Callan, Daniel; Callan, Akiko; Gamez, Mario; Sato, Masa-aki; Kawato, Mitsuo
Articulatory goals have long been proposed to mediate perception. Examples include direct realist and constructivist (analysis by synthesis) theories of speech perception. Although the activity in brain regions involved with action production has been shown to be present during action observation (Mirror Neuron System), the relationship of this activity to perceptual performance has not been clearly demonstrated at the event level. To this end we used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI and magnetoencephalography MEG to measure brain activity for correct and incorrect trials of an auditory phonetic identification in noise task. FMRI analysis revealed activity in the premotor cortex including the neighboring frontal opercular part of Broca's area (PMC/Broca's) for both perception and production tasks involving the same phonetic stimuli (potential mirror system site) that was significantly greater for correct over incorrect perceptual identification trials. Time-frequency analysis of single trials conducted over MEG current localized to PMC/Broca's using a hierarchical variational Bayesian source analysis technique revealed significantly greater event-related synchronization ERS and desynchronization ERD for correct over incorrect trials in the alpha, beta, and gamma frequency range prior to and after stimulus presentation. Together, these fMRI and MEG results are consistent with the hypothesis that articulatory processes serve to facilitate perceptual performance, while further dispelling concerns that activity found in ventral PMC/Broca's (mirror system) is merely a product of covert production of the perceived action. The finding of performance predictive activity prior to stimulus onset as well as activity related to task difficulty instead of information available in stimulation are consistent with constructivist and contrary to direct realist theories of perception.
Grassi, Pablo R; Zaretskaya, Natalia; Bartels, Andreas
The integration of local moving elements into a unified gestalt percept has previously been linked to the posterior parietal cortex. There are two possible interpretations for the lack of involvement of other occipital regions. The first is that parietal cortex is indeed uniquely functionally specialized to perform grouping. Another possibility is that other visual regions can perform grouping as well, but that the large spatial separation of the local elements used previously exceeded their neurons' receptive field (RF) sizes, preventing their involvement. In this study we distinguished between these two alternatives. We measured whole-brain activity using fMRI in response to a bistable motion illusion that induced mutually exclusive percepts of either an illusory global Gestalt or of local elements. The stimulus was presented in two sizes, a large version known to activate IPS only, and a version sufficiently small to fit into the RFs of mid-level dorsal regions such as V5/MT. We found that none of the separately localized motion regions apart from parietal cortex showed a preference for global Gestalt perception, even for the smaller version of the stimulus. This outcome suggests that grouping-by-motion is mediated by a specialized size-invariant mechanism with parietal cortex as its anatomical substrate.
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Rahnev, Dobromir; Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D'Esposito, Mark
Although recent research has shown that the frontal cortex has a critical role in perceptual decision making, an overarching theory of frontal functional organization for perception has yet to emerge. Perceptual decision making is temporally organized such that it requires the processes of selection, criterion setting, and evaluation. We hypothesized that exploring this temporal structure would reveal a large-scale frontal organization for perception. A causal intervention with transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed clear specialization along the rostrocaudal axis such that the control of successive stages of perceptual decision making was selectively affected by perturbation of successively rostral areas. Simulations with a dynamic model of decision making suggested distinct computational contributions of each region. Finally, the emergent frontal gradient was further corroborated by functional MRI. These causal results provide an organizational principle for the role of frontal cortex in the control of perceptual decision making and suggest specific mechanistic contributions for its different subregions.
Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D’Esposito, Mark
Although recent research has shown that the frontal cortex has a critical role in perceptual decision making, an overarching theory of frontal functional organization for perception has yet to emerge. Perceptual decision making is temporally organized such that it requires the processes of selection, criterion setting, and evaluation. We hypothesized that exploring this temporal structure would reveal a large-scale frontal organization for perception. A causal intervention with transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed clear specialization along the rostrocaudal axis such that the control of successive stages of perceptual decision making was selectively affected by perturbation of successively rostral areas. Simulations with a dynamic model of decision making suggested distinct computational contributions of each region. Finally, the emergent frontal gradient was further corroborated by functional MRI. These causal results provide an organizational principle for the role of frontal cortex in the control of perceptual decision making and suggest specific mechanistic contributions for its different subregions. PMID:27162349
Ren, Zhen; Zhou, Jiawei; Yao, Zhimo; Wang, Zhengchun; Yuan, Nini; Xu, Guangwei; Wang, Xuan; Zhang, Bing; Hess, Robert F.; Zhou, Yifeng
It is well known that, in humans, contrast sensitivity training at high spatial frequency (SF) not only leads to contrast sensitivity improvement, but also results in an improvement in visual acuity as assessed with gratings (direct effect) or letters (transfer effect). However, the underlying neural mechanisms of this high spatial frequency training improvement remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we examined four properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (area 17) of adult cats that exhibited significantly improved acuity after contrast sensitivity training with a high spatial frequency grating and those of untrained control cats. We found no difference in neuronal contrast sensitivity or tuning width (Width) between the trained and untrained cats. However, the trained cats showed a displacement of the cells’ optimal spatial frequency (OSF) to higher spatial frequencies as well as a larger neuronal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Furthermore, both the neuronal differences in OSF and SNR were significantly correlated with the improvement of acuity measured behaviorally. These results suggest that striate neurons might mediate the perceptual learning-induced improvement for high spatial frequency stimuli by an alteration in their spatial frequency representation and by an increased SNR. PMID:27094565
Westermann, Gert; Mareschal, Denis
From at least two months onwards, infants can form perceptual categories. During the first year of life, object knowledge develops from the ability to represent individual object features to representing correlations between attributes and to integrate information from different sources. At the end of the first year, these representations are shaped by labels, opening the way to conceptual knowledge. Here, we review the development of object knowledge and object categorization over the first year of life. We then present an artificial neural network model that models the transition from early perceptual categorization to categories mediated by labels. The model informs a current debate on the role of labels in object categorization by suggesting that although labels do not act as object features they nevertheless affect perceived similarity of perceptually distinct objects sharing the same label. The model presents the first step of an integrated account from early perceptual categorization to language-based concept learning. PMID:24324235
Sreenivasan, Kartik K.; Gratton, Caterina; Vytlacil, Jason; D’Esposito, Mark
Isolating the short-term storage component of working memory (WM) from the myriad of associated executive processes has been an enduring challenge. Recent efforts have identified patterns of activity in visual regions that contain information about items being held in WM. However, it remains unclear (i) whether these representations withstand intervening sensory input and (ii) how communication between multimodal association cortex and unimodal perceptual regions supporting WM representations is involved in WM storage. We present evidence that the features of a face held in WM are stored within face processing regions, that these representations persist across subsequent sensory input, and that information about the match between sensory input and memory representation is relayed forward from perceptual to prefrontal regions. Participants were presented with a series of probe faces and indicated whether each probe matched a Target face held in WM. We parametrically varied the feature similarity between probe and Target faces. Activity within face processing regions scaled linearly with the degree of feature similarity between the probe face and the features of the Target face, suggesting that the features of the Target face were stored in these regions. Furthermore, directed connectivity measures revealed that the direction of information flow that was optimal for performance was from sensory regions that stored the features of the Target face to dorsal prefrontal regions, supporting the notion that sensory input is compared to representations stored within perceptual regions and relayed forward. Together, these findings indicate that WM storage operations are carried out within perceptual cortex. PMID:24436009
A hallmark of the developing auditory cortex is the heightened plasticity in the critical period, during which acoustic inputs can indelibly alter cortical function. However, not all sounds in the natural acoustic environment are ethologically relevant. How does the auditory system resolve relevant sounds from the acoustic environment in such an early developmental stage when most associative learning mechanisms are not yet fully functional? What can the auditory system learn from one of the most important classes of sounds, animal vocalizations? How does naturalistic acoustic experience shape cortical sound representation and perception? To answer these questions, we need to consider an unusual strategy, statistical learning, where what the system needs to learn is embedded in the sensory input. Here, I will review recent findings on how certain statistical structures of natural animal vocalizations shape auditory cortical acoustic representations, and how cortical plasticity may underlie learned categorical sound perception. These results will be discussed in the context of human speech perception.
Bergman, Penny; Västfjäll, Daniel; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Asutay, Erkin
Research has shown that emotion categorization plays an important role in perception and categorization in the visual domain. In the present paper, we investigated the role of auditory-induced emotions for auditory perception. We further investigated whether the emotional responses mediate other perceptual judgments of sounds. In an experiment, participants either rated general dissimilarities between sounds or dissimilarities of specific aspects of sounds. The results showed that the general perceptual salience map could be explained by both the emotional responses to, and perceptual aspects of, the sounds. Importantly, the perceptual aspects were mediated by emotional responses. Together these results show that emotions are an integral part of auditory perception that is used as the intuitive basis for categorizing everyday sounds. PMID:27790172
Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali
Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to those cognitive skills. The data were analyzed within a hierarchical path modeling framework. In addition to finding age-related decrease in both perceptual priming and learning, we observed several dissociations with regards to their neural and cognitive mediators. Larger visual cortex volume was associated with greater repetition priming, but not perceptual skill learning, and neither process depended upon hippocampal volume. In contrast, the volumes of the prefrontal gray and white matter were differentially related to both processes via direct and indirect effects of cognitive resources. The results indicate that age-related differences in perceptual priming and skill learning have dissociable cognitive and neural correlates. PMID:19586211
Davidesco, Ido; Zion-Golumbic, Elana; Bickel, Stephan; Harel, Michal; Groppe, David M.; Keller, Corey J.; Schevon, Catherine A.; McKhann, Guy M.; Goodman, Robert R.; Goelman, Gadi; Schroeder, Charles E.; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Malach, Rafael
While brain imaging studies emphasized the category selectivity of face-related areas, the underlying mechanisms of our remarkable ability to discriminate between different faces are less understood. Here, we recorded intracranial local field potentials from face-related areas in patients presented with images of faces and objects. A highly significant exemplar tuning within the category of faces was observed in high-Gamma (80–150 Hz) responses. The robustness of this effect was supported by single-trial decoding of face exemplars using a minimal (n = 5) training set. Importantly, exemplar tuning reflected the psychophysical distance between faces but not their low-level features. Our results reveal a neuronal substrate for the establishment of perceptual distance among faces in the human brain. They further imply that face neurons are anatomically grouped according to well-defined functional principles, such as perceptual similarity. PMID:23438448
Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali; Binder, Jeffrey R; Liebenthal, Einat
In the visual modality, perceptual demand on a goal-directed task has been shown to modulate the extent to which irrelevant information can be disregarded at a sensory-perceptual stage of processing. In the auditory modality, the effect of perceptual demand on neural representations of task-irrelevant sounds is unclear. We compared simultaneous ERPs and fMRI responses associated with task-irrelevant sounds across parametrically modulated perceptual task demands in a dichotic-listening paradigm. Participants performed a signal detection task in one ear (Attend ear) while ignoring task-irrelevant syllable sounds in the other ear (Ignore ear). Results revealed modulation of syllable processing by auditory perceptual demand in an ROI in middle left superior temporal gyrus and in negative ERP activity 130-230 msec post stimulus onset. Increasing the perceptual demand in the Attend ear was associated with a reduced neural response in both fMRI and ERP to task-irrelevant sounds. These findings are in support of a selection model whereby ongoing perceptual demands modulate task-irrelevant sound processing in auditory cortex.
Leonard, Matthew K.; Baud, Maxime O.; Sjerps, Matthias J.; Chang, Edward F.
Humans are adept at understanding speech despite the fact that our natural listening environment is often filled with interference. An example of this capacity is phoneme restoration, in which part of a word is completely replaced by noise, yet listeners report hearing the whole word. The neurological basis for this unconscious fill-in phenomenon is unknown, despite being a fundamental characteristic of human hearing. Here, using direct cortical recordings in humans, we demonstrate that missing speech is restored at the acoustic-phonetic level in bilateral auditory cortex, in real-time. This restoration is preceded by specific neural activity patterns in a separate language area, left frontal cortex, which predicts the word that participants later report hearing. These results demonstrate that during speech perception, missing acoustic content is synthesized online from the integration of incoming sensory cues and the internal neural dynamics that bias word-level expectation and prediction. PMID:27996973
Wiegand, Katrin; Gutschalk, Alexander
The presence of an auditory event may remain undetected in crowded environments, even when it is well above the sensory threshold. This effect, commonly known as informational masking, allows for isolating neural activity related to perceptual awareness, by comparing repetitions of the same physical stimulus where the target is either detected or not. Evidence from magnetoencephalography (MEG) suggests that auditory-cortex activity in the latency range 50-250 ms is closely coupled with perceptual awareness. Here, BOLD fMRI and MEG were combined to investigate at which stage in the auditory cortex neural correlates of conscious auditory perception can be observed. Participants were asked to indicate the perception of a regularly repeating target tone, embedded within a random multi-tone masking background. Results revealed widespread activation within the auditory cortex for detected target tones, which was delayed but otherwise similar to the activation of an unmasked control stimulus. The contrast of detected versus undetected targets revealed activity confined to medial Heschl's gyrus, where the primary auditory cortex is located. These results suggest that activity related to conscious perception involves the primary auditory cortex and is not restricted to activity in secondary areas.
Alvarez, Manuel; Zainos, Antonio; Romo, Ranulfo
Neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) respond as functions of frequency or amplitude of a vibrotactile stimulus. However, whether S1 neurons encode both frequency and amplitude of the vibrotactile stimulus or whether each sensory feature is encoded by separate populations of S1 neurons is not known, To further address these questions, we recorded S1 neurons while trained monkeys categorized only one sensory feature of the vibrotactile stimulus: frequency, amplitude, or duration. The results suggest a hierarchical encoding scheme in S1: from neurons that encode all sensory features of the vibrotactile stimulus to neurons that encode only one sensory feature. We hypothesize that the dynamic representation of each sensory feature in S1 might serve for further downstream processing that leads to the monkey’s psychophysical behavior observed in these tasks. PMID:25825711
Pardo-Vázquez, José L; Acuña, Carlos
Although the premotor cortex was initially viewed as the substrate of pure motor functions, it was soon realized that this cortical region is also involved in higher order cognitive processes. By using behavioral tasks together with electrophysiological recordings it has been possible to advance in our understanding on the functional role of this area. Given its pattern of connections, the premotor ventral cortex is well suited to participate in perceptual decisions, in which sensory information is combined with knowledge on previous outcomes and expectancies to reach a behavioral choice. The neuronal correlates of the decision process have been described in several cortical areas of primates. In this work we describe our experimental results showing that different stages or elements of perceptual decisions are encoded in the firing rate of premotor ventral cortex neurons. This provides compelling evidence suggesting that this area is involved in the use of sensory evidence -maintained in working memory or retrieved from long-term memory- to reach a decision. Furthermore, after the behavioral response the same neurons convey all the information needed to evaluate the outcome of the choice. This suggests that the premotor ventral cortex could participate in shaping future behavior as a result of this evaluation.
Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K.; Fröhlich, Flavio
Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition. PMID:27025995
Hannula, Henri; Neuvonen, Tuomas; Savolainen, Petri; Tukiainen, Taru; Salonen, Oili; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti
Previous studies indicate that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with biphasic pulses applied approximately over the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) suppresses performance in vibrotactile temporal discrimination tasks; these previous results, however, do not allow separating perceptual influence from memory or decision-making. Moreover, earlier studies using external landmarks for directing biphasic TMS pulses to the cortex do not reveal whether the changes in vibrotactile task performance were due to action on S1 or an adjacent area. In the present study, we determined whether the S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is critical for perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination. Electrical test pulses were applied to the thenar skin of the hand and the subjects attempted to discriminate single from twin pulses. During discrimination task, monophasic TMS pulses or sham TMS pulses were directed anatomically accurately to the S1 area representing the thenar using magnetic resonance image-guided navigation. The subject's capacity to temporal discrimination was impaired with a decrease in the delay between the TMS pulse and the cutaneous test pulse from 50 to 0 ms. The result indicates that S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is involved in perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.
Wong, Yetta Kwailing; Peng, Cynthia; Fratus, Kristyn N.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Gauthier, Isabel
Most theories of visual processing propose that object recognition is achieved in higher visual cortex. However, we show that category selectivity for musical notation can be observed in the first event-related potential component called the C1 (measured 40-60ms after stimulus onset) with music-reading expertise. Moreover, the C1 note selectivity was observed only when the stimulus category was blocked but not when the stimulus category was randomized. Under blocking, the C1 activity for notes predicted individual music reading ability, and behavioral judgments of musical stimuli reflected music-reading skill. Our results challenge current theories of object recognition, indicating that the primary visual cortex can be selective for musical notation within the initial feedforward sweep of activity with perceptual expertise and with a testing context that is consistent with the expertise training, such as blocking the stimulus category for music reading. PMID:24666163
Neural networks of the rodent barrel cortex are particularly tractable for developing a quantitative understanding of response transformations in a cortical column. A column in barrel cortex consists of approximately 10 compartments. Two thalamic input pathways, a sensory lemniscal one and sensorimotor paralemniscal one, are transformed to approximately 7 population outputs, each with distinct spatiotemporal response characteristics. Granular and supragranular layers are sites of segregated processing in lemniscal and paralemniscal pathways, whereas infragranular layers are sites of intracolumnar, lemniscal/paralemniscal integration. Individual thalamocortical connections are relatively weak, and a considerable fraction of thalamocortical afferents contributes to each sensory response. Intracortically, relatively few but strong synaptic connections contribute to sensory responses, and responses are rapidly terminated by inhibition. Overall cortical population activity is very low. Whiskers mediate a wide range of behaviors and many natural tactile behaviors occur very rapidly. Vibrissal object recognition can be size invariant and motion invariant and is based on the tactile 'Gestaltwahrnehmung' of shape.
Miller, Maurice; Rohr, Michael E.
An intervening variable between perceptual deficits and academic learning--verbal mediation processes--is explored. Research reviewed, primarily that of A. Luria, leads to the conclusion that verbal mediational processes can compensate for perceptual learning process deficits. Relevant teaching applications are discussed. (Author)
Carnevale, Federico; de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo; Barak, Omri; Parga, Néstor
Under uncertainty, the brain uses previous knowledge to transform sensory inputs into the percepts on which decisions are based. When the uncertainty lies in the timing of sensory evidence, however, the mechanism underlying the use of previously acquired temporal information remains unknown. We study this issue in monkeys performing a detection task with variable stimulation times. We use the neural correlates of false alarms to infer the subject's response criterion and find that it modulates over the course of a trial. Analysis of premotor cortex activity shows that this modulation is represented by the dynamics of population responses. A trained recurrent network model reproduces the experimental findings and demonstrates a neural mechanism to benefit from temporal expectations in perceptual detection. Previous knowledge about the probability of stimulation over time can be intrinsically encoded in the neural population dynamics, allowing a flexible control of the response criterion over time.
Zaretskaya, Natalia; Anstis, Stuart; Bartels, Andreas
Grouping local elements into a holistic percept, also known as spatial binding, is crucial for meaningful perception. Previous studies have shown that neurons in early visual areas V1 and V2 can signal complex grouping-related information, such as illusory contours or object-border ownerships. However, relatively little is known about higher-level processes contributing to these signals and mediating global Gestalt perception. We used a novel bistable motion illusion that induced alternating and mutually exclusive vivid conscious experiences of either dynamic illusory contours forming a global Gestalt or moving ungrouped local elements while the visual stimulation remained the same. fMRI in healthy human volunteers revealed that activity fluctuations in two sites of the parietal cortex, the superior parietal lobe and the anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS), correlated specifically with the perception of the grouped illusory Gestalt as opposed to perception of ungrouped local elements. We then disturbed activity at these two sites in the same participants using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS over aIPS led to a selective shortening of the duration of the global Gestalt percept, with no effect on that of local elements. The results suggest that aIPS activity is directly involved in the process of spatial binding during effortless viewing in the healthy brain. Conscious perception of global Gestalt is therefore associated with aIPS function, similar to attention and perceptual selection.
Lamichhane, Bidhan; Dhamala, Mukesh
Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT) were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM) of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal (VT) cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions. PMID:26441596
Matsumoto, Narihisa; Eldridge, Mark A.G.; Saunders, Richard C.; Reoli, Rachel
In primates, visual recognition of complex objects depends on the inferior temporal lobe. By extension, categorizing visual stimuli based on similarity ought to depend on the integrity of the same area. We tested three monkeys before and after bilateral anterior inferior temporal cortex (area TE) removal. Although mildly impaired after the removals, they retained the ability to assign stimuli to previously learned categories, e.g., cats versus dogs, and human versus monkey faces, even with trial-unique exemplars. After the TE removals, they learned in one session to classify members from a new pair of categories, cars versus trucks, as quickly as they had learned the cats versus dogs before the removals. As with the dogs and cats, they generalized across trial-unique exemplars of cars and trucks. However, as seen in earlier studies, these monkeys with TE removals had difficulty learning to discriminate between two simple black and white stimuli. These results raise the possibility that TE is needed for memory of simple conjunctions of basic features, but that it plays only a small role in generalizing overall configural similarity across a large set of stimuli, such as would be needed for perceptual categorical assignment. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The process of seeing and recognizing objects is attributed to a set of sequentially connected brain regions stretching forward from the primary visual cortex through the temporal lobe to the anterior inferior temporal cortex, a region designated area TE. Area TE is considered the final stage for recognizing complex visual objects, e.g., faces. It has been assumed, but not tested directly, that this area would be critical for visual generalization, i.e., the ability to place objects such as cats and dogs into their correct categories. Here, we demonstrate that monkeys rapidly and seemingly effortlessly categorize large sets of complex images (cats vs dogs, cars vs trucks), surprisingly, even after removal of area TE
Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Beyko, Angeliki; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota
One of the multiple interacting systems involved in the selection and execution of voluntary actions is the primary motor cortex (PMC). We aimed to investigate whether the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of this area can modulate hand choice. A perceptual decision-making task was administered. Participants were asked to classify rectangles with different height-to-width ratios into horizontal and vertical rectangles using their right and left index fingers while their PMC was stimulated either bilaterally or unilaterally. Two experiments were conducted with different stimulation conditions: the first experiment (n = 12) had only one stimulation condition (bilateral stimulation), and the second experiment (n = 45) had three stimulation conditions (bilateral, anodal unilateral, and cathodal unilateral stimulations). The second experiment was designed to confirm the results of the first experiment and to further investigate the effects of anodal and cathodal stimulations alone in the observed effects. Each participant took part in two sessions. The laterality of stimulation was reversed over the two sessions. Our results showed that anodal stimulation of the PMC biases participants' responses toward using the contralateral hand whereas cathodal stimulation biases responses toward the ipsilateral hand. Brain stimulation also modulated the RT of the left hand in all stimulation conditions: Responses were faster when the response bias was in favor of the left hand and slower when the response bias was against it. We propose two possible explanations for these findings: the perceptual bias account (bottom-up effects of stimulation on perception) and the motor-choice bias account (top-down modulation of the decision-making system by facilitation of response in one hand over the other). We conclude that motor responses and the choice of hand can be modulated using tDCS.
Bohon, Kaitlin S.; Hermann, Katherine L.; Hansen, Thorsten
Abstract The lateral geniculate nucleus is thought to represent color using two populations of cone-opponent neurons [L vs M; S vs (L + M)], which establish the cardinal directions in color space (reddish vs cyan; lavender vs lime). How is this representation transformed to bring about color perception? Prior work implicates populations of glob cells in posterior inferior temporal cortex (PIT; the V4 complex), but the correspondence between the neural representation of color in PIT/V4 complex and the organization of perceptual color space is unclear. We compared color-tuning data for populations of glob cells and interglob cells to predictions obtained using models that varied in the color-tuning narrowness of the cells, and the color preference distribution across the populations. Glob cells were best accounted for by simulated neurons that have nonlinear (narrow) tuning and, as a population, represent a color space designed to be perceptually uniform (CIELUV). Multidimensional scaling and representational similarity analyses showed that the color space representations in both glob and interglob populations were correlated with the organization of CIELUV space, but glob cells showed a stronger correlation. Hue could be classified invariant to luminance with high accuracy given glob responses and above-chance accuracy given interglob responses. Luminance could be read out invariant to changes in hue in both populations, but interglob cells tended to prefer stimuli having luminance contrast, regardless of hue, whereas glob cells typically retained hue tuning as luminance contrast was modulated. The combined luminance/hue sensitivity of glob cells is predicted for neurons that can distinguish two colors of the same hue at different luminance levels (orange/brown). PMID:27595132
Bohon, Kaitlin S; Hermann, Katherine L; Hansen, Thorsten; Conway, Bevil R
The lateral geniculate nucleus is thought to represent color using two populations of cone-opponent neurons [L vs M; S vs (L + M)], which establish the cardinal directions in color space (reddish vs cyan; lavender vs lime). How is this representation transformed to bring about color perception? Prior work implicates populations of glob cells in posterior inferior temporal cortex (PIT; the V4 complex), but the correspondence between the neural representation of color in PIT/V4 complex and the organization of perceptual color space is unclear. We compared color-tuning data for populations of glob cells and interglob cells to predictions obtained using models that varied in the color-tuning narrowness of the cells, and the color preference distribution across the populations. Glob cells were best accounted for by simulated neurons that have nonlinear (narrow) tuning and, as a population, represent a color space designed to be perceptually uniform (CIELUV). Multidimensional scaling and representational similarity analyses showed that the color space representations in both glob and interglob populations were correlated with the organization of CIELUV space, but glob cells showed a stronger correlation. Hue could be classified invariant to luminance with high accuracy given glob responses and above-chance accuracy given interglob responses. Luminance could be read out invariant to changes in hue in both populations, but interglob cells tended to prefer stimuli having luminance contrast, regardless of hue, whereas glob cells typically retained hue tuning as luminance contrast was modulated. The combined luminance/hue sensitivity of glob cells is predicted for neurons that can distinguish two colors of the same hue at different luminance levels (orange/brown).
Tosoni, Annalisa; Corbetta, Maurizio; Calluso, Cinzia; Committeri, Giorgia; Pezzulo, Giovanni; Romani, G L; Galati, Gaspare
During simple perceptual decisions, sensorimotor neurons in monkey fronto-parietal cortex represent a decision variable that guides the transformation of sensory evidence into a motor response, supporting the view that mechanisms for decision-making are closely embedded within sensorimotor structures. Within these structures, however, decision signals can be dissociated from motor signals, thus indicating that sensorimotor neurons can play multiple and independent roles in decision-making and action selection/planning. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether response-selective human brain areas encode signals for decision-making or action planning during a task requiring an arbitrary association between face pictures (male vs. female) and specific actions (saccadic eye vs. hand pointing movements). The stimuli were gradually unmasked to stretch the time necessary for decision, thus maximising the temporal separation between decision and action planning. Decision-related signals were measured in parietal and motor/premotor regions showing a preference for the planning/execution of saccadic or pointing movements. In a parietal reach region, decision-related signals were specific for the stimulus category associated with its preferred pointing response. By contrast, a saccade-selective posterior intraparietal sulcus region carried decision-related signals even when the task required a pointing response. Consistent signals were observed in the motor/premotor cortex. Whole-brain analyses indicated that, in our task, the most reliable decision signals were found in the same neural regions involved in response selection. However, decision- and action-related signals within these regions can be dissociated. Differences between the parietal reach region and posterior intraparietal sulcus plausibly depend on their functional specificity rather than on the task structure.
Keeling, M. Diane; Calhoun, Barbara M.; Krüger, Katharina; Polley, Daniel B.; Schreiner, Christoph E.
We investigated the ability of cats to discriminate differences between vowel-like spectra, assessed their discrimination ability over time, and compared spectral receptive fields in primary auditory cortex (AI) of trained and untrained cats. Animals were trained to discriminate changes in the spectral envelope of a broad-band harmonic complex in a 2-alternative forced choice procedure. The standard stimulus was an acoustic grating consisting of a harmonic complex with a sinusoidally modulated spectral envelope ('ripple spectrum'). The spacing of spectral peaks was conserved at 1, 2, or 2.66 peaks/octave. Animals were trained to detect differences in the frequency location of energy peaks, corresponding to changes in the spectral envelope phase. Average discrimination thresholds improved continuously during the course of the testing from phase-shifts of 96° at the beginning to 44° after 4–6 months of training. Responses of AI single units and small groups of neurons to pure tones and ripple spectra were modified during perceptual discrimination training with vowel-like ripple stimuli. The transfer function for spectral envelope frequencies narrowed and the tuning for pure tones sharpened significantly in discriminant versus naive animals. By contrast, control animals that used the ripple spectra only in a lateralization task showed broader ripple transfer functions and narrower pure-tone tuning than naïve animals. PMID:17896103
O'Neil, Edward B; Protzner, Andrea B; McCormick, Cornelia; McLean, D Adam; Poppenk, Jordan; Cate, Anthony D; Köhler, Stefan
Traditionally, the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is thought to be dedicated to declarative memory. Recent evidence challenges this view, suggesting that perirhinal cortex (PrC), which interfaces the MTL with the ventral visual pathway, supports highly integrated object representations in recognition memory and perceptual discrimination. Even with comparable representational demands, perceptual and memory tasks differ in numerous task demands and the subjective experience they evoke. Here, we tested whether such differences are reflected in distinct patterns of connectivity between PrC and other cortical regions, including differential involvement of prefrontal control processes. We examined functional magnetic resonance imaging data for closely matched perceptual and recognition memory tasks for faces that engaged right PrC equivalently. Multivariate seed analyses revealed distinct patterns of interactions: Right ventrolateral prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices exhibited stronger functional connectivity with PrC in recognition memory; fusiform regions were part of the pattern that displayed stronger functional connectivity with PrC in perceptual discrimination. Structural equation modeling revealed distinct patterns of effective connectivity that allowed us to constrain interpretation of these findings. Overall, they demonstrate that, even when MTL structures show similar involvement in recognition memory and perceptual discrimination, differential neural mechanisms are reflected in the interplay between the MTL and other cortical regions.
Vidal, Juan R.; Perrone-Bertolotti, Marcela; Kahane, Philippe; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe
If conscious perception requires global information integration across active distant brain networks, how does the loss of conscious perception affect neural processing in these distant networks? Pioneering studies on perceptual suppression (PS) described specific local neural network responses in primary visual cortex, thalamus and lateral prefrontal cortex of the macaque brain. Yet the neural effects of PS have rarely been studied with intracerebral recordings outside these cortices and simultaneously across distant brain areas. Here, we combined (1) a novel experimental paradigm in which we produced a similar perceptual disappearance and also re-appearance by using visual adaptation with transient contrast changes, with (2) electrophysiological observations from human intracranial electrodes sampling wide brain areas. We focused on broadband high-frequency (50–150 Hz, i.e., gamma) and low-frequency (8–24 Hz) neural activity amplitude modulations related to target visibility and invisibility. We report that low-frequency amplitude modulations reflected stimulus visibility in a larger ensemble of recording sites as compared to broadband gamma responses, across distinct brain regions including occipital, temporal and frontal cortices. Moreover, the dynamics of the broadband gamma response distinguished stimulus visibility from stimulus invisibility earlier in anterior insula and inferior frontal gyrus than in temporal regions, suggesting a possible role of fronto-insular cortices in top–down processing for conscious perception. Finally, we report that in primary visual cortex only low-frequency amplitude modulations correlated directly with perceptual status. Interestingly, in this sensory area broadband gamma was not modulated during PS but became positively modulated after 300 ms when stimuli were rendered visible again, suggesting that local networks could be ignited by top–down influences during conscious perception. PMID:25642199
Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF) for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS) and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA). Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1) than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL. PMID:27014004
Kim, Junsuk; Chung, Yoon Gi; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Wallraven, Christian; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Kim, Sung-Phil
Perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness varies across individuals for the same degree of roughness. A number of neurophysiological studies have investigated the neural substrates of tactile roughness perception, but the neural processing underlying the strong individual differences in perceptual roughness sensitivity remains unknown. In this study, we explored the human brain activation patterns associated with the behavioral discriminability of surface texture roughness using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). First, a whole-brain searchlight multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) was used to find brain regions from which we could decode roughness information. The searchlight MVPA revealed four brain regions showing significant decoding results: the supplementary motor area (SMA), contralateral postcentral gyrus (S1), and superior portion of the bilateral temporal pole (STP). Next, we evaluated the behavioral roughness discrimination sensitivity of each individual using the just-noticeable difference (JND) and correlated this with the decoding accuracy in each of the four regions. We found that only the SMA showed a significant correlation between neuronal decoding accuracy and JND across individuals; Participants with a smaller JND (i.e., better discrimination ability) exhibited higher decoding accuracy from their voxel response patterns in the SMA. Our findings suggest that multivariate voxel response patterns presented in the SMA represent individual perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness and people with greater perceptual sensitivity to tactile roughness are likely to have more distinct neural representations of different roughness levels in their SMA. PMID:26067832
Huk, Alexander C.; Meister, Miriam L. R.
A recent line of work has found remarkable success in relating perceptual decision-making and the spiking activity in the macaque lateral intraparietal area (LIP). In this review, we focus on questions about the neural computations in LIP that are not answered by demonstrations of neural correlates of psychological processes. We highlight three areas of limitations in our current understanding of the precise neural computations that might underlie neural correlates of decisions: (1) empirical questions not yet answered by existing data; (2) implementation issues related to how neural circuits could actually implement the mechanisms suggested by both extracellular neurophysiology and psychophysics; and (3) ecological constraints related to the use of well-controlled laboratory tasks and whether they provide an accurate window on sensorimotor computation. These issues motivate the adoption of a more general “encoding-decoding framework” that will be fruitful for more detailed contemplation of how neural computations in LIP relate to the formation of perceptual decisions. PMID:23087623
Cacciamani, Laura; Likova, Lora T.
This study is the first to investigate the neural underpinnings of tactile object familiarity in the blind during both perception and memory. In the sighted, the perirhinal cortex (PRC) has been implicated in the assessment of visual object familiarity—a crucial everyday task—as evidenced by reduced activation when an object becomes familiar. Here, to examine the PRC’s role in tactile object familiarity in the absence of vision, we trained blind participants on a unique memory-guided drawing technique and measured brain activity while they perceptually explored raised-line drawings, drew them from tactile memory, and scribbled (control). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after a week of training revealed a significant decrease in PRC activation from pre- to post-training (i.e., from unfamiliar to familiar) during perceptual exploration as well as memory-guided drawing, but not scribbling. This familiarity-based reduction is the first evidence that the PRC represents tactile object familiarity in the blind. Furthermore, the finding of this effect during both tactile perception and tactile memory provides the critical link in establishing the PRC as a structure whose representations are supramodal for both perception and memory. PMID:27148002
Akaishi, Rei; Ueda, Naoko; Sakai, Katsuyuki
The dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex have been thought to play distinct roles in decision making. Although its dorsal part such as the frontal eye field (FEF) is shown to play roles in accumulation of sensory information during perceptual decision making, the role of the ventral prefrontal cortex (PFv) is not well-documented. Previous studies have suggested that the PFv is involved in selective attention to the task-relevant information and is associated with accuracy of the behavioral performance. It is unknown, however, whether the accumulation and selection processes are anatomically dissociated between the FEF and PFv. Here we show that, by using concurrent TMS and EEG recording, the short-latency (20-40 ms) TMS-evoked potentials after stimulation of the FEF change as a function of the time to behavioral response, whereas those after stimulation of the PFv change depending on whether the response is correct or not. The potentials after stimulation of either region did not show significant interaction between time to response and performance accuracy, suggesting dissociation between the processes subserved by the FEF and PFv networks. The results are consistent with the idea that the network involving the FEF plays a role in information accumulation, whereas the network involving the PFv plays a role in selecting task relevant information. In addition, stimulation of the FEF and PFv induced activation in common regions in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortices, suggesting convergence of information processed in the two regions. Taken together, the results suggest dissociation between the FEF and PFv networks for their computational roles in perceptual decision making. The study also highlights the advantage of TMS-EEG technique in investigating the computational processes subserved by the neural network in the human brain with a high temporal resolution.
Moldakarimov, Samat; Bazhenov, Maxim; Sejnowski, Terrence J.
Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections. PMID:25121603
Bartko, Susan J.; Winters, Boyer D.; Cowell, Rosemary A.; Saksida, Lisa M.; Bussey, Timothy J.
The perirhinal cortex (PRh) has a well-established role in object recognition memory. More recent studies suggest that PRh is also important for two-choice visual discrimination tasks. Specifically, it has been suggested that PRh contains conjunctive representations that help resolve feature ambiguity, which occurs when a task cannot easily be…
Plöchl, Michael; Gaston, Jeremy; Mermagen, Tim; König, Peter; Hairston, W. David
Cross-modal interactions between sensory channels have been shown to depend on both the spatial disparity and the perceptual similarity between the presented stimuli. Here we investigate the behavioral and neural integration of auditory and tactile stimulus pairs at different levels of spatial disparity. Additionally, we modulated the amplitudes of both stimuli in either a coherent or non-coherent manner. We found that both auditory and tactile localization performance was biased towards the stimulus in the respective other modality. This bias linearly increases with stimulus disparity and is more pronounced for coherently modulated stimulus pairs. Analyses of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity at temporal–cortical sources revealed enhanced event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as decreased alpha and beta power during bimodal as compared to unimodal stimulation. However, while the observed ERP differences are similar for all stimulus combinations, the extent of oscillatory desynchronization varies with stimulus disparity. Moreover, when both stimuli were subjectively perceived as originating from the same direction, the reduction in alpha and beta power was significantly stronger. These observations suggest that in the EEG the level of perceptual integration is mainly reflected by changes in ongoing oscillatory activity. PMID:27647158
Lemus, Luis; Hernández, Adrián; Romo, Ranulfo
We recorded from single neurons of the primary auditory cortex (A1), while trained monkeys reported a decision based on the comparison of 2 acoustic flutter stimuli. Crucially, to form the decision, monkeys had to compare the second stimulus rate to the memory trace of the first stimulus rate. We found that the responses of A1 neurons encode stimulus rates both through their periodicity and through their firing rates during the stimulation periods, but not during the working memory and decision components of this task. Neurometric thresholds based on firing rate were very similar to the monkey's discrimination thresholds, whereas neurometric thresholds based on periodicity were lower than the experimental thresholds. Thus, an observer could solve this task with a precision similar to that of the monkey based only on the firing rates evoked by the stimuli. These results suggest that the A1 is exclusively associated with the sensory and not with the cognitive components of this task. PMID:19458263
Donner, Tobias H.; Sagi, Dov; Bonneh, Yoram S.; Heeger, David J.
While viewing certain stimuli, perception changes spontaneously in the face of constant input. For example, during “motion induced blindness” (MIB), a small salient target spontaneously disappears and reappears when surrounded by a moving mask. Models of such bistable perceptual phenomena posit spontaneous fluctuations in neuronal activity throughout multiple stages of the visual cortical hierarchy. We used fMRI in humans to link correlated activity fluctuations across human visual cortical areas V1 through V4 to the dynamics (rate and duration) of MIB target disappearance. We computed the correlations between the time series of fMRI activity in multiple retinotopic sub-regions corresponding to MIB target and mask. Linear decomposition of the matrix of temporal correlations revealed spatial patterns of activity fluctuations, irrespective of whether or not these were time-locked to behavioral reports of target disappearance. The spatial pattern that dominated the activity fluctuations during MIB was spatially non-specific, shared by all sub-regions, but did not reflect the dynamics of perception. By contrast, the fluctuations associated with the rate of MIB disappearance were retinotopically-specific for the target sub-region in V4, and the fluctuations associated with the duration of MIB disappearance states were target-specific in V1. Target-specific fluctuations in V1 have not previously been identified by averaging activity time-locked to behavioral reports of MIB disappearance. Our results suggest that different levels of the visual cortical hierarchy shape the dynamics of perception via distinct mechanisms, which are evident in distinct spatial patterns of spontaneous cortical activity fluctuations. PMID:23365254
Giovannelli, Fabio; Silingardi, Davide; Borgheresi, Alessandra; Feurra, Matteo; Amati, Gianluca; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Viggiano, Maria Pia; Zaccara, Gaetano; Berardi, Nicoletta; Cincotta, Massimo
The neural mechanisms underlying perceptual learning are still under investigation. Eureka effect is a form of rapid, long-lasting perceptual learning by which a degraded image, which appears meaningless when first seen, becomes recognizable after a single exposure to its undegraded version. We used online interference by focal 10-Hz repetitive…
Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David
Sensory cortices can be activated without any external stimuli. Yet, it is still unclear how this perceptual reactivation occurs and which neural structures mediate this reconstruction process. In this study, we employed fMRI with mental imagery paradigms to investigate the neural networks involved in perceptual reactivation. Subjects performed two speech imagery tasks: articulation imagery (AI) and hearing imagery (HI). We found that AI induced greater activity in frontal-parietal sensorimotor systems, including sensorimotor cortex, subcentral (BA 43), middle frontal cortex (BA 46) and parietal operculum (PO), whereas HI showed stronger activation in regions that have been implicated in memory retrieval: middle frontal (BA 8), inferior parietal cortex and intraparietal sulcus. Moreover, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG) was activated more in AI compared with HI, suggesting that covert motor processes induced stronger perceptual reactivation in the auditory cortices. These results suggest that motor-to-perceptual transformation and memory retrieval act as two complementary mechanisms to internally reconstruct corresponding perceptual outcomes. These two mechanisms can serve as a neurocomputational foundation for predicting perceptual changes, either via a previously learned relationship between actions and their perceptual consequences or via stored perceptual experiences of stimulus and episodic or contextual regularity. PMID:26889603
Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David
Sensory cortices can be activated without any external stimuli. Yet, it is still unclear how this perceptual reactivation occurs and which neural structures mediate this reconstruction process. In this study, we employed fMRI with mental imagery paradigms to investigate the neural networks involved in perceptual reactivation. Subjects performed two speech imagery tasks: articulation imagery (AI) and hearing imagery (HI). We found that AI induced greater activity in frontal-parietal sensorimotor systems, including sensorimotor cortex, subcentral (BA 43), middle frontal cortex (BA 46) and parietal operculum (PO), whereas HI showed stronger activation in regions that have been implicated in memory retrieval: middle frontal (BA 8), inferior parietal cortex and intraparietal sulcus. Moreover, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG) was activated more in AI compared with HI, suggesting that covert motor processes induced stronger perceptual reactivation in the auditory cortices. These results suggest that motor-to-perceptual transformation and memory retrieval act as two complementary mechanisms to internally reconstruct corresponding perceptual outcomes. These two mechanisms can serve as a neurocomputational foundation for predicting perceptual changes, either via a previously learned relationship between actions and their perceptual consequences or via stored perceptual experiences of stimulus and episodic or contextual regularity.
Patten, Matthew L; Welchman, Andrew E
Visually guided action and interaction depends on the brain's ability to (a) extract and (b) discriminate meaningful targets from complex retinal inputs. Binocular disparity is known to facilitate this process, and it is an open question how activity in different parts of the visual cortex relates to these fundamental visual abilities. Here we examined fMRI responses related to performance on two different tasks (signal-in-noise "coarse" and feature difference "fine" tasks) that have been widely used in previous work, and are believed to differentially target the visual processes of signal extraction and feature discrimination. We used multi-voxel pattern analysis to decode depth positions (near vs. far) from the fMRI activity evoked while participants were engaged in these tasks. To look for similarities between perceptual judgments and brain activity, we constructed 'fMR-metric' functions that described decoding performance as a function of signal magnitude. Thereafter we compared fMR-metric and psychometric functions, and report an association between judged depth and fMRI responses in the posterior parietal cortex during performance on both tasks. This highlights common stages of processing during perceptual performance on these tasks.
Hu, Meng; Liang, Hualou
Generalized flash suppression (GFS), in which a salient visual stimulus can be rendered invisible despite continuous retinal input, provides a rare opportunity to directly study the neural mechanism of visual perception. Previous work based on linear methods, such as spectral analysis, on local field potential (LFP) during GFS has shown that the LFP power at distinctive frequency bands are differentially modulated by perceptual suppression. Yet, the linear method alone may be insufficient for the full assessment of neural dynamic due to the fundamentally nonlinear nature of neural signals. In this study, we set forth to analyze the LFP data collected from multiple visual areas in V1, V2 and V4 of macaque monkeys while performing the GFS task using a nonlinear method - adaptive multi-scale entropy (AME) - to reveal the neural dynamic of perceptual suppression. In addition, we propose a new cross-entropy measure at multiple scales, namely adaptive multi-scale cross-entropy (AMCE), to assess the nonlinear functional connectivity between two cortical areas. We show that: (1) multi-scale entropy exhibits percept-related changes in all three areas, with higher entropy observed during perceptual suppression; (2) the magnitude of the perception-related entropy changes increases systematically over successive hierarchical stages (i.e. from lower areas V1 to V2, up to higher area V4); and (3) cross-entropy between any two cortical areas reveals higher degree of asynchrony or dissimilarity during perceptual suppression, indicating a decreased functional connectivity between cortical areas. These results, taken together, suggest that perceptual suppression is related to a reduced functional connectivity and increased uncertainty of neural responses, and the modulation of perceptual suppression is more effective at higher visual cortical areas. AME is demonstrated to be a useful technique in revealing the underlying dynamic of nonlinear/nonstationary neural signal.
Hoza, Betsy; McQuade, Julia D.; Murray-Close, Dianna; Shoulberg, Erin; Molina, Brooke S. G.; Arnold, L. Eugene; Swanson, James; Hechtman, Lily
Objective This study’s primary aim was to examine whether the positive self-perceptual bias present in many youth with ADHD (Hoza et al., 2004; Hoza, Pelham, Dobbs, Owens, & Pillow, 2002) mediates the relation of childhood ADHD status to later risky behaviors. Method Using a subset of children with ADHD and comparison children (n = 645) from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD, we predicted that a positive bias in childhood would partially or fully mediate the relation between having ADHD and risky driving and sexual behaviors eight years later. Results Results strongly supported this hypothesis for risky driving behavior, but only provided limited support for risky sexual behavior. Conclusions Taken together, findings suggest that future research should explore whether self-perceptual bias may be a useful target of intervention for children with ADHD. PMID:23834228
Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C
Perceptual inference refers to the ability to infer sensory stimuli from predictions that result from internal neural representations built through prior experience. Methods of Bayesian statistical inference and decision theory model cognition adequately by using error sensing either in guiding action or in "generative" models that predict the sensory information. In this framework, perception can be seen as a process qualitatively distinct from sensation, a process of information evaluation using previously acquired and stored representations (memories) that is guided by sensory feedback. The stored representations can be utilised as internal models of sensory stimuli enabling long term associations, for example in operant conditioning. Evidence for perceptual inference is contributed by such phenomena as the cortical co-localisation of object perception with object memory, the response invariance in the responses of some neurons to variations in the stimulus, as well as from situations in which perception can be dissociated from sensation. In the context of perceptual inference, sensory areas of the cerebral cortex that have been facilitated by a priming signal may be regarded as comparators in a closed feedback loop, similar to the better known motor reflexes in the sensorimotor system. The adult cerebral cortex can be regarded as similar to a servomechanism, in using sensory feedback to correct internal models, producing predictions of the outside world on the basis of past experience.
Kee, Ji-Ye; Inujima, Akiko; Andoh, Tsugunobu; Tanaka, Ken; Li, Feng; Kuraishi, Yasushi; Sakurai, Hiroaki; Shibahara, Naotoshi; Saiki, Ikuo; Koizumi, Keiichi
Moutan Cortex and its major compounds have been shown to possess various biological activities, including anti-inflammatory properties. However, the effects of Moutan Cortex aqueous fraction (MCA) and its molecular mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. In this study, we attempted to evaluate the effects of MCA on mast cell-mediated allergy inflammation in vitro and in vivo compared with major Moutan Cortex compounds. Thus, we examined the anti-inflammatory effects of a water extract of Moutan Cortex by comparing the inhibition of β-hexosaminadase and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) release in an aqueous fraction with other major compounds of Moutan Cortex. The inhibitory mechanism of MCA was investigated by western blotting in IgE-mediated DNP-BSA-stimulated RBL-2H3 cells. We confirmed the pharmacological effects of MCA on compound 48/80-induced allergic reactions in a mouse model by assessing scratching behavior and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA)-like reaction. Consequently, MCA inhibited IgE-mediated DNP-BSA-induced β-hexosaminadase and TNF-α release via inactivation of p38, ERK, Akt, and NF-κB in RBL-2H3 cells. MCA reduced compound 48/80-induced PCA reaction and scratching behavior in mice. This inhibitory effect of MCA is more potent than major compounds of Moutan Cortex. In conclusion, our results suggest that MCA has more potential in the treatment of allergic inflammatory diseases compared to other major compounds of Moutan Cortex.
Sato, Marc; Tremblay, Pascale; Gracco, Vincent L.
Consistent with a functional role of the motor system in speech perception, disturbing the activity of the left ventral premotor cortex by means of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown to impair auditory identification of syllables that were masked with white noise. However, whether this region is crucial for speech…
Bressan, Paola; Kramer, Peter
In the Ebbinghaus illusion, a circle surrounded by smaller circles is perceived as larger than an identical one surrounded by larger circles. The illusion is reportedly weaker in individuals with (disorganized) schizophrenia or schizotypy than in controls, a finding that has been interpreted as evidence that both schizophrenia and schizotypy involve reduced contextual integration. In support of this view, we show that the Ebbinghaus illusion also decreases, in the general population, with cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits (measured with both the cognitive-perceptual subscale of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief and the Magical Ideation scale). Our results were strong and separately replicable in different within-subjects and between-subjects conditions. However, a mediation analysis revealed that the reduction of the Ebbinghaus illusion was (statistically, hence without implying a causal relationship) entirely due to increased judgment time, i.e., the time subjects took to complete size comparisons. Judgment time increased with the strength of cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits, but subjects with longer judgment times had smaller illusions regardless of these traits. We argue that there are at least two possible accounts of our results. Reduced contextual integration might be due to a reduced ability to integrate context, as previously suggested; alternatively, it could be due to a reduced tendency to integrate context—that is, to a detail-oriented processing style. We offer predictions for future research, testable with a deadline experiment that pits these two accounts against one another. Regardless of which account proves to be best, our results show that contextual integration decreases with cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits, and that this relationship is mediated by judgment time. Future studies should thus consider either manipulating or measuring this time. PMID:23781212
Huk, Alexander C; Shadlen, Michael N
Decision-making often requires the accumulation and maintenance of evidence over time. Although the neural signals underlying sensory processing have been studied extensively, little is known about how the brain accrues and holds these sensory signals to guide later actions. Previous work has suggested that neural activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of the monkey brain reflects the formation of perceptual decisions in a random dot direction-discrimination task in which monkeys communicate their decisions with eye-movement responses. We tested the hypothesis that decision-related neural activity in LIP represents the time integral of the momentary motion "evidence." By briefly perturbing the strength of the visual motion stimulus during the formation of perceptual decisions, we tested whether this LIP activity reflected a persistent, integrated "memory" of these brief sensory events. We found that the responses of LIP neurons reflected substantial temporal integration. Brief pulses had persistent effects on both the monkeys' choices and the responses of neurons in LIP, lasting up to 800 ms after appearance. These results demonstrate that LIP is involved in neural time integration underlying the accumulation of evidence in this task. Additional analyses suggest that decision-related LIP responses, as well as behavioral choices and reaction times, can be explained by near-perfect time integration that stops when a criterion amount of evidence has been accumulated. Temporal integration may be a fundamental computation underlying higher cognitive functions that are dissociated from immediate sensory inputs or motor outputs.
Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Paul, Erick J.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Cohen, Neal J.; Barbey, Aron K.
Introduction: Although, diet has a substantial influence on the aging brain, the relationship between dietary nutrients and aspects of brain health remains unclear. This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between a carotenoid important for brain health across the lifespan, lutein, and crystallized intelligence in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher serum levels of lutein are associated with better performance on a task of crystallized intelligence, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the temporal cortex. This investigation aims to contribute to a growing line of evidence, which suggests that particular nutrients may slow or prevent aspects of cognitive decline by targeting specific features of brain aging. Methods: We examined 76 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 to investigate the relationship between serum lutein, tests of crystallized intelligence (measured by the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and gray matter volume of regions within the temporal cortex. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions to control for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the temporal cortex, the right parahippocampal cortex (Brodmann's Area 34), partially mediates the relationship between serum lutein and crystallized intelligence. Conclusion: These results suggest that the parahippocampal cortex acts as a mediator of the relationship between serum lutein and crystallized intelligence in cognitively intact older adults. Prior findings substantiate the individual relationships reported within the mediation, specifically the links between (i) serum lutein and temporal cortex structure, (ii) serum lutein and crystallized intelligence, and (iii) parahippocampal cortex structure and
Zamroziewicz, Marta K; Paul, Erick J; Zwilling, Chris E; Johnson, Elizabeth J; Kuchan, Matthew J; Cohen, Neal J; Barbey, Aron K
Introduction: Although, diet has a substantial influence on the aging brain, the relationship between dietary nutrients and aspects of brain health remains unclear. This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between a carotenoid important for brain health across the lifespan, lutein, and crystallized intelligence in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher serum levels of lutein are associated with better performance on a task of crystallized intelligence, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the temporal cortex. This investigation aims to contribute to a growing line of evidence, which suggests that particular nutrients may slow or prevent aspects of cognitive decline by targeting specific features of brain aging. Methods: We examined 76 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 to investigate the relationship between serum lutein, tests of crystallized intelligence (measured by the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and gray matter volume of regions within the temporal cortex. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions to control for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the temporal cortex, the right parahippocampal cortex (Brodmann's Area 34), partially mediates the relationship between serum lutein and crystallized intelligence. Conclusion: These results suggest that the parahippocampal cortex acts as a mediator of the relationship between serum lutein and crystallized intelligence in cognitively intact older adults. Prior findings substantiate the individual relationships reported within the mediation, specifically the links between (i) serum lutein and temporal cortex structure, (ii) serum lutein and crystallized intelligence, and (iii) parahippocampal cortex structure and
Villemure, Chantal; Ceko, Marta; Cotton, Valerie A; Bushnell, M Catherine
Yoga, an increasingly popular discipline among Westerners, is frequently used to improve painful conditions. We investigated possible neuroanatomical underpinnings of the beneficial effects of yoga using sensory testing and magnetic resonance imaging techniques. North American yogis tolerated pain more than twice as long as individually matched controls and had more gray matter (GM) in multiple brain regions. Across subjects, insular GM uniquely correlated with pain tolerance. Insular GM volume in yogis positively correlated with yoga experience, suggesting a causal relationship between yoga and insular size. Yogis also had increased left intrainsular white matter integrity, consistent with a strengthened insular integration of nociceptive input and parasympathetic autonomic regulation. Yogis, as opposed to controls, used cognitive strategies involving parasympathetic activation and interoceptive awareness to tolerate pain, which could have led to use-dependent hypertrophy of insular cortex. Together, these findings suggest that regular and long-term yoga practice improves pain tolerance in typical North Americans by teaching different ways to deal with sensory inputs and the potential emotional reactions attached to those inputs leading to a change in insular brain anatomy and connectivity.
