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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. Co-Activation-Based Parcellation of the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Delineates the Inferior Frontal Junction Area

    PubMed Central

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul S.; Derrfuss, Jan; Lynn, Margaret T.; Neubert, Franz X.; Fox, Peter T.; Brass, Marcel; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    The inferior frontal junction (IFJ) area, a small region in the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), has received increasing interest in recent years due to its central involvement in the control of action, attention, and memory. Yet, both its function and anatomy remain controversial. Here, we employed a meta-analytic parcellation of the left LPFC to show that the IFJ can be isolated based on its specific functional connections. A seed region, oriented along the left inferior frontal sulcus (IFS), was subdivided via cluster analyses of voxel-wise whole-brain co-activation patterns. The ensuing clusters were characterized by their unique connections, the functional profiles of associated experiments, and an independent topic mapping approach. A cluster at the posterior end of the IFS matched previous descriptions of the IFJ in location and extent and could be distinguished from a more caudal cluster involved in motor control, a more ventral cluster involved in linguistic processing, and 3 more rostral clusters involved in other aspects of cognitive control. Overall, our findings highlight that the IFJ constitutes a core functional unit within the frontal lobe and delineate its borders. Implications for the IFJ's role in human cognition and the organizational principles of the frontal lobe are discussed. PMID:25899707

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Gabriel; Buritica, Efrain; Escobar, Martha Isabel; Pimienta, Hernan

    2015-01-01

    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. We focused particularly on the inhibitory neurons taking into account that these cells are involved in sustained firing (SF) after stimuli disappearance. 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. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Differential metabolic rates in prefrontal and temporal Brodmann areas in schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Buchsbaum, Monte S; Nenadic, Igor; Hazlett, Erin A; Spiegel-Cohen, Jacqueline; Fleischman, Michael B; Akhavan, Arash; Silverman, Jeremy M; Siever, Larry J

    2002-03-01

    In an exploration of the schizophrenia spectrum, we compared cortical metabolic rates in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) with findings in age- and sex-matched normal volunteers. Coregistered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans were obtained in 27 schizophrenic, 13 SPD, and 32 normal volunteers who performed a serial verbal learning test during tracer uptake. A template of Brodmann areas derived from a whole brain histological section atlas was used to analyze PET findings. Significantly lower metabolic rates were found in prefrontal areas 44-46 in schizophrenic patients than in normal volunteers. SPD patients did not differ from normal volunteers in most lateral frontal regions, but they had values intermediate between those of normal volunteers and schizophrenic patients in lateral temporal regions. SPD patients showed higher than normal metabolic rates in both medial frontal and medial temporal areas. Metabolic rates in Brodmann area 10 were distinctly higher in SPD patients than in either normal volunteers or schizophrenic patients.

  9. Increased neuronal firing in resting and sleep in areas of the macaque medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Gabbott, Paul L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2013-06-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of humans and macaques is an integral part of the default mode network and is a brain region that shows increased activation in the resting state. A previous paper from our laboratory reported significantly increased firing rates of neurons in the macaque subgenual cingulate cortex, Brodmann area (BA) 25, during disengagement from a task and also during slow wave sleep [E.T. Rolls et al. (2003) J. Neurophysiology, 90, 134-142]. Here we report the finding that there are neurons in other areas of mPFC that also increase their firing rates during disengagement from a task, drowsiness and eye-closure. During the neurophysiological recording of single mPFC cells (n = 249) in BAs 9, 10, 13 m, 14c, 24b and especially pregenual area 32, populations of neurons were identified whose firing rates altered significantly with eye-closure compared with eye-opening. Three types of neuron were identified: Type 1 cells (28.1% of the total population) significantly increased (mean + 329%; P ≪ 0.01) their average firing rate with eye-closure, from 3.1 spikes/s when awake to 10.2 spikes/s when asleep; Type 2 cells (6.0%) significantly decreased (mean -68%; P < 0.05) their firing rate on eye-closure; and Type 3 cells (65.9%) were unaffected. Thus, in many areas of mPFC, implicated in the anterior default mode network, there is a substantial population of neurons that significantly increase their firing rates during periods of eye-closure. Such neurons may be part of an interconnected network of distributed brain regions that are more active during periods of relaxed wakefulness than during attention-demanding tasks. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. Slower gait, slower information processing and smaller prefrontal area in older adults.

    PubMed

    Rosano, Caterina; Studenski, Stephanie A; Aizenstein, Howard J; Boudreau, Robert M; Longstreth, William T; Newman, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    Slower gait in older adults is related to smaller volume of the prefrontal area (PFAv). The pathways underlying this association have not yet been explored. Understanding slowing gait could help improve function in older age. We examine whether the association between smaller PFAv and slower gait is explained by lower performance on numerous neuropsychological tests. We hypothesise that slower information processing explains this association, while tests of language or memory will not. Data on brain imaging, neuropsychological tests (information processing speed, visuospatial attention, memory, language, mood) and time to walk 15 feet were obtained in 214 adults (73.3 years, 62% women) free from stroke and dementia. Covariates included central (white matter hyperintensities, vision) and peripheral contributors of gait (vibration sense, muscle strength, arthritis, body mass index), demographics (age, race, gender, education), as well as markers of prevalent vascular diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes and ankle arm index). In linear regression models, smaller PFAv was associated with slower time to walk independent of covariates. This association was no longer significant after adding information processing speed to the model. None of the other neuropsychological tests significantly attenuated this association. We conclude that smaller PFAv may contribute to slower gait through slower information processing. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to examine the casual relationship between focal brain atrophy with slowing in information processing and gait.

  12. Decreased Glucose Metabolism in Medial Prefrontal Areas is Associated with Nutritional Status in Patients with Prodromal and Early Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Taiki; Nakamura, Akinori; Kato, Takashi; Iwata, Kaori; Saji, Naoki; Arahata, Yutaka; Hattori, Hideyuki; Bundo, Masahiko; Ito, Kengo; Niida, Shumpei; Sakurai, Takashi

    2017-01-01

    Weight loss is frequently observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. To clarify the associations between nutritional status and AD-related brain changes using Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB)-PET, fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET, and structural MRI. The subjects were 34 amyloid-β (Aβ)-positive individuals with mild cognitive impairment or early AD (prodromal/early AD), and 55 Aβ-negative cognitively normal (CN) subjects who attended the Multimodal Neuroimaging for AD Diagnosis (MULNIAD) study. Nutritional status of the subjects was assessed by body mass index and waist to height ratio (waist circumference/height). The associations between nutritional status and brain changes were examined by multiple regression analysis using statistical parametric mapping. In the prodromal/early AD group, nutritional status was significantly positively correlated with regional cerebral glucose metabolism (rCGM) in the medial prefrontal cortices, while different topographical associations were seen in the CN group, suggesting these changes were AD-specific. Aβ deposition and gray matter volume were not significantly associated with nutritional status. Sub-analysis in the prodromal/early AD group demonstrated that fat mass index, but not fat-free mass index, was positively correlated with rCGM in the medial prefrontal areas. This present study provides preliminary results suggesting that hypometabolism in the medial prefrontal areas is specifically associated with AD-related weight loss, and decrease in fat mass may have a key role.

  13. Abnormal white matter tracts resembling pencil fibers involving prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 47) in autism: a case report.

    PubMed

    Hashemi, Ezzat; Ariza, Jeanelle; Lechpammer, Mirna; Noctor, Stephen C; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica

    2016-08-26

    Autism is not correlated with any neuropathological hallmark as the brain of autistic individuals lack defined lesions. However, previous investigations have reported cortical heterotopias and local distortion of the cytoarchitecture of the neocortex in some cases of autism. Our patient was a 40-year-old white woman diagnosed at an early age with autism and mental retardation. Pencil fibers were present within the prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 47) and its composition resembled that of the underlying white matter region. Pencil fibers encompassed most of the extent of the cortical grey matter and were populated by oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglial cells, but not by neurons. Here we report a new cytoarchitectural abnormality that has not been previously described in autism. Future pathological examinations should keep in mind the potential presence of pencil fibers within the prefrontal cortex of cases with autism.

  14. Prefrontal and agranular cingulate projections to the dorsal premotor areas F2 and F7 in the macaque monkey.

    PubMed

    Luppino, Giuseppe; Rozzi, Stefano; Calzavara, Roberta; Matelli, Massimo

    2003-02-01

    The superior sector of Brodmann area 6 (dorsal premotor cortex, PMd) of the macaque monkey consists of a rostral and a caudal architectonic area referred to as F7 and F2, respectively. The aim of this study was to define the origin of prefrontal and agranular cingulate afferents to F7 and F2, in the light of functional and hodological evidence showing that these areas do not appear to be functionally homogeneous. Different sectors of F7 and F2 were injected with neural tracers in seven monkeys and the retrograde labelling was qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. The dorsorostral part of F7 (supplementary eye field, F7-SEF) was found to be a target of strong afferents from the frontal eye field (FEF), from the dorsolateral prefrontal regions located dorsally (DLPFd) and ventrally (DLPFv) to the principal sulcus and from cingulate areas 24a, 24b and 24c. In contrast, the remaining part of F7 (F7-non SEF) is only a target of the strong afferents from DLPFd. Finally, the ventrorostral part of F2 (F2vr), but not the F2 sector located around the superior precentral dimple (F2d), receives a minor, but significant, input from DLPFd and a relatively strong input from the cingulate gyrus (areas 24a and 24b) and area 24d. Present data provide strong hodological support in favour of the idea that areas F7 and F2 are formed by two functionally distinct sectors.

  15. Structure of Spike Count Correlations Reveals Functional Interactions between Neurons in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area 8a of Behaving Primates

    PubMed Central

    Leavitt, Matthew L.; Pieper, Florian; Sachs, Adam; Joober, Ridha; Martinez-Trujillo, Julio C.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons within the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) are clustered in microcolumns according to their visuospatial tuning. One issue that remains poorly investigated is how this anatomical arrangement influences functional interactions between neurons during behavior. To investigate this question we implanted 4 mm×4 mm multielectrode arrays in two macaques' dlPFC area 8a and measured spike count correlations (rsc) between responses of simultaneously recorded neurons when animals maintained stationary gaze. Positive and negative rsc were significantly higher than predicted by chance across a wide range of inter-neuron distances (from 0.4 to 4 mm). Positive rsc were stronger between neurons with receptive fields (RFs) separated by ≤90° of angular distance and progressively decreased as a function of inter-neuron physical distance. Negative rsc were stronger between neurons with RFs separated by >90° and increased as a function of inter-neuron distance. Our results show that short- and long-range functional interactions between dlPFC neurons depend on the physical distance between them and the relationship between their visuospatial tuning preferences. Neurons with similar visuospatial tuning show positive rsc that decay with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of excitatory interactions within and between adjacent microcolumns. Neurons with dissimilar tuning from spatially segregated microcolumns show negative rsc that increase with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of inhibitory interactions. This pattern of results shows that functional interactions between prefrontal neurons closely follow the pattern of connectivity reported in anatomical studies. Such interactions may be important for the role of the prefrontal cortex in the allocation of attention to targets in the presence of competing distracters. PMID:23630595

  16. 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.

  17. The Cortical Connectivity of the Prefrontal Cortex in the Monkey Brain

    PubMed Central

    Yeterian, Edward H.; Pandya, Deepak N.; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Petrides, Michael

    2011-01-01

    One dimension of understanding the functions of the prefrontal cortex is knowledge of cortical connectivity. We have surveyed three aspects of prefrontal cortical connections: local projections (within the frontal lobe), the termination patterns of long association (post-Rolandic) projections, and the trajectories of major fiber pathways. The local connections appear to be organized in relation to dorsal (hippocampal origin) and ventral (paleocortical origin) architectonic trends. According to the proposal of a dual origin of the cerebral cortex, cortical areas can be traced as originating from archicortex (hippocampus) on the one hand, and paleocortex, on the other hand, in a stepwise manner (e.g., Sanides, 1969; Pandya and Yeterian, 1985). Prefrontal areas within each trend are connected with less architectonically differentiated areas, and, on the other hand, with more differentiated areas. Such organization may allow for the systematic exchange of information within each architectonic trend. The long connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions seem to be organized preferentially in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Prefrontal areas are connected with post-Rolandic auditory, visual and somatosensory association areas, and with multimodal and paralimbic regions. This long connectivity likely works in conjunction with local connections to serve prefrontal cortical functions. The afferent and efferent connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions are conveyed by specific long association pathways. These pathways as well appear to be organized in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Finally, although prefrontal areas have preferential connections in relation to dual architectonic trends, it is clear that there are interconnections between and among areas in each trend, which may provide a substrate for the overall integrative function of the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The Nucleus Reuniens of the Midline Thalamus Gates Prefrontal-Hippocampal Modulation of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neuron Activity

    PubMed Central

    Grace, Anthony A.

    2016-01-01

    The circuitry mediating top-down control of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is exceedingly complex. Characterizing these networks will be critical to our understanding of fundamental behaviors, such as motivation and reward processing, as well as several disease states. Previous work suggests that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts a profound influence on VTA DA neuron firing. Recently, our group reported that inhibition of the infralimbic subdivision of the medial prefrontal cortex (ilPFC) increases the proportion of VTA DA neurons that are spontaneously active (i.e., “population activity”) and that this effect depends on activity in the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (vSub). However, there is no direct projection from the mPFC to the vSub. Anatomical evidence suggests that communication between the two structures is mediated by the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus (RE). Here, we used in vivo electrophysiological and behavioral approaches in rats to explore the role of the RE in the circuitry governing VTA DA neuron firing. We show that pharmacological stimulation of the RE enhances VTA DA neuron population activity and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, a behavioral indicator of an over-responsive DA system. Furthermore, the effect of RE stimulation on population activity is prevented if vSub is also inhibited. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of ilPFC enhances VTA DA neuron population activity, but this effect does not occur if RE is also inhibited. These findings suggest that disruption of ilPFC–RE–vSub communication could lead to a dysregulated, hyperdopaminergic state, and may play a role in psychiatric disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in a variety of fundamental brain functions. To understand the neurobiological basis for these functions it is essential to identify regions controlling DA neuron activity. The medial prefrontal

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Prefrontal Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptors Regulate Dissociable Aspects of Decision Making via Distinct Ventral Striatal and Amygdalar Circuits.

    PubMed

    Jenni, Nicole L; Larkin, Joshua D; Floresco, Stan B

    2017-06-28

    mechanisms underlying these dissociable actions are unclear. Using a selective disconnection approach, we reveal that D1 and D2 receptors can facilitate diverse aspects of decision making by acting on separate networks of prefrontal neurons that interface with distinct striatal or amygdalar targets. These findings reveal an additional level of complexity in how mesocortical DA regulates different forms of cognition via actions on different receptors, highlighting how it may act upon distinct cortical microcircuits to drive different patterns of behavior. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/376200-14$15.00/0.

  7. 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.

  8. Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area Promotes Implicit Motor Learning in a Golf Putting Task.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Frank F; Yeung, Andrew Y; Poolton, Jamie M; Lee, Tatia M C; Leung, Gilberto K K; Masters, Rich S W

    2015-01-01

    Implicit motor learning is characterized by low dependence on working memory and stable performance despite stress, fatigue, or multi-tasking. However, current paradigms for implicit motor learning are based on behavioral interventions that are often task-specific and limited when applied in practice. To investigate whether cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) area during motor learning suppressed working memory activity and reduced explicit verbal-analytical involvement in movement control, thereby promoting implicit motor learning. Twenty-seven healthy individuals practiced a golf putting task during a Training Phase while receiving either real cathodal tDCS stimulation over the left DLPFC area or sham stimulation. Their performance was assessed during a Test phase on another day. Verbal working memory capacity was assessed before and after the Training Phase, and before the Test Phase. Compared to sham stimulation, real stimulation suppressed verbal working memory activity after the Training Phase, but enhanced golf putting performance during the Training Phase and the Test Phase, especially when participants were required to multi-task. Cathodal tDCS over the left DLPFC may foster implicit motor learning and performance in complex real-life motor tasks that occur during sports, surgery or motor rehabilitation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Impact of cannabis use on prefrontal and parietal cortex gyrification and surface area in adolescents and emerging adults.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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. 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. 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). 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Alpha, beta and gamma electrocorticographic rhythms in somatosensory, motor, premotor and prefrontal cortical areas differ in movement execution and observation in humans.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Del Percio, Claudio; Vecchio, Fabrizio; Sebastiano, Fabio; Di Gennaro, Giancarlo; Quarato, Pier P; Morace, Roberta; Pavone, Luigi; Soricelli, Andrea; Noce, Giuseppe; Esposito, Vincenzo; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Gallese, Vittorio; Mirabella, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that both movement execution and observation induce parallel modulations of alpha, beta, and gamma electrocorticographic (ECoG) rhythms in primary somatosensory (Brodmann area 1-2, BA1-2), primary motor (BA4), ventral premotor (BA6), and prefrontal (BA44 and BA45, part of putative human mirror neuron system underlying the understanding of actions of other people) areas. ECoG activity was recorded in drug-resistant epileptic patients during the execution of actions to reach and grasp common objects according to their affordances, as well as during the observation of the same actions performed by an experimenter. Both action execution and observation induced a desynchronization of alpha and beta rhythms in BA1-2, BA4, BA6, BA44 and BA45, which was generally higher in amplitude during the former than the latter condition. Action execution also induced a major synchronization of gamma rhythms in BA4 and BA6, again more during the execution of an action than during its observation. Human primary sensorimotor, premotor, and prefrontal areas do generate alpha, beta, and gamma rhythms and differently modulate them during action execution and observation. Gamma rhythms of motor areas are especially involved in action execution. Oscillatory activity of neural populations in sensorimotor, premotor and prefrontal (part of human mirror neuron system) areas represents and distinguishes own actions from those of other people. This methodological approach might be used for a neurophysiological diagnostic imaging of social cognition in epileptic patients. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Biologic and Genetics Aspects of Chagas Disease at Endemic Areas

    PubMed Central

    Bellini, Marilanda Ferreira; Silistino-Souza, Rosana; Varella-Garcia, Marileila; de Azeredo-Oliveira, Maria Tercília Vilela; Silva, Ana Elizabete

    2012-01-01

    The etiologic agent of Chagas Disease is the Trypanosoma cruzi, transmitted through blood-sucking insect vectors of the Triatominae subfamily, representing one of the most serious public health concerns in Latin America. There are geographic variations in the prevalence of clinical forms and morbidity of Chagas disease, likely due to genetic variation of the T. cruzi and the host genetic and environmental features. Increasing evidence has supported that inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are responsible for the generation of the inflammatory infiltrate and tissue damage. Moreover, genetic polymorphisms, protein expression levels, and genomic imbalances are associated with disease progression. This paper discusses these key aspects. Large surveys were carried out in Brazil and served as baseline for definition of the control measures adopted. However, Chagas disease is still active, and aspects such as host-parasite interactions, genetic mechanisms of cellular interaction, genetic variability, and tropism need further investigations in the attempt to eradicate the disease. PMID:22529863

  20. Androgen Influence on Prefrontal Dopamine Systems in Adult Male Rats: Localization of Cognate Intracellular Receptors in Medial Prefrontal Projections to the Ventral Tegmental Area and Effects of Gonadectomy and Hormone Replacement on Glutamate-Stimulated Extracellular Dopamine Level

    PubMed Central

    Kritzer, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Although androgens are known to modulate dopamine (DA) systems and DA-dependent behaviors of the male prefrontal cortex (PFC), how this occurs remains unclear. Because relatively few ventral tegmental area (VTA) mesoprefrontal DA neurons contain intracellular androgen receptors (ARs), studies presented here combined retrograde tracing and immunolabeling for AR in male rats to determine whether projections afferent to the VTA might be more AR enriched. Results revealed PFC-to-VTA projections to be substantially AR enriched. Because these projections modulate VTA DA cell firing and PFC DA levels, influence over this pathway could be means whereby androgens modulate PFC DA. To assess the hormone sensitivity of glutamate stimulation of PFC DA tone, additional studies utilized microdialysis/reverse dialysis application of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtype-selective antagonists which act locally within the PFC and tegmentally via inhibition or disinhibition of PFC-to-VTA afferents to modulate intracortical DA levels. Here, we compared the effects of these drug challenges in control, gonadectomized, and gonadectomized rats given testosterone or estradiol. This revealed complex effects of gonadectomy on antagonist-stimulated PFC DA levels that together with the anatomical data above suggest that androgen stimulation of PFC DA systems does engage glutamatergic circuitry and perhaps that of the AR-enriched glutamatergic projections from PFC-to-VTA specifically. PMID:21940701

  1. 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.

  2. Tics are caused by alterations in prefrontal areas, thalamus and putamen, while changes in the cingulate gyrus reflect secondary compensatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Müller-Vahl, Kirsten R; Grosskreutz, Julian; Prell, Tino; Kaufmann, Jörn; Bodammer, Nils; Peschel, Thomas

    2014-01-07

    Despite strong evidence that the pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome (TS) involves structural and functional disturbances of the basal ganglia and cortical frontal areas, findings from in vivo imaging studies have provided conflicting results. In this study we used whole brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate the microstructural integrity of white matter pathways and brain tissue in 19 unmedicated, adult, male patients with TS "only" (without comorbid psychiatric disorders) and 20 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Compared to normal controls, TS patients showed a decrease in the fractional anisotropy index (FA) bilaterally in the medial frontal gyrus, the pars opercularis of the left inferior frontal gyrus, the middle occipital gyrus, the right cingulate gyrus, and the medial premotor cortex. Increased apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were detected in the left cingulate gyrus, prefrontal areas, left precentral gyrus, and left putamen. There was a negative correlation between tic severity and FA values in the left superior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus bilaterally, cingulate gyrus bilaterally, and ventral posterior lateral nucleus of the right thalamus, and a positive correlation in the body of the corpus callosum, left thalamus, right superior temporal gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus. There was also a positive correlation between regional ADC values and tic severity in the left cingulate gyrus, putamen bilaterally, medial frontal gyrus bilaterally, left precentral gyrus, and ventral anterior nucleus of the left thalamus. Our results confirm prior studies suggesting that tics are caused by alterations in prefrontal areas, thalamus and putamen, while changes in the cingulate gyrus seem to reflect secondary compensatory mechanisms. Due to the study design, influences from comorbidities, gender, medication and age can be excluded.

  3. 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.

  4. VIEWIT: computation of seen areas, slope, and aspect for land-use planning

    Treesearch

    Michael R. Travis; Gary H. Elsner; Wayne D. Iverson; Christine G. Johnson

    1975-01-01

    This user's guide provides instructions for using VIEWIT--a computerized technique for delineating the terrain visible from a single point or from multiple observer points, and for doing slope and aspect analyses. Results are in tabular or in overlay map form. VIEWIT can do individual view-area, slope, or aspect analyses or combined analyses, and can produce...

  5. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Azuma, Kenichi; 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.

  8. 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

  9. Human lesion studies of ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Brett; Koenigs, Michael

    2017-09-28

    Studies of neurological patients with focal lesions involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) have demonstrated a critical role for this brain area in various aspects of cognition, emotion, and behavior. In this article, we review the key themes, methods, and findings from neuropsychological research on vmPFC lesion patients. Early case studies demonstrated profound disruptions in personality and behavior following vmPFC damage, including blunted affect, poor decision-making, and inappropriate social behavior. Subsequent laboratory investigations with groups of vmPFC lesion patients have revealed deficits in a host of interrelated functions, such as value-based decision-making, future and counterfactual thinking, physiological arousal to emotional stimuli, emotion recognition, empathy, moral judgment, and memory confabulation. The compendium of findings described here demonstrates that vmPFC is crucial for diverse aspects of adaptive function. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Novelty, but not operant aversive learning, enhances Fos and Egr-1 expression in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampal areas of rats.

