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Sample records for aspect prefrontal area

  1. Age Differences in Prefrontal Surface Area and Thickness in Middle Aged to Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dotson, Vonetta M.; Szymkowicz, Sarah M.; Sozda, Christopher N.; Kirton, Joshua W.; Green, Mackenzie L.; O’Shea, Andrew; McLaren, Molly E.; Anton, Stephen D.; Manini, Todd M.; Woods, Adam J.

    2016-01-01

    Age is associated with reductions in surface area and cortical thickness, particularly in prefrontal regions. There is also evidence of greater thickness in some regions at older ages. Non-linear age effects in some studies suggest that age may continue to impact brain structure in later decades of life, but relatively few studies have examined the impact of age on brain structure within middle-aged to older adults. We investigated age differences in prefrontal surface area and cortical thickness in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 81 years. Participants received a structural 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan. Based on a priori hypotheses, primary analyses focused on surface area and cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. We also performed exploratory vertex-wise analyses of surface area and cortical thickness across the entire cortex. We found that older age was associated with smaller surface area in the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices but greater cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. Vertex-wise analyses revealed smaller surface area in primarily frontal regions at older ages, but no age effects were found for cortical thickness. Results suggest age is associated with reduced surface area but greater cortical thickness in prefrontal regions during later decades of life, and highlight the differential effects age has on regional surface area and cortical thickness. PMID:26834623

  2. Age Differences in Prefrontal Surface Area and Thickness in Middle Aged to Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Dotson, Vonetta M; Szymkowicz, Sarah M; Sozda, Christopher N; Kirton, Joshua W; Green, Mackenzie L; O'Shea, Andrew; McLaren, Molly E; Anton, Stephen D; Manini, Todd M; Woods, Adam J

    2015-01-01

    Age is associated with reductions in surface area and cortical thickness, particularly in prefrontal regions. There is also evidence of greater thickness in some regions at older ages. Non-linear age effects in some studies suggest that age may continue to impact brain structure in later decades of life, but relatively few studies have examined the impact of age on brain structure within middle-aged to older adults. We investigated age differences in prefrontal surface area and cortical thickness in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 81 years. Participants received a structural 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan. Based on a priori hypotheses, primary analyses focused on surface area and cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. We also performed exploratory vertex-wise analyses of surface area and cortical thickness across the entire cortex. We found that older age was associated with smaller surface area in the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices but greater cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. Vertex-wise analyses revealed smaller surface area in primarily frontal regions at older ages, but no age effects were found for cortical thickness. Results suggest age is associated with reduced surface area but greater cortical thickness in prefrontal regions during later decades of life, and highlight the differential effects age has on regional surface area and cortical thickness.

  3. Human prefrontal layer II interneurons in areas 46, 10 and 24

    PubMed Central

    Arteaga, Gabriel; Buritica, Efrain; Pimienta, Hernan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Prefrontal cortex (PFC) represents the highest level of integration and control of psychic and behavioral states. Several dysfunctions such as autism, hyperactivity disorders, depression, and schizophrenia have been related with alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Among the cortical layers of the PFC, layer II shows a particular vertical pattern of organization, the highest cell density and the biggest non-pyramidal/pyramidal neuronal ratio. We currently characterized the layer II cytoarchitecture in human areas 10, 24, and 46. Objective: We focused particularly on the inhibitory neurons taking into account that these cells are involved in sustained firing (SF) after stimuli disappearance. Methods: Postmortem samples from five subjects who died by causes different to central nervous system diseases were studied. Immunohistochemistry for the neuronal markers, NeuN, parvalbumin (PV), calbindin (CB), and calretinin (CR) were used. NeuN targeted the total neuronal population while the rest of the markers specifically the interneurons. Results: Cell density and soma size were statically different between areas 10, 46, 24 when using NeuN. Layer II of area 46 showed the highest cell density. Regarding interneurons, PV+-cells of area 46 showed the highest density and size, in accordance to the proposal of a dual origin of the cerebral cortex. Interhemispheric asymmetries were not identified between homologue areas. Conclusion: First, our findings suggest that layer II of area 46 exhibits the most powerful inhibitory system compared to the other prefrontal areas analyzed. This feature is not only characteristic of the PFC but also supports a particular role of layer II of area 46 in SF. Additionally, known functional asymmetries between hemispheres might not be supported by morphological asymmetries. PMID:26019381

  4. Interaction between Perceived Action and Music Sequences in the Left Prefrontal Area

    PubMed Central

    Wakita, Masumi

    2016-01-01

    Observing another person's piano play and listening to a melody interact with the observer's execution of piano play. This interaction is thought to occur because the execution of musical-action and the perception of both musical-action and musical-sound share a common representation in which the frontoparietal network is involved. However, it is unclear whether the perceptions of observed piano play and listened musical sound use a common neural resource. The present study used near-infrared spectroscopy to determine whether the interaction between the perception of musical-action and musical-sound sequences appear in the left prefrontal area. Measurements were obtained while participants watched videos that featured hands playing familiar melodies on a piano keyboard. Hand movements were paired with either a congruent or an incongruent melody. Two groups of participants (nine well-trained and nine less-trained) were instructed to identify the melody according to hand movements and to ignore the accompanying auditory track. Increased cortical activation was detected in the well-trained participants when hand movements were paired with incongruent melodies. Therefore, an interference effect was detected regarding the processing of action and sound sequences, indicating that musical-action sequences may be perceived with a representation that is also used for the perception of musical-sound sequences. However, in less-trained participants, such a contrast was not detected between conditions despite both groups featuring comparable key-touch reading abilities. Therefore, the current results imply that the left prefrontal area is involved in translating temporally structured sequences between domains. Additionally, expertise may be a crucial factor underlying this translation. PMID:28082884

  5. Prefrontal cortex gates acute morphine action on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changliang; Fang, Xing; Wu, Qianqian; Jin, Guozhang; Zhen, Xuechu

    2015-08-01

    Morphine excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an effect mediated by both local and systemic mechanisms. While the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - VTA circuit in opiate addiction is well established, little is known about how the PFC regulates the activity of VTA DA neurons upon morphine stimulation. One major challenge is that VTA DA neurons are highly heterogeneous in terms of projection and regulation, making their responses to PFC manipulations variable. Our previous work has identified a subgroup of VTA DA neurons exhibiting significant slow oscillation in their firing sequence, and demonstrated that most of these neurons are functionally connected with the PFC. In the present study, we focus our efforts only on VTA DA neurons expressing strong slow oscillation, and report that blocking the neuronal activity in the PFC remarkably attenuates the morphine-induced excitation of these neurons. Using in vivo microdialysis, we find that inactivation of the PFC also reduces the morphine-induced elevation of DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Furthermore, 24 h after only single morphine exposure, PFC-inactivation failed to prevent subsequent morphine challenge from exciting VTA DA neurons, which is paralleled by altered response of PFC pyramidal neurons to morphine stimulation. Our results indicate that the PFC gates acute morphine action on a subset of VTA DA neurons, which is highly plastic and can be functionally remodeled by morphine exposure.

  6. Space representation in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2013-04-01

    The representation of space and its function in the prefrontal cortex have been examined using a variety of behavioral tasks. Among them, since the delayed-response task requires the temporary maintenance of spatial information, this task has been used to examine the mechanisms of spatial representation. In addition, the concept of working memory to explain prefrontal functions has helped us to understand the nature and functions of space representation in the prefrontal cortex. The detailed analysis of delay-period activity observed in spatial working memory tasks has provided important information for understanding space representation in the prefrontal cortex. Directional delay-period activity has been shown to be a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information and represent spatial information for the visual cue and the saccade. In addition, many task-related prefrontal neurons exhibit spatially selective activities. These neurons are also important components of spatial information processing. In fact, information flow from sensory-related neurons to motor-related neurons has been demonstrated, along with a change in spatial representation as the trial progresses. The dynamic functional interactions among neurons exhibiting different task-related activities and representing different aspects of information could play an essential role in information processing. In addition, information provided from other cortical or subcortical areas might also be necessary for the representation of space in the prefrontal cortex. To better understand the representation of space and its function in the prefrontal cortex, we need to understand the nature of functional interactions between the prefrontal cortex and other cortical and subcortical areas.

  7. Individual mediodorsal thalamic neurons project to multiple areas of the rat prefrontal cortex: A single neuron-tracing study using virus vectors.

    PubMed

    Kuramoto, Eriko; Pan, Shixiu; Furuta, Takahiro; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Iwai, Haruki; Yamanaka, Atsushi; Ohno, Sachi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Goto, Tetsuya; Hioki, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has an important role in a variety of cognitive and executive processes, and is generally defined by its reciprocal connections with the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD). The rat MD is mainly subdivided into three segments, the medial (MDm), central (MDc), and lateral (MDl) divisions, on the basis of the cytoarchitecture and chemoarchitecture. The MD segments are known to topographically project to multiple prefrontal areas at the population level: the MDm mainly to the prelimbic, infralimbic, and agranular insular areas; the MDc to the orbital and agranular insular areas; and the MDl to the prelimbic and anterior cingulate areas. However, it is unknown whether individual MD neurons project to single or multiple prefrontal cortical areas. In the present study, we visualized individual MD neurons with Sindbis virus vectors, and reconstructed whole structures of MD neurons. While the main cortical projection targets of MDm, MDc, and MDl neurons were generally consistent with those of previous results, it was found that individual MD neurons sent their axon fibers to multiple prefrontal areas, and displayed various projection patterns in the target areas. Furthermore, the axons of single MD neurons were not homogeneously spread, but were rather distributed to form patchy axon arbors approximately 1 mm in diameter. The multiple-area projections and patchy axon arbors of single MD neurons might be able to coactivate cortical neuron groups in distant prefrontal areas simultaneously. Furthermore, considerable heterogeneity of the projection patterns is likely, to recruit the different sets of cortical neurons, and thus contributes to a variety of prefrontal functions. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:166-185, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Localization of DARPP-32 and inhibitor-1 in area 9 of Macaca mulatta prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Glausier, Jill R.; Maddox, Marcelia; Hemmings, Hugh C.; Nairn, Angus C.; Greengard, Paul; Muly, E. Chris

    2010-01-01

    The actions of dopamine D1 family receptors (D1R) depend upon a signal transduction cascade that modulates the phosphorylation state of important effector proteins, such as glutamate receptors and ion channels. This is accomplished both through activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and the inhibition of protein phosphatase-1 (PP1). Inhibition of PP1 occurs through PKA-mediated phosphorylation of DARPP-32 or the related protein inhibitor-1 (I-1), and the availability of DARPP-32 is essential to the functional outcome of D1R activation in the basal ganglia. While D1R activation is critical for prefrontal cortex (PFC) function, especially working memory, the functional role played by DARPP-32 or I-1 is less clear. In order to examine this more thoroughly, we have utilized immunoelectron microscopy to quantitatively determine the localization of DARPP-32 and I-1 in the neuropil of the rhesus monkey PFC. Both were distributed widely in the different components of the neuropil, but were enriched in dendritic shafts. I-1 label was more frequently identified in axon terminals than was DARPP-32, and DARPP-32 label was more frequently identified in glia than was I-1. We also quantified the extent to which these proteins were found in dendritic spines. DARPP-32 and I-1 were present in small subpopulations of dendritic spines, (4.4 and 7.7% and respectively), which were substantially smaller than observed for D1R in our previous studies (20%). Double-label experiments did not find evidence for colocalization of D1R and DARPP-32 or I-1 in spines or terminals. Thus, at the least, not all prefrontal spines which contain D1R also contain I-1 or DARPP-32, suggesting important differences in D1R signaling in the PFC compared to the striatum. PMID:20156529

  9. A shift in information flow between prefrontal cortex and the ventral tegmental area in methamphetamine-sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Dong; Takigawa, Morikuni; Hamada, Koichi; Shiratani, Toshihiro; Takenouchi, Kaoru

    2002-06-01

    We examined the effects of long-term methamphetamine (MAP) administration to rats on locomotor traces and reward-seeking behavior that was evaluated through ventral tegmental intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). Furthermore, using the directed coherence (DCOH) EEG analysis method, correlation of prefrontal cortical and ventral tegmental EEGs was investigated in terms of the direction of information transmission. The results showed a transition from 'mixed type' behavior to 'fixed type' behavior during long-term MAP treatment, accompanied by a gradually diminished rate of ICSS and increased reward threshold. Correlating to these changes, a dominant information flow from ventral tegmental area (VTA) to prefrontal cortex (PFC) was observed after long-term MAP administration. Together with our previously reported finding of reciprocal information flow between PFC and VTA in MAP-induced hyperactive and stereotyped behavior, the present results indicate that information flow and its direction may be useful in explaining the neuronal substrates mediating development of behavioral sensitization. The predominant information flow from the VTA to PFC that occurs with sensitization supports recent speculations concerning impulsivity in drug addiction.

  10. Prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation associated with aerobic exercise change aspects of appetite sensation in overweight adults.

    PubMed

    Montenegro, Rafael A; Okano, Alexandre H; Cunha, Felipe A; Gurgel, Jonas L; Fontes, Eduardo B; Farinatti, Paulo T V

    2012-02-01

    This study investigated whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) isolated or combined with aerobic exercise influenced the desire to eat, hunger, and satiety in overweight subjects. Nine volunteers underwent anodal or sham tDCS (2 mA; 20 min) over DLPFC and isocaloric exercise bouts (70%VO(2)R; ~200 kcal). The appetite sensations were evaluated by visual analogue scales at four moments: I - Baseline; II - After tDCS; III - Post-Exercise and IV - 30-min Post-Exercise. The tDCS on left DLPFC decreased the desire to eat at baseline (tDCS -26% vs. -14% Sham). The tDCS associated with exercise had greater suppressing effect in desire to eat compared to either tDCS or exercise alone (tDCS -39% vs. -27% Sham). Moreover, the tDCS associated with exercise decreased hunger (tDCS -48% vs. 36% Sham) and increased satiety (tDCS 28% vs. 7% Sham) immediately after exercise. The post-exercise 30-min recovery elicited an overall increase in appetite. However the increase in desire to eat and hunger after recovery was lower after tDCS (29% and 13%, respectively) compared to sham stimulation (77% and 113%, respectively). These findings in overweight subjects indicate that the combination of tDCS over DLPFC and aerobic exercise induced greater decrease in appetite sensations compared to anodal tDCS or exercise alone.

  11. The Influence of rTMS over Prefrontal and Motor Areas in a Morphological Task: Grammatical vs. Semantic Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LoGerfo, Emanuele; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Torriero, Sara; Salerno, Silvia; Koch, Giacomo; Caltagirone, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the differential role of two frontal regions in the processing of grammatical and semantic knowledge. Given the documented specificity of the prefrontal cortex for the grammatical class of verbs, and of the primary motor cortex for the semantic class of action words, we sought to investigate whether the prefrontal cortex is also…

  12. Investigating Conceptual, Procedural, and Intuitive Aspects of Area Measurement with Non-Square Area Units

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Amanda L.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation reports the results of a qualitative research project on area measurement. The study utilized structured, task-based interviews with students to (a) investigate the ways students enumerate and structure two-dimensional space with a variety of area units; (b) identify conceptual, procedural, and intuitive aspects of area…

  13. The contribution of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal areas in processing instrumental versus functional semantic violations in action representation.

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela; Canavesio, Ylenia

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we explored the contribution of different cortical areas in processing different semantic violations in action representation--that is, instrumental or functional violations. The cortical contribution in object-related action comprehension was verified by measuring changes in event-related potential (N400 effect), error rates (ERs), and response times (RTs), by applying an inhibitory transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Thirty-three subjects performed the detection task (action frames ending with a congruous vs. incongruous action). The tDCS effect was analyzed by comparing the N400, ERs, and RTs before and after stimulation. A significant reduction of the N400 and increased RTs were observed for incongruous stimuli in the case of inhibitory stimulation of the DLPFC. These results highlighted that DLPFC inhibition may limit the ability to analyze a semantically incongruous action, with a reduced N400 ERP effect and increased "cognitive costs" (higher RTs). Moreover, functional violation showed also the contribution of the temporoparietal areas to modulate the N400 amplitude. Therefore the existence of different cortical generators was supposed for the instrumental (more frontal) and the functional (more frontal and temporoparietal) semantic anomaly processing.

  14. Connecting to create: expertise in musical improvisation is associated with increased functional connectivity between premotor and prefrontal areas.

    PubMed

    Pinho, Ana Luísa; de Manzano, Örjan; Fransson, Peter; Eriksson, Helene; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-04-30

    Musicians have been used extensively to study neural correlates of long-term practice, but no studies have investigated the specific effects of training musical creativity. Here, we used human functional MRI to measure brain activity during improvisation in a sample of 39 professional pianists with varying backgrounds in classical and jazz piano playing. We found total hours of improvisation experience to be negatively associated with activity in frontoparietal executive cortical areas. In contrast, improvisation training was positively associated with functional connectivity of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, dorsal premotor cortices, and presupplementary areas. The effects were significant when controlling for hours of classical piano practice and age. These results indicate that even neural mechanisms involved in creative behaviors, which require a flexible online generation of novel and meaningful output, can be automated by training. Second, improvisational musical training can influence functional brain properties at a network level. We show that the greater functional connectivity seen in experienced improvisers may reflect a more efficient exchange of information within associative networks of importance for musical creativity.

  15. Interaction between the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampal CA1 area is essential for episodic-like memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Chao, Owen Y; Nikolaus, Susanne; Lira Brandão, Marcus; Huston, Joseph P; de Souza Silva, Maria A

    2017-04-03

    The interplay between medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus, particularly the hippocampal CA3 area, is critical for episodic memory. To what extent the mPFC also interacts with the hippocampus CA1 subregion still requires elucidation. To investigate this issue, male rats received unilateral N-methyl-D-aspartate lesions of the mPFC together with unilateral lesions of the hippocampal CA1 area, either in the same (control) or in the opposite hemispheres (disconnection). They underwent an episodic-like memory test, combining what-where-when information, and separate tests for novel object preference (what), object place preference (where) and temporal order memory (when). Compared to controls, the disconnected mPFC-CA1 rats exhibited disrupted episodic-like memory with an impaired integration of the what-where-when elements. Both groups showed intact memories for what and when, while only the control group showed intact memory for where. These findings suggest that the functional interaction of the mPFC-CA1 circuit is crucial for the processing of episodic memory and, in particular, for the integration of the spatial memory component.

  16. Impact of Cannabis Use on Prefrontal and Parietal Cortex Gyrification and Surface Area in Adolescents and Emerging Adults

    PubMed Central

    Shollenbarger, Skyler G.; Price, Jenessa; Wieser, Jon; Lisdahl, Krista

    2017-01-01

    Background Regions undergoing maturation with CB1 receptors may be at increased risk for cannabis-induced alterations. Here, we examine the relationships between cannabis use and prefrontal (PFC) and inferior parietal gyrification and surface area (SA) in youth. Methods Participants included 33 cannabis users and 35 controls (ages 18–25). Exclusions included co-morbid psychiatric/neurologic disorders and heavy other drug use. Multiple regressions and Pearson r correlations examined the effects of cannabis use on gyrification, SA and cognition. Results Cannabis use was associated with decreased gyrification in: ventral-medial PFC (RH: [FDR corrected p=.02] LH: [FDR corrected p=.02]); medial PFC (RH: [FDR corrected p=.02], LH: [FDR corrected p=.02]); and frontal poles (RH: [FDR corrected p=.02], LH: [FDR corrected p=.02]). No differences were observed in bilateral hemispheres, PFC, dorsolateral, ventrolateral, or inferior parietal ROIs. Cannabis use was associated with marginally decreased SA in left: medial PFC [FDR corrected p=.09], and ventral lateral PFC: [FDR corrected p=.09]. In cannabis users, increased gyrification was associated with improved working-memory performance in right medial (p=.003), ventral-medial (p=.03), and frontal pole ROIs (p=.007). Conclusions Cannabis use was associated with reduced gyrification in PFC regions implicated in self-referential thought and social cognition. Results suggest that these gyrification characteristics may have cognitive implications. PMID:26233614

  17. Functional brain measurements within the prefrontal area on pseudo-"blindsight" induced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic stimulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, Hidenori; Ueno, Shoogo

    2015-05-01

    For evaluating the effects of phosphene as pseudo-blindsight closely, we used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to investigate whether or not the phosphene appearance itself substantially affects the hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal area. Seven healthy volunteers ranging in age from 22 to 72 participated in the visual stimulation experiments. First, we examined the influences of electromagnetic stimulations at around the threshold (10 mT) for a blindsight-like phosphene on the responses. According to the results of the aged volunteers, we found the possibility that the delay in the phosphene perception might be caused by aging beyond a certain age. In the results of our measurements using the stimulation of 50 mT, no significant difference in the perception delay for all the volunteers could be detected. When the field strength was decreased from 50 mT to the threshold in steps of 10 mT, the results obtained at the threshold are equivalent to that obtained at 50 mT. Our data strongly support the hypothesis that pseudo-blindsight induced by electromagnetic stimulation of above 50 mT is able to excite all the volunteers' retinal photoreceptor cells provisionally. Hence the continuous stimulations for a long period of time might gradually activate synaptic plasticity on the neural network of the retina.

  18. Anatomical and pharmacological characterization of catecholamine transients in the medial prefrontal cortex evoked by ventral tegmental area stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Shnitko, Tatiana A.; Robinson, Donita L.

    2014-01-01

    Voltammetric measurements of catecholamines in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are infrequent because of lack of chemical selectivity between dopamine and norepinephrine and their overlapping anatomical inputs. Here, we examined the contribution of norepinephrine to the catecholamine release in the mPFC evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Initially, electrical stimulation was delivered in the midbrain at incremental depths of −5 to −9.4mm from bregma while catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC. Although catecholamine release was observed at dorsal stimulation sites that may correspond to the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB, containing noradrenergic axonal projections to the mPFC), maximal release was evoked by stimulation of the VTA (the source of dopaminergic input to the mPFC). Next, VTA-evoked catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC before and after knife incision of the DNB, and no significant changes in the evoked catecholamine signals were found These data indicated that DNB fibers did not contribute to the VTA-evoked catecholamine release observed in the mPFC. Finally, while the D2-receptor antagonist raclopride significantly altered VTA-evoked catecholamine release, the α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist idazoxan did not. Specifically, raclopride reduced catecholamine release in the mPFC, opposite to that observed in the striatum, indicating differential autoreceptor regulation of mesocortical and mesostriatal neurons. Together, these findings suggest that the catecholamine release in the mPFC arising from VTA stimulation was predominately dopaminergic rather than noradrenergic. PMID:24285555

  19. HOW MOTIVATIONAL AND CALM MUSIC MAY AFFECT THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX AREA AND EMOTIONAL RESPONSES: A FUNCTIONAL NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY (fNIRS) STUDY.

    PubMed

    Bigliassi, Marcelo; Barreto-Silva, Vinícius; Altimari, Leandro R; Vandoni, Matteo; Codrons, Erwan; Buzzachera, Cosme F

    2015-02-01

    Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, the present study investigated how listening to differently valenced music is associated with changes in hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex area, indicating changes in neural activity. Thirty healthy people (15 men; M age = 24.8 yr., SD = 2.4; 15 women; M age = 25.2 yr., SD = 3.1) participated. Prefrontal cortex activation, emotional responses (heart rate variability), and self-reported affective ratings were measured while listening to calm and motivational music. The songs were presented in a random counterbalanced order and separated by periods of white noise. Mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) evaluated the relationships for main effects and interactions. The results showed that music was associated with increased activation of the prefrontal cortex area. For both sexes, listening to the motivational song was associated with higher vagal withdrawal (lower HR) than the calm song. As expected, participants rated the motivational song with greater affective valence and higher arousal. Effects persisted longer in men than in women. These findings suggest that both the characteristics of music and sex differences may significantly affect the results of emotional neuroimaging in samples of young adults.

  20. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-09-09

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. Significance statement: Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  1. Area-Specific Information Processing in Prefrontal Cortex during a Probabilistic Inference Task: A Multivariate fMRI BOLD Time Series Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Demanuele, Charmaine; Kirsch, Peter; Esslinger, Christine; Zink, Mathias; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Durstewitz, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Discriminating spatiotemporal stages of information processing involved in complex cognitive processes remains a challenge for neuroscience. This is especially so in prefrontal cortex whose subregions, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), anterior cingulate (ACC) and orbitofrontal (OFC) cortices are known to have differentiable roles in cognition. Yet it is much less clear how these subregions contribute to different cognitive processes required by a given task. To investigate this, we use functional MRI data recorded from a group of healthy adults during a “Jumping to Conclusions” probabilistic reasoning task. Methods We used a novel approach combining multivariate test statistics with bootstrap-based procedures to discriminate between different task stages reflected in the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent signal pattern and to unravel differences in task-related information encoded by these regions. Furthermore, we implemented a new feature extraction algorithm that selects voxels from any set of brain regions that are jointly maximally predictive about specific task stages. Results Using both the multivariate statistics approach and the algorithm that searches for maximally informative voxels we show that during the Jumping to Conclusions task, the DLPFC and ACC contribute more to the decision making phase comprising the accumulation of evidence and probabilistic reasoning, while the OFC is more involved in choice evaluation and uncertainty feedback. Moreover, we show that in presumably non-task-related regions (temporal cortices) all information there was about task processing could be extracted from just one voxel (indicating the unspecific nature of that information), while for prefrontal areas a wider multivariate pattern of activity was maximally informative. Conclusions/Significance We present a new approach to reveal the different roles of brain regions during the processing of one task from multivariate activity patterns

  2. Epidemiological and control aspects of schistosomiasis in Brazilian endemic areas.

    PubMed

    Coura, J R; Amaral, R S

    2004-01-01

    The present work analyzes the epidemiology of schistosomiasis in Brazil, its expansion, the attempts to control the disease, and the overall difficulties. The authors present the distribution of schistosomiasis intermediary hosts in Brazil, the migration routes of the human population, and disease distribution in highly and lowly endemic areas and isolated foci. They also analyze the controlling programs developed from 1977 to 2002, indicating the prevalence evolution and the reduction of disease morbi-mortality. In addition, the authors also evaluate controlling methods and conclude that: (a) no isolated method is able to control schistosomiasis, and every controlling program should consider the need of a multidisciplinary application of existing methods; (b) in long term, basic sanitation, potable water supply, as well as sanitary education, and community effective participation are important for infection control; (c) in short term, specific treatment at endemic areas, associated with control of intermediary hosts at epidemiologically important foci, are extremely relevant for controlling disease morbidity, although not enough for interrupting infection transmission.

  3. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Rebecca; Zald, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Ray, R. and D. Zald. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 36(X) XXX-XXX, 2011. -Psychological research increasingly indicates that emotional processes interact with other aspects of cognition. Studies have demonstrated both the ability of emotional stimuli to influence a broad range of cognitive operations, and the ability of humans to use top-down cognitive control mechanisms to regulate emotional responses. Portions of the prefrontal cortex appear to play a significant role in these interactions. However, the manner in which these interactions are implemented remains only partially elucidated. In the present review we describe the anatomical connections between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas as well as their connections with limbic regions. Only a subset of prefrontal areas are likely to directly influence amygdalar processing, and as such models of prefrontal control of emotions and models of emotional regulation should be constrained to plausible pathways of influence. We also focus on how the specific pattern of feedforward and feedback connections between these regions may dictate the nature of information flow between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas and the amygdala. These patterns of connections are inconsistent with several commonly expressed assumptions about the nature of communications between emotion and cognition. PMID:21889953

  4. [The role of the prefrontal cortex in the sensory problems of children with autism spectrum disorder and its involvement in social aspects].

    PubMed

    Martínez-Sanchis, Sonia

    2015-02-25

    Introduccion. En las personas con trastornos del espectro autista (TEA), las percepciones sensoriales aberrantes podrian ser tan caracteristicas y disruptivas como la presencia de anomalias en la comunicacion e interaccion social, asi como de intereses restringidos y repetitivos. La mayoria presenta trastornos de la modulacion sensorial (hiper o hiporresponsividad) en varios canales sensoriales. Ademas, muestra un deficit en la integracion de la informacion procedente de varios sistemas sensoriales (por ejemplo, auditivo y visual). Todo ello agravaria los sintomas nucleares relacionados con la comunicacion y aumentaria la aparicion de problemas conductuales. Objetivo. Revisar la evidencia experimental que aborda el papel de la corteza prefrontal en las experiencias sensoriales inusuales en los TEA y su implicacion en los aspectos sociales. Hay evidencia de hipoactivacion y disfuncion en redes neurales, que incluyen la corteza prefrontal y participan en la cognicion social, como la red por defecto y el sistema de neuronas espejo en niños con TEA. Conclusiones. Los problemas sensoriomotores a edad temprana suponen una disrupcion de la organizacion y regulacion no solo de la percepcion y la accion, sino tambien del lenguaje, el pensamiento, la emocion e incluso la memoria.

  5. ASPECT

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Able to deploy within one hour of notification, EPA's Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) is the nation’s only airborne real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imagery platform.

  6. Association of Odor Thresholds and Responses in Cerebral Blood Flow of the Prefrontal Area during Olfactory Stimulation in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Uchiyama, Iwao; Tanigawa, Mari; Bamba, Ikuko; Azuma, Michiyo; Takano, Hirohisa; Yoshikawa, Toshikazu; Sakabe, Kou

    2016-01-01

    Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a disorder characterized by nonspecific and recurrent symptoms from various organ systems associated with exposure to low levels of chemicals. Patients with MCS process odors differently than controls do. Previously, we suggested that this odor processing was associated with increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the prefrontal area during olfactory stimulation using near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of odor thresholds and changes in rCBF during olfactory stimulation at odor threshold levels in patients with MCS. We investigated changes in the prefrontal area using NIRS imaging and a T&T olfactometer during olfactory stimulation with two different odorants (sweet and fecal) at three concentrations (zero, odor recognition threshold, and normal perceived odor level) in 10 patients with MCS and six controls. The T&T olfactometer threshold test and subjective assessment of irritating and hedonic odors were also performed. The results indicated that the scores for both unpleasant and pungent odors were significantly higher for those for sweet odors at the normal perceived level in patients with MCS than in controls. The brain responses at the recognition threshold (fecal odor) and normal perceived levels (sweet and fecal odors) were stronger in patients with MCS than in controls. However, significant differences in the odor detection and recognition thresholds and odor intensity score between the two groups were not observed. These brain responses may involve cognitive and memory processing systems during past exposure to chemicals. Further research regarding the cognitive features of sensory perception and memory due to past exposure to chemicals and their associations with MCS symptoms is needed. PMID:27936122

  7. Role of Reuniens Nucleus Projections to the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and to the Hippocampal Pyramidal CA1 Area in Associative Learning

    PubMed Central

    Eleore, Lyndell; López-Ramos, Juan Carlos; Guerra-Narbona, Rafael; Delgado-García, José M.

    2011-01-01

    We studied the interactions between short- and long-term plastic changes taking place during the acquisition of a classical eyeblink conditioning and following high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the reuniens nucleus in behaving mice. Synaptic changes in strength were studied at the reuniens-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the reuniens-CA1 synapses. Input/output curves and a paired-pulse study enabled determining the functional capabilities of the two synapses and the optimal intensities to be applied at the reuniens nucleus during classical eyeblink conditioning and for HFS applied to the reuniens nucleus. Animals were conditioned using a trace paradigm, with a tone as conditioned stimulus (CS) and an electric shock to the trigeminal nerve as unconditioned stimulus (US). A single pulse was presented to the reuniens nucleus to evoke field EPSPs (fEPSPs) in mPFC and CA1 areas during the CS-US interval. No significant changes in synaptic strength were observed at the reuniens-mPFC and reuniens-CA1 synapses during the acquisition of eyelid conditioned responses (CRs). Two successive HFS sessions carried out during the first two conditioning days decreased the percentage of CRs, without evoking any long-term potentiation (LTP) at the recording sites. HFS of the reuniens nucleus also prevented the proper acquisition of an object discrimination task. A subsequent study revealed that HFS of the reuniens nucleus evoked a significant decrease of paired-pulse facilitation. In conclusion, reuniens nucleus projections to prefrontal and hippocampal circuits seem to participate in the acquisition of associative learning through a mechanism that does not required the development of LTP. PMID:21858159

  8. Plasticity at hippocampal to prefrontal cortex synapses: dual roles in working memory and consolidation.

    PubMed

    Laroche, S; Davis, S; Jay, T M

    2000-01-01

    The involvement of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex in cognitive processes and particularly in learning and memory has been known for a long time. However, the specific role of the projection which connects these two structures has remained elusive. The existence of a direct monosynaptic pathway from the ventral CA1 region of the hippocampus and subiculum to specific areas of the prefrontal cortex provides a useful model for conceptualizing the functional operations of hippocampal-prefrontal cortex communication in learning and memory. It is known now that hippocampal to prefrontal cortex synapses are modifiable synapses and can express different forms of plasticity, including long-term potentiation, long-term depression, and depotentiation. Here we review these findings and focus on recent studies that start to relate synaptic plasticity in the hippocampo-prefrontal cortex pathway to two specific aspects of learning and memory, i.e., the consolidation of information and working memory. The available evidence suggests that functional interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in cognition and memory are more complex than previously anticipated, with the possibility for bidirectional regulation of synaptic strength as a function of the specific demands of tasks.

  9. Activation of type 4 dopaminergic receptors in the prelimbic area of medial prefrontal cortex is necessary for the expression of innate fear behavior.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Macarena D; Keller, Victor N; Fuentealba, José A; Gysling, Katia

    2017-05-01

    The prelimbic area (PL) of the medial Prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in the acquisition and expression of conditioned and innate fear. Both types of fear share several neuronal pathways. It has been documented that dopamine (DA) plays an important role in the regulation of aversive memories in the mPFC. The exposure to an aversive stimulus, such as the smell of a predator odor or the exposure to footshock stress is accompanied by an increase in mPFC DA release. Evidence suggests that the type 4 dopaminergic receptor (D4R) is the molecular target through which DA modulates fear expression. In fact, the mPFC is the brain region with the highest expression of D4R; however, the role of D4R in the expression of innate fear has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, the principal objective of this work was to evaluate the participation of mPFC D4R in the expression of innate fear. Rats were exposed to the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and to the cat odor paradigm after the intra PL injection of L-745,870, selective D4R antagonist, to measure the expression of fear-related behaviors. Intra PL injection of L-745,870 increased the time spent in the EPM open arms and decreased freezing behavior in the cat odor paradigm. Our results also showed that D4R is expressed in GABAergic and pyramidal neurons in the PL region of PFC. Thus, D4R antagonism in the PL decreases the expression of innate fear-behavior indicating that the activation of D4R in the PL is necessary for the expression of innate fear-behavior.

  10. Geologic and hydrologic aspects of tunneling in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norvitch, Ralph F.; Walton, Matt S.

    1979-01-01

    This report presents the results of a pilot study of geologic and hydrologic aspects of tunneling in part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area, Minnesota. The Minnesota Geological Survey collected, compiled and interpreted geologic and engineering-test data and the U.S. Geological Survey complies and interpreted hydrologic data. The report was prepared on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation and funding was provided by that agency. A similar pilot study was recently made in the Los Angeles area, California (Yerkes and others, 1977).

  11. Longitudinal development of prefrontal function during early childhood.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2011-04-01

    This is a longitudinal study on development of prefrontal function in young children. Prefrontal areas have been observed to develop dramatically during early childhood. To elucidate this development, we gave children cognitive shifting tasks related to prefrontal function at 3 years of age (Time 1) and 4 years of age (Time 2). We then monitored developmental changes in behavioral performance and examined prefrontal activation using near infrared spectroscopy. We found that children showed better behavioral performance and significantly stronger inferior prefrontal activation at Time 2 than they did at Time 1. Moreover, we demonstrated individual differences in prefrontal activation for the same behavioral tasks. Children who performed better in tasks at Time 1 showed significant activation of the right inferior prefrontal regions at Time 1 and significant activation of the bilateral inferior prefrontal regions at Time 2. Children who showed poorer performance at Time 1 exhibited no significant inferior prefrontal activation at Time 1 but significant left inferior prefrontal activation at Time 2. These results indicate the importance of the longitudinal method to address the link between cognitive and neural development.

  12. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top–down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience. PMID:26831102

  13. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-02-16

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top-down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience.

  14. Large-Area High Aspect Ratio Plasmonic Interference Lithography Utilizing a Single High-k Mode.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xi; Yang, Fan; Zhang, Cheng; Zhou, Jing; Guo, L Jay

    2016-04-26

    Plasmonic lithography, which utilizes subwavelength confinement of surface plasmon polartion (SPP) waves, has the capability of breaking the diffraction limit and delivering high resolution. However, all previously reported results suffer from critical issues, such as shallow pattern depth and pattern nonuniformity even over small exposure areas, which limit the application of the technology. In this work, periodic patterns with high aspect ratios and a half-pitch of about 1/6 of the wavelength were achieved with pattern uniformity in square centimeter areas. This was accomplished by designing a special mask and photoresist (PR) system to select a single high spatial frequency mode and incorporating the PR into a waveguide configuration to ensure uniform light exposure over the entire depth of the photoresist layer. In addition to the experimental progress toward large-scale applications of plasmonic interference lithography, the general criteria of designing such an exposure system is also discussed, which can be used for nanoscale fabrication in this fashion for various applications with different requirements for wavelength, pitch, aspect ratio, and structure.

  15. The effects of vision-related aspects on noise perception of wind turbines in quiet areas.

    PubMed

    Maffei, Luigi; Iachini, Tina; Masullo, Massimiliano; Aletta, Francesco; Sorrentino, Francesco; Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; Ruotolo, Francesco

    2013-04-26

    Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries. At the same time, due to their low population density, rural areas characterized by suitable wind are considered appropriate locations for installing wind farms. However, despite the fact that wind farms are represented as environmentally friendly projects, these plants are often viewed as visual and audible intruders, that spoil the landscape and generate noise. Even though the correlations are still unclear, it is obvious that visual impacts of wind farms could increase due to their size and coherence with respect to the rural/quiet environment. In this paper, by using the Immersive Virtual Reality technique, some visual and acoustical aspects of the impact of a wind farm on a sample of subjects were assessed and analyzed. The subjects were immersed in a virtual scenario that represented a situation of a typical rural outdoor scenario that they experienced at different distances from the wind turbines. The influence of the number and the colour of wind turbines on global, visual and auditory judgment were investigated. The main results showed that, regarding the number of wind turbines, the visual component has a weak effect on individual reactions, while the colour influences both visual and auditory individual reactions, although in a different way.

  16. Large-area thermoelectric high-aspect-ratio nanostructures by atomic layer deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruoho, Mikko; Juntunen, Taneli; Tittonen, Ilkka

    2016-09-01

    We report on the thermoelectric properties of large-area high-aspect-ratio nanostructures. We fabricate the structures by atomic layer deposition of conformal ZnO thin films on track-etched polycarbonate substrate. The resulting structure consists of ZnO tubules which continue through the full thickness of the substrate. The electrical and thermal properties of the structures are studied both in-plane and out-of-plane. They exhibit very low out-of-plane thermal conductivity down to 0.15 W m-1 K-1 while the in-plane sheet resistance of the films was found to be half that of the same film on glass substrate, allowing material-independent doubling of output power of any planar thin-film thermoelectric generator. The wall thickness of the fabricated nanotubes was varied within a range of up to 100 nm. The samples show polycrystalline nature with (002) preferred crystal orientation.

  17. Static Footprint Local Forces, Areas, and Aspect Ratios for Three Type 7 Aircraft Tires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, William E.; Perez, Sharon E.; Vogler, William A.

    1991-01-01

    The National Tire Modeling Program (NTMP) is a joint NASA/industry effort to improve the understanding of tire mechanics and develop accurate analytical design tools. This effort includes fundamental analytical and experimental research on the structural mechanics of tires. Footprint local forces, areas, and aspect ratios were measured. Local footprint forces in the vertical, lateral, and drag directions were measured with a special footprint force transducer. Measurements of the local forces in the footprint were obtained by positioning the transducer at specified locations within the footprint and externally loading the tires. Three tires were tested: (1) one representative of those used on the main landing gear of B-737 and DC-9 commercial transport airplanes, (2) a nose landing gear tire for the Space Shuttle Orbiter, and (3) a main landing gear tire for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Data obtained for various inflation pressures and vertical loads are presented for two aircraft tires. The results are presented in graphical and tabulated forms.

  18. The Cortical Signature of Central Poststroke Pain: Gray Matter Decreases in Somatosensory, Insular, and Prefrontal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Krause, T; Asseyer, S; Taskin, B; Flöel, A; Witte, A V; Mueller, K; Fiebach, J B; Villringer, K; Villringer, A; Jungehulsing, G J

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that cortical structural plasticity plays a crucial role in the emergence and maintenance of chronic pain. Various distinct pain syndromes have accordingly been linked to specific patterns of decreases in regional gray matter volume (GMV). However, it is not known whether central poststroke pain (CPSP) is also associated with cortical structural plasticity. To determine this, we employed T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T and voxel-based morphometry in 45 patients suffering from chronic subcortical sensory stroke with (n = 23) and without CPSP (n = 22), and healthy matched controls (n = 31). CPSP patients showed decreases in GMV in comparison to healthy controls, involving secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), anterior as well as posterior insular cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Comparing CPSP patients to nonpain patients revealed a similar but more restricted pattern of atrophy comprising S2, ventrolateral prefrontal and temporal cortex. Additionally, GMV in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex negatively correlated to pain intensity ratings. This shows for the first time that CPSP is accompanied by a unique pattern of widespread structural plasticity, which involves the sensory-discriminative areas of insular/somatosensory cortex, but also expands into prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, where emotional aspects of pain are processed.

  19. [Emotional and Motivational Functions of the Prefrontal Cortex].

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masataka

    2016-11-01

    Patients with the damage to the orbital region of the prefrontal cortex and monkeys with lesions in this area show impairment in emotional and motivational behavior. They also have difficulty in the extinction of learned behavior and in the reversal learning. This brain area is concerned with not only the value estimation of reward and aversive stimuli but also the expectation of these stimuli. The lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the integration of emotion/motivation and cognition. The medial prefrontal cortex is concerned with action selection based on the previous reward history. The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex that comprises the anterior parts of the orbital and inferior medial prefrontal cortex plays an important role in emotion-based decision-making.

  20. Developmental Outcomes after Early Prefrontal Cortex Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eslinger, Paul J.; Flaherty-Craig, Claire V.; Benton, Arthur L.

    2004-01-01

    The neuropsychological bases of cognitive, social, and moral development are minimally understood, with a seemingly wide chasm between developmental theories and brain maturation models. As one approach to bridging ideas in these areas, we review 10 cases of early prefrontal cortex damage from the clinical literature, highlighting overall clinical…

  1. The effect of area aspect ratio on the yawing moments of rudders at large angles of pitch on three fuselages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dryden, Hugh L; Monish, B H

    1933-01-01

    This reports presents the results of measurements made of yawing moments produced by rudder displacement for seven rudders mounted on each of three fuselages at angles of pitch of 0 degree, 8 degrees, 12 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 degrees and 40 degrees. The dimensions of the rudders were selected to cover the range of areas and aspect ratios commonly used, while the ratios of rudder area to fin area and of rudder chord to fin chord were kept approximately constant. An important result of the measurements is to show that increased aspect ratio gives increased yawing moments for a given area, provided the maximum rudder displacement does not exceed 25 degrees. If large rudder displacements are used, the effect of aspect ratio is not so great.

  2. Preliminary appraisal of the geohydrologic aspects of drainage wells, Orlando area, central Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimrey, Joel O.

    1978-01-01

    The Floridan aquifer contains two highly transmissive cavernous zones in the Orlando area: an upper producing zone about 150-600 feet below land surface and a lower producing zone about 1,100-1 ,500 feet below land surface. Natural head differences are downward and there is hydraulic connection between the two producing zones. Drainage wells are finished open-end into the upper producing zone and emplace surface waters directly into that zone by gravity. Quantitatively, their use constitutes an effective method of artificial recharge. Their negative aspects relate to the probably poor, but unknown, quality of the recharge water. Caution is suggested in drawing definite and final conclusions on the overall geohydrologic and environmental effects of drainage wells prior to the collection and interpretation of a considerable quantity of new data. Though few ground-water pollution problems have been documented, the potential for pollution should be seriously considered in light of the probable continuing need to use drainage wells; the probable volumes and quality of water involved; and the hydraulic relations between the two producing zones. (Woodard-USGS)

  3. Socio-economic aspects of Gum Arabic production in Dalanj area, South Korodofan, Sudan.

    PubMed

    Koli, A O; Eltayeb, A M; Sanjak, E M; Mohammed, M H

    2013-11-01

    Acacia senegal (locally: Hashab tree) is one of the most important tree species in Sudan as it considers the main Gum Arabic producing tree. The objective of this study is to investigate the socio-economic aspects of gum Arabic production and to assess contribution of gum Arabic to sustainable livelihood of local people in Dalanj Locality, South Kordofan State-Sudan. Social survey was carried out by using structured questionnaire for 80 respondents (gum producers) on random sample basis in eight villages, 10 respondents from each village. Issues pertaining to socio-economic factors affecting gum Arabic production and contribution of gum Arabic to sustainable livelihood of local people, in Dalanj Locality, were assessed. Results of the study revealed that expansion of agriculture lands at the expense of hashab trees, fires and illegal felling are the most important factors constraining gum production in the area. The results also indicated that agriculture is the main source of income and gum Arabic is a supplementary source of income. The importance of gum Arabic becomes apparent during (off farm season) the period between crops harvest and the preparation of the next agricultural season. Establishment of producers' associations and provision of loans to producers are highly recommended to ensure sustainability of gum production.

  4. Complementary Patterns of Direct Amygdala and Hippocampal Projections to the Macaque Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Aggleton, John P.; Wright, Nicholas F.; Rosene, Douglas L.; Saunders, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    The projections from the amygdala and hippocampus (including subiculum and presubiculum) to prefrontal cortex were compared using anterograde tracers injected into macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, Macaca mulatta). Almost all prefrontal areas were found to receive some amygdala inputs. These connections, which predominantly arose from the intermediate and magnocellular basal nucleus, were particularly dense in parts of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex. Contralateral inputs were not, however, observed. The hippocampal projections to prefrontal areas were far more restricted, being confined to the ipsilateral medial and orbital prefrontal cortex (within areas 11, 13, 14, 24a, 32, and 25). These hippocampal projections principally arose from the subiculum, with the fornix providing the sole route. Thus, while the lateral prefrontal cortex essentially receives only amygdala inputs, the orbital prefrontal cortex receives both amygdala and hippocampal inputs, though these typically target different areas. Only in medial prefrontal cortex do direct inputs from both structures terminate in common sites. But, even when convergence occurs within an area, the projections predominantly terminate in different lamina (hippocampal inputs to layer III and amygdala inputs to layers I, II, and VI). The resulting segregation of prefrontal inputs could enable the parallel processing of different information types in prefrontal cortex. PMID:25715284

  5. Prefrontal cortical control of a brainstem social behavior circuit.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Tamara B; Silva, Bianca A; Perova, Zinaida; Marrone, Livia; Masferrer, Maria E; Zhan, Yang; Kaplan, Angie; Greetham, Louise; Verrechia, Violaine; Halman, Andreas; Pagella, Sara; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Illarionova, Anna; Grinevich, Valery; Branco, Tiago; Gross, Cornelius T

    2017-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex helps adjust an organism's behavior to its environment. In particular, numerous studies have implicated the prefrontal cortex in the control of social behavior, but the neural circuits that mediate these effects remain unknown. Here we investigated behavioral adaptation to social defeat in mice and uncovered a critical contribution of neural projections from the medial prefrontal cortex to the dorsal periaqueductal gray, a brainstem area vital for defensive responses. Social defeat caused a weakening of functional connectivity between these two areas, and selective inhibition of these projections mimicked the behavioral effects of social defeat. These findings define a specific neural projection by which the prefrontal cortex can control and adapt social behavior.

  6. Rate Equation Theory for Island Sizes and Capture Zone Areas in Submonolayer Deposition: Realistic Treatment of Spatial Aspects of Nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, J W; Li, M; Bartelt, M C

    2002-12-05

    Extensive information on the distribution of islands formed during submonolayer deposition is provided by the joint probability distribution (JPD) for island sizes, s, and capture zone areas, A. A key ingredient determining the form of the JPD is the impact of each nucleation event on existing capture zone areas. Combining a realistic characterization of such spatial aspects of nucleation with a factorization ansatz for the JPD, we provide a concise rate equation formulation for the variation with island size of both the capture zone area and the island density.

  7. Stress Assessment by Prefrontal Relative Gamma

    PubMed Central

    Minguillon, Jesus; Lopez-Gordo, Miguel A.; Pelayo, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Stress assessment has been under study in the last years. Both biochemical and physiological markers have been used to measure stress level. In neuroscience, several studies have related modification of stress level to brain activity changes in limbic system and frontal regions, by using non-invasive techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). In particular, previous studies suggested that the exhibition or inhibition of certain brain rhythms in frontal cortical areas indicates stress. However, there is no established marker to measure stress level by EEG. In this work, we aimed to prove the usefulness of the prefrontal relative gamma power (RG) for stress assessment. We conducted a study based on stress and relaxation periods. Six healthy subjects performed the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST) followed by a stay within a relaxation room while EEG and electrocardiographic signals were recorded. Our results showed that the prefrontal RG correlated with the expected stress level and with the heart rate (HR; 0.8). In addition, the difference in prefrontal RG between time periods of different stress level was statistically significant (p < 0.01). Moreover, the RG was more discriminative between stress levels than alpha asymmetry, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma power in prefrontal cortex. We propose the prefrontal RG as a marker for stress assessment. Compared with other established markers such as the HR or the cortisol, it has higher temporal resolution. Additionally, it needs few electrodes located at non-hairy head positions, thus facilitating the use of non-invasive dry wearable real-time devices for ubiquitous assessment of stress. PMID:27713698

  8. Child Rearing in Lesotho: Some Aspects of Child Rearing in the Teyateyaneng Area.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bam, Edna E.

    This study presents first-hand information on aspects of the developmental process during the first five years of life in rural Teyateyaneng in Lesotho, a small country surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Implicit in the study is the assumption that a relationship exists between informal education at home and formal education at school.…

  9. Ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra and prefrontal cortex rodent organotypic brain slices as an integrated model to study the cellular changes induced by oxygen/glucose deprivation and reperfusion: effect of neuroprotective agents.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Laura; Parravicini, Chiara; Lecca, Davide; Dossi, Elena; Heine, Claudia; Cimino, Mauro; Wanke, Enzo; Illes, Peter; Franke, Heike; Abbracchio, Maria P

    2014-01-01

    Unveiling the roles of distinct cell types in brain response to insults is a partially unsolved challenge and a key issue for new neuroreparative approaches. In vivo models are not able to dissect the contribution of residential microglia and infiltrating blood-borne monocytes/macrophages, which are fundamentally undistinguishable; conversely, cultured cells lack original tissue anatomical and functional complexity, which profoundly alters reactivity. Here, we tested whether rodent organotypic co-cultures from mesencephalic ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra and prefrontal cortex (VTA/SN-PFC) represent a suitable model to study changes induced by oxygen/glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R). OGD/R induced cytotoxicity to both VTA/SN and PFC slices, with higher VTA/SN susceptibility. Neurons were highly affected, with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes undergoing very mild damage. Marked reactive astrogliosis was also evident. Notably, OGD/R triggered the activation of CD68-expressing microglia and increased expression of Ym1 and Arg1, two markers of "alternatively" activated beneficial microglia. Treatment with two well-known neuroprotective drugs, the anticonvulsant agent valproic acid and the purinergic P2-antagonist PPADS, prevented neuronal damage. Thus, VTA/SN-PFC cultures are an integrated model to investigate OGD/R-induced effects on distinct cells and easily screen neuroprotective agents. The model is particularly adequate to dissect the microglia phenotypic shift in the lack of a functional vascular compartment.

  10. Impact of topographic aspect and vegetation (native and reforested areas) on soil organic carbon and nitrogen budgets in Mediterranean natural areas.

    PubMed

    Lozano-García, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Brevik, Eric C

    2016-02-15

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a critical role in the global carbon (C) cycle, and C sequestration in forest soils can represent a C sink. A relevant question is how does SOC changes in space and time; consequently, the study of the influence of topographic aspect on SOC stocks (SOCS) is very important to build a complete understanding of the soil system. In this line, four topographic aspects, north (N), south (S), east (E) and west (W) were studied under two different plant communities; native forests (NF) and reforested areas (RF) in the Despeñaperros Natural Park (S Spain). Five soil profiles were sampled at each of six different sites, 2 sites for NF (N and E) and 4 sites for RF (N, S, E and W). Soil properties were studied at different depths using soil control sections (S1: 0-25 cm; S2: 25-50 cm; S3: 50-75 cm). The results indicate that RF (N: 147.1 Mg ha(-1); E: 137.3 Mg ha(-1); W: 124.9 Mg ha(-1) and S: 87.0 Mg ha(-1)) had increased total SOCS compared to NF (N: 110.4 Mg ha(-1) and E: 80.9 Mg ha(-1)), and that SOCS in the N position were higher than in the other topographic aspects. Therefore, the results suggest that topographic aspect should be included in SOCS models and estimations at local and regional scales.

  11. From sensorimotor learning to memory cells in prefrontal and temporal association cortex: a neurocomputational study of disembodiment.

    PubMed

    Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Garagnani, Max

    2014-08-01

    Memory cells, the ultimate neurobiological substrates of working memory, remain active for several seconds and are most commonly found in prefrontal cortex and higher multisensory areas. However, if correlated activity in "embodied" sensorimotor systems underlies the formation of memory traces, why should memory cells emerge in areas distant from their antecedent activations in sensorimotor areas, thus leading to "disembodiment" (movement away from sensorimotor systems) of memory mechanisms? We modelled the formation of memory circuits in six-area neurocomputational architectures, implementing motor and sensory primary, secondary and higher association areas in frontotemporal cortices along with known between-area neuroanatomical connections. Sensorimotor learning driven by Hebbian neuroplasticity led to formation of cell assemblies distributed across the different areas of the network. These action-perception circuits (APCs) ignited fully when stimulated, thus providing a neural basis for long-term memory (LTM) of sensorimotor information linked by learning. Subsequent to ignition, activity vanished rapidly from APC neurons in sensorimotor areas but persisted in those in multimodal prefrontal and temporal areas. Such persistent activity provides a mechanism for working memory for actions, perceptions and symbols, including short-term phonological and semantic storage. Cell assembly ignition and "disembodied" working memory retreat of activity to multimodal areas are documented in the neurocomputational models' activity dynamics, at the level of single cells, circuits, and cortical areas. Memory disembodiment is explained neuromechanistically by APC formation and structural neuroanatomical features of the model networks, especially the central role of multimodal prefrontal and temporal cortices in bridging between sensory and motor areas. These simulations answer the "where" question of cortical working memory in terms of distributed APCs and their inner structure

  12. Hydrogeologic aspects of the Knippa Gap area in eastern Uvalde and western Medina counties, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, Rebecca B.; Clark, Allan K.; Pedraza, Diana E.; Morris, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    The Edwards aquifer is the primary source of potable water for the San Antonio area in south-central Texas. The Knippa Gap area is a structural low (trough) postulated to channel or restrict flow in the Edwards aquifer in eastern Uvalde and western Medina Counties, Tex. To better understand the function of the Knippa Gap, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, developed the first detailed surficial geologic map of the Knippa Gap area with data and information obtained from previous investigations and field observations. A simplified version of the detailed geologic map depicting the hydrologic units, faulting, and structural dips of the Knippa Gap area is provided in this fact sheet. The map shows that groundwater flow in the Edwards aquifer is influenced by the Balcones Fault Zone, a structurally complex area of the aquifer that contains relay ramps that have formed in extensional fault systems and allowed for deformational changes along fault blocks. Faulting in southeast Uvalde and southwest Medina Counties has produced relay-ramp structures that dip downgradient to the structural low (trough) of the Knippa Gap.

  13. Bio-nanotextured high aspect ratio micropillar arrays for high surface area energy storage devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, S.; Gerasopoulos, K.; Ghodssi, R.

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents fabrication and characterization of bio-nanotextured hierarchical nickel oxide (NiO) supercapacitor electrodes. The hierarchical electrode structure is created through self-assembly of Tobacco mosaic viruses (TMVs) on high aspect-ratio micropillar arrays. Enhanced assembly of the bio-nanoparticles was achieved by increasing TMV solution accessibility into the deep microcavities of the pillar arrays. Electrochemical characterization of the hierarchical NiO supercapacitor electrodes revealed a 25-fold increase in charge capacity compared to a planar NiO, and demonstrated excellent cycle stability over 1500 charge/discharge cycles at 2 mA/cm2. This study leverages the unique bio-nanoscaffolds for small scale energy storage devices through further optimization of the hierarchical structures and wetting techniques for significant improvements in micro/nano scale energy storage devices.

  14. Prefrontal dysfunction and a monkey model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Mao, Ping; Cui, Ding; Zhao, Xu-Dong; Ma, Yuan-Ye

    2015-04-01

    The prefrontal cortex is implicated in cognitive functioning and schizophrenia. Prefrontal dysfunction is closely associated with the symptoms of schizophrenia. In addition to the features typical of schizophrenia, patients also present with aspects of cognitive disorders. Based on these relationships, a monkey model mimicking the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia has been made using treatment with the non-specific competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, phencyclidine. The symptoms are ameliorated by atypical antipsychotic drugs such as clozapine. The beneficial effects of clozapine on behavioral impairment might be a specific indicator of schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment.

  15. Prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons shape neuronal activity to drive fear expression.

    PubMed

    Courtin, Julien; Chaudun, Fabrice; Rozeske, Robert R; Karalis, Nikolaos; Gonzalez-Campo, Cecilia; Wurtz, Hélène; Abdi, Azzedine; Baufreton, Jerome; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2014-01-02

    Synchronization of spiking activity in neuronal networks is a fundamental process that enables the precise transmission of information to drive behavioural responses. In cortical areas, synchronization of principal-neuron spiking activity is an effective mechanism for information coding that is regulated by GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)-ergic interneurons through the generation of neuronal oscillations. Although neuronal synchrony has been demonstrated to be crucial for sensory, motor and cognitive processing, it has not been investigated at the level of defined circuits involved in the control of emotional behaviour. Converging evidence indicates that fear behaviour is regulated by the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). This control over fear behaviour relies on the activation of specific prefrontal projections to the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), a structure that encodes associative fear memories. However, it remains to be established how the precise temporal control of fear behaviour is achieved at the level of prefrontal circuits. Here we use single-unit recordings and optogenetic manipulations in behaving mice to show that fear expression is causally related to the phasic inhibition of prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons (PVINs). Inhibition of PVIN activity disinhibits prefrontal projection neurons and synchronizes their firing by resetting local theta oscillations, leading to fear expression. Our results identify two complementary neuronal mechanisms mediated by PVINs that precisely coordinate and enhance the neuronal activity of prefrontal projection neurons to drive fear expression.

  16. Synapse Plasticity in Motor, Sensory, and Limbo-Prefrontal Cortex Areas as Measured by Degrading Axon Terminals in an Environment Model of Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)

    PubMed Central

    Neufeld, Janina; Teuchert-Noodt, Gertraud; Grafen, Keren; Winter, York; Witte, A. Veronica

    2009-01-01

    Still little is known about naturally occurring synaptogenesis in the adult neocortex and related impacts of epigenetic influences. We therefore investigated (pre)synaptic plasticity in various cortices of adult rodents, visualized by secondary lysosome accumulations (LA) in remodeling axon terminals. Twenty-two male gerbils from either enriched (ER) or impoverished rearing (IR) were used for quantification of silver-stained LA. ER-animals showed rather low LA densities in most primary fields, whereas barrel and secondary/associative cortices exhibited higher densities and layer-specific differences. In IR-animals, these differences were evened out or even inverted. Basic plastic capacities might be linked with remodeling of local intrinsic circuits in the context of cortical map adaptation in both IR- and ER-animals. Frequently described disturbances due to IR in multiple corticocortical and extracortical afferent systems, including the mesocortical dopamine projection, might have led to maladaptations in the plastic capacities of prefronto-limbic areas, as indicated by different LA densities in IR- compared with ER-animals. PMID:19809517

  17. [Human health in the space rocket-making areas: medical and environmental aspects].

    PubMed

    Sidorov, P I; Skrebtsova, N V; Sovershaeva, S L

    2006-01-01

    The paper deals with the problems of medical and ecological escorts of space rocket-making activities. The properties of one of the highly toxic components of propellant - asymmetric dimethylhydrazine as a substance assigned to a class of ecological toxicants, are considered. The data obtained on implementing the program for a study of the health status in the population living not far from the asymmetric dimethylhydrazine-polluted areas are presented. The authors propose to consider a package of measures that can apply the systems approach to securing the safety of the population to live and work in areas under space-rocket making activities, which is based on the prevention principle provided by the Rio de Janeiro Environment and Development Declaration.

  18. Canine Dirofilaria Infections in Two Uninvestigated Areas of Serbia: Epidemiological and Genetic Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Tasić, Aleksandar; Tasić-Otašević, Suzana; Gabrielli, Simona; Miladinović-Tasić, Nataša; Ignjatović, Aleksandra; Đorđević, Jovana; Dimitrijević, Sanda

    2012-01-01

    Abstract In 2009 canine filarial infections were investigated in two northern areas of Serbia (Pančevo and Veliko Gradište), applying morphometry, biochemical staining, and immunological kit to detect Dirofilaria immitis antigens, and two home-made ELISAs to detect antibodies to D. repens and D. immitis somatic/metabolic polyproteins. Moreover, molecular tools were applied to analyze the phylogenetic relationships of the isolates. The microfilariae detected in 21/122 dogs (17.2%) were identified as D. repens (n=21) and D. immitis (n=2). D. immitis antigens were found in another 13 animals with occult infection. All of the 15 heartworm-positive dogs also had antibodies to this parasite, which were detected in another 13 subjects, indicating an overall D. immitis seroprevalence rate of 22.9%. Serology for D. repens revealed evidence of antibodies in 42.6% of the dogs, but was negative for 4 microfilaremic dogs. As for the two different areas, the prevalence of microfilariae and/or D. immitis antigens, mainly due to D. repens microfilaremic animals, was not significantly higher in Veliko Gradište (33.3%) than in Pančevo (22%). However, serology showed a different epidemiological picture. Heartworm infection occurred more often in both areas, and antibodies to dirofilarial nematodes were detected in 72.9% of dogs living in Pančevo, a rate higher than in those living in Veliko Gradište (57.1%). No risk factors for infection were found, confirming the uselessness of prophylactic drugs against D. repens, and suggesting the presence in these areas of sunrise- or sunset-biting mosquitoes as important vectors. The results indicate the need for both appropriate entomological studies and further research on the intra-species variability shown by D. repens. PMID:23127188

  19. Geologic aspects of the surficial aquifer in the upper East Coast planning area, Southeast Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Wesley L.

    1980-01-01

    The Upper East Coast Planning Area, as designated by the South Florida Water Management District, consists of St. Lucie County, Martin County, and eastern Okeechobee County. The surficial aquifer is the main source of freshwater for agricultural and urban uses in the area. The geologic framework of the aquifer is displayed by contour mapping and lithologic cross sections to provide water managers with a better understanding of the natural restraints that may be imposed on future development. The surficial aquifer is primarily sand, limestone, shell, silt, and clay deposited during the Pleistocene and Pliocene Epochs. The aquifer is unconfined and under water-table conditions in most of the area, but locally, artesian conditions exits where discontinuous clay layers act as confining units. Impermeable and semipermeable clays and marls of the Tamiami (lower Pliocene) and Hawthorn Formations (Miocene) unconformably underlie the surficial aquifer and form its base. Contour lines showing the altitude of the base of the aquifer indicate extensive erosion of the Miocene sediments prior to deposition of the aquifer materials. (USGS)

  20. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheline, Yvette I.; Black, Kevin J.; Lin, Daniel Y.; Pimmel, Joseph; Wang, Po; Haller, John W.; Csernansky, John G.; Gado, Mokhtar; Walkup, Ronald K.; Brunsden, Barry S.; Vannier, Michael W.

    1995-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefrontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was prefrontal cortex boundaries on 3D images was critical to obtaining accurate measurements. MR prefrontal cortex volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  1. Reduced prefrontal connectivity in psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Motzkin, Julian C; Newman, Joseph P; Kiehl, Kent A; Koenigs, Michael

    2011-11-30

    Linking psychopathy to a specific brain abnormality could have significant clinical, legal, and scientific implications. Theories on the neurobiological basis of the disorder typically propose dysfunction in a circuit involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, to date there is limited brain imaging data to directly test whether psychopathy may indeed be associated with any structural or functional abnormality within this brain area. In this study, we employ two complementary imaging techniques to assess the structural and functional connectivity of vmPFC in psychopathic and non-psychopathic criminals. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced structural integrity in the right uncinate fasciculus, the primary white matter connection between vmPFC and anterior temporal lobe. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced functional connectivity between vmPFC and amygdala as well as between vmPFC and medial parietal cortex. Together, these data converge to implicate diminished vmPFC connectivity as a characteristic neurobiological feature of psychopathy.

