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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. PMID:26992827

  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. Hippocampal expression of myelin-associated inhibitors is induced with age-related cognitive decline and correlates with deficits of spatial learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    VanGuilder, Heather D.; Bixler, Georgina V.; Sonntag, William E.; Freeman, Willard M.

    2012-01-01

    Impairment of cognitive functions including hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory affects nearly half of the aged population. Age-related cognitive decline is associated with synaptic dysfunction that occurs in the absence of neuronal cell loss, suggesting that impaired neuronal signaling and plasticity may underlie age-related deficits of cognitive function. Expression of myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs) of synaptic plasticity, including the ligands MAG, Nogo-A, and OMgp, and their common receptor, NgR1, was examined in hippocampal synaptosomes and CA1, CA3 and DG subregions derived from adult (12–13 months) and aged (26–28 months) Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats. Rats were behaviorally phenotyped by Morris water maze testing and classified as aged cognitively intact (n=7–8) or aged cognitively impaired (n=7–10) relative to adults (n=5–7). MAI protein expression was induced in cognitively impaired, but not cognitively intact, aged rats and correlated with cognitive performance in individual rats. Immunohistochemical experiments demonstrated that upregulation of MAIs occurs, in part, in hippocampal neuronal axons and somata. While a number of pathways and processes are altered with brain aging, we report a coordinated induction of myelin-associated inhibitors of functional and structural plasticity only in cognitively impaired aged rats. Induction of MAIs may decrease stimulus-induced synaptic strengthening and structural remodeling, ultimately impairing synaptic mechanisms of spatial learning and memory and resulting in cognitive decline. PMID:22269040

  4. 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

  5. Age-related changes in rostral basal forebrain cholinergic and GABAergic projection neurons: Relationship with spatial impairment

    PubMed Central

    Bañuelos, C.; LaSarge, C. L.; McQuail, J. A.; Hartman, J. J.; Gilbert, R. J.; Ormerod, B. K.; Bizon, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Both cholinergic and GABAergic projections from the rostral basal forebrain have been implicated in hippocampal function and mnemonic abilities. While dysfunction of cholinergic neurons has been heavily implicated in age-related memory decline, significantly less is known regarding how age-related changes in co-distributed GABAergic projection neurons contribute to a decline in hippocampal-dependent spatial learning. In the current study, confocal stereology was used to quantify cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunopositive) neurons, GABAergic projection (glutamic decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) immunopositive) neurons, and total (NeuN immunopositive) neurons in the rostral basal forebrain of young and aged rats that were first characterized on a spatial learning task. ChAT immunopositive neurons were significantly but modestly reduced in aged rats. Although ChAT immunopositive neuron number was strongly correlated with spatial learning abilities among young rats, the reduction of ChAT immunopositive neurons was not associated with impaired spatial learning in aged rats. In contrast, the number of GAD67 immunopositive neurons was robustly and selectively elevated in aged rats that exhibited impaired spatial learning. Interestingly, the total number of rostral basal forebrain neurons was comparable in young and aged rats, regardless of their cognitive status. These data demonstrate differential effects of age on phenotypically distinct rostral basal forebrain projection neurons, and implicate dysregulated cholinergic and GABAergic septohippocampal circuitry in age-related mnemonic decline. PMID:22817834

  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. PMID:25449841

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by a central vision loss. We explored the relationship between the retinal lesions in AMD patients and the processing of spatial frequencies in natural scene categorization. Since the lesion on the retina is central, we expected preservation of low spatial frequency (LSF) processing and the impairment of high spatial frequency (HSF) processing. We conducted two experiments that differed in the set of scene stimuli used and their exposure duration. Twelve AMD patients and 12 healthy age-matched participants in Experiment 1 and 10 different AMD patients and 10 healthy age-matched participants in Experiment 2 performed categorization tasks of natural scenes (Indoors vs. Outdoors) filtered in LSF and HSF. Experiment 1 revealed that AMD patients made more no-responses to categorize HSF than LSF scenes, irrespective of the scene category. In addition, AMD patients had longer reaction times to categorize HSF than LSF scenes only for indoors. Healthy participants' performance was not differentially affected by spatial frequency content of the scenes. In Experiment 2, AMD patients demonstrated the same pattern of errors as in Experiment 1. Furthermore, AMD patients had longer reaction times to categorize HSF than LSF scenes, irrespective of the scene category. Again, spatial frequency processing was equivalent for healthy participants. The present findings point to a specific deficit in the processing of HSF information contained in photographs of natural scenes in AMD patients. The processing of LSF information is relatively preserved. Moreover, the fact that the deficit is more important when categorizing HSF indoors, may lead to new perspectives for rehabilitation procedures in AMD. PMID:22192508

  9. 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…

  10. Age-Related Declines in Visuospatial Working Memory Correlate With Deficits in Explicit Motor Sequence Learning

    PubMed Central

    Bo, J.; Borza, V.

    2009-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that older adults exhibit deficits in motor sequence learning, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Our recent work has shown that visuospatial working-memory capacity predicts the rate of motor sequence learning and the length of motor chunks formed during explicit sequence learning in young adults. In the current study, we evaluate whether age-related deficits in working memory explain the reduced rate of motor sequence learning in older adults. We found that older adults exhibited a correlation between visuospatial working-memory capacity and motor sequence chunk length, as we observed previously in young adults. In addition, older adults exhibited an overall reduction in both working-memory capacity and motor chunk length compared with that of young adults. However, individual variations in visuospatial working-memory capacity did not correlate with the rate of learning in older adults. These results indicate that working memory declines with age at least partially explain age-related differences in explicit motor sequence learning. PMID:19726728

  11. Age-related declines in visuospatial working memory correlate with deficits in explicit motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Bo, J; Borza, V; Seidler, R D

    2009-11-01

    Numerous studies have shown that older adults exhibit deficits in motor sequence learning, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Our recent work has shown that visuospatial working-memory capacity predicts the rate of motor sequence learning and the length of motor chunks formed during explicit sequence learning in young adults. In the current study, we evaluate whether age-related deficits in working memory explain the reduced rate of motor sequence learning in older adults. We found that older adults exhibited a correlation between visuospatial working-memory capacity and motor sequence chunk length, as we observed previously in young adults. In addition, older adults exhibited an overall reduction in both working-memory capacity and motor chunk length compared with that of young adults. However, individual variations in visuospatial working-memory capacity did not correlate with the rate of learning in older adults. These results indicate that working memory declines with age at least partially explain age-related differences in explicit motor sequence learning. PMID:19726728

  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. 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.

  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 Central

    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. PMID:23185565

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munoz, Carmen

    2008-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Age is often associated with a decline in cognitive abilities that are important for maintaining functional independence, such as learning new skills. Many forms of motor learning appear to be relatively well preserved with age, while learning tasks that involve associative binding tend to be negatively affected. The current study aimed to determine whether age differences exist on a configural response learning task, which includes aspects of motor learning and associative binding. Young (M = 24 years) and older adults (M = 66.5 years) completed a modified version of a configural learning task. Given the requirement of associative binding in the configural relationships between responses, we predicted older adults would show significantly less learning than young adults. Older adults demonstrated lower performance (slower reaction time and lower accuracy). However, contrary to our prediction, older adults showed similar rates of learning as indexed by a configural learning score compared to young adults. These results suggest that the ability to acquire knowledge incidentally about configural response relationships is largely unaffected by cognitive aging. The configural response learning task provides insight into the task demands that constrain learning abilities in older adults. PMID:26317773

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:25761598

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

    Cognitive procedural learning occurs in three qualitatively different phases (cognitive, associative, and autonomous). At the beginning of this process, numerous cognitive functions are involved, subtended by distinct brain structures such as the prefrontal and parietal cortex and the cerebellum. As the learning progresses, these cognitive components are gradually replaced by psychomotor abilities, reflected by the increasing involvement of the cerebellum, thalamus, and occipital regions. In elderly subjects, although cognitive studies have revealed a learning effect, performance levels differ during the acquisition of a procedure. The effects of age on the learning of a cognitive procedure have not yet been examined using functional imaging. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the cerebral substrates involved in the learning of a cognitive procedure, comparing a group of older subjects with young controls. For this purpose, we performed a positron emission tomography activation study using the Tower of Toronto task. A direct comparison of the two groups revealed the involvement of a similar network of brain regions at the beginning of learning (cognitive phase). However, the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, whereas it ceased in the younger controls. We assume that this additional activation in the older group during the associative and autonomous phases reflected compensatory processes and the fact that some older subjects failed to fully automate the procedure. PMID:18537110

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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, whereas the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Age related-changes in the neural basis of self-generation in verbal paired associate learning.

    PubMed

    Vannest, Jennifer; Maloney, Thomas; Kay, Benjamin; Siegel, Miriam; Allendorfer, Jane B; Banks, Christi; Altaye, Mekibib; Szaflarski, Jerzy P

    2015-01-01

    Verbal information is better retained when it is self-generated rather than when it is received passively. The application of self-generation procedures has been found to improve memory in healthy elderly and in individuals with impaired cognition. Overall, the available studies support the notion that active participation in verbal encoding engages memory mechanisms that supplement those used during passive observation. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the age-related changes in the neural mechanisms involved in the encoding of paired-associates using a self-generation method that has been shown to improve memory performance across the lifespan. Subjects were 113 healthy right-handed adults (Edinburgh Handedness Inventory >50; 67 females) ages 18-76, native speakers of English with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders. Subjects underwent fMRI at 3 T while performing didactic learning ("read") or self-generation learning ("generate") of 30 word pairs per condition. After fMRI, recognition memory for the second word in each pair was evaluated outside of the scanner. On the post-fMRI testing more "generate" words were correctly recognized than "read" words (p < 0.001) with older adults recognizing the "generated" words less accurately (p < 0.05). Independent component analysis of fMRI data identified task-related brain networks. Several components were positively correlated with the task reflecting multiple cognitive processes involved in self-generated encoding; other components correlated negatively with the task, including components of the default-mode network. Overall, memory performance on generated words decreased with age, but the benefit from self-generation remained consistently significant across ages. Independent component analysis of the neuroimaging data revealed an extensive set of components engaged in self-generation learning compared with didactic learning, and identified areas that were associated with age-related

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23616757

  16. The canine sand maze: an appetitive spatial memory paradigm sensitive to age-related change in dogs.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Aged dogs exhibit a spectrum of cognitive abilities including a syndrome similar to Alzheimer's disease. A major impediment to research so far has been the lack of a quick and accurate test of visuospatial memory appropriate for community-based animals. We therefore report on the development and validation of the Canine Sand Maze. A 4.5-m-diameter circular pool was filled with a sand and powdered food reward mix to a depth of 10 cm. Dogs were given 4 habituation and 16 learning trials which alternated a food reward being half (control trials) or fully-buried (acquisition trials) in a fixed location. After a 90-min break, a probe trial was conducted. Cognitively normal, aged (> 8 years, n  =  11) and young (1-4 years, n  =  11), breed-matched dogs were compared. After correction for differences in control trials, average probe times were 2.97 and 10.81 s for young and aged dogs, respectively. In the probe trial, both groups spent significantly more time in the target quadrant but there was a trend for young dogs to cross a 1 m(2) annulus zone around the buried reward more frequently (2.6 times) than aged dogs (1.5 times). Test-retest reliability in a subset of young dogs (n  =  5) was high. On the basis of these findings, the Canine Sand Maze is presented as a quick, sensitive and nonaversive tool for assessing spatial learning and reference memory in dogs. PMID:21541168

  17. 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. PMID:27049878

  18. 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

  19. Age related-changes in the neural basis of self-generation in verbal paired associate learning

    PubMed Central

    Vannest, Jennifer; Maloney, Thomas; Kay, Benjamin; Siegel, Miriam; Allendorfer, Jane B.; Banks, Christi; Altaye, Mekibib; Szaflarski, Jerzy P.

    2015-01-01

    Verbal information is better retained when it is self-generated rather than when it is received passively. The application of self-generation procedures has been found to improve memory in healthy elderly and in individuals with impaired cognition. Overall, the available studies support the notion that active participation in verbal encoding engages memory mechanisms that supplement those used during passive observation. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the age-related changes in the neural mechanisms involved in the encoding of paired-associates using a self-generation method that has been shown to improve memory performance across the lifespan. Subjects were 113 healthy right-handed adults (Edinburgh Handedness Inventory >50; 67 females) ages 18–76, native speakers of English with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders. Subjects underwent fMRI at 3 T while performing didactic learning (“read”) or self-generation learning (“generate”) of 30 word pairs per condition. After fMRI, recognition memory for the second word in each pair was evaluated outside of the scanner. On the post-fMRI testing more “generate” words were correctly recognized than “read” words (p < 0.001) with older adults recognizing the “generated” words less accurately (p < 0.05). Independent component analysis of fMRI data identified task-related brain networks. Several components were positively correlated with the task reflecting multiple cognitive processes involved in self-generated encoding; other components correlated negatively with the task, including components of the default-mode network. Overall, memory performance on generated words decreased with age, but the benefit from self-generation remained consistently significant across ages. Independent component analysis of the neuroimaging data revealed an extensive set of components engaged in self-generation learning compared with didactic learning, and identified areas that were

  20. 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

  1. Increased expression of osteonectin/SPARC mRNA and protein in age-related human cataracts and spatial expression in the normal human lens

    PubMed Central

    Kantorow, Marc; Huang, Quingling; Yang, Xian-jie; Sage, E. Helene; Magabo, Kristine S.; Miller, Kevin M.; Horwitz, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Purpose We have previously reported increased levels of Osteonectin/SPARC transcript in age-related cataractous compared to normal human lenses. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the corresponding levels of osteonectin/SPARC protein in age-related cataractous relative to normal lenses and to evaluate the levels of osteonectin/SPARC transcript in specific types of age-related human cataracts. The spatial expression of osteonectin/SPARC was also evaluated in normal human lenses. Methods Specific types of age-related cataracts were collected and graded. Normal human lenses were microdissected into epithelia and fibers. Osteonectin/SPARC protein levels were monitored by Western immunoblotting, and transcript levels were evaluated by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Osteonectin/SPARC expression patterns were examined by RT-PCR and by immunostaining. Results Higher levels of osteonectin/SPARC protein were detected in age-related cataractous relative to normal human lenses. Increased levels of osteonectin/SPARC transcript were also detected in posterior-subcapsular and nuclear cataractous lenses relative to normal lenses. Osteonectin/SPARC transcripts were detected in the lens epithelium but not fibers. Osteonectin/SPARC protein levels were highest in the peripheral lens epithelium. Conclusions Consistent with our previous studies on osteonectin/SPARC mRNA levels, osteonectin/SPARC protein levels were also elevated in cataractous compared to normal human lenses. Increased levels of osteonectin/SPARC mRNA were also found in nuclear and posterior-subcapsular cataracts relative to normal lenses. Osteonectin/SPARC expression is confined to the lens epithelium, and osteonectin/SPARC levels are highest in the peripheral lens epithelium. PMID:10756178

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Age-Related Performance on the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test in Healthy Child and Adolescent Girls: A Preliminary Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Lucy; Rose, Mark; Jonsson, Rosie; Lask, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test assesses individuals' cognitive flexibility in terms of rule detection and attainment. It has been used to assess executive functioning in both clinical and nonclinical adult samples. However, little is currently known about the suitability of this task for younger populations. The current study therefore aimed to provide an initial exploration of this task's suitability for young people. Brixton responses from a healthy sample of children and adolescents were presented to investigate performance in both rule detection and rule attainment, respectively. A convenience sample of 72 female participants (Mage = 14.95 years, SD = 1.53 years, range = 11-17 years; MIQ = 103.76, SD = 10.81) was studied. The sample was divided according to age into four groups (11-12 years, 13-14 years, 15 years, and 16-17 years) to allow for developmental trajectory. No significant age performance differences were found. Small effect sizes between age groups lend support to the null findings. The current study suggests that the Brixton task norms are suitable for use with individuals aged 11 to 17 years old. However, normative work is still needed in this area, incorporating an adult sample for comparison, to comment upon the developmental trajectory specific to this task. PMID:25928610

  6. 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…

  7. A blueberry-enriched antioxidant diet reduces an age-related deficit in one trial per day discriminative reward learning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It has been reported that an antioxidant-rich, blueberry-supplemented rat diet may slow brain aging in the rat and protect against age-related memory impairment as measured by such tasks as the water maze and visual object recognition. The present study determined whether such supplementation could ...

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:25156204

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Air flow cued spatial learning in mice.

    PubMed

    Bouchekioua, Youcef; Mimura, Masaru; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2015-01-01

    Spatial learning experiments in rodents typically employ visual cues that are associated with a goal place, even though it is now well established that they have poor visual acuity. We assessed here the possibility of spatial learning in mice based on an air flow cue in a dry version of the Morris water maze task. A miniature fan was placed at each of the four cardinal points of the circular maze, but only one blew air towards the centre of the maze. The three other fans were blowing towards their own box. The mice were able to learn the task only if the spatial relationship between the air flow cue and the position of the goal place was kept constant across trials. A change of this spatial relationship resulted in an increase in the time to find the goal place. We report here the first evidence of spatial learning relying on an air flow cue. PMID:25257773

  18. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page please turn Javascript on. Age-related Macular Degeneration What is AMD? Click for more information Age-related macular degeneration, ... the macula allows you to see fine detail. AMD Blurs Central Vision AMD blurs the sharp central ...

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

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Michela; Burwell, Rebecca; Burchinal, Margaret

    2015-08-01

    The Morris water maze task was originally designed to assess the rat's ability to learn to navigate to a specific location in a relatively large spatial environment. This article describes new measures that provide information about the spatial distribution of the rat's search during both training and probe trial performance. The basic new measure optimizes the use of computer tracking to identify the rat's position with respect to the target location. This proximity measure was found to be highly sensitive to age-related impairment in an assessment of young and aged male Long-Evans rats. Also described is the development of a learning index that provides a continuous, graded measure of the severity of age-related impairment in the task. An index of this type should be useful in correlational analyses with other neurobiological or behavioral measures for the study of individual differences in functional/biological decline in aging. PMID:26214219

  20. 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,…

  1. 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

  2. Extreme Learning Machines for spatial environmental data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuenberger, Michael; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Macular degeneration - age-related

    MedlinePlus

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD); AMD ... distorted and wavy. There may be a small dark spot in the center of your vision that ... leafy vegetables, may also decrease your risk of age-related macular degeneration. If you have wet AMD, ...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Gene delivery of Homer1c rescues spatial learning in a rodent model of cognitive aging.

    PubMed

    Gerstein, Hilary; Lindstrom, Mary J; Burger, Corinna

    2013-08-01

    Homer1c has been shown to play a role in learning and memory. Overexpression of Homer1c in the hippocampus can improve memory in normal rats and can also rescue spatial learning deficits in Homer1 knockout mice. In a previous study, we found that Homer1c mRNA is upregulated after a spatial learning paradigm in aged rats that successfully learn the task, when compared to aged rats that are learning-impaired (AI). This study was designed to validate the role of Homer1c in successful cognitive aging. In this article, we report that gene delivery of Homer1c into the hippocampus of aged learning-impaired rats significantly improves individual performance on an object location memory task. The learning ability of these rats on the Morris Water Maze was also superior to that of AI control rats. In summary, using 2 independent spatial memory tasks, we demonstrate that Homer1c is sufficient to improve the spatial learning deficits in a rodent model of cognitive aging. These results point to Homer1c as a potential therapeutic target for improving age-related cognitive impairment. PMID:23523268

  8. 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…

  9. Spatial learning and memory in birds.

    PubMed

    Healy, Susan D; Hurly, T Andrew

    2004-01-01

    Behavioral ecologists, well versed in addressing functional aspects of behavior, are acknowledging more and more the attention they need also to pay to mechanistic processes. One of these is the role of cognition. Song learning and imprinting are familiar examples of behaviors for which cognition plays an important role, but attention is now turning to other behaviors and a wider diversity of species. We focus here on work that investigates the nature of spatial learning and memory in the context of behaviors such as foraging and food storing. We also briefly explore the difficulties of studying cognition in the field. The common thread to all of this work is the value of using psychological techniques as tools for assessing learning and memory abilities in order to address questions of interest to behavioral ecologists. PMID:15084814

  10. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Budzinskaia, M V

    2014-01-01

    The review provides an update on the pathogenesis and new treatment modalities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The impact of polymorphism in particular genes, including complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2/LOC387715), and serine peptidase (HTRA1), on AMD development is discussed. Clinical presentations of different forms of exudative AMD, that is classic, occult, or more often mixed choroidal neovascularization, retinal angiomatous proliferation, and choroidal polypoidal vasculopathy, are described. Particular attention is paid to the results of recent clinical trials and safety issues around the therapy. PMID:25715554

  11. Age-related hearing loss

    MedlinePlus

    ... is no known single cause of age-related hearing loss. Most commonly, it is caused by changes in the inner ear that occur as you grow older. Your genes and loud noise (from rock concerts or music headphones) may play a large role. The following ...

  12. Low Calorie Diet Affects Aging-Related Factors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Research News From NIH Low Calorie Diet Affects Aging-Related Factors Past Issues / Summer 2006 Table of ... project sponsored by the NIH's National Institute on Aging (NIA) to learn more about the effects of ...

  13. 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 ...

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Spatially Distributed Instructions Improve Learning Outcomes and Efficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    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. PMID:10420956

  19. 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. PMID:26241988

  20. 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

  1. Robot navigation algorithms using learned spatial graphs

    SciTech Connect

    Iyengar, S.S.; Jorgensen, C.C.; Rao, S.V.N.; Weisbin, C.R.

    1985-01-01

    Finding optimal paths for robot navigation in known terrain has been studied for some time but, in many important situations, a robot would be required to navigate in completely new or partially explored terrain. We propose a method of robot navigation which requires no pre-learned model, makes maximal use of available information, records and synthesizes information from multiple journeys, and contains concepts of learning that allow for continuous transition from local to global path optimality. The model of the terrain consists of a spatial graph and a Voronoi diagram. Using acquired sensor data, polygonal boundaries containing perceived obstacles shrink to approximate the actual obstacles' surfaces, free space for transit is correspondingly enlarged, and additional nodes and edges are recorded based on path intersections and stop points. Navigation planning is gradually accelerated with experience since improved global map information minimizes the need for further sensor data acquisition. Our method currently assumes obstacle locations are unchanging, navigation can be successfully conducted using two-dimensional projections, and sensor information is precise.

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. Intrinsic frames of reference in haptic spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Naohide; Philbeck, John W

    2013-11-01

    It has been proposed that spatial reference frames with which object locations are specified in memory are intrinsic to a to-be-remembered spatial layout (intrinsic reference theory). Although this theory has been supported by accumulating evidence, it has only been collected from paradigms in which the entire spatial layout was simultaneously visible to observers. The present study was designed to examine the generality of the theory by investigating whether the geometric structure of a spatial layout (bilateral symmetry) influences selection of spatial reference frames when object locations are sequentially learned through haptic exploration. In two experiments, participants learned the spatial layout solely by touch and performed judgments of relative direction among objects using their spatial memories. Results indicated that the geometric structure can provide a spatial cue for establishing reference frames as long as it is accentuated by explicit instructions (Experiment 1) or alignment with an egocentric orientation (Experiment 2). These results are entirely consistent with those from previous studies in which spatial information was encoded through simultaneous viewing of all object locations, suggesting that the intrinsic reference theory is not specific to a type of spatial memory acquired by the particular learning method but instead generalizes to spatial memories learned through a variety of encoding conditions. In particular, the present findings suggest that spatial memories that follow the intrinsic reference theory function equivalently regardless of the modality in which spatial information is encoded. PMID:24007919

  5. 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.

  6. Age-Related Differences in Incidental Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrett, Terry R.

    Research has suggested that memory performance may be related to the extent of stimulus processing during acquisition. To examine processing efficiency and processing deficiency differences between younger and older adults, four studies were conducted. In the first study, young and old adults rated word lists, manipulated for generation specific…

  7. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanty, Nenden Octavarulia; Wijaya, Surya

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Competitive STDP Learning of Overlapping Spatial Patterns.

    PubMed

    Krunglevicius, Dalius

    2015-08-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is a set of Hebbian learning rules firmly based on biological evidence. It has been demonstrated that one of the STDP learning rules is suited for learning spatiotemporal patterns. When multiple neurons are organized in a simple competitive spiking neural network, this network is capable of learning multiple distinct patterns. If patterns overlap significantly (i.e., patterns are mutually inclusive), however, competition would not preclude trained neuron's responding to a new pattern and adjusting synaptic weights accordingly. This letter presents a simple neural network that combines vertical inhibition and Euclidean distance-dependent synaptic strength factor. This approach helps to solve the problem of pattern size-dependent parameter optimality and significantly reduces the probability of a neuron's forgetting an already learned pattern. For demonstration purposes, the network was trained for the first ten letters of the Braille alphabet. PMID:26079753

  11. 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…

  12. Spatial learning and memory in the tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria).

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Anna; Chan, Hui-Minn; Hall, Geoffrey

    2007-11-01

    A single tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) was trained in an eight-arm radial maze, with the apparatus and general procedures modeled on those used to demonstrate spatial learning in rats. The tortoise learned to perform reliably above chance, preferentially choosing baited arms, rather than returning to arms previously visited on a trial. Test sessions that examined control by olfactory cues revealed that they did not affect performance. No systematic, stereotyped response patterns were evident. In spite of differences in brain structure, the tortoise showed spatial learning abilities comparable to those observed in mammals. PMID:18085925

  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 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

  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

    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. From synaptic plasticity to spatial maps and sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Mayank R

    2015-06-01

    The entorhinal-hippocampal circuit is crucial for several forms of learning and memory, especially sequence learning, including spatial navigation. The challenge is to understand the underlying mechanisms. Pioneering discoveries of spatial selectivity in this circuit, i.e. place cells and grid cells, provided a major step forward in tackling this challenge. Considerable research has also shown that sequence learning relies on synaptic plasticity, especially the Hebbian or the NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity. This raises several questions: Are spatial maps plastic? If so, what is the contribution of Hebbian plasticity to spatial map plasticity? How does the spatial map plasticity contribute to sequence learning? A combination of computational and experimental studies has shown that NMDAR-mediated plasticity and theta rhythm can have specific effects on the formation and experiential modification of spatial maps to facilitate predictive coding. Advances in transgenic techniques have provided further support for these mechanisms. Although many exciting challenges remain, these findings have brought us closer to solving the puzzle of how the hippocampal system contributes to spatial memory, and point to a way forward. PMID:25929239

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26477660

  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. 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...

