed cytoplasmic and perinuclear staining with anti-PPARgamma antibodies with abundant ORO staining of small, intracellular lipid droplets. Meibomian glands from older mice (12 and 24 months) showed only nuclear PPARgamma localization with less ORO staining and significantly reduced acinar tissue (p < 0.04). Acini of older mice also showed significantly reduced (p < 0.004) numbers of Ki67 stained nuclei. While Blimp1 appeared to diffusely stain the superficial ductal epithelium, isolated cells were occasionally stained within the meibomian gland duct and acini of older mice that also stained with CD45 antibodies, suggesting the presence of infiltrating plasmacytoid cells. These findings suggest that there is altered PPARgamma receptor signaling in older mice that may underlie changes in cell cycle entry/proliferation, lipid synthesis and gland atrophy during aging. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that mouse meibomian glands undergo age-related changes similar to those identified in humans and may be used as a model for age-related meibomian gland dysfunction.

  4. Age-Related Deterioration of Rod Vision in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Fan, Jie; Crouch, Rosalie K.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.

    2010-01-01

    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 of 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 to 4 month-old animals. Aging also resulted in a 2-fold reduction in the total level of opsin in the retina. Behavioral tests revealed that scotopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were decreased by 2-fold 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. PMID:20720130

  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. Age-related differences in updating working memory.

    PubMed

    Van der Linden, M; Brédart, S; Beerten, A

    1994-02-01

    Age-related differences in updating working memory were investigated in two experiments using a running memory task. In the first experiment, the task of the young and elderly subjects was to watch strings of four to 10 consonants and then to recall serially the four most recent items. Results revealed no age effect. A second experiment was then carried out using a memory load that was close to memory span: lists of six to 12 consonants were presented and subjects had to recall the last six items. Age interacted with list length but not with serial position. This dissociation is discussed in terms of Baddeley's (1986) model.

  7. [Diagnostic Criteria for Atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kanji; Shiraga, Fumio; Ishida, Susumu; Kamei, Motohiro; Yanagi, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2015-10-01

    Diagnostic criteria for dry age-related macular degeneration is described. Criteria include visual acuity, fundscopic findings, diagnostic image findings, exclusion criteria and classification of severity grades. Essential findings to make diagnosis as "geographic atrophy" are, 1) at least 250 μm in diameter, 2) round/oval/cluster-like or geographic in shape, 3) sharp delineation, 4) hypopigmentation or depigmentation in retinal pigment epithelium, 5) choroidal vessels are more visible than in surrounding area. Severity grades were classified as mild, medium and severe by relation of geographic atrophy to the fovea and attendant findings. PMID:26571627

  8. 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

  9. [Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration intricacy].

    PubMed

    Valtot, F

    2008-07-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness among the elderly in Western nations. Age is also a well-known and well-evidenced risk factor for glaucoma. With increasing longevity and the rising prevalence of older people around the world, more and more patients will have glaucoma and AMD. Clinical evaluation of these patients still poses problems for clinicians. It is very important to order the right tests at the right time to distinguish glaucomatous defects from those caused by retinal lesions, because appropriate therapy has a beneficial effect on slowing or halting damage. PMID:18957915

  10. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Advances in Management and Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Yonekawa, Yoshihiro; Miller, Joan W.; Kim, Ivana K.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment in older populations in industrialized nations. AMD is a late-onset deterioration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium in the central retina caused by various environmental and genetic factors. Great strides in our understanding of AMD pathogenesis have been made in the past several decades, which have translated into revolutionary therapeutic agents in recent years. In this review, we describe the clinical and pathologic features of AMD and present an overview of current diagnosis and treatment strategies. PMID:26239130

  11. Squalamine lactate for exudative age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Connolly, Brian; Desai, Avinash; Garcia, Charles A; Thomas, Edgar; Gast, Michael J

    2006-09-01

    Squalamine lactate inhibits angiogenesis by a long-lived, intracellular mechanism of action. The drug is taken up into activated endothelial cells through caveolae, small invaginations in the cellular membrane. Subsequently, the drug binds to and "chaperones" calmodulin to an intracellular membrane compartment and blocks angiogenesis at several levels. A series of basic investigations, preclinical studies, and human clinical trials have begun to establish the proof of concept, efficacy, and safety parameters for use of squalamine lactate as a therapeutic agent for exudative age-related macular degeneration and several types of malignancies. PMID:16935213

  12. 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

  13. Prenatal oxycodone exposure impairs spatial learning and/or memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Davis, Chris P; Franklin, La'tonya M; Johnson, Gabriel S; Schrott, Lisa M

    2010-09-01

    Recent changes in demographic patterns of drug use have resulted in the increased non-medical use of prescription opiates. These users are younger and more likely to be female, which has the potential for increasing rates of in utero exposure. Therefore, we developed a rat model that simulates a prescription opiate-dependent woman who becomes pregnant. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated for 30 days via oral gavage with ascending doses of oxycodone HCl up to a final dose of 15mg/kg/day, which was maintained during breeding and gestation. Controls were treated with water. The adult male offspring of these treated dams were tested on the radial arm maze, the Morris water maze (with a short and a long intertrial interval), and a spatial T-maze. Prenatal oxycodone exposure led to a deficit in the radial arm maze characterized by a greater number of reference memory errors, especially in the beginning of testing. In contrast, in the T-maze, prenatal oxycodone-exposed rats learned the task as well as well as the prenatal water controls. However, they had a modest deficit in retention of the task when assessed 5 days after acquisition training ended. For the Morris water maze, the intertrial interval affected the pattern of learning. While there was no deficit when the training had a short intertrial interval, when there was a long intertrial interval, prenatal oxycodone-exposed rats had poorer acquisition. The spatial learning deficit was characterized by and increased latency to find and a greater distance traveled to the platform in the prenatal oxycodone-exposed rats. These data were corroborated by analysis of the behavioral search strategy, which showed a decreased use of spatial strategies and an increase in non-spatial strategies, especially wall-hugging, in prenatal oxycodone-exposed rats as compared to prenatal water control rats on day 2 of acquisition. These results indicate that prenatal oxycodone exposure consistently impairs learning and memory in

  14. Nitric oxide synthase inhibition impairs spatial navigation learning and induces conditioned taste aversion.

    PubMed

    Prendergast, M A; Buccafusco, J J; Terry, A V

    1997-01-01

    The free radical gas nitric oxide (NO) is formed from the amino acid precursor L-arginine in brain regions which are associated with learning and the formation of memory. We have previously reported that administration of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-Name) impairs delayed recall in non-human primates but that, at higher doses, impairment is associated with aversive gastrointestinal side effects. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of L-Name on learning in a rat spatial navigation task and to assess the ability of L-Name to induce a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to a novel sucrose solution in a two-bottle choice paradigm. In the Morris water maze. L-Name (5, 20, and 50 mg/kg) markedly impaired cued spatial learning required to locate a hidden platform on three consecutive days of testing, but did not affect general activity levels. These data also demonstrated the ability of L-Name to induce a potent CTA, though only with the 20 and 50 mg/kg doses. Both the impairment of learning and CTA were blocked by administration of a mole equivalent dose of L-arginine, indicating that attenuated NO activity was associated with both behavioral effects. These data demonstrate that inhibition of NO activity by L-Name induces significant and selective impairment of cognitive performance at low pharmacologic doses (< 20 mg/kg). However, with higher doses of NOS inhibitors, impairment may be a secondary effect of drug-induced malaise, possibly related to peristaltic dysregulation of gastrointestinal musculature. Therefore, conclusions as to the mediation of learning and memory processes by CNS NO may be difficult to interpret without the use of selective, centrally-acting compounds.

  15. 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

  16. Interaction of spatial perception, vestibular function, and exercise in young school age boys with learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Byl, N N; Byl, F M; Rosenthal, J H

    1989-06-01

    Form rotation, figure directionality, and figure-ground discrimination were evaluated before and after 10 days of vestibular or aerobic exercises for 30 boys (7 to 12 yr.) who showed problems in learning, reading, and inattention. Eight subjects had normal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) responses as determined by caloric and rotational testing. They were assigned to a vestibular program (Control Group I). The 22 subjects with abnormal VOR test responses were randomly assigned to either aerobic exercises (Experimental Group II) or a vestibular program (Experimental Group III). Spatial perceptual test scores varied widely, with the majority performing below age-expected norms but no significant differences on vestibular status appeared. Postexercise, only subjects completing the vestibular program made significant gains: Experimental Group III (abnormal VOR) made significant gains in accuracy and normal test responses compared to the other groups, and Control Group I made significantly greater gains in speed of spatial perceptual processing. For boys with problems in learning, reading, inattention, and vestibular function, a vestibular exercise program complementing a traditional or special educational program may enhance the spatial perceptual skills needed for reading.

  17. Spatial learning and memory differs between single and cohabitated guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Machatschke, Ivo H; Bauer, Barbara; Glenk, Lisa M; Millesi, Eva; Wallner, Bernard

    2011-03-01

    In socially-living animals, social enrichment enhances spatial learning and memory while separation from conspecifics can severely impair these abilities. In the present work, guinea pigs were kept in isolation or cohabitated in heterosexual pairs and then subjected to a labyrinth task. Latency-time to bait, error-rate, amount of movement and pre- and post-experimental cortisol (CORT) were registered. During a 5d-acquisition phase, single animals (N=19) showed a more efficient encoding of spatial information, with significantly decreased latency-time and error-rate over the time course. In contrast, cohabitated animals (N=19) did not show a significant improvement. Three days after acquisition, memory was tested in a retention test, under the same conditions. With regard to behavioral performance, there was no significant difference between cohabitated and single animals. Pre-experimental CORT was significantly higher in cohabitated animals when compared to single ones. Post-experimentally, CORT increased significantly in singles but not in cohabitated animals when compared to pre-experimental values. Thus, both groups did not differ from each other at that point. Social condition seemed to be an important modulator, in that learning and memory were more impaired in paired animals than in single ones. The failure of cohabitated animals to encode spatial memory more quickly may have been caused by a more chronically up-regulated HPA-axis. The post-experimental CORT increase of singles may be due to more efficient handling of short-term stress exposure.