Carmel, David; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
Increasing perceptual load reduces the processing of visual stimuli outside the focus of attention, but the mechanism underlying these effects remains unclear. Here we tested an account attributing the effects of perceptual load to modulations of visual cortex excitability. In contrast to stimulus competition accounts, which propose that load…
Loggia, Marco L.; Berna, Chantal; Kim, Jieun; Cahalan, Christine M.; Martel, Marc-Olivier; Gollub, Randy L.; Wasan, Ajay D.; Napadow, Vitaly; Edwards, Robert R.
While high levels of negative affect and cognitions have been associated in chronic pain conditions with greater pain sensitivity, the neural mechanisms mediating the hyperalgesic effect of psychological factors in patients with pain disorders are largely unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that 1) catastrophizing modulates brain responses to pain anticipation, and that 2) anticipatory brain activity mediates the hyperalgesic effect of different levels of catastrophizing, in fibromyalgia (FM) patients. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, we scanned the brains of 31 FM patients exposed to visual cues anticipating the onset of moderately intense deep-tissue pain stimuli. Our results indicated the existence of a negative association between catastrophizing and pain-anticipatory brain activity, including in the right lateral prefrontal cortex (IPFC). A bootstrapped mediation analysis revealed that pain-anticipatory activity in lateral prefrontal cortex (IPFC) mediates the association between catastrophizing and pain sensitivity. These findings highlight the role of IPFC in the pathophysiology of FM related hyperalgesia, and suggest that deficits in the recruitment of pain-inhibitory brain circuitry during pain-anticipatory periods may play an important contributory role in the association between various degrees of widespread hyperalgesia in FM and levels of catastrophizing, a well validated measure of negative cognitions and psychological distress. Perspective This article highlights the presence of alterations in pain-anticipatory brain activity in FM. These findings provide the rationale for the development of psychological or neurofeedback-based techniques aimed at modifying patients' negative affect and cognitions towards pain. PMID:25937162
Lim, Jonathan W. C.; Donahoo, Amber-Lee S.; Bunt, Jens; Edwards, Timothy J.; Fenlon, Laura R.; Liu, Ying; Zhou, Jing; Moldrich, Randal X.; Piper, Michael; Gobius, Ilan; Bailey, Timothy L.; Wray, Naomi R.; Kessaris, Nicoletta; Poo, Mu-Ming; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Richards, Linda J.
Transcription factors act during cortical development as master regulatory genes that specify cortical arealization and cellular identities. Although numerous transcription factors have been identified as being crucial for cortical development, little is known about their downstream targets and how they mediate the emergence of specific neuronal connections via selective axon guidance. The EMX transcription factors are essential for early patterning of the cerebral cortex, but whether EMX1 mediates interhemispheric connectivity by controlling corpus callosum formation remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that in mice on the C57Bl/6 background EMX1 plays an essential role in the midline crossing of an axonal subpopulation of the corpus callosum derived from the anterior cingulate cortex. In the absence of EMX1, cingulate axons display reduced expression of the axon guidance receptor NRP1 and form aberrant axonal bundles within the rostral corpus callosum. EMX1 also functions as a transcriptional activator of Nrp1 expression in vitro, and overexpression of this protein in Emx1 knockout mice rescues the midline-crossing phenotype. These findings reveal a novel role for the EMX1 transcription factor in establishing cortical connectivity by regulating the interhemispheric wiring of a subpopulation of neurons within the mouse anterior cingulate cortex. PMID:26534986
Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Barbey, Aron K.
Objectives: This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between phosphatidylcholine and executive functions in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher plasma levels of phosphatidylcholine are associated with better performance on a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that have been implicated in cognitive flexibility. Methods: We examined 72 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 in an observational, cross-sectional study to investigate the relationship between blood biomarkers of phosphatidylcholine, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter structure of regions within the PFC. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions and we controlled for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the PFC, the left inferior PFC (Brodmann’s Area 45), mediates the relationship between phosphatidylcholine blood biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that particular nutrients may slow or prevent age-related cognitive decline by influencing specific structures within the brain. This report demonstrates a novel structural mediation between plasma phosphatidylcholine levels and cognitive flexibility. Future work should examine the potential mechanisms underlying this mediation, including phosphatidylcholine-dependent cell membrane integrity of the inferior PFC and phosphatidylcholine-dependent cholinergic projections to the inferior PFC. PMID:27733825
Jorge, Paulo E; Marques, Paulo A M; Pinto, Belmiro V; Phillips, John B
The role of odors in the long-distance navigation of birds has elicited intense debate for more than half a century. Failure to resolve many of the issues fueling this debate is due at least in part to the absence of controls for a variety of non-specific effects that odors have on the navigational process. The present experiments were carried out to investigate whether the olfactory inputs are involved only in "activation" of neuronal circuitry involved in navigation or are also playing a role in providing directional information. Experienced adult pigeons were exposed to controlled olfactory stimuli during different segments of the journey (release site vs. displacement + release site). Protein levels of IEGs (immediate early genes used to mark synaptic activity) were analyzed in areas within the olfactory/navigation avian circuitry. The results indicate that 1) exposure to natural odors at the release site (and not before) elicit greater activation across brain regions than exposure to filtered air, artificial odors, and natural odors along the entire outward journey (from home to the release site, inclusive); 2) activation of the piriform cortex in terms of odor discrimination is lateralized; 3) activation of the navigation circuitry is achieved by means of lateralized activation of piriform cortex neurons. Altogether, the findings provide the first direct evidence that activation of the avian navigation circuitry is mediated by asymmetrical processing of olfactory input occurring in the right piriform cortex.
Pafundo, Diego E; Nicholas, Mark A; Zhang, Ruilin; Kuhlman, Sandra J
Response properties in primary sensory cortices are highly dependent on behavioral state. For example, the nucleus basalis of the forebrain plays a critical role in enhancing response properties of excitatory neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) during active exploration and learning. Given the strong reciprocal connections between hierarchically arranged cortical regions, how are increases in sensory response gain constrained to prevent runaway excitation? To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon guided cell-attached recording in conjunction with spatially restricted optogenetic photo-inhibition of higher-order visual cortex in mice. We found that the principle feedback projection to V1 originating from the lateral medial area (LM) facilitated visual responses in layer 2/3 excitatory neurons by ∼20%. This facilitation was reduced by half during basal forebrain activation due to differential response properties between LM and V1. Our results demonstrate that basal-forebrain-mediated increases in response gain are localized to V1 and are not propagated to LM and establish that subcortical modulation of visual cortex is regionally distinct.
Pafundo, Diego E.; Nicholas, Mark A.; Zhang, Ruilin
Response properties in primary sensory cortices are highly dependent on behavioral state. For example, the nucleus basalis of the forebrain plays a critical role in enhancing response properties of excitatory neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) during active exploration and learning. Given the strong reciprocal connections between hierarchically arranged cortical regions, how are increases in sensory response gain constrained to prevent runaway excitation? To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon guided cell-attached recording in conjunction with spatially restricted optogenetic photo-inhibition of higher-order visual cortex in mice. We found that the principle feedback projection to V1 originating from the lateral medial area (LM) facilitated visual responses in layer 2/3 excitatory neurons by ∼20%. This facilitation was reduced by half during basal forebrain activation due to differential response properties between LM and V1. Our results demonstrate that basal-forebrain-mediated increases in response gain are localized to V1 and are not propagated to LM and establish that subcortical modulation of visual cortex is regionally distinct. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Reciprocal connectivity among brain regions is a prominent feature of all sensory cortices. In primary visual cortex (V1), top-down signals from association areas aid in context-dependent perception of visual scenes by altering the response properties of individual neurons. Sensory-evoked responses in V1 are also highly dependent on subcortical neuromodulation pathways that regulate brain state. Here, with cell-type-specific resolution, we addressed how corticocortical and subcortical pathways interact to regulate responsiveness of V1. Our results provide insight into the rules and conditions governing activity propagation in reciprocally connected networks. PMID:26961946
Kong, Xia; Wei, Dongtao; Li, Wenfu; Cun, Lingli; Xue, Song; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang
Loneliness is an unpleasant and distressing feeling that a person experiences when he/she perceives that his/her social relationships are lacking in someway, either quantitatively or qualitatively; this can be linked to anxiety, depression, and suicide risk. Previous studies have found that certain personality traits (which are temporally stable and heritable) are predictors of loneliness. However, little empirical evidence is available on the brain structures associated with loneliness, as well as how personality traits impact the relationship between loneliness and brain structure. Thus, the current study used voxel-based morphometry to identify the brain structures underlying individual differences in loneliness (as measured by the UCLA Loneliness Scale) in a large sample, and then, applied multiple mediation analyses to explore the nature of the influence of personality traits on the relationship between loneliness and brain structure. The results showed that lonely individuals had greater regional gray matter volume in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which might reflect immature functioning in terms of emotional regulation. More importantly, we found that neuroticism and extraversion partially mediated the relationship between the left DLPFC and loneliness. In summary, through morphometric and multiple mediation analyses, this paper further validates the influence of both neuroticism and extraversion on loneliness.
Bault, Nadège; Joffily, Mateus; Rustichini, Aldo; Coricelli, Giorgio
We compared private and social decision making to investigate the neural underpinnings of the effect of social comparison on risky choices. We measured brain activity using functional MRI while participants chose between two lotteries: in the private condition, they observed the outcome of the unchosen lottery, and in the social condition, the outcome of the lottery chosen by another person. The striatum, a reward-related brain structure, showed higher activity when participants won more than their counterpart (social gains) compared with winning in isolation and lower activity when they won less than their counterpart (social loss) compared with private loss. The medial prefrontal cortex, implicated in social reasoning, was more activated by social gains than all other events. Sensitivity to social gains influenced both brain activity and behavior during subsequent choices. Specifically, striatal activity associated with social gains predicted medial prefrontal cortex activity during social choices, and experienced social gains induced more risky and competitive behavior in later trials. These results show that interplay between reward and social reasoning networks mediates the influence of social comparison on the decision process. PMID:21896760
Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Baho, Elie; Huang, Z Josh; Schachner, Melitta; Di Cristo, Graziella
GABAergic basket interneurons form perisomatic synapses, which are essential for regulating neural networks, and their alterations are linked to various cognitive dysfunction. Maturation of basket synapses in postnatal cortex is activity dependent. In particular, activity-dependent downregulation of polysialiac acid carried by the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) regulates the timing of their maturation. Whether and how NCAM per se affects GABAergic synapse development is unknown. Using single-cell genetics to knock out NCAM in individual basket interneurons in mouse cortical slice cultures, at specific developmental time periods, we found that NCAM loss during perisomatic synapse formation impairs the process of basket cell axonal branching and bouton formation. However, loss of NCAM once the synapses are already formed did not show any effect. We further show that NCAM120 and NCAM140, but not the NCAM180 isoform, rescue the phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that a dominant-negative form of Fyn kinase mimics, whereas a constitutively active form of Fyn kinase rescues, the effects of NCAM knockdown. Altogether, our data suggest that NCAM120/NCAM140-mediated Fyn activation promotes GABAergic synapse maturation in postnatal cortex.
Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Di Cristo, Graziella; Wu, Cai Zhi; Knott, Graham; Kuhlman, Sandra; Fu, Yu; Palmiter, Richard D; Huang, Z Josh
The development of GABAergic inhibitory circuits is shaped by neural activity, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we demonstrate a novel function of GABA in regulating GABAergic innervation in the adolescent brain, when GABA is mainly known as an inhibitory transmitter. Conditional knockdown of the rate-limiting synthetic enzyme GAD67 in basket interneurons in adolescent visual cortex resulted in cell autonomous deficits in axon branching, perisomatic synapse formation around pyramidal neurons, and complexity of the innervation fields; the same manipulation had little influence on the subsequent maintenance of perisomatic synapses. These effects of GABA deficiency were rescued by suppressing GABA reuptake and by GABA receptor agonists. Germline knockdown of GAD67 but not GAD65 showed similar deficits, suggesting a specific role of GAD67 in the maturation of perisomatic innervation. Since intracellular GABA levels are modulated by neuronal activity, our results implicate GAD67-mediated GABA synthesis in activity-dependent regulation of inhibitory innervation patterns.
Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang
Training can improve performance of perceptual tasks. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, is strongest for the trained task and stimulus, leading to a widely accepted assumption that the associated neuronal plasticity is restricted to brain circuits that mediate performance of the trained task. Nevertheless, learning does transfer to other tasks and stimuli, implying the presence of more widespread plasticity. Here, we trained human subjects to discriminate the direction of coherent motion stimuli. The behavioral learning effect substantially transferred to noisy motion stimuli. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of learning. The TMS experiment revealed dissociable, causal contributions of V3A (one of the visual areas in the extrastriate visual cortex) and MT+ (middle temporal/medial superior temporal cortex) to coherent and noisy motion processing. Surprisingly, the contribution of MT+ to noisy motion processing was replaced by V3A after perceptual training. The fMRI experiment complemented and corroborated the TMS finding. Multivariate pattern analysis showed that, before training, among visual cortical areas, coherent and noisy motion was decoded most accurately in V3A and MT+, respectively. After training, both kinds of motion were decoded most accurately in V3A. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of perceptual learning extend far beyond the retuning of specific neural populations for the trained stimuli. Learning could dramatically modify the inherent functional specializations of visual cortical areas and dynamically reweight their contributions to perceptual decisions based on their representational qualities. These neural changes might serve as the neural substrate for the transfer of perceptual learning.
Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang
Training can improve performance of perceptual tasks. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, is strongest for the trained task and stimulus, leading to a widely accepted assumption that the associated neuronal plasticity is restricted to brain circuits that mediate performance of the trained task. Nevertheless, learning does transfer to other tasks and stimuli, implying the presence of more widespread plasticity. Here, we trained human subjects to discriminate the direction of coherent motion stimuli. The behavioral learning effect substantially transferred to noisy motion stimuli. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of learning. The TMS experiment revealed dissociable, causal contributions of V3A (one of the visual areas in the extrastriate visual cortex) and MT+ (middle temporal/medial superior temporal cortex) to coherent and noisy motion processing. Surprisingly, the contribution of MT+ to noisy motion processing was replaced by V3A after perceptual training. The fMRI experiment complemented and corroborated the TMS finding. Multivariate pattern analysis showed that, before training, among visual cortical areas, coherent and noisy motion was decoded most accurately in V3A and MT+, respectively. After training, both kinds of motion were decoded most accurately in V3A. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of perceptual learning extend far beyond the retuning of specific neural populations for the trained stimuli. Learning could dramatically modify the inherent functional specializations of visual cortical areas and dynamically reweight their contributions to perceptual decisions based on their representational qualities. These neural changes might serve as the neural substrate for the transfer of perceptual learning. PMID:27051066
Haun, F; Cunningham, T J
Unilateral lesions extending across the boundary region of visual and parietal cortex in adult rats result in the death of 20-35% of neurons in layers II-III of the caudal third of medial frontal cortex ipsilaterally, a neuron population labeled with 3H-thymidine on the 19th day of gestation (E19). Additionally, there is a consistent 15% loss of these labeled neurons in an area between 50% and 60% of the distance along the caudal-rostral extent of medial frontal cortex, an area that may function analogously to the frontal eye field of primates. All of these neurons are rescued from axotomy-induced death by delivering into the posterior cortex lesion cavity for 2 weeks a macromolecular fraction of culture medium conditioned by embryonic primordia of the frontal-occipital pathway (CM). Moreover, the rescue is apparently permanent, with normal numbers of these neurons present in CM animals 6-7 weeks after the neurotrophic factor is no longer being supplied exogenously. Behaviorally, control operates receiving a similarly prepared fraction of unconditioned medium are significantly impaired in the number of trials needed to learn two visual discrimination tasks. This deficit is attributable in part to a bias in erroneous responses to the side contralateral to the lesion. The error bias reflects a failure to inhibit repeated incorrect responding contralaterally. In contrast, the CM animals learn both visual tasks in a normal number of trials and have no contralateral error bias. Rather, all CM animals have an contralateral error bias. Rather, all CM animals have an ipsilateral error bias (interpreted as an unmasking of the contralateral neglect expected after a parietal cortex lesion).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Conflict adaptation – a conflict-triggered improvement in the resolution of conflicting stimulus or response representations – has become a widely used probe of cognitive control processes in both healthy and clinical populations. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have localized activation foci associated with conflict resolution to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). The traditional group-analysis approach employed in these studies highlights regions that are, on average, activated during conflict resolution, but does not necessarily reveal areas mediating individual differences in conflict resolution, because between-subject variance is treated as noise. Here, we employed a complementary approach in order to elucidate the neural bases of variability in the proficiency of conflict-driven cognitive control. We analyzed two independent fMRI data sets of face-word Stroop tasks by using individual variability in the behavioral expression of conflict adaptation as the metric against which brain activation was regressed, while controlling for individual differences in mean reaction time and Stroop interference. Across the two experiments, a replicable neural substrate of individual variation in conflict adaptation was found in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), specifically, in the right inferior frontal gyrus, pars orbitalis (BA 47). Unbiased regression estimates showed that variability in activity in this region accounted for ~40% of the variance in behavioral expression of conflict adaptation across subjects, thus documenting a heretofore unsuspected key role for vlPFC in mediating conflict-driven adjustments in cognitive control. We speculate that vlPFC plays a primary role in conflict control that is supplemented by dlPFC recruitment under conditions of suboptimal performance. PMID:21568631
Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F. T.
Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP[subscript 3]-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP[subscript 3] receptor (IP[subscript…
Halladay, Lindsay R; Blair, Hugh T
The infralimbic subregion of the prefrontal cortex (IL) is broadly involved in behavioral flexibility, risk assessment, and outcome reinforcement. In aversive conditioning tasks, the IL has been implicated in fear extinction and in mediating transitions between Pavlovian and instrumental responses. Here we examine the role of the IL in mediating transitions between two competing Pavlovian fear responses, conditioned motor inhibition (CMI) and conditioned motor excitation (CME). Rats were trained to fear an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) by pairing it with periorbital shock to one eyelid (the unconditioned stimulus [US]). Trained animals exhibited CMI responses (movement suppression) to the CS when they had not recently encountered the US (>24 hr), but, after recent encounters with the US (<5 min), the CS evoked CME responses (turning in circles away from anticipated shock). Animals then received bilateral infusions of muscimol or picrotoxin to inactivate or hyperactivate the IL, respectively. Neither drug reliably affected CMI responses, but there was a bidirectional effect on CME responses; inactivation of the IL attenuated CME responses, whereas hyperactivation potentiated CME responses. These results provide evidence that activation of the IL may promote behavioral strategies that involve mobilizing the body and suppress strategies that involve immobilizing the body. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.
Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP3-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP3 receptor (IP3R)-evoked calcium release results in SK channel-dependent hyperpolarization of prefrontal neurons. However, the effects of IP3R signaling on prefrontal function have not been investigated. The present findings demonstrate that blockade of IP3R or SK channels in the prefrontal cortex enhances WM performance in rats, suggesting that both arms of the PI cascade influence prefrontal cognitive function. PMID:18285467
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage. PMID:26098079
Kupeev, Konstantin Y.; Wolfson, Haim J.
Often objects which are not convex in the mathematical sense are treated as `perceptually convex'. We present an algorithm for recognition of the perceptual convexity of a 2D contour. We start by reducing the notion of `a contour is perceptually convex' to the notion of `a contour is Y-convex'. The latter reflects an absence of large concavities in the OY direction of an XOY frame. Then we represented a contour by a G-graph and modify the slowest descent-- the small leaf trimming procedure recently introduced for the estimation of shape similarity. We prove that executing the slowest descent dow to a G-graph consisting of 3 vertices allows us to detect large concavities in the OY direction. This allows us to recognize the perceptual convexity of an input contour.
Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Paul, Erick J.; Rubin, Rachael D.; Barbey, Aron K.
Introduction: Although diet has a substantial influence on the aging brain, the relationship between biomarkers of diet and aspects of brain health remains unclear. This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (O3PUFAs) and executive functions in at-risk (APOE e4 carriers), cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher levels of O3PUFAs are associated with better performance in a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter volume of a specific region thought to be important for cognitive flexibility, the anterior cingulate cortex. Methods: We examined 40 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 with the APOE e4 polymorphism to investigate the relationship between biomarkers of O3PUFAs, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter volume within regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Results: A mediation analysis revealed that gray matter volume within the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex partially mediates the relationship between O3PUFA biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex acts as a mediator of the relationship between O3PUFAs and cognitive flexibility in cognitively intact adults thought to be at risk for cognitive decline. Through their link to executive functions and neuronal measures of PFC volume, O3PUFAs show potential as a nutritional therapy to prevent dysfunction in the aging brain. PMID:26052283
Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Di Cristo, Graziella; Wu, Cai Zhi; Knott, Graham; Kuhlman, Sandra; Fu, Yu; Palmiter, Richard D.; Huang, Z. Josh
The development of GABAergic inhibitory circuits is shaped by neural activity, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. we demonstrate a novel function of GABA in regulating GABAergic innervation in the adolescent brain, when GABA is mainly known as an inhibitory transmitter. Conditional knockdown of the rate-limiting synthetic enzyme GAD67 in basket interneurons in adolescent visual cortex resulted in cell autonomous deficits in axon branching, perisomatic synapse formation around pyramidal neurons, and complexity of the innervation fields; the same manipulation had little influence on the subsequent maintenance of perisomatic synapses. These effects of GABA deficiency were rescued by suppressing GABA re-uptake and by GABA receptor agonists. Germ-line knockdown of GAD67 but not GAD65 showed similar deficits, suggesting a specific role of GAD67 in the maturation of perisomatic innervation. Since intracellular GABA levels are modulated by neuronal activity, our results implicate GAD67-mediated GABA synthesis in activity-dependent regulation of inhibitory innervation patterns. PMID:17582330
Kusumoto-Yoshida, Ikue; Liu, Haixin; Chen, Billy T.; Fontanini, Alfredo; Bonci, Antonello
Reward-related circuits are fundamental for initiating feeding on the basis of food-predicting cues, whereas gustatory circuits are believed to be involved in the evaluation of food during consumption. However, accumulating evidence challenges such a rigid separation. The insular cortex (IC), an area largely studied in rodents for its role in taste processing, is involved in representing anticipatory cues. Although IC responses to anticipatory cues are well established, the role of IC cue-related activity in mediating feeding behaviors is poorly understood. Here, we examined the involvement of the IC in the expression of cue-triggered food approach in mice trained with a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. We observed a significant change in neuronal firing during presentation of the cue. Pharmacological silencing of the IC inhibited food port approach. Such a behavior could be recapitulated by temporally selective inactivation during the cue. These findings represent the first evidence, to our knowledge, that cue-evoked neuronal activity in the mouse IC modulates behavioral output, and demonstrate a causal link between cue responses and feeding behaviors. PMID:25583486
Wen, Lili; Xiao, Bing; Shi, Yuxiu; Han, Fang
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized with abnormal learning and memory. Impairments in learning and memory are closely associated with apoptosis in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We previously examined the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was involved in the apoptosis in the mPFC of PTSD. The PERK pathway plays the important role in the ER stress-induced apoptosis. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of PERK pathway in neuronal apoptosis in the mPFC of rat models of PTSD. We used the single prolonged stress (SPS) to mimic PTSD in rats and studied the effects of the PERK pathway in mPFC. Learning and memory behavior were examined by Morris water maze and novel object recognition tests. Apoptosis in mPFC was detected by TUNEL staining. Our results showed decreased learning memory and increased apoptosis of mPFC neurons in rats exposed to SPS. SPS exposure upregulate mRNA expressions of PERK, p-PERK, eIF2α, p-eIF2α, nuclear ATF4 and C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) in mPFC neurons, but the protein levels of these molecules showed difference in magnitude and time course. GSK2606414 (an antagonist of PERK) treatment successfully reversed the above changes. These results suggested that the PERK pathway mediated SPS-induced neural apoptosis in the mPFC. These findings will be helpful in understanding mPFC-related pathogenesis of PTSD.
Gambino, Frédéric; Holtmaat, Anthony
Functional maps in the cerebral cortex reorganize in response to changes in experience, but the synaptic underpinnings remain uncertain. Here, we demonstrate that layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal cell synapses in mouse barrel cortex can be potentiated upon pairing of whisker-evoked postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) with action potentials (APs). This spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation (STD-LTP) was only effective for PSPs evoked by deflections of a whisker in the neuron's receptive field center, and not its surround. Trimming of all except two whiskers rapidly opened the possibility to drive STD-LTP by the spared surround whisker. This facilitated STD-LTP was associated with a strong decrease in the surrounding whisker-evoked inhibitory conductance and partially occluded picrotoxin-mediated LTP facilitation. Taken together, our data demonstrate that sensory deprivation-mediated disinhibition facilitates STD-LTP from the sensory surround, which may promote correlation- and experience-dependent expansion of receptive fields.
Sun, Wenjuan; Wang, Laijian; Li, Shuo; Tie, Xiaoxiu; Jiang, Bin
Visually induced endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression of GABAergic neurotransmission (iLTD) mediates the maturation of GABAergic release in layer 2/3 of visual cortex. Here we examined whether the maturation of GABAergic transmission in other layers of visual cortex also requires endocannabinoids. The developmental plasticity of GABAergic neurotransmission onto the principal neurons in different layers of mouse visual cortex was examined in cortical slices by whole-cell recordings of inhibitory postsynaptic currents evoked by presynaptic inhibitory inputs. Theta burst stimulation of GABAergic inputs induced an endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression of GABAergic neurotransmission onto pyramidal cells in layer 2/3 from postnatal day (P)10 to 30 and in layer 5 from P10 to 40, whereas that of GABAergic inputs did not induce iLTD onto star pyramidal neurons in layer 4 at any time postnatally, indicating that this plasticity is laminar-specific. The developmental loss of iLTD paralleled the maturation of GABAergic inhibition in both layer 2/3 and layer 5. Visual deprivation delayed the developmental loss of iLTD in layers 3 and 5 during a critical period, while 2 days of light exposure eliminated iLTD in both layers. Furthermore, the GABAergic synapses in layers 2/3 and 5 did not normally mature in the type 1 cannabinoid receptor knock-out mice, whereas those in layer 4 did not require endocannabinoid receptor for maturation. These results suggest that visually induced endocannabinoid-dependent iLTD mediates the maturation of GABAergic release in extragranular layer rather than in granular layer of mouse visual cortex.
Hadi, Shamil M.; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas
We investigated the effect of synaptic serotonin concentration on hemodynamic responses. The stimuli paradigm involved the presentation of fearful and threatening facial expressions to a set of 24 subjects who were either5HTTLPR long- or short-allele carriers (12 of each type in each group). The BOLD signals of the rACC from subjects of each group were averaged to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. We used a Bayesian approach to estimate the parameters of the underlying hemodynamic model. Our results, during this perceptual processing of emotional task, showed a negative BOLD signal in the rACC in the subjects with long-alleles. In contrast, the subjects with short-alleles showed positive BOLD signals in the rACC. These results suggest that high synaptic serotonin concentration in the rACC inhibits neuronal activity in a fashion similar to GABA, and a consequent negative BOLD signal ensues.
Kilb, W; Hanganu, I L; Okabe, A; Sava, B A; Shimizu-Okabe, C; Fukuda, A; Luhmann, H J
The development of the cerebral cortex depends on genetic factors and early electrical activity patterns that form immature neuronal networks. Subplate neurons (SPn) are involved in the construction of thalamocortical innervation, generation of oscillatory network activity, and in the proper formation of the cortical columnar architecture. Because glycine receptors play an important role during early corticogenesis, we analyzed the functional consequences of glycine receptor activation in visually identified SPn in neocortical slices from postnatal day 0 (P0) to P4 rats using whole cell and perforated patch-clamp recordings. In all SPn the glycinergic agonists glycine, beta-alanine, and taurine induced dose-dependent inward currents with the affinity for glycine being higher than that for beta-alanine and taurine. Glycine-induced responses were blocked by the glycinergic antagonist strychnine, but were unaffected by either the GABAergic antagonist gabazine, the N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor antagonist d-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid, or picrotoxin and cyanotriphenylborate, antagonists of alpha-homomeric and alpha1-subunit-containing glycine receptors, respectively. Under perforated-patch conditions, glycine induced membrane depolarizations that were sufficient to trigger action potentials (APs) in most cells. Furthermore, glycine and taurine decreased the injection currents as well as the synaptic stimulation strength required to elicit APs, indicating that glycine receptors have a consistent excitatory effect on SPn. Inhibition of taurine transport and application of hypoosmolar solutions induced strychnine-sensitive inward currents, suggesting that taurine can act as a possible endogenous agonist on SPn. In summary, these results demonstrate that SPn express glycine receptors that mediate robust excitatory membrane responses during early postnatal development.
Yan, Ni; Cao, Bing; Xu, Jiahe; Hao, Chun; Zhang, Xu; Li, Ying
Studies of both humans and animals suggest that anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is important for processing pain perception. We identified that perigenul ACC (pACC) sensitization and enhanced visceral pain in a visceral hypersensitive rat in previous studies. Pain contains both sensory and affective dimensions. Teasing apart the mechanisms that control the neural pathways mediating pain affect and sensation in nociceptive behavioral response is a challenge. In this study, using a rodent visceral pain assay that combines the colorectal distension (CRD)-induced visceromotor response (VMR) with the conditioning place avoidance (CPA), we measured a learned behavior that directly reflects the affective component of visceral pain. When CRD was paired with a distinct environment context, the rats spent significantly less time in this compartment on the post-conditioning test days as compared with the pre-conditioning day. Effects were lasted for 14 days. Bilateral pACC lesion significantly reduced CPA scores without reducing acute visceral pain behaviors (CRD-induced VMR). Bilateral administration of non-NMDA receptor antagonist CNQX or NMDA receptor antagonist AP5 into the pACC decreased the CPA scores. AP5 or CNQX at dose of 400 mM produced about 70% inhibition of CRD-CPA in the day 1, 4 and 7, and completely abolished the CPA in the day 14 after conditioning. We concluded that neurons in the pACC are necessary for the "aversiveness" of visceral nociceptor stimulation. pACC activation is critical for the memory processing involved in long-term negative affective state and prediction of aversive stimuli by contextual cue.
Myers, Emily B.; Mesite, Laura M.
It has long been noted that listeners use top-down information from context to guide perception of speech sounds. A recent line of work employing a phenomenon termed ‘perceptual learning for speech’ shows that listeners use top-down information to not only resolve the identity of perceptually ambiguous speech sounds, but also to adjust perceptual boundaries in subsequent processing of speech from the same talker. Even so, the neural mechanisms that underlie this process are not well understood. Of particular interest is whether this type of adjustment comes about because of a retuning of sensitivities to phonetic category structure early in the neural processing stream or whether the boundary shift results from decision-related or attentional mechanisms further downstream. In the current study, neural activation was measured using fMRI as participants categorized speech sounds that were perceptually shifted as a result of exposure to these sounds in lexically-unambiguous contexts. Sensitivity to lexically-mediated shifts in phonetic categorization emerged in right hemisphere frontal and middle temporal regions, suggesting that the perceptual learning for speech phenomenon relies on the adjustment of perceptual criteria downstream from primary auditory cortex. By the end of the session, this same sensitivity was seen in left superior temporal areas, which suggests that a rapidly-adapting system may be accompanied by more slowly evolving shifts in regions of the brain related to phonetic processing. PMID:25092949
Yoshie, Michiko; Nagai, Yoko; Critchley, Hugo D.; Harrison, Neil A.
The presence of an evaluative audience can alter skilled motor performance through changes in force output. To investigate how this is mediated within the brain, we emulated real-time social monitoring of participants’ performance of a fine grip task during functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging. We observed an increase in force output during social evaluation that was accompanied by focal reductions in activity within bilateral inferior parietal cortex. Moreover, deactivation of the left inferior parietal cortex predicted both inter- and intra-individual differences in socially-induced change in grip force. Social evaluation also enhanced activation within the posterior superior temporal sulcus, which conveys visual information about others’ actions to the inferior parietal cortex. Interestingly, functional connectivity between these two regions was attenuated by social evaluation. Our data suggest that social evaluation can vary force output through the altered engagement of inferior parietal cortex; a region implicated in sensorimotor integration necessary for object manipulation, and a component of the action-observation network which integrates and facilitates performance of observed actions. Social-evaluative situations may induce high-level representational incoherence between one’s own intentioned action and the perceived intention of others which, by uncoupling the dynamics of sensorimotor facilitation, could ultimately perturbe motor output. PMID:26787326
Fernández, R.; Sabater, R.; Sáez, J. A.; Montes, R.; Alba, F.; Ferrer, J. M.
1 Intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (NT) selectively decreased intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) of the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat. 2 To elucidate whether this effect is mediated by NT receptors or by the formation of NT-dopamine complexes, we investigated the effects on ICSS of intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (1-11), an NT fragment that forms extracellular complexes with dopamine but does not bind to NT receptors. 3 We also studied the effects of the peripheral administration of SR 48692, a selective antagonist of NT receptors, on the inhibition of ICSS produced by the intracortical administration of NT. 4 Unilateral microinjections of neurotensin (1-11) at doses of 10, 20 and 40 nmol into the medial prefrontal cortex did not change the basal ICSS rate of this area. 5 The intraperitoneal administration of SR 48692 at doses of 0.08 and 0.16 mg kg-1 30 min before microinjection of 10 nmol of NT into the medial prefrontal cortex, antagonized the inhibition of ICSS produced by the neuropeptide. 6 These results demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of NT on ICSS is mediated by NT receptors. PMID:8886412
Bondarenko, E; Hodgson, D M; Nalivaiko, E
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.
Voutsinos-Porche, Brigitte; Bonvento, Gilles; Tanaka, Kohichi; Steiner, Pascal; Welker, Egbert; Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J; Pellerin, Luc
Neuron-glia interactions are essential for synaptic function, and glial glutamate (re)uptake plays a key role at glutamatergic synapses. In knockout mice, for either glial glutamate transporters, GLAST or GLT-1, a classical metabolic response to synaptic activation (i.e., enhancement of glucose utilization) is decreased at an early functional stage in the somatosensory barrel cortex following activation of whiskers. Investigation in vitro demonstrates that glial glutamate transport represents a critical step for triggering enhanced glucose utilization, but also lactate release from astrocytes through a mechanism involving changes in intracellular Na(+) concentration. These data suggest that a metabolic crosstalk takes place between neurons and astrocytes in the developing cortex, which would be regulated by synaptic activity and mediated by glial glutamate transporters.
Ligomenides, Panos A.
A sensory world modeling system, congruent with a human expert's perception, is proposed. The Experiential Knowledge Base (EKB) system can provide a highly intelligible communication interface for telemonitoring and telecontrol of a real time robotic system operating in space. Paradigmatic acquisition of empirical perceptual knowledge, and real time experiential pattern recognition and knowledge integration are reviewed. The cellular architecture and operation of the EKB system are also examined.
Lo, Fu-Sun; Blue, Mary E.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from mutations in the X-linked gene for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). The underlying cellular mechanism for the sensory deficits in patients with RTT is largely unknown. This study used the Bird mouse model of RTT to investigate sensory thalamocortical synaptic transmission in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice. Electrophysiological results showed an excitation/inhibition imbalance, biased toward inhibition, due to an increase in efficacy of postsynaptic GABAA receptors rather than alterations in inhibitory network and presynaptic release properties. Enhanced inhibition impaired the transmission of tonic sensory signals from the thalamus to the somatosensory cortex. Previous morphological studies showed an upregulation of NMDA receptors in the neocortex of both RTT patients and Mecp2-null mice at early ages [Blue ME, Naidu S, Johnston MV. Ann Neurol 45: 541–545, 1999; Blue ME, Kaufmann WE, Bressler J, Eyring C, O'Driscoll C, Naidu S, Johnston MV. Anat Rec (Hoboken) 294: 1624–1634, 2011]. Although AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission was not altered in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice, extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses increased markedly. These responses were blocked by memantine, suggesting that extrasynaptic NMDA receptors play an important role in the pathogenesis of RTT. The results suggest that enhancement of postsynaptic GABAA and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses may underlie impaired somatosensation and that pharmacological blockade of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors may have therapeutic value for RTT. PMID:26683074
Lo, Fu-Sun; Blue, Mary E; Erzurumlu, Reha S
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from mutations in the X-linked gene for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). The underlying cellular mechanism for the sensory deficits in patients with RTT is largely unknown. This study used the Bird mouse model of RTT to investigate sensory thalamocortical synaptic transmission in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice. Electrophysiological results showed an excitation/inhibition imbalance, biased toward inhibition, due to an increase in efficacy of postsynaptic GABAA receptors rather than alterations in inhibitory network and presynaptic release properties. Enhanced inhibition impaired the transmission of tonic sensory signals from the thalamus to the somatosensory cortex. Previous morphological studies showed an upregulation of NMDA receptors in the neocortex of both RTT patients and Mecp2-null mice at early ages [Blue ME, Naidu S, Johnston MV. Ann Neurol 45: 541-545, 1999; Blue ME, Kaufmann WE, Bressler J, Eyring C, O'Driscoll C, Naidu S, Johnston MV. Anat Rec (Hoboken) 294: 1624-1634, 2011]. Although AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission was not altered in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice, extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses increased markedly. These responses were blocked by memantine, suggesting that extrasynaptic NMDA receptors play an important role in the pathogenesis of RTT. The results suggest that enhancement of postsynaptic GABAA and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses may underlie impaired somatosensation and that pharmacological blockade of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors may have therapeutic value for RTT.
Lu, Zhong-Lin; Hua, Tianmiao; Huang, Chang-Bing; Zhou, Yifeng; Dosher, Barbara Anne
Perceptual learning refers to the phenomenon that practice or training in perceptual tasks often substantially improves perceptual performance. Often exhibiting stimulus or task specificities, perceptual learning differs from learning in the cognitive or motor domains. Research on perceptual learning reveals important plasticity in adult perceptual systems, and as well as the limitations in the information processing of the human observer. In this article, we review the behavioral results, mechanisms, physiological basis, computational models, and applications of visual perceptual learning. PMID:20870024
Saffari, R; Teng, Z; Zhang, M; Kravchenko, M; Hohoff, C; Ambrée, O; Zhang, W
Anxiety disorders are thought to reflect deficits in the regulation of fear memories. While the amygdala has long been considered a site of storage of fear memories, newer findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is essential in the regulation of amygdala-dependent memories and fear expression. Here, activation of the prelimbic cortex (PrL) enhances the expression of fear, while an elevated activity in the infralimbic cortex (IL) enhances fear extinction. Despite the presence of these facts, we still know very little about the synaptic interconnectivity within the PFC. The aim of the present study was to investigate the inhibitory circuits between prelimbic and IL using morphological and electrophysiological methods. Our immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the distribution of PV+- and NPY+-GABAergic neurons was strikingly different within the PFC. In addition, we provided the first experimental evidence that the pyramidal neurons in the PrL received a direct inhibitory input mediated by bipolar NPY+-GABAergic projection neurons in the IL. Deletion of the anxiety-related neuroligin 2 gene caused a decrease of this direct synaptic inhibition that originated from the IL. Thus, our data suggested that activation of the IL might not only directly activate the corresponding downstream anxiolytic pathway, but also suppress the PrL-related anxiogenic pathway and thus could differentially bias the regulation of fear expression and extinction. PMID:26882036
Lo, Fu-Sun; Erzurumlu, Reha S.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by genetic variants, susceptibility alleles, and environmental perturbations. The autism associated gene MET tyrosine kinase has been implicated in many behavioral domains and endophenotypes of autism, including abnormal neural signaling in human sensory cortex. We investigated somatosensory thalamocortical synaptic communication in mice deficient in Met activity in cortical excitatory neurons to gain insights into aberrant somatosensation characteristic of ASD. The ratio of excitation to inhibition is dramatically increased due to decreased postsynaptic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition in the trigeminal thalamocortical pathway of mice lacking active Met in the cerebral cortex. Furthermore, in contrast to wild-type mice, insulin failed to increase GABAA receptor-mediated response in the barrel cortex of mice with compromised Met signaling. Thus, lacking insulin effects may be a risk factor in ASD pathogenesis. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A proposed common cause of neurodevelopmental disorders is an imbalance in excitatory neural transmission, provided by the glutamatergic neurons, and the inhibitory signals from the GABAergic interneurons. Many genes associated with autism spectrum disorders impair synaptic transmission in the expected cell type. Previously, inactivation of the autism-associated Met tyrosine kinase receptor in GABAergic interneurons led to decreased inhibition. In thus report, decreased Met signaling in glutamatergic neurons had no effect on excitation, but decimated inhibition. Further experiments indicate that loss of Met activity downregulates GABAA receptors on glutamatergic neurons in an insulin independent manner. These data provide a new mechanism for the loss of inhibition and subsequent abnormal excitation/inhibition balance and potential molecular candidates for treatment or prevention. PMID:27030755
Sestieri, Carlo; Shulman, Gordon L; Corbetta, Maurizio
The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is traditionally associated with attention, perceptual decision making and sensorimotor transformations, but more recent human neuroimaging studies support an additional role in episodic memory retrieval. In this Opinion article, we present a functional-anatomical model of the involvement of the PPC in memory retrieval. Parietal regions involved in perceptual attention and episodic memory are largely segregated and often show a push-pull relationship, potentially mediated by prefrontal regions. Moreover, different PPC regions carry out specific functions during retrieval - for example, representing retrieved information, recoding this information based on task demands, or accumulating evidence for memory decisions.
Beierholm, Ulrik R.; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P.
Prefrontal cortex has long been implicated in tasks involving higher order inference in which decisions must be rendered, not only about which stimulus is currently rewarded, but also which stimulus dimensions are currently relevant. However, the precise computational mechanisms used to solve such tasks have remained unclear. We scanned human participants with functional MRI, while they performed a hierarchical intradimensional/extradimensional shift task to investigate what strategy subjects use while solving higher order decision problems. By using a computational model-based analysis, we found behavioral and neural evidence that humans solve such problems not by occasionally shifting focus from one to the other dimension, but by considering multiple explanations simultaneously. Activity in human prefrontal cortex was better accounted for by a model that integrates over all available evidences than by a model in which attention is selectively gated. Importantly, our model provides an explanation for how the brain determines integration weights, according to which it could distribute its attention. Our results demonstrate that, at the point of choice, the human brain and the prefrontal cortex in particular are capable of a weighted integration of information across multiple evidences. PMID:21697443
Warren, Brandon L.; Mendoza, Michael P.; Cruz, Fabio C.; Leao, Rodrigo M.; Caprioli, Daniele; Rubio, F. Javier; Whitaker, Leslie R.; McPherson, Kylie B.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Shaham, Yavin
In operant learning, initial reward-associated memories are thought to be distinct from subsequent extinction-associated memories. Memories formed during operant learning are thought to be stored in “neuronal ensembles.” Thus, we hypothesize that different neuronal ensembles encode reward- and extinction-associated memories. Here, we examined prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles involved in the recall of reward and extinction memories of food self-administration. We first trained rats to lever press for palatable food pellets for 7 d (1 h/d) and then exposed them to 0, 2, or 7 daily extinction sessions in which lever presses were not reinforced. Twenty-four hours after the last training or extinction session, we exposed the rats to either a short 15 min extinction test session or left them in their homecage (a control condition). We found maximal Fos (a neuronal activity marker) immunoreactivity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex of rats that previously received 2 extinction sessions, suggesting that neuronal ensembles in this area encode extinction memories. We then used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively disrupt ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles that were activated during the 15 min extinction session following 0 (no extinction) or 2 prior extinction sessions to determine the effects of inactivating the putative food reward and extinction ensembles, respectively, on subsequent nonreinforced food seeking 2 d later. Inactivation of the food reward ensembles decreased food seeking, whereas inactivation of the extinction ensembles increased food seeking. Our results indicate that distinct neuronal ensembles encoding operant reward and extinction memories intermingle within the same cortical area. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A current popular hypothesis is that neuronal ensembles in different prefrontal cortex areas control reward-associated versus extinction-associated memories: the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) promotes
Gocel, James; Larson, John
Fragile X syndrome is a neurodevelopmental condition caused by the transcriptional silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. The Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse exhibits age-dependent deficits in long term potentiation (LTP) at association (ASSN) synapses in anterior piriform cortex (APC). To investigate the mechanisms for this, whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings of ASSN stimulation-evoked synaptic currents were made in APC of slices from adult Fmr1-KO and wild-type (WT) mice, using the competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, CPP, to distinguish currents mediated by NMDA and AMPA receptors. NMDA/AMPA current ratios were lower in Fmr1-KO mice than in WT mice, at ages ranging from 3-18months. Since amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) mediated by AMPA receptors were no different in Fmr1-KO and WT mice at these ages, the results suggest that NMDA receptor-mediated currents are selectively reduced in Fmr1-KO mice. Analyses of voltage-dependence and decay kinetics of NMDA receptor-mediated currents did not reveal differences between Fmr1-KO and WT mice, suggesting that reduced NMDA currents in Fmr1-KO mice are due to fewer synaptic receptors rather than differences in receptor subunit composition. Reduced NMDA receptor signaling may help to explain the LTP deficit seen at APC ASSN synapses in Fmr1-KO mice at 6-18months of age, but does not explain normal LTP at these synapses in mice 3-6months old. Evoked currents and mEPSCs were also examined in senescent Fmr1-KO and WT mice at 24-28months of age. NMDA/AMPA ratios were similar in senescent WT and Fmr1-KO mice, due to a decrease in the ratio in the WT mice, without significant change in AMPA receptor-mediated mEPSCs.
Li, Mi; Zhong, Ning
The parahippocampal cortex (PHC) plays a key role in episodic memory, spatial processing, and the encoding of novel stimuli. Recent studies proposed that the PHC is largely involved in contextual associative processing. Consequently, the function of this region has been a hot debate in cognitive neuroscience. To test this assumption, we used two types of experimental materials to form the contextual associative memory: visual objects in reality and meaningless visual shapes. New associations were modeled from either the contextual objects or the contextual shapes. Both contextual objects and shapes activated the bilateral PHC more than the noncontextual ones. The contextual objects with semantics significantly activated the left PHC areas, whereas the meaningless contextual shapes significantly elicited the right PHC. The results clearly demonstrate that the PHC influences the processing of contextual information and provides experimental evidence for an understanding of the different functions of bilateral PHC in contextual associative memory. PMID:27247946
Schlicker, E; Behling, A; Lümmen, G; Göthert, M
Mouse brain cortex slices preincubated with 3H-noradrenaline were superfused with physiological salt solution containing desipramine plus a drug with alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist properties, and the effects of histamine receptor ligands on the electrically (0.3 Hz) evoked tritium overflow were studied. The evoked overflow (from slices superfused with phentolamine) was inhibited by histamine (pIC35 6.53), the H3 receptor agonist R-(-)-alpha-methylhistamine (7.47) and its S-(+)-enantiomer (5.82) but not influenced by the H1 receptor agonist 2-(2-thiazolyl)-ethylamine 3.2 mumol/l and the H2 receptor agonist dimaprit 10 mumol/l. The inhibitory effect of histamine was not affected by the H1 receptor antagonist dimetindene 1 mumol/l and the H2 receptor antagonist ranitidine 10 mumol/l. The concentration-response curve of histamine (determined in the presence of rauwolscine) was shifted to the right by the H3 receptor antagonists thioperamide (apparent pA2 8.67), impromidine (7.30) and burimamide (6.82) as well as by dimaprit (6.16). The pA2 values of the four drugs were compared with their affinities for H3A and H3B binding sites in rat brain membranes (West et al. 1990 Mol Pharmacol 38:610); a significant correlation was obtained for the H3A, but not for the H3B sites. The results suggest that noradrenaline release in the mouse brain cortex is inhibited by histamine via H3A receptors and that dimaprit is an H3 receptor antagonist of moderate potency.
Martin, Henry G. S.; Bernabeu, Axel; Lassalle, Olivier; Bouille, Clément; Beurrier, Corinne; Pelissier-Alicot, Anne-Laure; Manzoni, Olivier J.
Cholinergic inputs into the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are associated with attention and cognition; however there is evidence that acetylcholine also has a role in PFC dependent learning and memory. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) in the PFC can induce synaptic plasticity, but the underlying mechanisms remain either opaque or unresolved. We have characterized a form of mAChR mediated long-term depression (LTD) at glutamatergic synapses of layer 5 principal neurons in the adult medial PFC. This mAChR LTD is induced with the mAChR agonist carbachol and inhibited by selective M1 mAChR antagonists. In contrast to other cortical regions, we find that this M1 mAChR mediated LTD is coupled to endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) signaling. Inhibition of the principal eCB CB1 receptor blocked carbachol induced LTD in both rats and mice. Furthermore, when challenged with a sub-threshold carbachol application, LTD was induced in slices pretreated with the monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor JZL184, suggesting that the eCB 2-arachidonylglyerol (2-AG) mediates M1 mAChR LTD. Yet, when endogenous acetylcholine was released from local cholinergic afferents in the PFC using optogenetics, it failed to trigger eCB-LTD. However coupling patterned optical and electrical stimulation to generate local synaptic signaling allowed the reliable induction of LTD. The light—electrical pairing induced LTD was M1 mAChR and CB1 receptor mediated. This shows for the first time that connecting excitatory synaptic activity with coincident endogenously released acetylcholine controls synaptic gain via eCB signaling. Together these results shed new light on the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the adult PFC and expand on the actions of endogenous cholinergic signaling. PMID:26648844
Ostlund, Sean B; Balleine, Bernard W
Previous studies have implicated the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in outcome encoding. However, it remains unknown whether the OFC is selectively involved in pavlovian stimulus-outcome learning or whether it also contributes to instrumental action-outcome learning. In experiment 1, we investigated this issue by assessing the effects of bilateral lesions of the OFC on the sensitivity of instrumental lever press performance to a reduction in the incentive value of the training outcome (a test of action-outcome encoding) and to outcome-specific pavlovian-instrumental transfer (a test of stimulus-outcome encoding). We found that post-training lesions of the OFC did not affect instrumental outcome devaluation, but abolished the transfer effect. Interestingly, lesions made before training had no effect on either task. In experiment 2, we explored the involvement of the OFC in updating stimulus-outcome associations after the underlying contingency, or predictive relationship, between these two events has been degraded. Shams displayed clear contingency learning, withholding conditioned responding to a stimulus that no longer reliably predicted its outcome while continuing to respond to a control stimulus that remained a good predictor of a different outcome. In contrast, OFC-lesioned rats stopped responding to both stimuli, regardless of their predictive status. Together, these findings suggest that the OFC supports outcome encoding in pavlovian, but not instrumental conditioning.
Ward, Ryan D.; Winiger, Vanessa; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D; Simpson, Eleanor H.
Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) function is critical to decision making and behavior based on the value of expected outcomes. While some of the roles the OFC plays in value computations and behavior have been identified, the role of the OFC in modulating cognitive resources based on reward expectancy has not been explored. Here we assessed the involvement of OFC in the interaction between motivation and attention. We tested mice in a sustained-attention task in which explicitly signaling the probability of reward differentially modulates discrimination accuracy. Using pharmacogenetic methods, we generated mice in which neuronal activity in the OFC could be transiently and reversibly inhibited during performance of our signaled-probability task. We found that inhibiting OFC neuronal activity abolished the ability of reward-associated cues to differentially impact accuracy of sustained-attention performance. This failure to modulate attention occurred despite evidence that mice still processed the differential value of the reward-associated cues. These data indicate that OFC function is critical for the ability of a reward-related signal to impact other cognitive and decision-making processes and begin to delineate the neural circuitry involved in the interaction between motivation and attention. PMID:26157358
Pitchaimani, Vigneshwaran; Arumugam, Somasundaram; Thandavarayan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam; Karuppagounder, Vengadeshprabhu; Sreedhar, Remya; Afrin, Rejina; Harima, Meilei; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Miyashita, Shizuka; Nomoto, Mayumi; Sone, Hirohito; Suzuki, Kenji; Watanabe, Kenichi
BAD-deficient mice and fasting have several common functional roles in seizures, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) uptake in brain and alteration in counterregulatory hormonal regulation during hypoglycemia. Neuronal specific insulin receptor knockout (NIRKO) mice display impaired counterregulatory hormonal responses during hypoglycemia. In this study we investigated the fasting mediated expression of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in different regions of brain (prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, midbrain and hypothalamus). Fasting specifically increases p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in prefrontal cortex and decreases in other regions of brain. Our results suggest that fasting may increase the uptake BHB by decreasing p-BAD(ser155) in the brain during hypoglycemia except prefrontal cortex and it uncovers specific functional area of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) that may regulates counter regulatory hormonal response. Overall in support with previous findings, fasting mediated hypoglycemia activates prefrontal cortex insulin signaling which influences the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus mediated activation of sympathoadrenal hormonal responses.
Fassini, Aline; Resstel, Leonardo B M; Corrêa, Fernando M A
Stress is a response of the organism to homeostasis-threatening stimuli and is coordinated by two main neural systems: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and the autonomic nervous system. Acute restraint stress (RS) is a model of unavoidable stress, which is characterized by autonomic responses including an increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR), as well as a drop in tail temperature. The prelimbic cortex (PL) has been implicated in the modulation of functional responses caused by RS. The present study aimed to evaluate the role of PL GABAergic neurotransmission in the modulation of autonomic changes induced by RS. Bilateral microinjection of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline methiodide into the PL reduced pressor and tachycardic responses evoked by RS, in a dose-dependent manner, without affecting the tail temperature drop evoked by RS. In order to investigate which peripheral autonomic effector modulated the reduction in RS-cardiovascular responses caused by the blockade of PL GABAA receptors, rats were intravenously pretreated with either atenolol or homatropine methylbromide. The blockade of the cardiac sympathetic nervous system with atenolol blunted the reducing effect of PL treatment with bicuculline methiodide on RS-evoked pressor and tachycardic responses. The blockade of the parasympathetic nervous system with homatropine methylbromide, regardless of affecting the beginning of the tachycardic response, did not impact on the reduction of RS-evoked tachycardic and pressor responses caused by the PL treatment with bicuculline methiodide. The present results indicate that both cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic activities are involved in the reduction of RS-evoked cardiovascular responses evidenced after the blockade of PL GABAA receptors by bicuculline methiodide.
Wang, Yin; Ramsey, Richard; Hamilton, Antonia F de C
Spontaneous mimicry of other people's actions serves an important social function, enhancing affiliation and social interaction. This mimicry can be subtly modulated by different social contexts. We recently found behavioral evidence that direct eye gaze rapidly and specifically enhances mimicry of intransitive hand movements (Wang et al., 2011). Based on past findings linking medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to both eye contact and the control of mimicry, we hypothesized that mPFC might be the neural origin of this behavioral effect. The present study aimed to test this hypothesis. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning, 20 human participants performed a simple mimicry or no-mimicry task, as previously described (Wang et al., 2011), with direct gaze present on half of the trials. As predicted, fMRI results showed that performing the task activated mirror systems, while direct gaze and inhibition of the natural tendency to mimic both engaged mPFC. Critically, we found an interaction between mimicry and eye contact in mPFC, superior temporal sulcus (STS) and inferior frontal gyrus. We then used dynamic causal modeling to contrast 12 possible models of information processing in this network. Results supported a model in which eye contact controls mimicry by modulating the connection strength from mPFC to STS. This suggests that mPFC is the originator of the gaze-mimicry interaction and that it modulates sensory input to the mirror system. Thus, our results demonstrate how different components of the social brain work together to on-line control mimicry according to the social context.