  20. Age-Related Changes in Creative Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  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. Hippocampal Gene Expression Meta-Analysis Identifies Aging and Age-Associated Spatial Learning Impairment (ASLI) Genes and Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Uddin, Raihan K.; Singh, Shiva M.

    2013-01-01

    A number of gene expression microarray studies have been carried out in the past, which studied aging and age-associated spatial learning impairment (ASLI) in the hippocampus in animal models, with varying results. Data from such studies were never integrated to identify the most significant ASLI genes and to understand their effect. In this study we integrated these data involving rats using meta-analysis. Our results show that proper removal of batch effects from microarray data generated from different laboratories is necessary before integrating them for meta-analysis. Our meta-analysis has identified a number of significant differentially expressed genes across age or across ASLI. These genes affect many key functions in the aged compared to the young rats, which include viability of neurons, cell-to-cell signalling and interaction, migration of cells, neuronal growth, and synaptic plasticity. These functional changes due to the altered gene expression may manifest into various neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, some of which leading into syndromic memory impairments. While other aging related molecular changes can result into altered synaptic plasticity simply causing normal aging related non-syndromic learning or spatial learning impairments such as ASLI. PMID:23874995

  5. Spatial reversal learning is impaired by age in pet dogs.

    PubMed

    Mongillo, Paolo; Araujo, Joseph A; Pitteri, Elisa; Carnier, Paolo; Adamelli, Serena; Regolin, Lucia; Marinelli, Lieta

    2013-12-01

    Aged dogs spontaneously develop progressive decline in both cognitive and behavioral function, in addition to neuropathological changes, that collectively parallel several aspects of human aging and Alzheimer's disease progression and likely contribute to the development of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. In the current study, ethologically relevant spatial learning, retention, and reversal learning tasks were conducted, with the goal of expanding canine neuropsychological testing to pet dogs. Initially, dogs (N = 44, aged 7.8 ± 2.8 years, mean ± SD) had to learn which of two alternative routes successfully led out of a T-maze. Two weeks later, long-term memory retention was assessed, immediately followed by a reversal learning task in which the previously correct route out of the maze was reversed compared with the initial learning and memory retention tasks. No effects of age were evident on the learning or retention tasks. However, older (≥ 8 years) dogs were significantly impaired on the reversal learning task compared with younger ones (< 8 years). Moreover, trial response latency was significantly increased in aged dogs across both the initial and reversal learning tasks but not on the retention task, which suggests that processing speed was impaired by increasing age during the acquisition of novel spatial information but not during performance of previously learned responses. Overall, the current study provides a framework for assessing cognitive function in pet dogs, which should improve understanding of the effects of aging on cognition in the dog population. PMID:23529504

  6. Facilitation of learning spatial relations among locations by visual cues: generality across spatial configurations.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    Spatial pattern learning permits the learning of the location of objects in space relative to each other without reference to discrete visual landmarks or environmental geometry. In the present experiment, we investigated conditions that facilitate spatial pattern learning. Specifically, human participants searched in a real environment or interactive 3-D computer-generated virtual environment open-field search task for four hidden goal locations arranged in a diamond configuration located in a 5 x 5 matrix of raised bins. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Pattern Only, Landmark + Pattern, or Cues + Pattern. All participants experienced a Training phase followed by a Testing phase. Visual cues were coincident with the goal locations during Training only in the Cues + Pattern group whereas a single visual cue at a non-goal location maintained a consistent spatial relationship with the goal locations during Training only in the Landmark + Pattern group. All groups were then tested in the absence of visual cues. Results in both environments indicated that participants in all three groups learned the spatial configuration of goal locations. The presence of the visual cues during Training facilitated acquisition of the task for the Landmark + Pattern and Cues + Pattern groups compared to the Pattern Only group. During Testing the Landmark + Pattern and Cues + Pattern groups did not differ when their respective visual cues were removed. Furthermore, during Testing the performance of these two groups was superior to the Pattern Only group. Results generalize prior research to a different configuration of spatial locations, isolate spatial pattern learning as the process facilitated by visual cues, and indicate that the facilitation of learning spatial relations among locations by visual cues does not require coincident visual cues. PMID:19777275

  7. Spatial learning with a minislab in the dorsal hippocampus.

    PubMed Central

    Moser, M B; Moser, E I; Forrest, E; Andersen, P; Morris, R G

    1995-01-01

    We have determined the volume and location of hippocampal tissue required for normal acquisition of a spatial memory task. Ibotenic acid was used to make bilateral symmetric lesions of 20-100% of hippocampal volume. Even a small transverse block (minislab) of the hippocampus (down to 26% of the total) could support spatial learning in a water maze, provided it was at the septal (dorsal) pole of the hippocampus. Lesions of the septal pole, leaving 60% of the hippocampi intact, caused a learning deficit, although normal electrophysiological responses, synaptic plasticity, and preserved acetylcholinesterase staining argue for adequate function of the remaining tissue. Thus, with an otherwise normal brain, hippocampal-dependent spatial learning only requires a minislab of dorsal hippocampal tissue. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:7568200

  8. 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. PMID:25215609

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26167773

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-21

    Sleep deprivation affects cognitive functions that depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as cognitive flexibility, and the consolidation of newly learned information. The identification of cognitive processes that are either robustly sensitive or robustly insensitive to the same experimental sleep deprivation procedure, will allow us to better focus on the specific effects of sleep on cognition, and increase understanding of the mechanisms involved. In the present study we investigate whether sleep deprivation differentially affects the two separate cognitive processes of acquisition and consolidation of a spatial reversal task. After training on a spatial discrimination between two levers in a Skinner box, male Wistar rats were exposed to a reversal of the previously learned stimulus-response contingency. We first evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the acquisition of reversal learning. Performance on reversal learning after 12h of sleep deprivation (n=12) was compared to performance after control conditions (n=12). The second experiment evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the consolidation of reversal learning; the first session of reversal learning was followed by 3h of nap prevention (n=8) or undisturbed control conditions (n=8). The experiments had sufficient statistical power (0.90 and 0.81, respectively) to detect differences with medium effect sizes. Neither the acquisition, nor the consolidation, of reversal learning was affected by acute sleep deprivation. Together with previous findings, these results help to further delineate the role of sleep in cognitive processing. PMID:22321457

  13. Emotional Multiagent Reinforcement Learning in Spatial Social Dilemmas.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Social dilemmas have attracted extensive interest in the research of multiagent systems in order to study the emergence of cooperative behaviors among selfish agents. Understanding how agents can achieve cooperation in social dilemmas through learning from local experience is a critical problem that has motivated researchers for decades. This paper investigates the possibility of exploiting emotions in agent learning in order to facilitate the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas. In particular, the spatial version of social dilemmas is considered to study the impact of local interactions on the emergence of cooperation in the whole system. A double-layered emotional multiagent reinforcement learning framework is proposed to endow agents with internal cognitive and emotional capabilities that can drive these agents to learn cooperative behaviors. Experimental results reveal that various network topologies and agent heterogeneities have significant impacts on agent learning behaviors in the proposed framework, and under certain circumstances, high levels of cooperation can be achieved among the agents. PMID:25769173

  14. STYRENE IMPAIRS SERIAL SPATIAL REVERSAL LEARNING IN RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Occupational exposure to styrene monomer has been implicated in the etiology of solvent-induced cognitive dysfunction. o evaluate the effects of styrene exposure on learning, rats were trained on a series of reversals of a spatial discrimination, permitting repeated evaluation of...

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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. PMID:25261739

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

    Spatial learning abilities were tested in restrained cockroaches by observing antennal projection responses towards the positions of a learned visual cue perceived monocularly by one eye in the context of a second stimulus provided to the contralateral eye. Memory of the position of the conditioning stimulus relative to the contralateral reference stimulus was tested by altering the relative positions of the two stimuli. Memory of the conditioning stimulus is retained if the angle between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus is maintained. The results suggest that during learning the insect recognizes spatial relationships between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus. Possible mechanisms, such as retinotopic matching versus angular matching, are discussed. PMID:14668321

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms. PMID:23075525

  2. Age-Related White Matter Changes

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Yun Yun; Mok, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    Age-related white matter changes (WMC) are considered manifestation of arteriolosclerotic small vessel disease and are related to age and vascular risk factors. Most recent studies have shown that WMC are associated with a host of poor outcomes, including cognitive impairment, dementia, urinary incontinence, gait disturbances, depression, and increased risk of stroke and death. Although the clinical relevance of WMC has been extensively studied, to date, only very few clinical trials have evaluated potential symptomatic or preventive treatments for WMC. In this paper, we reviewed the current understanding in the pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical importance, chemical biomarkers, and treatments of age-related WMC. PMID:21876810

  3. Pharmacogenetics and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Stephen G; Brantley, Milam A

    2011-01-01

    Pharmacogenetics seeks to explain interpatient variability in response to medications by investigating genotype-phenotype correlations. There is a small but growing body of data regarding the pharmacogenetics of both nonexudative and exudative age-related macular degeneration. Most reported data concern polymorphisms in the complement factor H and age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 genes. At this time, the data are not consistent and no definite conclusions may be drawn. As clinical trials data continue to accumulate, these relationships may become more apparent. PMID:22046503

  4. 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.

  5. 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,…

  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. 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…

  8. Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald

    2009-01-01

    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, and considers directions for future research. PMID:20046818

  9. Neuromuscular contributions to age-related weakness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Age-related physiological change of neuromuscular function is not a linear process and is likely influenced by various biological and behavioral factors (e.g., genetics, nutrition, physical activity level, comorbidities, etc.). These factors contribute to heterogeneity among older adults, which chal...

  10. The different effects of maternal separation on spatial learning and reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiong; Li, Man; Du, Wei; Shao, Feng; Wang, Weiwen

    2015-03-01

    Early postnatal maternal separation (MS) can play an important role in the development of psychopathologies during ontogeny. In the present study, we investigated the effects of repeated MS (4h per day from postnatal day (PND) 1 to 21) on locomotor activity and anxiety behavior in open field, spatial learning and reversal learning in Morris water maze of male and female juvenile (PND 21), adolescent (PND 35) and early adult (PND 56) Wistar rats. The results indicated that MS increased locomotor activity of rats across all ages and reduced anxiety behavior of adolescent rats in open field test. MS also increased swim distance in spatial learning and decreased escape latency in reversal learning in adolescent and early adult rats. Additionally, for socially reared rats, there was increased spontaneous locomotion with age, decreased reversal learning ability with age. The present study provides novel insights into the consequences of MS and demonstrates unique age-dependent changes at the behavioral levels. PMID:25479401

  11. Women match men when learning a spatial skill.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a matched-pair two-wave longitudinal design. Participants were screened with the use of an attentional visual field task, with the objective of selecting and matching 10 male-female pairs, over a wide range (30% to 57% correct). Subsequently, 20 participants 17-23 years of age (selected from 43 screened) were trained for 10 hr (distributed over several sessions) by playing a first-person shooter video game. This genre is known to be highly effective in enhancing spatial skills. All 20 participants improved, with matched members of the male-female pairs achieving very similar gains, independent of starting level. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the learning trajectory of women is not inferior to that of men when acquiring a basic spatial skill. Training methods that develop basic spatial skills may be essential to achieve gender parity in both basic and complex spatial tasks. PMID:19586273

  12. Pedestrian Detection with Spatially Pooled Features and Structured Ensemble Learning.

    PubMed

    Paisitkriangkrai, Sakrapee; Shen, Chunhua; Hengel, Anton van den

    2016-06-01

    Many typical applications of object detection operate within a prescribed false-positive range. In this situation the performance of a detector should be assessed on the basis of the area under the ROC curve over that range, rather than over the full curve, as the performance outside the prescribed range is irrelevant. This measure is labelled as the partial area under the ROC curve (pAUC). We propose a novel ensemble learning method which achieves a maximal detection rate at a user-defined range of false positive rates by directly optimizing the partial AUC using structured learning. In addition, in order to achieve high object detection performance, we propose a new approach to extracting low-level visual features based on spatial pooling. Incorporating spatial pooling improves the translational invariance and thus the robustness of the detection process. Experimental results on both synthetic and real-world data sets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, and we show that it is possible to train state-of-the-art pedestrian detectors using the proposed structured ensemble learning method with spatially pooled features. The result is the current best reported performance on the Caltech-USA pedestrian detection dataset. PMID:26336118

  13. Cross auditory-spatial learning in early-blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Alex W K; Ting, Kin-Hung; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; He, Jufang; Lee, Tatia M C

    2012-11-01

    Cross-modal processing enables the utilization of information received via different sensory organs to facilitate more complicated human actions. We used functional MRI on early-blind individuals to study the neural processes associated with cross auditory-spatial learning. The auditory signals, converted from echoes of ultrasonic signals emitted from a navigation device, were novel to the participants. The subjects were trained repeatedly for 4 weeks in associating the auditory signals with different distances. Subjects' blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses were captured at baseline and after training using a sound-to-distance judgment task. Whole-brain analyses indicated that the task used in the study involved auditory discrimination as well as spatial localization. The learning process was shown to be mediated by the inferior parietal cortex and the hippocampus, suggesting the integration and binding of auditory features to distances. The right cuneus was found to possibly serve a general rather than a specific role, forming an occipital-enhanced network for cross auditory-spatial learning. This functional network is likely to be unique to those with early blindness, since the normal-vision counterparts shared activities only in the parietal cortex. PMID:21932260

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27014045

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Age-related eye disease and gender.

    PubMed

    Zetterberg, Madeleine

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, the prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment and blindness is 285 millions, with 65% of visually impaired and 82% of all blind people being 50 years and older. Meta-analyses have shown that two out of three blind people are women, a gender discrepancy that holds true for both developed and developing countries. Cataract accounts for more than half of all blindness globally and gender inequity in access to cataract surgery is the major cause of the higher prevalence of blindness in women. In addition to gender differences in cataract surgical coverage, population-based studies on the prevalence of lens opacities indicate that women have a higher risk of developing cataract. Laboratory as well as epidemiologic studies suggest that estrogen may confer antioxidative protection against cataractogenesis, but the withdrawal effect of estrogen in menopause leads to increased risk of cataract in women. For the other major age-related eye diseases; glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, data are inconclusive. Due to anatomic factors, angle closure glaucoma is more common in women, whereas the dominating glaucoma type; primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is more prevalent in men. Diabetic retinopathy also has a male predominance and vascular/circulatory factors have been implied both in diabetic retinopathy and in POAG. For AMD, data on gender differences are conflicting although some studies indicate increased prevalence of drusen and neovascular AMD in women. To conclude, both biologic and socioeconomic factors must be considered when investigating causes of gender differences in the prevalence of age-related eye disease. PMID:26508081

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    PubMed

    Villeda, Saul A; Plambeck, Kristopher E; Middeldorp, Jinte; Castellano, Joseph M; Mosher, Kira I; Luo, Jian; Smith, Lucas K; Bieri, Gregor; Lin, Karin; Berdnik, Daniela; Wabl, Rafael; Udeochu, Joe; Wheatley, Elizabeth G; Zou, Bende; Simmons, Danielle A; Xie, Xinmin S; Longo, Frank M; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-06-01

    As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts--in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected--identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function. PMID:24793238

  5. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Villeda, Saul A; Plambeck, Kristopher E; Middeldorp, Jinte; Castellano, Joseph M; Mosher, Kira I; Luo, Jian; Smith, Lucas K; Bieri, Gregor; Lin, Karin; Berdnik, Daniela; Wabl, Rafael; Udeochu, Joe; Wheatley, Elizabeth G; Zou, Bende; Simmons, Danielle A; Xie, Xinmin S; Longo, Frank M; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-01-01

    As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging1,2. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts—in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected—identified synaptic plasticity–related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function. PMID:24793238

  6. 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

  7. Risk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy

    PubMed Central

    Connell, Paul P.; Keane, Pearse A.; O'Neill, Evelyn C.; Altaie, Rasha W.; Loane, Edward; Neelam, Kumari; Nolan, John M.; Beatty, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Age-related maculopathy (ARM) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Although beneficial therapeutic strategies have recently begun to emerge, much remains unclear regarding the etiopathogenesis of this disorder. Epidemiologic studies have enhanced our understanding of ARM, but the data, often conflicting, has led to difficulties with drawing firm conclusions with respect to risk for this condition. As a consequence, we saw a need to assimilate the published findings with respect to risk factors for ARM, through a review of the literature appraising results from published cross-sectional studies, prospective cohort studies, case series, and case control studies investigating risk for this condition. Our review shows that, to date, and across a spectrum of epidemiologic study designs, only age, cigarette smoking, and family history of ARM have been consistently demonstrated to represent risk for this condition. In addition, genetic studies have recently implicated many genes in the pathogenesis of age-related maculopathy, including Complement Factor H, PLEKHA 1, and LOC387715/HTRA1, demonstrating that environmental and genetic factors are important for the development of ARM suggesting that gene-environment interaction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of this condition. PMID:20339564

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:27175778

  12. Training shortest-path tractography: Automatic learning of spatial priors.

    PubMed

    Kasenburg, Niklas; Liptrot, Matthew; Reislev, Nina Linde; Ørting, Silas N; Nielsen, Mads; Garde, Ellen; Feragen, Aasa

    2016-04-15

    Tractography is the standard tool for automatic delineation of white matter tracts from diffusion weighted images. However, the output of tractography often requires post-processing to remove false positives and ensure a robust delineation of the studied tract, and this demands expert prior knowledge. Here we demonstrate how such prior knowledge, or indeed any prior spatial information, can be automatically incorporated into a shortest-path tractography approach to produce more robust results. We describe how such a prior can be automatically generated (learned) from a population, and we demonstrate that our framework also retains support for conventional interactive constraints such as waypoint regions. We apply our approach to the open access, high quality Human Connectome Project data, as well as a dataset acquired on a typical clinical scanner. Our results show that the use of a learned prior substantially increases the overlap of tractography output with a reference atlas on both populations, and this is confirmed by visual inspection. Furthermore, we demonstrate how a prior learned on the high quality dataset significantly increases the overlap with the reference for the more typical yet lower quality data acquired on a clinical scanner. We hope that such automatic incorporation of prior knowledge and the obviation of expert interactive tract delineation on every subject, will improve the feasibility of large clinical tractography studies. PMID:26804779

  13. Tests enhance retention and transfer of spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Shana K; Kelly, Jonathan W

    2012-06-01

    Many studies have reported that tests are beneficial for learning (e.g., Roediger & Karpicke, 2006a). However, the majority of studies on the testing effect have been limited to a combination of relatively simple verbal tasks and final tests that assessed memory for the same material that had originally been tested. The present study explored whether testing is beneficial for complex spatial memory and whether these benefits hold for both retention and transfer. After encoding a three-dimensional layout of objects presented in a virtual environment, participants completed a judgment-of-relative-direction (JRD) task in which they imagined standing at one object, facing a second object, and pointed to a third object from the imagined perspective. Some participants completed this task by relying on memory for the previously encoded layout (i.e., the test conditions), whereas for others the location of the third object was identified ahead of time, so that retrieval was not required (i.e., the study condition). On a final test assessing their JRD performance, the participants who learned through test outperformed those who learned through study. This was true even when corrective feedback was not provided on the initial JRD task and when the final test assessed memory from vantage points that had never been practiced during the initial JRD. PMID:22318460

  14. Distraction can reduce age-related forgetting.

    PubMed

    Biss, Renée K; Ngo, K W Joan; Hasher, Lynn; Campbell, Karen L; Rowe, Gillian

    2013-04-01

    In three experiments, we assessed whether older adults' generally greater tendency to process distracting information can be used to minimize widely reported age-related differences in forgetting. Younger and older adults studied and recalled a list of words on an initial test and again on a surprise test after a 15-min delay. In the middle (Experiments 1a and 2) or at the end (Experiment 3) of the delay, participants completed a 1-back task in which half of the studied words appeared as distractors. Across all experiments, older adults reliably forgot unrepeated words; however, older adults rarely or never forgot the words that had appeared as distractors, whereas younger adults forgot words in both categories. Exposure to distraction may serve as a rehearsal episode for older adults, and thus as a method by which general distractibility may be co-opted to boost memory. PMID:23426890

  15. 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

  16. [Age-related changes of sensory system].

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, Toshihiko; Hanyu, Haruo; Umahara, Takahiko

    2013-10-01

    Pathological processes usually superimpose on physiological aging even in the sensory system including visual, hearing, olfactory, taste and somatosensory functions. Representative changes of age-related changes are presbyopia, cataracts, and presbyacusis. Reduced sense of smell is seen in normal aging, but the prominent reduction detected by the odor stick identification test is noticed especially in early stage of Alzheimer or Parkinson disease. Reduced sense of taste is well-known especially in salty sense, while the changes of sweet, bitter, and sour tastes are different among individuals. Finally, deep sensation of vibration and proprioception is decreased with age as well as superficial sensation (touch, temperature, pain). As a result, impaired sensory system could induce deterioration of the activities of daily living and quality of life in the elderly. PMID:24261198

  17. Macular carotenoids and age-related maculopathy.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Eamonn; Neelam, Kumari; Nolan, John; Au Eong, Kah-Guan; Beatty, Stephan

    2006-11-01

    Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are concentrated at the macula, where they are collectively known as macular pigment (MP), and where they are believed to play a major role in protecting retinal tissues against oxidative stress. Whilst the exact pathogenesis of age-related maculopathy (ARM) remains unknown, the disruption of cellular processes by oxidative stress may play an important role. Manipulation of dietary intake of L and Z has been shown to augment MP, thereby raising hopes that dietary supplementation with these carotenoids might prevent, delay, or modify the course of ARM. This article discusses the scientific rationale supporting the hypothesis that L and Z are protective against ARM, and presents the recent evidence germane to this theory. PMID:17160199

  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. [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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Age-related macular degeneration: choroidal ischaemia?

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, D Jackson; Silverman, Ronald H; Rondeau, Mark J; Lloyd, Harriet O; Khanifar, Aziz A; Chan, R V Paul

    2013-01-01

    Aim Our aim is to use ultrasound to non-invasively detect differences in choroidal microarchitecture possibly related to ischaemia among normal eyes and those with wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Prospective case series of subjects with dry AMD, wet AMD and age-matched controls. Methods Digitised 20 MHz B-scan radiofrequency ultrasound data of the region of the macula were segmented to extract the signal from the retina and choroid. This signal was processed by a wavelet transform, and statistical modelling was applied to the wavelet coefficients to examine differences among dry, wet and non-AMD eyes. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate a multivariate classifier. Results In the 69 eyes of 52 patients, 18 did not have AMD, 23 had dry AMD and 28 had wet AMD. Multivariate models showed statistically significant differences between groups. Multiclass ROC analysis of the best model showed an excellent volume-under-curve of 0.892±0.17. The classifier is consistent with ischaemia in dry AMD. Conclusions Wavelet augmented ultrasound is sensitive to the organisational elements of choroidal microarchitecture relating to scatter and fluid tissue boundaries such as seen in ischaemia and inflammation, allowing statistically significant differentiation of dry, wet and non-AMD eyes. This study further supports the association of ischaemia with dry AMD and provides a rationale for treating dry AMD with pharmacological agents to increase choroidal perfusion. ClinicalTrials.gov registration NCT00277784. PMID:23740965

  4. 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.

  5. 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].

  6. Age-related crosslink in skin collagen

    SciTech Connect

    Yamauchi, M.; Mechanic, G.

    1986-05-01

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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.…

  17. 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

  18. Novel role and mechanism of protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 in spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    Tai, Derek J C; Hsu, Wei L; Liu, Yen C; Ma, Yun L; Lee, Eminy H Y

    2011-01-01

    By using differential display PCR, we have previously identified 98 cDNA fragments from rat dorsal hippocampus, which are expressed differentially between the fast learners and slow learners from water-maze learning task. One cDNA fragment, which showed a higher expression level in fast learners, encodes the rat protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 (pias1) gene. Spatial training induced a significant increase in PIAS1 expression in rat hippocampus. Transient transfection of the wild-type (WT) PIAS1 plasmid to CA1 neurons facilitated, whereas transfection of PIAS1 siRNA impaired spatial learning in rats. Meanwhile, PIAS1WT increased STAT1 sumoylation, decreased STAT1 DNA binding and decreased STAT1 phosphorylation at Tyr-701 associated with spatial learning facilitation. But PIAS1 siRNA transfection produced an opposite effect on these measures associated with spatial learning impairment. Further, transfection of STAT1 sumoylation mutant impaired spatial acquisition, whereas transfection of STAT1 phosphorylation mutant blocked the impairing effect of PIAS1 siRNA on spatial learning. In this study, we first demonstrate the role of PIAS1 in spatial learning. Both posttranslational modifications (increased sumoylation and decreased phosphorylation) mediate the effect of PIAS1 on spatial learning facilitation. PMID:21102409

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:27194408

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:25689057

  4. Experiential Learning, Spatial Practice, and Critical Urban Geographies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elwood, Sarah A.

    2004-01-01

    Experiential learning pedagogies are being adopted across undergraduate education and touted as an effective strategy for enhancing student learning. This paper develops an explanation for how and why such pedagogies can foster students' critical thinking and learning. Drawing on data collected from first-year students in "field based" urban…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27487561

  8. 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.