  2. Epidemiological aspects of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Iguazú falls area of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Salomón, Oscar D; Acardi, Soraya A; Liotta, Domingo J; Fernández, María S; Lestani, Eduardo; López, Deborah; Mastrángelo, Andrea V; Figueroa, Marianela; Fattore, Gladys

    2009-01-01

    Over the last three decades the incidence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) has increased sharply in Argentina and throughout the world. In the Iguazú Falls area, on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, the incidence of human ACL has risen since 2004. Most of the 36 cases of human ACL reported until 2005 have involved males over 15 years old (75%) infected during deforestation to establish individual farms. Captures carried out in primary forest, periurban areas, and deforested land sites yielded 18,438 sand flies belonging to 13 species; the most prevalent species were Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) whitmani (87.4%) and Lutzomyia (Mygonemyia.) migonei (7.6%). Cluster analysis was used to group traps according to species and abundance of sand flies. The group of traps located in recently deforested places, in pig and chicken dwellings of houses where ACL cases had been reported in the past, and at one house with an active ACL case, had the highest abundance of Lu. whitmani and Lu. whitmani+Lu. migonei as well as the highest ratio of Lu. whitmani/Lu. migonei. Leishmania sp. infections, both in Lu. whitmani, in Lu. quinquefer, and in smears from human cases were detected by DNA kinetoplast amplification using a generic PCR protocol. The risk of ACL outbreak in the Iguazú Falls area is still associated with economic and leisure activities in primary-secondary forest, including deforestation, rural settlements, fishing, hunting, and ecotourism. In addition, the risk of periurban transmission seems likely, and this is discussed within the framework of surveillance and prevention strategies.

  3. [The cultural aspects of the practice of Community Health Agents in rural areas].

    PubMed

    Lara, Maristela Oliveira; Brito, Maria José Menezes; Rezende, Lilian Cristina

    2012-06-01

    The daily practice of Community Health Agents (CHAs) is permeated with educational interventions aimed at preventive care and health promotion. The sociocultural universe of these professionals can affect the dynamics of their practice within the community, particularly in rural areas, where there is evidence that the population expects to obtain information relative to their health and/or disease by means of cultural rites. Based on a case study, we sought to analyze the influence of the cultural practices of the agents working in a rural area in the interior of the state of Minas Gerais. The analysis revealed the presence of a strong connection between the culture and their activities. Religious beliefs and knowledge developed from the fusion of biomedical information and values based on family tradition regarding the health-disease process have a direct effect on their practices. It is emphasized that they have an important role as facilitators in the practice of health care, with a positive effect stemming from the similarity of their life experiences and inherited cultures with those of the clients, thus making it possible to develop effective interventions.

  4. Epidemiologic aspects of the malaria transmission cycle in an area of very low incidence in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Cerutti, Crispim; Boulos, Marcos; Coutinho, Arnídio F; Hatab, Maria do Carmo LD; Falqueto, Aloísio; Rezende, Helder R; Duarte, Ana Maria RC; Collins, William; Malafronte, Rosely S

    2007-01-01

    Background Extra-Amazonian autochthonous Plasmodium vivax infections have been reported in mountainous regions surrounded by the Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo state, Brazil. Methods Sixty-five patients and 1,777 residents were surveyed between April 2001 and March 2004. Laboratory methods included thin and thick smears, multiplex-PCR, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) against P. vivax and Plasmodium malariae crude blood-stage antigens and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antibodies against the P. vivax-complex (P. vivax and variants) and P. malariae/Plasmodium brasilianum circumsporozoite-protein (CSP) antigens. Results Average patient age was 35.1 years. Most (78.5%) were males; 64.6% lived in rural areas; 35.4% were farmers; and 12.3% students. There was no relevant history of travel. Ninety-five per cent of the patients were experiencing their first episode of malaria. Laboratory data from 51 patients were consistent with P. vivax infection, which was determined by thin smear. Of these samples, 48 were assayed by multiplex-PCR. Forty-five were positive for P. vivax, confirming the parasitological results, while P. malariae was detected in one sample and two gave negative results. Fifty percent of the 50 patients tested had IgG antibodies against the P. vivax-complex or P. malariae CSP as determined by ELISA. The percentages of residents with IgM and IgG antibodies detected by IFA for P. malariae, P. vivax and Plasmodium falciparum who did not complain of malaria symptoms at the time blood was collected were 30.1% and 56.5%, 6.2% and 37.7%, and 13.5% and 13%, respectively. The same sera that reacted to P. vivax also reacted to P. malariae. The following numbers of samples were positive in multiplex-PCR: 23 for P. vivax; 15 for P. malariae; 9 for P. falciparum and only one for P. falciparum and P. malariae. All thin and thick smears were negative. ELISA against CSP antigens was positive in 25.4%, 6.3%, 10.7% and 15.1% of the samples tested for

  5. Different aspects of performance feedback engage different brain areas: Disentangling valence and expectancy in feedback processing

    PubMed Central

    Ferdinand, Nicola K.; Opitz, Bertram

    2014-01-01

    Evaluating the positive and negative outcomes of our behaviour is important for action selection and learning. Such reinforcement learning has been shown to engage a specific neural circuitry including the mesencephalic dopamine system and its target areas, the striatum and medial frontal cortex, especially the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). An intensively pursued debate regards the prevailing influence of feedback expectancy and feedback valence on the engagement of these two brain regions in reinforcement learning and their respective roles are far from being understood. To this end, we used a time estimation task with three different types of feedback that allows disentangling the effect of feedback valence and expectancy using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our results show greater ACC activation after unexpected positive and unexpected negative feedback than after expected feedback and by this sensitivity to unexpected events in general irrespective of their valence. PMID:25100234

  6. Productivity aspects of three tropical seagrass species in areas of different nutrient levels in Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uku, J.; Björk, M.

    2005-05-01

    Previous work conducted in two seagrass areas of different nutrient status, along the Kenyan coast, has shown that the seagrasses were characterised by differences in the species composition and biomass of epiphytic algae. This study was undertaken to evaluate the productivity patterns of the seagrass species growing in these same sites. Studies were made on Thalassodendron ciliatum (Forskål) den Hartog, Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Aschers and Cymodocea rotundata Ehrenberg and Hempr. ex Ascherson growing in the lagoons of Nyali and Vipingo, along the Kenyan coast, during the South East (SE) and North East (NE) monsoon periods. The results of this study revealed differences in the levels of nitrate within the water column, with Vipingo having lower levels of around 4 μM during the low tide period of the SE monsoon while nitrate levels in Nyali reached levels of 16 μM during the same period. Of the three seagrass species studied, C. rotundata had the highest shoot densities in both sites. The shoot densities of C. rotundata reached levels of 1300 shoots m -2 compared to an average of 600 shoots m -2 for both T. ciliatum and T. hemprichii. The stems of T. ciliatum were found to be 200 mm long in Nyali whereas those in Vipingo were 80 mm in length. Of the three seagrasses T. ciliatum and T. hemprichii showed significant differences in total leaf growth between the two sites. However, of these two species, only T. hemprichii showed distinct differences in leaf production and biomass when the two sites were compared. Leaves of T. hemprichii showed growth rates of 0.008 g dw shoot -1 day -1 in Nyali while the growth rate in Vipingo was 0.004 g dw shoot -1 day -1. Leaf production rates were approximately 0.005 g dw shoot -1 day -1 for T. ciliatum in both Nyali and Vipingo and that of C. rotundata was approximately 0.0015 g dw shoot -1 day -1 in the two sites. This suggests that of the three species studied, T. hemprichii may have been influenced by the

  7. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  8. Neurodynamics of the prefrontal cortex during conditional visuomotor associations.

    PubMed

    Loh, Marco; Pasupathy, Anitha; Miller, Earl K; Deco, Gustavo

    2008-03-01

    The prefrontal cortex is believed to be important for cognitive control, working memory, and learning. It is known to play an important role in the learning and execution of conditional visuomotor associations, a cognitive task in which stimuli have to be associated with actions by trial-and-error learning. In our modeling study, we sought to integrate several hypotheses on the function of the prefrontal cortex using a computational model, and compare the results to experimental data. We constructed a module of prefrontal cortex neurons exposed to two different inputs, which we envision to originate from the inferotemporal cortex and the basal ganglia. We found that working memory properties do not describe the dominant dynamics in the prefrontal cortex, but the activation seems to be transient, probably progressing along a pathway from sensory to motor areas. During the presentation of the cue, the dynamics of the prefrontal cortex is bistable, yielding a distinct activation for correct and error trails. We find that a linear change in network parameters relates to the changes in neural activity in consecutive correct trials during learning, which is important evidence for the underlying learning mechanisms.

  9. Organization of prefrontal network activity by respiration-related oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Biskamp, Jonatan; Bartos, Marlene; Sauer, Jonas-Frederic

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) integrates information from cortical and sub-cortical areas and contributes to the planning and initiation of behaviour. A potential mechanism for signal integration in the mPFC lies in the synchronization of neuronal discharges by theta (6–12 Hz) activity patterns. Here we show, using in vivo local field potential (LFP) and single-unit recordings from awake mice, that prominent oscillations in the sub-theta frequency band (1–5 Hz) emerge during awake immobility in the mPFC. These oscillation patterns are distinct from but phase-locked to hippocampal theta activity and occur synchronized with nasal respiration (hence termed prefrontal respiration rhythm [PRR]). PRR activity modulates the amplitude of prefrontal gamma rhythms with greater efficacy than theta oscillations. Furthermore, single-unit discharges of putative pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons are entrained by prefrontal PRR and nasal respiration. Our data thus suggest that PRR activity contributes to information processing in the prefrontal neuronal network. PMID:28349959

  10. Development of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex and Cognitive and Behavioural Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Burgess, Paul W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2008-01-01

    Information on the development and functions of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), or Brodmann area 10, has been gathered from different fields, from anatomical development to functional neuroimaging in adults, and put forward in relation to three particular cognitive and behavioural disorders. Rostral PFC is larger and has a lower cell density in…

  11. TOP-DOWN CONTROL OF MOTOR CORTEX ENSEMBLES BY DORSOMEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; Laubach, Mark

    2007-01-01

    SUMMARY Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex is critical for the temporal control of behavior. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex might alter neuronal activity in areas such as motor cortex to inhibit temporally inappropriate responses. We tested this hypothesis by recording from neuronal ensembles in rodent dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during a delayed-response task. One-third of dorsomedial prefrontal neurons were significantly modulated during the delay period. The activity of many of these neurons was predictive of premature responding. We then reversibly inactivated dorsomedial prefrontal cortex while recording ensemble activity in motor cortex. Inactivation of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex reduced delay-related firing, but not response-related firing, in motor cortex. Finally, we made simultaneous recordings in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and motor cortex and found strong delay-related temporal correlations between neurons in the two cortical areas. These data suggest that functional interactions between dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and motor cortex might serve as a top-down control signal that inhibits inappropriate responding. PMID:17145511

  12. The organization of prefrontal-subthalamic inputs in primates provides an anatomical substrate for both functional specificity and integration: implications for basal ganglia models and deep brain stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Haynes, William I. A.; Haber, Suzanne N.

    2013-01-01

    The identification of a hyperdirect cortico-subthalamic nucleus connection highlighted the important role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in regulating behavior. However, this pathway was shown primarily from motor areas. Hyperdirect pathways associated with cognitive and motivational cortical regions are particularly relevant given recent data from deep brain stimulation, both for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Our experiments were designed to: demonstrate the existence and organization of prefrontal-STN projections, help delineate the ‘limbic’ STN, and determine whether convergence between cortico-STN fibers from functionally diverse cortical areas exists in the STN. We injected anterograde tracers in the ventromedial prefrontal, orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate and dorsal prefrontal cortices of Macaca nemestrina & M. fascicularis to analyze the organization of terminals and passing fibers in the STN. Results show a topographically organized prefrontal hyperdirect pathway in primates. Limbic areas project to the medial tip of the nucleus, straddling its border and extending into the lateral hypothalamus. Associative areas project to the medial half, motor areas to the lateral half. Limbic projections terminated primarily rostrally and motor projections more caudally. The extension of limbic projections into the lateral hypothalamus, suggests that this region be included in the STN. A high degree of convergence exists between projections from functionally diverse cortical areas, creating potentially important interfaces between terminal fields. Taken together, the results provide an anatomical substrate to extend the role of the hyperdirect pathway in models of basal ganglia function, and new keys for understanding deep brain stimulation effects on cognitive and motivational aspects of behavior. PMID:23486951

  13. Development of Human Resources Through a Vocationally Oriented Educational Program for Disadvantaged Families in Depressed Rural Areas. Degree to Which Families are Satisfied with Selected Aspects of Family Life in an Economically Depressed Rural Area. Interim Report 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuller, Gerald R.; Phipps, Lloyd J.

    To identify aspects of family living which were satisfying to residents of low income areas 84 families representative of the total population of an economically depressed rural area and 31 severely disadvantaged families were interviewed. Some findings were: (1) Approximately 87 percent of families living in the area and 74 percent of the…

  14. A dorsolateral prefrontal cortex semi-automatic segmenter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Hakim, Ramsey; Fallon, James; Nain, Delphine; Melonakos, John; Tannenbaum, Allen

    2006-03-01

    Structural, functional, and clinical studies in schizophrenia have, for several decades, consistently implicated dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in the etiology of the disease. Functional and structural imaging studies, combined with clinical, psychometric, and genetic analyses in schizophrenia have confirmed the key roles played by the prefrontal cortex and closely linked "prefrontal system" structures such as the striatum, amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area, and anterior cingulate cortices. The nodal structure of the prefrontal system circuit is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or Brodmann area 46, which also appears to be the most commonly studied and cited brain area with respect to schizophrenia. 1, 2, 3, 4 In 1986, Weinberger et. al. tied cerebral blood flow in the DLPFC to schizophrenia.1 In 2001, Perlstein et. al. demonstrated that DLPFC activation is essential for working memory tasks commonly deficient in schizophrenia. 2 More recently, groups have linked morphological changes due to gene deletion and increased DLPFC glutamate concentration to schizophrenia. 3, 4 Despite the experimental and clinical focus on the DLPFC in structural and functional imaging, the variability of the location of this area, differences in opinion on exactly what constitutes DLPFC, and inherent difficulties in segmenting this highly convoluted cortical region have contributed to a lack of widely used standards for manual or semi-automated segmentation programs. Given these implications, we developed a semi-automatic tool to segment the DLPFC from brain MRI scans in a reproducible way to conduct further morphological and statistical studies. The segmenter is based on expert neuroanatomist rules (Fallon-Kindermann rules), inspired by cytoarchitectonic data and reconstructions presented by Rajkowska and Goldman-Rakic. 5 It is semi-automated to provide essential user interactivity. We present our results and provide details on

  15. Changes in Self-Regulation-Related Prefrontal Activities in Eating Disorders: A Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Sutoh, Chihiro; Nakazato, Michiko; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Tsuru, Kadushi; Niitsu, Tomihisa; Iyo, Masaomi; Shimizu, Eiji

    2013-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study is to clarify the symptomatology of the eating disorders examining the prefrontal function and activity associated with self-regulation among participants with or without eating disorders. Methods Ten patients with anorexia nervosa, fourteen with bulimia nervosa, and fourteen healthy control participants performed two cognitive tasks assessing self-regulatory functions, an auditorily distracted word fluency task and a rock-paper-scissors task under the measurements on prefrontal oxyhemoglobin concentration with near infrared spectroscopy. The psychiatric symptoms of patient groups were assessed with several questionnaires. Results Patients with bulimia nervosa showed decreased performances and prefrontal hyper activation patterns. Prefrontal activities showed a moderate negative correlation with task performances not in the patient groups but only in the healthy participants. The prefrontal activities of the patient groups showed positive correlations with some symptom scale aspects. Conclusions The decreased cognitive abilities and characteristic prefrontal activation patterns associated with self-regulatory functions were shown in patients with bulimia nervosa, which correlated with their symptoms. These findings suggest inefficient prefrontal self-regulatory function of bulimia nervosa that associate with its symptoms. PMID:23527162

  16. Linking trait-based phenotypes to prefrontal cortex activation during inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Rodrigo, Achala H; Di Domenico, Stefano I; Graves, Bryanna; Lam, Jaeger; Ayaz, Hasan; Bagby, R Michael; Ruocco, Anthony C

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory control is subserved in part by discrete regions of the prefrontal cortex whose functionality may be altered according to specific trait-based phenotypes. Using a unified model of normal range personality traits, we examined activation within lateral and medial aspects of the prefrontal cortex during a manual go/no-go task. Evoked hemodynamic oxygenation within the prefrontal cortex was measured in 106 adults using a 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Within lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, greater activation was associated with higher trait levels of extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and lower neuroticism. Higher agreeableness was also related to more activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during inhibitory control. These results suggest that personality traits reflecting greater emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness may be associated with more efficient recruitment of control processes subserved by lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight key links between trait-based phenotypes and neural activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex underlying inhibitory control.

  17. Linking trait-based phenotypes to prefrontal cortex activation during inhibitory control

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigo, Achala H.; Di Domenico, Stefano I.; Graves, Bryanna; Lam, Jaeger; Ayaz, Hasan; Bagby, R. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory control is subserved in part by discrete regions of the prefrontal cortex whose functionality may be altered according to specific trait-based phenotypes. Using a unified model of normal range personality traits, we examined activation within lateral and medial aspects of the prefrontal cortex during a manual go/no-go task. Evoked hemodynamic oxygenation within the prefrontal cortex was measured in 106 adults using a 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Within lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, greater activation was associated with higher trait levels of extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and lower neuroticism. Higher agreeableness was also related to more activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during inhibitory control. These results suggest that personality traits reflecting greater emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness may be associated with more efficient recruitment of control processes subserved by lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight key links between trait-based phenotypes and neural activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex underlying inhibitory control. PMID:26163672

  18. Altered connectivity between prefrontal and sensorimotor cortex in conversion paralysis.

    PubMed

    de Lange, Floris P; Toni, Ivan; Roelofs, Karin

    2010-05-01

    Conversion paralysis (CP) is a frequent and impairing psychiatric disorder, affecting voluntary motor function. Yet, we have previously shown that the motor system of CP patients with a unilateral conversion paresis is recruited to a similar degree during imagined movements of the affected and unaffected limb. In contrast, imagery of movements with the affected limb results in larger prefrontal activation. It remains unclear how this hand-specific increased prefrontal activity relates to the reduced responsiveness of motor and somatosensory areas, a consistent and important feature of CP patients. In the current study, we investigated changes in the inter-regional coupling between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and sensorimotor regions when CP patients imagined movements involving either the affected or the unaffected hand. We found that there were distinct connectivity patterns for different parts of the PFC. While ventromedial PFC was not functionally connected to the motor system, we observed strong functional coupling between the dorsolateral PFC and various sensorimotor areas. Furthermore, this coupling was modulated by whether patients imagined movements of their affected or unaffected hand. Together, these results suggest that the reduced motor responsitivity observed in CP may be linked to altered dorsolateral prefrontal-motor connectivity.

  19. Periodontal tactile input activates the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Nobuaki; Goto, Takaharu; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a role in complex cognitive behavioural planning, decision-making, and social behaviours. However, the effects of sensory integration during motor tasks on PFC activation have not been studied to date. Therefore, we investigated the effect of peripheral sensory information and external information on PFC activation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was increased around bilateral Brodmann areas 46 and 10 during visual and auditory information integration during an occlusal force (biting) task. After local anesthesia, CBF values were significantly decreased, but occlusal force was similar. In conclusion, the effects of peripheral sensory information from the periodontal ligament and external information have minimal impacts on occlusal force maintenance but are important for PFC activation. PMID:27833164

  20. Bilinearity, Rules, and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dayan, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Humans can be instructed verbally to perform computationally complex cognitive tasks; their performance then improves relatively slowly over the course of practice. Many skills underlie these abilities; in this paper, we focus on the particular question of a uniform architecture for the instantiation of habitual performance and the storage, recall, and execution of simple rules. Our account builds on models of gated working memory, and involves a bilinear architecture for representing conditional input-output maps and for matching rules to the state of the input and working memory. We demonstrate the performance of our model on two paradigmatic tasks used to investigate prefrontal and basal ganglia function. PMID:18946523

  1. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  2. Prefrontal Cortical Dysfunction During Visual Perspective-Taking in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Eack, Shaun M.; Wojtalik, Jessica A.; Newhill, Christina E.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.; Phillips, Mary L.

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by marked impairments in a broad and diverse array of social-cognitive domains. Fundamental deficits in the ability to visualize and shift to the perspectives of others and the neural networks that support this ability may contribute to many of these impairments. This study sought to investigate deficits in prefrontal brain function and connectivity in patients with schizophrenia during visual perspective-taking, and the degree to which such deficits contribute to higher-order impairments in social cognition. A total of 20 outpatients with schizophrenia and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers completed a basic, visual perspective-taking task during functional magnetic resonance imaging, along with a behavioral assessment of theory of mind after neuroimaging. Results revealed hypoactivity in the medial prefrontal (anterior cingulate) and orbitofrontal cortices during perspective-taking trials compared to control trials in schizophrenia patients relative to healthy controls. In addition, patients demonstrated significant deficits in negative connectivity between medial prefrontal and medial-temporal regions during perspective-taking, which fully mediated behavioral impairments observed in theory of mind. These findings suggest that disruptions are present in the most fundamental aspects of perspective-taking in schizophrenia, and that these disruptions impact higher-order social information processing. PMID:24055199

  3. When "Happy" Means "Sad": Neuropsychological Evidence for the Right Prefrontal Cortex Contribution to Executive Semantic Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Dana; Connolly, Catherine; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2007-01-01

    The contribution of the left inferior prefrontal cortex in semantic processing has been widely investigated in the last decade. Converging evidence from functional imaging studies shows that this region is involved in the "executive" or "controlled" aspects of semantic processing. In this study, we report a single case study of a patient, PW, with…

  4. Prefrontal control of the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Likhtik, Ekaterina; Pelletier, Joe Guillaume; Paz, Rony; Paré, Denis

    2005-08-10

    Accumulating evidence indicates that phobic and posttraumatic anxiety disorders likely result from a failure to extinguish fear memories. Extinction normally depends on a new learning that competes with the original fear memory and is driven by medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) projections to the amygdala. Although mPFC stimulation was reported to inhibit the central medial (CEm) amygdala neurons that mediate fear responses via their brainstem and hypothalamic projections, it is unclear how this inhibition is generated. Because the mPFC has very sparse projections to CEm output neurons, the mPFC-evoked inhibition of the CEm is likely indirect. Thus, this study tested whether it resulted from a feedforward inhibition of basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons that normally relay sensory inputs to the CEm. However, our results indicate that mPFC inputs excite rather than inhibit BLA neurons, implying that the inhibition of CEm cells is mediated by an active gating mechanism downstream of the BLA.

  5. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies.

  6. Human ventromedial prefrontal lesions alter incentivisation by reward

    PubMed Central

    Manohar, Sanjay G.; Husain, Masud

    2016-01-01

    Although medial frontal brain regions are implicated in valuation of rewards, evidence from focal lesions to these areas is scant, with many conflicting results regarding motivation and affect, and no human studies specifically examining incentivisation by reward. Here, 19 patients with isolated, focal damage in ventral and medial prefrontal cortex were selected from a database of 453 individuals with subarachnoid haemorrhage. Using a speeded saccadic task based on the oculomotor capture paradigm, we manipulated the maximum reward available on each trial using an auditory incentive cue. Modulation of behaviour by motivation permitted quantification of reward sensitivity. At the group level, medial frontal damage was overall associated with significantly reduced effects of reward on invigorating saccadic velocity and autonomic (pupil) responses compared to age-matched, healthy controls. Crucially, however, some individuals instead showed abnormally strong incentivisation effects for vigour. Increased sensitivity to rewards within the lesion group correlated with damage in subgenual ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) areas, which have recently become the target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in depression. Lesion correlations with clinical apathy suggested that the apathy associated with prefrontal damage is in fact reduced by damage at those coordinates. Reduced reward sensitivity showed a trend to correlate with damage near nucleus accumbens. Lesions did not, on the other hand, influence reward sensitivity of cognitive control, as measured by distractibility. Thus, although medial frontal lesions may generally reduce reward sensitivity, damage to key subregions paradoxically protect from this effect. PMID:26874940

  7. Value, pleasure and choice in the ventral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Rolls, Edmund T

    2011-02-01

    Rapid advances have recently been made in understanding how value-based decision-making processes are implemented in the brain. We integrate neuroeconomic and computational approaches with evidence on the neural correlates of value and experienced pleasure to describe how systems for valuation and decision-making are organized in the prefrontal cortex of humans and other primates. We show that the orbitofrontal and ventromedial prefrontal (VMPFC) cortices compute expected value, reward outcome and experienced pleasure for different stimuli on a common value scale. Attractor networks in VMPFC area 10 then implement categorical decision processes that transform value signals into a choice between the values, thereby guiding action. This synthesis of findings across fields provides a unifying perspective for the study of decision-making processes in the brain.

  8. The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Bernd; Rangel, Antonio; Wibral, Matthias; Falk, Armin

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy—its real value—and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency—its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions. PMID:19307555

  9. Auditory belt and parabelt projections to the prefrontal cortex in the rhesus monkey.

    PubMed

    Romanski, L M; Bates, J F; Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1999-01-11

    Recent anatomical and electrophysiological studies have expanded our knowledge of the auditory cortical system in primates and have described its organization as a series of concentric circles with a central or primary auditory core, surrounded by a lateral and medial belt of secondary auditory cortex with a tertiary parabelt cortex just lateral to this belt. Because recent studies have shown that rostral and caudal belt and parabelt cortices have distinct patterns of connections and acoustic responsivity, we hypothesized that these divergent auditory regions might have distinct targets in the frontal lobe. We, therefore, placed discrete injections of wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase or fluorescent retrograde tracers into the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys and analyzed the anterograde and retrograde labeling in the aforementioned auditory areas. Injections that included rostral and orbital prefrontal areas (10, 46 rostral, 12) labeled the rostral belt and parabelt most heavily, whereas injections including the caudal principal sulcus (area 46), periarcuate cortex (area 8a), and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (area12vl) labeled the caudal belt and parabelt. Projections originating in the parabelt cortex were denser than those arising from the lateral or medial belt cortices in most cases. In addition, the anterior third of the superior temporal gyrus and the dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus were also labeled after prefrontal injections, confirming previous studies. The present topographical results suggest that acoustic information diverges into separate streams that target distinct rostral and caudal domains of the prefrontal cortex, which may serve different acoustic functions.

  10. Aspects of the bottom sediment of Lake Nakaumi and Honjo area ~ featuring with organic matter and the Sulfides ~

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinohara, R.

    2015-12-01

    Lake Nakaumi is a brackish water located at southwest Japan. Seawater from the Sea of Japan inflows through Sakai-strait, and river water flows through the Oohashi River into this lake. Lake Nakaumi is characterized with hypoxic and/or anoxic condition of bottom water derived with the distinct stratification of salinity in summer season. In this lake, a public project had been carried out for land reclamation since 1963. Honjo Area located to the north part of Lake Nakaumi, was semi-separated from Lake Nakaumi by reclamation dikes constructed for this project at 1981. However, this public project was aborted with the change of social conditions. To the effective utilization of the area, the partial removal of dike was carried out. Seawater from Sakai-strait flows directly into Honjo Area again. Environmental change of the lake is expected by this inflow of the seawater in Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area after this restoration. It is well known that the surface sediment reflects the environment of lake bottom. The organic matter and the sulfides in sediment are good indicators of sedimentation environment. In this study, we analyzed them by several methods and grasped the bottom environment of both areas after the removal of dikes. We examined the impact of the restoration to both areas by comparing the observations with the past data. Surface sediment samples in Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area were obtained at 77 and 40 stations, respectively. We collected surface sediment (about 1cm) were for each station, and analyzed total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) as organic matter, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in pore water, total sulfide (TS) and acid volatile sulfide (AVS) as sulfides. TOC contents of Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area range within 0.0-5.1% and 0.2-4.9%, respectively. TN contents range within 0.0-0.6 % and 0.1-0.6 %. TS contents range within 0.1-2.6% and 0.0-2.0 %. H2S contents range within 0.3-119.0 ppm and 0.5-140.4 ppm. AVS contents range within 0

  11. The contribution of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the preparation for deception and truth-telling.

    PubMed

    Ito, Ayahito; Abe, Nobuhito; Fujii, Toshikatsu; Hayashi, Akiko; Ueno, Aya; Mugikura, Shunji; Takahashi, Shoki; Mori, Etsuro

    2012-06-29

    Recent neuroimaging evidence suggests that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is associated with creating deceptive responses. However, the neural basis of the preparatory processes that create deception has yet to be explored. Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the preparation for a certain task activates brain areas relevant to the execution of that task, leading to the question of whether dorsolateral prefrontal activity is observed during the preparation for deception. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine whether dorsolateral prefrontal activity, which increases during the execution of deception compared with the execution of truth-telling, also increases during the preparation for deception compared with the preparation for truth-telling. Our data show that the execution of deception was associated with increased activity in several brain regions, including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, compared with truth-telling, confirming the contribution of this region to the production of deceptive responses. The results also reveal that the preparations for both deception and truth-telling were associated with increased activity in certain brain regions, including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that the preparations for truth-telling and deception make similar demands on the brain and that the dorsolateral prefrontal activity identified in the preparation phase is associated with general preparatory processes, regardless of whether one is telling a lie or the truth.

  12. Prelimbic prefrontal cortex mediates respiratory responses to mild and potent prolonged, but not brief, stressors.

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, E; Hodgson, D M; Nalivaiko, E

    2014-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is one of the key areas of the central mechanism of cardiovascular and respiratory control. Disinhibition of the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex elicits tachypnoeic responses in anesthetized rats (Hassan et al., J. Physiol. 591: 6069-6088, 2013). The current study examines the effects of inhibition of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex during presentation of stressors of various lengths and intensities in conscious unrestrained rats. 8 Wistar rats were implanted with bilateral guide cannulas targeting the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and received microinjections of either saline of GABAA agonist muscimol prior to recording sessions. Inhibition of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex significantly attenuated respiratory responses to a novel environment stress, 30s light stimulus and restraint stress. It did not affect respiratory responses to 500 ms acoustic stimuli of varying intensities (40-90 dB). We conclude that the prelimbic prefrontal cortex contributes to generation of tachypnoeic responses to prolonged stressors, but does not contribute to respiratory arousal in response to brief stressors.

  13. Monkey Prefrontal Neurons during Sternberg Task Performance: Full Contents of Working Memory or Most Recent Item?

    PubMed

    Konecky, Roma O; Smith, Matthew A; Olson, Carl R

    2017-03-22

    To explore the brain mechanisms underlying multi-item working memory, we monitored the activity of neurons in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while macaque monkeys performed spatial and chromatic versions of a Sternberg working-memory task. Each trial required holding three sequentially presented samples in working memory so as to identify a subsequent probe matching one of them. The monkeys were able to recall all three samples at levels well above chance, exhibiting modest load and recency effects. Prefrontal neurons signaled the identity of each sample during the delay period immediately following its presentation. However, as each new sample was presented, the representation of antecedent samples became weak and shifted to an anomalous code. A linear classifier operating on the basis of population activity during the final delay period was able to perform at approximately the level of the monkeys on trials requiring recall of the third sample but showed a falloff in performance on trials requiring recall of the first or second sample much steeper than observed in the monkeys. We conclude that delay-period activity in prefrontal cortex robustly represented only the most recent item. The monkeys apparently based performance of this classic working-memory task on some storage mechanism in addition to the prefrontal delay-period firing rate. Possibilities include delay-period activity in areas outside prefrontal cortex and changes within prefrontal cortex not manifest at the level of the firing rate.

  14. Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during reaction time performance

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Krystal L.; Alberico, Stephanie L.; Miller, Adam D.; Narayanan, Nandakumar S.

    2013-01-01

    Responses during a simple reaction time task are influenced by temporal expectation, or the ability to anticipate when a stimulus occurs in time. Here, we test the hypothesis that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during simple reaction time task performance. We depleted dopamine projections to the medial prefrontal circuits by infusing 6-hydroxidopamine, a selective neurotoxin, into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats, and studied their performance on a simple reaction time task with two delays. VTA dopamine depletion did not change movements or learning of the reaction time task. However, VTA dopamine-depleted animals did not develop delay-dependent speeding of reaction times, suggesting that mesocortical dopamine signaling is required for temporal expectation. Next, we manipulated dopamine signaling within the medial prefrontal cortex using local pharmacology. We found that SCH23390, a D1-type dopamine receptor antagonist, specifically attenuated delay-dependent speeding, while sulpiride, a D2-type receptor antagonist, did not. These data suggest that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during performance of a simple reaction time task. Our findings provide insight into temporal processing of the prefrontal cortex, and how dopamine signaling influences prefrontal circuits that guide goal-directed behavior. PMID:24120554

  15. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    PubMed

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice.

  16. Prefrontal Brain Activation During Emotional Processing: A Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study (fNIRS)

    PubMed Central

    Glotzbach, Evelyn; Mühlberger, Andreas; Gschwendtner, Kathrin; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Pauli, Paul; Herrmann, Martin J

    2011-01-01

    The limbic system and especially the amygdala have been identified as key structures in emotion induction and regulation. Recently research has additionally focused on the influence of prefrontal areas on emotion processing in the limbic system and the amygdala. Results from fMRI studies indicate that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved not only in emotion induction but also in emotion regulation. However, studies using fNIRS only report prefrontal brain activation during emotion induction. So far it lacks the attempt to compare emotion induction and emotion regulation with regard to prefrontal activation measured with fNIRS, to exclude the possibility that the reported prefrontal brain activation in fNIRS studies are mainly caused by automatic emotion regulation processes. Therefore this work tried to distinguish emotion induction from regulation via fNIRS of the prefrontal cortex. 20 healthy women viewed neutral pictures as a baseline condition, fearful pictures as induction condition and reappraised fearful pictures as regulation condition in randomized order. As predicted, the view-fearful condition led to higher arousal ratings than the view-neutral condition with the reappraise-fearful condition in between. For the fNIRS results the induction condition showed an activation of the bilateral PFC compared to the baseline condition (viewing neutral). The regulation condition showed an activation only of the left PFC compared to the baseline condition, although the direct comparison between induction and regulation condition revealed no significant difference in brain activation. Therefore our study underscores the results of previous fNIRS studies showing prefrontal brain activation during emotion induction and rejects the hypothesis that this prefrontal brain activation might only be a result of automatic emotion regulation processes. PMID:21673974

  17. Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and the human prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Asp, Erik; Ramchandran, Kanchna; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Objective The psychological processes of doubting and skepticism have recently become topics of neuroscientific investigation. In this context, we developed the False Tagging Theory, a neurobiological model of the belief and doubt process, which proposes that the prefrontal cortex is critical for normative doubt regarding properly comprehended cognitive representations. Here, we put our theory to an empirical test, hypothesizing that patients with prefrontal cortex damage would have a doubt deficit that would manifest as higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism. Method Ten patients with bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ten patients with damage to areas outside the vmPFC, and sixteen medical comparison patients, who experienced life-threatening (but non-neurological) medical events, completed a series of scales measuring authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and specific religious beliefs. Results VMPFC patients reported significantly higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism than the other groups. The degrees of authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the vmPFC group were significantly higher than normative values, as well; by contrast, the comparison groups did not differ from normative values. Moreover, vmPFC patients reported increased specific religious beliefs after brain injury. Conclusions The findings support the False Tagging Theory, and suggest that the vmPFC is critical for psychological doubt and resistance to authoritarian persuasion. PMID:22612576

  18. Prefrontal-striatal pathway underlies cognitive regulation of craving.

    PubMed

    Kober, Hedy; Mende-Siedlecki, Peter; Kross, Ethan F; Weber, Jochen; Mischel, Walter; Hart, Carl L; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2010-08-17

    The ability to control craving for substances that offer immediate rewards but whose long-term consumption may pose serious risks lies at the root of substance use disorders and is critical for mental and physical health. Despite its importance, the neural systems supporting this ability remain unclear. Here, we investigated this issue using functional imaging to examine neural activity in cigarette smokers, the most prevalent substance-dependent population in the United States, as they used cognitive strategies to regulate craving for cigarettes and food. We found that the cognitive down-regulation of craving was associated with (i) activity in regions previously associated with regulating emotion in particular and cognitive control in general, including dorsomedial, dorsolateral, and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices, and (ii) decreased activity in regions previously associated with craving, including the ventral striatum, subgenual cingulate, amygdala, and ventral tegmental area. Decreases in craving correlated with decreases in ventral striatum activity and increases in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity, with ventral striatal activity fully mediating the relationship between lateral prefrontal cortex and reported craving. These results provide insight into the mechanisms that enable cognitive strategies to effectively regulate craving, suggesting that it involves neural dynamics parallel to those involved in regulating other emotions. In so doing, this study provides a methodological tool and conceptual foundation for studying this ability across substance using populations and developing more effective treatments for substance use disorders.

  19. Capybaras and ticks in the urban areas of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil: ecological aspects for the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases.

    PubMed

    Queirogas, V L; Del Claro, K; Nascimento, A R T; Szabó, M P J

    2012-05-01

    In Brazil capybara, the biggest existing rodent species, and associated tick species, Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma dubitatum, are undergoing an unplanned host and parasite population expansion in both urban and rural areas. However, scientific information about such issue, particularly in urban areas, is scanty. Such rodent and ticks are associated in some municipalities, particularly in southeastern Brazil, with the transmission of the highly lethal Rickettsia rickettsia caused spotted-fever. In this study ecological aspects related to the establishment and expansion of capybaras and ticks in urban areas of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State, Brazil were evaluated. For this purpose, capybara and tick abundance in four urban areas and an ecological reserve was determined. Abundance of capybaras varied between areas and over the sampling period and these differences were related to human activities. A positive correlation was found between capybara and tick abundance, however, the tick species had an uneven distribution within the municipality and environmental factors rather than host availability were blamed for such. On the whole these observations show that capybara populations in urban areas are associated to high environmental infestation of ticks and the increased risk of bites and of pathogen transmission to humans. At the same time the uneven distribution of tick species might implicate in an unequal risk of tick-borne diseases within the same urban area.

  20. Environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (northern Italy): aspects of soil and vegetation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manfredi, Paolo; Giupponi, Luca; Cassinari, Chiara; Trevisan, Marco

    2014-05-01

    This work, originating in the preliminary analyses of a Life project and co-financed by the European Union ("Environmental recovery of degraded soils and desertified by a new treatment technology for land reconstruction", Life 10 ENV IT 400 "New Life"; http://www.lifeplusecosistemi.eu), aims to evaluate the environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (northern Italy) by analysing the characteristics of soil and vegetation. The area of study is located in the municipal territory of Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) along the eastern shores of the river Trebbia and is made up of the closed landfill of Solid Urban Waste of Borgotrebbia (active from 1972 to 1985) and of the neighbouring areas (in North-South order: riverside area, northern borders of the landfill, landfill disposal, southern borders and cultivated corn fields). For each area pedological and vegetational analyses were carried out and in particular, as regards the soil, various chemical-physical analyses were done among which: pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, salinity, exchangeable bases and granulometry. The ground vegetation data were collected using phytosociological relevés according to the method of the Zurich-Montpellier Sigmatist School, (Braun-Blanquet, 1964). For the analysis of the environmental quality of each area, the floristic-vegetation indexes system was applied as proposed by Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) (updated by Rismondo et al., 2011) conveniently created for analysing the ecological functionality of the agro-ecosystems. The results obtained by such applications drew attention to a dynamic vegetation mass in the landfill which, despite a value of the floristic biodiversity index (IFB) comparable to that of the borders, shows a much lower value of the maturity index (IM). This is due to the elevated percentage of annual species (index of the therophytic component = 52.78%) belonging to the phytosociological class Stellarietea mediae Tüxen, Lohmeyer & Preising ex

  1. Prefrontal dopamine in associative learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Puig, M V; Antzoulatos, E G; Miller, E K

    2014-12-12

    Learning to associate specific objects or actions with rewards and remembering the associations are everyday tasks crucial for our flexible adaptation to the environment. These higher-order cognitive processes depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontostriatal circuits that connect areas in the frontal lobe with the striatum in the basal ganglia. Both structures are densely innervated by dopamine (DA) afferents that originate in the midbrain. Although the activity of DA neurons is thought to be important for learning, the exact role of DA transmission in frontostriatal circuits during learning-related tasks is still unresolved. Moreover, the neural substrates of this modulation are poorly understood. Here, we review our recent work in monkeys utilizing local pharmacology of DA agents in the PFC to investigate the cellular mechanisms of DA modulation of associative learning and memory. We show that blocking both D1 and D2 receptors in the lateral PFC impairs learning of new stimulus-response associations and cognitive flexibility, but not the memory of highly familiar associations. In addition, D2 receptors may also contribute to motivation. The learning deficits correlated with reductions of neural information about the associations in PFC neurons, alterations in global excitability and spike synchronization, and exaggerated alpha and beta neural oscillations. Our findings provide new insights into how DA transmission modulates associative learning and memory processes in frontostriatal systems.

  2. Prefrontal cortex glutamate and extraversion.

    PubMed

    Grimm, Simone; Schubert, Florian; Jaedke, Maren; Gallinat, Jürgen; Bajbouj, Malek

    2012-10-01

    Extraversion is considered one of the core traits of personality. Low extraversion has been associated with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety disorders. Brain imaging studies have linked extraversion, approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and glutamatergic neurotransmission. However, the relationship between extraversion and glutamate in the DLPFC has not been investigated so far. In order to address this issue, absolute glutamate concentrations in the DLPFC and the visual cortex as a control region were measured by 3-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in 29 subjects with high and low extraversion. We found increased glutamate levels in the DLPFC of introverts as compared with extraverts. The increased glutamate concentration was specific for the DLPFC and negatively associated with state anxiety. Although preliminary, results indicate altered top-down control of DLPFC due to reduced glutamate concentration as a function of extraversion. Glutamate measurement with 1H-MRS may facilitate the understanding of biological underpinnings of personality traits and psychiatric diseases associated with dysfunctions in approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states.

  3. The Effect of Moment of Area Rule Modifications on the Drag, Lift and Pitching Moment Characteristics of an Unswept Aspect Ratio 6 Wing and Body Combination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, Robert R.

    1959-01-01

    An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the effect of moment-of-area-rule modifications on the drag, lift, and pitching-moment characteristics of a wing-body combination with a relatively high aspect-ratio unswept wing. The basic configuration consisted of an aspect-ratio-6 wing with a sharp leading edge and a thickness ratio of 0.06 mounted on a cut-off Sears-Haack body. The model with full moment-of-area-rule modifications had four contoured pods mounted on the wing and indentations in the body to improve the longitudinal distributions of area and moments of area. Also investigated were modifications employing pods and indentations that were only half the size of the full modifications and modifications with partial body indentations. The models were tested at angles of attack from -2 deg to +12 deg at Mach numbers from 0.6 to 1.4. In general, the moment-of-area-rule modifications had a large effect on the drag characteristics of the models but only a small effect on their lift and pitching-moment characteristics. The modifications provided substantial reductions in the zero-lift drag at transonic and low supersonic speeds, but at subsonic speeds the drag was increased. Near Mach number 1.0, the model with full modification provided the greatest reduction in drag, but at the highest test Mach numbers the half modification gave the largest drag reduction. In general, the percent reductions of zero- lift drag obtained with the aspect-ratio-6 wing were as great or greater than those previously obtained with aspect-ratio-3 wings. The effect of the modifications on the drag due to lift was small except at Mach num- bers below 0.9 where the modified models had higher drag-rise factors. Above Mach number 0.9, the modified models had higher lift-drag ratios than the basic model. The modified models also had higher lift curve slopes and generally were slightly more stable than the basic configuration.

  4. Emotional and temporal aspects of situation model processing during text comprehension: an event-related fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Ferstl, Evelyn C; Rinck, Mike; von Cramon, D Yves

    2005-05-01

    Language comprehension in everyday life requires the continuous integration of prior discourse context and general world knowledge with the current utterance or sentence. In the neurolinguistic literature, these so-called situation model building processes have been ascribed to the prefrontal cortex or to the right hemisphere. In this study, we use whole-head event-related fMRI to directly map the neural correlates of narrative comprehension in context. While being scanned using a spin-echo sequence, 20 participants listened to 32 short stories, half of which contained globally inconsistent information. The inconsistencies concerned either temporal or chronological information or the emotional status of the protagonist. Hearing an inconsistent word elicited activation in the right anterior temporal lobe. The comparison of different information aspects revealed activation in the left precuneus and a bilateral frontoparietal network for chronological information. Emotional information elicited activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the extended amygdaloid complex. In addition, the integration of inconsistent emotional information engaged the dorsal frontomedial cortex (Brodmann's area 8/9), whereas the integration of inconsistent temporal information required the lateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally. These results indicate that listening to stories can elicit activation reflecting content-specific processes. Furthermore, updating of the situation model is not a unitary process but it also depends on the particular requirements of the text. The right hemisphere contributes to language processing in context, but equally important are the left medial and bilateral prefrontal cortices.

  5. Hydrogeological aspects and environmental concerns of the New Valley Project, Western Desert, Egypt, with special emphasis on the southern area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assaad, Fakhry A.

    1988-12-01

    The New Valley Project has been given much attention in the past 20 years especially from the hydrogeological point of view concerning groundwater utilization for the reclamation of a large area of the Western Desert. Lithological, petrophysical, and petrographical studies were conducted on four wells south of Beris Oasis, namely Beris 20, Beris 15, Beris 14, and Beris 13, and are defined by latitudes 24°25'E and 24°35'E and longitudes 30°30'N and 30°46'N. The Nubian sedimentation is of Posttectonic deposition that took place over the uplifted Precambrian granitic basement and is Lower Cretaceous, whereas the upper most variegated shales of the cap rock are Upper Cretaceous. The Nubian sandstones in the area south of Beris Oasis contain hematitic stains and/or fine granular authigenic hematite, thin laminae of brown ferruginous quartzite is also recorded denoting oxidizing conditions in the basin of deposition. Thin streaks of carbonaceous shales are met with in different depths to the south of Beris area, may be taken to denote oscillations in the sea level and accordingly its depths, and are responsible for the change in the oxidation-reduction potential during the deposition of the corresponding beds. Lithologic logs were interpreted together with the electric and micro-logs for adjustment of the shale breaks and showed that there are five water-bearing zones, named from bottom to top: A, B, C, D, and E, and are mainly unfossiliferous orthoquartzites, separated from each other by impervious beds of siltstones, shales, and clays of varying thicknesses. This zoning had been found valid in other parts of the Kharga Oases and could be applied locally in the Kharga Oases area. Mechanical analysis was performed mainly on 39 samples, of which 18 were core samples and 21 were cuttings, that were raised from four wells dug in the area south of Beris Oasis, Kharga Oases. Porosity and permeability tests were carried out on the 18 core samples only. The implication of

  6. Aspects of the bionomics of Phlebotomus sergenti sandflies from an endemic area of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Aleppo Governorate, Syria.

    PubMed

    Maroli, M; Jalouk, L; Al Ahmed, M; Bianchi, R; Bongiorno, G; Khoury, C; Gradoni, L

    2009-06-01

    Aspects of the bionomics of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) were studied from June to November 2005 in three foci of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, where the agent Leishmania tropica (Wright) (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) is transmitted by Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot. Syria has been designated by the World Health Organization as one of four countries in the Old World where cutaneous leishmaniasis is hyperendemic, but little is known about the biology of local vector populations. Standard collections by sticky traps showed two peaks in density, in June and late August. In total, 1840 sandflies were caught, comprising five species: Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) (68.0%); P. sergenti (25.4%); Sergentomyia minuta (Rondani) (6.4%); Phlebotomus tobbi Adler & Theodor (0.1%), and Phlebotomus mascittii canaaniticus Adler & Theodor (0.1%). Similar numbers of P. sergenti were caught indoors (246 specimens) and outdoors (222), whereas P. papatasi was significantly more abundant indoors (1096 specimens) than outdoors (156) (chi(2) = 241, P < 0.01). In total, 212 blood-fed females were tested for host blood determination, of which 176 (83.0%) reacted with anti-species reagent. Results from 20 P. sergenti suggest that this species is an opportunistic feeder, imbibing human, ovine, avian, bovine and feline blood, although more bloodmeals were taken from humans and cattle than expected in relation to the relative proportions of potential hosts present (the forage ratio, FR). The bionomics of P. sergenti are discussed in relation to the inefficacy of control campaigns based on indoor spraying with residual insecticides that have been implemented by the Syrian Ministry of Health to control the epidemics of ACL in the Aleppo Governorate.

  7. Land use effects on quality and quantity aspects of water resources in headwater areas of the Jaguari River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueiredo, R. D. O.; Camargo, P. B. D.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zuccari, M. L.; Ferracini, V. L.; Cruz, P. P. N. D.; Green, T. R.; Costa, C. F. G. D.; Reis, L. D. C.

    2015-12-01

    In the context of the recent drought conditions in southeastern Brazil, EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) in partnership with two Brazilian universities (USP/CENA and UNIFAL) planned a research project, called BaCaJa, to understand the hydrobiogeochemistry processes that occur in small catchments (<1,000 ha) at the upper portions of the Jaguari River Basin situated on both states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. The approach of this study is based on the fact that the evaluation of stream water quality and quantity is an efficient tool to characterize the sustainability of the agriculture production at a catchment level. Its goal is, therefore, to survey the land use effects on the hydrobiogeochemistry in headwaters areas of the Jaguari River Basin to support sustainable management of water resources in this region. Sampling stations were established on rivers and streams ranging from one to five order channels as well as selected small catchments to conduct studies on overland flow, soil solution, soil quality, aquatic biota and pesticide dynamic. The research team is huge and their goals are specific, diverse and complementary, being summed up as: characterize land use, topography and soils; evaluate erosive potential in agriculture areas; measure soil carbon and nitrogen contents; characterize hydrogeochemistry fluxes; apply hydrological modeling and simulate different land use and management scenarios; monitor possible pesticides contamination; and survey macro invertebrates as indicators of water quality. Based on a synthesis of the results, the project team intends to point out the environmental impacts and contribute recommendations of management for the focused region to conserve water resources in terms of quality and quantity.

  8. Impairment in delayed nonmatching to sample following lesions of dorsal prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P; Killiany, Ronald J; Rosene, Douglas L; Moss, Mark B

    2012-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been identified as essential for executive function, as well as for aspects of rule learning and recognition memory. As part of our studies to assess prefrontal cortical function in the monkey, we evaluated the effects of damage to the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) on the Category Set Shifting Task (CSST), a test of abstraction and set-shifting, and on the Delayed Nonmatching to Sample (DNMS) task, a benchmark test of rule learning and recognition memory. The DPFC lesions in this study included dorsolateral and dorsomedial aspects of the PFC. In a previous report, we published evidence of an impairment on the CSST as a consequence of DPFC lesions (Moore, Schettler, Killiany, Rosene, & Moss, 2009). Here we report that monkeys with lesions of the DPFC were also markedly impaired relative to controls on both the acquisition (rule learning) and performance (recognition memory) conditions of trial-unique DNMS. The presence and extent of the deficits that we observed were of some surprise and support the possibility that the dorsal prefrontal cortex plays a more direct role in learning and recognition memory than had been previously thought.

  9. Impairment in Delayed Non-Matching to Sample Following Lesions of Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P.; Killiany, Ronald J.; Rosene, Douglas L.; Moss, Mark B.

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been identified as essential for executive function, as well as for aspects of rule learning and recognition memory. As part of our studies to assess prefrontal cortical function in the monkey, we evaluated the effects of damage to the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) on the Category Set Shifting Task (CSST), a test of abstraction and set-shifting, and on the Delayed Non Matching-to-Sample (DNMS) task, a benchmark test of rule learning and recognition memory. The DPFC lesions in this study included dorsolateral and dorsomedial aspects of the PFC. In a previous report, we published evidence of an impairment on the CSST as a consequence of DPFC lesions (Moore et al, 2009). Here we report that monkeys with lesions of the DPFC were also markedly impaired relative to controls on both the acquisition (rule learning) and performance (recognition memory) conditions of trial-unique DNMS. The presence and extent of the deficits that we observed were of some surprise and support the possibility that the dorsal prefrontal cortex plays a more direct role in learning and recognition memory than had been previously thought. PMID:23088539

  10. Chronic infusions of GABA into the medial prefrontal cortex induce spatial alternation deficits in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Meneses, S; Galicia, O; Brailowsky, S

    1993-10-21

    It has been proposed that functions associated with the prefrontal cortex could change as a consequence of aging. Previous experiments in young rats have demonstrated that anatomical lesions or chronic GABA infusions into this area produce deficits in spatial delayed alternation tasks. The present study examines the effect of chronic (7 days) GABA or saline infusion into the prefrontal cortex on the performance of delayed alternation task in old rats (24 months). The results suggested that aged rats needed more sessions to acquire the delayed alternation task. GABA infusions into the prefrontal cortex produced deficits in spatial alternation tasks similar to those previously observed in young rats. Performance rapidly recovered after the infusion period. Histological analysis showed similar lesion size in both groups. The results suggest that aged prefrontal cortex and/or related areas participating in the acquisition of the delayed alternation task are more sensitive to aging processes. Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex is important for the retention of a previously learned spatial delayed alternation task. The structures involved in functional recovery from these deficits appear to be fully functional in aged rats.

  11. Temporal orienting deficit after prefrontal damage.

    PubMed

    Triviño, Mónica; Correa, Angel; Arnedo, Marisa; Lupiáñez, Juan

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to explore, for the first time in patients, the neural bases of temporal orienting of attention as well as the interrelations with two other effects of temporal preparation: the foreperiod effect and sequential effects. We administered an experimental task to a group of 14 patients with prefrontal lesion, a group of 15 control subjects and a group of 7 patients with a basal ganglia lesion. In the task, a cue was presented (a short versus long line) to inform participants about the time of appearance (early versus late) of a target stimulus, and the duration of the cue-target time intervals (400 versus 1400 ms) was manipulated. In contrast to the control group, patients with right prefrontal lesion showed a clear deficit in the temporal orienting effect. The foreperiod effect was also affected in the group of patients with prefrontal lesion (without lateralization of the deficit), whereas sequential effects were preserved. The group of basal ganglia patients did not show deficits in any of the effects. These findings support the voluntary and strategic nature of the temporal orienting and foreperiod effects, which depend on the prefrontal cortex, as well as the more automatic nature of sequential effects, which do not depend on either prefrontal cortex or frontobasal circuits.

  12. Structural Aspects of the Iquique Area With Possible Influence on the Mw 8.2, 2014, Pisagua Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobiesiak, M.; Schaller, T.; Meneses, G.; Goetze, H. J.; Satriano, C.; Poiata, N.; Ruiz, S.; Comte, D.; Bernard, P.; Vilotte, J. P.; Métois, M.; Olcay, M.; Tassera, C.; Campos, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Mw 8.2, 2014, Pisagua earthquake in Northern Chile did not come as a complete surprise as it was anticipated that in the "near future" a large earthquake could happen in the North Chile seismic gap. Whether the gap would rupture in a single M~9 event or in several M 7-8 events has been subject of debate. Now it is clear that the Pisagua earthquake ruptured the shallower part of one segment of the North Chilean seismogenic subduction interface and leaves the questions why the new rupture started here and what could be a future scenario for the failure of the seismic gaps' residuals. To identify seismogenic structures which define areas where large events might nucleate, asperities develop or segment boundaries form, we need large catalogues of accurately located seismic events in all magnitude ranges. Therefore, we apply a new method to automatically detect and locate seismic events based on the backprojection algorithm and multi-band kurtosis signal representation (see also abstracts Satriano et al. and Poiata et al.) using the data basis of the Iquique Local Network and the Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory in North Chile. Precise earthquake locations, seismicity rate changes and spatial b-value distributions can then refer to material boundaries, and distinguish between locked and creeping sections, which lead to the sites where actual deformation also on small scales is taking place.While seismicity distribution and its temporal changes help to identify the outlines of seismogenic structures, congruent gravity isostatic residual anomalies and modeled density distributions tell us something about the physical nature of earthquake nucleation zones and asperities. We present new results from density modeling on narrow profiles over the entire Pisagua earthquake rupture plane revealing dense bodies which we suggest have influenced the start of the main shock rupture as well as its propagation by linking spatial background and aftershock distributions.

  13. Perception of floods as an important aspect of quality of life and territorial changes in flood areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemešová, Kamila; Andráško, Ivan

    2014-05-01

    The quality of life in many municipalities in the Czech Republic is affected by coming floods. Since 1997 when a great part of Moravia was affected by an extreme flood situation, much closer attention is paid to floods and flood protection. Flood management is based, besides others, on European flood legislation but it still does not reflect the social perception of flood situations as a common part of the evaluation of flood risk. However, this very perception strongly influences future implementation of flood measures, territorial and social development of the municipality and indirectly the quality of life in the municipality. One of the main problems in flood issue is the financing of anti-flood measures. In view of the fact that financial resources in environmental sphere are limited, preventive anti-flood measures, that can eliminate the impacts of future floods and are not so expensive, assume more importance. Such kind of measures is often suggested for local needs. The necessity to research the social perception of flood in this context is supported by some studies pointing out a still insufficient use of preventive anti-flood measures in the Czech Republic in spite of several extreme floods in the past 20 years. This paper aims at presenting the results of a research which has been done in a model area affected by floods. The aim of this research was to point out the main factors that influence the life in the municipality after flood (including suggested anti-flood measures) and the possibilities and willingness of the inhabitants to change them. The research results have subsequently been supplemented with the same evaluation by the members of local administrations who are important players in post-flood development of the municipality and in dealings with citizens about the suggested anti-flood measures.

  14. Amphetamines modulate prefrontal γ oscillations during attention processing.

    PubMed

    Franzen, John D; Wilson, Tony W

    2012-08-22

    Amphetamine-based medications robustly suppress symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their exact mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent hemodynamic imaging studies have suggested that amphetamines may modulate the prefrontal and anterior cingulate brain regions, although few studies have been published and the results have not been entirely consistent. Meanwhile, several electrophysiological studies have shown that abnormal fast oscillations (in the γ range) may be closely linked to inattention and other cardinal symptoms of ADHD. In this study, we utilized magnetoencephalography to examine how amphetamines modulate high-frequency brain activity in adults with ADHD. Participants performed an auditory attention task, which required sustained attention in one block and passive listening in a separate block. Participants completed the task twice in the on-medication and off-medication states. All data were analyzed using beamforming techniques to resolve cortical regions showing event-related synchronizations and desynchronizations. Our primary findings indicated that oral administration of amphetamine decreased γ-band event-related desynchronization activity significantly in the medial prefrontal area and decreased event-related synchronization in bilateral superior parietal areas, left inferior parietal, and the left inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that psychostimulants strongly modulate γ activity in frontal and parietal cortical areas, which are known to be central to the brain's core attentional networks.

  15. Double Virus Vector Infection to the Prefrontal Network of the Macaque Brain

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Shingo; Koizumi, Masashi; Kikusui, Takefumi; Ichihara, Nobutsune; Kato, Shigeki; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2015-01-01

    To precisely understand how higher cognitive functions are implemented in the prefrontal network of the brain, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods to manipulate the signal transmission of a specific neural pathway are required. The application of these methods, however, has been mostly restricted to animals other than the primate, which is the best animal model to investigate higher cognitive functions. In this study, we used a double viral vector infection method in the prefrontal network of the macaque brain. This enabled us to express specific constructs into specific neurons that constitute a target pathway without use of germline genetic manipulation. The double-infection technique utilizes two different virus vectors in two monosynaptically connected areas. One is a vector which can locally infect cell bodies of projection neurons (local vector) and the other can retrogradely infect from axon terminals of the same projection neurons (retrograde vector). The retrograde vector incorporates the sequence which encodes Cre recombinase and the local vector incorporates the “Cre-On” FLEX double-floxed sequence in which a reporter protein (mCherry) was encoded. mCherry thus came to be expressed only in doubly infected projection neurons with these vectors. We applied this method to two macaque monkeys and targeted two different pathways in the prefrontal network: The pathway from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the caudate nucleus and the pathway from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the frontal eye field. As a result, mCherry-positive cells were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex in all of the four injected hemispheres, indicating that the double virus vector transfection is workable in the prefrontal network of the macaque brain. PMID:26193102

  16. Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Cyril; Courtin, Julien; Karalis, Nikolaos; Chaudun, Fabrice; Wurtz, Hélène; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2016-07-21

    Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses.

  17. Rapid breakdown anodization technique for the synthesis of high aspect ratio and high surface area anatase TiO{sub 2} nanotube powders

    SciTech Connect

    Antony, Rajini P.; Mathews, Tom; Dasgupta, Arup; Dash, S.; Tyagi, A.K.; Raj, Baldev

    2011-03-15

    Clusters of high aspect ratio, high surface area anatase-TiO{sub 2} nanotubes with a typical nanotube outer diameter of about 18 nm, wall thickness of approximately 5 nm and length of 5-10 {mu}m were synthesized, in powder form, by breakdown anodization of Ti foils in 0.1 M perchloric acid, at 10 V (299 K) and 20 V ({approx}275 and 299 K). The surface area, morphology, structure and band gap were determined from Brunauer Emmet Teller method, field emmission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman, photoluminescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopic studies. The tubular morphology and anatase phase were found to be stable up to 773 K and above 773 K anatase phase gradually transformed to rutile phase with disintegration of tubular morphology. At 973 K, complete transformation to rutile phase and disintegration of tubular morphology were observed. The band gap of the as prepared and the annealed samples varied from 3.07 to 2.95 eV with increase in annealing temperature as inferred from photoluminescence and diffuse reflectance studies. -- Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Research highlights: {yields} High aspect ratio anatase-titania nanotube powders were synthesized electrochemically. {yields} The surface area of the nanotubes were much higher than those reported. {yields} The annealing temperature limit for maintaining tubular morphology was established. {yields} The photoluminiscence spectroscopy reflected the presence of defects, annealing of defects and phase transformation. {yields} The nanotubes were of {approx}5 nm wall thickness as revealed by TEM studies.

  18. Differing contributions of inferior prefrontal and anterior temporal cortex to concrete and abstract conceptual knowledge.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Paul; Binney, Richard J; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A

    2015-02-01

    Semantic cognition is underpinned by regions involved in representing conceptual knowledge and executive control areas that provide regulation of this information according to current task requirements. Using distortion-corrected fMRI, we investigated the contributions of these two systems to abstract and concrete word comprehension. We contrasted semantic decisions made either with coherent contextual support, which encouraged retrieval of a rich conceptual representation, or with irrelevant contextual information, which instead maximised demands on control processes. Inferior prefrontal cortex was activated more when decisions were made in the presence of irrelevant context, suggesting that this region is crucial for the semantic control functions required to select appropriate aspects of meaning in the face of competing information. It also exhibited greater activation for abstract words, which reflects the fact that abstract words tend to have variable, context-dependent meanings that place higher demands on control processes. In contrast, anterior temporal regions (ATL) were most active when decisions were made with the benefit of a coherent context, suggesting a representational role. There was a graded shift in concreteness effects in this region, with dorsolateral areas particularly active for abstract words and ventromedial areas preferentially activated by concrete words. This supports the idea that concrete concepts are closely associated with visual experience and abstract concepts with auditory-verbal information; and that sub-regions of the ATL display graded specialisation for these two types of knowledge. Between these two extremes, we identified significant activations for both word types in ventrolateral ATL. This area is known to be involved in representing knowledge for concrete concepts; here we established that it is also activated by abstract concepts. These results converge with data from rTMS and neuropsychological investigations in

  19. Study the left prefrontal cortex activity of Chinese children with dyslexia in phonological processing by NIRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhili; Li, Ting; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Qingming; Song, Ranran; Gong, Hui

    2006-02-01

    Developmental dyslexia, a kind of prevalent psychological disease, represents that dyslexic children have unexpected difficulties in phonological processing and recognition test of Chinese characters. Some functional imaging technologies, such as fMRI and PET, have been used to study the brain activities of the children with dyslexia whose first language is English. In this paper, a portable, 16-channel, continuous-wave (CW) NIRS instrument was used to monitor the concentration changes of each hemoglobin species when Chinese children did the task of phonological processing and recognition test. The NIRS recorded the hemodynamic changes in the left prefrontal cortex of the children. 20 dyslexia-reading children (10~12 years old) and 20 normal-reading children took part in the phonological processing of Chinese characters including the phonological awareness section and the phonological decoding section. During the phonological awareness section, the changed concentration of deoxy-hemoglobin in dyslexia-reading children were significantly higher (p<0.05) than normal-reading children in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). While in the phonological decoding section, both normal and dyslexic reading children had more activity in the left VLPFC, but only normal-reading children had activity in the left middorsal prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, both dyslexic and normal-reading children have activity in the left prefrontal cortex, but the degree and the areas of the prefrontal cortex activity are different between them when they did phonological processing.

  20. Self-reported social functioning and prefrontal hemodynamic responses during a cognitive task in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Itakura, Masashi; Yamanashi, Takehiko; Sugie, Takuya; Miura, Akehiko; Satake, Takahiro; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Kaneko, Koichi

    2015-10-30

    Impaired social functioning is a characteristic of schizophrenia that affects patients' quality of life. The aim of the study was to assess prefrontal hemodynamic responses during a cognitive task and establish its influence on psychiatric symptoms, cognitive function, global functioning, and self-reported social functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Thirty-three patients with schizophrenia and 30 age-and sex-matched healthy controls participated in the study. We measured hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortical surface areas with 52-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) during a verbal fluency task (VFT). Self-reported social functioning was assessed using the Social Functioning Scale (SFS). Regional hemodynamic responses were significantly smaller in the prefrontal and temporal regions in subjects with schizophrenia than in the controls, and prefrontal hemodynamic responses during the VFT showed a strong correlation with SFS total scores. These results suggest an association between self-reported social functioning and prefrontal activation in subjects with schizophrenia. The present study provides evidence that NIRS imaging could be helpful in understanding the neural basis of social functioning.