Labrenz, Franziska; Themann, Maria; Wascher, Edmund; Beste, Christian; Pfleiderer, Bettina
Attentional mechanisms are a crucial prerequisite to organize behavior. Most situations may be characterized by a 'competition' between salient, but irrelevant stimuli and less salient, relevant stimuli. In such situations top-down and bottom-up mechanisms interact with each other. In the present fMRI study, we examined how interindividual differences in resolving situations of perceptual conflict are reflected in brain networks mediating attentional selection. Doing so, we employed a change detection task in which subjects had to detect luminance changes in the presence and absence of competing distractors. The results show that good performers presented increased activation in the orbitofrontal cortex (BA 11), anterior cingulate (BA 25), inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) and visual areas V2 and V3 but decreased activation in BA 39. This suggests that areas mediating top-down attentional control are stronger activated in this group. Increased activity in visual areas reflects distinct neuronal enhancement relating to selective attentional mechanisms in order to solve the perceptual conflict. Opposed to good performers, brain areas activated by poor performers comprised the left inferior parietal lobule (BA 39) and fronto-parietal and visual regions were continuously deactivated, suggesting that poor performers perceive stronger conflict than good performers. Moreover, the suppression of neural activation in visual areas might indicate a strategy of poor performers to inhibit the processing of the irrelevant non-target feature. These results indicate that high sensitivity in perceptual areas and increased attentional control led to less conflict in stimulus processing and consequently to higher performance in competitive attentional selection.
Dwivedi, Y; Roy, B; Lugli, G; Rizavi, H; Zhang, H; Smalheiser, N R
Stress plays a major role in inducing depression, which may arise from interplay between complex cascades of molecular and cellular events that influence gene expression leading to altered connectivity and neural plasticity. In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have carved their own niche owing to their innate ability to induce disease phenotype by regulating expression of a large number of genes in a cohesive and coordinated manner. In this study, we examined whether miRNAs and associated gene networks have a role in chronic corticosterone (CORT; 50 mg kg−1 × 21 days)-mediated depression in rats. Rats given chronic CORT showed key behavioral features that resembled depression phenotype. Expression analysis revealed differential regulation of 26 miRNAs (19 upregulated, 7 downregulated) in prefrontal cortex of CORT-treated rats. Interaction between altered miRNAs and target genes showed dense interconnected molecular network, in which multiple genes were predicated to be targeted by the same miRNA. A majority of altered miRNAs showed binding sites for glucocorticoid receptor element, suggesting that there may be a common regulatory mechanism of miRNA regulation by CORT. Functional clustering of predicated target genes yielded disorders such as developmental, inflammatory and psychological that could be relevant to depression. Prediction analysis of the two most prominently affected miRNAs miR-124 and miR-218 resulted into target genes that have been shown to be associated with depression and stress-related disorders. Altogether, our study suggests miRNA-mediated novel mechanism by which chronic CORT may be involved in depression pathophysiology. PMID:26575223
Dwivedi, Y; Roy, B; Lugli, G; Rizavi, H; Zhang, H; Smalheiser, N R
Stress plays a major role in inducing depression, which may arise from interplay between complex cascades of molecular and cellular events that influence gene expression leading to altered connectivity and neural plasticity. In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have carved their own niche owing to their innate ability to induce disease phenotype by regulating expression of a large number of genes in a cohesive and coordinated manner. In this study, we examined whether miRNAs and associated gene networks have a role in chronic corticosterone (CORT; 50 mg kg(-1) × 21 days)-mediated depression in rats. Rats given chronic CORT showed key behavioral features that resembled depression phenotype. Expression analysis revealed differential regulation of 26 miRNAs (19 upregulated, 7 downregulated) in prefrontal cortex of CORT-treated rats. Interaction between altered miRNAs and target genes showed dense interconnected molecular network, in which multiple genes were predicated to be targeted by the same miRNA. A majority of altered miRNAs showed binding sites for glucocorticoid receptor element, suggesting that there may be a common regulatory mechanism of miRNA regulation by CORT. Functional clustering of predicated target genes yielded disorders such as developmental, inflammatory and psychological that could be relevant to depression. Prediction analysis of the two most prominently affected miRNAs miR-124 and miR-218 resulted into target genes that have been shown to be associated with depression and stress-related disorders. Altogether, our study suggests miRNA-mediated novel mechanism by which chronic CORT may be involved in depression pathophysiology.
Kong, Feng; Hu, Siyuan; Xue, Song; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia
Social well-being reflects the appraisal of one's circumstance and functioning in society, which is crucial for individuals' mental and physical health. However, little is known about the neural processes associated with social well-being. In this study, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to identify the brain regions underlying individual differences in social well-being, as measured by the Social Well-being Scale (SWBS), in a large sample of young healthy adults. We found that social well-being was negatively correlated with gray matter volume in left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (mid-DLPFC) that is implicated in executive functioning, emotional regulation and social reasoning. The results remained significant even after controlling for the effect of socioeconomic status. Furthermore, although basic personality factors such as neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness (as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory) all contributed to social well-being, only extraversion acted as a mediational mechanism underlying the association between the left mid-DLPFC volume and social well-being. Together, our findings provide the first evidence for the structural basis of individual differences in social well-being, and suggest that the personality trait of extraversion might play an important role in the acquisition and process of social well-being.
Ma, Huixian; Yu, Hui; Li, Ting; Zhao, Yan; Hou, Ming; Chen, Zheyu; Wang, Yue; Sun, Tao
Radial migration is essential for the precise lamination and the coordinated function of the cerebral cortex. However, the molecular mechanisms for neuronal radial migration are not clear. Here, we report that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)-interacting protein-3 (JIP3) is highly expressed in the brain of embryonic mice and essential for radial migration. Knocking down JIP3 by in utero electroporation specifically perturbs the radial migration of cortical neurons but has no effect on neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we illustrate that JIP3 knockdown delays but does not block the migration of cortical neurons by investigating the distribution of neurons with JIP3 knocked down in the embryo and postnatal mouse. Finally, we find that JIP3 regulates cortical neuronal migration by mediating TrkB axonal anterograde transport during brain development. These findings deepen our understanding of the regulation of neuronal development by JIP3 and provide us a novel view on the regulating mechanisms of neuronal radial migration.
Cyders, Melissa A.; Dzemidzic, Mario; Eiler, William J.; Coskunpinar, Ayca; Karyadi, Kenny A.; Kareken, David A.
The tendency toward impulsive behavior under emotional duress (negative and positive urgency) predicts a wide range of maladaptive risk-taking and behavioral disorders. However, it remains unclear how urgency relates to limbic system activity as induced from emotional provocation. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the relationship between brain responses to visual emotional stimuli and urgency traits. Twenty-seven social drinkers (mean age = 25.2, 14 males) viewed negative (Neg), neutral (Neu), and positive (Pos) images during 6 fMRI scans. Brain activation was extracted from a priori limbic regions previously identified in studies of emotional provocation. The right posterior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and left amygdala were activated in the [Neg>Neu] contrast, whereas the left posterior OFC was activated in the [Pos>Neu] contrast. Negative urgency was related to the right lateral OFC (r = 0.43, P = 0.03) and the left amygdala (r = 0.39, P = 0.04) [Neg>Neu] activation. Negative urgency also mediated the relationship between [Neg>Neu] activation and general risk-taking (regression weights = 3.42 for right OFC and 2.75 for the left amygdala). Emotional cue-induced activation in right lateral OFC and left amygdala might relate to emotion-based risk-taking through negative urgency. PMID:24904065
Parkes, Shauna L; Bradfield, Laura A; Balleine, Bernard W
The anterior insular cortex (IC) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core have been separately implicated in the selection and performance of actions based on the incentive value of the instrumental outcome. Here, we examined the role of connections between the IC and the NAc core in the performance of goal-directed actions. Rats were trained on two actions for distinct outcomes, after which one of the two outcomes was devalued by specific satiety immediately before a choice extinction test. We first confirmed the projection from the IC to the NAc core and then disconnected these structures via asymmetrical excitotoxic lesions before training. Contralateral, but not ipsilateral, disconnection of the IC and NAc core disrupted outcome devaluation. We hypothesized that communication between the IC and NAc core is necessary for the retrieval of incentive value at test. To test this, we infused the GABAA agonist muscimol into the IC and the μ-opioid receptor antagonist CTAP into the contralateral NAc before the choice extinction test. As expected, inactivation of the IC in one hemisphere and blocking μ-opioid receptors in the contralateral NAc core abolished outcome-selective devaluation. These results suggest that the IC and NAc core form part of a circuit mediating the retrieval of outcome values and the subsequent choice between goal-directed actions based on those values.
Marquardt, Kristin; Sigdel, Rahul; Brigman, Jonathan L
Behavioral inflexibility is a common symptom of neuropsychiatric disorders which can have a major detrimental impact on quality of life. While the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been strongly implicated in behavioral flexibility in rodents across paradigms, our understanding of how the OFC mediates these behaviors is rapidly adapting. Here we examined neuronal activity during reversal learning by coupling in vivo electrophysiological recording with a mouse touch-screen learning paradigm to further elucidate the role of the OFC in updating reward value. Single unit and oscillatory activity was recorded during well-learned discrimination and 3 distinct phases of reversal (early, chance and well-learned). During touch-screen performance, OFC neuronal firing tracked rewarded responses following a previous rewarded choice when behavior was well learned, but shifted to primarily track repeated errors following a previous error in early reversal. Spike activity tracked rewarded choices independent of previous trial outcome during chance reversal, and returned to the initial pattern of reward response at criterion. Analysis of spike coupling to oscillatory local field potentials showed that less frequently occurring behaviors had significantly fewer neurons locked to any oscillatory frequency. Together, these data support the role of the OFC in tracking the value of individual choices to inform future responses and suggests that oscillatory signaling may be involved in propagating responses to increase or decrease the likelihood that action is taken in the future. They further support the use of touch-screen paradigms in preclinical studies to more closely model clinical approaches to measuring behavioral flexibility.
Chand, Ganesh B; Dhamala, Mukesh
Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the network consisting of the right anterior insula (rAI), left anterior insula (lAI) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is activated in sensory stimulus-guided goal-directed behaviors. This network is often known as the salience network (SN). When and how a sensory signal enters and organizes within SN before reaching the central executive network including the prefrontal cortices is still a mystery. Previous electrophysiological studies focused on individual nodes of SN, either on dACC or rAI, have reports of conflicting findings of the earliest cortical activity within the network. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies are not able to answer these questions in the time-scales of human sensory perception and decision-making. Here, using clear and noisy face-house image categorization tasks and human scalp electroencephalography (EEG) recordings combined with source reconstruction techniques, we study when and how oscillatory activity organizes SN during a perceptual decision. We uncovered that the beta-band (13-30Hz) oscillations bound SN, became most active around 100ms after the stimulus onset and the rAI acted as a main outflow hub within SN for easier decision making task. The SN activities (Granger causality measures) were negatively correlated with the decision response time (decision difficulty). These findings suggest that the SN activity precedes the executive control in mediating sensory and cognitive processing to arrive at visual perceptual decisions.
Spierer, Lucas; Manuel, Aurelie L; Bueti, Domenica; Murray, Micah M
Multisensory interactions have been documented within low-level, even primary, cortices and at early post-stimulus latencies. These effects are in turn linked to behavioral and perceptual modulations. In humans, visual cortex excitability, as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) induced phosphenes, can be reliably enhanced by the co-presentation of sounds. This enhancement occurs at pre-perceptual stages and is selective for different types of complex sounds. However, the source(s) of auditory inputs effectuating these excitability changes in primary visual cortex remain disputed. The present study sought to determine if direct connections between low-level auditory cortices and primary visual cortex are mediating these kinds of effects by varying the pitch and bandwidth of the sounds co-presented with single-pulse TMS over the occipital pole. Our results from 10 healthy young adults indicate that both the central frequency and bandwidth of a sound independently affect the excitability of visual cortex during processing stages as early as 30 msec post-sound onset. Such findings are consistent with direct connections mediating early-latency, low-level multisensory interactions within visual cortices.
Mukherjee, Bandhan; Morrison, Gillian L; Fontaine, Christine J; Hou, Qinlong; Harley, Carolyn W; Yuan, Qi
Here we demonstrate metaplastic effect of a change in NMDA receptor (NMDAR) number in the anterior piriform cortex (aPC) in rat induced by a 10 min pairing of peppermint odor + stroking, which significantly modifies later learning and memory. Using isolated synaptoneurosomes, we found NR1 receptor downregulation 3 h after training and upregulation at 24 h. Consistent with the NR1 pattern, the NMDAR-mediated EPSP was smaller at 3 h and larger at 24 h. Subunit composition was unchanged. Whereas LTP was reduced at both times by training, LTD was facilitated only at 3 h. Behaviorally, pups, given a pairing of peppermint + stroking 3 h after an initial peppermint + stroking training, lost the normally acquired peppermint preference 24 h later. To probe the pathway specificity of this unlearning effect, pups were trained first with peppermint and then, at 3 h, given a second training with peppermint or vanillin. Pups given peppermint training at both times lost the learned peppermint preference. Pups given vanillin retraining at 3 h had normal peppermint preference. Downregulating NR1 with siRNA prevented odor preference learning. Finally, the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 blocked the LTD facilitation seen 3 h after training, and giving MK-801 before the second peppermint training trial eliminated the loss of peppermint odor preference. A training-associated reduction in NMDARs facilitates LTD 3 h later; training at the time of LTD facilitation reverses an LTP-dependent odor preference. Experience-dependent, pathway-specific metaplastic effects in a cortical structure have broad implications for the optimal spacing of learning experiences.
Schreiber, Allyson L; Lu, Yi-Ling; Baynes, Brittni B; Richardson, Heather N; Gilpin, Nicholas W
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 7.7 million Americans. One diagnostic criterion for PTSD is avoidance of stimuli that are related to the traumatic stress. Using a predator odor stress conditioned place aversion (CPA) model, rats can be divided into groups based on stress reactivity, as measured by avoidance of the odor-paired context. Avoider rats, which show high stress reactivity, exhibit persistent avoidance of stress-paired context and escalated alcohol drinking. Here, we examined the potential role of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a neuropeptide that promotes anxiety-like behavior in mediating avoidance and escalated alcohol drinking after stress. CRF is expressed in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The dorsal and ventral sub-regions of the mPFC (dmPFC and vmPFC) have opposing roles in stress reactivity and alcohol drinking. We hypothesized that vmPFC CRF-CRFR1 signaling contributes functionally to stress-induced avoidance and escalated alcohol self-administration. In Experiment 1, adult male Wistar rats were exposed to predator odor stress in a CPA paradigm, indexed for avoidance of odor-paired context, and brains processed for CRF-immunoreactive cell density in vmPFC and dmPFC. Post-stress, Avoiders exhibited higher CRF cell density in vmPFC, but not the dmPFC. In Experiment 2, rats were tested for avoidance of a context repeatedly paired with intra-vmPFC CRF infusions. In Experiment 3, rats were stressed and indexed, then tested for the effects of intra-vmPFC CRFR1 antagonism on avoidance and alcohol self-administration. Intra-vmPFC CRF infusion produced avoidance of a paired context, and intra-vmPFC CRFR1 antagonism reversed avoidance of a stress-paired context, but did not alter post-stress alcohol self-administration. These findings suggest that vmPFC CRF-CRFR1 signaling mediates avoidance of stimuli paired with traumatic stress.
Noda, Yoshihiro; Zomorrodi, Reza; Cash, Robin F. H.; Barr, Mera S.; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K.; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J.; Blumberger, Daniel M.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmissions in the prefrontal cortex decreases with age. Further, cognitive function mediated through the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) also declines with age. Although neuroimaging studies have demonstrated decreased levels of these substances, direct neurophysiological data investigating the effect of aging in the DLPFC in human subjects is lacking. The advent of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalography (EEG) has allowed for the assessment of functional neurotransmission in vivo. In the present study, we examined short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in a group of older adults (> 60 yrs) to evaluate the strength of GABAA and glutamate-mediated neurotransmission in the DLPFC, compared to younger adults (18-59 yrs). Older adults showed an increase of amplitude of N100 by the SICI paradigm, while N45 amplitude was increased and N100 amplitude was decreased by ICF. Moreover, these modulations significantly correlated with age. Our findings provide evidence for age-related alterations of excitatory and inhibitory functions in the prefrontal cortex in healthy adults. Future studies may aim to explore these neurophysiological relationships in the DLPFC in pathological forms of aging that affect cortical functioning such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:28209926
Noda, Yoshihiro; Zomorrodi, Reza; Cash, Robin F H; Barr, Mera S; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Blumberger, Daniel M
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmissions in the prefrontal cortex decreases with age. Further, cognitive function mediated through the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) also declines with age. Although neuroimaging studies have demonstrated decreased levels of these substances, direct neurophysiological data investigating the effect of aging in the DLPFC in human subjects is lacking. The advent of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalography (EEG) has allowed for the assessment of functional neurotransmission in vivo. In the present study, we examined short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in a group of older adults (> 60 yrs) to evaluate the strength of GABAA and glutamate-mediated neurotransmission in the DLPFC, compared to younger adults (18-59 yrs). Older adults showed an increase of amplitude of N100 by the SICI paradigm, while N45 amplitude was increased and N100 amplitude was decreased by ICF. Moreover, these modulations significantly correlated with age. Our findings provide evidence for age-related alterations of excitatory and inhibitory functions in the prefrontal cortex in healthy adults. Future studies may aim to explore these neurophysiological relationships in the DLPFC in pathological forms of aging that affect cortical functioning such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
Kaneko, Megumi; Stellwagen, David; Malenka, Robert C; Stryker, Michael P
Rapid, experience-dependent plasticity in developing visual cortex is thought to be competitive. After monocular visual deprivation, the reduction in response of binocular neurons to one eye is matched by a corresponding increase to the other. Chronic optical imaging in mice deficient in TNFalpha reveals the normal initial loss of deprived-eye responses, but the subsequent increase in response to the open eye is absent. This mutation also blocks homeostatic synaptic scaling of mEPSCs in visual cortex in vitro, without affecting LTP. In monocular cortex, thought not to be subject to competition, responses in TNFalpha mutants are as reduced as in the binocular zone. Pharmacological inhibition of endogenous TNFalpha in wild-type mice phenocopies the knockout. These findings suggest that experience-dependent competition in developing visual cortex is the outcome of two distinct, noncompetitive processes, a loss of deprived-eye responses followed by an apparently homeostatic increase in responses dependent on TNFalpha signaling.
Yamagishi, Shimpei; Otsuka, Sho; Furukawa, Shigeto; Kashino, Makio
To make sense of complex auditory scenes, the auditory system sequentially organizes auditory components into perceptual objects or streams. In the conventional view of this process, the cortex plays a major role in perceptual organization, and subcortical mechanisms merely provide the cortex with acoustical features. Here, we show that the neural activities of the brainstem are linked to perceptual organization, which alternates spontaneously for human listeners without any stimulus change. The stimulus used in the experiment was an unchanging sequence of repeated triplet tones, which can be interpreted as either one or two streams. Listeners were instructed to report the perceptual states whenever they experienced perceptual switching between one and two streams throughout the stimulus presentation. Simultaneously, we recorded event related potentials with scalp electrodes. We measured the frequency-following response (FFR), which is considered to originate from the brainstem. We also assessed thalamo-cortical activity through the middle-latency response (MLR). The results demonstrate that the FFR and MLR varied with the state of auditory stream perception. In addition, we found that the MLR change precedes the FFR change with perceptual switching from a one-stream to a two-stream percept. This suggests that there are top-down influences on brainstem activity from the thalamo-cortical pathway. These findings are consistent with the idea of a distributed, hierarchical neural network for perceptual organization and suggest that the network extends to the brainstem level.
Aedo, Cristian; Terreros, Gonzalo; León, Alex; Delano, Paul H.
Background and Objective The auditory efferent system is a complex network of descending pathways, which mainly originate in the primary auditory cortex and are directed to several auditory subcortical nuclei. These descending pathways are connected to olivocochlear neurons, which in turn make synapses with auditory nerve neurons and outer hair cells (OHC) of the cochlea. The olivocochlear function can be studied using contralateral acoustic stimulation, which suppresses auditory nerve and cochlear responses. In the present work, we tested the proposal that the corticofugal effects that modulate the strength of the olivocochlear reflex on auditory nerve responses are produced through cholinergic synapses between medial olivocochlear (MOC) neurons and OHCs via alpha-9/10 nicotinic receptors. Methods We used wild type (WT) and alpha-9 nicotinic receptor knock-out (KO) mice, which lack cholinergic transmission between MOC neurons and OHC, to record auditory cortex evoked potentials and to evaluate the consequences of auditory cortex electrical microstimulation in the effects produced by contralateral acoustic stimulation on auditory brainstem responses (ABR). Results Auditory cortex evoked potentials at 15 kHz were similar in WT and KO mice. We found that auditory cortex microstimulation produces an enhancement of contralateral noise suppression of ABR waves I and III in WT mice but not in KO mice. On the other hand, corticofugal modulations of wave V amplitudes were significant in both genotypes. Conclusion These findings show that the corticofugal modulation of contralateral acoustic suppressions of auditory nerve (ABR wave I) and superior olivary complex (ABR wave III) responses are mediated through MOC synapses. PMID:27195498
Intaitė, Monika; Koivisto, Mika; Castelo-Branco, Miguel
While viewing ambiguous figures, such as the Necker cube, the available perceptual interpretations alternate with one another. The role of higher level mechanisms in such reversals remains unclear. We tested whether perceptual reversals of discontinuously presented Necker cube pairs depend on working memory resources by manipulating cognitive load while recording event-related potentials (ERPs). The ERPs showed early enhancements of negativity, which were obtained in response to the first cube approximately 500 ms before perceived reversals. We found that working memory load influenced reversal-related brain responses in response to the second cube over occipital areas at the 150-300 ms post-stimulus and over central areas at P3 time window (300-500 ms), suggesting that it modulates intermediate visual processes. Interestingly, reversal rates remained unchanged by the working memory load. We propose that perceptual reversals in discontinuous presentation of ambiguous stimuli are governed by an early (well preceding pending reversals) mechanism, while the effects of load on the reversal related ERPs may reflect general top-down influences on visual processing, possibly mediated by the prefrontal cortex.
Shalini, Suku-Maran; Herr, Deron R; Ong, Wei-Yi
Pain and anxiety have a complex relationship and pain is known to share neurobiological pathways and neurotransmitters with anxiety. Top-down modulatory pathways of pain have been shown to originate from cortical and subcortical regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In this study, a novel docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-containing nutraceutical, Souvenaid, was administered to mice with infraorbital nerve ligation-induced neuropathic pain and behavioral responses recorded. Infraorbital nerve ligation resulted in increased face wash strokes of the face upon von Frey hair stimulation, indicating increased nociception. Part of this response involves general pain sensitization that is dependent on the CNS, since increased nociception was also found in the paws during the hot plate test. Mice receiving oral gavage of Souvenaid, a nutraceutical containing DHA; choline; and other cell membrane components, showed significantly reduced pain sensitization. The mechanism of Souvenaid's activity involves supraspinal antinociception, originating in the prefrontal cortex, since inhibition of the DHA-metabolizing enzyme 15-lipoxygenase (Alox15) in the prefrontal cortex attenuated the antinociceptive effect of Souvenaid. Alox15 inhibition also modulated anxiety behavior associated with pain after infraorbital nerve ligation. The effects of Souvenaid components and Alox15 on reducing central sensitization of pain may be due to strengthening of a known supraspinal antinociceptive pathway from the prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray. Together, results indicate the importance of the prefrontal cortex and DHA/Alox15 in central antinociceptive pathways and suggest that Souvenaid may be a novel therapeutic for neuropathic pain.
Miller, Darren M; Wang, Juan A; Buchanan, Ashley K; Hall, Edward D
The pathophysiological importance of oxidative damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been extensively demonstrated. The transcription factor nuclear factor erythoid related factor 2 (Nrf2) mediates antioxidant and cytoprotective genes by binding to antioxidant response elements (ARE) present in nuclear DNA. In this study, we characterized the time course of Nrf2-ARE-mediated expression in the cortex and hippocampus using a unilateral controlled cortical impact model of focal TBI. Ipsilateral hippocampal and cortical tissue was collected for Western-blot protein analysis (n=6/group) or quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for mRNA (n=3/group) at 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h or 1 week post-injury. Multiple genes mediated by Nrf2-ARE were altered post-TBI. Specifically, Nrf2 mRNA increased significantly post-TBI at 48 and 72 h in the cortex and at 48 and 72 h and 1 week in the hippocampus with a coincident increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein mRNA, thereby implying this response is likely occurring in astrocytes. Presumably linked to Nrf2 activation, heme-oxygenase-1, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-quinone-oxidoreductase 1, glutathione reductase, and catalase mRNA overlap throughout the post-injury time course. This study demonstrates the first evidence of such changes during the first week after focal TBI and that increases in expression of some Nrf2-ARE-mediated cytoprotective genes are not observed until 24-48 h post-injury. Unfortunately, this does not precede, but rather coincides with, the occurrence of lipid peroxidative damage. This is the first known comparison between the time course of peroxidative damage and that of Nrf2-ARE activation during the first week post-TBI. These results underscore the necessity to discover pharmacological agents to accelerate and amplify Nrf2-ARE-mediated expression early post-TBI.
Lagas, Alice K.; Black, Joanna M.; Byblow, Winston D.; Fleming, Melanie K.; Goodman, Lucy K.; Kydd, Robert R.; Russell, Bruce R.; Stinear, Cathy M.; Thompson, Benjamin
The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine significantly enhances adult visual cortex plasticity within the rat. This effect is related to decreased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediated inhibition and identifies fluoxetine as a potential agent for enhancing plasticity in the adult human brain. We tested the hypothesis that fluoxetine would enhance visual perceptual learning of a motion direction discrimination (MDD) task in humans. We also investigated (1) the effect of fluoxetine on visual and motor cortex excitability and (2) the impact of increased GABA mediated inhibition following a single dose of triazolam on post-training MDD task performance. Within a double blind, placebo controlled design, 20 healthy adult participants completed a 19-day course of fluoxetine (n = 10, 20 mg per day) or placebo (n = 10). Participants were trained on the MDD task over the final 5 days of fluoxetine administration. Accuracy for the trained MDD stimulus and an untrained MDD stimulus configuration was assessed before and after training, after triazolam and 1 week after triazolam. Motor and visual cortex excitability were measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Fluoxetine did not enhance the magnitude or rate of perceptual learning and full transfer of learning to the untrained stimulus was observed for both groups. After training was complete, trazolam had no effect on trained task performance but significantly impaired untrained task performance. No consistent effects of fluoxetine on cortical excitability were observed. The results do not support the hypothesis that fluoxetine can enhance learning in humans. However, the specific effect of triazolam on MDD task performance for the untrained stimulus suggests that learning and learning transfer rely on dissociable neural mechanisms. PMID:27807412
Centeno, Maria V.; Mutso, Amelia; Millecamps, Magali; Apkarian, A.Vania
Sarcosine is a competitive inhibitor of glycine type 1 transporter. We hypothesized that it may have analgesic and anti-neuropathic efficacy by a dual action: affecting neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex as well as within the spinal cord. In rats with spared nerve injury (SNI) oral sarcosine reduced mechanical sensitivity for the injured limb (anti-neuropathy or anti-allodynia) as well as for the uninjured limb (analgesia), showing better dose efficacy for the injured limb. Intrathecal administration of sarcosine was more effective in reducing mechanical sensitivity for the uninjured paw. In contrast, prefrontal cortex infusions of sarcosine acutely reduced mechanical sensitivity for the injured paw. Repeated daily oral sarcosine induced anti-neuropathy, observed only after days of repeated treatment; this long term effect disappeared a few days after treatment cessation. The findings indicate that manipulating glycine T1 transporter at multiple central sites can induce acute analgesia, as well as acute and long-term reduction in neuropathic pain behavior. Analgesic effects seem primarily mediated through spinal cord circuitry while anti-neuropathic effects through prefrontal cortex circuitry, most likely through distinct molecular pathways. The results suggest that such an approach may provide a novel venue for treating clinical pain conditions. PMID:19577367
Baratta, Michael V.; Lucero, Thomas R.; Amat, Jose; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.
A prior experience of behavioral control over a stressor interferes with subsequent Pavlovian fear conditioning, and this effect is dependent on the activation of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFCv) at the time of the initial experience with control. It is unknown whether mPFCv activity is necessary during fear learning and/or testing for…
Salari, Neda; Büchel, Christian; Rose, Michael
In this study, a noninvasive electroencephalography-based neurofeedback method is applied to train volunteers to deliberately increase gamma band oscillations (40 Hz) in the visual cortex. Gamma band oscillations in the visual cortex play a functional role in perceptual processing. In a previous study, we were able to demonstrate that gamma band oscillations prior to stimulus presentation have a significant influence on perceptual processing of visual stimuli. In the present study, we aimed to investigate longer lasting effects of gamma band neurofeedback training on perceptual processing. For this purpose, a feedback group was trained to modulate oscillations in the gamma band, while a control group participated in a task with an identical design setting but without gamma band feedback. Before and after training, both groups participated in a perceptual object detection task and a spatial attention task. Our results clearly revealed that only the feedback group but not the control group exhibited a visual processing advantage and an increase in oscillatory gamma band activity in the pre-stimulus period of the processing of the visual object stimuli after the neurofeedback training. Results of the spatial attention task showed no difference between the groups, which underlines the specific role of gamma band oscillations for perceptual processing. In summary, our results show that modulation of gamma band activity selectively affects perceptual processing and therefore supports the relevant role of gamma band activity for this specific process. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the eligibility of gamma band oscillations as a valuable tool for neurofeedback applications.
Hanks, Timothy D; Summerfield, Christopher
Perceptual decision making is the process by which animals detect, discriminate, and categorize information from the senses. Over the past two decades, understanding how perceptual decisions are made has become a central theme in the neurosciences. Exceptional progress has been made by recording from single neurons in the cortex of the macaque monkey and using computational models from mathematical psychology to relate these neural data to behavior. More recently, however, the range of available techniques and paradigms has dramatically broadened, and researchers have begun to harness new approaches to explore how rodents and humans make perceptual decisions. The results have illustrated some striking convergences with findings from the monkey, but also raised new questions and provided new theoretical insights. In this review, we summarize key findings, and highlight open challenges, for understanding perceptual decision making in rodents, monkeys, and humans.
Glovaci, Iulia; Chapman, C. Andrew
The lateral entorhinal cortex receives strong inputs from midbrain dopamine neurons that can modulate its sensory and mnemonic function. We have previously demonstrated that 1 µM dopamine facilitates synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal cortex cells via activation of D1-like receptors, increased cAMP-PKA activity, and a resulting enhancement of AMPA-receptor mediated currents. The present study assessed the contribution of phosphatidylinositol (PI)-linked D1 receptors to the dopaminergic facilitation of transmission in layer II of the rat entorhinal cortex, and the involvement of phospholipase C activity and release of calcium from internal stores. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of glutamate-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents were obtained from pyramidal and fan cells. Activation of D1-like receptors using SKF38393, SKF83959, or 1 µM dopamine induced a reversible facilitation of EPSCs which was abolished by loading cells with either the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 or the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA. Neither the L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine, nor the L/N-type channel blocker cilnidipine, blocked the facilitation of synaptic currents. However, the facilitation was blocked by blocking Ca2+ release from internal stores via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptors or ryanodine receptors. Follow-up studies demonstrated that inhibiting CaMKII activity with KN-93 failed to block the facilitation, but that application of the protein kinase C inhibitor PKC(19-36) completely blocked the dopamine-induced facilitation. Overall, in addition to our previous report indicating a role for the cAMP-PKA pathway in dopamine-induced facilitation of synaptic transmission, we demonstrate here that the dopaminergic facilitation of synaptic responses in layer II entorhinal neurons also relies on a signaling cascade dependent on PI-linked D1 receptors, PLC, release of Ca2+ from internal stores, and PKC activation which is likely dependent
Bizley, Jennifer K; Jones, Gareth P; Town, Stephen M
Multisensory integration is observed in many subcortical and cortical locations including primary and non-primary sensory cortex, and higher cortical areas including frontal and parietal cortex. During unisensory perceptual tasks many of these same brain areas show neural signatures associated with decision-making. It is unclear whether multisensory representations in sensory cortex directly inform decision-making in a multisensory task, or if cross-modal signals are only combined after the accumulation of unisensory evidence at a final decision-making stage in higher cortical areas. Manipulations of neuronal activity are required to establish causal roles for given brain regions in multisensory perceptual decision-making, and so far indicate that distributed networks underlie multisensory decision-making. Understanding multisensory integration requires synthesis of small-scale pathway specific and large-scale network level manipulations.
Research is reviewed demonstrating perceptual narrowing across a variety of domains. Research is also reviewed showing that the temporal window of perceptual narrowing can be extended and, in some cases, perceptual narrowing can be reversed. Research is also reviewed highlighting the neurophysiological correlates of perceptual narrowing as well as some of the individual neurophysiological differences associated with perceptual narrowing. Various methodological issues associated with perceptual narrowing are also discussed. The broader purpose of this paper, however, is to argue that the term perceptual narrowing fails to capture the dynamic nature of this perceptual process. Finally, it is argued that just as other concepts associated with experience and development are refined and modified as new evidence emerges, likewise we need to evaluate and refine how we conceptualize perceptual narrowing.
Baldo, Brian A; Spencer, Robert C; Sadeghian, Ken; Mena, Jesus D
A microanalysis of hunger-driven and palatability-driven feeding was carried out after muscimol-mediated inactivation of two frontal regions in rats, the agranular/dysgranular insular cortex (AIC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Food and water intake, feeding microstructure, and general motor activity were measured under two motivational conditions: food-deprived rats given standard chow or ad libitum-fed rats given a palatable chocolate shake. Muscimol infusions into the AIC diminished intake, total feeding duration, and average feeding bout duration for the palatable-food condition only but failed to alter exploratory-like behavior (ambulation or rearing). In contrast, intra-vmPFC muscimol infusions did not alter the overall intake of chow or chocolate shake. However, these infusions markedly increased mean feeding bout duration for both food types and produced a modest but significant reduction of exploratory-like behavior. The lengthening of feeding-bout duration and reduction in rearing were mimicked by intra-vmPFC blockade of AMPA-type but not NMDA-type glutamate receptors. Neither water consumption nor the microstructure of water drinking was affected by inactivation of either site. These results indicate a regional heterogeneity in frontal control of feeding behavior. Neural processing in AIC supports palatability-driven feeding but is not necessary for intake of a standard food under a food-restriction condition, whereas ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and AMPA signaling therein, modulates the duration of individual feeding bouts regardless of motivational context. Results are discussed in the context of regionally heterogeneous frontal modulation of two distinct components of feeding behavior: reward valuation based upon taste perception (AIC) vs switching between ingestive and non-ingestive (eg, exploratory-like) behavioral repertoires (vmPFC). PMID:26202102
Baldo, Brian A; Spencer, Robert C; Sadeghian, Ken; Mena, Jesus D
A microanalysis of hunger-driven and palatability-driven feeding was carried out after muscimol-mediated inactivation of two frontal regions in rats, the agranular/dysgranular insular cortex (AIC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Food and water intake, feeding microstructure, and general motor activity were measured under two motivational conditions: food-deprived rats given standard chow or ad libitum-fed rats given a palatable chocolate shake. Muscimol infusions into the AIC diminished intake, total feeding duration, and average feeding bout duration for the palatable-food condition only but failed to alter exploratory-like behavior (ambulation or rearing). In contrast, intra-vmPFC muscimol infusions did not alter the overall intake of chow or chocolate shake. However, these infusions markedly increased mean feeding bout duration for both food types and produced a modest but significant reduction of exploratory-like behavior. The lengthening of feeding-bout duration and reduction in rearing were mimicked by intra-vmPFC blockade of AMPA-type but not NMDA-type glutamate receptors. Neither water consumption nor the microstructure of water drinking was affected by inactivation of either site. These results indicate a regional heterogeneity in frontal control of feeding behavior. Neural processing in AIC supports palatability-driven feeding but is not necessary for intake of a standard food under a food-restriction condition, whereas ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and AMPA signaling therein, modulates the duration of individual feeding bouts regardless of motivational context. Results are discussed in the context of regionally heterogeneous frontal modulation of two distinct components of feeding behavior: reward valuation based upon taste perception (AIC) vs switching between ingestive and non-ingestive (eg, exploratory-like) behavioral repertoires (vmPFC).
Kivisaari, Sasa L; Tyler, Lorraine K; Monsch, Andreas U; Taylor, Kirsten I
Our brain disambiguates the objects in our cluttered visual world seemingly effortlessly, enabling us to understand their significance and to act appropriately. The role of anteromedial temporal structures in this process, particularly the perirhinal cortex, is highly controversial. In some accounts, the perirhinal cortex is necessary for differentiating between perceptually and semantically confusable objects. Other models claim that the perirhinal cortex neither disambiguates perceptually confusable objects nor plays a unique role in semantic processing. One major hurdle to resolving this central debate is the fact that brain damage in human patients typically encompasses large portions of the anteromedial temporal lobe, such that the identification of individual substructures and precise neuroanatomical locus of the functional impairments has been difficult. We tested these competing accounts in patients with Alzheimer's disease with varying degrees of atrophy in anteromedial structures, including the perirhinal cortex. To assess the functional contribution of each anteromedial temporal region separately, we used a detailed region of interest approach. From each participant, we obtained magnetic resonance imaging scans and behavioural data from a picture naming task that contrasted naming performance with living and non-living things as a way of manipulating perceptual and semantic confusability; living things are more similar to one another than non-living things, which have more distinctive features. We manually traced neuroanatomical regions of interest on native-space cortical surface reconstructions to obtain mean thickness estimates for the lateral and medial perirhinal cortex and entorhinal cortex. Mean cortical thickness in each region of interest, and hippocampal volume, were submitted to regression analyses predicting naming performance. Importantly, atrophy of the medial perirhinal cortex, but not lateral perirhinal cortex, entorhinal cortex or
Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M
Individuals often describe objects in their world in terms of perceptual dimensions that span a variety of modalities; the visual (e.g., brightness: dark-bright), the auditory (e.g., loudness: quiet-loud), the gustatory (e.g., taste: sour-sweet), the tactile (e.g., hardness: soft vs. hard) and the kinaesthetic (e.g., speed: slow-fast). We ask whether individuals use perceptual dimensions to differentiate emotions from one another. Participants in two studies (one where respondents reported on abstract emotion concepts and a second where they reported on specific emotion episodes) rated the extent to which features anchoring 29 perceptual dimensions (e.g., temperature, texture and taste) are associated with 8 emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, contentment, gratitude, pride and excitement). Results revealed that in both studies perceptual dimensions differentiate positive from negative emotions and high arousal from low arousal emotions. They also differentiate among emotions that are similar in arousal and valence (e.g., high arousal negative emotions such as anger and fear). Specific features that anchor particular perceptual dimensions (e.g., hot vs. cold) are also differentially associated with emotions.
Christianson, J.P.; Benison, A.M.; Jennings, J.; Sandsmark, E.K.; Amat, J.; Kaufman, R.D.; Baratta, M.V.; Paul., E.D.; Campeau, S.; Watkins, L.R.; Barth, D.S.; Maier, S.F.
Safety signals are learned cues that predict stress-free periods while behavioral control is the ability to modify a stressor by behavioral actions. Both serve to attenuate the effects of stressors such as uncontrollable shocks. Internal and external cues produced by a controlling behavior are followed by a stressor-free interval, and so it is possible that safety learning is fundamental to the effect of control. If this is the case then behavioral control and safety should recruit the same neural machinery. Interestingly, safety signals that prevented a behavioral outcome of stressor exposure that is also blocked by control (reduced social exploration) failed to inhibit activity in the dorsal raphé nucleus or utilize the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the mechanisms by which behavioral control operates. However, bilateral lesions to a region of posterior insular cortex, termed the “sensory insula,” prevented the effect of safety but not of behavioral control, providing a double-dissociation. These results indicate that stressor-modulators can recruit distinct neural circuitry and imply a critical role of the sensory insula in safety learning. PMID:19074043
Jocham, Gerhard; Klein, Tilmann A; Ullsperger, Markus
A large body of evidence exists on the role of dopamine in reinforcement learning. Less is known about how dopamine shapes the relative impact of positive and negative outcomes to guide value-based choices. We combined administration of the dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist amisulpride with functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy human volunteers. Amisulpride did not affect initial reinforcement learning. However, in a later transfer phase that involved novel choice situations requiring decisions between two symbols based on their previously learned values, amisulpride improved participants' ability to select the better of two highly rewarding options, while it had no effect on choices between two very poor options. During the learning phase, activity in the striatum encoded a reward prediction error. In the transfer phase, in the absence of any outcome, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) continually tracked the learned value of the available options on each trial. Both striatal prediction error coding and tracking of learned value in the vmPFC were predictive of subjects' choice performance in the transfer phase, and both were enhanced under amisulpride. These findings show that dopamine-dependent mechanisms enhance reinforcement learning signals in the striatum and sharpen representations of associative values in prefrontal cortex that are used to guide reinforcement-based decisions.
Jono, Yasutomo; Iwata, Yasuyuki; Mizusawa, Hiroki; Hiraoka, Koichi
The present study examined whether the excitability of the corticospinal pathway and the GABA-mediated inhibitory circuits of the primary motor cortex that project onto the corticospinal neurons in the tonically contracting hand muscle are changed by tonic contraction of the adjacent hand muscle. The motor evoked potential (MEP) and cortical silent period (CSP) in the tonically contracting hand muscle were obtained while the adjacent hand muscle was either tonically contracting or at rest. The MEP and CSP of the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle elicited across the scalp sites where the MEP is predominantly elicited in the FDI muscle were decreased by tonic contraction of the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscle. The centers of the area of the MEP and the duration of the CSP in the FDI muscle elicited across the sites where the MEP is predominantly elicited in the FDI muscle were lateral to those in the FDI muscle elicited across the sites where the MEP is elicited in both the FDI and ADM muscles. They were also lateral to those in the ADM muscle elicited either across the sites where the MEP is predominantly elicited in the ADM muscle, or across the sites where the MEP is elicited in both the FDI and ADM muscles. The decrease in the corticospinal excitability and the excitability of the GABA-mediated inhibitory circuits of the primary motor cortex that project onto the corticospinal neurons in the FDI muscle may be due either to (1) the interaction between the activity of the lateral area of the FDI representation and the descending drive to the ADM muscle, or (2) the decreased susceptibility of the primary motor area that predominantly projects onto the corticospinal neurons in the FDI muscle, which also plays a role in independent finger movement when both the FDI and ADM muscles act together as synergists.
Stolte, Moritz; Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli
Due to its limited capacity, visual perception depends on the allocation of attention. The resultant phenomena of inattentional blindness, accompanied by reduced sensory visual cortex response to unattended stimuli in conditions of high perceptual load in the attended task, are now well established (Lavie, 2005; Lavie, 2010, for reviews). However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects remain to be elucidated. Specifically, is reduced perceptual processing under high perceptual load a result of reduced sensory signal gain, broader tuning, or both? We examined this question with psychophysical measures of orientation tuning under different levels of perceptual load in the task performed. Our results show that increased perceptual load leads to both reduced sensory signal and broadening of tuning. These results clarify the effects of attention on elementary visual perception and suggest that high perceptual load is critical for attentional effects on sensory tuning. PMID:24610952
Tacikowski, Pawel; Berger, Christopher C; Ehrsson, H Henrik
Conceptual self-awareness is a mental state in which the content of one's consciousness refers to a particular aspect of semantic knowledge about oneself. This form of consciousness plays a crucial role in shaping human behavior; however, little is known about its neural basis. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a visual masked priming paradigm to dissociate the neural responses related to the awareness of semantic autobiographical information (one's own name, surname, etc.) from the awareness of information related to any visual stimulus (perceptual awareness), as well as from the unaware processing of self-relevant stimuli. To detect brain activity that is highly selective for self-relevant information, we used the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) adaptation approach, which goes beyond the spatial limitations of conventional fMRI. We found that self-awareness was associated with BOLD adaptation in the medial frontopolar-retrosplenial areas, whereas perceptual awareness and unaware self-processing were associated with BOLD adaptation in the lateral fronto-parietal areas and the inferior temporal cortex, respectively. Thus, using a direct manipulation of conscious awareness we demonstrate for the first time that the neural basis of conceptual self-awareness is neuroanatomically distinct from the network mediating perceptual awareness of the sensory environment or unaware processing of self-related stimuli.
Kalmbach, Brian E; Chitwood, Raymond A; Dembrow, Nikolai C; Johnston, Daniel
Many prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent tasks require individual neurons to fire persistently in response to brief stimuli. Persistent activity is proposed to involve changes in intrinsic properties, resulting in an increased sensitivity to inputs. The dendrite is particularly relevant to this hypothesis because it receives the majority of synaptic inputs and is enriched for conductances implicated in persistent firing. We provide evidence that dendritic conductances contribute to persistent activity-related changes in intrinsic properties. The effects of Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activation on persistent activity-related properties were tested in two classes of rat L5 neurons with distinct membrane properties: those projecting to the pons (CPn) and those projecting across the commissure to the contralateral cortex (COM). mGluR activation produced long-term changes in the subthreshold properties of CPn, but not COM neurons. These changes were indicative of a decrease in hyperpolarization-activated cation nonselective current (I(h)) at the soma and dendrite. mGluR activation also transiently increased the amplitude of the postburst slow afterdepolarization potential (sADP) at the soma of both neuron types. Interestingly, the sADP occurred along the extent of the apical dendrite in CPn and COM neurons. Simultaneous somatic/dendritic recordings revealed that the dendritic sADP does not result solely from passive propagation of the somatic sADP. Focal mGluR activation in L5, near the soma or at the border of L1/L2, near the tuft, generates a local sADP. This dendritic depolarization may act synergistically with synaptic input to regulate mnemonic activity in PFC.
Preston, Catherine; Ehrsson, H. Henrik
In today's Western society, concerns regarding body size and negative feelings toward one's body are all too common. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying negative feelings toward the body and how they relate to body perception and eating-disorder pathology. Here, we used multisensory illusions to elicit illusory ownership of obese and slim bodies during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results implicate the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex in the development of negative feelings toward the body through functional interactions with the posterior parietal cortex, which mediates perceived obesity. Moreover, cingulate neural responses were modulated by nonclinical eating-disorder psychopathology and were attenuated in females. These results reveal how perceptual and affective body representations interact in the human brain and may help explain the neurobiological underpinnings of eating-disorder vulnerability in women. PMID:27733537
Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.
Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…
Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan
Visual perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and attributes of the trained stimulus. Recent psychophysical studies suggest that these specificities, which have been associated with early retinotopic visual cortex, may in fact not be inherent in perceptual learning and could be related to higher-order brain functions. Here we provide direct electrophysiological evidence in support of this proposition. In a series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments, we recorded high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from human adults over the course of learning in a texture discrimination task (TDT). The results consistently showed that the earliest C1 component (68-84ms), known to reflect V1 activity driven by feedforward inputs, was not modulated by learning regardless of whether the behavioral improvement is location specific or not. In contrast, two later posterior ERP components (posterior P1 and P160-350) over the occipital cortex and one anterior ERP component (anterior P160-350) over the prefrontal cortex were progressively modified day by day. Moreover, the change of the anterior component was closely correlated with improved behavioral performance on a daily basis. Consistent with recent psychophysical and imaging observations, our results indicate that perceptual learning can mainly involve changes in higher-level visual cortex as well as in the neural networks responsible for cognitive functions such as attention and decision making.
Blaxton, T A; Bookheimer, S Y; Zeffiro, T A; Figlozzi, C M; Gaillard, W D; Theodore, W H
An experiment is reported in which regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) as measured using positron emission tomography (PET) as participants performed conceptual and perceptual memory tasks. Blood flow during two conceptual tests of semantic cued recall and semantic association was compared to a control condition in which participants made semantic associations to nonstudied words. Analogously, rCBF during two perceptual tasks of word fragment cued recall and word fragment completion was compared to a word fragment nonstudied control condition. A direct comparison of conceptual and perceptual tasks showed that conceptual tasks activated medial and lateral left hemisphere in frontal and temporal regions as well as the lateral aspect of bilateral inferior parietal lobule. Perceptual tasks, in contrast, produced relatively greater activation in right frontal and temporal cortex as well as bilateral activation in more posterior regions. Comparisons of the memory tasks with their control conditions revealed memory-specific deactivations in left medial and superior temporal cortex as well as left frontal cortex for both conceptual tasks. In contrast, memory-specific deactivations for both perceptual fragment completion tests were localized in posterior regions including occipital cortex. Results from this and other functional imaging experiments provide evidence that conceptual and perceptual memory processes are subserved, at least in part, by different neurological structures in the human brain.
Rose, Helen S.
Five children diagnosed as having a perceptual problem as revealed by the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test received special tutoring to help develop their visual discrimination abilities. The six-week program for teaching the concept of shapes employed kinesthetic, visual, tactile, and verbal processes. (CS)
Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole
We used adaptation to examine the relationship between perceptual norms--the stimuli observers describe as psychologically neutral, and response norms--the stimulus levels that leave visual sensitivity in a neutral or balanced state. Adapting to stimuli on opposite sides of a neutral point (e.g. redder or greener than white) biases appearance in opposite ways. Thus the adapting stimulus can be titrated to find the unique adapting level that does not bias appearance. We compared these response norms to subjectively defined neutral points both within the same observer (at different retinal eccentricities) and between observers. These comparisons were made for visual judgments of color, image focus, and human faces, stimuli that are very different and may depend on very different levels of processing, yet which share the property that for each there is a well defined and perceptually salient norm. In each case the adaptation aftereffects were consistent with an underlying sensitivity basis for the perceptual norm. Specifically, response norms were similar to and thus covaried with the perceptual norm, and under common adaptation differences between subjectively defined norms were reduced. These results are consistent with models of norm-based codes and suggest that these codes underlie an important link between visual coding and visual experience.
Pyfer, Jean L.
Discussed are theoretical and treatment aspects of perceptual motor dysfunction and rehabilitation in 4- to 12-year-old academically failing children involved in a 3-year investigation at the University of Kansas. The program is said to stress increasing the amount of stimulation received by sensory receptors of the vestibular, reflex, and haptic…
Norris, Dennis; McQueen, James M.; Cutler, Anne
This study demonstrates that listeners use lexical knowledge in perceptual learning of speech sounds. Dutch listeners first made lexical decisions on Dutch words and nonwords. The final fricative of 20 critical words had been replaced by an ambiguous sound, between [f] and [s]. One group of listeners heard ambiguous [f]-final words (e.g.,…
Hochhaus, L; Johnston, J C
Repetition blindness (RB) may reveal a new limitation on human perceptual processing. Recently, however, researchers have attributed RB to postperceptual processes. The standard rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm used in most RB studies is open to such objections. The "single-frame" paradigm introduced by J. C. Johnston and B. L. Hale (1984) allowed investigation of RB with minimal memory demands. Participants made a judgment about whether 1 masked target word was the same or different than a posttarget probe. Confidence ratings permitted use of signal detection methods. In the critical condition for RB, a precue of the posttarget word was provided prior to the target stimulus so that the required judgment amounted to whether the target did or did not repeat the precue word. In control treatments, the precue was an unrelated word or a dummy. Results showed that perceptual sensitivity was significantly reduced in the RB condition relative to baseline control conditions. The data showed that RB can be obtained under conditions in which memory problems are minimal and perceptual sensitivity is assessed independently of biases. RB therefore can be a perceptual phenomenon.
Wager, Tor D.; Waugh, Christian E.; Lindquist, Martin; Noll, Doug C.; Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Taylor, Stephan F.
Social threat is a key component of mental “stress” and a potent generator of negative emotions and physiological responses in the body. How the human brain processes social context and drives peripheral physiology, however, is relatively poorly understood. Human neuroimaging and animal studies implicate the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), though this heterogeneous region is likely to contain multiple sub-regions with diverse relationships with physiological reactivity and regulation. We used fMRI combined with a novel multi-level path analysis approach to identify brain mediators of the effects of a public speech preparation task (social evaluative threat, SET) on heart rate (HR). This model provides tests of functional pathways linking experimentally manipulated threat, regional fMRI activity, and physiological output, both across time (within person) and across individuals (between persons). It thus integrates time series connectivity and individual difference analyses in the same path model. The results provide evidence for two dissociable, inversely coupled sub-regions of MPFC that independently mediated HR responses. SET caused activity increases in a more dorsal pregenual cingulate region, whose activity was coupled with HR increases. Conversely, SET caused activity decreases in a right ventromedial/medial orbital region, which were coupled with HR increases. Individual differences in coupling strength in each pathway independently predicted individual differences in HR reactivity. These results underscore both the importance and heterogeneity of MPFC in generating physiological responses to threat. PMID:19465137
Steyn-Ross, Moira L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Wilson, M. T.; Sleigh, J. W.
One of the grand puzzles in neuroscience is establishing the link between cognition and the disparate patterns of spontaneous and task-induced brain activity that can be measured clinically using a wide range of detection modalities such as scalp electrodes and imaging tomography. High-level brain function is not a single-neuron property, yet emerges as a cooperative phenomenon of multiply-interacting populations of neurons. Therefore a fruitful modeling approach is to picture the cerebral cortex as a continuum characterized by parameters that have been averaged over a small volume of cortical tissue. Such mean-field cortical models have been used to investigate gross patterns of brain behavior such as anesthesia, the cycles of natural sleep, memory and erasure in slow-wave sleep, and epilepsy. There is persuasive and accumulating evidence that direct gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons promote synchronous oscillatory behavior both locally and across distances of some centimeters, but, to date, continuum models have ignored gap-junction connectivity. In this paper we employ simple mean-field arguments to derive an expression for D2 , the diffusive coupling strength arising from gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons. Using recent neurophysiological measurements reported by Fukuda [J. Neurosci. 26, 3434 (2006)], we estimate an upper limit of D2≈0.6cm2 . We apply a linear stability analysis to a standard mean-field cortical model, augmented with gap-junction diffusion, and find this value for the diffusive coupling strength to be close to the critical value required to destabilize the homogeneous steady state. Computer simulations demonstrate that larger values of D2 cause the noise-driven model cortex to spontaneously crystalize into random mazelike Turing structures: centimeter-scale spatial patterns in which regions of high-firing activity are intermixed with regions of low-firing activity. These structures are consistent with the
Griffin, Amy L
Despite decades of research, the neural mechanisms of spatial working memory remain poorly understood. Although the dorsal hippocampus is known to be critical for memory-guided behavior, experimental evidence suggests that spatial working memory depends not only on the hippocampus itself, but also on the circuit comprised of the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Disruption of hippocampal-mPFC interactions may result in failed transfer of spatial and contextual information processed by the hippocampus to the circuitry in mPFC responsible for decision making and goal-directed behavior. Oscillatory synchrony between the hippocampus and mPFC has been shown to increase in tasks with high spatial working memory demand. However, the mechanisms and circuitry supporting hippocampal-mPFC interactions during these tasks is unknown. The midline thalamic nucleus reuniens (RE) is reciprocally connected to both the hippocampus and the mPFC and has been shown to be critical for a variety of working memory tasks. Therefore, it is likely that hippocampal-mPFC oscillatory synchrony is modulated by RE activity. This article will review the anatomical connections between the hippocampus, mPFC and RE along with the behavioral studies that have investigated the effects of RE disruption on working memory task performance. The article will conclude with suggestions for future directions aimed at identifying the specific role of the RE in regulating functional interactions between the hippocampus and the PFC and investigating the degree to which these interactions contribute to spatial working memory.
