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Sample records for cortex mediates perceptual

  1. Premotor cortex mediates perceptual performance.

    PubMed

    Callan, Daniel; Callan, Akiko; Gamez, Mario; Sato, Masa-aki; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2010-06-01

    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.

  2. Parietal cortex mediates perceptual Gestalt grouping independent of stimulus size.

    PubMed

    Grassi, Pablo R; Zaretskaya, Natalia; Bartels, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    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.

  3. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  4. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  5. Effects of visual cortex lesions on perceptual grouping in rats.

    PubMed

    Kurylo, Daniel D

    2008-07-19

    Neural mechanisms mediating perceptual grouping serve to enhance associations among stimulus elements, thereby establishing unified forms. The goals of the present study were to identify cortical areas necessary to perceptually group spatially isolated elements, and to determine if these areas are distinct from regions necessary for the discrimination of simple, solid forms. Rats were trained to discriminate horizontal and vertical lines that were either solid or composed of disjunct elements in which discrimination required perceptual grouping by proximity. Psychophysical procedures established the limits at which proximity served as a cue for grouping. Following perceptual measurements, ablations were made to selective sites within visual cortex. Lesions within area 17 or area 18A, including their interface, produced nearly complete impairment of solid line discrimination as well as perceptual grouping at all levels of proximity, whereas lesions to areas 18 or the far lateral extent of area 18A no effect on these perceptual capacities. These results indicate that grouping by proximity requires early visual processing areas, and shares cortical areas necessary for simple pattern discrimination. These results suggest that mechanisms of grouping modify primary stimulus representations, constructing a pattern of activity functional similar to that elicited by solid forms.

  6. Top-down modulation of sensory cortex gates perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Caras, Melissa L; Sanes, Dan H

    2017-09-12

    Practice sharpens our perceptual judgments, a process known as perceptual learning. Although several brain regions and neural mechanisms have been proposed to support perceptual learning, formal tests of causality are lacking. Furthermore, the temporal relationship between neural and behavioral plasticity remains uncertain. To address these issues, we recorded the activity of auditory cortical neurons as gerbils trained on a sound detection task. Training led to improvements in cortical and behavioral sensitivity that were closely matched in terms of magnitude and time course. Surprisingly, the degree of neural improvement was behaviorally gated. During task performance, cortical improvements were large and predicted behavioral outcomes. In contrast, during nontask listening sessions, cortical improvements were weak and uncorrelated with perceptual performance. Targeted reduction of auditory cortical activity during training diminished perceptual learning while leaving psychometric performance largely unaffected. Collectively, our findings suggest that training facilitates perceptual learning by strengthening both bottom-up sensory encoding and top-down modulation of auditory cortex.

  7. Causal evidence for frontal cortex organization for perceptual decision making.

    PubMed

    Rahnev, Dobromir; Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-05-24

    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.

  8. Causal evidence for frontal cortex organization for perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D’Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Neuronal basis of perceptual learning in striate cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Zhen; Zhou, Jiawei; Yao, Zhimo; Wang, Zhengchun; Yuan, Nini; Xu, Guangwei; Wang, Xuan; Zhang, Bing; Hess, Robert F.; Zhou, Yifeng

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Perceptual learning in the developing auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bao, Shaowen

    2015-03-01

    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.

  11. Evidence for Working Memory Storage Operations in Perceptual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasan, Kartik K.; Gratton, Caterina; Vytlacil, Jason; D’Esposito, Mark

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. From perceptual to language-mediated categorization

    PubMed Central

    Westermann, Gert; Mareschal, Denis

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. Auditory cortex encodes the perceptual interpretation of ambiguous sound.

    PubMed

    Kilian-Hütten, Niclas; Valente, Giancarlo; Vroomen, Jean; Formisano, Elia

    2011-02-02

    The confounding of physical stimulus characteristics and perceptual interpretations of stimuli poses a problem for most neuroscientific studies of perception. In the auditory domain, this pertains to the entanglement of acoustics and percept. Traditionally, most study designs have relied on cognitive subtraction logic, which demands the use of one or more comparisons between stimulus types. This does not allow for a differentiation between effects due to acoustic differences (i.e., sensation) and those due to conscious perception. To overcome this problem, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans and pattern-recognition analysis to identify activation patterns that encode the perceptual interpretation of physically identical, ambiguous sounds. We show that it is possible to retrieve the perceptual interpretation of ambiguous phonemes-information that is fully subjective to the listener-from fMRI measurements of brain activity in auditory areas in the superior temporal cortex, most prominently on the posterior bank of the left Heschl's gyrus and sulcus and in the adjoining left planum temporale. These findings suggest that, beyond the basic acoustic analysis of sounds, constructive perceptual processes take place in these relatively early cortical auditory networks. This disagrees with hierarchical models of auditory processing, which generally conceive of these areas as sets of feature detectors, whose task is restricted to the analysis of physical characteristics and the structure of sounds.

  14. Perceptual learning selectively refines orientation representations in early visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Jehee, Janneke F M; Ling, Sam; Swisher, Jascha D; van Bergen, Ruben S; Tong, Frank

    2012-11-21

    Although practice has long been known to improve perceptual performance, the neural basis of this improvement in humans remains unclear. Using fMRI in conjunction with a novel signal detection-based analysis, we show that extensive practice selectively enhances the neural representation of trained orientations in the human visual cortex. Twelve observers practiced discriminating small changes in the orientation of a laterally presented grating over 20 or more daily 1 h training sessions. Training on average led to a twofold improvement in discrimination sensitivity, specific to the trained orientation and the trained location, with minimal improvement found for untrained orthogonal orientations or for orientations presented in the untrained hemifield. We measured the strength of orientation-selective responses in individual voxels in early visual areas (V1-V4) using signal detection measures, both before and after training. Although the overall amplitude of the BOLD response was no greater after training, practice nonetheless specifically enhanced the neural representation of the trained orientation at the trained location. This training-specific enhancement of orientation-selective responses was observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as higher extrastriate visual areas V2-V4, and moreover, reliably predicted individual differences in the behavioral effects of perceptual learning. These results demonstrate that extensive training can lead to targeted functional reorganization of the human visual cortex, refining the cortical representation of behaviorally relevant information.

  15. Correlates of Perceptual Orientation Biases in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Patten, Matthew L; Mannion, Damien J; Clifford, Colin W G

    2017-05-03

    Vision can be considered as a process of probabilistic inference. In a Bayesian framework, perceptual estimates from sensory information are combined with prior knowledge, with a stronger influence of the prior when the sensory evidence is less certain. Here, we explored the behavioral and neural consequences of manipulating stimulus certainty in the context of orientation processing. First, we asked participants to judge whether a stimulus was oriented closer to vertical or the clockwise primary oblique (45°) for two stimulus types (spatially filtered noise textures and sinusoidal gratings) and three manipulations of certainty (orientation bandwidth, contrast, and duration). We found that participants consistently had a bias toward reporting orientation as closer to 45° during conditions of high certainty and that this bias was reduced when sensory evidence was less certain. Second, we measured event-related fMRI BOLD responses in human primary visual cortex (V1) and manipulated certainty via stimulus contrast (100% vs 3%). We then trained a multivariate classifier on the pattern of responses in V1 to cardinal and primary oblique orientations. We found that the classifier showed a bias toward classifying orientation as oblique at high contrast but categorized a wider range of orientations as cardinal for low-contrast stimuli. Orientation classification based on data from V1 thus paralleled the perceptual biases revealed through the behavioral experiments. This pattern of bias cannot be explained simply by a prior for cardinal orientations.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our perception of the world around us is biased through prior expectations rather than necessarily reflecting the true state of our environment. Here, we investigate biases in the visual processing of spatial orientation to understand how prior expectations and current sensory information interact to generate a percept. By degrading visual input in various ways, we are able to quantify the extent to which

  16. Perceptual decisions formed by accumulation of audiovisual evidence in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Noppeney, Uta; Ostwald, Dirk; Werner, Sebastian

    2010-05-26

    To form perceptual decisions in our multisensory environment, the brain needs to integrate sensory information derived from a common source and segregate information emanating from different sources. Combining fMRI and psychophysics in humans, we investigated how the brain accumulates sensory evidence about a visual source in the context of congruent or conflicting auditory information. In a visual selective attention paradigm, subjects (12 females, 7 males) categorized video clips while ignoring concurrent congruent or incongruent soundtracks. Visual and auditory information were reliable or unreliable. Our behavioral data accorded with accumulator models of perceptual decision making, where sensory information is integrated over time until a criterion amount of information is obtained. Behaviorally, subjects exhibited audiovisual incongruency effects that increased with the variance of the visual and the reliability of the interfering auditory input. At the neural level, only the left inferior frontal sulcus (IFS) showed an "audiovisual-accumulator" profile consistent with the observed reaction time pattern. By contrast, responses in the right fusiform were amplified by incongruent auditory input regardless of sensory reliability. Dynamic causal modeling showed that these incongruency effects were mediated via connections from auditory cortex. Further, while the fusiform interacted with IFS in an excitatory recurrent loop that was strengthened for unreliable task-relevant visual input, the IFS did not amplify and even inhibited superior temporal activations for unreliable auditory input. To form decisions that guide behavioral responses, the IFS may accumulate audiovisual evidence by dynamically weighting its connectivity to auditory and visual regions according to sensory reliability and decisional relevance.

  17. Auditory-Induced Emotion Mediates Perceptual Categorization of Everyday Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Bergman, Penny; Västfjäll, Daniel; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Asutay, Erkin

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Neuroanatomical and cognitive mediators of age-related differences in perceptual priming and learning

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali

    2009-01-01

    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

  19. Exemplar Selectivity Reflects Perceptual Similarities in the Human Fusiform Cortex

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Perceptual demand modulates activation of human auditory cortex in response to task-irrelevant sounds.

    PubMed

    Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali; Binder, Jeffrey R; Liebenthal, Einat

    2013-09-01

    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.

  1. Serial Dependence in Perceptual Decisions Is Reflected in Activity Patterns in Primary Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    St John-Saaltink, Elexa; Kok, Peter; Lau, Hakwan C; de Lange, Floris P

    2016-06-08

    Sensory signals are highly structured in both space and time. These regularities allow expectations about future stimulation to be formed, thereby facilitating decisions about upcoming visual features and objects. One such regularity is that the world is generally stable over short time scales. This feature of the world is exploited by the brain, leading to a bias in perception called serial dependence: previously seen stimuli bias the perception of subsequent stimuli, making them appear more similar to previous input than they really are. What are the neural processes that may underlie this bias in perceptual choice? Does serial dependence arise only in higher-level areas involved in perceptual decision-making, or does such a bias occur at the earliest levels of sensory processing? In this study, human subjects made decisions about the orientation of grating stimuli presented in the left or right visual field while activity patterns in their visual cortex were recorded using fMRI. In line with previous behavioral reports, reported orientation on the current trial was consistently biased toward the previously reported orientation. We found that the orientation signal in V1 was similarly biased toward the orientation presented on the previous trial. Both the perceptual decision and neural effects were spatially specific, such that the perceptual decision and neural representations on the current trial were only influenced by previous stimuli at the same location. These results suggest that biases in perceptual decisions induced by previous stimuli may result from neural biases in sensory cortex induced by recent perceptual history. We perceive a stable visual scene, although our visual input is constantly changing. This experience may in part be driven by a bias in visual perception that causes images to be perceived as similar to those previously seen. Here, we provide evidence for a sensory bias that may underlie this perceptual effect. We find that neural

  2. Perceptual restoration of masked speech in human cortex.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Matthew K; Baud, Maxime O; Sjerps, Matthias J; Chang, Edward F

    2016-12-20

    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.

  3. Perceptual restoration of masked speech in human cortex

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Matthew K.; Baud, Maxime O.; Sjerps, Matthias J.; Chang, Edward F.

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Thermosensory perceptual learning is associated with structural brain changes in parietal-opercular (SII) cortex.