  9. Neural Correlates of Reward-Based Spatial Learning in Persons with Cocaine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Tau, Gregory Z; Marsh, Rachel; Wang, Zhishun; Torres-Sanchez, Tania; Graniello, Barbara; Hao, Xuejun; Xu, Dongrong; Packard, Mark G; Duan, Yunsuo; Kangarlu, Alayar; Martinez, Diana; Peterson, Bradley S

    2014-01-01

    Dysfunctional learning systems are thought to be central to the pathogenesis of and impair recovery from addictions. The functioning of the brain circuits for episodic memory or learning that support goal-directed behavior has not been studied previously in persons with cocaine dependence (CD). Thirteen abstinent CD and 13 healthy participants underwent MRI scanning while performing a task that requires the use of spatial cues to navigate a virtual-reality environment and find monetary rewards, allowing the functional assessment of the brain systems for spatial learning, a form of episodic memory. Whereas both groups performed similarly on the reward-based spatial learning task, we identified disturbances in brain regions involved in learning and reward in CD participants. In particular, CD was associated with impaired functioning of medial temporal lobe (MTL), a brain region that is crucial for spatial learning (and episodic memory) with concomitant recruitment of striatum (which normally participates in stimulus-response, or habit, learning), and prefrontal cortex. CD was also associated with enhanced sensitivity of the ventral striatum to unexpected rewards but not to expected rewards earned during spatial learning. We provide evidence that spatial learning in CD is characterized by disturbances in functioning of an MTL-based system for episodic memory and a striatum-based system for stimulus-response learning and reward. We have found additional abnormalities in distributed cortical regions. Consistent with findings from animal studies, we provide the first evidence in humans describing the disruptive effects of cocaine on the coordinated functioning of multiple neural systems for learning and memory. PMID:23917430

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Bangle (Zingiber purpureum) is a tropical ginger that is used as a spice in Southeast Asia. Phenylbutenoid dimers isolated from Bangle have exhibited neurotrophic effects in primary cultured rat cortical neurons and PC12 cells. Furthermore, chronic treatment with phenylbutenoid dimers enhances hippocampal neurogenesis in olfactory bulbectomized mice. In this study, we investigated the effects of Bangle extract on behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo. SAMP8 mice, which are an established model for accelerated aging, with age-related learning and memory impairments, were given a Bangle-containing diet for 1 month, and subsequent behavioral tests and immunohistochemistry for Ki67, a proliferating cell marker, were performed. We found that the Bangle-containing diet improved spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze and significantly increased the numbers of Ki67-positive cells in the dentate gyrus of the SAMP8 mice. In addition, the Bangle extract exhibited a neurotrophin-like activity as indicated by the induction of neurite sprouting in PC12 cells. Our results suggest that Bangle is beneficial for the prevention of age-related progression of cognitive impairment. PMID:26829513

  11. A comparison of egocentric and allocentric age-dependent spatial learning in the beagle dog.

    PubMed

    Christie, Lori-Ann; Studzinski, Christa M; Araujo, Joseph A; Leung, Cleo S K; Ikeda-Douglas, Candace J; Head, Elizabeth; Cotman, Carl W; Milgram, Norton W

    2005-03-01

    Spatial discriminations can be performed using either egocentric information based on body position or allocentric information based on the position of landmarks in the environment. Beagle dogs ranging from 2 to 16 years of age were tested for their ability to learn a novel egocentric spatial discrimination task that used two identical blocks paired in three possible spatial positions (i.e. left, center and right). Dogs were rewarded for responding to an object furthest to either their left or right side. Therefore, when the center location was used, it was correct on half of the trials and incorrect on the other half. Upon successful acquisition of the task, the reward contingencies were reversed, and the dogs were rewarded for responding to the opposite side. A subset of dogs was also tested on an allocentric spatial discrimination task, landmark discrimination. Egocentric spatial reversal learning and allocentric discrimination learning both showed a significant age-dependent decline, while initial egocentric learning appeared to be age-insensitive. Intra-subject correlation analyses revealed a significant relationship between egocentric reversal learning and allocentric learning. However, the correlation only accounted for a small proportion of the variance, suggesting that although there might be some common mechanism underlying acquisition of the two tasks, additional unique neural substrates were involved depending on whether allocentric or egocentric spatial information processing was required. PMID:15795044

  12. 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. PMID:24465979

  13. 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

  14. Women Match Men when Learning a Spatial Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. [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

  16. 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…

  17. Effective Teaching Strategies for Gifted/Learning-Disabled Students with Spatial Strengths

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Rebecca L.

    2006-01-01

    This study sought to determine effective teaching strategies for use with high-ability students who have spatial strengths and sequential weaknesses. Gifted students with spatial strengths and weak verbal skills often struggle in the traditional classroom. Their learning style enables them to grasp complex systems and excel at higher levels of…

  18. MICROINJECTION OF DYNORPHIN INTO THE HIPPOCAMPUS IMPAIRS SPATIAL LEARNING IN RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effect of hippocampal dynorphin administration on learning and memory was examined in spatial and nonspatial tasks. ilateral infusion of dynorphin A(1-8)(DYN; 10 or 20 ug in one ul) into the dorsal hippocampus resulted in dose-related impairment of spatial working memory in a...

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Acquiring New Spatial Intuitions: Learning to Reason about Rotations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. FORMATION OF SPATIAL REVERSAL LEARNING SETS IN RATS: COMPARISON OF INSTRUMENTAL AND AUTOMAINTENANCE PROCEDURES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial discriminations were acquired by rats through repeated pairings of the retraction of a response lever with food; serial reversals of these discriminations were used to generate an automaintained reversal learning set. This learning set was compared to that obtained with a...

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial retrieval but not spatial learning in the non-human primate grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Anisur; Languille, Solène; Lamberty, Yves; Babiloni, Claudio; Perret, Martine; Bordet, Regis; Blin, Olivier J; Jacob, Tom; Auffret, Alexandra; Schenker, Esther; Richardson, Jill; Pifferi, Fabien; Aujard, Fabienne

    2013-01-01

    A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD) impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging. PMID:23717620

  10. Hippocampal expression of c-fos is not essential for spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; McQuade, Jill M Slane; Vorhees, Charles V; Xu, Ming

    2002-11-01

    The formation of long-term memory is thought to involve underlying changes in synaptic strength. Many studies have focused on the mechanisms of spatial learning behavior in mammals that is critically dependent on the proper function of the hippocampus. Because of the enduring nature of long-term memory, it is thought that gene expression is involved in this process. The immediate early gene (IEG) c-fos encodes a transcription factor. The c-Fos proteins form heterodimeric proteins with the c-Jun family proteins and the resulting AP-1 transcription complex plays a key role in coupling short-term events elicited by stimuli received at the cell membrane to long-term neuroplastic changes by regulating gene expression. c-fos is induced in the hippocampus after spatial learning. Despite this knowledge, the precise role of c-fos in memory formation and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. To start investigating the role of c-fos in learning and memory and underlying mechanisms, we evaluated spatial learning capabilities using mice carrying a hippocampal region-specific mutation of c-fos. We found that the c-fos mutant mice exhibit normal spatial learning behaviors in both the Morris water maze and the Barnes maze tests compared to control mice. Our results suggest that hippocampal c-fos expression is not essential for spatial learning. PMID:12211087

  11. 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. PMID:26105657

  12. Age-related deficits in generation and manipulation of mental images: II. The role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Raz, N; Briggs, S D; Marks, W; Acker, J D

    1999-09-01

    The authors investigated neural substrates of age-related declines in mental imagery. Healthy adult participants (ages 19 to 77) performed a series of visual-spatial mental imagery tasks that varied in apparent difficulty and involved stimuli of varying graphic complexity. The volumes of the dorsolateral frontal cortex (DLPFC) and posterior visual processing areas were estimated from magnetic resonance imaging scans. The volume of the DLPFC and the fusiform cortex, working-memory capacity, and performance on the tasks involving image generation and manipulation were significantly reduced with age. Further analyses suggested that age-related deficits in performance on mental imagery tasks may stem in part from age-related shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex and age-related declines in working memory but not from age-related slowing of sensorimotor reaction time. The volume of cortical regions associated with modality-specific visual information processing did not show a consistent relationship with specific mental imagery processes. PMID:10509698

  13. 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. PMID:26629672

  14. 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

  15. Temporal and Region-Specific Requirements of αCaMKII in Spatial and Contextual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Achterberg, Katharina G.; Buitendijk, Gabriëlle H.S.; Kool, Martijn J.; Goorden, Susanna M.I.; Post, Laura; Slump, Denise E.; Silva, Alcino J.; van Woerden, Geeske M.

    2014-01-01

    The α isoform of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (αCaMKII) has been implicated extensively in molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying spatial and contextual learning in a wide variety of species. Germline deletion of Camk2a leads to severe deficits in spatial and contextual learning in mice. However, the temporal and region-specific requirements for αCaMKII have remained largely unexplored. Here, we generated conditional Camk2a mutants to examine the influence of spatially restricted and temporally controlled expression of αCaMKII. Forebrain-specific deletion of the Camk2a gene resulted in severe deficits in water maze and contextual fear learning, whereas mice with deletion restricted to the cerebellum learned normally. Furthermore, we found that temporally controlled deletion of the Camk2a gene in adult mice is as detrimental as germline deletion for learning and synaptic plasticity. Together, we confirm the requirement for αCaMKII in the forebrain, but not the cerebellum, in spatial and contextual learning. Moreover, we highlight the absolute requirement for intact αCaMKII expression at the time of learning. PMID:25143599

  16. 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

  17. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity: role in spatial learning or the automatic recording of attended experience?

    PubMed Central

    Morris, R G; Frey, U

    1997-01-01

    Allocentric spatial learning can sometimes occur in one trial. The incorporation of information into a spatial representation may, therefore, obey a one-trial correlational learning rule rather than a multi-trial error-correcting rule. It has been suggested that physiological implementation of such a rule could be mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, as its induction obeys a correlational type of synaptic learning rule. Support for this idea came originally from the finding that intracerebral infusion of the NMDA antagonist AP5 impairs spatial learning, but studies summarized in the first part of this paper have called it into question. First, rats previously given experience of spatial learning in a watermaze can learn a new spatial reference memory task at a normal rate despite an appreciable NMDA receptor blockade. Second, the classical phenomenon of 'blocking' occurs in spatial learning. The latter finding implies that spatial learning can also be sensitive to an animal's expectations about reward and so depend on more than the detection of simple spatial correlations. In this paper a new hypothesis is proposed about the function of hippocampal LTP. This hypothesis retains the idea that LTP subserves rapid one-trial memory, but abandons the notion that it serves any specific role in the geometric aspects of spatial learning. It is suggested that LTP participates in the automatic recording of attended experience': a subsystem of episodic memory in which events are temporarily remembered in association with the contexts in which they occur. An automatic correlational form of synaptic plasticity is ideally suited to the online registration of context event associations. In support, it is reported that the ability of rats to remember the most recent place they have visited in a familiar environment is exquisitely sensitive to AP5 in a delay-dependent manner. Moreover, new studies of the lasting

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Spatial navigation is a fundamental capability necessary in everyday life to locate food, social partners, and shelter. It results from two very different strategies: (1) place learning which enables for flexible way finding and (2) response learning that leads to a more rigid "route following." Despite the importance of knockout techniques that are only available in mice, little is known about mice' flexibility in spatial navigation tasks. Here we demonstrate for C57BL6/N mice in a water-cross maze (WCM) that only place learning enables spatial flexibility and relearning of a platform position, whereas response learning does not. This capability depends on an intact hippocampal formation, since hippocampus lesions by ibotenic acid (IA) disrupted relearning. In vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed a volume loss of ≥60% of the hippocampus as a critical threshold for relearning impairments. In particular the changes in the left ventral hippocampus were indicative of relearning deficits. In summary, our findings establish the importance of hippocampus-dependent place learning for spatial flexibility and provide a first systematic analysis on spatial flexibility in mice. PMID:23293591

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Spontaneous fast gamma activity in the septal hippocampal region correlates with spatial learning in humans.

    PubMed

    Cornwell, B R; Overstreet, C; Grillon, C

    2014-03-15

    Hippocampal neuronal populations exhibit multiple kinds of activity patterns, from the dominant theta rhythm during active exploration to high-frequency ripple-like activity during periods of relative inactivity. In animals, evidence is rapidly accruing that these high-frequency ripple activity patterns subserve retention of spatial learning performance. In a translational effort to address the possible function of offline hippocampal processes in humans, we measured spontaneous gamma activity during an awake rest period within a virtual spatial learning context. Whole-head magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings were taken while healthy participants (N=24) quietly rested (eyes open) between encoding and retrieval phases of a hippocampal-dependent virtual Morris water maze task. Results are that fast gamma activity (80-140 Hz) in the septal or posterior region of the hippocampus (bilaterally) was positively correlated across participants with subsequent within-session spatial learning rate. Fast gamma did not predict initial retrieval performance following rest, failing to provide evidence of a direct link between spontaneous high-frequency activity patterns during awake rest and consolidation of previous spatial memories. The findings nevertheless are consistent with a prospective role for offline human hippocampal processes in spatial learning and indicate that higher spontaneous gamma activity in the septal hippocampal region is related to faster updating of spatial knowledge in familiar virtual surroundings. PMID:24388977

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. Age-related changes in the misinformation effect.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, R; Hayne, H

    2001-08-01

    In these experiments, we examined the relation between age-related changes in retention and age-related changes in the misinformation effect. Children (5- and 6- and 11- and 12-year-olds) and adults viewed a video, and their memory was assessed immediately, 1 day, or 6 weeks later (Experiment 1). There were large age-related differences in retention when participants were interviewed immediately and after 1 day, but after the 6-week delay, age-related differences in retention were minimal. In Experiment 2, 11- and 12-year-olds and adults were exposed to neutral, leading, and misleading postevent information 1 day or 6 weeks after they viewed the video. Exposure to misleading information increased the number of commission errors, particularly when participants were asked about peripheral aspects of the video. At both retention intervals, children were more likely than adults to incorporate the misleading postevent information into their subsequent verbal accounts. These findings indicate that age-related changes in the misinformation effect are not predicted by age-related changes in retention. PMID:11511130

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schandler, Steven L.; And Others

    1991-01-01

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

  12. Spatial Context Learning Survives Interference from Working Memory Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Location-Aware Mobile Learning of Spatial Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karavirta, Ville

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Effects of a cognitive training on spatial learning and associated functional brain activations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Both cognitive and physical exercise have been discussed as promising interventions for healthy cognitive aging. The present study assessed the effects of cognitive training (spatial vs. perceptual training) and physical training (endurance training vs. non-endurance training) on spatial learning and associated brain activation in 33 adults (40–55 years). Spatial learning was assessed with a virtual maze task, and at the same time neural correlates were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results Only the spatial training improved performance in the maze task. These behavioral gains were accompanied by a decrease in frontal and temporal lobe activity. At posttest, participants of the spatial training group showed lower activity than participants of the perceptual training group in a network of brain regions associated with spatial learning, including the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus. No significant differences were observed between the two physical intervention groups. Conclusions Functional changes in neural systems associated with spatial navigation can be induced by cognitive interventions and seem to be stronger than effects of physical exercise in middle-aged adults. PMID:23870447

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    An improved N-FINDR endmember extraction algorithm by combining manifold learning and spatial information is presented under nonlinear mixing assumptions. Firstly, adaptive local tangent space alignment is adapted to seek potential intrinsic low-dimensional structures of hyperspectral high-diemensional data and reduce original data into a low-dimensional space. Secondly, spatial preprocessing is used by enhancing each pixel vector in spatially homogeneous areas, according to the continuity of spatial distribution of the materials. Finally, endmembers are extracted by looking for the largest simplex volume. The proposed method can increase the precision of endmember extraction by solving the nonlinearity of hyperspectral data and taking advantage of spatial information. Experimental results on simulated and real hyperspectral data demonstrate that the proposed approach outperformed the geodesic simplex volume maximization (GSVM), vertex component analysis (VCA) and spatial preprocessing N-FINDR method (SPPNFINDR). PMID:24369664

  17. Sleep enhances a spatially mediated generalization of learned values

    PubMed Central

    Tolat, Anisha; Spiers, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Microglia are active players in inflammation, but also have important supporting roles in CNS maintenance and function, including modulation of neuronal activity. We previously observed an increase in the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current in organotypic brain slices after depletion of microglia using clodronate. Here, we describe that local hippocampal depletion of microglia by clodronate alters performance in tests of spatial memory and sociability. Global depletion of microglia by high-dose oral administration of a Csf1R inhibitor transiently altered spatial memory but produced no change in sociability behavior. Microglia depletion and behavior effects were both reversible, consistent with a dynamic role for microglia in the regulation of such behaviors. PMID:26348580

  20. Spatial learning and memory as a function of age in the dog.

    PubMed

    Head, E; Mehta, R; Hartley, J; Kameka, M; Cummings, B J; Cotman, C W; Ruehl, W W; Milgram, N W

    1995-10-01

    Spatial learning and memory were studied in dogs of varying ages and sources. Compared to young dogs, a significantly higher proportion of aged dogs could not acquire a spatial delayed nonmatching-to-sample task. A regression analysis revealed a significant age effect during acquisition. Spatial memory was studied by comparing performance at delay interval of 20, 70, and 110 s. At short delays aged and young dogs were similar; at longer delays, errors increased to a greater extent in old than in young dogs; however this was not statistically significant. It was possible to identify 2 groups of aged animals, age-impaired and age-unimpaired. Several of the dogs were also tested on an object recognition memory task, which was more difficult to learn than the spatial task. The possibility that these findings are confounded by breed differences is considered. Overall, the present results provide further evidence of the value of a canine model of aging. PMID:8554710

  1. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Voss, Michelle W; Chaddock, Laura; Heo, Susie; McLaren, Molly; Pence, Brandt D; Martin, Stephen A; Vieira, Victoria J; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2010-04-14

    Hippocampal volume shrinks in late adulthood, but the neuromolecular factors that trigger hippocampal decay in aging humans remains a matter of speculation. In rodents, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes the growth and proliferation of cells in the hippocampus and is important in long-term potentiation and memory formation. In humans, circulating levels of BDNF decline with advancing age, and a genetic polymorphism for BDNF has been related to gray matter volume loss in old age. In this study, we tested whether age-related reductions in serum levels of BDNF would be related to shrinkage of the hippocampus and memory deficits in older adults. Hippocampal volume was acquired by automated segmentation of magnetic resonance images in 142 older adults without dementia. The caudate nucleus was also segmented and examined in relation to levels of serum BDNF. Spatial memory was tested using a paradigm in which memory load was parametrically increased. We found that increasing age was associated with smaller hippocampal volumes, reduced levels of serum BDNF, and poorer memory performance. Lower levels of BDNF were associated with smaller hippocampi and poorer memory, even when controlling for the variation related to age. In an exploratory mediation analysis, hippocampal volume mediated the age-related decline in spatial memory and BDNF mediated the age-related decline in hippocampal volume. Caudate nucleus volume was unrelated to BDNF levels or spatial memory performance. Our results identify serum BDNF as a significant factor related to hippocampal shrinkage and memory decline in late adulthood. PMID:20392958

  2. 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

  3. Morris water maze: procedures for assessing spatial and related forms of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Vorhees, Charles V; Williams, Michael T

    2006-01-01

    The Morris water maze (MWM) is a test of spatial learning for rodents that relies on distal cues to navigate from start locations around the perimeter of an open swimming arena to locate a submerged escape platform. Spatial learning is assessed across repeated trials and reference memory is determined by preference for the platform area when the platform is absent. Reversal and shift trials enhance the detection of spatial impairments. Trial-dependent, latent and discrimination learning can be assessed using modifications of the basic protocol. Search-to-platform area determines the degree of reliance on spatial versus non-spatial strategies. Cued trials determine whether performance factors that are unrelated to place learning are present. Escape from water is relatively immune from activity or body mass differences, making it ideal for many experimental models. The MWM has proven to be a robust and reliable test that is strongly correlated with hippocampal synaptic plasticity and NMDA receptor function. We present protocols for performing variants of the MWM test, from which results can be obtained from individual animals in as few as 6 days. PMID:17406317

  4. Deletion of PEA-15 in mice is associated with specific impairments of spatial learning abilities

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background PEA-15 is a phosphoprotein that binds and regulates ERK MAP kinase and RSK2 and is highly expressed throughout the brain. PEA-15 alters c-Fos and CREB-mediated transcription as a result of these interactions. To determine if PEA-15 contributes to the function of the nervous system we tested mice lacking PEA-15 in a series of experiments designed to measure learning, sensory/motor function, and stress reactivity. Results We report that PEA-15 null mice exhibited impaired learning in three distinct spatial tasks, while they exhibited normal fear conditioning, passive avoidance, egocentric navigation, and odor discrimination. PEA-15 null mice also had deficient forepaw strength and in limited instances, heightened stress reactivity and/or anxiety. However, these non-cognitive variables did not appear to account for the observed spatial learning impairments. The null mice maintained normal weight, pain sensitivity, and coordination when compared to wild type controls. Conclusion We found that PEA-15 null mice have spatial learning disabilities that are similar to those of mice where ERK or RSK2 function is impaired. We suggest PEA-15 may be an essential regulator of ERK-dependent spatial learning. PMID:19917132

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:25706766

  7. Short bouts of mild-intensity physical exercise improve spatial learning and memory in aging rats: involvement of hippocampal plasticity via AKT, CREB and BDNF signaling.

    PubMed

    Aguiar, Aderbal S; Castro, Adalberto A; Moreira, Eduardo L; Glaser, Viviane; Santos, Adair R S; Tasca, Carla I; Latini, Alexandra; Prediger, Rui D S

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated whether mild-intensity physical exercise represents a successful strategy to enhance spatial learning and memory and hippocampal plasticity in aging rats, as previously described for long-term exposure to running wheel or treadmill exercise. Aging Wistar rats were submitted to short bouts (4-6 min) of exercise treadmill during five consecutive weeks. This mild-intensity exercise program increased muscle oxygen consumption by soleus and heart in aging rats and reversed age-related long-term spatial learning and memory impairments evaluated in the water maze and step-down inhibitory avoidance tasks. Remarkably, the observed cognitive-enhancing properties of short bouts of exercise were accompanied by the activation of serine/threonine protein kinase (AKT) and cAMP response element binding (CREB) pro-survival signaling that culminates in the marked increase on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression and BDNF protein levels on the hippocampus of aging rats. Altogether, these results indicate that short bouts of exercise represent a viable behavioral strategy to improve cognition and synaptic plasticity in aging rats which should be taken into account in further studies addressing the effects of physical exercise in aging subjects. PMID:21983475

  8. Age-related deficits in a forebrain-dependent task, trace-eyeblink conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Galvez, Roberto; Cua, Sabrina; Disterhoft, John F.

    2009-01-01

    Trace-eyeblink conditioning is a forebrain-dependent learning paradigm that has assisted in our understanding of age-related hippocampal neuronal plasticity; however, the hippocampus is not believed to be the permanent site for most long-term-memory storage. Studies in adult subjects have suggested the neocortex as one such site. Whisker plucking studies have further suggested that the ability for plasticity in the neocortex declines with age. Mice were trained in trace- and delay-eyeblink conditioning with whisker or auditory stimulation as the conditioned stimulus to examine possible age-related behavioral and neocortical abnormalities. Whisker stimulation was determined to be a more effective stimulus for examining age-related behavioral abnormalities in C57 mice. Additionally, neocortical barrel expansion, observed in trace conditioned adult mice and rabbits, does not occur in mice conditioned on a delay paradigm or in old mice unable to learn the whisker trace association. Abnormalities in neocortical memory storage in the elderly could contribute to normal age-dependent declines in associative learning abilities. PMID:20018411

  9. 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

  10. Pre-pubertal castration improves spatial learning during mid-adolescence in rats.

    PubMed

    Moradpour, Farshad; Naghdi, Nasser; Fathollahi, Yaghoub; Javan, Mohamad; Choopani, Samira; Gharaylou, Zeinab

    2013-10-01

    Hippocampus functions, including spatial cognition and stress responses, mature during adolescence. In addition, hippocampus neuronal structures are modified by circulating sex steroids, which dramatically increase during adolescence. Therefore, the effects of castration and the circulating levels of the main sex steroid testosterone on spatial learning and memory were examined across postnatal ages to test whether pre-pubertal castration affected rats' spatial ability in the Morris Water maze (MWM). Male rats were either castrated or sham-castrated at 22d (days of age), or left gonadally intact. They were then trained and tested in the MWM beginning at 28d, 35d, 45d or 60d. We found that all of the intact rats learned the spatial task; however, the males at 22d and 28d required more trials to acquire the task than the males at older ages. The males castrated at 22d and tested at 35d had significantly lower escape latency and traveled distance during training than the sham-castrated males trained at the same age. No differences were observed in mean values of escape latency and traveled distance at 45d even though they had comparable levels of testosterone. We conclude that adult-typical performance for male spatial memory emerges during mid-adolescence and that pre-pubertal castration appears to improve spatial learning during this time. PMID:23871792

  11. Can DRYAD explain age-related associative memory deficits?

    PubMed

    Smyth, Andrea C; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe

    2016-02-01

    A recent interesting theoretical account of aging and memory judgments, the DRYAD (density of representations yields age-related deficits; Benjamin, 2010; Benjamin, Diaz, Matzen, & Johnson, 2012), attributes the extensive findings of disproportional age-related deficits in memory for source, context, and associations, to a global decline in memory fidelity. It is suggested that this global deficit, possibly due to a decline in attentional processes, is moderated by weak representation of contextual information to result in disproportional age-related declines. In the current article, we evaluate the DRYAD model, comparing it to specific age-related deficits theories, in particular, the ADH (associative deficit hypothesis, Naveh-Benjamin, 2000). We question some of the main assumptions/hypotheses of DRYAD in light of data reported in the literature, and we directly assess the role of attention in age-related deficits by manipulations of divided attention and of the instructions regarding what to pay attention to in 2 experiments (one from the literature and a new one). The results of these experiments fit the predictions of the ADH and do not support the main assumption/hypotheses of DRYAD. PMID:25961878

  12. Review: Axon pathology in age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Adalbert, R; Coleman, M P

    2013-02-01

    'Dying back' axon degeneration is a prominent feature of many age-related neurodegenerative disorders and is widespread in normal ageing. Although the mechanisms of disease- and age-related losses may differ, both contribute to symptoms. Here, we review recent advances in understanding axon pathology in age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and glaucoma. In particular, we highlight the importance of axonal transport, autophagy, traumatic brain injury and mitochondrial quality control. We then place these disease mechanisms in the context of changes to axons and dendrites that occur during normal ageing. We discuss what makes ageing such an important risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders and conclude that the processes of normal ageing and disease combine at the molecular, cellular or systems levels in a range of disorders to produce symptoms. Pathology identical to disease also occurs at the cellular level in most elderly individuals. Thus, normal ageing and age-related disease are inextricably linked and the term 'healthy ageing' downplays the important contributions of cellular pathology. For a full understanding of normal ageing or age-related disease we must study both processes. PMID:23046254

  13. 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. PMID:26292978

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Administration of donepezil does not rescue galanin-induced spatial learning deficits.