    PubMed

    Yochiy, Angélica; Britto, Luiz R G; Hunziker, Maria H L

    2012-12-01

    Immediate early genes (IEG) are presumed to be activated in response to stress, novelty, and learning. Evidence supports the involvement of prefrontal and hippocampal areas in stress and learning, but also in the detection of novel events. This study examined whether a previous experience with shocks changes the pattern of Fos and Egr-1 expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the hippocampal cornus ammonis 1 (CA1), and dentate gyrus (DG) of adult male Wistar rats that learned to escape in an operant aversive test. Subjects previously exposed to inescapable footshocks that learned to escape from shocks were assigned to the treated group (EXP). Subjects from Group Novelty (NOV) rested undisturbed during treatment and also learned to escape in the test. The nonshock group (NSH) rested undisturbed in both sessions. Standard immunohistochemistry procedures were used to detect the proteins in brain sections. The results show that a previous experience with shocks changed the pattern of IEG expression, then demonstrating c-fos and egr-1 induction as experience-dependent events. Compared with NSH and EXP an enhanced Fos expression was detected in the mPFC and CA1 subfield of Group NOV, which also exhibited increased Egr-1 expression in the mPFC and DG in comparison to NSH. No differences were found in the DG for Fos, or in the CA1 for Egr-1. Novelty, and not the operant aversive escape learning, seems to have generated IEG induction. The results suggest novel stimuli as a possible confounding factor in studies on Fos and/or Egr-1 expression in aversive conditions.

  11. 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

  12. Identification of an excitatory amino acid-mediated component of the ventral tegmental area local field potential response to medial prefrontal cortex stimulation: effect of acute d-amphetamine.

    PubMed

    Dommett, E J; Simpson, J; Clark, D; Overton, P G

    2007-02-01

    The induction of sensitisation to the behavioural effects of d-amphetamine - a model of drug addiction - involves the potentiation of exctiatory amino acid (EAA)-ergic synapses on dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Such potentiation has been reported as early as 2 hr post-injection, however earlier time points have not been assessed. Consequently, we examined the effects of systemic d-amphetamine on an EAA-mediated component of the VTA local field potential response to stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex, an EAAergic afferent critical for sensitisation, over the immediate 2 hr post-injection period. D-amphetamine and saline both depressed the amplitude of this component to a similar extent throughout the recording session. It is concluded that overt aspects of EAA-mediated potentiation appear to be delayed with respect to drug administration, which may have implications for sensitisation's putative role in linking drug-related environmental stimuli and the central effects of the drug.

  13. Projections to the superior colliculus from inferior parietal, ventral premotor, and ventrolateral prefrontal areas involved in controlling goal-directed hand actions in the macaque.

    PubMed

    Borra, Elena; Gerbella, Marzio; Rozzi, Stefano; Tonelli, Simone; Luppino, Giuseppe

    2014-04-01

    We found that the macaque inferior parietal (PFG and anterior intraparietal [AIP]), ventral premotor (F5p and F5a), and ventrolateral prefrontal (rostral 46vc and intermediate 12r) areas forming a network involved in controlling purposeful hand actions ("lateral grasping network") are a source of corticotectal projections. Based on injections of anterograde tracers at the cortical level, the results showed that all these areas displayed relatively dense projections to the intermediate and deep gray layers of the ipsilateral superior colliculus (SC) and to the ventrally adjacent mesencephalic reticular formation. In the SC, the labeling tended to be richer in the lateral part along almost the entire rostro-caudal extent, that is, in regions controlling microsaccades and downward gaze shifts and hosting arm-related neurons and neurons modulated by the contact of the hand with the target. These projections could represent a descending motor pathway for controlling proximo-distal arm synergies. Furthermore, they could broadcast to the SC information related to hand action goals and object affordances extraction and selection. This information could be used in the SC for controlling orienting behavior (gaze and reaching movements) to the targets of object-oriented actions and for the eye-hand coordination necessary for appropriate hand-object interactions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. Prefrontal cortical modulation of acetylcholine release in posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Nelson, C L; Sarter, M; Bruno, J P

    2005-01-01

    Attentional processing is a crucial early stage in cognition and is subject to "top-down" regulation by prefrontal cortex (PFC). Top-down regulation involves modification of input processing in cortical and subcortical areas, including the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). Cortical cholinergic inputs, originating from the basal forebrain cholinergic system, have been demonstrated to mediate important aspects of attentional processing. The present study investigated the ability of cholinergic and glutamatergic transmission within PFC to regulate acetylcholine (ACh) release in PPC. The first set of experiments demonstrated increases in ACh efflux in PPC following AMPA administration into the PFC. These increases were antagonized by co-administration of the AMPA receptor antagonist DNQX into the PFC. The second set of experiments demonstrated that administration of carbachol, but not nicotine, into the PFC also increased ACh efflux in PPC. The effects of carbachol were attenuated by co-administration (into PFC) of a muscarinic antagonist (atropine) and partially attenuated by the nicotine antagonist mecamylamine and DNQX. Perfusion of carbachol, nicotine, or AMPA into the PPC did not affect PFC ACh efflux, suggesting that these cortical interactions are not bi-directional. These studies demonstrate the capacity of the PFC to regulate ACh release in the PPC via glutamatergic and cholinergic prefrontal mechanisms. Prefrontal regulation of ACh release elsewhere in the cortex is hypothesized to contribute to the cognitive optimization of input processing.

  18. 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.

  19. ALCOHOL AND THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    Abernathy, Kenneth; Chandler, L. Judson; Woodward, John J.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex occupies the anterior portion of the frontal lobes and is thought to be one of the most complex anatomical and functional structures of the mammalian brain. Its major role is to integrate and interpret inputs from cortical and sub-cortical structures and use this information to develop purposeful responses that reflect both present and future circumstances. This includes both action-oriented sequences involved in obtaining rewards and inhibition of behaviors that pose undue risk or harm to the individual. Given the central role in initiating and regulating these often complex cognitive and behavioral responses, it is no surprise that alcohol has profound effects on the function of the prefrontal cortex. In this chapter, we review the basic anatomy and physiology of the prefrontal cortex and discuss what is known about the actions of alcohol on the function of this brain region. This includes a review of both the human and animal literature including information on the electrophysiological and behavioral effects that follow acute and chronic exposure to alcohol. The chapter concludes with a discussion of unanswered questions and areas needing further investigation. PMID:20813246

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Effects of Vision-Related Aspects on Noise Perception of Wind Turbines in Quiet Areas

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23624578

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Increasing generosity by disrupting prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Christov-Moore, Leonardo; Sugiyama, Taisei; Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Recent research suggests that prosocial outcomes in sharing games arise from prefrontal control of self-maximizing impulses. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to disrupt the functioning of two prefrontal areas, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC). We used cTBS in the right MT/V5, as a control area. We then tested subjects' prosocial inclinations with an unsupervised Dictator Game in which they allocated real money anonymously between themselves and low and high socioeconomic status (SES) players. cTBS over the two prefrontal sites made subjects more generous compared to MT/V5. More specifically, cTBS over DLPFC increased offers to high-SES players, while cTBS over DMPFC caused increased offers to low-SES players. These data, the first to demonstrate an effect of disruptive neuromodulation on costly sharing, suggest that DLPFC and MPFC exert inhibitory control over prosocial inclinations during costly sharing, though they may do so in different ways. DLPFC may implement contextual control, while DMPFC may implement a tonic form of control. This study demonstrates that humans' prepotent inclination is toward prosocial outcomes when cognitive control is reduced, even when prosocial decisions carry no strategic benefit and concerns for reputation are minimized.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Increased Functional Connectivity between Prefrontal Cortex and Reward System in Pathological Gambling

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Saskia; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; van der Meer, Elke; Villringer, Arno; Heinz, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Pathological gambling (PG) shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum). PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder. PMID:24367675

  12. Increased functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and reward system in pathological gambling.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Saskia; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; van der Meer, Elke; Villringer, Arno; Heinz, Andreas; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina; Margulies, Daniel S

    2013-01-01

    Pathological gambling (PG) shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum). PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.…

  18. 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.…

  19. Cognitive deficits caused by prefrontal cortical and hippocampal neural disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Bast, Tobias; Pezze, Marie; McGarrity, Stephanie

    2017-10-01

    We review recent evidence concerning the significance of inhibitory GABA transmission and of neural disinhibition, that is, deficient GABA transmission, within the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, for clinically relevant cognitive functions. Both regions support important cognitive functions, including attention and memory, and their dysfunction has been implicated in cognitive deficits characterizing neuropsychiatric disorders. GABAergic inhibition shapes cortico-hippocampal neural activity, and, recently, prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition has emerged as a pathophysiological feature of major neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia and age-related cognitive decline. Regional neural disinhibition, disrupting spatio-temporal control of neural activity and causing aberrant drive of projections, may disrupt processing within the disinhibited region and efferent regions. Recent studies in rats showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition (by local GABA antagonist microinfusion) dysregulates burst firing, which has been associated with important aspects of neural information processing. Using translational tests of clinically relevant cognitive functions, these studies showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupts regional cognitive functions (including prefrontal attention and hippocampal memory function). Moreover, hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupted attentional performance, which does not require the hippocampus but requires prefrontal-striatal circuits modulated by the hippocampus. However, some prefrontal and hippocampal functions (including inhibitory response control) are spared by regional disinhibition. We consider conceptual implications of these findings, regarding the distinct relationships of distinct cognitive functions to prefrontal and hippocampal GABA tone and neural activity. Moreover, the findings support the proposition that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition

  20. 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

  1. Neuropsychology of prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Shazia Veqar; Chatterjee, Ushri; Kumar, Devvarta; Siddiqui, Aleem; Goyal, Nishant

    2008-01-01

    The history of clinical frontal lobe study is long and rich which provides valuable insights into neuropsychologic determinants of functions of prefrontal cortex (PFC). PFC is often classified as multimodal association cortex as extremely processed information from various sensory modalities is integrated here in a precise fashion to form the physiologic constructs of memory, perception, and diverse cognitive processes. Human neuropsychologic studies also support the notion of different functional operations within the PFC. The specification of the component ‘executive’ processes and their localization to particular regions of PFC have been implicated in a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. PMID:19742233

  2. 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.

  3. Geoecological aspects of comprehensive development of Tomsk left-bank area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seryakov, S.; Seryakova, R.; Baranova, A.; Potseluyev, A.

    2015-01-01

    The article deals with the unique geoecological characteristics of the left bank of the river Tom' within Tomsk area (Russia). The authors suggest methodological approaches to land management in regions with intensive interaction of ecosystems and technogenic complexes. It proves the necessity to use the systems approach and estimating method to solve the tasks of urban development and land management. The authors make a conclusion about the most rational land use of the studied area in terms of ecologized land management.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. [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.

  10. Military Operations in Built-Up Areas: Essays on Some Past, Present, and Future Aspects

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-06-01

    Of major importance in maintaining that minimun of morale the de- fander= required to !Iva through the hardships and not give in to the temptation of...style of waging combat in urban areas. The "creative" application of the lessons of the past essentially consists of exploit- r in& the more efficient...battle of Saigon--illustrated two different types of urban warfare: small-weapon guerrilla warfare as waged by one side, and fighting vith heavier weapons

  11. Geographic aspects of poverty and health in Tanzania: does living in a poor area matter?

    PubMed

    Mahmud Khan, M; Hotchkiss, David R; Berruti, Andrés A; Hutchinson, Paul L

    2006-03-01

    Previous studies have consistently found an inverse relationship between household-level poverty and health status. However, what is not well understood is whether and how the average economic status at the community level plays a role in the poverty-health relationship. The purpose of this study is to investigate the concentration of poverty at the community level in Tanzania and its association with the availability and quality of primary health care services, the utilization of services, and health outcomes among household categories defined by wealth scores. A principal component method has been applied to rank households separately by urban/rural location using reported levels of asset ownership and living conditions. The household wealth scores were also used to classify communities into three cluster-types based on the proportion of households belonging to the poorest wealth tercile. On average, all the wealth terciles living in low poverty concentration areas were found to have better health outcomes and service utilization rates than their counterparts living in high poverty concentration clusters. Consistent with the finding is that high poverty concentration areas were further away from facilities offering primary health care than low poverty concentration areas. Moreover, the facilities closest to the high poverty concentration areas had fewer doctors, medical equipment and drugs. Among the high poverty concentration clusters, the 10 communities with the best women's body mass index (BMI) measures were found to have access to facilities with a greater availability of equipment and drugs than the 10 communities with the worst BMI measures. Although this study does not directly measure quality, the characteristics that differentiate high poverty concentration clusters from low poverty concentration clusters point to quality as more important than physical access among the study population.

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. Capacity-speed relationships in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Vivek; Rypma, Bart; Narayanan, Nandakumar S; Meier, Timothy B; Austin, Benjamin P; Nair, Veena A; Naing, Lin; Thomas, Lisa E; Gabrieli, John D E

    2011-01-01

    Working memory (WM) capacity and WM processing speed are simple cognitive measures that underlie human performance in complex processes such as reasoning and language comprehension. These cognitive measures have shown to be interrelated in behavioral studies, yet the neural mechanism behind this interdependence has not been elucidated. We have carried out two functional MRI studies to separately identify brain regions involved in capacity and speed. Experiment 1, using a block-design WM verbal task, identified increased WM capacity with increased activity in right prefrontal regions, and Experiment 2, using a single-trial WM verbal task, identified increased WM processing speed with increased activity in similar regions. Our results suggest that right prefrontal areas may be a common region interlinking these two cognitive measures. Moreover, an overlap analysis with regions associated with binding or chunking suggest that this strategic memory consolidation process may be the mechanism interlinking WM capacity and WM speed.

  16. [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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The obesity-associated gene Negr1 regulates aspects of energy balance in rat hypothalamic areas.

    PubMed

    Boender, Arjen J; van Gestel, Margriet A; Garner, Keith M; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; Adan, Roger A H

    2014-07-01

    Neural growth regulator 1 (Negr1) is among the first common variants that have been associated with the regulation of body mass index. Using AAV technology directed to manipulate Negr1 expression in vivo, we find that decreased expression of Negr1 in periventricular hypothalamic areas leads to increases in body weight, presumably via increased food intake. Moreover, we observed that both increased and decreased levels of Negr1 lead to reduced locomotor activity and body temperature. In sum, our results provide further support for a role of hypothalamic expressed Negr1 in the regulation of energy balance. © 2014 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  1. [Safety and health aspects in urbanised areas of different density (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Boeddinghaus, G

    1978-08-01

    Germans like to live in one-family houses. This way of living prevails more and more during recent years. However, the increase of one-family housing implies a high state of car dependence. Especially for children, youths, aged and disadvantaged people living in a car oriented city becomes difficult. Also a higher use of cars implies more air pollution and waste of energy. And additionaly, the increasing travel distances cause higher rates of traffic accidents. To avoid these disadvantages the alternative must be the high density development comprising both, high density-low-rise buildings and especially high rise buildings. By abandoning all one-family homes and using only tall buildings for dwelling and other purposes (stores, offices, schools etc.) the area of a city could be reduced to about one tenth of that what is urbanized today. Because of the short distances in such a city most of the trips could be made by walking or by using lifts. Accordingly traffic accidents could be reduced to one tenth of today's figures too. Despite of the many advantages the high density city has with respect to safety and health of its population such a city will be rarely realized because it does not meet the ideas and imaginations of many people. Nevertheless it seems to be advisable to promote high density residential areas for all those people who are willing to accept it or who prefer this way of living. This minority, however, should not be irritated by unqualified generalizing negative reports in the media.

  2. Prefrontal Neural Activity When Feedback Is Not Relevant to Adjust Performance

    PubMed Central

    Özyurt, Jale; Rietze, Mareike; Thiel, Christiane M.

    2012-01-01

    It has been shown that the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ) in humans uses both positive and negative feedback to evaluate performance and to flexibly adjust behaviour. Less is known on how the feedback types are processed by the RCZ and other prefrontal brain areas, when feedback can only be used to evaluate performance, but cannot be used to adjust behaviour. The present fMRI study aimed at investigating feedback that can only be used to evaluate performance in a word-learning paradigm. One group of volunteers (N = 17) received informative, performance-dependent positive or negative feedback after each trial. Since new words had to be learnt in each trial, the feedback could not be used for task-specific adaptations. The other group (N = 17) always received non-informative feedback, providing neither information about performance nor about possible task-specific adaptations. Effects of the informational value of feedback were assessed between-subjects, comparing trials with positive and negative informative feedback to non-informative feedback. Effects of feedback valence were assessed by comparing neural activity to positive and negative feedback within the informative-feedback group. Our results show that several prefrontal regions, including the pre-SMA, the inferior frontal cortex and the insula were sensitive to both, the informational value and the valence aspect of the feedback with stronger activations to informative as compared to non-informative feedback and to informative negative compared to informative positive feedback. The only exception was RCZ which was sensitive to the informational value of the feedback, but not to feedback valence. The findings indicate that outcome information per se is sufficient to activate prefrontal brain regions, with the RCZ being the only prefrontal brain region which is equally sensitive to positive and negative feedback. PMID:22615774

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Legal and Technical Aspects of Modernization of Land and Buildings Cadastre in Selected Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siejka, Monika; Ślusarski, Marek; Mika, Monika

    2015-12-01

    Modernization of the land and buildings cadastre is a set of actions aimed at improving the quality of data collected there. Application in the process of modernization of the sources of information from the land surveying, gives fully satisfactory results. On the other hand the use of photogrammetric measurements is the solution more economical in terms of financial and time. However, there is a danger of obtaining the results which do not meet the standards of accuracy of the border points position. The paper presents an example of the results of the influence of the process of modernizing the land and buildings cadastre for the areas where the source material are cadastral maps in the scale 1: 2000, created on the basis of photomaps or cadastral maps in the scale 1: 2880. An assessment of the suitability of these materials in the process of modernization and their impact on the current form of the land and building cadastre as a public register was made.

  6. A methodology for evacuation design for urban areas: theoretical aspects and experimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, F.; Vitetta, A.

    2009-04-01

    This paper proposes an unifying approach for the simulation and design of a transportation system under conditions of incoming safety and/or security. Safety and security are concerned with threats generated by very different factors and which, in turn, generate emergency conditions, such as the 9/11, Madrid and London attacks, the Asian tsunami, and the Katrina hurricane; just considering the last five years. In transportation systems, when exogenous events happen and there is a sufficient interval time between the instant when the event happens and the instant when the event has effect on the population, it is possible to reduce the negative effects with the population evacuation. For this event in every case it is possible to prepare with short and long term the evacuation. For other event it is possible also to plan the real time evacuation inside the general risk methodology. The development of models for emergency conditions in transportation systems has not received much attention in the literature. The main findings in this area are limited to only a few public research centres and private companies. In general, there is no systematic analysis of the risk theory applied in the transportation system. Very often, in practice, the vulnerability and exposure in the transportation system are considered as similar variables, or in other worse cases the exposure variables are treated as vulnerability variables. Models and algorithms specified and calibrated in ordinary conditions cannot be directly applied in emergency conditions under the usual hypothesis considered. This paper is developed with the following main objectives: (a) to formalize the risk problem with clear diversification (for the consequences) in the definition of the vulnerability and exposure in a transportation system; thus the book offers improvements over consolidated quantitative risk analysis models, especially transportation risk analysis models (risk assessment); (b) to formalize a system

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Feeling present in arousing virtual reality worlds: prefrontal brain regions differentially orchestrate presence experience in adults and children.

    PubMed

    Baumgartner, Thomas; Speck, Dominique; Wettstein, Denise; Masnari, Ornella; Beeli, Gian; Jäncke, Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Virtual reality (VR) is a powerful tool for simulating aspects of the real world. The success of VR is thought to depend on its ability to evoke a sense of "being there", that is, the feeling of "Presence". In view of the rapid progress in the development of increasingly more sophisticated virtual environments (VE), the importance of understanding the neural underpinnings of presence is growing. To date however, the neural correlates of this phenomenon have received very scant attention. An fMRI-based study with 52 adults and 25 children was therefore conducted using a highly immersive VE. The experience of presence in adult subjects was found to be modulated by two major strategies involving two homologous prefrontal brain structures. Whereas the right DLPFC controlled the sense of presence by down-regulating the activation in the egocentric dorsal visual processing stream, the left DLPFC up-regulated widespread areas of the medial prefrontal cortex known to be involved in self-reflective and stimulus-independent thoughts. In contrast, there was no evidence of these two strategies in children. In fact, anatomical analyses showed that these two prefrontal areas have not yet reached full maturity in children. Taken together, this study presents the first findings that show activation of a highly specific neural network orchestrating the experience of presence in adult subjects, and that the absence of activity in this neural network might contribute to the generally increased susceptibility of children for the experience of presence in VEs.

  11. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Alison R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex have considerably advanced our understanding of the distinct roles of these brain areas in the encoding and retrieval of memories, and of how they interact in the prolonged process by which new memories are consolidated into our permanent storehouse of knowledge. These studies have led to a new model of how the hippocampus forms and replays memories and how the prefrontal cortex engages representations of the meaningful contexts in which related memories occur, as well as how these areas interact during memory retrieval. Furthermore, they have provided new insights into how interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex support the assimilation of new memories into pre-existing networks of knowledge, called schemas, and how schemas are modified in this process as the foundation of memory consolidation. PMID:24028960

  12. Is the prefrontal cortex especially enlarged in the human brain allometric relations and remapping factors.

    PubMed

    Passingham, Richard E; Smaers, Jeroen B

    2014-01-01

    There has been no agreement as to whether the prefrontal cortex is especially enlarged in the human brain. To answer this question, we analyzed the only two datasets that provide information on total prefrontal cortex volume based on cytoarchitectonic criteria. One delineated the prefrontal cortex proper on the basis of cytoarchitectonic criteria; the other used a proxy of the prefrontal cortex based on a cytoarchitectonic delineation of the frontal lobe. To investigate whether all cortical association areas, including the prefrontal cortex, are enlarged in the human brain, we scaled the different areas to a common reference, the primary visual cortex. To investigate whether the prefrontal cortex is more enlarged than other association areas, we scaled it relative to its inputs from and outputs to other nonprimary areas. We carried out separate regression analyses using different data samples as a predictive baseline group: data for monkeys alone informs us on whether great apes are different from monkeys; data for all non-human anthropoids, including great apes, informs us on whether humans are different from all other primates. The analyses show that the value for the human prefrontal cortex is greater than expected, and that this is true even when data for the great apes are included in the analysis. They also show that the chimpanzee prefrontal cortex is greater than expected for a monkey with a similar sized cortex. We discuss possible functional consequences.

  13. Environmental challenge impairs prefrontal brain functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balazs, L.; Czigler, I.; Grosz, A.; Emri, M.; Mikecz, P.; Szakall, Sz.; Tron, L.

    2005-08-01

    Hypoxic challenge might provide insights to the mechanisms of how environmental stressors alter human abilities. Similarities between the possible neural consequences of hypoxia and those of weightlessness and cosmic irradiation endorse this possibility.We studied brain electrical activity and behavioural measures in various cognitive reaction time (RT) tasks in hypoxic conditions. In one experiment changes in regional cerebral blood flow were measured. The findings were indicative of the particular vulnerability of the prefrontal brain areas to hypoxia.It is suggested that hypoxia may be used as an analogue to investigate the effect of environmental stressors arising in space flight on central nervous system (CNS).