    PubMed

    Mano, Hiroaki; Yoshida, Wako; Shibata, Kazushisa; Zhang, Suyi; Koltzenburg, Martin; Kawato, Mitsuo; Seymour, Ben

    2017-08-28

    The location of a sensory cortex for temperature perception remains a topic of substantial debate. Both parietal-opercular (SII) and posterior insula have been consistently implicated in thermosensory processing, but neither region has yet been identified as the locus of fine temperature discrimination. Using a perceptual learning paradigm in male and female humans, we show improvement in discrimination accuracy for sub-degree changes in both warmth and cool detection over 5 days of repetitive training. We found that increases in discriminative accuracy were specific to the temperature (cold or warm) being trained. Using structural imaging to look for plastic changes associated with perceptual learning, we identified symmetrical increases in grey matter density in parietal-opercular (SII) cortex. Furthermore, we observed distinct, adjacent regions for cold and warm discrimination, with cold discrimination having a more anterior locus than warm. The results suggest that thermosensory discrimination is supported by functionally and anatomically distinct temperature-specific modules in parietal-opercular SII cortex.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTWe provide behavioural and neuroanatomical evidence that perceptual learning is possible within the temperature system. We show that structural plasticity localizes to SII, and not posterior insula, providing the best evidence to date resolving a longstanding debate about the location of putative 'temperature cortex'. Furthermore, we show that cold and warm pathways are behaviourally and anatomically dissociable, suggesting that the temperature system has distinct temperature-dependent processing modules. Copyright © 2017 Mano et al.

  5. Correlates of perceptual awareness in human primary auditory cortex revealed by an informational masking experiment.

    PubMed

    Wiegand, Katrin; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2012-05-15

    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.

  6. Decoding stimulus features in primate somatosensory cortex during perceptual categorization

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Manuel; Zainos, Antonio; Romo, Ranulfo

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Top-down modulation in human visual cortex predicts the stability of a perceptual illusion

    PubMed Central

    Meindertsma, Thomas; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dijk, Bob W.; Lamme, Victor A. F.; Donner, Tobias H.

    2014-01-01

    Conscious perception sometimes fluctuates strongly, even when the sensory input is constant. For example, in motion-induced blindness (MIB), a salient visual target surrounded by a moving pattern suddenly disappears from perception, only to reappear after some variable time. Whereas such changes of perception result from fluctuations of neural activity, mounting evidence suggests that the perceptual changes, in turn, may also cause modulations of activity in several brain areas, including visual cortex. In this study, we asked whether these latter modulations might affect the subsequent dynamics of perception. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure modulations in cortical population activity during MIB. We observed a transient, retinotopically widespread modulation of beta (12–30 Hz)-frequency power over visual cortex that was closely linked to the time of subjects' behavioral report of the target disappearance. This beta modulation was a top-down signal, decoupled from both the physical stimulus properties and the motor response but contingent on the behavioral relevance of the perceptual change. Critically, the modulation amplitude predicted the duration of the subsequent target disappearance. We propose that the transformation of the perceptual change into a report triggers a top-down mechanism that stabilizes the newly selected perceptual interpretation. PMID:25411458

  8. Mechanisms of visual perceptual learning in macaque visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Vogels, Rufin

    2010-04-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying behavioral improvement in the detection or discrimination of visual stimuli following learning are still ill understood. Studies in nonhuman primates have shown relatively small and, across studies, variable effects of fine discrimination learning in primary visual cortex when tested outside the context of the learned task. At later stages, such as extrastriate area V4, extensive practice in fine discrimination produces more consistent effects upon responses and neural tuning. In V1 and V4, the effects of learning were most prominent in those neurons that can contribute the most reliable information about the trained stimuli. I suggest that, depending on the particulars of the task demands, neurons at various stages of stimulus and task processing can change their tuning and responses, so that execution of the task will produce a higher frequency of reward. I speculate that the sort of changes that will occur depend on the task and on stimulus analysis requirements, and they may vary from changes in bottom-up stimulus processing/tuning within early visual areas or more efficient readout of early visual areas to top-down driven changes in response properties of these areas. Copyright © 2009, Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  9. [Neural correlates of perceptual decisions: the role of the ventral premotor cortex].

    PubMed

    Pardo-Vázquez, José L; Acuña, Carlos

    2014-05-01

    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.

  10. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K.; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex impairs perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.

    PubMed

    Hannula, Henri; Neuvonen, Tuomas; Savolainen, Petri; Tukiainen, Taru; Salonen, Oili; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2008-05-30

    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.

  12. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-03-30

    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.

  13. Multivariate Patterns in Object-Selective Cortex Dissociate Perceptual and Physical Shape Similarity

    PubMed Central

    Haushofer, Johannes; Livingstone, Margaret S; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2008-01-01

    Prior research has identified the lateral occipital complex (LOC) as a critical cortical region for the representation of object shape in humans. However, little is known about the nature of the representations contained in the LOC and their relationship to the perceptual experience of shape. We used human functional MRI to measure the physical, behavioral, and neural similarity between pairs of novel shapes to ask whether the representations of shape contained in subregions of the LOC more closely reflect the physical stimuli themselves, or the perceptual experience of those stimuli. Perceptual similarity measures for each pair of shapes were obtained from a psychophysical same-different task; physical similarity measures were based on stimulus parameters; and neural similarity measures were obtained from multivoxel pattern analysis methods applied to anterior LOC (pFs) and posterior LOC (LO). We found that the pattern of pairwise shape similarities in LO most closely matched physical shape similarities, whereas shape similarities in pFs most closely matched perceptual shape similarities. Further, shape representations were similar across participants in LO but highly variable across participants in pFs. Together, these findings indicate that activation patterns in subregions of object-selective cortex encode objects according to a hierarchy, with stimulus-based representations in posterior regions and subjective and observer-specific representations in anterior regions. PMID:18666833

  14. Multivariate patterns in object-selective cortex dissociate perceptual and physical shape similarity.

    PubMed

    Haushofer, Johannes; Livingstone, Margaret S; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2008-07-29

    Prior research has identified the lateral occipital complex (LOC) as a critical cortical region for the representation of object shape in humans. However, little is known about the nature of the representations contained in the LOC and their relationship to the perceptual experience of shape. We used human functional MRI to measure the physical, behavioral, and neural similarity between pairs of novel shapes to ask whether the representations of shape contained in subregions of the LOC more closely reflect the physical stimuli themselves, or the perceptual experience of those stimuli. Perceptual similarity measures for each pair of shapes were obtained from a psychophysical same-different task; physical similarity measures were based on stimulus parameters; and neural similarity measures were obtained from multivoxel pattern analysis methods applied to anterior LOC (pFs) and posterior LOC (LO). We found that the pattern of pairwise shape similarities in LO most closely matched physical shape similarities, whereas shape similarities in pFs most closely matched perceptual shape similarities. Further, shape representations were similar across participants in LO but highly variable across participants in pFs. Together, these findings indicate that activation patterns in subregions of object-selective cortex encode objects according to a hierarchy, with stimulus-based representations in posterior regions and subjective and observer-specific representations in anterior regions.

  15. Cortical thickness of superior frontal cortex predicts impulsiveness and perceptual reasoning in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Schilling, C; Kühn, S; Paus, T; Romanowski, A; Banaschewski, T; Barbot, A; Barker, G J; Brühl, R; Büchel, C; Conrod, P J; Dalley, J W; Flor, H; Ittermann, B; Ivanov, N; Mann, K; Martinot, J-L; Nees, F; Rietschel, M; Robbins, T W; Smolka, M N; Ströhle, A; Kathmann, N; Garavan, H; Heinz, A; Schumann, G; Gallinat, J

    2013-05-01

    Impulsiveness is a pivotal personality trait representing a core domain in all major personality inventories. Recently, impulsiveness has been identified as an important modulator of cognitive processing, particularly in tasks that require the processing of large amounts of information. Although brain imaging studies have implicated the prefrontal cortex to be a common underlying representation of impulsiveness and related cognitive functioning, to date a fine-grain and detailed morphometric analysis has not been carried out. On the basis of ahigh-resolution magnetic resonance scans acquired in 1620 healthy adolescents (IMAGEN), the individual cortical thickness (CT) was estimated. Correlations between Cloninger's impulsiveness and CT were studied in an entire cortex analysis. The cluster identified was tested for associations with performance in perceptual reasoning tasks of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC IV). We observed a significant inverse correlation between trait impulsiveness and CT of the left superior frontal cortex (SFC; Monte Carlo Simulation P<0.01). CT within this cluster correlated with perceptual reasoning scores (Bonferroni corrected) of the WISC IV. On the basis of a large sample of adolescents, we identified an extended area in the SFC as a correlate of impulsiveness, which appears to be in line with the trait character of this prominent personality facet. The association of SFC thickness with perceptual reasoning argues for a common neurobiological basis of personality and specific cognitive domains comprising attention, spatial reasoning and response selection. The results may facilitate the understanding of the role of impulsiveness in several psychiatric disorders associated with prefrontal dysfunctions and cognitive deficits.

  16. Barrel cortex and whisker-mediated behaviors.

    PubMed

    Brecht, Michael

    2007-08-01

    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.

  17. Perceptual expertise and top-down expectation of musical notation engages the primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Yetta Kwailing; Peng, Cynthia; Fratus, Kristyn N.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Gauthier, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Specificity of auditory-guided visual perceptual learning suggests crossmodal plasticity in early visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Beer, Anton L; Watanabe, Takeo

    2009-09-01

    Sounds modulate visual perception. Blind humans show altered brain activity in early visual cortex. However, it is still unclear whether crossmodal activity in visual cortex results from unspecific top-down feedback, a lack of visual input, or genuinely reflects crossmodal interactions at early sensory levels. We examined how sounds affect visual perceptual learning in sighted adults. Visual motion discrimination was tested prior to and following eight sessions in which observers were exposed to irrelevant moving dots while detecting sounds. After training, visual discrimination improved more strongly for motion directions that were paired with a relevant sound during training than for other directions. Crossmodal learning was limited to visual field locations that overlapped with the sound source and was little affected by attention. The specificity and automatic nature of these learning effects suggest that sounds automatically guide visual plasticity at a relatively early level of processing.

  19. Verbal Mediation for Perceptual Deficits in Learning Disabilities: A Review and Suggestions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Maurice; Rohr, Michael E.

    1980-01-01

    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)

  20. Perceptual learning increases the strength of the earliest signals in visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Bao, Min; Yang, Lin; Rios, Cristina; He, Bin; Engel, Stephen A

    2010-11-10

    Training improves performance on most visual tasks. Such perceptual learning can modify how information is read out from, and represented in, later visual areas, but effects on early visual cortex are controversial. In particular, it remains unknown whether learning can reshape neural response properties in early visual areas independent from feedback arising in later cortical areas. Here, we tested whether learning can modify feedforward signals in early visual cortex as measured by the human electroencephalogram. Fourteen subjects were trained for >24 d to detect a diagonal grating pattern in one quadrant of the visual field. Training improved performance, reducing the contrast needed for reliable detection, and also reliably increased the amplitude of the earliest component of the visual evoked potential, the C1. Control orientations and locations showed smaller effects of training. Because the C1 arises rapidly and has a source in early visual cortex, our results suggest that learning can increase early visual area response through local receptive field changes without feedback from later areas.

  1. Dynamic Control of Response Criterion in Premotor Cortex during Perceptual Detection under Temporal Uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Carnevale, Federico; de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo; Barak, Omri; Parga, Néstor

    2015-05-20

    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.

  2. Brain mediators of systemic oxidative stress on perceptual impairments in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei-Che; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Lee, Pei-Lin; Huang, Yung-Cheng; Tsai, Nai-Wen; Chen, Hsiu-Ling; Cheng, Kuei-Yueh; Wang, Hung-Chen; Lin, Tsu-Kung; Li, Shau-Hsuan; Chen, Meng-Hsiang; Lu, Cheng-Hsien; Lin, Ching-Po

    2015-12-21

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is well documented to be associated with elevated systemic oxidative stress and perceptual impairments. Furthermore, the striatum and extrastriatal cortical areas, which are involved in the coordination of perceptual functions, are impaired at an early stage of the disease. However, the possible pathophysiology involved in perceptual impairments remains unclear. This raises the possibility that structural abnormalities might mediate the relationship between oxidative stress and perceptual impairments. We explored the differences between 27 patients with PD and 25 healthy controls in terms of serum oxidative stress, perceptual functions, and regional gray matter. A single-level three-variable mediation model was used to investigate the possible relationships between serum oxidative stress, regional gray matter volume, and different domains of perceptual functioning. The results demonstrate that increased serum oxidative stress (as indicated by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) was associated with declined perceptual functioning in PD patients. We further explored significant gray matter volume reductions in the bilateral temporal gyri (middle temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus), bilateral frontal gyri, limbic lobe (hippocampus and uncus), left inferior parietal lobule, right caudate nucleus, and insula in PD. Further mediation analysis showed that gray matter volumes in the middle temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, hippocampus, and insula served as brain mediators between elevated serum oxidative stress and perceptual impairments. These results suggest that higher oxidative stress levels adversely impact perceptual functions by causing temporal and mesolimbic abnormalities.