    PubMed

    Sabbagh, Jonathan J; Heaney, Chelcie F; Bolton, Monica M; Murtishaw, Andrew S; Ure, Jennifer A; Kinney, Jefferson W

    2012-12-01

    The neuropeptide galanin inhibits the evoked release of several neurotransmitters including acetylcholine and modulates adenylate cyclase (AC) activity. Galanin has also been established to impair various forms of learning and memory in rodents. However, whether galanin produces learning deficits by inhibiting cholinergic activity or decreasing AC function has not been clearly established. The current study investigated if donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor utilized in Alzheimer's disease, could rescue galanin-induced Morris water task deficits in rats. The results demonstrated that donepezil did not alter the previously established deficits induced by galanin. These findings suggest that galanin-mediated spatial learning deficits may be unrelated to its modulation of the cholinergic system. PMID:22897394

  17. Spatial olfactory learning facilitates long-term depression in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    André, Marion Agnès Emma; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-10-01

    Recently, it has emerged that visual spatial exploration facilitates synaptic plasticity at different synapses within the trisynaptic network. Particularly striking is the finding that visuospatial contexts facilitate hippocampal long-term depression (LTD), raising the possibility that this form of plasticity may be important for memory formation. It is not known whether other sensory modalities elicit similar permissive effects on LTD. Here, we explored if spatial olfactory learning facilitates LTD in the hippocampus region of freely behaving rats. Patterned afferent stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals elicited short-term depression (STD) (<1 h) of evoked responses in the Stratum radiatum of the CA1 region. Coupling of this protocol with novel exploration of a spatial constellation of olfactory cues facilitated short-term depression into LTD that lasted for over 24 h. Facilitation of LTD did not occur when animals were re-exposed 1 week later to the same odors in the same spatial constellation. Evaluation of learning behavior revealed that 1 week after the 1st odor exposure, the animals remembered the odors and their relative positions. These data support that the hippocampus can use nonvisuospatial resources, and specifically can use spatial olfactory information, to facilitate LTD and to generate spatial representations. The data also support that a tight relationship exists between the processing of spatial contextual information and the expression of LTD in the hippocampus. PMID:23804412

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The Spatially Competent Child with Learning Disabilities (SCLD): The Evidence from Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bannatyne, Alexander

    Research is reviewed in support of the author's hypothesis that the majority (60 to 80 percent) of learning disabled children are not brain damaged but have above average spatial ability and major deficits in auditory-vocal memory processing which are genetic in nature. Research is reported to support other aspects of his hypothesis such as the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ROCKETT, AGNES M.; SAUL, EZRA V.

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

  4. 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. PMID:26079812

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  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. 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 =…

  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. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Primary School Students' Spatial Orientation Strategies in an Outdoor Learning Activity Supported by Mobile Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peng, Aihui; Sollervall, Håkan

    2014-01-01

    Students' different learning performance on mathematical problem solving across contexts has attracted a number of researchers' interest. The study investigates the spatial orientation ability of primary school students in an outdoor situation, where six pairs of grade six students are asked to coordinate themselves physically in terms of given…

  18. 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…

  19. Individual differences in spatial configuration learning predict the occurrence of intrusive memories.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Thomas; Smeets, Tom; Giesbrecht, Timo; Quaedflieg, Conny W E M; Girardelli, Marta M; Mackay, Georgina R N; Merckelbach, Harald

    2013-03-01

    The dual-representation model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Brewin, Gregory, Lipton, & Burgess, Psychological Review, 117, 210-232 2010) argues that intrusions occur when people fail to construct context-based representations during adverse experiences. The present study tested a specific prediction flowing from this model. In particular, we investigated whether the efficiency of temporal-lobe-based spatial configuration learning would account for individual differences in intrusive experiences and physiological reactivity in the laboratory. Participants (N = 82) completed the contextual cuing paradigm, which assesses spatial configuration learning that is believed to depend on associative encoding in the parahippocampus. They were then shown a trauma film. Afterward, startle responses were quantified during presentation of trauma reminder pictures versus unrelated neutral and emotional pictures. PTSD symptoms were recorded in the week following participation. Better configuration learning performance was associated with fewer perceptual intrusions, r = -.33, p < .01, but was unrelated to physiological responses to trauma reminder images (ps > .46) and had no direct effect on intrusion-related distress and overall PTSD symptoms, rs > -.12, ps > .29. However, configuration learning performance tended to be associated with reduced physiological responses to unrelated negative images, r = -.20, p = .07. Thus, while spatial configuration learning appears to be unrelated to affective responding to trauma reminders, our overall findings support the idea that the context-based memory system helps to reduce intrusions. PMID:23001992

  20. A Study of the Effects of Visual Occlusion on Motor and Spatial Learning in Visually Impaired Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, James L.; Elliott, Jeffrey; Kuyk, T. K.

    1998-01-01

    This study compared effects of visual occlusion on the motor and spatial learning of 28 legally blind adult males, half due to acuity loss and half due to peripheral field restriction. For both groups, occlusion appeared neither to facilitate nor impede motor learning but did significantly impair acquisition of spatial relations. Results have…

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

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Galea, L A

    1994-03-31

    The Morris water maze is widely used to evaluate to evaluate the spatial learning ability of rodents under laboratory settings. The present study demonstrates that reproductive male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, are able to acquire and retain a spatial water maze task using celestial cues. Voles were able to acquire a modified outdoor Morris water maze task over 4 trials per day, whereby they had to learn and remember the location of a submerged hidden platform, using the position of the sun and associated celestial cues. Their proficiency on this task was related to the availability of the celestial cues, with voles displaying significantly poorer spatial navigation on overcast than clear days and when the testing time (and position of the sun and associated celestial cues) was shifted from morning to afternoon. These findings with meadow voles support the ecological relevance of the water maze task. PMID:8031502

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Neuroimaging explanations of age-related differences in task performance

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Barulli, Daniel; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2014-01-01

    Advancing age affects both cognitive performance and functional brain activity and interpretation of these effects has led to a variety of conceptual research models without always explicitly linking the two effects. However, to best understand the multifaceted effects of advancing age, age differences in functional brain activity need to be explicitly tied to the cognitive task performance. This work hypothesized that age-related differences in task performance are partially explained by age-related differences in functional brain activity and formally tested these causal relationships. Functional MRI data was from groups of young and old adults engaged in an executive task-switching experiment. Analyses were voxel-wise testing of moderated-mediation and simple mediation statistical path models to determine whether age group, brain activity and their interaction explained task performance in regions demonstrating an effect of age group. Results identified brain regions whose age-related differences in functional brain activity significantly explained age-related differences in task performance. In all identified locations, significant moderated-mediation relationships resulted from increasing brain activity predicting worse (slower) task performance in older but not younger adults. Findings suggest that advancing age links task performance to the level of brain activity. The overall message of this work is that in order to understand the role of functional brain activity on cognitive performance, analysis methods should respect theoretical relationships. Namely, that age affects brain activity and brain activity is related to task performance. PMID:24672481

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. APOLIPOPROTEIN E GENE AND EARLY AGE-RELATED MACULOPATHY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene and early age-related maculopathy (ARM) in middle-aged persons. DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: Participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (n = 10139; age range, 49-73 ye...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:11065330

  2. 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. PMID:24215178

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. PMID:25419818

  5. Dietary compound score and risk of age-related macular degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: Because foods provide many nutrients, which may interact with each other to modify risk for multifactorial diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we sought to develop a composite scoring system to summarize the combined effect of multiple dietary nutrients on AMD risk. Th...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to mark brain regions and affix labels to another participant's head. The control group learned the material verbally through a game. When tested verbally, both the control and experimental groups recalled more of the 10 terms immediately after the activity (+106% and +83%, respectively) and 2 wk later (+53% and +31%, respectively) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005). When participants' knowledge was tested spatially (labeling a brain diagram), the experimental group recalled more terms at the posttest (+76%) and followup (+73%) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005), but the control group who showed no improvement at either time point (+12% and +14%, respectively). These findings support the notion that spatial and multisensory learning produces improved spatial recall over time while also supporting the notion of transfer-appropriate processing. PMID:22665427

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    A data-driven 3-D fuzzy-logic controller (3-D FLC) design methodology based on support vector regression (SVR) learning is developed for nonlinear spatially distributed dynamic systems. Initially, the spatial information expression and processing as well as the fuzzy linguistic expression and rule inference of a 3-D FLC are integrated into spatial fuzzy basis functions (SFBFs), and then the 3-D FLC can be depicted by a three-layer network structure. By relating SFBFs of the 3-D FLC directly to spatial kernel functions of an SVR, an equivalence relationship of the 3-D FLC and the SVR is established, which means that the 3-D FLC can be designed with the help of the SVR learning. Subsequently, for an easy implementation, a systematic SVR learning-based 3-D FLC design scheme is formulated. In addition, the universal approximation capability of the proposed 3-D FLC is presented. Finally, the control of a nonlinear catalytic packed-bed reactor is considered as an application to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed 3-D FLC. PMID:24808600

  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. 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. PMID:23073928

  10. 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. PMID:25481356

  11. 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. PMID:21038974

  12. Learning-induced plasticity in auditory spatial representations revealed by electrical neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Spierer, Lucas; Tardif, Eric; Sperdin, Holger; Murray, Micah M; Clarke, Stephanie

    2007-05-16

    Auditory spatial representations are likely encoded at a population level within human auditory cortices. We investigated learning-induced plasticity of spatial discrimination in healthy subjects using auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs) and electrical neuroimaging analyses. Stimuli were 100 ms white-noise bursts lateralized with varying interaural time differences. In three experiments, plasticity was induced with 40 min of discrimination training. During training, accuracy significantly improved from near-chance levels to approximately 75%. Before and after training, AEPs were recorded to stimuli presented passively with a more medial sound lateralization outnumbering a more lateral one (7:1). In experiment 1, the same lateralizations were used for training and AEP sessions. Significant AEP modulations to the different lateralizations were evident only after training, indicative of a learning-induced mismatch negativity (MMN). More precisely, this MMN at 195-250 ms after stimulus onset followed from differences in the AEP topography to each stimulus position, indicative of changes in the underlying brain network. In experiment 2, mirror-symmetric locations were used for training and AEP sessions; no training-related AEP modulations or MMN were observed. In experiment 3, the discrimination of trained plus equidistant untrained separations was tested psychophysically before and 0, 6, 24, and 48 h after training. Learning-induced plasticity lasted <6 h, did not generalize to untrained lateralizations, and was not the simple result of strengthening the representation of the trained lateralizations. Thus, learning-induced plasticity of auditory spatial discrimination relies on spatial comparisons, rather than a spatial anchor or a general comparator. Furthermore, cortical auditory representations of space are dynamic and subject to rapid reorganization. PMID:17507569

  13. Context-Specific Effects of Estradiol on Spatial Learning and Memory in the Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Estradiol is known to impact cognitive function including spatial learning and memory, with studies focused largely on rodent models. Estrogens can be produced peripherally or centrally as neuroestrogens, and the specific role for neuroestrogens in memory processes remains unresolved. Many songbirds possess remarkable spatial memory capabilities and also express the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase abundantly in the hippocampus, suggesting that locally-produced estrogens may promote the acquisition or retrieval of spatial memories in these birds. We examined the effect of estradiol on spatial memory in three contexts in the zebra finch: retrieval after discrimination training, retrieval after familiarization but without discrimination training, and memory acquisition, using a combination of estradiol implants and oral dosing with the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD). Retrieval of spatial memory in both contexts was impaired when estradiol production was blocked. However, spatial memory acquisition was enhanced when estradiol production was inhibited whereas estradiol replacement impaired acquisition. These results provide evidence for a context-specific role of estradiol in songbird spatial memory, results that finds accord with some mammalian studies but have not yet been observed in birds. PMID:23257279

  14. 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. PMID:26915078

  15. Age-related percutaneous penetration part 1: skin factors.

    PubMed

    Konda, S; Meier-Davis, S R; Cayme, B; Shudo, J; Maibach, H I

    2012-05-01

    Changes in the skin that occur in the elderly may put them at increased risk for altered percutaneous penetration from pharmacotherapy along with potential adverse effects. Skin factors that may have a role in age-related percutaneous penetration include blood flow, pH, skin thickness, hair and pore density, and the content and structure of proteins, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), water, and lipids. Each factor is examined as a function of increasing age along with its potential impact on percutaneous penetration. Additionally, topical drugs that successfully overcome the barrier function of the skin can still fall victim to cutaneous metabolism, thereby producing metabolites that may have increased or decreased activity. This overview discusses the current data and highlights the importance of further studies to evaluate the impact of skin factors in age-related percutaneous penetration. PMID:22622279

  16. 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

  17. Genetic and Environmental Underpinnings to Age-Related Ocular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Johanna M.

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are common causes of visual loss. Both environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development of these diseases. The modifiable factors related to some of these age-related and visually threatening diseases are smoking, obesity, and dietary factors, and a cardiovascular risk profile. Many common and a few rare genetic factors are associated with AMD. The role of genetic variants for the other diseases are less clear. Interactions between environmental, therapeutic, and genetic factors are being explored. Knowledge of genetic risk and environmental factors, especially for AMD, has grown markedly over the past 2.5 decades and has led to some sight-saving approaches in preventive management. PMID:24335064

  18. Idiom understanding in adulthood: examining age-related differences.

    PubMed

    Hung, Pei-Fang; Nippold, Marilyn A

    2014-03-01

    Idioms are figurative expressions such as hold your horses, kick the bucket, and lend me a hand, which commonly occur in everyday spoken and written language. Hence, the understanding of these expressions is essential for daily communication. In this study, we examined idiom understanding in healthy adults in their 20s, 40s, 60s and 80s (n=30 per group) to determine if performance would show an age-related decline. Participants judged their own familiarity with a set of 20 idioms, explained the meaning of each, described a situation in which the idiom could be used, and selected the appropriate interpretation from a set of choices. There was no evidence of an age-related decline on any tasks. Rather, the 60s group reported greater familiarity and offered better explanations than did the 20s group. Moreover, greater familiarity with idioms was associated with better understanding in adults. PMID:24405225

  19. 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

  20. Active and passive spatial learning in human navigation: acquisition of survey knowledge.

    PubMed

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R; Warren, William H

    2013-09-01

    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 metric survey knowledge: visual, vestibular, and podokinetic information and cognitive decision making. In the learning phase, 6 groups of participants learned the locations of 8 objects in a virtual hedge maze by (a) walking, (b) being pushed in a wheelchair, or (c) watching a video, crossed with (1) making decisions about their path or (2) being guided through the maze. In the test phase, survey knowledge was assessed by having participants walk a novel shortcut from a starting object to the remembered location of a test object, with the maze removed. Performance was slightly better than chance in the passive video condition. The addition of vestibular information did not improve performance in the wheelchair condition, but the addition of podokinetic information significantly improved angular accuracy in the walking condition. In contrast, there was no effect of decision making in any condition. The results indicate that visual and podokinetic information significantly contribute to survey knowledge, whereas vestibular information and decision making do not. We conclude that podokinetic information is the primary component of active learning for the acquisition of metric survey knowledge. PMID:23565781

  1. 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

  2. Dietary Approaches that Delay Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Everitt, Arthur V; Hilmer, Sarah N; Brand-Miller, Jennie C; Jamieson, Hamish A; Truswell, A Stewart; Sharma, Anita P; Mason, Rebecca S; Morris, Brian J; Le Couteur, David G

    2006-01-01

    Reducing food intake in lower animals such as the rat decreases body weight, retards many aging processes, delays the onset of most diseases of old age, and prolongs life. A number of clinical trials of food restriction in healthy adult human subjects running over 2–15 years show significant reductions in body weight, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lifestyle interventions that lower energy balance by reducing body weight such as physical exercise can also delay the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In general, clinical trials are suggesting that diets high in calories or fat along with overweight are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and dementia. There is a growing literature indicating that specific dietary constituents are able to influence the development of age-related diseases, including certain fats (trans fatty acids, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats) and cholesterol for cardiovascular disease, glycemic index and fiber for diabetes, fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular disease, and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and bone fracture. In addition, there are dietary compounds from different functional foods, herbs, and neutraceuticals such as ginseng, nuts, grains, and polyphenols that may affect the development of age-related diseases. Long-term prospective clinical trials will be needed to confirm these diet—disease relationships. On the basis of current research, the best diet to delay age-related disease onset is one low in calories and saturated fat and high in wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and which maintains a lean body weight. Such a diet should become a key component of healthy aging, delaying age-related diseases and perhaps intervening in the aging process itself. Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that nutrition in childhood

  3. 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

  4. Dietary approaches that delay age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Everitt, Arthur V; Hilmer, Sarah N; Brand-Miller, Jennie C; Jamieson, Hamish A; Truswell, A Stewart; Sharma, Anita P; Mason, Rebecca S; Morris, Brian J; Le Couteur, David G

    2006-01-01

    Reducing food intake in lower animals such as the rat decreases body weight, retards many aging processes, delays the onset of most diseases of old age, and prolongs life. A number of clinical trials of food restriction in healthy adult human subjects running over 2-15 years show significant reductions in body weight, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lifestyle interventions that lower energy balance by reducing body weight such as physical exercise can also delay the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In general, clinical trials are suggesting that diets high in calories or fat along with overweight are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and dementia. There is a growing literature indicating that specific dietary constituents are able to influence the development of age-related diseases, including certain fats (trans fatty acids, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats) and cholesterol for cardiovascular disease, glycemic index and fiber for diabetes, fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular disease, and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and bone fracture. In addition, there are dietary compounds from different functional foods, herbs, and neutraceuticals such as ginseng, nuts, grains, and polyphenols that may affect the development of age-related diseases. Long-term prospective clinical trials will be needed to confirm these diet-disease relationships. On the basis of current research, the best diet to delay age-related disease onset is one low in calories and saturated fat and high in wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and which maintains a lean body weight. Such a diet should become a key component of healthy aging, delaying age-related diseases and perhaps intervening in the aging process itself. Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that nutrition in childhood and

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    A wealth of evidence in rodents and humans supports the central roles of two learning systems--hippocampal place learning and striatal response learning--in the formation of spatial representations to support navigation. Individual differences in the ways that these mechanisms are engaged during initial encoding and subsequent navigation may provide a powerful framework for explaining the wide range of variability found in the strategies and solutions that make up human navigational styles. Previous work has revealed that activation in the hippocampal and striatal networks during learning could predict navigational style. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the relative activations in these systems during both initial encoding and the act of dynamic navigation in a learned environment. Participants learned a virtual environment and were tested on subsequent navigation to targets within the environment. We observed that a given individual had a consistent balance of memory system engagement across both initial encoding and subsequent navigation, a balance that successfully predicted the participants' tendencies to use novel shortcuts versus familiar paths during dynamic navigation. This was further supported by the observation that the activation during subsequent retrieval was not dependent on the type of solution used on a given trial. Taken together, our results suggest a model in which the place- and response-learning systems are present in parallel to support a variety of navigational behaviors, but stable biases in the engagement of these systems influence what solutions might be available for any given individual. PMID:24830787

  6. Age-related changes in the adaptability of neuromuscular output.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Steven; Sosnoff, Jacob J

    2009-05-01

    The aging process is associated with a general decline in biological function. One characteristic that researchers believe represents this diminished functioning of the aging neuromuscular system is increased physiological tremor. The present study is constructed to assess what age-related differences exist in the dynamics of tremor and forearm muscle activity under postural conditions in which the number of arm segments involved in the task was altered. The authors predicted that any alteration in the tremor or electromyographic (EMG) output of these two groups would provide a clearer understanding of the differential effects of aging or task dynamics on physiological function. Results reveal no age-related differences in finger tremor or forearm extensor muscle EMG activity under conditions in which participants were only required to extend their index finger against gravity. However, when participants had to hold their entire upper limb steady against gravity, the authors observed significant increases in forearm EMG activity, finger-tremor amplitude, power in the 8-12-Hz range, and signal regularity between the 2 age groups. The selective changes in signal regularity, EMG activity, and 8-12-Hz tremor amplitude under more challenging postural demands support the view that the age-related changes in neuromuscular dynamics are not fully elucidated when single task demands are utilized. PMID:19366659

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26348726

  8. Topography of age-related changes in sleep spindles.

    PubMed

    Martin, Nicolas; Lafortune, Marjolaine; Godbout, Jonathan; Barakat, Marc; Robillard, Rebecca; Poirier, Gaétan; Bastien, Célyne; Carrier, Julie

    2013-02-01

    Aging induces multiple changes to sleep spindles, which may hinder their alleged functional role in memory and sleep protection mechanisms. Brain aging in specific cortical regions could affect the neural networks underlying spindle generation, yet the topography of these age-related changes is currently unknown. In the present study, we analyzed spindle characteristics in 114 healthy volunteers aged between 20 and 73 years over 5 anteroposterior electroencephalography scalp derivations. Spindle density, amplitude, and duration were higher in young subjects than in middle-aged and elderly subjects in all derivations, but the topography of age effects differed drastically. Age-related decline in density and amplitude was more prominent in anterior derivations, whereas duration showed a posterior prominence. Age groups did not differ in all-night spindle frequency for any derivation. These results show that age-related changes in sleep spindles follow distinct topographical patterns that are specific to each spindle characteristic. This topographical specificity may provide a useful biomarker to localize age-sensitive changes in underlying neural systems during normal and pathological aging. PMID:22809452

  9. Hypermnesia: age-related differences between young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Widner, R L; Otani, H; Smith, A D

    2000-06-01

    Hypermnesia is a net improvement in memory performance that occurs across tests in a multitest paradigm with only one study session. Our goal was to identify possible age-related differences in hypermnesic recall. We observed hypermnesia for young adults using verbal (Experiment 1) as well as pictorial (Experiment 2) material, but no hypermnesia for older adults in either experiment. We found no age-related difference in reminiscence (Experiments 1 and 2), though there was a substantial difference in intertest forgetting (Experiments 1 and 2). Older, relative to young, adults produced more forgetting, most of which occurred between Tests 1 and 2 (Experiments 1 and 2). Furthermore, older, relative to young, adults produced more intrusions. We failed to identify a relationship between intrusions and intertest forgetting. We suggest that the age-related difference in intertest forgetting may be due to less efficient reinstatement of cues at test by older adults. The present findings reveal that intertest forgetting plays a critical role in hypermnesic recall, particularly for older adults. PMID:10946539

  10. Age-related differences in working memory updating components.

    PubMed

    Linares, Rocío; Bajo, M Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate possible age-related changes throughout childhood and adolescence in different component processes of working memory updating (WMU): retrieval, transformation, and substitution. A set of numerical WMU tasks was administered to four age groups (8-, 11-, 14-, and 21-year-olds). To isolate the effect of each of the WMU components, participants performed different versions of a task that included different combinations of the WMU components. The results showed an expected overall decrease in response times and an increase in accuracy performance with age. Most important, specific age-related changes in the retrieval component were found, demonstrating that the effect of retrieval on accuracy was larger in children than in adolescents or young adults. These findings indicate that the availability of representations from outside the focus of attention may change with age. Thus, the retrieval component of updating could contribute to the age-related changes observed in the performance of many updating tasks. PMID:26985577

  11. 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

  12. Senescent cells: SASPected drivers of age-related pathologies.

    PubMed

    Ovadya, Yossi; Krizhanovsky, Valery

    2014-12-01

    The progression of physiological ageing is driven by intracellular aberrations including telomere attrition, genomic instability, epigenetic alterations and loss of proteostasis. These in turn damage cells and compromise their functionality. Cellular senescence, a stable irreversible cell-cycle arrest, is elicited in damaged cells and prevents their propagation in the organism. Under normal conditions, senescent cells recruit the immune system which facilitates their removal from tissues. Nevertheless, during ageing, tissue-residing senescent cells tend to accumulate, and might negatively impact their microenvironment via profound secretory phenotype with pro-inflammatory characteristics, termed senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Indeed, senescent cells are mostly abundant at sites of age-related pathologies, including degenerative disorders and malignancies. Interestingly, studies on progeroid mice indicate that selective elimination of senescent cells can delay age-related deterioration. This suggests that chronic inflammation induced by senescent cells might be a main driver of these pathologies. Importantly, senescent cells accumulate as a result of deficient immune surveillance, and their removal is increased upon the use of immune stimulatory agents. Insights into mechanisms of senescence surveillance could be combined with current approaches for cancer immunotherapy to propose new preventive and therapeutic strategies for age-related diseases. PMID:25217383

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Molecular aspects of age-related cognitive decline: the role of GABA signaling

    PubMed Central

    McQuail, Joseph A.; Frazier, Charles J.; Bizon, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in inhibitory interneurons contribute to cognitive deficits associated with several psychiatric and neurological diseases. Phasic and tonic inhibition imparted by γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) receptors regulates neural activity and helps to establish the appropriate network dynamics in cortical circuits that support normal cognition. This review highlights basic science demonstrating that inhibitory signaling is altered in aging, and discusses the impact of age-related shifts in inhibition on different forms of memory function, including hippocampus-dependent spatial reference memory and prefrontal cortex (PFU)-dependent working memory. The clinical appropriateness and tractability of select therapeutic candidates for cognitive aging that target receptors mediating inhibition are also discussed. PMID:26070271

  18. Nicotine attenuates spatial learning deficits induced in the rat by perinatal lead exposure.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Mingfu; Suszkiw, Janusz B

    2004-02-27

    Maternally lead (Pb)-exposed, juvenile rats exhibit significant deficits in spatial reference memory acquisition and working memory performance in the Morris water maze (MWM). Acute systemic application of nicotine reverses these deficits without affecting behavioral performance of the age-matched, lead-unexposed control animals. These results suggest that nicotinic agonist treatments can ameliorate learning and memory impairments, presumably by compensating for deficient nicotinic function in developmentally lead-exposed animals. PMID:14746932

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The ability to consolidate procedural memories declines with increasing age. Prior knowledge enhances learning and memory consolidation of novel but related information in various domains. Here, we present evidence that prior motor experience–in our case piano skills–increases procedural learning and has a protective effect against age-related decline for the consolidation of novel but related manual movements. In our main experiment, we tested 128 participants with a sequential finger-tapping motor task during two sessions 24 hours apart. We observed enhanced online learning speed and offline memory consolidation for piano players. Enhanced memory consolidation was driven by a strong effect in older participants, whereas younger participants did not benefit significantly from prior piano experience. In a follow up independent control experiment, this compensatory effect of piano experience was not visible after a brief offline period of 30 minutes, hence requiring an extended consolidation window potentially involving sleep. Through a further control experiment, we rejected the possibility that the decreased effect in younger participants was caused by training saturation. We discuss our results in the context of the neurobiological schema approach and suggest that prior experience has the potential to rescue memory consolidation from age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27333186

  1. 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. PMID:21592943

  2. Grid Cells, Place Cells, and Geodesic Generalization for Spatial Reinforcement Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, Nicholas J.; Daw, Nathaniel D.