  14. Dorsolateral prefrontal contributions to human intelligence.

    PubMed

    Barbey, Aron K; Colom, Roberto; Grafman, Jordan

    2013-06-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control functions for human intelligence, the necessity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) for key competencies of general intelligence and executive function remains to be well established. Here we studied human brain lesion patients with dlPFC lesions to investigate whether this region is computationally necessary for performance on neuropsychological tests of general intelligence and executive function, administering the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and subtests of the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) to three groups: dlPFC lesions (n=19), non-dlPFC lesions (n=152), and no brain lesions (n=55). The results indicate that: (1) patients with focal dlPFC damage exhibit lower scores, at the latent variable level, than controls in general intelligence (g) and executive function; (2) dlPFC patients demonstrate lower scores than controls in several executive measures; and (3) these latter differences are no longer significant when the pervasive influence of the general factor of intelligence (g) is statistically removed. The observed findings support a central role for the dlPFC in global aspects of general intelligence and make specific recommendations for the interpretation and application of the WAIS and D-KEFS to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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…

  16. [Effects of different aspects on soil microbial biomass and dissolved organic carbon of the loess hilly area].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Tong; Jiang, Yue-Li; Yan, Hao; Huang, Yi-Mei; An, Shao-Shan

    2013-08-01

    Soil samples from different aspects (southern slope and northern slope) under the same vegetation in two typical vegetation zones (forest vegetation zone and steppe vegetation zone) of Yanhe basin in the loess hilly area were chosen and analyzed, in order to investigate the content and correlation of soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN), soil microbial biomass phosphorus (SMBP) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The results show that, in 0-10 cm soil layer of forest vegetation zone, SMBC in southern slope and northern slope are 532.1-792.5 mg x kg(-1) and 333.6-469.8 mg x kg(-1), SMBN are 53.66-87.31 mg x kg(-1) and 47.58-61.38 mg x kg(-1) respectively, both of them are higher in southern slope than those in northern slope, but in steppe vegetation zone, SMBC and SMBN in southern slope are lower than those in northern slope, with SMBC of southern slope and northern slope are 68.90-75.34 mg x kg(-1) and 65.29-128.67 mg x kg(-1), SMBN are 13.94-18.61 mg x kg(-1) and 13.00-20.10 mg x kg(-1) respectively, SMBP in both vegetation zones have a different variation trend compared with SMBC and SMBN; the ratio of SMBC to the sum of SMBC plus DOC (SMBC + DOC) in southern slope of forest vegetation zone reaches the maximum value in two vegetation zones, which is 77.74%. In steppe vegetation zone, this ratio both decreases from northern slope to southern slope and 0-10 cm soil layer to 10-30 cm soil layer. The difference of soil moisture and temperature between different aspects under the same vegetation have a significant effect on soil microbial biomass, it also makes the ratio of SMBC to SMBC + DOC different, SMBC + DOC can reflect soil carbon availability better than SMBC, there might be an obvious change in soil microbial communities in 0-10 cm soil layer of different aspects in forest vegetation zone.

  17. 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

  18. Hypocretin and nicotine excite the same thalamocortical synapses in prefrontal cortex: correlation with improved attention in rat.

    PubMed

    Lambe, Evelyn K; Olausson, Peter; Horst, Nicole K; Taylor, Jane R; Aghajanian, George K

    2005-05-25

    Thalamic projections to prefrontal cortex are important for executive aspects of attention. Using two-photon imaging in prefrontal brain slices, we show that nicotine and the wakefulness neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin) excite the same identified synapses of the thalamocortical arousal pathway within the prefrontal cortex. Although it is known that attention can be improved when nicotine is infused directly into the midlayer of the prefrontal cortex in the rat, the effects of hypocretin on attention are not known. The overlap in thalamocortical synapses excited by hypocretin and nicotine and the lack of direct postsynaptic effects prompted us to compare their effects on a sustained and divided attention task in the rat. Similar to nicotine, infusions of hypocretin-2 peptide into the prefrontal cortex significantly improved accuracy under high attentional demand without effects on other performance measures. We show for the first time that hypocretin can improve attentional processes relevant to executive functions of the prefrontal cortex.

  19. 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.

  20. Aging, self-referencing, and medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Gutchess, Angela H; Kensinger, Elizabeth A; Schacter, Daniel L

    2007-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes with healthy aging. In contrast, there is little structural change in the medial prefrontal cortex, but relatively little is known about the functional changes to this region with age. Using an event-related fMRI design, we investigated the response of medial prefrontal cortex during self-referencing in order to compare age groups on a task that young and elderly perform similarly and that is known to actively engage the region in young adults. Nineteen young (M age = 23) and seventeen elderly (M age = 72) judged whether adjectives described themselves, another person, or were presented in upper case. We assessed the overlap in activations between young and elderly for the self-reference effect (self vs. other person), and found that both groups engage medial prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate during self-referencing. The only cerebral differences between the groups in self versus other personality assessment were found in somatosensory and motor-related areas. In contrast, age-related modulations were found in the cerebral network recruited for emotional valence processing. Elderly (but not young) showed increased activity in the dorsal prefrontal cortex for positive relative to negative items, which could reflect an increase in controlled processing of positive information for elderly adults.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Associations between children's socioeconomic status and prefrontal cortical thickness.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Gwendolyn M; Duda, Jeffrey T; Avants, Brian B; Wu, Jue; Farah, Martha J

    2013-09-01

    Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) predicts executive function performance and measures of prefrontal cortical function, but little is known about its anatomical correlates. Structural MRI and demographic data from a sample of 283 healthy children from the NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development were used to investigate the relationship between SES and prefrontal cortical thickness. Specifically, we assessed the association between two principal measures of childhood SES, family income and parental education, and gray matter thickness in specific subregions of prefrontal cortex and on the asymmetry of these areas. After correcting for multiple comparisons and controlling for potentially confounding variables, parental education significantly predicted cortical thickness in the right anterior cingulate gyrus and left superior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that brain structure in frontal regions may provide a meaningful link between SES and cognitive function among healthy, typically developing children. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Effects of aspect ratio (AR) and specific surface area (SSA) on cytotoxicity and phototoxicity of ZnO nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Yin, Hong; Casey, Philip S

    2015-04-01

    With growing interests in the applications of high aspect ratio (AR) ZnO nanomaterials (NMs), their potential toxicity to human health and nature environment remains a critical concern because these NMs have extremely large specific surface area (SSA) that could dramatically enhance interactions between NMs and surrounding molecules. In addition, originated to their intrinsic photocatalytical activity, ZnO NMs may induce phototoxicity under environmentally UV exposure. In this paper, ZnO spheres, grains, rods and needles with increasing AR (from 1.1 to 17.8) and various SSA (from 2.0 m(2) g(-1) to 27.4 m(2) g(-1)) were used to study the influence of AR and SSA on viabilities of WIL2-NS human lymphoblastoid cells in both dark and UV conditions. In dark, SSA was the main influencing factor for toxicity of NMs with low AR (spheres, grains and rods) and smaller SSA leads to higher cell viability. However, ZnO needles with the smallest SSA did not further enhance cell viability which may be possibly attributed to its high AR. Cell viability measured under UV irradiation did not show evident relationship with SSA or AR, but indicated that lower photocatalytic activity could mitigate phototoxicity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Changes in prefrontal axons may disrupt the network in autism

    PubMed Central

    Zikopoulos, Basilis; Barbas, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Neural communication is disrupted in autism by unknown mechanisms. Here we examined whether in autism there are changes in axons, which are the conduit for neural communication. We investigated single axons and their ultrastructure in the white matter of post-mortem human brain tissue below the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), orbitofrontal (OFC), and lateral (LPFC) prefrontal cortices, which are associated with attention, social interactions, and emotions and have been consistently implicated in the pathology of autism. Area-specific changes below ACC (area 32) included a decrease in the largest axons that communicate over long distances. In addition, below ACC there was over-expression of the Growth Associated Protein 43 accompanied by excessive number of thin axons that link neighboring areas. In OFC (area 11) axons had decreased myelin thickness. Axon features below LPFC (area 46) appeared to be unaffected, but the altered white matter composition below ACC and OFC changed the relationship between all prefrontal areas examined, and could indirectly affect LPFC function. These findings provide a mechanism for disconnection of long distance pathways, excessive connections between neighboring areas, and inefficiency in pathways for emotions, and may help explain why individuals with autism do not adequately shift attention, engage in repetitive behavior, and avoid social interactions. These changes below specific prefrontal areas appear to be linked through a cascade of developmental events affecting axon growth and guidance, and suggest targeting the associated signaling pathways for therapeutic interventions in autism. PMID:21048117

  9. 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

  10. Sleep improves sequential motor learning and performance in patients with prefrontal lobe lesions.

    PubMed

    Gomez Beldarrain, Marian; Astorgano, Ainara Gonzalez; Gonzalez, Amaia Bilbao; Garcia-Monco, Juan C

    2008-03-01

    Motor skill learning involves both practice and a latent, sleep-dependent process of consolidation that develops after training ("off-line" learning). Sleep consolidation is linked to reduced brain activation in prefrontal areas, along with strong involvement of parietal regions. The objective in this study was to investigate the influence of sleep on the consolidation process of a motor task in patients with prefrontal damage. For that purpose 14 patients with acquired focal prefrontal lesions, 15 age-matched healthy controls, and five patients with parietal lesions were evaluated on a serial reaction time task, SRTT, before and after a night of monitored sleep. Verbal and working memory was also tested. We anticipated that patients with prefrontal lesions, who are impaired in the acquisition of motor tasks, would benefit greater from sleep than the other two groups, since consolidation does not depend on prefrontal regions. Prefrontal patients showed an erratic learning curve at night, with great inter- and intrasubject variability that normalized after sleep. They also showed higher overnight learning of the motor skill and improvement on speed performance on the SRTT. No differences in the other memory tests were found between sessions. Prefrontal-injured patients benefit from night sleep in terms of motor task learning and performance, likely related to an advantageous off-line learning. Sleep could play a role in motor rehabilitation programs in prefrontal patients.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Prefrontal-hippocampal interactions in episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Eichenbaum, Howard

    2017-09-01

    The roles of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) in memory processing - individually or in concert - are a major topic of interest in memory research. These brain areas have distinct and complementary roles in episodic memory, and their interactions are crucial for learning and remembering events. Considerable evidence indicates that the PFC and hippocampus become coupled via oscillatory synchrony that reflects bidirectional flow of information. Furthermore, newer studies have revealed specific mechanisms whereby neural representations in the PFC and hippocampus are mediated through direct connections or through intermediary regions. These findings suggest a model of how the hippocampus and PFC, along with their intermediaries, operate as a system that uses the current context of experience to retrieve relevant memories.

  17. Amodal Processing in Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dux, Paul E.; Tombu, Michael N.; Asplund, Christopher L.; Marois, René

    2013-01-01

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., “central executive,” Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; “supervisory attentional system,” Norman and Shallice, 1986; “response selection bottleneck,” Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex. PMID:23843526

  18. Cholinergic modulation of working memory activity in primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Qi, Xue-Lian; Douglas, Kristy; Palaninathan, Kathini; Kang, Hyun Sug; Buccafusco, Jerry J; Blake, David T; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-11-01

    The prefrontal cortex, a cortical area essential for working memory and higher cognitive functions, is modulated by a number of neurotransmitter systems, including acetylcholine; however, the impact of cholinergic transmission on prefrontal activity is not well understood. We relied on systemic administration of a muscarinic receptor antagonist, scopolamine, to investigate the role of acetylcholine on primate prefrontal neuronal activity during execution of working memory tasks and recorded neuronal activity with chronic electrode arrays and single electrodes. Our results indicated a dose-dependent decrease in behavioral performance after scopolamine administration in all the working memory tasks we tested. The effect could not be accounted for by deficits in visual processing, eye movement responses, or attention, because the animals performed a visually guided saccade task virtually error free, and errors to distracting stimuli were not increased. Performance degradation under scopolamine was accompanied by decreased firing rate of the same cortical sites during the delay period of the task and decreased selectivity for the spatial location of the stimuli. These results demonstrate that muscarinic blockade impairs performance in working memory tasks and prefrontal activity mediating working memory.

  19. 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

  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. The impact of the width of the tracking area on speckle tracking parameters-methodological aspects of deformation imaging.

    PubMed

    Stoebe, Stephan; Tarr, Adrienn; Pfeiffer, Dietrich; Hagendorff, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the tracking area width on myocardial wall motion and deformation parameters in 2D speckle tracking. Standardized apical views were acquired in 30 healthy subjects and 15 patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction using 2D echocardiography. Longitudinal peak systolic strain (PSS), longitudinal peak systolic strain rate (PSSR), postsystolic index (PSI), peak longitudinal (PLD), and peak transverse displacement (PTD) were determined by 2D speckle tracking to analyze the impact of the tracking area width on global and regional myocardial wall motion and deformation parameters. The dimension of the tracking area has a significant impact on all parameters. With increasing width of the tracking area higher values of PSS, PSSR, PSI, and lower values of PLD and PTD were determined. With increasing width of the tracking area a significant number of segments were not tracked. In summary, especially global PSS is significantly influenced by the width of the tracking area. The strain values determined by 2D speckle tracking are significantly influenced by the tracking area width. The tracking of the subendocardial layers only results in lower global strain values than tracking the complete ventricular wall using the medium or wide tracking area widths. The tracking quality in the far field is worse if the tracking area is too wide. The present data show that standard and reference values of deformation imaging should include detailed information about the position and the width of the tracking area. © 2013, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Prefrontal cortex lesions disrupt the contextual control of response conflict.

    PubMed

    Haddon, Josephine E; Killcross, Simon

    2006-03-15

    The prefrontal cortex has been implicated in multiple forms of goal-directed behavior. Rats with pretraining lesions to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) or specific lesions to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were trained and tested on a novel behavioral procedure measuring aspects of cue and response competition typical of tests of prefrontal function in humans. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in two discriminably different contexts. At test, they received presentations of audiovisual compounds of these training stimuli in both contexts, in extinction. These compounds were formed in such way that the individual elements had dictated either the same (congruent trials) or different (incongruent trials) responses during training. Sham-operated rats used the contextual cues to disambiguate the conflicting response information provided by incongruent stimulus compounds. ACC lesions impaired the contextual control of instrumental responding during incongruent cues during only the initial period of cue presentation, whereas larger PFC lesions abolished incongruent cue performance completely. Neither biconditional discrimination acquisition, nor test performance during congruent stimulus compounds, were affected by the lesions. These findings are consistent with human and nonhuman primate studies, indicating a role for the PFC in the processes by which cues come to control behavior in the face of conflicting information and the ACC specifically in processes such as detection of response conflict. This procedure provides a good foundation for an improved understanding of the disruption to goal-directed behavior seen with frontal dysfunction in a number of neuropsychological disorders including schizophrenia.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Dual streams of auditory afferents target multiple domains in the primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Romanski, L. M.; Tian, B.; Fritz, J.; Mishkin, M.; Goldman-Rakic, P. S.; Rauschecker, J. P.

    2009-01-01

    ‘What’ and ‘where’ visual streams define ventrolateral object and dorsolateral spatial processing domains in the prefrontal cortex of nonhuman primates. We looked for similar streams for auditory–prefrontal connections in rhesus macaques by combining microelectrode recording with anatomical tract-tracing. Injection of multiple tracers into physiologically mapped regions AL, ML and CL of the auditory belt cortex revealed that anterior belt cortex was reciprocally connected with the frontal pole (area 10), rostral principal sulcus (area 46) and ventral prefrontal regions (areas 12 and 45), whereas the caudal belt was mainly connected with the caudal principal sulcus (area 46) and frontal eye fields (area 8a). Thus separate auditory streams originate in caudal and rostral auditory cortex and target spatial and non-spatial domains of the frontal lobe, respectively. PMID:10570492

  8. 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.

  9. Discriminatory validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as demonstrated by a comparison of four wheelchair types designed for use in low-resource areas.

    PubMed

    Rispin, Karen L; Hamm, Elisa; Wee, Joy

    2017-01-01

    Comparative effectiveness research on wheelchairs available in low-resource areas is needed to enable effective use of limited funds. Mobility on commonly encountered rolling environments is a key aspect of function. High variation in capacity among wheelchair users can mask changes in mobility because of wheelchair design. A repeated measures protocol in which the participants use one type of wheelchair and then another minimises the impact of individual variation. The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was designed to be used in repeated measures studies in low-resource areas. It measures the impact of different wheelchair types on physical performance in commonly encountered rolling environments and provides an opportunity for qualitative and quantitative participant response. This study sought to confirm the ability of the AWMT to discern differences in mobility because of wheelchair design. Participants were wheelchair users at a boarding school for students with disabilities in a low-resource area. Each participant completed timed tests on measured tracks on rough and smooth surfaces, in tight spaces and over curbs. Four types of wheelchairs designed for use in low-resource areas were included. The protocol demonstrated the ability to discriminate changes in mobility of individuals because of wheelchair type. Comparative effectiveness studies with this protocol can enable beneficial change. This is illustrated by design alterations by wheelchair manufacturers in response to results.

  10. Discriminatory validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as demonstrated by a comparison of four wheelchair types designed for use in low-resource areas

    PubMed Central

    Hamm, Elisa; Wee, Joy

    2017-01-01

    Background Comparative effectiveness research on wheelchairs available in low-resource areas is needed to enable effective use of limited funds. Mobility on commonly encountered rolling environments is a key aspect of function. High variation in capacity among wheelchair users can mask changes in mobility because of wheelchair design. A repeated measures protocol in which the participants use one type of wheelchair and then another minimises the impact of individual variation. Objectives The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was designed to be used in repeated measures studies in low-resource areas. It measures the impact of different wheelchair types on physical performance in commonly encountered rolling environments and provides an opportunity for qualitative and quantitative participant response. This study sought to confirm the ability of the AWMT to discern differences in mobility because of wheelchair design. Method Participants were wheelchair users at a boarding school for students with disabilities in a low-resource area. Each participant completed timed tests on measured tracks on rough and smooth surfaces, in tight spaces and over curbs. Four types of wheelchairs designed for use in low-resource areas were included. Results The protocol demonstrated the ability to discriminate changes in mobility of individuals because of wheelchair type. Conclusion Comparative effectiveness studies with this protocol can enable beneficial change. This is illustrated by design alterations by wheelchair manufacturers in response to results. PMID:28936413

  11. Unconscious activation of the prefrontal no-go network.

    PubMed

    van Gaal, Simon; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-03-17

    Cognitive control processes involving prefrontal cortex allow humans to overrule and inhibit habitual responses to optimize performance in new and challenging situations, and traditional views hold that cognitive control is tightly linked with consciousness. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate to what extent unconscious "no-go" stimuli are capable of reaching cortical areas involved in inhibitory control, particularly the inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Participants performed a go/no-go task that included conscious (weakly masked) no-go trials, unconscious (strongly masked) no-go trials, as well as go trials. Replicating typical neuroimaging findings, response inhibition on conscious no-go stimuli was associated with a (mostly right-lateralized) frontoparietal "inhibition network." Here, we demonstrate, however, that an unconscious no-go stimulus also can activate prefrontal control networks, most prominently the IFC and the pre-SMA. Moreover, if it does so, it brings about a substantial slowdown in the speed of responding, as if participants attempted to inhibit their response but just failed to withhold it completely. Interestingly, overall activation in this "unconscious inhibition network" correlated positively with the amount of slowdown triggered by unconscious no-go stimuli. In addition, neural differences between conscious and unconscious control are revealed. These results expand our understanding of the limits and depths of unconscious information processing in the human brain and demonstrate that prefrontal cognitive control functions are not exclusively influenced by conscious information.

  12. Human ventromedial prefrontal lesions alter incentivisation by reward.

    PubMed

    Manohar, Sanjay G; Husain, Masud

    2016-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Prefrontal cortex and hybrid learning during iterative competitive games

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Hiroshi; Seo, Hyojung; Lee, Daeyeol

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral changes driven by reinforcement and punishment are referred to as simple or model-free reinforcement learning. Animals can also change their behaviors by observing events that are neither appetitive nor aversive, when these events provide new information about payoffs available from alternative actions. This is an example of model-based reinforcement learning, and can be accomplished by incorporating hypothetical reward signals into the value functions for specific actions. Recent neuroimaging and single-neuron recording studies showed that the prefrontal cortex and the striatum are involved not only in reinforcement and punishment, but also in model-based reinforcement learning. We found evidence for both types of learning, and hence hybrid learning, in monkeys during simulated competitive games. In addition, in both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex, individual neurons heterogeneously encoded signals related to actual and hypothetical outcomes from specific actions, suggesting that both areas might contribute to hybrid learning. PMID:22145879

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25450230

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Epidemiological aspects of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in an endemic area of forest extractivist culture in western Brazilian Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Brilhante, Andreia Fernandes; Melchior, Leonardo Augusto Kohatsu; Nunes, Vânia Lúcia Brandão; Cardoso, Cristiane de Oliveira; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The study sought to analyze clinical and epidemiological aspects of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Xapuri, Acre, Brazil. Data from 2008 to 2014 registered in the notification records of the disease of the Information System of the Complaints of Notification (SINAN), and the data of the Information Department of the Unified Health System (DATASUS) available from 2007 to 2013 were used and analyzed in the light of the statistics of the temporal series by the Prais-Winsten method and chi-squared test. A total of 906 cases were registered with 60.2% occurring in men and 39.7% in women. The groups from 0 to 4 years of age (48.0%) and from 5 to 19 years of age (23.3%) were the most affected. Regarding the clinical forms, 77.7% presented CL and 22.3% mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL). Among the 896 cases with information on the diagnostic methods used, Montenegro’s skin test predominated (66.4%), with a positive result of 95.8% for CL and 99.3% for MCL. Treatment with N-methylglucamine antimony was performed in 99.4% of the cases, but discontinuously used in the majority of patients. This study presents information which may be used as a tool for the epidemiological surveillance and control of the disease in Xapuri, a region which depends essentially on forest resources and ecological tourism. PMID:28423087

  3. Epidemiological aspects of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in an endemic area of forest extractivist culture in western Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Brilhante, Andreia Fernandes; Melchior, Leonardo Augusto Kohatsu; Nunes, Vânia Lúcia Brandão; Cardoso, Cristiane de Oliveira; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2017-04-13

    The study sought to analyze clinical and epidemiological aspects of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Xapuri, Acre, Brazil. Data from 2008 to 2014 registered in the notification records of the disease of the Information System of the Complaints of Notification (SINAN), and the data of the Information Department of the Unified Health System (DATASUS) available from 2007 to 2013 were used and analyzed in the light of the statistics of the temporal series by the Prais-Winsten method and chi-squared test. A total of 906 cases were registered with 60.2% occurring in men and 39.7% in women. The groups from 0 to 4 years of age (48.0%) and from 5 to 19 years of age (23.3%) were the most affected. Regarding the clinical forms, 77.7% presented CL and 22.3% mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL). Among the 896 cases with information on the diagnostic methods used, Montenegro's skin test predominated (66.4%), with a positive result of 95.8% for CL and 99.3% for MCL. Treatment with N-methylglucamine antimony was performed in 99.4% of the cases, but discontinuously used in the majority of patients. This study presents information which may be used as a tool for the epidemiological surveillance and control of the disease in Xapuri, a region which depends essentially on forest resources and ecological tourism.

  4. 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.

  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. Aspects of the structural evolution of the Lusitanian Basin in Portugal and the shelf and slope area offshore Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Erik S.; Lomholt, Steen; Andersen, Claus; Vejbæk, Ole V.