  18. Gradual learning and the evolution of cooperation in the spatial Continuous Prisoner's Dilemma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez, R.; Lugo, H.; San Miguel, M.

    2009-09-01

    The usual mechanism for modeling learning in spatially structured evolutionary games has to date been imitation of some successful neighbor. However, it seems natural that individuals hesitate to imitate their neighbor’s acts, specially if they can imply high costs. Here we study the effect of incorporating resistance to imitation on these models. Our framework is the spatial Continuous Prisoner’s Dilemma. For this evolutionary game, it has been reported that occasional errors in the imitation process can explain the emergence of cooperation from a non-cooperative initial state. In this work, we show that this only occurs for particular regimes of low costs of cooperation. Furthermore, we display how resistance gets greater the range of scenarios where cooperative individuals can invade selfish populations. In this context, where resistance to imitation can be interpreted as a general rule of gradual learning, our results show that the less that is learnt in a single step from a successful neighbors, the larger the degree of global cooperation finally attained. In general, the effect of step-by-step learning can be more efficient for the evolution of cooperation than a full blast one.

  19. Normal spatial and contextual learning for ketamine-treated rats in the pilocarpine epilepsy model.

    PubMed

    McKay, B E; Persinger, M A

    2004-05-01

    Cognitive impairments frequently accompany epileptic disorders. Here, we examine two neuroprotective agents, the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist ketamine and the dopaminergic antagonist acepromazine, for their efficacy in attenuating cognitive impairments in the lithium-pilocarpine (LI-PILO) model of rat limbic epilepsy. Declarative-like cognitive behaviors were assessed in a Morris water maze task that consisted successively of spatial and nonspatial (cued platform) training. Whereas the ketamine-treated (Ket) LI-PILO rats performed equally in all respects to nonseized control rats for the spatial and nonspatial components of the water maze task, the acepromazine-treated (Ace) LI-PILO rats failed to demonstrate learning in either the hidden or cued platform variants of the task and did not demonstrate any place learning in the platform-removed probe trials. We further assessed nondeclarative (associative) cognitive behaviors with a standard contextual fear-conditioning protocol. LI-PILO rats treated with acepromazine failed to learn the Pavlovian relationship; Ket LI-PILO rats performed equivalently to nonseized controls. Cumulatively, these data suggest robust cognitive sparing for LI-PILO rats with pharmacological NMDA receptor antagonism following induction of status epilepticus (SE). This cognitive sparing occurs despite earlier findings that the mean amount of total brain damage with LI-PILO is equivalent for Ket and Ace rats.

  20. Spatial learning deficits in rats after injection of vincristine into the dorsal hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Eijkenboom, M; Van Der Staay, F J

    1999-01-01

    In the present study, performance in the Morris water escape task after bilateral lesioning of the dorsal hippocampus induced by the microtubule poison vincristine is discussed as a cognitive deficit model in rats. As we are especially interested in spontaneous or pharmacologically induced recovery processes after experimentally induced cognitive dysfunctions, the model should fulfil a number of criteria. Firstly, a clear dose-effect relationship between the dose of vincristine and the amount of spatial learning impairments should be present. Secondly, lesions must remain within the target area. Thirdly, there should be an observable behavioural recovery or compensation of the induced deficit. Two experiments evaluated the influence of the application volume (experiment 1) and the concentration of vincristine (experiment 2) on lesion location and size, and on spatial learning. The results of both experiments demonstrated that the effect of vincristine on the performance in the Morris water escape task seems to be characterized by an "all-or-none" relationship. Concentrations above a "threshold" value induced severe damage in the hippocampus and adjacent brain structures, whereas concentrations below the "threshold" value had marginal or no effects. The non-selective and highly toxic properties of vincristine make this neurotoxin an unsuitable tool for the establishment of a learning and memory deficit model.

  1. Current therapeutic developments in atrophic age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hanus, Jakub; Zhao, Fangkun; Wang, Shusheng

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative disorder of the central retina, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The underlying mechanism of the advanced form of dry AMD, also named geographic atrophy (GA) or atrophic AMD, remains unclear. Consequently, no cure is available for dry AMD or GA. The only prevention option currently available is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation, which has been demonstrated to slow down the progression of dry AMD. This review summarises recent advances in therapy for dry AMD and GA. Building on the new understanding of the disease and recent technological breakthroughs, numerous ongoing clinical trials have the goal of meeting the need to cure AMD. Therapeutic agents are being developed to target the key features of the disease, including inhibiting the complement pathway and other inflammatory pathways, reducing oxidative stress and protecting retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, inhibiting lipofuscin and visual cycle, regenerating RPE cells from stem cells and restoring choroidal blood flow. Some of these therapeutic options, especially the stem cell-based therapy, hold great promise, which brings great hope for this devastating blinding disease. PMID:26553922

  2. Long noncoding RNAs in aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Kour, Sukhleen; Rath, Pramod C

    2016-03-01

    Aging is the universal, intrinsic, genetically-controlled, evolutionarily-conserved and time-dependent intricate biological process characterised by the cumulative decline in the physiological functions and their coordination in an organism after the attainment of adulthood resulting in the imbalance of neurological, immunological and metabolic functions of the body. Various biological processes and mechanisms along with altered levels of mRNAs and proteins have been reported to be involved in the progression of aging. It is one of the major risk factors in the patho-physiology of various diseases and disorders. Recently, the discovery of pervasive transcription of a vast pool of heterogeneous regulatory noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), including small ncRNAs (sncRNAs) and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), in the mammalian genome have provided an alternative way to study and explore the missing links in the aging process, its mechanism(s) and related diseases in a whole new dimension. The involvement of small noncoding RNAs in aging and age-related diseases have been extensively studied and recently reviewed. However, lncRNAs, whose function is far less explored in relation to aging, have emerged as a class of major regulators of genomic functions. Here, we have described some examples of known as well as novel lncRNAs that have been implicated in the progression of the aging process and age-related diseases. This may further stimulate research on noncoding RNAs and the aging process.

  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. Long noncoding RNAs in aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Kour, Sukhleen; Rath, Pramod C

    2016-03-01

    Aging is the universal, intrinsic, genetically-controlled, evolutionarily-conserved and time-dependent intricate biological process characterised by the cumulative decline in the physiological functions and their coordination in an organism after the attainment of adulthood resulting in the imbalance of neurological, immunological and metabolic functions of the body. Various biological processes and mechanisms along with altered levels of mRNAs and proteins have been reported to be involved in the progression of aging. It is one of the major risk factors in the patho-physiology of various diseases and disorders. Recently, the discovery of pervasive transcription of a vast pool of heterogeneous regulatory noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), including small ncRNAs (sncRNAs) and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), in the mammalian genome have provided an alternative way to study and explore the missing links in the aging process, its mechanism(s) and related diseases in a whole new dimension. The involvement of small noncoding RNAs in aging and age-related diseases have been extensively studied and recently reviewed. However, lncRNAs, whose function is far less explored in relation to aging, have emerged as a class of major regulators of genomic functions. Here, we have described some examples of known as well as novel lncRNAs that have been implicated in the progression of the aging process and age-related diseases. This may further stimulate research on noncoding RNAs and the aging process. PMID:26655093

  5. Curcumin, inflammation, ageing and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Sikora, E; Scapagnini, Giovanni; Barbagallo, Mario

    2010-01-17

    A Symposium regarding the Pathophysiology of Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing was held in Palermo, Italy between April 7 and 8th 2009. Here the lecture by Sikora with some input from the chairpersons Scapagnini and Barbagallo is summarized. Ageing is manifested by the decreasing health status and increasing probability to acquire age-related disease such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic disorders and others. They are likely caused by low grade inflammation driven by oxygen stress and manifested by the increased level of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, encoded by genes activated by the transcription factor NF-kappaB. It is believed that ageing is plastic and can be slowed down by caloric restriction as well as by some nutraceuticals. Accordingly, slowing down ageing and postponing the onset of age-related diseases might be achieved by blocking the NF-kappaB-dependent inflammation. In this review we consider the possibility of the spice curcumin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent possibly capable of improving the health status of the elderly.

  6. Current Therapeutic Development for Atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Jakub; Zhao, Fangkun; Wang, Shusheng

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative disorder of the central retina, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The underlying mechanism of the advanced form of dry AMD, also named geographic atrophy (GA) or atrophic AMD, remains unclear. Consequently, no cure is available for dry AMD or GA. The only prevention option currently available is the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation which has been demonstrated to slow down the progression of dry AMD. This review summarizes recent advances in therapy for dry AMD and GA. Building on the new understanding of the disease and recent technological breakthroughs, numerous ongoing clinical trials have the goal of meeting the need to cure AMD. Therapeutic agents are being developed to target the key features of the disease, including inhibiting the complement pathway and other inflammatory pathways, reducing oxidative stress and protecting retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, inhibiting lipofuscin and visual cycle, regenerating RPE cells from stem cells and restoring choroidal blood flow. Some of these therapeutic options, especially the stem-cell based therapy, hold great promise, which brings great hope for this devastating blinding disease. PMID:26553922

  7. 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.

  8. Age-Related Deficits in Reality Monitoring of Action Memories

    PubMed Central

    McDaniel, Mark A.; Lyle, Keith B.; Butler, Karin M.; Dornburg, Courtney C.