    2011-01-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL) provides an influential characterization of the brain's mechanisms for learning to make advantageous choices. An important problem, though, is how complex tasks can be represented in a way that enables efficient learning. We consider this problem through the lens of spatial navigation, examining how two of the brain's location representations—hippocampal place cells and entorhinal grid cells—are adapted to serve as basis functions for approximating value over space for RL. Although much previous work has focused on these systems' roles in combining upstream sensory cues to track location, revisiting these representations with a focus on how they support this downstream decision function offers complementary insights into their characteristics. Rather than localization, the key problem in learning is generalization between past and present situations, which may not match perfectly. Accordingly, although neural populations collectively offer a precise representation of position, our simulations of navigational tasks verify the suggestion that RL gains efficiency from the more diffuse tuning of individual neurons, which allows learning about rewards to generalize over longer distances given fewer training experiences. However, work on generalization in RL suggests the underlying representation should respect the environment's layout. In particular, although it is often assumed that neurons track location in Euclidean coordinates (that a place cell's activity declines “as the crow flies” away from its peak), the relevant metric for value is geodesic: the distance along a path, around any obstacles. We formalize this intuition and present simulations showing how Euclidean, but not geodesic, representations can interfere with RL by generalizing inappropriately across barriers. Our proposal that place and grid responses should be modulated by geodesic distances suggests novel predictions about how obstacles should affect spatial firing

  3. 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. PMID:25595181

  4. Learning Spatially-Smooth Mappings in Non-Rigid Structure from Motion.

    PubMed

    Hamsici, Onur C; Gotardo, Paulo F U; Martinez, Aleix M

    2012-01-01

    Non-rigid structure from motion (NRSFM) is a classical underconstrained problem in computer vision. A common approach to make NRSFM more tractable is to constrain 3D shape deformation to be smooth over time. This constraint has been used to compress the deformation model and reduce the number of unknowns that are estimated. However, temporal smoothness cannot be enforced when the data lacks temporal ordering and its benefits are less evident when objects undergo abrupt deformations. This paper proposes a new NRSFM method that addresses these problems by considering deformations as spatial variations in shape space and then enforcing spatial, rather than temporal, smoothness. This is done by modeling each 3D shape coefficient as a function of its input 2D shape. This mapping is learned in the feature space of a rotation invariant kernel, where spatial smoothness is intrinsically defined by the mapping function. As a result, our model represents shape variations compactly using custom-built coefficient bases learned from the input data, rather than a pre-specified set such as the Discrete Cosine Transform. The resulting kernel-based mapping is a by-product of the NRSFM solution and leads to another fundamental advantage of our approach: for a newly observed 2D shape, its 3D shape is recovered by simply evaluating the learned function. PMID:23946937

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Age-related changes in mouse bone permeability.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Florez, Naiara; Oyen, Michelle L; Shefelbine, Sandra J

    2014-03-21

    The determination of lacunar-canalicular permeability is essential for understanding local fluid flow in bone, which may indicate how bone senses changes in the mechanical environment to regulate mechano-adaptation. The estimates of lacunar-canalicular permeability found in the literature vary by up to eight orders of magnitude, and age-related permeability changes have not been measured in non-osteonal mouse bone. The objective of this study is to use a poroelastic approach based on nanoindentation data to characterize lacunar-canalicular permeability in murine bone as a function of age. Nine wild type C57BL/6 mice of different ages (2, 7 and 12 months) were used. Three tibiae from each age group were embedded in epoxy resin, cut in half and indented in the longitudinal direction in the mid-cortex using two spherical fluid indenter tips (R=238 μm and 500 μm). Results suggest that the lacunar-canalicular intrinsic permeability of mouse bone decreases from 2 to 7 months, with no significant changes from 7 to 12 months. The large indenter tip imposed larger contact sizes and sampled larger ranges of permeabilities, particularly for the old bone. This age-related difference in the distribution was not seen for indents with the smaller radius tip. We conclude that the small tip effectively measured lacunar-canalicular permeability, while larger tip indents were influenced by vascular permeability. Exploring the age-related changes in permeability of bone measured by nanoindentation will lead to a better understanding of the role of fluid flow in mechano-transduction. This understanding may help indicate alterations in bone adaptation and remodeling. PMID:24433671

  9. Pathogenesis of Age-Related Bone Loss in Humans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background. Although data from rodent systems are extremely useful in providing insights into possible mechanisms of age-related bone loss, concepts evolving from animal models need to ultimately be tested in humans. Methods. This review provides an update on mechanisms of age-related bone loss in humans based on the author’s knowledge of the field and focused literature reviews. Results. Novel imaging, experimental models, biomarkers, and analytic techniques applied directly to human studies are providing new insights into the patterns of bone mass acquisition and loss as well as the role of sex steroids, in particular estrogen, on bone metabolism and bone loss with aging in women and men. These studies have identified the onset of trabecular bone loss at multiple sites that begins in young adulthood and remains unexplained, at least based on current paradigms of the mechanisms of bone loss. In addition, estrogen appears to be a major regulator of bone metabolism not only in women but also in men. Studies assessing mechanisms of estrogen action on bone in humans have identified effects of estrogen on RANKL expression by several different cell types in the bone microenvironment, a role for TNF-α and IL-1β in mediating effects of estrogen deficiency on bone, and possible regulation of the Wnt inhibitor, sclerostin, by estrogen. Conclusions. There have been considerable advances in our understanding of age-related bone loss in humans. However, there are also significant gaps in knowledge, particularly in defining cell autonomous changes in bone in human studies to test or validate concepts emerging from studies in rodents. Decision Editor: Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD PMID:22923429

  10. Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle of Cattle.

    PubMed

    Costagliola, A; Wojcik, S; Pagano, T B; De Biase, D; Russo, V; Iovane, V; Grieco, E; Papparella, S; Paciello, O

    2016-03-01

    Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, is a multifactorial condition that represents a major healthcare concern for the elderly population. Although its morphologic features have been extensively studied in humans, animal models, and domestic and wild animals, only a few reports about spontaneous sarcopenia exist in other long-lived animals. In this work, muscle samples from 60 healthy Podolica-breed old cows (aged 15-23 years) were examined and compared with muscle samples from 10 young cows (3-6 years old). Frozen sections were studied through standard histologic and histoenzymatic procedures, as well as by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and Western blot analysis. The most prominent age-related myopathic features seen in the studied material included angular fiber atrophy (90% of cases), mitochondrial alterations (ragged red fibers, 70%; COX-negative fibers, 60%), presence of vacuolated fibers (75%), lymphocytic (predominantly CD8+) inflammation (40%), and type II selective fiber atrophy (40%). Immunohistochemistry revealed increased expression of major histocompatibility complex I in 36 cases (60%) and sarcoplasmic accumulations of β-amyloid precursor protein-positive material in 18 cases (30%). In aged cows, muscle atrophy was associated with accumulation of myostatin. Western blot analysis indicated increased amount of both proteins-myostatin and β-amyloid precursor protein-in muscles of aged animals compared with controls. These findings confirm the presence of age-related morphologic changes in cows similar to human sarcopenia and underline the possible role of amyloid deposition and subsequent inflammation in muscle senescence. PMID:26869152

  11. Aging-Related Hyperexcitability in CA3 Pyramidal Neurons Is Mediated by Enhanced A-Type K+ Channel Function and Expression.

    PubMed

    Simkin, Dina; Hattori, Shoai; Ybarra, Natividad; Musial, Timothy F; Buss, Eric W; Richter, Hannah; Oh, M Matthew; Nicholson, Daniel A; Disterhoft, John F

    2015-09-23

    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

  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. 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. PMID:22176926

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. Age-related macular degeneration: Complement in action.

    PubMed

    van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; Strauss, Erich C; Yaspan, Brian L

    2016-06-01

    The complement system plays a key role in host-defense against common pathogens but must be tightly controlled to avoid inflammation and tissue damage. Polymorphisms in genes encoding two important negative regulators of the alternative complement pathway, complement factor H (CFH) and complement factor I (CFI), are associated with the risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision impairment in the ageing population. In this review, we will discuss the genetic basis of AMD and the potential impact of complement de-regulation on disease pathogenesis. Finally, we will highlight recent therapeutic approaches aimed at controlling complement activation in patients with AMD. PMID:26742632

  16. 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

  17. Present and Possible Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly population worldwide and is defined as a chronic, progressive disorder characterized by changes occurring within the macula reflective of the ageing process. At present, the prevalence of AMD is currently rising and is estimated to increase by a third by 2020. Although our understanding of the several components underpinning the pathogenesis of this condition has increased significantly, the treatment options for this condition remain substantially limited. In this review, we outline the existing arsenal of therapies available for AMD and discuss the additional role of further novel therapies currently under investigation for this debilitating disease. PMID:25097787

  18. The role of mitochondria in age-related hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hengchao; Tang, Jianguo

    2014-02-01

    Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), the hearing loss associated with aging, is a vital problem in present society. The severity of hearing loss is possibly associated with the degeneration of cochlear cells. Mitochondria play a key role in the energy supply, cellular redox homeostasis, signaling, and regulation of programmed cell death. In this review, we focus on the central role of mitochondria in ARHL. The mitochondrial redox imbalance and mitochondrial DNA mutation might collaboratively involve in the process of cochlear senescence in response to the aging stress. Subsequent responses, including alteration of mitochondrial biogenesis, mitophagy, apoptosis and paraptosis, participate in the aging process from different respects. PMID:24202185

  19. [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

  20. [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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Long term consequences on spatial learning-memory of low-calorie diet during adolescence in female rats; hippocampal and prefrontal cortex BDNF level, expression of NeuN and cell proliferation in dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Kaptan, Zülal; Akgün-Dar, Kadriye; Kapucu, Ayşegül; Dedeakayoğulları, Huri; Batu, Şule; Üzüm, Gülay

    2015-08-27

    Calorie restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. Obesity during adolescence may adversely affect cognition in adulthood but, to date effects of CR have not been investigated. We hypothesized that feeding with as low as 15% low-calorie diet (LCD) during adolescence would increase hippocampal and prefrontal BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels, proliferative cells and neuron numbers in dentate gyrus (DG), thus positively affecting spatial memory in adulthood. Spatial learning-memory function was improved in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats fed with LCD during adolescence. PCNA (Proliferating cell nuclear antigen-cell proliferation marker) expressing cells and NeuN (Neuronal nuclear antigen-neuron marker) expressing cells in hippocampus DG which are critically involved in memory were increased. Hippocampus and prefrontal cortex BDNF levels were increased while serum glucose levels and level of lipid peroxidation indicator malondialdehyde in serum and hippocampus were reduced. Our unique results suggest that improved cognition in adult rats with LCD feeding during adolescence may result from the increase of neurogenesis and BDNF. These findings reveal the importance of nutrition in adolescence for cognitive function in adulthood. Our results may be useful for further studies aiming to treat age-related cognitive impairments. PMID:26072462

  4. Activation and survival of immature neurons in the dentate gyrus with spatial memory is dependent on time of exposure to spatial learning and age of cells at examination.

    PubMed

    Epp, Jonathan R; Haack, Andrew K; Galea, Liisa A M

    2011-03-01

    Neurogenesis continues to occur throughout life in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and may be related to hippocampus-dependent learning. We have recently reported that there is an enhancement of neurogenesis in the hippocampus only when BrdU is administered 6 days prior to starting spatial training but not when training started either 1 day or 11 days following BrdU administration. In that study, all rats were perfused on day 16 after BrdU injection in order to compare cells of the same age (i.e. 16 day old cells) and thus the survival time after learning was different between groups. This study was designed to address whether the amount of time that passed following training could also contribute to the effects of spatial learning on hippocampal neurogenesis and whether there was differential new neuron activation in response to spatial learning that depended on the age of new cells at the time of spatial learning. Here we tested whether a survival period of 5 days following spatial learning at either 1-5, 6-10 or 11-15 days following BrdU administration would alter cell survival and/or activation of new neurons. Our results indicate that 5 days after training in the Morris water task cell survival is unaltered by training on days 1-5, increased by training at days 6-10 and decreased when training occurs on days 11-15. Furthermore spatial learners trained on days 6-10 or 11-15 show greater activation of new neurons compared to cue-trained rats during a probe trial 5 days after training. In addition, rats trained on the spatial task on days 11-15 had a greater number of activated new neurons compared to rats trained on the spatial task on days 6-10. These results suggest there is a gradual removal of older BrdU-labeled new neurons following spatial learning perhaps due to a competitive interaction with a population of younger BrdU-labeled new neurons. PMID:21216298

  5. 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

  6. Age-related prefrontal impairments implicate deficient prediction of future reward in older adults.

    PubMed

    Eppinger, Ben; Heekeren, Hauke R; Li, Shu-Chen

    2015-08-01

    Foresighted decision-making depends on the ability to learn the value of future outcomes and the sequential choices necessary to achieve them. Using a 3-stage Markov decision task and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated age differences in the ability to extract state transition structures while learning to predict future reward. In younger adults learning was associated with enhanced activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). In older adults (OA) we found no evidence for PFC recruitment. However, high-performing OA showed enhanced striatal activity, suggesting that they may engage in a model-free (experience-based) learning strategy. Change point analyses revealed that in younger adults learning was characterized by distinct and abrupt shifts in PFC activity, which were predictive of behavioral change points. In OA PFC activity was less pronounced and not predictive of behavior. Our findings suggest that age-related impairments in learning future reward value can be attributed to a deficit in extracting sequential state transition structures. This deficit may lead to myopic decisions in OA if contextual information has to be temporally integrated. PMID:26004018

  7. Route learning in Korsakoff's syndrome: Residual acquisition of spatial memory despite profound amnesia.

    PubMed

    Oudman, Erik; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Nijboer, Tanja C W; Wijnia, Jan W; Seekles, Maaike L; Postma, Albert

    2016-03-01

    Korsakoff's syndrome (KS) is characterized by explicit amnesia, but relatively spared implicit memory. The aim of this study was to assess to what extent KS patients can acquire spatial information while performing a spatial navigation task. Furthermore, we examined whether residual spatial acquisition in KS was based on automatic or effortful coding processes. Therefore, 20 KS patients and 20 matched healthy controls performed six tasks on spatial navigation after they navigated through a residential area. Ten participants per group were instructed to pay close attention (intentional condition), while 10 received mock instructions (incidental condition). KS patients showed hampered performance on a majority of tasks, yet their performance was superior to chance level on a route time and distance estimation tasks, a map drawing task and a route walking task. Performance was relatively spared on the route distance estimation task, but there were large variations between participants. Acquisition in KS was automatic rather than effortful, since no significant differences were obtained between the intentional and incidental condition on any task, whereas for the healthy controls, the intention to learn was beneficial for the map drawing task and the route walking task. The results of this study suggest that KS patients are still able to acquire spatial information during navigation on multiple domains despite the presence of the explicit amnesia. Residual acquisition is most likely based on automatic coding processes. PMID:25345967

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune privileged tissue due to its unique anatomical and physiological properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergo low levels of activation (para-inflammation). In many cases, this para-inflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), this para-inflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal para-inflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors and old age. Dysregulated para-inflammation (chronic inflammation) in AMD damages the blood retina barrier (BRB), resulting in the breach of retinal immune privilege leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in AMD, and explores the difference between beneficial para-inflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of AMD. PMID:26292978

  9. Oxidative stress and age-related neuronal deficits.

    PubMed

    Joseph, J A; Denisova, N; Villalobos-Molina, R; Erat, S; Strain, J

    1996-01-01

    Research from our laboratory has indicated that the loss of sensitivity that occurs in several receptor systems as a function of age may be an index of an increasing inability to respond to oxidative stress (OS). This loss occurs partially as a result of altered signal transduction (ST). Assessments have involved determining the nature of age-related reductions in oxotremorine enhancement of K(+)-evoked dopamine release (K(+)-ERDA) from superfused striatal slices. Using this model, we have found that 1. Reductions can be restored with in vivo administration of the free-radical trapping agent, N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone (PBN); 2. Decrements in DA release induced by NO or H2O2 from striatal slices from both young and old animals could be restored with alpha-tocopherol or PBN; 3. ST decrements, such as those seen in aging, could be induced with radiation exposure; and 4. Pre-incubation of the striatal slices with cholesterol decreased subsequent deleterious effects of NO or OH. on DA release. Thus, cholesterol, which increases in neuronal membranes as a function of age, may function as a potent antioxidant and protectant against neuronal damage. These results suggest that therapeutic efforts to restore cognitive deficits in aging and age-related disease might begin with antioxidant reversal of ST decrements. PMID:8871939

  10. Fertility preservation for age-related fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Stoop, Dominic; Cobo, Ana; Silber, Sherman

    2014-10-01

    Cryopreservation of eggs or ovarian tissue to preserve fertility for patients with cancer has been studied since 1994 with R G Gosden's paper describing restoration of fertility in oophorectomised sheep, and for decades previously by others in smaller mammals. Clinically this approach has shown great success. Many healthy children have been born from eggs cryopreserved with the Kuwayama egg vitrification technique for non-medical (social) indications, but until now very few patients with cancer have achieved pregnancy with cryopreserved eggs. Often, oncologists do not wish to delay cancer treatment while the patient goes through multiple ovarian stimulation cycles to retrieve eggs, and the patient can only start using the oocytes after full recovery from cancer. Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval is not a barrier for patients without cancer who wish to delay childbearing, which makes oocyte cryopreservation increasingly popular to overcome an age-related decline in fertility. Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is an option if egg cryopreservation is ruled out. More than 35 babies have been born so far with cryopreserved ovarian tissue in patients with cancer who have had a complete return of hormonal function, and fertility to baseline. Both egg and ovarian tissue cryopreservation might be ready for application to the preservation of fertility not only in patients with cancer but also in countering the increasing incidence of age-related decline in female fertility. PMID:25283572

  11. Age-related mutations and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Mason, C C; Khorashad, J S; Tantravahi, S K; Kelley, T W; Zabriskie, M S; Yan, D; Pomicter, A D; Reynolds, K R; Eiring, A M; Kronenberg, Z; Sherman, R L; Tyner, J W; Dalley, B K; Dao, K-H; Yandell, M; Druker, B J; Gotlib, J; O'Hare, T; Deininger, M W

    2016-04-01

    Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a hematologic malignancy nearly confined to the elderly. Previous studies to determine incidence and prognostic significance of somatic mutations in CMML have relied on candidate gene sequencing, although an unbiased mutational search has not been conducted. As many of the genes commonly mutated in CMML were recently associated with age-related clonal hematopoiesis (ARCH) and aged hematopoiesis is characterized by a myelomonocytic differentiation bias, we hypothesized that CMML and aged hematopoiesis may be closely related. We initially established the somatic mutation landscape of CMML by whole exome sequencing followed by gene-targeted validation. Genes mutated in ⩾10% of patients were SRSF2, TET2, ASXL1, RUNX1, SETBP1, KRAS, EZH2, CBL and NRAS, as well as the novel CMML genes FAT4, ARIH1, DNAH2 and CSMD1. Most CMML patients (71%) had mutations in ⩾2 ARCH genes and 52% had ⩾7 mutations overall. Higher mutation burden was associated with shorter survival. Age-adjusted population incidence and reported ARCH mutation rates are consistent with a model in which clinical CMML ensues when a sufficient number of stochastically acquired age-related mutations has accumulated, suggesting that CMML represents the leukemic conversion of the myelomonocytic-lineage-biased aged hematopoietic system. PMID:26648538

  12. 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

  13. Age-related Cardiac Disease Model of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ocorr, Karen; Akasaka, Takeshi; Bodmer, Rolf

    2007-01-01

    We have begun to study the genetic basis of deterioration of cardiac function in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as an age-related cardiac disease model. For this purpose we have developed heart function assays in Drosophila and found that the fly's cardiac performance, as that of the human heart, deteriorates with age: aging fruit flies exhibit a progressive increase in electrical pacing-induced heart failure as well as in arrhythmias. The insulin receptor and associated pathways have a dramatic and heart-autonomous influence on age-related cardiac performance in flies, suggestive of potentially similar mechanisms in regulating cardiac aging in vertebrates. Compromised KCNQ and KATP ion channel functions also seem to contribute to the decline in heart performance in aging flies, suggesting that the corresponding vertebrate gene functions may similarly decline with age, in addition to their conserved role in protecting against arrhythmias and hypoxia/ischemia, respectively. The fly heart is thus emerging as a promising genetic model for studying the age-dependent decline in organ function. PMID:17125816

  14. 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

  15. Age-related differences in electroencephalogram connectivity and network topology.

    PubMed

    Knyazev, Gennady G; Volf, Nina V; Belousova, Ludmila V

    2015-05-01

    To better understand age-related differences in brain function and behavior, connectivity between brain regions was estimated from electroencephalogram source time series in eyes closed versus eyes open resting condition. In beta band, decrease of connectivity upon eyes opening was more pronounced in younger than in older participants. The extent of this decrease was associated with reaction time in attention tasks, and this relationship was fully mediated by participants' age, implying that physiological processes, which lead to age-related slowing, include changes in beta reactivity. Graph-theoretical analysis showed a decrease of modularity and clustering in beta and gamma band networks in older adults, implying that age makes brain networks more random. The overall number of nodes identified as hubs in posterior cortical regions decreased in older participants. At the same time, increase of connectedness of anterior nodes, probably reflecting compensatory activation of the anterior attentional system, was observed in beta-band network of older adults. These findings show that normal aging mostly affects interactions in beta band, which are probably involved in attentional processes. PMID:25766772

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Age-related differences in moral identity across adulthood.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    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 65 years (148 women, M = 33.5 years, SD = 16.9) and a modification of the Good Self-Assessment, it was demonstrated that mean-level of moral identity (averaged across the contexts of family, school/work, and community) significantly increased in the adult years, whereas cross-context differentiation showed a nonlinear trend peaking at the age of 25 years. Value-orientations that define individuals' moral identity shifted so that self-direction and rule-conformity became more important with age. Age-related differences in moral identity were associated with, but not fully attributable to changes in personality traits. Overall, findings suggest that moral identity development is a lifelong process that starts in adolescence but expands well into middle age. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27124654

  20. Age-related changes in Egr1 transcription and DNA methylation within the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Penner, M R; Parrish, R R; Hoang, L T; Roth, T L; Lubin, F D; Barnes, C A

    2016-08-01

    Aged animals show functional alterations in hippocampal neurons that lead to deficits in synaptic plasticity and changes in cognitive function. Transcription of immediate-early genes (IEGs), including Egr1, is necessary for processes such as long-term potentiation and memory consolidation. Here, we show an age-related reduction in the transcription of Egr1 in the dentate gyrus following spatial behavior, whereas in the area CA1, Egr1 is reduced at rest, but its transcription can be effectively driven by spatial behavior to levels equivalent to those observed in adult animals. One mechanism possibly contributing to these aging-related changes is an age-associated, CpG site-specific change in methylation in DNA associated with the promoter region of the Egr1 gene. Our results add to a growing body of work demonstrating that complex transcriptional and epigenetic changes in the hippocampus significantly contribute to brain and cognitive aging. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26972614

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Sharpening coarse-to-fine stereo vision by perceptual learning: asymmetric transfer across the spatial frequency spectrum.

    PubMed

    Li, Roger W; Tran, Truyet T; Craven, Ashley P; Leung, Tsz-Wing; Chat, Sandy W; Levi, Dennis M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons in the early visual cortex are finely tuned to different low-level visual features, forming a multi-channel system analysing the visual image formed on the retina in a parallel manner. However, little is known about the potential 'cross-talk' among these channels. Here, we systematically investigated whether stereoacuity, over a large range of target spatial frequencies, can be enhanced by perceptual learning. Using narrow-band visual stimuli, we found that practice with coarse (low spatial frequency) targets substantially improves performance, and that the improvement spreads from coarse to fine (high spatial frequency) three-dimensional perception, generalizing broadly across untrained spatial frequencies and orientations. Notably, we observed an asymmetric transfer of learning across the spatial frequency spectrum. The bandwidth of transfer was broader when training was at a high spatial frequency than at a low spatial frequency. Stereoacuity training is most beneficial when trained with fine targets. This broad transfer of stereoacuity learning contrasts with the highly specific learning reported for other basic visual functions. We also revealed strategies to boost learning outcomes 'beyond-the-plateau'. Our investigations contribute to understanding the functional properties of the network subserving stereovision. The ability to generalize may provide a key principle for restoring impaired binocular vision in clinical situations. PMID:26909178

  7. 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

  8. Adult learning deficits after neonatal exposure to D-methamphetamine: selective effects on spatial navigation and memory.