    1998-12-01

    The study provides a regional seismic interpretation and mapping of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic succession of the Lusitanian Basin and the shelf and slope area off Portugal. The seismic study is compared with previous studies of the Lusitanian Basin. From the Late Triassic to the Cretaceous the study area experienced four rift phases and intermittent periods of tectonic quiescence. The Triassic rifting was concentrated in the central part of the Lusitanian Basin and in the southernmost part of the study area, both as symmetrical grabens and half-grabens. The evolution of half-grabens was particularly prominent in the south. The Triassic fault-controlled subsidence ceased during the latest Late Triassic and was succeeded by regional subsidence during the early Early Jurassic (Hettangian) when deposition of evaporites took place. A second rift phase was initiated in the Early Jurassic, most likely during the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian. This resulted in minor salt movements along the most prominent faults. The second phase was concentrated to the area south of the Nazare Fault Zone and resulted here in the accumulation of a thick Sinemurian-Callovian succession. Following a major hiatus, probably as a result of the opening of the Central Atlantic, resumed deposition occurred during the Late Jurassic. Evidence for Late Jurassic fault-controlled subsidence is widespread over the whole basin. The pattern of Late Jurassic subsidence appears to change across the Nazare Fault Zone. North of the Nazare Fault, fault-controlled subsidence occurred mainly along NNW-SSE-trending faults and to the south of this fault zone a NNE-SSW fault pattern seems to dominate. The Oxfordian rift phase is testified in onlapping of the Oxfordian succession on salt pillows which formed in association with fault activity. The fourth and final rift phase was in the latest Late Jurassic or earliest Early Cretaceous. The Jurassic extensional tectonism resulted in triggering of salt movement and the

  8. [Epidemiologic aspects of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in an endemic area of the state of Paraná, Brazil

    PubMed

    Silveira; Teodoro; Lonardoni; Guilherme; Toledo; Ramos; Arraes; Bertolini; Spinoza; Barbosa

    1996-04-01

    An epidemiological investigation of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) was performed in 1992 and 1993 in an endemic area of Jussara and Terra Boa counties, in the Northern Paraná State. The study covered 684 individuals from a population of approximately 1,400 from six agricultural areas (Fazenda Palmital, Cerâmica Andirá, Fazenda Jussara, Fazenda Lagoa, Destilaria Melhoramentos, and Fazenda Mururê) in Northern Paraná, Brazil. The mean frequency of CL history was 19.9%. The highest frequency was at Fazenda Jussara (40.5%). Based on the indirect immunofluorescence test, 58 (8.5%) presented significant titers of anti-Leishmania antibody, 17 (29.3%) of whom had no history of CL. The Montenegro skin test was applied to 97 individuals with a history of CL and was positive in 80 (82.5%). During the survey, seven individuals presented lesions, four of which were positive for Leishmania sp. The strain isolated was identified as Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis.

  9. [Investigation of the arsenic levels in ecosystem aspect in water type of endemic arsenicosis area in Datong City].

    PubMed

    Yun, Fen; Yang, Mimi; Ma, Caifeng; Miao, Yanling; Gao, Yi; Tian, Fengjie; Lü, Yi; Pei, Qiuling

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the arsenic levels in endemic arsenism in Datong City, Shanxi Province. A total of 85 inhabitants from one village in endemic arsenism area in Datong City, Shanxi Province were collected as research subjects. The People's Republic of China health industry standard for endemic arsenism was used to identify and diagnosis the patients. Daily drinking water and soil were collected and detected by atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The content of vegetables were detected by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). In the study, 85 samples were collected. Arsenic concentration in the daily drinking water were 14.41 - 90.34 μg/L, and the median value was 43.88 μg/L. The arsenic concentration of vegetables were 0.001 - 0.771 mg/kg, and 43.04% of samples, were higher than the maximal permissible limit of As in food. The results that the arsenic concentration of vegetables constant changes in the leaf vegetables > tubers > fruit vegetables. The health risk of intaking arsenic pollution in vegetables up to 71.77%. The arsenic levels in village of four directions were not exceeded the Chinese standards. Arsenic concentration in drinking water and vegetables are high in waterborn endemic arsenicosis area of Shanxi province. Arsenic in drinking water has been considered as a primary cause of arsenism, but direct intake of arsenic from vegetables can not be ignored.

  10. 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.

  11. Review of historiographic aspects of geothermal energy in the Mediterranean and Mesoamerican areas prior to the Modern Age

    SciTech Connect

    Cataldi, R. )

    1993-08-01

    This investigation aims not only to gain greater insight into the ancient uses of natural heat and its by-products, but also to gather elements for comprehending what kind of impact the presence of geothermal manifestations and the occurrence of volcanic eruptions may have produced on the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean and Mesoamerican regions. The first part of the paper discusses what may have occurred in the time period from the Lower Paleolithic (10[sup 5]--10[sup 6] years ago) until the end of the Neolithic. Throughout this period, the relationship of man with the various manifestations of terrestrial heat and its associated products was quite close and intense. In addition to the initial development of direct uses, this relationship with geothermal energy also involved man's cultural sphere. The second part of the paper discusses the development of direct uses and the importance that thermal balneology attained in some regions of the Mediterranean area in historical times. The exploitation and processing of hydrothermal products by the Etruscans, the blossoming of balneotherapy and the multiple functions of the spas in Roman times, the decline of all direct uses between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. following the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the intensive exploitation of the manifestations of Larderello between the 11th and 16th centuries are discussed. The third part of the work refers to the Mesoamerican area (Mexico and neighboring regions) and covers the period extending from several millennia before the Christian era until the time of the voyages of Columbus. The last part of the paper attempts to reconstruct the birth and initial development of scientific thought regarding the various types of geothermal phenomena, starting from the oldest known illustration of a volcanic eruption until the end of the Middle Ages. 2 figs., 1 tab.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Parker, K L; Alberico, S L; Miller, A D; Narayanan, N 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. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Prefrontal cortex modulates desire and dread generated by nucleus accumbens glutamate disruption

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Jocelyn M.; Berridge, Kent. C

    2012-01-01

    Background Corticolimbic circuits, including direct projections from prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens (NAc), permit “top-down” control of intense motivations generated by subcortical circuits. In rats, localized disruptions of glutamate signaling within medial shell of NAc generate desire or dread, anatomically organized along a rostrocaudal gradient analogous to a limbic “keyboard”. At rostral locations in shell these disruptions generate appetitive eating, but at caudal locations the disruptions generate progressively fearful behaviors (distress vocalizations, escape attempts and antipredator reactions). Here we asked whether medial prefrontal cortex can modulate intense motivations generated by subcortical NAc disruptions. Methods We used simultaneous microinjections in medial prefrontal cortex regions and in NAc shell to examine whether the desire or dread generated by NAc shell disruptions is modulated by activation/inhibition of three specific regions of prefrontal cortex: medial orbitofrontal cortex, infralimbic cortex (homologous to area 25 or subgenual anterior cingulate in the human), or prelimbic cortex (midventral anterior cingulate). Results We found that activation of medial orbitofrontal cortex biased intense bivalent motivation in an appetitive direction by amplifying generation of eating behavior by middle to caudal NAc disruptions, without altering fear. In contrast, activation of infralimbic prefrontal cortex powerfully and generally suppressed both appetitive eating and fearful behaviors generated by NAc shell disruptions. Conclusions These results suggest that corticolimbic projections from discrete prefrontal regions can either bias motivational valence or generally suppress subcortically-generated intense motivations of desire or fear. PMID:22981656

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. [Brodmann Areas 11, 46, and 47: Emotion, Memory, and Empathy].

    PubMed

    Ueda, Keita; Fujimoto, Gaku; Ubukata, Shiho; Murai, Toshiya

    2017-04-01

    Brodmann area 11 is one of the main constituent of the orbitofrontal cortex, and area 46 is that of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The main function of Brodmann area 11 is the processing of emotion and value, whereas the main function of Brodmann area 46 is the processing of cognitive information, including working memory. In comparison, the function of area 47 is more complex. This area is related to the feeling of empathy towards the story contents of others, which is thought to be the emotional aspect of this area, while this area is also activated during automated action. This is in contrast with the function of area 46, which is involved in willed action. In addition, area 47 in the left hemisphere plays an important role in syntax processing.

  3. Prefrontal Cortex and Impulsive Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Soyoun; Lee, Daeyeol

    2010-01-01

    Impulsivity refers to a set of heterogeneous behaviors that are tuned suboptimally along certain temporal dimensions. Impulsive inter-temporal choice refers to the tendency to forego a large but delayed reward and to seek an inferior but more immediate reward, whereas impulsive motor responses also result when the subjects fail to suppress inappropriate automatic behaviors. In addition, impulsive actions can be produced when too much emphasis is placed on speed rather than accuracy in a wide range of behaviors, including perceptual decision making. Despite this heterogeneous nature, the prefrontal cortex and its connected areas, such as the basal ganglia, play an important role in gating impulsive actions in a variety of behavioral tasks. Here, we describe key features of computations necessary for optimal decision making, and how their failures can lead to impulsive behaviors. We also review the recent findings from neuroimaging and single-neuron recording studies on the neural mechanisms related to impulsive behaviors. Converging approaches in economics, psychology, and neuroscience provide a unique vista for better understanding the nature of behavioral impairments associated with impulsivity. PMID:20728878

  4. Prefrontal Dopamine in Associative Learning and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Puig, M. Victoria; Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    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 modulate associative learning and memory processes in frontostriatal systems. PMID:25241063

  5. 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.

  6. Prefrontal cortex glutamate and extraversion

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22016442

  7. 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.

  8. Clinically Anxious Individuals Show Disrupted Feedback between Inferior Frontal Gyrus and Prefrontal-Limbic Control Circuit.

    PubMed

    Cha, Jiook; DeDora, Daniel; Nedic, Sanja; Ide, Jaime; Greenberg, Tsafrir; Hajcak, Greg; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne Rivka

    2016-04-27

    Clinical anxiety is associated with generalization of conditioned fear, in which innocuous stimuli elicit alarm. Using Pavlovian fear conditioning (electric shock), we quantify generalization as the degree to which subjects' neurobiological responses track perceptual similarity gradients to a conditioned stimulus. Previous studies show that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) inversely and ventral tegmental area directly track the gradient of perceptual similarity to the conditioned stimulus in healthy individuals, whereas clinically anxious individuals fail to discriminate. Here, we extend this work by identifying specific functional roles within the prefrontal-limbic circuit. We analyzed fMRI time-series acquired from 57 human subjects during a fear generalization task using entropic measures of circuit-wide regulation and feedback (power spectrum scale invariance/autocorrelation), in combination with structural (diffusion MRI-probabilistic tractography) and functional (stochastic dynamic causal modeling) measures of prefrontal-limbic connectivity within the circuit. Group comparison and correlations with anxiety severity across 57 subjects revealed dysregulatory dynamic signatures within the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), which our prior work has linked to impaired feedback within the circuit. Bayesian model selection then identified a fully connected prefrontal-limbic model comprising the IFG, vmPFC, and amygdala. Dysregulatory IFG dynamics were associated with weaker reciprocal excitatory connectivity between the IFG and the vmPFC. The vmPFC exhibited inhibitory influence on the amygdala. Our current results, combined with our previous work across a threat-perception spectrum of 137 subjects and a meta-analysis of 366 fMRI studies, dissociate distinct roles for three prefrontal-limbic regions, wherein the IFG provides evaluation of stimulus meaning, which then informs the vmPFC in inhibiting the amygdala. Affective neuroscience has generally treated

  9. Ecological aspects of phlebotomines (Diptera: Psychodidae) in endemic area of visceral leishmaniasis, Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi; Fernandes, Carlos Eurico; Dorval, Maria Elizabeth Cavalheiros; Brazil, Reginaldo Peçanha

    2012-01-01

    Aspects of phlebotomine behavior were investigated in the city of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul state. The insects were captured weekly during December 2003 to November 2005, with Centers for Disease Control light traps at seven different sites including forests and residential areas. In total, 11,024 specimens (7,805 males and 3,219 females) were collected, from which 9,963 (90.38%) were identified as Lutzomyia longipalpis, the proven vector of American visceral leishmaniasis agent. The remaining 9.62% comprised 21 species. L. longipalpis was the most frequent species in all sampled sites, and the first in the ranking of standardized species abundance index. In residential areas this species clearly predominated in the peridomicile (90.96%), in contrast to the intradomicile (9.04%); in animal shelters, it was more numerous in hen houses and prevailed at ground level, inside, and at forest edge around the residences; this aspect is worrying because this insect may remain sheltered in forested environments during the use of insecticides in homes. In the forest environment, other probable or proven vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis agents were also captured such as Lutzomyia whitmani (=Nyssomyia whitmani, sensu Galati), Lutzomyia antunesi (=Nyssomyia antunesi, sensu Galati), and Lutzomyia flaviscutellata (=Bichromomyia flaviscutellata, sensu Galati).

  10. Composition, abundance and aspects of temporal variation in the distribution of Anopheles species in an area of Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Ledayane Mayana Costa; Souto, Raimundo Nonato Picanço; Ferreira, Ricardo Marcelo dos Anjos; Scarpassa, Vera Margarete

    2014-01-01

    The diverse and complex environmental conditions of the Amazon Basin favor the breeding and development of Anopheles species. This study aimed to describe the composition, abundance and temporal frequency of Anopheles species and to correlate these factors with precipitation, temperature and relative humidity. The study was conducted in the District of Coração, State of Amapá, Brazil. Samples were collected monthly during three consecutive nights, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, from December 2010 to November 2011. In addition, four 12-hour collections (i.e., 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM) were performed during this period. A total of 1,230 Anopheles specimens were collected. In the monthly collections, Anopheles darlingi was the predominant species, followed by An. braziliensis and An. albitarsis s.l., whereas An. darlingi, An. peryassui and An. braziliensis were the most frequent species collected in the 12-hour collections. The greatest number of anophelines was collected in September (the dry season). The highest frequency of anophelines was observed for An. darlingi during September, when there were the least rainfalls of the year, along with lower relative humidity and higher temperatures. There was little variation in the abundance of this species in other months, with the exception of slight increases in February, July and August. The major malaria vectors, An. darlingi and An. albitarsis s.l. (likely An. marajoara), were the most abundant species collected in the study area. Consequently, prevention and control measures should be taken to prevent malaria outbreaks in the District of Coração.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Specific EEG sleep pattern in the prefrontal cortex in primary insomnia.

    PubMed

    Perrier, Joy; Clochon, Patrice; Bertran, Françoise; Couque, Colette; Bulla, Jan; Denise, Pierre; Bocca, Marie-Laure

    2015-01-01

    To assess the specific prefrontal activity in comparison to those in the other main cortical areas in primary insomnia patients and in good sleepers. Fourteen primary insomnia patients and 11 good sleepers were included in the analysis. Participants completed one night of polysomnography in the sleep lab. Power spectra were calculated during the NREM (Non-rapid eyes movements) and the REM (Rapid eyes movements) sleep periods at prefrontal, occipital, temporal and central electrode positions. During the NREM sleep, the power spectra did not differ between groups in the prefrontal cortex; while primary insomnia patients exhibited a higher beta power spectrum and a lower delta power spectrum compared to good sleepers in other areas. During the REM sleep, the beta1 power spectrum was lower in the prefrontal cortex in primary insomnia patients compared to good sleepers; while no significant difference between groups was obtained for the other areas. The present study shows a specific prefrontal sleep pattern during the whole sleep period. In addition, we suggest that primary insomnia patients displayed a dysfunction in the reactivation of the limbic system during the REM sleep and we give additional arguments in favor of a sleep-protection mechanism displayed by primary insomnia patients.

  15. [Reward information encoded by power of local field potentials in the primate prefrontal cortex and striatum].

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Ying; Pan, Xiao-Chuan; Wang, Ru-Bin; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2017-08-25

    Prefrontal cortex and striatum are two major areas in the brain. Some research reports suggest that both areas are involved in many advanced cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, reward processing, and behavioral decision. Single-unit recording experiments have found that neurons in the prefrontal cortex and striatum can represent reward information, but it remains elusive whether and how local field potentials (LFPs) in the two areas encode reward information. To investigate these issues, we recorded LFPs simultaneously in the prefrontal cortex and striatum of two monkeys by performing a reward prediction task (a large amount reward vs a small amount reward). Recorded LFP signals were transformed from the time domain to the time and frequency domain using the method of short-time Fourier transform (STFT). We calculated the power in each frequency and time, and examined whether they were different in the two reward conditions. The results showed that power of LFPs in both the prefrontal cortex and striatum distinguished one reward condition from the other one. And the power in small reward trials was greater than that in large reward trials. Furthermore, it was found that the LFPs better encoded reward information in the beta band (14-30 Hz) rather than other frequency bands. Our results suggest that the LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and striatum effectively represent reward information, which would help to further understand functional roles of LFPs in reward processing.

  16. A note from a survey of some knowledge aspects of leptospirosis among a sample of rural villagers in the highly endemic area, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wiwanitkit, Viroj

    2006-01-01

    The main purpose of this pilot study was to assess knowledge of leptospirosis among a sample of rural villagers in the highly endemic area, Thailand. This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among a sample of 300 rural villagers in the highly endemic area of leptospirosis, Buriram Province in Thailand. A self-administered questionnaire on some knowledge aspects of leptospirosis was used. The response rate was 100%. Most participants (80%) had a poor knowledge of leptospirosis. There was no significant correlation of sex and age of the subjects as to the level of knowledge (chi2, p > 0.05); however, there was significant correlation of level of education and occupation of the subjects to the level of their knowledge (chi2, p < 0.05). Although this was a limited pilot study, the results imply that the present leptospirosis control program is not successful, and that the main problem is the knowledge level of people in endemic areas. A program to improve the basic knowledge of leptospirosis of rural villagers in endemic areas must be initiated.

  17. Fast left prefrontal rTMS acutely suppresses analgesic effects of perceived controllability on the emotional component of pain experience.

    PubMed

    Borckardt, Jeffrey J; Reeves, Scott T; Frohman, Heather; Madan, Alok; Jensen, Mark P; Patterson, David; Barth, Kelly; Smith, A Richard; Gracely, Richard; George, Mark S

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex may be a promising target for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the management of pain. It is not clear how prefrontal TMS affects pain perception, but previous findings suggest that ventral lateral and medial prefrontal circuits may comprise an important part of a circuit of perceived controllability regarding pain, stress, and learned helplessness. Although the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a common TMS target for treating clinical depression as well as modulating pain, little is known about whether TMS over this area may affect perceived controllability. The present study explored the immediate effects of fast TMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on the analgesic effects of perceived pain controllability. Twenty-four healthy volunteers underwent a laboratory pain task designed to manipulate perception of pain controllability. Real TMS, compared with sham, suppressed the analgesic benefits of perceived control on the emotional dimension of pain, but not the sensory/discriminatory dimension. Findings suggest that, at least acutely, fast TMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may interrupt the perceived-controllability effect on the emotional dimension of pain experience. Although it is not clear whether this cortical area is directly involved with modulating perceived controllability or whether downstream effects are responsible for the present findings, it appears possible that left dorsolateral prefrontal TMS may produce analgesic effects by acting through a cortical perceived-control circuit regulating limbic and brainstem areas of the pain circuit. Despite evidence that prefrontal TMS can have analgesic effects, fast left prefrontal TMS appears to acutely suppress analgesia associated with perceived-control. This effect may be limited to the emotional dimension of pain experience. Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453

  20. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-04-27

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley's working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified.

  1. Dissociating the role of prefrontal and premotor cortices in controlling inhibitory mechanisms during motor preparation

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Julie; Labruna, Ludovica; Verset, Sophie; Olivier, Etienne; Ivry, Richard B.

    2012-01-01

    Top-down control processes are critical to select goal-directed actions in flexible environments. In humans, these processes include two inhibitory mechanisms that operate during response selection: one is involved in solving a competition between different response options, the other ensures that a selected response is initiated timely. Here, we evaluated the role of dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and lateral prefrontal cortex (LPF) of healthy subjects in these two forms of inhibition by using an innovative transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) protocol combining repetitive TMS (rTMS) over PMd or LPF and a single pulse TMS (sTMS) over primary motor cortex (M1). sTMS over M1 allowed us to assess inhibitory changes in corticospinal excitability, while rTMS was used to produce transient disruption of PMd or LPF. We found that rTMS over LPF reduces inhibition associated with competition resolution whereas rTMS over PMd decreases inhibition associated with response impulse control. These results emphasize the dissociable contributions of these two frontal regions to inhibitory control during motor preparation. The association of LPF with competition resolution is consistent with the role of this area in relatively abstract aspects of control related to goal maintenance, ensuring that the appropriate response is selected in a variable context. In contrast, the association of PMd with impulse control is consistent with the role of this area in more specific processes related to motor preparation and initiation. PMID:22262879

  2. Dynamic Population Coding of Category Information in Inferior Temporal and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Meyers, Ethan M.; Freedman, David J.; Kreiman, Gabriel; Miller, Earl K.; Poggio, Tomaso

    2008-01-01

    Most electrophysiology studies analyze the activity of each neuron separately. While such studies have given much insight into properties of the visual system, they have also potentially overlooked important aspects of information coded in changing patterns of activity that are distributed over larger populations of neurons. In this work, we apply a population decoding method to better estimate what information is available in neuronal ensembles and how this information is coded in dynamic patterns of neural activity in data recorded from inferior temporal cortex (ITC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) as macaque monkeys engaged in a delayed match-to-category task. Analyses of activity patterns in ITC and PFC revealed that both areas contain “abstract” category information (i.e., category information that is not directly correlated with properties of the stimuli); however, in general, PFC has more task-relevant information, and ITC has more detailed visual information. Analyses examining how information coded in these areas show that almost all category information is available in a small fraction of the neurons in the population. Most remarkably, our results also show that category information is coded by a nonstationary pattern of activity that changes over the course of a trial with individual neurons containing information on much shorter time scales than the population as a whole. PMID:18562555

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Prefrontal cortex in memory and attention processes].

    PubMed

    Allegri, R F; Harris, P

    The role of the prefrontal cortex still remains poorly understood. Only after 1970, the functions of the frontal lobes have been conceptualized from different points of view (behaviorism, cognitivism). Recently,different parallel circuits connecting discrete cortical and subcortical regions of the frontal lobes have been described. Three of these circuits are the most relevant to understanding of behavior: the dorsolateral prefrontal circuit, that mediates executive behavior; the orbitofrontal prefrontal circuit, mediating social behavior, and the medial frontal circuit, involved in motivation. Damage to the frontal cortex impairs planning, problem solving, reasoning, concept formation, temporal ordering of stimuli, estimation, attention, memory search, maintaining information in working memory, associative learning,certain forms of skilled motor activities, image generation and manipulation of the spatial properties of a stimulus, metacognitive thinking, and social cognition. Several theories have been proposed to explain the functions of the prefrontal cortex. Currently,the most influential cognitive models are: the Norman and Shallice supervisory attentional system, involved in non-routine selection; the Baddeley working memory model with the central executive as a supervisory controlling system, in which impairment leads to a 'dysexecutive syndrome'; and the Grafman's model of managerial knowledge units, stored as macrostructured information in the frontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is essential for attentional control, manipulation of stored knowledge and modulation of complex actions, cognition, emotion and behavior.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [Psychopathy and neuropsychology of the prefrontal cortex].