    2008-01-01

    We describe three theoretical accounts of age-related increases in falsely remembering that imagined actions were performed (Thomas & Bulevich, 2006). To investigate these accounts and further explore age-related changes in reality monitoring of action memories, we used a new paradigm in which actions were (a) imagined-only (b) actually performed, or (c) both imagined and performed. Older adults were more likely than younger adults to misremember the source of imagined-only actions, with older adults’ more often specifying that the action was imagined and also that it was performed. For both age groups, as repetitions of the imagined-only events increased, illusions that the actions were only performed decreased. These patterns suggest that both older and younger adults utilize qualitative characteristics when making reality-monitoring judgments and that repeated imagination produces richer records of both sensory details and cognitive operations. However, sensory information derived from imagination appears to be more similar to that derived from performance for older than younger adults. PMID:18808253

  9. Age-Related Loss of Muscle Mass and Strength

    PubMed Central

    Goldspink, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Age-related muscle wasting and increased frailty are major socioeconomic as well as medical problems. In the quest to extend quality of life it is important to increase the strength of elderly people sufficiently so they can carry out everyday tasks and to prevent them falling and breaking bones that are brittle due to osteoporosis. Muscles generate the mechanical strain that contributes to the maintenance of other musculoskeletal tissues, and a vicious circle is established as muscle loss results in bone loss and weakening of tendons. Molecular and proteomic approaches now provide strategies for preventing age-related muscle wasting. Here, attention is paid to the role of the GH/IGF-1 axis and the special role of the IGFI-Ec (mechano growth factor/MGF) which is derived from the IGF-I gene by alternative splicing. During aging MGF levels decline but when administered MGF activates the muscle satellite (stem) cells that “kick start” local muscle repair and induces hypertrophy. PMID:22506111

  10. Age-related preferences and age weighting health benefits.

    PubMed

    Tsuchiya, A

    1999-01-01

    This paper deals with the relevance of age in the paradigm of quality adjusted life years (QALYs). The first section outlines two rationales for incorporating age weights into QALYs. One of them is based on efficiency concerns; and the other on equity concerns. Both of these are theoretical constructs. The main purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of published empirical support for such age weighting. The second section is a brief survey of nine empirical studies that elicited age-related preferences from the general public. Six of these quantified the strength of the preferences, and these are discussed in more detail in the third section. The analysis distinguishes three kinds of age-related preference: productivity ageism, utilitarian ageism and egalitarian ageism. The relationship between them and their relevance to the two different rationales for age weighting are then explored. It is concluded that, although there is strong prima facie evidence of public support for both types of age weighting, the empirical evidence to support any particular set of weights is at present weak. PMID:10048783

  11. Auditory white noise reduces age-related fluctuations in balance.

    PubMed

    Ross, J M; Will, O J; McGann, Z; Balasubramaniam, R

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27495013

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  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 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

  16. 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. PMID:24454988

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:10100200

  19. 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.

  20. Long-term acarbose administration alleviating the impairment of spatial learning and memory in the SAMP8 mice was associated with alleviated reduction of insulin system and acetylated H4K8.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wen-Wen; Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Fang; Tong, Jing-Jing; Tao, Fei

    2015-04-01

    Age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) not only reduces the quality of life for the elderly but also increases the costs of healthcare for society. Methods that can regulate glucose metabolism, insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) system and acetylated histone H4 lysine 8 (H4K8ac), one of the most well-researched facets of histone acetylation modification associating with cognition, tend to ameliorate the AAMI. Here, we used SAMP8 mice, the excellent animal model of aging and AAMI, to study the effect of long-term treatment with acarbose, an inhibitor of a-glucosidase, on AAMI and explore whether blood glucose, insulin/IGF-1 system and H4K8ac are associated with potential effects. The treatment group received acarbose (20mg/kg/d, dissolved in drinking water) at the age of 3-month until 9-month old before the behavioral test, and the controls only received water. Compared to the young controls (3-month-old, n=11), the old group (9-month-old, n=8) had declined abilities of spatial learning and memory and levels of serum insulin, hippocampal insulin receptors (InsRs) and H4K8ac. Interestingly, the acarbose group (9-month-old, n=9) showed better abilities of spatial learning and memory and higher levels of insulin, InsRs and H4K8ac relative to the old controls. Good performance of spatial learning and memory was positively correlated with the elevated insulin, InsRs and H4K8ac. All these results suggested that long-term administration of acarbose could alleviate the age-related impairment of spatial learning and memory in the SAMP8 mice, and the alleviated reduction of an insulin system and H4K8ac might be associated with the alleviation.

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID

  3. 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.

  4. Hyperthermia-Induced Febrile Seizures Have Moderate and Transient Effects on Spatial Learning in Immature Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yagoubi, Nawel; Jomni, Yosra; Sakly, Mohsen

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize a novel animal model hyperthermia-induced febrile seizure and to investigate the impacts of repetitive febrile seizures on spatial learning and memory performances in immature rats. Methods. Rats were subjected to hyperthermia exposure one, two, or three times in 10-day intervals during 30 min in a water bath warmed at 45–50°C and their behaviour was monitored. Morris water maze spatial learning and memory were examined for control and treated groups. Results showed that rats subjected to 30-minute hyperthermia hot water developed rapidly myoclonic jerks and then generalized seizures. After a single hyperthermia exposure, the time for generalised tonic-clonic seizures appearance was 16.08 ± 0.60 min and it decreased gradually with repetitive exposure to reach 12.46 ± 0.39 min by the third exposure. Febrile seizures altered the spatial learning and memory abilities in Morris water maze and increased the time spent to attain the platform after one or two exposures, while after a third exposure rats exhibited the same latency compared to controls. Similar results were obtained in probe test where rats, subjected to hyperthermia for one or two episodes, spent less time in the target quadrant compared to corresponding controls. Further, when platform was moved from northwest to southwest quadrant, memory transfer test indicated that after one or two hyperthermia exposures cognitive performances were slightly altered, while after a third exposure the latency to escape increased significantly compared to untreated group. It was concluded that 30 min of hyperthermia hot water was sufficient to induce febrile seizures in immature rats and an increase of susceptibility was observed with repetitive hyperthermia exposure. Hyperthermia treatment impaired cognitive performances but the effects were mostly transient and moderate. PMID:26063965

  5. Spatial and temporal adaptations that accompany increasing catching performance during learning.

    PubMed

    Mazyn, Liesbeth I N; Lenoir, Matthieu; Montagne, Gilles; Savelsbergh, Geert J P

    2007-11-01

    The authors studied changes in performance and kinematics during the acquisition of a 1-handed catch. Participants were 8 women who took an intensive 2-week training program during which they evolved from poor catchers to subexpert catchers. An increased temporal consistency, shift in spatial location of ball-hand contact away from the body, and higher peak velocity of the transport of the hand toward the ball accompanied their improvement in catching performance. Moreover, novice catchers first adjusted spatial characteristics of the catch to the task constraints and fine-tuned temporal features only later during learning. A principal components analysis on a large set of kinematic variables indicated that a successful catch depends on (a) forward displacement of the hand and (b) the dynamics of the hand closure, thereby providing a kinematic underpinning for the traditional transport-manipulation dissociation in the grasping and catching literature.

  6. 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.

  7. Aspiration-based learning promotes cooperation in spatial prisoner's dilemma games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yongkui; Chen, Xiaojie; Wang, Long; Li, Bin; Zhang, Wenge; Wang, Huifeng

    2011-06-01

    We study the evolution of cooperation in spatial prisoner's dilemma by proposing an aspiration-based preference learning, under which individuals switch the learning agents only if the achieved payoffs are lower than their aspirations. Both synchronous and asynchronous updates are considered. We find that the aspiration level can substantially influence the evolution of cooperation, with the moderate aspiration level leading to a plateau of the high cooperation level. There exist phase transitions for proper combinations of parameters and we give an analysis for the phase transition points. We also investigate the stationary configuration patterns and the stationary distributions of cooperators and defectors on the square lattice for a comprehensive understanding. The behavior of the well-mixed system of our model has also been discussed. Our results may provide further insights into understanding the role played by individual aspiration in the emergence of cooperation.

  8. Modeling spatial learning in rats based on Morris water maze experiments.

    PubMed

    Faes, Christel; Aerts, Marc; Geys, Helena; De Schaepdrijver, Luc

    2010-01-01

    The Morris water maze, developed by Morris (J Neurosci Methods 1984: 11: 47-60), is a behavioral experiment designed to test the spatial memory. When repeating the experiment several times, the changes in time (latency) and distance (path) taken to reach the platform are indicators for the learning and memory abilities of the rat. In juvenile toxicity studies, it is of interest to test whether dosing juvenile rats with some compound of interest has an effect on its learning ability. The traditional analysis uses non-parametric tests to check for a possible dose-effect. However, due to the many tests performed, this approach lacks power. Here, an alternative method is proposed, accounting for the longitudinal design of the study, the right-censoring of observations when animals did not find the platform and the correlation between the time and distance taken to reach the platform.

  9. 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.