    PubMed

    Vorhees, C V; Inman-Wood, S L; Morford, L L; Broening, H W; Fukumura, M; Moran, M S

    2000-06-15

    The effects of neonatal d-methamphetamine (MA) treatment on cued and spatial learning and memory were investigated. MA was administered to neonatal rats on postnatal days 11-20. All groups received four subcutaneous injections per day. Group MA40-4 received 40 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) of MA in four divided doses (10 mg/kg per injection). Group MA40-2 received 40 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) of MA in two divided (20 mg/kg/injection) and saline for the other two injections per day. Controls received saline for four injections per day. As adults, both MA groups showed no differences in swimming ability in a straight swimming channel. The MA40-4 group showed no differences in cued learning, but was impaired in hidden platform learning in the Morris water maze on acquisition. They also showed reduced memory performance on probe trials. Similar trends were seen on reversal learning and reversal probe trials. Reduced platform-size learning trials caused spatial learning impairments to re-emerge in the MA40-4 group. The MA40-2 group showed no differences in straight channel swimming, but was slower at finding the visible platform during cued learning. They were also impaired during acquisition and memory trials in the Morris hidden platform maze. They showed a similar trend on reversal learning and memory trials, but were not different during reduced platform-size learning trials. When the MA40-2 group's performance on hidden platform learning and memory trials was adjusted for cued trial performance, the spatial learning deficits remained. Deficits of spatial learning and memory are a selective effect of neonatal methamphetamine treatment irrespective of other learning and performance variables. PMID:10844042

  9. Age-related differences in memory and in the memory effects of nootropic drugs.

    PubMed

    Petkov, V D; Mosharrof, A H; Petkov, V V; Kehayov, R A

    1990-01-01

    In experiments of 2-, 5-, 10- and 22-month old rats, using active avoidance with punishment reinforcement (maze and shuttle-box) and passive avoidance (step-down), we found that acquisition and retention in aged rats were impaired significantly or only as a trend. The nootropics adafenoxate, meclofenoxate, citicholine, aniracetam and the standardized ginseng extract administered orally for 7 to 10 days usually facilitated learning and improved memory in the rats of all ages. By some of the indices used the drugs gave more pronounced favourable effects in old rats, while by others better effects were observed in young or adult rats. The results demonstrate significant age-related differences in learning and memory in rats and in the effects of nootropic drugs on these processes. PMID:2281798

  10. Ensemble Learning for Spatial Interpolation of Soil Potassium Content Based on Environmental Information

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Du, Peijun; Wang, Dongchen

    2015-01-01

    One important method to obtain the continuous surfaces of soil properties from point samples is spatial interpolation. In this paper, we propose a method that combines ensemble learning with ancillary environmental information for improved interpolation of soil properties (hereafter, EL-SP). First, we calculated the trend value for soil potassium contents at the Qinghai Lake region in China based on measured values. Then, based on soil types, geology types, land use types, and slope data, the remaining residual was simulated with the ensemble learning model. Next, the EL-SP method was applied to interpolate soil potassium contents at the study site. To evaluate the utility of the EL-SP method, we compared its performance with other interpolation methods including universal kriging, inverse distance weighting, ordinary kriging, and ordinary kriging combined geographic information. Results show that EL-SP had a lower mean absolute error and root mean square error than the data produced by the other models tested in this paper. Notably, the EL-SP maps can describe more locally detailed information and more accurate spatial patterns for soil potassium content than the other methods because of the combined use of different types of environmental information; these maps are capable of showing abrupt boundary information for soil potassium content. Furthermore, the EL-SP method not only reduces prediction errors, but it also compliments other environmental information, which makes the spatial interpolation of soil potassium content more reasonable and useful. PMID:25928138

  11. Ensemble learning for spatial interpolation of soil potassium content based on environmental information.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Du, Peijun; Wang, Dongchen

    2015-01-01

    One important method to obtain the continuous surfaces of soil properties from point samples is spatial interpolation. In this paper, we propose a method that combines ensemble learning with ancillary environmental information for improved interpolation of soil properties (hereafter, EL-SP). First, we calculated the trend value for soil potassium contents at the Qinghai Lake region in China based on measured values. Then, based on soil types, geology types, land use types, and slope data, the remaining residual was simulated with the ensemble learning model. Next, the EL-SP method was applied to interpolate soil potassium contents at the study site. To evaluate the utility of the EL-SP method, we compared its performance with other interpolation methods including universal kriging, inverse distance weighting, ordinary kriging, and ordinary kriging combined geographic information. Results show that EL-SP had a lower mean absolute error and root mean square error than the data produced by the other models tested in this paper. Notably, the EL-SP maps can describe more locally detailed information and more accurate spatial patterns for soil potassium content than the other methods because of the combined use of different types of environmental information; these maps are capable of showing abrupt boundary information for soil potassium content. Furthermore, the EL-SP method not only reduces prediction errors, but it also compliments other environmental information, which makes the spatial interpolation of soil potassium content more reasonable and useful. PMID:25928138

  12. Memantine attenuates the impairment of spatial learning and memory of pentylenetetrazol-kindled rats.

    PubMed

    Jia, Li-Jing; Wang, Wei-Ping; Li, Zhou-Ping; Zhen, Jun-Li; An, Li-Wei; Duan, Rui-Sheng

    2011-08-01

    Cognitive disorders after epilepsy can have a great impact on the quality of life of epileptic patients, though it has not drawn much attention. Even after identified, it is often undertreated or has gone untreated. Memantine has been approved to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer disease (AD), which is characterized by cognitive impairment. In present study, we determined the effects of memantine on PTZ-kindled rats, which can mimic the postseizure dysfunction that resembles symptoms observed in human epilepsy. We found that memantine can ameliorate the spatial learning and memory of epileptic rats. But contrary to previous claims that memantine can improve cognition in AD patients, without serious side effects on normal learning and memory abilities, we found that rats treated only with memantine exhibited the impaired spatial learning and memory ability. We conclude that memantine can improve cognition related to an excitotoxicity-induced pathologic state, but the potential side effects of memantine on the physiological processes should be considered. PMID:21479611

  13. Age-dependent effects of neonatal methamphetamine exposure on spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Vorhees, Charles V; Skelton, Matthew R; Williams, Michael T

    2007-09-01

    Neonatal rats exposed to (+)-methamphetamine (MA) display spatial learning and reference memory deficits in the Morris water maze. In separate experiments the emergence and permanence of these effects were determined. Twenty litters were used in each experiment, and two male/female pairs/litter received saline or MA (5 mg/kg four times a day) on postnatal days (P) 11-20. In experiment 1, one MA and one saline pair from each litter began testing on either P30 or P40, whereas in experiment 2, testing began on P180 or P360. Animals received trials in a straight swimming channel and then in the Morris maze (acquisition, reversal, and reduced platform phases). In both experiments, MA-treated groups showed impaired learning in the platform trials and impaired reference memory in the probe trials, which were largely independent of age. The P30 and P40 MA impairments were seen on acquisition and reduced platform trials but not on reversal. In the probe trials, MA effects were seen during all phases. The P180 and P360 MA-induced deficits were seen in all phases of the platform trials. In probe trials, deficits were only seen during the reversal and reduced platform phases. The results demonstrate that neonatal MA treatment induces spatial learning and reference memory deficits that emerge early and persist until at least 1 year of age, suggesting permanence. PMID:17762523

  14. Age-dependent effects of neonatal methamphetamine exposure on spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    Vorhees, Charles V.; Skelton, Matthew R.; Williams, Michael T.

    2009-01-01

    Neonatal rats exposed to (+)-methamphetamine (MA) display spatial learning and reference memory deficits in the Morris water maze. In separate experiments the emergence and permanence of these effects were determined. Twenty litters were used in each experiment, and two male/female pairs/litter received saline or MA (5 mg/kg four times a day) on postnatal days (P) 11–20. In experiment 1, one MA and one saline pair from each litter began testing on either P30 or P40, whereas in experiment 2, testing began on P180 or P360. Animals received trials in a straight swimming channel and then in the Morris maze (acquisition, reversal, and reduced platform phases). In both experiments, MA-treated groups showed impaired learning in the platform trials and impaired reference memory in the probe trials, which were largely independent of age. The P30 and P40 MA impairments were seen on acquisition and reduced platform trials but not on reversal. In the probe trials, MA effects were seen during all phases. The P180 and P360 MA-induced deficits were seen in all phases of the platform trials. In probe trials, deficits were only seen during the reversal and reduced platform phases. The results demonstrate that neonatal MA treatment induces spatial learning and reference memory deficits that emerge early and persist until at least 1 year of age, suggesting permanence. PMID:17762523

  15. Horses fail to use social learning when solving spatial detour tasks.

    PubMed

    Rørvang, Maria Vilain; Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup; Christensen, Janne Winther

    2015-07-01

    Social animals should have plenty of opportunities to learn from conspecifics, but most studies have failed to document social learning in horses. This study investigates whether young Icelandic horses can learn a spatial detour task through observation of a trained demonstrator horse of either the same age (Experiments 1 and 2, n = 22) or older (Experiment 3, n = 24). Observer horses were allowed to observe the demonstrator being led three times through the detour route immediately before being given the opportunity to solve the task themselves. Controls were allowed only to observe the demonstrator horse eating at the final position, but not the demonstration of the route. Although we found a tendency towards better performance by observer horses in the second experiment, we were unable to repeat this result in a similar set-up with a new group of horses and older, dominant demonstrator horses. We conclude that horses exposed to prior demonstration did not perform better than control horses in solving spatial detour tasks. PMID:25716720

  16. Spaces in between Us: A Qualitative Study into the Impact of Spatial Practice when Learning in "Second Life"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savin-Baden, Maggi

    2013-01-01

    This paper will present a study that explored the perceived impact of spatial practice in "Second Life" (SL) on teaching and learning from the point of view of participants in higher education (lecturers, developers and researchers). Narrative inquiry was used to access stories and experiences of space and spatial practice from staff perspectives.…

  17. Inflammatory networks in ageing, age-related diseases and longevity.

    PubMed

    Vasto, Sonya; Candore, Giuseppina; Balistreri, Carmela Rita; Caruso, Marco; Colonna-Romano, Giuseppina; Grimaldi, Maria Paola; Listi, Florinda; Nuzzo, Domenico; Lio, Domenico; Caruso, Calogero

    2007-01-01

    Inflammation is considered a response set by the tissues in response to injury elicited by trauma or infection. It is a complex network of molecular and cellular interactions that facilitates a return to physiological homeostasis and tissue repair. The individual response against infection and trauma is also determined by gene variability. Ageing is accompanied by chronic low-grade inflammation state clearly showed by 2-4-fold increase in serum levels of inflammatory mediators. A wide range of factors has been claimed to contribute to this state; however, the most important role seems to be played by the chronic antigenic stress, which affects immune system thorough out life with a progressive activation of macrophages and related cells. This pro-inflammatory status, interacting with the genetic background, potentially triggers the onset of age-related inflammatory diseases as atherosclerosis. Thus, the analysis of polymorphisms of the genes that are key nodes of the natural immunity response might clarify the patho-physiology of age-related inflammatory diseases as atherosclerosis. On the other hand, centenarians are characterized by marked delay or escape from age-associated diseases that, on average, cause mortality at earlier ages. In addition, centenarian offspring have increased likelihood of surviving to 100 years and show a reduced prevalence of age-associated diseases, as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and less prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. So, genes involved in CVD may play an opposite role in human longevity. Thus, the model of centenarians can be used to understand the role of these genes in successful and unsuccessful ageing. Accordingly, we report the results of several studies in which the frequencies of pro-inflammatory alleles were significantly higher in patients affected by infarction and lower in centenarians whereas age-related controls displayed intermediate values. These findings point to a strong relationship between the genetics

  18. Temperature affects longevity and age-related locomotor and cognitive decay in the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri.

    PubMed

    Valenzano, Dario R; Terzibasi, Eva; Cattaneo, Antonino; Domenici, Luciano; Cellerino, Alessandro

    2006-06-01

    Temperature variations are known to modulate aging and life-history traits in poikilotherms as different as worms, flies and fish. In invertebrates, temperature affects lifespan by modulating the slope of age-dependent acceleration in death rate, which is thought to reflect the rate of age-related damage accumulation. Here, we studied the effects of temperature on aging kinetics, aging-related behavioural deficits, and age-associated histological markers of senescence in the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri. This species shows a maximum captive lifespan of only 3 months, which is tied with acceleration in growth and expression of aging biomarkers. These biological peculiarities make it a very convenient animal model for testing the effects of experimental manipulations on life-history traits in vertebrates. Here, we show that (i) lowering temperature from 25 degrees C to 22 degrees C increases both median and maximum lifespan; (ii) life extension is due to reduction in the slope of the age-dependent acceleration in death rate; (iii) lowering temperature from 25 degrees C to 22 degrees C retards the onset of age-related locomotor and learning deficits; and (iv) lowering temperature from 25 degrees C to 22 degrees C reduces the accumulation of the age-related marker lipofuscin. We conclude that lowering water temperature is a simple experimental manipulation which retards the rate of age-related damage accumulation in this short-lived species. PMID:16842500

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Progressive Age-Related Changes Similar to Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Transgenic Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Rakoczy, Piroska Elizabeth; Zhang, Dan; Robertson, Terry; Barnett, Nigel L.; Papadimitriou, John; Constable, Ian Jeffrey; Lai, Chooi-May

    2002-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the major cause of blindness in the developed world. Its pathomechanism is unknown and its late onset, complex genetics and strong environmental components have all hampered investigations. Here we demonstrate the development of an animal model for AMD that reproduces features associated with geographic atrophy; a transgenic mouse line (mcd/mcd) expressing a mutated form of cathepsin D that is enzymatically inactive thus impairing processing of phagocytosed photoreceptor outer segments in the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Pigmentary changes indicating RPE cell atrophy and a decreased response to flash electroretinograms were observed in 11- to 12-month-old mcd/mcd mice. Histological studies showed RPE cell proliferation, photoreceptor degeneration, shortening of photoreceptor outer segments, and accumulation of immunoreactive photoreceptor breakdown products in the RPE cells. An accelerated photoreceptor cell death was detected in 12-month-old mcd/mcd mice. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated presence of basal laminar and linear deposits that are considered to be the hallmarks of AMD. Small hard drusen associated with human age-related maculopathy were absent in the mcd/mcd mouse model at the ages analyzed. In summary, this model presents several features of AMD, thus providing a valuable tool for investigating the underlying biological processes and pathomechanism of AMD. PMID:12368224

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Modulation of cell death in age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Tezil, Tugsan; Basaga, Huveyda

    2014-01-01

    Aging is a stage of life of all living organisms. According to the free-radical theory, aging cells gradually become unable to maintain cellular homeostasis due to the adverse effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can cause irreversible DNA mutations, protein and lipid damage which are increasingly accumulated in the course of time if cells could not overcome these effects by the antioxidant defence system. Accrued damaged molecules in cells may either induce cellular death or contribute to develop various pathologies. Hence, programmed cell death mechanisms, apoptosis and autophagy, play a vital role in the aging process. Although they are strictly controlled by various interconnected signalling pathways, alterations in their regulations may contribute to severe pathologies including cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In this review, we summarized our current understanding and hypotheses regarding oxidative stress and age-related dysregulation of cell death signalling pathways. PMID:24079770

  6. 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

  7. Complement Factor H Polymorphism in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Robert J.; Zeiss, Caroline; Chew, Emily Y.; Tsai, Jen-Yue; Sackler, Richard S.; Haynes, Chad; Henning, Alice K.; SanGiovanni, John Paul; Mane, Shrikant M.; Mayne, Susan T.; Bracken, Michael B.; Ferris, Frederick L.; Ott, Jurg; Barnstable, Colin; Hoh., Josephine

    2006-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in the elderly. We report a genome-wide screen of 96 cases and 50 controls for polymorphisms associated with AMD. Among 116,204 single-nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped, an intronic and common variant in the complement factor H gene (CFH) is strongly associated with AMD (nominal P value <10−7). In individuals homozygous for the risk allele, the likelihood of AMD is increased by a factor of 7.4 (95% confidence interval 2.9 to 19). Resequencing revealed a polymorphism in linkage disequilibrium with the risk allele representing a tyrosine-histidine change at amino acid 402. This polymorphism is in a region of CFH that binds heparin and C-reactive protein. The CFH gene is located on chromosome 1 in a region repeatedly linked to AMD in family-based studies. PMID:15761122

  8. 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

  9. Retinal phagocytes in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Soo-Young

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in industrial countries. Vision loss caused by AMD results from geographic atrophy (dry AMD) and/or choroidal neovascularization (wet AMD). Presently, the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD is not fully understood and there is no effective treatment. Oxidative stress in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is considered to be one of the major factors contributing to the pathogenesis of AMD. Also retinal glia, as scavengers, are deeply related with diseases and could play a role. Therefore, therapeutic approaches for microglia and Müller glia, as well as RPE, may lead to new strategies for AMD treatment. This review summarizes the pathological findings observed in RPE cells, microglia and Müller glia of AMD murine models. PMID:26052551

  10. Treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration: Current therapies

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Albert J; Scholl, Stefan; Kirchhof, Janna

    2009-01-01

    Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is now the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss among people over the age of 40 in the Western world. Its prevalence is certain to increase substantially as the population ages. Treatments currently available for the disease include laser photocoagulation, verteporfin photodynamic therapy, and intravitreal injections of corticosteroids and anti-angiogenic agents. Many studies have reported the benefits of each of these treatments, although none is without its risks. No intervention actually cures AMD, nor the neovascularization associated with it. However, its symptoms are treated with varying degrees of success. Some treatments stabilize or arrest the progress of the disease. Others have been shown to reverse some of the damage that has already been done. These treatments can even lead to visual improvement. This paper will review the major classes of drugs and therapies designed to treat this condition. PMID:19668562

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:15761121

  14. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Insights into Inflammatory Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzo, Michele; Missiroli, Filippo; Borgiani, Paola; Angelucci, Francesco; Marsella, Luigi Tonino; Cusumano, Andrea; Novelli, Giuseppe; Ricci, Federico; Giardina, Emiliano

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 8.7% of elderly people worldwide (>55 years old). AMD is characterized by a multifactorial aetiology that involves several genetic and environmental risk factors (genes, ageing, smoking, family history, dietary habits, oxidative stress, and hypertension). In particular, ageing and cigarette smoking (including oxidative compounds and reactive oxygen species) have been shown to significantly increase susceptibility to the disease. Furthermore, different genes (CFH, CFI, C2, C3, IL-6, IL-8, and ARMS2) that play a crucial role in the inflammatory pathway have been associated with AMD risk. Several genetic and molecular studies have indicated the participation of inflammatory molecules (cytokines and chemokines), immune cells (macrophages), and complement proteins in the development and progression of the disease. Taking into consideration the genetic and molecular background, this review highlights the genetic role of inflammatory genes involved in AMD pathogenesis and progression. PMID:25478207

  15. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26372058

  16. Gene Therapies for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Pechan, Peter; Wadsworth, Samuel; Scaria, Abraham

    2015-07-01

    Pathological neovascularization is a key component of the neovascular form (also known as the wet form) of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Several preclinical studies have shown that antiangiogenesis strategies are effective for treating neovascular AMD in animal models. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the main inducers of ocular neovascularization, and several clinical trials have shown the benefits of neutralizing VEGF in patients with neovascular AMD or diabetic macular edema. In this review, we summarize several preclinical and early-stage clinical trials with intraocular gene therapies, which have the potential to reduce or eliminate the repeated intravitreal injections that are currently required for the treatment of neovascular AMD. PMID:25524721

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. Inflammation and its role in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Anu; Paterno, Jussi J; Blasiak, Janusz; Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. Cell-associated and soluble pattern-recognition receptors, e.g. Toll-like receptors, inflammasome receptors, and complement components initiate complex cellular cascades by recognizing or sensing different pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Cytokines and chemokines represent alarm messages for leukocytes and once activated, these cells travel long distances to targeted inflamed tissues. Although it is a crucial survival mechanism, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and participates in numerous chronic age-related diseases. This article will review the onset of inflammation and link its functions to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in aged individuals in the developed countries. In this progressive disease, degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) results in the death of photoreceptors, leading to a loss of central vision. The RPE is prone to oxidative stress, a factor that together with deteriorating functionality, e.g. decreased intracellular recycling and degradation due to attenuated heterophagy/autophagy, induces inflammation. In the early phases, accumulation of intracellular lipofuscin in the RPE and extracellular drusen between RPE cells and Bruch's membrane can be clinically detected. Subsequently, in dry (atrophic) AMD there is geographic atrophy with discrete areas of RPE loss whereas in the wet (exudative) form there is neovascularization penetrating from the choroid to retinal layers. Elevations in levels of local and systemic biomarkers indicate that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease forms. PMID:26852158

  2. Age-related oxidative modifications of transthyretin modulate its amyloidogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lei; Buxbaum, Joel N; Reixach, Natàlia

    2013-01-01

    The transthyretin amyloidoses are diseases of protein misfolding characterized by the extracellular deposition of fibrils and other aggregates of the homotetrameric protein transthyretin (TTR) in peripheral nerves, heart and other tissues. Age is the major risk factor for the development of these diseases. We hypothesized that an age-associated increase in protein oxidation could be involved in the onset of the senile forms of the TTR amyloidoses. To test this hypothesis we have produced and characterized relevant age-related oxidative modifications of wild type (WT) and the Val122Ile (V122I) TTR variant, both involved in cardiac TTR deposition in the elderly. Our studies show that methionine/cysteine oxidized TTR and carbonylated TTR either from WT or the V122I variant, are thermodynamically less stable than their non-oxidized counterparts. Moreover, carbonylated WT and carbonylated V122I TTR have a greater propensity to form aggregates and fibrils than WT and V122I TTR, respectively, at physiologically attainable pH. It is well known that TTR tetramer dissociation, the limiting step for aggregation and amyloid fibril formation, can be prevented by small molecules that bind the TTR tetramer interface. Here, we report that carbonylated WT TTR is less amenable to resveratrol-mediated tetramer stabilization than WT TTR. All the oxidized forms of TTR tested are cytotoxic to a human cardiomyocyte cell line known to be a target for cardiac-specific TTR variants. Overall these studies demonstrate that age-related oxidative modifications of TTR can contribute to the onset of the senile forms of the TTR amyloidoses. PMID:23414091

  3. Age-related oxidative modifications of transthyretin modulate its amyloidogenicity.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Buxbaum, Joel N; Reixach, Natàlia

    2013-03-19

    The transthyretin amyloidoses are diseases of protein misfolding characterized by the extracellular deposition of fibrils and other aggregates of the homotetrameric protein transthyretin (TTR) in peripheral nerves, heart, and other tissues. Age is the major risk factor for the development of these diseases. We hypothesized that an age-associated increase in the level of protein oxidation could be involved in the onset of the senile forms of the TTR amyloidoses. To test this hypothesis, we have produced and characterized relevant age-related oxidative modifications of the wild type (WT) and the Val122Ile (V122I) TTR variant, both involved in cardiac TTR deposition in the elderly. Our studies show that methionine/cysteine-oxidized TTR and carbonylated TTR from either the WT or the V122I variant are thermodynamically less stable than their nonoxidized counterparts. Moreover, carbonylated WT and carbonylated V122I TTR have a stronger propensity to form aggregates and fibrils than WT and V122I TTR, respectively, at physiologically attainable pH values. It is well-known that TTR tetramer dissociation, the limiting step for aggregation and amyloid fibril formation, can be prevented by small molecules that bind the TTR tetramer interface. Here, we report that carbonylated WT TTR is less amenable to resveratrol-mediated tetramer stabilization than WT TTR. All the oxidized forms of TTR tested are cytotoxic to a human cardiomyocyte cell line known to be a target for cardiac-specific TTR variants. Overall, these studies demonstrate that age-related oxidative modifications of TTR can contribute to the onset of the senile forms of the TTR amyloidoses. PMID:23414091

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Age-related changes in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Townes-Anderson, E; Colantonio, A; St Jules, R S

    1998-05-01

    Tiger salamanders have been used in visual science because of the large size of their cells and the ease of preparation and maintenance of in vitro retinal preparations. We have found that salamanders over 27 cm in length show a variety of visual abnormalities. Compared to smaller animals (15-23 cm), large animals exhibited a decrease in visual responses determined by tests of the optomotor reflex. Small animals responded correctly an average of 84.5% of the time in visual testing at three light levels compared to an average of 68.4% for the large animals with the poorest visual performance at the lowest level of illumination. In addition, large animals contained (i) histological degeneration of the outer retina, in particular, loss and disruption of outer segments and abnormalities of the retinal pigmented epithelium, (ii) loss of cells, including photoreceptors, by apoptosis as evaluated with the TUNEL technique, and (iii) an increase in the number of macrophages and lymphocytes within the retina as determined by morphological examination. These histological changes were present in all large animals and all quadrants of their retinas. In contrast, small animals showed virtually no retinal degeneration, no TUNEL-positive cells, and few immune-like cells in the retina. Since large animals are also older animals. the visual changes are age-related. Loss of visual function and histological degeneration in the outer retina also typify aged human eyes. Thus, we propose that large salamanders serve as an animal model for age-related retinal degeneration. In addition to providing a source of aging retina that is readily accessible to experimental manipulation, the salamander provides a pigmented retina with a mixed (2:1, rod:cone) population of photoreceptors, similar to the degeneration-prone parafoveal region of the human eye. PMID:9631666

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Initial investigation of the effects of an experimentally learned schema on spatial associative memory in humans.

    PubMed

    van Buuren, Mariët; Kroes, Marijn C W; Wagner, Isabella C; Genzel, Lisa; Morris, Richard G M; Fernández, Guillén

    2014-12-10

    Networks of interconnected neocortical representations of prior knowledge, "schemas," facilitate memory for congruent information. This facilitation is thought to be mediated by augmented encoding and accelerated consolidation. However, it is less clear how schema affects retrieval. Rodent and human studies to date suggest that schema-related memories are differently retrieved. However, these studies differ substantially as most human studies implement pre-experimental world-knowledge as schemas and tested item or nonspatial associative memory, whereas animal studies have used intraexperimental schemas based on item-location associations within a complex spatial layout that, in humans, could engage more strategic retrieval processes. Here, we developed a paradigm conceptually linked to rodent studies to examine the effects of an experimentally learned spatial associative schema on learning and retrieval of new object-location associations and to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying schema-related retrieval. Extending previous findings, we show that retrieval of schema-defining associations is related to activity along anterior and posterior midline structures and angular gyrus. The existence of such spatial associative schema resulted in more accurate learning and retrieval of new, related associations, and increased time allocated to retrieve these associations. This retrieval was associated with right dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral parietal activity, as well as interactions between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial and lateral parietal regions, and between the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior midline regions, supporting the hypothesis that retrieval of new, schema-related object-location associations in humans also involves augmented monitoring and systematic search processes. PMID:25505319

  11. 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.

  12. Combining Distance and Face-To Teaching and Learning in Spatial Computations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulland, E.-K.; Schut, A. G. T.; Veenendaal, B.

    2011-09-01

    Retention and passing rates as well as student engagement in computer programming and problem solving units are a major concern in tertiary spatial science courses. A number of initiatives were implemented to improve this. A pilot study reviews the changes made to the teaching and learning environment, including the addition of new resources and modifications to assessments, and investigates their effectiveness. In particular, the study focuses on the differences between students studying in traditional, oncampus mode and distance, e-learning mode. Student results and retention rates from 2009-2011, data from in-lecture clicker response units and two anonymous surveys collected in 2011 were analysed. Early results indicate that grades improved for engaged students but pass rates or grades of the struggling cohort of students did not improve significantly.

  13. 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.