    PubMed

    Jurado, M A; Junqué, C

    1996-01-01

    We review the main experimental works about the relationship between psychopathy and prefrontal cortex. First neuropsychological articles found contradictory results exploring psychopaths who were diagnosed by different criteria and using putative dorsolateral tests. Attentional deficits in psychopaths and relationships between psychopathy and attention disorder with and without hyperactivity have been studied. Distinction between primary and secondary psychopathy has been related to neuropsychological impairment in antisocial disorder. Differentiation between orbital and dorsolateral prefrontal systems should be taken into account in order to study the neuropsychological deficits in psychopathy. It has been pointed that orbitoventral system would be involved in antisocial behaviour. Hence, neuropsychological impairment in psychopaths is expected to be related to orbitofrontal dysfunction.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Recency gets larger as lesions move from anterior to posterior locations within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hochman, Guy; Yechiam, Eldad; Bechara, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    In the past two decades neuroimaging research has substantiated the important role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in decision-making. In the current study, we use the complementary lesion based approach to deepen our knowledge concerning the specific cognitive mechanisms modulated by prefrontal activity. Specifically, we assessed the brain substrates implicated in two decision making dimensions in a sample of prefrontal cortex patients: (a) the tendency to differently weigh recent compared to past experience; and (b) the tendency to differently weigh gains compared to losses. The participants performed the Iowa Gambling Task, a complex experience-based decision-making task [3], which was analyzed with a formal cognitive model (the Expectancy-Valance model; [12]). The results indicated that decisions become influenced by more recent, as opposed to older, events when the damage reaches the posterior sectors of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC). Furthermore, the degree of this recency deficit was related to the size of the lesion. These results suggest that the posterior area of the prefrontal cortex directly modulates the capacity to use time-delayed information. In contrast, we did not find similar modulation for the sensitivity to gains versus losses. PMID:20412820

  1. 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.

  2. fNIRS evidence of prefrontal regulation of frustration in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Perlman, Susan B; Luna, Beatriz; Hein, Tyler C; Huppert, Theodore J

    2014-01-15

    The experience of frustration is common in early childhood, yet some children seem to possess a lower tolerance for frustration than others. Characterizing the biological mechanisms underlying a wide range of frustration tolerance observed in early childhood may inform maladaptive behavior and psychopathology that is associated with this construct. The goal of this study was to measure prefrontal correlates of frustration in 3-5-year-old children, who are not readily adaptable for typical neuroimaging approaches, using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS of frontal regions were measured as frustration was induced in children through a computer game where a desired and expected prize was "stolen" by an animated dog. A fNIRS general linear model (GLM) was used to quantify the correlation of brain regions with the task and identify areas that were statistically different between the winning and frustrating test conditions. A second-level voxel-based ANOVA analysis was then used to correlate the amplitude of each individual's brain activation with measure of parent-reported frustration. Experimental results indicated increased activity in the middle prefrontal cortex during winning of a desired prize, while lateral prefrontal cortex activity increased during frustration. Further, activity increase in lateral prefrontal cortex during frustration correlated positively with parent-reported frustration tolerance. These findings point to the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex as a potential region supporting the regulation of emotion during frustration. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Prefrontal connections of the parabelt auditory cortex in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Hackett, T A; Stepniewska, I; Kaas, J H

    1999-01-30

    In the present study, we determined connections of three newly defined regions of auditory cortex with regions of the frontal lobe, and how two of these regions in the frontal lobe interconnect and connect to other portions of frontal cortex and the temporal lobe in macaque monkeys. We conceptualize auditory cortex as including a core of primary areas, a surrounding belt of auditory areas, a lateral parabelt of two divisions, and adjoining regions of temporal cortex with parabelt connections. Injections of several different fluorescent tracers and wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) were placed in caudal (CPB) and rostral (RPB) divisions of the parabelt, and in cortex of the superior temporal gyrus rostral to the parabelt with parabelt connections (STGr). Injections were also placed in two regions of the frontal lobe that were labeled by a parabelt injection in the same case. The results lead to several major conclusions. First, CPB injections label many neurons in dorsal prearcuate cortex in the region of the frontal eye field and neurons in dorsal prefrontal cortex of the principal sulcus, but few or no neurons in orbitofrontal cortex. Fine-grain label in these same regions as a result of a WGA-HRP injection suggests that the connections are reciprocal. Second, RPB injections label overlapping prearcuate and principal sulcus locations, as well as more rostral cortex of the principal sulcus, and several locations in orbitofrontal cortex. Third, STGr injections label locations in orbitofrontal cortex, some of which overlap those of RPB injections, but not prearcuate or principal sulcus locations. Fourth, injections in prearcuate and principal sulcus locations labeled by a CPB injection labeled neurons in CPB and RPB, with little involvement of the auditory belt and no involvement of the core. In addition, the results indicated that the two frontal lobe regions are densely interconnected. They also connect with largely separate

  5. 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

  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. 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…

  8. 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).…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Alcohol reduces prefrontal cortical excitability in humans: a combined TMS and EEG study.

    PubMed

    Kähkönen, Seppo; Wilenius, Juha; Nikulin, Vadim V; Ollikainen, Marko; Ilmoniemi, Risto J

    2003-04-01

    The effects of alcohol (0.8 g/kg) on the prefrontal cortex were studied in nine healthy subjects using the technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalography (EEG). A total of 120 magnetic pulses were delivered with a figure-of-eight coil to the left prefrontal cortex at the rate of 0.4-0.7 Hz. The EEG was recorded simultaneously with 60 scalp electrodes (41 electrodes were used for analysis); the TMS-evoked activation was estimated by the area under the global mean field amplitude (GMFA) time curve. TMS caused changes in EEG activity lasting up to 270 ms poststimulus. Alcohol decreased GMFA at 30-270 ms poststimulus (713+/-303 vs 478+/-142 microV ms; p=0.007). Alcohol-induced differences were most pronounced at anterior electrodes. These results suggest that alcohol reduces the excitability in the prefrontal cortex.

  13. 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.

  14. Operant Conditioning of Primate Prefrontal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Wolfram; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2010-01-01

    An operant is a behavioral act that has an impact on the environment to produce an outcome, constituting an important component of voluntary behavior. Because the environment can be volatile, the same action may cause different consequences. Thus to obtain an optimal outcome, it is crucial to detect action–outcome relationships and adapt the behavior accordingly. Although prefrontal neurons are known to change activity depending on expected reward, it remains unknown whether prefrontal activity contributes to obtaining reward. We investigated this issue by setting variable relationships between levels of single-neuron activity and rewarding outcomes. Lateral prefrontal neurons changed their spiking activity according to the specific requirements for gaining reward, without the animals making a motor response. Thus spiking activity constituted an operant response. Data from a control task suggested that these changes were unlikely to reflect simple reward predictions. These data demonstrate a remarkable capacity of prefrontal neurons to adapt to specific operant requirements at the single-neuron level. PMID:20107129

  15. Decreased prefrontal cortical dopamine transmission in alcoholism.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    Basic studies have demonstrated that optimal levels of prefrontal cortical dopamine are critical to various executive functions such as 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 of alcoholism that have demonstrated less dopamine in the striatum, the authors hypothesized decreased dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex in persons with alcohol dependence. To test this hypothesis, amphetamine and [11C]FLB 457 positron emission tomography were used to measure cortical dopamine transmission in 21 recently abstinent persons with alcohol dependence and 21 matched healthy comparison subjects. [11C]FLB 457 binding potential, specific compared to nondisplaceable uptake (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. Amphetamine-induced displacement of [11C]FLB 457 binding potential (ΔBPND) was significantly smaller in the cortical regions in the alcohol-dependent group compared with the healthy comparison group. Cortical regions that demonstrated lower dopamine transmission in the alcohol-dependent group included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, orbital frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and medial temporal lobe. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Visual space is compressed in prefrontal cortex before eye movements.

    PubMed

    Zirnsak, Marc; Steinmetz, Nicholas A; Noudoost, Behrad; Xu, Kitty Z; Moore, Tirin

    2014-03-27

    We experience the visual world through a series of saccadic eye movements, each one shifting our gaze to bring objects of interest to the fovea for further processing. Although such movements lead to frequent and substantial displacements of the retinal image, these displacements go unnoticed. It is widely assumed that a primary mechanism underlying this apparent stability is an anticipatory shifting of visual receptive fields (RFs) from their presaccadic to their postsaccadic locations before movement onset. Evidence of this predictive 'remapping' of RFs has been particularly apparent within brain structures involved in gaze control. However, critically absent among that evidence are detailed measurements of visual RFs before movement onset. Here we show that during saccade preparation, rather than remap, RFs of neurons in a prefrontal gaze control area massively converge towards the saccadic target. We mapped the visual RFs of prefrontal neurons during stable fixation and immediately before the onset of eye movements, using multi-electrode recordings in monkeys. Following movements from an initial fixation point to a target, RFs remained stationary in retinocentric space. However, in the period immediately before movement onset, RFs shifted by as much as 18 degrees of visual angle, and converged towards the target location. This convergence resulted in a threefold increase in the proportion of RFs responding to stimuli near the target region. In addition, like in human observers, the population of prefrontal neurons grossly mislocalized presaccadic stimuli as being closer to the target. Our results show that RF shifts do not predict the retinal displacements due to saccades, but instead reflect the overriding perception of target space during eye movements.

  20. Dynamic exercise improves cognitive function in association with increased prefrontal oxygenation.

    PubMed

    Endo, Kana; Matsukawa, Kanji; Liang, Nan; Nakatsuka, Chie; Tsuchimochi, Hirotsugu; Okamura, Hitoshi; Hamaoka, Takafumi

    2013-07-01

    The Stroop test was performed before and after ergometer exercise for 15 min at 20, 40, and 60 % of maximum voluntary exercise (EXmax), in order to examine whether dynamic exercise is capable of improving cognitive function and whether the changes in regional cerebral blood flow of the prefrontal cortex are associated with the cognitive improvement. Subjects were asked to answer the displayed color of incongruent color words as quickly as possible. The total time period and the number of errors for the Stroop test were measured as an index of cognitive function. The concentrations of oxygenated-hemoglobin (Oxy-Hb) and deoxygenated-hemoglobin (Deoxy-Hb) in the cerebral prefrontal area were measured with near-infrared spectroscopy to determine the changes in regional cerebral blood flow. Ergometer exercise at 40 % of EXmax, but not 20 and 60 % of EXmax, shortened (P < 0.05) the total time period for the Stroop test by 6.6 ± 1.5 % as compared to the time control. In contrast, the number of errors was not altered by exercise at any intensity. The Oxy-Hb in bilateral prefrontal cortices increased during the Stroop test, while the Deoxy-Hb in those areas was unchanged. Ergometer exercise at 40 % of EXmax, but not at 20 and 60 % of EXmax, significantly augmented the response in the prefrontal Oxy-Hb during the Stroop test. The magnitude of the increased prefrontal Oxy-Hb response tended to correlate with the reduction in total time period for the Stroop test. Thus, it is likely that ergometer exercise at moderate intensity for 15 min may improve cognitive function through the increased neural activity in the prefrontal cortex.

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Prefrontal system dysfunction and credit card debt.

    PubMed

    Spinella, Marcello; Yang, Bijou; Lester, David

    2004-10-01

    Credit card use often involves a disadvantageous allocation of finances because they allow for spending beyond means and buying on impulse. Accordingly they are associated with increased bankruptcy, anxiety, stress, and health problems. Mounting evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical studies implicates prefrontal-subcortical systems in processing financial information. This study examined the relationship of credit card debt and executive functions using the Frontal System Behavior Scale (FRSBE). After removing the influences of demographic variables (age, sex, education, and income), credit card debt was associated with the Executive Dysfunction scale, but not the Apathy or Disinhibition scales. This suggests that processes of conceptualizing and organizing finances are most relevant to credit card debt, and implicates dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction.

  11. 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

  12. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates rapid evaluations predicting the outcome of romantic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Jeffrey C.; Dunne, Simon; Furey, Teresa; O’Doherty, John P.

    2012-01-01

    Humans frequently make real-world decisions based on rapid evaluations of minimal information – for example, should we talk to an attractive stranger at a party? Little is known, however, about how the brain makes rapid evaluations with real and immediate social consequences. To address this question, we scanned participants with FMRI while they viewed photos of individuals that they subsequently met at real-life “speed-dating” events. Neural activity in two areas of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, paracingulate cortex and rostromedial prefrontal cortex (RMPFC), was predictive of whether each individual would be ultimately pursued for a romantic relationship or rejected. Activity in these areas was attributable to two distinct components of romantic evaluation: either consensus judgments about physical beauty (paracingulate cortex) or individualized preferences based on a partner’s perceived personality (RMPFC). These data identify novel computational roles for these regions of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in even very rapid social evaluations. Even a first glance, then, can accurately predict romantic desire, but that glance involves a mix of physical and psychological judgments that depend on specific regions of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. PMID:23136406

  13. Activation of the prefrontal cortex in the human visual aesthetic perception

    PubMed Central

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J.; Marty, Gisèle; Maestú, Fernando; Ortiz, Tomás; Munar, Enric; Fernández, Alberto; Roca, Miquel; Rosselló, Jaume; Quesney, Felipe

    2004-01-01

    Visual aesthetic perception (“aesthetics”) or the capacity to visually perceive a particular attribute added to other features of objects, such as form, color, and movement, was fixed during human evolutionary lineage as a trait not shared with any great ape. Although prefrontal brain expansion is mentioned as responsible for the appearance of such human trait, no current knowledge exists on the role of prefrontal areas in the aesthetic perception. The visual brain consists of “several parallel multistage processing systems, each specialized in a given task such as, color or motion” [Bartels, A. & Zeki, S. (1999) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 265, 2327–2332]. Here we report the results of an experiment carried out with magnetoencephalography which shows that the prefrontal area is selectively activated in humans during the perception of objects qualified as “beautiful” by the participants. Therefore, aesthetics can be hypothetically considered as an attribute perceived by means of a particular brain processing system, in which the prefrontal cortex seems to play a key role. PMID:15079079

  14. Activation of the prefrontal cortex in the human visual aesthetic perception.

    PubMed

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J; Marty, Gisèle; Maestú, Fernando; Ortiz, Tomás; Munar, Enric; Fernández, Alberto; Roca, Miquel; Rosselló, Jaume; Quesney, Felipe

    2004-04-20

    Visual aesthetic perception ("aesthetics") or the capacity to visually perceive a particular attribute added to other features of objects, such as form, color, and movement, was fixed during human evolutionary lineage as a trait not shared with any great ape. Although prefrontal brain expansion is mentioned as responsible for the appearance of such human trait, no current knowledge exists on the role of prefrontal areas in the aesthetic perception. The visual brain consists of "several parallel multistage processing systems, each specialized in a given task such as, color or motion" [Bartels, A. & Zeki, S. (1999) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 265, 2327-2332]. Here we report the results of an experiment carried out with magnetoencephalography which shows that the prefrontal area is selectively activated in humans during the perception of objects qualified as "beautiful" by the participants. Therefore, aesthetics can be hypothetically considered as an attribute perceived by means of a particular brain processing system, in which the prefrontal cortex seems to play a key role.

  15. [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".

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Power spectrum scale invariance identifies prefrontal dysregulation in paranoid schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Radulescu, Anca R; Rubin, Denis; Strey, Helmut H; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and experimental evidence suggest that complex living systems function close to the boundary of chaos, with erroneous organization to an improper dynamical range (too stiff or chaotic) underlying system-wide dysregulation and disease. We hypothesized that erroneous organization might therefore also characterize paranoid schizophrenia, via optimization abnormalities in the prefrontal-limbic circuit regulating emotion. To test this, we acquired fMRI scans from 35 subjects (N = 9 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and N = 26 healthy controls), while they viewed affect-valent stimuli. To quantify dynamic regulation, we analyzed the power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI) of fMRI time-courses and computed the geometry of time-delay (Poincaré) maps, a measure of variability. Patients and controls showed distinct PSSI in two clusters (k(1) : Z = 4.3215, P = 0.00002 and k(2) : Z = 3.9441, P = 0.00008), localized to the orbitofrontal/medial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10), represented by β close to white noise in patients (β ≈ 0) and in the pink noise range in controls (β ≈ -1). Interpreting the meaning of PSSI differences, the Poincaré maps indicated less variability in patients than controls (Z = -1.9437, P = 0.05 for k(1) ; Z = -2.5099, P = 0.01 for k(2) ). That the dynamics identified Brodmann Area 10 is consistent with previous schizophrenia research, which implicates this area in deficits of working memory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and underlying biological abnormalities in synaptic (glutamatergic) transmission. Our results additionally cohere with a large body of work finding pink noise to be the normal range of central function at the synaptic, cellular, and small network levels, and suggest that patients show less supple responsivity of this region. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Prefrontal cortex is involved in internal decision of forthcoming saccades.

    PubMed

    Milea, Dan; Lobel, Elie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Leboucher, Pierre; Pochon, Jean-Baptiste; Pierrot-Deseilligny, Charles; Berthoz, Alain

    2007-08-06

    Deciding where to look is mandatory to explore the visual world. To study the neural correlates subserving the cognitive phase of self-initiated eye movements in humans, we tested 12 healthy participants, using event-related functional MRI. Changes in the frontal-cortical activity preceding voluntary saccades were studied when the participants freely decided the direction of a forthcoming saccade, compared with a condition in which they had only to prepare an externally cued saccade. Self-initiation of saccades, before their execution, was specifically associated with frontal-lobe activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and in the right presupplementary eye field and frontal eye fields, suggesting the roles of these areas in the decision process of where to look when facing two possible visual targets.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Where vision meets memory: prefrontal-posterior networks for visual object constancy during categorization and recognition.

    PubMed

    Schendan, Haline E; Stern, Chantal E

    2008-07-01

    Objects seen from unusual relative to more canonical views require more time to categorize and recognize, and, according to object model verification theories, additionally recruit prefrontal processes for cognitive control that interact with parietal processes for mental rotation. To test this using functional magnetic resonance imaging, people categorized and recognized known objects from unusual and canonical views. Canonical views activated some components of a default network more on categorization than recognition. Activation to unusual views showed that both ventral and dorsal visual pathways, and prefrontal cortex, have key roles in visual object constancy. Unusual views activated object-sensitive and mental rotation (and not saccade) regions in ventrocaudal intraparietal, transverse occipital, and inferotemporal sulci, and ventral premotor cortex for verification processes of model testing on any task. A collateral-lingual sulci "place" area activated for mental rotation, working memory, and unusual views on correct recognition and categorization trials to accomplish detailed spatial matching. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and object-sensitive lateral occipital sulcus activated for mental rotation and unusual views on categorization more than recognition, supporting verification processes of model prediction. This visual knowledge framework integrates vision and memory theories to explain how distinct prefrontal-posterior networks enable meaningful interactions with objects in diverse situations.

  9. 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

  10. Prefrontal dysfunction in pediatric Tourette's disorder as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Yamamuro, Kazuhiko; Ota, Toyosaku; Iida, Junzo; Nakanishi, Yoko; Uratani, Mitsuhiro; Matsuura, Hiroki; Kishimoto, Naoko; Tanaka, Shohei; Negoro, Hideki; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2015-05-03

    Tourette's disorder (TD) is a chronic childhood-onset disorder characterized by the presence of multiple motor and vocal tics. Despite strong evidence that the pathophysiology of TD involves structural and functional disturbances of the basal ganglia and cortical frontal areas, in vivo imaging studies have produced conflicting results. Recent developments in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology have enabled noninvasive assessment of brain function in people with psychiatric disorders. We asked 10 individuals with pediatric TD and 10 healthy controls who were age- and sex- matched to perform the Stroop color-word task during NIRS. We used prefrontal probes and a 24-channel NIRS machine to measure the relative concentrations of oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) every 0.1 s during the task. We found that oxy-Hb changes in the prefrontal cortex were significantly smaller in the TD group compared with the control group, especially in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Our data suggest that individuals with pediatric TD have a reduced prefrontal hemodynamic response as measured by NIRS.

  11. 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.

  12. Potential contributions of efferents from medial prefrontal cortex to neural activation following sexual behavior in the male rat.

    PubMed

    Balfour, M E; Brown, J L; Yu, L; Coolen, L M

    2006-01-01

    The limbic system plays an important role in the regulation of sexual motivation and reward. At the core of this system is an interconnected mesocorticolimbic circuit, comprised of the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex. Previously, our laboratory showed that sexual behavior causes neural activation in the ventral tegmental area of male rats. The main goal of this study is to identify afferent inputs to ventral tegmental area neurons that may contribute to their activation during sexual behavior. Hence, the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine was injected into subregions of the rat medial prefrontal cortex, which is known to project to the ventral tegmental area. Visualization of biotinylated dextran amine-labeled axons was combined with immunostaining for sex-induced Fos expression. Quantitative analysis showed that the majority of sex-activated ventral tegmental area neurons receive putative contacts from the infralimbic and prelimbic--but not the anterior cingulate--subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, inputs from infralimbic area and prelimbic are in an anatomical position to provide a major source of input during sexual behavior. A second goal of this study was to determine if the medial prefrontal cortex projects to sex-activated neurons in other brain regions important for sexual behavior and motivation. Infralimbic area and prelimbic area sent projections to nucleus accumbens, medial preoptic area, principal nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, basolateral amygdala, and parvocellular subparafasicular thalamic nucleus. Thus, the infralimbic and prelimbic subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex may also influence sexual behavior and motivation via brain regions other than the ventral tegmental area.

  13. 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

  14. Suppressing Emotions Impairs Subsequent Stroop Performance and Reduces Prefrontal Brain Activation

    PubMed Central

    Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Rasch, Björn

    2013-01-01

    Abundant behavioral evidence suggests that the ability to self-control is limited, and that any exertion of self-control will increase the likelihood of subsequent self-control failures. Here we investigated the neural correlates underlying the aftereffects of self-control on future control processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An initial act of self-control (suppressing emotions) impaired subsequent performance in a second task requiring control (Stroop task). On the neural level, increased activity during emotion suppression was followed by a relative decrease in activity during the Stroop task in a cluster in the right lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area engaged in the effortful implementation of control. There was no reliable evidence for reduced activity in the medial frontal cortex (MFC) including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is involved in conflict detection processes and has previously also been implicated in self-control. Follow-up analyses showed that the detected cluster in the right lateral PFC and an area in the MFC were involved in both the emotion suppression task and the Stroop task, but only the cluster in the right lateral PFC showed reduced activation after emotion suppression during the Stroop task. Reduced activity in lateral prefrontal areas relevant for the implementation of control may be a critical consequence of prior self-control exertion if the respective areas are involved in both self-control tasks. PMID:23565239

  15. Suppressing emotions impairs subsequent stroop performance and reduces prefrontal brain activation.

    PubMed

    Friese, Malte; Binder, Julia; Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Rasch, Björn

    2013-01-01

    Abundant behavioral evidence suggests that the ability to self-control is limited, and that any exertion of self-control will increase the likelihood of subsequent self-control failures. Here we investigated the neural correlates underlying the aftereffects of self-control on future control processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An initial act of self-control (suppressing emotions) impaired subsequent performance in a second task requiring control (Stroop task). On the neural level, increased activity during emotion suppression was followed by a relative decrease in activity during the Stroop task in a cluster in the right lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area engaged in the effortful implementation of control. There was no reliable evidence for reduced activity in the medial frontal cortex (MFC) including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is involved in conflict detection processes and has previously also been implicated in self-control. Follow-up analyses showed that the detected cluster in the right lateral PFC and an area in the MFC were involved in both the emotion suppression task and the Stroop task, but only the cluster in the right lateral PFC showed reduced activation after emotion suppression during the Stroop task. Reduced activity in lateral prefrontal areas relevant for the implementation of control may be a critical consequence of prior self-control exertion if the respective areas are involved in both self-control tasks.