Sticht, Martin A.; Limebeer, Cheryl L.; Rafla, Benjamin R.; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Poklis, Justin L.; Ho, Winnie; Niphakis, Micah J.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Sharkey, Keith A.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Parker, Linda A.
Cannabinoid (CB) agonists suppress nausea in humans and animal models; yet, their underlying neural substrates remain largely unknown. Evidence suggests that the visceral insular cortex (VIC) plays a critical role in nausea. Given the expression of CB1 receptors and the presence of endocannabinoids in this brain region, we hypothesized that the VIC endocannabinoid system regulates nausea. In the present study, we assessed whether inhibiting the primary endocannabinoid hydrolytic enzymes in the VIC reduces acute lithium chloride (LiCl)-induced conditioned gaping, a rat model of nausea. We also quantified endocannabinoid levels during an episode of nausea, and assessed VIC neuronal activation using the marker, c-Fos. Local inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the main hydrolytic enzyme of 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), reduced acute nausea through a CB1 receptor mechanism, whereas inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the primary catabolic enzyme of anandamide (AEA), was without effect. Levels of 2-AG were also selectively elevated in the VIC during an episode of nausea. Inhibition of MAGL robustly increased 2-AG in the VIC, while FAAH inhibition had no effect on AEA. Finally, we demonstrated that inhibition of MAGL reduced VIC Fos immunoreactivity in response to LiCl treatment. Taken together, these findings provide compelling evidence that acute nausea selectively increases 2-AG in the VIC, and suggests that 2-AG signaling within the VIC regulates nausea by reducing neuronal activity in this forebrain region. PMID:26541329
Gresch, Paul J; Barrett, Robert J; Sanders-Bush, Elaine; Smith, Randy L
d-Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), an indoleamine hallucinogen, produces profound alterations in mood, thought, and perception in humans. The brain site(s) that mediates the effects of LSD is currently unknown. In this study, we combine the drug discrimination paradigm with intracerebral microinjections to investigate the anatomical localization of the discriminative stimulus of LSD in rats. Based on our previous findings, we targeted the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to test its involvement in mediating the discriminative stimulus properties of LSD. Rats were trained to discriminate systemically administered LSD (0.085 mg/kg s.c.) from saline. Following acquisition of the discrimination, bilateral cannulae were implanted into the ACC (AP, +1.2 mm; ML, +/-1.0 mm; DV, -2.0 mm relative to bregma). Rats were tested for their ability to discriminate varying doses of locally infused LSD (0.1875, 0.375, and 0.75 microg/side) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (n = 3-7). LSD locally infused into ACC dose-dependently substituted for systemically administered LSD, with 0.75 microg/side LSD substituting completely (89% correct). Systemic administration of the selective 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) (5-HT)(2A) receptor antagonist R-(+)-alpha-(2,3-dimethoxyphenyl)-1-[2-(4-fluorophenylethyl)]-4-piperidine-methanol (M100907; 0.4 mg/kg) blocked the discriminative cue of LSD (0.375 microg/side) infused into ACC (from 68 to 16% drug lever responding). Furthermore, M100907 (0.5 microg/microl/side) locally infused into ACC completely blocked the stimulus effects of systemic LSD (0.04 mg/kg; from 80 to 12% on the LSD lever). Taken together, these data indicate that 5-HT(2A) receptors in the ACC are a primary target mediating the discriminative stimulus properties of LSD.
Lindwall, Charlotta; Olsson, Martina; Osman, Ahmed M; Kuhn, H Georg; Curtis, Maurice A
Hyaluronan is a large glycosaminoglycan, which is abundant in the extracellular matrix of the developing rodent brain. In the adult brain however, levels of hyaluronan are significantly reduced. In this study, we used neurocan-GFP as a histochemical probe to analyze the distribution of hyaluronan in the adult mouse subventricular zone (SVZ), as well as in the rostral migratory stream (RMS). Interestingly, we observed that hyaluronan is generally downregulated in the adult brain, but notably remains at high levels in the SVZ and RMS; areas in which neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) persist, proliferate and migrate throughout life. In addition, we found that the receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility (Rhamm) was expressed in migrating neuroblasts in these areas, indicating that Rhamm could be involved in regulating hyaluronan-mediated cell migration. Hyaluronan levels are balanced by synthesis through hyaluronan synthases (Has) and degradation by hyaluronidases (Hyal). We found that Has1 and Has2, as well as Hyal1 and Hyal2 were expressed in GFAP positive cells in the adult rodent SVZ and RMS, indicating that astrocytes could be regulating hyaluronan-mediated functions in these areas. We also demonstrate that hyaluronan levels are substantially increased at six weeks following a photothrombotic stroke lesion to the adult mouse cortex. Furthermore, GFAP positive cells in the peri-infarct area express Rhamm. Thus, hyaluronan may be involved in regulating cell migration in the normal SVZ and RMS and could also be responsible for priming the peri-infarct area following an ischemic lesion for cell migration.
Xu, Xia; Deng, Zhang-Yan; Huang, Qin; Zhang, Wei-Xia; Qi, Chang-Zhu; Huang, Jia-Ai
People with cognitive deficits or executive dysfunction are often overweight or obese. Several human neuroimaging studies have found that executive function (EF) predicts food intake and weight gain; however, fewer studies have investigated the relationship between EF and weight loss. The Stroop task is a classic measure of EF that is used in many neuroimaging studies. In the present work, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) data were collected during performance of the Stroop task from a sample of overweight or obese adolescents and young adults (n=31) who participated in a summer fitness and weight loss camp. We assessed the Stroop effect by interference in the reaction time (RT) to visual challenges, and by alterations in levels of oxygenated hemoglobin, as detected by fNIRS. In line with previous studies, we found that the Stroop effect was successfully induced by different visual task conditions among obese/overweight individuals. Moreover, our results reveal that better Stroop task performance is correlated with greater weight loss over a4-weekfitness intervention. Indeed, behavioral data demonstrated that reduced RT interference predicted a greater percentage of weight loss. Moreover, overweight/obese individuals with a greater hemodynamic response in the left ventrolateral and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex due to the Stroop effect lost more weight during the short-term fitness intervention than participants with lower levels of activation of these neural regions. Overall, our results support a role for prefrontal cortex-mediated EF in influencing food intake and weight loss outcomes in a population of a previously unstudied age.
Zhou, Dongsheng; Zhang, Zhongmin; Liu, Lingjiang; Li, Chenli; Li, Mengmeng; Yu, Hanjie; Cai, Xiongxiong; Sun, Xin; Shen, Xinbei; Wang, Jinting; Geng, Jiacheng; Wang, Chuang; Shi, Yaosheng
Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that neuronal muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M-AchR) antagonists have antidepressant-like properties. Despite the recent interest in bicaudal C homolog 1 gene (BICC1) as a target for the treatment of depression, the upstream signaling molecules that regulate BICC1 are unknown, and very few studies have addressed the involvement of BICC1 in the antidepressant-like effects of the selective M1-AchR inhibitor, biperiden. Growing evidence indicates that activation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B (TrkB) signaling may be involved in antidepressant-like activities. In this study, we investigated the role of BDNF/TrkB signaling in the regulation of BICC1 expression in the chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) mouse model of depression. Furthermore, we also examined whether BDNF/TrkB signaling contributes to the antidepressant-like effects of biperiden via down-regulation of BICC1 in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of mice. Our current data show that CUS exposure induced significant depression-like behaviors, down-regulation of BDNF/TrkB signaling and up-regulation of BICC1 in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of mice. However, biperiden significantly alleviated the CUS-induced abnormalities. Moreover, we found that the effects of biperiden were antagonized by pretreatment with the TrkB antagonist K252a. Our results indicate that BDNF/TrkB signaling may be the major upstream mediator of BICC1 involvement in the antidepressant-like effects of biperiden.
Lewkowicz, David J.
Perceptual narrowing is a reflection of early experience and contributes in key ways to perceptual and cognitive development. In general, findings have shown that unisensory perceptual sensitivity in early infancy is broadly tuned such that young infants respond to, and discriminate, native as well as non-native sensory inputs, whereas older infants only respond to native inputs. Recently, my colleagues and I discovered that perceptual narrowing occurs at the multisensory processing level as well. The present article reviews this new evidence and puts it in the larger context of multisensory perceptual development and the role that perceptual experience plays in it. Together, the evidence on unisensory and multisensory narrowing shows that early experience shapes the emergence of perceptual specialization and expertise. PMID:24435505
Bonner, Michael F.; Price, Amy Rose; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Grossman, Murray
Semantic representations capture the statistics of experience and store this information in memory. A fundamental component of this memory system is knowledge of the visual environment, including knowledge of objects and their associations. Visual semantic information underlies a range of behaviors, from perceptual categorization to cognitive processes such as language and reasoning. Here we examine the neuroanatomic system that encodes visual semantics. Across three experiments, we found converging evidence indicating that knowledge of verbally mediated visual concepts relies on information encoded in a region of the ventral-medial temporal lobe centered on parahippocampal cortex. In an fMRI study, this region was strongly engaged by the processing of concepts relying on visual knowledge but not by concepts relying on other sensory modalities. In a study of patients with the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (semantic dementia), atrophy that encompassed this region was associated with a specific impairment in verbally mediated visual semantic knowledge. Finally, in a structural study of healthy adults from the fMRI experiment, gray matter density in this region related to individual variability in the processing of visual concepts. The anatomic location of these findings aligns with recent work linking the ventral-medial temporal lobe with high-level visual representation, contextual associations, and reasoning through imagination. Together this work suggests a critical role for parahippocampal cortex in linking the visual environment with knowledge systems in the human brain. PMID:26679216
Bonner, Michael F; Price, Amy Rose; Peelle, Jonathan E; Grossman, Murray
Semantic representations capture the statistics of experience and store this information in memory. A fundamental component of this memory system is knowledge of the visual environment, including knowledge of objects and their associations. Visual semantic information underlies a range of behaviors, from perceptual categorization to cognitive processes such as language and reasoning. Here we examine the neuroanatomic system that encodes visual semantics. Across three experiments, we found converging evidence indicating that knowledge of verbally mediated visual concepts relies on information encoded in a region of the ventral-medial temporal lobe centered on parahippocampal cortex. In an fMRI study, this region was strongly engaged by the processing of concepts relying on visual knowledge but not by concepts relying on other sensory modalities. In a study of patients with the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (semantic dementia), atrophy that encompassed this region was associated with a specific impairment in verbally mediated visual semantic knowledge. Finally, in a structural study of healthy adults from the fMRI experiment, gray matter density in this region related to individual variability in the processing of visual concepts. The anatomic location of these findings aligns with recent work linking the ventral-medial temporal lobe with high-level visual representation, contextual associations, and reasoning through imagination. Together, this work suggests a critical role for parahippocampal cortex in linking the visual environment with knowledge systems in the human brain.
Liu, Rong-Jian; Aghajanian, George K.
Morphological studies show that repeated restraint stress leads to selective atrophy in the apical dendritic field of pyramidal cells in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). However, the functional consequence of this selectivity remains unclear. The apical dendrite of layer V pyramidal neurons in the mPFC is a selective locus for the generation of increased excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) by serotonin (5-HT) and hypocretin (orexin). On that basis, we hypothesized that apical dendritic atrophy might result in a blunting of 5-HT- and hypocretin-induced excitatory responses. Using a combination of whole-cell recording and two-photon imaging in rat mPFC slices, we were able to correlate electrophysiological and morphological changes in the same layer V pyramidal neurons. Repeated mild restraint stress produced a decrement in both 5-HT- and hypocretin-induced EPSCs, an effect that was correlated with a decrease in apical tuft dendritic branch length and spine density in the distal tuft branches. Chronic treatment with the stress hormone corticosterone, while reducing 5-HT responses and generally mimicking the morphological effects of stress, failed to produce a significant decrease in hypocretin-induced EPSCs. Accentuating this difference, pretreatment of stressed animals with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 blocked reductions in 5-HT-induced EPSCs but not hypocretin-induced EPSCs. We conclude: (i) stress-induced apical dendritic atrophy results in diminished responses to apically targeted excitatory inputs and (ii) corticosterone plays a greater role in stress-induced reductions in EPSCs evoked by 5-HT as compared with hypocretin, possibly reflecting the different pathways activated by the two transmitters. PMID:18172209
Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick
We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual
Yasuno, F; Nishikawa, T; Tokunaga, H; Yoshiyama, K; Nakagawa, Y; Ikejiri, Y; Oku, N; Hashikawa, K; Tanabe, H; Shinozaki, K; Sugita, Y; Nishimura, T; Takeda, M
Positron emission tomography scans were obtained in 13 normal subjects during perceptual and conceptual word priming tasks with the aim to investigate the neural system specific to the two priming conditions. In the prescan phase, subjects were primed perceptually or conceptually with two separate procedures, while in the scan phase, they performed the same stem completion task. Therefore we could compare the results of the two priming tasks in a direct manner. A fixation control task and a baseline task (completion of stems that did not correspond to previously seen words) were also given. A specific blood flow decrease was found in the left inferior temporal cortex in the perceptual word priming condition and in the left superior temporal / inferior parietal cortex in the conceptual word priming condition. Each blood flow change may reflect transient changes in the cortical areas subserving the processing of the perceptual and conceptual components of word priming.
Arvanov, V L; Liang, X; Russo, A; Wang, R Y
Both the phenethylamine hallucinogen (-)-1-2, 5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenyl-2-aminopropane (DOB), a selective serotonin 5-HT2A,2C receptor agonist, and the indoleamine hallucinogen D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, which binds to 5-HT1A, 1B, 1D, 1E, 1F, 2A, 2C, 5, 6, 7, dopamine D1 and D2, and alpha1 and alpha2 adrenergic receptors), but not their non-hallucinogenic congeners, inhibited N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced inward current and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic responses evoked by electrical stimulation of the forceps minor in pyramidal cells of the prefrontal cortical slices. The inhibitory effect of hallucinogens was mimicked by 5-HT in the presence of selective 5-HT1A and 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. The inhibitory action of DOB, LSD and 5-HT on the NMDA transmission was blocked by the 5-HT2A receptor antagonists R-(+)-alpha-(2, 3-dimethoxyphenil)-1-[4-fluorophenylethyl]-4-piperidineme thanol (M100907) and ketanserin. However, at low concentrations, when both LSD and DOB by themselves only partially depressed the NMDA response, they blocked the inhibitory effect of 5-HT, suggesting a partial agonist action. Whereas N-(4-aminobutyl)-5-chloro-2-naphthalenesulphonamide (W-7, a calmodulin antagonist) and N-[2-[[[3-(4'-chlorophenyl)- 2-propenyl]methylamino]methyl]phenyl]-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4'-methoxy-b enzenesulphonamide phosphate (KN-93, a Ca2+/CaM-KII inhibitor), but not the negative control 2-[N-4'methoxybenzenesulphonyl]amino-N-(4'-chlorophenyl)-2-propeny l-N -methylbenzylamine phosphate (KN-92), blocked the inhibitory action of LSD and DOB, the selective protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine was without any effect. We conclude that phenethylamine and indoleamine hallucinogens may exert their hallucinogenic effect by interacting with 5-HT2A receptors via a Ca2+/CaM-KII-dependent signal transduction pathway as partial agonists and modulating the NMDA receptors-mediated sensory, perceptual, affective and cognitive processes.
Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Zhang, Yi; Liu, Yan-Qin; Zhao, Nan; Zhang, You-Zhi; Yuan, Li; An, Lei; Li, Jing; Wang, Xiao-Yun; Qin, Juan-Juan; Wilson, Steven P; O'Donnell, James M; Zhang, Han-Ting; Li, Yun-Feng
Background and Purpose Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors produce potent antidepressant-like and cognition-enhancing effects. However, their clinical utility is limited by the major side effect of emesis, which appears to be PDE4 isoform-specific. Although PDE4D subtype plays the pivotal role in these therapeutic profiles, it is also the primary subtype responsible for emesis. Therefore, the aim of present research was to investigate whether long-form PDE4D variants mediate antidepressant-like and cognition-enhancing effects, but are irrespective with emesis. Experimental Approach In mice microinfused with lentiviral vectors that contained shRNA-mir hairpin structure targeting long-form PDE4Ds into bilateral prefrontal cortices, the tail-suspension and forced-swim tests were used to measure antidepressant-like effects; novel object recognition and Morris water-maze tasks were used to determine cognition-enhancing effects. The emetic potential was assessed by alpha2 adrenergic receptor-mediated anaesthesia, a surrogate measure of emesis. Intracellular cAMP signalling was analysed by time-resolved FRET immunoassay and Western-blot. Dendritic complexity was assessed by Golgi staining. Key Results Microinfusions of lentiviral PDE4D-shRNA down-regulated PDE4D4 and PDE4D5, and imitated the antidepressant-like and cognition-enhancing effects of the prototypical PDE4 inhibitor rolipram. The behavioural effects were related to dendritic complexity and mediated by the increased cAMP signalling. In addition, these effects were not enhanced in the presence of rolipram. Finally, while rolipram shortened the duration of combined anaesthesia, RNA interference-mediated PDE4D knock-down in the prefrontal cortex did not. Conclusion and Implications These data suggest that long-form PDE4Ds, at least PDE4D4 and PDE4D5, may be the promising targets for the development of PDE4 variant-selective inhibitors as the new pharmacotherapies for depressive disorders and neurodegenerative
Vines, Aparecida; Delattre, Ana Marcia; Lima, Marcelo M S; Rodrigues, Laís Soares; Suchecki, Deborah; Machado, Ricardo B; Tufik, Sergio; Pereira, Sofia I R; Zanata, Sílvio M; Ferraz, Anete Curte
Epidemiological and dietary studies show that nutritional deficit of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) is directly related to the prevalence and severity of depression. Supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) during critical periods of development (pregnancy and lactation) is essential for cortical maturation, synaptogenesis and myelination, and may also mitigate the risk for cognitive deficits and psychopathologies in young adults. The present study was performed to evaluate the involvement of serotonin (5-HT) receptors, particularly of 5-HT(1A), and hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the antidepressant effect of ω-3 PUFA supplementation. In Experiment 1, the antidepressant effects of fish oil were assessed by the modified forced swim test in adult rats. The data indicated a robust antidepressant effect produced by this supplementation and that treatment of the rats with WAY 100135 reversed this effect. In Experiment 2, cortical and hippocampal contents of BDNF, 5-HT, dopamine (DA) and its metabolites, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), were determined in animals subjected to the same protocol. Increased BDNF expression in the cortex and hippocampus of both age groups was detected. In 90 day-old rats, 5-HT content in the hippocampus was increased, whereas 5-HIAA formation was diminished in the fish oil group. We suggest the occurrence of a reciprocal involvement of 5-HT(1A) receptors activation and the hippocampal BDNF-increased expression mediated by fish oil supplementation. These data corroborate and expand the notion that supplementation with ω-3 PUFA produces antidepressant effects mediated by an increase in serotonergic neurotransmission, particularly in the hippocampus. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'.
Hebart, Martin N; Schriever, Yoren; Donner, Tobias H; Haynes, John-Dylan
Perceptual confidence refers to the degree to which we believe in the accuracy of our percepts. Signal detection theory suggests that perceptual confidence is computed from an internal "decision variable," which reflects the amount of available information in favor of one or another perceptual interpretation of the sensory input. The neural processes underlying these computations have, however, remained elusive. Here, we used fMRI and multivariate decoding techniques to identify regions of the human brain that encode this decision variable and confidence during a visual motion discrimination task. We used observers' binary perceptual choices and confidence ratings to reconstruct the internal decision variable that governed the subjects' behavior. A number of areas in prefrontal and posterior parietal association cortex encoded this decision variable, and activity in the ventral striatum reflected the degree of perceptual confidence. Using a multivariate connectivity analysis, we demonstrate that patterns of brain activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex reflecting the decision variable were linked to brain signals in the ventral striatum reflecting confidence. Our results suggest that the representation of perceptual confidence in the ventral striatum is derived from a transformation of the continuous decision variable encoded in the cerebral cortex.
Scolari, Miranda; Serences, John T
Single unit recording studies show that perceptual decisions are often based on the output of sensory neurons that are maximally responsive (or "tuned") to relevant stimulus features. However, when performing a difficult discrimination between two highly similar stimuli, perceptual decisions should instead be based on the activity of neurons tuned away from the relevant feature (off-channel neurons) as these neurons undergo a larger firing rate change and are thus more informative. To test this hypothesis, we measured feature-selective responses in human primary visual cortex (V1) using functional magnetic resonance imaging and show that the degree of off-channel activation predicts performance on a difficult visual discrimination task. Moreover, this predictive relationship between off-channel activation and perceptual acuity is not simply the result of extensive practice with a specific stimulus feature (as in studies of perceptual learning). Instead, relying on the output of the most informative sensory neurons may represent a general, and optimal, strategy for efficiently computing perceptual decisions.
Palmer, Clare E; Davare, Marco; Kilner, James M
Sensory attenuation, the top-down filtering or gating of afferent information, has been extensively studied in two fields: physiological and perceptual. Physiological sensory attenuation is represented as a decrease in the amplitude of the primary and secondary components of the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) before and during movement. Perceptual sensory attenuation, described using the analogy of a persons' inability to tickle oneself, is a reduction in the perception of the afferent input of a self-produced tactile sensation due to the central cancellation of the reafferent signal by the efference copy of the motor command to produce the action. The fields investigating these two areas have remained isolated, so the relationship between them is unclear. The current study delivered median nerve stimulation to produce SEPs during a force-matching paradigm (used to quantify perceptual sensory attenuation) in healthy human subjects to determine whether SEP gating correlated with the behavior. Our results revealed that these two forms of attenuation have dissociable neurophysiological correlates and are likely functionally distinct, which has important implications for understanding neurological disorders in which one form of sensory attenuation but not the other is impaired. Time-frequency analyses revealed a negative correlation over sensorimotor cortex between gamma-oscillatory activity and the magnitude of perceptual sensory attenuation. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that gamma-band power is related to prediction error and that this might underlie perceptual sensory attenuation.
Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
The phenomenon of repetition blindness (RB) may reveal a new limitation on human perceptual processing. Recently, however, researchers have attributed RB to post-perceptual processes such as memory retrieval and/or reporting biases. The standard rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm used in most RB studies is, indeed, open to such objections. Here we investigate RB using a "single-frame" paradigm introduced by Johnston and Hale (1984) in which memory demands are minimal. Subjects made only a single judgement about whether one masked target word was the same or different than a post-target probe. Confidence ratings permitted use of signal detection methods to assess sensitivity and bias effects. In the critical condition for RB a precue of the post-target word was provided prior to the target stimulus (identity precue), so that the required judgement amounted to whether the target did or did not repeat the precue word. In control treatments, the precue was either an unrelated word or a dummy.
Grinstein, Georges G.; Smith, Stuart
In this paper we discuss data exploration as a particularly difficult case within the general problem of data visualization. We describe (1) a novel graphic technique for displaying multidimensional data visually and (2) an auditory display integrated with the visual display that allows us to represent multidimensional data in sound. The visual/auditory display employs an "iconographic" technique that seeks to exploit the spontaneous perceptual capacity to sense and discriminate texture. Structures in data to be analyzed can appear, both visually and aurally, as distinct textural regions and contours when the data are represented iconographically. Sound can be used to reinforce the visual presentation or to augment the dimensionality of the visual display. The immediate focus of the work reported here is to investigate how best to transform data into perceptible visual and auditory textures, that is, how best to "perceptualize" the data. A key problem we discuss is deciding which fields of a multidimensional data set should be represented in the visual domain and which in the auditory domain. This activity is part of the University of Lowell's Exploratory Visualization (Exvis) project, a multidisciplinary effort to develop new paradigms for the exploration and analysis of data with high dimensionality.
Beer, Anton L; Vartak, Devavrat; Greenlee, Mark W
Perceptual learning is a special type of non-declarative learning that involves experience-dependent plasticity in sensory cortices. The cholinergic system is known to modulate declarative learning. In particular, reduced levels or efficacy of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine were found to facilitate declarative memory consolidation. However, little is known about the role of the cholinergic system in memory consolidation of non-declarative learning. Here we compared two groups of non-smoking men who learned a visual texture discrimination task (TDT). One group received chewing tobacco containing nicotine for 1 h directly following the TDT training. The other group received a similar tasting control substance without nicotine. Electroencephalographic recordings during substance consumption showed reduced alpha activity and P300 latencies in the nicotine group compared to the control group. When re-tested on the TDT the following day, both groups responded more accurately and more rapidly than during training. These improvements were specific to the retinal location and orientation of the texture elements of the TDT suggesting that learning involved early visual cortex. A group comparison showed that learning effects were more pronounced in the nicotine group than in the control group. These findings suggest that oral consumption of nicotine enhances the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our findings further suggest that enhanced efficacy of the cholinergic system facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning (and possibly other types of non-declarative learning). In that regard acetylcholine seems to affect consolidation processes in perceptual learning in a different manner than in declarative learning. Alternatively, our findings might reflect dose-dependent cholinergic modulation of memory consolidation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.
Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
In a variety of conflict paradigms, target and distractor stimuli are defined in terms of perceptual features. Interference evoked by distractor stimuli tends to be reduced when the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials is decreased, suggesting conflict-induced perceptual filtering (i.e., adjusting the processing weights assigned to stimuli…
Portland Public Schools, OR.
This guide is being used in the Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study to determine whether working directly with kindergarten children to improve performance on motor-perceptual tasks will affect reading ability at the end of grades one, two, and three. The 5-year project involves six schools. In this guide, there are tips for teaching, suggested…
Dossat, Amanda M; Jourdi, Hussam; Wright, Katherine N; Strong, Caroline E; Sarkar, Ambalika; Kabbaj, Mohamed
In humans, some males experience reductions in testosterone levels, as a natural consequence of aging or in the clinical condition termed hypogonadism, which are associated with impaired cognitive performance and mood disorder(s). Some of these behavioral deficits can be reversed by testosterone treatment. Our previous work in rats reported that sex differences in the expression of the transcription factor Zif268, a downstream target of testosterone, within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mediates sex differences in social interaction. In the present study, we aimed to examine the effects of gonadectomy (GNX) in male rats on mPFC Zif268 expression, mood and cognitive behaviors. We also examined whether reinstitution of Zif268 in GNX rats will correct some of the behavioral deficits observed following GNX. Our results show that GNX induced a downregulation of Zif268 protein in the mPFC, which was concomitant with impaired memory in the y-maze and spontaneous object recognition test, reduced social interaction time, and depression-like behaviors in the forced swim test. Reinstitution of mPFC Zif268, using a novel adeno-associated-viral (AAV) construct, abrogated GNX-induced working memory and long-term memory impairments, and reductions in social interaction time, but not GNX-induced depression-like behaviors. These findings suggest that mPFC Zif268 exerts beneficial effects on memory and social interaction, and could be a potential target for novel treatments for behavioral impairments observed in hypogonadal and aged men with declining levels of gonadal hormones.
Li, Ying; Zhang, Xu; Liu, Haiyan; Cao, Zhijun; Chen, Shengliang; Cao, Bing; Liu, Jin
The NR2B subunit of NMDA receptor in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is up-regulated in viscerally hypersensitive (VH) rats induced by colonic anaphylaxis. It plays a critical role in modulation of ACC sensitization and visceral pain responses. Given the key role of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in synaptic plasticity and behavior learning and memory, we hypothesize that phosphorylation of CaMKII binding to NR2B mediates visceral pain in VH states. We performed in vivo electroporation of CaMKII siRNA produced inhibition of colorectal distension-induced visceromotor response in the VH rats. The NR2B, CaMKII and P-CaMKII-Thr²⁸⁶ protein levels were increased in 180%, 220% and 304% fold in the post-synaptic density (PSD) fraction in VH rats separately. Western blotting following co-immunoprecipitation showed that P-CaMKII-Thr²⁸⁶ bound to NR2B in the PSD, which was increased to 267% of control in VH rats. Administration of CaMKII antagonist Antennapedia-CaMKIINtide suppressed visceromotor response in VH rats in parallel with decrease of NR2B levels and reduction of the NR2B-P-CaMKII-Thr²⁸⁶ protein complex in PSD. In conclusion, CaMKII is a critical signaling molecule in the ACC glutamatergic synaptic transmission and phosphorylation of CaMKII at Thr286, which binds to NR2B subunit at post-synaptic site, modulates visceral pain in viscerally hypersensitive state.
Kang, S; Paul, K; Hankosky, E R; Cox, C L; Gulley, J M
Amphetamine (AMPH) exposure leads to changes in behavior and dopamine receptor function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Since dopamine plays an important role in regulating GABAergic transmission in the PFC, we investigated if AMPH exposure induces long-lasting changes in dopamine's ability to modulate inhibitory transmission in the PFC as well as whether the effects of AMPH differed depending on the age of exposure. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given saline or 3 mg/kg AMPH (i.p.) repeatedly during adolescence or adulthood and following a withdrawal period of up to 5 weeks (Experiment 1) or up to 14 weeks (Experiment 2), they were sacrificed for in vitro whole-cell recordings in layer V/VI of the medial PFC. We found that in brain slices from either adolescent- or adult-exposed rats, there was an attenuation of dopamine-induced increases in inhibitory synaptic currents in pyramidal cells. These effects did not depend on age of exposure, were mediated at least partially by a reduced sensitivity of D1 receptors in AMPH-treated rats, and were associated with an enhanced behavioral response to the drug in a separate group of rats given an AMPH challenge following the longest withdrawal period. Together, these data reveal a prolonged effect of AMPH exposure on medial PFC function that persisted for up to 14 weeks in adolescent-exposed animals. These long-lasting neurophysiological changes may be a contributing mechanism to the behavioral consequences that have been observed in those with a history of amphetamine abuse.
Yen, Yi-Chun; Gassen, Nils C; Zellner, Andreas; Rein, Theo; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T; Anderzhanova, Elmira
Psychostimulants show therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is generally assumed that they ameliorate ADHD symptoms via interfering with monoaminergic signaling. We combined behavioral pharmacology, neurochemistry and molecular analyses to identify mechanisms underlying the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in low trait anxiety behavior (LAB) mice, a novel multigenetic animal model of ADHD. Amphetamine (1 mg/kg) and methylphenidate (10 mg/kg) elicited similar dopamine and norepinephrine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and in the striatum of LAB mice. In contrast, amphetamine decreased, while methylphenidate increased locomotor activity. This argues against changes in dopamine and/or norepinephrine release as mediators of amphetamine paradoxical effects. Instead, the calming activity of amphetamine corresponded to the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, specifically in the mPFC. Accordingly, not only systemic administration of the GSK3β inhibitor TDZD-8 (20 mg/kg), but also local microinjections of TDZD-8 and amphetamine into the mPFC, but not into the striatum, decreased locomotor activity in LAB mice. Amphetamine effects seem to depend on NMDA receptor signaling, since pre- or co-treatment with MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg) abolished the effects of amphetamine (1 mg/kg) on the locomotion and on the phosphorylation of GSK3β at the level of the mPFC. Taken together, the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in hyperactive LAB mice concurs with a decreased GSK3β activity in the mPFC. This effect appears to be independent of dopamine or norepinephrine release, but contingent on NMDA receptor signaling.
Park, Y. S.; Ewing, T. F.; Boyle, J. M.; Yule, T. J.
To enhance task performance in partially structured environment, enhancement of teleoperation was proposed by introducing autonomous behaviors. Such autonomy is implemented based on reactive robotic architecture, where reactive motor agents that directly couples sensory inputs and motor actions become the building blocks. To this end, presented in this paper is a perceptual basis for the motor agents. The perceptual basis consists of perceptual agents that extracts environmental information from a structured light vision system and provide action oriented perception for the corresponding motor agents. Rather than performing general scene reconstruction, a perceptual agent directly provides the motion reference for the motor behavior. Various sensory mechanisms--sensor fission, fusion, and fashion--becomes basic building blocks of the perception process. Since perception is a process deeply intertwined with the motor actions, active perception may also incorporate motor behaviors as an integral perceptual process.
Park, Young S.; Ewing, Thomas F.; Boyle, James M.; Yule, Thomas J.
To improve task performance in partially structured environments, enhancements to teleoperation have been proposed by introducing autonomous behaviors. Such autonomy is implemented based on a reactive robotic architecture, where reactive motor agents that directly couple sensory inputs and motor actions become the building blocks. To this end, a perceptual basis for the motor agents is presented in this paper. The perceptual basis consists of perceptual agents that extract environmental information from a structured light vision system and provide action-oriented perception for the corresponding motor agents. Rather than performing general scene reconstruction, a perceptual agent directly provides the motion reference for the motor behavior. Various sensory mechanisms - sensor fission, fusion, and fashion - become basic building blocks of the perception process. Since perception is a process deeply intertwined with the motor actions, active perception may also incorporate motor behaviors as an integral perceptual process.
Peterson, Mary A.
Bhatt and Quinn (2011) review the substantial evidence that learning constrains perceptual organization in infants. With those findings as a foundation, they discuss five kinds of experiences that engender learning in infants and propose that attention and unitization mediate infant learning. Bhatt and Quinn's article is informative--the ideas…
Davare, Marco; Kilner, James M.
Sensory attenuation, the top-down filtering or gating of afferent information, has been extensively studied in two fields: physiological and perceptual. Physiological sensory attenuation is represented as a decrease in the amplitude of the primary and secondary components of the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) before and during movement. Perceptual sensory attenuation, described using the analogy of a persons' inability to tickle oneself, is a reduction in the perception of the afferent input of a self-produced tactile sensation due to the central cancellation of the reafferent signal by the efference copy of the motor command to produce the action. The fields investigating these two areas have remained isolated, so the relationship between them is unclear. The current study delivered median nerve stimulation to produce SEPs during a force-matching paradigm (used to quantify perceptual sensory attenuation) in healthy human subjects to determine whether SEP gating correlated with the behavior. Our results revealed that these two forms of attenuation have dissociable neurophysiological correlates and are likely functionally distinct, which has important implications for understanding neurological disorders in which one form of sensory attenuation but not the other is impaired. Time–frequency analyses revealed a negative correlation over sensorimotor cortex between gamma-oscillatory activity and the magnitude of perceptual sensory attenuation. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that gamma-band power is related to prediction error and that this might underlie perceptual sensory attenuation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We demonstrate that there are two functionally and mechanistically distinct forms of sensory gating. The literature regarding somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) gating is commonly cited as a potential mechanism underlying perceptual sensory attenuation; however, the formal relationship between physiological and perceptual sensory
Dew, Ilana T Z; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S; Cabeza, Roberto
A fundamental idea in memory research is that items are more likely to be remembered if encoded with a semantic, rather than perceptual, processing strategy. Interestingly, this effect has been shown to reverse for emotionally arousing materials, such that perceptual processing enhances memory for emotional information or events. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect by testing how neural activations during emotional memory retrieval are influenced by the prior encoding strategy. Participants incidentally encoded emotional and neutral pictures under instructions to attend to either semantic or perceptual properties of each picture. Recognition memory was tested 2 days later. fMRI analyses yielded three main findings. First, right amygdalar activity associated with emotional memory strength was enhanced by prior perceptual processing. Second, prior perceptual processing of emotional pictures produced a stronger effect on recollection- than familiarity-related activations in the right amygdala and left hippocampus. Finally, prior perceptual processing enhanced amygdalar connectivity with regions strongly associated with retrieval success, including hippocampal/parahippocampal regions, visual cortex, and ventral parietal cortex. Taken together, the results specify how encoding orientations yield alterations in brain systems that retrieve emotional memories.
Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.
In order to develop effective tools for scientific visulaization, consideration must be given to the perceptual competencies, limitations, and biases of the human operator. Perceptual psychology has amassed a rich body of research on these issues and can lend insight to the development of visualization tehcniques. Within a perceptual psychological framework, the computer display screen can best be thought of as a special kind of impoverished visual environemnt. Guidelines can be gleaned from the psychological literature to help visualization tool designers avoid ambiguities and/or illusions in the resulting data displays.
Ho, Ming-Chou; Atchley, Paul
Two experimental series are reported using both reaction time (RT) and a data-limited perceptual report to examine the effects of perceptual load on object-based attention. Perceptual load was manipulated across 3 levels by increasing the complexity of perceptual judgments. Data from the RT-based experiments showed object-based effects when the…
Li, Roger W; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M
Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results in physiological alterations in the visual cortex and impairs form vision. It is often successfully treated by patching the sound eye in infants and young children, but is generally considered to be untreatable in adults. However, a number of recent studies suggest that repetitive practice of a visual task using the amblyopic eye results in improved performance in both children and adults with amblyopia. These perceptual learning studies have used relatively brief periods of practice; however, clinical studies have shown that the time-constant for successful patching is long. The time-constant for perceptual learning in amblyopia is still unknown. Here we show that the time-constant for perceptual learning depends on the degree of amblyopia. Severe amblyopia requires more than 50 hours (≈35,000 trials) to reach plateau, yielding as much as a five-fold improvement in performance at a rate of ≈1.5% per hour. There is significant transfer of learning from the amblyopic to the dominant eye, suggesting that the learning reflects alterations in higher decision stages of processing. Using a reverse correlation technique, we document, for the first time, a dynamic retuning of the amblyopic perceptual decision template and a substantial reduction in internal spatial distortion. These results show that the mature amblyopic brain is surprisingly malleable, and point to more intensive treatment methods for amblyopia. PMID:19109504
Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Boeing, Alexandra; Calder, Andrew J.
Despite the discovery of body-selective neural areas in occipitotemporal cortex, little is known about how bodies are visually coded. We used perceptual adaptation to determine how body identity is coded. Brief exposure to a body (e.g., anti-Rose) biased perception toward an identity with opposite properties (Rose). Moreover, the size of this…
Styan, J. L.
Defines perceptual criticism as an act of verbalizing sight and sound perceptions and contends that this creative synthesizing gives a play its meaning. Speech and Drama, 205 Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. Subscription Rate: $6.00 per year. (MH)
Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
Before concluding Repetition Blindness is a perceptual phenomenon, alternative explanations based on memory retrieval problems and report bias must be rejected. Memory problems were minimized by requiring a judgment about only a single briefly displayed field. Bias and sensitivity effects were empirically measured with an ROC-curve analysis method based on confidence ratings. Results from five experiments support the hypothesis that Repetition Blindness can be a perceptual phenomenon.
The relationship between perceptual style and tracking of a target was examined. Four pilots were given the Embedded Figures Test to assess their degrees of field dependence or independence. Then they flew in a helicopter simulator and attempted to track an airborne target. A high negative correlation was found between perceptual style and tracking performance. Field-independent subjects were able to track the target for longer periods than field-dependent subjects.
Kourtzi, Zoe; Welchman, Andrew E.
In its search for neural codes, the field of visual neuroscience has uncovered neural representations that reflect the structure of stimuli of variable complexity from simple features to object categories. However, accumulating evidence suggests an adaptive neural code that is dynamically shaped by experience to support flexible and efficient perceptual decisions. Here, we review work showing that experience plays a critical role in molding midlevel visual representations for perceptual decisions. Combining behavioral and brain imaging measurements, we demonstrate that learning optimizes feature binding for object recognition in cluttered scenes, and tunes the neural representations of informative image parts to support efficient categorical judgements. Our findings indicate that similar learning mechanisms may mediate long-term optimization through development, tune the visual system to fundamental principles of feature binding, and optimize feature templates for perceptual decisions. PMID:26024511
Xia, Yingjie; Zhang, Luming; Hong, Richang; Nie, Liqiang; Yan, Yan; Shao, Ling
We propose perceptually guided photo retargeting, which shrinks a photo by simulating a human's process of sequentially perceiving visually/semantically important regions in a photo. In particular, we first project the local features (graphlets in this paper) onto a semantic space, wherein visual cues such as global spatial layout and rough geometric context are exploited. Thereafter, a sparsity-constrained learning algorithm is derived to select semantically representative graphlets of a photo, and the selecting process can be interpreted by a path which simulates how a human actively perceives semantics in a photo. Furthermore, we learn the prior distribution of such active graphlet paths (AGPs) from training photos that are marked as esthetically pleasing by multiple users. The learned priors enforce the corresponding AGP of a retargeted photo to be maximally similar to those from the training photos. On top of the retargeting model, we further design an online learning scheme to incrementally update the model with new photos that are esthetically pleasing. The online update module makes the algorithm less dependent on the number and contents of the initial training data. Experimental results show that: 1) the proposed AGP is over 90% consistent with human gaze shifting path, as verified by the eye-tracking data, and 2) the retargeting algorithm outperforms its competitors significantly, as AGP is more indicative of photo esthetics than conventional saliency maps.
Watson, Andrew B.; Yang, Gloria Y.; Solomon, Joshua A.; Villasenor, John
The Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) decomposes an image into bands that vary in spatial frequency and orientation. It is widely used for image compression. Measures of the visibility of DWT quantization errors are required to achieve optimal compression. Uniform quantization of a single band of coefficients results in an artifact that is the sum of a lattice of random amplitude basis functions of the corresponding DWT synthesis filter, which we call DWT uniform quantization noise. We measured visual detection thresholds for samples of DWT uniform quantization noise in Y, Cb, and Cr color channels. The spatial frequency of a wavelet is r 2(exp -1), where r is display visual resolution in pixels/degree, and L is the wavelet level. Amplitude thresholds increase rapidly with spatial frequency. Thresholds also increase from Y to Cr to Cb, and with orientation from low-pass to horizontal/vertical to diagonal. We propose a mathematical model for DWT noise detection thresholds that is a function of level, orientation, and display visual resolution. This allows calculation of a 'perceptually lossless' quantization matrix for which all errors are in theory below the visual threshold. The model may also be used as the basis for adaptive quantization schemes.
Loomis, Jack M.; Beall, Andrew C.; Kelly, Jonathan W.; Macuga, Kristen L.
In recent years, many experiments have demonstrated that optic flow is sufficient for visually controlled action, with the suggestion that perceptual representations of 3-D space are superfluous. In contrast, recent research in our lab indicates that some visually controlled actions, including some thought to be based on optic flow, are indeed mediated by perceptual representations. For example, we have demonstrated that people are able to perform complex spatial behaviors, like walking, driving, and object interception, in virtual environments which are rendered visible solely by cyclopean stimulation (random-dot cinematograms). In such situations, the absence of any retinal optic flow that is correlated with the objects and surfaces within the virtual environment means that people are using stereo-based perceptual representations to perform the behavior. The fact that people can perform such behaviors without training suggests that the perceptual representations are likely the same as those used when retinal optic flow is present. Other research indicates that optic flow, whether retinal or a more abstract property of the perceptual representation, is not the basis for postural control, because postural instability is related to perceived relative motion between self and the visual surroundings rather than to optic flow, even in the abstract sense.
Ikkai, Akiko; Jerde, Trenton A.; Curtis, Clayton E.
We test theories about the functional organization of the human cortex by correlating brain activity with demands on perception versus action selection. Subjects covertly searched for a target among an array of 4, 8, or 12 items (perceptual manipulation) and then, depending on the color of the array, made a saccade toward, away from, or at a right…
Sierra, Rodrigo O; Pedraza, Lizeth K; Zanona, Querusche K; Santana, Fabiana; Boos, Flávia Z; Crestani, Ana P; Haubrich, Josué; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas; Calcagnotto, Maria Elisa; Quillfeldt, Jorge A
Systems consolidation is a time-dependent reorganization process involving neocortical and hippocampal networks underlying memory storage and retrieval. The involvement of the hippocampus during acquisition is well described; however we know much less about the concomitant contribution of cortical activity levels to the formation of stable remote memories. Here, after a reversible pharmacological inhibition of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during the acquisition of a contextual fear conditioning, retrieval of both recent and remote memories were impaired, an effect that was reverted by a single memory reactivation session 48 h after training, through a destabilization-dependent mechanism interpreted as reconsolidation, that restored the normal course of systems consolidation in order to rescue a remote memory. Next we have shown that the integrity of both the anterior cingulate cortex and the thalamic nucleus reuniens (RE) were required for this reactivation-induced memory rescue. Because lidocaine infused into the RE inhibited LTP induction in the CA1-anterior cingulate cortex pathways, it seems that RE is a necessary component of the circuit underlying systems consolidation, mediating communication between dorsal hippocampus and cortical areas. To our notice, this is the first demonstration of the rescue of remote memories disrupted by ACC inhibition during acquisition, via a reconsolidation-driven mechanism. We have also shown the importance of RE to ensure the interconnection among brain areas that collectively seem to control the natural course of systems consolidation and allow the persistence of relevant emotional engrams. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bucur, Barbara; Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Provenzale, James M.; Cabeza, Roberto; White, Leonard E.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research suggests that, in reaction time (RT) measures of episodic memory retrieval, the unique effects of adult age are relatively small compared to the effects aging shares with more elementary abilities such as perceptual speed. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanisms of perceptual speed. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to test the hypothesis that white matter integrity, as indexed by fractional anisotropy (FA), serves as one mechanism of perceptual slowing in episodic memory retrieval. Results indicated that declines in FA in the pericallosal frontal region and in the genu of the corpus callosum, but not in other regions, mediated the relationship between perceptual speed and episodic retrieval RT. This relation held, though to a different degree, for both hits and correct rejections. These findings suggest that white matter integrity in prefrontal regions is one mechanism underlying the relation between individual differences in perceptual speed and episodic retrieval. PMID:17383774
Gilmartin, Marieke R.; Kwapis, Janine L.; Helmstetter, Fred J.
Activation of "N"-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) in the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL mPFC) is necessary for the acquisition of both trace and contextual fear memories, but it is not known how specific NR2 subunits support each association. The NR2B subunit confers unique properties to the NMDAR and may differentially…
Strzalkowski, Nicholas D. J.; Mildren, Robyn L.
Perceptual thresholds are known to vary across the foot sole, despite a reported even distribution in cutaneous afferents. Skin mechanical properties have been proposed to account for these differences; however, a direct relationship between foot sole afferent firing, perceptual threshold, and skin mechanical properties has not been previously investigated. Using the technique of microneurography, we recorded the monofilament firing thresholds of cutaneous afferents and associated perceptual thresholds across the foot sole. In addition, receptive field hardness measurements were taken to investigate the influence of skin hardness on these threshold measures. Afferents were identified as fast adapting [FAI (n = 48) or FAII (n = 13)] or slowly adapting [SAI (n = 21) or SAII (n = 20)], and were grouped based on receptive field location (heel, arch, metatarsals, toes). Overall, perceptual thresholds were found to most closely align with firing thresholds of FA afferents. In contrast, SAI and SAII afferent firing thresholds were found to be significantly higher than perceptual thresholds and are not thought to mediate monofilament perceptual threshold across the foot sole. Perceptual thresholds and FAI afferent firing thresholds were significantly lower in the arch compared with other regions, and skin hardness was found to positively correlate with both FAI and FAII afferent firing and perceptual thresholds. These data support a perceptual influence of skin hardness, which is likely the result of elevated FA afferent firing threshold at harder foot sole sites. The close coupling between FA afferent firing and perceptual threshold across foot sole indicates that small changes in FA afferent firing can influence perceptual thresholds. PMID:26289466
Deco, Gustavo; Pérez-Sanagustín, Mar; de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo
Recent studies that combined psychophysical/neurophysiological experiments [de Lafuente V, Romo R (2005) Nat Neurosci 8:1698–1703] analyzed the responses from single neurons, recorded in several cortical areas of parietal and frontal lobes, while trained monkeys reported the presence or absence of a mechanical vibration of varying amplitude applied to skin of one fingertip. The analysis showed that the activity of primary somatosensory cortex neurons covaried with the stimulus strength but did not covary with the animal's perceptual reports. In contrast, the activity of medial premotor cortex (MPC) neurons did not covary with the stimulus strength but did covary with the animal's perceptual reports. Here, we address the question of how perceptual detection is computed in MPC. In particular, we regard perceptual detection as a bistable neurodynamical phenomenon reflected in the activity of MPC. We show that the activity of MPC is consistent with a decision-making-like scenario of fluctuation-driven computation that causes a probabilistic transition between two bistable states, one corresponding to the case in which the monkey detects the sensory input, the other corresponding to the case in which the monkey does not. Moreover, the high variability activity of MPC neurons both within and between trials reflects stochastic fluctuations that may play a crucial role in the monkey's probabilistic perceptual reports. PMID:18077434
Murphy, Sandra; Spence, Charles; Dalton, Polly
Selective attention is a crucial mechanism in everyday life, allowing us to focus on a portion of incoming sensory information at the expense of other less relevant stimuli. The circumstances under which irrelevant stimuli are successfully ignored have been a topic of scientific interest for several decades now. Over the last 20 years, the perceptual load theory (e.g. Lavie, 1995) has provided one robust framework for understanding these effects within the visual modality. The suggestion is that successful selection depends on the perceptual demands imposed by the task-relevant information. However, less research has addressed the question of whether the same principles hold in audition and, to date, the existing literature provides a mixed picture. Here, we review the evidence for and against the applicability of perceptual load theory in hearing, concluding that this question still awaits resolution.
Ratcliff, Jennifer J; Lassiter, G Daniel; Schmidt, Heather C; Snyder, Celeste J
The camera perspective from which a criminal confession is videotaped influences later assessments of its voluntariness and the suspect's guilt. Previous research has suggested that this camera perspective bias is rooted in perceptual rather than conceptual processes, but these data are strictly correlational. In 3 experiments, the authors directly manipulated perceptual processing to provide stronger evidence of its mediational role. Prior to viewing a videotape of a simulated confession, participants were shown a photograph of the confessor's apparent victim. Participants in a perceptual interference condition were instructed to visualize the image of the victim in their minds while viewing the videotape; participants in a conceptual interference condition were instructed instead to rehearse an 8-digit number. Because mental imagery and actual perception draw on the same available resources, the authors anticipated that the former, but not the latter, interference task would disrupt the camera perspective bias, if indeed it were perceptually mediated. Results supported this conclusion.
Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R.; Sumner, Christian J.
Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how ‘bottom-up’ sensory processes and non-sensory ‘top-down’ influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This
Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R; Sumner, Christian J
Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how 'bottom-up' sensory processes and non-sensory 'top-down' influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This
Ding, Long; Gold, Joshua I.
Perceptual decision-making is a computationally demanding process that requires the brain to interpret incoming sensory information in the context of goals, expectations, preferences, and other factors. These integrative processes engage much of cortex but also require contributions from subcortical structures to affect behavior. Here we summarize recent evidence supporting specific computational roles of the basal ganglia in perceptual decision-making. These roles likely share common mechanisms with the basal ganglia’s other, more well-established functions in motor control, learning, and other aspects of cognition and thus can provide insights into the general roles of this important subcortical network in higher brain function. PMID:23972593
Gerretsen, Philip; Graff-Guerrero, Ariel; Menon, Mahesh; Pollock, Bruce G; Kapur, Shitij; Vasdev, Neil; Houle, Sylvain; Mamo, David
Social behavior and desire for social relationships have been independently linked to the serotonergic system, the prefrontal cortex, especially the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The goal of this study was to explore the role of serotonin 5HT(2A) receptors in these brain regions in forming and maintaining close interpersonal relationships. Twenty-four healthy subjects completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) prior to undergoing [(18)F]setoperone brain positron emission tomography (PET) to measure serotonin 5HT(2A) receptor availability within the OFC (BA 11 and 47) and ACC (BA 32). We explored the relationship between desire for social relationships, as measured by the TCI reward dependence (RD) scale, and 5HT(2A) receptor non-displaceable binding potential (BP(nd)) in these regions. Scores of RD were negatively correlated with 5HT(2A) BP(nd) in the ACC (BA 32, r = -.528, p = .012) and OFC (BA 11, r = -.489, p = .021; BA 47, r = -.501, p = .017). These correlations were corroborated by a voxel-wise analysis. These results suggest that the serotonergic system may have a regulatory effect on the OFC and ACC for establishing and maintaining social relationships.
Guo, Wei; Hight, Ariel E.; Chen, Jenny X.; Klapoetke, Nathan C.; Hancock, Kenneth E.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Boyden, Edward S.; Lee, Daniel J.; Polley, Daniel B.
Optogenetics provides a means to dissect the organization and function of neural circuits. Optogenetics also offers the translational promise of restoring sensation, enabling movement or supplanting abnormal activity patterns in pathological brain circuits. However, the inherent sluggishness of evoked photocurrents in conventional channelrhodopsins has hampered the development of optoprostheses that adequately mimic the rate and timing of natural spike patterning. Here, we explore the feasibility and limitations of a central auditory optoprosthesis by photoactivating mouse auditory midbrain neurons that either express channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) or Chronos, a channelrhodopsin with ultra-fast channel kinetics. Chronos-mediated spike fidelity surpassed ChR2 and natural acoustic stimulation to support a superior code for the detection and discrimination of rapid pulse trains. Interestingly, this midbrain coding advantage did not translate to a perceptual advantage, as behavioral detection of midbrain activation was equivalent with both opsins. Auditory cortex recordings revealed that the precisely synchronized midbrain responses had been converted to a simplified rate code that was indistinguishable between opsins and less robust overall than acoustic stimulation. These findings demonstrate the temporal coding benefits that can be realized with next-generation channelrhodopsins, but also highlight the challenge of inducing variegated patterns of forebrain spiking activity that support adaptive perception and behavior. PMID:26000557
Belka, David E.; Williams, Harriet G.
The battery of perceptual and perceptual-motor tests (including one fine and two gross perceptual-motor tasks, and one visual and two auditory perceptual tasks) were useful for prediction of cognitive performance one year later at kindergarten age. However, cognitive achievement in first grade, and even more so in second grade, was best predicted…
Windmann, Sabine; Wehrmann, Michaela; Calabrese, Pasquale; Güntürkün, Onur
The primary source of top-down attentional control in object perception is the prefrontal cortex. This region is involved in the maintenance of goal-related information as well as in attentional selection and set shifting. Recent approaches have emphasized the role of top-down processes during elementary visual processes as exemplified in bistable vision where perception oscillates automatically between two mutually exclusive states. The prefrontal cortex might influence this process either by maintaining the dominant pattern while protecting it against the competing representation, or by facilitating perceptual switches between the two competing representations. To address this issue, we investigated reported perceptual reversals in patients with circumscribed lesions of the prefrontal cortex and healthy control participants in three experimental conditions: hold (maintaining the dominant view), speed (inducing as many perceptual switches as possible), and neutral (no intervention). Results indicated that although the patients showed normal switching rates in the neutral condition and were able to control perceptual switches in the hold condition as much as control subjects were, they were less able to facilitate reversals specifically in the speed condition. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex is necessary to bias the selection of visual representations in accord with current goals, but is less essential for maintaining selected information active that is continuously available in the environment. As for attentional selection, the present results suggest that the prefrontal cortex initiates perceptual reversals by withdrawing top-down support from the dominant representation without (or prior to) boosting the suppressed view.