  14. Perceptrons with Hebbian learning based on wave ensembles in spatially patterned potentials.

    PubMed

    Espinosa-Ortega, T; Liew, T C H

    2015-03-20

    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. PMID:25839313

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25866202

  19. Aging-associated formaldehyde-induced norepinephrine deficiency contributes to age-related memory decline

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Yufei; Jiang, Chun; Wan, You; Lv, Jihui; Jia, Jianping; Wang, Xiaomin; Yang, Xu; Tong, Zhiqian

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25866202

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: A hypothesis for future research

    PubMed Central

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer's disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310

  5. Changes in pattern completion – a key mechanism to explain age-related recognition memory deficits?

    PubMed Central

    Vieweg, Paula; Stangl, Matthias; Howard, Lorelei R.; Wolbers, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Accurate memory retrieval from partial or degraded input requires the reactivation of memory traces, a hippocampal mechanism termed pattern completion. Age-related changes in hippocampal integrity have been hypothesized to shift the balance of memory processes in favor of the retrieval of already stored information (pattern completion), to the detriment of encoding new events (pattern separation). Using a novel behavioral paradigm, we investigated the impact of cognitive aging (1) on recognition performance across different levels of stimulus completeness, and (2) on potential response biases. Participants were required to identify previously learned scenes among new ones. Additionally, all stimuli were presented in gradually masked versions to alter stimulus completeness. Both young and older adults performed increasingly poorly as the scenes became less complete, and this decline in performance was more pronounced in elderly participants indicative of a pattern completion deficit. Intriguingly, when novel scenes were shown, only the older adults showed an increased tendency to identify these as familiar scenes. In line with theoretical models, we argue that this reflects an age-related bias towards pattern completion. PMID:25597525

  6. Insulin-like growth factor 2 rescues aging-related memory loss in rats.

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Adam B; Johnson, Sarah A; Iannitelli, Dylan E; Pollonini, Gabriella; Alberini, Cristina M

    2016-08-01

    Aging is accompanied by declines in memory performance, and particularly affects memories that rely on hippocampal-cortical systems, such as episodic and explicit. With aged populations significantly increasing, the need for preventing or rescuing memory deficits is pressing. However, effective treatments are lacking. Here, we show that the level of the mature form of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2), a peptide regulated in the hippocampus by learning, required for memory consolidation and a promoter of memory enhancement in young adult rodents, is significantly reduced in hippocampal synapses of aged rats. By contrast, the hippocampal level of the immature form proIGF-2 is increased, suggesting an aging-related deficit in IGF-2 processing. In agreement, aged compared to young adult rats are deficient in the activity of proprotein convertase 2, an enzyme that likely mediates IGF-2 posttranslational processing. Hippocampal administration of the recombinant, mature form of IGF-2 rescues hippocampal-dependent memory deficits and working memory impairment in aged rats. Thus, IGF-2 may represent a novel therapeutic avenue for preventing or reversing aging-related cognitive impairments. PMID:27318130

  7. Design of Alarm Sound of Home Care Equipment Based on Age-related Auditory Sense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibano, Jun-Ichi; Tadano, Shigeru; Kaneko, Hirotaka

    A wide variety of home care equipment has been developed to support the independent lifestyle and care taking of elderly persons. Almost all of the equipment has an alarm designed to alert a care person or to sound a warning in case of an emergency. Due to the fact that aging human beings' senses physiologically, weaken and deteriorate, each alarm's sound must be designed to account for the full range of elderly person's hearing loss. Since the alarms are usually heard indoors, it is also necessary to evaluate the relationship between the basic characteristics of the sounds and living area's layout. In this study, we investigated the sounds of various alarms of the home care equipment based on both the age-related hearing characteristics of elderly persons and the propagation property of the sounds indoors. As a result, it was determined that the hearing characteristics of elderly persons are attuned to sounds which have a frequency from 700Hz to 1kHz, and it was learned that the indoor absorption ratio of sound is smallest when the frequency is 1kHz. Therefore, a frequency of 1kHz is good for the alarm sound of home care equipment. A flow chart to design the alarm sound of home care equipment was proposed, taking into account the extent of age-related auditory sense deterioration.

  8. Automatic age-related macular degeneration detection and staging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Grinsven, Mark J. J. P.; Lechanteur, Yara T. E.; van de Ven, Johannes P. H.; van Ginneken, Bram; Theelen, Thomas; Sánchez, Clara I.

    2013-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disorder of the central part of the retina, which mainly affects older people and leads to permanent loss of vision in advanced stages of the disease. AMD grading of non-advanced AMD patients allows risk assessment for the development of advanced AMD and enables timely treatment of patients, to prevent vision loss. AMD grading is currently performed manually on color fundus images, which is time consuming and expensive. In this paper, we propose a supervised classification method to distinguish patients at high risk to develop advanced AMD from low risk patients and provide an exact AMD stage determination. The method is based on the analysis of the number and size of drusen on color fundus images, as drusen are the early characteristics of AMD. An automatic drusen detection algorithm is used to detect all drusen. A weighted histogram of the detected drusen is constructed to summarize the drusen extension and size and fed into a random forest classifier in order to separate low risk from high risk patients and to allow exact AMD stage determination. Experiments showed that the proposed method achieved similar performance as human observers in distinguishing low risk from high risk AMD patients, obtaining areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve of 0.929 and 0.934. A weighted kappa agreement of 0.641 and 0.622 versus two observers were obtained for AMD stage evaluation. Our method allows for quick and reliable AMD staging at low costs.

  9. Age-related thermal response: the cellular resilience of juveniles.

    PubMed

    Clark, M S; Thorne, M A S; Burns, G; Peck, L S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding species' responses to environmental challenges is key to predicting future biodiversity. However, there is currently little data on how developmental stages affect responses and also whether universal gene biomarkers to environmental stress can be identified both within and between species. Using the Antarctic clam, Laternula elliptica, as a model species, we examined both the tissue-specific and age-related (juvenile versus mature adult) gene expression response to acute non-lethal warming (12 h at 3 °C). In general, there was a relatively muted response to this sub-lethal thermal challenge when the expression profiles of treated animals, of either age, were compared with those of 0 °C controls, with none of the "classical" stress response genes up-regulated. The expression profiles were very variable between the tissues of all animals, irrespective of age with no single transcript emerging as a universal biomarker of thermal stress. However, when the expression profiles of treated animals of the different age groups were directly compared, a very different pattern emerged. The profiles of the younger animals showed significant up-regulation of chaperone and antioxidant transcripts when compared with those of the older animals. Thus, the younger animals showed evidence of a more robust cellular response to warming. These data substantiate previous physiological analyses showing a more resilient juvenile population. PMID:26364303

  10. Ocular Surface Temperature in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sodi, Andrea; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:25436140

  11. 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

  12. Cellular models and therapies for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Forest, David L.; Johnson, Lincoln V.; Clegg, Dennis O.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex neurodegenerative visual disorder that causes profound physical and psychosocial effects. Visual impairment in AMD is caused by the loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells and the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells that they support. There is currently no effective treatment for the most common form of this disease (dry AMD). A new approach to treating AMD involves the transplantation of RPE cells derived from either human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Multiple clinical trials are being initiated using a variety of cell therapies. Although many animal models are available for AMD research, most do not recapitulate all aspects of the disease, hampering progress. However, the use of cultured RPE cells in AMD research is well established and, indeed, some of the more recently described RPE-based models show promise for investigating the molecular mechanisms of AMD and for screening drug candidates. Here, we discuss innovative cell-culture models of AMD and emerging stem-cell-based therapies for the treatment of this vision-robbing disease. PMID:26035859

  13. Proinflammatory cytokines, aging, and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Michaud, Martin; Balardy, Laurent; Moulis, Guillaume; Gaudin, Clement; Peyrot, Caroline; Vellas, Bruno; Cesari, Matteo; Nourhashemi, Fati

    2013-12-01

    Inflammation is a physiological process that repairs tissues in response to endogenous or exogenous aggressions. Nevertheless, a chronic state of inflammation may have detrimental consequences. Aging is associated with increased levels of circulating cytokines and proinflammatory markers. Aged-related changes in the immune system, known as immunosenescence, and increased secretion of cytokines by adipose tissue, represent the major causes of chronic inflammation. This phenomenon is known as "inflamm-aging." High levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1, tumor necrosis factor-α, and C-reactive protein are associated in the older subject with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. In particular, cohort studies have indicated TNF-α and IL-6 levels as markers of frailty. The low-grade inflammation characterizing the aging process notably concurs at the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying sarcopenia. In addition, proinflammatory cytokines (through a variety of mechanisms, such as platelet activation and endothelial activation) may play a major role in the risk of cardiovascular events. Dysregulation of the inflammatory pathway may also affect the central nervous system and be involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders (eg, Alzheimer disease).The aim of the present review was to summarize different targets of the activity of proinflammatory cytokines implicated in the risk of pathological aging. PMID:23792036

  14. Mechanism of Inflammation in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Parmeggiani, Francesco; Romano, Mario R.; Costagliola, Ciro; Semeraro, Francesco; Incorvaia, Carlo; D'Angelo, Sergio; Perri, Paolo; De Palma, Paolo; De Nadai, Katia; Sebastiani, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease that represents the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over the age of 50 in Europe, the United States, and Australia, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of central blindness. Risk factors of AMD are heterogeneous, mainly including increasing age and different genetic predispositions, together with several environmental/epigenetic factors, that is, cigarette smoking, dietary habits, and phototoxic exposure. In the aging retina, free radicals and oxidized lipoproteins are considered to be major causes of tissue stress resulting in local triggers for parainflammation, a chronic status which contributes to initiation and/or progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases such as AMD. Experimental and clinical evidences strongly indicate the pathogenetic role of immunologic processes in AMD occurrence, consisting of production of inflammatory related molecules, recruitment of macrophages, complement activation, microglial activation and accumulation within those structures that compose an essential area of the retina known as macula lutea. This paper reviews some attractive aspects of the literature about the mechanisms of inflammation in AMD, especially focusing on those findings or arguments more directly translatable to improve the clinical management of patients with AMD and to prevent the severe vision loss caused by this disease. PMID:23209345

  15. Mathematical morphologic analysis of aging-related epidermal changes.

    PubMed

    Moragas, A; Castells, C; Sans, M

    1993-04-01

    Fractographic techniques based on mathematical morphology were used to study aging-related epidermal changes in abdominal skin samples obtained from 96 autopsy cases. Three linear roughness indices were evaluated for the rete peg profile and the shrinkage effect on the basal layer and interface between the granular and horny layers. Elderly subjects had a 36.3% decrease in rete peg-related roughness index when compared with younger subjects. This roughness index has been corrected, with shrinkage due to skin elasticity taken into account. For females, fitting of a logistic decay function yielded a curve with right and left asymptotes and a steeper descent between 40 and 60 years. Half value time--i.e., the time when half rete peg profile flattening occurred--was 46.8 years. In contrast, males showed almost monotonical decay. Epidermal thickness measured between rete pegs showed the same exponential decline for both sexes, with values from 22.6 to 11.4 microns. Skin shrinkage in elderly subjects decreased 22% in superficial layers and only 6% in the lower epidermis. In both cases shrinkage had a linear relation with age, and no sex differences were found. PMID:8318130

  16. Seven New Loci Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genomewide association study, examining >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 genomic loci associated with AMD with p<5×10−8 and enriched for genes involved in regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include 7 loci reaching p<5×10−8 for the first time, near the genes COL8A1/FILIP1L, IER3/DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9/MIR548A2, and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNPs from all loci displayed similar good ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD. PMID:23455636

  17. Pachychoroid neovasculopathy and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Miyake, Masahiro; Ooto, Sotaro; Yamashiro, Kenji; Takahashi, Ayako; Yoshikawa, Munemitsu; Akagi-Kurashige, Yumiko; Ueda-Arakawa, Naoko; Oishi, Akio; Nakanishi, Hideo; Tamura, Hiroshi; Tsujikawa, Akitaka; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2015-01-01

    Pachychoroid neovasculopathy is a recently proposed clinical entity of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). As it often masquerades as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is currently controversial whether pachychoroid neovasculopathy should be distinguished from neovascular AMD. This is because its characteristics have yet to be well described. To estimate the relative prevalence of pachychoroid neovasculopathy in comparison with neovascular AMD and to investigate the phenotypic/genetic differences of the two diseases, we evaluated 200 consecutive Japanese patients who agreed to participate in the genetic study and diagnosed with pachychoroid neovasculopathy or neovascular AMD. Pachychoroid neovasculopathy was observed in 39 individuals (19.5%), which corresponds to one fourth of neovascular AMD. Patients with pachychoroid neovasculopathy were significantly younger (p = 5.1 × 10−5) and showed a greater subfoveal choroidal thickness (p = 3.4 × 10−14). Their genetic susceptibility to AMD was significantly lower than that of neovascular AMD; ARMS2 rs10490924 (p = 0.029), CFH rs800292 (p = 0.013) and genetic risk score calculated from 11 AMD susceptibility genes (p = 3.8 × 10−3). Current results implicate that the etiologies of the two conditions must be different. Thus, it will be necessary to distinguish these two conditions in future studies. PMID:26542071

  18. Angiofluorographic aspects in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tomi, A; Marin, I

    2014-01-01

    Although AMD (age-related macular degeneration) has been described for over 100 years, there is neither a standard agreement on the definition of specific lesions nor a generally accepted classification system. For example, the age limits for AMD varied widely in different clinical studies; the methods used for examination also vary (visual acuity, perimetry, contrast sensitivity, slit lamp examination of the fundus, retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography). We described the multitude of angiofluorographic aspects in patients with AMD and conceived a classification to be easily used in clinical practice. Although a detailed ophthalmoscopy can often identify the characteristic lesions of AMD, a complete picture is obtained by fluorescein angiography. The angiographic classification of AMD is structured similarly to the clinical one. It has two main patterns, non-exudative and exudative lesions, but it provides more information about the nature of the lesions. In the last three decades, an impressive amount of information regarding the prevalence, progression and risk factors for AMD has been published. The source of this information is mainly represented by the large population studies that are often multicenter studies. Recognizing the clinical signs of AMD and classifying them into different stages is important for the prognosis and the therapeutical decision, but also for conceiving study protocols. PMID:27057244

  19. Age-Related Changes in Demand-Withdraw Communication Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Holley, Sarah R; Haase, Claudia M; Levenson, Robert W

    2013-08-01

    Demand-withdraw communication is a set of conflict-related behaviors in which one partner blames or pressures while the other partner withdraws or avoids. The present study examined age-related changes in these behaviors longitudinally over the course of later life stages. One hundred twenty-seven middle-aged and older long-term married couples were observed at 3 time points across 13 years as they engaged in a conversation about an area of relationship conflict. Husbands' and wives' demand-withdraw behaviors (i.e., blame, pressure, withdrawal, avoidance) were objectively rated by trained coders at each time point. Data were analyzed using dyad-level latent growth curve models in a structural equation modeling framework. For both husbands and wives, the results showed a longitudinal pattern of increasing avoidance behavior over time and stability in all other demand and withdraw behaviors. This study supports the notion that there is an important developmental shift in the way that conflict is handled in later life. PMID:23913982

  20. Age-related somatic mutations in the cancer genome

    PubMed Central

    Milholland, Brandon; Auton, Adam; Suh, Yousin; Vijg, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Aging is associated with an increased risk of cancer, possibly in part because of an age-related increase in mutations in normal tissues. Due to their extremely low abundance, somatic mutations in normal tissues frequently escape detection. Tumors, as clonal expansions of single cells, can provide information about the somatic mutations present in these cells prior to tumorigenesis. Here, we used data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), to systematically study the frequency and spectrum of somatic mutations in a total of 6,969 patients and 34 different tumor types as a function of the age of the patient. After using linear modeling to control for the age structure of different tumor types, we found that the number of identified somatic mutations increases exponentially with age. Using additional data from the literature, we found that accumulation of somatic mutations is associated with cell division rate, cancer risk and cigarette smoking, with the latter also associated with a distinct spectrum of mutations. Our results confirm that aging is associated with the accumulation of somatic mutations, and strongly suggest that the level of genome instability of normal cells, modified by both endogenous and environmental factors, is the main risk factor for cancer. PMID:26384365

  1. Reversal of age-related neural timing delays with training.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Samira; White-Schwoch, Travis; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2013-03-12

    Neural slowing is commonly noted in older adults, with consequences for sensory, motor, and cognitive domains. One of the deleterious effects of neural slowing is impairment of temporal resolution; older adults, therefore, have reduced ability to process the rapid events that characterize speech, especially in noisy environments. Although hearing aids provide increased audibility, they cannot compensate for deficits in auditory temporal processing. Auditory training may provide a strategy to address these deficits. To that end, we evaluated the effects of auditory-based cognitive training on the temporal precision of subcortical processing of speech in noise. After training, older adults exhibited faster neural timing and experienced gains in memory, speed of processing, and speech-in-noise perception, whereas a matched control group showed no changes. Training was also associated with decreased variability of brainstem response peaks, suggesting a decrease in temporal jitter in response to a speech signal. These results demonstrate that auditory-based cognitive training can partially restore age-related deficits in temporal processing in the brain; this plasticity in turn promotes better cognitive and perceptual skills. PMID:23401541

  2. Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration among the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Rasoulinejad, Seyed Ahmad; Zarghami, Amin; Hosseini, Seyed Reza; Rajaee, Neda; Rasoulinejad, Seyed Elahe; Mikaniki, Ebrahim

    2015-01-01

    Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in elderly population in the developing countries. Previous epidemiological studies revealed various potential modifiable risk factors for this disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of AMD among elderly living in Babol, North of Iran. Methods: The study population of this cross-sectional study came from the Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP), the first comprehensive cohort study of the health of people aged 60 years and over in Amirkola, North of Iran. The prevalence of AMD was estimated and its risk was determined using logistic regression analysis (LRA) with regard to variables such as smoking, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. Results: Five hundred and five participants with mean age of 71.55±5.9 (ranged 60-89) years entered the study. The prevalence of AMD was 17.6%. There was a significant association between AMD and smoking (P<0.001) but no association was seen with AMD and age, level of education, history of hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. Multiple LRAs revealed that smoking increased AMD by odds ratio of 5.03 (95% confidence interval 2.47-10.23 p<0.001) as compared to nonsmokers Conclusion: According to our findings, the prevalence of AMD was relatively high and smoking increased the risk of AMD in the elderly population. PMID:26644880

  3. Functional Visual Acuity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tomita, Yohei; Nagai, Norihiro; Suzuki, Misa; Shinoda, Hajime; Uchida, Atsuro; Mochimaru, Hiroshi; Izumi-Nagai, Kanako; Sasaki, Mariko; Tsubota, Kazuo; Ozawa, Yoko

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Purpose We evaluated whether a functional visual acuity (FVA) system can detect subtle changes in central visual acuity that reflect pathological findings associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods Twenty-eight patients with unilateral AMD and logMAR monocular best corrected VA better than 0 in both eyes, as measured by conventional chart examination, were analyzed between November 2012 and April 2013. After measuring conventional VA, FVA, and contrast VA with best correction, routine eye examinations including spectral domain–optical coherence tomography were performed. Standard Schirmer test was performed, and corneal and lens densities were measured. Results The FVA score (p < 0.001) and visual maintenance ratio (p < 0.001) measured by the FVA system, contrast VA (p < 0. 01), and conventional VA (p < 0.01) were significantly worse in the AMD-affected eyes than in the fellow eyes. No significant differences were observed in the anterior segment conditions. Forward stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that the length of interdigitation zone disruption, as visualized by optical coherence tomography imaging, correlated with the FVA score (p < 0.01) but not with any other parameters investigated. Conclusions The FVA system detects subtle changes in best corrected VA in AMD-affected eyes and reflects interdigitation zone disruption, an anatomical change in the retina recorded by optical coherence tomography. Further studies are required to understand the value of the FVA system in detecting subtle changes in AMD. PMID:26583795

  4. Flavonoids and Age Related Disease: Risk, benefits and critical windows

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, JK; Carlson, SH; Wyss, JM

    2010-01-01

    Plant derived products are consumed by a large percentage of the population to prevent, delay and ameliorate disease burden; however, relatively little is known about the efficacy, safety and underlying mechanisms of these traditional health products, especially when taken in concert with pharmaceutical agents. The flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that are common in the diet and appear to provide some health benefits. While flavonoids are primarily derived from soy, many are found in fruits, nuts and more exotic sources, e.g., kudzu. Perhaps the strongest evidence for the benefits of flavonoids in diseases of aging relates to their effect on components of the metabolic syndrome. Flavonoids from soy, grape seed, kudzu and other sources all lower arterial pressure in hypertensive animal models and in a limited number of tests in humans. They also decrease the plasma concentration of lipids and buffer plasma glucose. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant actions, central nervous system effects, gut transport alterations, fatty acid sequestration and processing, PPAR activation and increases in insulin sensitivity. In animal models of disease, dietary flavonoids also demonstrate a protective effect against cognitive decline, cancer and metabolic disease. However, research also indicates that the flavonoids can be detrimental in some settings and, therefore, are not universally safe. Thus, as the population ages, it is important to determine the impact of these agents on prevention/attenuation of disease, including optimal exposure (intake, timing/duration) and potential contraindications. PMID:20181448

  5. Reversal of age-related neural timing delays with training

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; White-Schwoch, Travis; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Neural slowing is commonly noted in older adults, with consequences for sensory, motor, and cognitive domains. One of the deleterious effects of neural slowing is impairment of temporal resolution; older adults, therefore, have reduced ability to process the rapid events that characterize speech, especially in noisy environments. Although hearing aids provide increased audibility, they cannot compensate for deficits in auditory temporal processing. Auditory training may provide a strategy to address these deficits. To that end, we evaluated the effects of auditory-based cognitive training on the temporal precision of subcortical processing of speech in noise. After training, older adults exhibited faster neural timing and experienced gains in memory, speed of processing, and speech-in-noise perception, whereas a matched control group showed no changes. Training was also associated with decreased variability of brainstem response peaks, suggesting a decrease in temporal jitter in response to a speech signal. These results demonstrate that auditory-based cognitive training can partially restore age-related deficits in temporal processing in the brain; this plasticity in turn promotes better cognitive and perceptual skills. PMID:23401541

  6. Ocular surface temperature in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sodi, Andrea; Matteoli, Sara; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Finocchio, Lucia; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:25436140

  7. Age related susceptibility of pigs to Cryptosporidium scrofarum infection.

    PubMed

    Kváč, Martin; Němejc, Karel; Kestřánová, Michaela; Květoňová, Dana; Wagnerová, Pavla; Kotková, Michaela; Rost, Michael; Samková, Eva; McEvoy, John; Sak, Bohumil

    2014-05-28

    Piglets from 4 to 8 weeks of age originated from a Cryptosporidium-free research breed were orally inoculated with 1 × 10(6) infectious oocysts of Cryptosporidium scrofarum. The number of shed oocysts per gram of faeces served to describe the infection intensity and prepatent period. In addition, faecal samples collected daily and tissue samples of the small and large intestine collected at 30 days post-inoculation were examined for the C. scrofarum small subunit ribosomal RNA gene using PCR. The piglets inoculated at 4-weeks of age remained uninfected, whereas 5-week-old and older animals were fully susceptible with a prepatent period ranging from 4 to 8 days. Susceptible pigs shed oocysts intermittently, and shedding intensity, reaching a mean maximum of 6000 oocysts per gram, did not differ significantly among infected animals. This study demonstrates that pigs become susceptible to C. scrofarum infection as late as 5-weeks of age. The mechanisms of age related susceptibility remain unknown. PMID:24630710

  8. Parabiosis for the study of age-related chronic disease

    PubMed Central

    Eggel, Alexander; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-01-01

    Summary Modern medicine wields the power to treat large numbers of diseases and injuries most of us would have died from just a hundred years ago. In view of this tremendous achievement, it can seem as if progress has slowed, and we have been unable to impact the most devastating diseases of our time. Chronic diseases of age such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease turn out to be of a complexity that may require transformative ideas and paradigms to understand and treat them. Parabiosis, which mimics aspects of the naturally occurring shared blood supply in conjoined twins in humans and certain animals, may just have the power to be such a transformative experimental paradigm. Forgotten and now shunned in many countries, it has contributed to major breakthroughs in tumor biology, endocrinology, and transplantation research in the past century, and a set of new studies in the US and Britain report stunning advances in stem cell biology and tissue regeneration using parabiosis between young and old mice. We review here briefly the history of parabiosis and discuss its utility to study physiological and pathophysiological processes. We argue that parabiosis is a technique that should enjoy wider acceptance and application, and that policies should be revisited especially if one is to study complex age-related, chronic disorders. PMID:24496774

  9. Modifiable risk factors for age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Guymer, Robyn H; Chong, Elaine Wei-Tinn

    2006-05-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Australia and other Western countries. As there is no cure for AMD, and treatments to stop its progression have met with limited success, there is an interest in identifying modifiable risk factors to prevent or slow disease progression. To date, smoking is the only proven modifiable risk factor for AMD. Other factors under study include (i) cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, body mass index, and atherosclerosis; and (ii) dietary risk factors including fat and antioxidant intake, but so far these studies have produced conflicting results. Dietary fat in relation to AMD has recently attracted media attention. Despite very limited work supporting an association between vegetable fat and AMD, widespread publicity advocating margarine as a cause of AMD and encouraging use of butter instead has caused confusion and anxiety among sufferers of AMD and the general public, as well as concern among health professionals. The antioxidant carotenoids--lutein and zeaxanthin--found in dark green or yellow vegetables exist in high concentrations in the macula and are hypothesised to play a protective role. Of nine controlled trials of supplementation with carotenoids and other antioxidants, three suggested that various combinations of antioxidants and carotenoids were protective. While a low-fat diet rich in dark green and yellow vegetables is advocated in general, any specific recommendations regarding certain fats or antioxidant supplementation and AMD are not based on consistent findings at this stage. PMID:16646746

  10. Eye Conditions in Older Adults: Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Iroku-Malize, Tochi; Kirsch, Scott

    2016-06-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes a progressive loss of photoreceptors in the macula. It is the most common cause of legal blindness in the United States, and some form of AMD is thought to affect more than 9 million individuals. Risk factors include older age, smoking, dyslipidemia, obesity, white race, female sex, and a family history of AMD. There are two types of advanced AMD: nonexudative (dry or geographic atrophy) and exudative (wet or neovascular). Both cause progressive central vision loss with intact peripheral vision. Nonexudative AMD accounts for 80% to 90% of all advanced cases, and more than 90% of patients with severe vision loss have exudative AMD. On ophthalmoscopic examination, early findings include drusen (ie, yellow deposits in the retina). Prominent choroidal vessels, subretinal edema, and/or hemorrhage are seen in wet AMD. Regular eye examinations, visual field testing, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography are used for diagnosis and to guide management. There is no specific therapy for dry AMD, but antioxidant supplementation may be helpful. Intravitreal injection of a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor is the treatment of choice for wet AMD. Optical aids and devices can help to maximize function for patients with AMD. PMID:27348529