  16. Rostral and caudal prefrontal contribution to creativity: a meta-analysis of functional imaging data

    PubMed Central

    Gonen-Yaacovi, Gil; de Souza, Leonardo Cruz; Levy, Richard; Urbanski, Marika; Josse, Goulven; Volle, Emmanuelle

    2013-01-01

    Creativity is of central importance for human civilization, yet its neurocognitive bases are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to integrate existing functional imaging data by using the meta-analysis approach. We reviewed 34 functional imaging studies that reported activation foci during tasks assumed to engage creative thinking in healthy adults. A coordinate-based meta-analysis using Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) first showed a set of predominantly left-hemispheric regions shared by the various creativity tasks examined. These regions included the caudal lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), the medial and lateral rostral PFC, and the inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortices. Further analyses showed that tasks involving the combination of remote information (combination tasks) activated more anterior areas of the lateral PFC than tasks involving the free generation of unusual responses (unusual generation tasks), although both types of tasks shared caudal prefrontal areas. In addition, verbal and non-verbal tasks involved the same regions in the left caudal prefrontal, temporal, and parietal areas, but also distinct domain-oriented areas. Taken together, these findings suggest that several frontal and parieto-temporal regions may support cognitive processes shared by diverse creativity tasks, and that some regions may be specialized for distinct types of processes. In particular, the lateral PFC appeared to be organized along a rostro-caudal axis, with rostral regions involved in combining ideas creatively and more posterior regions involved in freely generating novel ideas. PMID:23966927

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Survey of women's experiences of care in a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area of London, England: 2. Specific aspects of care.

    PubMed

    Macfarlane, Alison J; Rocca-Ihenacho, Lucia; Turner, Lyle R

    2014-09-01

    to describe and compare women's experiences of specific aspects of maternity care before and after the opening of the Barkantine Birth Centre, a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area. telephone surveys undertaken in late pregnancy and about six weeks after birth. Two separate waves of interviews were conducted, Phase 1 before the birth centre opened and Phase 2 after it had opened. Tower Hamlets, a deprived inner city borough in east London, 2007-2010. 620 women who were resident in Tower Hamlets and who satisfied the Barts and the London Trust's eligibility criteria for using the birth centre. Of these, 259 women were recruited to Phase 1 and 361 to Phase 2. the replies women gave show marked differences between the model of care in the birth centre and that at the obstetric unit at the Royal London Hospital with respect to experiences of care and specific practices. Women who initially booked for birth centre care were more likely to attend antenatal classes and find them useful and were less likely to be induced. Women who started labour care at the birth centre in spontaneous labour were more likely to use non-pharmacological methods of pain relief, most notably water and less likely to use pethidine than women who started care at the hospital. They were more likely to be able to move around in labour and less likely to have their membranes ruptured or have continuous CTG. They were more likely to be told to push spontaneously when they needed to rather than under directed pushing and more likely to report that they had been able to choose their position for birth and deliver in places other than the bed, in contrast to the situation at the hospital. The majority of women who had a spontaneous onset of labour delivered vaginally, with 28.6 per cent of women at the birth centre but no one at the hospital delivering in water. Primiparous women who delivered at the birth centre were less likely to have an episiotomy. Most women who delivered at the

  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. Effects of Neuregulin 3 Genotype on Human Prefrontal Cortex Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Tost, Heike; Callicott, Joseph H.; Rasetti, Roberta; Vakkalanka, Radhakrishna; Mattay, Venkata S.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2014-01-01

    The neuregulin 3 gene (NRG3) plays pleiotropic roles in neurodevelopment and is a putative susceptibility locus for schizophrenia. Specifically, the T allele of NRG3 rs10748842 has been associated with illness risk, altered cognitive function, and the expression of a novel splice isoform in prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the neural system effects are unexplored. Here, we report an association between rs10748842 and PFC physiology as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging of human working memory performance, where a convincing link between increased genetic risk for schizophrenia and increased activation in some PFC areas has been established. In 410 control individuals (195 males, 215 females), we detected a highly significant effect of NRG3 genotype manifesting as an unanticipated increase in ventrolateral PFC activation in nonrisk-associated C allele carriers. An additional analysis including 78 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (64 males, 14 females) and 123 unaffected siblings (53 males, 70 females) revealed a whole-brain significant genotype by group interaction in right dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), manifesting as a relative activation increase in healthy controls and siblings (C > T/T) and as a hypoactivation in patients (T/T > C). These observed genotype-dependent effects in PFC were not explained by task performance and did not conform to established locales of prefrontal inefficiency linked to genetic risk for schizophrenia. Our data indicate a complex modulation of brain physiology by rs10748842, which does not fit the simple inefficiency model of risk association in DLPFC and suggests that other neurobiological mechanisms are involved. PMID:24431462

  3. 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.

  4. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Contributions to Human Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Barbey, Aron K.; Colom, Roberto; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control functions for human intelligence, the necessity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) for key competencies of general intelligence and executive function remains to be well established. Here we studied human brain lesion patients with dlPFC lesions to investigate whether this region is computationally necessary for performance on neuropsychological tests of general intelligence and executive function, administering the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and subtests of the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) to three groups: dlPFC lesions (n = 19), non-dlPFC lesions (n = 152), and no brain lesions (n = 55). The key results indicate that: (1) patients with focal dlPFC damage exhibit lower scores, at the latent variable level, than controls in general intelligence (g) and executive function; (2) dlPFC patients demonstrate lower scores than controls in several executive measures; and (3) these latter differences are no longer significant when the pervasive influence of the general factor of intelligence (g) is statistically removed. The observed findings support a central role for the dlPFC in general intelligence and make specific recommendations for the interpretation and application of the WAIS and D-KEFS to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22634247

  5. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Contributions to Human Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Barbey, Aron K.; Koenigs, Michael; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of prefrontal cortex in human memory, the necessity of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) for key competencies of working memory remains largely unexplored. We therefore studied human brain lesion patients to determine whether dlPFC is necessary for working memory function, administering subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scale, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and the N-Back Task to three participant groups: dlPFC lesions (n = 19), non-dlPFC lesions (n = 152), and no brain lesions (n = 54). DlPFC damage was associated with deficits in the manipulation of verbal and spatial knowledge, with left dlPFC necessary for manipulating information in working memory and right dlPFC critical for manipulating information in a broader range of reasoning contexts. Our findings elucidate the architecture of working memory, providing key neuropsychological evidence for the necessity of dlPFC in the manipulation of verbal and spatial knowledge. PMID:22789779

  6. 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…

  7. Repeated seizures induce prefrontal growth disturbance in frontal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Kanemura, Hideaki; Sano, Fumikazu; Tando, Tomoko; Sugita, Kanji; Aihara, Masao

    2012-03-01

    The possible consequences of seizures in the immature brain have been the subject of much conjecture. We prospectively measured frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes using three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based volumetry in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) presenting with the same seizure semiology. The pathogenesis of repeated seizure-induced brain damage is discussed herein. Serial changes in regional cerebral volumes were measured in two patients with FLE presenting with intractable clinical courses and cognitive impairments/behavioral problems (FLE(+)) and four FLE patients without cognitive impairments/behavioral problems (FLE(-)). Eleven normal subjects (4-13 years old) served as controls. Volumes of the frontal and prefrontal lobes were determined using a workstation, and the prefrontal-to-frontal lobe volume ratio was calculated. Frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes revealed growth disturbance in FLE(+) compared with those of FLE(-) and control subjects. In addition, prefrontal-to-frontal lobe volume ratio increased serially in FLE(-) similarly to controls, but was stagnant or decreased in FLE(+). Prefrontal growth also revealed more rapid recovery in a FLE(+) patient with shorter active seizure period. These findings suggest that repeated seizures may lead to prefrontal growth disturbance. The occurrence of frequent seizures in patients with FLE may be associated with prefrontal lobe growth retardation, which relates to neuropsychological problems and ultimate neuropsychological outcome. Copyright © 2011 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Implicit and Explicit Learning Mechanisms Meet in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Chafee, Matthew V; Crowe, David A

    2017-10-11

    In this issue, Loonis et al. (2017) provide the first description of unique synchrony patterns differentiating implicit and explicit forms of learning in monkey prefrontal networks. Their results have broad implications for how prefrontal networks integrate the two learning mechanisms to control behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Discourse Production Following Injury to the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 one 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. PMID:20829072

  15. 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.

  16. Early implicit contextual change detection in anterior prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Pollmann, Stefan; Manginelli, Angela A

    2009-03-31

    The anterior prefrontal cortex is usually associated with high-level executive functions. In contrast, we show anterior prefrontal involvement in implicit change detection processes. A variant of the contextual cueing paradigm was used, in which repeated distractor configurations are implicitly learned and facilitate target search. After only six repetitions, the target location was changed in displays with repeated distractor configurations. We observed selective post-change signal increases in the anterior prefrontal cortex in repeated, but not novel displays. The data support the view that the anterior prefrontal cortex is involved in implicit change detection. This change detection is not dependent on extensive prior learning. Thus, anterior prefrontal involvement in complex cognitive tasks may be due to more basic processes than previously thought.

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

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:23175678

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27045844

  1. Self-Reported Sleep Correlates with Prefrontal-Amygdala Functional Connectivity and Emotional Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Killgore, William D. S.

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: Prior research suggests that sleep deprivation is associated with declines in some aspects of emotional intelligence and increased severity on indices of psychological disturbance. Sleep deprivation is also associated with reduced prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity, potentially reflecting impaired top-down modulation of emotion. It remains unknown whether this modified connectivity may be observed in relation to more typical levels of sleep curtailment. We examined whether self-reported sleep duration the night before an assessment would be associated with these effects. Design: Participants documented their hours of sleep from the previous night, completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Setting: Outpatient neuroimaging center at a private psychiatric hospital. Participants: Sixty-five healthy adults (33 men, 32 women), ranging in age from 18-45 y. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Greater self-reported sleep the preceding night was associated with higher scores on all scales of the EQ-i but not the MSCEIT, and with lower symptom severity scores on half of the psychopathology scales of the PAI. Longer sleep was also associated with stronger negative functional connectivity between the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Moreover, greater negative connectivity between these regions was associated with higher EQ-i and lower symptom severity on the PAI. Conclusions: Self-reported sleep duration from the preceding night was negatively correlated with prefrontal-amygdala connectivity and the severity of subjective psychological distress, while positively correlated with higher perceived emotional intelligence. More sleep was associated with higher emotional and psychological strength. Citation: Killgore WDS. Self

  2. Effects of prefrontal cortex damage on emotion understanding: EEG and behavioural evidence.

    PubMed

    Perry, Anat; Saunders, Samantha N; Stiso, Jennifer; Dewar, Callum; Lubell, Jamie; Meling, Torstein R; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Endestad, Tor; Knight, Robert T

    2017-04-01

    Humans are highly social beings that interact with each other on a daily basis. In these complex interactions, we get along by being able to identify others' actions and infer their intentions, thoughts and feelings. One of the major theories accounting for this critical ability assumes that the understanding of social signals is based on a primordial tendency to simulate observed actions by activating a mirror neuron system. If mirror neuron regions are important for action and emotion recognition, damage to regions in this network should lead to deficits in these domains. In the current behavioural and EEG study, we focused on the lateral prefrontal cortex including dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex and utilized a series of task paradigms, each measuring a different aspect of recognizing others' actions or emotions from body cues. We examined 17 patients with lesions including (n = 8) or not including (n = 9) the inferior frontal gyrus, a core mirror neuron system region, and compared their performance to matched healthy control subjects (n = 18), in behavioural tasks and in an EEG observation-execution task measuring mu suppression. Our results provide support for the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in understanding others' emotions, by showing that even unilateral lesions result in deficits in both accuracy and reaction time in tasks involving the recognition of others' emotions. In tasks involving the recognition of actions, patients showed a general increase in reaction time, but not a reduction in accuracy. Deficits in emotion recognition can be seen by either direct damage to the inferior frontal gyrus, or via damage to dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex regions, resulting in deteriorated performance and less EEG mu suppression over sensorimotor cortex. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. 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.

  4. The relation of worry to prefrontal cortex volume in older adults with and without generalized anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Mohlman, Jan; Price, Rebecca B; Eldreth, Dana A; Chazin, Daniel; Glover, Dorie M; Kates, Wendy R

    2009-08-30

    Despite the widespread prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in later life, almost nothing is known about the neural aspects of worry in adults over the age of 60. Given the ongoing rapid increase in the older adult population, the relatively poor response rates to current interventions for late life GAD, and the effects of age-related changes to the brain, additional research on worry neurobiology is needed. The study group comprised 15 older GAD patients and 15 matched controls who were compared on clinical measures and brain volumes. It was expected that prefrontal cortex (PFC) volumes [medial orbital cortex (mOFC), dorsolateral cortex (DLPFC)] would show positive relations to worry scores, and weaker relations to more general measures of anxiety and depression. Negative relations were expected between amygdala volumes and worry scores. As expected, mOFC volumes were positively related to worry scores; however, DLPFC and amygdala volumes were not. The mOFC is involved in emotional decision-making under uncertain conditions and has the ability to suppress the amygdala, both of which are hypothesized functions of worry. Results are partly consistent with GAD theory and suggest that worry may involve neural areas that are also involved in the successful control of anxiety.

  5. Autonomic and prefrontal events during moral elevation.

    PubMed

    Piper, Walter T; Saslow, Laura R; Saturn, Sarina R

    2015-05-01

    Moral elevation, or elevation, is a specific emotional state triggered by witnessing displays of profound virtue and moral beauty. This study set out to characterize the physiology underlying elevation with measurements of heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity. During elevation, HR and RSA increased. These findings illustrate that elevation involves an uncommon combination of both sympathetic and parasympathetic activation, which is present in circumstances where arousal and social engagement are both required. In addition, we show evidence of content-dependent alterations of mPFC activity during elevation peaks. Altogether, this study shows that the induction of moral elevation recruits an uncommon autonomic and neural pattern that is consistent with previous understanding of socioemotional-induced allostasis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Validation of a cognitive complaints questionnaire for young adults: the relation between subjective memory complaints, prefrontal symptoms and perceived stress].

    PubMed

    Lozoya-Delgado, Paz; Ruiz-Sánchez de León, José M; Pedrero-Pérez, Eduardo J

    2012-02-01

    Although subjective memory complaints are one of the most common causes behind visits to health services, there are hardly any validated instruments in Spanish for evaluating their magnitude. Since memory complaint questionnaires usually include items referring to attentional and executive aspects, it has been hypothesised that they may well be related with other processes that depend on the integrity of the prefrontal cortex. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of an instrument based on the Memory Failures in Everyday (MFE) questionnaire, thus providing a valuation over a broad sample of the Spanish population. A second aim of the study was to analyse the relations that exist between the appearance of the complaints, the symptoms of a prefrontal origin and perceived stress. The MFE-30 (a modified version of the MFE), the dysexecutive questionnaire and the perceived stress scale were administered to a sample of young adults from a non-clinical general population (n = 900). The analyses show that the MFE-30 is a single-factor questionnaire that evaluates a single construct called 'cognitive complaints'. Moreover, an intense pattern of correlations among these complaints, the symptoms of a prefrontal origin and perceived stress is observed. The resulting scores show that the MFE-30 is a useful instrument in clinical practice. Findings are in line with those from previous studies, thus suggesting that there is a close relation among the appearance of cognitive complaints, the presence of prefrontal symptoms and perceived stress.

  13. Parallel organization of contralateral and ipsilateral prefrontal cortical projections in the rhesus monkey

    PubMed Central

    Barbas, Helen; Hilgetag, Claus C; Saha, Subhash; Dermon, Caterina R; Suski, Joanna L

    2005-01-01

    Background The neocortical commissures have a fundamental role in functional integration across the cerebral hemispheres. We investigated whether commissural projections in prefrontal cortices are organized according to the same or different rules as those within the same hemisphere, by quantitatively comparing density, topography, and laminar origin of contralateral and ipsilateral projections, labeled after unilateral injection of retrograde tracers in prefrontal areas. Results Commissural projection neurons constituted less than one third of the ipsilateral. Nevertheless, projections from the two hemispheres were strongly correlated in topography and relative density. We investigated to what extent the distribution of contralateral projections depended on: (a) geographic proximity of projection areas to the area homotopic to the injection site; (b) the structural type of the linked areas, based on the number and neuronal density of their layers. Although both measures were good predictors, structural type was a comparatively stronger determinant of the relative distribution and density of projections. Ipsilateral projection neurons were distributed in the superficial (II-III) and deep (V-VI) layers, in proportions that varied across areas. In contrast, contralateral projection neurons were found mostly in the superficial layers, but still showed a gradient in their distribution within cortical layers that correlated significantly with cortical type, but not with geographic proximity to the homotopic area. Conclusion The organization of ipsilateral and contralateral prefrontal projections is similar in topography and relative density, differing only by higher overall density and more widespread laminar origin of ipsilateral than contralateral projections. The projections on both sides are highly correlated with the structural architecture of the linked areas, and their remarkable organization is likely established by punctuated development of distinct cortical

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Increased left prefrontal activation during an auditory language task in adolescents born preterm at high risk.

    PubMed

    Frye, Richard E; Malmberg, Benjamin; McLean, John; Swank, Paul; Smith, Karen; Papanicolaou, Andrew; Landry, Susan

    2010-06-08

    Although individuals born preterm are at risk for cognitive dysfunction, few studies have examined functional brain reorganization in these individuals. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine cortical reorganization related to preterm birth. Thirty-one adolescents systemically selected from a longitudinal study on child development based on gestational age, birth weight and medical complications (full term, low risk preterm, high-risk preterm) performed real-word and non-word auditory rhyme tasks during MEG recording. Equivalent current dipoles were localized every 4ms during the 50- to 250-ms period following the onset of the auditory stimulus. The association between the number of dipoles (NODs) and birth group, language task, latency and phonological skills was examined. Adolescents born preterm at high risk demonstrated a greater NODs in the left Broca's and prefrontal areas combined, left cingulate gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus and a fewer NODs in the right superior temporal gyrus as compared to those born preterm at low risk and term. A greater NODs in the left Broca's and prefrontal areas combined and fewer NODs in the left cingulate gyrus was associated with better phonological skills only in adolescents born preterm at high risk. These results suggest that the language networks are reorganized in adolescents born preterm at high risk. Increased prefrontal activity has also been seen in adolescents born preterm during a reading task and in young adults with a history of dyslexia who are well compensated for their disorder. We suggest that this increased prefrontal activation may represent increased top-down control of weak posterior language networks. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Ecological aspects of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in an Atlantic forest area on the north coast of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Jáder da C; de Paula, Marcia Bicudo; Fernandes, Aristides; dos Santos, Edmilson; de Almeida, Marco Antônio Barreto; da Fonseca, Daltro Fernandes; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-06-01

    Mosquito diversity was determined in an area located on the southern limit of the Atlantic Forest on the north coast of Rio Grande of Sul State. Our major objective was to verify the composition, diversity, and temporal distribution of the mosquito fauna, and the influence of temperature and rainfall. Samplings were performed monthly between December, 2006 and December, 2008, in three biotopes: forest, urban area, and transition area, using CDC light traps and a Nasci vacuum. A total of 2,376 specimens was collected, from which 1,766 (74.32%) were identified as 55 different species belonging to ten genera. Culex lygrus, Aedes serratus, and Aedes nubilus were dominant (eudominant) and constant throughout samplings. The forest environment presented the highest species dominance (D(S) =0.20), while the transition area showed the highest values of diversity (H'=2.55) and evenness (J'=0.85). These two environments were the most similar, according to the Morisita-Horn Index (I(M-H) =0.35). Bootstrap estimates showed that 87.3% of the species occurring in the region were detected. The seasonal pattern showed a greater abundance of mosquitoes between May and October, indicating the period to intensify entomological surveillance in that area. © 2011 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Teenagers' Significant Experiences in Areas of Arts: A Study of the Subjectively Felt Impact and Some Qualitative Aspects of Experiences Involving Productive Arts Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finnas, Leif

    2012-01-01

    As a part of a larger project, this study focused primarily on Finland-Swedish ninth-graders' "productive" arts experiences (involving music-making, acting, writing, painting/drawing, dancing), as these had been reported when the pupils had been asked to write down descriptions of "strong" experiences in arts areas (music,…

  1. [Analysis of 1989-1999 homicide crimes in the catchment area of the Bonn Institute of Forensic Medicine with reference to selected aspects].

    PubMed

    Padosch, Stephan A; Passinger, Claudia; Schmidt, Peter H; Madea, Burkhard

    2003-01-01

    195 cases of homicide, grouped according to juridical assessment, were retrospectively analysed with regard to individual characteristics of perpetrators and victims, circumstances, and mode of commitment. The involvement of underage victims and perpetrators as well as differences between the urban and rural areas studied were taken into special consideration. To summarise, the majority of the offences studied was carried out by a male perpetrator with a mean age of 35 years driven by personal motives or greed in his immediate vicinity and affected family members or close acquaintances. The fatal injuries were mainly attributable to sharp or blunt force. With regard to killings of children, a higher prevalence of female victims and male assailants, emotional motives and an even higher importance of the social vicinity were found. Particularly in victims younger 12 years of age, manual modes of commitment without application of any tools were predominantly encountered. The comparison of urban and rural areas revealed a higher homicide rate in municipal areas especially of offences with a loose relationship between victims and assailants (greed, sexual assault). In contrast, rural areas exhibited higher rates of bodily harm with fatal consequences as well as offences by highly intoxicated assailants.

  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. Chemistry of the mind: neurochemical modulation of prefrontal cortical function.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Trevor W

    2005-12-05

    The neurochemical modulation of prefrontal cortical function is reviewed with special reference to the ascending dopaminergic and serotoninergic projections. Evidence is surveyed from studies of rats, nonhuman primates, and humans to suggest that prefrontal dopamine has specific functions in attentional control and working memory, mediated mainly through the D1 receptor, whereas manipulations of serotonin are shown by contrast to affect reversal learning in monkeys and human volunteers and measures of impulsivity in rats. These findings are discussed in the context of these as well as other neurotransmitter systems (including noradrenaline and acetylcholine) having distinct roles in the neuromodulation of prefrontal cortical function. The capacity of the prefrontal cortex itself to exert top-down regulation of these ascending neurochemical systems is also discussed. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. 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.

  6. Cranial MR imaging of sequelae of prefrontal lobotomy.

    PubMed

    Uchino, A; Kato, A; Yuzuriha, T; Takashima, Y; Kudo, S

    2001-02-01

    Although prefrontal lobotomy is an obsolete treatment for schizophrenia, we still encounter patients who have undergone this procedure. The purpose of this study was to describe the MR imaging findings of sequelae of prefrontal lobotomy. We retrospectively reviewed cranial MR images of eight patients with schizophrenia who underwent prefrontal lobotomy approximately 50 years previously. In all patients, a bilateral cavitary lesion with a thick wall was found in the frontal white matter. The genu of the corpus callosum was mildly to markedly atrophic. The size and location of the cavity and the degree of callosal atrophy were correlated. MR imaging is useful for the diagnosis of sequelae of prefrontal lobotomy, including cavitary lesions with dense walls of gliosis and secondary degeneration of the genu of the corpus callosum.