  1. Amygdala-prefrontal interactions in (mal)adaptive learning.

    PubMed

    Likhtik, Ekaterina; Paz, Rony

    2015-03-01

    The study of neurobiological mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders has been shaped by learning models that frame anxiety as maladaptive learning. Pavlovian conditioning and extinction are particularly influential in defining learning stages that can account for symptoms of anxiety disorders. Recently, dynamic and task related communication between the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has emerged as a crucial aspect of successful evaluation of threat and safety. Ongoing patterns of neural signaling within the mPFC-BLA circuit during encoding, expression and extinction of adaptive learning are reviewed. The mechanisms whereby deficient mPFC-BLA interactions can lead to generalized fear and anxiety are discussed in learned and innate anxiety. Findings with cross-species validity are emphasized.

  2. Amygdala-prefrontal interactions in (mal)adaptive learning

    PubMed Central

    Likhtik, Ekaterina; Paz, Rony

    2015-01-01

    The study of neurobiological mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders has been shaped by learning models that frame anxiety as maladaptive learning. Pavlovian conditioning and extinction are particularly influential in defining learning stages that can account for symptoms of anxiety disorders. Recently, dynamic and task related communication between the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has emerged as a crucial aspect of successful evaluation of threat and safety. Ongoing patterns of neural signaling within the mPFCBLA circuit during encoding, expression and extinction of adaptive learning are reviewed. The mechanisms whereby deficient mPFC-BLA interactions can lead to generalized fear are discussed in learned and innate anxiety. Findings with crossspecies validity are emphasized. PMID:25583269

  3. Textural aspects of high T-low P polymetamorphism in the Rangeley area, western Maine: General implications for studies of Acadian metamorphic rocks in New England

    SciTech Connect

    Guidotti, C.V. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-03-01

    High T-Low P polymetamorphism in W. Maine results from overlapping, regionally extensive thermal aureoles around sheet-like granitic plutons. At least five metamorphic events have been recognized. The Rangeley-Oquossoc (R-O) area was affected by two high T, static events (M[sub 2] and M[sub 3]). M[sub 2], (400 Ma) developed and + St + Bt regionally. M[sub 3] (370 Ma), due to heating by the sheet-like Mooselookmeguntic Pluton (MP), is superimposed on M[sub 2] such that near the MP, M[sub 2] rocks were prograded to upper sillimanite zone, migmatitic gneisses. To the E., M[sub 2] rocks have been downgraded to garnet zone. Mineral chemistry and assemblage data strongly suggest that M[sub 3] parageneses closely approximated a new equilibrium. These temporally separate superimposed events produced pseudomorphic replacement textures; in the E. by downgrade reactions; in the W. by prograde reactions. The nature of the downgrade or prograde pseudomorphs reflects where they occur in the M[sub 3] range of metamorphic grades. Some authors have interpreted these textures as due to continuous PTt paths or K-metasomatism. Even worse, in some studies the textures are simply ignored and mineral assemblages merely assumed to be the result of a single, equilibrium metamorphic event. The three Al-silicate rocks in the Littleton-Mooselauke area of New Hampshire probably fall in this latter category. It is suggested that in most cases such textures are best interpreted as the R-O area. Metamorphic textures probably are unique in some aspects related to the details of the metamorphism(s) of the given area. However, in New England the commonness in Acadian metamorphic rocks of textures similar to those found in the fortuitously well displayed example of temporally separated polymetamorphism in the R-O area suggests a basis to recognize similar histories elsewhere.

  4. Behavioural aspects and their possible uses in the control of dracontiasis (guinea-worm) in Igwun river basin area of Imo State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Nwoke, B E

    1992-11-01

    Individuals suffering from dracontiasis from Igwun river basin area of Imo State Nigeria were randomly chosen, examined and interviewed between December 1988 and March 1989 with a view to ascertain some of the behavioural aspects that could be of help in the control/eradication of this disease as well as to ascertain whether local medication was of any chemotherapeutic significance. Of 100 guinea-worm patients males were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in number (63.0%). In the age-related distribution, children less than 10 years old and the members of the villages more than 60 years old accounted for only 5.0% of the patients whilst those in their productive years (10-60 year old) accounted for 95.0%. Only 10.5% of the respondents associated guinea-worm infection with the drinking of "polluted" water while most believed it was a familial trait (36.8%) or implicated their enemies (35.1%). As a result medications against the disease were mainly directed towards consulting the oracle and herbalists, and appeasing the gods. Most (98.0%) of them kept their dressing dry by refraining from immersing them in water. The concomitant behavioural aspects of these results are discussed in relation to their uses in the control/eradication of guinea-worm.

  5. Attention, Emotion, and Deactivation of Default Activity in Inferior Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Attention deactivates the inferior medial prefrontal cortex (IMPC), but it is uncertain if emotions can attenuate this deactivation. To test the extent to which common emotions interfere with attention, we measured changes of a blood flow index of brain activity in key areas of the IMPC with positron emission tomography (PET) of labeled water…

  6. Social and Nonsocial Functions of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex: Implications for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    In this article, we discuss the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (approximating Brodmann Area 10) in two domains relevant to education: executive function (particularly prospective memory, our ability to realize delayed intentions) and social cognition (particularly our ability to reflect on our own mental states and the mental states of others).…

  7. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  8. Faces and Eyes in Human Lateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Annie W.-Y.; Downing, Paul E.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain. However, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have identified face responses in the prefrontal cortex. Here we used fMRI to characterize these responses in the human prefrontal cortex compared with face selectivity in posterior ventral region. We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories. We find that the rIFJ and the right fusiform face area (rFFA) are broadly similar in their responses to whole faces, headless bodies, tools, and scenes. Strikingly, however, while the rFFA preferentially responds to the whole face, the rIFJ response to faces appears to be driven primarily by the eyes. This dissociation provides clues to the functional role of the rIFJ face response. We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally. PMID:21687796

  9. Human prefrontal cortex: evolution, development, and pathology.

    PubMed

    Teffer, Kate; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is critical to many cognitive abilities that are considered particularly human, and forms a large part of a neural system crucial for normal socio-emotional and executive functioning in humans and other primates. In this chapter, we survey the literature regarding prefrontal development and pathology in humans as well as comparative studies of the region in humans and closely related primate species. The prefrontal cortex matures later in development than more caudal regions, and some of its neuronal subpopulations exhibit more complex dendritic arborizations. Comparative work suggests that the human prefrontal cortex differs from that of closely related primate species less in relative size than it does in organization. Specific reorganizational events in neural circuitry may have taken place either as a consequence of adjusting to increases in size or as adaptive responses to specific selection pressures. Living in complex environments has been recognized as a considerable factor in the evolution of primate cognition. Normal frontal lobe development and function are also compromised in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. A phylogenetically recent reorganization of frontal cortical circuitry may have been critical to the emergence of human-specific executive and social-emotional functions, and developmental pathology in these same systems underlies many psychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism and schizophrenia.

  10. Perseverative Interference with Object-in-Place Scene Learning in Rhesus Monkeys with Bilateral Ablation of Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baxter, Mark G.; Browning, Philip G. F.; Mitchell, Anna S.

    2008-01-01

    Surgical disconnection of the frontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex severely impairs many aspects of visual learning and memory, including learning of new object-in-place scene memory problems, a monkey model of episodic memory. As part of a study of specialization within prefrontal cortex in visual learning and memory, we tested monkeys with…

  11. Monogamous and promiscuous rodent species exhibit discrete variation in the size of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kingsbury, Marcy A; Gleason, Erin D; Ophir, Alexander G; Phelps, Steven M; Young, Larry J; Marler, Catherine A

    2012-01-01

    Limbic-associated cortical areas, such as the medial prefrontal and retrosplenial cortex (mPFC and RS, respectively), are involved in the processing of emotion, motivation, and various aspects of working memory and have been implicated in mating behavior. To determine whether the independent evolution of mating systems is associated with a convergence in cortical mechanisms, we compared the size of mPFC and RS between the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and the promiscuous meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), and between the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) and the promiscuous white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus). For both promiscuous mice and voles, the mPFC occupied a significantly larger percentage of total cortex than in the monogamous species. No significant differences were observed for the RS or overall cortex size with respect to mating system, supporting the convergent evolution of mPFC size, specifically. Individual differences in the mating behavior of male prairie voles (wandering versus pair-bonding), presumably facultative tactics, were not reflected in the relative size of the mPFC, which is likely a heritable trait. Given the importance of the mPFC for complex working memory, particularly object-place and temporal order memory, we hypothesize that the relatively greater size of the mPFC in promiscuous species reflects a greater need to remember multiple individuals and the times and locations in which they have been encountered in the home range.

  12. Vertical stratification and development aspects of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an area of Atlantic Forest tree species in a metropolitan region in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cortez, A M; Silva, V P M; Queiroz, P V S; Andrade, H T A; Loiola, M I B; Ximenes, M F F M

    2007-12-01

    In the state of Rio Grande do Norte in northeast Brazil, cases of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) occur mainly in the periurban areas of the city of Natal. Lutzomyia longipalpis Lutz & Neiva 1912 (Diptera: Psychodidae), a vector of Leishmania chagasi (Protozoa: Trypanosomatidae) to humans, is found throughout the state. Flora and fauna influence the distribution of sand fly species, whose horizontal or vertical stratification can be used as a parameter for identifying potential vectors, considering the presence of vertebrate hosts in the area. The purpose of this study was to obtain information about the vertical stratification of phlebotomine sand flies in an endemic area of leishmaniasis in Rio Grande do Norte, and associate it with the presence of other animals in the peridomiciliary environment as well as to analyze, under laboratory conditions, aspects of L. longipalpis reproduction in wild females. The sand flies were captured with light traps hung at different heights in species of Atlantic Forest trees and in a peridomiciliary environment in animal shelters. The traps were placed between 17:30 and 6:00 of the following day, in a peridomiciliary and extradomiciliary area of a forest fragment in both dry and rainy months. In the extradomiciliary environment, the traps were installed at 1, 3 and 5 m above the ground. The biological cycle of L. longipalpis was followed from the eggs of 200 wild females. Specimens of L. lenti, L. walkeri, and L. migonei were captured. The comparison and statistical analysis showed that L. longipalpis is more abundant at a height of 3 m and L. evandroi at 1 m. In the animal shelters (chickens, horses, and armadillos), we captured mainly specimens of L. longipalpis and L. evandroi. The duration of the biological cycle of L. longipalpis was approximately 38 days at a temperature of 28 degrees C.

  13. Epidemiological and ecological aspects related to malaria in the area of influence of the lake at Porto Primavera dam, in western São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Almério de C; Paula, Marcia B de; Duarte, Ana Maria R de C; Lima, Maura A; Malafronte, Rosely dos S; Mucci, Luis F; Gotlieb, Sabina Lea D; Natal, Delsio

    2008-01-01

    A study was carried out in the area of influence of the Porto Primavera Hydroelectric Power Station, in western São Paulo State, to investigate ecological and epidemiological aspects of malaria in the area and monitor the profile of the anopheline populations following the environmental changes brought about by the construction of the lake. Mosquitoes captured were analyzed by standardized indicator species analysis (ISA) before and during different flooding phases (253 m and 257 m elevations). The local human population was studied by means of parasitological (thin/thick blood smears), molecular (PCR) and serological tests. Serological tests consisted of Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) with synthetic peptides of the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) from classic Plasmodium vivax, P. vivax variants (VK247 and "vivax-like"), P. malariae and P. falciparum and Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) with asexual forms of P. vivax, P. malariae and P. falciparum. The results of the entomological survey indicated that, although the Anopheles darlingi population increased after the flooding, the population density remained very low. No malaria, parasite infection or DNA was detected in the inhabitants of the study area. However, there was a low frequency of antibodies against asexual forms and a significant prevalence of antibodies against P. vivax, P. vivax variants, P. falciparum and P. malariae; the presence of these antibodies may result from recent or less recent contact with human or simian Plasmodium (a parallel study in the same area revealed the existence of a sylvatic cycle). Nevertheless, these results suggest that, as in other places where malaria is present and potential vectors circulate, the local epidemiological conditions observed could potentially support the transmission of malaria in Porto Primavera Lake if infected individuals are introduced in sufficient numbers. Further studies are required to elucidate the phenomena described in this paper.

  14. Arrested development: early prefrontal lesions impair the maturation of moral judgement.

    PubMed

    Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; Asp, Erik W; Koenigs, Michael; Sutterer, Matthew; Anderson, Steven W; Tranel, Daniel

    2014-04-01

    Learning to make moral judgements based on considerations beyond self-interest is a fundamental aspect of moral development. A deficit in such learning is associated with poor socialization and criminal behaviour. The neural systems required for the acquisition and maturation of moral competency are not well understood. Here we show in a unique sample of neurological patients that focal lesions involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex, acquired during development, result in an abnormally egocentric pattern of moral judgement. In response to simple hypothetical moral scenarios, the patients were more likely than comparison participants to endorse self-interested actions that involved breaking moral rules or physically harming others in order to benefit themselves. This pattern (which we also found in subjects with psychopathy) differs from that of patients with adult-onset ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions--the latter group showed normal rejection of egocentric rule violations. This novel contrast of patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions acquired during development versus during adulthood yields new evidence suggesting that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a critical neural substrate for the acquisition and maturation of moral competency that goes beyond self-interest to consider the welfare of others. Disruption to this affective neural system early in life interrupts moral development.

  15. Arrested development: early prefrontal lesions impair the maturation of moral judgement

    PubMed Central

    Taber-Thomas, Bradley C.; Asp, Erik W.; Koenigs, Michael; Sutterer, Matthew; Anderson, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Learning to make moral judgements based on considerations beyond self-interest is a fundamental aspect of moral development. A deficit in such learning is associated with poor socialization and criminal behaviour. The neural systems required for the acquisition and maturation of moral competency are not well understood. Here we show in a unique sample of neurological patients that focal lesions involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex, acquired during development, result in an abnormally egocentric pattern of moral judgement. In response to simple hypothetical moral scenarios, the patients were more likely than comparison participants to endorse self-interested actions that involved breaking moral rules or physically harming others in order to benefit themselves. This pattern (which we also found in subjects with psychopathy) differs from that of patients with adult-onset ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions—the latter group showed normal rejection of egocentric rule violations. This novel contrast of patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions acquired during development versus during adulthood yields new evidence suggesting that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a critical neural substrate for the acquisition and maturation of moral competency that goes beyond self-interest to consider the welfare of others. Disruption to this affective neural system early in life interrupts moral development. PMID:24519974

  16. Distinct roles for lateral and medial anterior prefrontal cortex in contextual recollection.

    PubMed

    Simons, Jon S; Gilbert, Sam J; Owen, Adrian M; Fletcher, Paul C; Burgess, Paul W

    2005-07-01

    A key feature of human recollection is the ability to remember details of the context in which events were experienced, as well as details of the events themselves. Previous studies have implicated a number of regions of prefrontal cortex in contextual recollection, but the role of anterior prefrontal cortex has so far resisted detailed characterization. We used event-related functional MRI (fMRI) to contrast recollection of two forms of contextual information: 1) decisions one had previously made about stimuli (task memory) and 2) which of two temporally distinct lists those stimuli had been presented in (list memory). In addition, a retrieval cue manipulation permitted evaluation of the stage of the retrieval process in which the activated regions might be involved. The results indicated that anterior prefrontal cortex responded significantly more during recollection of task than list context details. Furthermore, activation profiles for lateral and medial aspects of anterior prefrontal cortex suggested differing roles in recollection. Lateral regions seem to be more involved in the early retrieval specification stages of recollection, with medial regions contributing to later stages (e.g., monitoring and verification).

  17. Prior expectation modulates the interaction between sensory and prefrontal regions in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Rahnev, Dobromir; Lau, Hakwan; de Lange, Floris P

    2011-07-20

    How do expectations about the identity of a forthcoming visual stimulus influence the neural mechanisms of perceptual decision making in the human brain? Previous investigations into this issue have mostly involved changing the subjects' attentional focus or the behavioral relevance of certain targets but rarely manipulated subjects' prior expectation about the likely identity of the stimulus. Also, because perceptual decisions were often paired with specific motor responses, it has been difficult to dissociate neural activity that reflects perceptual decisions from motor preparatory activity. Here we designed a task in which we induced prior expectations about the direction of a moving-dot pattern and withheld the stimulus-response mapping until the subjects were prompted to respond. In line with current models of perceptual decision making, we found that subjects' performance was influenced by their expectation about upcoming motion direction. The integration of such information into the decision process was reflected by heightened activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Activity in this area reflected the degree to which subjects adjusted their decisions based on the prior expectation cue. Furthermore, there was increased effective connectivity between sensory regions (motion-sensitive medial temporal area MT+) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when subjects had a prior expectation about the upcoming motion direction. Dynamic causal modeling suggested that stimulus expectation modulated both the feedforward and feedback connectivity between MT+ and prefrontal cortex. These results provide a mechanism of how prior expectations may affect perceptual decision making, namely by changing neural activity in, and sensory drive to, prefrontal areas.

  18. The What and How of prefrontal cortical organization.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Randall C

    2010-08-01

    How is the prefrontal cortex (PFC) organized such that it is capable of making people more flexible and in control of their behavior? Is there any systematic organization across the many diverse areas that comprise the PFC, or is it uniquely adaptive such that no fixed representational structure can develop? Going against the current tide, this paper argues that there is indeed a systematic organization across PFC areas, with an important functional distinction between ventral and dorsal regions characterized as processing What versus How information, respectively. This distinction has implications for the rostro-caudal and medial-lateral axes of organization as well. The resulting large-scale functional map of PFC could prove useful in integrating diverse data, and in generating novel predictions.

  19. Harnessing Prefrontal Cognitive Signals for Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Min, Byoung-Kyong; Chavarriaga, Ricardo; Millán, José Del R

    2017-04-05

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) enable humans to interact with devices by modulating their brain signals. Despite impressive technological advancements, several obstacles remain. The most commonly used BMI control signals are derived from the brain areas involved in primary sensory- or motor-related processing. However, these signals only reflect a limited range of human intentions. Therefore, additional sources of brain activity for controlling BMIs need to be explored. In particular, higher-order cognitive brain signals, specifically those encoding goal-directed intentions, are natural candidates for enlarging the repertoire of BMI control signals and making them more efficient and intuitive. Thus, here, we identify the prefrontal brain area as a key target region for future BMIs, given its involvement in higher-order, goal-oriented cognitive processes.

  20. Multiple Effects of Prefrontal Lesions on Task-Switching

    PubMed Central

    Shallice, Tim; Stuss, Donald T.; Picton, Terence W.; Alexander, Michael P.; Gillingham, Susan

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the performance of 41 patients with focal prefrontal cortical lesions and 38 healthy controls on a task-switching procedure. Three different conditions were evaluated: single tasks without switches and two switching tasks with the currently relevant task signalled either 1500 ms (Long Cue) or 200 ms (Short Cue) before the stimulus. Patients with Superior Medial lesions showed both a general slowing of reaction time (RT) and a significantly increased switch cost as measured by RT. No other prefrontal group showed this increased reaction time switch cost. Increased error rates in the switching conditions, on the other hand, were observed in patients with Inferior Medial lesions and, to a lesser extent, ones with Superior Medial lesions. Patients with left dorsolateral lesions (9/46v) showed slower learning of the task as indicated by a high error rate early on. Several different processes are involved in task-switching and these are selectively disrupted by lesions to specific areas of the frontal lobes. PMID:18958216

  1. Prefrontal/accumbal catecholamine system processes high motivational salience

    PubMed Central

    Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Ventura, Rossella

    2012-01-01

    Motivational salience regulates the strength of goal seeking, the amount of risk taken, and the energy invested from mild to extreme. Highly motivational experiences promote highly persistent memories. Although this phenomenon is adaptive in normal conditions, experiences with extremely high levels of motivational salience can promote development of memories that can be re-experienced intrusively for long time resulting in maladaptive outcomes. Neural mechanisms mediating motivational salience attribution are, therefore, very important for individual and species survival and for well-being. However, these neural mechanisms could be implicated in attribution of abnormal motivational salience to different stimuli leading to maladaptive compulsive seeking or avoidance. We have offered the first evidence that prefrontal cortical norepinephrine (NE) transmission is a necessary condition for motivational salience attribution to highly salient stimuli, through modulation of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain area involved in all motivated behaviors. Moreover, we have shown that prefrontal-accumbal catecholamine (CA) system determines approach or avoidance responses to both reward- and aversion-related stimuli only when the salience of the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is high enough to induce sustained CA activation, thus affirming that this system processes motivational salience attribution selectively to highly salient events. PMID:22754514

  2. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by remorseless and impulsive antisocial behavior. Given the significant societal costs of the recidivistic criminal activity associated with the disorder, there is a pressing need for more effective treatment strategies, and hence, a better understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms underlying the disorder. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is likely to play an important role in psychopathy. In particular, the ventromedial and anterior cingulate sectors of PFC are theorized to mediate a number of social and affective decision-making functions that appear to be disrupted in psychopathy. This article provides a critical summary of human neuroimaging data implicating prefrontal dysfunction in psychopathy. A growing body of evidence associates psychopathy with structural and functional abnormalities in ventromedial PFC and anterior cingulate cortex. Although this burgeoning field still faces a number of methodological challenges and outstanding questions that will need to be resolved by future studies, the research to date has established a link between psychopathy and PFC. PMID:22752782

  3. Cyto-, myelo- and chemoarchitecture of the prefrontal cortex of the Cebus monkey

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background According to several lines of evidence, the great expansion observed in the primate prefrontal cortex (PfC) was accompanied by the emergence of new cortical areas during phylogenetic development. As a consequence, the structural heterogeneity noted in this region of the primate frontal lobe has been associated with diverse behavioral and cognitive functions described in human and non-human primates. A substantial part of this evidence was obtained using Old World monkeys as experimental model; while the PfC of New World monkeys has been poorly studied. In this study, the architecture of the PfC in five capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) was analyzed based on four different architectonic tools, Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry using the lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin and immunohistochemistry using SMI-32 antibody. Results Twenty-two architectonic areas in the Cebus PfC were distinguished: areas 8v, 8d, 9d, 12l, 45, 46v, 46d, 46vr and 46dr in the lateral PfC; areas 11l, 11m, 12o, 13l, 13m, 13i, 14r and 14c in the orbitofrontal cortex, with areas 14r and 14c occupying the ventromedial corner; areas 32r, 32c, 25 and 9m in the medial PfC, and area 10 in the frontal pole. This number is significantly higher than the four cytoarchitectonic areas previously recognized in the same species. However, the number and distribution of these areas in Cebus were to a large extent similar to those described in Old World monkeys PfC in more recent studies. Conclusions The present parcellation of the Cebus PfC considerably modifies the scheme initially proposed for this species but is in line with previous studies on Old World monkeys. Thus, it was observed that the remarkable anatomical similarity between the brains of genera Macaca and Cebus may extend to architectonic aspects. Since monkeys of both genera evolved independently over a long period of time facing different environmental pressures, the similarities in the architectonic maps of PfC in both genera

  4. Effects of S-citalopram, citalopram, and R-citalopram on the firing patterns of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated transmission in the medial prefrontal cortex and cognitive function in the rat.

    PubMed

    Schilström, Björn; Konradsson-Geuken, Asa; Ivanov, Vladimir; Gertow, Jens; Feltmann, Kristin; Marcus, Monica M; Jardemark, Kent; Svensson, Torgny H

    2011-05-01

    Escitalopram, the S-enantiomer of citalopram, possesses superior efficacy compared to other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the treatment of major depression. Escitalopram binds to an allosteric site on the serotonin transporter, which further enhances the blockade of serotonin reuptake, whereas R-citalopram antagonizes this positive allosteric modulation. Escitalopram's effects on neurotransmitters other than serotonin, for example, dopamine and glutamate, are not well studied. Therefore, we here studied the effects of escitalopram, citalopram, and R-citalopram on dopamine cell firing in the ventral tegmental area, using single-cell recording in vivo and on NMDA receptor-mediated currents in pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex using in vitro electrophysiology in rats. The cognitive effects of escitalopram and citalopram were also compared using the novel object recognition test. Escitalopram (40-640 μg/kg i.v.) increased both firing rate and burst firing of dopaminergic neurons, whereas citalopram (80-1280 μg/kg) had no effect on firing rate and only increased burst firing at high dosage. R-citalopram (40-640 μg/kg) had no significant effects. R-citalopram (320 μg/kg) antagonized the effects of escitalopram (320 μg/kg). A very low concentration of escitalopram (5 nM), but not citalopram (10 nM) or R-citalopram (5 nM), potentiated NMDA-induced currents in pyramidal neurons. Escitalopram's effect was antagonized by R-citalopram and blocked by the dopamine D(1) receptor antagonist SCH23390. Escitalopram, but not citalopram, improved recognition memory. Our data suggest that the excitatory effect of escitalopram on dopaminergic and NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission may have bearing on its cognitive-enhancing effect and superior efficacy compared to other SSRIs in major depression.

  5. Approaching the Bad and Avoiding the Good: Lateral Prefrontal Cortical Asymmetry Distinguishes between Action and Valence

    PubMed Central

    Berkman, Elliot T.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    Goal pursuit in humans sometimes involves approaching unpleasant and avoiding pleasant stimuli, such as when a dieter chooses to eat vegetables (although he does not like them) instead of doughnuts (which he greatly prefers). Previous neuroscience investigations have established a left–right prefrontal asymmetry between approaching pleasant and avoiding unpleasant stimuli, but these investigations typically do not untangle the roles of action motivation (approach vs. avoidance) and stimulus valence (pleasant vs. unpleasant) in this asymmetry. Additionally, studies on asymmetry have been conducted almost exclusively using electroencephalography and have been difficult to replicate using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The present fMRI study uses a novel goal pursuit task that separates action motivation from stimulus valence and a region-of-interest analysis approach to address these limitations. Results suggest that prefrontal asymmetry is associated with action motivation and not with stimulus valence. Specifically, there was increased left (vs. right) activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during approach (vs. avoidance) actions regardless of the stimulus valence, but no such effect was observed for pleasant compared to unpleasant stimuli. This asymmetry effect during approach–avoidance action motivations occurred in the dorsolateral but not orbito-frontal aspects of prefrontal cortex. Also, individual differences in approach–avoidance motivation moderated the effect such that increasing trait approach motivation was associated with greater left-sided asymmetry during approach actions (regardless of the stimulus valence). Together, these results support the notion that prefrontal asymmetry is associated with action motivation regardless of stimulus valence and, as such, might be linked with goal pursuit processes more broadly. PMID:19642879

  6. Distraction decreases prefrontal oxygenation: A NIRS study.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Sachiyo; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2017-04-01

    When near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is used to measure emotion-related cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes in the prefrontal cortex regions, the functional distinction of CBF changes is often difficult because NIRS is unable to measure neural activity in deeper brain regions that play major roles in emotional processing. The CBF changes could represent cognitive control of emotion and emotional responses to emotional materials. Supposing that emotion-related CBF changes in the prefrontal cortex regions during distraction are emotional responses, we examined whether oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) decreases. Attention-demanding tasks cause blood flow decreases, and we thus compared the effects of visually paced tapping with different tempos, on distraction. The results showed that the oxyHb level induced by emotional stimulation decreased with fast-tempo tapping significantly more than slow-tempo tapping in ventral medial prefrontal cortex regions. Moreover, a Global-Local task following tapping showed significantly greater local-minus-global response time (RT) difference scores in the fast- and mid-tempo condition compared with those in the slow-tempo, suggesting an increased attentional focus, and decreased negative emotion. The overall findings indicate that oxyHb changes in a relatively long distraction task, as measured by NIRS, are associated with emotional responses, and oxyHb can be decreased by successfully performing attention-demanding distraction tasks.

  7. Perseverative interference with object-in-place scene learning in rhesus monkeys with bilateral ablation of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Mark G; Browning, Philip G F; Mitchell, Anna S

    2008-03-01

    Surgical disconnection of the frontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex severely impairs many aspects of visual learning and memory, including learning of new object-in-place scene memory problems, a monkey model of episodic memory. As part of a study of specialization within prefrontal cortex in visual learning and memory, we tested monkeys with bilateral ablations of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in object-in-place scene learning. These monkeys were mildly impaired in scene learning relative to their own preoperative performance, similar in severity to that of monkeys with bilateral ablation of orbital prefrontal cortex. An analysis of response types showed that the monkeys with lesions were specifically impaired in responding to negative feedback during learning: The post-operative increase in errors was limited to trials in which the first response to each new problem, made on the basis of trial and error, was incorrect. This perseverative pattern of deficit was not observed in the same analysis of response types in monkeys with bilateral ablations of the orbital prefrontal cortex, who were equally impaired on trials with correct and incorrect first responses. This may represent a specific signature of ventrolateral prefrontal involvement in episodic learning and memory.

  8. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility.

    PubMed

    Murray, Andrew J; Woloszynowska-Fraser, Marta U; Ansel-Bollepalli, Laura; Cole, Katy L H; Foggetti, Angelica; Crouch, Barry; Riedel, Gernot; Wulff, Peer

    2015-11-26

    Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements.

  9. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Andrew J.; Woloszynowska-Fraser, Marta U.; Ansel-Bollepalli, Laura; Cole, Katy L. H.; Foggetti, Angelica; Crouch, Barry; Riedel, Gernot; Wulff, Peer

    2015-01-01

    Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements. PMID:26608841

  10. Doping the Mind: Dopaminergic Modulation of Prefrontal Cortical Cognition.

    PubMed

    Ranganath, Ajit; Jacob, Simon N

    2016-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is the center of cognitive control. Processing in prefrontal cortical circuits enables us to direct attention to behaviorally relevant events; to memorize, structure, and categorize information; and to learn new concepts. The prefrontal cortex receives strong projections from midbrain neurons that use dopamine as a transmitter. In this article, we review the crucial role dopamine plays as a modulator of prefrontal cognitive functions, in the primate brain in particular. Following a summary of the anatomy and physiology of the midbrain dopamine system, we focus on recent studies that investigated dopaminergic effects in prefrontal cortex at the cellular level. We then discuss how unregulated prefrontal dopamine signaling could contribute to major disorders of cognition. The studies highlighted in this review demonstrate the powerful influence dopamine exerts on the mind.

  11. Involvement of prefrontal cortex in scalar implicatures: evidence from magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Gwilliams, Laura

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the neural correlates of the realisation of scalar inferences, i.e., the interpretation of some as meaning some but not all. We used magnetoencephalography, which has high temporal resolution, to measure neural activity while participants heard stories that included the scalar inference trigger some in contexts that either provide strong cues for a scalar inference or provide weaker cues. The middle portion of the lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 46) showed an increased response to some in contexts with fewer cues to the inference, suggesting that this condition elicited greater effort. While the results are not predicted by traditional all-or-nothing accounts of scalar inferencing that assume the process is always automatic or always effortful, they are consistent with more recent gradient accounts which predict that the speed and effort of scalar inferences is strongly modulated by numerous contextual factors. PMID:26247054

  12. Visual attention: Linking prefrontal sources to neuronal and behavioral correlates.

    PubMed

    Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad

    2015-09-01

    Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain.

  13. Abstract Context Representations in Primate Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Saez, A; Rigotti, M; Ostojic, S; Fusi, S; Salzman, C D

    2015-08-19

    Neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode rules, goals, and other abstract information thought to underlie cognitive, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Here we show that the amygdala, a brain area traditionally thought to mediate emotions, also encodes abstract information that could underlie this flexibility. Monkeys performed a task in which stimulus-reinforcement contingencies varied between two sets of associations, each defining a context. Reinforcement prediction required identifying a stimulus and knowing the current context. Behavioral evidence indicated that monkeys utilized this information to perform inference and adjust their behavior. Neural representations in both amygdala and PFC reflected the linked sets of associations implicitly defining each context, a process requiring a level of abstraction characteristic of cognitive operations. Surprisingly, when errors were made, the context signal weakened substantially in the amygdala. These data emphasize the importance of maintaining abstract cognitive information in the amygdala to support flexible behavior.

  14. Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Szczepanski, Sara M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The prefrontal cortex (PFC), a cortical region that was once thought to be functionally insignificant, is now known to play an essential role in the organization and control of goal-directed thought and behavior. Neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and modeling techniques have lead to tremendous advances in our understanding of PFC functions over the last few decades. It should be noted, however, that neurological, neuropathological, and neuropsychological studies have contributed some of the most essential, historical, and often prescient, conclusions regarding the functions of this region. Importantly, examination of patients with brain damage allows one to draw conclusions about whether a brain area is necessary for a particular function. Here, we provide a broad overview of PFC functions based upon behavioral and neural changes resulting from damage to PFC in both human patients and non-human primates. PMID:25175878

  15. Prefrontal dopamine and the dynamic control of human long-term memory

    PubMed Central

    Wimber, M; Schott, B H; Wendler, F; Seidenbecher, C I; Behnisch, G; Macharadze, T; Bäuml, K-H T; Richardson-Klavehn, A

    2011-01-01

    Dopaminergic projections to the prefrontal cortex support higher-order cognitive functions, and are critically involved in many psychiatric disorders that involve memory deficits, including schizophrenia. The role of prefrontal dopamine in long-term memory, however, is still unclear. We used an imaging genetics approach to examine the hypothesis that dopamine availability in the prefrontal cortex selectively affects the ability to suppress interfering memories. Human participants were scanned via functional magnetic resonance imaging while practicing retrieval of previously studied target information in the face of interference from previously studied non-target information. This retrieval practice (RP) rendered the non-target information less retrievable on a later final test—a phenomenon known as retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). In total, 54 participants were genotyped for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158Met polymorphism. The COMT Val108/158Met genotype showed a selective and linear gene-dose effect on RIF, with the Met allele, which leads to higher prefrontal dopamine availability, being associated with greater RIF. Mirroring the behavioral pattern, the functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed that Met allele carriers, compared with Val allele carriers, showed a greater response reduction in inhibitory control areas of the right inferior frontal cortex during RP, suggesting that they more efficiently reduced interference. These data support the hypothesis that the cortical dopaminergic system is centrally involved in the dynamic control of human long-term memory, supporting efficient remembering via the adaptive suppression of interfering memories. PMID:22832518

  16. Prefrontal cerebral blood volume patterns while playing video games--a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Nagamitsu, Shinichiro; Nagano, Miki; Yamashita, Yushiro; Takashima, Sachio; Matsuishi, Toyojiro

    2006-06-01

    Video game playing is an attractive form of entertainment among school-age children. Although this activity reportedly has many adverse effects on child development, these effects remain controversial. To investigate the effect of video game playing on regional cerebral blood volume, we measured cerebral hemoglobin concentrations using near-infrared spectroscopy in 12 normal volunteers consisting of six children and six adults. A Hitachi Optical Topography system was used to measure hemoglobin changes. For all subjects, the video game Donkey Kong was played on a Game Boy device. After spectroscopic probes were positioned on the scalp near the target brain regions, the participants were asked to play the game for nine periods of 15s each, with 15-s rest intervals between these task periods. Significant increases in bilateral prefrontal total-hemoglobin concentrations were observed in four of the adults during video game playing. On the other hand, significant decreases in bilateral prefrontal total-hemoglobin concentrations were seen in two of the children. A significant positive correlation between mean oxy-hemoglobin changes in the prefrontal region and those in the bilateral motor cortex area was seen in adults. Playing video games gave rise to dynamic changes in cerebral blood volume in both age groups, while the difference in the prefrontal oxygenation patterns suggested an age-dependent utilization of different neural circuits during video game tasks.

  17. [Epidemiological, social, and sanitary aspects in an area of the Rio Negro, State of Amazonas, with special reference to intestinal parasites and Chagas' disease].

    PubMed

    Coura, J R; Willcox, H P; Tavares, A M; de Paiva, D D; Fernandes, O; Rada, E L; Perez, E P; Borges, L C; Hidalgo, M E; Nogueira, M L

    1994-01-01

    A cross-sectional study was carried out on the residents of one in every four dwellings in the town of Barcelos (in the northern part of the State of Amazonas, on the right bank of the Rio Negro, 490 kilometers from Manaus by river), in order to evaluate social and sanitary conditions and specific indicators for intestinal parasites and Chagas' infection. During the survey, two questionnaires were applied, a household one to evaluate social and sanitary aspects, and an individual one, for social and epidemiological evaluation of the population conditions. A conglomerate family sample of 171 dwellings was studied. From each of the 658 habitants, a sample was requested for stool examination by Lutz sedimentation and Baermann-Moraes-Coutinho techniques modified by Willcox & Coura (1989), and blood was collected in filter paper for immunofluorescence test by Camargo (1966) and Souza & Camargo (1966) methods modified by Petana & Willcox (1975). The stool examination showed 69.4% of samples with one or more parasites. Ascaris lumbricoides was predominant with 51% of positivity and Entamoeba histolytica, although surveyed by a non-specific method, was present in 19.7%. Surprisingly, 20.1% of the 658 sera samples were reactive for T. cruzi antibodies at a dilution of 1:20 and 13.7% at 1:40. There was a strong correlation between this result and the level of human contact with wild triatomines, known locally as "piasava lice", and we succeeded in isolating by xenodiagnosis one strain of T. cruzi from one patient, a sixty-one-year old man (n. 209 -1), a native of the area, with positive serology for Chagas' disease and who worked in agriculture and transporting piasava and was very familiar with "piasava lice".

  18. Microglia of prefrontal white matter in suicide.

    PubMed

    Schnieder, Tatiana P; Trencevska, Iskra; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandr; Mann, J John; Smiley, John; Dwork, Andrew J

    2014-09-01

    Immune functions in the brain are associated with psychiatric illness and temporary alteration of mental state. Microglia, the principal brain immunologic cells, respond to changes in the internal brain milieu through a sequence of activated states, each with characteristic function and morphology. To assess a possible association of frontal white matter pathology with suicide, we stained autopsy brain tissue samples from 11 suicide and 25 nonsuicide subjects for ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1, cluster of differentiation 68, and myelin. Groups were matched by age, sex, and psychiatric diagnosis. We classified ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1-immunoreactive cells based on shape, immunoreactivity to cluster of differentiation 68, and association with blood vessels to obtain stereologic estimates of densities of resting microglia, activated phagocytes, and perivascular cells. We found no effect of psychiatric diagnosis but 2 statistically significant effects of suicide: 1) The dorsal-ventral difference in activated microglial density was reversed such that, with suicide, the density was greater in ventral prefrontal white matter than in dorsal prefrontal white matter, whereas in the absence of suicide, the opposite was true; and 2) with suicide, there was a greater density of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1-immunoreactive cells within or in contact with blood vessel walls in dorsal prefrontal white matter. These observations could reflect a mechanism for the stress/diathesis (state/trait) model of suicide, whereby an acute stress activates a reactive process in the brain, either directly or by compromising the blood-brain barrier, and creates a suicidal state in an individual at risk. They also indicate the theoretical potential of imaging studies in living vulnerable individuals for the assessment of suicide risk. Further studies are needed to investigate specific phenotypes of perivascular cells and blood-brain barrier changes

  19. Topography of claustrum and insula projections to medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).

    PubMed

    Reser, David H; Majka, Piotr; Snell, Shakira; Chan, Jonathan M H; Watkins, Kirsty; Worthy, Katrina; Quiroga, Maria Del Mar; Rosa, Marcello G P

    2017-04-15

    The claustrum has been the subject of intense research interest in recent years, driven in large part by its extensive connections with various regions of the cerebral cortex and by hypotheses surrounding its possible role in multimodal sensory and/or sensory-emotional integration. Here we employed neuroanatomical tracers to map projections from the claustrum-insular region to the medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex of the common marmoset (Callithrx jacchus). These areas were selected based on their identification as "hub" areas of the default mode and cortical salience networks, respectively. Microinjections of fluorescent tracers, along with gold-nanoparticle-conjugated cholera toxin B-subunit and biotinylated dextran amine, were placed in subdivisions of the anterior cingulate area 24b/c and in medial prefrontal areas 32 and 32V. The resulting distribution of transported label showed rostral-caudal and dorsal-ventral topographic arrangement of claustrum connections and clear rostral-caudal topography of insular projections. Medial prefrontal connections were restricted mainly to a ventromedial strip located in the rostral half of the claustrum, with a second, smaller patch of cells in the caudal, ventrolateral portion. In contrast, injections into area 24 yielded dense, widespread connections from the dorsal claustrum, extending along its entire rostral-caudal length. Projections from the "classical" agranular, disgranular, and granular insular areas were sparse or nonexistent in areas 32 and 32V, with progressively increasing connections observed in more caudal tracer injections (i.e., in subdivisions of area 24). Transported label was observed in rostral peri-insular areas orbital periallocortex, orbital proisocortex, and insular proisocortex following all prefrontal injections. These data provide a structural connectivity foundation for interpretation of functional imaging studies, which often indicate activity in the "anterior insula" that may

  20. Reduced intrasubject variability with reinforcement in boys, but not girls, with ADHD: Associations with prefrontal anatomy.

    PubMed

    Rosch, Keri S; Dirlikov, Benjamin; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2015-09-01

    This study examined the impact of motivational contingencies (reinforcement and punishment) on go/no-go (GNG) task performance in girls and boys with ADHD relative to typically developing (TD) children and associations with prefrontal anatomy. Children ages 8-12 with ADHD (n=107, 36 girls) and TD controls (n=95, 34 girls) completed a standard and a motivational GNG task and associations with prefrontal cortex (PFC) surface area were examined. Intrasubject variability (ISV) was lower during the motivational compared to the standard GNG among TD girls and boys, and boys with ADHD, but not among girls with ADHD. A greater reduction in ISV was associated with greater PFC surface area among children with ADHD. This novel demonstration of improvement in ISV with motivational contingencies for boys, but not girls, with ADHD and associations with PFC anatomy informs our understanding of sex differences and motivational factors contributing to ISV in children with ADHD.

  1. Remote effects of hypothalamic lesions in the prefrontal cortex of craniopharygioma patients.

    PubMed

    Ozyurt, Jale; Lorenzen, Anna; Gebhardt, Ursel; Warmuth-Metz, Monika; Müller, Hermann L; Thiel, Christiane M

    2014-05-01

    Albeit histologically low grade (WHO I(o)) brain tumors, craniopharyngiomas and/or their surgical removal frequently affect the hypothalamus, amongst other brain regions at risk. Due to rich hypothalamic connections with prefrontal and limbic regions, hypothalamic injury may adversely affect neural substrates of emotion processing and higher cognitive control, including memory and executive functions. The current study is the first to investigate the consequences of hypothalamic involvement on neural substrates of emotional and cognitive functioning. Ten patients with childhood craniopharyngioma and known hypothalamic involvement and fifteen age- and intelligence matched control subjects (median age: 17.8 and 17.3 yrs.) were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging and an emotional face recognition task. During encoding, participants were asked to classify neutral and emotional faces. In a subsequent recognition phase, participants had to recognize these old faces within a set of new faces. Behavioral performance was comparable between patients and controls. Neural activity revealed, however, differential recruitment of fronto-limbic brain regions during recognition. Patients exhibited an abnormal pattern of task-induced activation and deactivation in the anterior and posterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex and a higher functional coupling between anterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex and the thalamus. Additionally, we found a higher reactivity in the patients' amygdala to emotional relative to neutral faces when compared to healthy controls. Our data provide first evidence that hypothalamic damage impacts neural correlates of memory retrieval in medial prefrontal cortex, indicating a less efficient use of an area involved in executive control processes. We propose that the deactivation failure in the patients' anterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex is related to an increased coupling with the thalamus and reflects a reduced efficiency to

  2. Postnatal development of dendritic structure of layer III pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex of marmoset.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Tetsuya; Aoi, Hirosato; Oga, Tomofumi; Fujita, Ichiro; Ichinohe, Noritaka

    2015-11-01

    In the primate cerebral cortex, dendritic spines rapidly increase in number after birth up to infancy or mid-childhood, and then decrease towards adulthood. Abnormalities in these processes accompany several psychiatric disorders. In this study, we examined developmental changes of basal dendrites and spines of layer III pyramidal cells in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of the common marmoset. The mPFC consists of several areas with distinct features in layer organization, histochemistry, connections, and, in humans, vulnerability to psychiatric disorders. We selected three areas for examination: granular dorsomedial prefrontal (area 8B/9), dysgranular ventromedial prefrontal (area 14r), and agranular anterior cingulate (area 24) cortices. Dendritic field areas, lengths, number of branching points, and total spine number reached a peak at 2-3 postnatal months in all three areas. However, the profiles of spine formation and pruning differed across the three areas with different degrees of granularity; the amount of spine loss from the peak to adulthood was less in areas 24 (33%) and 14r (29%) than in area 8B/9 (43%). Disturbance of this modest spine pruning in the less granular cortical areas may lead to an excessive loss of spines reported for areas 24 and 14r of schizophrenic patients.

  3. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddon, J. E.; Killcross, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    There is much debate as to the extent and nature of functional specialization within the different subregions of the prefrontal cortex. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of damage to medial prefrontal cortex subregions in the rat. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in…

  4. Role of Prelimbic GABAergic Circuits in Sensory and Emotional Aspects of Neuropathic Pain.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zizhen; Gadotti, Vinicius M; Chen, Lina; Souza, Ivana A; Stemkowski, Patrick L; Zamponi, Gerald W

    2015-08-04

    Noxious stimuli are detected by peripheral nociceptors and then transmitted to higher CNS centers, where they are perceived as an unpleasant sensation. The mechanisms that govern the emotional component associated with pain are still incompletely understood. Here, we used optogenetic approaches both in vitro and in vivo to address this issue. We found that peripheral nerve injury inhibits pyramidal cell firing in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex as a result of feed-forward inhibition mediated by parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons. In addition, activation of inhibitory archaerhodopsin or excitatory channelrhodopsin-2 in these neurons decreased and increased pain responses, respectively, in freely moving mice and accordingly modulated conditioned place preference scores and place escape/avoidance behavior. Our findings thus demonstrate an important role of the prelimbic area in sensory and emotional aspects of pain and identify GABAergic circuits in this region as a potential target for pain therapeutics.

  5. Chronic Phencyclidine Increases Synapsin-1 and Synaptic Adaptation Proteins in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pickering, Chris; Ericson, Mia; Söderpalm, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) mimics many aspects of schizophrenia, yet the underlying mechanism of neurochemical adaptation for PCP is unknown. We therefore used proteomics to study changes in the medial prefrontal cortex in animals with PCP-induced behavioural deficits. Male Wistar rats were injected with saline or 5 mg/kg phencyclidine for 5 days followed by two days of washout. Spontaneous alternation behaviour was tested in a Y-maze and then proteins were extracted from the medial prefrontal cortex. 2D-DIGE analysis followed by spot picking and protein identification with mass spectrometry then provided a list of differentially expressed proteins. Treatment with 5 mg/kg phencyclidine decreased the percentage of correct alternations in the Y-maze compared to saline-treated controls. Proteomics analysis of the medial prefrontal cortex found upregulation of 6 proteins (synapsin-1, Dpysl3, Aco2, Fscn1, Tuba1c, and Mapk1) and downregulation of 11 (Bin1, Dpysl2, Sugt1, ApoE, Psme1, ERp29, Pgam1, Uchl1, Ndufv2, Pcmt1, and Vdac1). A trend to upregulation was observed for Gnb4 and Capza2, while downregulation trends were noted for alpha-enolase and Fh. Many of the hits in this study concur with recent postmortem data from schizophrenic patients and this further validates the use of phencyclidine in preclinical translational research. PMID:23738220

  6. A model of prefrontal cortical mechanisms for goal-directed behavior.

    PubMed

    Hasselmo, Michael E

    2005-07-01

    Many behavioral tasks require goal-directed actions to obtain delayed reward. The prefrontal cortex appears to mediate many aspects of goal-directed decision making. This article presents a model of prefrontal cortex function emphasizing the influence of goal-related activity on the choice of the next motor output. The model can be interpreted in terms of key elements of Reinforcement Learning Theory. Different neocortical minicolumns represent distinct sensory input states and distinct motor output actions. The dynamics of each minicolumn include separate phases of encoding and retrieval. During encoding, strengthening of excitatory connections forms forward and reverse associations between each state, the following action, and a subsequent state, which may include reward. During retrieval, activity spreads from reward states throughout the network. The interaction of this spreading activity with a specific input state directs selection of the next appropriate action. Simulations demonstrate how these mechanisms can guide performance in a range of goal-directed tasks, and provide a functional framework for some of the neuronal responses previously observed in the medial prefrontal cortex during performance of spatial memory tasks in rats.

  7. Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance.

    PubMed

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T

    2011-06-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for 1 week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function.

  8. Medial prefrontal D1 dopamine neurons control food intake

    PubMed Central

    Land, Benjamin B; Narayanan, Nandakumar S; Liu, Rong-Jian; Gianessi, Carol A; Brayton, Catherine E; Grimaldi, David; Sarhan, Maysa; Guarnieri, Douglas J; Deisseroth, Karl; Aghajanian, George K; Dileone, Ralph J

    2014-01-01

    Although the prefrontal cortex influences motivated behavior, its role in food intake remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate a role for D1-type dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the regulation of feeding. Food intake increases activity in D1 neurons of the mPFC in mice, and optogenetic photostimulation of D1 neurons increases feeding. Conversely, inhibition of D1 neurons decreases intake. Stimulation-based mapping of prefrontal D1 neuron projections implicates the medial basolateral amygdala (mBLA) as a downstream target of these afferents. mBLA neurons activated by prefrontal D1 stimulation are CaMKII positive and closely juxtaposed to prefrontal D1 axon terminals. Finally, photostimulating these axons in the mBLA is sufficient to increase feeding, recapitulating the effects of mPFC D1 stimulation. These data describe a new circuit for top-down control of food intake. PMID:24441680

  9. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota.

    PubMed

    Hoban, A E; Stilling, R M; Ryan, F J; Shanahan, F; Dinan, T G; Claesson, M J; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2016-04-05

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key region implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism. In parallel, the role of the gut microbiota in contributing to these disorders is emerging. Germ-free (GF) animals, microbiota-deficient throughout life, have been instrumental in elucidating the role of the microbiota in many aspects of physiology, especially the role of the microbiota in anxiety-related behaviours, impaired social cognition and stress responsivity. Here we aim to further elucidate the mechanisms of the microbial influence by investigating changes in the homeostatic regulation of neuronal transcription of GF mice within the PFC using a genome-wide transcriptome profiling approach. Our results reveal a marked, concerted upregulation of genes linked to myelination and myelin plasticity. This coincided with upregulation of neural activity-induced pathways, potentially driving myelin plasticity. Subsequent investigation at the ultrastructural level demonstrated the presence of hypermyelinated axons within the PFC of GF mice. Notably, these changes in myelin and activity-related gene expression could be reversed by colonization with a conventional microbiota following weaning. In summary, we believe we demonstrate for the first time that the microbiome is necessary for appropriate and dynamic regulation of myelin-related genes with clear implications for cortical myelination at an ultrastructural level. The microbiota is therefore a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders involving dynamic myelination in the PFC.

  10. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in social categorization.

    PubMed

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Morrison, Samantha

    2014-03-01

    Group membership is an important aspect of our everyday behavior. Recently, we showed that existing relevant in-group labels increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) compared with out-group labels, suggesting a role of the MPFC in social categorization. However, the question still remains whether this increase in MPFC activation for in-group representation is solely related with previous experience with the in-group. To test this, we randomly assigned participants to a red or blue team and in a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment they categorized red and blue team words as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Results showed that even under these minimal conditions increased activation was found in the MPFC when participants indicated that they belonged to a group, as compared with when they did not. This effect was found to be associated with the level of group identification. These results confirm the role of MPFC in social categorization.

  11. Aspects of the Mother-Nanny Relationship: Some Concepts from Psychoanalytic Research to Understand Problem Areas Which Can Interfere with the Optimal Care for Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magagna, Jeanne

    Elaborating on two main styles of multiple caretaking, this paper discusses those aspects of the mother-nanny relationship which influence the optimal care of the child. A caretaking style based in denial involves obliterating, denying, and distracting the child from his painful emotional experiences, fostering "the stiff upper lip," and…

  12. Anatomical segmentation of the human medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Córcoles-Parada, M; Müller, Ncj; Ubero, M; Serrano-Del-Pueblo, V M; Mansilla, F; Marcos-Rabal, P; Artacho-Pérula, E; Dresler, M; Insausti, R; Fernández, G; Muñoz-López, M

    2017-03-20

    The medial prefrontal areas 32, 24, 14, and 25 (mPFC) form part of the limbic memory system, but little is known about their functional specialization in humans. To add anatomical precision to structural and functional MRI data, we aimed to identify these mPFC subareas in histological preparations of human brain tissue, determine sulci most consistently related with mPFC areal boundaries, and use these sulci to delineate mPFC areas in MRIs. To achieve this, we obtained 3D MRI data from 11 ex vivo hemispheres and processed them for cyto- and myelo-architectonic analysis. The architectonic boundaries of mPFC areas were identified in histology and cortical surface length and volumes were measured. Unfolded maps of histologically determined boundaries were generated to identify the association of mPFC areal boundaries with sulci across cases. This analysis showed that cingulate and superior rostral were the sulci most consistently related to mPFC areal boundaries. Based on presence/absence and anastomosis between such sulci, 6 sulci patterns in the 11 hemispheres were found. A further analysis of 102 hemispheres of in vivo MRI scans (N=51 males, mean±sd 24.1±3.1 years of age) showed similar sulci patterns, which allowed us to delineate the mFPC areas in them. The volumes of mPFC areas across histological, ex vivo and in vivo MRI delineations were comparable and probabilistic maps generated from the MRIs of the102 hemispheres. Probabilistic maps of mPFC areas were registered to MNI space and are available for regional analysis of fMRI data. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage.

    PubMed

    Voytek, Bradley; Davis, Matar; Yago, Elena; Barceló, Francisco; Vogel, Edward K; Knight, Robert T

    2010-11-04

    Memory and attention deficits are common after prefrontal cortex (PFC) damage, yet people generally recover some function over time. Recovery is thought to be dependent upon undamaged brain regions, but the temporal dynamics underlying cognitive recovery are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that the intact PFC compensates for damage in the lesioned PFC on a trial-by-trial basis dependent on cognitive load. The extent of this rapid functional compensation is indexed by transient increases in electrophysiological measures of attention and memory in the intact PFC, detectable within a second after stimulus presentation and only when the lesioned hemisphere is challenged. These observations provide evidence supporting a dynamic and flexible model of compensatory neural plasticity.

  14. Microglia of Prefrontal White Matter in Suicide

    PubMed Central

    Schnieder, Tatiana P.; Trencevska, Iskra; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandr; Mann, J. John; Smiley, John; Dwork, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Immune functions in the brain are associated with psychiatric illness and with temporary alteration of mental state. Microglia, the principal brain immunological cells, respond to changes in the internal brain milieu through a sequence of activated states, each with characteristic function and morphology. To assess a possible association of frontal white matter pathology with suicide, autopsy brain tissue samples from 11 suicide and 25 non-suicide subjects were stained for ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), CD68, and myelin. Groups were matched by age, sex, and psychiatric diagnosis. We classified Iba-1-immunoreactive cells on the basis of shape, immunoreactivity for CD68, and association with blood vessels to obtain stereologic estimates of densities of resting microglia, activated phagocytes, and perivascular cells. We found no effect of psychiatric diagnosis but 2 statistically significant effects of suicide: 1) the dorsal-ventral difference in activated microglial density was reversed such that with suicide, the density was greater in ventral than in dorsal prefrontal white matter, whereas in the absence of suicide, the opposite was true; and 2) with suicide there was a greater density of Iba-1-immunoreactive cells within or in contact with blood vessel walls in dorsal prefrontal white matter. These observations could reflect a mechanism for the stress/diathesis (state/trait) model of suicide whereby an acute stress activates a reactive process in the brain, either directly or by compromising the blood-brain barrier, and creates a suicidal state in an individual at risk. They also indicate the theoretical potential of imaging studies in live, vulnerable individuals for the assessment of suicide risk. Further studies are needed to investigate specific phenotypes of perivascular cells and blood-brain barrier changes associated with suicide. PMID:25101704

  15. A Programmer-Interpreter Neural Network Architecture for Prefrontal Cognitive Control.

    PubMed

    Donnarumma, Francesco; Prevete, Roberto; Chersi, Fabian; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    There is wide consensus that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is able to exert cognitive control on behavior by biasing processing toward task-relevant information and by modulating response selection. This idea is typically framed in terms of top-down influences within a cortical control hierarchy, where prefrontal-basal ganglia loops gate multiple input-output channels, which in turn can activate or sequence motor primitives expressed in (pre-)motor cortices. Here we advance a new hypothesis, based on the notion of programmability and an interpreter-programmer computational scheme, on how the PFC can flexibly bias the selection of sensorimotor patterns depending on internal goal and task contexts. In this approach, multiple elementary behaviors representing motor primitives are expressed by a single multi-purpose neural network, which is seen as a reusable area of "recycled" neurons (interpreter). The PFC thus acts as a "programmer" that, without modifying the network connectivity, feeds the interpreter networks with specific input parameters encoding the programs (corresponding to network structures) to be interpreted by the (pre-)motor areas. Our architecture is validated in a standard test for executive function: the 1-2-AX task. Our results show that this computational framework provides a robust, scalable and flexible scheme that can be iterated at different hierarchical layers, supporting the realization of multiple goals. We discuss the plausibility of the "programmer-interpreter" scheme to explain the functioning of prefrontal-(pre)motor cortical hierarchies.

  16. Independent coding of absolute duration and distance magnitudes in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Encarni; Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo

    2017-01-01

    The estimation of space and time can interfere with each other, and neuroimaging studies have shown overlapping activation in the parietal and prefrontal cortical areas. We used duration and distance discrimination tasks to determine whether space and time share resources in prefrontal cortex (PF) neurons. Monkeys were required to report which of two stimuli, a red circle or blue square, presented sequentially, were longer and farther, respectively, in the duration and distance tasks. In a previous study, we showed that relative duration and distance are coded by different populations of neurons and that the only common representation is related to goal coding. Here, we examined the coding of absolute duration and distance. Our results support a model of independent coding of absolute duration and distance metrics by demonstrating that not only relative magnitude but also absolute magnitude are independently coded in the PF.

  17. Prefrontal cortex shotgun proteome analysis reveals altered calcium homeostasis and immune system imbalance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Martins-de-Souza, Daniel; Gattaz, Wagner F; Schmitt, Andrea; Rewerts, Christiane; Maccarrone, Giuseppina; Dias-Neto, Emmanuel; Turck, Christoph W

    2009-04-01

    Schizophrenia is a complex disease, likely to be caused by a combination of serial alterations in a number of genes and environmental factors. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Area 46) is involved in schizophrenia and executes high-level functions such as working memory, differentiation of conflicting thoughts, determination of right and wrong concepts and attitudes, correct social behavior and personality expression. Global proteomic analysis of post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from schizophrenia patients and non-schizophrenic individuals was performed using stable isotope labeling and shotgun proteomics. The analysis resulted in the identification of 1,261 proteins, 84 of which showed statistically significant differential expression, reinforcing previous data supporting the involvement of the immune system, calcium homeostasis, cytoskeleton assembly, and energy metabolism in schizophrenia. In addition a number of new potential markers were found that may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease.

  18. Identification of prefrontal cortex (BA10) activation while performing Stroop test using diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khadka, Sabin; Chityala, Srujan R.; Tian, Fenghua; Liu, Hanli

    2011-03-01

    Stroop test is commonly used as a behavior-testing tool for psychological examinations that are related to attention and cognitive control of the human brain. Studies have shown activations in Broadmann area 10 (BA10) of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during attention and cognitive process. The use of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for human brain mapping is becoming more prevalent. In this study we expect to find neural correlates between the performed cognitive tasks and hemodynamic signals detected by a DOT system. Our initial observation showed activation of oxy-hemoglobin concentration in BA 10, which is consistent with some results seen by positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our study demonstrates the possibility of combining DOT with Stroop test to quantitatively investigate cognitive functions of the human brain at the prefrontal cortex.

  19. Subdivisions and connectional networks of the lateral prefrontal cortex in the macaque monkey.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Kadharbatcha S; Miller, Brad; Price, Joseph L

    2014-05-01

    Neuroanatomical studies have long indicated that corticocortical connections are organized in networks that relate distinct sets of areas. Such networks have been emphasized by development of functional imaging methods for correlating activity across the cortex. Previously, two networks were recognized in the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, the "orbital" and "medial" networks (OPFC and MPFC, respectively). In this study, three additional networks are proposed for the lateral prefrontal cortex: 1) a ventrolateral network (VLPFC) in and ventral to the principal sulcus; 2) a dorsal network (DPFC) in and dorsal to the principal sulcus and in the frontal pole; 3) a caudolateral network (CLPFC) in and rostral to the arcuate sulcus and the caudal principal sulcus. The connections of the first two networks are described here. Areas in each network are connected primarily with other areas in the same network, with overlaps around the principal sulcus. The VLPFC and DPFC are also connected with the OPFC and MPFC, respectively. Outside the prefrontal cortex, the VLPFC connects with specific areas related to somatic/visceral sensation and vision, in the frontoparietal operculum, insula, ventral bank/fundus of the superior temporal sulcus, inferior temporal gyrus, and inferior parietal cortex. In contrast, the DPFC connects with the rostral superior temporal gyrus, dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus, parahippocampal cortex, and posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortex. Area 45a, in caudal VLPFC, is unique, having connections with all the networks. Its extrinsic connections resemble those of the DPFC. In addition, it has connections with both auditory belt/parabelt areas, and visual related areas.

  20. Cognitive behavioral therapy increases prefrontal cortex gray matter in patients with chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Seminowicz, David A.; Shpaner, Marina; Keaser, Michael L.; Krauthamer, G. Michael; Mantegna, John; Dumas, Julie A.; Newhouse, Paul A.; Filippi, Christopher; Keefe, Francis J.; Naylor, Magdalena R.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have reported reduced cerebral gray matter (GM) volume/density in chronic pain conditions, but there is limited research on plasticity of the human cortex in response to psychological interventions. We investigated GM changes after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with chronic pain. We used voxel based morphometry (VBM) to compare anatomical MRI scans of 13 patients with mixed chronic pain types before and after an 11-week CBT treatment and to 13 healthy control participants. CBT led to significant improvements in clinical measures. Patients did not differ from healthy controls in GM anywhere in the brain. After treatment, patients had increased GM in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), posterior parietal (PPC), subgenual anterior cingulate (ACC)/orbitofrontal, and sensorimotor cortices, as well as hippocampus, and reduced GM in supplementary motor area. In most of these areas showing GM increases, GM became significantly higher than in controls. Decreased pain catastrophizing was associated with increased GM in left DLPFC and ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPFC), right PPC, somatosensory cortex, and pregenual ACC. While future studies with additional control groups will be needed to determine the specific roles of CBT on GM and brain function, we propose that increased GM in the PFC and PPC reflects greater top-down control over pain and cognitive reappraisal of pain, and that changes in somatosensory cortices reflect alterations in the perception of noxious signals. Perspective An 11-week CBT intervention for coping with chronic pain resulted in increased gray matter volume in prefrontal and somatosensory brain regions, as well as increased dorsolateral prefrontal volume associated with reduced pain catastrophizing. These results add to mounting evidence that CBT can be a valuable treatment option for chronic pain. PMID:24135432

  1. From perception to action: temporal integrative functions of prefrontal and parietal neurons.

    PubMed

    Quintana, J; Fuster, J M

    1999-01-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) are anatomically and functionally interconnected, and have been implicated in working memory and the preparation for behavioral action. To substantiate those functions at the neuronal level, we designed a visuomotor task that dissociated the perceptual and executive aspects of the perception-action cycle in both space and time. In that task, the trial-initiating cue (a color) indicated with different degrees of certainty the direction of the correct manual response 12 s later. We recorded extracellular activity from 258 prefrontal and 223 parietal units in two monkeys performing the task. In the DPFC, some units (memory cells) were attuned to the color of the cue, independent of the response-direction it connoted. Their discharge tended to diminish in the course of the delay between cue and response. In contrast, few color-related units were found in PPC, and these did not show decreasing patterns of delay activity. Other units in both cortices (set cells) were attuned to response-direction and tended to accelerate their firing in anticipation of the response and in proportion to the predictability of its direction. A third group of units was related to the determinacy of the act; their firing was attuned to the certainty with which the animal could predict the correct response, whatever its direction. Cells of the three types were found closely intermingled histologically. These findings further support and define the role of DPFC in executive functions and in the temporal closure of the perception-action cycle. The findings also agree with the involvement of PPC in spatial aspects of visuomotor behavior, and add a temporal integrative dimension to that involvement. Together, the results provide physiological evidence for the role of a prefrontal-parietal network in the integration of perception with action across time.

  2. Synergistic effect of 5-HT1A and σ1 receptor activation on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission under circulating steroid deficiency.