  10. Hippocampal adult neurogenesis: Its regulation and potential role in spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Pan, Yongliang; Liu, Yan; Zhang, Zhibin; Wang, Zuoxin

    2016-08-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. KCa2 channels transiently downregulated during spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Mpari, Bedel; Sreng, Leam; Manrique, Christine; Mourre, Christiane

    2010-03-01

    Small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (K(Ca)2) are essential components involved in the modulation of neuronal excitability, underlying learning and memory. Recent evidence suggests that K(Ca)2 channel activity reduces synaptic transmission in a postsynaptic NMDA receptor-dependent manner and is modulated by long-term potentiation. We used radioactive in situ hybridization and apamin binding to investigate the amount of K(Ca)2 subunit mRNA and K(Ca)2 proteins in brain structures involved in learning and memory at different stages of a radial-arm maze task in naive, pseudoconditioned, and conditioned rats. We observed significant differences in K(Ca)2.2 and K(Ca)2.3, but not K(Ca)2.1 mRNA levels, between conditioned and pseudoconditioned rats. K(Ca)2.2 levels were transiently reduced in the dorsal CA fields of the hippocampus, whereas K(Ca)2.3 mRNA levels were reduced in the dorsal and ventral CA fields of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and basolateral amygdaloid nucleus in conditioned rats, during early stages of learning. Levels of apamin-binding sites displayed a similar pattern to K(Ca)2 mRNA levels during learning. Spatial learning performance was positively correlated with levels of apamin-binding sites and K(Ca)2.3 mRNA in the dorsal CA1 field and negatively correlated in the dorsal CA3 field. These findings suggest that K(Ca)2 channels are transiently downregulated in the early stages of learning and that regulation of K(Ca)2 channel levels is involved in the modification of neuronal substrates underlying new information acquisition. PMID:19437421

  14. Sublayer-Specific Coding Dynamics during Spatial Navigation and Learning in Hippocampal Area CA1.

    PubMed

    Danielson, Nathan B; Zaremba, Jeffrey D; Kaifosh, Patrick; Bowler, John; Ladow, Max; Losonczy, Attila

    2016-08-01

    The mammalian hippocampus is critical for spatial information processing and episodic memory. Its primary output cells, CA1 pyramidal cells (CA1 PCs), vary in genetics, morphology, connectivity, and electrophysiological properties. It is therefore possible that distinct CA1 PC subpopulations encode different features of the environment and differentially contribute to learning. To test this hypothesis, we optically monitored activity in deep and superficial CA1 PCs segregated along the radial axis of the mouse hippocampus and assessed the relationship between sublayer dynamics and learning. Superficial place maps were more stable than deep during head-fixed exploration. Deep maps, however, were preferentially stabilized during goal-oriented learning, and representation of the reward zone by deep cells predicted task performance. These findings demonstrate that superficial CA1 PCs provide a more stable map of an environment, while their counterparts in the deep sublayer provide a more flexible representation that is shaped by learning about salient features in the environment. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27397517

  15. Influence of a beacon on spatial learning based on the shape of the test environment.

    PubMed

    Pearce, J M; Ward-Robinson, J; Good, M; Fussell, C; Aydin, A

    2001-10-01

    In 5 experiments rats were required to escape from a triangular shaped pool by swimming to a submerged platform. The principal group of interest in each experiment received training with a beacon attached to the platform. The purpose of the experiments was to assess if the beacon overshadowed (Experiments 1-4) or blocked (Experiment 5) learning about the position of the platform with reference to the shape of the pool. The platform was located in the center of the pool for the first 2 experiments and in a corner for the remaining experiments. Although there was an overshadowing effect in Experiment 1, the remaining experiments failed to reveal any disruptive influence of the beacon on learning based on the shape of the pool. Moreover, in Experiments 3-5 there was an indication that the beacon facilitated such learning. The results suggest that spatial learning based on the shape of a test environment may not take place in the same way as that based on more discrete landmarks.

  16. Effects of genistein in the maternal diet on reproductive development and spatial learning in male rats

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Evan R.; Caniglia, Mary Kay; Wilcox, Jenna L.; Overton, Karla A.; Burr, Marra J.; Wolfe, Brady D.; Sanders, Brian J.; Wisniewski, Amy B.; Wrenn, Craige C.

    2010-01-01

    Endocrine disruptors, chemicals that disturb the actions of endogenous hormones, have been implicated in birth defects associated with hormone-dependent development. Phytoestrogens are a class of endocrine disruptors found in plants. In the current study we examined the effects of exposure at various perinatal time periods to genistein, a soy phytoestrogen, on reproductive development and learning in male rats. Dams were fed genistein-containing (5 mg/kg feed) food during both gestation and lactation, during gestation only, during lactation only, or during neither period. Measures of reproductive development and body mass were taken in the male offspring during postnatal development, and learning and memory performance was assessed in adulthood. Genistein exposure via the maternal diet decreased body mass in the male offspring of dams fed genistein during both gestation and lactation, during lactation only, but not during gestation only. Genistein decreased anogenital distance when exposure was during both gestation and lactation, but there was no effect when exposure was limited to one of these time periods. Similarly, spatial learning in the Morris water maze was impaired in male rats exposed to genistein during both gestation and lactation, but not in rats exposed during only one of these time periods. There was no effect of genistein on cued or contextual fear conditioning. In summary, the data indicate that exposure to genistein through the maternal diet significantly impacts growth in male offspring if exposure is during lactation. The effects of genistein on reproductive development and spatial learning required exposure throughout the pre- and postnatal periods. PMID:20053350

  17. Reversal learning deficit in a spatial task but not in a cued one after telencephalic ablation in goldfish.

    PubMed

    López, J C; Broglio, C; Rodríguez, F; Thinus-Blanc, C; Salas, C

    2000-04-01

    The fish telencephalon seems to be involved in spatial learning and memory in a similar manner to the hippocampus of the land vertebrates. For instance, telencephalon ablated goldfish are impaired in the post-operative retention of a 'spatial constancy' task, which requires the use of mapping strategies, but not in a directly cued task in which responses are based in a guidance strategy. In this regard, previous experiments showed that intact goldfish trained in the spatial constancy task presented considerable behavioral flexibility, as they showed fast reversal learning, that is, they required less training compared with animals trained in the directly cued task and made a lower number of errors to master the reversal than in acquisition. The purpose of the present work was to investigate if the goldfish telencephalon is involved in the faster reversal learning of the animals trained in the spatial constancy task. Goldfish with bilateral telencephalic ablation, sham operated or intact, were trained in the spatial constancy task or in the directly cued task. Telencephalic ablation selectively impaired reversal learning in the animals trained in the spatial constancy procedure. Ablated animals in this procedure reversed more slowly than control animals. By contrast, telencephalic ablation did not produce any significant deficit during reversal in the animals trained in the directly cued task. These results provide additional evidence that the fish telencephalon, as the land vertebrate hippocampus, plays a crucial role in the use of flexible spatial representations.

  18. Age-related priming effects in social judgments.

    PubMed

    Hess, T M; McGee, K A; Woodburn, S M; Bolstad, C A

    1998-03-01

    Two experiments investigated adult age differences in the impact of previously activated (and thus easily accessible) trait-related information on judgments about people. The authors hypothesized that age-related declines in the efficiency of controlled processing mechanisms during adulthood would be associated with increased susceptibility to judgment biases associated with such information. In each study, different-aged adults made impression judgments about a target, and assimilation of these judgments to trait constructs activated in a previous, unrelated task were examined. Consistent with the authors' hypotheses, older adults were likely to form impressions that were biased toward the primed trait constructs. In contrast, younger adults exhibited greater awareness of the primed information and were more likely to correct for its perceived influence, especially when distinctive contextual cues regarding the source of the primes were available. PMID:9533195

  19. Age-related changes in human vitreous structure.

    PubMed

    Sebag, J

    1987-01-01

    Changes in vitreous structure that occur with aging are important in the pathogenesis of vitreous liquefaction (synchisis senilis), vitreous detachment, and retinal disease. Vitreous morphology was studied in 59 human eyes post-mortem using dark-field horizontal slit illumination of the entire dissected vitreous. In many individuals younger than 30 years, the vitreous was homogeneous in structure. Middle-aged individuals had macroscopic fibers in the central vitreous, which coursed anteroposteriorly and inserted into the vitreous base and the vitreous cortex, posteriorly. During senescence, the vitreous volume was reduced, the vitreous body was collapsed (syneresis), and the fibers were thickened, tortuous, and surrounded by liquid vitreous. This sequence of age-related changes probably results from a progressive reorganization of the hyaluronic acid and collagen molecular networks. Characterization of the molecular events underlying these changes will elucidate the mechanisms of the phenomena of synchisis, syneresis, and detachment, and may provide methods with which to prevent or induce vitreous detachment prophylactically.

  20. Sex- and age-related differences in mathematics.

    PubMed

    Rustemeyer, Ruth; Fischer, Natalie

    2005-08-01

    This study examined sex differences and age-related changes in mathematics based on Eccles's 1985 expectancy-value model of "achievement-related choices" and Dweck's 1986 motivation-process model. We have assessed motivational variables and performance in mathematics for youth in Grades 5, 7, and 9 in a German comprehensive secondary school. Significant sex differences in Grades 7 and 9 were observed even when school marks were controlled for. Furthermore, the results indicated differences between Grade 7 and Grade 9 on most of the motivational variables. Older students show a less favorable motivational pattern. Our results give evidence of the importance of motivational encouragement in mathematics classes, especially for girls and low achieving learners. PMID:16279324

  1. 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.

  2. Age-related responses to mild restraint in the rat.

    PubMed

    Rattner, B A; Michael, S D; Altland, P D

    1983-11-01

    Immature, postpubertal, young adult, and middle-aged rats were lightly restrained for 4 h. Relative to untreated controls, restraint uniformly reduced body weight and plasma luteinizing hormone concentration and elevated plasma corticosterone concentration in all age groups. However, restraint increased activities of plasma alanine and aspartate aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase, and fructose-diphosphate aldolase in only immature and middle-aged animals. This age-related release of tissue enzymes is hypothesized to reflect enhanced responsiveness to catecholamines in immature rats, and possible ischemia related to diminished vasodilatory activity in middle-aged rats. On the basis of these changes, tolerance to restraint in postpubertal and young adults appears to be slightly greater than that of immature and middle-aged rats.