Forstmann, Birte U; Anwander, Alfred; Schäfer, Andreas; Neumann, Jane; Brown, Scott; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Bogacz, Rafal; Turner, Robert
When people make decisions they often face opposing demands for response speed and response accuracy, a process likely mediated by response thresholds. According to the striatal hypothesis, people decrease response thresholds by increasing activation from cortex to striatum, releasing the brain from inhibition. According to the STN hypothesis, people decrease response thresholds by decreasing activation from cortex to subthalamic nucleus (STN); a decrease in STN activity is likewise thought to release the brain from inhibition and result in responses that are fast but error-prone. To test these hypotheses-both of which may be true-we conducted two experiments on perceptual decision making in which we used cues to vary the demands for speed vs. accuracy. In both experiments, behavioral data and mathematical model analyses confirmed that instruction from the cue selectively affected the setting of response thresholds. In the first experiment we used ultra-high-resolution 7T structural MRI to locate the STN precisely. We then used 3T structural MRI and probabilistic tractography to quantify the connectivity between the relevant brain areas. The results showed that participants who flexibly change response thresholds (as quantified by the mathematical model) have strong structural connections between presupplementary motor area and striatum. This result was confirmed in an independent second experiment. In general, these findings show that individual differences in elementary cognitive tasks are partly driven by structural differences in brain connectivity. Specifically, these findings support a cortico-striatal control account of how the brain implements adaptive switches between cautious and risky behavior.
Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.
Stochastic accumulator models account for response time in perceptual decision-making tasks by assuming that perceptual evidence accumulates to a threshold. The present investigation mapped the firing rate of frontal eye field (FEF) visual neurons onto perceptual evidence and the firing rate of FEF movement neurons onto evidence accumulation to…
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Washington, DC.
This book of conference proceeding presents speeches and panel discussions from the Region East Perceptual-Motor Conference. The purpose of the conference was to seek an understanding of children and their perceptual-motor development through (a) exchange of knowledge and practices in perceptual-motor development, (b) examination of program…
Gold, Jason M.; Sekuler, Allison B.; Bennett, Partrick J.
Performance in perceptual tasks often improves with practice. This effect is known as "perceptual learning," and it has been the source of a great deal of interest and debate over the course of the last century. Here, we consider the effects of perceptual learning within the context of signal detection theory. According to signal detection theory,…
Kellman, Philip J.; Massey, Christine M.
Recent research indicates that perceptual learning (PL)--experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information--plays a larger role in complex cognitive tasks, including abstract and symbolic domains, than has been understood in theory or implemented in instruction. Here, we describe the involvement of PL in complex cognitive tasks…
Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin’ya
Human vision has a remarkable ability to perceive two layers at the same retinal locations, a transparent layer in front of a background surface. Critical image cues to perceptual transparency, studied extensively in the past, are changes in luminance or color that could be caused by light absorptions and reflections by the front layer, but such image changes may not be clearly visible when the front layer consists of a pure transparent material such as water. Our daily experiences with transparent materials of this kind suggest that an alternative potential cue of visual transparency is image deformations of a background pattern caused by light refraction. Although previous studies have indicated that these image deformations, at least static ones, play little role in perceptual transparency, here we show that dynamic image deformations of the background pattern, which could be produced by light refraction on a moving liquid’s surface, can produce a vivid impression of a transparent liquid layer without the aid of any other visual cues as to the presence of a transparent layer. Furthermore, a transparent liquid layer perceptually emerges even from a randomly generated dynamic image deformation as long as it is similar to real liquid deformations in its spatiotemporal frequency profile. Our findings indicate that the brain can perceptually infer the presence of “invisible” transparent liquids by analyzing the spatiotemporal structure of dynamic image deformation, for which it uses a relatively simple computation that does not require high-level knowledge about the detailed physics of liquid deformation. PMID:26240313
Hsieh, Po-Jang; Colas, Jaron T.
A retinally stabilized object readily undergoes perceptual fading and disappears from consciousness. This startling phenomenon is commonly believed to arise from local bottom-up sensory adaptation to edge information that occurs early in the visual pathway, such as in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus or retinal ganglion cells. Here…
Kugelmass, Sol; Lieblich, Amia
Reports replication and extension of Elkind and Weiss's study of perceptual exploration using 122 Israeli children. In general, results were upheld and reflected the influence of school experiences seen most specifically in the right-left directionality expected to result from learning to read Hebrew. (WY)
Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine
The report 'I saw the stimulus' operationally defines visual consciousness, but where does the 'I' come from? To account for the subjective dimension of perceptual experience, we introduce the concept of the neural subjective frame. The neural subjective frame would be based on the constantly updated neural maps of the internal state of the body and constitute a neural referential from which first person experience can be created. We propose to root the neural subjective frame in the neural representation of visceral information which is transmitted through multiple anatomical pathways to a number of target sites, including posterior insula, ventral anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala and somatosensory cortex. We review existing experimental evidence showing that the processing of external stimuli can interact with visceral function. The neural subjective frame is a low-level building block of subjective experience which is not explicitly experienced by itself which is necessary but not sufficient for perceptual experience. It could also underlie other types of subjective experiences such as self-consciousness and emotional feelings. Because the neural subjective frame is tightly linked to homeostatic regulations involved in vigilance, it could also make a link between state and content consciousness.
McDonald, John J.; Störmer, Viola S.; Martinez, Antigona; Feng, Wenfeng; Hillyard, Steven A.
Sudden changes in the acoustic environment enhance perceptual processing of subsequent visual stimuli that appear in close spatial proximity. Little is known, however, about the neural mechanisms by which salient sounds affect visual processing. In particular, it is unclear whether such sounds automatically activate visual cortex. To shed light on this issue, the present study examined event-related brain potentials (ERPs) that were triggered either by peripheral sounds that preceded task-relevant visual targets (Experiment 1) or were presented during purely auditory tasks (Experiments 2, 3, and 4). In all experiments the sounds elicited a contralateral ERP over the occipital scalp that was localized to neural generators in extrastriate visual cortex of the ventral occipital lobe. The amplitude of this cross-modal ERP was predictive of perceptual judgments about the contrast of co-localized visual targets. These findings demonstrate that sudden, intrusive sounds reflexively activate human visual cortex in a spatially specific manner, even during purely auditory tasks when the sounds are not relevant to the ongoing task. PMID:23699530
González, Betina; Rivero-Echeto, Celeste; Muñiz, Javier A.; Cadet, Jean Lud; García-Rill, Edgar; Urbano, Francisco J.; Bisagno, Veronica
Psychostimulant addiction is associated with dysfunctions in frontal cortex. Previous data demonstrated that repeated exposure to methamphetamine (METH) can alter prefrontal cortex (PFC) dependent functions. Here, we show that withdrawal from repetitive non-contingent METH administration (7 days, 1mg/kg) depressed voltage-dependent calcium currents (ICa) and increased IH amplitude and the paired-pulse ratio of evoked EPSCs in deep-layer pyramidal mPFC neurons. Most of these effects were blocked by systemic co-administration of the D1/D5 receptor antagonist SCH23390 (0.5 and 0.05 mg/kg). In vitro METH (i.e bath-applied to slices from naïve-treated animals) was able to emulate its systemic effects on ICa and evoked EPSCs paired-pulse ratio. We also provide evidence of altered mRNA expression of i) voltage-gated calcium channels P/Q-type Cacna1a (Cav2.1), N-type Cacna1b (Cav2.2), T-type Cav3.1 Cacna1g, Cav3.2 Cacna1h, Cav3.3 Cacna1i and the auxiliary subunit Cacna2d1 (α2δ1), ii) hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels Hcn1 and Hcn2 and iii) glutamate receptors subunits AMPA-type Gria1, NMDA-type Grin1 and metabotropic Grm1 in the mouse mPFC after repeated METH treatment. Moreover, we show that some of these changes in mRNA expression were sensitive D1/5 receptor blockade. Altogether these altered mechanisms affecting synaptic physiology and transcriptional regulation may underlie prefrontal cortex functional alterations that could lead to PFC impairments observed in METH-addicted individuals. PMID:25871318
Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Krubitzer, Leah A
Movable tactile sensors in the form of whiskers are present in most mammals, but sensory coding in the cortical whisker representation has been studied almost exclusively in mice and rats. Many species that possess whiskers lack the modular "barrel" organization found in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of mice and rats, but it is unclear how whisker-related input is represented in these species. We used single-unit extracellular recording techniques to characterize receptive fields and response properties in S1 of Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum), a nocturnal, terrestrial marsupial that shared its last common ancestor with placental mammals over 160 million years ago. Short-tailed opossums lack barrels and septa in S1 but show active whisking behavior similar to that of mice and rats. Most neurons in short-tailed opossum S1 exhibited multiwhisker receptive fields, including a single best whisker (BW) and lower magnitude responses to the deflection of surrounding whiskers. Mean tuning width was similar to that reported for mice and rats. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical receptive fields were present. Neurons tuned to ventral whiskers tended to show broad tuning along the rostrocaudal axis. Thus, despite the absence of barrels, most receptive field properties were similar to those reported for mice and rats. However, unlike those species, S1 neuronal responses to BW and surround whisker deflection showed comparable latencies in short-tailed opossums. This dissimilarity suggests that some aspects of barrel cortex function may not generalize to tactile processing across mammalian species and may be related to differences in the architecture of the whisker-to-cortex pathway. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3587-3613, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Choi, Lark Kwon; You, Jaehee; Bovik, Alan Conrad
We propose a referenceless perceptual fog density prediction model based on natural scene statistics (NSS) and fog aware statistical features. The proposed model, called Fog Aware Density Evaluator (FADE), predicts the visibility of a foggy scene from a single image without reference to a corresponding fog-free image, without dependence on salient objects in a scene, without side geographical camera information, without estimating a depth-dependent transmission map, and without training on human-rated judgments. FADE only makes use of measurable deviations from statistical regularities observed in natural foggy and fog-free images. Fog aware statistical features that define the perceptual fog density index derive from a space domain NSS model and the observed characteristics of foggy images. FADE not only predicts perceptual fog density for the entire image, but also provides a local fog density index for each patch. The predicted fog density using FADE correlates well with human judgments of fog density taken in a subjective study on a large foggy image database. As applications, FADE not only accurately assesses the performance of defogging algorithms designed to enhance the visibility of foggy images, but also is well suited for image defogging. A new FADE-based referenceless perceptual image defogging, dubbed DEnsity of Fog Assessment-based DEfogger (DEFADE) achieves better results for darker, denser foggy images as well as on standard foggy images than the state of the art defogging methods. A software release of FADE and DEFADE is available online for public use: http://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/fog/index.html.
Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I
We recently showed that improved perceptual performance on a visual motion direction-discrimination task corresponds to changes in how an unmodified sensory representation in the brain is interpreted to form a decision that guides behavior. Here we found that these changes can be accounted for using a reinforcement-learning rule to shape functional connectivity between the sensory and decision neurons. We modeled performance on the basis of the readout of simulated responses of direction-selective sensory neurons in the middle temporal area (MT) of monkey cortex. A reward prediction error guided changes in connections between these sensory neurons and the decision process, first establishing the association between motion direction and response direction, and then gradually improving perceptual sensitivity by selectively strengthening the connections from the most sensitive neurons in the sensory population. The results suggest a common, feedback-driven mechanism for some forms of associative and perceptual learning.
Chmielewski, Witold X.; Beste, Christian
A multitude of sensory inputs needs to be processed during sensorimotor integration. A crucial factor for detecting relevant information is its complexity, since information content can be conflicting at a perceptual level. This may be central to executive control processes, such as response inhibition. This EEG study aims to investigate the system neurophysiological mechanisms behind effects of perceptual conflict on response inhibition. We systematically modulated perceptual conflict by integrating a Global-local task with a Go/Nogo paradigm. The results show that conflicting perceptual information, in comparison to non-conflicting perceptual information, impairs response inhibition performance. This effect was evident regardless of whether the relevant information for response inhibition is displayed on the global, or local perceptual level. The neurophysiological data suggests that early perceptual/ attentional processing stages do not underlie these modulations. Rather, processes at the response selection level (P3), play a role in changed response inhibition performance. This conflict-related impairment of inhibitory processes is associated with activation differences in (inferior) parietal areas (BA7 and BA40) and not as commonly found in the medial prefrontal areas. This suggests that various functional neuroanatomical structures may mediate response inhibition and that the functional neuroanatomical structures involved depend on the complexity of sensory integration processes. PMID:27222225
Cheung, Olivia S.; Bar, Moshe
Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience. PMID:22123523
Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian
Abstract Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico‐semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico‐semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico‐semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task‐related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512–4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26304153
Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John
Work aimed at studying social cognition in an interactionist perspective often encounters substantial theoretical and methodological difficulties: identifying the significant behavioral variables; recording them without disturbing the interaction; and distinguishing between: (a) the necessary and sufficient contributions of each individual partner for a collective dynamics to emerge; (b) features which derive from this collective dynamics and escape from the control of the individual partners; and (c) the phenomena arising from this collective dynamics which are subsequently appropriated and used by the partners. We propose a minimalist experimental paradigm as a basis for this conceptual discussion: by reducing the sensory inputs to a strict minimum, we force a spatial and temporal deployment of the perceptual activities, which makes it possible to obtain a complete recording and control of the dynamics of interaction. After presenting the principles of this minimalist approach to perception, we describe a series of experiments on two major questions in social cognition: recognizing the presence of another intentional subject; and phenomena of imitation. In both cases, we propose explanatory schema which render an interactionist approach to social cognition clear and explicit. Starting from our earlier work on perceptual crossing we present a new experiment on the mechanisms of reciprocal recognition of the perceptual intentionality of the other subject: the emergent collective dynamics of the perceptual crossing can be appropriated by each subject. We then present an experimental study of opaque imitation (when the subjects cannot see what they themselves are doing). This study makes it possible to characterize what a properly interactionist approach to imitation might be. In conclusion, we draw on these results, to show how an interactionist approach can contribute to a fully social approach to social cognition. PMID:22582041
spatial relations are detected directly amtong two-dimensional image features. A basic requirement of the recognition process is that perceptual organi... excellent facilities that made this work possible, and made many important contributions to the content of this thesis. Chapter 5 is based largely on his...Mackworth, who gave me an excellent grounding in computer vision while I was an undergraduatc at the University of British Columbia and has continued
Hilgenstock, Raphael; Weiss, Thomas; Witte, Otto W
Current findings suggest that confidence emerges only after decision making. However, the temporal and neural dynamics of the emergence of post-decision confidence--a metacognitive judgement--are not fully explored. To gain insight into the dynamics of post-decision confidence processing and to disentangle the processes underlying confidence judgements and decision making, we applied a tactile discrimination task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our results revealed that reaction times to post-decision confidence depend on the level of confidence, suggesting that post-decision confidence in a perceptual choice is not processed in parallel to perceptual decision making. Moreover, we demonstrated by the parametric analysis of fMRI data that post-decisionally modelled confidence processing can be distinguished from processes related to decision making through anatomical location and through the pattern of neural activity. In contrast to perceptual decision making, post-decision confidence appears to be strictly allocated to a prefrontal network of brain regions, primarily the anterior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, areas that have been related to metacognition. Moreover, the processes underlying decision making and post-decision confidence may share recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, although the former probably has distinct functions with regard to processing of perceptual choices and post-decision confidence. Thus, this is the first fMRI study to disentangle the processes underlying post-decision confidence and decision making on behavioural, neuroanatomical, and neurofunctional levels. With regard to the temporal evolution of post-decision confidence, results of the present study provide strong support for the most recent theoretical models of human perceptual decision making, and thus provide implications for investigating confidence in perceptual paradigms.
Powers III, Albert R.; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T.
Life in a multisensory world requires the rapid and accurate integration of stimuli across the different senses. In this process, the temporal relationship between stimuli is critical in determining which stimuli share a common origin. Numerous studies have described a multisensory temporal binding window—the time window within which audiovisual stimuli are likely to be perceptually bound. In addition to characterizing this window’s size, recent work has shown it to be malleable, with the capacity for substantial narrowing following perceptual training. However, the generalization of these effects to other measures of perception is not known. This question was examined by characterizing the ability of training on a simultaneity judgment task to influence perception of the temporally-dependent sound-induced flash illusion (SIFI). Results do not demonstrate a change in performance on the SIFI itself following training. However, data do show an improved ability to discriminate rapidly-presented two-flash control conditions following training. Effects were specific to training and scaled with the degree of temporal window narrowing exhibited. Results do not support generalization of multisensory perceptual learning to other multisensory tasks. However, results do show that training results in improvements in visual temporal acuity, suggesting a generalization effect of multisensory training on unisensory abilities. PMID:27000988
Smith, Edward E.; Myers, Nicholas; Sethi, Umrao; Pantazatos, Spiro; Yanagihara, Ted; Hirsch, Joy
Many neuroimaging studies of semantic memory have argued that knowledge of an object’s perceptual properties are represented in a modality-specific manner. These studies often base their argument on finding activation in the left-hemisphere fusiform gyrus - a region assumed to be involved in perceptual processing - when the participant is verifying verbal statements about objects and properties. In this paper we report an extension of one of these influential papers—Kan, Barsalou, Solomon, Minor, and Thompson-Schill (2003)—and present evidence for an amodal component in the representation and processing of perceptual knowledge. Participants were required to verify object-property statements (e.g., “cat- whiskers?”; “bear-wings?”) while they were being scanned by fMRI. We replicated Kan et al’s activation in the left fusiform gyrus, but also found activation in regions of left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and middle-temporal gyrus, areas known to reflect amodal processes or representations. Further, only activations in the left IFG, an amodal area, were correlated with measures of behavioral performance. PMID:22994286
Powers Iii, Albert R; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T
Life in a multisensory world requires the rapid and accurate integration of stimuli across the different senses. In this process, the temporal relationship between stimuli is critical in determining which stimuli share a common origin. Numerous studies have described a multisensory temporal binding window-the time window within which audiovisual stimuli are likely to be perceptually bound. In addition to characterizing this window's size, recent work has shown it to be malleable, with the capacity for substantial narrowing following perceptual training. However, the generalization of these effects to other measures of perception is not known. This question was examined by characterizing the ability of training on a simultaneity judgment task to influence perception of the temporally-dependent sound-induced flash illusion (SIFI). Results do not demonstrate a change in performance on the SIFI itself following training. However, data do show an improved ability to discriminate rapidly-presented two-flash control conditions following training. Effects were specific to training and scaled with the degree of temporal window narrowing exhibited. Results do not support generalization of multisensory perceptual learning to other multisensory tasks. However, results do show that training results in improvements in visual temporal acuity, suggesting a generalization effect of multisensory training on unisensory abilities.
Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
The human sensory systems constantly receive input from different stimuli. Whether these stimuli are integrated into a coherent percept or segregated and perceived as separate events, is critically determined by the temporal distance of the stimuli. This temporal distance has prompted the concept of temporal integration windows or perceptual cycles. Although this concept has gained considerable support, the neuronal correlates are still discussed. Studies suggested that neuronal oscillations might provide a neuronal basis for such perceptual cycles, i.e., the cycle lengths of alpha oscillations in visual cortex and beta oscillations in somatosensory cortex might determine the length of perceptual cycles. Specifically, recent studies reported that the peak frequency (the frequency with the highest spectral power) of alpha oscillations in visual cortex correlates with subjects' ability to discriminate two visual stimuli. In the present study, we investigated whether peak frequencies in somatosensory cortex might serve as the correlate of perceptual cycles in tactile discrimination. Despite several different approaches, we were unable to find a significant correlation between individual peak frequencies in the alpha- and beta-band and individual discrimination abilities. In addition, analysis of Bayes factor provided evidence that peak frequencies and discrimination thresholds are unrelated. The results suggest that perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain are not necessarily to be found in the peak frequency, but in other frequencies. We argue that studies based solely on analysis of peak frequencies might thus miss relevant information.
Reckless, G E; Bolstad, I; Nakstad, P H; Andreassen, O A; Jensen, J
Motivation has been demonstrated to affect individuals' response strategies in economic decision-making, however, little is known about how motivation influences perceptual decision-making behavior or its related neural activity. Given the important role motivation plays in shaping our behavior, a better understanding of this relationship is needed. A block-design, continuous performance, perceptual decision-making task where participants were asked to detect a picture of an animal among distractors was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The effect of positive and negative motivation on sustained activity within regions of the brain thought to underlie decision-making was examined by altering the monetary contingency associated with the task. In addition, signal detection theory was used to investigate the effect of motivation on detection sensitivity, response bias and response time. While both positive and negative motivation resulted in increased sustained activation in the ventral striatum, fusiform gyrus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, only negative motivation resulted in the adoption of a more liberal, closer to optimal response bias. This shift toward a liberal response bias correlated with increased activation in the left DLPFC, but did not result in improved task performance. The present findings suggest that motivation alters aspects of the way perceptual decisions are made. Further, this altered response behavior is reflected in a change in left DLPFC activation, a region involved in the computation of perceptual decisions.
Reser, David H; Rosa, Marcello
Ackermann et al. outline a model for elaboration of subcortical motor outputs as a driving force for the development of the apparently unique behaviour of language in humans. They emphasize circuits in the striatum and midbrain, and acknowledge, but do not explore, the importance of the auditory perceptual pathway for evolution of verbal communication. We suggest that understanding the evolution of language will also require understanding of vocalization perception, especially in the auditory cortex.
Pettigrew, John D.; Tilden, Jan D.
Attention is drawn to weaknesses in the case for an external, physical basis for time's perceptual phenomena, raising the possibility of a Darwinian evolutionary explanation for the apparent flow, structure and arrow of time. We develop the hypothesis that, of all arrows of time identified by physicists and philosophers, the most fundamental is the psychological arrow. Based on findings of an on-going program of empirical research, we suggest a neural basis for time phenomena in the rhythmicity and plasticity of one of the brainstem dopaminergic nuclei, the venetral tegmental area (VTA). We examine links between neural time-keeping and perceptual rivalry and discuss evidence that rivalry is mediated by the VTA which functions as an ultradian oscillator. Further research is suggested, which could challenge or support the hypothesis of the VTA as an important neural time-keeper and the subjective basis of the asymmetric phenomena of time.
Guterstam, Arvid; Björnsdotter, Malin; Gentile, Giovanni; Ehrsson, H Henrik
The senses of owning a body and being localized somewhere in space are two key components of human self-consciousness. Despite a wealth of neurophysiological and neuroimaging research on the representations of the spatial environment in the parietal and medial temporal cortices, the relationship between body ownership and self-location remains unexplored. To investigate this relationship, we used a multisensory out-of-body illusion to manipulate healthy participants' perceived self-location, head direction, and sense of body ownership during high-resolution fMRI. Activity patterns in the hippocampus and the posterior cingulate, retrosplenial, and intraparietal cortices reflected the sense of self-location, whereas the sense of body ownership was associated with premotor-intraparietal activity. The functional interplay between these two sets of areas was mediated by the posterior cingulate cortex. These results extend our understanding of the role of the posterior parietal and medial temporal cortices in spatial cognition by demonstrating that these areas not only are important for ecological behaviors, such as navigation and perspective taking, but also support the perceptual representation of the bodily self in space. Our results further suggest that the posterior cingulate cortex has a key role in integrating the neural representations of self-location and body ownership.
Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne
The field of perceptual learning has identified changes in perceptual templates as a powerful mechanism mediating the learning of statistical regularities in our environment. By measuring threshold-vs.-contrast curves using an orientation identification task under varying levels of external noise, the perceptual template model (PTM) allows one to disentangle various sources of signal-to-noise changes that can alter performance. We use the PTM approach to elucidate the mechanism that underlies the wide range of improvements noted after action video game play. We show that action video game players make use of improved perceptual templates compared with nonvideo game players, and we confirm a causal role for action video game play in inducing such improvements through a 50-h training study. Then, by adapting a recent neural model to this task, we demonstrate how such improved perceptual templates can arise from reweighting the connectivity between visual areas. Finally, we establish that action gamers do not enter the perceptual task with improved perceptual templates. Instead, although performance in action gamers is initially indistinguishable from that of nongamers, action gamers more rapidly learn the proper template as they experience the task. Taken together, our results establish for the first time to our knowledge the development of enhanced perceptual templates following action game play. Because such an improvement can facilitate the inference of the proper generative model for the task at hand, unlike perceptual learning that is quite specific, it thus elucidates a general learning mechanism that can account for the various behavioral benefits noted after action game play.
Britz, Juliane; Díaz Hernàndez, Laura; Ro, Tony; Michel, Christoph M.
We investigated whether the differences in perceptual awareness for stimuli at the threshold of awareness can arise from different global brain states before stimulus onset indexed by the EEG microstate. We used a metacontrast backward masking paradigm in which subjects had to discriminate between two weak stimuli and obtained measures of accuracy and awareness while their EEG was recorded from 256 channels. Comparing targets that were correctly identified with and without awareness allowed us to contrast differences in awareness while keeping performance constant for identical physical stimuli. Two distinct pre-stimulus scalp potential fields (microstate maps) dissociated correct identification with and without awareness, and their estimated intracranial generators were stronger in primary visual cortex before correct identification without awareness. This difference in activity cannot be explained by differences in alpha power or phase which were less reliably linked with differential pre-stimulus activation of primary visual cortex. Our results shed a new light on the function of pre-stimulus activity in early visual cortex in visual awareness and emphasize the importance of trial-by-trials analysis of the spatial configuration of the scalp potential field identified with multichannel EEG. PMID:24860450
Fields, Lanny; Garruto, Michelle
A linked perceptual class consists of two distinct perceptual classes, A' and B', the members of which have become related to each other. For example, a linked perceptual class might be composed of many pictures of a woman (one perceptual class) and the sounds of that woman's voice (the other perceptual class). In this case, any sound of the…
Turney, Indira C; Dennis, Nancy A
Previous memory research has exploited the perceptual similarities between lures and targets in order to evoke false memories. Nevertheless, while some studies have attempted to use lures that are objectively more similar than others, no study has systematically controlled for perceptual overlap between target and lure items and its role in accounting for false alarm rates or the neural processes underlying such perceptual false memories. The current study looked to fill this gap in the literature by using a face-morphing program to systematically control for the amount of perceptual overlap between lures and targets. Our results converge with previous studies in finding a pattern of differences between true and false memories. Most importantly, expanding upon this work, parametric analyses showed false memory activity increases with respect to the similarity between lures and targets within bilateral middle temporal gyri and right medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Moreover, this pattern of activation was unique to false memories and could not be accounted for by relatedness alone. Connectivity analyses further find that activity in the mPFC and left middle temporal gyrus co-vary, suggestive of gist-based monitoring within the context of false memories. Interestingly, neither the MTL nor the fusiform face area exhibited modulation as a function of target-lure relatedness. Overall, these results provide insight into the processes underlying false memories and further enhance our understanding of the role perceptual similarity plays in supporting false memories.
Human perceptual learning is classically thought to be highly specific to trained stimuli's retinal location. Together with evidence that specific learning effects can result in corresponding changes in early visual cortex, researchers have theorized that specificity implies regionalization of learning in the brain. However, other research suggests that specificity can arise from learning readout in decision areas or through top-down processes. Notably, recent research using a novel double-training paradigm reveals dramatic generalization of perceptual learning to untrained locations when multiple stimuli are trained. These data provoked significant controversy in the field and challenged extant models of perceptual learning. To resolve this controversy, we investigated mechanisms that account for retinotopic specificity in perceptual learning. We replicated findings of transfer after double training; however, we show that prolonged training at threshold, which leads to a greater number of difficult trials during training, preserves location specificity when double training occurred at the same location or sequentially at different locations. Likewise, we find that prolonged training at threshold determines the degree of transfer in single training of a peripheral orientation discrimination task. Together, these data show that retinotopic specificity depends highly upon particularities of the training procedure. We suggest that perceptual learning can arise from decision rules, attention learning, or representational changes, and small differences in the training approach can emphasize some of these over the others. PMID:24948798
Chen, Mei-Yen; Jimura, Koji; White, Corey N.; Maddox, W. Todd; Poldrack, Russell A.
Bias occurs in perceptual decisions when the reward associated with a particular response dominates the sensory evidence in support of a choice. However, it remains unclear how this bias is acquired and once acquired, how it influences perceptual decision processes in the brain. We addressed these questions using model-based neuroimaging in a motion discrimination paradigm where contextual cues suggested which one of two options would receive higher rewards on each trial. We found that participants gradually learned to choose the higher-rewarded option in each context when making a perceptual decision. The amount of bias on each trial was fit well by a reinforcement-learning model that estimated the subjective value of each option within the current context. The brain mechanisms underlying this bias acquisition process were similar to those observed in reward-based decision tasks: prediction errors correlated with the fMRI signals in ventral striatum, dlPFC, and parietal cortex, whereas the amount of acquired bias correlated with activity in ventromedial prefrontal (vmPFC), dorsolateral frontal (dlPFC), and parietal cortices. Moreover, psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed that as bias increased, functional connectivity increased within multiple brain networks (dlPFC-vmPFC-visual, vmPFC-motor, and parietal-anterior-cingulate), suggesting that multiple mechanisms contribute to bias in perceptual decisions through integration of value processing with action, sensory, and control systems. These provide a novel link between the neural mechanisms underlying perceptual and economic decision-making. PMID:25798082
Kim, Jeongjin; Woo, Jeonghoon; Park, Young-Gyun; Chae, Sujin; Jo, Seonmi; Choi, Jeong Woo; Jun, Hong Young; Yeom, Young Il; Park, Seong Hoon; Kim, Kyung Hwan; Shin, Hee-Sup; Kim, Daesoo
Hypoxic damage to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in the frontal lobe dysfunction found in various neuropsychiatric disorders. The underlying subcortical mechanisms, however, have not been well explored. In this study, we induced a PFC-specific hypoxia-like damage by cobalt-wire implantation to demonstrate that the role of the mediodorsal thalamus (MD) is critical for the development of frontal lobe dysfunction, including frontal lobe-specific seizures and abnormal hyperactivity. Before the onset of these abnormalities, the cross talk between the MD and PFC nuclei at theta frequencies was enhanced. During the theta frequency interactions, burst spikes, known to depend on T-type Ca(2+) channels, were increased in MD neurons. In vivo knockout or knockdown of the T-type Ca(2+) channel gene (Ca(V)3.1) in the MD substantially reduced the theta frequency MD-PFC cross talk, frontal lobe-specific seizures, and locomotor hyperactivity in this model. These results suggest a two-step model of prefrontal dysfunction in which the response to a hypoxic lesion in the PFC results in abnormal thalamocortical feedback driven by thalamic T-type Ca(2+) channels, which, in turn, leads to the onset of neurological and behavioral abnormalities. This study provides valuable insights into preventing the development of neuropsychiatric disorders arising from irreversible PFC damage.
Davis, D; Eliot, J
117 female and 76 male undergraduates were administered the ETS Hidden Figures, ETS Gestalt Completion, Harshman Figures, and the SEK Test. Results were interpreted as indicating that the two types of perceptual tests (flexibility and speed) were not factorially independent as the SEK Test correlations did not load upon the same factor as that for the ETS Hidden Figures Test. Men scored higher on the Hidden Figures and Harshman Figures but on the Gestalt completion task left-handed men and right-handed women scored higher.
Saez, Ignacio; Friedlander, Michael J.
Layer 4 (L4) of primary visual cortex (V1) is the main recipient of thalamocortical fibers from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd). Thus, it is considered the main entry point of visual information into the neocortex and the first anatomical opportunity for intracortical visual processing before information leaves L4 and reaches supra- and infragranular cortical layers. The strength of monosynaptic connections from individual L4 excitatory cells onto adjacent L4 cells (unitary connections) is highly malleable, demonstrating that the initial stage of intracortical synaptic transmission of thalamocortical information can be altered by previous activity. However, the inhibitory network within L4 of V1 may act as an internal gate for induction of excitatory synaptic plasticity, thus providing either high fidelity throughput to supragranular layers or transmittal of a modified signal subject to recent activity-dependent plasticity. To evaluate this possibility, we compared the induction of synaptic plasticity using classical extracellular stimulation protocols that recruit a combination of excitatory and inhibitory synapses with stimulation of a single excitatory neuron onto a L4 cell. In order to induce plasticity, we paired pre- and postsynaptic activity (with the onset of postsynaptic spiking leading the presynaptic activation by 10ms) using extracellular stimulation (ECS) in acute slices of primary visual cortex and comparing the outcomes with our previously published results in which an identical protocol was used to induce synaptic plasticity between individual pre- and postsynaptic L4 excitatory neurons. Our results indicate that pairing of ECS with spiking in a L4 neuron fails to induce plasticity in L4-L4 connections if synaptic inhibition is intact. However, application of a similar pairing protocol under GABAARs inhibition by bath application of 2μM bicuculline does induce robust synaptic plasticity, long term potentiation (LTP) or long term
Chiang, I-Ping; Lin, Chih-Ying; Wang, Kaisheng M
Many companies have launched their products or services online as a new business focus, but only a few of them have survived the competition and made profits. The most important key to an online business's success is to create "brand value" for the customers. Although the concept of online brand has been discussed in previous studies, there is no empirical study on the measurement of online branding. As Web 2.0 emerges to be critical to online branding, the purpose of this study was to measure Taiwan's major Web sites with a number of personality traits to build a perceptual map for online brands. A pretest identified 10 most representative online brand perceptions. The results of the correspondence analysis showed five groups in the perceptual map. This study provided a practical view of the associations and similarities among online brands for potential alliance or branding strategies. The findings also suggested that brand perceptions can be used with identified consumer needs and behaviors to better position online services. The brand perception map in the study also contributed to a better understanding of the online brands in Taiwan.
Clark, Torin K.; Lu, Yue M.; Karmali, Faisal
Perceptual decision making is fundamental to a broad range of fields including neurophysiology, economics, medicine, advertising, law, etc. Although recent findings have yielded major advances in our understanding of perceptual decision making, decision making as a function of time and frequency (i.e., decision-making dynamics) is not well understood. To limit the review length, we focus most of this review on human findings. Animal findings, which are extensively reviewed elsewhere, are included when beneficial or necessary. We attempt to put these various findings and data sets, which can appear to be unrelated in the absence of a formal dynamic analysis, into context using published models. Specifically, by adding appropriate dynamic mechanisms (e.g., high-pass filters) to existing models, it appears that a number of otherwise seemingly disparate findings from the literature might be explained. One hypothesis that arises through this dynamic analysis is that decision making includes phasic (high pass) neural mechanisms, an evidence accumulator and/or some sort of midtrial decision-making mechanism (e.g., peak detector and/or decision boundary). PMID:26467513
Michael, Elizabeth; de Gardelle, Vincent; Nevado-Holgado, Alejo; Summerfield, Christopher
Perceptual decisions often involve integrating evidence from multiple concurrently available sources. Uncertainty arises when the integrated (mean) evidence fails to support one alternative over another. However, evidence heterogeneity (variability) also provokes uncertainty. Here, we asked whether these 2 sources of uncertainty have independent behavioral and neural effects during choice. Human observers undergoing functional neuroimaging judged the average color or shape of a multielement array. The mean and variance of the feature values exerted independent influences on behavior and brain activity. Surprisingly, BOLD signals in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) showed polar opposite responses to the 2 sources of uncertainty, with the strongest response to ambiguous tallies of evidence (high mean uncertainty) and to homogenous arrays (low variance uncertainty). These findings present a challenge for models that emphasize the role of the dmPFC in detecting conflict, errors, or surprise. We suggest an alternative explanation, whereby evidence is processed with increased gain near the category boundary. PMID:24122138
Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Martínez, Antigona; Hillyard, Steven A.
The way we perceive an object depends both on feedforward, bottom-up processing of its physical stimulus properties and on top-down factors such as attention, context, expectation, and task relevance. Here we compared neural activity elicited by varying perceptions of the same physical image—a bistable moving image in which perception spontaneously alternates between dissociated fragments and a single, unified object. A time-frequency analysis of EEG changes associated with the perceptual switch from object to fragment and vice versa revealed a greater decrease in alpha (8–12 Hz) accompanying the switch to object percept than to fragment percept. Recordings of event-related potentials elicited by irrelevant probes superimposed on the moving image revealed an enhanced positivity between 184 and 212 ms when the probes were contained within the boundaries of the perceived unitary object. The topography of the positivity (P2) in this latency range elicited by probes during object perception was distinct from the topography elicited by probes during fragment perception, suggesting that the neural processing of probes differed as a function of perceptual state. Two source localization algorithms estimated the neural generator of this object-related difference to lie in the lateral occipital cortex, a region long associated with object perception. These data suggest that perceived objects attract attention, incorporate visual elements occurring within their boundaries into unified object representations, and enhance the visual processing of elements occurring within their boundaries. Importantly, the perceived object in this case emerged as a function of the fluctuating perceptual state of the viewer. PMID:24246467
Brothers, Robert; Gaines, Rosslyn
Perceptual differences were investigated between 50 college students who were non-drug users and 50 hippies who used LSD. The major hypothesis predicted was that hippies would score differently from college students in a specific direction on each of the perceptual tasks. (Author)
Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela
Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested…
Dugué, Laura; VanRullen, Rufin
Oscillatory brain activity has functional relevance for perceptual and cognitive processes, as proven by numerous electrophysiology studies accumulating over the years. However, only within the past two decades have researchers been able to study the causal role of such oscillations using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technology. Two complementary approaches exist. A majority of research employs rhythmic TMS (rTMS) to entrain oscillatory activity and investigate its effect on targeted brain functions. On the other hand, single pulses of TMS (spTMS) that can be delivered with a high spatio-temporal resolution, can be used to precisely probe the state of the system. In this mini-review, we concentrate on this second approach. We argue that, with no a priori hypothesis on the oscillatory frequency of the targeted cortical regions, spTMS can help establish causal links between spontaneous oscillatory activity and perceptual and cognitive functions. Notably, this approach helped to demonstrate that the occipital cortex is periodically involved during specific attentional tasks at the theta (~5 Hz) frequency. We propose that this frequency reflects periodic inter-areal communication for attentional exploration and selection. In the future, clever combination of non-invasive recording and stimulation with well-controlled psychophysics protocols will allow us to further our understanding of the role of brain oscillations for human brain functions.
Miller-Sims, Vanessa C.; Bottjer, Sarah W.
Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult “tutors”, and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning. PMID:23285011
Klatzky, Roberta L; Thompson, William B; Stefanucci, Jeanine K; Gill, Devin; McGee, D Kevin
"Vast" is a word often applied to environmental terrain that is perceived to have large spatial extent. This judgment is made even at viewing distances where traditional metric depth cues are not useful. This paper explores the perceptual basis of vast experience, including reliability and visual precursors. Experiment 1 demonstrated strong agreement in ratings of the spatial extent of two-dimensional (2D) scene images by participants in two countries under very different viewing conditions. Image categories labeled "vast" often exemplified scene attributes of ruggedness and openness (Oliva & Torralba, 2001). Experiment 2 quantitatively assessed whether these properties predict vastness. High vastness ratings were associated with highly open, or moderately open but rugged, scenes. Experiment 3 provided evidence, consistent with theory, that metric distance perception does not directly mediate the observed vastness ratings. The question remains as to how people perceive vast space when information about environmental scale is unavailable from metric depth cues or associated scene properties. We consider possible answers, including contribution from strong cues to relative depth.
Murray, Elisabeth A.; Wise, Steven P.
Despite its small size, the perirhinal cortex (PRh) plays a central role in understanding the cerebral cortex, vision and memory; it figures in discussions of cognitive capacities as diverse as object perception, semantic knowledge, feelings of familiarity and conscious recollection. Two conceptual constructs have encompassed PRh. The current orthodoxy incorporates PRh within the medial temporal lobe (MTL) as a memory area; an alternative considers PRh to be a sensory area with a role in both perception and memory. A historical perspective provides insight into both of these ideas. PRh came to be included in the MTL because of two accidents of history. In evolutionary history, the hippocampus migrated from its ancestral situation, as medial cortex, into the temporal lobe; in the history of neuropsychology, a “memory system” that originally consisted of the amygdala and hippocampus came to include PRh. These two histories explain why a part of the sensory neocortex, PRh, entered into the conceptual construct called the MTL. They also explain why some experimental results seem to exclude a perceptual function for this sensory area, while others embrace perception. The exclusion of perceptual functions results from a history of categorizing tasks as perceptual or mnemonic, often on inadequate grounds. By instead exploring the role of PRh in encoding, representing and retrieving stimulus information, it can be understood as a part of the sensory neocortex, one that has much the same relationship with the hippocampus as do other parts of the neocortex that evolved at about the same time. PMID:22987673
Arzy, Shahar; Mohr, Christine; Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Blanke, Olaf
A fundamental trait of the human self is its continuum experience of space and time. Perceptual aberrations of this spatial and temporal continuity is a major characteristic of schizophrenia spectrum disturbances--including schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder and schizotypy. We have previously found the classical Perceptual Aberration Scale (PAS) scores, related to body and space, to be positively correlated with both behavior and temporo-parietal activation in healthy participants performing a task involving self-projection in space. However, not much is known about the relationship between temporal perceptual aberration, behavior and brain activity. To this aim, we composed a temporal Perceptual Aberration Scale (tPAS) similar to the traditional PAS. Testing on 170 participants suggested similar performance for PAS and tPAS. We then correlated tPAS and PAS scores to participants' performance and neural activity in a task of self-projection in time. tPAS scores correlated positively with reaction times across task conditions, as did PAS scores. Evoked potential mapping and electrical neuroimaging showed self-projection in time to recruit a network of brain regions at the left anterior temporal cortex, right temporo-parietal junction, and occipito-temporal cortex, and duration of activation in this network positively correlated with tPAS and PAS scores. These data demonstrate that schizotypal perceptual aberrations of both time and space, as reflected by tPAS and PAS scores, are positively correlated with performance and brain activation during self-projection in time in healthy individuals along the schizophrenia spectrum.
Arzy, Shahar; Mohr, Christine; Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Blanke, Olaf
A fundamental trait of the human self is its continuum experience of space and time. Perceptual aberrations of this spatial and temporal continuity is a major characteristic of schizophrenia spectrum disturbances – including schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder and schizotypy. We have previously found the classical Perceptual Aberration Scale (PAS) scores, related to body and space, to be positively correlated with both behavior and temporo-parietal activation in healthy participants performing a task involving self-projection in space. However, not much is known about the relationship between temporal perceptual aberration, behavior and brain activity. To this aim, we composed a temporal Perceptual Aberration Scale (tPAS) similar to the traditional PAS. Testing on 170 participants suggested similar performance for PAS and tPAS. We then correlated tPAS and PAS scores to participants' performance and neural activity in a task of self-projection in time. tPAS scores correlated positively with reaction times across task conditions, as did PAS scores. Evoked potential mapping and electrical neuroimaging showed self-projection in time to recruit a network of brain regions at the left anterior temporal cortex, right temporo-parietal junction, and occipito-temporal cortex, and duration of activation in this network positively correlated with tPAS and PAS scores. These data demonstrate that schizotypal perceptual aberrations of both time and space, as reflected by tPAS and PAS scores, are positively correlated with performance and brain activation during self-projection in time in healthy individuals along the schizophrenia spectrum. PMID:21267456
Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L; Ramus, Franck; Happé, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela
Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested processing biases in children with autism and matched controls. Whereas children with autism exhibited superior perceptual processing of speech relative to controls, and showed no evidence of either a perceptual or semantic processing bias, controls showed a tendency to process speech semantically. The data provide partial support to the perceptual theories of autism. It is additionally proposed that the pattern of results may reflect different patterns of attentional focusing towards single or multiple stimulus cues in speech between children with autism and controls.
Deluca, Cristina; Golzar, Ashkan; Santandrea, Elisa; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Eštočinová, Jana; Moretto, Giuseppe; Fiaschi, Antonio; Panzeri, Marta; Mariotti, Caterina; Tinazzi, Michele; Chelazzi, Leonardo
Visual perceptual learning is widely assumed to reflect plastic changes occurring along the cerebro-cortical visual pathways, including at the earliest stages of processing, though increasing evidence indicates that higher-level brain areas are also involved. Here we addressed the possibility that the cerebellum plays an important role in visual perceptual learning. Within the realm of motor control, the cerebellum supports learning of new skills and recalibration of motor commands when movement execution is consistently perturbed (adaptation). Growing evidence indicates that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and mediates forms of cognitive learning. Therefore, the obvious question arises whether the cerebellum might play a similar role in learning and adaptation within the perceptual domain. We explored a possible deficit in visual perceptual learning (and adaptation) in patients with cerebellar damage using variants of a novel motion extrapolation, psychophysical paradigm. Compared to their age- and gender-matched controls, patients with focal damage to the posterior (but not the anterior) cerebellum showed strongly diminished learning, in terms of both rate and amount of improvement over time. Consistent with a double-dissociation pattern, patients with focal damage to the anterior cerebellum instead showed more severe clinical motor deficits, indicative of a distinct role of the anterior cerebellum in the motor domain. The collected evidence demonstrates that a pure form of slow-incremental visual perceptual learning is crucially dependent on the intact cerebellum, bearing the notion that the human cerebellum acts as a learning device for motor, cognitive and perceptual functions. We interpret the deficit in terms of an inability to fine-tune predictive models of the incoming flow of visual perceptual input over time. Moreover, our results suggest a strong dissociation between the role of different portions of the cerebellum in motor versus
Furukawa, Tomonori; Yamada, Junko; Akita, Tenpei; Matsushima, Yoshitaka; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Fukuda, Atsuo
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) depolarizes embryonic cerebrocortical neurons and continuous activation of the GABAA receptor (GABAAR) contributes to their tonic depolarization. Although multiple reports have demonstrated a role of GABAAR activation in neocortical development, including in migration, most of these studies have used pharmacological blockers. Herein, we performed in utero electroporation in GABA synthesis-lacking homozygous GAD67-GFP knock-in mice (GAD67(GFP/GFP)) to label neurons born in the ventricular zone. Three days after electroporation, there were no differences in the distribution of labeled cells between the genotypes. The dose-response properties of labeled cells to GABA were equivalent among genotypes. However, continuous blockade of GABAAR with the GABAAR antagonist SR95531 accelerated radial migration. This effect of GABAAR blockade in GAD67(GFP/GFP) mice suggested a role for alternative endogenous GABAAR agonists. Thus, we tested the role of taurine, which is derived from maternal blood but is abundant in the fetal brain. The taurine-evoked currents in labeled cells were mediated by GABAAR. Taurine uptake was blocked by a taurine transporter inhibitor, 2-(guanidino)ethanesulfonic acid (GES), and taurine release was blocked by a volume-sensitive anion channel blocker, 4-(2-butyl-6,7-dichlor-2-cyclopentylindan-1-on-5-yl) oxobutyric acid, as examined through high-performance liquid chromatography. GES increased the extracellular taurine concentration and induced an inward shift of the holding current, which was reversed by SR95531. In a taurine-deficient mouse model, the GABAAR-mediated tonic currents were greatly reduced, and radial migration was accelerated. As the tonic currents were equivalent among the genotypes of GAD67-GFP knock-in mice, taurine, rather than GABA, might play a major role as an endogenous agonist of embryonic tonic GABAAR conductance, regulating the radial migration of neurons in the developing neocortex.
Furukawa, Tomonori; Yamada, Junko; Akita, Tenpei; Matsushima, Yoshitaka; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Fukuda, Atsuo
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) depolarizes embryonic cerebrocortical neurons and continuous activation of the GABAA receptor (GABAAR) contributes to their tonic depolarization. Although multiple reports have demonstrated a role of GABAAR activation in neocortical development, including in migration, most of these studies have used pharmacological blockers. Herein, we performed in utero electroporation in GABA synthesis-lacking homozygous GAD67-GFP knock-in mice (GAD67GFP/GFP) to label neurons born in the ventricular zone. Three days after electroporation, there were no differences in the distribution of labeled cells between the genotypes. The dose–response properties of labeled cells to GABA were equivalent among genotypes. However, continuous blockade of GABAAR with the GABAAR antagonist SR95531 accelerated radial migration. This effect of GABAAR blockade in GAD67GFP/GFP mice suggested a role for alternative endogenous GABAAR agonists. Thus, we tested the role of taurine, which is derived from maternal blood but is abundant in the fetal brain. The taurine-evoked currents in labeled cells were mediated by GABAAR. Taurine uptake was blocked by a taurine transporter inhibitor, 2-(guanidino)ethanesulfonic acid (GES), and taurine release was blocked by a volume-sensitive anion channel blocker, 4-(2-butyl-6,7-dichlor-2-cyclopentylindan-1-on-5-yl) oxobutyric acid, as examined through high-performance liquid chromatography. GES increased the extracellular taurine concentration and induced an inward shift of the holding current, which was reversed by SR95531. In a taurine-deficient mouse model, the GABAAR-mediated tonic currents were greatly reduced, and radial migration was accelerated. As the tonic currents were equivalent among the genotypes of GAD67-GFP knock-in mice, taurine, rather than GABA, might play a major role as an endogenous agonist of embryonic tonic GABAAR conductance, regulating the radial migration of neurons in the developing neocortex. PMID:24734001
Szpiro, Sarit F A; Carrasco, Marisa
Practice can improve visual perception, and these improvements are considered to be a form of brain plasticity. Training-induced learning is time-consuming and requires hundreds of trials across multiple days. The process of learning acquisition is understudied. Can learning acquisition be potentiated by manipulating visual attentional cues? We developed a protocol in which we used task-irrelevant cues for between-groups manipulation of attention during training. We found that training with exogenous attention can enable the acquisition of learning. Remarkably, this learning was maintained even when observers were subsequently tested under neutral conditions, which indicates that a change in perception was involved. Our study is the first to isolate the effects of exogenous attention and to demonstrate its efficacy to enable learning. We propose that exogenous attention boosts perceptual learning by enhancing stimulus encoding.
Trobalon, J B; Sansa, J; Chamizo, V D; Mackintosh, N J
In Experiment 1, rats were trained on a discrimination between rubber- and sandpaper-covered arms of a maze after one group had been pre-exposed to these intra-maze cues. Pre-exposure facilitated subsequent discrimination learning, unless the discrimination was made easier by adding further discriminative stimuli, when it now significantly retarded learning. In Experiment 2, rats were trained on an extra-maze spatial discrimination, again after one group, but not another, had been pre-exposed to the extra-maze landmarks. Here too, pre-exposure facilitated subsequent discrimination learning, unless the discrimination was made substantially easier by arranging that the two arms between which rats had to choose were always separated by 135 degrees. The results of both experiments can be explained by supposing that perceptual learning depends on the presence of features common to S+ and S-.
Secundo, Lavi; Snitz, Kobi; Sobel, Noam
Mammals have ∼1000 different olfactory receptor subtypes, each responding to a number of different odorants, and each odorant activating a number of different receptor subtypes. These molecular and anatomical underpinnings of olfaction imply a perceptual structure of very high dimensionality that relies on combinatorial coding. In contrast to this expectation, the study of olfactory perception reveals a structure of much lower dimensionality. Moreover, a low-dimensionality approach to olfaction enabled derivation of perception-based structural metrics for smell. These metrics provided meaningful predictions of odorant-induced neural activity and perception from odorant structure alone. Based on this low functional dimensionality, we speculate that olfaction likely does not functionally rely on 1000 different receptor subtypes, and their persistence in evolution may imply that they have additional roles in non-olfactory functions such as in guidance of embryogenesis and development.
Squire, Larry R.; Levy, Daniel A.; Shrager, Yael
The perirhinal cortex is known to be important for memory, but there has recently been interest in the possibility that it might also be involved in visual perceptual functions. In four experiments, we assessed visual discrimination ability and visual discrimination learning in severely amnesic patients with large medial temporal lobe lesions that…
Lee, Inah; Shin, Ji Yun
The exact roles of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in conditional choice behavior are unknown and a visual contextual response selection task was used for examining the issue. Inactivation of the mPFC severely disrupted performance in the task. mPFC inactivations, however, did not disrupt the capability of perceptual discrimination for visual…
Bocast, Christopher S.
A portfolio dissertation that began as acoustic ecology and matured into perceptual ecology, centered on ecomusicology, bioacoustics, and translational audio-based media works with environmental perspectives. The place of music in Western eco-cosmology through time provides a basis for structuring an environmental history of human sound perception. That history suggests that music may stabilize human mental activity, and that an increased musical practice may be essential for the human project. An overview of recent antecedents preceding the emergence of acoustic ecology reveals structural foundations from 20th century culture that underpin modern sound studies. The contextual role that Aldo Leopold, Jacob von Uexkull, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and others played in anticipating the development of acoustic ecology as an interdiscipline is detailed. This interdisciplinary aspect of acoustic ecology is defined and defended, while new developments like soundscape ecology are addressed, though ultimately sound studies will need to embrace a broader concept of full-spectrum "sensory" or "perceptual" ecology. The bioacoustic fieldwork done on spawning sturgeon emphasized this necessity. That study yielded scientific recordings and spectrographic analyses of spawning sounds produced by lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, during reproduction in natural habitats in the Lake Winnebago watershed in Wisconsin. Recordings were made on the Wolf and Embarrass River during the 2011-2013 spawning seasons. Several specimens were dissected to investigate possible sound production mechanisms; no sonic musculature was found. Drumming sounds, ranging from 5 to 7 Hz fundamental frequency, verified the infrasonic nature of previously undocumented "sturgeon thunder". Other characteristic noises of sturgeon spawning including low-frequency rumbles and hydrodynamic sounds were identified. Intriguingly, high-frequency signals resembling electric organ discharges were discovered. These
Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight; Baker, Chris I
Real-world expertise provides a valuable opportunity to understand how experience shapes human behavior and neural function. In the visual domain, the study of expert object recognition, such as in car enthusiasts or bird watchers, has produced a large, growing, and often-controversial literature. Here, we synthesize this literature, focusing primarily on results from functional brain imaging, and propose an interactive framework that incorporates the impact of high-level factors, such as attention and conceptual knowledge, in supporting expertise. This framework contrasts with the perceptual view of object expertise that has concentrated largely on stimulus-driven processing in visual cortex. One prominent version of this perceptual account has almost exclusively focused on the relation of expertise to face processing and, in terms of the neural substrates, has centered on face-selective cortical regions such as the Fusiform Face Area (FFA). We discuss the limitations of this face-centric approach as well as the more general perceptual view, and highlight that expert related activity is: (i) found throughout visual cortex, not just FFA, with a strong relationship between neural response and behavioral expertise even in the earliest stages of visual processing, (ii) found outside visual cortex in areas such as parietal and prefrontal cortices, and (iii) modulated by the attentional engagement of the observer suggesting that it is neither automatic nor driven solely by stimulus properties. These findings strongly support a framework in which object expertise emerges from extensive interactions within and between the visual system and other cognitive systems, resulting in widespread, distributed patterns of expertise-related activity across the entire cortex.
Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight; Baker, Chris I.