    PubMed

    Hiramatsu, Naoki; Ago, Yukio; Hasebe, Shigeru; Nishimura, Akira; Mori, Kazuya; Takuma, Kazuhiro; Matsuda, Toshio

    2013-12-01

    Serotonin (5-HT)1A and σ1 receptors have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We previously found that combined 5-HT reuptake inhibition and σ1 receptor activation has a synergistic effect on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission in adrenalectomized/castrated mice lacking circulating steroid hormones. In the present study, we examined the mechanisms underlying this neurochemical synergism. Systemic administration of fluvoxamine, a selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor with agonistic activity towards the σ1 receptor, increased prefrontal dopamine (DA) levels, and adrenalectomy/castration potentiated this fluvoxamine-induced increase in DA. This enhancement of DA release was blocked by WAY100635 (a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist), but not by ritanserin (a 5-HT2 receptor antagonist), azasetron (a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist) or SB269970 (a 5-HT7 receptor antagonist). Individually, osemozotan (a 5-HT1A receptor agonist) and (+)-SKF-10,047 (a σ1 receptor agonist) did not alter prefrontal monoamine levels in adrenalectomized/castrated and sham-operated mice differentially. In contrast, co-administration of these drugs increased prefrontal DA levels to a greater extent in adrenalectomized/castrated mice than in sham-operated animals. Furthermore, co-administration of osemozotan and (+)-SKF-10,047 increased expression of the neuronal activity marker c-Fos in the ventral tegmental area of adrenalectomized/castrated mice, but not in sham-operated animals. These findings suggest that combined activation of 5-HT1A and σ1 receptors has a synergistic effect on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission under circulating steroid deficiency, and that this interaction may play an important role in the regulation of the prefrontal DA system.

  3. Stress signalling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC)—the most evolved brain region—subserves our highest-order cognitive abilities. However, it is also the brain region that is most sensitive to the detrimental effects of stress exposure. Even quite mild acute uncontrollable stress can cause a rapid and dramatic loss of prefrontal cognitive abilities, and more prolonged stress exposure causes architectural changes in prefrontal dendrites. Recent research has begun to reveal the intracellular signalling pathways that mediate the effects of stress on the PFC. This research has provided clues as to why genetic or environmental insults that disinhibit stress signalling pathways can lead to symptoms of profound prefrontal cortical dysfunction in mental illness. PMID:19455173

  4. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A; Gordon, Joshua A

    2015-06-18

    Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviourally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. Although the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to contribute jointly to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for the interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues in mice. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory.

  5. Medial prefrontal cortical injections of c-fos antisense oligonucleotides transiently lower c-Fos protein and mimic amphetamine withdrawal behaviours.

    PubMed

    Persico, A M; Schindler, C W; Davis, S C; Ambrosio, E; Uhl, G R

    1998-02-01

    Prefrontal cerebral cortical areas display decreased expression of several transcription factor/immediate-early genes, including c-fos, during amphetamine withdrawal. Antisense strategies can help to test possible roles for this prefrontal c-fos down-regulation in the behavioural correlates of amphetamine withdrawal. Medial prefrontal cortical injections delivering 1.7 nmoles of anti c-fos oligonucleotides revealed an approximately 3 h half-life for phosphothioate and a 15 min half-life for phosphodiester oligonucleotides. Antisense phosphothioates complementary to the c-fos translational start site reduced levels of c-Fos protein, while exerting modest and variable effects on c-fos messenger RNA levels. Neither missense phosphorothioate nor antisense phosphodiester oligonucleotides significantly reduced levels of either c-fos messenger RNA or protein. Animals injected with anti c-fos phosphothioate oligonucleotides into the medial prefrontal cortex displayed marked reductions in linear locomotor activity and repetitive movements measured in a novel environment, effects not seen when missense oligonucleotides were used or when animals were accustomed to the activity monitor prior to antisense oligonucleotide injection. Behavioural changes produced by prefrontal cortical injections of c-fos antisense oligonucleotides closely mimic alterations recorded during amphetamine withdrawal. Prefrontal c-fos could thus conceivably play roles in the neurobiological underpinnings of psychostimulant withdrawal and of responses to stressors such as exposure to novel environments.

  6. Developmental trajectories of abuse--an hypothesis for the effects of early childhood maltreatment on dorsolateral prefrontal cortical development.

    PubMed

    Burrus, Caley

    2013-11-01

    The United States has a high rate of child maltreatment, with nearly 12 in 1000 children being victims of abuse or neglect. Child abuse strongly predicts negative life outcomes, especially in areas of emotional and mental health. Abused children are also more likely than their peers to engage in violence and enter the juvenile justice system, as well as to become abusive parents themselves. Research has shown that child abuse and trauma can lead to decreased hippocampal volume, which could be indicative of abnormal hippocampal development. Hippocampal development appears to directly affect the development of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain area responsible for emotion regulation, cognitive reappraisal, and general executive function. Therefore, I hypothesize that if child abuse results in abnormal hippocampal development, which leads to abnormal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex development, many of the correlated risk factors of child abuse, such as emotionally-laden parenting and unfavorable cognitive distortions regarding children's behaviors, may be in part caused by underdevelopment or abnormal functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as a function of the individual's own experiences with abuse during childhood. If this hypothesis is supported with future research, more targeted, successful, and cost-effective prevention and treatment protocols could ensue. For instance, programs that have been empirically shown to increase the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, could be effective in decreasing the incidence of intergenerational transfer of abuse.

  7. Galantamine Response Associates with Agitation and the Prefrontal Cortex in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Sachiko; Suda, Akimitsu; Nakanishi, Atsushi; Motoi, Yumiko; Hattori, Nobutaka

    2017-01-01

    Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) occur in up to 80% of AD patients and represent one of the largest factors contributing to caregiver burden. To analyze the effect of galantamine on BPSD and caregiver burden, we treated a total of 50 patients with mild AD for 12 weeks and evaluated them using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Japanese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI). We also performed regional cerebral blood flow single photon emission computed tomography (rCBF SPECT) at baseline using three-dimensional sterotatic surface projections. Total NPI and ZBI scores did not significantly change after 12-week galantamine treatment. To identify the characteristics of patients who showed improvement after galantamine treatment, we divided patients into two groups, those with and those without sub-items on the NPI. Patients with aggression showed improvement in ZBI scores (p < 0.05). A comparison of rCBF SPECT between these two groups indicated that patients with aggression exhibited increased rCBF in the right prefrontal cortex compared with those without aggression. In a patient with aggression, 20-month treatment with galantamine inhibited increases in the rCBF area in the right prefrontal lobe. These results suggest that galantamine response may be related to aggression and dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex.

  8. Integration of faces and vocalizations in ventral prefrontal cortex: implications for the evolution of audiovisual speech.

    PubMed

    Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2012-06-26

    The integration of facial gestures and vocal signals is an essential process in human communication and relies on an interconnected circuit of brain regions, including language regions in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Studies have determined that ventral prefrontal cortical regions in macaques [e.g., the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC)] share similar cytoarchitectonic features as cortical areas in the human IFG, suggesting structural homology. Anterograde and retrograde tracing studies show that macaque VLPFC receives afferents from the superior and inferior temporal gyrus, which provide complex auditory and visual information, respectively. Moreover, physiological studies have shown that single neurons in VLPFC integrate species-specific face and vocal stimuli. Although bimodal responses may be found across a wide region of prefrontal cortex, vocalization responsive cells, which also respond to faces, are mainly found in anterior VLPFC. This suggests that VLPFC may be specialized to process and integrate social communication information, just as the IFG is specialized to process and integrate speech and gestures in the human brain.

  9. Reward expectancy-related prefrontal neuronal activities: are they neural substrates of "affective" working memory?

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masataka; Hikosaka, Kazuo; Sakagami, Masamichi; Shirakawa, Shu-ichiro

    2007-01-01

    Primate prefrontal delay neurons are involved in retaining task-relevant cognitive information in working memory (WM). Recent studies have also revealed primate prefrontal delay neurons that are related to reward/omission-of-reward expectancy. Such reward-related delay activities might constitute "affective WM" (Davidson, 2002). "Affective" and "cognitive" WM are both concerned with representing not what is currently being presented, but rather what was presented previously or might be presented in the future. However, according to the original and widely accepted definition, WM is the "temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex cognitive tasks". Reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity is neither prerequisite nor essential for accurate task performance; thus, such activity is not considered to comprise the neural substrates of WM. Also, "affective WM" might not be an appropriate usage of the term "WM". We propose that WM- and reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity are concerned with representing which response should be performed in order to attain a goal (reward) and the goal of the response, respectively. We further suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a crucial role in the integration of cognitive (for example, WM-related) and motivational (for example, reward expectancy-related) operations for goal-directed behaviour. The PFC could then send this integrated information to other brain areas to control the behaviour.

  10. Coumarin effects on amino acid levels in mice prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Elaine Cristina; Lucetti, Daniel Luna; Barbosa-Filho, José Maria; de Brito, Eliane Magalhães; Monteiro, Valdécio Silvano; Patrocínio, Manoel Cláudio Azevedo; de Moura, Rebeca Ribeiro; Leal, Luzia Kalyne Almeida Moreira; Macedo, Danielle Silveira; de Sousa, Francisca Cléa Florenço; de Barros Viana, Glauce Socorro; Vasconcelos, Silvânia Maria Mendes

    2009-04-24

    Coumarin is a compound known to be present in a wide variety of plants, microorganisms and animal species. Most of its effects were studied in organs and systems other than the central nervous system. The present work evaluated the effect of coumarin administration on the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (GLU), glycine (GLY) and taurine (TAU) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice. Male Swiss mice were treated with distilled water (controls), coumarin (20 or 40 mg/kg, i.p.) or diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Results showed that in the prefrontal cortex, coumarin at the lowest dose increased the levels of GLU and TAU, while GABA increased with both doses studied and GLY had its levels increased only at the dose of 40 mg/kg. Diazepam (DZP) increased the levels of GABA and TAU and decreased the levels of GLU and GLY in this area. In the hippocampus, only glutamate had its levels decreased after coumarin treatment, while diazepam increased the levels of GABA and TAU and decreased the levels of GLU in this brain region. We concluded that coumarin stimulates the release of endogenous amino acids, increasing the levels of inhibitory and excitatory amino acids in the prefrontal cortex, and decreasing glutamate levels in the hippocampus. Together, these results are of interest, considering that some neurodegenerative diseases and seizures are related to the imbalance of the amino acid levels in the CNS suggesting a perspective of a therapeutic use of coumarins in these disorders.

  11. Association between social functioning and prefrontal hemodynamic responses in elderly adults.

    PubMed

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Yamada, Takeshi; Yokoyama, Katsutoshi; Matsumura, Hiroshi; Mitani, Hideaki; Adachi, Akiko; Kaneko, Koichi

    2014-10-01

    Social functioning has received widespread attention as one of the most important outcomes in psychiatric disorders and has been related to cognitive functioning and the underlying brain activity. Cognitive decline, however, appears not only in the psychiatric population but also in aged individuals. In our previous study, we demonstrated a significant relationship between social functioning and prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity in patients with depression. However, it has not been shown whether the above relationship could be extended to healthy populations. The purpose of the present study was to investigate a possible association between social functioning and prefrontal hemodynamic responses in healthy elderly adults by using a non-invasive and low-constraint functional neuroimaging technique, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Study subjects included 55 healthy, elderly volunteers. We measured hemodynamic responses over prefrontal cortical (PFC) areas during the verbal fluency task by using multi-channel NIRS and analyzed the relationship between task-associated hemodynamic responses and social functioning as measured by the social adaptation self-evaluation scale (SASS). A significant positive relationship was observed between the SASS total score and PFC activation. Our findings suggest that PFC activation is associated with social functioning in healthy elderly adults. Furthermore, hemodynamic responses assessed using non-invasive NIRS could be a useful biological marker of these characteristics.

  12. Impaired executive function following ischemic stroke in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Chris A; Jackson, Danielle; Langdon, Kristopher D; Hewlett, Krista A; Corbett, Dale

    2014-01-01

    Small (lacunar) infarcts frequently arise in frontal and midline thalamic regions in the absence of major stroke. Damage to these areas often leads to impairment of executive function likely as a result of interrupting connections of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, patients experience frontal-like symptoms such as impaired ability to shift ongoing behavior and attention. In contrast, executive dysfunction has not been demonstrated in rodent models of stroke, thereby limiting the development of potential therapies for human executive dysfunction. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=40) underwent either sham surgery or bilateral endothelin-1 injections in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus or in the medial prefrontal cortex. Executive function was assessed using a rodent attention set shifting test that requires animals to shift attention to stimuli in different stimulus dimensions. Medial prefrontal cortex ischemia impaired attention shift performance between different stimulus dimensions while sparing stimulus discrimination and attention shifts within a stimulus dimension, indicating a selective attention set-shift deficit. Rats with mediodorsal thalamic lacunar damage did not exhibit a cognitive impairment relative to sham controls. The selective attention set shift impairment observed in this study is consistent with clinical data demonstrating selective executive disorders following stroke within specific sub-regions of frontal cortex. These data contribute to the development and validation of a preclinical animal model of executive dysfunction, that can be employed to identify potential therapies for ameliorating cognitive deficits following stroke.

  13. Selective deficit in personal moral judgment following damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Muccioli, Michela; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2007-01-01

    Recent fMRI evidence has detected increased medial prefrontal activation during contemplation of personal moral dilemmas compared to impersonal ones, which suggests that this cortical region plays a role in personal moral judgment. However, functional imaging results cannot definitively establish that a brain area is necessary for a particular cognitive process. This requires evidence from lesion techniques, such as studies of human patients with focal brain damage. Here, we tested 7 patients with lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and 12 healthy individuals in personal moral dilemmas, impersonal moral dilemmas and non-moral dilemmas. Compared to normal controls, patients were more willing to judge personal moral violations as acceptable behaviors in personal moral dilemmas, and they did so more quickly. In contrast, their performance in impersonal and non-moral dilemmas was comparable to that of controls. These results indicate that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is necessary to oppose personal moral violations, possibly by mediating anticipatory, self-focused, emotional reactions that may exert strong influence on moral choice and behavior. PMID:18985127

  14. Task-relevant modulation of primary somatosensory cortex suggests a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Rotte, Michael

    2005-08-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that somatosensory information is modulated cortically for task-specific sensory inflow: Several studies report short-term adaptation of representational maps in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) due to attention or induced by task-related motor activity such as handwriting. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the frontal or prefrontal cortex may modulate SI. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the functional organization of SI while subjects performed the Tower of Hanoi task. This task is known to be related to activation of frontal or prefrontal areas. The functional organization of SI while performing the Tower of Hanoi task was compared to the organization of SI during performing the same movements but without the Tower of Hanoi task and with rest. Topography of SI was assessed using neuromagnetic source imaging based on tactile stimulation of the first (D1) and fifth digits (D5). Performing the Tower of Hanoi task was accompanied by plastic changes in SI as indicated by significant shifts in the cortical representations of D1 and D5: They moved further apart during the Tower of Hanoi task compared to the control task containing the same movements but without the cognitive characteristic. Thus, we conclude that SI maps undergo dynamic modulation depending on motor tasks with different cognitive demands. The results suggest that this short-term plasticity may be regulated by a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

  15. Global aspects of monsoons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murakami, T.

    1985-01-01

    Recent developments are studied in three areas of monsoon research: (1) global aspects of the monsoon onset, (2) the orographic influence of the Tibetan Plateau on the summer monsoon circulations, and (3) tropical 40 to 50 day oscillations. Reference was made only to those studies that are primarily based on FGGE Level IIIb data. A brief summary is given.

  16. Sub-anesthetic ketamine modulates intrinsic BOLD connectivity within the hippocampal-prefrontal circuit in the rat.

    PubMed

    Gass, Natalia; Schwarz, Adam James; Sartorius, Alexander; Schenker, Esther; Risterucci, Celine; Spedding, Michael; Zheng, Lei; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Weber-Fahr, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Dysfunctional connectivity within the hippocampal-prefrontal circuit (HC-PFC) is associated with schizophrenia, major depression, and neurodegenerative disorders, and both the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex have dense populations of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Ketamine, a potent NMDA receptor antagonist, is of substantial current interest as a mechanistic model of glutamatergic dysfunction in animal and human studies, a psychotomimetic agent and a rapidly acting antidepressant. In this study, we sought to understand the modulatory effect of acute ketamine administration on functional connectivity in the HC-PFC system of the rat brain using resting-state fMRI. Sprague-Dawley rats in four parallel groups (N=9 per group) received either saline or one of three behaviorally relevant, sub-anesthetic doses of S-ketamine (5, 10, and 25 mg/kg, s.c.), and connectivity changes 15- and 30-min post-injection were studied. The strongest effects were dose- and exposure-dependent increases in functional connectivity within the prefrontal cortex and in anterior-posterior connections between the posterior hippocampus and retrosplenial cortex, and prefrontal regions. The increased prefrontal connectivity is consistent with ketamine-induced increases in HC-PFC electroencephalographic gamma band power, possibly reflecting a psychotomimetic aspect of ketamine's effect, and is contrary to the data from chronic schizophrenic patients suggesting that ketamine effect does not necessarily parallel the disease pattern but might rather reflect a hyperglutamatergic state. These findings may help to clarify the brain systems underlying different dose-dependent behavioral profiles of ketamine in the rat.

  17. Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interactions in Cognition, Behavior and Psychiatric Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdsson, Torfi; Duvarci, Sevil

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) have long been known to play a central role in various behavioral and cognitive functions. More recently, electrophysiological and functional imaging studies have begun to examine how interactions between the two structures contribute to behavior during various tasks. At the same time, it has become clear that hippocampal-prefrontal interactions are disrupted in psychiatric disease and may contribute to their pathophysiology. These impairments have most frequently been observed in schizophrenia, a disease that has long been associated with hippocampal and prefrontal dysfunction. Studies in animal models of the illness have also begun to relate disruptions in hippocampal-prefrontal interactions to the various risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms of the illness. The goal of this review is to summarize what is known about the role of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in normal brain function and compare how these interactions are disrupted in schizophrenia patients and animal models of the disease. Outstanding questions for future research on the role of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in both healthy brain function and disease states are also discussed. PMID:26858612

  18. Proinflammatory cytokines in the prefrontal cortex of teenage suicide victims.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ghanshyam N; Rizavi, Hooriyah S; Ren, Xinguo; Fareed, Jawed; Hoppensteadt, Debra A; Roberts, Rosalinda C; Conley, Robert R; Dwivedi, Yogesh

    2012-01-01

    Teenage suicide is a major public health concern, but its neurobiology is not well understood. Proinflammatory cytokines play an important role in stress and in the pathophysiology of depression-two major risk factors for suicide. Cytokines are increased in the serum of patients with depression and suicidal behavior; however, it is not clear if similar abnormality in cytokines occurs in brains of suicide victims. We therefore measured the gene and protein expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tissue necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of 24 teenage suicide victims and 24 matched normal control subjects. Our results show that the mRNA and protein expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were significantly increased in Brodmann area 10 (BA-10) of suicide victims compared with normal control subjects. These results suggest an important role for IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior and that proinflammatory cytokines may be an appropriate target for developing therapeutic agents.

  19. Exon Microarray Analysis of Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Manzardo, Ann M.; Gunewardena, Sumedha; Wang, Kun; Butler, Merlin G.

    2014-01-01

    Background Alcohol abuse is associated with cellular and biochemical disturbances that impact upon protein and nucleic acid synthesis, brain development, function and behavioral responses. To further characterize the genetic influences in alcoholism and the effects of alcohol consumption on gene expression, we used a highly sensitive exon microarray to examine mRNA expression in human frontal cortex of alcoholics and control males. Methods Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult Alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 48 years) and 7 matched controls. Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST Array was performed according to standard procedures and the results analyzed at the gene level. Microarray findings were validated using qRT-PCR, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Results Decreased mRNA expression was observed for genes involved in cellular adhesion (e.g., CTNNA3, ITGA2), transport (e.g., TF, ABCA8), nervous system development (e.g., LRP2, UGT8, GLDN) and signaling (e.g., RASGRP, LGR5) with influence over lipid and myelin synthesis (e.g., ASPA, ENPP2, KLK6). IPA identified disturbances in network functions associated with neurological disease, and development including cellular assembly and organization impacting on psychological disorders. Conclusions Our data in alcoholism support a reduction in expression of dlPFC mRNA for genes involved with neuronal growth, differentiation and signaling that targets white matter of the brain. PMID:24890784

  20. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation

    PubMed Central

    Bratman, Gregory N.; Hamilton, J. Paul; Hahn, Kevin S.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Gross, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. PMID:26124129

  1. The hierarchical organization of the lateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level cognition depends on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), but its functional organization has remained elusive. An influential proposal is that the LPFC is organized hierarchically whereby progressively rostral areas of the LPFC process/represent increasingly abstract information facilitating efficient and flexible cognition. However, support for this theory has been limited. Here, human fMRI data revealed rostral/caudal gradients of abstraction in the LPFC. Dynamic causal modeling revealed asymmetrical LPFC interactions indicative of hierarchical processing. Contrary to dominant assumptions, the relative strength of efferent versus afferent connections positioned mid LPFC as the apex of the hierarchy. Furthermore, cognitive demands induced connectivity modulations towards mid LPFC consistent with a role in integrating information for control operations. Moreover, the strengths of these dynamics were related to trait-measured higher-level cognitive ability. Collectively, these results suggest that the LPFC is hierarchically organized with the mid LPFC positioned to synthesize abstract and concrete information to control behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12112.001 PMID:26999822

  2. Prefrontal glutamate correlates of methamphetamine sensitization and preference

    PubMed Central

    Lominac, Kevin D.; Quadir, Sema G.; Barrett, Hannah M.; McKenna, Courtney L.; Schwartz, Lisa M.; Ruiz, Paige N.; Wroten, Melissa G.; Campbell, Rianne R.; Miller, Bailey W.; Holloway, John J.; Travis, Katherine O.; Rajasekar, Ganesh; Maliniak, Dan; Thompson, Andrew B.; Urman, Lawrence E.; Kippin, Tod E.; Phillips, Tamara J.; Szumlinski, Karen K.

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) is a widely abused, highly addictive, psychostimulant that elicits pronounced deficits in neurocognitive function related to hypo-functioning of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our understanding of how repeated methamphetamine impacts excitatory glutamatergic transmission within the PFC is limited, as is information about the relation between PFC glutamate and addiction vulnerability/resiliency. In vivo microdialysis and immunoblotting studies characterized the effects of methamphetamine (10 injections of 2 mg/kg, IP) upon extracellular glutamate in C57BL/6J mice and upon glutamate receptor and transporter expression, within the medial PFC. Glutamatergic correlates of both genetic and idiopathic variance in MA preference/intake were determined through studies of high versus low MA-drinking selectively bred mouse lines (MAHDR versus MALDR, respectively) and inbred C57BL/6J mice exhibiting spontaneously divergent place-conditioning phenotypes. Repeated methamphetamine sensitized drug-induced glutamate release and lowered indices of NMDA receptor expression in C57BL/6J mice, but did not alter basal extracellular glutamate content or total protein expression of Homer proteins, or metabotropic or AMPA glutamate receptors. Elevated basal glutamate, blunted methamphetamine-induced glutamate release and ERK activation, as well as reduced protein expression of mGlu2/3 and Homer2a/b were all correlated biochemical traits of selection for high versus low methamphetamine drinking, and Homer2a/b levels were inversely correlated with the motivational valence of methamphetamine in C57BL/6J mice. These data provide novel evidence that repeated, low-dose, methamphetamine is sufficient to perturb pre- and post-synaptic aspects of glutamate transmission within the medial PFC and that glutamate anomalies within this region may contribute to both genetic and idiopathic variance in methamphetamine addiction vulnerability/resiliency. PMID:26742098

  3. Medial prefrontal cortical integration of psychological stress in rats.

    PubMed

    McDougall, S J; Widdop, Robert E; Lawrence, Andrew J

    2004-11-01

    The present study aimed to determine whether the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) (prelimbic and infralimbic regions) is implicated in the integration of a stress response. Sprague-Dawely rats were implanted with telemetry probes and guide cannulae so that either muscimol or vehicle could be administered locally within the mPFC or dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). The heart rate and blood pressure of rats was continuously recorded as either muscimol or vehicle was administered centrally and rats were either exposed to restraint stress or left alone in their home cages. After the stress challenge, or equivalent period, rats that had received intra-mPFC injections were processed for immunohistochemical detection of Fos throughout the neuraxis. Bilateral microinjection of muscimol into the mPFC had no effect upon either baseline cardiovascular parameters or restraint stress-induced tachycardia or pressor responses whereas, in the DMH, pretreatment with muscimol attenuated the cardiovascular stress response. Analysis of Fos expression throughout the CNS of nonstressed rats showed no effect of muscimol injections into the mPFC on baseline expression in the nuclei examined. In contrast, rats that had received muscimol injections into their mPFC and were subsequently restrained exhibited an increase in the number of Fos-positive cells in the DMH, medial amygdala, and medial nucleus tractus solitarius as compared to vehicle-injected rats that experienced restraint stress. These results indicate that, during acute psychological stress, the mPFC does not modulate the cardiovascular system in rats but does inhibit specific subcortical nuclei to exert control over aspects of an integrated response to a stressor.

  4. Prefrontal glutamate correlates of methamphetamine sensitization and preference.

    PubMed

    Lominac, Kevin D; Quadir, Sema G; Barrett, Hannah M; McKenna, Courtney L; Schwartz, Lisa M; Ruiz, Paige N; Wroten, Melissa G; Campbell, Rianne R; Miller, Bailey W; Holloway, John J; Travis, Katherine O; Rajasekar, Ganesh; Maliniak, Dan; Thompson, Andrew B; Urman, Lawrence E; Kippin, Tod E; Phillips, Tamara J; Szumlinski, Karen K

    2016-03-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) is a widely misused, highly addictive psychostimulant that elicits pronounced deficits in neurocognitive function related to hypo-functioning of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our understanding of how repeated MA impacts excitatory glutamatergic transmission within the PFC is limited, as is information about the relationship between PFC glutamate and addiction vulnerability/resiliency. In vivo microdialysis and immunoblotting studies characterized the effects of MA (ten injections of 2 mg/kg, i.p.) upon extracellular glutamate in C57BL/6J mice and upon glutamate receptor and transporter expression, within the medial PFC. Glutamatergic correlates of both genetic and idiopathic variance in MA preference/intake were determined through studies of high vs. low MA-drinking selectively bred mouse lines (MAHDR vs. MALDR, respectively) and inbred C57BL/6J mice exhibiting spontaneously divergent place-conditioning phenotypes. Repeated MA sensitized drug-induced glutamate release and lowered indices of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor expression in C57BL/6J mice, but did not alter basal extracellular glutamate content or total protein expression of Homer proteins, or metabotropic or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid glutamate receptors. Elevated basal glutamate, blunted MA-induced glutamate release and ERK activation, as well as reduced protein expression of mGlu2/3 and Homer2a/b were all correlated biochemical traits of selection for high vs. low MA drinking, and Homer2a/b levels were inversely correlated with the motivational valence of MA in C57BL/6J mice. These data provide novel evidence that repeated, low-dose MA is sufficient to perturb pre- and post-synaptic aspects of glutamate transmission within the medial PFC and that glutamate anomalies within this region may contribute to both genetic and idiopathic variance in MA addiction vulnerability/resiliency.

  5. Optogenetic dissection of medial prefrontal cortex circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Riga, Danai; Matos, Mariana R.; Glas, Annet; Smit, August B.; Spijker, Sabine; Van den Oever, Michel C.

    2014-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critically involved in numerous cognitive functions, including attention, inhibitory control, habit formation, working memory and long-term memory. Moreover, through its dense interconnectivity with subcortical regions (e.g., thalamus, striatum, amygdala and hippocampus), the mPFC is thought to exert top-down executive control over the processing of aversive and appetitive stimuli. Because the mPFC has been implicated in the processing of a wide range of cognitive and emotional stimuli, it is thought to function as a central hub in the brain circuitry mediating symptoms of psychiatric disorders. New optogenetics technology enables anatomical and functional dissection of mPFC circuitry with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. This provides important novel insights in the contribution of specific neuronal subpopulations and their connectivity to mPFC function in health and disease states. In this review, we present the current knowledge obtained with optogenetic methods concerning mPFC function and dysfunction and integrate this with findings from traditional intervention approaches used to investigate the mPFC circuitry in animal models of cognitive processing and psychiatric disorders. PMID:25538574

  6. Improved multitasking following prefrontal tDCS.

    PubMed

    Filmer, Hannah L; Mattingley, Jason B; Dux, Paul E

    2013-01-01

    We have a limited capacity for mapping sensory information onto motor responses. This processing bottleneck is thought to be a key factor in determining our ability to make two decisions simultaneously - i.e., to multitask (Pashler, 1984, 1994; Welford, 1952). Previous functional imaging research (Dux, Ivanoff, Asplund, & Marois, 2006; Dux et al., 2009) has localised this bottleneck to the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex (pLPFC) of the left hemisphere. Currently, however, it is unknown whether this region is causally involved in multitasking performance. We investigated the role of the left pLPFC in multitasking using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The behavioural paradigm included single- and dual-task trials, each requiring a speeded discrimination of visual stimuli alone, auditory stimuli alone, or both visual and auditory stimuli. Reaction times for single- and dual-task trials were compared before, immediately after, and 20 min after anodal stimulation (excitatory), cathodal stimulation (inhibitory), or sham stimulation. The cost of responding to the two tasks (i.e., the reduction in performance for dual- vs single-task trials) was significantly reduced by cathodal stimulation, but not by anodal or sham stimulation. Overall, the results provide direct evidence that the left pLPFC is a key neural locus of the central bottleneck that limits an individual's ability to make two simple decisions simultaneously.

  7. Divergent Plasticity of Prefrontal Cortex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddam, Bita; Homayoun, Houman

    2010-01-01

    The ‘executive’ regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as the dorsolateral PFC (dlPFC) and its rodent equivalent medial PFC (mPFC) are thought to respond in concert with the ‘limbic’ regions of the PFC such as the orbitofrontal (OFC) cortex to orchestrate behavior that is consistent with context and expected outcome. Both groups of regions have been implicated in behavioral abnormalities associated with addiction and psychiatric disorders, in particular, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Theories about the pathophysiology of these disorders, however, incorporate abnormalities in discrete PFC regions independently of each other or assume they are one and the same and, thus, bunch them under umbrella of ‘PFC dysfunction.’ Emerging data from animal studies suggest that mPFC and OFC neurons display opposing patterns of plasticity during associative learning and in response to repeated exposure to psychostimulants. These data corroborate clinical studies reporting different patterns of activation in OFC versus dlPFC in individuals with schizophrenia or addictive disorders. These suggest that concomitant but divergent engagement of discrete PFC regions is critical for learning stimulus-outcome associations, and the execution of goal-directed behavior that is based on these associations. An atypical interplay between these regions may lead to abnormally high or low salience assigned to stimuli, resulting in symptoms that are fundamental to many psychiatric and addictive disorders, including attentional deficits, improper affective response to stimuli, and inflexible or impulsive behavior. PMID:17912252

  8. Social state representation in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Naotaka; Hihara, Sayaka; Nagasaka, Yasuo; Iriki, Atsushi

    2009-01-01

    One of the cardinal mental faculties of humans and other primates is social brain function, the collective name assigned to the distributed system of social cognitive processes that orchestrate our sophisticated adaptive social behavior. These must include processes for recognizing current social context and maintaining an internal representation of the current social state as a reference for decision-making. But how and where the brain processes such social-state information is unknown. To home in on the neural substrates of social-state representation, the activity of 196 prefrontal (PFC) neurons was recorded from two monkeys simultaneously during a food-grab task under varying social conditions. Of PFC neurons, 39% showed activity modulation during movement-free periods and seemed to be representing current social state. The direction of modulation was opposite between the dominant and submissive monkeys: During social engagement, PFC activity increased in the dominant monkey and was suppressed in the submissive monkey. The modulation was consistently observed in additional PFC neurons (27/72) in additional pairings with two other monkeys. Notably, PFC activity in one formerly submissive monkey switched to dominant modulation mode when he was paired with a new monkey of lower social status. These findings suggest that PFC, as part of a larger social brain network, maintains a multistate classification of social context for use as a behavioral reference for social decision-making.

  9. Prefrontal control of attention to threat.

    PubMed

    Peers, Polly V; Simons, Jon S; Lawrence, Andrew D

    2013-01-01

    Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g., trait anxiety) and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink (AB) following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience.

  10. Different forms of decision-making involve changes in the synaptic strength of the thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents to the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    López-Ramos, Juan Carlos; Guerra-Narbona, Rafael; Delgado-García, José M.

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making and other cognitive processes are assumed to take place in the prefrontal cortex. In particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is identified in rodents by its dense connectivity with the mediodorsal (MD) thalamus, and because of its inputs from other sites, such as hippocampus and amygdala (Amyg). The aim of this study was to find a putative relationship between the behavior of mice during the performance of decision-making tasks that involve penalties as a consequence of induced actions, and the strength of field postsynaptic potentials (fPSPs) evoked in the prefrontal cortex from its thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents. Mice were chronically implanted with stimulating electrodes in the MD thalamus, the hippocampal CA1 area, or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and with recording electrodes in the prelimbic/infralimbic area of the prefrontal cortex. Additional stimulating electrodes aimed at evoking negative reinforcements were implanted on the trigeminal nerve. FPSPs evoked at the mPFC from the three selected projecting areas during the food/shock decision-making task decreased in amplitude with shock intensity and animals’ avoidance of the reward. FPSPs collected during the operant task also decreased in amplitude (but that evoked by amygdalar stimulation) when lever presses were associated with a trigeminal shock. Results showed a general decrease in the strength of these potentials when animals inhibited their natural or learned appetitive behaviors, suggesting an inhibition of the prefrontal cortex in these conflicting situations. PMID:25688195

  11. Prefrontal cortex and neural mechanisms of executive function.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro; Andreau, Jorge Mario

    2013-12-01

    Executive function is a product of the coordinated operation of multiple neural systems and an essential prerequisite for a variety of cognitive functions. The prefrontal cortex is known to be a key structure for the performance of executive functions. To accomplish the coordinated operations of multiple neural systems, the prefrontal cortex must monitor the activities in other cortical and subcortical structures and control and supervise their operations by sending command signals, which is called top-down signaling. Although neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that the prefrontal cortex sends top-down signals to the posterior cortices to control information processing, the neural correlate of these top-down signals is not yet known. Through use of the paired association task, it has been demonstrated that top-down signals are used to retrieve specific information stored in long-term memory. Therefore, we used a paired association task to examine the neural correlates of top-down signals in the prefrontal cortex. The preliminary results indicate that 32% of visual neurons exhibit pair-selectivity, which is similar to the characteristics of pair-coding activities in temporal neurons. The latency of visual responses in prefrontal neurons was longer than bottom-up signals but faster than top-down signals in inferior temporal neurons. These results suggest that pair-selective visual responses may be top-down signals that the prefrontal cortex provides to the temporal cortex, although further studies are needed to elucidate the neural correlates of top-down signals and their characteristics to understand the neural mechanism of executive control by the prefrontal cortex.

  12. Aspects of three-dimensional strain at the margin of the extensional orogen, Virgin River depression area, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R.E.; Barnhard, T.P.

    1993-01-01

    The Virgin River depression and surrounding mountains are Neogene features that are partly contiguous with the little-strained rocks of the structural transition to the Colorado Plateau province. This contiguity makes the area ideally suited for evaluating the sense, magnitude, and kinematics of Neogene deformation. Analysis along the strain boundary shows that, compared to the adjacent little-strained area, large-magnitude vertical deformation greatly exceeds extensional deformation and that significant amounts of lateral displacement approximately parallel the province boundary. Isostatic rebound following tectonic denudation is an unlikely direct cause of the strong vertical structural relief adjacent to the strain boundary. Instead, the observed structures are first-order features defining a three-dimensional strain field produced by approximately east-west extension, vertical structural attenuation, and extension-normal shortening. All major structural elements of the strain-boundary strain field are also found in the adjacent Basin and Range. -from Authors

  13. Radiation measurements in the Chiba Metropolitan Area and radiological aspects of fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants accident.

    PubMed

    Amano, Hikaru; Akiyama, Masakazu; Chunlei, Bi; Kawamura, Takao; Kishimoto, Takeshi; Kuroda, Tomotaka; Muroi, Takahiko; Odaira, Tomoaki; Ohta, Yuji; Takeda, Kenji; Watanabe, Yushu; Morimoto, Takao

    2012-09-01

    Large amounts of radioactive substances were released into the environment from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants in eastern Japan as a consequence of the great earthquake (M 9.0) and tsunami of 11 March 2011. Radioactive substances discharged into the atmosphere first reached the Chiba Metropolitan Area on 15 March. We collected daily samples of air, fallout deposition, and tap water starting directly after the incident and measured their radioactivity. During the first two months maximum daily concentrations of airborne radionuclides observed at the Japan Chemical Analysis Center in the Chiba Metropolitan Area were as follows: 4.7 × 10(1) Bq m(-3) of (131)I, 7.5 Bq m(-3) of (137)Cs, and 6.1 Bq m(-3) of (134)Cs. The ratio of gaseous iodine to total iodine ranged from 5.2 × 10(-1) to 7.1 × 10(-1). Observed deposition rate maxima were as follows: 1.7 × 10(4) Bq m(-2) d(-1) of (131)I, 2.9 × 10(3) Bq m(-2) d(-1) of (137)Cs, and 2.9 × 10(3) Bq m(-2) d(-1) of (134)Cs. The deposition velocities (ratio of deposition rate to concentration) of cesium radionuclides and (131)I were detectably different. Radioactivity in tap water caused by the accident was detected several days after detection of radioactivity in fallout in the area. Radiation doses were estimated from external radiation and internal radiation by inhalation and ingestion of tap water for people living outdoor in the Chiba Metropolitan Area following the Fukushima accident.

  14. Output properties and organization of the forelimb representation of motor areas on the lateral aspect of the hemisphere in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Boudrias, Marie-Hélène; McPherson, Rebecca L; Frost, Shawn B; Cheney, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    Motor output capabilities of the forelimb representation of dorsal motor area (PMd) and ventral motor area (PMv) were compared with primary motor cortex (M1) in terms of latency, strength, sign, and distribution of effects. Stimulus-triggered averages (60 microA) of electromyographic activity collected from 24 forelimb muscles were computed at 314 tracks in 2 monkeys trained to perform a reach-to-grasp task. The onset latency and magnitude of facilitation effects from PMd and PMv were significantly longer and 7- to 9-fold weaker than those from M1. Proximal muscles were predominantly represented in PMd and PMv. A joint-dependent flexor or extensor preference was also present. Distal and proximal muscle representations were intermingled in PMd and PMv. A gradual increase in latency and decrease in magnitude of effects were observed in moving from M1 surface sites toward more anterior sites in PMd. For many muscles, segregated areas producing suppression effects were found along the medial portion of PMd and adjacent M1. Although some facilitation effects from PMd and PMv had onset latencies as short as those from M1 in the same muscle, suggesting equal direct linkage, the vast majority had properties consistent with a more indirect linkage to motoneurons either through corticocortical connections with M1 and/or interneuronal linkages in the spinal cord.

  15. Projections from Bed Nuclei of the Stria Terminalis, Anteromedial Area: Cerebral Hemisphere Integration of Neuroendocrine, Autonomic, and Behavioral Aspects of Energy Balance

    PubMed Central

    DONG, HONG-WEI; SWANSON, LARRY W.

    2008-01-01

    The anteromedial area of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BSTam) is the relatively undifferentiated region of the anterior medial (anteromedial) group of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BSTamg), which also includes the more distinct dorsomedial, magnocellular, and ventral nuclei. The overall pattern of axonal projections from the rat BSTam was analyzed with the PHAL anterograde pathway tracing method. Brain areas receiving relatively moderate to strong inputs from the BSTam fall into five general categories: neuroendocrine system (regions containing pools of magnocellular oxytocin neurons, and parvicellular corticotropin-releasing hormone, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, somatostatin, and dopamine neurons); central autonomic control network (central amygdalar nucleus, descending paraventricular nucleus, and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray); hypothalamic visceromotor pattern generator network (5 of 6 known components); behavior control column (descending paraventricular nucleus and associated arcuate nucleus; ventral tegmental area and associated nucleus accumbens and substantia innominata); and behavioral state control (supramammillary and tuberomammillary nuclei). The BSTam projects lightly to thalamocortical feedback loops (via the medial-midline-intralaminar thalamus). Its pattern of axonal projections, combined with its pattern of neural inputs (the most varied of all BST cell groups), suggest that the BSTam is part of a striatopallidal differentiation involved in coordinating neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral or somatic responses associated with maintaining energy balance homeostasis. PMID:16304685

  16. Variability in Prefrontal Hemodynamic Response during Exposure to Repeated Self-Selected Music Excerpts, a Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Moghimi, Saba; Schudlo, Larissa; Chau, Tom; Guerguerian, Anne-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Music-induced brain activity modulations in areas involved in emotion regulation may be useful in achieving therapeutic outcomes. Clinical applications of music may involve prolonged or repeated exposures to music. However, the variability of the observed brain activity patterns in repeated exposures to music is not well understood. We hypothesized that multiple exposures to the same music would elicit more consistent activity patterns than exposure to different music. In this study, the temporal and spatial variability of cerebral prefrontal hemodynamic response was investigated across multiple exposures to self-selected musical excerpts in 10 healthy adults. The hemodynamic changes were measured using prefrontal cortex near infrared spectroscopy and represented by instantaneous phase values. Based on spatial and temporal characteristics of these observed hemodynamic changes, we defined a consistency index to represent variability across these domains. The consistency index across repeated exposures to the same piece of music was compared to the consistency index corresponding to prefrontal activity from randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts. Consistency indexes were significantly different for identical versus non-identical musical excerpts when comparing a subset of repetitions. When all four exposures were compared, no significant difference was observed between the consistency indexes of randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts and the consistency index corresponding to repetitions of the same musical excerpts. This observation suggests the existence of only partial consistency between repeated exposures to the same musical excerpt, which may stem from the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating other cognitive and emotional processes. PMID:25837268

  17. Variability in prefrontal hemodynamic response during exposure to repeated self-selected music excerpts, a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Moghimi, Saba; Schudlo, Larissa; Chau, Tom; Guerguerian, Anne-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Music-induced brain activity modulations in areas involved in emotion regulation may be useful in achieving therapeutic outcomes. Clinical applications of music may involve prolonged or repeated exposures to music. However, the variability of the observed brain activity patterns in repeated exposures to music is not well understood. We hypothesized that multiple exposures to the same music would elicit more consistent activity patterns than exposure to different music. In this study, the temporal and spatial variability of cerebral prefrontal hemodynamic response was investigated across multiple exposures to self-selected musical excerpts in 10 healthy adults. The hemodynamic changes were measured using prefrontal cortex near infrared spectroscopy and represented by instantaneous phase values. Based on spatial and temporal characteristics of these observed hemodynamic changes, we defined a consistency index to represent variability across these domains. The consistency index across repeated exposures to the same piece of music was compared to the consistency index corresponding to prefrontal activity from randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts. Consistency indexes were significantly different for identical versus non-identical musical excerpts when comparing a subset of repetitions. When all four exposures were compared, no significant difference was observed between the consistency indexes of randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts and the consistency index corresponding to repetitions of the same musical excerpts. This observation suggests the existence of only partial consistency between repeated exposures to the same musical excerpt, which may stem from the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating other cognitive and emotional processes.

  18. Functional connectivity of hippocampal and prefrontal networks during episodic and spatial memory based on real-world environments.

    PubMed

    Robin, Jessica; Hirshhorn, Marnie; Rosenbaum, R Shayna; Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris; Grady, Cheryl L

    2015-01-01

    Several recent studies have compared episodic and spatial memory in neuroimaging paradigms in order to understand better the contribution of the hippocampus to each of these tasks. In the present study, we build on previous findings showing common neural activation in default network areas during episodic and spatial memory tasks based on familiar, real-world environments (Hirshhorn et al. (2012) Neuropsychologia 50:3094-3106). Following previous demonstrations of the presence of functionally connected sub-networks within the default network, we performed seed-based functional connectivity analyses to determine how, depending on the task, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex differentially couple with one another and with distinct whole-brain networks. We found evidence for a medial prefrontal-parietal network and a medial temporal lobe network, which were functionally connected to the prefrontal and hippocampal seeds, respectively, regardless of the nature of the memory task. However, these two networks were functionally connected with one another during the episodic memory task, but not during spatial memory tasks. Replicating previous reports of fractionation of the default network into stable sub-networks, this study also shows how these sub-networks may flexibly couple and uncouple with one another based on task demands. These findings support the hypothesis that episodic memory and spatial memory share a common medial temporal lobe-based neural substrate, with episodic memory recruiting additional prefrontal sub-networks.

  19. Altered communicative decisions following ventromedial prefrontal lesions.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Arjen; D'Imperio, Daniela; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Toni, Ivan

    2015-06-01

    Damage to the human ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) leads to profound changes in everyday social interactions [1, 2]. Yet, in the lab, vmPFC patients show surprising proficiency in reasoning about other agents [3-8]. These conflicting observations suggest that what vmPFC patients lack in everyday social interactions might be the ability to guide their decisions with knowledge about a social partner [9-13], despite preserved access to that knowledge [2, 14]. Quantification of socially relevant decisions during live interaction with different partners offers the possibility of testing this hypothesis. Eight patients with vmPFC damage, eight patients with brain damage elsewhere, and 15 healthy participants were asked to communicate non-verbally with two different addressees, an adult or a child, in an experimentally controlled interactive setting [15, 16]. In reality, a confederate blindly performed the role of both adult and child addressee, with matched performance and response times, such that the two addressees differed only in terms of the communicator's beliefs. Patients with vmPFC damage were able-and motivated-to generate communicatively effective behaviors. However, unlike patient and healthy controls, vmPFC patients failed to adjust their communicative decisions to the presumed abilities of their addressee. These findings indicate that the human vmPFC is necessarily involved in social interactions, insofar as those interactions need to be tailored toward knowledge about a social partner. In this perspective, the known contribution of this region to disparate domains like value-based decision-making [17-19], schema-based memory-processing [20-22], and person-specific mentalizing [11-13] might be instances of decisions based on contingently updated conceptual knowledge.

  20. Associations between the CNTNAP2 gene, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and cognitive performance on the Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bi; Chen, Chuansheng; Xue, Gui; Lei, Xuemei; Wang, Yunxin; Li, Jin; Moyzis, Robert K; Li, Jun; Dong, Qi; Lin, Chongde

    2017-02-20

    The CNTNAP2 (contactin-associated protein-like 2) gene, highly expressed in the human prefrontal cortex, has been linked with autism and language impairment. Potential relationships between CNTNAP2, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and cognition have been suggested by previous clinical studies, but have not been directly examined in the same study. The current study collected structural MRI, genetic, and behavioral data in 317 healthy Chinese adults, and examined associations between CNTNAP2 variants, DLPFC, and cognitive performance (measured by the Stroop task). After controlling for intracranial volume, sex, and age, the CNTNAP2 genetic polymorphism at SNP rs7809486 had the strongest association with bilateral DLPFC volume (p=0.00015 and 0.00014 for left and right DLPFC volumes, respectively), with GG homozygotes having greater bilateral DLPFC volumes and surface areas than the other genotypes. Furthermore, TT homozygotes of CNTNAP2 rs4726946 (a nearby SNP that had moderate linkage disequilibrium with rs7809486) had greater left DLPFC volume and surface area, and better cognitive performance than the other genotypes. Subjects with greater left DLPFC surface area had better cognitive performance. Importantly, the left DLPFC surface area mediated the association between the CNTNAP2 rs4726946 genotype and cognitive performance. This study provides the first evidence for associations among the CNTNAP2 gene, left DLPFC structure, and cognitive control.

  1. Sex-specific associations of testosterone with prefrontal-hippocampal development and executive function.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Lew, Jimin; Albaugh, Matthew D; Botteron, Kelly N; Hudziak, James J; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Ducharme, Simon; McCracken, James T

    2017-02-01

    Testosterone is thought to play a crucial role in mediating sexual differentiation of brain structures. Examinations of the cognitive effects of testosterone have also shown beneficial and potentially sex-specific effects on executive function and mnemonic processes. Yet these findings remain limited by an incomplete understanding of the critical timing and brain regions most affected by testosterone, the lack of documented links between testosterone-related structural brain changes and cognition, and the difficulty in distinguishing the effects of testosterone from those of related sex steroids such as of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Here we examined associations between testosterone, cortico-hippocampal structural covariance, executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version), in a longitudinal sample of typically developing children and adolescents 6-22 yo, controlling for the effects of estradiol, DHEA, pubertal stage, collection time, age, handedness, and total brain volume. We found prefrontal-hippocampal covariance to vary as a function of testosterone levels, but only in boys. Boys also showed a specific association between positive prefrontal-hippocampal covariance (as seen at higher testosterone levels) and lower performance on specific components of executive function (monitoring the action process and flexibly shifting between actions). We also found the association between testosterone and a specific aspect of executive function (monitoring) to be significantly mediated by prefrontal-hippocampal structural covariance. There were no significant associations between testosterone-related cortico-hippocampal covariance and verbal memory. Taken together, these findings highlight the developmental importance of testosterone in supporting sexual differentiation of the brain and sex-specific executive function.

  2. Unilateral deactivation of macaque dorsolateral prefrontal cortex induces biases in stimulus selection

    PubMed Central

    Lomber, Stephen G.; Everling, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Following unilateral brain injury, patients are often unable to detect a stimulus presented in the contralesional field when another is presented simultaneously ipsilesionally. This phenomenon has been referred to as extinction and has been conceptualized as a deficit in selective attention. Although most commonly observed following damage to posterior parietal areas, extinction has been observed following lesions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in both humans and nonhuman primates. To date, most studies in nonhuman primates have examined lesions of multiple PFC subregions, including the frontal eye fields (FEF). Theoretical accounts of attentional disturbances from human patients, however, also implicate other PFC areas, including the middle frontal gyrus. Here, we investigated the effects of deactivating PFC areas anterior to the FEF on stimulus selection using a free-choice task. Macaque monkeys were presented with two peripheral stimuli appearing either simultaneously, or at varying stimulus onset asynchronies, and their performance was evaluated during unilateral cryogenic deactivation of part of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or the cortex lining the caudal principal sulcus, the likely homologue of the human middle frontal gyrus. A decreased proportion of saccades was made to stimuli presented in the hemifield contralateral to the deactivated PFC. We also observed increases in reaction times to contralateral stimuli and decreases for stimuli presented in the hemifield ipsilateral to the deactivated hemisphere. In both cases, these results were greatest when both PFC subregions were deactivated. These findings demonstrate that selection biases result from PFC deactivation and support a role of dorsolateral prefrontal subregions anterior to FEF in stimulus selection. PMID:26792881

  3. 4 Hz oscillations synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits during fear behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Karalis, Nikolaos; Dejean, Cyril; Chaudun, Fabrice; Khoder, Suzana; Rozeske, Robert R.; Wurtz, Hélène; Bagur, Sophie; Benchenane, Karim; Sirota, Anton; Courtin, Julien; Herry, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    Fear expression relies on the coordinated activity of prefrontal and amygdala circuits, yet the mechanisms allowing long-range network synchronization during fear remain unknown. Using a combination of extracellular recordings, pharmacological, and optogenetic manipulations we report that freezing, a behavioural expression of fear, temporally coincides with the development of sustained, internally generated 4 Hz oscillations within prefrontal-amygdala circuits. 4 Hz oscillations predict freezing onset and offset and synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Optogenetic induction of prefrontal 4 Hz oscillations coordinates prefrontal-amygdala activity and elicits fear behaviour. These results unravel a novel sustained oscillatory mechanism mediating prefrontal-amygdala coupling during fear behaviour. PMID:26878674

  4. Cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions alter prefrontal cortex dendritic spine morphology.

    PubMed

    Bauer, David J; Peterson, Todd C; Swain, Rodney A

    2014-01-28

    Anatomical tracing studies in primates have revealed neural tracts from the cerebellar dentate nuclei to prefrontal cortex, implicating a cerebellar role in nonmotor processes. Experiments in rats examining the functional role of this cerebellothalamocortical pathway have demonstrated the development of visuospatial and motivational deficits following lesions of the dentate nuclei, in the absence of motor impairment. These behavioral deficits possibly occur due to structural modifications of the cerebral cortex secondary to loss of cerebellar input. The current study characterized morphological alterations in prefrontal cortex important for visuospatial and motivational processes following bilateral cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions. Rats received either bilateral electrolytic cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions or sham surgery followed by a 30-day recovery. Randomly selected Golgi-impregnated neurons in prefrontal cortex were examined for analysis. Measures of branch length and spine density revealed no differences between lesioned and sham rats in either apical or basilar arbors; however, the proportion of immature to mature spines significantly decreased in lesioned rats as compared to sham controls, with reductions of 33% in the basilar arbor and 28% in the apical arbor. Although expected pruning of branches and spines did not occur, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that cerebellar lesions influence prefrontal morphology and support the possibility that functional deficits following cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions are related to prefrontal morphological alteration.

  5. Reversible antisocial behavior in ventromedial prefrontal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Trebuchon, Agnès; Bartolomei, Fabrice; McGonigal, Aileen; Laguitton, Virginie; Chauvel, Patrick

    2013-11-01

    Frontal lobe dysfunction is known to be associated with impairment in social behavior. We investigated the link between severe pharmacoresistant frontal lobe epilepsy and antisocial trait. We studied four patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy involving the prefrontal cortex, presenting abnormal interictal social behavior. Noninvasive investigations (video-EEG, PET, MRI) and intracerebral recording (stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG)) were performed as part of a presurgical assessment. Comprehensive psychiatric and cognitive evaluation was performed pre- and postoperatively for frontal lobe epilepsy, with at least 7years of follow-up. All patients shared a characteristic epilepsy pattern: (1) chronic severe prefrontal epilepsy with daily seizures and (2) an epileptogenic zone as defined by intracerebral recording involving the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial PFC, and the posterior part of the orbitofrontal cortex, with early propagation to contralateral prefrontal and ipsilateral medial temporal structures. All patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV) of antisocial personality disorder, which proved to be reversible following seizure control. Pharmacoresistant epilepsy involving a prefrontal network is associated with antisocial personality. We hypothesize that the occurrence of frequent seizures in this region over a prolonged period produces functional damage leading to impaired prefrontal control of social behavior. This functional damage is reversible since successful epilepsy surgery markedly improved antisocial behavior in these patients. The results are in line with previous reports of impairment of social and moral behavior following ventromedial frontal lobe injury.

  6. Prefrontal cortical microcircuits bind perception to executive control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opris, Ioan; Santos, Lucas; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Song, Dong; Berger, Theodore W.; Hampson, Robert E.; Deadwyler, Sam A.

    2013-07-01

    During the perception-to-action cycle, our cerebral cortex mediates the interactions between the environment and the perceptual-executive systems of the brain. At the top of the executive hierarchy, prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to bind perceptual and executive control information to guide goal-driven behavior. Here, we tested this hypothesis by comparing simultaneously recorded neuron firing in prefrontal cortical layers and the caudate-putamen of rhesus monkeys, trained in a spatial-versus-object, rule-based match-to-sample task. We found that during the perception and executive selection phases, cell firing in the localized prefrontal layers and caudate-putamen region exhibited similar location preferences on spatial-trials, but less on object- trials. Then, we facilitated the perceptual-executive circuit by stimulating the prefrontal infra-granular-layers with patterns previously derived from supra-granular-layers, and produced stimulation-induced spatial preference in percent correct performance on spatial trials, similar to neural tuning. These results show that inter-laminar prefrontal microcircuits play causal roles to the perception-to-action cycle.

  7. Some aspects of resource uncertainty and their economic consequences in assessment of the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Attanasi, E.D.; Schuenemeyer, J.H.

    2002-01-01

    Exploration ventures in frontier areas have high risks. Before committing to them, firms prepare regional resource assessments to evaluate the potential payoffs. With no historical basis for directly estimating size distribution of undiscovered accumulations, reservoir attribute probability distributions can be assessed subjectively and used to project undiscovered accumulation sizes. Three questions considered here are: (1) what distributions should be used to characterize the subjective assessments of reservoir attributes, (2) how parsimonious can the analyst be when eliciting subjective information from the assessment geologist, and (3) what are consequences of ignoring dependencies among reservoir attributes? The standard or norm used for comparing outcomes is the computed cost function describing costs of finding, developing, and producing undiscovered oil accumulations. These questions are examined in the context of the US Geological Survey's recently published regional assessment of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. We study effects of using the various common distributions to characterize the geologist's subjective distributions representing reservoir attributes. Specific findings show that triangular distributions result in substantial bias in economic forecasts when used to characterize skewed distributions. Moreover, some forms of the lognormal distribution also result in biased economic inferences. Alternatively, we generally determined four fractiles (100, 50, 5, 0) to be sufficient to capture essential economic characteristics of the underlying attribute distributions. Ignoring actual dependencies among reservoir attributes biases the economic evaluation. ?? 2002 International Association for Mathematical Geology.

  8. ASPECTS OF THE ECOLOGY OF PHLEBOTOMINES (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) IN AN AREA OF CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS OCCURRENCE, MUNICIPALITY OF ANGRA DOS REIS, COAST OF RIO DE JANEIRO STATE, BRAZIL

    PubMed Central

    de Aguiar, Gustavo Marins; de Azevedo, Alfredo Carlos Rodrigues; de Medeiros, Wagner Muniz; Alves, João Ricardo Carreira; Rendeiro, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    Over a complete two-year period, phlebotomine specimens were caught in an area of cutaneous leishmaniasis occurrence in the municipality of Angra dos Reis. A manual suction tube was used to catch phlebotomines on house walls, and also light traps in domestic and peridomestic settings and in the forest. This yielded 14,170 specimens of 13 species: two in the genus Brumptomyia and eleven in the genus Lutzomyia. L. intermedia predominantly in domestic and peridomestic settings, with little presence in the forest, with the same trend being found in relation to L. migonei, thus proving that these species have adapted to the human environment. L. fischeri appeared to be eclectic regarding location, but was seen to be proportionally more endophilic. L. intermedia and L. migonei were more numerous in peridomestic settings, throughout the year, while L. fischeri was more numerous in domestic settings except in March, April, May and September. From the prevalence of L. intermedia, its proven anthropophily and findings of this species naturally infected with Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, it can be incriminated as the main vector for this agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the study area, especially in the peridomestic environment. L. fischeri may be a coadjuvant in carrying the parasite. PMID:24626417

  9. Methodological Aspects of the Potential Use of Dendrochronological Techniques When Analyzing the Long-Term Impact of Tourism on Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Ciapała, Szymon; Adamski, Paweł

    2015-01-01

    Intensification of pedestrian tourism causes damage to trees near tourist tracks, and likewise changes the soil structure. As a result, one may expect that annual amount of trees growing near tracks is significantly lower than deeper in the forest. However, during the study of the long-term impact of tourism on the environment (determined from tree increment dynamics), some methodological problems may occur. It is particularly important in protected areas where law and administrative regulations related to nature conservation force research to be conducted using small samples. In this paper we have analyzed the data collected in the Polish part of the Tatra National Park in the two study plots divided into two zones each: the area directly under the influence of the tourist's trampling and the control group. The aim of such analyses was to present the potential effects of the factors which may affect the results of dendrochronological analysis: (i) small size of samples that affects their representativeness, (ii) spatial differences in the rates of the process, as a result of spatial variability of environmental factors and (iii) temporal differences in the rates of the process. This study confirms that the factors mentioned above could significantly influence the results and should be taken into consideration during the analysis. PMID:26325062

  10. Regulatory aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Arthur M.

    1986-07-01

    At this time, there is no US legislation that is specifically aimed at regulating the environmental release of genetically engineered organisms or their modified components, either during the research and development stage or during application. There are some statutes, administered by several federal agencies, whose language is broad enough to allow the extension of intended coverage to include certain aspects of biotechnology. The one possible exception is FIFRA, which has already brought about the registration of several natural microbial pesticides but which also has provision for requiring the registration of “strain improved” microbial pesticides. Nevertheless, there may be gaps in coverage even if all pertinent statutes were to be actively applied to the control of environmental release of genetically modified substances. The decision to regulate biotechnology under TSCA was justified, in part, on the basis of its intended role as a gap-filling piece of environmental legislation. The advantage of regulating biotechnology under TSCA is that this statute, unlike others, is concerned with all media of exposure (air, water, soil, sediment, biota) that may pose health and environmental hazards. Experience may show that extending existing legislation to regulate biotechnology is a poor compromise compared to the promulgation of new legislation specifically designed for this purpose. It appears that many other countries are ultimately going to take the latter course to regulate biotechnology.

  11. Practical aspects of using Hertzian ring crack initiation to measure surface flaw densities in glasses: influence of humidity, friction and searched areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tandon, Rajan; Paliwal, Bhasker; Gibson, Cory

    2013-07-01

    Ring crack initiation loads on glass, using spherical Tungsten carbide (WC) and glass (G) indenters, are measured and analysed. Our measurements demonstrate that environmental humidity plays a key role in determining the load to fracture; experiments conducted without controlling this variable cannot be used to obtain material properties. The role of friction is explicitly considered for dissimilar (WC-G) elastic contacts. For this material pair, the stresses at fracture are well described by a boundary lubrication value of friction coefficient. The fracture loads are used in a fracture-mechanics formulation to calculate crack sizes on glass surfaces. The 'searched-area' concept for dissimilar contacts is described, and used to provide crack density values for these surfaces.

  12. Aspects on the Ecology of Phlebotomine Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) From Guaraí, State of Tocantins, Brazil, Endemic Area for American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Godoy, Rodrigo Espíndola; de Santana, Antônio Luís Ferreira; Graser, Carina; Rangel, Elizabeth Ferreira; Vilela, Maurício Luiz

    2017-01-01

    In Brazil, American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) ecology involves a diversity of Leishmania species transmitted by different sand fly species. Workers involved in agricultural activities are those mainly affected by ACL in some regions from Tocantins State (TO), Brazil, where the disease can be established in new settlements. The objective of this study was to examine the seasonal and hourly frequency of sand fly species, focusing on the potential vectors of ACL, in a settlement in Guaraí (TO), an ACL transmission area. Sand flies were captured in forested area close to Pedra Branca Agricultural Project settlement, from March 2006 until December 2007, using Shannon trap. Monthly captures were made from 06:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and 24-h captures were done twice per semester, from 06:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m. A total of 10,089 specimens from 30 species were identified. Psychodopygus complexus Mangabeira, Psychodopygus llanosmartinsi Fraiha & Ward, and Nyssomyia antunesi Coutinho were the most abundant species. Nyssomyia antunesi was more frequent during the dry period, whereas Ps. complexus and Ps. llanosmartinsi had high frequencies during the rainy season. Precipitation was positively correlated with Ps. complexus and Ps. llanosmartinsi abundance, and negatively correlated with Ny. antunesi During 24-h captures, the majority of specimens were captured during the night followed by a decrease at dawn. The behavior and previous finding of natural infection by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis of Ps. complexus led us to the conclusion that this species can be a potential vector of L. (V.) braziliensis during the rainy season in Guaraí.

  13. Aspects on the Ecology of Phlebotomine Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) From Guaraí, State of Tocantins, Brazil, Endemic Area for American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Godoy, Rodrigo Espíndola; de Santana, Antônio Luís Ferreira; Graser, Carina; Rangel, Elizabeth Ferreira; Vilela, Maurício Luiz

    2016-09-01

    In Brazil, American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) ecology involves a diversity of Leishmania species transmitted by different sand fly species. Workers involved in agricultural activities are those mainly affected by ACL in some regions from Tocantins State (TO), Brazil, where the disease can be established in new settlements. The objective of this study was to examine the seasonal and hourly frequency of sand fly species, focusing on the potential vectors of ACL, in a settlement in Guaraí (TO), an ACL transmission area. Sand flies were captured in forested area close to Pedra Branca Agricultural Project settlement, from March 2006 until December 2007, using Shannon trap. Monthly captures were made from 06:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and 24-h captures were done twice per semester, from 06:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m. A total of 10,089 specimens from 30 species were identified. Psychodopygus complexus Mangabeira, Psychodopygus llanosmartinsi Fraiha & Ward, and Nyssomyia antunesi Coutinho were the most abundant species. Nyssomyia antunesi was more frequent during the dry period, whereas Ps. complexus and Ps. llanosmartinsi had high frequencies during the rainy season. Precipitation was positively correlated with Ps. complexus and Ps. llanosmartinsi abundance, and negatively correlated with Ny. antunesi During 24-h captures, the majority of specimens were captured during the night followed by a decrease at dawn. The behavior and previous finding of natural infection by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis of Ps. complexus led us to the conclusion that this species can be a potential vector of L. (V.) braziliensis during the rainy season in Guaraí.

  14. Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise

    2014-10-01

    Rostral prefrontal cortex (RPFC) has increased in size and changed in terms of its cellular organisation during primate evolution. In parallel emerged the ability to detach oneself from the immediate environment to process abstract thoughts and solve problems and to understand other individuals' thoughts and intentions. Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) is thought to play an important role in supporting the integration of abstract, often self-generated, thoughts. Thoughts can be temporally abstract and relate to long term goals, or past or future events, or relationally abstract and focus on the relationships between representations rather than simple stimulus features. Behavioural studies have provided evidence of a prolonged development of the cognitive functions associated with RLPFC, in particular logical and relational reasoning, but also episodic memory retrieval and prospective memory. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies provide further support for a prolonged development of RLPFC during adolescence, with some evidence of increased specialisation of RLPFC activation for relational integration and aspects of episodic memory retrieval. Topics for future research will be discussed, such as the role of medial RPFC in processing abstract thoughts in the social domain, the possibility of training abstract thinking in the domain of reasoning, and links to education.