  3. A Revised Hemodynamic Theory of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gelfand, Bradley D; Ambati, Jayakrishna

    2016-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) afflicts one out of every 40 individuals worldwide, causing irreversible central blindness in millions. The transformation of various tissue layers within the macula in the retina has led to competing conceptual models of the molecular pathways, cell types, and tissues responsible for the onset and progression of AMD. A model that has persisted for over 6 decades is the hemodynamic, or vascular theory of AMD progression, which states that vascular dysfunction of the choroid underlies AMD pathogenesis. Here, we re-evaluate this hypothesis in light of recent advances on molecular, anatomic, and hemodynamic changes underlying choroidal dysfunction in AMD. We propose an updated, detailed model of hemodynamic dysfunction as a mechanism of AMD development and progression. PMID:27423265

  4. MicroRNAs in age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Dimmeler, Stefanie; Nicotera, Pierluigi

    2013-02-01

    Aging is a complex process that is linked to an increased incidence of major diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, but also cancer and immune disorders. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, which post-transcriptionally control gene expression by inhibiting translation or inducing degradation of targeted mRNAs. MiRNAs target up to hundreds of mRNAs, thereby modulating gene expression patterns. Many miRNAs appear to be dysregulated during cellular senescence, aging and disease. However, only few miRNAs have been so far linked to age-related changes in cellular and organ functions. The present article will discuss these findings, specifically focusing on the cardiovascular and neurological systems.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:26646495

  10. Complement factor H polymorphism and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Albert O; Ritter, Robert; Abel, Kenneth J; Manning, Alisa; Panhuysen, Carolien; Farrer, Lindsay A

    2005-04-15

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common, late-onset, and complex trait with multiple risk factors. Concentrating on a region harboring a locus for AMD on 1q25-31, the ARMD1 locus, we tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms for association with AMD in two independent case-control populations. Significant association (P = 4.95 x 10(-10)) was identified within the regulation of complement activation locus and was centered over a tyrosine-402 --> histidine-402 protein polymorphism in the gene encoding complement factor H. Possession of at least one histidine at amino acid position 402 increased the risk of AMD 2.7-fold and may account for 50% of the attributable risk of AMD.

  11. The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    During hearing, acoustic signals travel up the ascending auditory pathway from the cochlea to auditory cortex; efferent connections provide descending feedback. In human listeners, although auditory and cognitive processing have sometimes been viewed as separate domains, a growing body of work suggests they are intimately coupled. Here, we review the effects of hearing loss on neural systems supporting spoken language comprehension, beginning with age-related physiological decline. We suggest that listeners recruit domain general executive systems to maintain successful communication when the auditory signal is degraded, but that this compensatory processing has behavioral consequences: even relatively mild levels of hearing loss can lead to cascading cognitive effects that impact perception, comprehension, and memory, leading to increased listening effort during speech comprehension. PMID:27262177

  12. 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

    1999-11-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Age-related macular degeneration and the complement system.

    PubMed

    Khandhadia, S; Cipriani, V; Yates, J R W; Lotery, A J

    2012-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. It is a complex multifactorial disease, and despite new advances in treatment, many patients still succumb to visual impairment. The complement pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, and recently variants in several genes encoding complement pathway proteins have been associated with AMD. Complement proteins have been found in histological specimens of eyes with AMD. Altered levels of both intrinsic complement proteins and activated products have been found in the circulation of patients with AMD. Complement activation may be triggered by oxidative stress, resulting from retinal exposure to incoming light; indeed an inter-play between these two pathological processes seems to exist. Finally, complement inhibitors are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. This article reviews the role of the complement system in AMD, and the potential of complement inhibition in preventing the devastating blindness resulting from this disease.

  15. The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    During hearing, acoustic signals travel up the ascending auditory pathway from the cochlea to auditory cortex; efferent connections provide descending feedback. In human listeners, although auditory and cognitive processing have sometimes been viewed as separate domains, a growing body of work suggests they are intimately coupled. Here, we review the effects of hearing loss on neural systems supporting spoken language comprehension, beginning with age-related physiological decline. We suggest that listeners recruit domain general executive systems to maintain successful communication when the auditory signal is degraded, but that this compensatory processing has behavioral consequences: even relatively mild levels of hearing loss can lead to cascading cognitive effects that impact perception, comprehension, and memory, leading to increased listening effort during speech comprehension.

  16. Dietary folate improves age-related decreases in lymphocyte function.

    PubMed

    Field, Catherine J; Van Aerde, Arne; Drager, Kelly L; Goruk, Susan; Basu, Tapan

    2006-01-01

    Although low folate status is thought to be fairly common in the older population, its implication on immunity has not been adequately investigated. Using 11-month-old and 23-month-old male rats (Fisher 344), the present study was undertaken to examine the modifying effects of feeding a control diet (NIH-07) supplemented with folate (35.7 mg/kg) for 3 weeks on the immune cells of spleen and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) origin. The serum concentrations of folate along with vitamin B(12) were elevated in response to the folate supplementation (P<.05). These results were accompanied by an improved proliferative response (stimulation index) to mitogens in both the spleen and MLNs (P<.05). The proportion of T cells in the MLNs, but not in the spleen, was significantly increased in rats fed a diet supplemented with folate. In the spleen, the folate-supplemented diet prevented the age-associated decrease (P<.05) in the production of interferon (IFN)alpha by unstimulated cells and the decrease in T-helper (Th)1/Th2-type response after stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin. In the MLNs, on the other hand, the folate-supplemented diet failed to influence any age-related increase in interleukin (IL)-2, tumor necrosis factor alpha and IFNgamma following stimulation but did result in a significantly increased production of IL-4 (P<.05). Overall, this study provides data suggesting that aging is associated with changes in the proportion of T cells, the ability of immune cells to proliferate and the production of cytokines after stimulation. Supplementing a folate-sufficient diet with additional folate improves proliferative response to mitogens, the distribution of T cells in the MLNs and the age-related changes in cytokine production in the spleen. These results suggest that the dietary folate requirement may be higher in the older population than in the younger population to support immune functions.

  17. Age-Related Neurochemical Changes in the Vestibular Nuclei.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Age-related vascular stiffening: causes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Kohn, Julie C.; Lampi, Marsha C.; Reinhart-King, Cynthia A.

    2015-01-01

    Arterial stiffening occurs with age and is closely associated with the progression of cardiovascular disease. Stiffening is most often studied at the level of the whole vessel because increased stiffness of the large arteries can impose increased strain on the heart leading to heart failure. Interestingly, however, recent evidence suggests that the impact of increased vessel stiffening extends beyond the tissue scale and can also have deleterious microscale effects on cellular function. Altered extracellular matrix (ECM) architecture has been recognized as a key component of the pre-atherogenic state. Here, the underlying causes of age-related vessel stiffening are discussed, focusing on age-related crosslinking of the ECM proteins as well as through increased matrix deposition. Methods to measure vessel stiffening at both the macro- and microscale are described, spanning from the pulse wave velocity measurements performed clinically to microscale measurements performed largely in research laboratories. Additionally, recent work investigating how arterial stiffness and the changes in the ECM associated with stiffening contributed to endothelial dysfunction will be reviewed. We will highlight how changes in ECM protein composition contribute to atherosclerosis in the vessel wall. Lastly, we will discuss very recent work that demonstrates endothelial cells (ECs) are mechano-sensitive to arterial stiffening, where changes in stiffness can directly impact EC health. Overall, recent studies suggest that stiffening is an important clinical target not only because of potential deleterious effects on the heart but also because it promotes cellular level dysfunction in the vessel wall, contributing to a pathological atherosclerotic state. PMID:25926844

  20. 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.

  1. Age-related modifications in neural cardiovascular control.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, A U

    1992-09-01

    Integrated cardiovascular responses to a range of different stimuli, as well as the overall, spontaneously occurring variability in blood pressure and heart rate, undergo complex changes with aging. A general trend is that homeostatic control mechanisms lose part of their ability to modulate heart rate and to buffer the concomitant blood pressure variations; the two phenomena are possibly linked by a cause-effect relationship. A detailed analysis of the age-related changes in the major reflex systems reveals a clear-cut impairment in arterial baroreceptor control of the heart rate, but much less pronounced changes in its control of blood pressure, on the other hand, both the hemodynamic and humoral components of the cardiopulmonary reflex appear to be markedly attenuated. The experimental evidence of the mechanisms underlying these changes is still largely incomplete, and it appears that the gaps will have to be filled by a systematic, detailed analysis, i.e., that no generalizations or extrapolations will be possible. Indeed, the data available so far indicate that the age-related alterations are highly non-uniform, some functions undergoing a definite impairment but others being much better preserved and some being even enhanced; thus aging is by no means associated with a generalized decline in cardiovascular functions and should instead be viewed as a complex, highly selective process. These peculiar biological features of the aging phenomena merit further investigation in both the cardiovascular and the other organ systems, in order to verify the possibility that currently unrecognized homeostatic potentials in the elderly subject may be exploited to advance his/her clinical management in health and disease.

  2. 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

  3. Age-Related Tissue Stiffening: Cause and Effect

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Significance Tissue elasticity is severely compromised in aging skin, lungs, and blood vessels. In the vascular and pulmonary systems, respectively, loss of mechanical function is linked to hypertension, which in turn is a risk factor for heart and renal failure, stroke, and aortic aneurysms, and to an increased risk of mortality as a result of acute lung infections. Recent Advances Although cellular mechanisms were thought to play an important role in mediating tissue aging, the reason for the apparent sensitivity of elastic fibers to age-related degradation remained unclear. We have recently demonstrated that compared with type I collagen, a key component of the elastic fiber system, the cysteine-rich fibrillin microfibril is highly susceptible to direct UV exposure in a cell-free environment. We hypothesized therefore that, as a consequence of both their remarkable longevity and cysteine-rich composition, many elastic fiber-associated components will be susceptible to the accumulation of damage by both direct UV radiation and reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidation. Critical Issues Although elastic fiber remodeling is a common feature of aging dynamic tissues, the inaccessibility of most human tissues has hampered attempts to define the molecular causes. Clinical Care Relevance Although, currently, the localized repair of damaged elastic fibers may be effected by the topical application of retinoids and some cosmetic products, future studies may extend the application of systemic transforming growth factor β antagonists, which can prevent cardiovascular remodeling in murine Marfan syndrome, to aging humans. Acellular mechanisms may be key mediators of elastic fiber remodeling and hence age-related tissue stiffening. PMID:24527318

  4. 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

  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. PMID:26463507

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:23916757

  8. One-trial spatial learning: wild hummingbirds relocate a reward after a single visit.

    PubMed

    Flores-Abreu, I Nuri; Hurly, T Andrew; Healy, Susan D

    2012-07-01

    Beaconing to rewarded locations is typically achieved by visual recognition of the actual goal. Spatial recognition, on the other hand, can occur in the absence of the goal itself, relying instead on the landmarks surrounding the goal location. Although the duration or frequency of experiences that an animal needs to learn the landmarks surrounding a goal have been extensively studied with a variety of laboratory tasks, little is known about the way in which wild vertebrates use them in their natural environment. Here, we allowed hummingbirds to feed once only from a rewarding flower (goal) before it was removed. When we presented a similar flower at a different height in another location, birds frequently returned to the location the flower had previously occupied (spatial recognition) before flying to the flower itself (beaconing). After experiencing three rewarded flowers, each in a different location, they were more likely to beacon to the current visible flower than they were to return to previously rewarded locations (without a visible flower). These data show that hummingbirds can encode a rewarded location on the basis of the surrounding landmarks after a single visit. After multiple goal location manipulations, however, the birds changed their strategy to beaconing presumably because they had learned that the flower itself reliably signalled reward.