Real-world expertise provides a valuable opportunity to understand how experience shapes human behavior and neural function. In the visual domain, the study of expert object recognition, such as in car enthusiasts or bird watchers, has produced a large, growing, and often-controversial literature. Here, we synthesize this literature, focusing primarily on results from functional brain imaging, and propose an interactive framework that incorporates the impact of high-level factors, such as attention and conceptual knowledge, in supporting expertise. This framework contrasts with the perceptual view of object expertise that has concentrated largely on stimulus-driven processing in visual cortex. One prominent version of this perceptual account has almost exclusively focused on the relation of expertise to face processing and, in terms of the neural substrates, has centered on face-selective cortical regions such as the Fusiform Face Area (FFA). We discuss the limitations of this face-centric approach as well as the more general perceptual view, and highlight that expert related activity is: (i) found throughout visual cortex, not just FFA, with a strong relationship between neural response and behavioral expertise even in the earliest stages of visual processing, (ii) found outside visual cortex in areas such as parietal and prefrontal cortices, and (iii) modulated by the attentional engagement of the observer suggesting that it is neither automatic nor driven solely by stimulus properties. These findings strongly support a framework in which object expertise emerges from extensive interactions within and between the visual system and other cognitive systems, resulting in widespread, distributed patterns of expertise-related activity across the entire cortex. PMID:24409134
Fields, Lanny; Matneja, Priya; Varelas, Antonios; Belanich, James; Fitzer, Adrienne; Shamoun, Kim
Multiple-exemplar training with stimuli in four domains induced two new fill-based (A1' and A2') and satellite-image-based (B1' and B2') perceptual classes. Conditional discriminations were established between the endpoints of the A1' and B1' classes as well as the A2' and B2' classes. The emergence of linked perceptual classes was evaluated by the performances occasioned by nine cross-class probes that contained fill variants as samples and satellite variants as comparisons, along with nine other cross-class probes that consisted of satellite variants as samples and fill variants as comparisons. The 18 probes were first presented serially and then concurrently. Class-consistent responding indicated the emergence of linked perceptual classes. Of the linked perceptual classes, 70% emerged during the initial serial test. An additional 20% of the linked perceptual classes emerged during the subsequently presented concurrent test block. Thus, linked perceptual classes emerged on an immediate or delayed basis. Linked perceptual classes, then, share structural and fuctional similarities with equivalence classes, generalized equivalence classes, cross-modal classes, and complex maturally occurring categories, and may clarify processes such as intersensory perception. PMID:12507004
Knops, Andre; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Sparing, Roland; Foltys, Henrik; Willmes, Klaus
Areas around the horizontal part of the intraparietal sulcus (hIPS) have repeatedly been reported to participate in processing numerical magnitude. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we investigated the functional role of the hIPS by examining two effects from the domain of numerical cognition: in magnitude comparison tasks response latencies are inversely related to the numerical distance between two numbers. This distance effect indexes access to the mental number representation. In magnitude comparison tasks responses are faster when decade and unit comparison would lead to the same decision (e.g. 42_57, 4 < 5 and 2 < 7) than when they would not (e.g. 47_62, 4 < 6 but 7 > 2). This compatibility effect reflects unit-decade integration processes. Differential susceptibility of (fe)male participants to TMS was examined. We applied repetitive TMS (rTMS; 1Hz for 10 min) over the left hIPS in 12 participants (6 female). No stimulation and vertex stimulation served as control conditions. The effect of rTMS was mediated by gender: in male participants, the distance effect decreased after TMS over hIPS. For female participants distance and compatibility effect both increased. This modulation of the compatibility effect was limited in duration to no more than 4 min. The hIPS seems to be functionally involved both in number magnitude processing and in integrating unit-decade magnitude information of two-digit numbers. Relative hemispheric specialization of the hIPS with respect to two-digit magnitude comparison is discussed.
Baumgarten, Thomas J.; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
The human sensory systems constantly receive input from different stimuli. Whether these stimuli are integrated into a coherent percept or segregated and perceived as separate events, is critically determined by the temporal distance of the stimuli. This temporal distance has prompted the concept of temporal integration windows or perceptual cycles. Although this concept has gained considerable support, the neuronal correlates are still discussed. Studies suggested that neuronal oscillations might provide a neuronal basis for such perceptual cycles, i.e., the cycle lengths of alpha oscillations in visual cortex and beta oscillations in somatosensory cortex might determine the length of perceptual cycles. Specifically, recent studies reported that the peak frequency (the frequency with the highest spectral power) of alpha oscillations in visual cortex correlates with subjects’ ability to discriminate two visual stimuli. In the present study, we investigated whether peak frequencies in somatosensory cortex might serve as the correlate of perceptual cycles in tactile discrimination. Despite several different approaches, we were unable to find a significant correlation between individual peak frequencies in the alpha- and beta-band and individual discrimination abilities. In addition, analysis of Bayes factor provided evidence that peak frequencies and discrimination thresholds are unrelated. The results suggest that perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain are not necessarily to be found in the peak frequency, but in other frequencies. We argue that studies based solely on analysis of peak frequencies might thus miss relevant information. PMID:28382013
Chang, Hua-Wen; Yang, Hua; Gan, Yong; Wang, Ming-Hui
The prediction of an image quality metric (IQM) should be consistent with subjective human evaluation. As the human visual system (HVS) is critical to visual perception, modeling of the HVS is regarded as the most suitable way to achieve perceptual quality predictions. Sparse coding that is equivalent to independent component analysis (ICA) can provide a very good description of the receptive fields of simple cells in the primary visual cortex, which is the most important part of the HVS. With this inspiration, a quality metric called sparse feature fidelity (SFF) is proposed for full-reference image quality assessment (IQA) on the basis of transformation of images into sparse representations in the primary visual cortex. The proposed method is based on the sparse features that are acquired by a feature detector, which is trained on samples of natural images by an ICA algorithm. In addition, two strategies are designed to simulate the properties of the visual perception: 1) visual attention and 2) visual threshold. The computation of SFF has two stages: training and fidelity computation, in addition, the fidelity computation consists of two components: feature similarity and luminance correlation. The feature similarity measures the structure differences between the two images, whereas the luminance correlation evaluates brightness distortions. SFF also reflects the chromatic properties of the HVS, and it is very effective for color IQA. The experimental results on five image databases show that SFF has a better performance in matching subjective ratings compared with the leading IQMs.
Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue
Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…
Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S
Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants' discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training.
King, Danielle R; Schubert, Misty L; Miller, Michael B
Regions of the lateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) tend to be more active during recognition of previously studied items compared to correct rejection of unstudied items. Previously, we demonstrated that this effect is source-specific. While items that were encoded through visual perception elicited robust successful retrieval activity in the lateral PPC during a subsequent source memory test, items that were visually imagined did not elicit this effect. Memories of perceived events typically contain more perceptually-based contextual details than memories of imagined events. Therefore, source-based differences in lateral parietal activity might be due to a difference in the perceptual vividness of memories of perceived and imagined events. The goal of the present study was to test this hypothesis. Participants perceived and imagined items in both high and low perceptual vividness conditions. Experiment 1 demonstrated that memories for items encoded in the high vividness conditions contained significantly greater visual detail than memories encoded in the low vividness conditions. In Experiment 2, participants were scanned while they made source memory judgments about items that were previously perceived and imagined in high and low vividness conditions. Consistent with previous findings, the left lateral PPC was more active during retrieval of perceived compared to imagined events. However, lateral PPC activity did not vary according to vividness, suggesting that source effects in this region cannot be explained by a difference in the perceptual vividness of memories encoded through perception versus imagination.
Knapen, Tomas; Swisher, Jascha D.; Tong, Frank; Cavanagh, Patrick
Our eyes continually jump around the visual scene to bring the high-resolution, central part of our vision onto objects of interest. We are oblivious to these abrupt shifts, perceiving the visual world to appear reassuringly stable. A process called remapping has been proposed to mediate this perceptual stability for attended objects by shifting their retinotopic representation to compensate for the effects of the upcoming eye movement. In everyday vision, observers make goal-directed eye movements towards items of interest bringing them to the fovea and, for these items, the remapped activity should impinge on foveal regions of the retinotopic maps in visual cortex. Previous research has focused instead on remapping for targets that were not saccade goals, where activity is remapped to a new peripheral location rather than to the foveal representation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a phase-encoding design to investigate remapping of spatial patterns of activity towards the fovea/parafovea for saccade targets that were removed prior to completion of the eye movement. We found strong evidence of foveal remapping in retinotopic visual areas, which failed to occur when observers merely attended to the same peripheral target without making eye movements towards it. Significantly, the spatial profile of the remapped response matched the orientation and size of the saccade target, and was appropriately scaled to reflect the retinal extent of the stimulus had it been foveated. We conclude that this remapping of spatially structured information to the fovea may serve as an important mechanism to support our world-centered sense of location across goal-directed eye movements under natural viewing conditions. PMID:27445715
Shen, Jianhong; Mack, Michael L; Palmeri, Thomas J
Significant insights into visual cognition have come from studying real-world perceptual expertise. Many have previously reviewed empirical findings and theoretical developments from this work. Here we instead provide a brief perspective on approaches, considerations, and challenges to studying real-world perceptual expertise. We discuss factors like choosing to use real-world versus artificial object domains of expertise, selecting a target domain of real-world perceptual expertise, recruiting experts, evaluating their level of expertise, and experimentally testing experts in the lab and online. Throughout our perspective, we highlight expert birding (also called birdwatching) as an example, as it has been used as a target domain for over two decades in the perceptual expertise literature.
Brouwer, Gijs Joost; Tong, Frank; Hagoort, Peter; van Ee, Raymond
We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability resulted from incongruence between binocular disparity and monocular perspective cues that specify different slants (slant rivalry). Psychophysical results revealed that perceptual alternation rates were positively correlated with the degree of perceived incongruence. Functional imaging revealed systematic increases in activity that paralleled the psychophysical results within anterior intraparietal sulcus, prior to the onset of perceptual alternations. We suggest that this cortical activity predicts the frequency of subsequent alternations, implying a putative causal role for these areas in initiating bistable perception. In contrast, areas implicated in form and depth processing (LOC and V3A) were sensitive to the degree of slant, but failed to show increases in activity when these cues were in conflict. PMID:19333385
Brinning, Dorothy; And Others
Perceptual motor activities for physically handicapped children are presented in the areas of fine and gross motor skills. Also detailed are activities to develop body image, visual motor skills, and tactile and auditory perception. (JD)
Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.
Stochastic accumulator models account for response time in perceptual decision-making tasks by assuming that perceptual evidence accumulates to a threshold. The present investigation mapped the firing rate of frontal eye field (FEF) visual neurons onto perceptual evidence and the firing rate of FEF movement neurons onto evidence accumulation to test alternative models of how evidence is combined in the accumulation process. The models were evaluated on their ability to predict both response time distributions and movement neuron activity observed in monkeys performing a visual search task. Models that assume gating of perceptual evidence to the accumulating units provide the best account of both behavioral and neural data. These results identify discrete stages of processing with anatomically distinct neural populations and rule out several alternative architectures. The results also illustrate the use of neurophysiological data as a model selection tool and establish a novel framework to bridge computational and neural levels of explanation. PMID:20822291
Shen, Jianhong; Mack, Michael L.; Palmeri, Thomas J.
Significant insights into visual cognition have come from studying real-world perceptual expertise. Many have previously reviewed empirical findings and theoretical developments from this work. Here we instead provide a brief perspective on approaches, considerations, and challenges to studying real-world perceptual expertise. We discuss factors like choosing to use real-world versus artificial object domains of expertise, selecting a target domain of real-world perceptual expertise, recruiting experts, evaluating their level of expertise, and experimentally testing experts in the lab and online. Throughout our perspective, we highlight expert birding (also called birdwatching) as an example, as it has been used as a target domain for over two decades in the perceptual expertise literature. PMID:25147533
Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R
The influential framework of 'predictive processing' suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition.
Harré, Michael; Bossomaier, Terry; Snyder, Allan
The earliest stages in our perception of the world have a subtle but powerful influence on later thought processes; they provide the contextual cues within which our thoughts are framed and they adapt to many different environments throughout our lives. Understanding the changes in these cues is crucial to understanding how our perceptual ability develops, but these changes are often difficult to quantify in sufficiently complex tasks where objective measures of development are available. Here we simulate perceptual learning using neural networks and demonstrate fundamental changes in these cues as a function of skill. These cues are cognitively grouped together to form perceptual templates that enable rapid ‘whole scene' categorisation of complex stimuli. Such categories reduce the computational load on our capacity limited thought processes, they inform our higher cognitive processes and they suggest a framework of perceptual pre-processing that captures the central role of perception in expertise. PMID:22792435
McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)
Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.
Aberg, Kristoffer C.; Herzog, Michael H.
In motor learning, training a task B can disrupt improvements of performance of a previously learned task A, indicating that learning needs consolidation. An influential study suggested that this is the case also for visual perceptual learning . Using the same paradigm, we failed to reproduce these results. Further experiments with bisection stimuli also showed no retrograde disruption from task B on task A. Hence, for the tasks tested here, perceptual learning does not suffer from retrograde interference. PMID:21151868
Cupchik, Gerald C; Vartanian, Oshin; Crawley, Adrian; Mikulis, David J
When we view visual images in everyday life, our perception is oriented toward object identification. In contrast, when viewing visual images as artworks, we also tend to experience subjective reactions to their stylistic and structural properties. This experiment sought to determine how cognitive control and perceptual facilitation contribute to aesthetic perception along with the experience of emotion. Using functional MRI, we show that aesthetic perception activated bilateral insula which we attribute to the experience of emotion. Moreover, while adopting the aesthetic orientation activated the left lateral prefrontal cortex, paintings that facilitated visuospatial exploration activated the left superior parietal lobule. The results suggest that aesthetic experience is a function of the interaction between top-down orienting of attention and bottom-up perceptual facilitation.
Couperus, Jane W
Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual selective attention across development from 7 years of age to adulthood. Specifically, the author examined if changes in processing as a function of selective attention are similarly influenced by perceptual load across development. Participants were asked to complete a task at either low or high perceptual load while processing of an unattended probe stimulus was examined using event related potentials. Similar to adults, children and teens showed reduced processing of the unattended stimulus as perceptual load increased at the P1 visual component. However, although there were no qualitative differences in changes in processing, there were quantitative differences, with shorter P1 latencies in teens and adults compared with children, suggesting increases in the speed of processing across development. In addition, younger children did not need as high a perceptual load to achieve the same difference in performance between low and high perceptual load as adults. Thus, this study demonstrates that although there are developmental changes in visual selective attention, the mechanisms by which visual selective attention is achieved in children may share similarities with adults.
We tested an information foraging framework to characterize the mechanisms that drive active (visual) sampling behavior in decision problems that involve multiple sources of information. Experiments 1 through 3 involved participants making an absolute judgment about the direction of motion of a single random dot motion pattern. In Experiment 4, participants made a relative comparison between 2 motion patterns that could only be sampled sequentially. Our results show that: (a) Information (about noisy motion information) grows to an asymptotic level that depends on the quality of the information source; (b) The limited growth is attributable to unequal weighting of the incoming sensory evidence, with early samples being weighted more heavily; (c) Little information is lost once a new source of information is being sampled; and (d) The point at which the observer switches from 1 source to another is governed by online monitoring of his or her degree of (un)certainty about the sampled source. These findings demonstrate that the sampling strategy in perceptual decision-making is under some direct control by ongoing cognitive processing. More specifically, participants are able to track a measure of (un)certainty and use this information to guide their sampling behavior. PMID:27819455
Rydell, Robert J; Shiffrin, Richard M; Boucher, Kathryn L; Van Loo, Katie; Rydell, Michael T
Stereotype threat (ST) refers to a situation in which a member of a group fears that her or his performance will validate an existing negative performance stereotype, causing a decrease in performance. For example, reminding women of the stereotype "women are bad at math" causes them to perform more poorly on math questions from the SAT and GRE. Performance deficits can be of several types and be produced by several mechanisms. We show that ST prevents perceptual learning, defined in our task as an increasing rate of search for a target Chinese character in a display of such characters. Displays contained two or four characters and half of these contained a target. Search rate increased across a session of training for a control group of women, but not women under ST. Speeding of search is typically explained in terms of learned "popout" (automatic attraction of attention to a target). Did women under ST learn popout but fail to express it? Following training, the women were shown two colored squares and asked to choose the one with the greater color saturation. Superimposed on the squares were task-irrelevant Chinese characters. For women not trained under ST, the presence of a trained target on one square slowed responding, indicating that training had caused the learning of an attention response to targets. Women trained under ST showed no slowing, indicating that they had not learned such an attention response.
Sathian, K.; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall
Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was carried out during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task-by-session interaction, and associated changes in effective connectivity, primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain towards the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning. PMID:23516304
Sathian, K; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall
Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task × session interaction and associated changes in effective connectivity primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain toward the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning.
Mulligan, Neil W.; Dew, Ilana T. Z.
The generation manipulation has been critical in delineating differences between implicit and explicit memory. In contrast to past research, the present experiments indicate that generating from a rhyme cue produces as much perceptual priming as does reading. This is demonstrated for 3 visual priming tasks: perceptual identification, word-fragment…
Summerfield, Christopher; Tsetsos, Konstantinos
Investigation into the neural and computational bases of decision-making has proceeded in two parallel but distinct streams. Perceptual decision-making (PDM) is concerned with how observers detect, discriminate, and categorize noisy sensory information. Economic decision-making (EDM) explores how options are selected on the basis of their reinforcement history. Traditionally, the sub-fields of PDM and EDM have employed different paradigms, proposed different mechanistic models, explored different brain regions, disagreed about whether decisions approach optimality. Nevertheless, we argue that there is a common framework for understanding decisions made in both tasks, under which an agent has to combine sensory information (what is the stimulus) with value information (what is it worth). We review computational models of the decision process typically used in PDM, based around the idea that decisions involve a serial integration of evidence, and assess their applicability to decisions between good and gambles. Subsequently, we consider the contribution of three key brain regions - the parietal cortex, the basal ganglia, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) - to perceptual and EDM, with a focus on the mechanisms by which sensory and reward information are integrated during choice. We find that although the parietal cortex is often implicated in the integration of sensory evidence, there is evidence for its role in encoding the expected value of a decision. Similarly, although much research has emphasized the role of the striatum and OFC in value-guided choices, they may play an important role in categorization of perceptual information. In conclusion, we consider how findings from the two fields might be brought together, in order to move toward a general framework for understanding decision-making in humans and other primates.
Summerfield, Christopher; Tsetsos, Konstantinos
Investigation into the neural and computational bases of decision-making has proceeded in two parallel but distinct streams. Perceptual decision-making (PDM) is concerned with how observers detect, discriminate, and categorize noisy sensory information. Economic decision-making (EDM) explores how options are selected on the basis of their reinforcement history. Traditionally, the sub-fields of PDM and EDM have employed different paradigms, proposed different mechanistic models, explored different brain regions, disagreed about whether decisions approach optimality. Nevertheless, we argue that there is a common framework for understanding decisions made in both tasks, under which an agent has to combine sensory information (what is the stimulus) with value information (what is it worth). We review computational models of the decision process typically used in PDM, based around the idea that decisions involve a serial integration of evidence, and assess their applicability to decisions between good and gambles. Subsequently, we consider the contribution of three key brain regions – the parietal cortex, the basal ganglia, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) – to perceptual and EDM, with a focus on the mechanisms by which sensory and reward information are integrated during choice. We find that although the parietal cortex is often implicated in the integration of sensory evidence, there is evidence for its role in encoding the expected value of a decision. Similarly, although much research has emphasized the role of the striatum and OFC in value-guided choices, they may play an important role in categorization of perceptual information. In conclusion, we consider how findings from the two fields might be brought together, in order to move toward a general framework for understanding decision-making in humans and other primates. PMID:22654730
de Klerk, Carina C J M; Johnson, Mark H; Heyes, Cecilia M; Southgate, Victoria
There are cells in our motor cortex that fire both when we perform and when we observe similar actions. It has been suggested that these perceptual-motor couplings in the brain develop through associative learning during correlated sensorimotor experience. Although studies with adult participants have provided support for this hypothesis, there is no direct evidence that associative learning also underlies the initial formation of perceptual-motor couplings in the developing brain. With the present study we addressed this question by manipulating infants' opportunities to associate the visual and motor representation of a novel action, and by investigating how this influenced their sensorimotor cortex activation when they observed this action performed by others. Pre-walking 7-9-month-old infants performed stepping movements on an infant treadmill while they either observed their own real-time leg movements (Contingent group) or the previously recorded leg movements of another infant (Non-contingent control group). Infants in a second control group did not perform any steps and only received visual experience with the stepping actions. Before and after the training period we measured infants' sensorimotor alpha suppression, as an index of sensorimotor cortex activation, while they watched videos of other infants' stepping actions. While we did not find greater sensorimotor alpha suppression following training in the Contingent group as a whole, we nevertheless found that the strength of the visuomotor contingency experienced during training predicted the amount of sensorimotor alpha suppression at post-test in this group. We did not find any effects of motor experience alone. These results suggest that the development of perceptual-motor couplings in the infant brain is likely to be supported by associative learning during correlated visuomotor experience.
Espinosa, Irene; Cuthill, Innes C.
Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical ‘tricks’, collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object’s shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory) objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual ‘clutter’ or background complexity on search. PMID:24466337
Espinosa, Irene; Cuthill, Innes C
Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical 'tricks', collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object's shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory) objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual 'clutter' or background complexity on search.
Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Eckstein, Miguel; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
The next era of space exploration, especially the "Mission to Planet Earth" will generate immense quantities of image data. For example, the Earth Observing System (EOS) is expected to generate in excess of one terabyte/day. NASA confronts a major technical challenge in managing this great flow of imagery: in collection, pre-processing, transmission to earth, archiving, and distribution to scientists at remote locations. Expected requirements in most of these areas clearly exceed current technology. Part of the solution to this problem lies in efficient image compression techniques. For much of this imagery, the ultimate consumer is the human eye. In this case image compression should be designed to match the visual capacities of the human observer. We have developed three techniques for optimizing image compression for the human viewer. The first consists of a formula, developed jointly with IBM and based on psychophysical measurements, that computes a DCT quantization matrix for any specified combination of viewing distance, display resolution, and display brightness. This DCT quantization matrix is used in most recent standards for digital image compression (JPEG, MPEG, CCITT H.261). The second technique optimizes the DCT quantization matrix for each individual image, based on the contents of the image. This is accomplished by means of a model of visual sensitivity to compression artifacts. The third technique extends the first two techniques to the realm of wavelet compression. Together these two techniques will allow systematic perceptual optimization of image compression in NASA imaging systems. Many of the image management challenges faced by NASA are mirrored in the field of telemedicine. Here too there are severe demands for transmission and archiving of large image databases, and the imagery is ultimately used primarily by human observers, such as radiologists. In this presentation I will describe some of our preliminary explorations of the applications
Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.
Kloosterman, Niels A; Meindertsma, Thomas; van Loon, Anouk M; Lamme, Victor A F; Bonneh, Yoram S; Donner, Tobias H
Changes in pupil size at constant light levels reflect the activity of neuromodulatory brainstem centers that control global brain state. These endogenously driven pupil dynamics can be synchronized with cognitive acts. For example, the pupil dilates during the spontaneous switches of perception of a constant sensory input in bistable perceptual illusions. It is unknown whether this pupil dilation only indicates the occurrence of perceptual switches, or also their content. Here, we measured pupil diameter in human subjects reporting the subjective disappearance and re-appearance of a physically constant visual target surrounded by a moving pattern ('motion-induced blindness' illusion). We show that the pupil dilates during the perceptual switches in the illusion and a stimulus-evoked 'replay' of that illusion. Critically, the switch-related pupil dilation encodes perceptual content, with larger amplitude for disappearance than re-appearance. This difference in pupil response amplitude enables prediction of the type of report (disappearance vs. re-appearance) on individual switches (receiver-operating characteristic: 61%). The amplitude difference is independent of the relative durations of target-visible and target-invisible intervals and subjects' overt behavioral report of the perceptual switches. Further, we show that pupil dilation during the replay also scales with the level of surprise about the timing of switches, but there is no evidence for an interaction between the effects of surprise and perceptual content on the pupil response. Taken together, our results suggest that pupil-linked brain systems track both the content of, and surprise about, perceptual events.
Han, Hio-Been; Hwang, Eunjin; Lee, Soohyun; Kim, Min-Shik; Choi, Jee Hyun
A key question within systems neuroscience is to understand how the brain encodes spatially and temporally distributed local features and binds these together into one perceptual representation. Previous works in animal and human have shown that changes in neural synchrony occur during the perceptual processing and these changes are distinguished by the emergence of gamma-band oscillations (GBO, 30–80 Hz, centered at 40 Hz). Here, we used the mouse electroencephalogram to investigate how different cortical areas play roles in perceptual processing by assessing their GBO patterns during the visual presentation of coherently/incoherently moving random-dot kinematogram and static dots display. Our results revealed that GBO in the visual cortex were strongly modulated by the moving dots regardless of the existence of a global dot coherence, whereas GBO in frontal cortex were modulated by coherence of the motion. Moreover, concurrent GBO across the multiple cortical area occur more frequently for coherently moving dots. Taken together, these findings of GBO in the mouse frontal and visual cortex are related to the perceptual binding of local features into a globally-coherent representation, suggesting the dynamic interplay across the local/distributed networks of GBO in the global processing of optic flow. PMID:28252109
A new theory of visual object recognition by Poggio et al that is based on multidimensional interpolation between stored templates requires fast, stimulus-specific learning in the visual cortex. Indeed, performance in a number of perceptual tasks improves as a result of practice. We distinguish between two phases of learning a vernier-acuity task, a fast one that takes place within less than 20 min and a slow phase that continues over 10 h of training and probably beyond. The improvement is specific for relatively 'simple' features, such as the orientation of the stimulus presented during training, for the position in the visual field, and for the eye through which learning occurred. Some of these results are simulated by means of a computer model that relies on object recognition by multidimensional interpolation between stored templates. Orientation specificity of learning is also found in a jump-displacement task. In a manner parallel to the improvement in performance, cortical potentials evoked by the jump displacement tend to decrease in latency and to increase in amplitude as a result of training. The distribution of potentials over the brain changes significantly as a result of repeated exposure to the same stimulus. The results both of psychophysical and of electrophysiological experiments indicate that some form of perceptual learning might occur very early during cortical information processing. The hypothesis that vernier breaks are detected 'early' during pattern recognition is supported by the fact that reaction times for the detection of verniers depend hardly at all on the number of stimuli presented simultaneously. Hence, vernier breaks can be detected in parallel at different locations in the visual field, indicating that deviation from straightness is an elementary feature for visual pattern recognition in humans that is detected at an early stage of pattern recognition. Several results obtained during the last few years are reviewed, some new
Holdgraf, Christopher R.; de Heer, Wendy; Pasley, Brian; Rieger, Jochem; Crone, Nathan; Lin, Jack J.; Knight, Robert T.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.
Experience shapes our perception of the world on a moment-to-moment basis. This robust perceptual effect of experience parallels a change in the neural representation of stimulus features, though the nature of this representation and its plasticity are not well-understood. Spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF) mapping describes the neural response to acoustic features, and has been used to study contextual effects on auditory receptive fields in animal models. We performed a STRF plasticity analysis on electrophysiological data from recordings obtained directly from the human auditory cortex. Here, we report rapid, automatic plasticity of the spectrotemporal response of recorded neural ensembles, driven by previous experience with acoustic and linguistic information, and with a neurophysiological effect in the sub-second range. This plasticity reflects increased sensitivity to spectrotemporal features, enhancing the extraction of more speech-like features from a degraded stimulus and providing the physiological basis for the observed ‘perceptual enhancement' in understanding speech. PMID:27996965
Uhlig, Christian Harm; Gutschalk, Alexander
While strong activation of auditory cortex is generally found for exogenous orienting of attention, endogenous, intra-modal shifting of auditory attention has not yet been demonstrated to evoke transient activation of the auditory cortex. Here, we used fMRI to test if endogenous shifting of attention is also associated with transient activation of the auditory cortex. In contrast to previous studies, attention shifts were completely self-initiated and not cued by transient auditory or visual stimuli. Stimuli were two dichotic, continuous streams of tones, whose perceptual grouping was not ambiguous. Participants were instructed to continuously focus on one of the streams and switch between the two after a while, indicating the time and direction of each attentional shift by pressing one of two response buttons. The BOLD response around the time of the button presses revealed robust activation of the auditory cortex, along with activation of a distributed task network. To test if the transient auditory cortex activation was specifically related to auditory orienting, a self-paced motor task was added, where participants were instructed to ignore the auditory stimulation while they pressed the response buttons in alternation and at a similar pace. Results showed that attentional orienting produced stronger activity in auditory cortex, but auditory cortex activation was also observed for button presses without focused attention to the auditory stimulus. The response related to attention shifting was stronger contralateral to the side where attention was shifted to. Contralateral-dominant activation was also observed in dorsal parietal cortex areas, confirming previous observations for auditory attention shifting in studies that used auditory cues. PMID:28273110
Proulx, Michael J; Brown, David J; Pasqualotto, Achille; Meijer, Peter
One of the most exciting recent findings in neuroscience has been the capacity for neural plasticity in adult humans and animals. Studies of perceptual learning have provided key insights into the mechanisms of neural plasticity and the changes in functional neuroanatomy that it affords. Key questions in this field of research concern how practice of a task leads to specific or general improvement. Although much of this work has been carried out with a focus on a single sensory modality, primarily visual, there is increasing interest in multisensory perceptual learning. Here we will examine how advances in perceptual learning research both inform and can be informed by the development and advancement of sensory substitution devices for blind persons. To allow 'sight' to occur in the absence of visual input through the eyes, visual information can be transformed by a sensory substitution device into a representation that can be processed as sound or touch, and thus give one the potential to 'see' through the ears or tongue. Investigations of auditory, visual and multisensory perceptual learning can have key benefits for the advancement of sensory substitution, and the study of sensory deprivation and sensory substitution likewise will further the understanding of perceptual learning in general and the reverse hierarchy theory in particular. It also has significant importance for the developing understanding of the brain in metamodal terms, where functional brain areas might be best defined by the computations they carry out rather than by their sensory-specific processing role.
Pappens, Meike; Schroijen, Mathias; Van den Bergh, Omer; Van Diest, Ilse
Fear reduction obtained during a fear extinction procedure can generalize from the extinction stimulus to other perceptually similar stimuli. Perceptual generalization of fear extinction typically follows a perceptual gradient, with increasing levels of fear reduction the more a stimulus resembles the extinction stimulus. The current study aimed to investigate whether perceptual generalization of fear extinction can be observed also after a retention interval of 24h. Fear was acquired to three geometrical figures of different sizes (CS(+), CS1(+) and CS2(+)) by consistently pairing them with a short-lasting suffocation experience (US). Three other geometrical figures that were never followed by the US served as control stimuli (CS(-), CS1(-), CS2(-)). Next, only the CS(+) was extinguished by presenting it in the absence of the US. One day later, fear responses to all stimuli were assessed without any US-presentation. Outcome measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance, US expectancy, respiratory rate and tidal volume. On day 2 spontaneous recovery of fear was observed in US expectancy and tidal volume, but not in the other outcomes. Evidence for the retention of fear extinction generalization was present in US expectancy and skin conductance, but a perceptual gradient in the retention of generalized fear extinction could not be observed.
Denison, Rachel N.; Sheynin, Jacob; Silver, Michael A.
Perception is shaped not only by current sensory inputs but also by expectations generated from past sensory experience. Humans viewing ambiguous stimuli in a stable visual environment are generally more likely to see the perceptual interpretation that matches their expectations, but it is less clear how expectations affect perception when the environment is changing predictably. We used statistical learning to teach observers arbitrary sequences of natural images and employed binocular rivalry to measure perceptual selection as a function of predictive context. In contrast to previous demonstrations of preferential selection of predicted images for conscious awareness, we found that recently acquired sequence predictions biased perceptual selection toward unexpected natural images and image categories. These perceptual biases were not associated with explicit recall of the learned image sequences. Our results show that exposure to arbitrary sequential structure in the environment impacts subsequent visual perceptual selection and awareness. Specifically, for natural image sequences, the visual system prioritizes what is surprising, or statistically informative, over what is expected, or statistically likely. PMID:27802512
Norton, J W; Corbett, J J
Visual perceptual abnormalities may be caused by diverse etiologies which span the fields of psychiatry and neurology. This article reviews the differential diagnosis of visual perceptual abnormalities from both a neurological and a psychiatric perspective. Psychiatric etiologies include mania, depression, substance dependence, and schizophrenia. Common neurological causes include migraine, epilepsy, delirium, dementia, tumor, and stroke. The phenomena of palinopsia, oscillopsia, dysmetropsia, and polyopia among others are also reviewed. A systematic approach to the many causes of illusions and hallucinations may help to achieve an accurate diagnosis, and a more focused evaluation and treatment plan for patients who develop visual perceptual abnormalities. This article provides the practicing neurologist with a practical understanding and approach to patients with these clinical symptoms.
Watson, Andrew B.; Rosenholtz, Ruth; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
An extension to the JPEG standard (ISO/IEC DIS 10918-3) allows spatial adaptive coding of still images. As with baseline JPEG coding, one quantization matrix applies to an entire image channel, but in addition the user may specify a multiplier for each 8 x 8 block, which multiplies the quantization matrix, yielding the new matrix for the block. MPEG 1 and 2 use much the same scheme, except there the multiplier changes only on macroblock boundaries. We propose a method for perceptual optimization of the set of multipliers. We compute the perceptual error for each block based upon DCT quantization error adjusted according to contrast sensitivity, light adaptation, and contrast masking, and pick the set of multipliers which yield maximally flat perceptual error over the blocks of the image. We investigate the bitrate savings due to this adaptive coding scheme and the relative importance of the different sorts of masking on adaptive coding.
The geometry of perceptual space needs to be known to model spatial orientation constancy or to create virtual environments. To examine one main aspect of this geometry, the angular relation between the three spatial axes was measured. Experiments were performed consisting of a perceptual task in which subjects were asked to set independently their apparent vertical and horizontal plane. The visual background provided no other stimuli to serve as optical direction cues. The task was performed in a number of different body tilt positions with pitches and rolls varied in steps of 30 degs. The results clearly show the distortion of orthogonality of the perceptual space for nonupright body positions. Large interindividual differences were found. Deviations from orthogonality up to 25 deg were detected in the pitch as well as in the roll direction. Implications of this nonorthogonality on further studies of spatial perception and on the construction of virtual environments for human interaction is also discussed.
Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; Erickson, Drew T.; D'Esposito, Mark
Our ability to make rapid decisions based on sensory information belies the complexity of the underlying computations. Recently, “accumulator” models of decision making have been shown to explain the activity of parietal neurons as macaques make judgments concerning visual motion. Unraveling the operation of a decision-making circuit, however, involves understanding both the responses of individual components in the neural circuitry and the relationships between them. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study of the decision process in humans, we demonstrate that an accumulator model predicts responses to visual motion in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Significantly, the metrics used to define responses within the IPS also reveal distinct but interacting nodes in a circuit, including early sensory detectors in visual cortex, the visuomotor integration system of the IPS, and centers of cognitive control in the prefrontal cortex, all of which collectively define a perceptual decision-making network. PMID:20032247
Rapastinel (GLYX-13) has therapeutic potential for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: characterization of a NMDA receptor-mediated metaplasticity process in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats
Burgdorf, Jeffrey; Kroes, Roger A.; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Gross, Amanda L.; Schmidt, Mary; Weiss, Craig; Disterhoft, John F.; Burch, Ronald M.; Stanton, Patric K.; Moskal, Joseph R.
Rapastinel (GLYX-13) is a NMDA receptor modulator with glycine-site partial agonist properties. It is a robust cognitive enhancer and shows rapid and long-lasting antidepressant properties in both animal models and in humans. Contextual fear extinction (CFE) in rodents has been well characterized and used extensively as a model to study the neurobiological mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since CFE is NMDA receptor modulated and neural circuitry in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) regulates both depression and PTSD, studies were undertaken to examine the effects of rapastinel for its therapeutic potential in PTSD and to use rapastinel as a tool to study its underlying glutamatergic mechanisms. A 21-day chronic mild unpredictable stress (CUS) rat model was used to model depression and PTSD. The effects of CUS alone compared to No CUS controls, and the effects of rapastinel (3 mg/kg IV) on CUS-treated animals were examined. The effect of rapastinel was first assessed using CUS-treated rats in three depression models, Porsolt, sucrose preference, and novelty-induced hypophagia tests, and found to produce a complete reversal of the depressive-like state in each model. Rapastinel was then assessed in a MPFC-dependent positive emotional learning paradigm and in CFE and again a reversal of the impairments induced by CUS treatment was observed. Both synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, as measured by the induction of long-term potentiation in rat MPFC slice preparations, was found to be markedly impaired in CUS-treated animals. This impairment was reversed when CUS-treated rats were administered rapastinel and tested 24 hrs later. Transcriptomic analysis of MPFC mRNA expression in CUS-treated rats corroborated the link between rapastinel’s behavioral effects and synaptic plasticity. A marked enrichment in both the LTP and LTD connectomes in rapastinel-treated CUS rats was observed compared to CUS-treated controls. The effects of rapastinel on
Landy, David; Allen, Colin; Zednik, Carlos
People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity-the capacity for symbolic reasoning-as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often conforms to abstract mathematical principles, it is typically implemented by perceptual and sensorimotor engagement with concrete environmental structures.
Watson, Andrew B. (Inventor)
A method for performing image compression that eliminates redundant and invisible image components is described. The image compression uses a Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and each DCT coefficient yielded by the transform is quantized by an entry in a quantization matrix which determines the perceived image quality and the bit rate of the image being compressed. The present invention adapts or customizes the quantization matrix to the image being compressed. The quantization matrix comprises visual masking by luminance and contrast techniques and by an error pooling technique all resulting in a minimum perceptual error for any given bit rate, or minimum bit rate for a given perceptual error.
Landy, David; Allen, Colin; Zednik, Carlos
People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity—the capacity for symbolic reasoning—as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often conforms to abstract mathematical principles, it is typically implemented by perceptual and sensorimotor engagement with concrete environmental structures. PMID:24795662
Watson, Andrew B. (Inventor)
A method is presented for performing color or grayscale image compression that eliminates redundant and invisible image components. The image compression uses a Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and each DCT coefficient yielded by the transform is quantized by an entry in a quantization matrix which determines the perceived image quality and the bit rate of the image being compressed. The quantization matrix comprises visual masking by luminance and contrast technique all resulting in a minimum perceptual error for any given bit rate, or minimum bit rate for a given perceptual error.
Ekroll, Vebjørn; Faul, Franz
In neon color spreading displays, both a color illusion and perceptual transparency can be seen. In this study, we investigated the color conditions for the perception of transparency in such displays. It was found that the data are very well accounted for by a generalization of Metelli's (1970) episcotister model of balanced perceptual transparency to tristimulus values. This additive model correctly predicted which combinations of colors would lead to optimal impressions of transparency. Color combinations deviating slightly from the additive model also looked transparent, but less convincingly so.
Zach, Lillian; Kaufman, Judith
Performances on the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test and on a visual discrimination task using the same forms were found not to be related. Implication for identification of perceptual deficiencies and subsequent perceptual training are discussed. (KW)
Liu, G T; Bolton, A K; Price, B H; Weintraub, S
A patient with a right sided parietal lobe infarction manifested left sided sensory extinction in the visual, auditory, and tactile modalities but had only mild exploratory-motor neglect. In contrast, another patient with a right frontal haemorrhage demonstrated only left sided exploratory-motor hemispatial neglect. Tasks that combined perceptual and exploratory features elicited varying degrees of neglect in each patient. These two cases with dissociated neglect behaviour lend further evidence for behavioural specialisation within components of a cortical network for directed attention: sensory-representational aspects mediated primarily by the parietal component, motor-exploratory primarily by the frontal component. These cases also highlight the need to include and distinguish among several different measures of neglect in the clinical investigation of patients with hemispatial inattention. Images PMID:1527542
Petitto, L A; Berens, M S; Kovelman, I; Dubins, M H; Jasinska, K; Shalinsky, M
In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4-6 months, older 10-12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and non-linguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies' enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies' resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the "Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis" as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural "extent and variability" that our human species' language processing brain areas could potentially achieve.
Petitto, L. A.; Berens, M. S.; Kovelman, I.; Dubins, M. H.; Jasinska, K.; Shalinsky, M.
In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4–6 months, older 10–12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and nonlinguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies’ enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies’ resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the “Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis”as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural “extent and variability” that our human species’ language processing brain areas could potentially achieve. PMID:21724244
Wang, Rui; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M; Yu, Cong
Perceptual learning, a process in which training improves visual discrimination, is often specific to the trained retinal location, and this location specificity is frequently regarded as an indication of neural plasticity in the retinotopic visual cortex. However, our previous studies have shown that "double training" enables location-specific perceptual learning, such as Vernier learning, to completely transfer to a new location where an irrelevant task is practiced. Here we show that Vernier learning can be actuated by less location-specific orientation or motion-direction learning to transfer to completely untrained retinal locations. This "piggybacking" effect occurs even if both tasks are trained at the same retinal location. However, piggybacking does not occur when the Vernier task is paired with a more location-specific contrast-discrimination task. This previously unknown complexity challenges the current understanding of perceptual learning and its specificity/transfer. Orientation and motion-direction learning, but not contrast and Vernier learning, appears to activate a global process that allows learning transfer to untrained locations. Moreover, when paired with orientation or motion-direction learning, Vernier learning may be "piggybacked" by the activated global process to transfer to other untrained retinal locations. How this task-specific global activation process is achieved is as yet unknown.
Golan, Tal; Davidesco, Ido; Meshulam, Meir; Groppe, David M; Mégevand, Pierre; Yeagle, Erin M; Goldfinger, Matthew S; Harel, Michal; Melloni, Lucia; Schroeder, Charles E; Deouell, Leon Y; Mehta, Ashesh D; Malach, Rafael
We hardly notice our eye blinks, yet an externally generated retinal interruption of a similar duration is perceptually salient. We examined the neural correlates of this perceptual distinction using intracranially measured ECoG signals from the human visual cortex in 14 patients. In early visual areas (V1 and V2), the disappearance of the stimulus due to either invisible blinks or salient blank video frames ('gaps') led to a similar drop in activity level, followed by a positive overshoot beyond baseline, triggered by stimulus reappearance. Ascending the visual hierarchy, the reappearance-related overshoot gradually subsided for blinks but not for gaps. By contrast, the disappearance-related drop did not follow the perceptual distinction – it was actually slightly more pronounced for blinks than for gaps. These findings suggest that blinks' limited visibility compared with gaps is correlated with suppression of blink-related visual activity transients, rather than with "filling-in" of the occluded content during blinks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17243.001 PMID:27685352
Jacoby, Nori; Ahissar, Merav
In the 1980s to 1990s, studies of perceptual learning focused on the specificity of training to basic visual attributes such as retinal position and orientation. These studies were considered scientifically innovative since they suggested the existence of plasticity in the early stimulus-specific sensory cortex. Twenty years later, perceptual training has gradually shifted to potential applications, and research tends to be devoted to showing transfer. In this paper we analyze two key methodological issues related to the interpretation of transfer. The first has to do with the absence of a control group or the sole use of a test-retest group in traditional perceptual training studies. The second deals with claims of transfer based on the correlation between improvement on the trained and transfer tasks. We analyze examples from the general intelligence literature dealing with the impact on general intelligence of training on a working memory task. The re-analyses show that the reports of a significantly larger transfer of the trained group over the test-retest group fail to replicate when transfer is compared to an actively trained group. Furthermore, the correlations reported in this literature between gains on the trained and transfer tasks can be replicated even when no transfer is assumed.
Breakey, Arnold Stewart; And Others
The relationships between specific aspects of peripheral ocular defects and perceptual deficits were investigated in a cerebral palsied population of 60 spastics, 60 athetoids, and 60 non-neurologically impaired Ss, 7 to 21 years of age. (Author/MC)
Emphasize the importance of a positive diagnosis of perceptual handicap, rather than a wastebasket" diagnosis. The tendency to separate the child's handicap from his feelings about it is reflected in the treatment process. There exists little concern with the totality of the child's development in his total environment. (Author)
Hall, Joseph W.; Grose, John H.; Buss, Emily
This talk will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for auditory perceptual organization. In everyday environments, the listener is often faced with the difficulty of processing a target sound that intermingles acoustically with one or more extraneous sounds. Under such circumstances, several auditory processes enable the complex waveforms reaching the two ears to be interpreted in terms of putative auditory objects giving rise to the target and extraneous sounds. Such processes of perceptual organization depend upon the central analysis of cues that allow distributed spectral information to be either linked together or split apart on the basis of details related to such variables as synchrony of onset/modulation, harmonic relation, rhythm, and interaural differences. Efficient perceptual organization must depend not only upon such central auditory analyses but also upon the fidelity with which the peripheral auditory system encodes the spectral and temporal characteristics of sound. We will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for perceptual organization in terms of both peripheral and central auditory processes.
Huyck, Julia Jones; Wright, Beverly A.
Adults can improve their performance on many perceptual tasks with training, but when does the response to training become mature? To investigate this question, we trained 11-year-olds, 14-year-olds and adults on a basic auditory task (temporal-interval discrimination) using a multiple-session training regimen known to be effective for adults. The…
Hampton, James A.; Estes, Zachary; Simmons, Claire L.
People categorized pairs of perceptual stimuli that varied in both category membership and pairwise similarity. Experiments 1 and 2 showed categorization of 1 color of a pair to be reliably contrasted from that of the other. This similarity-based contrast effect occurred only when the context stimulus was relevant for the categorization of the…
Pappas, Thrasyvoulos N.; Tartter, Vivien C.; Seward, Andrew G.; Genzer, Boris; Gourgey, Karen; Kretzschmar, Ilona
We propose a new approach for converting graphical and pictorial information into tactile patterns that can be displayed in a static or dynamic tactile device. The key components of the proposed approach are (1) an algorithm that segments a scene into perceptually uniform segments; (2) a procedure for generating perceptually distinct tactile patterns; and (3) a mapping of the visual textures of the segments into tactile textures that convey similar concepts. We used existing digital halftoning and other techniques to generate a wide variety of tactile textures. We then conducted formal and informal subjective tests with sighted (but visually blocked) and visually-impaired subjects to determine the ability of human tactile perception to perceive differences among them. In addition to generating perceptually distinguishable tactile patterns, our goal is to identify significant dimensions of tactile texture perception, which will make it possible to map different visual attributes into independent tactile attributes. Our experimental results indicate that it is poosible to generate a number of perceptually distinguishable tactile patterns, and that different dimensions of tactile texture perception can indeed be identified.
Lovaas, Ivar; And Others
A detailed hypothesis of the acquisition and maintenance of self-stimulatory behavior is offered, proposing that such behaviors are operant responses whose reinforcers are automatically produced perceptual consequences. Related concepts are discussed, and support for the hypothesis from the areas of sensory reinforcement and sensory deprivation is…
Hervais-Adelman, Alexis G.; Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Taylor, Karen J.; Carlyon, Robert P.
Recent work demonstrates that learning to understand noise-vocoded (NV) speech alters sublexical perceptual processes but is enhanced by the simultaneous provision of higher-level, phonological, but not lexical content (Hervais-Adelman, Davis, Johnsrude, & Carlyon, 2008), consistent with top-down learning (Davis, Johnsrude, Hervais-Adelman,…
Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Varga, Krisztina; Frick, Janet E.; Fragaszy, Dorothy
Perceptual narrowing--a phenomenon in which perception is broad from birth, but narrows as a function of experience--has previously been tested with primate faces. In the first 6 months of life, infants can discriminate among individual human and monkey faces. Though the ability to discriminate monkey faces is lost after about 9 months, infants…
Adler, Scott A.
Textons are elongated blobs of specific color, angular orientation, ends of lines, and crossings of line segments that are proposed to be the perceptual building blocks of the visual system. A study was conducted to explore the relative memorability of different types and arrangements of textons, exploring the time course for the discrimination…
Hawkins, Sarah; Barrett Jones, Sarah
Two experiments demonstrate that the perceptual magnet effect is context sensitive. In experiment 1a, 24 participants rated goodness of synthetic /u/ in isolation (ooh) and in two consonantal contexts, /lu/, /ju/ (Lou, you), with nine versions per word, varying in F2 frequency. Their most (prototypical) and least (nonprototypical) preferred choices reflected expected differences between words, and individual differences within words. Experiment 1b demonstrated standard perceptual magnet effects for prototype and nonprototype /u/ in the three words. Unlike previous work, each participant discriminated his/her own prototype and nonprototype from experiment 1a, rather than the group mean. Experiment 2a replicated 1a with 40 new participants. Experiment 2b compared discrimination around participants' prototypical F2 frequency for /u/ in one word (original) with discrimination around that same frequency in another word (transferred). Different original/transferred sets were heard by four groups (ten participants each): /u/ and /lu/; /lu/ and /u/; /ju/ and /u/; /ju/ and /lu/. Discrimination (d') near the prototype was poorer for original than transferred contexts [for the four comparisons, t(9) ranged between 2.43-3.49, p<0.025-0.005]. Thus, the perceptual magnet effect is syllable specific: the vowel prototype for one word need not generalize to another. Implications for perceptual coherence and phonological representation are discussed.
Carmel, David; Saker, Pascal; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
Subjective visual experience depends not only on the spatial arrangement of the environment, but also on the temporal pattern of stimulation. For example, flickering and steady light presented in the same location evoke a very different perceptual experience due to their different temporal patterns. Here, we examined whether the availability of processing resources affected the temporal resolution of conscious flicker perception--the ability to distinguish rapid changes in light intensity, detecting visual temporal patterns. Participants detected flicker in a fixated LED that flickered at or around the individually adjusted critical flicker fusion (CFF) threshold while searching for a target letter presented in the periphery either on its own (low perceptual load) or among other letters (high load). Physically identical flickering stimuli were more likely to be perceived as "fused" under high (compared to low) load in the peripheral letter search. Furthermore, psychophysical measures showed a reduction in flicker detection sensitivity under high perceptual load. These results could not be due to criterion or stimulus prioritization differences or to differential likelihood of forgetting the correct response under different load conditions. These findings demonstrate that perceptual load influences conscious perception of temporal patterns.
Stuttgen, Maik C.; Yildiz, Ali; Gunturkun, Onur
Pigeons responded in a perceptual categorization task with six different stimuli (shades of gray), three of which were to be classified as "light" or "dark", respectively. Reinforcement probability for correct responses was varied from 0.2 to 0.6 across blocks of sessions and was unequal for correct light and dark responses. Introduction of a new…
Patten, Michael A; Kelly, Jeffrey F
The concept of "ecological traps" was introduced over three decades ago. An ecological trap occurs when, by various mechanisms, low-quality (yielding low fitness) habitat is more attractive than good habitat, thus coaxing individuals to settle there despite a resultant loss of fitness. Empirical work on such traps has increased dramatically in the past decade, but the converse-avoidance of high-quality habitat because it is less attractive, what we term a "perceptual trap" has remained largely unexplored. Even so, depending on conditions (growth rate, strength of habitat preference, and mortality rate), such perceptual traps can be more limiting than ecological traps to population persistence. An example from field experiments with the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) lends empirical support to the concept, and several other potential examples suggest that these traps are perhaps more prevalent than has been appreciated. Because demographic Allee effects are expected to prevent a population from growing sufficiently in a habitat that is avoided, a perceptual trap may persist even though fitness is high. Unlike an ecological trap, which may be negated by increasing habitat quality, biologists will be hard pressed to negate a perceptual trap, which will require determining which cues an animal uses to select high-quality habitat and then devising a means of enhancing those cues so that an animal is lured into the habitat.
Pender, Robert M.
The Perceptual Analysis Kindergarten Test is based on the rationale or thesis that learning is hierarchical. The test is used to help determine the level of the child in the hierarchy so that a remedial program can be devised to bring the child up to the level where he can develop the associative conceptualization required to be able to learn in…
Engelen, Jan A. A.; Bouwmeester, Samantha; de Bruin, Anique B. H.; Zwaan, Rolf A.
We tested an embodied account of language proposing that comprehenders create perceptual simulations of the events they hear and read about. In Experiment 1, children (ages 7-13 years) performed a picture verification task. Each picture was preceded by a prerecorded spoken sentence describing an entity whose shape or orientation matched or…
Valenza, Eloisa; Leo, Irene; Gava, Lucia; Simion, Francesca
Despite decades of studies of human infants, a still open question concerns the role of visual experience in the development of the ability to perceive complete shapes over partial occlusion. Previous studies show that newborns fail to manifest this ability, either because they lack the visual experience required for perceptual completion or…
Fennell, John; Goodwin, Charlotte; Burn, Jeremy F.; Leonards, Ute
Everybody would agree that vision guides locomotion; but how does vision influence choice when there are different solutions for possible foot placement? We addressed this question by investigating the impact of perceptual grouping on foot placement in humans. Participants performed a stepping stone task in which pathways consisted of target stones in a spatially regular path of foot falls and visual distractor stones in their proximity. Target and distractor stones differed in shape and colour so that each subset of stones could be easily grouped perceptually. In half of the trials, one target stone swapped shape and colour with a distractor in its close proximity. We show that in these ‘swapped’ conditions, participants chose the perceptually groupable, instead of the spatially regular, stepping location in over 40% of trials, even if the distance between perceptually groupable steps was substantially larger than normal step width/length. This reveals that the existence of a pathway that could be traversed without spatial disruption to periodic stepping is not sufficient to guarantee participants will select it and suggests competition between different types of visual input when choosing foot placement. We propose that a bias in foot placement choice in favour of visual grouping exists as, in nature, sudden changes in visual characteristics of the ground increase the uncertainty for stability. PMID:26587273
Couperus, Jane W.
Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual…
Brinning, Dorothy; And Others
Designed for parents, the guide offers instructions for home activities to supplement the school program for children with perceptual motor disturbances. An individual program sheet is provided; behavioral characteristics and the child's need for structure are explained. Activities detailed include motor planning, body image, fine motor…
Volberg, Gregor; Greenlee, Mark W
The human visual system groups local elements into global objects seemingly without effort. Using a contour integration task and EEG source level analyses, we tested the hypothesis that perceptual grouping requires a top-down selection, rather than a passive pooling, of neural information that codes local elements in the visual image. The participants were presented visual displays with or without a hidden contour. Two tasks were performed: a central luminance-change detection task and a peripheral contour detection task. Only in the contour-detection task could we find differential brain activity between contour and non-contour conditions, within a distributed brain network including parietal, lateral occipital and primary visual areas. Contour processing was associated with an inflow of information from lateral occipital into primary visual regions, as revealed from the slope of phase differences between source level oscillations within these areas. The findings suggest that contour integration results from a selection of neural information from lower visual areas, and that this selection is driven by the lateral occipital cortex.