  15. Sure I'm Sure: Prefrontal Oscillations Support Metacognitive Monitoring of Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Wokke, Martijn E; Cleeremans, Axel; Ridderinkhof, K Richard

    2017-01-25

    Successful decision making critically involves metacognitive processes such as monitoring and control of our decision process. Metacognition enables agents to modify ongoing behavior adaptively and determine what to do next in situations in which external feedback is not (immediately) available. Despite the importance of metacognition for many aspects of life, little is known about how our metacognitive system operates or about what kind of information is used for metacognitive (second-order) judgments. In particular, it remains an open question whether metacognitive judgments are based on the same information as first-order decisions. Here, we investigated the relationship between metacognitive performance and first-order task performance by recording EEG signals while participants were asked to make a "diagnosis" after seeing a sample of fictitious patient data (a complex pattern of colored moving dots of different sizes). To assess metacognitive performance, participants provided an estimate about the quality of their diagnosis on each trial. Results demonstrate that the information that contributes to first-order decisions differs from the information that supports metacognitive judgments. Further, time-frequency analyses of EEG signals reveal that metacognitive performance is associated specifically with prefrontal theta-band activity. Together, our findings are consistent with a hierarchical model of metacognition and suggest a crucial role for prefrontal oscillations in metacognitive performance.

  16. The relationship between dispositional empathy and prefrontal cortical functioning in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Gul, Amara; Ahmad, Hira

    2017-01-01

    Background & Objective: Rehabilitation focuses brain-behavior relationship which highlights interaction between psychological and neurobiological factors for better patient care. There is a missing link in the literature about socio-cognitive aspects of frontal lobe epilepsy. Our objective was to examine prefrontal cortical functioning (PCF) and empathic abilities in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE). Further, we analyzed whether any relationship between components of dispositional empathy and PCF exists in patients with FLE. Methods: The study was designed in an experimental paradigm. Sixty patients with FLE were recruited from Sheikh Zayed and Jinnah hospital, Pakistan. Sixty healthy individuals in response to an advertisement took part in the study as control subjects. Participants completed interpersonal reactivity index. Following they performed clock drawing test and word-color identification task switching experiment. Result: Patients with FLE demonstrated weaker PCF (i.e., cognitive flexibility and executive function) as compared to healthy control subjects. Patients with FLE scored lesser on cognitive empathy as compared to healthy control subjects. On contrary, there was no significant difference between patient and control group on affective empathy. Cognitive not affective empathy was potential predictor of PCF. Conclusion: Cognitive empathy is a significant marker of prefrontal cortical functioning (PCF) in FLE. Higher cognitive empathy would lead to efficient PCF. PMID:28367200

  17. Specialization in the left prefrontal cortex for sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Ryuichiro; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2002-08-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined cortical activation under syntactic decision tasks and a short-term memory task for sentences, focusing on essential properties of syntactic processing. By comparing activation in these tasks with a short-term memory task for word lists, we found that two regions in the left prefrontal cortex showed selective activation for syntactic processing: the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Moreover, the left DPFC showed more prominent activation under the short-term memory task for sentences than that for word lists, which cannot be explained by general cognitive factors such as task difficulty and verbal short-term memory. These results support the proposal of specialized systems for sentence comprehension in the left prefrontal cortex.

  18. Phlogopite compositions as an indicator of both the geodynamic context of granitoids and the metallogeny aspect in Memve'ele Archean area, northwestern Congo craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntomba, Sylvestre M.; Bidzang, François Ndong; Ottou, José Eric Messi; Goussi Ngalamo, François Jeannot; Bisso, Dieudonné; Magnekou Takamte, Christelle Rufine; Ondoa, Joseph Mvondo

    2016-06-01

    A barium bearing phlogopite (celsian) has been found for the first time within the charnockitic and tonalitic suites that compose Archean mineral belt in Cameroon. Electron microprobe analyses of these phlogopites are reported and contain moderate contents of BaO (0.42-1.26 wt. %) and up to 5.95 wt. % TiO2. Micas are Mg-rich and their compositions indicate phlogopites rich-meroxenes. Phlogopites from Memve'ele are characterized by a nearly horizontal trend of increasing total aluminium (2.494-2.931 a.p.f.u.) and relatively constant Fe/(Fe + Mg) suggesting contributions of aluminous supracrustal material to the magmas by anatexis or assimilation. Compositions of the barium titanium bearing phlogopite vary systematically according to rock types. It seems that the substitution scheme include Ba + Al + VI (Mg, Fe)2+ + 2 IVSi = K + Si + VITi + 2IVAl was dominant in the Memve'ele area thus, this scheme has made easy incorporation of Ba into phlogopite structure. The binary diagram of aluminium vs. titanium shows that phlogopites from the Memve'ele area have been formed by the same metasomatic mechanism as phlogopites from Canary Island xenoliths and Mezitler andesites but Ba enrichment of phlogopites from the Memve'ele area implies an early Ba-metasomatism contrary to those from Mezitler. The estimated temperature of the studied phlogopites indicated mainly two groups: (1) temperature range from 662 to 688 °C (average 676 °C) for phlogopite grains with High Mg# in the trondhjemite sample and (2) temperatures with interval limits from 757 to 800 °C (average 777.07 °C) for remnant phlogopites; reflecting primary and late crystallization respectively from slightly to highly oxidized magma (-17.30 to -13.87 Kbars). The geothermal gradient with average temperatures are 35.57-53.360 °C/Km and 30.95-46.42 °C/Km corresponding to 14.56-21.84 Km and 14.56-30.58 Km depth of below crust respectively. The crystallizing melt is enriched in Ba emanated from sea water at medium

  19. Role of social encounter-induced activation of prefrontal serotonergic systems in the abnormal behaviors of isolation-reared mice.

    PubMed

    Ago, Yukio; Araki, Ryota; Tanaka, Tatsunori; Sasaga, Asuka; Nishiyama, Saki; Takuma, Kazuhiro; Matsuda, Toshio

    2013-07-01

    Isolation-reared male rodents show abnormal behaviors such as hyperlocomotion, aggressive behaviors, deficits of prepulse inhibition, and depression- and anxiety-like behaviors, but the neurochemical mechanism for the effects of psychological stress in these animals is not fully understood. This study examined the effects of social interactions between isolation-reared mice and intruder mice on brain monoaminergic systems. A cage was divided into two compartments by a mesh partition to prevent direct physical interactions. The 20-min encounter with an intruder elicited a restless and hyperexcitable state (hyperactivity) in male, but not in female, isolation-reared mice, whereas encounters with a sleeping intruder or a novel object did not. Although the encounter did not affect prefrontal neuronal-activity-marker c-Fos expression, dopamine (DA) levels, or serotonin (5-HT) levels in male group-reared mice or female isolation-reared mice, it increased prefrontal c-Fos expression, DA levels, and 5-HT levels in male isolation-reared mice. Furthermore, encounter-induced increases in c-Fos expression in the dorsal raphe nucleus and ventral tegmental area, but not in the nucleus accumbens shell, were much greater in isolation-reared than group-reared male mice. A 5-HT1A receptor agonist, a metabotropic glutamate 2/3 receptor agonist, and a gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor agonist attenuated isolation-induced aggressive behaviors and encounter-induced hyperactivity, c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex and dorsal raphe nucleus, and increases in prefrontal 5-HT levels. These findings suggest that the prefrontal DA and 5-HT systems are activated by encounter stimulation in male isolation-reared mice, and the encounter-induced activation of 5-HT system triggers the induction of some abnormal behaviors in male isolation-reared mice. Furthermore, this study implies that the encounter stimulation-induced signal has a pharmacological significance.

  20. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person’s visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants’ tendency to adopt another’s point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males’ responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another’s viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing. PMID:25951227

  1. Cardiovascular responses of the anterior claustrum; its mechanism; contribution of medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hatam, Masoumeh; Sheybanifar, Mehrnoosh; Nasimi, Ali

    2013-12-01

    The anterior claustrum (CLa) has bilateral connections with the areas involved in cardiovascular regulation, though its role in cardiovascular control is not yet understood. This study was performed to find the cardiovascular responsive region of the CLa by stimulating all parts of the CLa with l-glutamate, and to find the possible mechanisms mediating its responses in urethane-anesthetized rats. We also investigated the possible involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex in the cardiovascular responses of the CLa. The effect of microinjection of l-glutamate (50-100 nl, 0.25 M) was tested throughout the Cla and only in one area at 2.7 mm rostral to bregma, 1.8-2.0 midline and 4.5-5.6mm vertical, significant decreases in arterial pressure were elicited (-21.71±2.1 mmHg, P<0.001, t-test) with no significant change in heart rate. Administration (i.v.) of the muscarinic receptor blocker, atropine, had no effect on the change in mean arterial pressure in response to glutamate stimulation, suggesting that the parasympathetic system was not involved in this response. However, administration (i.v.) of the nicotinic receptor blocker, hexamethonium dichloride abolished the depressor response to glutamate, suggesting that CLa stimulation decreases sympathetic outflow to the cardiovascular system. In addition, microinjection of the reversible synaptic blocker, cobalt chloride, into the medial prefrontal cortex greatly attenuated the depressor response elicited by microinjection of glut into the CLa. Thus for the first time, we found the cardiovascular responsive region of the anterior claustrum. Also we showed that its response is mediated through the medial prefrontal cortex.

  2. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information.

    PubMed

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person's visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants' tendency to adopt another's point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males' responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another's viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing.

  3. Evidence for inhibitory deficits in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Radhu, Natasha; Garcia Dominguez, Luis; Farzan, Faranak; Richter, Margaret A.; Semeralul, Mawahib O.; Chen, Robert; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2015-01-01

    Abnormal gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibitory neurotransmission is a key pathophysiological mechanism underlying schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be combined with electroencephalography to index long-interval cortical inhibition, a measure of GABAergic receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission from the frontal and motor cortex. In previous studies we have reported that schizophrenia is associated with inhibitory deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex compared to healthy subjects and patients with bipolar disorder. The main objective of the current study was to replicate and extend these initial findings by evaluating long-interval cortical inhibition from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A total of 111 participants were assessed: 38 patients with schizophrenia (average age: 35.71 years, 25 males, 13 females), 27 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (average age: 36.15 years, 11 males, 16 females) and 46 healthy subjects (average age: 33.63 years, 23 females, 23 males). Long-interval cortical inhibition was measured from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and motor cortex through combined transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography. In the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, long-interval cortical inhibition was significantly reduced in patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy subjects (P = 0.004) and not significantly different between patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and healthy subjects (P = 0.5445). Long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were also significantly greater in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (P = 0.0465). There were no significant differences in long-interval cortical inhibition across all three groups in the motor cortex. These results demonstrate that long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the

  4. PET neuroimaging of extrastriatal dopamine receptors and prefrontal cortex functions.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hidehiko

    2013-12-01

    The role of prefrontal dopamine D1 receptors in prefrontal cortex (PFC) functions, including working memory, is widely investigated. However, human (healthy volunteers and schizophrenia patients) positron emission tomography (PET) studies about the relationship between prefrontal D1 receptors and PFC functions are somewhat inconsistent. We argued that several factors including an inverted U-shaped relationship between prefrontal D1 receptors and PFC functions might be responsible for these inconsistencies. In contrast to D1 receptors, relatively less attention has been paid to the role of D2 receptors in PFC functions. Several animal and human pharmacological studies have reported that the systemic administration of D2 receptor agonist/antagonist modulates PFC functions, although those studies do not tell us which region(s) is responsible for the effect. Furthermore, while prefrontal D1 receptors are primarily involved in working memory, other PFC functions such as set-shifting seem to be differentially modulated by dopamine. PET studies of extrastriatal D2 receptors including ours suggested that orchestration of prefrontal dopamine transmission and hippocampal dopamine transmission might be necessary for a broad range of normal PFC functions. In order to understand the complex effects of dopamine signaling on PFC functions, measuring a single index related to basic dopamine tone is not sufficient. For a better understanding of the meanings of PET indices related to neurotransmitters, comprehensive information (presynaptic, postsynaptic, and beyond receptor signaling) will be required. Still, an interdisciplinary approach combining molecular imaging techniques with cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychiatry will provide new perspectives for understanding the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders and their innovative drug developments.

  5. Speed-accuracy strategy regulations in prefrontal tumor patients

    PubMed Central

    Campanella, Fabio; Skrap, Miran; Vallesi, Antonino

    2016-01-01

    The ability to flexibly switch between fast and accurate decisions is crucial in everyday life. Recent neuroimaging evidence suggested that left lateral prefrontal cortex plays a role in switching from a quick response strategy to an accurate one. However, the causal role of the left prefrontal cortex in this particular, non-verbal, strategy switch has never been demonstrated. To fill this gap, we administered a perceptual decision-making task to neuro-oncological prefrontal patients, in which the requirement to be quick or accurate changed randomly on a trial-by-trial basis. To directly assess hemispheric asymmetries in speed-accuracy regulation, patients were tested a few days before and a few days after surgical excision of a brain tumor involving either the left (N=13) or the right (N=12) lateral frontal brain region. A group of age- and education-matched healthy controls was also recruited. To gain more insight on the component processes implied in the task, performance data (accuracy and speed) were not only analyzed separately but also submitted to a diffusion model analysis. The main findings indicated that the left prefrontal patients were impaired in appropriately adopting stricter response criteria in speed-to-accuracy switching trials with respect to healthy controls and right prefrontal patients, who were not impaired in this condition. This study demonstrates that the prefrontal cortex in the left hemisphere is necessary for flexible behavioral regulations, in particular when setting stricter response criteria is required in order to successfully switch from a speedy strategy to an accurate one. PMID:26772144

  6. Environmental aspects of produced-water salt releases in onshore and coastal petroleum-producing areas of the conterminous U.S. - a bibliography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otton, James K.

    2006-01-01

    Environmental effects associated with the production of oil and gas have been reported since the first oil wells were drilled in the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the early to mid-1800s. The most significant of these effects are the degradation of soils, ground water, surface water, and ecosystems they support by releases of suspended and dissolved hydrocarbons and co-produced saline water. Produced water salts are less likely than hydrocarbons to be adsorbed by mineral phases in the soil and sediment and are not subject to degradation by biologic processes. Sodium is a major dissolved constituent in most produced waters and it causes substantial degradation of soils through altering of clays and soil textures and subsequent erosion. Produced water salts seem to have the most wide-ranging effects on soils, water quality, and ecosystems. Trace elements, including boron, lithium, bromine, fluorine, and radium, also occur in elevated concentrations in some produced waters. Many trace elements are phytotoxic and are adsorbed and may remain in soils after the saline water has been flushed away. Radium-bearing scale and sludge found in oilfield equipment and discarded on soils pose additional hazards to human health and ecosystems. This bibliography includes studies from across the oil- and natural-gas-producing areas of the conterminous United States that were published in the last 80 yrs. The studies describe the effects of produced water salts on soils, water quality, and ecosystems. Also included are reports that describe (1) the inorganic chemistry of produced waters included in studies of formation waters for various purposes, (2) other sources of salt affecting water quality that may be mistaken for produced water effects, (3) geochemical and geophysical techniques that allow discrimination of salt sources, (4) remediation technologies designed to repair damage caused to soils and ground water by produced water salts, and (5) contamination by

  7. Prefrontal activation during inhibitory control measured by near-infrared spectroscopy for differentiating between autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults.

    PubMed

    Ishii-Takahashi, Ayaka; Takizawa, Ryu; Nishimura, Yukika; Kawakubo, Yuki; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Matsubayashi, Junko; Hamada, Kasumi; Okuhata, Shiho; Yahata, Noriaki; Igarashi, Takashi; Kawasaki, Shingo; Yamasue, Hidenori; Kato, Nobumasa; Kasai, Kiyoto; Kano, Yukiko

    2014-01-01

    The differential diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based solely on symptomatic and behavioral assessments can be difficult, even for experts. Thus, the development of a neuroimaging marker that differentiates ASDs from ADHD would be an important contribution to this field. We assessed the differences in prefrontal activation between adults with ASDs and ADHD using an entirely non-invasive and portable neuroimaging tool, near-infrared spectroscopy. This study included 21 drug-naïve adults with ASDs, 19 drug-naïve adults with ADHD, and 21 healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and IQ. Oxygenated hemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex were assessed during a stop signal task and a verbal fluency task. During the stop signal task, compared to the control group, the ASDs group exhibited lower activation in a broad prefrontal area, whereas the ADHD group showed underactivation of the right premotor area, right presupplementary motor area, and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. Significant differences were observed in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex between the ASDs and ADHD groups during the stop signal task. The leave-one-out cross-validation method using mean oxygenated hemoglobin changes yielded a classification accuracy of 81.4% during inhibitory control. These results were task specific, as the brain activation pattern observed during the verbal fluency task did not differentiate the ASDs and ADHD groups significantly. This study therefore provides evidence of a difference in left ventrolateral prefrontal activation during inhibitory control between adults with ASDs and ADHD. Thus, near-infrared spectroscopy may be useful as an auxiliary tool for the differential diagnosis of such developmental disorders.

  8. Medial prefrontal cortex: genes linked to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have altered expression in the highly social maternal phenotype.

    PubMed

    Eisinger, Brian E; Driessen, Terri M; Zhao, Changjiu; Gammie, Stephen C

    2014-01-01

    The transition to motherhood involves CNS changes that modify sociability and affective state. However, these changes also put females at risk for post-partum depression and psychosis, which impairs parenting abilities and adversely affects children. Thus, changes in expression and interactions in a core subset of genes may be critical for emergence of a healthy maternal phenotype, but inappropriate changes of the same genes could put women at risk for post-partum disorders. This study evaluated microarray gene expression changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a region implicated in both maternal behavior and psychiatric disorders. Post-partum mice were compared to virgin controls housed with females and isolated for identical durations. Using the Modular Single-set Enrichment Test (MSET), we found that the genetic landscape of maternal mPFC bears statistical similarity to gene databases associated with schizophrenia (5 of 5 sets) and bipolar disorder (BPD, 3 of 3 sets). In contrast to previous studies of maternal lateral septum (LS) and medial preoptic area (MPOA), enrichment of autism and depression-linked genes was not significant (2 of 9 sets, 0 of 4 sets). Among genes linked to multiple disorders were fatty acid binding protein 7 (Fabp7), glutamate metabotropic receptor 3 (Grm3), platelet derived growth factor, beta polypeptide (Pdgfrb), and nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group D, member 1 (Nr1d1). RT-qPCR confirmed these gene changes as well as FMS-like tyrosine kinase 1 (Flt1) and proenkephalin (Penk). Systems-level methods revealed involvement of developmental gene networks in establishing the maternal phenotype and indirectly suggested a role for numerous microRNAs and transcription factors in mediating expression changes. Together, this study suggests that a subset of genes involved in shaping the healthy maternal brain may also be dysregulated in mental health disorders and put females at risk for post-partum psychosis with aspects of schizophrenia

  9. Impairments in set-shifting but not reversal learning in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion model of schizophrenia: further evidence for medial prefrontal deficits.

    PubMed

    Placek, Katerina; Dippel, William C; Jones, Shelby; Brady, Anne Marie

    2013-11-01

    The executive function processes of set-shifting and reversal learning in rodents are mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. Here, we investigated both set-shifting and reversal learning in a developmental animal model of schizophrenia, the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) model. The NVHL manipulation is known to disrupt development of the medial prefrontal cortex, and to impair behaviors dependent on this area, but potential orbitofrontal abnormalities and reversal learning deficits are less well studied. Animals received excitotoxic lesions of the ventral hippocampus (NVHL) or a sham treatment during the first postnatal week, and all animals were subsequently tested in adulthood on either an operant set-shifting or an operant reversal task. Results indicated that NVHL animals were able to acquire a simple discrimination rule and exhibited normal reversal learning, but were impaired on a prefrontal-dependent set-shifting task. Furthermore, this set-shifting deficit was due to an increase in perseverative errors, which indicate difficulty suppressing a previously learned strategy and result from medial prefrontal insult. Together, these results confirm and extend the idea that cognitive impairments in the NVHL animal are primarily driven by medial prefrontal abnormalities, while the orbitofrontal cortex may remain relatively unaffected.

  10. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy based Neurofeedback of Prefrontal Cortex Activity: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    PubMed Central

    Barth, Beatrix; Strehl, Ute; Fallgatter, Andreas J.; Ehlis, Ann-Christine

    2016-01-01

    Neurofeedback is a promising tool for treatment and rehabilitation of several patient groups. In this proof of principle study, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) based neurofeedback of frontal cortical areas was investigated in healthy adults. Main aims were the assessment of learning, the effects on performance in a working memory (n-back) task and the impact of applied strategies on regulation. 13 healthy participants underwent eight sessions of NIRS based neurofeedback within 2 weeks to learn to voluntarily up-regulate hemodynamic activity in prefrontal areas. An n-back task in pre-/post measurements was used to monitor neurocognitive changes. Mean oxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb) amplitudes over the course of the sessions as well as during the n-back task were evaluated. 12 out of 13 participants were able to regulate their frontal hemodynamic response via NIRS neurofeedback. However, no systematic learning effects were observed in frontal O2Hb amplitudes over the training course in our healthy sample. We found an impact of applied strategies in only 5 out of 13 subjects. Regarding the n-back task, neurofeedback appeared to induce more focused and specific brain activation compared to pre-training measurement. NIRS based neurofeedback is a feasible and potentially effective method, with an impact on activation patterns in a working memory task. Ceiling effects might explain the lack of a systematic learning pattern in healthy subjects. Clinical studies are needed to show effects in patients exhibiting pathological deviations in prefrontal function. PMID:28018199

  11. The medial frontal-prefrontal network for altered awareness and control of action in corticobasal syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Moore, James W.; Rae, Charlotte L.; Rittman, Timothy; Altena, Ellemarije; Haggard, Patrick; Rowe, James B.

    2014-01-01

    The volitional impairments of alien limb and apraxia are a defining feature of the corticobasal syndrome, but a limited understanding of their neurocognitive aetiology has hampered progress towards effective treatments. Here we combined several key methods to investigate the mechanism of impairments in voluntary action in corticobasal syndrome. We used a quantitative measure of awareness of action that is based on well-defined processes of motor control; structural and functional anatomical information; and evaluation against the clinical volitional disorders of corticobasal syndrome. In patients and healthy adults we measured ‘intentional binding’, the perceived temporal attraction between voluntary actions and their sensory effects. Patients showed increased binding of the perceived time of actions towards their effects. This increase correlated with the severity of alien limb and apraxia, which we suggest share a core deficit in motor control processes, through reduced precision in voluntary action signals. Structural neuroimaging analyses showed the behavioural variability in patients was related to changes in grey matter volume in pre-supplementary motor area, and changes in its underlying white matter tracts to prefrontal cortex. Moreover, changes in functional connectivity at rest between the pre-supplementary motor area and prefrontal cortex were proportional to changes in binding. These behavioural, structural and functional results converge to reveal the frontal network for altered awareness and control of voluntary action in corticobasal syndrome, and provide candidate markers to evaluate new therapies. PMID:24293266

  12. Effects of prefrontal rTMS on autonomic reactions to affective pictures.

    PubMed

    Berger, Christoph; Domes, Gregor; Balschat, Johannes; Thome, Johannes; Höppner, Jacqueline

    2017-02-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can modulate the excitability of stimulated cortical areas, such as prefrontal areas involved in emotion regulation. Low frequency (LF) rTMS is expected to have inhibitory effects on prefrontal regions, and thereby should disinhibit limbic activity, resulting in enhanced emotional and autonomic reactions. For high frequency (HF) rTMS, the opposite pattern might be assumed. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different rTMS frequencies applied to the right dlPFC on autonomic functions and on emotional perception. In a crossover design, two groups of 20 healthy young women were either stimulated with one session of LF rTMS (1 Hz) or one session of HF rTMS (10 Hz), compared to sham stimulation. We assessed phasic cardiac responses (PCR), skin conductance reactions (SCR), and emotional appraisal of emotional pictures as well as recognition memory after each rTMS application. After LF rTMS, PCR (heart rate deceleration) during presentation of pictures with negative and neutral valence was significantly increased compared to the presentation of positive pictures. In contrast, the modulatory effect of picture valence and arousal on the cardiac orienting response was absent after HF rTMS. Our results suggest that frontal LF rTMS indirectly activates the ANS via inhibition of the right dlPFC activity, likely by enhancing the sensory processing or attention to aversive and neutral stimuli.

  13. Future Aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilato, Louis

    There are some disturbing signs that appear on the horizon as phenolic resins enter their second century of existence. The large area of wood adhesives application (~60% of the total volume of phenolic resins in North America) is under intense pressure due to many factors that are contributing to continuing reduction in the sales volume of wood adhesives. These factors include the known slow cure speed of phenolic resins compared to Urea Formaldehyde (UF), Melamine Formaldehyde (MF), or Methylene Diphenyl Isocyanate (MDI); installation of new machinery/ equipment with fast continuous lines; continued decrease in plywood consumption at the expense of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) where phenolic resin is the preferred adhesive for plywood; further reduction in formaldehyde emissions through California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase I and Phase II; uncertainty of whether formaldehyde will be identified as a human carcinogen pending the anticipated 2009 study; and the environmental movement to reduce or eliminate formaldehyde-containing resins in wood and thermal insulation consumer products (U.S. Green Building Council and other Environmental groups like the Sierra Club). Consumers are being urged by environmental organizations to purchase composite wood products with lower formaldehyde emission levels or none at all. This is illustrated by examining the news media reports after the Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The home trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that were used for Louisiana and Mississippi residents after Katrina hurricane as temporary housing further accelerated concerns over formaldehyde emissions since higher than typical indoor exposure levels of formaldehyde in travel trailers and mobile homes were determined for the FEMA trailers.

  14. Left Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex and the Cognitive Control of Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badre, David; Wagner, Anthony D.

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive control mechanisms permit memory to be accessed strategically, and so aid in bringing knowledge to mind that is relevant to current goals and actions. In this review, we consider the contribution of left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to the cognitive control of memory. Reviewed evidence supports a two-process model of mnemonic…

  15. Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Episodic Retrieval Monitoring and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cruse, Damian; Wilding, Edward L.

    2009-01-01

    Although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays roles in episodic memory judgments, the specific processes it supports are not understood fully. Event-related potential (ERP) studies of episodic retrieval have revealed an electrophysiological modulation--the right-frontal ERP old/new effect--which is thought to reflect activity in PFC. The functional…

  16. Prefrontal cortical minicolumn: from executive control to disrupted cognitive processing

    PubMed Central

    Casanova, Manuel F.

    2014-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of the primate brain has a modular architecture based on the aggregation of neurons in minicolumnar arrangements having afferent and efferent connections distributed across many brain regions to represent, select and/or maintain behavioural goals and executive commands. Prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to play a key role in the perception to action cycle that integrates relevant information about environment, and then selects and enacts behavioural responses. Thus, neurons within the interlaminar microcircuits participate in various functional states requiring the integration of signals across cortical layers and the selection of executive variables. Recent research suggests that executive abilities emerge from cortico-cortical interactions between interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits, whereas their disruption is involved in a broad spectrum of neurologic and psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and drug addiction. The focus of this review is on the structural, functional and pathological approaches involving cortical minicolumns. Based on recent technological progress it has been demonstrated that microstimulation of infragranular cortical layers with patterns of microcurrents derived from supragranular layers led to an increase in cognitive performance. This suggests that interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits are playing a causal role in improving cognitive performance. An important reason for the new interest in cortical modularity comes from both the impressive progress in understanding anatomical, physiological and pathological facets of cortical microcircuits and the promise of neural prosthetics for patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:24531625

  17. Prefrontal Cortex and Social Cognition in Mouse and Man

    PubMed Central

    Bicks, Lucy K.; Koike, Hiroyuki; Akbarian, Schahram; Morishita, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition is a complex process that requires the integration of a wide variety of behaviors, including salience, reward-seeking, motivation, knowledge of self and others, and flexibly adjusting behavior in social groups. Not surprisingly, social cognition represents a sensitive domain commonly disrupted in the pathology of a variety of psychiatric disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ). Here, we discuss convergent research from animal models to human disease that implicates the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as a key regulator in social cognition, suggesting that disruptions in prefrontal microcircuitry play an essential role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders with shared social deficits. We take a translational perspective of social cognition, and review three key behaviors that are essential to normal social processing in rodents and humans, including social motivation, social recognition, and dominance hierarchy. A shared prefrontal circuitry may underlie these behaviors. Social cognition deficits in animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD and SCZ have been linked to an altered balance of excitation and inhibition (E/I ratio) within the cortex generally, and PFC specifically. A clear picture of the mechanisms by which altered E/I ratio in the PFC might lead to disruptions of social cognition across a variety of behaviors is not well understood. Future studies should explore how disrupted developmental trajectory of prefrontal microcircuitry could lead to altered E/I balance and subsequent deficits in the social domain. PMID:26635701

  18. Prefrontal cortical dopamine transmission is decreased in alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Narendran, Rajesh; Mason, Neale Scott; Paris, Jennifer; Himes, Michael L.; Douaihy, Antoine B.; Frankle, W. Gordon

    2014-01-01

    Objective Basic studies have demonstrated that optimal levels of prefrontal cortical dopamine are critical to various executive functions such working memory, attention, inhibitory control and risk/reward decisions--all of which are impaired in addictive disorders such as alcoholism. Based on this and imaging studies in alcoholics that have demonstrated less dopamine in the striatum, we hypothesized decreased dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex in alcoholism. To test this hypothesis, we used amphetamine and [11C]FLB 457 positron emission tomography (PET) to measure cortical dopamine transmission in a group of 21 recently abstinent alcoholics and matched healthy controls. Methods [11C]FLB 457 binding potential (BPND) was measured in subjects with kinetic analysis using the arterial input function both before and after 0.5 mg kg−1 of d-amphetamine. Results Amphetamine-induced displacement of [11C]FLB 457 binding potential (Δ BPND) was significantly smaller in the cortical regions in alcoholics compared to healthy controls. Cortical regions that demonstrated lower dopamine transmission in alcoholics included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, orbital frontal cortex, temporal cortex and medial temporal lobe. Conclusions The results of this study for the first time unambiguously demonstrate decreased dopamine transmission in the cortex in alcoholism. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical relevance of decreased cortical dopamine as to whether it is related to impaired executive function, relapse, and outcome in alcoholism. PMID:24874293

  19. Dissociable prefrontal brain systems for attention and emotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Labar, Kevin S.; McCarthy, Gregory

    2002-08-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been implicated in a variety of attentional, executive, and mnemonic mental operations, yet its functional organization is still highly debated. The present study used functional MRI to determine whether attentional and emotional functions are segregated into dissociable prefrontal networks in the human brain. Subjects discriminated infrequent and irregularly presented attentional targets (circles) from frequent standards (squares) while novel distracting scenes, parametrically varied for emotional arousal, were intermittently presented. Targets differentially activated middle frontal gyrus, posterior parietal cortex, and posterior cingulate gyrus. Novel distracters activated inferior frontal gyrus, amygdala, and fusiform gyrus, with significantly stronger activation evoked by the emotional scenes. The anterior cingulate gyrus was the only brain region with equivalent responses to attentional and emotional stimuli. These results show that attentional and emotional functions are segregated into parallel dorsal and ventral streams that extend into prefrontal cortex and are integrated in the anterior cingulate. These findings may have implications for understanding the neural dynamics underlying emotional distractibility on attentional tasks in affective disorders. novelty | prefrontal cortex | amygdala | cingulate gyrus

  20. Extinction Circuits for Fear and Addiction Overlap in Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, Jamie; Kalivas, Peter W.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2009-01-01

    Extinction is a form of inhibitory learning that suppresses a previously conditioned response. Both fear and drug seeking are conditioned responses that can lead to maladaptive behavior when expressed inappropriately, manifesting as anxiety disorders and addiction, respectively. Recent evidence indicates that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is…

  1. Serotonergic Suppression of Mouse Prefrontal Circuits Implicated in Task Attention

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) regulates attention by neurobiological mechanisms that are not well understood. Layer 6 (L6) pyramidal neurons of prefrontal cortex play an important role in attention and express 5-HT receptors, but the serotonergic modulation of this layer and its excitatory output is not known. Here, we performed whole-cell recordings and pharmacological manipulations in acute brain slices from wild-type and transgenic mice expressing either eGFP or eGFP-channelrhodopsin in prefrontal L6 pyramidal neurons. Excitatory circuits between L6 pyramidal neurons and L5 GABAergic interneurons, including a population of interneurons essential for task attention, were investigated using optogenetic techniques. Our experiments show that prefrontal L6 pyramidal neurons are subject to strong serotonergic inhibition and demonstrate direct 5-HT–sensitive connections between prefrontal L6 pyramidal neurons and two classes of L5 interneurons. This work helps to build a neurobiological framework to appreciate serotonergic disruption of task attention and yields insight into the disruptions of attention observed in psychiatric disorders with altered 5-HT receptors and signaling. PMID:27844060

  2. Can prefrontal theta cordance differentiate between depression recovery and dissimulation?

    PubMed

    Kopecek, Miloslav; Sos, Peter; Brunovsky, Martin; Bares, Martin; Stopkova, Pavla; Krajca, Vladimir

    2007-08-01

    We present a case report of a 37-year old woman diagnosed with depressive disorder, first episode, who was admitted into a psychiatric hospital after a failed suicidal attempt. She responded to antidepressant therapy, as evidenced by a >50% reduction in MADRS total score. She was discharged after 4 weeks of treatment, denying any suicidal ideations. The following day the patient committed suicide; she burned herself to death. It is very likely that the patient dissimulated her symptoms and ideations. Subsequently, her quantitative EEG records were retrospectively analyzed. An increase of prefrontal theta cordance value after the first week of mirtazapine therapy was found. Recently three small studies have revealed that decrease of prefrontal theta cordance after 1 week of antidepressant administration can predict clinical response in patients with unipolar depression. In our previous study the absence of a decreased theta prefrontal cordance was associated with lack of treatment response with NPV 1.0 (Bares et al., 2007). Thus, we hypothesize that prefrontal theta cordance could become an objective marker of change of depressive symptoms, independent of patients' compliance and symptom dissimulation, more precise than objective and self-rated depression rating scales.

  3. Theta Synchronizes the Activity of Medial Prefrontal Neurons during Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paz, Rony; Bauer, Elizabeth P.; Pare, Denis

    2008-01-01

    Memory consolidation is thought to involve the gradual transfer of transient hippocampal-dependent traces to distributed neocortical sites via the rhinal cortices. Recently, medial prefrontal (mPFC) neurons were shown to facilitate this process when their activity becomes synchronized. However, the mechanisms underlying this enhanced synchrony…

  4. The prefrontal cortex achieves inhibitory control by facilitating subcortical motor pathway connectivity.

    PubMed

    Rae, Charlotte L; Hughes, Laura E; Anderson, Michael C; Rowe, James B

    2015-01-14

    Communication between the prefrontal cortex and subcortical nuclei underpins the control and inhibition of behavior. However, the interactions in such pathways remain controversial. Using a stop-signal response inhibition task and functional imaging with analysis of effective connectivity, we show that the lateral prefrontal cortex influences the strength of communication between regions in the frontostriatal motor system. We compared 20 generative models that represented alternative interactions between the inferior frontal gyrus, presupplementary motor area (preSMA), subthalamic nucleus (STN), and primary motor cortex during response inhibition. Bayesian model selection revealed that during successful response inhibition, the inferior frontal gyrus modulates an excitatory influence of the preSMA on the STN, thereby amplifying the downstream polysynaptic inhibition from the STN to the motor cortex. Critically, the strength of the interaction between preSMA and STN, and the degree of modulation by the inferior frontal gyrus, predicted individual differences in participants' stopping performance (stop-signal reaction time). We then used diffusion-weighted imaging with tractography to assess white matter structure in the pathways connecting these three regions. The mean diffusivity in tracts between preSMA and the STN, and between the inferior frontal gyrus and STN, also predicted individual differences in stopping efficiency. Finally, we found that white matter structure in the tract between preSMA and STN correlated with effective connectivity of the same pathway, providing important cross-modal validation of the effective connectivity measures. Together, the results demonstrate the network dynamics and modulatory role of the prefrontal cortex that underpin individual differences in inhibitory control.

  5. Functional and structural remodeling of glutamate synapses in prefrontal and frontal cortex induced by behavioral stress.

    PubMed

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles, but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress. Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes - including those consequent to chronic stress - induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches.

  6. Functional and Structural Remodeling of Glutamate Synapses in Prefrontal and Frontal Cortex Induced by Behavioral Stress

    PubMed Central

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles, but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress. Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes – including those consequent to chronic stress – induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches. PMID

  7. Prefrontal and monoaminergic contributions to stop-signal task performance in rats

    PubMed Central

    Bari, Andrea; Mar, Adam C; Theobald, David E; Elands, Sophie A; Oganya, Kelechi CNA; Eagle, Dawn M; Robbins, Trevor W

    2011-01-01

    Defining the neural and neurochemical substrates of response inhibition is of crucial importance for the study and treatment of pathologies characterized by impulsivity such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and addiction. The stop-signal task (SST) is one of the most popular paradigms used to study the speed and efficacy of inhibitory processes in humans and other animals. Here we investigated the effect of temporarily inactivating different prefrontal sub-regions in the rat by means of muscimol microinfusions on SST performance. We found that dorso-medial prefrontal cortical areas are important for inhibiting an already initiated response. We also investigated the possible neural substrates of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine via its local microinfusion into different sub-regions of the rat prefrontal cortex. Our results show that both orbitofrontal and dorsal prelimbic cortices mediate the beneficial effects of atomoxetine on SST performance. To assess the neurochemical specificity of these effects we infused the α2-adrenergic agonist guanfacine and the D1/D2 antagonist α-flupenthixol in dorsal prelimbic in order to interfere with noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission, respectively. Guanfacine, which modulates noradrenergic neurotransmission, selectively impaired stopping, whereas blocking dopaminergic receptors by α-flupenthixol infusion prolonged go reaction time only, confirming the important role of noradrenergic neurotransmission in response inhibition. These results show that, similar to humans, distinct networks play important roles during SST performance in the rat and that they are differentially modulated by noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission. This study advances our understanding of the neuroanatomical and neurochemical determinants of impulsivity, which are relevant for a range of psychiatric disorders. PMID:21697375

  8. Social Learning in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Apps, Matthew A J; Sallet, Jérôme

    2017-03-01

    The ACC, and neighbouring areas, are among the most controversial and investigated brain areas in cognitive neuroscience. Despite the wealth of studies, there has been a significant absence of studies recording from the gyrus of the ACC (ACCg). In their recent study Hill and colleagues provide a rare examination of the properties of the ACCg. We highlight the emerging role of this region in signalling the key computations that drive social learning processes.

  9. ANTIDEPRESSANT EFFECT OF OPTOGENETIC STIMULATION OF THE MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    Covington, Herbert E.; Lobo, Mary Kay; Maze, Ian; Vialou, Vincent; Hyman, James M; Zaman, Samir; LaPlant, Quincey; Mouzon, Ezekiel; Ghose, Subroto; Tamminga, Carol A.; Neve, Rachael L.; Deisseroth, Karl; Nestler, Eric J.

    2010-01-01

    Brain stimulation and imaging studies in humans have highlighted a key role for the prefrontal cortex in clinical depression, however, it remains unknown whether excitation or inhibition of prefrontal cortical neuronal activity is associated with antidepressant responses. Here, we examined cellular indicators of functional activity, including the immediate early genes (IEG), zif268 (egr1), c-fos and arc, in the prefrontal cortex of clinically depressed humans obtained postmortem. We also examined these genes in the ventral portion of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of mice after chronic social defeat stress, a mouse model of depression. In addition, we used viral vectors to overexpress channel rhodopsin 2 (a light-activated cation channel) in mouse mPFC in order to optogenetically drive “burst” patterns of cortical firing in-vivo and examine the behavioral consequences. Prefrontal cortical tissue derived from clinically depressed humans displayed significant reductions in IEG expression, consistent with a deficit in neuronal activity within this brain region. Mice subjected to chronic social defeat stress exhibited similar reductions in levels of IEG expression in mPFC. Interestingly, some of these changes were not observed in defeated mice that escape the deleterious consequences of the stress, i.e., resilient animals. In those mice that expressed a strong depressive-like phenotype, i.e., susceptible animals, optogenetic stimulation of mPFC exerted potent antidepressant-like effects, without affecting general locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, or social memory. These results indicate that the activity of the mPFC is a key determinant of depression-like behavior, as well as antidepressant responses. PMID:21123555

  10. ROBOTIC SURGERY: BIOETHICAL ASPECTS

    PubMed Central

    SIQUEIRA-BATISTA, Rodrigo; SOUZA, Camila Ribeiro; MAIA, Polyana Mendes; SIQUEIRA, Sávio Lana

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Introduction: The use of robots in surgery has been increasingly common today, allowing the emergence of numerous bioethical issues in this area. Objective: To present review of the ethical aspects of robot use in surgery. Method: Search in Pubmed, SciELO and Lilacs crossing the headings "bioethics", "surgery", "ethics", "laparoscopy" and "robotic". Results: Of the citations obtained, were selected 17 articles, which were used for the preparation of the article. It contains brief presentation on robotics, its inclusion in health and bioethical aspects, and the use of robots in surgery. Conclusion: Robotic surgery is a reality today in many hospitals, which makes essential bioethical reflection on the relationship between health professionals, automata and patients. PMID:28076489

  11. Positive effect of acute mild exercise on executive function via arousal-related prefrontal activations: an fNIRS study.

    PubMed

    Byun, Kyeongho; Hyodo, Kazuki; Suwabe, Kazuya; Ochi, Genta; Sakairi, Yosuke; Kato, Morimasa; Dan, Ippeita; Soya, Hideaki

    2014-09-01

    Despite the practical implication of mild exercise, little is known about its influence on executive function and its neural substrates. To address these issues, the present study examined the effect of an acute bout of mild exercise on executive function and attempted to identify potential neural substrates using non-invasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Twenty-five young individuals performed a color-word matching Stroop task (CWST) and a two-dimensional scale to measure changes of psychological mood states both before and after a 10-minute exercise session on a cycle ergometer at light intensity (30% v(·)o2peak) and, for the control session, without exercise. Cortical hemodynamic changes in the prefrontal area were monitored with fNIRS during the CWST in both sessions. The acute bout of mild exercise led to improved Stroop performance, which was positively correlated with increased arousal levels. It also evoked cortical activations regarding Stroop interference on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar area. These activations significantly corresponded with both improved cognitive performance and increased arousal levels. Concurrently, this study provides empirical evidence that an acute bout of mild exercise improves executive function mediated by the exercise-induced arousal system, which intensifies cortical activation in task-related prefrontal sub-regions.

  12. Fatty acid composition of the postmortem prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Hamazaki, Kei; Maekawa, Motoko; Toyota, Tomoko; Dean, Brian; Hamazaki, Tomohito; Yoshikawa, Takeo

    2015-06-30

    Postmortem brain studies have shown abnormal levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially docosahexaenoic acid, in the frontal cortex (particularly the orbitofrontal cortex) of patients with depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. However, the results from regions in the frontal cortex other than the orbitofrontal cortex are inconsistent. In this study we investigated whether patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder have abnormalities in PUFA levels in the prefrontal cortex [Brodmann area (BA) 8]. In postmortem studies, fatty acids in the phospholipids of the prefrontal cortex (BA8) were evaluated by thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography. Specimens were evaluated for patients with schizophrenia (n=15), bipolar disorder (n=15), or major depressive disorder (n=15) and compared with unaffected controls (n=15). In contrast to previous studies, we found no significant differences in the levels of PUFAs or other fatty acids in the prefrontal cortex (BA8) between patients and controls. Subanalysis by sex also showed no significant differences. No significant differences were found in any individual fatty acids between suicide and non-suicide cases. These psychiatric disorders might be characterized by very specific fatty acid compositions in certain areas of the brain, and BA8 might not be involved in abnormalities of PUFA metabolism.

  13. The role of prefrontal and parietal cortices in esthetic appreciation of representational and abstract art: a TMS study.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Lega, Carlotta; Gardelli, Chiara; Merabet, Lotfi B; Cela-Conde, Camilo J; Nadal, Marcos

    2014-10-01

    To explain the biological foundations of art appreciation is to explain one of our species' distinctive traits. Previous neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have pointed to the prefrontal and the parietal cortex as two critical regions mediating esthetic appreciation of visual art. In this study, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the left prefrontal cortex and the right posterior parietal cortex while participants were evaluating whether they liked, and by how much, a particular painting. By depolarizing cell membranes in the targeted regions, TMS transiently interferes with the activity of specific cortical areas, which allows clarifying their role in a given task. Our results show that both regions play a fundamental role in mediating esthetic appreciation. Critically though, the effects of TMS varied depending on the type of art considered (i.e. representational vs. abstract) and on participants' a-priori inclination toward one or the other.

  14. Protein Kinase C Overactivity Impairs Prefrontal Cortical Regulation of Working Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birnbaum, S. G.; Yuan, P. X.; Wang, M.; Vijayraghavan, S.; Bloom, A. K.; Davis, D. J.; Gobeske, K. T.; Sweatt, J. D.; Manji, H. K.; Arnsten, A. F. T.

    2004-10-01

    The prefrontal cortex is a higher brain region that regulates thought, behavior, and emotion using representational knowledge, operations often referred to as working memory. We tested the influence of protein kinase C (PKC) intracellular signaling on prefrontal cortical cognitive function and showed that high levels of PKC activity in prefrontal cortex, as seen for example during stress exposure, markedly impair behavioral and electrophysiological measures of working memory. These data suggest that excessive PKC activation can disrupt prefrontal cortical regulation of behavior and thought, possibly contributing to signs of prefrontal cortical dysfunction such as distractibility, impaired judgment, impulsivity, and thought disorder.

  15. Distinct Fos-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Mediate Food Reward and Extinction Memories

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Brandon L.; Mendoza, Michael P.; Cruz, Fabio C.; Leao, Rodrigo M.; Caprioli, Daniele; Rubio, F. Javier; Whitaker, Leslie R.; McPherson, Kylie B.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Shaham, Yavin

    2016-01-01

    In operant learning, initial reward-associated memories are thought to be distinct from subsequent extinction-associated memories. Memories formed during operant learning are thought to be stored in “neuronal ensembles.” Thus, we hypothesize that different neuronal ensembles encode reward- and extinction-associated memories. Here, we examined prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles involved in the recall of reward and extinction memories of food self-administration. We first trained rats to lever press for palatable food pellets for 7 d (1 h/d) and then exposed them to 0, 2, or 7 daily extinction sessions in which lever presses were not reinforced. Twenty-four hours after the last training or extinction session, we exposed the rats to either a short 15 min extinction test session or left them in their homecage (a control condition). We found maximal Fos (a neuronal activity marker) immunoreactivity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex of rats that previously received 2 extinction sessions, suggesting that neuronal ensembles in this area encode extinction memories. We then used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively disrupt ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles that were activated during the 15 min extinction session following 0 (no extinction) or 2 prior extinction sessions to determine the effects of inactivating the putative food reward and extinction ensembles, respectively, on subsequent nonreinforced food seeking 2 d later. Inactivation of the food reward ensembles decreased food seeking, whereas inactivation of the extinction ensembles increased food seeking. Our results indicate that distinct neuronal ensembles encoding operant reward and extinction memories intermingle within the same cortical area. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A current popular hypothesis is that neuronal ensembles in different prefrontal cortex areas control reward-associated versus extinction-associated memories: the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) promotes

  16. Prefrontal Cortex Organization: Dissociating Effects of Temporal Abstraction, Relational Abstraction, and Integration with fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; Jahn, Andrew; Brown, Joshua W.

    2014-01-01

    The functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) underlie higher-level cognition. Varying proposals suggest that the PFC is organized along a rostral-caudal gradient of abstraction with more abstract representations/processes associated with more rostral areas. However, the operational definition of abstraction is unclear. Here, we contrasted 2 prominent theories of abstraction—temporal and relational—using fMRI. We further examined whether integrating abstract rules—a function common to each theory—recruited the PFC independently of other abstraction effects. While robust effects of relational abstraction were present in the PFC, temporal abstraction effects were absent. Instead, we found activations specific to the integration of relational rules in areas previously shown to be associated with temporal abstraction. We suggest that previous effects of temporal abstraction were due to confounds with integration demands. We propose an integration framework to understand the functions of the PFC that resolves discrepancies in prior data. PMID:23563962

  17. Von Economo neurons are present in the dorsolateral (dysgranular) prefrontal cortex of humans.

    PubMed

    Fajardo, C; Escobar, M I; Buriticá, E; Arteaga, G; Umbarila, J; Casanova, M F; Pimienta, H

    2008-04-25

    Von Economo neurons (VENs), also known as spindle cells, have been described in layer V of the anterior cingulate (BA 24) and frontoinsular cortex (FI) of humans and other great apes. In the present study we used immunohistochemistry against two specific neuronal markers (NeuN and MAP2) in order to establish the presence of these cell types in Brodmann area 9 (BA 9) of the human prefrontal cortex. We evaluated tissue samples of eight human postmortem brains (age range 26-50) from BAs 9, 24, 4, 46, 45, 10 and 17. We identified a group of cells with similar morphology to that previously described for VENs in all specimens of BA 9 examined, albeit less frequently than in BA 24. This is the first description of this cell type in a human brain area with well developed granular layers (BA 9).

  18. Methylphenidate and atomoxetine inhibit social play behavior through prefrontal and subcortical limbic mechanisms in rats.

    PubMed

    Achterberg, E J Marijke; van Kerkhof, Linda W M; Damsteegt, Ruth; Trezza, Viviana; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2015-01-07

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life, in the form of social play behavior, are important for social and cognitive development. However, the neural mechanisms of social play behavior remain incompletely understood. We have previously shown that methylphenidate and atomoxetine, drugs widely used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suppress social play in rats through a noradrenergic mechanism of action. Here, we aimed to identify the neural substrates of the play-suppressant effects of these drugs. Methylphenidate is thought to exert its effects on cognition and emotion through limbic corticostriatal systems. Therefore, methylphenidate was infused into prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortical regions as well as into several subcortical limbic areas implicated in social play. Infusion of methylphenidate into the anterior cingulate cortex, infralimbic cortex, basolateral amygdala, and habenula inhibited social play, but not social exploratory behavior or locomotor activity. Consistent with a noradrenergic mechanism of action of methylphenidate, infusion of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine into these same regions also reduced social play. Methylphenidate administration into the prelimbic, medial/ventral orbitofrontal, and ventrolateral orbitofrontal cortex, mediodorsal thalamus, or nucleus accumbens shell was ineffective. Our data show that the inhibitory effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on social play are mediated through a distributed network of prefrontal and limbic subcortical regions implicated in cognitive control and emotional processes. These findings increase our understanding of the neural underpinnings of this developmentally important social behavior, as well as the mechanism of action of two widely used treatments for ADHD.

  19. Impairment only on the fluency subtest of the Frontal Assessment Battery after prefrontal lesions.

    PubMed

    Chapados, Catherine; Petrides, Michael

    2013-10-01

    The Frontal Assessment Battery is a set of six subtests that is used widely to assess frontal cortical executive dysfunction. Performance on the Frontal Assessment Battery has been shown to be sensitive to various neurodegenerative diseases, but it has never been shown to be sensitive to damage restricted to the frontal cortex. Thus, despite its wide use, it has never been validated on an appropriate population of patients with frontal lesions. The present study shows that, of the six subtests that comprise the Frontal Assessment Battery, only performance on the verbal fluency subtest (mental flexibility) was specifically sensitive to injury restricted to the frontal cortex. Performance of patients with damage to the dorsal part of the medial frontal region in the language-dominant left hemisphere was impaired. None of these patients was aphasic at the time of testing. The critical region in the dorsomedial frontal cortex includes the supplementary speech zone but is not restricted to it: it extends into the cingulate motor region and the paracingulate cortex as well as the medial prefrontal areas 8 and 9. The results indicate that the Frontal Assessment Battery is not a sensitive measure of prefrontal cortical dysfunction, except for the verbal fluency subtest.

  20. Idiosyncratic Patterns of Representational Similarity in Prefrontal Cortex Predict Attentional Performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeongmi; Geng, Joy J

    2017-02-01

    The efficiency of finding an object in a crowded environment depends largely on the similarity of nontargets to the search target. Models of attention theorize that the similarity is determined by representations stored within an "attentional template" held in working memory. However, the degree to which the contents of the attentional template are individually unique and where those idiosyncratic representations are encoded in the brain are unknown. We investigated this problem using representational similarity analysis of human fMRI data to measure the common and idiosyncratic representations of famous face morphs during an identity categorization task; data from the categorization task were then used to predict performance on a separate identity search task. We hypothesized that the idiosyncratic categorical representations of the continuous face morphs would predict their distractability when searching for each target identity. The results identified that patterns of activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) as well as in face-selective areas in the ventral temporal cortex were highly correlated with the patterns of behavioral categorization of face morphs and search performance that were common across subjects. However, the individually unique components of the categorization behavior were reliably decoded only in right LPFC. Moreover, the neural pattern in right LPFC successfully predicted idiosyncratic variability in search performance, such that reaction times were longer when distractors had a higher probability of being categorized as the target identity. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex encodes individually unique components of categorical representations that are also present in attentional templates for target search.

  1. Behavioral Regulation and the Modulation of Information Coding in the Lateral Prefrontal and Cingulate Cortex.

    PubMed

    Khamassi, Mehdi; Quilodran, René; Enel, Pierre; Dominey, Peter F; Procyk, Emmanuel

    2015-09-01

    To explain the high level of flexibility in primate decision-making, theoretical models often invoke reinforcement-based mechanisms, performance monitoring functions, and core neural features within frontal cortical regions. However, the underlying biological mechanisms remain unknown. In recent models, part of the regulation of behavioral control is based on meta-learning principles, for example, driving exploratory actions by varying a meta-parameter, the inverse temperature, which regulates the contrast between competing action probabilities. Here we investigate how complementary processes between lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) implement decision regulation during exploratory and exploitative behaviors. Model-based analyses of unit activity recorded in these 2 areas in monkeys first revealed that adaptation of the decision function is reflected in a covariation between LPFC neural activity and the control level estimated from the animal's behavior. Second, dACC more prominently encoded a reflection of outcome uncertainty useful for control regulation based on task monitoring. Model-based analyses also revealed higher information integration before feedback in LPFC, and after feedback in dACC. Overall the data support a role of dACC in integrating reinforcement-based information to regulate decision functions in LPFC. Our results thus provide biological evidence on how prefrontal cortical subregions may cooperate to regulate decision-making.

  2. Altering risky decision-making: Influence of impulsivity on the neuromodulation of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Gordon L F; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves complex cognitive abilities, including risky decision-making; the modulation of this brain area is shown to alter the way people take risks. Yet, neuromodulation of the PFC in relation to risk-taking behavior remains relatively less well-studied. Moreover, the psychological variables that influence such neuromodulation remain poorly understood. To address these issues, 16 participants took part in 3 experimental sessions on separate days. They received: (i) left anodal-right cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); (ii) left cathodal-right anodal stimulation; or (iii) sham stimulation while they completed two risk-taking tasks. They also measured on several cognitive-affective abilities and personality traits. It was revealed that left cathodal-right anodal stimulation led to significantly reduced risk-taking under a context of haste. The reduction of risk-taking (relative to sham) correlated with state and trait impulsivity, such that the effect was larger in more impulsive individuals. For these individuals, the tDCS effect size was considered to be large (generalized partial η(2) > .17). The effect of prefrontal-neuromodulation in reducing risk-taking was influenced by baseline impulsivity, reflecting a state-dependent effect of neuromodulation on the PFC. The results of this study carry important insights into the use of neuromodulation to alter higher cognition.

  3. Physiological dysfunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. IV. Further evidence for regional and behavioral specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, K.F.; Illowsky, B.P.; Weinberger, D.R.

    1988-07-01

    In previous studies we found that patients with chronic schizophrenia had lower regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) than did normal subjects during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, an abstract reasoning task linked to DLPFC function. This was not the case during less complex tasks. To examine further whether this finding represented regionally circumscribed pathophysiology or a more general correlate of abstract cognition, 24 medication-free patients and 25 age- and sex-matched normal control subjects underwent rCBF measurements with the xenon 133 technique while they performed two tasks: Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and an active baseline control task. While performing RPM, normal subjects activated posterior cortical areas over baseline, but did not activate DLPFC, as had been seen during the Wisconsin Card Sort Test. Like normal subjects, patients showed maximal rCBF elevations posteriorly and, moreover, they had no significant DLPFC or other cortical deficit while performing RPM. These results suggest that DLPFC dysfunction in schizophrenia is linked to pathophysiology of a regionally specific neural system rather than to global cortical dysfunction, and that this pathophysiology is most apparent under prefrontally specific cognitive demand.

  4. Valuing one's self: medial prefrontal involvement in epistemic and emotive investments in self-views.

    PubMed

    D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Jedidi, Haroun; Balteau, Evelyne; Bahri, Mohamed; Phillips, Christophe; Salmon, Eric

    2012-03-01

    Recent neuroimaging research has revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) is consistently engaged when people form mental representations of themselves. However, the precise function of this region in self-representation is not yet fully understood. Here, we investigate whether the MPFC contributes to epistemic and emotive investments in self-views, which are essential components of the self-concept that stabilize self-views and shape how one feels about oneself. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that the level of activity in the MPFC when people think about their personal traits (by judging trait adjectives for self-descriptiveness) depends on their investments in the particular self-view under consideration, as assessed by postscan rating scales. Furthermore, different forms of investments are associated with partly distinct medial prefrontal areas: a region of the dorsal MPFC is uniquely related to the degree of certainty with which a particular self-view is held (one's epistemic investment), whereas a region of the ventral MPFC responds specifically to the importance attached to this self-view (one's emotive investment). These findings provide new insight into the role of the MPFC in self-representation and suggest that the ventral MPFC confers degrees of value upon the particular conception of the self that people construct at a given moment.

  5. Semi-guiding high-aspect-ratio core (SHARC) fiber amplifiers with ultra-large core area for single-mode kW operation in a compact coilable package.

    PubMed

    Marciante, John R; Shkunov, Vladimir V; Rockwell, David A

    2012-08-27

    A new class of optical fiber, the SHARC fiber, is analyzed in a high-power fiber amplifier geometry using the gain-filtering properties of confined-gain dopants. The high-aspect-ratio (~30:1) rectangular core allows mode-area scaling well beyond 10,000 μm2, which is critical to high-pulse-energy or narrow-linewidth high-power fiber amplifiers. While SHARC fibers offer modally dependent edge loss at the wide "semi-guiding" edge of the waveguide, the inclusion of gain filtering adds further modal discrimination arising from the variation of the spatial overlap of the gain with the various modes. Both methods are geometric in form, such that the combination provides nearly unlimited scalability in mode area. Simulations show that for kW-class fiber amplifiers, only the fundamental mode experiences net gain (15 dB), resulting in outstanding beam quality. Further, misalignment of the seed beam due to offset, magnification, and tilt are shown to result in a small (few percent) efficiency penalty while maintaining kW-level output with 99% of the power in the fundamental mode for all cases.

  6. Chronic deep brain stimulation of the rat ventral medial prefrontal cortex disrupts hippocampal-prefrontal coherence.

    PubMed

    Insel, Nathan; Pilkiw, Maryna; Nobrega, José N; Hutchison, William D; Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori; Hamani, Clement

    2015-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subgenual cingulate gyrus (SCG) has been used to treat patients with treatment-resistant depression. As in humans, DBS applied to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of rats induces antidepressant-like responses. Physiological interactions between structures that play a role in depression and antidepressant treatment are still unknown. The present study examined the effect of DBS on inter-region communication by measuring the coherence of local field potentials in the rat infralimbic cortex (IL; homologue of the SCG) and one of its major afferents, the ventral hippocampus (VH). Rats received daily IL DBS treatment (100 μA, 90 μs, 130 Hz; 8h/day). Recordings were conducted in unrestrained, behaving animals on the day before treatment, after 1 and 10 days of treatment, and 10 days stimulation offset. VH-IL coherence in the 2-4 Hz range was reduced in DBS-treated animals compared with shams after 10 days, but not after only 1 day of treatment. No effect of DBS was observed in the 6-10 Hz (theta) range, where coherence was generally high and could be further evoked with a loud auditory stimulus. Finally, coherence was not affected by fluoxetine (10mg/kg), suggesting that the effects of DBS were not likely mediated by increased serotonin levels. While these data support the hypothesis that DBS disrupts communication between regions important for expectation-based control of emotion, they also suggest that lasting physiological effects require many days of treatment and, furthermore, may be specific to lower-frequency patterns, the nature and scope of which await further investigation.

  7. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) as a target of the dorsolateral prefrontal modulation by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Nakamura-Palacios, Ester Miyuki; Lopes, Isabela Bittencourt Coutinho; Souza, Rodolpho Albuquerque; Klauss, Jaisa; Batista, Edson Kruger; Conti, Catarine Lima; Moscon, Janine Andrade; de Souza, Rodrigo Stênio Moll

    2016-10-01

    Here, we report some electrophysiologic and imaging effects of the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in drug addiction, notably in alcohol and crack-cocaine dependence. The low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) analysis obtained through event-related potentials (ERPs) under drug-related cues, more specifically in its P3 segment (300-500 ms) in both, alcoholics and crack-cocaine users, showed that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was the brain area with the largest change towards increasing activation under drug-related cues in those subjects that kept abstinence during and after the treatment with bilateral tDCS (2 mA, 35 cm(2), cathodal left and anodal right) over dlPFC, applied repetitively (five daily sessions). In an additional study in crack-cocaine, which showed craving decreases after repetitive bilateral tDCS, we examined data originating from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and we found increased DTI parameters in the left connection between vmPFC and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), such as the number of voxels, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), in tDCS-treated crack-cocaine users when compared to the sham-tDCS group. This increasing of DTI parameters was significantly correlated with craving decreasing after the repetitive tDCS. The vmPFC relates to the control of drug seeking, possibly by extinguishing this behavior. In our studies, the bilateral dlPFC tDCS reduced relapses and craving to the drug use, and increased the vmPFC activation under drug cues, which may be of a great importance in the control of drug use in drug addiction.

  8. Contribution of different regions of the prefrontal cortex and lesion laterality to deficit of decision-making on the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Ouerchefani, Riadh; Ouerchefani, Naoufel; Allain, Philippe; Ben Rejeb, Mohamed Riadh; Le Gall, Didier

    2017-02-01

    Few studies have examined the contribution of different sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex and lesion laterality to decision-making abilities. In addition, there are inconsistent findings about the role of ventromedial and dorsolateral lesions in decision-making deficit. In this study, decision-making processes are investigated following different damaged areas of the prefrontal cortex. We paid particular attention to the contribution of laterality, lesion location and lesion volume in decision-making deficit. Twenty-seven patients with discrete ventromedial lesions, dorsolateral lesions or extended-frontal lesions were compared with normal subjects on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Our results showed that all frontal subgroups were impaired on the IGT in comparison with normal subjects. We noted also that IGT performance did not vary systematically based on lesion laterality or location. More precisely, our lesion analysis revealed that decision-making processes depend on a large cerebral network, including both ventromedial and dorsolateral areas of the prefrontal cortex. Consistent with past findings, our results support the claim that IGT deficit is not solitarily associated with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions.

  9. Remote sensing of prefrontal cortex function with diffusive light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Zhongyao; Wang, Xin C.; Chance, Britton

    2004-12-01

    A data bank on prefrontal imaging under stressful conditions including deceit, has been gathered over several years on National and International populations using a contact imager pad consisting of 16 detectors and 4 sources, validating the concept of imaging prefrontal responses to stress, not only following the response of the PFC to imaging stress but especially of precognitive activations. We designed a new portable and non-invasive optical detecting system for remote sensing of deceit at 1~2m distance. The signals of pre- and post-cognitive function in deceit can be detected with very high sensitivity for blood volume and blood oxygenation detection at depths sufficient for PFC imaging and sensitivities of sub-micromolar oxy-hemoglobin and blood concentration detection. Thus, remote imaging of the process of decision making seems possible and examples will be presented using both contact and flying spot remote sensing.

  10. Prefrontal Brain Asymmetry and Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptomatology

    PubMed Central

    Accortt, Eynav E.; Stewart, Jennifer L.; Coan, James A.; Manber, Rachel; Allen, John J.B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a dysphoric form of premenstrual syndrome, is included as a diagnosis for further study in the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000). The present study investigated whether a marker of risk for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), prefrontal brain asymmetry, also characterizes women with PMDD. Methods In a sample of 25 college women with PMDD symptomatology and 25 matched controls, resting frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was assessed on four occasions within a two-week span. Results Across several frontal sites women with PMDD had relatively less left than right prefrontal brain activity, consistent with a diathesis-stress model for menstrual-related dysphoria. Conclusions The findings suggest an overlap in the risk profile for MDD and PMDD. PMID:20833433

  11. Discourse production following injury to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Carl; Lê, Karen; Mozeiko, Jennifer; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-12-01

    Individuals with damage to the prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular, often demonstrate difficulties with the formulation of complex language not attributable to aphasia. The present study employed a discourse analysis procedure to characterize the language of individuals with left (L) or right (R) DLPFC lesions. All participants were 30-35 years post-onset of injury and presented with persistent discourse impairments. The discourse performance of the R DLPFC group was not significantly different from either the L DLPFC group or the non-injured comparison group. Individuals from the L DLPFC group demonstrated specific difficulties with narrative coherence and inclusion of critical story components. Both measures were significantly different from the comparison group. The discourse ability of the DLPFC groups was significantly correlated with measures of working memory. Findings support the use of discourse analysis for examining language impairments in individuals with PFC lesions.