  9. GeoSpatial Workforce Development: enhancing the traditional learning environment in geospatial information technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawhead, Pamela B.; Aten, Michelle L.

    2003-04-01

    The Center for GeoSpatial Workforce Development is embarking on a new era in education by developing a repository of dynamic online courseware authored by the foremost industry experts within the remote sensing and GIS industries. Virtual classrooms equipped with the most advanced instructions, computations, communications, course evaluation, and management facilities amplify these courses to enhance the learning environment and provide rapid feedback between instructors and students. The launch of this program included the objective development of the Model Curriculum by an independent consortium of remote sensing industry leaders. The Center's research and development focus on recruiting additional industry experts to develop the technical content of the courseware and then utilize state-of-the-art technology to enhance their material with visually stimulating animations, compelling audio clips and entertaining, interactive exercises intended to reach the broadest audience possible by targeting various learning styles. The courseware will be delivered via various media: Internet, CD-ROM, DVD, and compressed video, that translates into anywhere, anytime delivery of GeoSpatial Information Technology education.

  10. Improved spatial accuracy of functional maps in the rat olfactory bulb using supervised machine learning approach.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Matthew C; Poplawsky, Alexander J; Vazquez, Alberto L; Chan, Kevin C; Kim, Seong-Gi; Fukuda, Mitsuhiro

    2016-08-15

    Functional MRI (fMRI) is a popular and important tool for noninvasive mapping of neural activity. As fMRI measures the hemodynamic response, the resulting activation maps do not perfectly reflect the underlying neural activity. The purpose of this work was to design a data-driven model to improve the spatial accuracy of fMRI maps in the rat olfactory bulb. This system is an ideal choice for this investigation since the bulb circuit is well characterized, allowing for an accurate definition of activity patterns in order to train the model. We generated models for both cerebral blood volume weighted (CBVw) and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI data. The results indicate that the spatial accuracy of the activation maps is either significantly improved or at worst not significantly different when using the learned models compared to a conventional general linear model approach, particularly for BOLD images and activity patterns involving deep layers of the bulb. Furthermore, the activation maps computed by CBVw and BOLD data show increased agreement when using the learned models, lending more confidence to their accuracy. The models presented here could have an immediate impact on studies of the olfactory bulb, but perhaps more importantly, demonstrate the potential for similar flexible, data-driven models to improve the quality of activation maps calculated using fMRI data. PMID:27236085

  11. 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. PMID:22174944

  12. 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.

  13. Spatial learning impairments in PLB1Triple knock-in Alzheimer mice are task-specific and age-dependent.

    PubMed

    Ryan, D; Koss, D; Porcu, E; Woodcock, H; Robinson, L; Platt, B; Riedel, G

    2013-07-01

    We recently generated an advanced mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by targeted knock-in of single-copy mutated human amyloid precursor-protein (APP) and tau genes, crossed with a non-symptomatic presenilin (PS1A246E) over-expressing mouse line. These PLB1Triple mice presented with age-dependent and AD-relevant phenotypes. Homozygous PLB1Triple mice aged 4-12 months were assessed here in a battery of spatial learning tasks: Exp.1 radial-arm water maze (spatial reference and working memory) Exp.2 open-field water maze (spatial reference memory); Exp.3 home cage observation system with spatial learning (IntelliCage); Exp.4 spontaneous object recognition (SOR; novel object and spatial object shift). A separate test with high-expression transgenic APP mice matching the design of experiment 1 was also performed. Spatial deficits in PLB1Triple mice were confirmed at 12, but not 4 months in both water maze tasks. PSAPP mice, by contrast, presented with severe yet non-progressive spatial learning deficits already at 4 months. During tests of spatial learning in SOR and IntelliCage, PLB1Triple mice neither acquired the location of the water-rewarded corner, nor recognize novel or spatially shifted objects at 4 months, indicating these protocols to be more sensitive than the water maze. Collectively and in line with AD symptomatology, PLB1Triple mice present with a graded and progressive age-dependent loss of spatial memory that can be revealed by the use of a battery of tasks. With the emergence of subtle deficits progressively increasing in severity, PLB1Triple mice may offer a more patho-physiologically relevant model of dementia than aggressive expression models.

  14. A neural network model with dopamine-like reinforcement signal that learns a spatial delayed response task.

    PubMed

    Suri, R E; Schultz, W

    1999-01-01

    This study investigated how the simulated response of dopamine neurons to reward-related stimuli could be used as reinforcement signal for learning a spatial delayed response task. Spatial delayed response tasks assess the functions of frontal cortex and basal ganglia in short-term memory, movement preparation and expectation of environmental events. In these tasks, a stimulus appears for a short period at a particular location, and after a delay the subject moves to the location indicated. Dopamine neurons are activated by unpredicted rewards and reward-predicting stimuli, are not influenced by fully predicted rewards, and are depressed by omitted rewards. Thus, they appear to report an error in the prediction of reward, which is the crucial reinforcement term in formal learning theories. Theoretical studies on reinforcement learning have shown that signals similar to dopamine responses can be used as effective teaching signals for learning. A neural network model implementing the temporal difference algorithm was trained to perform a simulated spatial delayed response task. The reinforcement signal was modeled according to the basic characteristics of dopamine responses to novel stimuli, primary rewards and reward-predicting stimuli. A Critic component analogous to dopamine neurons computed a temporal error in the prediction of reinforcement and emitted this signal to an Actor component which mediated the behavioral output. The spatial delayed response task was learned via two subtasks introducing spatial choices and temporal delays, in the same manner as monkeys in the laboratory. In all three tasks, the reinforcement signal of the Critic developed in a similar manner to the responses of natural dopamine neurons in comparable learning situations, and the learning curves of the Actor replicated the progress of learning observed in the animals. Several manipulations demonstrated further the efficacy of the particular characteristics of the dopamine

  15. 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.

  16. EPHA2 Is Associated with Age-Related Cortical Cataract in Mice and Humans

    PubMed Central

    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

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19649315

  17. 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

  18. Caloric restriction in young rats disturbs hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Armando; Marrana, Francisco; Andrade, José P

    2016-09-01

    It is widely known that caloric restriction (CR) has benefits on several organic systems, including the central nervous system. However, the majority of the CR studies was performed in adult animals and the information about the consequences on young populations is limited. In this study, we analyzed the effects of young-onset CR, started at 4weeks of age, in the number of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-containing neurons and in neurogenesis of the hippocampal formation, using doublecortin (DCX) and Ki67 as markers. Knowing that CR treatment could interfere with exploratory activity, anxiety, learning and memory we have analyzed the performance of the rats in the open-field, elevated plus-maze and Morris water maze tests. Animals aged 4weeks were randomly assigned to control or CR groups. Controls were maintained in the ad libitum regimen during 2months. The adolescent CR rats were fed, during 2months, with 60% of the amount of food consumed by controls. We have found that young-onset CR treatment did not affect the total number of NPY-immunopositive neurons in dentate hilus, CA3 and CA1 hippocampal subfields and did not change the exploratory activity and anxiety levels. Interestingly, we have found that young-onset CR might affect spatial learning process since those animals showed worse performance during the acquisition phase of Morris water maze. Furthermore, young-onset CR induced alterations of neurogenesis in the dentate subgranular layer that seems to underlie the impairment of spatial learning. Our data suggest that adolescent animals are vulnerable to CR treatment and that this diet is not suitable to be applied in this age phase. PMID:27432519

  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. 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

  2. Accelerated senescence prone mouse-8 shows early onset of deficits in spatial learning and memory in the radial six-arm water maze.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Yue-Ju; Wang, Xiao-Min; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2004-10-15

    Available data indicate that the senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 (SAMP8) is an appropriate model of brain aging, with impairments in nonspatial learning and memory beginning as early as 2 months of age, and spatial learning and memory deficiencies not becoming apparent until after 4 months of age. However, with other strains (e.g., C57BL mice), the impairment in spatial memory was found earlier than that in nonspatial memory. We considered the possibility that the observed differences could be due to strain-specific differences in the training equipment. In the present study, a new optimized testing apparatus-the radial six-arm water maze (RAWM)-for detecting spatial learning and memory in mice, was employed, to determine whether there is impairment of spatial learning and memory in young SAMP8. The relationship between the spatial learning measures observed with the RAWM and the Morris maze, a classic spatial learning and memory testing apparatus, was also explored. It was found that, in the RAWM, rather than in the Morris maze, the impairment in spatial learning could be measured in SAMP8 mice as early as 3 months old, and the impairment in spatial memory in SAMP8 mice aged 5 months. These results suggested that the spatial learning and memory deficiencies could be found in early life of SAMP8 mice, and that RAWM and Morris maze each detect different aspects of spatial learning and memory.

  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. PMID:25974949

  4. [Age-Related Features of EEG Coherence in Children and Adolescents Living in the European North of Russia].