  3. Parietal cortex mediates conscious perception of illusory gestalt.

    PubMed

    Zaretskaya, Natalia; Anstis, Stuart; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-01-09

    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.

  4. Perceptual decision-making difficulty modulates feedforward effective connectivity to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane, Bidhan; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT) were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM) of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal (VT) cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions. PMID:26441596

  5. Mild Perceptual Categorization Deficits Follow Bilateral Removal of Anterior Inferior Temporal Cortex in Rhesus Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Narihisa; Eldridge, Mark A.G.; Saunders, Richard C.; Reoli, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Perceptual learning of simple stimuli modifies stimulus representations in posterior inferior temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Adab, Hamed Zivari; Popivanov, Ivo D; Vanduffel, Wim; Vogels, Rufin

    2014-10-01

    Practicing simple visual detection and discrimination tasks improves performance, a signature of adult brain plasticity. The neural mechanisms that underlie these changes in performance are still unclear. Previously, we reported that practice in discriminating the orientation of noisy gratings (coarse orientation discrimination) increased the ability of single neurons in the early visual area V4 to discriminate the trained stimuli. Here, we ask whether practice in this task also changes the stimulus tuning properties of later visual cortical areas, despite the use of simple grating stimuli. To identify candidate areas, we used fMRI to map activations to noisy gratings in trained rhesus monkeys, revealing a region in the posterior inferior temporal (PIT) cortex. Subsequent single unit recordings in PIT showed that the degree of orientation selectivity was similar to that of area V4 and that the PIT neurons discriminated the trained orientations better than the untrained orientations. Unlike in previous single unit studies of perceptual learning in early visual cortex, more PIT neurons preferred trained compared with untrained orientations. The effects of training on the responses to the grating stimuli were also present when the animals were performing a difficult orthogonal task in which the grating stimuli were task-irrelevant, suggesting that the training effect does not need attention to be expressed. The PIT neurons could support orientation discrimination at low signal-to-noise levels. These findings suggest that extensive practice in discriminating simple grating stimuli not only affects early visual cortex but also changes the stimulus tuning of a late visual cortical area.

  7. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex Biases Action Choice in a Perceptual Decision Task.

    PubMed

    Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Beyko, Angeliki; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2015-11-01

    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.

  8. Representation of Perceptual Color Space in Macaque Posterior Inferior Temporal Cortex (the V4 Complex)

    PubMed Central

    Bohon, Kaitlin S.; Hermann, Katherine L.; Hansen, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Representation of Perceptual Color Space in Macaque Posterior Inferior Temporal Cortex (the V4 Complex).

    PubMed

    Bohon, Kaitlin S; Hermann, Katherine L; Hansen, Thorsten; Conway, Bevil R

    2016-01-01

    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).

  10. Decision and action planning signals in human posterior parietal cortex during delayed perceptual choices.

    PubMed

    Tosoni, Annalisa; Corbetta, Maurizio; Calluso, Cinzia; Committeri, Giorgia; Pezzulo, Giovanni; Romani, G L; Galati, Gaspare

    2014-04-01

    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. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons

  11. Spectral Integration Plasticity in Cat Auditory Cortex Induced by Perceptual Training

    PubMed Central

    Keeling, M. Diane; Calhoun, Barbara M.; Krüger, Katharina; Polley, Daniel B.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2008-01-01

    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

  12. Mild Perceptual Categorization Deficits Follow Bilateral Removal of Anterior Inferior Temporal Cortex in Rhesus Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Narihisa; Eldridge, Mark A G; Saunders, Richard C; Reoli, Rachel; Richmond, Barry J

    2016-01-06

    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. 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, leaving a puzzle about how

  13. Distinct patterns of functional and effective connectivity between perirhinal cortex and other cortical regions in recognition memory and perceptual discrimination.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Edward B; Protzner, Andrea B; McCormick, Cornelia; McLean, D Adam; Poppenk, Jordan; Cate, Anthony D; Köhler, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    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.

  14. Human sensory cortex structure and top-down controlling brain network determine individual differences in perceptual alternations.

    PubMed

    Sang, Na; Zhang, Lijie; Hao, Lei; Wang, Yongchao; Wang, Xiaogang; Zhang, Fan; Huang, Hui; Hou, Xin; Mao, Yu; Bi, Taiyong; Qiu, Jiang

    2017-01-01

    Bistable perception is a type of subjective perception that spontaneously alternates between two perceptual interpretations of an ambiguous sensory input. Past functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have examined the activation patterns underlying bistable perception, yet the variability between individuals in the alternations is not well understood. Therefore, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was introduced in this study to correlate the GM of the sensory cortex with the alternations of Rubin face-vase illusion in a large group of young adults. We found that the GM volume and density (GMV/GMD) of the left fusiform face area (FFA) were significantly positively correlated with the alternations. Next, Granger causality analysis (GCA) was introduced to investigate the top-down modulation from high-level areas to the sensory cortex using resting-state fMRI data. Correlations between the perceptual alternations and Granger causalities showed that the top-down modulations from high-level brain regions, such as the superior parietal lobule (SPL) to the left FFA, were positive. Together, these findings indicated that the anatomical structure of the face-selective area may determine individual alternations of the Rubin face-vase illusion. This process may be controlled by a high-level cortex associated with attentional modulation, such as the SPL or Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Intracranial spectral amplitude dynamics of perceptual suppression in fronto-insular, occipito-temporal, and primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Vidal, Juan R.; Perrone-Bertolotti, Marcela; Kahane, Philippe; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Decoding Accuracy in Supplementary Motor Cortex Correlates with Perceptual Sensitivity to Tactile Roughness

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junsuk; Chung, Yoon Gi; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Wallraven, Christian; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Decoding Accuracy in Supplementary Motor Cortex Correlates with Perceptual Sensitivity to Tactile Roughness.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junsuk; Chung, Yoon Gi; Park, Jang-Yeon; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Wallraven, Christian; Bülthoff, Heinrich H; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Neural correlates and neural computations in posterior parietal cortex during perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Huk, Alexander C.; Meister, Miriam L. R.

    2012-01-01

    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

  20. Tactile Object Familiarity in the Blind Brain Reveals the Supramodal Perceptual-Mnemonic Nature of the Perirhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cacciamani, Laura; Likova, Lora T.

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Task-related modulation of effective connectivity during perceptual decision making: dissociation between dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Akaishi, Rei; Ueda, Naoko; Sakai, Katsuyuki

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Perceptual versus mediational learning in a total change concept-shift paradigm.

    PubMed

    Harpur, J G; Estabrooks, K A; Allen, N J; Asaph, C A

    1978-04-01

    The experiment investigated the effects of language acquisition by children in Grades 1 to 4 on performance in a concept-shift task in which the relevant stimulus attributes were either the colour of ink in which a word was written or the meaning of the word. Both English stream and French Immersion children served as subjects. The results indicated a developmental sequence from perceptual learning to verbal mediation. This process was demonstrated at an earlier stage in the French Immersion students who formed a more highly selected group, and intellectual or socio-economic explanations for these differences may be feasible. The relative speed of acquisition of intradimensional and extradimensional shifts interacts with the perceptual/mediational process.

  3. Top-Down Inputs Enhance Orientation Selectivity in Neurons of the Primary Visual Cortex during Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Moldakarimov, Samat; Bazhenov, Maxim; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2014-01-01

    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

  4. Perirhinal Cortex Resolves Feature Ambiguity in Configural Object Recognition and Perceptual Oddity Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartko, Susan J.; Winters, Boyer D.; Cowell, Rosemary A.; Saksida, Lisa M.; Bussey, Timothy J.

    2007-01-01

    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…

  5. Oscillatory activity in auditory cortex reflects the perceptual level of audio-tactile integration

    PubMed Central

    Plöchl, Michael; Gaston, Jeremy; Mermagen, Tim; König, Peter; Hairston, W. David

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Anterior insular cortex mediates bodily sensibility and social anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Midori; Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Umeda, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Studies in psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience have reported an important relationship between individual interoceptive accuracy and anxiety level. This indicates that greater attention to one’s bodily state may contribute to the development of intense negative emotions and anxiety disorders. We hypothesized that reactivity in the anterior insular cortex underlies the intensity of interoceptive awareness and anxiety. To elucidate this triadic mechanism, we conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and mediation analyses to examine the relationship between emotional disposition and activation in the anterior insular cortex while participants evaluated their own emotional and bodily states. Our results indicated that right anterior insular activation was positively correlated with individual levels of social anxiety and neuroticism and negatively correlated with agreeableness and extraversion. The results of the mediation analyses revealed that activity in the right anterior insula mediated the activity of neural correlates of interoceptive sensibility and social fear. Our findings suggest that attention to interoceptive sensation affects personality traits through how we feel emotion subjectively in various situations. PMID:22977199

  7. Luminance, but not chromatic visual pathways mediate amplification of conditioned danger signals in human visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Keil, Andreas; Miskovic, Vladimir; Gray, Michael J.; Martinovic, Jasna

    2013-01-01

    Complex organisms rely on experience to optimize the function of perceptual and motor systems in situations relevant to survival. It is well established that visual cues reliably paired with danger are processed more efficiently than neutral cues and that such facilitated sensory processing extends to low levels of the visual system. The neurophysiological mechanisms mediating biased sensory processing however are not well understood. Here we used grating stimuli specifically designed to engage luminance or chromatic pathways of the human visual system in a differential classical conditioning paradigm. Behavioral ratings and visual electroencephalographic steady-state potentials were recorded in healthy human participants. Our findings indicate that the visuo-cortical response to high spatial frequency, isoluminant (red-green) grating stimuli was not modulated by fear conditioning, but low-contrast, low spatial frequency reversal of grayscale gratings resulted in pronounced conditioning effects. We conclude that sensory input conducted via the chromatic pathways into retinotopic visual cortex has limited access to the bi-directional connectivity with brain networks mediating the acquisition and expression of fear, such as the amygdaloid complex. Conversely, luminance information is necessary to establish amplification of learned danger signals in hierarchically early regions of the visual system. PMID:23889165

  8. Neural codes for perceptual discrimination of acoustic flutter in the primate auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lemus, Luis; Hernández, Adrián; Romo, Ranulfo

    2009-01-01

    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

  9. Retinotopic Patterns of Correlated Fluctuations in Visual Cortex Reflect the Dynamics of Spontaneous Perceptual Suppression

    PubMed Central

    Donner, Tobias H.; Sagi, Dov; Bonneh, Yoram S.; Heeger, David J.

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. Perirhinal cortex resolves feature ambiguity in configural object recognition and perceptual oddity tasks.

    PubMed

    Bartko, Susan J; Winters, Boyer D; Cowell, Rosemary A; Saksida, Lisa M; Bussey, Timothy J

    2007-12-01

    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 solved on the basis of features alone. However, no study has examined whether the ability of PRh to resolve configural feature ambiguity is related to its role in object recognition. Therefore, we examined whether bilateral excitotoxic lesions of PRh or PPRh (perirhinal plus post-rhinal cortices) in the rat would cause deficits in a configural spontaneous object recognition task, and a configural simultaneous oddity discrimination task, in which the task could not be solved on the basis of features, but could only be solved using conjunctive representations. As predicted by simulations using a computational model, rats with PPRh lesions were impaired during a minimal-delay configural object recognition task. These same rats were impaired during a zero-delay configural object recognition task. Furthermore, rats with localized PRh lesions were impaired in a configural simultaneous oddity discrimination task. These findings support the idea that PRh contains conjunctive representations for the resolution of feature ambiguity and that these representations underlie a dual role for PRh in memory and perception.

  11. Involvement of the Parietal Cortex in Perceptual Learning (Eureka Effect): An Interference Approach Using rTMS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giovannelli, Fabio; Silingardi, Davide; Borgheresi, Alessandra; Feurra, Matteo; Amati, Gianluca; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Viggiano, Maria Pia; Zaccara, Gaetano; Berardi, Nicoletta; Cincotta, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    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…

  12. Involvement of the Parietal Cortex in Perceptual Learning (Eureka Effect): An Interference Approach Using rTMS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giovannelli, Fabio; Silingardi, Davide; Borgheresi, Alessandra; Feurra, Matteo; Amati, Gianluca; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Viggiano, Maria Pia; Zaccara, Gaetano; Berardi, Nicoletta; Cincotta, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    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…

  13. Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David

    2017-01-01

    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

  14. Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David

    2016-04-01

    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.