  12. Prefrontal Cortex in Learning to Overcome Generalized Fear

    PubMed Central

    Korzus, Edward

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Normal brain functioning relies critically on the ability to control appropriate behavioral responses to fearful stimuli. Overgeneralized fear is the major symptom of anxiety disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder. This review describes recent data demonstrating that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a critical role in the refining of cues that drive the acquisition of fear response. Recent studies on molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of mPFC in fear discrimination learning are discussed. These studies suggest that prefrontal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors expressed in excitatory neurons govern fear discrimination learning via a mechanism involving cAMP response element-binding protein–dependent engagement of acetyltransferase. PMID:26244030

  13. Mediation by neurotensin-receptors of effects of neurotensin on self-stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, R.; Sabater, R.; Sáez, J. A.; Montes, R.; Alba, F.; Ferrer, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    1 Intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (NT) selectively decreased intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) of the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat. 2 To elucidate whether this effect is mediated by NT receptors or by the formation of NT-dopamine complexes, we investigated the effects on ICSS of intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (1-11), an NT fragment that forms extracellular complexes with dopamine but does not bind to NT receptors. 3 We also studied the effects of the peripheral administration of SR 48692, a selective antagonist of NT receptors, on the inhibition of ICSS produced by the intracortical administration of NT. 4 Unilateral microinjections of neurotensin (1-11) at doses of 10, 20 and 40 nmol into the medial prefrontal cortex did not change the basal ICSS rate of this area. 5 The intraperitoneal administration of SR 48692 at doses of 0.08 and 0.16 mg kg-1 30 min before microinjection of 10 nmol of NT into the medial prefrontal cortex, antagonized the inhibition of ICSS produced by the neuropeptide. 6 These results demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of NT on ICSS is mediated by NT receptors. PMID:8886412

  14. Right prefrontal rTMS treatment for refractory auditory command hallucinations - a neuroSPECT assisted case study.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Shaul; Dannon, Pinhas N; Goshen, Elinor; Amiaz, Revital; Zwas, Tzila S; Grunhaus, Leon

    2002-11-30

    Auditory command hallucinations probably arise from the patient's failure to monitor his/her own 'inner speech', which is connected to activation of speech perception areas of the left cerebral cortex and to various degrees of dysfunction of cortical circuits involved in schizophrenia as supported by functional brain imaging. We hypothesized that rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), by increasing cortical activation of the right prefrontal brain region, would bring about a reduction of the hallucinations. We report our first schizophrenic patient affected with refractory command hallucinations treated with 10 Hz rTMS. Treatment was performed over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with 1200 magnetic stimulations administered daily for 20 days at 90% motor threshold. Regional cerebral blood flow changes were monitored with neuroSPECT. Clinical evaluation and scores on the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale demonstrated a global improvement in the patient's condition, with no change in the intensity and frequency of the hallucinations. NeuroSPECT performed at intervals during and after treatment indicated a general improvement in cerebral perfusion. We conclude that right prefrontal rTMS may induce a general clinical improvement of schizophrenic brain function, without directly influencing the mechanism involved in auditory command hallucinations.

  15. Noninvasive imaging of prefrontal activation during attention-demanding tasks performed while walking using a wearable optical topography system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi; Katura, Takusige; Funane, Tsukasa; Obata, Akiko; Sato, Hiroki; Manaka, Takaaki; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Maki, Atsushi; Koizumi, Hideaki; Kubota, Kisou

    2010-07-01

    Optical topography (OT) based on near-infrared spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique for mapping the relative concentration changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy- and deoxy-Hb, respectively) in the human cerebral cortex. In our previous study, we developed a small and light wearable optical topography (WOT) system that covers the entire forehead for monitoring prefrontal activation. In the present study, we examine whether the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, which has been difficult with conventional OT systems. We conduct OT measurements while subjects perform an attention-demanding (AD) task of balancing a ping-pong ball on a small card while walking. The measured time course and power spectra of the relative concentration changes in oxy- and deoxy-Hb show that the step-related changes in the oxy- and deoxy-Hb signals are negligible compared to the task-related changes. Statistical assessment of the task-related changes in the oxy-Hb signals show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and rostral prefrontal area are significantly activated during the AD task. These results suggest that our functional imaging technique with the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, and will be a powerful tool for evaluating brain activation in a natural environment.

  16. Noninvasive imaging of prefrontal activation during attention-demanding tasks performed while walking using a wearable optical topography system.

    PubMed

    Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi; Katura, Takusige; Funane, Tsukasa; Obata, Akiko; Sato, Hiroki; Manaka, Takaaki; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Maki, Atsushi; Koizumi, Hideaki; Kubota, Kisou

    2010-01-01

    Optical topography (OT) based on near-infrared spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique for mapping the relative concentration changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy- and deoxy-Hb, respectively) in the human cerebral cortex. In our previous study, we developed a small and light wearable optical topography (WOT) system that covers the entire forehead for monitoring prefrontal activation. In the present study, we examine whether the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, which has been difficult with conventional OT systems. We conduct OT measurements while subjects perform an attention-demanding (AD) task of balancing a ping-pong ball on a small card while walking. The measured time course and power spectra of the relative concentration changes in oxy- and deoxy-Hb show that the step-related changes in the oxy- and deoxy-Hb signals are negligible compared to the task-related changes. Statistical assessment of the task-related changes in the oxy-Hb signals show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and rostral prefrontal area are significantly activated during the AD task. These results suggest that our functional imaging technique with the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, and will be a powerful tool for evaluating brain activation in a natural environment.

  17. Effects of neonatal inferior prefrontal and medial temporal lesions on learning the rule for delayed nonmatching-to-sample.

    PubMed

    Málková, L; Bachevalier, J; Webster, M; Mishkin, M

    2000-01-01

    The ability of rhesus monkeys to master the rule for delayed nonmatching-to-sample (DNMS) has a protracted ontogenetic development, reaching adult levels of proficiency around 4 to 5 years of age (Bachevalier, 1990). To test the possibility that this slow development could be due, at least in part, to immaturity of the prefrontal component of a temporo-prefrontal circuit important for DNMS rule learning (Kowalska, Bachevalier, & Mishkin, 1991; Weinstein, Saunders, & Mishkin, 1988), monkeys with neonatal lesions of the inferior prefrontal convexity were compared on DNMS with both normal controls and animals given neonatal lesions of the medial temporal lobe. Consistent with our previous results (Bachevalier & Mishkin, 1994; Málková, Mishkin, & Bachevalier, 1995), the neonatal medial temporal lesions led to marked impairment in rule learning (as well as in recognition memory with long delays and list lengths) at both 3 months and 2 years of age. By contrast, the neonatal inferior convexity lesions yielded no impairment in rule-learning at 3 months and only a mild impairment at 2 years, a finding that also contrasts sharply with the marked effects of the same lesion made in adulthood. This pattern of sparing closely resembles the one found earlier after neonatal lesions to the cortical visual area TE (Bachevalier & Mishkin, 1994; Málková et al., 1995). The functional sparing at 3 months probably reflects the fact that the temporo-prefrontal circuit is nonfunctional at this early age, resulting in a total dependency on medial temporal contributions to rule learning. With further development, however, this circuit begins to provide a supplementary route for learning.

  18. Interareal Spike-Train Correlations of Anterior Cingulate and Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex during Attention Shifts.

    PubMed

    Oemisch, Mariann; Westendorff, Stephanie; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2015-09-23

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are believed to coactivate during goal-directed behavior to identify, select, and monitor relevant sensory information. Here, we tested whether coactivation of neurons across macaque ACC and PFC would be evident at the level of pairwise neuronal correlations during stimulus selection in a spatial attention task. We found that firing correlations emerged shortly after an attention cue, were evident for 50-200 ms time windows, were strongest for neuron pairs in area 24 (ACC) and areas 8 and 9 (dorsal PFC), and were independent of overall firing rate modulations. For a subset of cell pairs from ACC and dorsal PFC, the observed functional spike-train connectivity carried information about the direction of the attention shift. Reliable firing correlations were evident across area boundaries for neurons with broad spike waveforms (putative excitatory neurons) as well as for pairs of putative excitatory neurons and neurons with narrow spike waveforms (putative interneurons). These findings reveal that stimulus selection is accompanied by slow time scale firing correlations across those ACC/PFC subfields implicated to control and monitor attention. This functional coupling was informative about which stimulus was selected and thus indexed possibly the exchange of task-relevant information. We speculate that interareal, transient firing correlations reflect the transient coordination of larger, reciprocally interacting brain networks at a characteristic 50-200 ms time scale. Significance statement: Our manuscript identifies interareal spike-train correlations between primate anterior cingulate and dorsal prefrontal cortex during a period where attentional stimulus selection is likely controlled by these very same circuits. Interareal correlations emerged during the covert attention shift to one of two peripheral stimuli, proceeded on a slow 50-200 ms time scale, and occurred between putative pyramidal and

  19. Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Simone, Luciano; Bimbi, Marco; Rodà, Francesca; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rozzi, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex is crucial for exploiting contextual information for the planning and guidance of behavioral responses. Among contextual cues, those provided by others’ behavior are particularly important, in primates, for selecting appropriate reactions and suppressing the inappropriate ones. These latter functions deeply rely on the ability to understand others’ actions. However, it is largely unknown whether prefrontal neurons are activated by action observation. To address this issue, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons of macaque monkeys during the observation of videos depicting biological movements performed by a monkey or a human agent, and object motion. Our results show that a population of VLPF neurons respond to the observation of biological movements, in particular those representing goal directed actions. Many of these neurons also show a preference for the agent performing the action. The neural response is present also when part of the observed movement is obscured, suggesting that these VLPF neurons code a high order representation of the observed action rather than a simple visual description of it. PMID:28290511

  20. [Is the prefrontal cortex the center of the universe?].

    PubMed

    Garcia-Molina, A; Ensenat, A

    2015-10-16

    Introduccion. Actualmente, cuando reflexionamos sobre cual es la estructura mas relevante del encefalo humano invariablemente pensamos en las regiones anteriores de la corteza cerebral, concretamente en la corteza prefrontal. Si bien este ha sido el dogma predominante a lo largo de mas de 150 años, investigadores de reconocido prestigio han cuestionado abiertamente tal supuesto. Desarrollo. A caballo entre los siglos XIX y XX, diversos investigadores consideraron que las regiones corticales posteriores son la sede neuroanatomica de las mas altas facultades intelectuales. Entre todos ellos destaco, por la elaboracion de sus propuestas e impacto en la comunidad cientifica, el neuroanatomista aleman Paul Emil Flechsig (1847-1929). Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) fue otro detractor del dogma que considera la corteza prefrontal el sustrato anatomico de los procesos mentales mas complejos y sublimes del ser humano. A mediados del siglo XX, Penfield mantuvo la hipotesis de la existencia de lo que denomino el sistema de integracion centrencefalico, responsable del nivel mas elevado de integracion del sistema nervioso central. Conclusiones. Las concepciones corticocentricas otorgan el preciado cetro de 'estructura mas importante del encefalo' a la corteza prefrontal. Sin embargo, no han faltado propuestas alternativas que, con mayor o menor exito, han intentado arrebatarselo en favor de otras estructuras encefalicas.

  1. Prefrontal microcircuit underlies contextual learning after hippocampal loss.

    PubMed

    Zelikowsky, Moriel; Bissiere, Stephanie; Hast, Timothy A; Bennett, Rebecca Z; Abdipranoto, Andrea; Vissel, Bryce; Fanselow, Michael S

    2013-06-11

    Specific brain circuits have been classically linked to dedicated functions. However, compensation following brain damage suggests that these circuits are capable of dynamic adaptation. Such compensation is exemplified by Pavlovian fear conditioning following damage to the dorsal hippocampus (DH). Although the DH normally underlies contextual fear and fear renewal after extinction, both can be learned in the absence of the DH, although the mechanisms and nature of this compensation are currently unknown. Here, we report that recruitment of alternate structures, specifically the infralimbic and prelimbic prefrontal cortices, is required for compensation following damage to the hippocampus. Disconnection of these cortices in DH-compromised animals and immediate early gene induction profiles for amygdala-projecting prefrontal cells revealed that communication and dynamic rebalancing within this prefrontal microcircuit is critical. Additionally, the infralimbic cortex normally plays a role in limiting generalization of contextual fear. These discoveries reveal that plasticity through recruitment of alternate circuits allows the brain to compensate following damage, offering promise for targeted treatment of memory disorders.

  2. Brain Injury Impairs Working Memory and Prefrontal Circuit Function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Colin J.; Xiong, Guoxiang; Elkind, Jaclynn A.; Putnam, Brendan; Cohen, Akiva S.

    2015-01-01

    More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Even mild to moderate TBI causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI), the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice, while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI. PMID:26617569

  3. Adrenergic Pharmacology and Cognition: Focus on the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ramos, Brian P.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2007-01-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) has widespread projections throughout brain, and thus is ideally positioned to orchestrate neural functions based on arousal state. For example, NE can increase “signal/noise” ratio in the processing of sensory stimuli, and can enhance long-term memory consolidation in the amygdala and hippocampus through actions at α-1 and β adrenoceptors. Over the last 20 years, NE has also been shown to play a powerful role in regulating the working memory and attention functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Moderate levels of NE released under control conditions strengthen prefrontal cortical functions via actions at post-synaptic α-2A adrenoceptors with high affinity for NE, while high levels of NE release during stress impair PFC cortical functions via α-1 and possibly β-1 receptors with lower affinity for NE. Thus, levels of NE determine whether prefrontal cortical or posterior cortical systems control our behavior and thought. Understanding these receptor mechanisms has led to new, intelligent treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with PFC dysfunction. PMID:17303246

  4. Prefrontal correlates of approach preferences for alcohol stimuli in alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    Ernst, Lena H; Plichta, Michael M; Dresler, Thomas; Zesewitz, Anna K; Tupak, Sara V; Haeussinger, Florian B; Fischer, Matthias; Polak, Thomas; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Ehlis, Ann-Christine

    2014-05-01

    An approach bias for alcohol stimuli (i.e. faster approach than avoidance reactions) might facilitate relapses in alcohol dependence. Neurobiological models suggest hypersensitivity in the reward system [inter alia nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)] to cause pathologically enhanced approach impulses towards alcohol stimuli. At the same time, in alcohol dependence, these structures are only insufficiently controlled by a hypoactive dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The present study investigated the cortical aspects of this model with functional near-infrared spectroscopy in 21 alcohol-dependent in-patients and 21 healthy controls (HC; comparable in age, gender and education) during performance of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) for the first time. Complementing previous findings, in reaction times (RTs), patients showed stronger approach preferences for alcohol than non-alcohol stimuli. For non-alcohol stimuli, patients even displayed avoidance preferences. The reversed pattern was found in HC. Group differences in activity of the OFC were identical to those in RTs, revealing patients to assign higher subjective value to approaching alcohol stimuli. In both groups, regulatory activity in the right DLPFC was stronger during avoiding than approaching alcohol pictures. Probable awareness of the behavioural hypotheses due to explicit task instructions and patients' deficient prefrontal function might account for this equally aligned pattern. Results are discussed with regard to recent findings revealing a reduced behavioural approach bias and risk for relapse by applying a retraining version of the AAT. Functional measurements might serve as a method for monitoring the corresponding neurobiological changes and-possibly-predicting the success of such a training.

  5. Dissociation of prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens dopaminergic systems in conditional learning in rats.

    PubMed

    George, David N; Jenkins, Trisha A; Killcross, Simon

    2011-11-20

    There is converging evidence that the prefrontal and mesolimbic dopaminergic (DAergic) systems are involved in the performance of a variety of tasks that require the use of contextual, or task-setting, information to select an appropriate response from a number of candidate responses. Performance on tasks of this nature are impaired in schizophrenia and in rats exposed to psychotomimetics; impairments that are often attenuated by administration of dopamine (DA) antagonists. Rats were trained on either a complex instrumental discrimination task, that required the use of task-setting cues, or a simple discrimination task that did not. Following training, microdialysis probes were implanted unilaterally in either the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or nucleus accumbens (NAc) and samples were collected in freely moving animals during a behavioural test session. In Experiment 1, we found no difference in levels of DA in the mPFC of rats while they were performing the two discrimination tasks. Rats that performed the complex task did, however, show significantly higher mPFC DA levels relative to rats in the simple discrimination condition following the end of the behavioural test session. In Experiment 2, rats performing the conditional discrimination showed lower levels of DA in the NAc compared to the simple discrimination group both during the test session and after it. These results provide direct evidence that conditional discrimination tasks engage frontal and mesolimbic DAergic systems and are consistent with the proposal that regulation of fronto-striatal DA is involved in aspects of cognitive control that are known to be impaired in individuals with schizophrenia.

  6. DRD2/CHRNA5 Interaction on Prefrontal Biology and Physiology during Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Fazio, Leonardo; D'Ambrosio, Enrico; Gelao, Barbara; Tomasicchio, Aldo; Selvaggi, Pierluigi; Taurisano, Paolo; Quarto, Tiziana; Masellis, Rita; Rampino, Antonio; Caforio, Grazia; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Sadee, Wolfgang; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Background Prefrontal behavior and activity in humans are heritable. Studies in animals demonstrate an interaction between dopamine D2 receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on prefrontal behavior but evidence in humans is weak. Therefore, we hypothesize that genetic variation regulating dopamine D2 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling impact prefrontal cortex activity and related cognition. To test this hypothesis in humans, we explored the interaction between functional genetic variants in the D2 receptor gene (DRD2, rs1076560) and in the nicotinic receptor α5 gene (CHRNA5, rs16969968) on both dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mediated behavior and physiology during working memory and on prefrontal gray matter volume. Methods A large sample of healthy subjects was compared for genotypic differences for DRD2 rs1076560 (G>T) and CHNRA5 rs16969968 (G>A) on prefrontal phenotypes, including cognitive performance at the N-Back task, prefrontal physiology with BOLD fMRI during performance of the 2-Back working memory task, and prefrontal morphometry with structural MRI. Results We found that DRD2 rs1076560 and CHNRA5 rs16969968 interact to modulate cognitive function, prefrontal physiology during working memory, and prefrontal gray matter volume. More specifically, CHRNA5-AA/DRD2-GT subjects had greater behavioral performance, more efficient prefrontal cortex activity at 2Back working memory task, and greater prefrontal gray matter volume than the other genotype groups. Conclusions The present data extend previous studies in animals and enhance our understanding of dopamine and acetylcholine signaling in the human prefrontal cortex, demonstrating interactions elicited by working memory that are modulated by genetic variants in DRD2 and CHRNA5. PMID:24819610

  7. Recruitment of the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum in Parkinsonian rats following skilled aerobic exercise

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhuo; Guo, Yumei; Myers, Kalisa G.; Heintz, Ryan; Holschneider, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Exercise modality and complexity play a key role in determining neurorehabilitative outcome in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Exercise training (ET) that incorporates both motor skill training and aerobic exercise has been proposed to synergistically improve cognitive and automatic components of motor control in PD patients. Here we introduced such a skilled aerobic ET paradigm in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation. Rats with bilateral, intra-striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were exposed to forced ET for 4 weeks, either on a simple running wheel (non-skilled aerobic exercise, NSAE) or on a complex wheel with irregularly spaced rungs (skilled aerobic exercise, SAE). Cerebral perfusion was mapped during horizontal treadmill walking or at rest using [14C]-iodoantipyrine 1 week after the completion of ET. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in 3-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. SAE compared to NSAE resulted in equal or greater recovery in motor deficits, as well as greater increases in rCBF during walking in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex, broad areas of the somatosensory cortex, and the cerebellum. NSAE compared to SAE animals showed greater activation in the dorsal caudate-putamen and dorsal hippocampus. Seed correlation analysis revealed enhanced functional connectivity in SAE compared to NSAE animals between the prelimbic cortex and motor areas, as well as altered functional connectivity between midline cerebellum and sensorimotor regions. Our study provides the first evidence for functional brain reorganization following skilled aerobic exercise in Parkinsonian rats, and suggests that SAE compared to NSAE results in enhancement of prefrontal cortex- and cerebellum-mediated control of motor function. PMID:25747184

  8. Recruitment of the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum in Parkinsonian rats following skilled aerobic exercise.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Guo, Yumei; Myers, Kalisa G; Heintz, Ryan; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2015-05-01

    Exercise modality and complexity play a key role in determining neurorehabilitative outcome in Parkinson's disease (PD). Exercise training (ET) that incorporates both motor skill training and aerobic exercise has been proposed to synergistically improve cognitive and automatic components of motor control in PD patients. Here we introduced such a skilled aerobic ET paradigm in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation. Rats with bilateral, intra-striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were exposed to forced ET for 4weeks, either on a simple running wheel (non-skilled aerobic exercise, NSAE) or on a complex wheel with irregularly spaced rungs (skilled aerobic exercise, SAE). Cerebral perfusion was mapped during horizontal treadmill walking or at rest using [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine 1week after the completion of ET. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in 3-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. SAE compared to NSAE resulted in equal or greater recovery in motor deficits, as well as greater increases in rCBF during walking in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex, broad areas of the somatosensory cortex, and the cerebellum. NSAE compared to SAE animals showed greater activation in the dorsal caudate-putamen and dorsal hippocampus. Seed correlation analysis revealed enhanced functional connectivity in SAE compared to NSAE animals between the prelimbic cortex and motor areas, as well as altered functional connectivity between midline cerebellum and sensorimotor regions. Our study provides the first evidence for functional brain reorganization following skilled aerobic exercise in Parkinsonian rats, and suggests that SAE compared to NSAE results in enhancement of prefrontal cortex- and cerebellum-mediated control of motor function.

  9. Increases in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreases the rostral prefrontal cortex activation after-8 weeks of focused attention based mindfulness meditation.

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Mindfulness meditation is a form of attention control training. The training exercises the ability to repeatedly focus attention. We addressed the activation changes related to an 8-weeks mindfulness-oriented focused attention meditation training on an initially naïve subject cohort. Before and after training participants underwent an fMRI experiment, thus, although not strictly a cross over design, they served as their internal own control. During fMRI they exercised focused attention on breathing and body scan as compared to resting. We found increased and decreased activation in different parts of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by comparing pre- vs. post-mindfulness training (MT) during breathing and body scan meditation exercises that were compared against their own resting state. In the post-MT (vs. pre-MT) meditation increased activation in the right dorsolateral PFC and in the left caudate/anterior insula and decreased activation in the rostral PFC and right parietal area 3b. Thus a brief mindfulness training caused increased activation in areas involved in sustaining and monitoring the focus of attention (dorsolateral PFC), consistent with the aim of mindfulness that is exercising focused attention mechanisms, and in the left caudate/anterior insula involved in attention and corporeal awareness and decreased activation in areas part of the "default mode" network and is involved in mentalizing (rostral PFC), consistent with the ability trained by mindfulness of reducing spontaneous mind wandering.

  10. Relationship between impulsivity, prefrontal anticipatory activation, and striatal dopamine release during rewarded task performance.

    PubMed

    Weiland, Barbara J; Heitzeg, Mary M; Zald, David; Cummiford, Chelsea; Love, Tiffany; Zucker, Robert A; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2014-09-30

    Impulsivity, and in particular the negative urgency aspect of this trait, is associated with poor inhibitory control when experiencing negative emotion. Individual differences in aspects of impulsivity have been correlated with striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability and function. This multi-modal pilot study used both positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate dopaminergic and neural activity, respectively, using modified versions of the monetary incentive delay task. Twelve healthy female subjects underwent both scans and completed the NEO Personality Inventory Revised to assess Impulsiveness (IMP). We examined the relationship between nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopaminergic incentive/reward release, measured as a change in D2/D3 binding potential between neutral and incentive/reward conditions with [(11)C]raclopride PET, and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation elicited during the anticipation of rewards, measured with fMRI. Left NAcc incentive/reward dopaminergic release correlated with anticipatory reward activation within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), left angular gyrus, mammillary bodies, and left superior frontal cortex. Activation in the mPFC negatively correlated with IMP and mediated the relationship between IMP and incentive/reward dopaminergic release in left NAcc. The mPFC, with a regulatory role in learning and valuation, may influence dopamine incentive/reward release.

  11. Central as well as Peripheral Attentional Bottlenecks in Dual-Task Performance Activate Lateral Prefrontal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Szameitat, André J.; Vanloo, Azonya; Müller, Hermann J.

    2016-01-01

    Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage) as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation) both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analyzed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In one study (N = 17), the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group). In the other study (N = 16), the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group). Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect). Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices (LPFC). Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns

  12. Virtual reality and the role of the prefrontal cortex in adults and children.

    PubMed

    Jäncke, Lutz; Cheetham, Marcus; Baumgartner, Thomas

    2009-05-01

    In this review, the neural underpinnings of the experience of presence are outlined. Firstly, it is shown that presence is associated with activation of a distributed network, which includes the dorsal and ventral visual stream, the parietal cortex, the premotor cortex, mesial temporal areas, the brainstem and the thalamus. Secondly, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is identified as a key node of the network as it modulates the activity of the network and the associated experience of presence. Thirdly, children lack the strong modulatory influence of the DLPFC on the network due to their unmatured frontal cortex. Fourthly, it is shown that presence-related measures are influenced by manipulating the activation in the DLPFC using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) while participants are exposed to the virtual roller coaster ride. Finally, the findings are discussed in the context of current models explaining the experience of presence, the rubber hand illusion, and out-of-body experiences.

  13. Amyloid β Peptide-Induced Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Its Response to Hippocampal Input.

    PubMed

    Flores-Martínez, Ernesto; Peña-Ortega, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Alterations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function and abnormalities in its interactions with other brain areas (i.e., the hippocampus) have been related to Alzheimer Disease (AD). Considering that these malfunctions correlate with the increase in the brain's amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide production, here we looked for a causal relationship between these pathognomonic signs of AD. Thus, we tested whether or not Aβ affects the activity of the PFC network and the activation of this cortex by hippocampal input stimulation in vitro. We found that Aβ application to brain slices inhibits PFC spontaneous network activity as well as PFC activation, both at the population and at the single-cell level, when the hippocampal input is stimulated. Our data suggest that Aβ can contribute to AD by disrupting PFC activity and its long-range interactions throughout the brain.

  14. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex increases attention to visual target stimuli.

    PubMed

    Vierheilig, Nina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Both functional imaging or EEG studies and studies including neurological patients found the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) to be an important brain area for the processing of emotion and attention. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether emotion and attention can be modulated through bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dLPFC. Therefore, we measured electroencephalographic occipital (early posterior negativity, EPN) and parietal ERPs (late positive potential, LPP) during an emotional picture viewing paradigm with an additional attentional instruction while applying bilateral anodal and cathodal tDC-stimulation to the left and right dLPFC. Beyond the well-known emotion and attention effects for both EPN and LPP, we found that left cathodal/right anodal tDCS leads to increased LPP amplitudes to target stimuli. In contrast to our hypothesis bilateral tDCS over the dLPFC did not influence emotional processing.

  15. Unique and shared roles of the posterior parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in cognitive functions

    PubMed Central

    Katsuki, Fumi; Constantinidis, Christos

    2012-01-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) are two parts of a broader brain network involved in the control of cognitive functions such as working-memory, spatial attention, and decision-making. The two areas share many functional properties and exhibit similar patterns of activation during the execution of mental operations. However, neurophysiological experiments in non-human primates have also documented subtle differences, revealing functional specialization within the fronto-parietal network. These differences include the ability of the PFC to influence memory performance, attention allocation, and motor responses to a greater extent, and to resist interference by distracting stimuli. In recent years, distinct cellular and anatomical differences have been identified, offering insights into how functional specialization is achieved. This article reviews the common functions and functional differences between the PFC and PPC, and their underlying mechanisms. PMID:22563310

  16. Amyloid β Peptide-Induced Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Its Response to Hippocampal Input

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Martínez, Ernesto

    2017-01-01

    Alterations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function and abnormalities in its interactions with other brain areas (i.e., the hippocampus) have been related to Alzheimer Disease (AD). Considering that these malfunctions correlate with the increase in the brain's amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide production, here we looked for a causal relationship between these pathognomonic signs of AD. Thus, we tested whether or not Aβ affects the activity of the PFC network and the activation of this cortex by hippocampal input stimulation in vitro. We found that Aβ application to brain slices inhibits PFC spontaneous network activity as well as PFC activation, both at the population and at the single-cell level, when the hippocampal input is stimulated. Our data suggest that Aβ can contribute to AD by disrupting PFC activity and its long-range interactions throughout the brain. PMID:28127312

  17. Gene expression profiling in postmortem prefrontal cortex of major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hyo Jung; Adams, David H; Simen, Arthur; Simen, Birgitte B; Rajkowska, Grazyna; Stockmeier, Craig A; Overholser, James C; Meltzer, Herbert Y; Jurjus, George J; Konick, Lisa C; Newton, Samuel S; Duman, Ronald S

    2007-11-28

    Investigations of the molecular mechanisms underlying major depressive disorder (MDD) have been hampered by the complexity of brain tissue and sensitivity of gene expression profiling approaches. To address these issues, we used discrete microdissections of postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (area 9) and an oligonucleotide (60mer) microarray hybridization procedure that increases sensitivity without RNA amplification. Mixed-effects statistical methods were used to rigorously control for medication usage in the subset of medicated depressed subjects. These analyses yielded a rich profile of dysregulated genes. Two of the most highly dysregulated genes of interest were stresscopin, a neuropeptide involved in stress responses, and Forkhead box D3 (FOXD3), a transcription factor. Secondary cell-based analysis demonstrated that stresscopin and FoxD3 are increased in neurons of DLPFC gray matter of MDD subjects. These findings identify abnormal gene expression in a discrete region of MDD subjects and contribute to further elucidation of the molecular alterations of this complex mood disorder.

  18. Language experience differentiates prefrontal and subcortical activation of the cognitive control network in novel word learning

    PubMed Central

    King, Kelly E.; Hernandez, Arturo E.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive control mechanisms in adult English speaking monolinguals compared to early sequential Spanish-English bilinguals during the initial stages of novel word learning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during a lexico-semantic task after only two hours of exposure to novel German vocabulary flashcards showed that monolinguals activated a broader set of cortical control regions associated with higher-level cognitive processes, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the caudate, implicated in cognitive control of language. However, bilinguals recruited a more localized subcortical network that included the putamen, associated more with motor control of language. These results suggest that experience managing multiple languages may differentiate the learning strategy and subsequent neural mechanisms of cognitive control used by bilinguals compared to monolinguals in the early stages of novel word learning. PMID:23194816

  19. Motor, cognitive, and affective areas of the cerebral cortex influence the adrenal medulla

    PubMed Central

    Dum, Richard P.; Levinthal, David J.; Strick, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Modern medicine has generally viewed the concept of “psychosomatic” disease with suspicion. This view arose partly because no neural networks were known for the mind, conceptually associated with the cerebral cortex, to influence autonomic and endocrine systems that control internal organs. Here, we used transneuronal transport of rabies virus to identify the areas of the primate cerebral cortex that communicate through multisynaptic connections with a major sympathetic effector, the adrenal medulla. We demonstrate that two broad networks in the cerebral cortex have access to the adrenal medulla. The larger network includes all of the cortical motor areas in the frontal lobe and portions of somatosensory cortex. A major component of this network originates from the supplementary motor area and the cingulate motor areas on the medial wall of the hemisphere. These cortical areas are involved in all aspects of skeletomotor control from response selection to motor preparation and movement execution. The second, smaller network originates in regions of medial prefrontal cortex, including a major contribution from pregenual and subgenual regions of anterior cingulate cortex. These cortical areas are involved in higher-order aspects of cognition and affect. These results indicate that specific multisynaptic circuits exist to link movement, cognition, and affect to the function of the adrenal medulla. This circuitry may mediate the effects of internal states like chronic stress and depression on organ function and, thus, provide a concrete neural substrate for some psychosomatic illness. PMID:27528671

  20. Fasting mediated increase in p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in the prefrontal cortex of mice.

    PubMed

    Pitchaimani, Vigneshwaran; Arumugam, Somasundaram; Thandavarayan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam; Karuppagounder, Vengadeshprabhu; Sreedhar, Remya; Afrin, Rejina; Harima, Meilei; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Miyashita, Shizuka; Nomoto, Mayumi; Sone, Hirohito; Suzuki, Kenji; Watanabe, Kenichi

    2014-09-05

    BAD-deficient mice and fasting have several common functional roles in seizures, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) uptake in brain and alteration in counterregulatory hormonal regulation during hypoglycemia. Neuronal specific insulin receptor knockout (NIRKO) mice display impaired counterregulatory hormonal responses during hypoglycemia. In this study we investigated the fasting mediated expression of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in different regions of brain (prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, midbrain and hypothalamus). Fasting specifically increases p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in prefrontal cortex and decreases in other regions of brain. Our results suggest that fasting may increase the uptake BHB by decreasing p-BAD(ser155) in the brain during hypoglycemia except prefrontal cortex and it uncovers specific functional area of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) that may regulates counter regulatory hormonal response. Overall in support with previous findings, fasting mediated hypoglycemia activates prefrontal cortex insulin signaling which influences the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus mediated activation of sympathoadrenal hormonal responses.

  1. QEEG Theta Cordance in the Prediction of Treatment Outcome to Prefrontal Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or Venlafaxine ER in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Bares, Martin; Brunovsky, Martin; Novak, Tomas; Kopecek, Miloslav; Stopkova, Pavla; Sos, Peter; Höschl, Cyril

    2015-04-01

    The aims of this double-blind study were to assess and compare the efficacy of quantitative electroencephalographic (QEEG) prefrontal theta band cordance in the prediction of response to 4-week, right, prefrontal, 1-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or venlafaxine ER in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Prefrontal QEEG cordance values of 50 inpatients (25 subjects in each group) completing 4 weeks of the study were obtained at baseline and after 1 week of treatment. Depressive symptoms were assessed using Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at baseline and at week 1 and 4. Treatment response was defined as a ≥50% reduction in baseline MADRS total score. All responders (n = 9) and 6 of 16 nonresponders in the rTMS group had reduced cordance at week 1 (P < .01). Reduction of theta cordance value at week 1 was detected in all responders (n = 10) to venlafaxine ER, but only in 4 of 15 nonresponders (P = .005). The comparison of the areas under the curve of cordance change for prediction of response between rTMS (0.75) and venlafaxine ER (0.89) treated groups yielded no significant difference (P = .27). Our study indicates that prefrontal QEEG cordance is a promising tool not only for predicting the response to certain antidepressants but also to rTMS treatment, with comparable predictive efficacy for both therapeutic interventions.

  2. Effect of Treadmill Running on Morphine Dependence Before and After Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesion in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Saedi Marghmaleki, Vajihe; Alaei, Hojjatallah

    2016-01-01

    Background Previous studies on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has shown that this area plays an important role in addiction behavior. Other studies also indicated that exercise decreases use of morphine. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of short-term exercise on trends for use of morphine with an intact mPFC and lesion of that area. Methods 50 rats randomly were selected and divided into 5 groups. 1-exercise. 2- Morphine + Lesion. 3- Morphine + Exercise + Lesion. 4- Morphine. 5- Morphine and Exercise. All groups received morphine for 9 days except exercise group. On the 10th day, the symptoms of addiction were evaluated. To determine the effects of exercise, a treadmill apparatus was used for exercising. Results Our results indicated that exercise with intact mPFC area significantly decreased the tendency of using morphine which is verified by changes in symptoms (P < 0.05), but after a lesion of this area exercise did not significantly affect these withdrawal symptoms Conclusions It seems that a lesion of mPFC area significantly reduced the effect of short-term exercise on the usage pattern of morphine. PMID:28144409

  3. Parallel prefrontal pathways reach distinct excitatory and inhibitory systems in memory-related rhinal cortices

    PubMed Central

    Bunce, Jamie G.; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Feinberg, Marcia; Barbas, Helen

    2013-01-01

    To investigate how prefrontal cortices impinge on medial temporal cortices we labeled pathways from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in rhesus monkeys to compare their relationship with excitatory and inhibitory systems in rhinal cortices. The ACC pathway terminated mostly in areas 28 and 35 with a high proportion of large terminals, whereas the pOFC pathway terminated mostly through small terminals in area 36 and sparsely in areas 28 and 35. Both pathways terminated in all layers. Simultaneous labeling of pathways and distinct neurochemical classes of inhibitory neurons, followed by analyses of appositions of presynaptic and postsynaptic fluorescent signal, or synapses, showed overall predominant association with spines of putative excitatory neurons, but also significant interactions with presumed inhibitory neurons labeled for calretinin, calbindin or parvalbumin. In the upper layers of areas 28 and 35 the ACC pathway was associated with dendrites of neurons labeled with calretinin, which are thought to disinhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting facilitated hippocampal access. In contrast, in area 36 pOFC axons were associated with dendrites of calbindin neurons, which are poised to reduce noise and enhance signal. In the deep layers, both pathways innervated mostly dendrites of parvalbumin neurons, which strongly inhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting gating of hippocampal output to other cortices. These findings suggest that the ACC, associated with attention and context, and the pOFC, associated with emotional valuation, have distinct contributions to memory in rhinal cortices, in processes that are disrupted in psychiatric diseases. PMID:23839697

  4. Aspects of Plant Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    TREWAVAS, ANTHONY

    2003-01-01

    Intelligence is not a term commonly used when plants are discussed. However, I believe that this is an omission based not on a true assessment of the ability of plants to compute complex aspects of their environment, but solely a reflection of a sessile lifestyle. This article, which is admittedly controversial, attempts to raise many issues that surround this area. To commence use of the term intelligence with regard to plant behaviour will lead to a better understanding of the complexity of plant signal transduction and the discrimination and sensitivity with which plants construct images of their environment, and raises critical questions concerning how plants compute responses at the whole‐plant level. Approaches to investigating learning and memory in plants will also be considered. PMID:12740212

  5. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Involvement in the Expression of Extinction and ABA Renewal of Instrumental Behavior for a Food Reinforcer

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, Meghan C.; Todd, Travis P.; Bouton, Mark E.; Green, John T.

    2015-01-01

    Instrumental renewal, the return of extinguished instrumental responding after removal from the extinction context, is an important model of behavioral relapse that is poorly understood at the neural level. In two experiments, we examined the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental responding for a sucrose reinforcer. Previous work, exclusively using drug reinforcers, has suggested that the roles of the dmPFC and vmPFC in expression of extinction and ABA renewal may depend at least in part on the type of drug reinforcer used. The current experiments used a food reinforcer because the behavioral mechanisms underlying the extinction and renewal of instrumental responding are especially well worked out in this paradigm. After instrumental conditioning in context A and extinction in context B, we inactivated dmPFC, vmPFC, or a more ventral medial prefrontal cortex region by infusing baclofen/muscimol (B/M) just prior to testing in both contexts. In rats with inactivated dmPFC, ABA renewal was still present (i.e., responding increased when returned to context A); however responding was lower (less renewal) than controls. Inactivation of vmPFC increased responding in context B (the extinction context) and decreased responding in context A, indicating no renewal in these animals. There was no effect of B/M infusion on rats with cannula placements ventral to the vmPFC. Fluorophore-conjugated muscimol was infused in a subset of rats following test to visualize infusion spread. Imaging suggested that the infusion spread was minimal and mainly constrained to the targeted area. Together, these experiments suggest that there is a region of medial prefrontal cortex encompassing both dmPFC and vmPFC that is important for ABA renewal of extinguished instrumental responding for a food reinforcer. In addition, vmPFC, but not dmPFC, is important for expression of extinction of

  6. Medial prefrontal cortex involvement in the expression of extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental behavior for a food reinforcer.

    PubMed

    Eddy, Meghan C; Todd, Travis P; Bouton, Mark E; Green, John T

    2016-02-01

    Instrumental renewal, the return of extinguished instrumental responding after removal from the extinction context, is an important model of behavioral relapse that is poorly understood at the neural level. In two experiments, we examined the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental responding for a sucrose reinforcer. Previous work, exclusively using drug reinforcers, has suggested that the roles of the dmPFC and vmPFC in expression of extinction and ABA renewal may depend at least in part on the type of drug reinforcer used. The current experiments used a food reinforcer because the behavioral mechanisms underlying the extinction and renewal of instrumental responding are especially well worked out in this paradigm. After instrumental conditioning in context A and extinction in context B, we inactivated dmPFC, vmPFC, or a more ventral medial prefrontal cortex region by infusing baclofen/muscimol (B/M) just prior to testing in both contexts. In rats with inactivated dmPFC, ABA renewal was still present (i.e., responding increased when returned to context A); however responding was lower (less renewal) than controls. Inactivation of vmPFC increased responding in context B (the extinction context) and decreased responding in context A, indicating no renewal in these animals. There was no effect of B/M infusion on rats with cannula placements ventral to the vmPFC. Fluorophore-conjugated muscimol was infused in a subset of rats following test to visualize infusion spread. Imaging suggested that the infusion spread was minimal and mainly constrained to the targeted area. Together, these experiments suggest that there is a region of medial prefrontal cortex encompassing both dmPFC and vmPFC that is important for ABA renewal of extinguished instrumental responding for a food reinforcer. In addition, vmPFC, but not dmPFC, is important for expression of extinction of

  7. Editing for an AMPA receptor subunit RNA in prefrontal cortex and striatum in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and schizophrenia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akbarian, S.; Smith, M. A.; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    Animal studies and cell culture experiments demonstrated that posttranscriptional editing of the transcript of the GluR-2 gene, resulting in substitution of an arginine for glutamine in the second transmembrane region (TM II) of the expressed protein, is associated with a reduction in Ca2+ permeability of the receptor channel. Thus, disturbances in GluR-2 RNA editing with alteration of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis could lead to neuronal dysfunction and even neuronal degeneration. The present study determined the proportions of edited and unedited GluR-2 RNA in the prefrontal cortex of brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease, in the striatum of brains from patients with Huntington's disease, and in the same areas of brains from age-matched schizophrenics and controls, by using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, restriction endonuclease digestion, gel electrophoresis and scintillation radiometry. In the prefrontal cortex of controls, < 0.1% of all GluR-2 RNA molecules were unedited and > 99.9% were edited; in the prefrontal cortex both of schizophrenics and of Alzheimer's patients approximately 1.0% of all GluR-2 RNA molecules were unedited and 99% were edited. In the striatum of controls and of schizophrenics, approximately 0.5% of GluR-2 RNA molecules were unedited and 99.5% were edited; in the striatum of Huntington's patients nearly 5.0% of GluR-2 RNA was unedited. In the prefrontal white matter of controls, approximately 7.0% of GluR-2 RNA was unedited. In the normal human prefrontal cortex and striatum, the large majority of GluR-2 RNA molecules contains a CGG codon for arginine in the TMII coding region; this implies that the corresponding AMPA receptors have a low Ca2+ permeability, as previously demonstrated for the rat brain. The process of GluR-2 RNA editing is compromised in a region-specific manner in schizophrenia, in Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's Chorea although in each of these disorders there is still a large excess of

  8. Stress-induced impairments in prefrontal-mediated behaviors and the role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor

    PubMed Central

    Graybeal, Carolyn; Kiselycznyk, Carly; Holmes, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) mediates higher-order cognitive and executive functions that subserve various complex, adaptable behaviors such as cognitive flexibility, attention and working memory. Deficits in these functions typify multiple neuropsychiatric disorders that are caused or exacerbated by exposure to psychological stress. Here we review recent evidence examining the effects of stress on executive and cognitive functions in rodents, and discuss an emerging body of evidence that implicates the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) as a potentially critical molecular mechanism mediating these effects. Future work in this area could open up new avenues for developing pharmacotherapies for ameliorating cognitive dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disease. PMID:22414923

  9. Anxiety Evokes Hypofrontality and Disrupts Rule-Relevant Encoding by Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Bondi, Corina; Del Arco, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety is a debilitating symptom of most psychiatric disorders, including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. A detrimental aspect of anxiety is disruption of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated executive functions, such as flexible decision making. Here we sought to understand how anxiety modulates PFC neuronal encoding of flexible shifting between behavioral strategies. We used a clinically substantiated anxiogenic treatment to induce sustained anxiety in rats and recorded from dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) neurons while they were freely moving in a home cage and while they performed a PFC-dependent task that required flexible switches between rules in two distinct perceptual dimensions. Anxiety elicited a sustained background “hypofrontality” in dmPFC and OFC by reducing the firing rate of spontaneously active neuronal subpopulations. During task performance, the impact of anxiety was subtle, but, consistent with human data, behavior was selectively impaired when previously correct conditions were presented as conflicting choices. This impairment was associated with reduced recruitment of dmPFC neurons that selectively represented task rules at the time of action. OFC rule representation was not affected by anxiety. These data indicate that a neural substrate of the decision-making deficits in anxiety is diminished dmPFC neuronal encoding of task rules during conflict-related actions. Given the translational relevance of the model used here, the data provide a neuronal encoding mechanism for how anxiety biases decision making when the choice involves overcoming a conflict. They also demonstrate that PFC encoding of actions, as opposed to cues or outcome, is especially vulnerable to anxiety. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A debilitating aspect of anxiety is its impact on decision making and flexible control of behavior. These cognitive constructs depend on proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex

  10. Prefrontal activity and impaired memory encoding strategies in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Guimond, Synthia; Hawco, Colin; Lepage, Martin

    2017-03-08

    Schizophrenia patients have significant memory difficulties that have far-reaching implications in their daily life. These impairments are partly attributed to an inability to self-initiate effective memory encoding strategies, but its core neurobiological correlates remain unknown. The current study addresses this critical gap in our knowledge of episodic memory impairments in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients (n = 35) and healthy controls (n = 23) underwent a Semantic Encoding Memory Task (SEMT) during an fMRI scan. Brain activity was examined for conditions where participants were a) prompted to use semantic encoding strategies, or b) not prompted but required to self-initiate such strategies. When prompted to use semantic encoding strategies, schizophrenia patients exhibited similar recognition performance and brain activity as healthy controls. However, when required to self-initiate these strategies, patients had significant reduced recognition performance and brain activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as in the left temporal gyrus, left superior parietal lobule, and cerebellum. When patients were divided based on performance on the SEMT, the subgroup with more severe deficits in self-initiation also showed greater reduction in left dorsolateral prefrontal activity. These results suggest that impaired self-initiation of elaborative encoding strategies is a driving feature of memory deficits in schizophrenia. We also identified the neural correlates of impaired self-initiation of semantic encoding strategies, in which a failure to activate the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a key role. These findings provide important new targets in the development of novel treatments aiming to improve memory and ultimately patients' outcome.

  11. Measuring emotion in advertising research: prefrontal brain activity.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Richard B; Nield, Geoffrey E

    2012-01-01

    With the current interest in the role of emotion in advertising and advertising research, there has been an increasing interest in the use of various brain activity measures to access nonverbal emotional responses. One such approach relies on measuring the difference between left and right hemisphere prefrontal cortical activity to assess like and dislike. This approach is based on electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroimaging work, suggesting that the approach/withdrawal (frequently but not always associated with like/dislike) dimension of emotion is indicated by the balance of activity between the left and right prefrontal cortex. Much of this work was initiated by Richard Davidson in the early 1990s. An early study by Davidson et al. measured brain electrical activity to assess patterns of activation during the experience of happiness and disgust. The authors reported that disgust was found to be associated with increased right-sided activation in the frontal and anterior temporal regions compared with happiness. In contrast, happiness was found to be accompanied by left-sided activation in the anterior temporal region compared with disgust. Early reports suggested that frontal laterality indexes motivational valence with positive emotions (happy, like) associated with left greater than the right frontal activity and vice versa. Although these findings appear to be consistent with personality traits (e.g., optimism pessimism), state changes in frontal laterality appears to index approach withdraw rather than emotional valence. Interestingly, the behavioral and motivational correlates of prefrontal asymmetric activity are not restricted to humans or even primates but have been observed in numerous species such as birds and fish (see [4]). Henceforth, we use the term motivational valence (MV) rather than the more cumbersome term approach withdraw.

  12. Neurotensin activates GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Petrie, Kimberly A; Schmidt, Dennis; Bubser, Michael; Fadel, Jim; Carraway, Robert E; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2005-02-16

    Converging data suggest a dysfunction of prefrontal cortical GABAergic interneurons in schizophrenia. Morphological and physiological studies indicate that cortical GABA cells are modulated by a variety of afferents. The peptide transmitter neurotensin may be one such modulator of interneurons. In the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC), neurotensin is exclusively localized to dopamine axons and has been suggested to be decreased in schizophrenia. However, the effects of neurotensin on cortical interneurons are poorly understood. We used in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats to assess whether neurotensin regulates PFC GABAergic interneurons. Intra-PFC administration of neurotensin concentration-dependently increased extracellular GABA levels; this effect was impulse dependent, being blocked by treatment with tetrodotoxin. The ability of neurotensin to increase GABA levels in the PFC was also blocked by pretreatment with 2-[1-(7-chloro-4-quinolinyl)-5-(2,6-dimethoxyphenyl)pyrazole-3-yl)carbonylamino]tricyclo(3.3.1.1 [EC] .3.7)decan-2-carboxylic acid (SR48692), a high-affinity neurotensin receptor 1 (NTR1) antagonist. This finding is consistent with our observation that NTR1 was localized to GABAergic interneurons in the PFC, particularly parvalbumin-containing interneurons. Because neurotensin is exclusively localized to dopamine axons in the PFC, we also determined whether neurotensin plays a role in the ability of dopamine agonists to increase extracellular GABA levels. We found that D2 agonist-elicited increases in PFC GABA levels were blocked by pretreatment with SR48692, consistent with data indicating that D2 autoreceptor agonists increase neurotensin release from dopamine-neurotensin axons in the PFC. These findings suggest that neurotensin plays an important role in regulating prefrontal cortical interneurons and that it may be useful to consider neurotensin agonists as an adjunct in the treatment of schizophrenia.

  13. Neuroanatomical substrates of executive functions: Beyond prefrontal structures.

    PubMed

    Bettcher, Brianne M; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M; Kramer, Joel H

    2016-05-01

    Executive functions are often considered lynchpin "frontal lobe tasks", despite accumulating evidence that a broad network of anterior and posterior brain structures supports them. Using a latent variable modelling approach, we assessed whether prefrontal grey matter volumes independently predict executive function performance when statistically differentiated from global atrophy and individual non-frontal lobar volume contributions. We further examined whether fronto-parietal white matter microstructure underlies and independently contributes to executive functions. We developed a latent variable model to decompose lobar grey matter volumes into a global grey matter factor and specific lobar volumes (i.e. prefrontal, parietal, temporal, occipital) that were independent of global grey matter. We then added mean fractional anisotropy (FA) for the superior longitudinal fasciculus (dorsal portion), corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle (dorsal portion) to models that included grey matter volumes related to cognitive variables in previous analyses. Results suggested that the 2-factor model (shifting/inhibition, updating/working memory) plus an information processing speed factor best explained our executive function data in a sample of 202 community dwelling older adults, and was selected as the base measurement model for further analyses. Global grey matter was related to the executive function and speed variables in all four lobar models, but independent contributions of the frontal lobes were not significant. In contrast, when assessing the effect of white matter microstructure, cingulum FA made significant independent contributions to all three executive function and speed variables and corpus callosum FA was independently related to shifting/inhibition and speed. Findings from the current study indicate that while prefrontal grey matter volumes are significantly associated with cognitive neuroscience measures of shifting/inhibition and working memory in healthy

  14. Multisynaptic projections from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to the dorsal premotor cortex in macaques - anatomical substrate for conditional visuomotor behavior.

    PubMed

    Takahara, Daisuke; Inoue, Ken-Ichi; Hirata, Yoshihiro; Miyachi, Shigehiro; Nambu, Atsushi; Takada, Masahiko; Hoshi, Eiji

    2012-11-01

    Lines of evidence indicate that both the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) (areas 45/12) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) (rostral F2 in area 6) are crucially involved in conditional visuomotor behavior, in which it is required to determine an action based on an associated visual object. However, virtually no direct projections appear to exist between the vlPFC and PMd. In the present study, to elucidate possible multisynaptic networks linking the vlPFC to the PMd, we performed a series of neuroanatomical tract-tracing experiments in macaque monkeys. First, we identified cortical areas that send projection fibers directly to the PMd by injecting Fast Blue into the PMd. Considerable retrograde labeling occurred in the dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC) (areas 46d/9/8B/8Ad), dorsomedial motor cortex (dmMC) (F7 and presupplementary motor area), rostral cingulate motor area, and ventral premotor cortex (F5 and area 44), whereas the vlPFC was virtually devoid of neuronal labeling. Second, we injected the rabies virus, a retrograde transneuronal tracer, into the PMd. At 3 days after the rabies injections, second-order neurons were labeled in the vlPFC (mainly area 45), indicating that the vlPFC disynaptically projects to the PMd. Finally, to determine areas that connect the vlPFC to the PMd indirectly, we carried out an anterograde/retrograde dual-labeling experiment in single monkeys. By examining the distribution of axon terminals labeled from the vlPFC and cell bodies labeled from the PMd, we found overlapping labels in the dPFC and dmMC. These results indicate that the vlPFC outflow is directed toward the PMd in a multisynaptic fashion through the dPFC and/or dmMC.

  15. Posterior and prefrontal contributions to the development posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity: an fMRI study of symptom provocation in acute stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Cwik, Jan C; Sartory, Gudrun; Nuyken, Malte; Schürholt, Benjamin; Seitz, Rüdiger J

    2016-07-25

    Acute stress disorder (ASD) is predictive of the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In response to symptom provocation, the exposure to trauma-related pictures, ASD patients showed increased activation of the medial posterior areas of precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex as well as of superior prefrontal cortex in a previous study. The current study aimed at investigating which activated areas are predictive of the development of PTSD. Nineteen ASD patients took part in an fMRI study in which they were shown personalized trauma-related and neutral pictures within 4 weeks of the traumatic event. They were assessed for severity of PTSD 4 weeks later. Activation contrasts between trauma-related and neutral pictures were correlated with subsequent PTSD symptom severity. Greater activation in, among others, right medial precuneus, left retrosplenial cortex, precentral and right superior temporal gyrus as well as less activation in lateral, superior prefrontal and left fusiform gyrus was related to subsequently increased PTSD severity. The results are broadly in line with neural areas related to etiological models of PTSD, namely multisensory associative learning recruiting posterior regions on the one hand and failure to reappraise maladaptive cognitions, thought to involve prefrontal areas, on the other.

  16. Too Little and Too Much: Hypoactivation and Disinhibition of Medial Prefrontal Cortex Cause Attentional Deficits

    PubMed Central

    McGarrity, Stephanie; Mason, Rob; Fone, Kevin C.

    2014-01-01

    Attentional deficits are core symptoms of schizophrenia, contributing strongly to disability. Prefrontal dysfunction has emerged as a candidate mechanism, with clinical evidence for prefrontal hypoactivation and disinhibition (reduced GABAergic inhibition), possibly reflecting different patient subpopulations. Here, we tested in rats whether imbalanced prefrontal neural activity impairs attention. To induce prefrontal hypoactivation or disinhibition, we microinfused the GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol (C4H6N2O2; 62.5, 125, 250 ng/side) or antagonist picrotoxin (C30H34O13; 75, 150, 300 ng/side), respectively, into the medial prefrontal cortex. Using the five-choice serial reaction time (5CSRT) test, we showed that both muscimol and picrotoxin impaired attention (reduced accuracy, increased omissions). Muscimol also impaired response control (increased premature responses). In addition, muscimol dose dependently reduced open-field locomotor activity, whereas 300 ng of picrotoxin caused locomotor hyperactivity; sensorimotor gating (startle prepulse inhibition) was unaffected. Therefore, infusion effects on the 5CSRT test can be dissociated from sensorimotor effects. Combining microinfusions with in vivo electrophysiology, we showed that muscimol inhibited prefrontal firing, whereas picrotoxin increased firing, mainly within bursts. Muscimol reduced and picrotoxin enhanced bursting and both drugs changed the temporal pattern of bursting. Picrotoxin also markedly enhanced prefrontal LFP power. Therefore, prefrontal hypoactivation and disinhibition both cause attentional deficits. Considering the electrophysiological findings, this suggests that attention requires appropriately tuned prefrontal activity. Apart from attentional deficits, prefrontal disinhibition caused additional neurobehavioral changes that may be relevant to schizophrenia pathophysiology, including enhanced prefrontal bursting and locomotor hyperactivity, which have been linked to psychosis

  17. Pyramidal Cells in Prefrontal Cortex of Primates: Marked Differences in Neuronal Structure Among Species

    PubMed Central

    Elston, Guy N.; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Elston, Alejandra; Manger, Paul R.; DeFelipe, Javier

    2010-01-01

    The most ubiquitous neuron in the cerebral cortex, the pyramidal cell, is characterized by markedly different dendritic structure among different cortical areas. The complex pyramidal cell phenotype in granular prefrontal cortex (gPFC) of higher primates endows specific biophysical properties and patterns of connectivity, which differ from those in other cortical regions. However, within the gPFC, data have been sampled from only a select few cortical areas. The gPFC of species such as human and macaque monkey includes more than 10 cortical areas. It remains unknown as to what degree pyramidal cell structure may vary among these cortical areas. Here we undertook a survey of pyramidal cells in the dorsolateral, medial, and orbital gPFC of cercopithecid primates. We found marked heterogeneity in pyramidal cell structure within and between these regions. Moreover, trends for gradients in neuronal complexity varied among species. As the structure of neurons determines their computational abilities, memory storage capacity and connectivity, we propose that these specializations in the pyramidal cell phenotype are an important determinant of species-specific executive cortical functions in primates. PMID:21347276

  18. A segregated neural pathway for prefrontal top-down control of tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Gogulski, Juha; Boldt, Robert; Savolainen, Petri; Guzmán-López, Jessica; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2015-01-01

    It has proven difficult to separate functional areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), an area implicated in attention, memory, and distraction handling. Here, we assessed in healthy human subjects whether PFC subareas have different roles in top-down regulation of sensory functions by determining how the neural links between the PFC and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) modulate tactile perceptions. Anatomical connections between the S1 representation area of the cutaneous test site and the PFC were determined using probabilistic tractography. Single-pulse navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation of the middle frontal gyrus-S1 link, but not that of the superior frontal gyrus-S1 link, impaired the ability to discriminate between single and twin tactile pulses. The impairment occurred within a restricted time window and skin area. The spatially and temporally organized top-down control of tactile discrimination through a segregated PFC-S1 pathway suggests functional specialization of PFC subareas in fine-tuned regulation of information processing.

  19. Dynamin1 concentration in the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive impairment in Lewy body dementia.

    PubMed

    Vallortigara, Julie; Rangarajan, Sindhoo; Whitfield, David; Alghamdi, Amani; Howlett, David; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Johnson, Mary; Attems, Johannes; Ballard, Clive; Thomas, Alan; O'Brien, John; Aarsland, Dag; Francis, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD) together, represent the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer's disease (AD). The synaptic dysfunctions underlying the cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms observed throughout the development of PDD and DLB are still under investigation. In this study we examined the expression level of Dynamin1 and phospho-CaMKII, key proteins of endocytosis and synaptic plasticity respectively, as potential markers of molecular processes specifically deregulated with DLB and/or PDD. In order to measure the levels of these proteins, we isolated grey matter from post-mortem prefrontal cortex area (BA9), anterior cingulated gyrus (BA24) and parietal cortex (BA40) from DLB and PDD patients in comparison to age-matched controls and a group of AD cases. Clinical and pathological data available included the MMSE score, neuropsychiatric history, and semi-quantitative scores for AD pathology (plaques - tangles) and for α-synuclein (Lewy bodies). Changes in the expression of the synaptic markers, and correlates with neuropathological features and cognitive decline were predominantly found in the prefrontal cortex. On one hand, levels of Dynamin1 were significantly reduced, and correlated with a higher rate of cognitive decline observed in cases from three dementia groups. On the other hand, the fraction of phospho-CaMKII was decreased, and correlated with a high score of plaques and tangles in BA9. Interestingly, the correlation between the rate of cognitive decline and the level of Dynamin1 remained when the analysis was restricted to the PDD and DLB cases, highlighting an association of Dynamin1 with cognitive decline in people with Lewy Body dementia.

  20. Differential roles of medial prefrontal subregions in the regulation of drug seeking.

    PubMed

    Moorman, David E; James, Morgan H; McGlinchey, Ellen M; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2015-12-02

    The prefrontal cortex plays an important role in shaping cognition and behavior. Many studies have shown that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a key role in seeking, extinction, and reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rodent models of relapse. Subregions of mPFC appear to play distinct roles in these behaviors, such that the prelimbic cortex (PL) is proposed to drive cocaine seeking and the infralimbic cortex (IL) is proposed to suppress cocaine seeking after extinction. This dichotomy of mPFC function may be a general attribute, as similar dorsal-ventral distinctions exist for expression vs. extinction of fear conditioning. However, other results indicate that the role of mPFC neurons in reward processing is more complex than a simple PL-seek vs. IL-extinguish dichotomy. Both PL and IL have been shown to drive and inhibit drug seeking (and other types of behaviors) depending on a range of factors including the behavioral context, the drug-history of the animal, and the type of drug investigated. This heterogeneity of findings may reflect multiple subcircuits within each of these PFC areas supporting unique functions. It may also reflect the fact that the mPFC plays a multifaceted role in shaping cognition and behavior, including those overlapping with cocaine seeking and extinction. Here we discuss research leading to the hypothesis that dorsal and ventral mPFC differentially control drug seeking and extinction. We also present recent results calling the absolute nature of a PL vs. IL dichotomy into question. Finally, we consider alternate functions for mPFC that correspond less to response execution and inhibition and instead incorporate the complex cognitive behavior for which the mPFC is broadly appreciated.

  1. Differential roles of medial prefrontal subregions in the regulation of drug seeking

    PubMed Central

    Moorman, David E.; James, Morgan H.; McGlinchey, Ellen M.; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2014-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex plays an important role in shaping cognition and behavior. Many studies have shown that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a key role in seeking, extinction, and reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rodent models of relapse. Subregions of mPFC appear to play distinct roles in these behaviors, such that the prelimbic cortex (PL) is proposed to drive cocaine seeking and the infralimbic cortex (IL) is proposed to suppress cocaine seeking after extinction. This dichotomy of mPFC function may be a general attribute, as similar dorsal-ventral distinctions exist for expression vs. extinction of fear conditioning. However, other results indicate that the role of mPFC neurons in reward processing is more complex than a simple PL-seek vs. IL-extinguish dichotomy. Both PL and IL have been shown to drive and inhibit drug seeking (and other types of behaviors) depending on a range of factors including the behavioral context, the drug-history of the animal, and the type of drug investigated. This heterogeneity of findings may reflect multiple subcircuits within each of these PFC areas supporting unique functions. It may also reflect the fact that the mPFC plays a multifaceted role in shaping cognition and behavior, including those overlapping with cocaine seeking and extinction. Here we discuss research leading to the hypothesis that dorsal and ventral mPFC differentially control drug seeking and extinction. We also present recent results calling the absolute nature of a PL vs. IL dichotomy into question. Finally, we consider alternate functions for mPFC that correspond less to response execution and inhibition and instead incorporate the complex cognitive behavior for which the mPFC is broadly appreciated. PMID:25529632

  2. Right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex mediates individual differences in conflict-driven cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Egner, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    Conflict adaptation – a conflict-triggered improvement in the resolution of conflicting stimulus or response representations – has become a widely used probe of cognitive control processes in both healthy and clinical populations. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have localized activation foci associated with conflict resolution to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). The traditional group-analysis approach employed in these studies highlights regions that are, on average, activated during conflict resolution, but does not necessarily reveal areas mediating individual differences in conflict resolution, because between-subject variance is treated as noise. Here, we employed a complementary approach in order to elucidate the neural bases of variability in the proficiency of conflict-driven cognitive control. We analyzed two independent fMRI data sets of face-word Stroop tasks by using individual variability in the behavioral expression of conflict adaptation as the metric against which brain activation was regressed, while controlling for individual differences in mean reaction time and Stroop interference. Across the two experiments, a replicable neural substrate of individual variation in conflict adaptation was found in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), specifically, in the right inferior frontal gyrus, pars orbitalis (BA 47). Unbiased regression estimates showed that variability in activity in this region accounted for ~40% of the variance in behavioral expression of conflict adaptation across subjects, thus documenting a heretofore unsuspected key role for vlPFC in mediating conflict-driven adjustments in cognitive control. We speculate that vlPFC plays a primary role in conflict control that is supplemented by dlPFC recruitment under conditions of suboptimal performance. PMID:21568631

  3. Modulation of the action of stress by ethanol on dopaminergic activity in the rat prefrontal cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Hegarty, A.A.; Vogel, W.H. )

    1992-02-26

    Both stress and ethanol, when administered individually, have been shown to affect dopamine (DA) and its metabolite (DOPAC) in the central nervous system. Stress can increase DA efflux in several areas of the brain, whereas ethanol has been shown to have variable effects on extracellular DA, either increasing DA or having no apparent effect. Furthermore, ethanol has been shown in microdissection studies to antagonize the effect of stress on the dopaminergic system, indicating an anxiety-reducing property of ethanol. However, the influence of the combination of stress and ethanol on the dopaminergic system has not been studied extensively with the newer technique of microdialysis. In this study, microdialysis was again used to characterize the interaction of immobilization stress and ethanol in the prefrontal cortex. Two groups of rats received either ethanol or saline in the resting state. A third group was immobilization stress and ethanol in the prefrontal cortex. Two groups of rats received either ethanol or saline in the resting state. A third group was immobilization Saline-treated animals showed essentially no changes in levels of DA or DOPAC. Ethanol had no effect on DA overflow in resting animals and caused only a small increase in DOPAC levels. Immobilization caused marked increases in DA levels and smaller increases in DOPAC. Ethanol pretreatment strongly reduced and antagonized the stress-induced increases in DA. However, ethanol potentiated the stress-induced increase in extracellular DOPAC. The authors data add biochemical evidence to the tension-reduction hypothesis of ethanol by perhaps implicating a reduction in the DA stress response by ethanol as a contributing factor in the development of alcoholism.