    PubMed

    Soroko, S I; Nagornova, Zh V; Rozhkov, V P; Shemyakina, N V

    2015-01-01

    The paper presents data on the formation of spatial synchronization of brain potentials in 91 children aged 7-18 years living in European North of Russia. We estimated coherence values for 19 derivations (pair 171) in five EEG frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha-1, alpha-2 and beta). We described age-related changes, gender differences and topical specific features of the formation of coherence in the left and right hemispheres, and in inter- and intrahemispheric synchronization. We carried out computer assessment of the differences in EEG coherence between three age groups of children in order to determine criteria for identification of children with retarded formation of spatial organization of local EEG processes. Age-related changes in the structure of EEG patterns observed in the study reflect the processes of morphofunctional brain development in children and adolescents at different stages of postnatal ontogenesis under severe conditions of northern climate.

  5. E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF13 involves spatial learning and assembly of the SNARE complex.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Li, Yanfeng; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Nan; Meng, Jiao; Zuo, Pingping; Zhang, Yong; Chen, Jie; Wang, Li; Gao, Xiang; Zhu, Dahai

    2013-01-01

    Changes in the structure and number of synapses modulate learning, memory and cognitive disorders. Ubiquitin-mediated protein modification is a key mechanism for regulating synaptic activity, though the precise control of this process remains poorly understood. RING finger protein 13 (RNF13) is a recently identified E3 ubiquitin ligase, and its in vivo function remains completely unknown. We show here that genetic deletion of RNF13 in mice leads to a significant deficit in spatial learning as determined by the Morris water maze test and Y-maze learning test. At the ultrastructral level, the synaptic vesicle density was decreased and the area of the active zone was increased at hippocampal synapses of RNF13-null mice compared with those of wild-type littermates. We found no change in the levels of SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor) complex proteins in the hippocampus of RNF13-null mice, but impaired SNARE complex assembly. RNF13 directly interacted with snapin, a SNAP-25-interacting protein. Interestingly, snapin was ubiquitinated by RNF13 via the lysine-29 conjugated polyubiquitin chain, which in turn promoted the association of snapin with SNAP-25. Consistently, we found an attenuated interaction between snapin and SNAP-25 in the RNF13-null mice. Therefore, these results suggest that RNF13 is involved in the regulation of the SNARE complex, which thereby controls synaptic function.

  6. Progress on retinal image analysis for age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kanagasingam, Yogesan; Bhuiyan, Alauddin; Abràmoff, Michael D; Smith, R Theodore; Goldschmidt, Leonard; Wong, Tien Y

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in those over the age of 50 years in the developed countries. The number is expected to increase by ∼1.5 fold over the next ten years due to an increase in aging population. One of the main measures of AMD severity is the analysis of drusen, pigmentary abnormalities, geographic atrophy (GA) and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) from imaging based on color fundus photograph, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and other imaging modalities. Each of these imaging modalities has strengths and weaknesses for extracting individual AMD pathology and different imaging techniques are used in combination for capturing and/or quantification of different pathologies. Current dry AMD treatments cannot cure or reverse vision loss. However, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that specific anti-oxidant vitamin supplementation reduces the risk of progression from intermediate stages (defined as the presence of either many medium-sized drusen or one or more large drusen) to late AMD which allows for preventative strategies in properly identified patients. Thus identification of people with early stage AMD is important to design and implement preventative strategies for late AMD, and determine their cost-effectiveness. A mass screening facility with teleophthalmology or telemedicine in combination with computer-aided analysis for large rural-based communities may identify more individuals suitable for early stage AMD prevention. In this review, we discuss different imaging modalities that are currently being considered or used for screening AMD. In addition, we look into various automated and semi-automated computer-aided grading systems and related retinal image analysis techniques for drusen, geographic atrophy and choroidal neovascularization detection and/or quantification for measurement of AMD severity using these imaging modalities. We also review the existing telemedicine studies which

  7. Superficial white matter as a novel substrate of age-related cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Nazeri, Arash; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Rajji, Tarek K; Felsky, Daniel; Rotenberg, David J; Mason, Mikko; Xu, Li N; Lobaugh, Nancy J; Mulsant, Benoit H; Voineskos, Aristotle N

    2015-06-01

    Studies of diffusion tensor imaging have focused mainly on the role of deep white matter tract microstructural abnormalities associated with aging and age-related cognitive decline. However, the potential role of superficial white matter (SWM) in aging and, by extension, cognitive-aging, is less clear. Healthy individuals (n = 141; F/M: 66/75 years) across the adult lifespan (18-86 years) underwent diffusion tensor imaging and a battery of cognitive testing. SWM was assessed via a combination of probabilistic tractography and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). A widespread inverse relationship of fractional anisotropy (FA) values in SWM with age was observed. SWM-FA adjacent to the precentral gyri was associated with fine-motor-speed, whereas performance in visuomotor-attention/processing speed correlated with SWM-FA in all 4 lobes of the left-hemisphere and in right parieto-occipital SWM-FA (family-wise error corrected p < 0.05). Independent of deep white matter-FA, right frontal and right occipital SWM-FA-mediated age effects on motor-speed and visuomotor-attention/processing speed, respectively. Altogether, our results indicate that SWM-FA contributes uniquely to age-related cognitive performance, and should be considered as a novel biomarker of cognitive-aging. PMID:25834938

  8. Lifelong expression of apolipoprotein D in the human brainstem: correlation with reduced age-related neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Ana; Méndez, Elena; Diaz, Celso; del Valle, Eva; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva; Ordóñez, Cristina; Tolivia, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    The lipocalin apolipoprotein D (Apo D) is upregulated in peripheral nerves following injury and in regions of the central nervous system, such as the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, during aging and progression of certain neurological diseases. In contrast, few studies have examined Apo D expression in the brainstem, a region necessary for survival and generally less prone to age-related degeneration. We measured Apo D expression in whole human brainstem lysates by slot-blot and at higher spatial resolution by quantitative immunohistochemistry in eleven brainstem nuclei (the 4 nuclei of the vestibular nuclear complex, inferior olive, hypoglossal nucleus, oculomotor nucleus, facial motor nucleus, nucleus of the solitary tract, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve, and Roller`s nucleus). In contrast to cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, apolipoprotein D was highly expressed in brainstem tissue from subjects (N = 26, 32-96 years of age) with no history of neurological disease, and expression showed little variation with age. Expression was significantly stronger in somatomotor nuclei (hypoglossal, oculomotor, facial) than visceromotor or sensory nuclei. Both neurons and glia expressed Apo D, particularly neurons with larger somata and glia in the periphery of these brainstem centers. Immunostaining was strongest in the neuronal perinuclear region and absent in the nucleus. We propose that strong brainstem expression of Apo D throughout adult life contributes to resistance against neurodegenerative disease and age-related degeneration, possibly by preventing oxidative stress and ensuing lipid peroxidation.

  9. Lifelong Expression of Apolipoprotein D in the Human Brainstem: Correlation with Reduced Age-Related Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Ana; Méndez, Elena; Diaz, Celso; del Valle, Eva; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva; Ordóñez, Cristina; Tolivia, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    The lipocalin apolipoprotein D (Apo D) is upregulated in peripheral nerves following injury and in regions of the central nervous system, such as the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, during aging and progression of certain neurological diseases. In contrast, few studies have examined Apo D expression in the brainstem, a region necessary for survival and generally less prone to age-related degeneration. We measured Apo D expression in whole human brainstem lysates by slot-blot and at higher spatial resolution by quantitative immunohistochemistry in eleven brainstem nuclei (the 4 nuclei of the vestibular nuclear complex, inferior olive, hypoglossal nucleus, oculomotor nucleus, facial motor nucleus, nucleus of the solitary tract, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve, and Roller`s nucleus). In contrast to cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, apolipoprotein D was highly expressed in brainstem tissue from subjects (N = 26, 32−96 years of age) with no history of neurological disease, and expression showed little variation with age. Expression was significantly stronger in somatomotor nuclei (hypoglossal, oculomotor, facial) than visceromotor or sensory nuclei. Both neurons and glia expressed Apo D, particularly neurons with larger somata and glia in the periphery of these brainstem centers. Immunostaining was strongest in the neuronal perinuclear region and absent in the nucleus. We propose that strong brainstem expression of Apo D throughout adult life contributes to resistance against neurodegenerative disease and age-related degeneration, possibly by preventing oxidative stress and ensuing lipid peroxidation. PMID:24167586

  10. 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.

  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. Coordinated learning of grid cell and place cell spatial and temporal properties: multiple scales, attention and oscillations.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, Stephen; Pilly, Praveen K

    2014-02-01

    A neural model proposes how entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells may develop as spatial categories in a hierarchy of self-organizing maps (SOMs). The model responds to realistic rat navigational trajectories by learning both grid cells with hexagonal grid firing fields of multiple spatial scales, and place cells with one or more firing fields, that match neurophysiological data about their development in juvenile rats. Both grid and place cells can develop by detecting, learning and remembering the most frequent and energetic co-occurrences of their inputs. The model's parsimonious properties include: similar ring attractor mechanisms process linear and angular path integration inputs that drive map learning; the same SOM mechanisms can learn grid cell and place cell receptive fields; and the learning of the dorsoventral organization of multiple spatial scale modules through medial entorhinal cortex to hippocampus (HC) may use mechanisms homologous to those for temporal learning through lateral entorhinal cortex to HC ('neural relativity'). The model clarifies how top-down HC-to-entorhinal attentional mechanisms may stabilize map learning, simulates how hippocampal inactivation may disrupt grid cells, and explains data about theta, beta and gamma oscillations. The article also compares the three main types of grid cell models in the light of recent data. PMID:24366136

  13. Coordinated learning of grid cell and place cell spatial and temporal properties: multiple scales, attention and oscillations.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, Stephen; Pilly, Praveen K

    2014-02-01

    A neural model proposes how entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells may develop as spatial categories in a hierarchy of self-organizing maps (SOMs). The model responds to realistic rat navigational trajectories by learning both grid cells with hexagonal grid firing fields of multiple spatial scales, and place cells with one or more firing fields, that match neurophysiological data about their development in juvenile rats. Both grid and place cells can develop by detecting, learning and remembering the most frequent and energetic co-occurrences of their inputs. The model's parsimonious properties include: similar ring attractor mechanisms process linear and angular path integration inputs that drive map learning; the same SOM mechanisms can learn grid cell and place cell receptive fields; and the learning of the dorsoventral organization of multiple spatial scale modules through medial entorhinal cortex to hippocampus (HC) may use mechanisms homologous to those for temporal learning through lateral entorhinal cortex to HC ('neural relativity'). The model clarifies how top-down HC-to-entorhinal attentional mechanisms may stabilize map learning, simulates how hippocampal inactivation may disrupt grid cells, and explains data about theta, beta and gamma oscillations. The article also compares the three main types of grid cell models in the light of recent data.