  15. fMRI Activity in Posterior Parietal Cortex Relates to the Perceptual Use of Binocular Disparity for Both Signal-In-Noise and Feature Difference Tasks.

    PubMed

    Patten, Matthew L; Welchman, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. Perceptual suppression revealed by adaptive multi-scale entropy analysis of local field potential in monkey visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Hu, Meng; Liang, Hualou

    2013-04-01

    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.

  17. Does Childhood Positive Self-Perceptual Bias Mediate Adolescent Risky Behavior in Youth from the MTA* Study?

    PubMed Central

    Hoza, Betsy; McQuade, Julia D.; Murray-Close, Dianna; Shoulberg, Erin; Molina, Brooke S. G.; Arnold, L. Eugene; Swanson, James; Hechtman, Lily

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. Inhibitory effect of Moutan Cortex aqueous fraction on mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation.

    PubMed

    Kee, Ji-Ye; Inujima, Akiko; Andoh, Tsugunobu; Tanaka, Ken; Li, Feng; Kuraishi, Yasushi; Sakurai, Hiroaki; Shibahara, Naotoshi; Saiki, Ikuo; Koizumi, Keiichi

    2015-04-01

    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.

  19. Perceptual inference.

    PubMed

    Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C

    2015-08-01

    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.

  20. A Mediating Role of the Premotor Cortex in Phoneme Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Marc; Tremblay, Pascale; Gracco, Vincent L.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  1. A Mediating Role of the Premotor Cortex in Phoneme Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Marc; Tremblay, Pascale; Gracco, Vincent L.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  2. The relation between cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits and the Ebbinghaus size-illusion is mediated by judgment time

    PubMed Central

    Bressan, Paola; Kramer, Peter

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Neural activity in macaque parietal cortex reflects temporal integration of visual motion signals during perceptual decision making.

    PubMed

    Huk, Alexander C; Shadlen, Michael N

    2005-11-09

    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.

  4. Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K; Paul, Erick J; Zwilling, Chris E; Johnson, Elizabeth J; Kuchan, Matthew J; Cohen, Neal J; Barbey, Aron K

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Paul, Erick J.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Cohen, Neal J.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Postsynaptic Signals Mediating Induction of Long-Term Synaptic Depression in the Entorhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kourrich, Saïd; Glasgow, Stephen D.; Caruana, Douglas A.; Chapman, C. Andrew

    2008-01-01

    The entorhinal cortex receives a large projection from the piriform cortex, and synaptic plasticity in this pathway may affect olfactory processing. In vitro whole cell recordings have been used here to investigate postsynaptic signalling mechanisms that mediate the induction of long-term synaptic depression (LTD) in layer II entorhinal cortex cells. To induce LTD, pairs of pulses, using a 30-millisecond interval, were delivered at 1 Hz for 15 minutes. Induction of LTD was blocked by the NMDA receptor antagonist APV and by the calcium chelator BAPTA, consistent with a requirement for calcium influx via NMDA receptors. Induction of LTD was blocked when the FK506 was included in the intracellular solution to block the phosphatase calcineurin. Okadaic acid, which blocks activation of protein phosphatases 1 and 2a, also prevented LTD. Activation of protein phosphatases following calcium influx therefore contributes to induction of LTD in layer II of the entorhinal cortex. PMID:18670611

  7. A simple retinal mechanism contributes to perceptual interactions between rod- and cone-mediated responses in primates.

    PubMed

    Grimes, William N; Graves, Logan R; Summers, Mathew T; Rieke, Fred

    2015-06-22

    Visual perception across a broad range of light levels is shaped by interactions between rod- and cone-mediated signals. Because responses of retinal ganglion cells, the output cells of the retina, depend on signals from both rod and cone photoreceptors, interactions occurring in retinal circuits provide an opportunity to link the mechanistic operation of parallel pathways and perception. Here we show that rod- and cone-mediated responses interact nonlinearly to control the responses of primate retinal ganglion cells; these nonlinear interactions, surprisingly, were asymmetric, with rod responses strongly suppressing subsequent cone responses but not vice-versa. Human psychophysical experiments revealed a similar perceptual asymmetry. Nonlinear interactions in the retinal output cells were well-predicted by linear summation of kinetically-distinct rod- and cone-mediated signals followed by a synaptic nonlinearity. These experiments thus reveal how a simple mechanism controlling interactions between parallel pathways shapes circuit output and perception.

  8. Insular cortex mediates increased pain tolerance in yoga practitioners.

    PubMed

    Villemure, Chantal; Ceko, Marta; Cotton, Valerie A; Bushnell, M Catherine

    2014-10-01

    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.

  9. Insular Cortex Mediates Increased Pain Tolerance in Yoga Practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Villemure, Chantal; Čeko, Marta; Cotton, Valerie A.; Bushnell, M. Catherine

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:23696275

  10. The frontopolar cortex mediates event knowledge complexity: a parametric functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Krueger, Frank; Spampinato, Maria Vittoria; Barbey, Aron K; Huey, Edward D; Morland, Thomas; Grafman, Jordan

    2009-08-05

    Event knowledge is organized on the basis of goals that enable the selection of specific event sequences to organize everyday life activities. Although the medial prefrontal cortex represents event knowledge, little is known about its role in mediating event knowledge complexity. We used functional MRI to investigate the patterns of brain activation while healthy volunteers were engaged in the task of evaluating the complexity (i.e. numbers of events) of daily life activities selected on the basis of normative data. Within a left frontoparietal network, we isolated the medial frontopolar cortex as the only region that showed a linear relationship between changes in the blood oxygen level-dependent signal and changes in event knowledge complexity. Our results specify the importance of the medial frontopolar cortex in subserving event knowledge that is required to build and execute complex behavior.

  11. Perceptual Load Alters Visual Excitability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carmel, David; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2011-01-01

    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…

  12. Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation Over the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex and the Pre-SMA Alter Drift Rate and Response Thresholds Respectively During Perceptual Decision-Making.

    PubMed

    Georgiev, Dejan; Rocchi, Lorenzo; Tocco, Pierluigi; Speekenbrink, Maarten; Rothwell, John C; Jahanshahi, Marjan

    2016-01-01

    The speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) refers to the balancing of speed versus accuracy during decision-making. SAT is very commonly investigated with perceptual decision-making tasks such as the moving dots task (MDT). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) are two brain regions considered to be involved in the control of SAT. The study tested whether the DLPFC and the pre-SMA play an essential role in the control of SAT. We hypothesized that continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) over the right DLPFC would primarily alter the rate of accumulation of evidence, whereas stimulation of the pre-SMA would influence the threshold for reaching a decision. Fifteen (5 females; mean age = 30, SD =5.40) healthy volunteers participated in the study. We used two versions of the MDT and cTBS over the right DLPFC, pre-SMA and sham stimulation. The drift diffusion model was fit to the behavioural data (reaction time and error rate) in order to calculate the drift rate, boundary separation (threshold) and non-decision time. cTBS over the right DLPFC decreased the rate of accumulation of evidence (i.e. the drift rate from the diffusion model) in high (0.35 and 0.5) but not in low coherence trials. cTBS over the pre-SMA changed the boundary separation/threshold required to reach a decision on accuracy, but not on speed trials. The results suggest for the first time that both the DLPFC and the pre-SMA make essential but distinct contributions to the modulation of SAT. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. A simple retinal mechanism contributes to perceptual interactions between rod- and cone-mediated responses in primates

    PubMed Central

    Grimes, William N; Graves, Logan R; Summers, Mathew T; Rieke, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Visual perception across a broad range of light levels is shaped by interactions between rod- and cone-mediated signals. Because responses of retinal ganglion cells, the output cells of the retina, depend on signals from both rod and cone photoreceptors, interactions occurring in retinal circuits provide an opportunity to link the mechanistic operation of parallel pathways and perception. Here we show that rod- and cone-mediated responses interact nonlinearly to control the responses of primate retinal ganglion cells; these nonlinear interactions, surprisingly, were asymmetric, with rod responses strongly suppressing subsequent cone responses but not vice-versa. Human psychophysical experiments revealed a similar perceptual asymmetry. Nonlinear interactions in the retinal output cells were well-predicted by linear summation of kinetically-distinct rod- and cone-mediated signals followed by a synaptic nonlinearity. These experiments thus reveal how a simple mechanism controlling interactions between parallel pathways shapes circuit output and perception. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08033.001 PMID:26098124

  14. Thermal, physiological and perceptual strain mediate alterations in match-play tennis under heat stress.

    PubMed

    Périard, Julien D; Racinais, Sébastien; Knez, Wade L; Herrera, Christopher P; Christian, Ryan J; Girard, Olivier

    2014-04-01

    This study compared the thermal, physiological and perceptual responses associated with match-play tennis in HOT (∼34°C wet-bulb-globe temperature (WBGT)) and COOL (∼19°C WBGT) conditions, along with the accompanying alterations in match characteristics. 12 male tennis players undertook two matches for an effective playing time (ie, ball in play) of 20 min, corresponding to ∼119 and ∼102 min of play in HOT and COOL conditions, respectively. Rectal and skin temperatures, heart rate, subjective ratings of thermal comfort, thermal sensation and perceived exertion were recorded, along with match characteristics. End-match rectal temperature increased to a greater extent in the HOT (∼39.4°C) compared with the COOL (∼38.7°C) condition (p<0.05). Thigh skin temperature was higher throughout the HOT match (p<0.001). Heart rate, thermal comfort, thermal sensation and perceived exertion were also higher during the HOT match (p<0.001). Total playing time was longer in the HOT compared with the COOL match (p<0.05). Point duration (∼7.1 s) was similar between conditions, while the time between points was ∼10 s longer in the HOT relative to the COOL match (p<0.05). This led to a ∼3.4% lower effective playing percentage in the heat (p<0.05). Although several thermal, physiological and perceptual variables were individually correlated to the adjustments in time between points and effective playing percentage, thermal sensation was the only predictor variable associated with both adjustments (p<0.005). These adjustments in match-play tennis characteristics under severe heat stress appear to represent a behavioural strategy adopted to minimise or offset the sensation of environmental conditions being rated as difficult.

  15. Thermal, physiological and perceptual strain mediate alterations in match-play tennis under heat stress

    PubMed Central

    Périard, Julien D; Racinais, Sébastien; Knez, Wade L; Herrera, Christopher P; Christian, Ryan J; Girard, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Objectives This study compared the thermal, physiological and perceptual responses associated with match-play tennis in HOT (∼34°C wet-bulb-globe temperature (WBGT)) and COOL (∼19°C WBGT) conditions, along with the accompanying alterations in match characteristics. Methods 12 male tennis players undertook two matches for an effective playing time (ie, ball in play) of 20 min, corresponding to ∼119 and ∼102 min of play in HOT and COOL conditions, respectively. Rectal and skin temperatures, heart rate, subjective ratings of thermal comfort, thermal sensation and perceived exertion were recorded, along with match characteristics. Results End-match rectal temperature increased to a greater extent in the HOT (∼39.4°C) compared with the COOL (∼38.7°C) condition (p<0.05). Thigh skin temperature was higher throughout the HOT match (p<0.001). Heart rate, thermal comfort, thermal sensation and perceived exertion were also higher during the HOT match (p<0.001). Total playing time was longer in the HOT compared with the COOL match (p<0.05). Point duration (∼7.1 s) was similar between conditions, while the time between points was ∼10 s longer in the HOT relative to the COOL match (p<0.05). This led to a ∼3.4% lower effective playing percentage in the heat (p<0.05). Although several thermal, physiological and perceptual variables were individually correlated to the adjustments in time between points and effective playing percentage, thermal sensation was the only predictor variable associated with both adjustments (p<0.005). Conclusions These adjustments in match-play tennis characteristics under severe heat stress appear to represent a behavioural strategy adopted to minimise or offset the sensation of environmental conditions being rated as difficult. PMID:24668377

  16. The lateral prefrontal cortex mediates the hyperalgesic effects of negative cognitions in chronic pain patients

    PubMed Central

    Loggia, Marco L.; Berna, Chantal; Kim, Jieun; Cahalan, Christine M.; Martel, Marc-Olivier; Gollub, Randy L.; Wasan, Ajay D.; Napadow, Vitaly; Edwards, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. EMX1 regulates NRP1-mediated wiring of the mouse anterior cingulate cortex