Qu, Zhe; Hillyard, Steven A; Ding, Yulong
Visual attention can be attracted automatically by salient simple features, but whether and how nonsalient complex stimuli such as shapes may capture attention in humans remains unclear. Here, we present strong electrophysiological evidence that a nonsalient shape presented among similar shapes can provoke a robust and persistent capture of attention as a consequence of extensive training in visual search (VS) for that shape. Strikingly, this attentional capture that followed perceptual learning (PL) was evident even when the trained shape was task-irrelevant, was presented outside the focus of top-down spatial attention, and was undetected by the observer. Moreover, this attentional capture persisted for at least 3-5 months after training had been terminated. This involuntary capture of attention was indexed by electrophysiological recordings of the N2pc component of the event-related brain potential, which was localized to ventral extrastriate visual cortex, and was highly predictive of stimulus-specific improvement in VS ability following PL. These findings provide the first evidence that nonsalient shapes can capture visual attention automatically following PL and challenge the prominent view that detection of feature conjunctions requires top-down focal attention.
Sanes, Dan H.
Sensory pathways display heightened plasticity during development, yet the perceptual consequences of early experience are generally assessed in adulthood. This approach does not allow one to identify transient perceptual changes that may be linked to the central plasticity observed in juvenile animals. Here, we determined whether a brief period of bilateral auditory deprivation affects sound perception in developing and adult gerbils. Animals were reared with bilateral earplugs, either from postnatal day 11 (P11) to postnatal day 23 (P23) (a manipulation previously found to disrupt gerbil cortical properties), or from P23-P35. Fifteen days after earplug removal and restoration of normal thresholds, animals were tested on their ability to detect the presence of amplitude modulation (AM), a temporal cue that supports vocal communication. Animals reared with earplugs from P11-P23 displayed elevated AM detection thresholds, compared with age-matched controls. In contrast, an identical period of earplug rearing at a later age (P23-P35) did not impair auditory perception. Although the AM thresholds of earplug-reared juveniles improved during a week of repeated testing, a subset of juveniles continued to display a perceptual deficit. Furthermore, although the perceptual deficits induced by transient earplug rearing had resolved for most animals by adulthood, a subset of adults displayed impaired performance. Control experiments indicated that earplugging did not disrupt the integrity of the auditory periphery. Together, our results suggest that P11-P23 encompasses a critical period during which sensory deprivation disrupts central mechanisms that support auditory perceptual skills. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sensory systems are particularly malleable during development. This heightened degree of plasticity is beneficial because it enables the acquisition of complex skills, such as music or language. However, this plasticity comes with a cost: nervous system development
Campana, Gianluca; Cowey, Alan; Walsh, Vincent
Presentation of supraliminal or subliminal visual stimuli that can (or cannot) be detected or identified can improve the probability of the same stimulus being detected over a subsequent period of seconds, hours or longer. The locus and nature of this perceptual priming effect was examined, using suprathreshold stimuli, in subjects who received repetitive pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the posterior occipital cortex, the extrastriate motion area V5/MT or the right posterior parietal cortex during the intertrial interval of a visual motion direction discrimination task. Perceptual priming observed in a control condition was abolished when area V5/MT was stimulated but was not affected by magnetic stimulation over striate or parietal sites. The effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on priming was specific to site (V5/MT) and to task - colour priming was unaffected by TMS over V5/MT. The results parallel, in the motion domain, recent demonstrations of the importance of macaque areas V4 and TEO for priming in the colour and form domains.
Esterman, Michael; Verstynen, Timothy; Robertson, Lynn C.
A number of neuroimaging and neuropsychology studies have implicated various regions of parietal cortex as playing a critical role in the binding of color and form into conjunctions. The current study investigates the role of two such regions by examining how parietal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) influences binding errors known as ‘illusory conjunctions.’ Participants made fewer binding errors after 1 Hz rTMS of the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS), while basic perception of features (colors and shape) was unaffected. No perceptual effects were found following left IPS stimulation, or stimulation of the right angular gyrus at the junction of the transverse occipital sulcus (IPS/TOS). These results support a role for the parietal cortex in feature binding but in ways that may require rethinking. PMID:17336097
Taya, Shuichiro; Adams, Wendy J; Graf, Erich W; Lavie, Nilli
We tested contrasting predictions derived from perceptual load theory and from recent feature-based selection accounts. Observers viewed moving, colored stimuli and performed low or high load tasks associated with one stimulus feature, either color or motion. The resultant motion aftereffect (MAE) was used to evaluate attentional allocation. We found that task-irrelevant visual features received less attention than co-localized task-relevant features of the same objects. Moreover, when color and motion features were co-localized yet perceived to belong to two distinct surfaces, feature-based selection was further increased at the expense of object-based co-selection. Load theory predicts that the MAE for task-irrelevant motion would be reduced with a higher load color task. However, this was not seen for co-localized features; perceptual load only modulated the MAE for task-irrelevant motion when this was spatially separated from the attended color location. Our results suggest that perceptual load effects are mediated by spatial selection and do not generalize to the feature domain. Feature-based selection operates to suppress processing of task-irrelevant, co-localized features, irrespective of perceptual load.
Montoro, Pedro R; Luna, Dolores; Albert, Jacobo; Santaniello, Gerardo; López-Martín, Sara; Pozo, Miguel A; Hinojosa, José A
Principles of perceptual grouping can be divided into intrinsic grouping cues, which are based on built-in properties of the grouped elements (e.g., their shape, position, colour, etc.) like most of the classical Gestalt laws, and extrinsic grouping principles, based on relations between the discrete elements and other external stimuli that induce them to group (e.g., common region, connectedness). Several studies have explored the neural correlates of intrinsic grouping factors but, to our knowledge, no previous study has studied the neural correlates of extrinsic principles. The present study aimed to shed light on this issue by exploiting the high temporal resolution of event-related potentials (ERPs) and recent advances in source localization. Specifically, grouping by common region was compared with two comparison conditions, an intrinsic grouping (luminance similarity) and a uniform stimulus condition, in a perceptual discrimination task. We reported three main neural effects associated with grouping by common region. First, a posterior N210 component with a neural origin in the left extrastriate cortex was related to perceptual analysis of extrinsic elements inducing grouping and the formation of a visual group. Second, an enhanced posterior P280, which presumably reflects higher confidence decisions during response selection. Finally, a P550 originated in the right superior parietal cortex that seems to be associated with top-down suppression activity connected with the termination of the processing of the current trial. Overall, our results suggest that common region cues belong to the category of long latency grouping principles that mainly involve activity in extrastriate cortices.
Hooker, E Z
A taxonomy of the perceptual domain was proposed over a decade ago. It is hierarchical, as are the taxonomies in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Perception involves extraction of information from presenting stimuli, and there is progression of information extraction as the hierarchy is ascended. Perceptual performance at the higher levels of the taxonomy assumes perceptual abilities at the lower levels. A modified version of the perceptual taxonomy applicable to allied health education is presented. Methods concerning application of the taxonomy are suggested. Use of the taxonomy of the perceptual domain would help allied health educators plan instruction and evaluate teaching.
Woods, Andrew T; Lloyd, Donna M; Kuenzel, Johanna; Poliakoff, Ellen; Dijksterhuis, Garmt B; Thomas, Anna
Expectations about a food can impact on its taste, but this may represent a perceptual change or a bias in response at the decision-making stage. We hypothesised that expectation of taste intensity should be underpinned by modulation of activity in primary taste cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that expecting a very sweet drink, but receiving a less sweet drink, enhanced the reported sweetness and bolstered activity in taste cortex, relative to a less sweet drink without this expectation. The activation overlapped with primary taste cortex activation found in 11 recent taste studies. Our findings provide evidence that taste expectation modulates activity in an area consistently reported as primary taste cortex, implying that expectation effects do indeed impact on taste perception.
Clemins, Patrick J; Johnson, Michael T
A new feature extraction model, generalized perceptual linear prediction (gPLP), is developed to calculate a set of perceptually relevant features for digital signal analysis of animal vocalizations. The gPLP model is a generalized adaptation of the perceptual linear prediction model, popular in human speech processing, which incorporates perceptual information such as frequency warping and equal loudness normalization into the feature extraction process. Since such perceptual information is available for a number of animal species, this new approach integrates that information into a generalized model to extract perceptually relevant features for a particular species. To illustrate, qualitative and quantitative comparisons are made between the species-specific model, generalized perceptual linear prediction (gPLP), and the original PLP model using a set of vocalizations collected from captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). The models that incorporate perceptional information outperform the original human-based models in both visualization and classification tasks.
Feng, Wenfeng; Störmer, Viola S; Martinez, Antigona; McDonald, John J; Hillyard, Steven A
A recent study in humans (McDonald et al., 2013) found that peripheral, task-irrelevant sounds activated contralateral visual cortex automatically as revealed by an auditory-evoked contralateral occipital positivity (ACOP) recorded from the scalp. The present study investigated the functional significance of this cross-modal activation of visual cortex, in particular whether the sound-evoked ACOP is predictive of improved perceptual processing of a subsequent visual target. A trial-by-trial analysis showed that the ACOP amplitude was markedly larger preceding correct than incorrect pattern discriminations of visual targets that were colocalized with the preceding sound. Dipole modeling of the scalp topography of the ACOP localized its neural generators to the ventrolateral extrastriate visual cortex. These results provide direct evidence that the cross-modal activation of contralateral visual cortex by a spatially nonpredictive but salient sound facilitates the discriminative processing of a subsequent visual target event at the location of the sound. Recordings of event-related potentials to the targets support the hypothesis that the ACOP is a neural consequence of the automatic orienting of visual attention to the location of the sound.
Yang, Hongdian; Kwon, Sung E.; Severson, Kyle S.; O’Connor, Daniel H.
During perceptual decisions about faint or ambiguous sensory stimuli, even identical stimuli can produce different choices. Spike trains from sensory cortex neurons can predict trial-to-trial variability in choice. Choice-related spiking is widely studied to link cortical activity to perception, but its origins remain unclear. Using imaging and electrophysiology, we found that mouse primary somatosensory cortex neurons showed robust choice-related activity during a tactile detection task. Spike trains from primary mechanoreceptive neurons did not predict choices about identical stimuli. Spike trains from thalamic relay neurons showed highly transient, weak choice-related activity. Intracellular recordings in cortex revealed a prolonged choice-related depolarization in most neurons that was not accounted for by feedforward thalamic input. Top-down axons projecting from secondary to primary somatosensory cortex signaled choice. An intracellular measure of stimulus sensitivity determined which neurons converted choice-related depolarization into spiking. Our results reveal how choice-related spiking emerges across neural circuits and within single neurons. PMID:26642088
Störmer, Viola S.; Martinez, Antigona; McDonald, John J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A recent study in humans (McDonald et al., 2013) found that peripheral, task-irrelevant sounds activated contralateral visual cortex automatically as revealed by an auditory-evoked contralateral occipital positivity (ACOP) recorded from the scalp. The present study investigated the functional significance of this cross-modal activation of visual cortex, in particular whether the sound-evoked ACOP is predictive of improved perceptual processing of a subsequent visual target. A trial-by-trial analysis showed that the ACOP amplitude was markedly larger preceding correct than incorrect pattern discriminations of visual targets that were colocalized with the preceding sound. Dipole modeling of the scalp topography of the ACOP localized its neural generators to the ventrolateral extrastriate visual cortex. These results provide direct evidence that the cross-modal activation of contralateral visual cortex by a spatially nonpredictive but salient sound facilitates the discriminative processing of a subsequent visual target event at the location of the sound. Recordings of event-related potentials to the targets support the hypothesis that the ACOP is a neural consequence of the automatic orienting of visual attention to the location of the sound. PMID:25031419
Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Bondi, Corina; Del Arco, Alberto
Anxiety is a debilitating symptom of most psychiatric disorders, including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. A detrimental aspect of anxiety is disruption of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated executive functions, such as flexible decision making. Here we sought to understand how anxiety modulates PFC neuronal encoding of flexible shifting between behavioral strategies. We used a clinically substantiated anxiogenic treatment to induce sustained anxiety in rats and recorded from dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) neurons while they were freely moving in a home cage and while they performed a PFC-dependent task that required flexible switches between rules in two distinct perceptual dimensions. Anxiety elicited a sustained background “hypofrontality” in dmPFC and OFC by reducing the firing rate of spontaneously active neuronal subpopulations. During task performance, the impact of anxiety was subtle, but, consistent with human data, behavior was selectively impaired when previously correct conditions were presented as conflicting choices. This impairment was associated with reduced recruitment of dmPFC neurons that selectively represented task rules at the time of action. OFC rule representation was not affected by anxiety. These data indicate that a neural substrate of the decision-making deficits in anxiety is diminished dmPFC neuronal encoding of task rules during conflict-related actions. Given the translational relevance of the model used here, the data provide a neuronal encoding mechanism for how anxiety biases decision making when the choice involves overcoming a conflict. They also demonstrate that PFC encoding of actions, as opposed to cues or outcome, is especially vulnerable to anxiety. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A debilitating aspect of anxiety is its impact on decision making and flexible control of behavior. These cognitive constructs depend on proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex
St John-Saaltink, Elexa; Utzerath, Christian; Kok, Peter; Lau, Hakwan C; de Lange, Floris P
Stimulus expectation can modulate neural responses in early sensory cortical regions, with expected stimuli often leading to a reduced neural response. However, it is unclear whether this expectation suppression is an automatic phenomenon or is instead dependent on the type of task a subject is engaged in. To investigate this, human subjects were presented with visual grating stimuli in the periphery that were either predictable or non-predictable while they performed three tasks that differently engaged cognitive resources. In two of the tasks, the predictable stimulus was task-irrelevant and spatial attention was engaged at fixation, with a high load on either perceptual or working memory resources. In the third task, the predictable stimulus was task-relevant, and therefore spatially attended. We observed that expectation suppression is dependent on the cognitive resources engaged by a subjects' current task. When the grating was task-irrelevant, expectation suppression for predictable items was visible in retinotopically specific areas of early visual cortex (V1-V3) during the perceptual task, but it was abolished when working memory was loaded. When the grating was task-relevant and spatially attended, there was no significant effect of expectation in early visual cortex. These results suggest that expectation suppression is not an automatic phenomenon, but dependent on attentional state and type of available cognitive resources.
Hamid, Naila; Khan, Nazar
Existing line segment detectors tend to break up perceptually distinct line segments into multiple segments. We propose an algorithm for merging such broken segments to recover the original perceptually accurate line segments. The algorithm proceeds by grouping line segments on the basis of angular and spatial proximity. Then those line segment pairs within each group that satisfy unique, adaptive mergeability criteria are successively merged to form a single line segment. This process is repeated until no more line segments can be merged. We also propose a method for quantitative comparison of line segment detection algorithms. Results on the York Urban dataset show that our merged line segments are closer to human-marked ground-truth line segments compared to state-of-the-art line segment detection algorithms.
Kee, Eric; Farid, Hany
In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality. PMID:22123980
The human visual system is usually very successful in segmenting complex natural scenes. During a trip to the Nepalese Himalayas, we observed an impossible example of Nature's beauty: “transparent” mountains. The scene is captured in a photograph in which a pair of mountain peaks viewed in the far distance appear to be transparent. This illusion results from a fortuitous combination of lighting and scene conditions, which induce an erroneous integration of multiple segmentation cues. The illusion unites three classic principles of visual perception: Metelli's constraints for perceptual transparency, the Gestalt principle of good continuation, and depth from contrast and atmospheric scattering. This real-world “failure” of scene segmentation reinforces how ingeniously the human visual system typically integrates complex sources of perceptual information using heuristics based on likelihood as shortcuts to veridical perception. PMID:28299170
Demeyer, Maarten; De Graef, Peter; Verfaillie, Karl; Wagemans, Johan
Human observers explore scenes by shifting their gaze from object to object. Before each eye movement, a peripheral glimpse of the next object to be fixated has however already been caught. Here we investigate whether the perceptual organization extracted from such a preview could guide the perceptual analysis of the same object during the next fixation. We observed that participants were indeed significantly faster at grouping together spatially separate elements into an object contour, when the same contour elements had also been grouped together in the peripheral preview display. Importantly, this facilitation occurred despite a change in the grouping cue defining the object contour (similarity versus collinearity). We conclude that an intermediate-level description of object shape persists in the visual system across gaze shifts, providing it with a robust basis for balancing efficiency and continuity during scene exploration. PMID:21713007
AFIT/DS/ENG/96-14 PERCEPTUAL FIDELITY FOR DIGITAL COLOR IMAGERY DISSERTATION Curtis Eli Martin Captain, USAF AFIT/DS/ENG/96-14 Approved for public...SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF COLOR PAGES WHICH DO NOT REPRODUCE LEGIBLY ON BLACK AND WHITE MICROFICHE. The views expressed in this dissertation are those of the...FOR DIGITAL COLOR IMAGERY DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Engineering of the Air Force Institute of Technology Air
Avanaki, Ali; Espig, Kathryn; Kimpe, Tom; Xthona, Albert; Marchessoux, Cedric; Rostang, Johan; Piepers, Bastian
Use of color images in medical imaging has increased significantly the last few years. Color information is essential for applications such as ophthalmology, dermatology and clinical photography. Use of color at least brings benefits for other applications such as endoscopy, laparoscopy and digital pathology. Remarkably, as of today, there is no agreed standard on how color information needs to be visualized for medical applications. This lack of standardization results in large variability of how color images are visualized and it makes quality assurance a challenge. For this reason FDA and ICC recently organized a joint summit on color in medical imaging (CMI). At this summit, one of the suggestions was that modalities such as digital pathology could benefit from using a perceptually uniform color space (T. Kimpe, "Color Behavior of Medical Displays," CMI presentation, May 2013). Perceptually uniform spaces have already been used for many years in the radiology community where the DICOM GSDF standard provides linearity in luminance but not in color behavior. In this paper we quantify perceptual uniformity, using CIE's ΔE2000 as a color distance metric, of several color spaces that are typically used for medical applications. We applied our method to theoretical color spaces Gamma 1.8, 2.0, & 2.2, standard sRGB, and DICOM (correction LUT for gray applied to all primaries). In addition, we also measured color spaces (i.e., native behavior) of a high-end medical display (Barco Coronis Fusion 6MP DL, MDCC-6130), and a consumer display (Dell 1907FP). Our results indicate that sRGB & the native color space on the Barco Coronis Fusion exhibit the least non-uniformity within their group. However, the remaining degree of perceptual non-uniformity is still significant and there is room for improvement.
Wolfgang, Raymond B.; Podilchuk, Christine I.; Delp, Edward J., III
The growth of new imaging technologies has created a need for techniques that can be used for copyright protection of digital images. One approach for copyright protection is to introduce an invisible signal known as a digital watermark in the image. In this paper, we describe digital image watermarking techniques known as perceptually watermarks that are designed to exploit aspects of the human visual system in order to produce a transparent, yet robust watermark.
Eckstein, Miguel P.; Abbey, Craig K.; Pham, Binh T.; Shimozaki, Steven S.
Human performance in visual detection, discrimination, identification, and search tasks typically improves with practice. Psychophysical studies suggest that perceptual learning is mediated by an enhancement in the coding of the signal, and physiological studies suggest that it might be related to the plasticity in the weighting or selection of sensory units coding task relevant information (learning through attention optimization). We propose an experimental paradigm (optimal perceptual learning paradigm) to systematically study the dynamics of perceptual learning in humans by allowing comparisons to that of an optimal Bayesian algorithm and a number of suboptimal learning models. We measured improvement in human localization (eight-alternative forced-choice with feedback) performance of a target randomly sampled from four elongated Gaussian targets with different orientations and polarities and kept as a target for a block of four trials. The results suggest that the human perceptual learning can occur within a lapse of four trials (<1 min) but that human learning is slower and incomplete with respect to the optimal algorithm (23.3% reduction in human efficiency from the 1st-to-4th learning trials). The greatest improvement in human performance, occurring from the 1st-to-2nd learning trial, was also present in the optimal observer, and, thus reflects a property inherent to the visual task and not a property particular to the human perceptual learning mechanism. One notable source of human inefficiency is that, unlike the ideal observer, human learning relies more heavily on previous decisions than on the provided feedback, resulting in no human learning on trials following a previous incorrect localization decision. Finally, the proposed theory and paradigm provide a flexible framework for future studies to evaluate the optimality of human learning of other visual cues and/or sensory modalities.
Eckstein, Miguel P; Abbey, Craig K; Pham, Binh T; Shimozaki, Steven S
Human performance in visual detection, discrimination, identification, and search tasks typically improves with practice. Psychophysical studies suggest that perceptual learning is mediated by an enhancement in the coding of the signal, and physiological studies suggest that it might be related to the plasticity in the weighting or selection of sensory units coding task relevant information (learning through attention optimization). We propose an experimental paradigm (optimal perceptual learning paradigm) to systematically study the dynamics of perceptual learning in humans by allowing comparisons to that of an optimal Bayesian algorithm and a number of suboptimal learning models. We measured improvement in human localization (eight-alternative forced-choice with feedback) performance of a target randomly sampled from four elongated Gaussian targets with different orientations and polarities and kept as a target for a block of four trials. The results suggest that the human perceptual learning can occur within a lapse of four trials (<1 min) but that human learning is slower and incomplete with respect to the optimal algorithm (23.3% reduction in human efficiency from the 1st-to-4th learning trials). The greatest improvement in human performance, occurring from the 1st-to-2nd learning trial, was also present in the optimal observer, and, thus reflects a property inherent to the visual task and not a property particular to the human perceptual learning mechanism. One notable source of human inefficiency is that, unlike the ideal observer, human learning relies more heavily on previous decisions than on the provided feedback, resulting in no human learning on trials following a previous incorrect localization decision. Finally, the proposed theory and paradigm provide a flexible framework for future studies to evaluate the optimality of human learning of other visual cues and/or sensory modalities.
Karaminis, Themelis; Turi, Marco; Neil, Louise; Badcock, Nicholas A; Burr, David; Pellicano, Elizabeth
A recent study showed that adaptation to causal events (collisions) in adults caused subsequent events to be less likely perceived as causal. In this study, we examined if a similar negative adaptation effect for perceptual causality occurs in children, both typically developing and with autism. Previous studies have reported diminished adaptation for face identity, facial configuration and gaze direction in children with autism. To test whether diminished adaptive coding extends beyond high-level social stimuli (such as faces) and could be a general property of autistic perception, we developed a child-friendly paradigm for adaptation of perceptual causality. We compared the performance of 22 children with autism with 22 typically developing children, individually matched on age and ability (IQ scores). We found significant and equally robust adaptation aftereffects for perceptual causality in both groups. There were also no differences between the two groups in their attention, as revealed by reaction times and accuracy in a change-detection task. These findings suggest that adaptation to perceptual causality in autism is largely similar to typical development and, further, that diminished adaptive coding might not be a general characteristic of autism at low levels of the perceptual hierarchy, constraining existing theories of adaptation in autism.
Bushmakin, Maxim A; Eidels, Ami; Heathcote, Andrew
We develop a broad theoretical framework for modelling difficult perceptual information integration tasks under different decision rules. The framework allows us to compare coactive architectures, which combine information before it enters the decision process, with parallel architectures, where logical rules combine independent decisions made about each perceptual source. For both architectures we test the novel hypothesis that participants break the decision rules on some trials, making a response based on only one stimulus even though task instructions require them to consider both. Our models take account of not only the decisions made but also the distribution of the time that it takes to make them, providing an account of speed-accuracy tradeoffs and response biases occurring when one response is required more often than another. We also test a second novel hypothesis, that the nature of the decision rule changes the evidence on which choices are based. We apply the models to data from a perceptual integration task with near threshold stimuli under two different decision rules. The coactive architecture was clearly rejected in favor of logical-rules. The logical-rule models were shown to provide an accurate account of all aspects of the data, but only when they allow for response bias and the possibility for subjects to break those rules. We discuss how our framework can be applied more broadly, and its relationship to Townsend and Nozawa's (1995) Systems-Factorial Technology.
Moreno-Ríos, Sergio; Rojas-Barahona, Cristian A; García-Madruga, Juan A
Previous studies in spatial propositional reasoning showed that adults use a particular strategy for making representations and inferences from indeterminate descriptions (those consistent with different alternatives). They do not initially represent all the alternatives, but construct a unified mental representation that includes a kind of mental footnote. Only when the task requires access to alternatives is the unified representation re-inspected. The degree of generalisation of this proposal to other perceptual situations was evaluated in three experiments with children, adolescents and adults, using a perceptual inference task with diagrammatic premises that gave information about the location of one of three possible objects. Results obtained with this very quick perceptual task support the kind of representation proposed from propositional spatial reasoning studies. However, children and adults differed in accuracy, with the results gradually changing with age: indeterminacy leads adults to require extra time for understanding and inferring alternatives, whereas children commit errors. These results could help inform us of how people can make inferences from diagrammatic information and make wrong interpretations.
Straube, Benjamin; Chatterjee, Anjan
Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte's view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event) while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks.
Clemins, Patrick J.; Johnson, Michael T.
Two sets of generalized, perceptual-based features are investigated for use in classifying animal vocalizations. Since many species, especially mammals, share similar physical sound perception mechanisms which vary in size, two features sets commonly used in human speech processing, mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) and perceptual linear prediction (PLP) analysis, are modified for use in other species. One modification made to the feature extraction process is incorporating the frequency range of hearing and length of the basilar membrane of the animal in order to correctly determine the width and location of the critical band filters used for signal processing. Experimentally determined critical bands (equivalent rectangular bandwidth) and equal loudness curves (audiograms) can also be incorporated directly into the feature extraction process. Experiments are performed on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) vocalizations using a hidden Markov model (HMM) based classifier showing increased classification accuracy when using features sets based on the specific animals perceptual abilities compared to the original human perception-based feature sets.
Yang, Huan; Fang, Yuming; Lin, Weisi
Research on screen content images (SCIs) becomes important as they are increasingly used in multi-device communication applications. In this paper, we present a study on perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs subjectively and objectively. We construct a large-scale screen image quality assessment database (SIQAD) consisting of 20 source and 980 distorted SCIs. In order to get the subjective quality scores and investigate, which part (text or picture) contributes more to the overall visual quality, the single stimulus methodology with 11 point numerical scale is employed to obtain three kinds of subjective scores corresponding to the entire, textual, and pictorial regions, respectively. According to the analysis of subjective data, we propose a weighting strategy to account for the correlation among these three kinds of subjective scores. Furthermore, we design an objective metric to measure the visual quality of distorted SCIs by considering the visual difference of textual and pictorial regions. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed SCI perceptual quality assessment scheme, consisting of the objective metric and the weighting strategy, can achieve better performance than 11 state-of-the-art IQA methods. To the best of our knowledge, the SIQAD is the first large-scale database published for quality evaluation of SCIs, and this research is the first attempt to explore the perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs.
Lovaas, I; Newsom, C; Hickman, C
Self-stimulatory behavior is repetitive, stereotyped, functionally autonomous behavior seen in both normal and developmentally disabled populations, yet no satisfactory theory of its development and major characteristics has previously been offered. We present here a detailed hypothesis of the acquisition and maintenance of self-stimulatory behavior, proposing that the behaviors are operant responses whose reinforcers are automatically produced interoceptive and exteroceptive perceptual consequences. The concept of perceptual stimuli and reinforcers, the durability of self-stimulatory behaviors, the sensory extinction effect, the inverse relationship between self-stimulatory and other behaviors, the blocking effect of self-stimulatory behavior on new learning, and response substitution effects are discussed in terms of the hypothesis. Support for the hypothesis from the areas of sensory reinforcement and sensory deprivation is also reviewed. Limitations of major alternative theories are discussed, along with implications of the perceptual reinforcement hypothesis for the treatment of excessive self-stimulatory behavior and for theoretical conceptualizations of functionally related normal and pathological behaviors. PMID:3583964
Gordon, Matthew; Jany, Carmen; Nash, Carlos
Differences between languages in the stress-attracting properties of various syllable types (syllable weight) are associated with phonetic differences. Certain languages that preferentially stress CVC syllables (i.e., treat CVC as heavy) fail to display substantial vowel shortening in CVC, unlike languages that treat CVC as non-stress-attracting or light [Broselow et al. (1997)]. Furthermore, CVC has greater energy (intensity integrated over time) in languages in which it is heavy relative to languages with light CVC [Gordon (2002)]. This paper compares multiple potential acoustic and perceptual correlates of syllable weight. A representative cross section of syllable types in words uttered by speakers of four languages was recorded. In two languages (Arabic, Hindi), CVC is heavy; in two languages (Mongolian, Malayalam), CVC is light. Three measurements were taken: duration of the syllable rime, acoustic intensity integrated over the rime, and a measure of perceptual energy of the rime incorporating various factors (e.g., temporal integration and adaptation, bandpass filtering). Results thus far indicate that a measure of prominence factoring in both intensity and duration better distinguishes languages on the basis of weight criterion than a simple measure of duration. The perceptual energy measure provides a slightly better fit than acoustic energy. [Work supported by NSF.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children. PMID:27106318
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.
Bidelman, Gavin M; Grall, Jeremy
Pitch relationships in music are characterized by their degree of consonance, a hierarchical perceptual quality that distinguishes how pleasant musical chords/intervals sound to the ear. The origins of consonance have been debated since the ancient Greeks. To elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these musical fundamentals, we recorded neuroelectric brain activity while participants listened passively to various chromatic musical intervals (simultaneously sounding pitches) varying in their perceptual pleasantness (i.e., consonance/dissonance). Dichotic presentation eliminated acoustic and peripheral contributions that often confound explanations of consonance. We found that neural representations for pitch in early human auditory cortex code perceptual features of musical consonance and follow a hierarchical organization according to music-theoretic principles. These neural correlates emerge pre-attentively within ~ 150 ms after the onset of pitch, are segregated topographically in superior temporal gyrus with a rightward hemispheric bias, and closely mirror listeners' behavioral valence preferences for the chromatic tone combinations inherent to music. A perceptual-based organization implies that parallel to the phonetic code for speech, elements of music are mapped within early cerebral structures according to higher-order, perceptual principles and the rules of Western harmony rather than simple acoustic attributes.
Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Here, we review the role of top-down attention in both the acquisition and the expression of perceptual learning, as well as the role of learning in more efficiently guiding attentional modulations. Although attention often mediates learning at the outset of training, many of the characteristic behavioral and neural changes associated with learning can be observed even when stimuli are task irrelevant and ignored. However, depending on task demands, attention can override the effects of perceptual learning, suggesting that even if top-down factors are not strictly necessary to observe learning, they play a critical role in determining how learning-related changes in behavior and neural activity are ultimately expressed. In turn, training may also act to optimize the effectiveness of top-down attentional control by improving the efficiency of sensory gain modulations, regulating intrinsic noise, and altering the read-out of sensory information.
Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn; Bundesen, Claus; Kyllingsbaek, Søren
The human attention system helps us cope with a complex environment by supporting the selective processing of information relevant to our current goals. Understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that mediate selective attention is a core issue in cognitive neuroscience. One prominent model of selective attention, known as load theory, offers an account of how task demands determine when information is selected and an account of the efficiency of the selection process. However, load theory has several critical weaknesses that suggest that it is time for a new perspective. Here we review the strengths and weaknesses of load theory and offer an alternative biologically plausible computational account that is based on the neural theory of visual attention. We argue that this new perspective provides a detailed computational account of how bottom-up and top-down information is integrated to provide efficient attentional selection and allocation of perceptual processing resources.
Zaman, Jonas; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Wiech, Katja; Van Diest, Ilse
Recent neuropsychological theories emphasize the influence of maladaptive learning and memory processes on pain perception. However, the precise relationship between these processes as well as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood; especially the role of perceptual discrimination and its modulation by associative fear learning has received little attention so far. Experimental work with exteroceptive stimuli consistently points to effects of fear learning on perceptual discrimination acuity. In addition, clinical observations have revealed that in individuals with chronic pain perceptual discrimination is impaired, and that tactile discrimination training reduces pain. Based on these findings, we present a theoretical model of which the central tenet is that associative fear learning contributes to the development of chronic pain through impaired interoceptive and proprioceptive discrimination acuity.
Scalf, Paige E.; Torralbo, Ana; Tapia, Evelina; Beck, Diane M.
Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory. PMID:23717289
Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Schmid, Simone
In two experiments, we transferred perceptual load theory to the dynamic field of team sports and tested the predictions derived from the theory using a novel task and stimuli. We tested a group of college students (N = 33) and a group of expert team sport players (N = 32) on a general perceptual load task and a complex, soccer-specific perceptual load task in order to extend the understanding of the applicability of perceptual load theory and further investigate whether distractor interference may differ between the groups, as the sport-specific processing task may not exhaust the processing capacity of the expert participants. In both, the general and the specific task, the pattern of results supported perceptual load theory and demonstrates that the predictions of the theory also transfer to more complex, unstructured situations. Further, perceptual load was the only determinant of distractor processing, as we neither found expertise effects in the general perceptual load task nor the sport-specific task. We discuss the heuristic utility of using response-competition paradigms for studying both general and domain-specific perceptual-cognitive adaptations.
Kim, Yong-Hwan; Kang, Dong-Wha; Kim, Dongho; Kim, Hye-Jin; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as long-term improvement in performance on a visual-perception task after visual experiences or training. Early studies have found that VPL is highly specific for the trained feature and location, suggesting that VPL is associated with changes in the early visual cortex. However, the generality of visual skills enhancement attributable to action video-game experience suggests that VPL can result from improvement in higher cognitive skills. If so, experience in real-time strategy (RTS) video-game play, which may heavily involve cognitive skills, may also facilitate VPL. To test this hypothesis, we compared VPL between RTS video-game players (VGPs) and non-VGPs (NVGPs) and elucidated underlying structural and functional neural mechanisms. Healthy young human subjects underwent six training sessions on a texture discrimination task. Diffusion-tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging were performed before and after training. VGPs performed better than NVGPs in the early phase of training. White-matter connectivity between the right external capsule and visual cortex and neuronal activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were greater in VGPs than NVGPs and were significantly correlated with RTS video-game experience. In both VGPs and NVGPs, there was task-related neuronal activity in the right IFG, ACC, and striatum, which was strengthened after training. These results indicate that RTS video-game experience, associated with changes in higher-order cognitive functions and connectivity between visual and cognitive areas, facilitates VPL in early phases of training. The results support the hypothesis that VPL can occur without involvement of only visual areas. Significance statement: Although early studies found that visual perceptual learning (VPL) is associated with involvement of the visual cortex, generality of visual skills enhancement by action video-game experience
The frontal association cortex is composed of the prefrontal cortex and the motor-related areas except the primary motor cortex (i.e., the so-called higher motor areas), and is well-developed in primates, including humans. The prefrontal cortex receives and integrates large bits of diverse information from the parietal, temporal, and occipital association cortical areas (termed the posterior association cortex), and paralimbic association cortical areas. This information is then transmitted to the primary motor cortex via multiple motor-related areas. Given these facts, it is likely that the prefrontal cortex exerts executive functions for behavioral control. The functional input pathways from the posterior and paralimbic association cortical areas to the prefrontal cortex are classified primarily into six groups. Cognitive signals derived from the prefrontal cortex are conveyed to the rostral motor-related areas to transform them into motor signals, which finally enter the primary motor cortex via the caudal motor-related areas. Furthermore, it has been shown that, similar to the primary motor cortex, areas of the frontal association cortex form individual networks (known as "loop circuits") with the basal ganglia and cerebellum via the thalamus, and hence are extensively involved in the expression and control of behavioral actions.
Zeller, Daniel; Gross, Catharina; Bartsch, Andreas; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Classen, Joseph
The feeling of “body ownership” may be experimentally investigated by perceptual illusions. The “rubber hand illusion” (RHI) leads human subjects to experience an artificial hand as their own. According to functional imaging, the ventral premotor cortex (PMv) plays a key role in the integration of multisensory inputs allowing the “incorporation” of the rubber hand into body representation. However, causal structure–function relationships can only be obtained by lesion studies. Here, we tested the RHI in 70 stroke patients and in 40 age-matched healthy controls. Additionally, asomatognosia, the unawareness of one’s own body parts, was assessed in a subgroup of 64 stroke patients. Ischemic lesions were delineated on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images and normalized. Right-hemispheric lesions were mirrored across the midline. Voxels that might be essential for RHI and/or somatognosia were defined by voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. Probabilistic diffusion tractography was used to identify tracts passing through these voxels. Contralesional rubber hand illusion failure (RHIF) was observed in 18 (26%) of 70 stroke patients, an additional ipsilesional RHIF in seven of these patients. RHIF-associated lesion voxels were located subcortically adjacent to the insula, basal ganglia, and within the periventricular white matter. Tractography revealed fiber tract connections of these voxels with premotor, parietal, and prefrontal cortex. Contralesional asomatognosia was found in 18 (28%) of 64 stroke patients. In contrast to RHIF, asomatognosia-associated lesion voxels showed no connection with PMv. The results point to a role of PMv and its connections in mediating changes in the sense of limb ownership driven by multisensory stimulation. PMID:21451023
Kok, Peter; Bains, Lauren J; van Mourik, Tim; Norris, David G; de Lange, Floris P
In addition to bottom-up input, the visual cortex receives large amounts of feedback from other cortical areas [1-3]. One compelling example of feedback activation of early visual neurons in the absence of bottom-up input occurs during the famous Kanizsa illusion, where a triangular shape is perceived, even in regions of the image where there is no bottom-up visual evidence for it. This illusion increases the firing activity of neurons in the primary visual cortex with a receptive field on the illusory contour . Feedback signals are largely segregated from feedforward signals within each cortical area, with feedforward signals arriving in the middle layer, while top-down feedback avoids the middle layers and predominantly targets deep and superficial layers [1, 2, 5, 6]. Therefore, the feedback-mediated activity increase in V1 during the perception of illusory shapes should lead to a specific laminar activity profile that is distinct from the activity elicited by bottom-up stimulation. Here, we used fMRI at high field (7 T) to empirically test this hypothesis, by probing the cortical response to illusory figures in human V1 at different cortical depths [7-14]. We found that, whereas bottom-up stimulation activated all cortical layers, feedback activity induced by illusory figures led to a selective activation of the deep layers of V1. These results demonstrate the potential for non-invasive recordings of neural activity with laminar specificity in humans and elucidate the role of top-down signals during perceptual processing.
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
Ide, Masakazu; Hidaka, Souta; Ikeda, Hanako; Wada, Makoto
Crossmodal studies have demonstrated inhibitory as well as facilitatory neural effects in higher sensory association and primary sensory cortices. A recent human behavioral study reported touch-induced visual perceptual suppression (TIVS). Here, we introduced an experimental setting in which TIVS could occur and investigated brain activities underlying visuo-tactile interactions using a functional magnetic resonance imaging technique. While the suppressive effect of touch on vision was only found for half of the participants who could maintain their baseline performance above chance level (i.e. TIVS was not well replicated here), we focused on individual differences in the effect of touch on vision. This effect could be suppressive or enhancement, and the neuronal basis of these differences was analyzed. We found larger inhibitory responses in the anterior part of the right visual cortex (V1, V2) with higher TIVS magnitude when visuo-tactile stimuli were presented as spatially congruent. Activations in the right anterior superior temporal region, including the secondary somatosensory cortical area, were more strongly related to those in the visual cortex (V1, V2) with higher TIVS magnitude. These results indicate that inhibitory neural modulations from somatosensory to visual cortices and the resulting inhibitory neural responses in the visual cortex could be involved in TIVS. PMID:27874038
Bidelman, Gavin M; Patro, Chhayakanta
When noise obstructs portions of target sounds the auditory system fills in missing information, a phenomenon known as auditory restoration or induction. Previous work in animal models demonstrates that neurons in primary auditory cortex (A1) are capable of restoring occluded target signals suggesting that early auditory cortex is capable of inducing continuity in discontinuous signals (i.e., endogenous restoration). Current consensus is that the neural correlates of auditory induction and perceptual restoration emerge no earlier than A1. Moreover, the neural mechanisms supporting induction in humans are poorly understood. Here, we show that in human listeners, auditory brainstem nuclei support illusory auditory continuity well before engagement of cerebral cortex. We recorded brainstem responses to modulated target tones that did or did not promote illusory auditory percepts. Auditory continuity was manipulated by introducing masking noise or brief temporal interruptions in otherwise continuous tones. We found that auditory brainstem responses paralleled illusory continuity by tagging target sounds even when they were occluded by the auditory scene. Our results reveal (i) a pre-attentive, subcortical origin to a presumed cortical function and (ii) that brainstem signal processing helps partially cancel the negative effects of masking by restoring missing portions of auditory objects that are fragmented in the soundscape.
Potts, Geoffrey F.; Wood, Susan M.; Kothmann, Delia; Martin, Laura E.
Attention directs limited-capacity information processing resources to a subset of available perceptual representations. The mechanisms by which attention selects task-relevant representations for preferential processing are not fully known. Treisman & Gelade’s (1980) influential attention model posits that simple features are processed preattentively, in parallel, but that attention is required to serially conjoin multiple features into an object representation. Event-related potentials have provided evidence for this model showing parallel processing of perceptual features in the posterior Selection Negativity (SN) and serial, hierarchic processing of feature conjunctions in the Frontal Selection Positivity (FSP). Most prior studies have been done on conjunctions within one sensory modality while many real-world objects have multimodal features. It is not known if the same neural systems of posterior parallel processing of simple features and frontal serial processing of feature conjunctions seen within a sensory modality also operate on conjunctions between modalities. The current study used ERPs and simultaneously presented auditory and visual stimuli in three task conditions: Attend Auditory (auditory feature determines the target, visual features are irrelevant), Attend Visual (visual features relevant, auditory irrelevant), and Attend Conjunction (target defined by the co-occurrence of an auditory and a visual feature). In the Attend Conjunction condition when the auditory but not the visual feature was a target there was an SN over auditory cortex, when the visual but not auditory stimulus was a target there was an SN over visual cortex, and when both auditory and visual stimuli were targets (i.e. conjunction target) there were SNs over both auditory and visual cortex, indicating parallel processing of the simple features within each modality. In contrast, an FSP was present when either the visual only or both auditory and visual features were targets
Fishman, Yonatan I; Micheyl, Christophe; Steinschneider, Mitchell
The ability to detect and track relevant acoustic signals embedded in a background of other sounds is crucial for hearing in complex acoustic environments. This ability is exemplified by a perceptual phenomenon known as "rhythmic masking release" (RMR). To demonstrate RMR, a sequence of tones forming a target rhythm is intermingled with physically identical "Distracter" sounds that perceptually mask the rhythm. The rhythm can be "released from masking" by adding "Flanker" tones in adjacent frequency channels that are synchronous with the Distracters. RMR represents a special case of auditory stream segregation, whereby the target rhythm is perceptually segregated from the background of Distracters when they are accompanied by the synchronous Flankers. The neural basis of RMR is unknown. Previous studies suggest the involvement of primary auditory cortex (A1) in the perceptual organization of sound patterns. Here, we recorded neural responses to RMR sequences in A1 of awake monkeys in order to identify neural correlates and potential mechanisms of RMR. We also tested whether two current models of stream segregation, when applied to these responses, could account for the perceptual organization of RMR sequences. Results suggest a key role for suppression of Distracter-evoked responses by the simultaneous Flankers in the perceptual restoration of the target rhythm in RMR. Furthermore, predictions of stream segregation models paralleled the psychoacoustics of RMR in humans. These findings reinforce the view that preattentive or "primitive" aspects of auditory scene analysis may be explained by relatively basic neural mechanisms at the cortical level.
Ribolsi, Michele; Lisi, Giulia; Di Lorenzo, Giorgio; Koch, Giacomo; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Magni, Valentina; Pezzarossa, Bianca; Saya, Anna; Rociola, Giuseppe; Rubino, Ivo A.; Niolu, Cinzia; Siracusano, Alberto
Several contributions have reported an altered expression of pseudoneglect in psychiatric disorders, highlighting the existence of an anomalous brain lateralization in affected subjects. Surprisingly, no studies have yet investigated pseudoneglect in first-degree relatives (FdR) of psychiatric patients. We investigated performance on “paper and pencil” line bisection (LB) tasks in 68 schizophrenic patients (SCZ), 42 unaffected FdR, 41 unipolar depressive patients (UP), and 103 healthy subjects (HS). A subgroup of 20 SCZ and 16 HS underwent computerized LB and mental number line bisection (MNL) tasks requiring judgment of prebisected lines and numerical intervals. Moreover, we evaluated, in a subgroup of 15 SCZ, performance on LB and MNL before and after parietal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In comparison to HS and UP, SCZ showed a systematic rightward bias on LB, partially corrected by selective right posterior parietal tDCS. Interestingly, even FdR showed a lack of pseudoneglect on LB, expressing a mean error lying in the middle between those of HS and SCZ. On the other hand, our results showed no significant difference between the performance of SCZ and HS on MNL. Both groups showed a comparable leftward bias that could not be significantly altered after left or right parietal tDCS. These findings confirm the existence of reduced lateralization in SCZ, suggesting specific impaired functioning of the right parietal lobule. Notably, we report a lack of pseudoneglect not only in SCZ but also in FdR, raising the hypothesis that an inverted laterality pattern may be considered a concrete marker of schizotypal traits. PMID:22419195
Weidner, R; Shah, N J; Fink, G R
Four-dot masking is a new form of visual masking that does not involve local contour interactions or spatial superimposition of the target stimulus and the mask (as, e.g., in pattern or metacontrast masking). Rather, the effective masking mechanism is based on object substitution. Object substitution masking occurs when low-level visual information representations are altered before target identification through iterative interaction with high-level visual processing stages has been completed. Interestingly, object substitution interacts with attention processes: Strong masking effects are observed when attentional orientation toward the target location is delayed. In contrast, no masking occurs when attention can be rapidly shifted to and engaged onto the target location. We investigated the neural basis of object substitution masking by studying the interaction of spatial attention and masking processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Behavioral data indicated a two-way interaction between the factors Spatial Attention (valid vs. invalid cueing) and Masking (four-dot vs. pattern masking). As expected, spatial attention improved performance more strongly during object substitution masking. Functional correlates of this interaction were found in the primary visual cortex, higher visual areas, and left intraparietal sulcus. A region-of-interest analysis in these areas revealed that the largest blood oxygenation level-dependent signal changes occurred during effective four-dot masking. In contrast, the weakest signal changes in these areas were observed when target visibility was highest. The data suggest that these areas represent an object substitution network dedicated to the generation and testing of a perceptual hypotheses as described by the object substitution theory of masking of Di-Lollo et al. [Competition for consciousness among visual events: The psychophysics of reentrant visual processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129
Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Kiff, James; Shtyrov, Yury
We here investigate whether the well-known laterality of spoken language to the dominant left hemisphere could be explained by the learning of sensorimotor links between a word's articulatory program and its corresponding sound structure. Human-specific asymmetry of acoustic-articulatory connectivity is evident structurally, at the neuroanatomical level, in the arcuate fascicle, which connects superior-temporal and frontal cortices and is more developed in the left hemisphere. Because these left-lateralised fronto-temporal fibres provide a substrate for auditory-motor associations, we hypothesised that learning of acoustic-articulatory coincidences produces laterality, whereas perceptual learning does not. Twenty subjects studied a large (n=48) set of novel meaningless syllable combinations, pseudowords, in a perceptual learning condition, where they carefully listened to repeatedly presented novel items, and, crucially, in an articulatory learning condition, where each item had to be repeated immediately, so that articulatory and auditory speech-evoked cortical activations coincided. In the 14 subjects who successfully passed the learning routine and could recognize the learnt items reliably, both perceptual and articulatory learning were found to lead to an increase of pseudoword-elicited event-related potentials (ERPs), thus reflecting the formation of new memory circuits. Importantly, after articulatory learning, pseudoword-elicited ERPs were more strongly left-lateralised than after perceptual learning. Source localisation confirmed that perceptual learning led to increased activation in superior-temporal cortex bilaterally, whereas items learnt in the articulatory condition activated bilateral superior-temporal auditory in combination with left-pre-central motor areas. These results support a new explanation of the laterality of spoken language based on the neuroanatomy of sensorimotor links and Hebbian learning principles.
Franks, Kevin M; Russo, Marco J; Sosulski, Dara L; Mulligan, Abigail A; Siegelbaum, Steven A; Axel, Richard
In the piriform cortex, individual odorants activate a unique ensemble of neurons that are distributed without discernable spatial order. Piriform neurons receive convergent excitatory inputs from random collections of olfactory bulb glomeruli. Pyramidal cells also make extensive recurrent connections with other excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We introduced channelrhodopsin into the piriform cortex to characterize these intrinsic circuits and to examine their contribution to activity driven by afferent bulbar inputs. We demonstrated that individual pyramidal cells are sparsely interconnected by thousands of excitatory synaptic connections that extend, largely undiminished, across the piriform cortex, forming a large excitatory network that can dominate the bulbar input. Pyramidal cells also activate inhibitory interneurons that mediate strong, local feedback inhibition that scales with excitation. This recurrent network can enhance or suppress bulbar input, depending on whether the input arrives before or after the cortex is activated. This circuitry may shape the ensembles of piriform cells that encode odorant identity.
Mowery, Todd M.; Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.
Sensory systems influence one another during development and deprivation can lead to cross-modal plasticity. As auditory function begins before vision, we investigate the effect of manipulating visual experience during auditory cortex critical periods (CPs) by assessing the influence of early, normal and delayed eyelid opening on hearing loss-induced changes to membrane and inhibitory synaptic properties. Early eyelid opening closes the auditory cortex CPs precociously and dark rearing prevents this effect. In contrast, delayed eyelid opening extends the auditory cortex CPs by several additional days. The CP for recovery from hearing loss is also closed prematurely by early eyelid opening and extended by delayed eyelid opening. Furthermore, when coupled with transient hearing loss that animals normally fully recover from, very early visual experience leads to inhibitory deficits that persist into adulthood. Finally, we demonstrate a functional projection from the visual to auditory cortex that could mediate these effects. PMID:26786281
Benoni, Hanna; Tsal, Yehoshua
The present paper provides a short critical review of the theory of perceptual load. It closely examines the basic tenets and assumptions of the theory and identifies major conceptual and methodological problems that have been largely ignored in the literature. The discussion focuses on problems in the definition of the concept of perceptual load, on the circularity in the characterization and manipulation of perceptual load and the confusion between the concept of perceptual load and its operationalization. The paper also selectively reviews evidence supporting the theory as well as inconsistent evidence which proposed alternative dominant factors influencing the efficacy of attentional selection.
Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I
Perceptual decisions require the brain to weigh noisy evidence from sensory neurons to form categorical judgments that guide behavior. Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological findings suggesting that at least some forms of perceptual learning do not appear to affect the response properties of neurons that represent the sensory evidence. Instead, improved perceptual performance results from changes in how the sensory evidence is selected and weighed to form the decision. We discuss the implications of this idea for possible sites and mechanisms of training-induced improvements in perceptual processing in the brain.
Sjerps, Matthias J; Reinisch, Eva
Listeners have to overcome variability of the speech signal that can arise, for example, because of differences in room acoustics, differences in speakers' vocal tract properties, or idiosyncrasies in pronunciation. Two mechanisms that are involved in resolving such variation are perceptually contrastive effects that arise from surrounding acoustic context and lexically guided perceptual learning. Although both processes have been studied in great detail, little attention has been paid to how they operate relative to each other in speech perception. The present study set out to address this issue. The carrier parts of exposure stimuli of a classical perceptual learning experiment were spectrally filtered such that the acoustically ambiguous final fricatives sounded relatively more like the lexically intended sound (Experiment 1) or the alternative (Experiment 2). Perceptual learning was found only in the latter case. The findings show that perceptual contrast effects precede lexically guided perceptual learning, at least in terms of temporal order, and potentially in terms of cognitive processing levels as well.
Argandoña, Enrike G; Bengoetxea, Harkaitz; Lafuente, José V
The development of the cortical vascular tree depends on functional development. External inputs are an essential requirement in the modeling of the visual cortex, mainly during the critical period, when congruous blood supply is needed. The blood brain barrier (BBB) function regulates the passage of substances between the blood and the brain parenchyma, which is one of the main differential features of central nervous system (CNS) microvessels. The endothelial barrier antigen (EBA) has been reported as a specific marker for the BBB physiological function in rats. We studied the postnatal development of EBA expression in the visual cortex of rats reared under opposite paradigms of visual experience, e.g., standard laboratory conditions, dark rearing, and enriched environment at 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, and 63 days postnatal (dpn). Parallel sections were immunohistochemically processed for endothelial barrier antigen (EBA) and glucose transporter-1 (GluT-1). Total vasculature was quantified by Lycopersicon esculentum (LEA) lectin histochemistry. No differences in EBA expression were found between groups, although quantitative differences were recorded paralleling differences in vascular density. Paradoxically, there was no expression in certain cortical vessels which were GluT-1 immunopositive and positivity was consistent in non-barrier areas such as the pineal gland. These findings were completely independent of age or experimental conditions. Therefore, the role of the EBA antigen in the BBB remains unclear: it has been undeniably linked to vascular permeability, but its presence in non-barrier vessels suggests another vascular function. Although visual experience modifies vascular density in the visual cortex, it has not been shown to have an influence on the maturation of the BBB function.
Gotts, Stephen J.; Milleville, Shawn C.; Martin, Alex
Recent experience identifying objects leads to later improvements in both speed and accuracy (“repetition priming”), along with simultaneous reductions of neural activity (“repetition suppression”). A popular interpretation of these joint behavioral and neural phenomena is that object representations become perceptually “sharper” with stimulus repetition, eliminating cells that are poorly stimulus-selective and responsive and reducing support for competing representations downstream. Here, we test this hypothesis in an fMRI-adaptation experiment using pictures of objects. Prior to fMRI, participants repeatedly named a set of object pictures. During fMRI, participants viewed adaptation sequences composed of rapidly repeated objects (3-6 repetitions over several seconds) that were either named previously or that were new for the fMRI session, followed by single “deviant” object pictures used to measure recovery from adaptation and that shared a relationship to the adapted picture (a different exemplar of the same object, a conceptual associate, or an unrelated picture). Effects of adaptation and recovery were found throughout visually responsive brain regions. Occipitotemporal cortical regions displayed repetition suppression to previously named relative to new adaptors but failed to exhibit pronounced changes in neural tuning. In contrast, changes in the slope of the recovery curves were found in the left lateral prefrontal cortex: Greater residual adaptation was observed to exemplar stimuli and conceptual associates following previously named adapting stimuli, consistent with greater rather than reduced neural overlap among representations of conceptually related objects. Furthermore, this change in neural tuning was directly related to the proportion of conceptual errors made by participants in the naming sessions pre- and post-fMRI, establishing that the experience-dependent conceptual broadening of object representations seen in fMRI is also
Zeng, Fan-Gang; Kong, Ying-Yee; Michalewski, Henry J; Starr, Arnold
Perceptual consequences of disrupted auditory nerve activity were systematically studied in 21 subjects who had been clinically diagnosed with auditory neuropathy (AN), a recently defined disorder characterized by normal outer hair cell function but disrupted auditory nerve function. Neurological and electrophysical evidence suggests that disrupted auditory nerve activity is due to desynchronized or reduced neural activity or both. Psychophysical measures showed that the disrupted neural activity has minimal effects on intensity-related perception, such as loudness discrimination, pitch discrimination at high frequencies, and sound localization using interaural level differences. In contrast, the disrupted neural activity significantly impairs timing related perception, such as pitch discrimination at low frequencies, temporal integration, gap detection, temporal modulation detection, backward and forward masking, signal detection in noise, binaural beats, and sound localization using interaural time differences. These perceptual consequences are the opposite of what is typically observed in cochlear-impaired subjects who have impaired intensity perception but relatively normal temporal processing after taking their impaired intensity perception into account. These differences in perceptual consequences between auditory neuropathy and cochlear damage suggest the use of different neural codes in auditory perception: a suboptimal spike count code for intensity processing, a synchronized spike code for temporal processing, and a duplex code for frequency processing. We also proposed two underlying physiological models based on desynchronized and reduced discharge in the auditory nerve to successfully account for the observed neurological and behavioral data. These methods and measures cannot differentiate between these two AN models, but future studies using electric stimulation of the auditory nerve via a cochlear implant might. These results not only show the unique
Hicks, J.L.; Starns, J.J.