  4. Increased Low- and High-Frequency Oscillatory Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Fibromyalgia Patients

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Manyoel; Kim, June Sic; Kim, Dajung J.; Chung, Chun Kee

    2016-01-01

    Recent human neuroimaging studies have suggested that fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic widespread pain disorder, exhibits altered thalamic structure and function. Since the thalamus has extensive reciprocal connection with the cortex, structural and functional thalamic alterations in FM might be linked to aberrant thalamocortical oscillation. This study investigated the presence of abnormal brain rhythmicity in low- and high-frequency bands during resting state in patients with FM and their relationship to clinical pain symptom. Spontaneous magnetoencephalography (MEG) activity was recorded in 18 females with FM and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects. The most remarkable finding was that FM patients had general increases in theta, beta and gamma power along with a slowing of the dominant alpha peak. Increased spectral powers in the theta-band were primarily localized to the left dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Beta and gamma over-activation were localized to insular, primary motor and primary and secondary somatosensory (S2) cortices, as well as the DLPFC and OFC. Furthermore, enhanced high-frequency oscillatory activities in the DLPFC and OFC were associated with higher affective pain scores in patients with FM. Our results demonstrate that FM patients feature enhanced low- and high-frequency oscillatory activity in the brain areas related to cognitive and emotional modulation of pain. Increased low- and high-frequency activity of the prefrontal cortex may contribute to persistent perception of pain in FM. Therapeutic intervention based on manipulating neural oscillation to restore normal thalamocortical rhythmicity may be beneficial to pain relief in FM. PMID:27014041

  5. Specific contributions of ventromedial, anterior cingulate, and lateral prefrontal cortex for attentional selection and stimulus valuation.

    PubMed

    Kaping, Daniel; Vinck, Martin; Hutchison, R Matthew; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2011-12-01

    Attentional control ensures that neuronal processes prioritize the most relevant stimulus in a given environment. Controlling which stimulus is attended thus originates from neurons encoding the relevance of stimuli, i.e. their expected value, in hand with neurons encoding contextual information about stimulus locations, features, and rules that guide the conditional allocation of attention. Here, we examined how these distinct processes are encoded and integrated in macaque prefrontal cortex (PFC) by mapping their functional topographies at the time of attentional stimulus selection. We find confined clusters of neurons in ventromedial PFC (vmPFC) that predominantly convey stimulus valuation information during attention shifts. These valuation signals were topographically largely separated from neurons predicting the stimulus location to which attention covertly shifted, and which were evident across the complete medial-to-lateral extent of the PFC, encompassing anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and lateral PFC (LPFC). LPFC responses showed particularly early-onset selectivity and primarily facilitated attention shifts to contralateral targets. Spatial selectivity within ACC was delayed and heterogeneous, with similar proportions of facilitated and suppressed responses during contralateral attention shifts. The integration of spatial and valuation signals about attentional target stimuli was observed in a confined cluster of neurons at the intersection of vmPFC, ACC, and LPFC. These results suggest that valuation processes reflecting stimulus-specific outcome predictions are recruited during covert attentional control. Value predictions and the spatial identification of attentional targets were conveyed by largely separate neuronal populations, but were integrated locally at the intersection of three major prefrontal areas, which may constitute a functional hub within the larger attentional control network.

  6. Neuronal encoding of meaning: establishing category-selective response patterns in the avian 'prefrontal cortex'.

    PubMed

    Kirsch, Janina A; Vlachos, Ioannis; Hausmann, Markus; Rose, Jonas; Yim, Man Yi; Aertsen, Ad; Güntürkün, Onur

    2009-03-02

    Forebrain association areas interweave perceived stimuli with acquired representations of own actions and their outcome. Often, relevant stimuli come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes and we slowly have to learn to group them into meaningful categories. Therefore, the aim of the present study was twofold: First, to reveal how single units in the pigeon's nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), a functional analogue of the mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC), encode stimuli that differ in visual features but not in behavioral relevance. The second aim was to understand how these categorical representations are established during learning. Recordings were made from NCL neurons while pigeons performed a go-nogo categorization paradigm. Responses during presentation of the two S+ stimuli and non-responding during presentation of the two S- stimuli were followed by reward. We recorded from two pigeons at different learning stages. In the beginning of the learning process, neurons were active during and shortly before reward, but only in go trials. These data suggest that during the early phase of learning avian 'prefrontal' neurons code for rewards associated with the same behavioral demand, while ignoring feature differences of stimuli within one category. When learning progressed, (1) category selectivity became stronger, (2) responses selective for nogo stimuli appeared, and (3) reward-related responses disappeared in favor of category-selective responses during the stimulus phase. This backward shift in time resembles response patterns assumed by the temporal difference (TD) model of reinforcement learning, but goes beyond it, since it reflects the neuronal correlate of functional categories.

  7. Strategy-effects in prefrontal cortex during learning of higher-order S-R rules.

    PubMed

    Wolfensteller, Uta; von Cramon, D Yves

    2011-07-15

    All of us regularly face situations that require the integration of the available information at hand with the established rules that guide behavior in order to generate the most appropriate action. But where individuals differ from one another is most certainly in terms of the different strategies that are adopted during this process. A previous study revealed differential brain activation patterns for the implementation of well established higher-order stimulus-response (S-R) rules depending on inter-individual strategy differences (Wolfensteller and von Cramon, 2010). This raises the question of how these strategies evolve or which neurocognitive mechanisms underlie these inter-individual strategy differences. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study revealed striking strategy-effects across regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex during the implementation of higher-order S-R rules at an early stage of learning. The left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex displayed a quantitative strategy-effect, such that activation during rule integration based on a mismatch was related to the degree to which participants continued to rely on rule integration. A quantitative strategy ceiling effect was observed for the left inferior frontal junction area. Conversely, the right inferior frontal gyrus displayed a qualitative strategy-effect such that participants who at a later point relied on an item-based strategy showed stronger activations in this region compared to those who continued with the rule integration strategy. Together, the present findings suggest that a certain amount of rule integration is mandatory when participants start to learn higher-order rules. The more efficient item-based strategy that evolves later appears to initially require the recruitment of additional cognitive resources in order to shield the currently relevant S-R association from interfering information.

  8. Improving memory following prefrontal cortex damage with the PQRST method

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Neri, Francesco; Marini, Luca; Braghittoni, Davide

    2015-01-01

    We tested (1) whether the PQRST method, involving Preview (P), Question (Q), Read (R), State (S), and Test (T) phases, is effective in enhancing long-term memory in patients with mild memory problems due to prefrontal cortex lesions, and (2) whether patients also benefit from a more self-initiated version of the PQRST. Seven patients with prefrontal lesions encoded new texts under three different conditions: the Standard condition, requiring to read texts repeatedly, the PQRST-Other condition, in which the experimenter formulated questions about the text (Q phase), and the PQRST-Self condition, in which patients formulated the relevant questions on their own. Compared to the Standard condition, both the PQRST-Other and the PQRST-Self condition resulted in higher immediate and delayed recall rates, as well as a higher ability to answer questions about the texts. Importantly, the two PQRST conditions did not differ in efficacy. These results confirm that the PQRST method is effective in improving learning of new material in brain-injured populations with mild memory problems. Moreover, they indicate that the PQRST proves effective even under conditions with higher demands on patients’ autonomy and self-initiation, which encourages its application to real-life situations. PMID:26321932

  9. Reality monitoring impairment in schizophrenia reflects specific prefrontal cortex dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Jane R; Fernandez-Egea, Emilio; Zaman, Rashid; Agius, Mark; Simons, Jon S

    2017-01-01

    Reality monitoring impairment is often reported in schizophrenia but the neural basis of this deficit is poorly understood. Difficulties with reality monitoring could be attributable to the same pattern of neural dysfunction as other cognitive deficits that characterize schizophrenia, or might instead represent a separable and dissociable impairment. This question was addressed through direct comparison of behavioral performance and neural activity associated with reality monitoring and working memory in patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls. Participants performed a word-pair reality monitoring task and a Sternberg working memory task while undergoing fMRI scanning. Distinct behavioral deficits were observed in the patients during performance of each task, which were associated with separable task- and region-specific dysfunction in the medial anterior prefrontal cortex for reality monitoring and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for working memory. The results suggest that reality monitoring impairment is a distinct neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia. The findings are consistent with the presence of a range of dissociable cognitive deficits in schizophrenia which may be associated with variable functional and structural dysconnectivity in underlying processing networks.

  10. Social attributions in patients with ventromedial prefrontal hypoperfusion

    PubMed Central

    Van Mieghem, Arno; Beeckmans, Kurt; Van Overwalle, Frank; Vandekerckhove, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the medial prefrontal cortex is involved in attributions on enduring and abstract trait characteristics of persons, but not in causal attributions of temporary here-and-now events. Moreover, the neural representation of trait information is thought to be located in the ventral part of the medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). In order to verify this latter finding, this study compared the performance of 8 patients with hypoperfusion of the vmPFC, 10 with hypoperfusion excluding the vmPFC and 15 healthy controls on trait and causal attribution questionnaires consisting of several events presented in brief written scenarios. We also investigated whether vmPFC hypoperfusion influenced the experienced intensity of the negative or positive valence of the events. Our results showed that patients with ventral hypoperfusion performed significantly worse on trait attributions in comparison with the non-vmPFC group and healthy controls. All groups performed equally well on causal attributions. These findings support previous research suggesting that the vmPFC is critically involved in enduring trait attribution, but not in temporary causal attribution. Considering the emotional experience of valence, the findings showed more intense valence ratings for negative events and persons. This confirms the role of the vmPFC in the modulation and regulation of negative emotions. PMID:26917564

  11. Dopamine, Salience, and Response Set Shifting in Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Shiner, T; Symmonds, M; Guitart-Masip, M; Fleming, S M; Friston, K J; Dolan, R J

    2015-10-01

    Dopamine is implicated in multiple functions, including motor execution, action learning for hedonically salient outcomes, maintenance, and switching of behavioral response set. Here, we used a novel within-subject psychopharmacological and combined functional neuroimaging paradigm, investigating the interaction between hedonic salience, dopamine, and response set shifting, distinct from effects on action learning or motor execution. We asked whether behavioral performance in response set shifting depends on the hedonic salience of reversal cues, by presenting these as null (neutral) or salient (monetary loss) outcomes. We observed marked effects of reversal cue salience on set-switching, with more efficient reversals following salient loss outcomes. L-Dopa degraded this discrimination, leading to inappropriate perseveration. Generic activation in thalamus, insula, and striatum preceded response set switches, with an opposite pattern in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, the behavioral effect of hedonic salience was reflected in differential vmPFC deactivation following salient relative to null reversal cues. l-Dopa reversed this pattern in vmPFC, suggesting that its behavioral effects are due to disruption of the stability and switching of firing patterns in prefrontal cortex. Our findings provide a potential neurobiological explanation for paradoxical phenomena, including maintenance of behavioral set despite negative outcomes, seen in impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease.

  12. Medial prefrontal cortex role in recognition memory in rodents.

    PubMed

    Morici, Juan Facundo; Bekinschtein, Pedro; Weisstaub, Noelia V

    2015-10-01

    The study of the neurobiology of recognition memory, defined by the integration of the different components of experiences that support recollection of past experiences have been a challenge for memory researches for many years. In the last twenty years, with the development of the spontaneous novel object recognition task and all its variants this has started to change. The features of recognition memory include a particular object or person ("what"), the context in which the experience took place, which can be the arena itself or the location within a particular arena ("where") and the particular time at which the event occurred ("when"). This definition instead of the historical anthropocentric one allows the study of this type of episodic memory in animal models. Some forms of recognition memory that require integration of different features recruit the medial prefrontal cortex. Focusing on findings from spontaneous recognition memory tasks performed by rodents, this review concentrates on the description of previous works that have examined the role that the medial prefrontal cortex has on the different steps of recognition memory. We conclude that this structure, independently of the task used, is required at different memory stages when the task cannot be solved by a single item strategy.

  13. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wen-Jing; Horner, Aidan J.; Burgess, Neil

    2016-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants’ memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant’s familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories. PMID:27338616

  14. Assessing cognitive function following medial prefrontal stroke in the rat.

    PubMed

    Livingston-Thomas, Jessica M; Jeffers, Matthew S; Nguemeni, Carine; Shoichet, Molly S; Morshead, Cindi M; Corbett, Dale

    2015-11-01

    Cognitive impairments are prevalent following clinical stroke; however, preclinical research has focused almost exclusively on motor deficits. In order to conduct systematic evaluations into the nature of post-stroke cognitive dysfunction and recovery, it is crucial to develop focal stroke models that predominantly affect cognition while leaving motor function intact. Herein, we evaluated a range of cognitive functions 1-4 months following focal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) stroke using a battery of tests. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent focal ischemia induced in the mPFC using bilateral intracerebral injections of endothelin-1, or sham surgery. Cognitive function was assessed using an open field, several object recognition tests, attentional set-shifting, light-dark box, spontaneous alternation, Barnes maze, and win-shift/win-stay tests. Prefrontal cortex damage resulted in significant changes in object recognition function, behavioural flexibility, and anxiety-like behaviour, while spontaneous alternation and locomotor function remained intact. These deficits are similar to the cognitive deficits following stroke in humans. Our results suggest that this model may be useful for identifying and developing potential therapies for improving post-stroke cognitive dysfunction.

  15. Compulsive sexual behavior: Prefrontal and limbic volume and interactions

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Casper; Morris, Laurel S.; Kvamme, Timo L.; Hall, Paula; Birchard, Thaddeus

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB) are relatively common and associated with significant personal and social dysfunction. The underlying neurobiology is still poorly understood. The present study examines brain volumes and resting state functional connectivity in CSB compared with matched healthy volunteers (HV). Methods Structural MRI (MPRAGE) data were collected in 92 subjects (23 CSB males and 69 age‐matched male HV) and analyzed using voxel‐based morphometry. Resting state functional MRI data using multi‐echo planar sequence and independent components analysis (ME‐ICA) were collected in 68 subjects (23 CSB subjects and 45 age‐matched HV). Results CSB subjects showed greater left amygdala gray matter volumes (small volume corrected, Bonferroni adjusted P < 0.01) and reduced resting state functional connectivity between the left amygdala seed and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (whole brain, cluster corrected FWE P < 0.05) compared with HV. Conclusions CSB is associated with elevated volumes in limbic regions relevant to motivational salience and emotion processing, and impaired functional connectivity between prefrontal control regulatory and limbic regions. Future studies should aim to assess longitudinal measures to investigate whether these findings are risk factors that predate the onset of the behaviors or are consequences of the behaviors. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1182–1190, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27787929

  16. Prefrontal Cortex Cognitive Deficits in Children Treated Early and Continuously for PKU.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Adele; Prevor, Meredith B.; Druin, Donald P.; Callender, Glenda

    1997-01-01

    Hypothesized that elevated ratio of phenylalanine to tyrosine in blood of children with phenylketonuria uniquely affects cognitive functions dependent on prefrontal cortex because of the special sensitivity of prefrontally projecting dopamine neurons to small decreases in tyrosine. Found that children whose phenylalanine levels were three to five…

  17. A Role for Prefrontal Calcium-Sensitive Protein Phosphatase and Kinase Activities in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Runyan, Jason D.; Moore, Anthony N.; Dash, Pramod K.

    2005-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is involved in the integration and interpretation of information for directing thoughts and planning action. Working memory is defined as the active maintenance of information in mind and is thought to lie at the core of many prefrontal functions. Although dopamine and other neurotransmitters have been implicated, the…

  18. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  19. Developmental Differences in Prefrontal Activation during Working Memory Maintenance and Manipulation for Different Memory Loads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolles, Dietsje D.; Kleibeuker, Sietske W.; Rombouts, Serge A. R. B.; Crone, Eveline A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to keep information active in working memory is one of the cornerstones of cognitive development. Prior studies have demonstrated that regions which are important for working memory performance in adults, such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and superior parietal cortex, become…

  20. Learning-related changes in response patterns of prefrontal neurons during instrumental conditioning.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Antonius B; Nordquist, Rebecca E; Orgüt, Okyay; Pennartz, Cyriel M A

    2003-11-30

    A crucial aspect of organizing goal-directed behavior is the ability to form neural representations of relationships between environmental stimuli, actions and reinforcement. Very little is known yet about the neural encoding of response-reward relationships, a process which is deemed essential for purposeful behavior. To investigate this, tetrode recordings were made in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) of rats performing a Go-NoGo task. After task acquisition, a subset of neurons showed a sustained change in firing during the rewarded action sequence that was triggered by a specific visual cue. When these changes were monitored in the course of learning, they were seen to develop in parallel with the behavioral learning curve and were highly sensitive to a switch in reward contingencies. These sustained changes correlated with the reward-associated action sequence, not with sensory or reward-predicting properties of the cue or individual motor acts per se. This novel type of neural plasticity may contribute to the formation of response-reinforcer associations and of behavioral strategies for guiding goal-directed action.

  1. REM Sleep, Prefrontal Theta, and the Consolidation of Human Emotional Memory

    PubMed Central

    Nishida, Masaki; Pearsall, Jori; Buckner, Randy L.

    2009-01-01

    Both emotion and sleep are independently known to modulate declarative memory. Memory can be facilitated by emotion, leading to enhanced consolidation across increasing time delays. Sleep also facilitates offline memory processing, resulting in superior recall the next day. Here we explore whether rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and aspects of its unique neurophysiology, underlie these convergent influences on memory. Using a nap paradigm, we measured the consolidation of neutral and negative emotional memories, and the association with REM-sleep electrophysiology. Subjects that napped showed a consolidation benefit for emotional but not neutral memories. The No-Nap control group showed no evidence of a consolidation benefit for either memory type. Within the Nap group, the extent of emotional memory facilitation was significantly correlated with the amount of REM sleep and also with right-dominant prefrontal theta power during REM. Together, these data support the role of REM-sleep neurobiology in the consolidation of emotional human memories, findings that have direct translational implications for affective psychiatric and mood disorders. PMID:18832332

  2. On the Effect of Sex on Prefrontal and Cerebellar Neurometabolites in Healthy Adults: An MRS Study

    PubMed Central

    Endres, Dominique; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Feige, Bernd; Backenecker, Stephan; Nickel, Kathrin; Bubl, Anna; Lange, Thomas; Mader, Irina; Maier, Simon; Perlov, Evgeniy

    2016-01-01

    In neuropsychiatric research, the aspects of sex have received increasing attention over the past decade. With regard to the neurometabolic differences in the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum of both men and women, we performed a magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) study of a large group of healthy subjects. For neurometabolic measurements, we used single-voxel proton MRS. The voxels of interest (VOI) were placed in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) and the left cerebellar hemisphere. Absolute quantification of creatine (Cre), total choline (t-Cho), glutamate and glutamine (Glx), N-acetylaspartate, and myo-inositol (mI) was performed. Thirty-three automatically matched ACCs and 31 cerebellar male–female pairs were statistically analyzed. We found no significant neurometabolic differences in the pACC region (Wilks' lambda: p = 0.657). In the left cerebellar region, we detected significant variations between the male and female groups (p = 0.001). Specifically, we detected significantly higher Cre (p = 0.005) and t-Cho (p = 0.000) levels in men. Additionally, males tended to have higher Glx and mI concentrations. This is the first study to report neurometabolic sex differences in the cerebellum. The effects of sexual hormones might have influenced our findings. Our data indicates the importance of adjusting for the confounding effects of sex in MRS studies. PMID:27531975

  3. Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex gene expression following lysergic acid diethylamide administration.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Charles D; Garcia, Efrain E; Sanders-Bush, Elaine

    2003-03-17

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychoactive drug that transiently alters human perception, behavior, and mood at extremely low doses. Certain aspects of the behavior elicited by acute doses of LSD closely resemble symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Characterizing gene expression profiles after LSD will be important for understanding how it alters behavior, and will lead to novel insights into disorders, such as schizophrenia, whose behavioral symptoms resemble the temporary effects of hallucinogenic drugs. We previously identified a small collection of genes within the rat prefrontal cortex that respond to LSD. Many of the products of these genes are involved in the process of synaptic plasticity. In the current report, we present a detailed analysis of the expression of these genes within the brain using RNase protection analysis. We find that the gene response to LSD is quite dynamic. The expression of some genes increases rapidly and decreases rapidly, while other genes change more gradually. Dose-response studies show two classes of expression; gene expression maximally stimulated at lower doses, versus gene expression that continues to rise at the higher doses. The role of the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptor in mediating the increases in gene expression was examined in a series of experiments using receptor specific antagonists. Most expression increases were due to activation of the 5-HT(2A) receptor, however expression of two genes had neither a 5-HT(1A) nor a 5-HT(2A) receptor component.

  4. Sustained Attentional States Require Distinct Temporal Involvement of the Dorsal and Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Luchicchi, Antonio; Mnie-Filali, Ouissame; Terra, Huub; Bruinsma, Bastiaan; de Kloet, Sybren F.; Obermayer, Joshua; Heistek, Tim S.; de Haan, Roel; de Kock, Christiaan P. J.; Deisseroth, Karl; Pattij, Tommy; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2016-01-01

    Attending the sensory environment for cue detection is a cognitive operation that occurs on a time scale of seconds. The dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) contribute to separate aspects of attentional processing. Pyramidal neurons in different parts of the mPFC are active during cognitive behavior, yet whether this activity is causally underlying attentional processing is not known. We aimed to determine the precise temporal requirements for activation of the mPFC subregions during the seconds prior to cue detection. To test this, we used optogenetic silencing of dorsal or ventral mPFC pyramidal neurons at defined time windows during a sustained attentional state. We find that the requirement of ventral mPFC pyramidal neuron activity is strictly time-locked to stimulus detection. Inhibiting the ventral mPFC 2 s before or during cue presentation reduces response accuracy and hampers behavioral inhibition. The requirement for dorsal mPFC activity on the other hand is temporally more loosely related to a preparatory attentional state, and short lapses in pyramidal neuron activity in dorsal mPFC do not affect performance. This only occurs when the dorsal mPFC is inhibited during the entire preparatory period. Together, our results reveal that a dissociable temporal recruitment of ventral and dorsal mPFC is required during attentional processing. PMID:27630545

  5. Association of familial risk for schizophrenia with thalamic and medial prefrontal functional connectivity during attentional control.

    PubMed

    Antonucci, Linda A; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Romano, Raffaella; Quarto, Tiziana; Porcelli, Annamaria; Mancini, Marina; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Caforio, Grazia; Pergola, Giulio; Popolizio, Teresa; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Anomalies in behavioral correlates of attentional processing and related brain activity are crucial correlates of schizophrenia and associated with familial risk for this brain disorder. However, it is not clear how brain functional connectivity during attentional processes is key for schizophrenia and linked with trait vs. state related variables. To address this issue, we investigated patterns of functional connections during attentional control in healthy siblings of patients with schizophrenia, who share with probands genetic features but not variables related to the state of the disorder. 356 controls, 55 patients with schizophrenia on stable treatment with antipsychotics and 40 healthy siblings of patients with this brain disorder underwent the Variable Attentional Control (VAC) task during fMRI. Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is allowed to identify independent components (IC) of BOLD signal recorded during task performance. Results indicated reduced connectivity strength in patients with schizophrenia as well as in their healthy siblings in left thalamus within an attentional control component and greater connectivity in right medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) within the so-called Default Mode Network (DMN) compared to healthy individuals. These results suggest a relationship between familial risk for schizophrenia and brain functional networks during attentional control, such that this biological phenotype may be considered a useful intermediate phenotype in order to link genes effects to aspects of the pathophysiology of this brain disorder.

  6. Social equality in the number of choice options is represented in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Ryuta; Matsumoto, Madoka; Yomogida, Yukihito; Izuma, Keise; Murayama, Kou; Sugiura, Ayaka; Camerer, Colin F; Adolphs, Ralph; Matsumoto, Kenji

    2014-04-30

    A distinct aspect of the sense of fairness in humans is that we care not only about equality in material rewards but also about equality in nonmaterial values. One such value is the opportunity to choose freely among many options, often regarded as a fundamental right to economic freedom. In modern developed societies, equal opportunities in work, living, and lifestyle are enforced by antidiscrimination laws. Despite the widespread endorsement of equal opportunity, no studies have explored how people assign value to it. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural substrates for subjective valuation of equality in choice opportunity. Participants performed a two-person choice task in which the number of choices available was varied across trials independently of choice outcomes. By using this procedure, we manipulated the degree of equality in choice opportunity between players and dissociated it from the value of reward outcomes and their equality. We found that activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) tracked the degree to which the number of options between the two players was equal. In contrast, activation in the ventral striatum tracked the number of options available to participants themselves but not the equality between players. Our results demonstrate that the vmPFC, a key brain region previously implicated in the processing of social values, is also involved in valuation of equality in choice opportunity between individuals. These findings may provide valuable insight into the human ability to value equal opportunity, a characteristic long emphasized in politics, economics, and philosophy.

  7. The neurobiology of thalamic amnesia: Contributions of medial thalamus and prefrontal cortex to delayed conditional discrimination.

    PubMed

    Mair, Robert G; Miller, Rikki L A; Wormwood, Benjamin A; Francoeur, Miranda J; Onos, Kristen D; Gibson, Brett M

    2015-07-01

    Although medial thalamus is well established as a site of pathology associated with global amnesia, there is uncertainty about which structures are critical and how they affect memory function. Evidence from human and animal research suggests that damage to the mammillothalamic tract and the anterior, mediodorsal (MD), midline (M), and intralaminar (IL) nuclei contribute to different signs of thalamic amnesia. Here we focus on MD and the adjacent M and IL nuclei, structures identified in animal studies as critical nodes in prefrontal cortex (PFC)-related pathways that are necessary for delayed conditional discrimination. Recordings of PFC neurons in rats performing a dynamic delayed non-matching-to position (DNMTP) task revealed discrete populations encoding information related to planning, execution, and outcome of DNMTP-related actions and delay-related activity signaling previous reinforcement. Parallel studies recording the activity of MD and IL neurons and examining the effects of unilateral thalamic inactivation on the responses of PFC neurons demonstrated a close coupling of central thalamic and PFC neurons responding to diverse aspects of DNMTP and provide evidence that thalamus interacts with PFC neurons to give rise to complex goal-directed behavior exemplified by the DNMTP task.

  8. The relationship between brain cortical activity and brain oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex during hypergravity exposure.

    PubMed

    Smith, Craig; Goswami, Nandu; Robinson, Ryan; von der Wiesche, Melanie; Schneider, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Artificial gravity has been proposed as a method to counteract the physiological deconditioning of long-duration spaceflight; however, the effects of hypergravity on the central nervous system has had little study. The study aims to investigate whether there is a relationship between prefrontal cortex brain activity and prefrontal cortex oxygenation during exposure to hypergravity. Twelve healthy participants were selected to undergo hypergravity exposure aboard a short-arm human centrifuge. Participants were exposed to hypergravity in the +Gz axis, starting from 0.6 +Gz for women, and 0.8 +Gz for men, and gradually increasing by 0.1 +Gz until the participant showed signs of syncope. Brain cortical activity was measured using electroencephalography (EEG) and localized to the prefrontal cortex using standard low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). Prefrontal cortex oxygenation was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). A significant increase in prefrontal cortex activity (P < 0.05) was observed during hypergravity exposure compared with baseline. Prefrontal cortex oxygenation was significantly decreased during hypergravity exposure, with a decrease in oxyhemoglobin levels (P < 0.05) compared with baseline and an increase in deoxyhemoglobin levels (P < 0.05) with increasing +Gz level. No significant correlation was found between prefrontal cortex activity and oxy-/deoxyhemoglobin. It is concluded that the increase in prefrontal cortex activity observed during hypergravity was most likely not the result of increased +Gz values resulting in a decreased oxygenation produced through hypergravity exposure. No significant relationship between prefrontal cortex activity and oxygenation measured by NIRS concludes that brain activity during exposure to hypergravity may be difficult to measure using NIRS. Instead, the increase in prefrontal cortex activity might be attributable to psychological stress, which could pose a problem for the use of a

  9. Ventral Midline Thalamus Is Critical for Hippocampal–Prefrontal Synchrony and Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Hallock, Henry L.; Wang, Arick

    2016-01-01

    Maintaining behaviorally relevant information in spatial working memory (SWM) requires functional synchrony between the dorsal hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). However, the mechanism that regulates synchrony between these structures remains unknown. Here, we used a unique dual-task approach to compare hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony while rats switched between an SWM-dependent task and an SWM-independent task within a single behavioral session. We show that task-specific representations in mPFC neuronal populations are accompanied by SWM-specific oscillatory synchrony and directionality between the dorsal hippocampus and mPFC. We then demonstrate that transient inactivation of the reuniens and rhomboid (Re/Rh) nuclei of the ventral midline thalamus abolished only the SWM-specific activity patterns that were seen during dual-task sessions within the hippocampal–prefrontal circuit. These findings demonstrate that Re/Rh facilitate bidirectional communication between the dorsal hippocampus and mPFC during SWM, providing evidence for a causal role of Re/Rh in regulating hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony and SWM-directed behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony has long been thought to be critical for spatial working memory (SWM) and the ventral midline thalamic reuniens and rhomboid nuclei (Re/Rh) have long been considered a potential site for synchronizing the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. However, the hypothesis that Re/Rh are critical for hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony and SWM has not been tested. We first used a dual-task approach to identify SWM-specific patterns of hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony. We then demonstrated that Re/Rh inactivation concurrently disrupted SWM-specific behavior and the SWM-specific patterns of hippocampal–prefrontal synchrony seen during dual-task performance. These results provide the first direct evidence that Re/Rh contribute to SWM by modulating hippocampal–prefrontal

  10. Sensory responses in the medial prefrontal cortex of anesthetized rats. Implications for sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Martin-Cortecero, Jesus; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-12-17

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a key role in higher functions such as memory and attention. In order to demonstrate sensory responses in the mPFC, we used electrophysiological recordings of urethane-anesthetized rats to record somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) or auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs) elicited by whisker deflections and click stimulation, respectively. Contralateral whisker stimulation or auditory stimuli were also applied to study sensory interference in the mPFC. Interference with other sensory stimuli or recent stimulation history reduced whisker responses in the infralimbic and prelimbic cortices of the ventral mPFC. This effect could be mediated by activation of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons since the effect was blocked by the P/Q calcium channel antagonist ω-agatoxin. In contrast, sensory interference or the recent stimulation history was not detected by the dorsal mPFC or the primary somatosensory cortex. Results obtained from retrograde tracer injections in the dorsal and ventral regions of the mPFC indicated that somatosensory and auditory sensory inputs may arrive at the dorsal mPFC through secondary sensory cortical areas, and through the insular and temporal cortical areas. The ventral mPFC may receive sensory information through the strong anatomical connections between the dorsal and ventral mPFC areas. In conclusion, results suggest mPFC plays an important role in sensory processing, which may have important implications in attentional and memory processes.

  11. Reduced local field potential power in the medial prefrontal cortex by noxious stimuli.

    PubMed

    Li, Ai-Ling; Yang, Xiaofei; Chiao, Jung-Chih; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2016-10-01

    Nociceptive signals produced by noxious stimuli at the periphery reach the brain through ascending pathways. These signals are processed by various brain areas and lead to activity changes in those areas. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in higher cognitive functions and emotional processing. It receives projections from brain areas involved in nociception. In this study, we investigated how nociceptive input from the periphery changes the local field potential (LFP) activity in the mPFC. Three different types of noxious stimuli were applied to the hind paw contralateral to the LFP recording site. They were transcutaneous electrical stimulations, mechanical stimuli and a chemical stimulus (formalin injection). High intensity transcutaneous stimulations (10V to 50V) and noxious mechanical stimulus (pinch) significantly reduced the LFP power during the stimulating period (p<0.05), but not the low intensity subcutaneous stimulations (0.1V to 5V) and other innocuous mechanical stimuli (brush and pressure). More frequency bands were inhibited with increased intensity of transcutaneous electrical stimulation, and almost all frequency bands were inhibited by stimulations at or higher than 30v. Pinch significantly reduced the power for beta band and formalin injection significantly reduced the power of alpha and beta band. Our data demonstrated the noxious stimuli-induced reduction of LFP power in the mPFC, which indicates the active processing of nociceptive information by the mPFC.

  12. The Role of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Text Comprehension Inferences: Semantic Coherence or Socio-Emotional Perspective?

    PubMed Central

    Burin, Debora I.; Acion, Laura; Kurczek, Jake; Duff, Melissa C.; Tranel, Daniel; Jorge, Ricardo E.

    2015-01-01

    Two hypotheses about the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in narrative comprehension inferences, global semantic coherence versus socio-emotional perspective, were tested. Seven patients with vmPFC lesions and seven demographically matched healthy comparison participants read short narratives. Using the consistency paradigm, narratives required participants to make either an emotional or visuo-spatial inference, in which a target sentence provided consistent or inconsistent information with a previous emotional state of a character or a visuo-spatial location of an object. Healthy comparison participants made the inferences both for spatial and emotional stories, as shown by longer reading times for inconsistent critical sentences. For patients with vmPFC lesions, inconsistent sentences were read slower in the spatial stories, but not in the emotional ones. This pattern of results is compatible with the hypothesis that vmPFC contributes to narrative comprehension by supporting inferences about socio-emotional aspects of verbally described situations. PMID:24561428

  13. The evolution of prefrontal inputs to the cortico-pontine system: diffusion imaging evidence from Macaque monkeys and humans.

    PubMed

    Ramnani, Narender; Behrens, Timothy E J; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Richter, Marlene C; Pinsk, Mark A; Andersson, Jesper L R; Rudebeck, Peter; Ciccarelli, Olga; Richter, Wolfgang; Thompson, Alan J; Gross, Charles G; Robson, Matthew D; Kastner, Sabine; Matthews, Paul M

    2006-06-01

    The cortico-ponto-cerebellar system is one of the largest projection systems in the primate brain, but in the human brain the nature of the information processing in this system remains elusive. Determining the areas of the cerebral cortex which contribute projections to this system will allow us to better understand information processing within it. Information from the cerebral cortex is conveyed to the cerebellum by topographically arranged fibres in the cerebral peduncle - an important fibre system in which all cortical outputs spatially converge on their way to the cerebellum via the pontine nuclei. Little is known of their anatomical organization in the human brain. New in vivo diffusion imaging and probabilistic tractography methods now offer a way in which input tracts in the cerebral peduncle can be characterized in detail. Here we use these methods to contrast their organization in humans and macaque monkeys. We confirm the dominant contribution of the cortical motor areas to the macaque monkey cerebral peduncle. However, we also present novel anatomical evidence for a relatively large prefrontal contribution to the human cortico-ponto-cerebellar system in the cerebral peduncle. These findings suggest the selective evolution of prefrontal inputs to the human cortico-ponto-cerebellar system.

  14. Absence of age-related prefrontal NAA change in adults with autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Aoki, Y; Abe, O; Yahata, N; Kuwabara, H; Natsubori, T; Iwashiro, N; Takano, Y; Inoue, H; Kawakubo, Y; Gonoi, W; Sasaki, H; Murakami, M; Katsura, M; Nippashi, Y; Takao, H; Kunimatsu, A; Matsuzaki, H; Tsuchiya, K J; Kato, N; Kasai, K; Yamasue, H

    2012-01-01

    Atypical trajectory of brain growth in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has been recognized as a potential etiology of an atypical course of behavioral development. Numerous neuroimaging studies have focused on childhood to investigate atypical age-related change of brain structure and function, because it is a period of neuron and synapse maturation. Recent studies, however, have shown that the atypical age-related structural change of autistic brain expands beyond childhood and constitutes neural underpinnings for lifelong difficulty to behavioral adaptation. Thus, we examined effects of aging on neurochemical aspects of brain maturation using 3-T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) with single voxel in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) in 24 adult men with non-medicated high-functioning ASDs and 25 age-, IQ- and parental-socioeconomic-background-matched men with typical development (TD). Multivariate analyses of covariance demonstrated significantly high N-acetylaspartate (NAA) level in the ASD subjects compared with the TD subjects (F=4.83, P=0.033). The low NAA level showed a significant positive correlation with advanced age in the TD group (r=−0.618, P=0.001), but was not evident among the ASD individuals (r=0.258, P=0.223). Fisher's r-to-z transformation showed a significant difference in the correlations between the ASD and TD groups (Z=−3.23, P=0.001), which indicated that the age–NAA relationship was significantly specific to people with TD. The current 1H-MRS study provided new evidence that atypical age-related change of neurochemical aspects of brain maturation in ASD individuals expands beyond childhood and persists during adulthood. PMID:23092982

  15. On the Role of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Self-Processing: The Valuation Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    D’Argembeau, Arnaud

    2013-01-01

    With the development of functional neuroimaging, important progress has been made in identifying the brain regions involved in self-related processing. One of the most consistent findings has been that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) is activated when people contemplate various aspects of themselves and their life, such their traits, experiences, preferences, abilities, and goals. Recent evidence suggests that this region may not support the act of self-reflection per se, but its precise function in self-processing remains unclear. In this article, I examine the hypothesis that the vMPFC may contribute to assign personal value or significance to self-related contents: stimuli and mental representations that refer or relate to the self tend to be assigned unique value or significance, and the function of the vMPFC may precisely be to evaluate or represent such significance. Although relatively few studies to date have directly tested this hypothesis, several lines of evidence converge to suggest that vMPFC activity during self-processing depends on the personal significance of self-related contents. First, increasing psychological distance from self-representations leads to decreased activation in the vMPFC. Second, the magnitude of vMPFC activation increases linearly with the personal importance attributed to self-representations. Third, the activity of the vMPFC is modulated by individual differences in the interest placed on self-reflection. Finally, the evidence shows that the vMPFC responds to outer aspects of self that have high personal value, such as possessions and close others. By assigning personal value to self-related contents, the vMPFC may play an important role in the construction, stabilization, and modification of self-representations, and ultimately in guiding our choices and decisions. PMID:23847521

  16. The effects of anodal stimulation of the left prefrontal cortex on sentence production

    PubMed Central

    Nozari, Nazbanou; Arnold, Jennifer E.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Most studies in which Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (A-tDCS) has been used to improve language production have focused on single words. Yet sentence production requires more than lexical retrieval. For example, successful suppression of the past and careful planning of the future are two critical requirements for producing a correct sentence. Can A-tDCS improves those, and by extension, production at the sentence level? Objective/Hypothesis Given that many aspects of sentence production beyond word retrieval require frontally-mediated operations, we hypothesized that A-tDCS to the left prefrontal cortex should benefit various operation involved in producing sentences, two of which, suppression of the past and planning of the future, were targeted in this study. Methods We used a paradigm that elicited construction of sentences through event description, but was structured enough to allow for between-subject comparison, clear error identification, and implementation of experimental manipulations to probe certain aspects of production. Results We showed that A-tDCS to the left PFC reliably decreased the number of incomplete and errorful sentences. When the origin of this improvement was probed, we found that A-tDCS significantly decreased errors due to premature commitment to the future word (insufficient internal monitoring), and had a marginal effect on errors of perseverations (insufficient suppression of the past). Conclusion We conclude that A-tDCS is a promising tool for improving production at the sentence level, and that improvement can be expected when internal monitoring and control over verbal responses is impaired, or for certain cases of perseveratory errors. PMID:25129401

  17. Thalamic mediodorsal nucleus and its participation in spatial working memory processes: comparison with the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is a dynamic neural system that includes processes for temporarily maintaining and processing information. Working memory plays a significant role in a variety of cognitive functions, such as thinking, reasoning, decision-making, and language comprehension. Although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to play an important role in working memory, several lines of evidence indicate that the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus (MD) also participates in this process. While monkeys perform spatial working memory tasks, MD neurons exhibit directionally selective delay-period activity, which is considered to be a neural correlate for the temporary maintenance of information in PFC neurons. Studies have also shown that, while most MD neurons maintain prospective motor information, some maintain retrospective sensory information. Thus, the MD plays a greater role in prospective motor aspects of working memory processes than the PFC, which participates more in retrospective aspects. For the performance of spatial working memory tasks, the information provided by a sensory cue needs to be transformed into motor information to give an appropriate response. A population vector analysis using neural activities revealed that, although the transformation of sensory-to-motor information occurred during the delay period in both the PFC and the MD, PFC activities maintained sensory information until the late phase of the delay period, while MD activities initially represented sensory information but then started to represent motor information in the earlier phase of the delay period. These results indicate that long-range neural interactions supported by reciprocal connections between the MD and the PFC could play an important role in the transformation of maintained information in working memory processes.

  18. Functional connectivity changes between parietal and prefrontal cortices in primary insomnia patients: evidence from resting-state fMRI

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Primary insomnia can severely impair daytime function by disrupting attention and working memory and imposes a danger to self and others by increasing the risk of accidents. We speculated that the neurobiological changes impeding working memory in primary insomnia patients would be revealed by resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI), which estimates the strength of cortical pathways by measuring local and regional correlations in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signs independent of specific task demands. Methods We compared the R-fMRI activity patterns of 15 healthy controls to 15 primary insomnia patients (all 30 participants were right-handed) using a 3.0 T MRI scanner. The SPM8 and REST1.7 software packages were used for preprocessing and analysis. Activity was expressed relative to the superior parietal lobe (SPL, the seed region) to reveal differences in functional connectivity to other cortical regions implicated in spatial working memory. Result In healthy controls, bilateral SPL activity was associated with activity in the posterior cingulate gyrus, precuneus, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and superior frontal gyrus, indicating functional connectivity between these regions. Strong functional connectivity between the SPL and bilateral pre-motor cortex, bilateral supplementary motor cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was observed in both the control group and the primary insomnia group. However, the strength of several other functional connectivity pathways to the SPL exhibited significant group differences. Compared to healthy controls, connectivity in the primary insomnia group was stronger between the bilateral SPL and the right ventral anterior cingulate cortex, left ventral posterior cingulate cortex, right splenium of the corpus callosum, right pars triangularis (right inferior frontal gyrus/Broca’s area), and right insular lobe, while connectivity was weaker between the SPL and right superior frontal gyrus (dorsolateral

  19. The association between cognitive deficits and prefrontal hemodynamic responses during performance of working memory task in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Itakura, Masashi; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Kaneko, Koichi

    2016-04-01

    Schizophrenia-associated cognitive deficits are resistant to treatment and thus pose a lifelong burden. The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) provides reliable and valid assessments across cognitive domains. However, because the prefrontal functional abnormalities specifically associated with the level of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia have not been examined, we explored this relationship. Patients with schizophrenia (N=87) and matched healthy controls (N=50) participated in the study. Using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we measured the hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortical surface areas during a working memory task. Correlation analyses revealed a relationship between the hemodynamics and the BACS composite and domain scores. Hemodynamic responses of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left frontopolar cortex (FPC) in the higher-level-of-cognitive-function schizophrenia group were weaker than the responses of the controls but similar to those of the lower-level-of-cognitive-function schizophrenia group. However, hemodynamic responses in the right DLPFC, bilateral ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), and right temporal regions decreased with increasing cognitive deficits. In addition, the hemodynamic response correlated positively with the level of cognitive function (BACS composite scores) in the right DLPFC, bilateral VLPFC, right FPC, and bilateral temporal regions in schizophrenia. The correlation was driven by all BACS domains. Our results suggest that the linked functional deficits in the right DLPFC, bilateral VLPFC, right FPC, and bilateral temporal regions may be related to BACS-measured cognitive impairments in schizophrenia and show that linking the neurocognitive deficits and brain abnormalities can increase our understanding of schizophrenia pathophysiology.

  20. Acute Stress Increases Depolarization-Evoked Glutamate Release in the Rat Prefrontal/Frontal Cortex: The Dampening Action of Antidepressants

    PubMed Central

    Farisello, Pasqualina; Zappettini, Simona; Tardito, Daniela; Barbiero, Valentina S.; Bonifacino, Tiziana; Mallei, Alessandra; Baldelli, Pietro; Racagni, Giorgio; Raiteri, Maurizio; Benfenati, Fabio; Bonanno, Giambattista; Popoli, Maurizio

    2010-01-01

    Background Behavioral stress is recognized as a main risk factor for neuropsychiatric diseases. Converging evidence suggested that acute stress is associated with increase of excitatory transmission in certain forebrain areas. Aim of this work was to investigate the mechanism whereby acute stress increases glutamate release, and if therapeutic drugs prevent the effect of stress on glutamate release. Methodology/Findings Rats were chronically treated with vehicle or drugs employed for therapy of mood/anxiety disorders (fluoxetine, desipramine, venlafaxine, agomelatine) and then subjected to unpredictable footshock stress. Acute stress induced marked increase in depolarization-evoked release of glutamate from synaptosomes of prefrontal/frontal cortex in superfusion, and the chronic drug treatments prevented the increase of glutamate release. Stress induced rapid increase in the circulating levels of corticosterone in all rats (both vehicle- and drug-treated), and glutamate release increase was blocked by previous administration of selective antagonist of glucocorticoid receptor (RU 486). On the molecular level, stress induced accumulation of presynaptic SNARE complexes in synaptic membranes (both in vehicle- and drug-treated rats). Patch-clamp recordings of pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex revealed that stress increased glutamatergic transmission through both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, and that antidepressants may normalize it by reducing release probability. Conclusions/Significance Acute footshock stress up-regulated depolarization-evoked release of glutamate from synaptosomes of prefrontal/frontal cortex. Stress-induced increase of glutamate release was dependent on stimulation of glucocorticoid receptor by corticosterone. Because all drugs employed did not block either elevation of corticosterone or accumulation of SNARE complexes, the dampening action of the drugs on glutamate release must be downstream of these processes. This novel effect of

  1. Prefrontal cortex markers of suicidal vulnerability in mood disorders: a model-based structural neuroimaging study with a translational perspective.

    PubMed

    Ding, Y; Lawrence, N; Olié, E; Cyprien, F; le Bars, E; Bonafé, A; Phillips, M L; Courtet, P; Jollant, F

    2015-02-24

    The vulnerability to suicidal behavior has been modeled in deficits in both valuation and cognitive control processes, mediated by ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortices. To uncover potential markers of suicidality based on this model, we measured several brain morphometric parameters using 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging in a large sample and in a specifically designed study. We then tested their classificatory properties. Three groups were compared: euthymic suicide attempters with a past history of mood disorders and suicidal behavior (N=67); patient controls with a past history of mood disorders but not suicidal behavior (N=82); healthy controls without any history of mental disorder (N=82). A hypothesis-driven region-of-interest approach was applied targeting the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventrolateral (VLPFC), dorsal (DPFC) and medial (including anterior cingulate cortex; MPFC) prefrontal cortices. Both voxel-based (SPM8) and surface-based morphometry (Freesurfer) analyses were used to comprehensively evaluate cortical gray matter measure, volume, surface area and thickness. Reduced left VLPFC volume in attempters vs both patient groups was found (P=0.001, surviving multiple comparison correction, Cohen's d=0.65 95% (0.33-0.99) between attempters and healthy controls). In addition, reduced measures in OFC and DPFC, but not MPFC, were found with moderate effect sizes in suicide attempters vs healthy controls (Cohen's d between 0.34 and 0.52). Several of these measures were correlated with suicidal variables. When added to mood disorder history, left VLPFC volume increased within-sample specificity in identifying attempters in a significant but limited way. Our study, therefore, confirms structural prefrontal alterations in individuals with histories of suicide attempts. A future clinical application of these markers will, however, necessitate further research.

  2. Prefrontal cortex markers of suicidal vulnerability in mood disorders: a model-based structural neuroimaging study with a translational perspective

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Y; Lawrence, N; Olié, E; Cyprien, F; le Bars, E; Bonafé, A; Phillips, M L; Courtet, P; Jollant, F

    2015-01-01

    The vulnerability to suicidal behavior has been modeled in deficits in both valuation and cognitive control processes, mediated by ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortices. To uncover potential markers of suicidality based on this model, we measured several brain morphometric parameters using 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging in a large sample and in a specifically designed study. We then tested their classificatory properties. Three groups were compared: euthymic suicide attempters with a past history of mood disorders and suicidal behavior (N=67); patient controls with a past history of mood disorders but not suicidal behavior (N=82); healthy controls without any history of mental disorder (N=82). A hypothesis-driven region-of-interest approach was applied targeting the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventrolateral (VLPFC), dorsal (DPFC) and medial (including anterior cingulate cortex; MPFC) prefrontal cortices. Both voxel-based (SPM8) and surface-based morphometry (Freesurfer) analyses were used to comprehensively evaluate cortical gray matter measure, volume, surface area and thickness. Reduced left VLPFC volume in attempters vs both patient groups was found (P=0.001, surviving multiple comparison correction, Cohen's d=0.65 95% (0.33–0.99) between attempters and healthy controls). In addition, reduced measures in OFC and DPFC, but not MPFC, were found with moderate effect sizes in suicide attempters vs healthy controls (Cohen's d between 0.34 and 0.52). Several of these measures were correlated with suicidal variables. When added to mood disorder history, left VLPFC volume increased within-sample specificity in identifying attempters in a significant but limited way. Our study, therefore, confirms structural prefrontal alterations in individuals with histories of suicide attempts. A future clinical application of these markers will, however, necessitate further research. PMID:25710122

  3. Alcohol-induced alterations in dopamine modulation of prefrontal activity.

    PubMed

    Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Chandler, L Judson

    2015-12-01

    Long-term alcohol use leads to persistent cognitive deficits that may be associated with maladaptive changes in the neurocircuitry that mediates executive functions. Impairments caused by these changes can persist well into abstinence and have a negative impact on quality of life and job performance, and can increase the probability of relapse. Many of the changes that affect cognitive function appear to involve dysregulation of the mesocortical dopamine system. This includes changes in dopamine release and alterations in dopamine receptor expression and function in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes the cellular effects of acute and chronic ethanol exposure on dopamine release and dopamine receptor function in the PFC with the goal of providing greater understanding of the effects of alcohol-use disorders on the dopamine system and how this relates to deficits in the executive function of the PFC.

  4. Alcohol-induced alterations in dopamine modulation of prefrontal activity

    PubMed Central

    Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Chandler, L. Judson

    2015-01-01

    Long-term alcohol use leads to persistent cognitive deficits that may be associated with maladaptive changes in the neurocircuitry that mediates executive functions. Impairments caused by these changes can persist well into abstinence and have a negative impact on quality of life and job performance, and can increase the probability of relapse. Many of the changes that affect cognitive function appear to involve dysregulation of the mesocortical dopamine system. This includes changes in dopamine release and alterations in dopamine receptor expression and function in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes the cellular effects of acute and chronic ethanol exposure on dopamine release and dopamine receptor function in the PFC with the goal of providing greater understanding of the effects of alcohol-use disorders on the dopamine system and how this relates to deficits in the executive function of the PFC. PMID:26558348

  5. Medial prefrontal cortex predicts internally driven strategy shifts

    PubMed Central

    Schuck, Nicolas W.; Gaschler, Robert; Wenke, Dorit; Heinzle, Jakob; Frensch, Peter A.; Haynes, John-Dylan; Reverberi, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Summary Many daily behaviors require us to actively focus on the current task and ignore all other distractions. Yet, ignoring everything else might hinder the ability to discover new ways to achieve the same goal. Here, we studied the neural mechanisms that support the spontaneous change to better strategies while an established strategy is executed. Multivariate neuroimaging analysis showed that before the spontaneous change to an alternative strategy, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) encoded information that was irrelevant for the current strategy but necessary for the later strategy. Importantly, this neural effect was related to future behavioral changes: information encoding in MPFC was changed only in participants who eventually switched their strategy and started before the actual strategy change. This allowed us to predict spontaneous strategy shifts ahead of time. These findings suggest that MPFC might internally simulate alternative strategies and sheds new light on the organization of PFC. PMID:25819613

  6. Intact discourse cohesion and coherence following bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kurczek, Jake; Duff, Melissa C

    2012-12-01

    Discourse cohesion and coherence give communication its continuity providing the grammatical and lexical links that hold an utterance or text together and give it meaning. Researchers often link cohesion and coherence deficits to the frontal lobes by drawing attention to frontal lobe dysfunction in populations where discourse cohesion and coherence deficits are reported and through attribution of these deficits to underlying cognitive impairments putatively associated with the frontal lobes. We examined the distinct contribution of a region of the frontal lobes, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), to discourse cohesion and coherence across a range of discourse tasks. We found that bilateral vmPFC damage does not impair cohesion and coherence in spoken discourse. This study provides insights into the contribution of the major anatomical subdivisions of the frontal lobes to language use and furthers our understanding of the neural and cognitive underpinnings of discourse cohesion and coherence.

  7. Neural Coding of Tactile Decisions in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pleger, Burkhard; Ruff, Christian C.; Blankenburg, Felix; Bestmann, Sven; Wiech, Katja; Stephan, Klaas E.; Capilla, Almudena; Friston, Karl J.; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2009-01-01

    The neural processes underlying tactile decisions in the human brain remain elusive. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a somatosensory discrimination task, requiring participants to compare the frequency of two successive tactile stimuli. Tactile stimuli per se engaged somatosensory, parietal, and frontal cortical regions. Using a statistical model that accounted for the relative difference in frequencies (i.e., Weber fraction) and discrimination accuracy (i.e., correct or incorrect), we show that trial-by-trial relative frequency difference is represented linearly by activity changes in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral anterior insular cortices. However, a circumscribed region within the left DLPFC showed a different response pattern expressed as activity changes that were monotonically related to relative stimulation difference only for correct but not for incorrect trials. Our findings suggest that activity in the left DLPFC encodes stimulus representations that underlie veridical tactile decisions in humans. PMID:17135421

  8. Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex impairs judgment of harmful intent

    PubMed Central

    Young, Liane; Bechara, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel; Damasio, Hanna; Hauser, Marc; Damasio, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Summary Moral judgments, whether delivered in ordinary experience or in the courtroom, depend on our ability to infer intentions. We forgive unintentional or accidental harms and condemn failed attempts to harm. Prior work demonstrates that patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC) deliver abnormal judgments in response to moral dilemmas, and that these patients are especially impaired in triggering emotional responses to inferred or abstract events (e.g., intentions), as opposed to real or actual outcomes. We therefore predicted that VMPC patients would deliver abnormal moral judgments of harmful intentions in the absence of harmful outcomes, as in failed attempts to harm. This prediction was confirmed in the current study: VMPC patients judged attempted harms including attempted murder as more morally permissible relative to controls. These results highlight the critical role of the VMPC in processing harmful intent for moral judgment. PMID:20346759

  9. Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex reduces interpersonal disgust

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Sperotto, Rebecca G.; Mattioli, Flavia

    2013-01-01

    Disgust for contaminating objects (core disgust), immoral behaviors (moral disgust) and unsavory others (interpersonal disgust), have been assumed to be closely related. It is not clear, however, whether different forms of disgust are mediated by overlapping or specific neural substrates. We report that 10 patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) avoided behaviors that normally elicit interpersonal disgust (e.g. using the scarf of a busker) less frequently than healthy and brain-damaged controls, whereas they avoided core and moral disgust elicitors at normal rates. These results indicate that different forms of disgust are dissociated neurally. We propose that the vmPFC is causally (and selectively) involved in mediating interpersonal disgust, shaping patterns of social avoidance and approach. PMID:22842816

  10. Cognitive findings after transient global amnesia: role of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Le Pira, Francesco; Giuffrida, Salvatore; Maci, Tiziana; Reggio, Ester; Zappalà, Giuseppe; Perciavalle, Vincenzo

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study is to verify, after recovery, the presence of specific patterns of cognitive dysfunctions in Transient Global Amnesia (TGA). Fourteen patients with the diagnosis of TGA were submitted to a battery of neuropsychological tests and compared to a matched control group. We found significant qualitative and quantitative differences between TGA patients and controls in the California Verbal Learning Test (CLVT) and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test. Our data support the presence of selective cognitive dysfunctions after the clinical recovery. Moreover, for Verbal Fluency, Digit Span Backward, and Number of Clusters in the CVLT short-term memory test, the relation resulted as positively related with the temporal interval from the TGA episode. Reduction of categorical learning, attention, and qualitative alterations of spatial strategy seem to postulate a planning defect due to a prefrontal impairment.

  11. Behavioral effects of congenital ventromedial prefrontal cortex malformation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A detailed behavioral profile associated with focal congenital malformation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has not been reported previously. Here we describe a 14 year-old boy, B.W., with neurological and psychiatric sequelae stemming from focal cortical malformation of the left vmPFC. Case Presentation B.W.'s behavior has been characterized through extensive review Patience of clinical and personal records along with behavioral and neuropsychological testing. A central feature of the behavioral profile is severe antisocial behavior. He is aggressive, manipulative, and callous; features consistent with psychopathy. Other problems include: egocentricity, impulsivity, hyperactivity, lack of empathy, lack of respect for authority, impaired moral judgment, an inability to plan ahead, and poor frustration tolerance. Conclusions The vmPFC has a profound contribution to the development of human prosocial behavior. B.W. demonstrates how a congenital lesion to this cortical region severely disrupts this process. PMID:22136635

  12. Maternal prefrontal cortex activation by newborn infant odors.

    PubMed

    Nishitani, Shota; Kuwamoto, Saori; Takahira, Asuka; Miyamura, Tsunetake; Shinohara, Kazuyuki

    2014-03-01

    Mothers are attracted by infant cues of a variety of different modalities. To clarify the possible neural mechanisms underlying maternal attraction to infant odor cues, we used near-infrared spectroscopy to examine prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during odor detection tasks in which 19 mothers and 19 nulliparous females (nonmothers) were presented with infant or adult male odors. They were instructed to make a judgment about whether they smelled an odor during each task. We estimated the PFC activity by measuring the relative oxyhemoglobin (oxyHb) concentrations. The results showed that while detecting the infant odors, bilateral PFC activities were increased in mothers but not in nonmothers. In contrast, adult male odors activated the PFC similarly in mothers and nonmothers. These findings suggest that maternal activation of the PFC in response to infant odors explains a part of the neural mechanisms for maternal attraction to infant odors.

  13. Human cognition. Foundations of human reasoning in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Donoso, Maël; Collins, Anne G E; Koechlin, Etienne

    2014-06-27

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves reasoning in the service of adaptive behavior. Little is known, however, about the architecture of reasoning processes in the PFC. Using computational modeling and neuroimaging, we show here that the human PFC has two concurrent inferential tracks: (i) one from ventromedial to dorsomedial PFC regions that makes probabilistic inferences about the reliability of the ongoing behavioral strategy and arbitrates between adjusting this strategy versus exploring new ones from long-term memory, and (ii) another from polar to lateral PFC regions that makes probabilistic inferences about the reliability of two or three alternative strategies and arbitrates between exploring new strategies versus exploiting these alternative ones. The two tracks interact and, along with the striatum, realize hypothesis testing for accepting versus rejecting newly created strategies.

  14. Levels of conflict in reasoning modulate right lateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Stollstorff, Melanie; Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2012-01-05

    Right lateral prefrontal cortex (rlPFC) has previously been implicated in logical reasoning under conditions of conflict. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to explore its role in conflict more precisely. Specifically, we distinguished between belief-logic conflict and belief-content conflict, and examined the role of rlPFC under each condition. The results demonstrated that a specific region of rlPFC is consistently activated under both types of conflict. Moreover, the results of a parametric analysis demonstrated that the same region was modulated by the level of conflict contained in reasoning arguments. This supports the idea that this specific region is engaged to resolve conflict, including during deductive reasoning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Thought".

  15. Prefrontal inputs to the amygdala instruct fear extinction memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Bukalo, Olena; Pinard, Courtney R.; Silverstein, Shana; Brehm, Christina; Hartley, Nolan D.; Whittle, Nigel; Colacicco, Giovanni; Busch, Erica; Patel, Sachin; Singewald, Nicolas; Holmes, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Persistent anxiety after a psychological trauma is a hallmark of many anxiety disorders. However, the neural circuits mediating the extinction of traumatic fear memories remain incompletely understood. We show that selective, in vivo stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)–amygdala pathway facilitated extinction memory formation, but not retrieval. Conversely, silencing the vmPFC-amygdala pathway impaired extinction formation and reduced extinction-induced amygdala activity. Our data demonstrate a critical instructional role for the vmPFC-amygdala circuit in the formation of extinction memories. These findings advance our understanding of the neural basis of persistent fear, with implications for posttraumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders. PMID:26504902

  16. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease

    PubMed Central

    Matsui, Joy T.; Vaidya, Jatin G.; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A.; Johnson, Hans J.; Paulsen, Jane S.

    2015-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e. prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATR), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. PMID:26179962

  17. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Joy T; Vaidya, Jatin G; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A; Johnson, Hans J; Paulsen, Jane S

    2015-10-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e., prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATRs), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3717-3732, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. ALTERED PREFRONTAL AND INSULAR CORTICAL THICKNESS IN ADOLESCENT MARIJUANA USERS

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Larson, Melissa P.; Bogorodzki, Piotr; Rogowska, Jadwiga; McGlade, Erin; King, Jace B.; Terry, Janine; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah

    2011-01-01

    Introduction There are limited data regarding the impact of marijuana (MJ) on cortical development during adolescence. Adolescence is a period of substantial brain maturation and cortical thickness abnormalities may be indicative of disruptions of normal cortical development. This investigation applied cortical-surface based techniques to compare cortical thickness measures in MJ using adolescents compared to non-using controls. Methods Eighteen adolescents with heavy MJ use and 18 non-using controls similar in age received MRI scans using a 3T Siemens scanner. Cortical reconstruction and volumetric segmentation was performed with FreeSurfer. Group differences in cortical thickness were assessed using statistical difference maps covarying for age and gender. Results Compared to non-users, MJ users had decreased cortical thickness in right caudal middle frontal, bilateral insula and bilateral superior frontal corticies. Marijuana users had increased cortical thickness in the bilateral lingual, right superior temporal, right inferior parietal and left paracentral regions. In the MJ users, negative correlations were found between frontal and lingual regions for urinary cannabinoid levels and between age of onset of use and the right superior frontal gyrus. Conclusion This is one of the first studies to evaluate cortical thickness in a group of adolescents with heavy MJ use compared to non-users. Our findings are consistent with prior studies that documented abnormalities in prefrontal and insular regions. Our results suggest that age of regular use may be associated with altered prefrontal cortical gray matter development in adolescents. Furthermore, reduced insular cortical thickness may be a biological marker for increased risk of substance dependence. PMID:21310189

  19. Daytime sleepiness affects prefrontal regulation of food intake.

    PubMed

    Killgore, William D S; Schwab, Zachary J; Weber, Mareen; Kipman, Maia; Deldonno, Sophie R; Weiner, Melissa R; Rauch, Scott L

    2013-05-01

    The recent epidemic of obesity corresponds closely with the decline in the average number of hours of sleep obtained nightly. While growing research suggests that sleep loss may affect hormonal and other physiological systems related to food intake, no studies have yet explored the role that sleepiness may play in reducing prefrontal inhibitory control over food intake. Because evidence suggests that women may be more prone to obesity and eating disorders, as well as more likely to suffer from sleep problems, we examined the relation between general daytime sleepiness, brain responses to food stimuli, and self-reported overeating separately for men and women. Thirty-eight healthy adults (16 women; 22 men) aged 18 to 45 underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing pictures of high- and low-calorie foods. Subjects completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and provided a rating to the query "how often do you eat more than you intend to." Contrast images comparing brain activation derived from the high- versus low-calorie conditions were correlated voxel-wise with scores from the ESS in a second-level regression model, the output of which was used to predict self-reported overeating. As hypothesized, daytime sleepiness correlated with reduced activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during perception of high- versus low-calorie food images. Moreover, activation within this cluster predicted overeating, but only for women. Findings suggest that normal fluctuations in sleepiness may be sufficient to affect brain regions important for regulating food intake, but that these effects may differ between men and women.

  20. [Subjective memory complaints, personality and prefrontal symptomatology in young adults].