  7. 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

  8. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The causal role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the modification of attentional bias: evidence from transcranial direct current stimulation.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Patrick J F; Browning, Michael; Hammond, Geoff; Notebaert, Lies; MacLeod, Colin

    2014-12-15

    A pattern of attentional bias for threatening information is thought to be involved in the etiology of anxiety. Consistent with this idea, cognitive training techniques directly targeting such patterns of biased attention have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Research seeking to establish the neurologic underpinnings of change in the attentional bias for threat have implicated, but not confirmed, the role of lateral prefrontal regions. The current study sought to confirm experimentally the causal role of lateral prefrontal areas in the modification of attentional bias by delivering targeted cortical stimulation during attention bias modification training to assess the consequent effects on attentional bias change. While completing either an "attend threat" or "avoid threat" attention bias modification task, 77 volunteers (17-22 per group) received either active transcranial direct current stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or a sham stimulation control condition. Participants receiving active stimulation showed greater evidence of attentional bias acquisition in the targeted direction (toward or away from threat) compared with participants in the sham stimulation condition. Our findings provide the first experimental evidence that increasing activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex leads to greater evidence of attention bias modification. This evidence confirms the role of these areas in facilitating change in the allocation of attention to threat. We believe this study provides a critical step in the translation of neuroimaging findings to novel neuromodulatory interventions capable of enhancing the treatment of emotional pathology. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. High social desirability and prefrontal cortical activity in cancer patients: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Tashiro, Manabu; Juengling, Freimut D; Moser, Ernst; Reinhardt, Michael J; Kubota, Kazuo; Yanai, Kazuhiko; Sasaki, Hidetada; Nitzsche, Egbert U; Kumano, Hiroaki; Itoh, Masatoshi

    2003-04-01

    Social desirability is sometimes associated with poor prognosis in cancer patients. Psycho-neuro-immune interaction has been hypothesized as an underlying mechanism of the negative clinical outcome. Purpose of this study was to examine possible effects of high social desirability on the regional brain activity in patients with malignant diseases. Brain metabolism of 16 patients with various malignant diseases was measured by PET with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Patients were divided into 2 groups using median split on Marlowe & Crown's Social Desirability Scale (MC), controlling for age, gender, and for severity of depression and anxiety, the possible two major influential factors. A group comparison of the regional cerebral activity was calculated on a voxel-by-voxel basis using statistical parametric mapping (SPM). The subgroup comparison showed that the high social desirability was associated with relatively increased metabolism in the cortical regions in the prefrontal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as in the anterior cingulate gyrus. High social desirability seems to be associated with increased activity in the prefrontal and other cortical areas. The finding is in an accordance with previous studies that demonstrated an association between prefrontal damage and anti-social behavior. Functional neuroimaging seems to be useful not only for psychiatric evaluation of major factors such as depression and anxiety but also for further psychosocial factors in cancer patients.

  14. The effects of thioperamide on extracellular levels of glutamate and GABA in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Welty, Natalie; Shoblock, James R

    2009-12-01

    Histamine H3 receptors (H3R) are presynaptic heteroreceptors that negatively modulate the release of histamine and other neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine. Blocking H3 receptors with antagonists/inverse agonists has been shown to be procognitive and this effect has often been associated with increases in acetylcholine transmission. H3 receptors are abundantly expressed in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with cognitive performance. While the procognitive effects of H3 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists may depend on alterations to acetylcholine or histamine release, other transmitters involved in cognitive processing such as glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) may also be involved. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of thioperamide, an H3 receptor antagonist, on extracellular levels of glutamate and GABA in the prefrontal cortex. By means of in vivo microdialysis on freely moving Sprague Dawley rats, samples were collected and assayed via high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection. Replacement of calcium with magnesium revealed that the release of GABA, but not glutamate, was calcium-dependent. Thioperamide (10-20 mg/kg) did not affect basal glutamate or GABA release. Perfusion with a high concentration of potassium (100 mM) increased GABA, but not glutamate, release and thioperamide (20 mg/kg) attenuated the effects of high potassium on GABA release. These data indicate that H3 receptors in the prefrontal cortex can enhance stimulated GABA release, but do not regulate basal levels of glutamate or GABA.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Prefrontal-limbic connectivity during worry in older adults with generalized anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Mohlman, Jan; Eldreth, Dana A; Price, Rebecca B; Staples, Alison M; Hanson, Catherine

    2017-04-01

    Although generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders in older adults, very little is known about the neurobiology of worry, the hallmark symptom of GAD in adults over the age of 60. This study investigated the neurobiology and neural circuitry of worry in older GAD patients and controls. Twenty older GAD patients and 16 age-matched controls (mean age = 67.88) were compared on clinical measures and neural activity during worry using functional magnetic resonance imaging. As expected, worry elicited activation in frontal regions, amygdala, and insula within the GAD group, with a similar but less prominent frontal pattern was observed in controls. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a positive directional circuit in the GAD group extending from ventromedial through dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, converging on the amygdala. A less complex circuit was observed in controls with only dorsolateral prefrontal regions converging on the amygdala; however, a separate circuit passing through the orbitofrontal cortex converged on the insula. Results elucidate a different neurobiology of pathological versus normal worry in later life. A limited resource model is implicated wherein worry in GAD competes for the same neural resources (e.g. prefrontal cortical areas) that are involved in the adaptive regulation of emotion through cognitive and behavioral strategies.

  20. 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.

  1. Prefrontal activation associated with social attachment: facial-emotion recognition in mothers and infants.

    PubMed

    Minagawa-Kawai, Yasuyo; Matsuoka, Sunao; Dan, Ippeita; Naoi, Nozomi; Nakamura, Katsuki; Kojima, Shozo

    2009-02-01

    Attachment between mothers and infants is the most primitive and primary form of human social relationship. Many reports have suggested that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) plays a significant role in this attachment; however, only a select few provide experimental neurophysiological evidence. In the present study, to determine the neural substrates underlying the social and emotional attachment between mothers and infants, we measured their prefrontal activation by using near-infrared spectroscopy. We used movie stimuli that could robustly induce a positive affect, and the results for viewing own versus unfamiliar infants showed that own-infant viewing elicited increased activations around the anterior part of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the mothers. Their response magnitude in that area was also correlated with the behavioral rating of the pleasant mood of infants. Furthermore, our study revealed that the infants' prefrontal activation around the anterior OFC is specific to viewing their mothers' smile. These results suggest the OFC's role in regulating and encoding the affect in attachment system and also show that infants share similar neuronal functions with mothers, associated with their bonds at 1 year of age. We further discussed infants' prefrontal activations and their implications for the development of the social brain network.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Emotion regulation in spider phobia: role of the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Axel; Walter, Bertram; Stark, Rudolf; Vaitl, Dieter; Schienle, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Phobic responses are strong emotional reactions towards phobic objects, which can be described as a deficit in the automatic regulation of emotions. Difficulties in the voluntary cognitive control of these emotions suggest a further phobia-specific deficit in effortful emotion regulation mechanisms. The actual study is based on this emotion regulation conceptualization of specific phobias. The aim is to investigate the neural correlates of these two emotion regulation deficits in spider phobics. Sixteen spider phobic females participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which they were asked to voluntarily up- and down-regulate their emotions elicited by spider and generally aversive pictures with a reappraisal strategy. In line with the hypothesis concerning an automatic emotion regulation deficit, increased activity in the insula and reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was observed. Furthermore, phobia-specific effortful regulation within phobics was associated with altered activity in medial prefrontal cortex areas. Altogether, these results suggest that spider phobic subjects are indeed characterized by a deficit in the automatic as well as the effortful regulation of emotions elicited by phobic compared with aversive stimuli. These two forms of phobic emotion regulation deficits are associated with altered activity in different medial prefrontal cortex subregions. PMID:19398537

  5. Semantic strategy training increases memory performance and brain activity in patients with prefrontal cortex lesions.

    PubMed

    Miotto, Eliane C; Savage, Cary R; Evans, Jonathan J; Wilson, Barbara A; Martin, Maria G M; Balardin, Joana B; Barros, Fabio G; Garrido, Griselda; Teixeira, Manoel J; Amaro Junior, Edson

    2013-03-01

    Memory deficit is a frequent cognitive disorder following acquired prefrontal cortex lesions. In the present study, we investigated the brain correlates of a short semantic strategy training and memory performance of patients with distinct prefrontal cortex lesions using fMRI and cognitive tests. Twenty-one adult patients with post-acute prefrontal cortex (PFC) lesions, twelve with left dorsolateral PFC (LPFC) and nine with bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (BOFC) were assessed before and after a short cognitive semantic training using a verbal memory encoding paradigm during scanning and neuropsychological tests outside the scanner. After the semantic strategy training both groups of patients showed significant behavioral improvement in verbal memory recall and use of semantic strategies. In the LPFC group, greater activity in left inferior and medial frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus and insula was found after training. For the BOFC group, a greater activation was found in the left parietal cortex, right cingulated and precuneus after training. The activation of these specific areas in the memory and executive networks following cognitive training was associated to compensatory brain mechanisms and application of the semantic strategy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Lateral prefrontal cortex and self-control in intertemporal choice.

    PubMed

    Figner, Bernd; Knoch, Daria; Johnson, Eric J; Krosch, Amy R; Lisanby, Sarah H; Fehr, Ernst; Weber, Elke U

    2010-05-01

    Disruption of function of left, but not right, lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) with low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) increased choices of immediate rewards over larger delayed rewards. rTMS did not change choices involving only delayed rewards or valuation judgments of immediate and delayed rewards, providing causal evidence for a neural lateral-prefrontal cortex-based self-control mechanism in intertemporal choice.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Prefrontal brain activity predicts temporally extended decision-making behavior.

    PubMed

    Yarkoni, Tal; Braver, Todd S; Gray, Jeremy R; Green, Leonard

    2005-11-01

    Although functional neuroimaging studies of human decision-making processes are increasingly common, most of the research in this area has relied on passive tasks that generate little individual variability. Relatively little attention has been paid to the ability of brain activity to predict overt behavior. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the neural mechanisms underlying behavior during a dynamic decision task that required subjects to select smaller, short-term monetary payoffs in order to receive larger, long-term gains. The number of trials over which the longterm gains accrued was manipulated experimentally (2 versus 12). Event-related neural activity in right lateral prefrontal cortex, a region associated with high-level cognitive processing, selectively predicted choice behavior in both conditions, whereas insular cortex responded to fluctuations in amount of reward but did not predict choice behavior. These results demonstrate the utility of a functional neuroimaging approach in behavioral psychology, showing that (a) highly circumscribed brain regions are capable of predicting complex choice behavior, and (b) fMRI has the ability to dissociate the contributions of different neural mechanisms to particular behavioral tasks.

  10. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-14

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Proinflammatory Cytokines in the Prefrontal Cortex of Teenage Suicide Victims

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21906753

  14. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Thinning in Preschool-Onset Depression

    PubMed Central

    Marrus, Natasha; Belden, Andrew; Nishino, Tomoyuki; Handler, Ted; Ratnanather, J Tilak; Miller, Michael; Barch, Deanna; Luby, Joan; Botteron, Kelly

    2016-01-01

    Background The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) is a key center of affect regulation and processing, fundamental aspects of emotional competence which are disrupted in mood disorders. Structural alterations of VMPFC have consistently been observed in adult major depression and are associated with depression severity, yet it is unknown whether young children with depression demonstrate similar abnormalities. We investigated cortical thickness differences in the VMPFC of children with a history of preschool-onset depression (PO-MDD). Methods Participants in a longitudinal study of PO-MDD underwent structural brain imaging between the ages of 7 to 12 years. Using local cortical distance metrics, cortical thickness of the VMPFC was compared in children with and without a history of PO-MDD. Results Children previously diagnosed with PO-MDD (n=34) had significantly thinner right VMPFC versus children without a history of PO-MDD [(n=95); F(1,126)=5.97, p=0.016)]. This effect was specific to children with a history of PO-MDD vs. other psychiatric conditions and was independent of comorbid anxiety or externalizing disorders. Decreases in right VMPFC thickness were predicted by preschool depressive symptoms independent of depressive symptoms in school age. Limitations Results are cross-sectional and cannot distinguish whether thinner right VMPFC represents a vulnerability marker of MDD, consequence of MDD, or marker of remitted MDD. Longitudinal imaging is needed to contextualize how this difference relates to normative VMPFC structural development. Conclusions Onset of depression at preschool age was associated with decreased cortical thickness of right VMPFC. This finding implicates the VMPFC in depression from very early stages of brain development. PMID:25881284

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Prefrontal Parvalbumin Neurons in Control of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hoseok; Ährlund-Richter, Sofie; Wang, Xinming; Deisseroth, Karl; Carlén, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Summary While signatures of attention have been extensively studied in sensory systems, the neural sources and computations responsible for top-down control of attention are largely unknown. Using chronic recordings in mice, we found that fast-spiking parvalbumin (FS-PV) interneurons in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) uniformly show increased and sustained firing during goal-driven attentional processing, correlating to the level of attention. Elevated activity of FS-PV neurons on the timescale of seconds predicted successful execution of behavior. Successful allocation of attention was characterized by strong synchronization of FS-PV neurons, increased gamma oscillations, and phase locking of pyramidal firing. Phase-locked pyramidal neurons showed gamma-phase-dependent rate modulation during successful attentional processing. Optogenetic silencing of FS-PV neurons deteriorated attentional processing, while optogenetic synchronization of FS-PV neurons at gamma frequencies had pro-cognitive effects and improved goal-directed behavior. FS-PV neurons thus act as a functional unit coordinating the activity in the local mPFC circuit during goal-driven attentional processing. PMID:26771492

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Biogeographical aspects of the occurrence of Nyssomyia neivai and Nyssomyia intermedia (Diptera: Psychodidae) in a sympatric area of the Brazilian savannah.

    PubMed

    Saraiva, Lara; Carvalho, Gustavo Mayr de Lima; Sanguinette, Cristiani de Castilho; Carvalho, Deborah Aparecida Alves de; Andrade Filho, José Dilermando

    2012-11-01

    Nyssomyia intermedia and Nyssomyia neivai constitute a species complex associated with Leishmania transmission. The aim of this study was to analyse the ecological profiles of the Ny. intermedia and Ny. neivai populations in a sympatric area in the Brazilian savannah along the banks of the Velhas River. Captures were performed from July 2003-June 2005 in two distinct environments: a gallery forest with various degrees of anthropogenic modification and animal shelters. A total of 20,508 Ny. neivai (86%) and Ny. intermedia (14%) sandflies were collected. The difference between the proportions of the sandflies that were collected (Ny. neivai/Ny. intermedia) per bank was significant. The right bank presented a greater number of sandflies (65%) and more preserved vegetation. The abundance of Ny. neivai was higher than that of Ny. intermedia on both banks. The results demonstrate that anthropic activities can affect the sandfly populations in this area, thereby leading to a reduction in species abundance. Nevertheless, the environments with higher levels of antropogenic modification displayed sandfly population numbers that favour the Leishmania transmission cycle.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Prefrontal regional correlates of self-control in male psychiatric patients: Impulsivity facets and aggression.

    PubMed

    Gansler, David A; Lee, Athene K W; Emerton, Britt C; D'Amato, Christopher; Bhadelia, Rafeeque; Jerram, Matthew; Fulwiler, Carl

    2011-01-30

    Investigating the organization of trait aggression and impulsivity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) advances our understanding of the neuropsychobiology of self-control. While the orbital aspect of the PFC (OFC) has received attention, there is reason to believe the lateral aspect is also relevant. In the current study using magnetic resonance imaging, gray matter volumes in lateral PFC (LPFC) were derived in a heterogeneous male psychiatric sample (N=36) in which OFC volumes had previously been reported. In an analysis using self-report measures of trait impulsivity and aggression, the left LPFC accounted for significant variance in attentional aspects of impulsivity (13%) and aggression (10%) but not motor aspects of impulsivity, as hypothesized. The OFC was associated with motor impulsivity (left-20%; right-14%) and was also more robustly associated with aggression (left-36%; right-16%). A social/emotional information processing model was explored, based upon whether the LPFC or the OFC depended upon one another for their association to trait aggression and impulsivity. It was demonstrated that association of the LPFC to both aggression and attentional impulsivity depended upon the OFC, while the converse was not supported. The LPFC appears relevant to the higher-order aspects of a cortical self-control network, and that relevance is dependent upon the robust contribution of the OFC. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Iron sucrose - characteristics, efficacy and regulatory aspects of an established treatment of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in a broad range of therapeutic areas.

    PubMed

    Beguin, Yves; Jaspers, Aurélie

    2014-10-01

    Iron is a key element in the transport and utilization of oxygen and a variety of metabolic pathways. Iron deficiency is a major cause of anemia and can be associated with fatigue, impaired physical function and reduced quality of life. Administration of oral or intravenous (i.v.) iron is the recommended treatment for iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) in different therapeutic areas. This article provides an overview of studies that evaluated i.v. iron sucrose for anemia and iron status management, either alone or in combination with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, across various diseases and conditions. Iron sucrose is an established, effective and well-tolerated treatment of IDA in patients with acute or chronic conditions such as chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy (second and third trimester), postpartum period, heavy menstrual bleeding and cancer who need rapid iron supply and in whom oral iron preparations are ineffective or not tolerated. Available data on patient blood management warrant further studies on preoperative iron treatment. First experience with iron sucrose follow-on products raises questions about their therapeutic equivalence without comparative clinical data in newly diagnosed patients or patients on existing chronic treatment.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Prefrontal Neuronal Responses during Audiovisual Mnemonic Processing

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jaewon

    2015-01-01

    During communication we combine auditory and visual information. Neurophysiological research in nonhuman primates has shown that single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) exhibit multisensory responses to faces and vocalizations presented simultaneously. However, whether VLPFC is also involved in maintaining those communication stimuli in working memory or combining stored information across different modalities is unknown, although its human homolog, the inferior frontal gyrus, is known to be important in integrating verbal information from auditory and visual working memory. To address this question, we recorded from VLPFC while rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) performed an audiovisual working memory task. Unlike traditional match-to-sample/nonmatch-to-sample paradigms, which use unimodal memoranda, our nonmatch-to-sample task used dynamic movies consisting of both facial gestures and the accompanying vocalizations. For the nonmatch conditions, a change in the auditory component (vocalization), the visual component (face), or both components was detected. Our results show that VLPFC neurons are activated by stimulus and task factors: while some neurons simply responded to a particular face or a vocalization regardless of the task period, others exhibited activity patterns typically related to working memory such as sustained delay activity and match enhancement/suppression. In addition, we found neurons that detected the component change during the nonmatch period. Interestingly, some of these neurons were sensitive to the change of both components and therefore combined information from auditory and visual working memory. These results suggest that VLPFC is not only involved in the perceptual processing of faces and vocalizations but also in their mnemonic processing. PMID:25609614

  3. The prefrontal cortex and the executive control of attention

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Andrew F.; Pessoa, Luiz; Desimone, Robert

    2009-01-01

    We review two studies aimed at understanding the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the control of attention. The first study examined which attentional functions are critically dependent on PFC by removing PFC unilaterally and transecting the forebrain commissures in two macaques. The monkeys fixated a central cue and discriminated the orientation of a colored target grating presented among colored distracter gratings in either the hemifield affected by the PFC lesion or the normal control hemifield. When the cue was held constant for many trials, task performance in the affected hemifield was nearly normal. However, performance was severely impaired when the cue was switched frequently across trials. The monkeys were unimpaired in a pop-out task with changing targets that did not require top-down attentional control. Thus, the PFC lesion resulted in selective impairment in the monkeys’ ability to switch top-down control. In the second study, we used fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of top-down control in humans performing tasks identical to those used in the monkey experiments. Several fronto-parietal and posterior visual areas showed enhanced activation when attention was switched, which was greater on color cueing (top-down) trials relative to pop-out trials. Taken together, our findings indicate that both frontal and parietal cortices are involved in generating top-down control signals for attentive switching, which may then be fed back to visual processing areas. The PFC in particular plays a critical role in the ability to switch attentional control on the basis of changing task demands. PMID:19030851

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Altered gene expression in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Guillozet-Bongaarts, A L; Hyde, T M; Dalley, R A; Hawrylycz, M J; Henry, A; Hof, P R; Hohmann, J; Jones, A R; Kuan, C L; Royall, J; Shen, E; Swanson, B; Zeng, H; Kleinman, J E

    2014-04-01

    The underlying pathology of schizophrenia (SZ) is likely as heterogeneous as its symptomatology. A variety of cortical and subcortical regions, including the prefrontal cortex, have been implicated in its pathology, and a number of genes have been identified as risk factors for disease development. We used in situ hybridization (ISH) to examine the expression of 58 genes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, comprised of Brodmann areas 9 and 46) from 19 individuals with a premorbid diagnosis of SZ and 33 control individuals. Genes were selected based on: (1) previous identification as risk factors for SZ; (2) cell type markers or (3) laminar markers. Cell density and staining intensity were compared in the DLPFC, as well as separately in Brodmann areas 9 and 46. The expression patterns of a variety of genes, many of which are associated with the GABAergic system, were altered in SZ when compared with controls. Additional genes, including C8orf79 and NR4A2, showed alterations in cell density or staining intensity between the groups, highlighting the need for additional studies. Alterations were, with only a few exceptions, limited to Brodmann area 9, suggesting regional specificity of pathology in the DLPFC. Our results agree with previous studies on the GABAergic involvement in SZ, and suggest that areas 9 and 46 may be differentially affected in the disease. This study also highlights additional genes that may be altered in SZ, and indicates that these potentially interesting genes can be identified by ISH and high-throughput image analysis techniques.

  10. 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.

  11. Self-reported sleep correlates with prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity and emotional functioning.

    PubMed

    Killgore, William D S

    2013-11-01

    Prior research suggests that sleep deprivation is associated with declines in some aspects of emotional intelligence and increased severity on indices of psychological disturbance. Sleep deprivation is also associated with reduced prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity, potentially reflecting impaired top-down modulation of emotion. It remains unknown whether this modified connectivity may be observed in relation to more typical levels of sleep curtailment. We examined whether self-reported sleep duration the night before an assessment would be associated with these effects. Participants documented their hours of sleep from the previous night, completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Outpatient neuroimaging center at a private psychiatric hospital. Sixty-five healthy adults (33 men, 32 women), ranging in age from 18-45 y. N/A. Greater self-reported sleep the preceding night was associated with higher scores on all scales of the EQ-i but not the MSCEIT, and with lower symptom severity scores on half of the psychopathology scales of the PAI. Longer sleep was also associated with stronger negative functional connectivity between the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Moreover, greater negative connectivity between these regions was associated with higher EQ-i and lower symptom severity on the PAI. Self-reported sleep duration from the preceding night was negatively correlated with prefrontal-amygdala connectivity and the severity of subjective psychological distress, while positively correlated with higher perceived emotional intelligence. More sleep was associated with higher emotional and psychological strength.

  12. 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

  13. Modeling, stability analysis, and computational aspects of some simplest nonlinear fuzzy two-term controllers derived via center of area/gravity defuzzification.