We used implicit measures of memory to ascertain whether false memories for critical nonpresented items in the DRM paradigm (Deese, 1959; Roediger & McDermott, 1995) contain structural and perceptual detail. In Experiment 1, we manipulated presentation modality in a visual word-stem-completion task. Critical item priming was significant and…
Ratcliff, Roger; Smith, Philip L.
The authors report 9 new experiments and reanalyze 3 published experiments that investigate factors affecting the time course of perceptual processing and its effects on subsequent decision making. Stimuli in letter-discrimination and brightness-discrimination tasks were degraded with static and dynamic noise. The onset and the time course of…
Miller, Louisa; McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie
Perceptual processing in autism is associated with both "strengths" and "weaknesses" but within a literature that varies widely in terms of the assessments used. We report data from 12 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 12 age and IQ matched neurotypical controls tested on a set of tasks using the same stimuli…
Besken, Miri; Mulligan, Neil W.
Judgments of learning (JOLs) are sometimes influenced by factors that do not impact actual memory performance. One recent proposal is that perceptual fluency during encoding affects metamemory and is a basis of metacognitive illusions. In the present experiments, participants identified aurally presented words that contained inter-spliced silences…
Watson, Andrew B.
A perceptual-components architecture for digital video partitions the image stream into signal components in a manner analogous to that used in the human visual system. These components consist of achromatic and opponent color channels, divided into static and motion channels, further divided into bands of particular spatial frequency and orientation. Bits are allocated to an individual band in accord with visual sensitivity to that band and in accord with the properties of visual masking. This architecture is argued to have desirable features such as efficiency, error tolerance, scalability, device independence, and extensibility.
Watson, Andrew B.; Liu, Zhen; Karam, Lina J.
An alternative approach has been devised for encoding image data in compliance with JPEG 2000, the most recent still-image data-compression standard of the Joint Photographic Experts Group. Heretofore, JPEG 2000 encoding has been implemented by several related schemes classified as rate-based distortion-minimization encoding. In each of these schemes, the end user specifies a desired bit rate and the encoding algorithm strives to attain that rate while minimizing a mean squared error (MSE). While rate-based distortion minimization is appropriate for transmitting data over a limited-bandwidth channel, it is not the best approach for applications in which the perceptual quality of reconstructed images is a major consideration. A better approach for such applications is the present alternative one, denoted perceptual distortion control, in which the encoding algorithm strives to compress data to the lowest bit rate that yields at least a specified level of perceptual image quality. Some additional background information on JPEG 2000 is prerequisite to a meaningful summary of JPEG encoding with perceptual distortion control. The JPEG 2000 encoding process includes two subprocesses known as tier-1 and tier-2 coding. In order to minimize the MSE for the desired bit rate, a rate-distortion- optimization subprocess is introduced between the tier-1 and tier-2 subprocesses. In tier-1 coding, each coding block is independently bit-plane coded from the most-significant-bit (MSB) plane to the least-significant-bit (LSB) plane, using three coding passes (except for the MSB plane, which is coded using only one "clean up" coding pass). For M bit planes, this subprocess involves a total number of (3M - 2) coding passes. An embedded bit stream is then generated for each coding block. Information on the reduction in distortion and the increase in the bit rate associated with each coding pass is collected. This information is then used in a rate-control procedure to determine the
Gupta, U; Dubey, G P; Gupta, B S
The present study examined the effects of caffeine on the estimation of felt width of blocks employing haptic presentation. Following a between-subject design, 160 male postgraduate students classified as high or low impulsives received either placebo or one of four doses of caffeine citrate (1, 2, 3 and 4 mg/kg body weight). A double-blind procedure was adopted for drug administration. Caffeine produced differential effects on the performance of high and low impulsives, facilitated performance (decreased error in perceptual judgment) in high impulsives but had no influence on the performance of low impulsives. The dose-response trends also followed different patterns in the two groups of subjects.
CX-516 is one of a series of AMPA modulators under development by Cortex, in collaboration with Shire and Servier, for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), schizophrenia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) . By June 2001, CX-516 was in phase II trials for both schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . A phase II trial in fragile X syndrome and autism was expected to start in May 2002 . In October 2001, Cortex was awarded a Phase II SBIR grant of $769,818 from the National Institutes of Mental Health to investigate the therapeutic potential of AMPAkines in schizophrenia. This award was to support a phase IIb study of CX-516 as a combination therapy in schizophrenia patients concomitantly treated with olanzapine. The trial was to enroll 80 patients and employ a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in which the placebo group was to receive olanzapine plus placebo and the active group was to receive olanzapine plus CX-516 . In April 2000, Shire and Cortex signed an option agreement in which Shire was to evaluate CX-516for the treatment of ADHD. Under the terms of the agreement, Shire would undertake a double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of CX-516 involving ADHD patients. If the study proved effective, Shire would have the right to convert its option into an exclusive worldwide license for the AMPAkines for ADHD under a development and licensing agreement. Should Shire elect to execute this agreement, Shire would bear all future developmental costs . By February 2002, Cortex and Servier had revealed their intention to begin enrolment for an international study of an AMPAkine compound as a potential treatment for MCI in the near future. Assuming enrollment proceeded as anticipated, results were expected during the second quarter of 2003 . By May 2002, phase II trials were underway . In March 2002, Cortex was awarded extended funding under the
Radhu, Natasha; Garcia Dominguez, Luis; Farzan, Faranak; Richter, Margaret A.; Semeralul, Mawahib O.; Chen, Robert; Fitzgerald, Paul B.
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
Yoshitake, Kohei; Tsukano, Hiroaki; Tohmi, Manavu; Komagata, Seiji; Hishida, Ryuichi; Yagi, Takeshi; Shibuki, Katsuei
Mice navigate nearby space using their vision and whiskers, and young mice learn to integrate these heterogeneous inputs in perceptual space. We found that cortical responses were depressed in the primary visual cortex of young mice after wearing a monocular prism. This depression was uniformly observed in the primary visual cortex and was eliminated by whisker trimming or lesions in the posterior parietal cortex. Compensatory visual map shifts of responses elicited via the eye that had worn the prism were also observed. As a result, cortical responses elicited via each eye were clearly separated when a visual stimulus was placed in front of the mice. A comparison of response areas before and after prism wearing indicated that the map shifts were produced by depression with spatial eccentricity. Visual map shifts based on whisker-guided cues may serve as a model for investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying higher sensory integration in the mammalian brain.
Proverbio, Alice Mado; D'Aniello, Guido Edoardo; Adorni, Roberta; Zani, Alberto
As the makers of silent movies knew well, it is not necessary to provide an actual auditory stimulus to activate the sensation of sounds typically associated with what we are viewing. Thus, you could almost hear the neigh of Rodolfo Valentino's horse, even though the film was mute. Evidence is provided that the mere sight of a photograph associated with a sound can activate the associative auditory cortex. High-density ERPs were recorded in 15 participants while they viewed hundreds of perceptually matched images that were associated (or not) with a given sound. Sound stimuli were discriminated from non-sound stimuli as early as 110 ms. SwLORETA reconstructions showed common activation of ventral stream areas for both types of stimuli and of the associative temporal cortex, at the earliest stage, only for sound stimuli. The primary auditory cortex (BA41) was also activated by sound images after approximately 200 ms.
Masrour, Farid; Nirshberg, Gregory; Schon, Michael; Leardi, Jason; Barrett, Emily
Some theorists hold that the human perceptual system has a component that receives input only from units lower in the perceptual hierarchy. This thesis, that we shall here refer to as the encapsulation thesis, has been at the center of a continuing debate for the past few decades. Those who deny the encapsulation thesis often rely on the large body of psychological findings that allegedly suggest that perception is influenced by factors such as the beliefs, desires, goals, and the expectations of the perceiver. Proponents of the encapsulation thesis, however, often argue that, when correctly interpreted, these psychological findings are compatible with the thesis. In our view, the debate over the significance and the correct interpretation of these psychological findings has reached an impasse. We hold that this impasse is due to the methodological limitations over psychophysical experiments, and it is very unlikely that such experiments, on their own, could yield results that would settle the debate. After defending this claim, we argue that integrating data from cognitive neuroscience resolves the debate in favor of those who deny the encapsulation thesis. PMID:26583001
Infants are prepared by biology to acquire language, but it is the native language(s) they must learn. Over the first weeks and months of life, infants learn about the sounds and sights of their native language, and use that perceptual knowledge to pull out words and bootstrap grammar. In this paper, I review research showing that infants growing up bilingual learn the properties of each of the their two languages simultaneously, while nonetheless keeping them apart. Thus, they use perceptual learning to break into the properties of each of the two native languages. While the fundamental process of language acquisition is the same whether one or two languages are being acquired, cognitive advantages accrue from the task of language separation, and processing costs accrue from the more minimal input received in each of the two languages. I conclude by suggesting that when there are sufficient cues to which language is being used, the cognitive advantages that accrue from language separation enable the bilingual infant to move forward in language acquisition even in the face of processing costs.
Al-Dossari, Munira; Blake, Randolph; Brascamp, Jan W.; Freeman, Alan W.
When perceptually ambiguous stimuli are presented intermittently, the percept on one presentation tends to be the same as that on the previous presentation. The role of short-term, acute biases in the production of this perceptual stability is relatively well understood. In addition, however, long-lasting, chronic bias may also contribute to stability. In this paper we develop indices for both biases and for stability, and show that stability can be expressed as a sum of contributions from the two types of bias. We then apply this analytical procedure to binocular rivalry, showing that adjustment of the monocular contrasts can alter the relative contributions of the two biases. Stability is mainly determined by chronic bias when the contrasts are equal, but acute bias dominates stability when right-eye contrast is set lower than left-eye contrast. Finally, we show that the right-eye bias persists in continuous binocular rivalry. Our findings reveal a previously unappreciated contribution of chronic bias to stable perception. PMID:26641947
Krumhansl, C L; Iverson, P
These experiments examined perceptual interactions between musical pitch and timbre. Experiment 1, through the use of the Garner classification tasks, found that pitch and timbre of isolated tones interact. Classification times showed interference from uncorrelated variation in the irrelevant attribute and facilitation from correlated variation; the effects were symmetrical. Experiments 2 and 3 examined how musical pitch and timbre function in longer sequences. In recognition memory tasks, a target tone always appeared in a fixed position in the sequences, and listeners were instructed to attend to either its pitch or its timbre. For successive tones, no interactions between timbre and pitch were found. That is, changing the pitches of context tones did not affect timbre recognition, and vice versa. The tendency to perceive pitch in relation to other context pitches was strong and unaffected by whether timbre was constant or varying. In contrast, the relative perception of timbre was weak and was found only when pitch was constant. These results suggest that timbre is perceived more in absolute than in relative terms. Perceptual implications for creating patterns in music with timbre variations are discussed.
Lajevardi, Seyed Mehdi; Wu, Hong Ren
This paper introduces a tensor perceptual color framework (TPCF) for facial expression recognition (FER), which is based on information contained in color facial images. The TPCF enables multi-linear image analysis in different color spaces and demonstrates that color components provide additional information for robust FER. Using this framework, the components (in either RGB, YCbCr, CIELab or CIELuv space) of color images are unfolded to two-dimensional (2- D) tensors based on multi-linear algebra and tensor concepts, from which the features are extracted by Log-Gabor filters. The mutual information quotient (MIQ) method is employed for feature selection. These features are classified using a multi-class linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier. The effectiveness of color information on FER using low-resolution and facial expression images with illumination variations is assessed for performance evaluation. Experimental results demonstrate that color information has significant potential to improve emotion recognition performance due to the complementary characteristics of image textures. Furthermore, the perceptual color spaces (CIELab and CIELuv) are better overall for facial expression recognition than other color spaces by providing more efficient and robust performance for facial expression recognition using facial images with illumination variation.
Folker, Joanne; Murdoch, Bruce; Cahill, Louise; Delatycki, Martin; Corben, Louise; Vogel, Adam
The aims of this study were to: (1) evaluate the perceptual speech dimensions, speech intelligibility and dysarthria severity of a group of individuals diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA); (2) determine the presence of subgroups within FRDA dysarthria; (3) investigate the relationship between the speech outcome and the clinical factors of disease progression. The study included 38 individuals (21 female, 17 male) with a confirmed diagnosis of FRDA. A group of 20 non-neurologically impaired individuals served as controls. Perceptual analysis, investigating 30 different dimensions of speech, was conducted on a speech sample obtained from each participant. In addition, the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthria Speech was administered. All FRDA participants presented with dysarthria with severities ranging from mild to moderate. Cluster analysis revealed 3 subgroups, the first presenting with mild dysarthric symptoms, the second with increased velopharyngeal involvement and the third characterized by increased laryngeal dysfunction. Dysarthria severity showed a significant correlation to disease duration but to no other clinical measure. The findings support the notion of subgroups in FRDA dysarthria, representing distinct impairments of the speech mechanism and perhaps reflective of differing evolutions beyond the cerebellum.
Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne
Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out.
Roeder, Jessica L; Ashby, F Gregory
An experiment is described that tested whether stimulus-response associations or an abstract rule are automatized during extensive practice at perceptual categorization. Twenty-seven participants each completed 12,300 trials of perceptual categorization, either on rule-based (RB) categories that could be learned explicitly or information-integration (II) categories that required procedural learning. Each participant practiced predominantly on a primary category structure, but every third session they switched to a secondary structure that used the same stimuli and responses. Half the stimuli retained their same response on the primary and secondary categories (the congruent stimuli) and half switched responses (the incongruent stimuli). Several results stood out. First, performance on the primary categories met the standard criteria of automaticity by the end of training. Second, for the primary categories in the RB condition, accuracy and response time (RT) were identical on congruent and incongruent stimuli. In contrast, for the primary II categories, accuracy was higher and RT was lower for congruent than for incongruent stimuli. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that rules are automatized in RB tasks, whereas stimulus-response associations are automatized in II tasks. A cognitive neuroscience theory is proposed that accounts for these results.
Pazzaglia, Mariella; Galli, Giulia
The bidirectional flow of perceptual and motor information has recently proven useful as rehabilitative tool for re-building motor memories. We analyzed how the visual-motor approach has been successfully applied in neurorehabilitation, leading to surprisingly rapid and effective improvements in action execution. We proposed that the contribution of multiple sensory channels during treatment enables individuals to predict and optimize motor behavior, having a greater effect than visual input alone. We explored how the state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques show direct evidence that employment of visual-motor approach leads to increased motor cortex excitability and synaptic and cortical map plasticity. This super-additive response to multimodal stimulation may maximize neural plasticity, potentiating the effect of conventional treatment, and will be a valuable approach when it comes to advances in innovative methodologies. PMID:26347631
Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Boeing, Alexandra; Calder, Andrew J
Despite the discovery of body-selective neural areas in occipitotemporal cortex, little is known about how bodies are visually coded. We used perceptual adaptation to determine how body identity is coded. Brief exposure to a body (e.g., anti-Rose) biased perception toward an identity with opposite properties (Rose). Moreover, the size of this aftereffect increased with adaptor extremity, as predicted by norm-based, opponent coding of body identity. A size change between adapt and test bodies minimized the effects of low-level, retinotopic adaptation. These results demonstrate that body identity, like face identity, is opponent coded in higher-level vision. More generally, they show that a norm-based multidimensional framework, which is well established for face perception, may provide a powerful framework for understanding body perception.
Kaminski, Jennifer A.; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.
Educational material often includes engaging perceptual information. However, this perceptual information is often extraneous and may compete with the deeper to-be-learned structure, consequently hindering either the learning of relevant structure or its transfer to new situations. This hypothesis was tested in 4 experiments in which 6- to…
Forster, Sophie; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load is a key determinant of distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., Lavie, N. (2005). "Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load." "Trends in Cognitive Sciences," 9, 75-82). Here we establish the role of perceptual load in determining an internal form of distraction by task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs or…
Li, Haishan; He, Qingshun
Ambiguity tolerance and perceptual learning styles are the two influential elements showing individual differences in EFL learning. This research is intended to explore the relationship between Chinese EFL learners' ambiguity tolerance and their preferred perceptual learning styles. The findings include (1) the learners are sensitive to English…
Sperlich, Anja; Meixner, Johannes; Laubrock, Jochen
The perceptual span is a standard measure of parafoveal processing, which is considered highly important for efficient reading. Is the perceptual span a stable indicator of reading performance? What drives its development? Do initially slower and faster readers converge or diverge over development? Here we present the first longitudinal data on the development of the perceptual span in elementary school children. Using the moving window technique, eye movements of 127 German children in three age groups (Grades 1, 2, and 3 in Year 1) were recorded at two time points (T1 and T2) 1 year apart. Introducing a new measure of the perceptual span, nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was used to separate window size effects from asymptotic reading performance. Cross-sectional differences were well replicated longitudinally. Asymptotic reading rate increased monotonously with grade, but in a decelerating fashion. A significant change in the perceptual span was observed only between Grades 2 and 3. Together with results from a cross-lagged panel model, this suggests that the perceptual span increases as a consequence of relatively well-established word reading. Stabilities of observed and predicted reading rates were high after Grade 1, whereas the perceptual span was only moderately stable for all grades. Comparing faster and slower readers as assessed at T1, in general, a pattern of stable between-group differences emerged rather than a compensatory pattern; second and third graders even showed a Matthew effect in reading rate and the perceptual span, respectively.
Wepman, Joseph M.
Presented is a developmental concept of perceptual processing as related to learning disabilities in young children. Learning is seen to involve the interaction of cognitive developmental stages at the preverbal, verbal, and postverbal levels with learning disabilities seen to be due to perceptual handicaps. A model is offered which posits a…
Posid, Tasha; Cordes, Sara
A crucial component of numerical understanding is one's ability to abstract numerical properties regardless of varying perceptual attributes. Evidence from numerical match-to-sample tasks suggests that children find it difficult to match sets based on number in the face of varying perceptual attributes, yet it is unclear whether these findings are…
Sheridan, Heather; Reingold, Eyal M.
The present experiments examined perceptual specificity effects using a rereading paradigm. Eye movements were monitored while participants read the same target word twice, in two different low-constraint sentence frames. The congruency of perceptual processing was manipulated by either presenting the target word in the same distortion typography…
Zhou, Peiyun; Christianson, Kiel
When readers engage in Auditory Perceptual Simulation (APS) during silent reading, they mentally simulate characteristics of voices attributed to a particular speaker or a character depicted in the text. Previous research found that auditory perceptual simulation of a faster native English speaker during silent reading led to shorter reading times that auditory perceptual simulation of a slower non-native English speaker. Yet, it was uncertain whether this difference was triggered by the different speech rates of the speakers, or by the difficulty of simulating an unfamiliar accent. The current study investigates this question by comparing faster Indian-English speech and slower American-English speech in the auditory perceptual simulation paradigm. Analyses of reading times of individual words and the full sentence reveal that the auditory perceptual simulation effect again modulated reading rate, and auditory perceptual simulation of the faster Indian-English speech led to faster reading rates compared to auditory perceptual simulation of the slower American-English speech. The comparison between this experiment and the data from Zhou and Christianson (2016) demonstrate further that the "speakers'" speech rates, rather than the difficulty of simulating a non-native accent, is the primary mechanism underlying auditory perceptual simulation effects.
Ludwig, Casimir J. H.; Davies, J. Rhys
Perceptual decision-making is thought to involve a gradual accrual of noisy evidence. Temporal integration of the evidence reduces the relative contribution of dynamic internal noise to the decision variable, thereby boosting its signal-to-noise ratio. We aimed to estimate the internal evidence guiding perceptual decisions over time, using a novel…
Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi
In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…
Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles
We compared the ability of auditory, visual, and audiovisual (bimodal) exogenous cues to capture visuo-spatial attention under conditions of no load versus high perceptual load. Participants had to discriminate the elevation (up vs. down) of visual targets preceded by either unimodal or bimodal cues under conditions of high perceptual load (in…
Fair, Joseph; Flom, Ross; Jones, Jacob; Martin, Justin
Six-month-olds reliably discriminate different monkey and human faces whereas 9-month-olds only discriminate different human faces. It is often falsely assumed that perceptual narrowing reflects a permanent change in perceptual abilities. In 3 experiments, ninety-six 12-month-olds' discrimination of unfamiliar monkey faces was examined. Following…
Ramapo Central School District 1, Suffern, NY.
The experimental program in visual-motor-perceptual training in Ramapo Central School District No. 1, Suffern, New York, was used as a guideline to prepare a detailed description of specific activities and exercises to be used by administrators and teachers. In the program, 80 visual-motor-perceptual handicapped children in first, second, and…
During the first year of life, infants' face recognition abilities are subject to "perceptual narrowing", the end result of which is that observers lose the ability to distinguish previously discriminable faces (e.g. other-race faces) from one another. Perceptual narrowing has been reported for faces of different species and different races, in…
South Euclid - Lyndhurst City Schools, Lyndhurst, OH.
This document has been prepared as part of a kindergarten perceptual-training program of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District near Cleveland, Ohio. The guide contains information on training and procedures related to perceptual-motor learning. This information is structured primarily into 150 lesson plans, devised as 30-minute sessions…
Jones, Pete R.; Moore, David R.; Shub, Daniel E.; Amitay, Sygal
Sensory judgments improve with practice. Such perceptual learning is often thought to reflect an increase in perceptual sensitivity. However, it may also represent a decrease in response bias, with unpracticed observers acting in part on a priori hunches rather than sensory evidence. To examine whether this is the case, 55 observers practiced…
Conrod, Beverley E.; And Others
Active and passive perceptual training methods were tested with 30 macular degeneration patients to improve their residual vision. The main conclusion was that perceptual training may contribute to successful visual adjustment and that the effect of training is not limited to a particular level of visual impairment. (Author/CL)
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the…
Lavie, Nilli; Lin, Zhicheng; Zokaei, Nahid; Thoma, Volker
Predictions from perceptual load theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) regarding object recognition across the same or different viewpoints were tested. Results showed that high perceptual load reduces distracter recognition levels despite always presenting distracter objects from the same view. They also showed that the levels of distracter recognition were…
Aslin, Richard N.
Bhatt and Quinn (2011) provide a compelling and comprehensive review of empirical evidence that supports the operation of principles of perceptual organization in young infants. They also have provided a comprehensive list of experiences that could serve to trigger the learning of at least some of these principles of perceptual organization, and…
Bonaiuto, James J; de Berker, Archy; Bestmann, Sven
Animals and humans have a tendency to repeat recent choices, a phenomenon known as choice hysteresis. The mechanism for this choice bias remains unclear. Using an established, biophysically informed model of a competitive attractor network for decision making, we found that decaying tail activity from the previous trial caused choice hysteresis, especially during difficult trials, and accurately predicted human perceptual choices. In the model, choice variability could be directionally altered through amplification or dampening of post-trial activity decay through simulated depolarizing or hyperpolarizing network stimulation. An analogous intervention using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) yielded a close match between model predictions and experimental results: net soma depolarizing currents increased choice hysteresis, while hyperpolarizing currents suppressed it. Residual activity in competitive attractor networks within dlPFC may thus give rise to biases in perceptual choices, which can be directionally controlled through non-invasive brain stimulation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20047.001 PMID:28005007
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds’ performance on a second measure, the perceptual unity task. Two parameters in the model – corresponding to areas in the occipital and parietal cortices – were systematically varied while the gaze patterns produced by the model were recorded and subsequently analyzed. Three key findings emerged from the simulation study. First, the model successfully replicated the performance of 3-month-olds on the unity perception task. Second, the model also helps to explain the improved performance of 2-month-olds when the size of the occluder in the unity perception task is reduced. Third, in contrast to our previous simulation results, variation in only one of the two cortical regions simulated (i.e. recurrent activity in posterior parietal cortex) resulted in a performance pattern that matched 3-month-olds. These findings provide additional support for our hypothesis that the development of perceptual completion in early infancy is promoted by progressive improvements in visual selective attention and oculomotor skill. PMID:23106728
Neuhoff, John G.; Bilecen, Deniz; Mustovic, Henrietta; Schachinger, Hartmut; Seifritz, Erich; Scheffler, Klaus; di Salle, Francesco
Relative motion between a sound source and a listener creates a change in acoustic intensity that can be used to anticipate the source's approach. Humans have been shown to overestimate the intensity change of rising compared to falling intensity sounds and underestimate the time-to-contact of approaching sound sources. From an evolutionary perspective, this perceptual priority for looming sounds may represent an adaptive advantage that provides an increased margin of safety for responding to approaching auditory objects. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that the prioritization of rising contrasted with falling intensity sine-tones is grounded in a specific neural network. This network is predominantly composed of the superior temporal sulci, the middle temporal gyri, the right temporo-parietal junction, the motor and premotor cortices mainly on the right hemisphere, the left frontal operculum, and the left superior posterior cerebellar cortex. These regions are critical for the allocation of attention, the analysis of space, object recognition, and neurobehavioral preparation for action. Our results identify a widespread neural network underpinning the perceptual priority for looming sounds that can be used in translating sensory information into preparedness for adverse events and appropriate action. [Work supported by the Swiss and the American NSFs.
Whitton, Jonathon P; Hancock, Kenneth E; Polley, Daniel B
All sensory systems face the fundamental challenge of encoding weak signals in noisy backgrounds. Although discrimination abilities can improve with practice, these benefits rarely generalize to untrained stimulus dimensions. Inspired by recent findings that action video game training can impart a broader spectrum of benefits than traditional perceptual learning paradigms, we trained adult humans and mice in an immersive audio game that challenged them to forage for hidden auditory targets in a 2D soundscape. Both species learned to modulate their angular search vectors and target approach velocities based on real-time changes in the level of a weak tone embedded in broadband noise. In humans, mastery of this tone in noise task generalized to an improved ability to comprehend spoken sentences in speech babble noise. Neural plasticity in the auditory cortex of trained mice supported improved decoding of low-intensity sounds at the training frequency and an enhanced resistance to interference from background masking noise. These findings highlight the potential to improve the neural and perceptual salience of degraded sensory stimuli through immersive computerized games.
Chiou, Ruei-Jen; Lee, Hsiao-Yun; Chang, Chen-Wei; Lin, Kuan-Hung; Kuo, Chung-Chih
Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a promising clinical procedure to help alleviate chronic pain. Animal models demonstrated that MCS is effective in lessening nocifensive behaviors. The present study explored the effects of MCS on cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) recorded at the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the rat. SEPs were evoked by electrical stimulation applied to the contralateral forepaws. Effects of different intensities, frequencies, and durations of MCS were tested. MCS at ≥2V suppressed SEPs of the ipsilateral SI. Suppression lasted 120 min at an intensity of 5 V. The optimal frequency was 50 Hz, and the duration was 30s. In contrast, MCS did not affect SEPs recorded on the contralateral SI. Cortical stimulation out of the motor cortex did not induce a decrease in the ipsilateral SEPs. We also investigated involvement of the endogenous opioid system in this inhibition of SEPs induced by MCS. The opioid antagonist, naloxone (0.5 mg/kg), was administered 30 min before MCS. Application of naloxone completely prevented the inhibitory effect of MCS on ipsilateral SEPs. These results demonstrate that MCS blocked the transmission of somatosensory information to the primary somatosensory cortex, and this interference was mediated by the endogenous opioid system. This inhibitory effect on sensory transmission induced by MCS may reflect its antinociceptive effect.
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the effects of load on conscious perception using the "inattentional blindness" paradigm. As predicted by load theory, awareness of a task-irrelevant stimulus was significantly reduced by higher perceptual load (with increased numbers of search items, or a harder discrimination vs. detection task). These results demonstrate that conscious perception of task-irrelevant stimuli critically depends upon the level of task-relevant perceptual load rather than intentions or expectations, thus enhancing the resolution to the early vs. late selection debate offered by the perceptual load theory.
Guggenmos, Matthias; Rothkirch, Marcus; Obermayer, Klaus; Haynes, John-Dylan; Sterzer, Philipp
Perceptual learning is the improvement in perceptual performance through training or exposure. Here, we used fMRI before and after extensive behavioral training to investigate the effects of perceptual learning on the recognition of objects under challenging viewing conditions. Objects belonged either to trained or untrained categories. Trained categories were further subdivided into trained and untrained exemplars and were coupled with high or low monetary rewards during training. After a 3-day training, object recognition was markedly improved. Although there was a considerable transfer of learning to untrained exemplars within categories, an enhancing effect of reward reinforcement was specific to trained exemplars. fMRI showed that hippocampus responses to both trained and untrained exemplars of trained categories were enhanced by perceptual learning and correlated with the effect of reward reinforcement. Our results suggest a key role of hippocampus in object recognition after perceptual learning.
Barnett, Kylie J; Foxe, John J; Molholm, Sophie; Kelly, Simon P; Shalgi, Shani; Mitchell, Kevin J; Newell, Fiona N
Synesthesia is a condition where stimulation of a single sensory modality or processing stream elicits an idiosyncratic, yet reliable perception in one or more other modalities or streams. Various models have been proposed to explain synesthesia, which have in common aberrant cross-activation of one cortical area by another. This has been observed directly in cases of linguistic-color synesthesia as cross-activation of the 'color area', V4, by stimulation of the grapheme area. The underlying neural substrates that mediate cross-activations in synesthesia are not well understood, however. In addition, the overall integrity of the visual system has never been assessed and it is not known whether wider differences in sensory-perceptual processing are associated with the condition. To assess whether fundamental differences in perceptual processing exist in synesthesia, we utilised high-density 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) to measure sensory-perceptual processing using stimuli that differentially bias activation of the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the visual system. High and low spatial frequency gratings and luminance-contrast squares were presented to 15 synesthetes and 15 controls. We report, for the first time, early sensory-perceptual differences in synesthetes relative to non-synesthete controls in response to simple stimuli that do not elicit synesthetic color experiences. The differences are manifested in the early sensory components of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to stimuli that bias both magnocellular and parvocellular responses, but are opposite in direction, suggesting a differential effect on these two pathways. We discuss our results with reference to widespread connectivity differences as a broader phenotype of synesthesia.
van de Ven, Vincent; Sack, Alexander T
Memory for perceptual events includes the neural representation of the sensory information at short or longer time scales. Recent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies of human visual cortex provided evidence that sensory cortex contributes to memory functions. In this review, we provide an exhaustive overview of these studies and ascertain how well the available evidence supports the idea of a causal role of sensory cortex in memory retention and retrieval. We discuss the validity and implications of the studies using a number of methodological and theoretical criteria that are relevant for brain stimulation of visual cortex. While most studies applied TMS to visual cortex to interfere with memory functions, a handful of pioneering studies used TMS to 'reactivate' memories in visual cortex. Interestingly, similar effects of TMS on memory were found in different memory tasks, which suggests that different memory systems share a neural mechanism of memory in visual cortex. At the same time, this neural mechanism likely interacts with higher order brain areas. Based on this overview and evaluation, we provide a first attempt to an integrative framework that describes how sensory processes contribute to memory in visual cortex, and how higher order areas contribute to this mechanism.
Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T.; Drivonikou, Vicky G.; Notman, Leslie A.; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R. L.
Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest. PMID:27252669
Emberson, Lauren L; Liu, Ran; Zevin, Jason D
In order for statistical information to aid in complex developmental processes such as language acquisition, learning from higher-order statistics (e.g. across successive syllables in a speech stream to support segmentation) must be possible while perceptual abilities (e.g. speech categorization) are still developing. The current study examines how perceptual organization interacts with statistical learning. Adult participants were presented with multiple exemplars from novel, complex sound categories designed to reflect some of the spectral complexity and variability of speech. These categories were organized into sequential pairs and presented such that higher-order statistics, defined based on sound categories, could support stream segmentation. Perceptual similarity judgments and multi-dimensional scaling revealed that participants only perceived three perceptual clusters of sounds and thus did not distinguish the four experimenter-defined categories, creating a tension between lower level perceptual organization and higher-order statistical information. We examined whether the resulting pattern of learning is more consistent with statistical learning being "bottom-up," constrained by the lower levels of organization, or "top-down," such that higher-order statistical information of the stimulus stream takes priority over perceptual organization and perhaps influences perceptual organization. We consistently find evidence that learning is constrained by perceptual organization. Moreover, participants generalize their learning to novel sounds that occupy a similar perceptual space, suggesting that statistical learning occurs based on regions of or clusters in perceptual space. Overall, these results reveal a constraint on learning of sound sequences such that statistical information is determined based on lower level organization. These findings have important implications for the role of statistical learning in language acquisition.
Davis, Robert G.
The effects of a perceptually oriented physical education program (PPE) on perceptual-motor ability and academic ability were studied using kindergarten and first-grade children. The four groups of kindergarten children varied the number of periods of PPE per week which then met--0, 1, 2, and 3 times per week. The four groups of first-grade…
Scott, Sophie Kerttu
Perceptual centres, or P-centres, represent the perceptual moments of occurrence of acoustic signals - the 'beat' of a sound. P-centres underlie the perception and production of rhythm in perceptually regular speech sequences. P-centres have been modelled both in speech and non speech (music) domains. The three aims of this thesis were toatest out current P-centre models to determine which best accounted for the experimental data bto identify a candidate parameter to map P-centres onto (a local approach) as opposed to the previous global models which rely upon the whole signal to determine the P-centre the final aim was to develop a model of P-centre location which could be applied to speech and non speech signals. The first aim was investigated by a series of experiments in which a) speech from different speakers was investigated to determine whether different models could account for variation between speakers b) whether rendering the amplitude time plot of a speech signal affects the P-centre of the signal c) whether increasing the amplitude at the offset of a speech signal alters P-centres in the production and perception of speech. The second aim was carried out by a) manipulating the rise time of different speech signals to determine whether the P-centre was affected, and whether the type of speech sound ramped affected the P-centre shift b) manipulating the rise time and decay time of a synthetic vowel to determine whether the onset alteration was had more affect on P-centre than the offset manipulation c) and whether the duration of a vowel affected the P-centre, if other attributes (amplitude, spectral contents) were held constant. The third aim - modelling P-centres - was based on these results. The Frequency dependent Amplitude Increase Model of P-centre location (FAIM) was developed using a modelling protocol, the APU GammaTone Filterbank and the speech from different speakers. The P-centres of the stimuli corpus were highly predicted by attributes of
Choe, Kyoung Whan; Blake, Randolph
Primary visual cortex (V1) forms the initial cortical representation of objects and events in our visual environment, and it distributes information about that representation to higher cortical areas within the visual hierarchy. Decades of work have established tight linkages between neural activity occurring in V1 and features comprising the retinal image, but it remains debatable how that activity relates to perceptual decisions. An actively debated question is the extent to which V1 responses determine, on a trial-by-trial basis, perceptual choices made by observers. By inspecting the population activity of V1 from human observers engaged in a difficult visual discrimination task, we tested one essential prediction of the deterministic view: choice-related activity, if it exists in V1, and stimulus-related activity should occur in the same neural ensemble of neurons at the same time. Our findings do not support this prediction: while cortical activity signifying the variability in choice behavior was indeed found in V1, that activity was dissociated from activity representing stimulus differences relevant to the task, being advanced in time and carried by a different neural ensemble. The spatiotemporal dynamics of population responses suggest that short-term priors, perhaps formed in higher cortical areas involved in perceptual inference, act to modulate V1 activity prior to stimulus onset without modifying subsequent activity that actually represents stimulus features within V1. PMID:24523561
Wang, Rui; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.; Yu, Cong
Perceptual learning, a process in which training improves visual discrimination, is often specific to the trained retinal location, and this location specificity is frequently regarded as an indication of neural plasticity in the retinotopic visual cortex. However, our previous studies have shown that “double training” enables location-specific perceptual learning, such as Vernier learning, to completely transfer to a new location where an irrelevant task is practiced. Here we show that Vernier learning can be actuated by less location-specific orientation or motion-direction learning to transfer to completely untrained retinal locations. This “piggybacking” effect occurs even if both tasks are trained at the same retinal location. However, piggybacking does not occur when the Vernier task is paired with a more location-specific contrast-discrimination task. This previously unknown complexity challenges the current understanding of perceptual learning and its specificity/transfer. Orientation and motion-direction learning, but not contrast and Vernier learning, appears to activate a global process that allows learning transfer to untrained locations. Moreover, when paired with orientation or motion-direction learning, Vernier learning may be “piggybacked” by the activated global process to transfer to other untrained retinal locations. How this task-specific global activation process is achieved is as yet unknown. PMID:25398974
Ritt, Jason; Nandi, Anirban; Schroeder, Joseph; Ching, Shinung
Technology to control neural ensembles is rapidly advancing, but many important challenges remain in applications, such as design of controls (e.g. stimulation patterns) with specificity comparable to natural sensory encoding. We use the rodent whisker tactile system as a model for active touch, in which sensory information is acquired in a closed loop between feedforward encoding of sensory information and feedback guidance of sensing motions. Motivated by this system, we present optimal control strategies that are tailored for underactuation (a large ratio of neurons or degrees of freedom to stimulation channels) and limited observability (absence of direct measurement of the system state), common in available stimulation technologies for freely behaving animals. Using a control framework, we have begun to elucidate the feedback effect of sensory cortex activity on sensing in behaving animals. For example, by optogenetically perturbing primary sensory cortex (SI) activity at varied timing relative to individual whisker motions, we find that SI modulates future sensing behavior within 15 msec, on a whisk by whisk basis, changing the flow of incoming sensory information based on past experience. J.T.R. and S.C. hold Career Awards at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Kleiner, Mendel; Larsson, Pontus; Vastfjall, Daniel; Torres, Rendell R.
By using various types of binaural simulation (or ``auralization'') of physical environments, it is now possible to study basic perceptual issues relevant to room acoustics, as well to simulate the acoustic conditions found in concert halls and other auditoria. Binaural simulation of physical spaces in general is also important to virtual reality systems. This presentation will begin with an overview of the issues encountered in the auralization of room and other environments. We will then discuss the influence of various approximations in room modeling, in particular, edge- and surface scattering, on the perceived room response. Finally, we will discuss cross-modal effects, such as the influence of visual cues on the perception of auditory cues, and the influence of cross-modal effects on the judgement of ``perceived presence'' and the rating of room acoustic quality.
Leopold, David A.; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Welchman, Andrew E.
The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is understood to be active when observers perceive three-dimensional (3D) structure. However, it is not clear how central this activity is in the construction of 3D spatial representations. Here, we examine whether PPC is essential for two aspects of visual depth perception by testing patients with lesions affecting this region. First, we measured subjects' ability to discriminate depth structure in various 3D surfaces and objects using binocular disparity. Patients with lesions to right PPC (N = 3) exhibited marked perceptual deficits on these tasks, whereas those with left hemisphere lesions (N = 2) were able to reliably discriminate depth as accurately as control subjects. Second, we presented an ambiguous 3D stimulus defined by structure from motion to determine whether PPC lesions influence the rate of bistable perceptual alternations. Patients' percept durations for the 3D stimulus were generally within a normal range, although the two patients with bilateral PPC lesions showed the fastest perceptual alternation rates in our sample. Intermittent stimulus presentation reduced the reversal rate similarly across subjects. Together, the results suggest that PPC plays a causal role in both inferring and maintaining the perception of 3D structure with stereopsis supported primarily by the right hemisphere, but do not lend support to the view that PPC is a critical contributor to bistable perceptual alternations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Vision in our three-dimensional world’. PMID:27269606
Murphy, Aidan P; Leopold, David A; Humphreys, Glyn W; Welchman, Andrew E
The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is understood to be active when observers perceive three-dimensional (3D) structure. However, it is not clear how central this activity is in the construction of 3D spatial representations. Here, we examine whether PPC is essential for two aspects of visual depth perception by testing patients with lesions affecting this region. First, we measured subjects' ability to discriminate depth structure in various 3D surfaces and objects using binocular disparity. Patients with lesions to right PPC (N = 3) exhibited marked perceptual deficits on these tasks, whereas those with left hemisphere lesions (N = 2) were able to reliably discriminate depth as accurately as control subjects. Second, we presented an ambiguous 3D stimulus defined by structure from motion to determine whether PPC lesions influence the rate of bistable perceptual alternations. Patients' percept durations for the 3D stimulus were generally within a normal range, although the two patients with bilateral PPC lesions showed the fastest perceptual alternation rates in our sample. Intermittent stimulus presentation reduced the reversal rate similarly across subjects. Together, the results suggest that PPC plays a causal role in both inferring and maintaining the perception of 3D structure with stereopsis supported primarily by the right hemisphere, but do not lend support to the view that PPC is a critical contributor to bistable perceptual alternations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in our three-dimensional world'.
Overvliet, K E; Sayim, B
Since the early phenomenological demonstrations of Gestalt principles, one of the major challenges of Gestalt psychology has been to quantify these principles. Here, we show that contextual modulation, i.e. the influence of context on target perception, can be used as a tool to quantify perceptual grouping in the haptic domain, similar to the visual domain. We investigated the influence of target-flanker grouping on performance in haptic vernier offset discrimination. We hypothesized that when, despite the apparent differences between vision and haptics, similar grouping principles are operational, a similar pattern of flanker interference would be observed in the haptic as in the visual domain. Participants discriminated the offset of a haptic vernier. The vernier was flanked by different flanker configurations: no flankers, single flanking lines, 10 flanking lines, rectangles and single perpendicular lines, varying the degree to which the vernier grouped with the flankers. Additionally, we used two different flanker widths (same width as and narrower than the target), again to vary target-flanker grouping. Our results show a clear effect of flankers: performance was much better when the vernier was presented alone compared to when it was presented with flankers. In the majority of flanker configurations, grouping between the target and the flankers determined the strength of interference, similar to the visual domain. However, in the same width rectangular flanker condition we found aberrant results. We discuss the results of our study in light of similarities and differences between vision and haptics and the interaction between different grouping principles. We conclude that in haptics, similar organization principles apply as in visual perception and argue that grouping and Gestalt are key organization principles not only of vision, but of the perceptual system in general.
Roelfsema, P R; Engel, A K; König, P; Singer, W
Abstract Recent experimental results in the visual cortex of cats and monkeys have suggested an important role for synchronization of neuronal activity on a millisecond time scale. Synchronization has been found to occur selectively between neuronal responses to related image components. This suggests that not only the firing rates of neurons but also the relative timing of their action potentials is used as a coding dimension. Thus, a powerful relational code would be available, in addition to the rate code, for the representation of perceptual objects. This could alleviate difficulties in the simultaneous representation of multiple objects. In this article we present a set of theoretical arguments and predictions concerning the mechanisms that could group neurons responding to related image components into coherently active aggregates. Synchrony is likely to be mediated by synchronizing connections; we introduce the concept of an interaction skeleton to refer to the subset of synchronizing connections that are rendered effective by a particular stimulus configuration. If the image is segmented into objects, these objects can typically be segmented further into their constituent parts. The synchronization behavior of neurons that represent the various image components may accurately reflect this hierarchical clustering. We propose that the range of synchronizing interactions is a dynamic parameter of the cortical network, so that the grain of the resultant grouping process may be adapted to the actual behavioral requirements. It can be argued that different aspects of purposeful behavior rely on separable processes by which sensory input is transformed into adjustments of motor activity. Indeed, neurophysiological evidence has suggested separate processing streams originating in the primary visual cortex for object identification and sensorimotor coordination. However, such a separation calls for a mechanism that avoids interference effects in the presence of
Lawson, Chris A.; Rakison, David H.
Recent evidence suggests that infants can generate expectations about future events from a sample of probabilistic data. However, little is known about the conditions that support the development of this ability. Three experiments tested the prediction that 8- and 12-month-olds respond to base rates as well as perceptual cues when they generate expectations from a sample of probabilistic data. Results revealed that 12-month-olds were sensitive to the statistical and perceptual properties of the evidence depending on the distribution of high-to-low base rate items in the sample. Specifically, 12-month-olds focused on perceptual features of the evidence when a sample was large and more skewed (e.g., 6:1), whereas they attended to statistical properties when the sample was smaller and less skewed (e.g., 4:1). In contrast, eight-month-olds always focused on the perceptual features of the evidence. Neither group generated expectations from a small, less skewed sample (e.g., 2:1). These results suggest that the ability to generate expectations about future events is mediated by specific features of the available evidence and undergoes significant change during the 1st year of life. PMID:24285932
Huang, Jin-An; Weng, Rhay-Hung; Lai, Chi-Shiun; Hu, Jer-San
The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptual market orientation gaps between physician and patients and its impact on relationship quality and patient loyalty, and to verify the critical role of internal marketing on developing market orientation. Self-administered questionnaires were then employed to collect the data. We used a convenience sample of physicians and patients at a medical center in central Taiwan, and 90 usable questionnaires from physicians and 450 usable questionnaires from patients were returned. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to validate the research hypotheses. Physicians' perceptual market orientation had a positive influence on physician-patient relationship quality, hospital-patient relationship quality, and patient loyalty, but the perceptual market orientation gap between physicians and their patients had a direct negative impact on these constructs. Finally, internal marketing was found to have an influence on relationship quality and patient loyalty through the mediation of market orientation. In order to enhance relationship quality and patient loyalty, hospital managers should focus their efforts on improving employees' market orientation and reducing patients' perceptual market orientation gap. In addition, internal marketing was found to be a useful pathway in developing market orientation.
Lawson, Chris A; Rakison, David H
Recent evidence suggests that infants can generate expectations about future events from a sample of probabilistic data. However, little is known about the conditions that support the development of this ability. Three experiments tested the prediction that 8- and 12-month-olds respond to base rates as well as perceptual cues when they generate expectations from a sample of probabilistic data. Results revealed that 12-month-olds were sensitive to the statistical and perceptual properties of the evidence depending on the distribution of high-to-low base rate items in the sample. Specifically, 12-month-olds focused on perceptual features of the evidence when a sample was large and more skewed (e.g., 6:1), whereas they attended to statistical properties when the sample was smaller and less skewed (e.g., 4:1). In contrast, eight-month-olds always focused on the perceptual features of the evidence. Neither group generated expectations from a small, less skewed sample (e.g., 2:1). These results suggest that the ability to generate expectations about future events is mediated by specific features of the available evidence and undergoes significant change during the 1(st) year of life.
Shiller, Douglas M; Rochon, Marie-Lyne
Auditory feedback plays an important role in children's speech development by providing the child with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and fine-tune speech motor plans. The use of auditory feedback in speech motor learning has been extensively studied in adults by examining oral motor responses to manipulations of auditory feedback during speech production. Children are also capable of adapting speech motor patterns to perceived changes in auditory feedback; however, it is not known whether their capacity for motor learning is limited by immature auditory-perceptual abilities. Here, the link between speech perceptual ability and the capacity for motor learning was explored in two groups of 5- to 7-year-old children who underwent a period of auditory perceptual training followed by tests of speech motor adaptation to altered auditory feedback. One group received perceptual training on a speech acoustic property relevant to the motor task while a control group received perceptual training on an irrelevant speech contrast. Learned perceptual improvements led to an enhancement in speech motor adaptation (proportional to the perceptual change) only for the experimental group. The results indicate that children's ability to perceive relevant speech acoustic properties has a direct influence on their capacity for sensory-based speech motor adaptation.
Gorbunova, Elena S
Visual search for multiple targets can cause errors called subsequent search misses (SSM) - a decrease in accuracy at detecting a second target after a first target has been found. One of the possible explanations of SSM errors is perceptual set. After the first target has been found, the subjects become biased to find perceptually similar targets, therefore they are more likely to find perceptually similar targets and less likely to find the targets that are perceptually dissimilar. This study investigated the role of perceptual similarity in SSM errors. The search array in each trial consisted of 20 stimuli (ellipses and crosses, black and white, small and big, oriented horizontally and vertically), which could contain one, two or no targets. In case of two targets, the targets could have two, three or four shared features (in the last case the targets were identical). The error rate decreased with increasing the similarity between the targets. These results state the role of perceptual similarity and have implications for the perceptual set theory.
DeWitt, Iain D. J.
Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…
Maloney, Ryan T; Clifford, Colin W G
Orientation processing in visual cortex appears matched to the environment, such that larger neural populations are tuned to cardinal (horizontal/vertical) than oblique orientations. This may be manifested perceptually as a cardinal bias: poorer sensitivity to oblique compared to cardinal orientations (the "oblique effect"). However, a growing body of psychophysical data reveals the opposite pattern of anisotropy: a bias towards the oblique over the cardinal orientations (the "horizontal effect"), something matched by recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that have found an increased response to the oblique over the cardinal orientations in early visual cortex. This may reveal the operation of an efficient coding strategy optimised to the diet of orientations encountered during natural viewing. From consideration of coding efficiency, it might be expected that the anisotropies would change as the quality/strength of the oriented stimulus changes. In two experiments, fMRI response modulations were measured in retinotopically-defined human early visual cortex as a function of the contrast and orientation of sinusoidal gratings. Both experiments revealed a marked change in the V1 response from a cardinal (vertical) bias at low contrast to an oblique bias at high contrast. In Experiment 2, this was also apparent in areas V2 and V3. On average, there was no systematic "radial bias" (a preference for orientations aligned with the visual field meridian) in V1, although it was present in some individual subjects. The change in orientation anisotropies with contrast is consistent with an adaptive stimulus coding strategy in cortex that shifts according to the strength of the sensory inputs.
McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas
The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.
Benoni, Hanna; Zivony, Alon; Tsal, Yehoshua
Perceptual load theory [Lavie, N. (1995). Perceptual load as a necessary condition for selective attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21, 451-468.; Lavie, N., & Tsal, Y. (1994) Perceptual load as a major determinant of the locus of selection in visual attention. Perception & Psychophysics, 56, 183-197.] proposes that interference from distractors can only be avoided in situations of high perceptual load. This theory has been supported by blocked design manipulations separating low load (when the target appears alone) and high load (when the target is embedded among neutral letters). Tsal and Benoni [(2010a). Diluting the burden of load: Perceptual load effects are simply dilution effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 1645-1656.; Benoni, H., & Tsal, Y. (2010). Where have we gone wrong? Perceptual load does not affect selective attention. Vision Research, 50, 1292-1298.] have recently shown that these manipulations confound perceptual load with "dilution" (the mere presence of additional heterogeneous items in high-load situations). Theeuwes, Kramer, and Belopolsky [(2004). Attentional set interacts with perceptual load in visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 697-702.] independently questioned load theory by suggesting that attentional sets might also affect distractor interference. When high load and low load were intermixed, and participants could not prepare for the presentation that followed, both the low-load and high-load trials showed distractor interference. This result may also challenge the dilution account, which proposes a stimulus-driven mechanism. In the current study, we presented subjects with both fixed and mixed blocks, including a mix of dilution trials with low-load trials and with high-load trials. We thus separated the effect of dilution from load and tested the influence of attentional sets on each component. The results revealed that whereas
Horton, K D; McKenzie, B D
While most studies using the task of reading spatially transformed text do not reveal evidence of specific perceptual transfer, a study by Masson (1986, Experiment 3) provides clear evidence of such effects. Several experiments were designed to identify the basis for this empirical discrepancy. The only substantive evidence of specific perceptual transfer occurred when the words were presented in an unfamiliar typography, although each study suggested a trend toward perceptual specificity effects. The results are discussed in terms of Graf and Ryan's (1990) ideas about the role of distinctive memory representations.
Bainbridge, Wilma A; Dilks, Daniel D; Oliva, Aude
A long-standing question in neuroscience is how perceptual processes select stimuli for encoding and later retrieval by memory processes. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging study with human participants, we report the discovery of a global, stimulus-driven processing stream that we call memorability. Memorability automatically tags the statistical distinctiveness of stimuli for later encoding, and shows separate neural signatures from both low-level perception (memorability shows no signal in early visual cortex) and classical subsequent memory based on individual memory. Memorability and individual subsequent memory show dissociable neural substrates: first, memorability effects consistently emerge in the medial temporal lobe (MTL), whereas individual subsequent memory effects emerge in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Second, memorability effects remain consistent even in the absence of memory (i.e., for forgotten images). Third, the MTL shows higher correlations with memorability-based patterns, while the PFC shows higher correlations with individual memory voxels patterns. Taken together, these results support a reformulated framework of the interplay between perception and memory, with the MTL determining stimulus statistics and distinctiveness to support later memory encoding, and the PFC comparing stimuli to specific individual memories. As stimulus memorability is a confound present in many previous memory studies, these findings should stimulate a revisitation of the neural streams dedicated to perception and memory.
Pessoa, Luiz; Padmala, Srikanth
A fundamental goal of cognitive neuroscience is to explain how mental decisions originate from basic neural mechanisms. The goal of the present study was to investigate the neural correlates of perceptual decisions in the context of emotional perception. To probe this question, we investigated how fluctuations in functional MRI (fMRI) signals were correlated with behavioral choice during a near-threshold fear detection task. fMRI signals predicted behavioral choice independently of stimulus properties and task accuracy in a network of brain regions linked to emotional processing: posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus, and left insula. We quantified the link between fMRI signals and behavioral choice in a whole-brain analysis by determining choice probabilities by means of signal-detection theory methods. Our results demonstrate that voxel-wise fMRI signals can reliably predict behavioral choice in a quantitative fashion (choice probabilities ranged from 0.63 to 0.78) at levels comparable to neuronal data. We suggest that the conscious decision that a fearful face has been seen is represented across a network of interconnected brain regions that prepare the organism to appropriately handle emotionally challenging stimuli and that regulate the associated emotional response. decision making | emotion | functional MRI
Leske, Sabine; Ruhnau, Philipp; Frey, Julia; Lithari, Chrysa; Müller, Nadia; Hartmann, Thomas; Weisz, Nathan
An ever-increasing number of studies are pointing to the importance of network properties of the brain for understanding behavior such as conscious perception. However, with regards to the influence of prestimulus brain states on perception, this network perspective has rarely been taken. Our recent framework predicts that brain regions crucial for a conscious percept are coupled prior to stimulus arrival, forming pre-established pathways of information flow and influencing perceptual awareness. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and graph theoretical measures, we investigated auditory conscious perception in a near-threshold (NT) task and found strong support for this framework. Relevant auditory regions showed an increased prestimulus interhemispheric connectivity. The left auditory cortex was characterized by a hub-like behavior and an enhanced integration into the brain functional network prior to perceptual awareness. Right auditory regions were decoupled from non-auditory regions, presumably forming an integrated information processing unit with the left auditory cortex. In addition, we show for the first time for the auditory modality that local excitability, measured by decreased alpha power in the auditory cortex, increases prior to conscious percepts. I