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Inferior Prefrontal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Phosphatidylcholine and Executive Functions in Healthy, Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between phosphatidylcholine and executive functions in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher plasma levels of phosphatidylcholine are associated with better performance on a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that have been implicated in cognitive flexibility. Methods: We examined 72 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 in an observational, cross-sectional study to investigate the relationship between blood biomarkers of phosphatidylcholine, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter structure of regions within the PFC. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions and we controlled for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the PFC, the left inferior PFC (Brodmann’s Area 45), mediates the relationship between phosphatidylcholine blood biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that particular nutrients may slow or prevent age-related cognitive decline by influencing specific structures within the brain. This report demonstrates a novel structural mediation between plasma phosphatidylcholine levels and cognitive flexibility. Future work should examine the potential mechanisms underlying this mediation, including phosphatidylcholine-dependent cell membrane integrity of the inferior PFC and phosphatidylcholine-dependent cholinergic projections to the inferior PFC. PMID:27733825

  19. Efficacy of navigation may be influenced by retrosplenial cortex-mediated learning of landmark stability.

    PubMed

    Auger, Stephen D; Zeidman, Peter; Maguire, Eleanor A

    2017-08-10

    Human beings differ considerably in their ability to orient and navigate within the environment, but it has been difficult to determine specific causes of these individual differences. Permanent, stable landmarks are thought to be crucial for building a mental representation of an environment. Poor, compared to good, navigators have been shown to have difficulty identifying permanent landmarks, with a concomitant reduction in functional MRI (fMRI) activity in the retrosplenial cortex. However, a clear association between navigation ability and the learning of permanent landmarks has not been established. Here we tested for such a link. We had participants learn a virtual reality environment by repeatedly moving through it during fMRI scanning. The environment contained landmarks of which participants had no prior experience, some of which remained fixed in their locations while others changed position each time they were seen. After the fMRI learning phase, we divided participants into good and poor navigators based on their ability to find their way in the environment. The groups were closely matched on a range of cognitive and structural brain measures. Examination of the learning phase during scanning revealed that, while good and poor navigators learned to recognise the environment's landmarks at a similar rate, poor navigators were impaired at registering whether landmarks were stable or transient, and this was associated with reduced engagement of the retrosplenial cortex. Moreover, a mediation analysis showed that there was a significant effect of landmark permanence learning on navigation performance mediated through retrosplenial cortex activity. We conclude that a diminished ability to process landmark permanence may be a contributory factor to sub-optimal navigation, and could be related to the level of retrosplenial cortex engagement. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Top-Down-Mediated Facilitation in the Visual Cortex Is Gated by Subcortical Neuromodulation.

    PubMed

    Pafundo, Diego E; Nicholas, Mark A; Zhang, Ruilin; Kuhlman, Sandra J

    2016-03-09

    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.

  1. Microglia activation mediates fibrillar amyloid-β toxicity in the aged primate cortex

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Elaine; Guo, Ling; Bu, Jing; Maloof, Marie; Khoury, Joseph El; Geula, Changiz

    2009-01-01

    The amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The fibrillar form of Aβ (fAβ) exerts toxic effects on neurons through mechanisms not well understood. We have shown that the aged primate cortex is selectively vulnerable to fAβ toxicity at low concentrations. In addition to neuronal loss, fAβ induced massive activation of microglia in the aged rhesus cortex. We now demonstrate that inhibition of microglia activation abolishes fAβ toxicity. Injection or pump delivery of macrophage/microglia inhibitory factor (MIF) significantly reduced activation of microglia and the volume of damage caused by fAβ. Microglia isolated from aged rhesus cortex produced substantial reactive oxygen species when stimulated by fAβ, which was inhibited by MIF in a dose-dependent manner. This is the first definitive in vivo demonstration that the fAβ-induced microglia activation and inflammation mediate, at least in part, its toxic effects on neurons. Combined with our earlier observations, these findings suggest that aged primate microglia may display an exaggerated inflammatory response to fAβ when compared with young microglia. PMID:19349094

  2. Estrogen-mediated neuroprotection in the cortex may require NMDA receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Connell, B J; Crosby, K M; Richard, M J P; Mayne, M B; Saleh, T M

    2007-04-25

    Several studies have suggested that a potential mechanism for estrogen-mediated neuroprotection following experimental stroke is a result of modulating glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity. Our laboratory has shown that in male rats, estrogen injection (systemic or direct intracortical injection) resulted in an immediate depolarization of cortical neurons. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate whether the estrogen-induced depolarization of cortical neurons was required in mediating the early events associated with this neuroprotection. We tested this hypothesis by co-injecting selective antagonists of the NMDA (MK-801) or AMPA (DNQX) glutamatergic receptors with estrogen. Systemic injection of estrogen significantly attenuated the MK-801-induced decrease in infarct volume following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Similarly, when estrogen and MK-801 were co-injected directly into the cortex, no neuroprotection was observed. However, when estrogen or MK-801 was injected centrally 10 min prior to the injection of the other drug, significant neuroprotection was observed. This led us to hypothesize that estrogen-mediated neuroprotection required an initial activation of NMDA receptors. Furthermore, our results suggest that this estrogen-mediated neuroprotection was also associated with a significant increase in m-calpain and activation of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) specific caspase-12. Finally, the results of current clamp experiments showed that estrogen significantly depolarized cortical neurons as well as enhanced NMDA-induced depolarization. Taken together, these results suggest that estrogen pretreatment may activate NMDA receptors resulting in modification of ER-associated molecular mechanisms involved in neuroprotection following MCAO.

  3. Perceptual, Evaluative and Behavioral Changes Through Externally Mediated Self-Confrontation; Explorations and Experiments in Microsettings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bierschenk, Bernhard

    1974-01-01

    The development and application of the idea of microteaching in research and education is described in this report. It examines the use of different feedback devices for self-control and self-direction. The main conclusions reached are: (1) externally mediated self-confrontation via CCTV/VR is a therapeutic treatment; and (2) microsetting models…

  4. Top-Down-Mediated Facilitation in the Visual Cortex Is Gated by Subcortical Neuromodulation

    PubMed Central

    Pafundo, Diego E.; Nicholas, Mark A.; Zhang, Ruilin

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Confidence leak in perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Rahnev, Dobromir; Koizumi, Ai; McCurdy, Li Yan; D’Esposito, Mark; Lau, Hakwan

    2015-01-01

    We live in a continuous environment in which the visual scene changes on a slow timescale. It has been shown that, to exploit such environmental stability, the brain creates a “continuity field” such that objects seen seconds ago influence the perception of current objects. What is unknown is whether a similar mechanism exists at the level of our metacognitive representations. In three experiments we demonstrate a robust inter-task “confidence leak” that cannot be explained by response priming or attentional fluctuations. Observers’ ability to modulate this confidence leak predicted higher capacity for metacognition as well as greater gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex. A model based on normative principles from Bayesian inference explained the results by postulating that observers subjectively estimate the perceptual signal strength in a stable environment. These results point to the existence of a novel metacognitive mechanism mediated by regions in prefrontal cortex. PMID:26408037

  6. Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the association between loneliness and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Xia; Wei, Dongtao; Li, Wenfu; Cun, Lingli; Xue, Song; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    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.

  7. Neural cell adhesion molecule-mediated Fyn activation promotes GABAergic synapse maturation in postnatal mouse cortex.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Baho, Elie; Huang, Z Josh; Schachner, Melitta; Di Cristo, Graziella

    2013-04-03

    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.

  8. Medial prefrontal cortex and striatum mediate the influence of social comparison on the decision process

    PubMed Central

    Bault, Nadège; Joffily, Mateus; Rustichini, Aldo; Coricelli, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    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

  9. Recovery of frontal cortex-mediated visual behaviors following neurotrophic rescue of axotomized neurons in medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Haun, F; Cunningham, T J

    1993-02-01

    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)

  10. GAD67-mediated GABA synthesis and signaling regulate inhibitory synaptic innervation in the visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Di Cristo, Graziella; Wu, Cai Zhi; Knott, Graham; Kuhlman, Sandra; Fu, Yu; Palmiter, Richard D; Huang, Z Josh

    2007-06-21

    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.

  11. Traveling waves in developing cerebellar cortex mediated by asymmetrical Purkinje cell connectivity.

    PubMed

    Watt, Alanna J; Cuntz, Hermann; Mori, Masahiro; Nusser, Zoltan; Sjöström, P Jesper; Häusser, Michael

    2009-04-01

    Correlated network activity is important in the development of many neural circuits. Purkinje cells are among the first neurons to populate the cerebellar cortex, where they sprout exuberant axon collaterals. We used multiple patch-clamp recordings targeted with two-photon microscopy to characterize monosynaptic connections between the Purkinje cells of juvenile mice. We found that Purkinje cell axon collaterals projected asymmetrically in the sagittal plane, directed away from the lobule apex. On the basis of our anatomical and physiological characterization of this connection, we constructed a network model that robustly generated waves of activity that traveled along chains of connected Purkinje cells. Consistent with the model, we observed traveling waves of activity in Purkinje cells in sagittal slices from young mice that require GABA(A) receptor-mediated transmission and intact Purkinje cell axon collaterals. These traveling waves are absent in adult mice, suggesting they have a developmental role in wiring the cerebellar cortical microcircuit.

  12. TRPC Channels Mediate a Muscarinic Receptor-Induced Afterdepolarization in Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Hai-Dun; Villalobos, Claudio; Andrade, Rodrigo

    2009-01-01

    Activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors on pyramidal cells of the cerebral cortex induces the appearance of a slow afterdepolarization that can sustain autonomous spiking after a brief excitatory stimulus. Accordingly, this phenomenon has been hypothesized to allow for the transient storage of memory traces in neuronal networks. Here we investigated the molecular basis underlying the muscarinic receptor-induced afterdepolarization using molecular biological and electrophysiological strategies. We find that the ability of muscarinic receptors to induce the inward aftercurrent underlying the slow afterdepolarization is inhibited by expression of a Gαq-11 dominant negative and is also markedly reduced in a phospholipase C β1 (PLCβ1) knock-out mouse. Furthermore, we show, using a genetically encoded biosensor, that activation of muscarinic receptor induces the breakdown of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate in pyramidal cells. These results indicate that the Gαq-11/PLCβ1 cascade plays a key role in the ability of muscarinic receptors to signal the inward aftercurrent. We have shown previously that the muscarinic afterdepolarization is mediated by a calcium-activated nonselective cation current, suggesting the possible involvement of TRPC channels. We find that expression of a TRPC dominant negative inhibits, and overexpression of wild-type TRPC5 or TRPC6 enhances, the amplitude of the muscarinic receptor-induced inward aftercurrent. Furthermore, we find that coexpression of TRPC5 and T-type calcium channels is sufficient to reconstitute a muscarinic receptor-activated inward aftercurrent in human embryonic kidney HEK-293 cells. These results indicate that TRPC channels mediate the muscarinic receptor-induced slow afterdepolarization seen in pyramidal cells of the cerebral cortex and suggest a possible role for TRPC channels in mnemonic processes. PMID:19675237

  13. Right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex mediates individual differences in conflict-driven cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Egner, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    Conflict adaptation – a conflict-triggered improvement in the resolution of conflicting stimulus or response representations – has become a widely used probe of cognitive control processes in both healthy and clinical populations. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have localized activation foci associated with conflict resolution to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). The traditional group-analysis approach employed in these studies highlights regions that are, on average, activated during conflict resolution, but does not necessarily reveal areas mediating individual differences in conflict resolution, because between-subject variance is treated as noise. Here, we employed a complementary approach in order to elucidate the neural bases of variability in the proficiency of conflict-driven cognitive control. We analyzed two independent fMRI data sets of face-word Stroop tasks by using individual variability in the behavioral expression of conflict adaptation as the metric against which brain activation was regressed, while controlling for individual differences in mean reaction time and Stroop interference. Across the two experiments, a replicable neural substrate of individual variation in conflict adaptation was found in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), specifically, in the right inferior frontal gyrus, pars orbitalis (BA 47). Unbiased regression estimates showed that variability in activity in this region accounted for ~40% of the variance in behavioral expression of conflict adaptation across subjects, thus documenting a heretofore unsuspected key role for vlPFC in mediating conflict-driven adjustments in cognitive control. We speculate that vlPFC plays a primary role in conflict control that is supplemented by dlPFC recruitment under conditions of suboptimal performance. PMID:21568631

  14. Blockade of IP[subscript 3]-Mediated SK Channel Signaling in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex Improves Spatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F. T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP[subscript 3]-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP[subscript 3] receptor (IP[subscript…

  15. Blockade of IP[subscript 3]-Mediated SK Channel Signaling in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex Improves Spatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F. T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP[subscript 3]-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP[subscript 3] receptor (IP[subscript…

  16. Perceptual learning modifies the functional specializations of visual cortical areas.

    PubMed

    Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang

    2016-05-17

    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.