  14. Age-related changes in deformability of human erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Sutera, S P; Gardner, R A; Boylan, C W; Carroll, G L; Chang, K C; Marvel, J S; Kilo, C; Gonen, B; Williamson, J R

    1985-02-01

    The present study was designed to further the characterization of age-related changes in the deformability of human erythrocytes. The top (approximately young) and bottom (approximately old) 10% fractions of density-separated red cells from ten normal donors were subjected to graded levels of shear stress in a rheoscope. Measurements were made of steady-state elongation (cells tank treading in a state of dynamic equilibrium) and the time course of shape recovery following abrupt cessation of shear. In parallel with the rheologic experiments, several physical and chemical properties were assayed to determine correlates of mechanical properties. These included mean cell volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, type A1 hemoglobin, glucosylation of membrane proteins, and membrane phospholipid and protein concentration. The microrheologic observations revealed that only about 90% of the old cells retained their capacity to tank tread. However, the tank-treading cells elongated less than their younger counterparts at corresponding levels of shear stress, thus demonstrating a reduced level of deformability. Further analysis of the data indicates that increases in membrane viscosity and elastic modulus along with a significant loss in excess surface area contribute to the limitation of the ability of the older cells to change shape.

  15. Aging-related differences in chondrocyte viscoelastic properties.

    PubMed

    Steklov, Nikolai; Srivastava, Ajay; Sung, K L P; Chen, Peter C; Lotz, Martin K; D'Lima, Darryl D

    2009-06-01

    The biomechanical properties of articular cartilage change profoundly with aging. These changes have been linked with increased potential for cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. However, less is known about the change in biomechanical properties of chondrocytes with increasing age. Cell stiffness can affect mechanotransduction pathways and may alter cell function. We measured aging-related changes in the biomechanical properties of chondrocytes. Human chondrocytes were isolated from knee articular cartilage within 48 hours after death or from osteochondral specimens obtained from knee arthroplasty. Cells were divided into two age groups: between 18 and 35 years (18 - 35); and greater than 55 years (55+) of age. The 55+ group was further subdivided based on visual grade of osteoarthritis: normal (N) or osteoarthritic (OA). The viscoelastic properties of the cell were measured using the previously described micropipette cell aspiration technique. The equilibrium modulus, instantaneous modulus, and apparent viscosity were significantly higher in the 55+ year age group than in the 18 - 35 age group. On the other hand, no differences were found in the equilibrium modulus, instantaneous modulus, or apparent viscosity between the N and OA groups. The increase in cell stiffness can be attributed to altered mechanical properties of the cell membrane, the cytoplasm, or the cytoskeleton. Increased stiffness has been reported in osteoarthritic chondrocytes, which in turn has been attributed to the actin cytoskeleton. A similar mechanism may be responsible for our finding of increased stiffness in aging chondrocytes. With advancing age, changes in the biomechanical properties of the cell could alter molecular and biochemical responses.

  16. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Scientometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ramin, Shahrokh; Soheilian, Masoud; Habibi, Gholamreza; Ghazavi, Roghayeh; Gharebaghi, Reza; Heidary, Fatemeh

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a major cause of central blindness among working aged adults across the world. Systematic research planning on any subject, including ARMD is in need of solid data regarding previous efforts in this field and to identify the gaps in the research. This study aimed to elucidate the most important trends, directions, and gap in this subject. The data extracted from the Institute for Scientific Information were used to perform a bibliometric analysis of the scientific productions (1993–2013) about ARMD. Specific parameters related to ARMD were analyzed to obtain a view of the topic’s structure, history, and document relationships. Additionally, the trends and authors in the most influential publications were analyzed. The number of articles in this field was found constantly increasing. Most highly cited articles addressed genetic epidemiology and clinical research topics in this field. During the past 3 years, there has been a trend toward biomarker research. Through performing the first scientometric survey on ARMD research, we analyzed the characteristics of papers and the trends in scientific production. We also identified some of the critical gaps in the current research efforts that would help in large-scale research strategic planning. PMID:26060829

  17. Promising new treatments for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Michels, Stephan; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Rosenfeld, Philip J

    2006-07-01

    Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels, is responsible for vision loss in a variety of ophthalmic diseases. In neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause for legal blindness in many industrialised countries, abnormal blood vessels grow in the macula and cause blindness. There are a number of factors important in the angiogenic cascade but VEGF-A has been implicated in recent years as the major factor responsible for neovascular and exudative diseases of the eye. Numerous antiangiogenic drugs are in development but anti-VEGF drugs have shown great promise in treating neovascular AMD and other ocular diseases, and many of these drugs have been adopted from oncology where antiangiogenic therapy is gaining wide acceptance. For the first time in neovascular AMD, anti-VEGF drugs have brought the hope of vision improvement to a significant proportion of patients. This review provides an overview on angiogenic mechanisms, potential antiangiogenic treatment strategies and different antiangiogenic drugs with special focus on neovascular AMD.

  18. Radiation therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Petrarca, Robert; Jackson, Timothy L

    2011-01-01

    Antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies represent the standard of care for most patients presenting with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (neovascular AMD). Anti-VEGF drugs require repeated injections and impose a considerable burden of care, and not all patients respond. Radiation targets the proliferating cells that cause neovascular AMD, including fibroblastic, inflammatory, and endothelial cells. Two new neovascular AMD radiation treatments are being investigated: epimacular brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. Epimacular brachytherapy uses beta radiation, delivered to the lesion via a pars plana vitrectomy. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses low voltage X-rays in overlapping beams, directed onto the lesion. Feasibility data for epimacular brachytherapy show a greatly reduced need for anti-VEGF therapy, with a mean vision gain of 8.9 ETDRS letters at 12 months. Pivotal trials are underway (MERLOT, CABERNET). Preliminary stereotactic radiosurgery data suggest a mean vision gain of 8 to 10 ETDRS letters at 12 months. A large randomized sham controlled stereotactic radiosurgery feasibility study is underway (CLH002), with pivotal trials to follow. While it is too early to conclude on the safety and efficacy of epimacular brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery, preliminary results are positive, and these suggest that radiation offers a more durable therapeutic effect than intraocular injections. PMID:21311657

  19. Review of nutrient actions on age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zampatti, Stefania; Ricci, Federico; Cusumano, Andrea; Marsella, Luigi Tonino; Novelli, Giuseppe; Giardina, Emiliano

    2014-02-01

    The actions of nutrients and related compounds on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are explained in this review. The findings from 80 studies published since 2003 on the association between diet and supplements in AMD were reviewed. Antioxidants and other nutrients with an effect on AMD susceptibility include carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin, β-carotene), vitamins (vitamin A, E, C, D, B), mineral supplements (zinc, copper, selenium), dietary fatty acids [monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA both omega-3 PUFA and omega-6 PUFA), saturated fatty acids and cholesterol], and dietary carbohydrates. The literature revealed that many of these antioxidants and nutrients exert a protective role by functioning synergistically. Specifically, the use of dietary supplements with targeted actions can provide minimal benefits on the onset or progression of AMD; however, this does not appear to be particularly beneficial in healthy people. Furthermore, some supplements or nutrients have demonstrated discordant effects on AMD in some studies. Since intake of dietary supplements, as well as exposure to damaging environmental factors, is largely dependent on population habits (including dietary practices) and geographical localization, an overall healthy diet appears to be the best strategy in reducing the risk of developing AMD. As of now, the precise mechanism of action of certain nutrients in AMD prevention remains unclear. Thus, future studies are required to examine the effects that nutrients have on AMD and to determine which factors are most strongly correlated with reducing the risk of AMD or preventing its progression. PMID:24461310

  20. Age-related changes in skin topography and microcirculation.

    PubMed

    Li, Li; Mac-Mary, Sophie; Marsaut, David; Sainthillier, Jean Marie; Nouveau, Stéphanie; Gharbi, Tijani; de Lacharriere, Olivier; Humbert, Philippe

    2006-03-01

    Skin topography and microvasculature undergo characteristic changes with age. Although several non-invasive bioengineering methods are currently available to measure them quantitatively, few publications have referred to their relationship with age in different anatomical sites. This study was carried out to observe the age-related changes of the skin topography and skin microcirculation. The microrelief was assessed with special processing software from scanning by interference fringe profilometry of silicone replicas performed on two sites (volar forearm and back of hand) on 50 female volunteers (aged 20-74 years who consisted of ten probands in each decade). The superficial vascular network of both sites was assessed by videocapillaroscopy, and the subpapillary vascular plexus was studied with laser Doppler flowmetry. Skin color, which is affected by blood flow, was observed by colorimeter. The skin roughness and the mean height between peak and valley increased with age. There were statistically significant differences between the evaluated sites. This study also shows that the capillary loops in the dermal papillae decrease but the subpapillary plexus increase with age. The interference fringe profilometry associated with videocapillaroscopy may be useful and accurate to measure the efficacy of medical or cosmetic products to delay skin aging.