  11. Seven new loci associated with age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Fritsche, Lars G; Chen, Wei; Schu, Matthew; Yaspan, Brian L; Yu, Yi; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Zack, Donald J; Arakawa, Satoshi; Cipriani, Valentina; Ripke, Stephan; Igo, Robert P; Buitendijk, Gabriëlle H S; Sim, Xueling; Weeks, Daniel E; Guymer, Robyn H; Merriam, Joanna E; Francis, Peter J; Hannum, Gregory; Agarwal, Anita; Armbrecht, Ana Maria; Audo, Isabelle; Aung, Tin; Barile, Gaetano R; Benchaboune, Mustapha; Bird, Alan C; Bishop, Paul N; Branham, Kari E; Brooks, Matthew; Brucker, Alexander J; Cade, William H; Cain, Melinda S; Campochiaro, Peter A; Chan, Chi-Chao; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Chew, Emily Y; Chin, Kimberly A; Chowers, Itay; Clayton, David G; Cojocaru, Radu; Conley, Yvette P; Cornes, Belinda K; Daly, Mark J; Dhillon, Baljean; Edwards, Albert O; Evangelou, Evangelos; Fagerness, Jesen; Ferreyra, Henry A; Friedman, James S; Geirsdottir, Asbjorg; George, Ronnie J; Gieger, Christian; Gupta, Neel; Hagstrom, Stephanie A; Harding, Simon P; Haritoglou, Christos; Heckenlively, John R; Holz, Frank G; Hughes, Guy; Ioannidis, John P A; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Joseph, Peronne; Jun, Gyungah; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Katsanis, Nicholas; N Keilhauer, Claudia; Khan, Jane C; Kim, Ivana K; Kiyohara, Yutaka; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Kovach, Jaclyn L; Kozak, Igor; Lee, Clara J; Lee, Kristine E; Lichtner, Peter; Lotery, Andrew J; Meitinger, Thomas; Mitchell, Paul; Mohand-Saïd, Saddek; Moore, Anthony T; Morgan, Denise J; Morrison, Margaux A; Myers, Chelsea E; Naj, Adam C; Nakamura, Yusuke; Okada, Yukinori; Orlin, Anton; Ortube, M Carolina; Othman, Mohammad I; Pappas, Chris; Park, Kyu Hyung; Pauer, Gayle J T; Peachey, Neal S; Poch, Olivier; Priya, Rinki Ratna; Reynolds, Robyn; Richardson, Andrea J; Ripp, Raymond; Rudolph, Guenther; Ryu, Euijung; Sahel, José-Alain; Schaumberg, Debra A; Scholl, Hendrik P N; Schwartz, Stephen G; Scott, William K; Shahid, Humma; Sigurdsson, Haraldur; Silvestri, Giuliana; Sivakumaran, Theru A; Smith, R Theodore; Sobrin, Lucia; Souied, Eric H; Stambolian, Dwight E; Stefansson, Hreinn; Sturgill-Short, Gwen M; Takahashi, Atsushi; Tosakulwong, Nirubol; Truitt, Barbara J; Tsironi, Evangelia E; Uitterlinden, André G; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Vijaya, Lingam; Vingerling, Johannes R; Vithana, Eranga N; Webster, Andrew R; Wichmann, H-Erich; Winkler, Thomas W; Wong, Tien Y; Wright, Alan F; Zelenika, Diana; Zhang, Ming; Zhao, Ling; Zhang, Kang; Klein, Michael L; Hageman, Gregory S; Lathrop, G Mark; Stefansson, Kari; Allikmets, Rando; Baird, Paul N; Gorin, Michael B; Wang, Jie Jin; Klaver, Caroline C W; Seddon, Johanna M; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Iyengar, Sudha K; Yates, John R W; Swaroop, Anand; Weber, Bernhard H F; Kubo, Michiaki; Deangelis, Margaret M; Léveillard, Thierry; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Haines, Jonathan L; Farrer, Lindsay A; Heid, Iris M; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2013-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate the understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genome-wide association study, including >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 loci associated at P < 5 × 10(-8). These loci show enrichment for genes involved in the regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include seven loci with associations reaching P < 5 × 10(-8) for the first time, near the genes COL8A1-FILIP1L, IER3-DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9 and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNP genotypes from all loci showed similar ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD. PMID:23455636

  12. Epigenetic modification of PKMζ rescues aging-related cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chen; Meng, Shi-Qiu; Xue, Yan-Xue; Han, Ying; Sun, Cheng-Yu; Deng, Jia-Hui; Chen, Na; Bao, Yan-Ping; Zhang, Fei-Long; Cao, Lin-Lin; Zhu, Wei-Guo; Shi, Jie; Song, Wei-Hong; Lu, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Cognition is impacted by aging. However, the mechanisms that underlie aging-associated cognitive impairment are unclear. Here we showed that cognitive decline in aged rats was associated with changes in DNA methylation of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) in the prelimbic cortex (PrL). PKMζ is a crucial molecule involved in the maintenance of long-term memory. Using different behavioral models, we confirmed that aged rats exhibited cognitive impairment in memory retention test 24 h after training, and overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL rescued cognitive impairment in aged rats. After fear conditioning, the protein levels of PKMζ and the membrane expression of GluR2 increased in the PrL in young and adult rats but not in aged rats, and the levels of methylated PKMζ DNA in the PrL decreased in all age groups, whereas the levels of unmethylated PKMζ DNA increased only in young and adult rats. We also found that environmentally enriched housing reversed the hypermethylation of PKMζ and restored cognitive performance in aged rats. Inactivation of PKMζ prevented the potentiating effects of environmental enrichment on memory retention in aged rats. These results indicated that PKMζ might be a potential target for the treatment of aging-related cognitive impairment, suggesting a potential therapeutic avenue. PMID:26926225

  13. Nutritional Risk Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ersoy, Lebriz; Lechanteur, Yara T.; Hoyng, Carel B.; Kirchhof, Bernd; den Hollander, Anneke I.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the role of nutritional factors, serum lipids, and lipoproteins in late age-related macular degeneration (late AMD). Methods. Intake of red meat, fruit, fish, vegetables, and alcohol, smoking status, and body mass index (BMI) were ascertained questionnaire-based in 1147 late AMD cases and 1773 controls from the European Genetic Database. Serum levels of lipids and lipoproteins were determined. The relationship between nutritional factors and late AMD was assessed using logistic regression. Based on multivariate analysis, area-under-the-curve (AUC) was calculated by receiver-operating-characteristics (ROC). Results. In a multivariate analysis, besides age and smoking, obesity (odds ratio (OR): 1.44, P = 0.014) and red meat intake (daily: OR: 2.34, P = 8.22 × 10−6; 2–6x/week: OR: 1.67, P = 7.98 × 10−5) were identified as risk factors for developing late AMD. Fruit intake showed a protective effect (daily: OR: 0.52, P = 0.005; 2–6x/week: OR: 0.58, P = 0.035). Serum lipid and lipoprotein levels showed no significant association with late AMD. ROC for nutritional factors, smoking, age, and BMI revealed an AUC of 0.781. Conclusion. Red meat intake and obesity were independently associated with increased risk for late AMD, whereas fruit intake was protective. A better understanding of nutritional risk factors is necessary for the prevention of AMD. PMID:25101280

  14. 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

  15. Age-related changes in angiogenesis in human dermis.

    PubMed

    Gunin, Andrei G; Petrov, Vadim V; Golubtzova, Natalia N; Vasilieva, Olga V; Kornilova, Natalia K

    2014-07-01

    Present research is aimed to examine the number of dermal blood vessels, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), delta-like ligand 4(Dll4) and Jagged-1 (Jag-1) in dermal blood vessels of human from 20weeks of pregnancy to 85years old. Numbers and proliferative activity of dermal fibroblast-like cells were also examined. Blood vessels were viewed with immunohistochemical staining for von Willebrand factor or CD31. VEGF, Dll4, Jag-1, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were detected immunohistochemically. Results showed that the numbers of fibroblast-like cells, PCNA positive fibroblast-like cells, von Willebrand factor positive or CD31 positive blood vessels in dermis are dramatically decreased with age. The intensity of immunohistochemical staining for VEGF or Jag-1 in blood vessels of dermis is increased from antenatal to deep old period. The degree of immunohistochemical staining of dermal blood vessels for Dll4 has gone up from 20-40weeks of pregnancy to early life period (0-20years), and further decreased below antenatal values. Age-related decrease in the number of dermal blood vessels is suggested to be due to an impairment of VEGF signaling and to be mediated by Dll4 and Jag-1. It may be supposed that diminishing in blood supply of dermis occurring with age is a cause of a decrease in the number and proliferative pool of dermal fibroblasts. PMID:24768823

  16. Age-Related Changes in Demand–Withdraw Communication Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Holley, Sarah R.; Haase, Claudia M.; Levenson, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Demand–withdraw communication is a set of conflict-related behaviors in which one partner blames or pressures while the other partner withdraws or avoids. The present study examined age-related changes in these behaviors longitudinally over the course of later life stages. One hundred twenty-seven middle-aged and older long-term married couples were observed at 3 time points across 13 years as they engaged in a conversation about an area of relationship conflict. Husbands’ and wives’ demand–withdraw behaviors (i.e., blame, pressure, withdrawal, avoidance) were objectively rated by trained coders at each time point. Data were analyzed using dyad-level latent growth curve models in a structural equation modeling framework. For both husbands and wives, the results showed a longitudinal pattern of increasing avoidance behavior over time and stability in all other demand and withdraw behaviors. This study supports the notion that there is an important developmental shift in the way that conflict is handled in later life. PMID:23913982

  17. The Theory Behind the Age-Related Positivity Effect

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Andrew E.; Carstensen, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    The “positivity effect” refers to an age-related trend that favors positive over negative stimuli in cognitive processing. Relative to their younger counterparts, older people attend to and remember more positive than negative information. Since the effect was initially identified and the conceptual basis articulated (Mather and Carstensen, 2005) scores of independent replications and related findings have appeared in the literature. Over the same period, a number of investigations have failed to observe age differences in the cognitive processing of emotional material. When findings are considered in theoretical context, a reliable pattern of evidence emerges that helps to refine conceptual tenets. In this article we articulate the operational definition and theoretical foundations of the positivity effect and review the empirical evidence based on studies of visual attention, memory, decision making, and neural activation. We conclude with a discussion of future research directions with emphasis on the conditions where a focus on positive information may benefit and/or impair cognitive performance in older people. PMID:23060825

  18. Age-related changes in serological susceptibility patterns to measles

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Yongzhen; Wang, Dong; Lin, Weiyan; Tang, Hao; Chen, Shaoli; Ni, Jindong

    2014-01-01

    The present study was performed to determine the seroprevalence of IgG measles antibodies in Dongguan residents (irrespective of vaccination status), to analyze the changes in age-related serological susceptibility patterns. A total of 1960 residents aged 0–60 years and 315 mother–infant pairs were studied. Serum IgG antibodies against measles virus were measured by ELISA. The overall seroprevalence was 93.4% in the general population in Dongguan, China. In subgroups aged 1–29 years who were likely vaccinated, there was a declining trend of seropositivity with age from 98.6% at 1–4 years to 85.7% at 20–29 years (P < 0.0001). Seroprevalence were near or >95% in the older population (30–39 years and ≥40 years) who had not been immunized against measles. Age and sex were independent factors associated with seropositivity. Seroprevalence in pregnant women and their newborns was 87.0% and 84.1%, respectively. Our results suggest that the waning vaccine-induced immunity may be the main cause of increased serological susceptibility in young adults and young infants. An additional vaccination strategy that targets young adults is important for elimination of measles. PMID:24448194

  19. Caspase-2 Deficiency Enhances Aging-Related Traits in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yingpei; Padalecki, Susan S; Chaudhuri, Asish R; Waal, Eric De; Goins, Beth A; Grubbs, Barry; Ikeno, Yuji; Richardson, Arlan; Mundy, Gregory R; Herman, Brian

    2007-01-01

    Alteration of apoptotic activity has been observed in a number of tissues in aging mammals, but it remains unclear whether and/or how apoptosis may affect aging. Caspase-2 is a member of the cysteine protease family that plays a critical role in apoptosis. To understand the impact of compromised apoptosis function on mammalian aging, we conducted a comparative study on caspase-2 deficient mice and their wild-type littermates with a specific focus on the aging-related traits at advanced ages. We found that caspase-2 deficiency enhanced a number of traits commonly seen in premature aging animals. Loss of caspase-2 was associated with shortened maximum lifespan, impaired hair growth, increased bone loss, and reduced body fat content. In addition, we found that the livers of caspase-2 deficient mice had higher levels of oxidized proteins than those of age-matched wild-type mice, suggesting that caspase-2 deficiency compromised the animal's ability to clear oxidatively damaged cells. Collectively, these results suggest that caspase-2 deficiency affects aging in the mice. This study thus demonstrates for the first time that disruption of a key apoptotic gene has a significant impact on aging. PMID:17188333

  20. eNOS-uncoupling in age-related erectile dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, JM; Bivalacqua, TJ; Lagoda, GA; Burnett, AL; Musicki, B

    2011-01-01

    Aging is associated with ED. Although age-related ED is attributed largely to increased oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction in the penis, the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect are not fully defined. We evaluated whether endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling in the aged rat penis is a contributing mechanism. Correlatively, we evaluated the effect of replacement with eNOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) on erectile function in the aged rats. Male Fischer 344 ‘young’ (4-month-old) and ‘aged’ (19-month-old) rats were treated with a BH4 precursor sepiapterin (10 mg/kg intraperitoneally) or vehicle for 4 days. After 1-day washout, erectile function was assessed in response to electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve. Endothelial dysfunction (eNOS uncoupling) and oxidative stress (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) were measured by conducting western blot in penes samples. Erectile response was significantly reduced in aged rats, whereas eNOS uncoupling and TBARS production were significantly increased in the aged rat penis compared with young rats. Sepiapterin significantly improved erectile response in aged rats and prevented increase in TBARS production, but did not affect eNOS uncoupling in the penis of aged rats. These findings suggest that aging induces eNOS uncoupling in the penis, resulting in increased oxidative stress and ED. PMID:21289638

  1. Melanization and phagocytosis: implications for age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sarangarajan, Rangaprasad; Apte, Shireesh P

    2005-01-01

    Signaling pathways that upregulate melanization in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) may also be implicated in the downregulation of rod outer segment (ROS) phagocytosis by the RPE. Melanization activating pathways may also modulate oxygen consumption by the photoreceptors, apolipoprotein E4 levels, and the rate of photoisomerization events such that the net effect may be a reduction in drusen and/or lipofuscin accumulation. An increase in melanin at the apical microvilli of the RPE may shield ROS from light thereby contributing in part to the decrease in the rate of ROS phagocytosis. This decrease in ROS phagocytosis by the RPE may serve to maintain a balance between ingestion and degradation/recycling thereby avoiding an increase to its already substantial metabolic load. Several experimental drugs for age related macular degeneration (ARMD) coincidentally are also capable of decreasing the rate of ROS phagocytosis. This review attempts to identify the signaling pathways that may link the upregulation of melanization to the downregulation of ROS phagocytosis. Phagocytic pathways that are modulated by melanization need to be studied in isolation to determine what role, if any, they possess in ameliorating the onset and progression of ARMD. Many more empirical studies are needed to unravel specific pathways and mechanisms that seem to link melanization with ARMD. PMID:16030499

  2. Effect of NCAM on aged-related deterioration in vision.

    PubMed

    Luke, Margaret Po-Shan; LeVatte, Terry L; O'Reilly, Amanda M; Smith, Benjamin J; Tremblay, François; Brown, Richard E; Clarke, David B

    2016-05-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is involved in developmental processes and age-associated cognitive decline; however, little is known concerning the effects of NCAM in the visual system during aging. Using anatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioral assays, we analyzed age-related changes in visual function of NCAM deficient (-/-) and wild-type mice. Anatomical analyses indicated that aging NCAM -/- mice had fewer retinal ganglion cells, thinner retinas, and fewer photoreceptor cell layers than age-matched controls. Electroretinogram testing of retinal function in young adult NCAM -/- mice showed a 2-fold increase in a- and b-wave amplitude compared with wild-type mice, but the retinal activity dropped dramatically to control levels when the animals reached 10 months. In behavioral tasks, NCAM -/- mice had no visual pattern discrimination ability and showed premature loss of vision as they aged. Together, these findings demonstrate that NCAM plays significant roles in the adult visual system in establishing normal retinal anatomy, physiology and function, and in maintaining vision during aging. PMID:27103522

  3. Age related changes in steroid receptors on cultured lung fibroblasts

    SciTech Connect

    Barile, F.A.; Bienkowski, R.S.

    1986-03-05

    The number of high affinity glucocorticoid receptors (Ro) on human fetal lung fibroblasts decreases as the cells age in vitro, and it has been suggested that these cell systems may be useful models of age-related changes in vivo. They examined the relation between change in Ro with in vitro aging and donor age. Confluent monolayers of lung fibroblasts at various population doubling levels (PDL), were incubated with (/sup 3/H)-dexamethasone ((/sup 3/H)Dex) either alone or with excess (.01 mM) Dex. Specific binding was calculated as the difference between radioactivity in cells incubated with and without unlabeled Dex; Scatchard plots were used to analyze the data. Ro, measured as fmol (/sup 3/H)Dex/10/sup 6/ cells, for two lines of human fetal cells (HFL-1 and MRC-5) decreased with increasing age in vitro. However, human newborn (CRL-1485) and adult (CCL-201) cells and fetal rabbit cells (FAB-290), showed increases in Ro with continuous passage. For each cell line, the affinity constant (K/sub d/) did not change significantly with passage. They conclude that the direction of changes in steroid receptor levels on cells aging in vitro is influenced by donor age and species. Caution should be used in applying results obtained from model systems to aging organisms.

  4. 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. PMID:16787141

  5. Age-related macular degeneration: experimental and emerging treatments

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This essay reviews the experimental treatments and new imaging modalities that are currently being explored by investigators to help treat patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Interpretative essay. Methods: Literature review and interpretation. Results: Experimental treatments to preserve vision in patients with exudative AMD include blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), binding VEGF, and modulating the VEGF receptors. Investigators are also attempting to block signal transduction with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Experimental treatments for non-exudative AMD include agents that target inflammation, oxidative stress, and implement immune-modulation. The effectiveness of these newer pharmacologic agents has the potential to grow exponentially when used in combination with new and improved imaging modalities that can help identify disease earlier and follow treatment response more precisely. Conclusion: With a better understanding, at the genetic and molecular level, of AMD and the development of superior imaging modalities, investigators are able to offer treatment options that may offer unprecedented visual gains while reducing the need for repetitive treatments. PMID:19668561

  6. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease

    PubMed Central

    Zarling, Jacob A.; Brunt, Vienna E.; Vallerga, Anne K.; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A.; Minson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed. PMID:26594225

  7. 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. PMID:26740219

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Docosahexaenoic acid intake ameliorates ketamine-induced impairment of spatial cognition and learning ability in ICR mice.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shucai; Dai, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Zhiwen; Hao, Wei; Chen, Hongxian

    2014-09-19

    Several studies have reported the ketamine-induced cognitive impairment. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation improves cognitive function in human infants and protects against learning impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the effect of DHA on ketamine-induced impairment of spatial cognition and learning ability in Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice. Morris water maze (MWM) was used to assess spatial learning and memory. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that intraperitoneal injection of ketamine (30mg/kg, twice per day) for 4 weeks led to the decline of spatial cognitive ability in mice, and 420mg/(kgd) DHA supplementation for 6 weeks improved ketamine-induced spatial cognitive impairment to a certain extent. The up-regulation of GABA levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex was related to the improvement in spatial learning. Our results suggested that DHA supplementation would be a promising intervention to improve ketamine-induced spatial memory and cognitive dysfunction, and this effect of DHA might be correlated with the up-regulation of GABA levels. PMID:25123439

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Global hypoxia induced impairment in learning and spatial memory is associated with precocious hippocampal aging.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Suryanarayan; Sharma, Deepti; Kumar, Kushal; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Barhwal, Kalpana; Hota, Sunil Kumar; Kumar, Bhuvnesh

    2016-09-01

    Both chronological aging and chronic hypoxia stress have been reported to cause degeneration of hippocampal CA3 neurons and spatial memory impairment through independent pathways. However, the possible occurrence of precocious biological aging on exposure to single episode of global hypoxia resulting in impairment of learning and memory remains to be established. The present study thus aimed at bridging this gap in existing literature on hypoxia induced biological aging. Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to simulated hypobaric hypoxia (25,000ft) for different durations and were compared with aged rats. Behavioral studies in Morris Water Maze showed decline in learning abilities of both chronologically aged as well as hypoxic rats as evident from increased latency and pathlength to reach target platform. These behavioral changes in rats exposed to global hypoxia were associated with deposition of lipofuscin and ultrastructural changes in the mitochondria of hippocampal neurons that serve as hallmarks of aging. A single episode of chronic hypobaric hypoxia exposure also resulted in the up-regulation of pro-aging protein, S100A9 and down regulation of Tau, SNAP25, APOE and Sod2 in the hippocampus similar to that in aged rats indicating hypoxia induced accelerated aging. The present study therefore provides evidence for role of biological aging of hippocampal neurons in hypoxia induced impairment of learning and memory. PMID:27246251

  15. Universal effect of dynamical reinforcement learning mechanism in spatial evolutionary games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hai-Feng; Wu, Zhi-Xi; Wang, Bing-Hong

    2012-06-01

    One of the prototypical mechanisms in understanding the ubiquitous cooperation in social dilemma situations is the win-stay, lose-shift rule. In this work, a generalized win-stay, lose-shift learning model—a reinforcement learning model with dynamic aspiration level—is proposed to describe how humans adapt their social behaviors based on their social experiences. In the model, the players incorporate the information of the outcomes in previous rounds with time-dependent aspiration payoffs to regulate the probability of choosing cooperation. By investigating such a reinforcement learning rule in the spatial prisoner's dilemma game and public goods game, a most noteworthy viewpoint is that moderate greediness (i.e. moderate aspiration level) favors best the development and organization of collective cooperation. The generality of this observation is tested against different regulation strengths and different types of network of interaction as well. We also make comparisons with two recently proposed models to highlight the importance of the mechanism of adaptive aspiration level in supporting cooperation in structured populations.

  16. 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. PMID:27302219

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27302219

  18. Age-related changes in the attentional control of visual cortex: A selective problem in the left visual hemifield

    PubMed Central

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Carolan, Patrick; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa Y.L.; Handy, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    To what extent does our visual-spatial attention change with age? In this regard, it has been previously reported that relative to young controls, seniors show delays in attention-related sensory facilitation. Given this finding, our study was designed to examine two key questions regarding age-related changes in the effect of spatial attention on sensory-evoked responses in visual cortex –– are there visual field differences in the age-related impairments in sensory processing, and do these impairments co-occur with changes in the executive control signals associated with visual spatial orienting? Therefore, our study examined both attentional control and attentional facilitation in seniors (aged 66 to 74 years) and young adults (aged 18 to 25 years) using a canonical spatial orienting task. Participants responded to attended and unattended peripheral targets while we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to both targets and attention-directing spatial cues. We found that not only were sensory-evoked responses delayed in seniors specifically for unattended events in the left visual field as measured via latency shifts in the lateral occipital P1 elicited by visual targets, but seniors also showed amplitude reductions in the anterior directing attentional negativity (ADAN) component elicited by cues directing attention to the left visual field. At the same time, seniors also had significantly higher error rates for targets presented in the left vs. right visual field. Taken together, our data thus converge on the conclusion that age-related changes in visual spatial attention involve both sensory-level and executive attentional control processes, and that these effects appear to be strongly associated with the left visual field. PMID:21356222

  19. Age-related slowing of response selection and production in a visual choice reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Woods, David L; Wyma, John M; Yund, E William; Herron, Timothy J; Reed, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Aging is associated with delayed processing in choice reaction time (CRT) tasks, but the processing stages most impacted by aging have not been clearly identified. Here, we analyzed CRT latencies in a computerized serial visual feature-conjunction task. Participants responded to a target letter (probability 40%) by pressing one mouse button, and responded to distractor letters differing either in color, shape, or both features from the target (probabilities 20% each) by pressing the other mouse button. Stimuli were presented randomly to the left and right visual fields and stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) were adaptively reduced following correct responses using a staircase procedure. In Experiment 1, we tested 1466 participants who ranged in age from 18 to 65 years. CRT latencies increased significantly with age (r = 0.47, 2.80 ms/year). Central processing time (CPT), isolated by subtracting simple reaction times (SRT) (obtained in a companion experiment performed on the same day) from CRT latencies, accounted for more than 80% of age-related CRT slowing, with most of the remaining increase in latency due to slowed motor responses. Participants were faster and more accurate when the stimulus location was spatially compatible with the mouse button used for responding, and this effect increased slightly with age. Participants took longer to respond to distractors with target color or shape than to distractors with no target features. However, the additional time needed to discriminate the more target-like distractors did not increase with age. In Experiment 2, we replicated the findings of Experiment 1 in a second population of 178 participants (ages 18-82 years). CRT latencies did not differ significantly in the two experiments, and similar effects of age, distractor similarity, and stimulus-response spatial compatibility were found. The results suggest that the age-related slowing in visual CRT latencies is largely due to delays in response selection and

  20. Age-related slowing of response selection and production in a visual choice reaction time task

    PubMed Central

    Woods, David L.; Wyma, John M.; Yund, E. William; Herron, Timothy J.; Reed, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Aging is associated with delayed processing in choice reaction time (CRT) tasks, but the processing stages most impacted by aging have not been clearly identified. Here, we analyzed CRT latencies in a computerized serial visual feature-conjunction task. Participants responded to a target letter (probability 40%) by pressing one mouse button, and responded to distractor letters differing either in color, shape, or both features from the target (probabilities 20% each) by pressing the other mouse button. Stimuli were presented randomly to the left and right visual fields and stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) were adaptively reduced following correct responses using a staircase procedure. In Experiment 1, we tested 1466 participants who ranged in age from 18 to 65 years. CRT latencies increased significantly with age (r = 0.47, 2.80 ms/year). Central processing time (CPT), isolated by subtracting simple reaction times (SRT) (obtained in a companion experiment performed on the same day) from CRT latencies, accounted for more than 80% of age-related CRT slowing, with most of the remaining increase in latency due to slowed motor responses. Participants were faster and more accurate when the stimulus location was spatially compatible with the mouse button used for responding, and this effect increased slightly with age. Participants took longer to respond to distractors with target color or shape than to distractors with no target features. However, the additional time needed to discriminate the more target-like distractors did not increase with age. In Experiment 2, we replicated the findings of Experiment 1 in a second population of 178 participants (ages 18–82 years). CRT latencies did not differ significantly in the two experiments, and similar effects of age, distractor similarity, and stimulus-response spatial compatibility were found. The results suggest that the age-related slowing in visual CRT latencies is largely due to delays in response selection and