    PubMed

    Pedrero-Pérez, Eduardo J; Ruiz-Sánchez de León, José M

    2013-10-01

    Introduccion. El presente trabajo explora dos cuestiones relacionadas con la aparicion de quejas subjetivas de memoria en adultos jovenes: la posibilidad de que dichas quejas sean resultado de deficits atencionales y ejecutivos, y, por otro lado, si determinadas caracteristicas de la personalidad propician y modulan la expresion clinica de las quejas. Sujetos y metodos. Se administro el Memory Everyday Failures, version española, el inventario de sintomas prefrontales y el inventario del temperamento y el caracter-revisado a una muestra de 1.132 participantes (900 de poblacion general y 232 en tratamiento por adiccion a drogas). Se exploro la correlacion entre variables de las quejas de memoria, del funcionamiento prefrontal en la vida diaria y de las dimensiones de la personalidad propuestas por Cloninger. Se estudiaron relaciones de causalidad entre las variables mediante metodos estructurales. Resultados. Se observa una fuerte correlacion entre las quejas cognitivas y la sintomatologia prefrontal, lo que sugiere que las quejas son, en realidad, resultado de una inadecuada gestion atencional y ejecutiva que propicia los errores cotidianos. Se aprecia tambien una relacion con gran tamaño del efecto entre las quejas cognitivas y la baja autodireccion. Esta dimension de la personalidad presenta una importante capacidad predictiva sobre la aparicion y la intensidad de las quejas, bien directamente, bien modulada por otras dimensiones, especialmente la evitacion del daño. Conclusiones. Los datos apoyan la idea de que las quejas de memoria son producto de la autopercepcion de fallos y errores cotidianos provocados a nivel atencional y ejecutivo –aunque son tenidos por olvidos mnesicos–, y que la expresion clinica de dichas quejas esta modulada por un perfil de la personalidad.

  1. Portosystemic hepatic encephalopathy model shows reversal learning impairment and dysfunction of neural activity in the prefrontal cortex and regions involved in motivated behavior.

    PubMed

    Méndez, M; Méndez-López, M; López, L; Aller, M A; Arias, J; Arias, J L

    2011-05-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a neurological complication that affects attention and memory. Experimental animal models have been used to study HE, the most frequent being the portacaval shunt (PCS). In order to investigate learning impairment and brain functional alterations in this model, we assessed reversal learning and neural metabolic activity in a PCS rat model. PCS and sham-operated rats were tested for reversal learning in the Morris water maze. Brains were then processed for cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry. The PCS group had reversal learning impairment and a reduction in CO activity in the prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area and accumbens shell nucleus. These results suggest that this model of portosystemic HE shows learning impairments that could be linked to dysfunction in neural activity in the prefrontal cortex and regions involved in motivated behavior.

  2. Milnacipran Remediates Impulsive Deficits in Rats with Lesions of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui-Kimura, Iku; Yoshida, Takayuki; Izumi, Takeshi; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Background: Deficits in impulse control are often observed in psychiatric disorders in which abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex are observed, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. We recently found that milnacipran, a serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, could suppress impulsive action in normal rats. However, whether milnacipran could suppress elevated impulsive action in rats with lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is functionally comparable with the human prefrontal cortex, remains unknown. Methods: Selective lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex were made using quinolinic acid in rats previously trained on a 3-choice serial reaction time task. Sham rats received phosphate buffered saline. Following a period of recovery, milnacipran (0 or 10mg/kg/d × 14 days) was orally administered 60 minutes prior to testing on the 3-choice task. After 7 days of drug cessation, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiological analysis, and morphological analysis were conducted. Results: Lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex induced impulsive deficits, and repeated milnacipran ameliorated the impulsive deficit both during the dosing period and after the cessation of the drug. Repeated milnacipran remediated the protein levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor and postsynaptic density-95, dendritic spine density, and excitatory currents in the few surviving neurons in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of ventromedial prefrontal cortex-lesioned rats. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that milnacipran treatment could be a novel strategy for the treatment of psychiatric disorders that are associated with a lack of impulse control. PMID:25522418

  3. Blockade of IP3-mediated SK channel signaling in the rat medial prefrontal cortex improves spatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP3-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP3 receptor (IP3R)-evoked calcium release results in SK channel-dependent hyperpolarization of prefrontal neurons. However, the effects of IP3R signaling on prefrontal function have not been investigated. The present findings demonstrate that blockade of IP3R or SK channels in the prefrontal cortex enhances WM performance in rats, suggesting that both arms of the PI cascade influence prefrontal cognitive function. PMID:18285467

  4. Coordinated activation of premotor and ventromedial prefrontal cortices during vicarious reward.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Sotaro; Matsumoto, Madoka; Takahashi, Hidefumi; Yomogida, Yukihito; Matsumoto, Kenji

    2016-03-01

    The vicarious reward we receive from watching likable others obtaining a positive outcome is a pervasive phenomenon, yet its neural correlates are poorly understood. Here, we conducted a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to test the hypothesis that the brain areas responsible for action observation and reward processing work in a coordinated fashion during vicarious reward. In the first experiment (manipulation phase), the participant was instructed to cheer for a particular player in a two-player competitive game (Rock-Paper-Scissors). This manipulation made participants feel more unity with that player and resulted in unity-related activation in the premotor area during action observation. In the following main experiment, the participant witnessed the previously cheered-for or non-cheered-for player succeed in a new solitary game (a stopwatch game). The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was activated when the cheered-for player succeeded in the game but not when the other player did. Interestingly, this vmPFC activation was functionally connected with premotor activation only during the cheered-for player's success. These results suggest that vicarious reward is processed in the vmPFC-premotor network, which is activated specifically by the success of the other person with whom the individual feels unity and closeness.

  5. Laser technique for anatomical-functional study of the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Huerta, Laura; Hernandez, Adan; Ayala, Griselda; Marroquin, Javier; Silva, Adriana B.; Khotiaintsev, Konstantin S.; Svirid, Vladimir A.; Flores, Gonzalo; Khotiaintsev, Sergei N.

    1999-05-01

    The brain represents one of the most complex systems that we know yet. In its study, non-destructive methods -- in particular, behavioral studies play an important role. By alteration of brain functioning (e.g. by pharmacological means) and observation of consequent behavior changes an important information on brain organization and functioning is obtained. For inducing local alterations, permanent brain lesions are employed. However, for correct results this technique has to be quasi-non-destructive, i.e. not to affect the normal brain function. Hence, the lesions should be very small, accurate and applied precisely over the structure (e.g. the brain nucleus) of interest. These specifications are difficult to meet with the existing techniques for brain lesions -- specifically, neurotoxical, mechanical and electrical means because they result in too extensive damage. In this paper, we present new laser technique for quasi-non- destructive anatomical-functional mapping in vivo of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of the rat. The technique is based on producing of small-size, well-controlled laser- induced lesions over some areas of the MPFC. The anesthetized animals are subjected to stereotactic surgery and certain points of the MPFC are exposed the confined radiation of the 10 W cw CO2 laser. Subsequent behavioral changes observed in neonatal and adult animals as well as histological data prove effectiveness of this technology for anatomical- functional studies of the brain by areas, and as a treatment method for some pathologies.

  6. Perceptual decision-making difficulty modulates feedforward effective connectivity to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane, Bidhan; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT) were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM) of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal (VT) cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions. PMID:26441596

  7. Whole genome grey and white matter DNA methylation profiles in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose Vicente; Heyn, Holger; Vidal, Enrique; Delgado-Morales, Raúl; Moran, Sebastian; Sayols, Sergi; Sandoval, Juan; Ferrer, Isidre; Esteller, Manel; Gräff, Johannes

    2017-01-20

    The brain's neocortex is anatomically organized into grey and white matter, which are mainly composed by neuronal and glial cells, respectively. The neocortex can be further divided in different Brodmann areas according to their cytoarchitectural organization, which are associated with distinct cortical functions. There is increasing evidence that brain development and function are governed by epigenetic processes, yet their contribution to the functional organization of the neocortex remains incompletely understood. Herein, we determined the DNA methylation patterns of grey and white matter of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 9), an important region for higher cognitive skills that is particularly affected in various neurological diseases. For avoiding interindividual differences, we analyzed white and grey matter from the same donor using whole genome bisulfite sequencing, and for validating their biological significance, we used Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip and pyrosequencing in ten and twenty independent samples, respectively. The combination of these analysis indicated robust grey-white matter differences in DNA methylation. What is more, cell type-specific markers were enriched among the most differentially methylated genes. Interestingly, we also found an outstanding number of grey-white matter differentially methylated genes that have previously been associated with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease, as well as Multiple and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The data presented here thus constitute an important resource for future studies not only to gain insight into brain regional as well as grey and white matter differences, but also to unmask epigenetic alterations that might underlie neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Neural correlates of auditory recognition memory in primate lateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Plakke, B; Ng, C-W; Poremba, A

    2013-08-06

    The neural underpinnings of working and recognition memory have traditionally been studied in the visual domain and these studies pinpoint the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) as a primary region for visual memory processing (Miller et al., 1996; Ranganath et al., 2004; Kennerley and Wallis, 2009). Herein, we utilize single-unit recordings for the same region in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) but investigate a second modality examining auditory working and recognition memory during delayed matching-to-sample (DMS) performance. A large portion of neurons in the dorsal and ventral banks of the principal sulcus (area 46, 46/9) show DMS event-related activity to one or more of the following task events: auditory cues, memory delay, decision wait time, response, and/or reward portions. Approximately 50% of the neurons show evidence of auditory-evoked activity during the task and population activity demonstrated encoding of recognition memory in the form of match enhancement. However, neither robust nor sustained delay activity was observed. The neuronal responses during the auditory DMS task are similar in many respects to those found within the visual working memory domain, which supports the hypothesis that the lPFC, particularly area 46, functionally represents key pieces of information for recognition memory inclusive of decision-making, but regardless of modality.

  9. Prefrontal Cortex Activation and Young Driver Behaviour: A fNIRS Study

    PubMed Central

    Foy, Hannah J.; Runham, Patrick; Chapman, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Road traffic accidents consistently show a significant over-representation for young, novice and particularly male drivers. This research examines the prefrontal cortex activation of young drivers and the changes in activation associated with manipulations of mental workload and inhibitory control. It also considers the explanation that a lack of prefrontal cortex maturation is a contributing factor to the higher accident risk in this young driver population. The prefrontal cortex is associated with a number of factors including mental workload and inhibitory control, both of which are also related to road traffic accidents. This experiment used functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure prefrontal cortex activity during five simulated driving tasks: one following task and four overtaking tasks at varying traffic densities which aimed to dissociate workload and inhibitory control. Age, experience and gender were controlled for throughout the experiment. The results showed that younger drivers had reduced prefrontal cortex activity compared to older drivers. When both mental workload and inhibitory control increased prefrontal cortex activity also increased, however when inhibitory control alone increased there were no changes in activity. Along with an increase in activity during overtaking manoeuvres, these results suggest that prefrontal cortex activation is more indicative of workload in the current task. There were no differences in the number of overtakes completed by younger and older drivers but males overtook significantly more than females. We conclude that prefrontal cortex activity is associated with the mental workload required for overtaking. We additionally suggest that the reduced activation in younger drivers may be related to a lack of prefrontal maturation which could contribute to the increased crash risk seen in this population. PMID:27227990

  10. Prefrontal Cortex Activation and Young Driver Behaviour: A fNIRS Study.

    PubMed

    Foy, Hannah J; Runham, Patrick; Chapman, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Road traffic accidents consistently show a significant over-representation for young, novice and particularly male drivers. This research examines the prefrontal cortex activation of young drivers and the changes in activation associated with manipulations of mental workload and inhibitory control. It also considers the explanation that a lack of prefrontal cortex maturation is a contributing factor to the higher accident risk in this young driver population. The prefrontal cortex is associated with a number of factors including mental workload and inhibitory control, both of which are also related to road traffic accidents. This experiment used functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure prefrontal cortex activity during five simulated driving tasks: one following task and four overtaking tasks at varying traffic densities which aimed to dissociate workload and inhibitory control. Age, experience and gender were controlled for throughout the experiment. The results showed that younger drivers had reduced prefrontal cortex activity compared to older drivers. When both mental workload and inhibitory control increased prefrontal cortex activity also increased, however when inhibitory control alone increased there were no changes in activity. Along with an increase in activity during overtaking manoeuvres, these results suggest that prefrontal cortex activation is more indicative of workload in the current task. There were no differences in the number of overtakes completed by younger and older drivers but males overtook significantly more than females. We conclude that prefrontal cortex activity is associated with the mental workload required for overtaking. We additionally suggest that the reduced activation in younger drivers may be related to a lack of prefrontal maturation which could contribute to the increased crash risk seen in this population.

  11. When seeing outweighs feeling: a role for prefrontal cortex in passive control of negative affect in blindsight

    PubMed Central

    Eippert, Falk; Wiens, Stefan; Birbaumer, Niels; Lotze, Martin; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    Affective neuroscience has been strongly influenced by the view that a ‘feeling’ is the perception of somatic changes and has consequently often neglected the neural mechanisms that underlie the integration of somatic and other information in affective experience. Here, we investigate affective processing by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging in nine cortically blind patients. In these patients, unilateral postgeniculate lesions prevent primary cortical visual processing in part of the visual field which, as a result, becomes subjectively blind. Residual subcortical processing of visual information, however, is assumed to occur in the entire visual field. As we have reported earlier, these patients show significant startle reflex potentiation when a threat-related visual stimulus is shown in their blind visual field. Critically, this was associated with an increase of brain activity in somatosensory-related areas, and an increase in experienced negative affect. Here, we investigated the patients’ response when the visual stimulus was shown in the sighted visual field, that is, when it was visible and cortically processed. Despite the fact that startle reflex potentiation was similar in the blind and sighted visual field, patients reported significantly less negative affect during stimulation of the sighted visual field. In other words, when the visual stimulus was visible and received full cortical processing, the patients’ phenomenal experience of affect did not closely reflect somatic changes. This decoupling of phenomenal affective experience and somatic changes was associated with an increase of activity in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and a decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Moreover, patients who showed stronger left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity tended to show a stronger decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Our findings show that similar affective somatic changes can be associated with

  12. Differential Local Connectivity and Neuroinflammation Profiles in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus in the Valproic Acid Rat Model of Autism.

    PubMed

    Codagnone, Martín Gabriel; Podestá, María Fernanda; Uccelli, Nonthué Alejandra; Reinés, Analía

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by impaired social interaction, communication deficit and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Neuroinflammation and synaptic alterations in several brain areas have been suggested to contribute to the physiopathology of ASD. Although the limbic system plays an important role in the functions found impaired in ASD, reports on these areas are scarce and results controversial. In the present study we searched in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus of rats exposed to the valproic acid (VPA) model of ASD for early structural and molecular changes, coincident in time with the behavioral alterations. After confirming delayed growth and maturation in VPA rats, we were able to detect decreased exploratory activity and social interaction at an early time point (postnatal day 35). In mPFC, although typical cortical column organization was preserved in VPA animals, we found that interneuronal space was wider than in controls. Hippocampal CA3 (cornu ammonis 3) pyramidal layer and the granular layer of the dentate gyrus both showed a disorganized spatial arrangement in VPA animals. Neuronal alterations were accompanied with increased tomato lectin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostainings both in the mPFC and hippocampus. In the latter region, the increased GFAP immunoreactivity was CA3 specific. At the synaptic level, while mPFC from VPA animals showed increased synaptophysin (SYN) immunostaining, a SYN deficit was found in all hippocampal subfields. Additionally, both the mPFC and the hippocampus of VPA rats showed increased neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) immunostaining together with decreased levels of its polysialylated form (PSA-NCAM). Interestingly, these changes were more robust in the CA3 hippocampal subfield. Our results indicate that exploratory and social deficits correlate with region-dependent neuronal disorganization and reactive

  13. Bilateral recruitment of prefrontal cortex in working memory is associated with task demand but not with age.

    PubMed

    Höller-Wallscheid, Melanie S; Thier, Peter; Pomper, Jörn K; Lindner, Axel

    2017-01-31

    Elderly adults may master challenging cognitive demands by additionally recruiting the cross-hemispheric counterparts of otherwise unilaterally engaged brain regions, a strategy that seems to be at odds with the notion of lateralized functions in cerebral cortex. We wondered whether bilateral activation might be a general coping strategy that is independent of age, task content and brain region. While using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we pushed young and old subjects to their working memory (WM) capacity limits in verbal, spatial, and object domains. Then, we compared the fMRI signal reflecting WM maintenance between hemispheric counterparts of various task-relevant cerebral regions that are known to exhibit lateralization. Whereas language-related areas kept their lateralized activation pattern independent of age in difficult tasks, we observed bilaterality in dorsolateral and anterior prefrontal cortex across WM domains and age groups. In summary, the additional recruitment of cross-hemispheric counterparts seems to be an age-independent domain-general strategy to master cognitive challenges. This phenomenon is largely confined to prefrontal cortex, which is arguably less specialized and more flexible than other parts of the brain.

  14. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex reduces cue-reactivity in alcohol-dependent patients.

    PubMed

    Wietschorke, Katharina; Lippold, Julian; Jacob, Christian; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Alcohol craving has been shown to be an important factor for relapses in alcohol-dependent patients. Furthermore, brain activity in reward-related areas in response to alcohol-related cues is positively related to the amount of post-relapse alcohol consumption. On the other hand, it has been shown that cue-exposure based extinction training (CET) leads to larger decrease of striatal and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) cue-induced activation compared to standard clinical day-care treatment, but the effect sizes are relatively small. The question of this study was, whether it is possible to change cue-reactivity and subjective craving by applying bilateral prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). We stimulated 30 detoxified alcohol-dependent patients (50 % with a sham and 50 % with left cathodal/right anodal stimulation) and presented emotional as well as alcohol-related pictures. We measured the emotional startle modulation and found significantly increased startle amplitudes in the verum stimulation condition for alcohol-related cues, indicating a more negative processing of this cues in alcohol-dependent patients after verum tDCS stimulation. Additionally we found tendencies for stronger reduction in subjective craving in verum-stimulated patients. Therefore our study underscores the positive value of DCS in reducing craving and might help to improve the understanding and therapy of alcohol dependence.

  15. Dorsal prefrontal cortical serotonin 2A receptor binding indices are differentially related to individual scores on harm avoidance.

    PubMed

    Baeken, Chris; Bossuyt, Axel; De Raedt, Rudi

    2014-02-28

    Although the serotonergic system has been implicated in healthy as well as in pathological emotional states, knowledge about its involvement in personality is limited. Earlier research on this topic suggests that post-synaptic 5-HT2A receptors could be involved in particular in frontal cortical areas. In drug-naïve healthy individuals, we examined the relationship between these 5-HT2A receptors and the temperament dimension harm avoidance (HA) using 123I-5-I-R91150 single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). HA is a personality feature closely related to stress, anxiety and depression proneness, and it is thought to be mediated by the serotonergic system. We focused on the prefrontal cortices as these regions are frequently implicated in cognitive processes related to a variety of affective disorders. We found a positive relationship between dorsal prefrontal cortical (DPFC) 5-HT2A receptor binding indices (BI) and individual HA scores. Further, our results suggest that those individuals with a tendency to worry or to ruminate are particularly prone to display significantly higher 5-HT2A receptor BI in the left DPFC. Although we only examined psychologically healthy individuals, this relationship suggests a possible vulnerability for affective disorders.

  16. Parafascicular thalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation decreases NMDA receptor GluN1 subunit gene expression in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Cabrera, Mónica R; Selvas, Abraham; Miguéns, Miguel; Higuera-Matas, Alejandro; Vale-Martínez, Anna; Ambrosio, Emilio; Martí-Nicolovius, Margarita; Guillazo-Blanch, Gemma

    2017-04-21

    The rodent parafascicular nucleus (PFn) or the centromedian-parafascicular complex of primates is a posterior intralaminar nucleus of the thalamus related to cortical activation and maintenance of states of consciousness underlying attention, learning and memory. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the PFn has been proved to restore arousal and consciousness in humans and to enhance performance in learning and memory tasks in rats. The primary expected effect of PFn DBS is to induce plastic changes in target neurons of brain areas associated with cognitive function. In this study, Wistar rats were stimulated for 20mins in the PFn following a DBS protocol that had previously facilitated memory in rats. NMDA and GABAB receptor binding, and gene expression of the GluN1subunit of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) were assessed in regions related to cognitive functions, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The results showed that PFn DBS induced a decrease in NMDAR GluN1 subunit gene expression in the cingulate and prelimbic cortices, but no significant statistical differences were found in the density of NMDA or GABAB receptors in any of the analyzed regions. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible role for the NMDAR GluN1 subunit in the prefrontal cortex in the procognitive actions of the PFn DBS.

  17. d-LSD-induced c-Fos expression occurs in a population of oligodendrocytes in rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Reissig, Chad J; Rabin, Richard A; Winter, Jerrold C; Dlugos, Cynthia A

    2008-03-31

    Induction of mRNA or protein for immediate-early genes, such as c-fos, is used to identify brain areas, specific cell types, and neuronal circuits that become activated in response to various stimuli including psychoactive drugs. The objective of the present study was to identify the cell types in the prefrontal cortex in which lysergic acid diethylamide (d-LSD) induces c-Fos expression. Systemic administration of d-LSD resulted in a dose-dependent increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity. Although c-Fos-positive cells were found in all cortical layers, they were most numerous in layers III, IV, and V. d-LSD-induced c-Fos immunoreactivity was found in cells co-labeled with anti-neuron-specific enolase or anti-oligodendrocyte Oligo1. The Oligo1-labeled cells had small, round bodies and nuclear diameters characteristic of oligodendrocytes. Studies using confocal microscopy confirmed colocalization of c-Fos-labeled nuclei in NeuN-labeled neurons. Astrocytes and microglia labeled with glial fibrillary acidic protein antibody and OX-42 antibody, respectively, did not display LSD-induced c-Fos expression. Pyramidal neurons labeled with anti-neurofilament antibody also did not show induction of c-Fos immunoreactivity after systemic d-LSD administration. The present study demonstrates that d-LSD induced expression of c-Fos in the prefrontal cortex occurs in subpopulations of neurons and in oligodendrocytes, but not in pyramidal neurons, astrocytes, and microglia.

  18. Alterations in visual cortical activation and connectivity with prefrontal cortex during working memory updating in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Le, Thang M; Borghi, John A; Kujawa, Autumn J; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined the impacts of major depressive disorder (MDD) on visual and prefrontal cortical activity as well as their connectivity during visual working memory updating and related them to the core clinical features of the disorder. Impairment in working memory updating is typically associated with the retention of irrelevant negative information which can lead to persistent depressive mood and abnormal affect. However, performance deficits have been observed in MDD on tasks involving little or no demand on emotion processing, suggesting dysfunctions may also occur at the more basic level of information processing. Yet, it is unclear how various regions in the visual working memory circuit contribute to behavioral changes in MDD. We acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 18 unmedicated participants with MDD and 21 age-matched healthy controls (CTL) while they performed a visual delayed recognition task with neutral faces and scenes as task stimuli. Selective working memory updating was manipulated by inserting a cue in the delay period to indicate which one or both of the two memorized stimuli (a face and a scene) would remain relevant for the recognition test. Our results revealed several key findings. Relative to the CTL group, the MDD group showed weaker postcue activations in visual association areas during selective maintenance of face and scene working memory. Across the MDD subjects, greater rumination and depressive symptoms were associated with more persistent activation and connectivity related to no-longer-relevant task information. Classification of postcue spatial activation patterns of the scene-related areas was also less consistent in the MDD subjects compared to the healthy controls. Such abnormalities appeared to result from a lack of updating effects in postcue functional connectivity between prefrontal and scene-related areas in the MDD group. In sum, disrupted working memory updating in MDD was revealed by

  19. Overlap of dopaminergic, adrenergic, and serotoninergic receptors and complementarity of their subtypes in primate prefrontal cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman-Rakic, P.S.; Lidow, M.S.; Gallager, D.W. )

    1990-07-01

    Quantitative in vitro autoradiography was used to determine and compare the areal and laminar distribution of the major dopaminergic, adrenergic, and serotonergic neurotransmitter receptors in 4 cytoarchitectonic regions of the prefrontal cortex in adult rhesus monkeys. The selective ligands, 3H-SCH-23390, 3H-raclopride, 3H-prazosin, and 3H-clonidine were used to label the D1 and D2 dopamine receptor subtypes and the alpha 1- and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors, respectively, while 125I-iodopindolol was used to detect beta-adrenergic receptors. The radioligands, 3H-5-hydroxytryptamine and 3H-ketanserin labeled, respectively, the 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors. Densitometry was performed on all cortical layers and sublayers for each of the 7 ligands to allow quantitative as well as qualitative comparison among them in each cytoarchitectonic area. Although each monoamine receptor was distributed in a distinctive laminar-specific pattern that was remarkably similar from area to area, there was considerable overlap among the dopaminergic, adrenergic, and serotoninergic receptors, while subtypes of the same receptor class tended to have complementary laminar profiles and different concentrations. Thus, the D1 dopamine, the alpha 1- and alpha 2-adrenergic, and the 5-HT1 receptors were present in highest relative concentration in superficial layers I, II, and IIIa (the S group). In contrast, the beta 1- and beta 2-adrenergic subtypes and the 5-HT2 receptor had their highest concentrations in the intermediate layers, IIIb and IV (the I group), while the D2 receptor was distinguished by relatively high concentrations in the deep layer V compared to all other layers (the D class). Thus, clear laminar differences were observed in the D1 vs D2 dopaminergic, the alpha- vs beta-adrenergic, and the 5-HT1 vs 5-HT2 serotoninergic receptor subtypes in all 4 areas examined.

  20. Knowing me, knowing you: Resting-state functional connectivity of ventromedial prefrontal cortex dissociates memory related to self from a familiar other.

    PubMed

    de Caso, Irene; Karapanagiotidis, Theodoros; Aggius-Vella, Elena; Konishi, Mahiko; Margulies, Daniel S; Jefferies, Elizabeth; Smallwood, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Material related to the self, as well as to significant others, often displays mnemonic superiority through its associations with highly organised and elaborate representations. Neuroimaging studies suggest this effect is related to activation in regions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Incidental memory scores for trait adjectives, processed in relation to the self, a good friend and David Cameron were collected. Scores for each referent were used as regressors in seed-based analyses of resting state fMRI data performed in ventral, middle and dorsal mPFC seeds, as well as hippocampal formation. Stronger memory for self-processed items was predicted by functional connnectivity between ventral mPFC, angular gyrus and middle temporal gyri. These regions are within the default mode network, linked to relatively automatic aspects of memory retrieval. In contrast, memory for items processed in relation to best friends, was better in individuals whose ventral mPFC showed relatively weak connectivity with paracingulate gyrus as well as positive connectivity with lateral prefrontal and parietal regions associated with controlled retrieval. These results suggest that mechanisms responsible for memory related to ourselves and personally-familiar people are partially dissociable and reflect connections between ventral mPFC, implicated in schema-based memory, and regions implicated in more automatic and controlled aspects of retrieval.

  1. Familial Vulnerability to ADHD Affects Activity in the Cerebellum in Addition to the Prefrontal Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulder, Martijn J.; Baeyens, Dieter; Davidson, Matthew C.; Casey, B. J.; Van Den Ban, Els; Van Engeland, Herman; Durston, Sarah

    2008-01-01

    The study examines whether cerebellar systems are sensitive to familial risk for ADHD in addition to frontostriatal circuitry. The results conclude that familial vulnerability to ADHD affects activity in both the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.

  2. Training improves multitasking performance by increasing the speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Harrison, Stephenie; Rogers, Baxter P; Tong, Frank; Marois, René

    2009-07-16

    Our ability to multitask is severely limited: task performance deteriorates when we attempt to undertake two or more tasks simultaneously. Remarkably, extensive training can greatly reduce such multitasking costs. While it is not known how training alters the brain to solve the multitasking problem, it likely involves the prefrontal cortex given this brain region's purported role in limiting multitasking performance. Here, we show that the reduction of multitasking interference with training is not achieved by diverting the flow of information processing away from the prefrontal cortex or by segregating prefrontal cells into independent task-specific neuronal ensembles, but rather by increasing the speed of information processing in this brain region, thereby allowing multiple tasks to be processed in rapid succession. These results not only reveal how training leads to efficient multitasking, they also provide a mechanistic account of multitasking limitations, namely the poor speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

  3. Emotional perseveration: an update on prefrontal-amygdala interactions in fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Sotres-Bayon, Francisco; Bush, David E A; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2004-01-01

    Fear extinction refers to the ability to adapt as situations change by learning to suppress a previously learned fear. This process involves a gradual reduction in the capacity of a fear-conditioned stimulus to elicit fear by presenting the conditioned stimulus repeatedly on its own. Fear extinction is context-dependent and is generally considered to involve the establishment of inhibitory control of the prefrontal cortex over amygdala-based fear processes. In this paper, we review research progress on the neural basis of fear extinction with a focus on the role of the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. We evaluate two competing hypotheses for how the medial prefrontal cortex inhibits amygdala output. In addition, we present new findings showing that lesions of the basal amygdala do not affect fear extinction. Based on this result, we propose an updated model for integrating hippocampal-based contextual information with prefrontal-amygdala circuitry.

  4. Inhibitory Gating of Basolateral Amygdala Inputs to the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    McGarry, Laura M.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulate emotional behaviors. However, a circuit-level understanding of functional connections between these brain regions remains incomplete. The BLA sends prominent glutamatergic projections to the PFC, but the overall influence of these inputs is predominantly inhibitory. Here we combine targeted recordings and optogenetics to examine the synaptic underpinnings of this inhibition in the mouse infralimbic PFC. We find that BLA inputs preferentially target layer 2 corticoamygdala over neighboring corticostriatal neurons. However, these inputs make even stronger connections onto neighboring parvalbumin and somatostatin expressing interneurons. Inhibitory connections from these two populations of interneurons are also much stronger onto corticoamygdala neurons. Consequently, BLA inputs are able to drive robust feedforward inhibition via two parallel interneuron pathways. Moreover, the contributions of these interneurons shift during repetitive activity, due to differences in short-term synaptic dynamics. Thus, parvalbumin interneurons are activated at the start of stimulus trains, whereas somatostatin interneuron activation builds during these trains. Together, these results reveal how the BLA impacts the PFC through a complex interplay of direct excitation and feedforward inhibition. They also highlight the roles of targeted connections onto multiple projection neurons and interneurons in this cortical circuit. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding for how the BLA can influence the PFC circuit, with important implications for how this circuit participates in the regulation of emotion. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact to control emotional behaviors. Here we show that BLA inputs elicit direct excitation and feedforward inhibition of layer 2 projection neurons in infralimbic PFC. BLA inputs are much stronger at

  5. Prefrontal Cortex to Accumbens Projections in Sleep Regulation of Reward

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zheng; Wang, Yao; Cai, Li; Li, Yizhi; Chen, Bo; Dong, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Sleep profoundly affects the emotional and motivational state. In humans and animals, loss of sleep often results in enhanced motivation for reward, which has direct implications for health risks as well as potential benefits. Current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation (SDe)-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We found that after acute SDe, mice had an increase in sucrose seeking and consumption but not food intake, suggesting a selective enhancement of motivation for reward. In the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain region regulating emotional and motivational responses, we observed a decrease in the ratio of the overall excitatory over inhibitory synaptic inputs onto NAc principle neurons after SDe. The shift was partly mediated by reduced glutamatergic transmission of presynaptic origin. Further analysis revealed that there was selective reduction of the glutamate release probability at the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-to-NAc synapses, but not those from the hippocampus, thalamus, or the basal lateral amygdala. To reverse this SDe-induced synaptic alteration, we expressed the stabilized step function opsin (SSFO) in the mPFC; optogenetic stimulation of SSFO at mPFC-to-NAc projection terminals persistently enhanced the action potential-dependent glutamate release. Intra-NAc optogenetic stimulation of SSFO selectively at mPFC-to-NAc terminals restored normal sucrose seeking in mice after SDe without affecting food intake. These results highlight the mPFC-to-NAc projection as a key circuit-based target for sleep to regulate reward-motivated behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sleep loss, a costly challenge of modern society, has profound physiological and psychological consequences, including altered reward processing of the brain. The current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We identify that the medial prefrontal cortex (m

  6. You say ‘prefrontal cortex' and I say ‘anterior cingulate': meta-analysis of spatial overlap in amygdala-to-prefrontal connectivity and internalizing symptomology

    PubMed Central

    Marusak, H A; Thomason, M E; Peters, C; Zundel, C; Elrahal, F; Rabinak, C A

    2016-01-01

    Connections between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are considered critical for the expression and regulation of emotional behavior. Abnormalities in frontoamygdala circuitry are reported across several internalizing conditions and associated risk factors (for example, childhood trauma), which may underlie the strong phenotypic overlap and co-occurrence of internalizing conditions. However, it is unclear if these findings converge on the same localized areas of mPFC or adjacent anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Examining 46 resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging studies of internalizing conditions or risk factors (for example, early adversity and family history), we conducted an activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of frontoamygdala circuitry. We included all reported amygdala to frontal coordinate locations that fell within a liberal anatomically defined frontal mask. Peak effects across studies were centered in two focal subareas of the ACC: pregenual (pgACC) and subgenual (sgACC). Using publicly available maps and databases of healthy individuals, we found that observed subareas have unique connectivity profiles, patterns of neural co-activation across a range of neuropsychological tasks, and distribution of tasks spanning various behavioral domains within peak regions, also known as ‘functional fingerprints'. These results suggest disruptions in unique amygdala–ACC subcircuits across internalizing, genetic and environmental risk studies. Based on functional characterizations and the studies contributing to each peak, observed amygdala–ACC subcircuits may reflect separate transdiagnostic neural signatures. In particular, they may reflect common neurobiological substrates involved in developmental risk (sgACC), or the broad expression of emotional psychopathology (pgACC) across disease boundaries. PMID:27824358

  7. Striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability predicts the thalamic and medial prefrontal responses to reward in cocaine abusers three years later

    SciTech Connect

    Asensio, S.; Goldstein, R.; Asensio, S.; Romero, M.J.; Romero, F.J.; Wong, C.T.; Alia-Klein, N.; Tomasi, D.; Wang, G.-J.; Telang, F..; Volkow, N.D.; Goldstein, R.Z.

    2010-05-01

    Low levels of dopamine (DA) D2 receptor availability at a resting baseline have been previously reported in drug addicted individuals and have been associated with reduced ventral and dorsal prefrontal metabolism. The reduction in DA D2 receptor availability along with the reduced ventral frontal metabolism is thought to underlie compromised sensitivity to nondrug reward, a core characteristic of drug addiction. We therefore hypothesized that variability in DA D2 receptor availability at baseline will covary with dynamic responses to monetary reward in addicted individuals. Striatal DA D2 receptor availability was measured with [{sup 11}C]raclopride and positron emission tomography and response to monetary reward was measured (an average of three years later) with functional magnetic resonance imaging in seven cocaine-addicted individuals. Results show that low DA D2 receptor availability in the dorsal striatum was associated with decreased thalamic response to monetary reward; while low availability in ventral striatum was associated with increased medial prefrontal (Brodmann Area 6/8/32) response to monetary reward. These preliminary results, that need to be replicated in larger sample sizes and validated with healthy controls, suggest that resting striatal DA D2 receptor availability predicts variability in functional responses to a nondrug reinforcer (money) in prefrontal cortex, implicated in behavioral monitoring, and in thalamus, implicated in conditioned responses and expectation, in cocaine-addicted individuals.

  8. Striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability predicts the thalamic and medial prefrontal responses to reward in cocaine abusers three years later

    PubMed Central

    Asensio, Samuel; Romero, Maria J.; Romero, Francisco J.; Wong, Christopher; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Tomasi, Dardo; Wang, Gene-Jack; Telang, Frank; Volkow, Nora D.; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2009-01-01

    Low levels of dopamine (DA) D2 receptor availability at a resting baseline have been previously reported in drug addicted individuals and have been associated with reduced ventral and dorsal prefrontal metabolism. The reduction in DA D2 receptor availability along with the reduced ventral frontal metabolism is thought to underlie compromised sensitivity to non-drug reward, a core characteristic of drug addiction. We therefore hypothesized that variability in DA D2 receptor availability at baseline will covary with dynamic responses to monetary reward in addicted individuals. Striatal DA D2 receptor availability was measured with [11C]raclopride and positron emission tomography and response to monetary reward was measured (an average of 3 years later) with functional magnetic resonance imaging in seven cocaine addicted individuals. Results show that low DA D2 receptor availability in the dorsal striatum was associated with decreased thalamic response to monetary reward; while low availability in ventral striatum was associated with increased medial prefrontal (Brodmann Area 6/8/32) response to monetary reward. These preliminary results, that need to be replicated in larger sample sizes and validated with healthy controls, suggest that resting striatal DA D2 receptor availability predicts variability in functional responses to a non-drug reinforcer (money) in prefrontal cortex, implicated in behavioral monitoring, and in thalamus, implicated in conditioned responses and expectation, in cocaine addicted individuals. PMID:20034014

  9. Prefrontal cortex and manipulatory go left-go right differentiation to acoustic directional cues in dogs.

    PubMed

    Stepień, I; Stepień, L; Toeplitz, Z

    1975-01-01

    In 20 dogs the manipulatory go left – go right differentiation to acoustic directional cues was elaborated. All dogs received total prefrontal, or dorsolateral (total or partial) or medial (total or partial) cortical ablations. All total ablations markedly affected performance of the task, whereas the partial removals produced moderate or no impairment. Thus, both the dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex are involved in this type of differentiation.

  10. Increased Firing Irregularity as an Emergent Property of Neural-State Transition in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Kazuhiro; Katori, Yuichi; Saito, Naohiro; Yoshida, Shun; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Mushiake, Hajime

    2013-01-01

    Flexible behaviors are organized by complex neural networks in the prefrontal cortex. Recent studies have suggested that such networks exhibit multiple dynamical states, and can switch rapidly from one state to another. In many complex systems such as the brain, the early-warning signals that may predict whether a critical threshold for state transitions is approaching are extremely difficult to detect. We hypothesized that increases in firing irregularity are a crucial measure for predicting state transitions in the underlying neuronal circuits of the prefrontal cortex. We used both experimental and theoretical approaches to test this hypothesis. Experimentally, we analyzed activities of neurons in the prefrontal cortex while monkeys performed a maze task that required them to perform actions to reach a goal. We observed increased firing irregularity before the activity changed to encode goal-to-action information. Theoretically, we constructed theoretical generic neural networks and demonstrated that changes in neuronal gain on functional connectivity resulted in a loss of stability and an altered state of the networks, accompanied by increased firing irregularity. These results suggest that assessing the temporal pattern of neuronal fluctuations provides important clues regarding the state stability of the prefrontal network. We also introduce a novel scheme that the prefrontal cortex functions in a metastable state near the critical point of bifurcation. According to this scheme, firing irregularity in the prefrontal cortex indicates that the system is about to change its state and the flow of information in a flexible manner, which is essential for executive functions. This metastable and/or critical dynamical state of the prefrontal cortex may account for distractibility and loss of flexibility in the prefrontal cortex in major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. PMID:24349020

  11. Functions of delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex and mnemonic scotomas revisited

    PubMed Central

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is one of key concepts to understand functions of the prefrontal cortex. Delay-period activity is an important neural correlate to understand the role of WM in prefrontal functions. The importance of delay-period activity is that this activity can encode not only visuospatial information but also a variety of information including non-spatial visual features, auditory and tactile stimuli, task rules, expected reward, and numerical quantity. This activity also participates in a variety of information processing including sensory-to-motor information transformation. These mnemonic features of delay-period activity enable to perform various important operations that the prefrontal cortex participates in, such as executive controls, and therefore, support the notion that WM is an important function to understand prefrontal functions. On the other hand, although experiments using manual versions of the delayed-response task had revealed many important findings, an oculomotor version of this task enabled us to use multiple cue positions, exclude postural orientation during the delay period, and further prove the importance of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, monkeys with unilateral lesions exhibited specific impairment only in the performance of memory-guided saccades directed toward visual cues in the visual field contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. This result indicates that memories for visuospatial coordinates in each hemifield are processed primarily in the contralateral prefrontal cortex. This result further strengthened the idea of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex and delay-period activity may not need to be reconsidered, but should be emphasized. PMID:25698942

  12. Functions of delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex and mnemonic scotomas revisited.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is one of key concepts to understand functions of the prefrontal cortex. Delay-period activity is an important neural correlate to understand the role of WM in prefrontal functions. The importance of delay-period activity is that this activity can encode not only visuospatial information but also a variety of information including non-spatial visual features, auditory and tactile stimuli, task rules, expected reward, and numerical quantity. This activity also participates in a variety of information processing including sensory-to-motor information transformation. These mnemonic features of delay-period activity enable to perform various important operations that the prefrontal cortex participates in, such as executive controls, and therefore, support the notion that WM is an important function to understand prefrontal functions. On the other hand, although experiments using manual versions of the delayed-response task had revealed many important findings, an oculomotor version of this task enabled us to use multiple cue positions, exclude postural orientation during the delay period, and further prove the importance of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, monkeys with unilateral lesions exhibited specific impairment only in the performance of memory-guided saccades directed toward visual cues in the visual field contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. This result indicates that memories for visuospatial coordinates in each hemifield are processed primarily in the contralateral prefrontal cortex. This result further strengthened the idea of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex and delay-period activity may not need to be reconsidered, but should be emphasized.

  13. Advances in understanding ventromedial prefrontal function: the accountant joins the executive.

    PubMed

    Fellows, Lesley K

    2007-03-27

    Studies of the brain basis of decision-making and economic behavior are providing a new perspective on the organization and functions of human prefrontal cortex. This line of inquiry has focused particularly on the ventral and medial portions of prefrontal cortex, arguably the most enigmatic regions of the "enigmatic frontal lobes." This review highlights recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of decision making and neuroeconomics and discusses how these findings can inform clinical thinking about frontal lobe dysfunction.

  14. Quantitative investigation of connections of the prefrontal cortex in the human and macaque using probabilistic diffusion tractography.

    PubMed

    Croxson, Paula L; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Behrens, Timothy E J; Robson, Matthew D; Pinsk, Mark A; Gross, Charles G; Richter, Wolfgang; Richter, Marlene C; Kastner, Sabine; Rushworth, Matthew F S

    2005-09-28

    The functions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) areas are constrained by their anatomical connections. There is little quantitative information about human PFC connections, and, instead, our knowledge of primate PFC connections is derived from tracing studies in macaques. The connections of subcortical areas, in which white matter penetration and hence diffusion anisotropy are greatest, can be studied with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography. We therefore used DWI tractography in four macaque and 10 human hemispheres to compare the connections of PFC regions with nine subcortical regions, including several fascicles and several subcortical nuclei. A distinct connection pattern was identified for each PFC and each subcortical region. Because some of the fascicles contained connections with posterior cortical areas, it was also possible to draw inferences about PFC connection patterns with posterior cortical areas. Notably, it was possible to identify similar circuits centered on comparable PFC regions in both species; PFC regions probably engage in similar patterns of regionally specific functional interaction with other brain areas in both species. In the case of one area traditionally assigned to the human PFC, the pars opercularis, the distribution of connections was not reminiscent of any macaque PFC region but, instead, resembled the pattern for macaque ventral premotor area. Some limitations to the DWI approach were apparent; the high diffusion anisotropy in the corpus callosum made it difficult to compare connection probability values in the adjacent cingulate region.

  15. Gene expression analysis of novel genes in the prefrontal cortex of major depressive disorder subjects.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Dharmendra B; Jernigan, Courtney S; Chandran, Agata; Iyo, Abiye H; May, Warren L; Austin, Mark C; Stockmeier, Craig A; Karolewicz, Beata

    2013-06-03

    Dysregulation of the glutamatergic system has been implicated not only in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), but also in the excitotoxic effects of stress and anxiety on the prefrontal cortex, which may precede the onset of a depressive episode. Our previous studies demonstrate marked deficits in prominent postsynaptic proteins involved in glutamate neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), Brodmann's area 10 (BA 10) from subjects diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). In the same group of subjects we have identified deficits in expression and phosphorylation level of key components of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, known to regulate translation initiation. Based on our previous findings, we have postulated that glutamate-dependent dysregulation of mTOR-initiated protein synthesis in the PFC may underlie the pathology of MDD. The aim of this study was to use the NanoString nCounter System to perform analysis of genes coding for glutamate transporters, glutamate metabolizing enzymes, neurotrophic factors and other intracellular signaling markers involved in glutamate signaling that were not previously investigated by our group in the PFC BA 10 from subjects with MDD. We have analyzed a total of 200 genes from 16 subjects with MDD and 16 healthy controls. These are part of the same cohort used in our previous studies. Setting our cutoff p-value≤0.01, marked upregulation of genes coding for mitochondrial glutamate carrier (GC1; p=0.0015), neuropilin 1 (NRP-1; p=0.0019), glutamate receptor ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate-associated protein 1 (GRINA; p=0.0060), and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR-1; p=0.010) was identified. No significant differences in expression of the remaining 196 genes were observed between MDD subjects and controls. While upregulation of FGFR-1 has been previously shown in MDD; abnormalities in GC-1, GRINA, and NRP-1 have not been reported. Therefore, this postmortem study

  16. The Dorsal Medial Prefrontal Cortex Responds Preferentially to Social Interactions during Natural Viewing

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, William M.; Haxby, James V.; Heatherton, Todd F.

    2016-01-01

    Humans display a strong tendency to make spontaneous inferences concerning the thoughts and intentions of others. Although this ability relies upon the concerted effort of multiple brain regions, the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) is most closely associated with the ability to reason about other people's mental states and form impressions of their character. Here, we investigated this region's putative social category preference using fMRI as 34 participants engaged in uninstructed viewing of a complex naturalistic stimulus. Using a data-driven “reverse correlation” approach, we characterize the DMPFC's stimulus response profile from ongoing neural responses to a dynamic movie stimulus. Results of this analysis demonstrate that the DMPFC's response profile is dominated by the presence of scenes involving social interactions between characters. Subsequent content analysis of video clips created from this response profile confirmed this finding. In contrast, regions of the inferotemporal and parietal cortex were selectively tuned to faces and actions, both features that often covary with social interaction but may be difficult to disentangle using standard event-related approaches. Together, these findings suggest that the DMPFC is finely tuned for processing social interaction above other categories and that this preference is maintained during unrestricted viewing of complex natural stimuli such as movies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recently, studies have brought into question whether the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), a region long associated with social cognition, is specialized for the processing of social information. We examine the response profile of this region during natural viewing of a reasonably naturalistic stimulus (i.e., a Hollywood movie) using a data-driven reverse correlation technique. Our findings demonstrate that, during natural viewing, the DMPFC is strongly tuned to the social features of the stimulus above other categories

  17. Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Prefrontal Cortex Function in Post-Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Moriya, M; Aoki, C; Sakatani, K

    2016-01-01

    Physical exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in healthy older adults, but it is not clear whether this remains the case in post-stroke patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the acute effect of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in post-stroke patients using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We studied 11 post-stroke patients. The patients performed Sternberg-type working memory tasks before and after moderate intensity aerobic exercise (40 % of maximal oxygen uptake) with a cycling ergometer for 15 min. We measured the NIRS response at the prefrontal cortex during the working memory task. We evaluated behavioral performance (response time and accuracy) of the working memory task. It was found that physical exercise improved behavioral performance of the working memory task compared with the control condition (p < 0.01). In addition, NIRS analysis indicated that physical exercise enhanced prefrontal cortex activation, particularly in the right prefrontal cortex (p < 0.05), during the working memory task compared with the control condition. These findings suggest that the moderate-intensity aerobic exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in post-stroke patients.

  18. Prefrontal cortex output circuits guide reward seeking through divergent cue encoding.

    PubMed

    Otis, James M; Namboodiri, Vijay M K; Matan, Ana M; Voets, Elisa S; Mohorn, Emily P; Kosyk, Oksana; McHenry, Jenna A; Robinson, J Elliott; Resendez, Shanna L; Rossi, Mark A; Stuber, Garret D

    2017-03-02

    The prefrontal cortex is a critical neuroanatomical hub for controlling motivated behaviours across mammalian species. In addition to intra-cortical connectivity, prefrontal projection neurons innervate subcortical structures that contribute to reward-seeking behaviours, such as the ventral striatum and midline thalamus. While connectivity among these structures contributes to appetitive behaviours, how projection-specific prefrontal neurons encode reward-relevant information to guide reward seeking is unknown. Here we use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to monitor the activity of dorsomedial prefrontal neurons in mice during an appetitive Pavlovian conditioning task. At the population level, these neurons display diverse activity patterns during the presentation of reward-predictive cues. However, recordings from prefrontal neurons with resolved projection targets reveal that individual corticostriatal neurons show response tuning to reward-predictive cues, such that excitatory cue responses are amplified across learning. By contrast, corticothalamic neurons gradually develop new, primarily inhibitory responses to reward-predictive cues across learning. Furthermore, bidirectional optogenetic manipulation of these neurons reveals that stimulation of corticostriatal neurons promotes conditioned reward-seeking behaviour after learning, while activity in corticothalamic neurons suppresses both the acquisition and expression of conditioned reward seeking. These data show how prefrontal circuitry can dynamically control reward-seeking behaviour through the opposing activities of projection-specific cell populations.

  19. Thinning of the lateral prefrontal cortex during adolescence predicts emotion regulation in females.

    PubMed

    Vijayakumar, Nandita; Whittle, Sarah; Yücel, Murat; Dennison, Meg; Simmons, Julian; Allen, Nicholas B

    2014-11-01

    Adolescence is a crucial period for the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Despite the fact that structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex during adolescence is often assumed to underlie the maturation of emotion regulation strategies, no longitudinal studies have directly assessed this relationship. This study examined whether use of cognitive reappraisal strategies during late adolescence was predicted by (i) absolute prefrontal cortical thickness during early adolescence and (ii) structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex between early and mid-adolescence. Ninety-two adolescents underwent baseline and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging scans when they were aged approximately 12 and 16 years, respectively. FreeSurfer software was used to obtain cortical thickness estimates for three prefrontal regions [anterior cingulate cortex; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC); ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC)]. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire was completed when adolescents were aged approximately 19 years. Results showed that greater cortical thinning of the left dlPFC and left vlPFC during adolescence was significantly associated with greater use of cognitive reappraisal in females, though no such relationship was evident in males. Furthermore, baseline left dlPFC thickness predicted cognitive reappraisal at trend level. These findings suggest that cortical maturation may play a role in the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies during adolescence.

  20. Phasic dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex enhances stimulus discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Andrei T.; Zhou, Michael R.; Poo, Mu-ming

    2016-01-01

    Phasic dopamine (DA) release is believed to guide associative learning. Most studies have focused on projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the striatum, and the action of DA in other VTA target regions remains unclear. Using optogenetic activation of VTA projections, we examined DA function in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We found that mice perceived optogenetically induced DA release in mPFC as neither rewarding nor aversive, and did not change their previously learned behavior in response to DA transients. However, repetitive temporal pairing of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with mPFC DA release resulted in faster learning of a subsequent task involving discrimination of the same CS against unpaired stimuli. Similar results were obtained using both appetitive and aversive unconditioned stimuli, supporting the notion that DA transients in mPFC do not represent valence. Using extracellular recordings, we found that CS-DA pairings increased firing of mPFC neurons in response to CSs, and administration of D1 or D2 DA-receptor antagonists in mPFC during learning impaired stimulus discrimination. We conclude that DA transients tune mPFC neurons for the recognition of behaviorally relevant events during learning. PMID:27185946

  1. Activation of prefrontal cortical parvalbumin interneurons facilitates extinction of reward-seeking behavior.

    PubMed

    Sparta, Dennis R; Hovelsø, Nanna; Mason, Alex O; Kantak, Pranish A; Ung, Randall L; Decot, Heather K; Stuber, Garret D

    2014-03-05

    Forming and breaking associations between emotionally salient environmental stimuli and rewarding or aversive outcomes is an essential component of learned adaptive behavior. Importantly, when cue-reward contingencies degrade, animals must exhibit behavioral flexibility to extinguish prior learned associations. Understanding the specific neural circuit mechanisms that operate during the formation and extinction of conditioned behaviors is critical because dysregulation of these neural processes is hypothesized to underlie many of the maladaptive and pathological behaviors observed in various neuropsychiatric disorders in humans. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) participates in the behavioral adaptations seen in both appetitive and aversive-cue-mediated responding, but the precise cell types and circuit mechanisms sufficient for driving these complex behavioral states remain largely unspecified. Here, we recorded and manipulated the activity of parvalbumin-positive fast spiking interneurons (PV+ FSIs) in the prelimbic area (PrL) of the mPFC in mice. In vivo photostimulation of PV+ FSIs resulted in a net inhibition of PrL neurons, providing a circuit blueprint for behavioral manipulations. Photostimulation of mPFC PV+ cells did not alter anticipatory or consummatory licking behavior during reinforced training sessions. However, optical activation of these inhibitory interneurons to cues associated with reward significantly accelerated the extinction of behavior during non-reinforced test sessions. These data suggest that suppression of excitatory mPFC networks via increased activity of PV+ FSIs may enhance reward-related behavioral flexibility.

  2. Inferior Prefrontal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Phosphatidylcholine and Executive Functions in Healthy, Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between phosphatidylcholine and executive functions in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher plasma levels of phosphatidylcholine are associated with better performance on a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that have been implicated in cognitive flexibility. Methods: We examined 72 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 in an observational, cross-sectional study to investigate the relationship between blood biomarkers of phosphatidylcholine, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter structure of regions within the PFC. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions and we controlled for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the PFC, the left inferior PFC (Brodmann’s Area 45), mediates the relationship between phosphatidylcholine blood biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that particular nutrients may slow or prevent age-related cognitive decline by influencing specific structures within the brain. This report demonstrates a novel structural mediation between plasma phosphatidylcholine levels and cognitive flexibility. Future work should examine the potential mechanisms underlying this mediation, including phosphatidylcholine-dependent cell membrane integrity of the inferior PFC and phosphatidylcholine-dependent cholinergic projections to the inferior PFC. PMID:27733825

  3. Age-related changes in the expression of schizophrenia susceptibility genes in the human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Colantuoni, Carlo; Hyde, Thomas M; Mitkus, Shruti; Joseph, Andrew; Sartorius, Leah; Aguirre, Claudia; Creswell, Johanna; Johnson, Elizabeth; Deep-Soboslay, Amy; Herman, Mary M; Lipska, Barbara K; Weinberger, Daniel R; Kleinman, Joel E

    2008-09-01

    The molecular basis of complex neuropsychiatric disorders most likely involves many genes. In recent years, specific genetic variations influencing risk for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders have been reported. We have used custom DNA microarrays and qPCR to investigate the expression of putative schizophrenia susceptibility genes and related genes of interest in the normal human brain. Expression of 31 genes was measured in Brodmann's area 10 (BA10) in the prefrontal cortex of 72 postmortem brain samples spanning half a century of human aging (18-67 years), each without history of neuropsychiatric illness, neurological disease, or drug abuse. Examination of expression across age allowed the identification of genes whose expression patterns correlate with age, as well as genes that share common expression patterns and that possibly participate in common cellular mechanisms related to the emergence of schizophrenia in early adult life. The expression of GRM3 and RGS4 decreased across the entire age range surveyed, while that of PRODH and DARPP-32 was shown to increase with age. NRG1, ERBB3, and NGFR show expression changes during the years of greatest risk for the development of schizophrenia. Expression of FEZ1, GAD1, and RGS4 showed especially high correlation with one another, in addition to the strongest mean levels of absolute correlation with all other genes studied here. All microarray data are available at NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus: GEO Series accession number GSE11546 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo) [corrected

  4. Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the prefrontal cortex is required for cocaine-induced neuroadaptations.

    PubMed

    Cuesta, Santiago; Severin, Maria J; Batuecas, Jorgelina; Rosso, Silvana B; Pacchioni, Alejandra M

    2016-02-22

    Behavioral sensitization is a progressive and enduring enhancement of the motor stimulant effects elicited by repeated administration of drugs of abuse. It can be divided into two distinct temporal and anatomical domains, termed initiation and expression, which are characterized by specific molecular and neurochemical changes. This study examines the role of the Wnt canonical pathway mediating the induction of cocaine sensitization. We found that β-catenin levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (Amyg) and dorsal striatum (CPu) are decreased in animals that show sensitization. Accordingly, GSK3β activity levels are increased in the same areas. Moreover, β-catenin levels in nuclear fraction, mRNA expression of Axin2 and Wnt7b are decreased in the PFC of sensitized animals. Then, in order to demonstrate that changes in the PFC are crucial for initiation of sensitization, we either rescue β-catenin levels with a systemic treatment of a GSK3β inhibitor (Lithium Chloride) or inhibit Wnt/β-catenin pathway with an intracerebral infusion of Sulindac before each cocaine injection. As expected, rescuing β-catenin levels in the PFC as well as CPu and Amyg blocks cocaine-induced sensitization, while decreasing β-catenin levels exclusively in the PFC exacerbates it. Therefore, our results demonstrate a new role for the Wnt/β-catenin pathway as a required neuroadaptation in inducing behavioral sensitization.

  5. Adolescent earthquake survivors' show increased prefrontal cortex activation to masked earthquake images as adults.

    PubMed

    Du, Xue; Wei, Dongtao; Ganzel, Barbara L; Kim, Pilyoung; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang

    2015-03-01

    The great Sichuan earthquake in China on May 12, 2008 was a traumatic event to many who live near the earthquake area. However, at present, there are few studies that explore the long-term impact of the adolescent trauma exposure on adults' brain function. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the brain activation evoked by masked trauma-related stimuli (earthquake versus neutral images) in 14 adults who lived near the epicenter of the great Sichuan earthquake when they were adolescents (trauma-exposed group) and 14 adults who lived farther from the epicenter of the earthquake when they were adolescents (control group). Compared with the control group, the trauma-exposed group showed significant elevation of activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in response to masked earthquake-related images. In the trauma-exposed group, the right ACC activation was negatively correlated with the frequency of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These findings differ markedly from the long-term effects of trauma exposure in adults. This suggests that trauma exposure during adolescence may have a unique long-term impact on ACC/MPFC function, top-down modulation of trauma-related information, and subsequent symptoms of PTSD.

  6. Stimulation of medial prefrontal cortex decreases the responsiveness of central amygdala output neurons.

    PubMed

    Quirk, Gregory J; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Pelletier, Joe Guillaume; Paré, Denis

    2003-09-24

    In extinction of auditory fear conditioning, rats learn that a tone no longer predicts the occurrence of a footshock. Recent lesion and unit recording studies suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays an essential role in the inhibition of conditioned fear following extinction. mPFC has robust projections to the amygdala, a structure that is known to mediate the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. Fear conditioning potentiates the tone responses of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), which excite neurons in the central nucleus (Ce) of the amygdala. In turn, the Ce projects to the brainstem and hypothalamic areas that mediate fear responses. The present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the mPFC inhibits conditioned fear via feedforward inhibition of Ce output neurons. Recording extracellularly from physiologically identified brainstem-projecting Ce neurons, we tested the effect of mPFC prestimulation on Ce responsiveness to synaptic input. In support of our hypothesis, mPFC prestimulation dramatically reduced the responsiveness of Ce output neurons to inputs from the insular cortex and BLA. Thus, our findings support the idea that mPFC gates impulse transmission from the BLA to Ce, perhaps through GABAergic intercalated cells, thereby gating the expression of conditioned fear.

  7. Phasic dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex enhances stimulus discrimination.

    PubMed

    Popescu, Andrei T; Zhou, Michael R; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2016-05-31

    Phasic dopamine (DA) release is believed to guide associative learning. Most studies have focused on projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the striatum, and the action of DA in other VTA target regions remains unclear. Using optogenetic activation of VTA projections, we examined DA function in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We found that mice perceived optogenetically induced DA release in mPFC as neither rewarding nor aversive, and did not change their previously learned behavior in response to DA transients. However, repetitive temporal pairing of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with mPFC DA release resulted in faster learning of a subsequent task involving discrimination of the same CS against unpaired stimuli. Similar results were obtained using both appetitive and aversive unconditioned stimuli, supporting the notion that DA transients in mPFC do not represent valence. Using extracellular recordings, we found that CS-DA pairings increased firing of mPFC neurons in response to CSs, and administration of D1 or D2 DA-receptor antagonists in mPFC during learning impaired stimulus discrimination. We conclude that DA transients tune mPFC neurons for the recognition of behaviorally relevant events during learning.

  8. Media multitasking is associated with distractibility and increased prefrontal activity in adolescents and young adults.

    PubMed

    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Salo, E; Carlson, S; Salonen, O; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2016-07-01

    The current generation of young people indulges in more media multitasking behavior (e.g., instant messaging while watching videos) in their everyday lives than older generations. Concerns have been raised about how this might affect their attentional functioning, as previous studies have indicated that extensive media multitasking in everyday life may be associated with decreased attentional control. In the current study, 149 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24years) performed speech-listening and reading tasks that required maintaining attention in the presence of distractor stimuli in the other modality or dividing attention between two concurrent tasks. Brain activity during task performance was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We studied the relationship between self-reported daily media multitasking (MMT), task performance and brain activity during task performance. The results showed that in the presence of distractor stimuli, a higher MMT score was associated with worse performance and increased brain activity in right prefrontal regions. The level of performance during divided attention did not depend on MMT. This suggests that daily media multitasking is associated with behavioral distractibility and increased recruitment of brain areas involved in attentional and inhibitory control, and that media multitasking in everyday life does not translate to performance benefits in multitasking in laboratory settings.

  9. Na(+), K(+)-ATPase dysfunction causes cerebrovascular endothelial cell degeneration in rat prefrontal cortex slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Kurauchi, Yuki; Hisatsune, Akinori; Seki, Takahiro; Katsuki, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    Cerebrovascular endothelial cell dysfunction resulting in imbalance of cerebral blood flow contributes to the onset of psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Although decrease in Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity has been reported in the patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the contribution of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase to endothelial cell dysfunction remains poorly understood. Here, by using rat neonatal prefrontal cortex slice cultures, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase by ouabain induced endothelial cell injury. Treatment with ouabain significantly decreased immunoreactive area of rat endothelial cell antigen-1 (RECA-1), a marker of endothelial cells, in a time-dependent manner. Ouabain also decreased Bcl-2/Bax ratio and phosphorylation level of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) (Ser9), which were prevented by lithium carbonate. On the other hand, ouabain-induced endothelial cell injury was exacerbated by concomitant treatment with LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3- (PI3-) kinase. We also found that xestospongin C, an inhibitor of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptor, but not SEA0400, an inhibitor of Na(+), Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX), protected endothelial cells from cytotoxicity of ouabain. These results suggest that cerebrovascular endothelial cell degeneration induced by Na(+), K(+)-ATPase inhibition resulting in Ca(2+) release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and activation of GSK3β signaling underlies pathogenesis of these psychiatric disorders.

  10. Prefrontal cortex damage abolishes brand-cued changes in cola preference.

    PubMed

    Koenigs, Michael; Tranel, Daniel

    2008-03-01

    Human decision-making is remarkably susceptible to commercial advertising, yet the neurobiological basis of this phenomenon remains largely unexplored. With a series of Coke and Pepsi taste tests we show that patients with damage specifically involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), an area important for emotion, did not demonstrate the normal preference bias when exposed to brand information. Both comparison groups (neurologically normal adults and lesion patients with intact VMPC) preferred Pepsi in a blind taste test, but in subsequent taste tests that featured brand information ('semi-blind' taste tests), both comparison groups' preferences were skewed toward Coke, illustrating the so-called 'Pepsi paradox'. Like comparison groups, the VMPC patients preferred Pepsi in the blind taste test, but unlike comparison groups, the VMPC patients maintained their Pepsi preference in the semi-blind test. The result that VMPC damage abolishes the 'Pepsi paradox' suggests that the VMPC is an important part of the neural substrate for translating commercial images into brand preferences.

  11. Prefrontal and parietal regions are involved in naming of objects seen from unusual viewpoints.

    PubMed

    Gigi, Ariela; Babai, Reuven; Katzav, Eytan; Atkins, Sharona; Hendler, Talma

    2007-10-01

    Object naming is commonly used for demonstrating semantic memory abilities, known to be affected in normal aging. Yet, neuropsychological assessments of older people do not reflect irregularities. The authors used a test with 2 levels of naming complexity by 2 kinds of stimuli: common objects pictured from a conventional viewpoint (usual condition) or from an unconventional viewpoint (unusual condition). The authors studied naming performance with 129 healthy participants, aged 20-85 years. For the usual stimuli, the success rate was high (90.9%), with no reduction in performance until 65 years of age. However, for the unusual stimuli, there was a marked reduction in performance with age. Brain activity was studied on 11 healthy young participants (20-30 years of age) using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The usual condition activated brain regions associated with visual perception, language, and memory. Additional brain regions associated with semantic searching and decision making were obtained in the unusual condition in the prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area [BA] 9 and BA 47) and anterior cingulate (BA 32). The results suggest that the poor naming performance for unusual-viewed objects in older people might be related to the shrinkage of frontal gray matter with age.

  12. Intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain alters synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sui, Li; Song, Xiao-Jin; Ren, Jie; Ju, Li-Hua; Wang, Yan

    2013-08-01

    Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ouabain, a specific Na-K-ATPase inhibitor, in rats mimics the manic phenotypes of bipolar disorder and thus has been proposed as one of the best animal models of mania. Bipolar mania has been known to be associated with dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain area critically involved in mental functions; however, the exact mechanism underlying these dysfunctions is not yet clear. The present study investigated synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and dopamine release in Sprague-Dawley rat mPFC following ICV administration of ouabai