  17. Perceptual learning modifies the functional specializations of visual cortical areas

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Dopaminergic modulation of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity at GABAergic synapses in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Chiayu Q.; Puente, Nagore; Grandes, Pedro; Castillo, Pablo E.

    2010-01-01

    Similar to dopamine (DA), cannabinoids strongly influence prefrontal cortical functions such as working memory, emotional learning, and sensory perception. While endogenous cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) are abundantly expressed in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), very little is known about endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling in this brain region. Recent behavioral and electrophysiological evidence has suggested a functional interplay between the dopamine and cannabinoid receptor systems, although the cellular mechanisms underlying this interaction remain to be elucidated. We examined this issue by combining neuroanatomical and electrophysiological techniques in PFC of rats and mice (both genders). Using immuno-electron microscopy, we show that CB1Rs and dopamine type 2 receptors (D2Rs) co-localize at terminals of symmetrical, presumably GABAergic, synapses in the PFC. Indeed, activation of either receptor can suppress GABA release onto layer 5 pyramidal cells. Furthermore, co-activation of both receptors via repetitive afferent stimulation triggers eCB-mediated long term depression of inhibitory transmission (I-LTD). This I-LTD is heterosynaptic in nature, requiring glutamate release to activate group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). D2Rs most likely facilitate eCB signaling at the presynaptic site as disrupting postsynaptic D2R signaling does not diminish I-LTD. Facilitation of eCB-LTD may be one mechanism by which DA modulates neuronal activity in the PFC and regulates PFC-mediated behavior in vivo. PMID:20505090

  19. Prefrontal infralimbic cortex mediates competition between excitation and inhibition of body movements during pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Halladay, Lindsay R; Blair, Hugh T

    2017-03-01

    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.

  20. SPINDLY, ERECTA, and Its Ligand STOMAGEN Have a Role in Redox-Mediated Cortex Proliferation in the Arabidopsis Root

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Hongchang; Kong, Danyu; Wei, Pengcheng; Hao, Yueling; Torii, Keiko U.; Lee, Jin Suk; Li, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are harmful to all living organisms and therefore they must be removed to ensure normal growth and development. ROS are also signaling molecules, but so far little is known about the mechanisms of ROS perception and developmental response in plants. We here report that hydrogen peroxide induces cortex proliferation in the Arabidopsis root and that SPINDLY (SPY), an O-linked glucosamine acetyltransferase, regulates cortex proliferation by maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. We also found that mutation in the leucine-rich receptor kinase ERECTA and its putative peptide ligand STOMAGEN block the effect of hydrogen peroxide on root cortex proliferation. However, ERECTA and STOMAGEN are expressed in the vascular tissue, whereas extra cortex cells are produced from the endodermis, suggesting the involvement of intercellular signaling. SPY appears to act downstream of ERECTA, because the spy mutation still caused cortex proliferation in the erecta mutant background. We therefore have not only gained insight into the mechanism by which SPY regulates root development but also uncovered a novel pathway for ROS signaling in plants. The importance of redox-mediated cortex proliferation as a protective mechanism against oxidative stress is also discussed. PMID:25267734

  1. Blockade of IP3-mediated SK channel signaling in the rat medial prefrontal cortex improves spatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP3-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP3 receptor (IP3R)-evoked calcium release results in SK channel-dependent hyperpolarization of prefrontal neurons. However, the effects of IP3R signaling on prefrontal function have not been investigated. The present findings demonstrate that blockade of IP3R or SK channels in the prefrontal cortex enhances WM performance in rats, suggesting that both arms of the PI cascade influence prefrontal cognitive function. PMID:18285467

  2. Effects of Learner Representation in Film-Mediated Perceptual-Motor Learning. Rapid Mass Learning. Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roshal, Sol M.

    The major hypothesis of this study (based on the psychology of Clark Hull) was that the learning of a perceptual-motor act from films will be more effective as the film presentation approaches an exact representation of the learner himself performing the act to be learned. The problem was to discover the most effective way to represent the learner…

  3. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Anterior cingulate cortex mediates the relationship between O3PUFAs and executive functions in APOE e4 carriers

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Paul, Erick J.; Rubin, Rachael D.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Central role for the insular cortex in mediating conditioned responses to anticipatory cues

    PubMed Central

    Kusumoto-Yoshida, Ikue; Liu, Haixin; Chen, Billy T.; Fontanini, Alfredo; Bonci, Antonello

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Dysregulation of prefrontal cortex-mediated slow evolving limbic dynamics drives stress-induced emotional pathology

    PubMed Central

    Hultman, Rainbo; Mague, Stephen D.; Li, Qiang; Katz, Brittany M.; Michel, Nadine; Lin, Lizhen; Wang, Joyce; David, Lisa K.; Blount, Cameron; Chandy, Rithi; Carlson, David; Ulrich, Kyle; Carin, Lawrence; Dunson, David; Kumar, Sunil; Deisseroth, Karl; Moore, Scott D.; Dzirasa, Kafui

    2016-01-01

    Summary Circuits distributed across cortico-limbic brain regions compose the networks that mediate emotional behavior. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulates ultraslow (<1Hz) dynamics across these networks, and PFC dysfunction is implicated in stress-related illnesses including major depressive disorder (MDD). To uncover the mechanism whereby stress-induced changes in PFC circuitry alter emotional networks to yield pathology, we used a multi-disciplinary approach including in vivo recordings in mice and chronic social-defeat stress. Our network model, inferred using machine learning, linked stress-induced behavioral pathology to the capacity of PFC to synchronize amygdala and VTA activity. Direct stimulation of PFC-amygdala circuitry with DREADDs normalized PFC-dependent limbic synchrony in stress-susceptible animals and restored normal behavior. In addition to providing insights into MDD mechanisms, our findings demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach that can be used to identify the large-scale network changes that underlie complex emotional pathologies and the specific network nodes that can be used to develop targeted interventions. PMID:27346529

  8. GAD67-mediated GABA Synthesis and Signaling Regulate Inhibitory Synaptic Innervation in the Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Di Cristo, Graziella; Wu, Cai Zhi; Knott, Graham; Kuhlman, Sandra; Fu, Yu; Palmiter, Richard D.; Huang, Z. Josh

    2007-01-01

    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

  9. PERK signalling pathway mediates single prolonged stress-induced dysfunction of medial prefrontal cortex neurons.

    PubMed

    Wen, Lili; Xiao, Bing; Shi, Yuxiu; Han, Fang

    2017-04-08

    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.

  10. Perceptual convexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kupeev, Konstantin Y.; Wolfson, Haim J.

    1995-08-01

    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.

  11. Spike-timing-dependent potentiation of sensory surround in the somatosensory cortex is facilitated by deprivation-mediated disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Gambino, Frédéric; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2012-08-09

    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.

  12. Layer-specific endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression of GABAergic neurotransmission onto principal neurons in mouse visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wenjuan; Wang, Laijian; Li, Shuo; Tie, Xiaoxiu; Jiang, Bin

    2015-08-01

    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.

  13. When a thought equals a look: refreshing enhances perceptual memory.

    PubMed

    Yi, Do-Joon; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B; Chun, Marvin M; Johnson, Marcia K

    2008-08-01

    Cognition constantly involves retrieving and maintaining information that is not perceptually available in the current environment. Studies on visual imagery and working memory suggest that such high-level cognition might, in part, be mediated by the revival of perceptual representations in the inferior temporal cortex. Here, we provide new support for this hypothesis, showing that reflectively accessed information can have similar consequences for subsequent perception as actual perceptual input. Participants were presented with pairs of frames in which a scene could appear, and were required to make a category judgment on the second frame. In the critical condition, a scene was presented in the first frame, but the second frame was blank. Thus, it was necessary to refresh the scene from the first frame in order to make the category judgment. Scenes were then repeated in subsequent trials to measure the effect of refreshing on functional magnetic resonance imaging repetition attenuation -- a neural index of memory -- in a scene-selective region of the visual cortex. Surprisingly, the refreshed scenes produced equal attenuation as scenes that had been presented twice during encoding, and more attenuation than scenes that had been presented once during encoding, but that were not refreshed. Thus, the top-down revival of a percept had a similar effect on memory as actually seeing the stimulus again. These findings indicate that high-level cognition can activate stimulus-specific representations in the ventral visual cortex, and that such top-down activation, like that from sensory stimulation, produces memorial changes that affect perceptual processing during a later encounter with the stimulus.

  14. Perceptual interference decays over short unfilled intervals.

    PubMed

    Schulkind, M D

    2000-09-01

    The perceptual interference effect refers to the fact that object identification is directly related to the amount of information available at initial exposure. The present article investigated whether perceptual interference would dissipate when a short, unfilled interval was introduced between exposures to a degraded object. Across three experiments using both musical and pictorial stimuli, identification performance increased directly with the length of the unfilled interval. Consequently, significant perceptual interference was obtained only when the interval between exposures was relatively short (< 500 msec for melodies; < 300 msec for pictures). These results are consistent with explanations that attribute perceptual interference to increased perceptual noise created by exposures to highly degraded objects. The data also suggest that perceptual interference is mediated by systems that are not consciously controlled by the subject and that perceptual interference in the visual domain decays more rapidly than perceptual interference in the auditory domain.

  15. Glutamatergic activation of anterior cingulate cortex mediates the affective component of visceral pain memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ni; Cao, Bing; Xu, Jiahe; Hao, Chun; Zhang, Xu; Li, Ying

    2012-01-01

    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.

  16. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated effects in slices from human epileptogenic cortex.

    PubMed

    Gigout, S; Wierschke, S; Lehmann, T-N; Horn, P; Dehnicke, C; Deisz, R A

    2012-10-25

    Acetylcholine has been implicated in higher cortical functions such as learning, memory and cognition, yet the cellular effects of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) activation are poorly understood in the human cortex. Here we investigated the effect of the mAChR agonist carbachol (CCh) and various mAChR antagonists in human cortical slices (from tissue removed during neurosurgical treatment of epilepsy) by intracellular and extracellular recordings. CCh increased neuronal firing, which was antagonised by atropine (non-selective mAChR antagonist) and pirenzepine (M(1)/M(4) mAChRs antagonist) when applied before or after CCh application. AF-DX 116 (M(2)/M(4) mAChRs antagonist) had no effect on CCh-induced increase of firing. CCh also reduced evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSP), and the CCh-induced depression of EPSP was fully reversed by atropine. Pirenzepine reversed the depression of CCh on EPSP, but failed to prevent the depression when applied before CCh. AF-DX 116 prevented the CCh-induced depression of evoked EPSP when applied before CCh. CCh also depressed GABAergic transmission and this effect was antagonised by AF-DX 116. Xanomeline (M(1)/M(4) mAChR agonist) increased neuronal firing and decreased EPSP, but had no effect on GABAergic transmission. Reduction (with linopirdine) and enhancement (with retigabine) of the M-current (mediated by K(V)7 channels), increased and decreased neuronal firing, respectively, but had marginal effects on the evoked EPSP. Our results indicate that three pharmacologically distinct mAChRs modulate neuronal firing, glutamatergic and GABAergic transmissions in the human epileptogenic neocortex. The data are discussed towards possible implications of altered mAChR signalling in hyperexcitability and cognitive functions in the human neocortex. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Glycine receptors mediate excitation of subplate neurons in neonatal rat cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Kilb, W; Hanganu, I L; Okabe, A; Sava, B A; Shimizu-Okabe, C; Fukuda, A; Luhmann, H J

    2008-08-01

    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.

  18. Negative BOLD response and serotonin concentration within rostral subgenual portion of the anterior cingulate cortex for long-allele carriers during perceptual processing of emotional tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadi, Shamil M.; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas

    2012-03-01

    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.