    PubMed

    Arun, N K; Mohan, B M

    2017-09-01

    The mathematical models reported in the literature so far have been found using Center of Sums (CoS) defuzzification method only. It appears that no one has found models using Center of Area (CoA) or Center of Gravity (CoG) defuzzification method. Although there have been some works reported to deal with modeling of fuzzy controllers via Centroid method, all of them have in fact used CoS method only. In this paper, for the first time mathematical models of the simplest Mamdani type fuzzy Proportional Integral (PI)/Proportional Derivative (PD) controllers via CoG defuzzification are presented. L-type and Γ-type membership functions over different Universes of Discourse (UoDs) are considered for the input variables. L-type, Π-type and Γ-type membership functions are considered for the output variable. Three linear fuzzy control rules relating all four input fuzzy sets to three output fuzzy sets are chosen. Two triangular norms namely Algebraic Product (AP) and Minimum (Min), Maximum (Max) triangular co-norm, and two inference methods, Larsen Product (LP) and Mamdani Minimum (MM), are used. Properties of the models are studied. Stability analysis of closed-loop systems containing one of these controller models in the loop is done using the Small Gain theorem. Since digital controllers are implemented using digital processors, computational and memory requirements of these fuzzy controllers and conventional (nonfuzzy) controllers are compared. A rough estimate of the computational time taken by the digital computer while implementing any of these discrete-time fuzzy controllers is given. Two nonlinear plants are considered to show the superiority of the simplest fuzzy controller obtained using CoA or CoG defuzzification method over the simplest fuzzy controller obtained using CoS method and reported recently. Real-time implementation of one of the developed controller models is done on coupled tank experimental setup to show the feasibility of the developed model

  14. The role of rostral prefrontal cortex in prospective memory: A voxel-based lesion study

    PubMed Central

    Volle, Emmanuelle; Gonen-Yaacovi, Gil; de Lacy Costello, Angela; Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2011-01-01

    Patients with lesions in rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) often experience problems in everyday-life situations requiring multitasking. A key cognitive component that is critical in multitasking situations is prospective memory, defined as the ability to carry out an intended action after a delay period filled with unrelated activity. The few functional imaging studies investigating prospective memory have shown consistent activation in both medial and lateral rostral PFC but also in more posterior prefrontal regions and non-frontal regions. The aim of this study was to determine regions that are necessary for prospective memory performance, using the human lesion approach. We designed an experimental paradigm allowing us to assess time-based (remembering to do something at a particular time) and event-based (remembering to do something in a particular situation) prospective memory, using two types of material, words and pictures. Time estimation tasks and tasks controlling for basic attention, inhibition and multiple instructions processing were also administered. We examined brain-behaviour relationships with a voxelwise lesion method in 45 patients with focal brain lesions and 107 control subjects using this paradigm. The results showed that lesions in the right polar prefrontal region (in Brodmann area 10) were specifically associated with a deficit in time-based prospective memory tasks for both words and pictures. This deficit could not be explained by impairments in basic attention, detection, inhibition or multiple instruction processing, and there was also no deficit in event-based prospective memory conditions. In addition to their prospective memory difficulties, these polar prefrontal patients were significantly impaired in time estimation ability compared to other patients. The same region was found to be involved using both words and pictures, suggesting that right rostral PFC plays a material nonspecific role in prospective memory. This is the first

  15. Transitions between Multiband Oscillatory Patterns Characterize Memory-Guided Perceptual Decisions in Prefrontal Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Wimmer, Klaus; Ramon, Marc; Pasternak, Tatiana

    2016-01-01

    frequencies rapid changes between sensory and cognitive processing. Here, we studied rhythmic electrical activity in the monkey prefrontal cortex, an area implicated in working memory, decision making, and executive control. Monkeys had to identify and remember a visual motion pattern and compare it to a second pattern. We found orderly transitions between rhythmic activity where the same frequency channels were active in all ongoing prefrontal computations. This supports prefrontal circuit dynamics that transitions rapidly between complex rhythmic patterns during structured cognitive tasks. PMID:26758840

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Two-photon calcium imaging of the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus without cortical invasion.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Masashi; Kobayashi, Kenta; Ohkura, Masamichi; Nakai, Junichi; Matsuzaki, Masanori

    2017-09-25

    In vivo two-photon calcium imaging currently allows us to observe the activity of multiple neurons up to ~900 µm below the cortical surface without cortical invasion. However, many important brain areas are located deeper than this. Here, we used an 1100 nm laser that underfilled the back aperture of the objective together with red genetically encoded calcium indicators to establish two-photon calcium imaging of the intact mouse brain and detect neural activity up to 1200 μm from the cortical surface. This imaging was obtained from the medial prefrontal cortex (the prelimbic area) and the hippocampal CA1 region. We found that neural activity before water delivery repeated at a constant interval was higher in the prelimbic area than in layer 2/3 of the secondary motor area. Reducing the invasiveness of imaging is an important strategy to reveal the intact brain processes active in cognition and memory.

  1. Social and asocial prefrontal cortex neurons: a new look at social facilitation and the social brain.

    PubMed

    Demolliens, Marie; Isbaine, Faiçal; Takerkart, Sylvain; Huguet, Pascal; Boussaoud, Driss

    2017-08-01

    A fundamental aspect of behavior in many animal species is 'social facilitation', the positive effect of the mere presence of conspecifics on performance. To date, the neuronal counterpart of this ubiquitous phenomenon is unknown. We recorded the activity of single neurons from two prefrontal cortex regions, the dorsolateral part and the anterior cingulate cortex in monkeys as they performed a visuomotor task, either in the presence of a conspecific (Presence condition) or alone. Monkeys performed better in the presence condition than alone (social facilitation), and analyses of outcome-related activity of 342 prefrontal neurons revealed that most of them (86%) were sensitive to the performance context. Two populations of neurons were discovered: 'social neurons', preferentially active under social presence and 'asocial neurons', preferentially active under social isolation. The activity of these neurons correlated positively with performance only in their preferred context (social neurons under social presence; asocial neurons under social isolation), thereby providing a potential neuronal mechanism of social facilitation. More generally, the fact that identical tasks recruited either social or asocial neurons depending on the presence or absence of a conspecific also brings a new look at the social brain hypothesis. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  2. 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.

  3. Social and asocial prefrontal cortex neurons: a new look at social facilitation and the social brain

    PubMed Central

    Demolliens, Marie; Isbaine, Faiçal; Takerkart, Sylvain; Huguet, Pascal

    2017-01-01

    Abstract A fundamental aspect of behavior in many animal species is ‘social facilitation’, the positive effect of the mere presence of conspecifics on performance. To date, the neuronal counterpart of this ubiquitous phenomenon is unknown. We recorded the activity of single neurons from two prefrontal cortex regions, the dorsolateral part and the anterior cingulate cortex in monkeys as they performed a visuomotor task, either in the presence of a conspecific (Presence condition) or alone. Monkeys performed better in the presence condition than alone (social facilitation), and analyses of outcome-related activity of 342 prefrontal neurons revealed that most of them (86%) were sensitive to the performance context. Two populations of neurons were discovered: ‘social neurons’, preferentially active under social presence and ‘asocial neurons’, preferentially active under social isolation. The activity of these neurons correlated positively with performance only in their preferred context (social neurons under social presence; asocial neurons under social isolation), thereby providing a potential neuronal mechanism of social facilitation. More generally, the fact that identical tasks recruited either social or asocial neurons depending on the presence or absence of a conspecific also brings a new look at the social brain hypothesis. PMID:28402489

  4. Rat prefrontal dopamine and cognitive control: impaired and enhanced conflict performance.

    PubMed

    Haddon, Josephine E; Killcross, Simon

    2011-06-01

    It has been proposed that the cognitive dysfunction observed in patients with schizophrenia reflects a failure in cognitive control, in particular an inability to use task-relevant information to guide behavior. Using a prefrontal-dependent task designed to reflect aspects of cue and response conflict seen in human cognitive paradigms, we examined the influence of prefrontal dopamine receptor manipulation on the contextual control of response conflict. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in two discriminably different contexts. At test, audiovisual compounds of these training stimuli were presented, in extinction, in each of the training contexts. These compounds were formed in such a way that the individual elements previously dictated different responses during training, termed incongruent trials. Studies have shown that rats use contextual information to disambiguate the conflicting information provided by incongruent compounds, responding in manner that is appropriate to the stimulus element that was trained in the test context. Direct infusion of the D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 into the prelimbic cortex was found to modulate incongruent trial performance in a manner that was dependent upon baseline performance: animals in the low baseline group demonstrated improved incongruent performance following infusion of SKF-38393 into the prelimbic cortex. In contrast, high performers showed a reduction in accuracy during incongruent compounds. This paradigm provides a reliable framework for assessing the efficacy of preclinical agents in treating the cognitive impairments seen in frontal-related disorders such as schizophrenia.

  5. Age differences in medial prefrontal activity for subsequent memory of truth value

    PubMed Central

    Cassidy, Brittany S.; Hedden, Trey; Yoon, Carolyn; Gutchess, Angela H.

    2014-01-01

    Much research has demonstrated that aging is marked by decreased source memory relative to young adults, yet a smaller body of work has demonstrated that increasing the socioemotional content of source information may be one way to reduce age-related performance differences. Although dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) activity may support source memory among young and older adults, the extent to which one activates dorsal vs. ventral mPFC may reflect one's personal connection with incoming information. Because truth value may be one salient marker that impacts one's connection with information and allocation of attention toward incoming material, we investigated whether the perceived truth value of information differently impacts differences in mPFC activity associated with encoding source information, particularly with age. Twelve young (18–23 years) and 12 older adults (63–80 years) encoded true and false statements. Behavioral results showed similar memory performance between the age groups. With respect to neural activity associated with subsequent memory, young adults, relative to older adults, exhibited greater activity in dmPFC while older adults displayed enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insula engagement relative to young. These results may potentially indicate that young adults focus on a general knowledge acquisition goal, while older adults focus on emotionally relevant aspects of the material. The findings demonstrate that age-related differences in recruitment of mPFC associated with encoding source information may in some circumstances underlie age-equivalent behavioral performance. PMID:24570672

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. © 2013.

  10. Inverse association between BMI and prefrontal metabolic activity in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Volkow, Nora D; Wang, Gene-Jack; Telang, Frank; Fowler, Joanna S; Goldstein, Rita Z; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Logan, Jean; Wong, Christopher; Thanos, Panayotis K; Ma, Yemine; Pradhan, Kith

    2009-01-01

    Obesity has been associated with a higher risk for impaired cognitive function, which most likely reflects associated medical complications (i.e., cerebrovascular pathology). However, there is also evidence that in healthy individuals excess weight may adversely affect cognition (executive function, attention, and memory). Here, we measured regional brain glucose metabolism (using positron emission tomography (PET) and 2-deoxy-2[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG)) to assess the relationship between BMI and brain metabolism (marker of brain function) in 21 healthy controls (BMI range 19-37 kg/m(2)) studied during baseline (no stimulation) and during cognitive stimulation (numerical calculations). Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) revealed a significant negative correlation between BMI and metabolic activity in prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 8, 9, 10, 11, 44) and cingulate gyrus (Brodmann area 32) but not in other regions. Moreover, baseline metabolism in these prefrontal regions was positively associated with performance on tests of memory (California Verbal Learning Test) and executive function (Stroop Interference and Symbol Digit Modality tests). In contrast, the regional brain changes during cognitive stimulation were not associated with BMI nor with neuropsychological performance. The observed association between higher BMI and lower baseline prefrontal metabolism may underlie the impaired performance reported in healthy obese individuals on some cognitive tests of executive function. On the other hand, the lack of an association between BMI and brain metabolic activation during cognitive stimulation indicates that BMI does not influence brain glucose utilization during cognitive performance. These results further highlight the urgency to institute public health interventions to prevent obesity.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Prefrontal cortex function in remitted major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Nixon, N L; Liddle, P F; Worwood, G; Liotti, M; Nixon, E

    2013-06-01

    Recent models of major depressive disorder (MDD) have proposed the rostral anterior cingulate (rACC) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as nexus sites in the dysfunctional regulation of cognitive-affective state. Limited evidence from remitted-state MDD supports these theories by suggesting that aberrant neural activity proximal to the rACC and the dmPFC may play a role in vulnerability to recurrence/relapse within this disorder. Here we present a targeted analysis assessing functional activity within these two regions of interest (ROIs) for groups with identified vulnerability to MDD: first, remitted, high predicted recurrence-risk patients; and second, patients suffering observed 1-year recurrence. Method Baseline T2* images sensitive to blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) contrast were acquired from patients and controls during a Go/No-Go (GNG) task incorporating negative feedback, with 1-year patient follow-up to identify recurrence. BOLD contrast data for error commission (EC) and visual negative feedback (VNF) were used in an ROI analysis based on rACC and dmPFC coordinates from the literature, comparing patients versus controls and recurrence versus non-recurrence versus control groups. Analysis of patients (n = 20) versus controls (n = 20) showed significant right dmPFC [Brodmann area (BA) 9] hypoactivity within the patient group, co-localized during EC and VNF, with additional significant rACC (BA 32) hypoactivity during EC. The results from the follow-up analysis were undermined by small groups and potential confounders but suggested persistent right dmPFC (BA 9) hypoactivity associated with 1-year recurrence. Convergent hypoactive right dmPFC (BA 9) processing of VNF and EC, possibly impairing adaptive reappraisal of negative experience, was associated most clearly with clinically predicted vulnerability to MDD.

  14. Exon microarray analysis of human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in alcoholism.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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. Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC; Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 49 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 quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). 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., RASGRP3, 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. 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. Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Advantages and disadvantages of intraoperative language tasks in awake surgery: a three-task approach for prefrontal tumors.

    PubMed

    Rofes, A; Spena, G; Miozzo, A; Fontanella, M M; Miceli, G

    2015-12-01

    Multidisciplinary efforts are being made to provide surgical teams with sensitive and specific tasks for language mapping in awake surgery. Researchers and clinicians have elaborated different tasks over time. A fair amount of work has been directed to study the neurofunctional correlates of some of these tasks, and there is recent interest in their standardization. However, little discussion exists on the advantages and disadvantages that each task poses from the perspective of the cognitive neuroscience of language. Such an approach may be a relevant step to assess task validity, to avoid using tasks that tap onto similar processes, and to provide patients with a surgical treatment that ensures maximal tumor resection while avoiding postoperative language deficits. An understanding of the language components that each task entails may also be relevant to improve the current assessments and the ways in which tasks are administered, and to disentangle neurofunctional questions. We reviewed 17 language mapping tasks that have been used in awake surgery. Overt production tasks have been a preferred choice over comprehension tasks. Tasks tapping lexico-semantic processes, particularly object-naming, maintain their role as gold standards. Automated speech tasks are used to detect speech errors and to set the amplitude of the stimulator. Comprehension tasks, reading and writing tasks, and tasks that assess grammatical aspects of language may be regularly administered in the near future. We provide examples of a three-task approach we are administering to patients with prefrontal lesions. We believe that future advances in this area are contingent upon reviewing gold standards and introducing new assessment tools.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24298446

  3. 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

  4. Ecological aspects of the sandfly fauna (Diptera, Psychodidae) in an American cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic area under the influence of hydroelectric plants in Paranapanema river, State of Paraná, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Mariza Fordellone Rosa; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi; Cruz, Carolina Fordellone Rosa

    2012-01-01

    An epidemiological study was undertaken to identify determinant factors in the occurrence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis in areas under the influence of hydroelectric plants in Paranapanema river, State of Paraná, Brazil. The ecological aspects of the phlebotomine fauna were investigated. Sandflies were sampled with automatic light traps from February 2004 to June 2006 at 25 sites in the urban and rural areas of Itambaracá, and in Porto Almeida and São Joaquim do Pontal. A total of 3,187 sandflies of 15 species were captured. Nyssomyia neivai predominated (34.4%), followed by Pintomyia pessoai (32.6%), Migonemyia migonei (11.6%), Nyssomyia whitmani (8.8%), and Pintomyia fischeri (2.7%), all implicated in the transmission of Leishmania. Males predominated for Ny. neivai, and females for the other vector species, with significant statistical differences (p < 0.001). Nyssomyia neivai, Pi. pessoai, Ny. whitmani, Brumptomyia brumpti, Mg. migonei, and Pi. fischeri presented the highest values for the Standardized Species Abundance Index (SSAI). The highest frequencies and diversities were found in the preserved forest in Porto Almeida, followed by forests with degradation in São Joaquim do Pontal and Vila Rural. Sandflies were captured in all localities, with the five vectors predominating. Ny. neivai had its highest frequencies in nearby peridomestic environments and Pi. pessoai in areas of preserved forests. The highest SSAI values of Ny. neivai and Pi. pessoai reflect their wider dispersion and higher frequencies compared with other species, which seems to indicate that these two species may be transmitting leishmaniasis in the area.

  5. 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

  6. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates rapid evaluations predicting the outcome of romantic interactions.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Jeffrey C; Dunne, Simon; Furey, Teresa; O'Doherty, John P

    2012-11-07

    Humans frequently make real-world decisions based on rapid evaluations of minimal information; for example, should we talk to an attractive stranger at a party? Little is known, however, about how the brain makes rapid evaluations with real and immediate social consequences. To address this question, we scanned participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they viewed photos of individuals that they subsequently met at real-life "speed-dating" events. Neural activity in two areas of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), paracingulate cortex, and rostromedial prefrontal cortex (RMPFC) was predictive of whether each individual would be ultimately pursued for a romantic relationship or rejected. Activity in these areas was attributable to two distinct components of romantic evaluation: either consensus judgments about physical beauty (paracingulate cortex) or individualized preferences based on a partner's perceived personality (RMPFC). These data identify novel computational roles for these regions of the DMPFC in even very rapid social evaluations. Even a first glance, then, can accurately predict romantic desire, but that glance involves a mix of physical and psychological judgments that depend on specific regions of DMPFC.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. Monitoring and control of our decision process (metacognition) is a crucial aspect of adaptive decision making. Crucially, metacognitive skills enable us to adjust ongoing behavior and determine future decision making when immediate feedback is not available. In the present study, we constructed a "diagnosis task" that allowed us to assess in what way first-order task performance and metacognition are related to each other. Results demonstrate that the contribution

  10. 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…

  11. Prefrontal glucose deficits in murderers lacking psychosocial deprivation.

    PubMed

    Raine, A; Phil, D; Stoddard, J; Bihrle, S; Buchsbaum, M

    1998-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that links between autonomic nervous system functioning and violence are strongest in those who come from benign home backgrounds, but there appears to be no similar research using brain-imaging measures of central nervous system functioning. It was hypothesized that murderers who had no early psychosocial deprivation (e.g., no childhood abuse, family neglect) would demonstrate lower prefrontal glucose metabolism than murderers with early psychosocial deprivation and a group of normal controls. Murderers from a previous study, which showed prefrontal deficits in murderers, were assessed for psychosocial deprivation and divided into those with and without deprivation. Murderers without any clear psychosocial deficits were significantly lower on prefrontal glucose metabolism than murderers with psychosocial deficits and controls. These results suggest that murderers lacking psychosocial deficits are characterized by prefrontal deficits. It is argued that among violent offenders without deprived home backgrounds, the "social push" to violence is minimized, and consequently, brain abnormalities provide a relatively stronger predisposition to violence in this group.

  12. Role of Prefrontal and Parietal Cortices in Associative Learning

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, John R.; Byrne, Dana; Fincham, Jon M.; Gunn, Pat

    2017-01-01

    Two studies were performed that compared a “Paired” condition in which participants studied paired associates with a “Generated” condition in which participants completed word fragments to produce paired associates. In both tasks, participants were responsible for memory of the material either studied or generated. The experiments revealed significant differences between the responses of a predefined prefrontal region and a predefined parietal region. The parietal region responded more in the Generated condition than the Paired condition, whereas there was no difference in the prefrontal region. On the other hand, the prefrontal region responded to the delay between study and test in both the Paired and Generated conditions, whereas the parietal region only responded to delay in the Generated condition. This pattern of results is consistent with the hypothesis that the parietal region is responsive to changes in problem representation and the prefrontal region to retrieval operations. An information-processing model embodying these assumptions was fit to the blood oxygen level–dependent responses in these regions. PMID:17675369

  13. Dissociation between verbal response initiation and suppression after prefrontal lesions.

    PubMed

    Volle, Emmanuelle; de Lacy Costello, Angela; Coates, Laure M; McGuire, Catrin; Towgood, Karren; Gilbert, Sam; Kinkingnehun, Serge; McNeil, Jane E; Greenwood, Richard; Papps, Ben; van den Broeck, Martin; Burgess, Paul W

    2012-10-01

    Some of the most striking symptoms after prefrontal damage are reduction of behavioral initiation and inability to suppress automatic behaviors. However, the relation between these 2 symptoms and the location of the lesions that cause them are not well understood. This study investigates the cerebral correlates of initiation and suppression abilities assessed by the Hayling Sentence Completion Test, using the human lesion approach. Forty-five patients with focal brain lesions and 110 healthy matched controls were examined. We combined a classical group approach with 2 voxel-based lesion methods. The results show several critical prefrontal regions to Hayling Test performance, associated with either common or differential impairment in "initiation" and "suppression" conditions. A crucial role for medial rostral prefrontal cortex (BA 10) in the initiation condition was shown by both group and lesion-mapping methods. A posterior inferolateral lesion provoked both initiation and suppression slowness, although to different degrees. An orbitoventral region was associated with errors in the suppression condition. These findings are important for clinical practice since they indicate that the brain regions required to perform a widely used and sensitive neuropsychological test but also shed light on the regions crucial for distinct components of adaptative behaviors, in particular, rostral prefrontal cortex.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Medial prefrontal cortex neuronal circuits in fear behavior.

    PubMed

    Courtin, J; Bienvenu, T C M; Einarsson, E Ö; Herry, C

    2013-06-14

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has emerged as a key structure involved in the modulation of fear behavior over the past few decades. Anatomical, functional and electrophysiological studies have begun to shed light on the precise mechanisms by which different prefrontal regions regulate the expression and inhibition of fear behavior. These studies have established a canonical view of mPFC functions during fear behavior with dorsal regions selectively involved in the expression of fear behavior and ventral regions linked to the inhibition of fear behavior. Although numerous reports support this view, recent data have refined this model and suggested that dorsal prefrontal regions might also play an important role in the encoding of fear behavior itself. The recent development of sophisticated approaches such as large scale neuronal recordings, simultaneous multisite recordings of spiking activity and local field potentials (LFPs) along with optogenetic approaches will facilitate the testing of these new hypotheses in the near future. Here we provide an extensive review of the literature on the role of mPFC in fear behavior and propose further directions to dissect the contribution of specific prefrontal neuronal elements and circuits in the regulation of fear behavior. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. The Prefrontal Cortex Achieves Inhibitory Control by Facilitating Subcortical Motor Pathway Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Laura E.; Anderson, Michael C.; Rowe, James B.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25589771

  11. Shared and distinct contributions of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex to analogical reasoning and episodic memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Andrew J; Reggente, Nicco; Ito, Kaori L; Rissman, Jesse

    2016-03-01

    Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) is widely appreciated to support higher cognitive functions, including analogical reasoning and episodic memory retrieval. However, these tasks have typically been studied in isolation, and thus it is unclear whether they involve common or distinct RLPFC mechanisms. Here, we introduce a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task paradigm to compare brain activity during reasoning and memory tasks while holding bottom-up perceptual stimulation and response demands constant. Univariate analyses on fMRI data from twenty participants identified a large swath of left lateral prefrontal cortex, including RLPFC, that showed common engagement on reasoning trials with valid analogies and memory trials with accurately retrieved source details. Despite broadly overlapping recruitment, multi-voxel activity patterns within left RLPFC reliably differentiated these two trial types, highlighting the presence of at least partially distinct information processing modes. Functional connectivity analyses demonstrated that while left RLPFC showed consistent coupling with the fronto-parietal control network across tasks, its coupling with other cortical areas varied in a task-dependent manner. During the memory task, this region strengthened its connectivity with the default mode and memory retrieval networks, whereas during the reasoning task it coupled more strongly with a nearby left prefrontal region (BA 45) associated with semantic processing, as well as with a superior parietal region associated with visuospatial processing. Taken together, these data suggest a domain-general role for left RLPFC in monitoring and/or integrating task-relevant knowledge representations and showcase how its function cannot solely be attributed to episodic memory or analogical reasoning computations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)