  19. Postsynaptic diacylglycerol lipase α mediates retrograde endocannabinoid suppression of inhibition in mouse prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Hiroki; Miyamae, Takeaki; Hansen, Gwenn; Zambrowicz, Brian; Flynn, Michael; Pedicord, Donna; Blat, Yuval; Westphal, Ryan S; Zaczek, Robert; Lewis, David A; Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) is a prevailing form of endocannabinoid signalling. However, several discrepancies have arisen regarding the roles played by the two major brain endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, in mediating DSI. Here we studied endocannabinoid signalling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), where several components of the endocannabinoid system have been identified, but endocannabinoid signalling remains largely unexplored. In voltage clamp recordings from mouse PFC pyramidal neurons, depolarizing steps significantly suppressed IPSCs induced by application of the cholinergic agonist carbachol. DSI in PFC neurons was abolished by extra- or intracellular application of tetrahydrolipstatin (THL), an inhibitor of the 2-AG synthesis enzyme diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL). Moreover, DSI was enhanced by inhibiting 2-AG degradation, but was unaffected by inhibiting anandamide degradation. THL, however, may affect other enzymes of lipid metabolism and does not selectively target the α (DAGLα) or β (DAGLβ) isoforms of DAGL. Therefore, we studied DSI in the PFC of DAGLα−/− and DAGLβ−/− mice generated via insertional mutagenesis by gene-trapping with retroviral vectors. Gene trapping strongly reduced DAGLα or DAGLβ mRNA levels in a locus-specific manner. In DAGLα−/− mice cortical levels of 2-AG were significantly decreased and DSI was completely abolished, whereas DAGLβ deficiency did not alter cortical 2-AG levels or DSI. Importantly, cortical levels of anandamide were not significantly affected in DAGLα−/− or DAGLβ−/− mice. The chronic decrease of 2-AG levels in DAGLα−/− mice did not globally alter inhibitory transmission or the response of cannabinoid-sensitive synapses to cannabinoid receptor stimulation, although it altered some intrinsic membrane properties. Finally, we found that repetitive action potential firing of PFC pyramidal neurons suppressed synaptic

  20. Why I tense up when you watch me: Inferior parietal cortex mediates an audience’s influence on motor performance

    PubMed Central

    Yoshie, Michiko; Nagai, Yoko; Critchley, Hugo D.; Harrison, Neil A.

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

  2. Neural Systems Underlying Perceptual Adjustment to Non-Standard Speech Tokens

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Emily B.; Mesite, Laura M.

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Glial glutamate transporters mediate a functional metabolic crosstalk between neurons and astrocytes in the mouse developing cortex.

    PubMed

    Voutsinos-Porche, Brigitte; Bonvento, Gilles; Tanaka, Kohichi; Steiner, Pascal; Welker, Egbert; Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J; Pellerin, Luc

    2003-01-23

    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.

  6. Delayed loss of ETB receptor-mediated vasorelaxation after cold lesion of the rat parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Görlach, C; Sirén, A L; Knerlich, F; Feger, G; Fricke, A; Barth, M; Schilling, L; Ehrenreich, H; Wahl, M

    1998-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of endothelins (ET) in brain injury. The effect of ET was studied in the isolated basilar artery (BA) taken from control, sham-operated, and cold-lesioned rats. Cold lesion was induced by application of a precooled (-78 degrees C) copper cylinder (outer diameter 5 mm) for 60 seconds to the intact dura over the parietal cortex. After precontraction with prostaglandin (PG) F2alpha, ET-3 (10(-10) to 10(-8) mol/L) dilated BA with a pD2 (negative log of the half-maximal concentration) of 9.06+/-0.031 (mean +/- SD) and a maximal effect (Emax) of 1.64+/-1.0 mN at 3 x 10(-9) mol/L in sham-operated animals. This dilation was reduced 24 and 48 hours after cold lesion by 33% and 73%, respectively, at 3 x 10(-9) mol/L. The effects of acetylcholine (10(-8) to 10(-4) mol/L) and sodium nitroprusside (10(-3) mol/L) were unaltered. Activation of the ETB receptor in thoracic aorta by the specific agonist IRL 1620 also resulted in a reduced dilation (51% by 48 hours after cold lesion). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of the BA showed unaltered expression of mRNA for the ETB receptor after cold lesion whereas ETB immunoreactivity in BA and in its intraparenchymal arteries was reduced at 24 and 48 hours. In contrast to the reduction of ET-3-induced dilation, the constrictor effects of ET-1 and ET-3 were retained after cold lesion. Endothelin-1 (10(-12) to 10(-6) mol/L) dose-dependently contracted segments of untreated control BA segments under resting conditions with a pD2 of 8.03+/-0.22 and an Emax of 6.35+/-0.70 mN. Further evidence that the constrictor ability of BA was not influenced by cold lesion is given by the unaltered response to 124 mmol/L K+ and 10(-6) mol/L serotonin. We conclude that the ETB receptor of BA after cold lesion is downregulated specifically, apparently at the posttranscriptional level. Because the ETB-mediated dilation in thoracic aorta was also reduced, downregulation of the ETB

  7. Enhancement of postsynaptic GABAA and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice.

    PubMed

    Lo, Fu-Sun; Blue, Mary E; Erzurumlu, Reha S

    2016-03-01

    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.

  8. Enhancement of postsynaptic GABAA and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated responses in the barrel cortex of Mecp2-null mice

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Fu-Sun; Blue, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Multisensory Plasticity in Superior Colliculus Neurons is Mediated by Association Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Liping; Xu, Jinghong; Rowland, Benjamin A.; Stein, Barry E.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to integrate information from different senses, and thereby facilitate detecting and localizing events, normally develops gradually in cat superior colliculus (SC) neurons as experience with cross-modal events is acquired. Here, we demonstrate that the portal for this experience-based change is association cortex. Unilaterally deactivating this cortex whenever visual–auditory events were present resulted in the failure of ipsilateral SC neurons to develop the ability to integrate those cross-modal inputs, even though they retained the ability to respond to them. In contrast, their counterparts in the opposite SC developed this capacity normally. The deficits were eliminated by providing cross-modal experience when cortex was active. These observations underscore the collaborative developmental processes that take place among different levels of the neuraxis to adapt the brain's multisensory (and sensorimotor) circuits to the environment in which they will be used. PMID:25552270

  10. NPY+-, but not PV+-GABAergic neurons mediated long-range inhibition from infra- to prelimbic cortex

    PubMed Central

    Saffari, R; Teng, Z; Zhang, M; Kravchenko, M; Hohoff, C; Ambrée, O; Zhang, W

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-07

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

  12. Perceptual telerobotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ligomenides, Panos A.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  13. Visual Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhong-Lin; Hua, Tianmiao; Huang, Chang-Bing; Zhou, Yifeng; Dosher, Barbara Anne

    2010-01-01

    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

  14. Insulin-Independent GABAA Receptor-Mediated Response in the Barrel Cortex of Mice with Impaired Met Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Fu-Sun; Erzurumlu, Reha S.

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. The contribution of the human posterior parietal cortex to episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Sestieri, Carlo; Shulman, Gordon L; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2017-02-17

    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.

  16. The human prefrontal cortex mediates integration of potential causes behind observed outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Beierholm, Ulrik R.; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P.

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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; Hope, Bruce T

    2016-06-22

    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. 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 reward seeking, whereas the

  19. Perceptual Learning of Contrast Detection in the Human Lateral Geniculate Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qinlin; Zhang, Peng; Qiu, Jiang; Fang, Fang

    2016-12-05

    The brain is continuously modified by perceptual experience throughout life. Perceptual learning, which refers to the long-term performance improvement resulting from practice, has been widely used as a paradigm to study experience-dependent brain plasticity in adults [1, 2]. In the visual system, adult plasticity is largely believed to be restricted to the cortex, with subcortical structures losing their capacity for change after a critical period of development [3, 4]. Although various cortical mechanisms have been shown to mediate visual perceptual learning [5-12], there has been no reported investigation of perceptual learning in subcortical nuclei. Here, human subjects were trained on a contrast detection task for 30 days, leading to a significant contrast sensitivity improvement that was specific to the trained eye and the trained visual hemifield. Training also resulted in an eye- and hemifield-specific fMRI signal increase to low-contrast patterns in the magnocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), even when subjects did not pay attention to the patterns. Such an increase was absent in the parvocellular layers of the LGN and visual cortical areas. Furthermore, the behavioral benefit significantly correlated with the neural enhancement. These findings suggest that LGN signals can be amplified by training to detect faint patterns. Neural plasticity induced by perceptual learning in human adults might not be confined to the cortical level but might occur as early as at the thalamic level. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Developmental changes in AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated quantal transmission at thalamocortical synapses in the barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Bannister, Neil J; Benke, Timothy A; Mellor, Jack; Scott, Helen; Gürdal, Esra; Crabtree, John W; Isaac, John T R

    2005-05-25

    During the first week of life, there is a shift from kainate to AMPA receptor-mediated thalamocortical transmission in layer IV barrel cortex. However, the mechanisms underlying this change and the differential properties of AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission remain essentially unexplored. To investigate this, we studied the quantal properties of AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission using strontium-evoked miniature EPSCs. AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission exhibited very different quantal properties but were never coactivated by a single quantum of transmitter, indicating complete segregation to different synapses within the thalamocortical input. Nonstationary fluctuation analysis showed that synaptic AMPA receptors exhibited a range of single-channel conductance (gamma) and a strong negative correlation between gamma and functional channel number, indicating that these two parameters are reciprocally regulated at thalamocortical synapses. We obtained the first estimate of gamma for synaptic kainate receptors (<2 pS), and this primarily accounted for the small quantal size of kainate receptor-mediated transmission. Developmentally, the quantal contribution to transmission of AMPA receptors increased and that of kainate receptors decreased. No changes in AMPA or kainate quantal amplitude or in AMPA receptor gamma were observed, demonstrating that the developmental change was attributable to a decrease in the number of kainate synapses and an increase in the number of AMPA synapses contributing to transmission. Therefore, we demonstrate fundamental differences in the quantal properties for these two types of synapse. Thus, the developmental switch in transmission will dramatically alter information transfer at thalamocortical inputs to layer IV.

  1. Optimism and the brain: trait optimism mediates the protective role of the orbitofrontal cortex gray matter volume against anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yifan; Iordan, Alexandru D.; Moore, Matthew; Dolcos, Florin

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence identifies trait optimism and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) as personality and brain factors influencing anxiety, but the nature of their relationships remains unclear. Here, the mechanisms underlying the protective role of trait optimism and of increased OFC volume against symptoms of anxiety were investigated in 61 healthy subjects, who completed measures of trait optimism and anxiety, and underwent structural scanning using magnetic resonance imaging. First, the OFC gray matter volume (GMV) was associated with increased optimism, which in turn was associated with reduced anxiety. Second, trait optimism mediated the relation between the left OFC volume and anxiety, thus demonstrating that increased GMV in this brain region protects against symptoms of anxiety through increased optimism. These results provide novel evidence about the brain–personality mechanisms protecting against anxiety symptoms in healthy functioning, and identify potential targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions aimed at reducing susceptibility and increasing resilience against emotional disturbances. PMID:26371336

  2. The Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates Contextual Associative Memory: Evidence from an fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mi; Zhong, Ning

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Histamine H3A receptor-mediated inhibition of noradrenaline release in the mouse brain cortex.

    PubMed

    Schlicker, E; Behling, A; Lümmen, G; Göthert, M

    1992-04-01

    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.

  4. Endocannabinoids Mediate Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Dependent Long-Term Depression in the Adult Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Martin, Henry G S; Bernabeu, Axel; Lassalle, Olivier; Bouille, Clément; Beurrier, Corinne; Pelissier-Alicot, Anne-Laure; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Endocannabinoids Mediate Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Dependent Long-Term Depression in the Adult Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Henry G. S.; Bernabeu, Axel; Lassalle, Olivier; Bouille, Clément; Beurrier, Corinne; Pelissier-Alicot, Anne-Laure; Manzoni, Olivier J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Gene Expression Changes in the Motor Cortex Mediating Motor Skill Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Vincent C. K.; DeBoer, Caroline; Hanson, Elizabeth; Tunesi, Marta; D'Onofrio, Mara; Arisi, Ivan; Brandi, Rossella; Cattaneo, Antonino; Goosens, Ki A.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) supports motor skill learning, yet little is known about the genes that contribute to motor cortical plasticity. Such knowledge could identify candidate molecules whose targeting might enable a new understanding of motor cortical functions, and provide new drug targets for the treatment of diseases which impair motor function, such as ischemic stroke. Here, we assess changes in the motor-cortical transcriptome across different stages of motor skill acquisition. Adult rats were trained on a gradually acquired appetitive reach and grasp task that required different strategies for successful pellet retrieval, or a sham version of the task in which the rats received pellet reward without needing to develop the reach and grasp skill. Tissue was harvested from the forelimb motor-cortical area either before training commenced, prior to the initial rise in task performance, or at peak performance. Differential classes of gene expression were observed at the time point immediately preceding motor task improvement. Functional clustering revealed that gene expression changes were related to the synapse, development, intracellular signaling, and the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, with many modulated genes known to regulate synaptic plasticity, synaptogenesis, and cytoskeletal dynamics. The modulated expression of synaptic genes likely reflects ongoing network reorganization from commencement of training till the point of task improvement, suggesting that motor performance improves only after sufficient modifications in the cortical circuitry have accumulated. The regulated FGF-related genes may together contribute to M1 remodeling through their roles in synaptic growth and maturation. PMID:23637843

  7. Orbitofrontal cortex mediates outcome encoding in Pavlovian but not instrumental conditioning.

    PubMed

    Ostlund, Sean B; Balleine, Bernard W

    2007-05-02

    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.

  8. Fission yeast myosin I facilitates PI(4,5)P2-mediated anchoring of cytoplasmic dynein to the cortex

    PubMed Central

    Thankachan, Jerrin Mathew; Nuthalapati, Stephen Sukumar; Addanki Tirumala, Nireekshit

    2017-01-01

    Several key processes in the cell, such as vesicle transport and spindle positioning, are mediated by the motor protein cytoplasmic dynein, which produces force on the microtubule. For the functions that require movement of the centrosome and the associated nuclear material, dynein needs to have a stable attachment at the cell cortex. In fission yeast, Mcp5 is the anchor protein of dynein and is required for the oscillations of the horsetail nucleus during meiotic prophase. Although the role of Mcp5 in anchoring dynein to the cortex has been identified, it is unknown how Mcp5 associates with the membrane as well as the importance of the underlying attachment to the nuclear oscillations. Here, we set out to quantify Mcp5 organization and identify the binding partner of Mcp5 at the membrane. We used confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to count the number of Mcp5 foci and the number of Mcp5 molecules in an individual focus. Further, we quantified the localization pattern of Mcp5 in fission yeast zygotes and show by perturbation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase that Mcp5 binds to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. Remarkably, we discovered that the myosin I protein in fission yeast, Myo1, which is required for organization of sterol-rich domains in the cell membrane, facilitates the localization of Mcp5 and that of cytoplasmic dynein on the membrane. Finally, we demonstrate that Myo1-facilitated association of Mcp5 and dynein to the membrane determines the dynamics of nuclear oscillations and, in essence, dynein activity. PMID:28292899

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-05

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

  10. Prelimbic cortex GABAA receptors are involved in the mediation of restraint stress-evoked cardiovascular responses.

    PubMed

    Fassini, Aline; Resstel, Leonardo B M; Corrêa, Fernando M A

    2016-11-01

    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.

  11. The control of mimicry by eye contact is mediated by medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yin; Ramsey, Richard; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2011-08-17

    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.

  12. Dia-interacting protein modulates formin-mediated actin assembly at the cell cortex.

    PubMed

    Eisenmann, Kathryn M; Harris, Elizabeth S; Kitchen, Susan M; Holman, Holly A; Higgs, Henry N; Alberts, Arthur S

    2007-04-03

    Mammalian Diaphanous (mDia)-related formins and the N-WASP-activated Arp2/3 complex initiate the assembly of filamentous actin. Dia-interacting protein (DIP) binds via its amino-terminal SH3 domain to the proline-rich formin homology 1 (FH1) domain of mDia1 and mDia2 and to the N-WASp proline-rich region. Here, we investigated an interaction between a conserved leucine-rich region (LRR) in DIP and the mDia FH2 domain that nucleates, processively elongates, and bundles actin filaments. DIP binding to mDia2 was regulated by the same Rho-GTPase-controlled autoinhibitory mechanism modulating formin-mediated actin assembly. DIP was previously shown to interact with and stimulate N-WASp-dependent branched filament assembly via Arp2/3. Despite direct binding to both mDia1 and mDia2 FH2 domains, DIP LRR inhibited only mDia2-dependent filament assembly and bundling in vitro. DIP expression interfered with filopodia formation, consistent with a role for mDia2 in assembly of these structures. After filopodia retraction into the cell body, DIP expression induced excessive nonapoptotic membrane blebbing, a physiological process involved in both cytokinesis and amoeboid cell movement. DIP-induced blebbing was dependent on mDia2 but did not require the activities of either mDia1 or Arp2/3. These observations point to a pivotal role for DIP in the control of nonbranched and branched actin-filament assembly that is mediated by Diaphanous-related formins and activators of Arp2/3, respectively. The ability of DIP to trigger blebbing also suggests a role for mDia2 in the assembly of cortical actin necessary for maintaining plasma-membrane integrity.

  13. Neural correlates of individual performance differences in resolving perceptual conflict.

    PubMed

    Labrenz, Franziska; Themann, Maria; Wascher, Edmund; Beste, Christian; Pfleiderer, Bettina

    2012-01-01

    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.

  14. Dissociable roles for histone acetyltransferases p300 and PCAF in hippocampus and perirhinal cortex-mediated object memory.

    PubMed

    Mitchnick, K A; Creighton, S D; Cloke, J M; Wolter, M; Zaika, O; Christen, B; Van Tiggelen, M; Kalisch, B E; Winters, B D

    2016-07-01

    The importance of histone acetylation for certain types of memory is now well established. However, the specific contributions of the various histone acetyltransferases to distinct memory functions remain to be determined; therefore, we employed selective histone acetyltransferase protein inhibitors and short-interference RNAs to evaluate the roles of CREB-binding protein (CBP), E1A-binding protein (p300) and p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) in hippocampus and perirhinal cortex (PRh)-mediated object memory. Rats were tested for short- (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) in the object-in-place task, which relies on the hippocampus and PRh for spatial memory and object identity processing, respectively. Selective inhibition of these histone acetyltransferases by small-interfering RNA and pharmacological inhibitors targeting the HAT domain produced dissociable effects. In the hippocampus, CBP or p300 inhibition impaired long-term but not short-term object memory, while inhibition of PCAF impaired memory at both delays. In PRh, HAT inhibition did not impair STM, and only CBP and PCAF inhibition disrupted LTM; p300 inhibition had no effects. Messenger RNA analyses revealed findings consistent with the pattern of behavioral effects, as all three enzymes were upregulated in the hippocampus (dentate gyrus) following learning, whereas only CBP and PCAF were upregulated in PRh. These results demonstrate, for the first time, the necessity of histone acetyltransferase activity for PRh-mediated object memory and indicate that the specific mnemonic roles of distinctive histone acetyltransferases can be dissociated according to specific brain regions and memory timeframe. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  15. Chronic corticosterone-mediated dysregulation of microRNA network in prefrontal cortex of rats: relevance to depression pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Dwivedi, Y; Roy, B; Lugli, G; Rizavi, H; Zhang, H; Smalheiser, N R

    2015-11-17

    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.

  16. Chronic corticosterone-mediated dysregulation of microRNA network in prefrontal cortex of rats: relevance to depression pathophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Dwivedi, Y; Roy, B; Lugli, G; Rizavi, H; Zhang, H; Smalheiser, N R

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation mediates IL-1β-related inflammation in prefrontal cortex of depressive rats.

    PubMed

    Pan, Ying; Chen, Xu-Yang; Zhang, Qing-Yu; Kong, Ling-Dong

    2014-10-01

    Depression is an inflammatory disorder. Pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) may play a pivotal role in the central nervous system (CNS) inflammation of depression. Here, we investigated IL-1β alteration in serum, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-exposed rats, a well-documented model of depression, and further explored the molecular mechanism by which CUMS procedure induced IL-1β-related CNS inflammation. We showed that 12-week CUMS procedure remarkably increased PFC IL-1β mRNA and protein levels in depressive-like behavior of rats, without significant alteration of serum and CSF IL-1β levels. We found that CUMS procedure significantly caused PFC nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) inflammatory pathway activation in rats. The intriguing finding in this study was the induced activation of nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome with the increased IL-1β maturation in PFC of CUMS rats, suggesting a new grade of regulatory mechanism for IL-1β-related CNS inflammation. Moreover, microglial activation and astrocytic function impairment were observed in PFC of CUMS rats. The increased co-location of NLRP3 and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1) protein expression supported that microglia in glial cells was the primary contributor for CUMS-induced PFC NLRP3 inflammasome activation in rats. These alterations in CUMS rats were restored by chronic treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine, indicating that fluoxetine-mediated rat PFC IL-1β reduction involves both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. These findings provide in vivo evidence that microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation is a mediator of IL-1β-related CNS inflammation during chronic stress, and suggest a new therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of depression. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  18. Interaction of insular cortex and ventral striatum mediates the effect of incentive memory on choice between goal-directed actions.

    PubMed

    Parkes, Shauna L; Bradfield, Laura A; Balleine, Bernard W

    2015-04-22

    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.

  19. JIP3 regulates neuronal radial migration by mediating TrkB axonal anterograde transport in the developing cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Ma, Huixian; Yu, Hui; Li, Ting; Zhao, Yan; Hou, Ming; Chen, Zheyu; Wang, Yue; Sun, Tao

    2017-04-15

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Optimism and the brain: trait optimism mediates the protective role of the orbitofrontal cortex gray matter volume against anxiety.

    PubMed

    Dolcos, Sanda; Hu, Yifan; Iordan, Alexandru D; Moore, Matthew; Dolcos, Florin

    2016-02-01

    Converging evidence identifies trait optimism and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) as personality and brain factors influencing anxiety, but the nature of their relationships remains unclear. Here, the mechanisms underlying the protective role of trait optimism and of increased OFC volume against symptoms of anxiety were investigated in 61 healthy subjects, who completed measures of trait optimism and anxiety, and underwent structural scanning using magnetic resonance imaging. First, the OFC gray matter volume (GMV) was associated with increased optimism, which in turn was associated with reduced anxiety. Second, trait optimism mediated the relation between the left OFC volume and anxiety, thus demonstrating that increased GMV in this brain region protects against symptoms of anxiety through increased optimism. These results provide novel evidence about the brain-personality mechanisms protecting against anxiety symptoms in healthy functioning, and identify potential targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions aimed at reducing susceptibility and increasing resilience against emotional disturbances. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Extraversion mediates the relationship between structural variations in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and social well-being.

    PubMed

    Kong, Feng; Hu, Siyuan; Xue, Song; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia

    2015-01-15

    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.

  2. Negative Urgency Mediates the Relationship between Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex Activation to Negative Emotional Stimuli and General Risk-Taking

    PubMed Central

    Cyders, Melissa A.; Dzemidzic, Mario; Eiler, William J.; Coskunpinar, Ayca; Karyadi, Kenny A.; Kareken, David A.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Acute change in anterior cingulate cortex GABA, but not glutamine/glutamate, mediates antidepressant response to citalopram.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Brian P; Admon, Roee; Perriello, Chris; LaFlamme, Erin M; Athey, Alison J; Pizzagalli, Diego A; Hudson, James I; Pope, Harrison G; Jensen, J Eric

    2017-09-01

    Little is known about the acute effects of antidepressant treatments on brain glutamate and gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) levels, and their association with clinical response. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) we examined longitudinally the effects of citalopram on glutamine/glutamate ratios and GABA levels in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) of individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). We acquired (1)H-MRS scans at baseline and at days 3, 7, and 42 of citalopram treatment in nineteen unmedicated individuals with MDD. Ten age- and sex-matched non-depressed comparison individuals were scanned once. The association between 1) baseline metabolites and 2) change in metabolites from baseline to each time point and clinical response (change in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score from baseline to day 42) was assessed by longitudinal regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Contrary to our hypotheses, no significant associations emerged between glutamate metabolites and clinical response; however, greater increases (or smaller decreases) in pgACC GABA levels from baseline to days 3 and 7 of citalopram treatment were significantly associated with clinical response. These findings suggest that an acute change in GABA levels in pgACC predicts, and possibly mediates, later clinical response to citalopram treatment in individuals with MDD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Bioactive Benzofuran Derivatives from Cortex Mori Radicis, and Their Neuroprotective and Analgesic Activities Mediated by mGluR₁.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya-Nan; Liu, Mao-Feng; Hou, Wei-Zhen; Xu, Rui-Ming; Gao, Jie; Lu, An-Qi; Xie, Mei-Ping; Li, Lan; Zhang, Jian-Jun; Peng, Ying; Ma, Li-Li; Wang, Xiao-Liang; Shi, Jian-Gong; Wang, Su-Juan

    2017-02-08

    Four new benzofuran-type stilbene glycosides and 14 known compounds including 8 benzofuran-type stilbenes and 6 flavonoids were isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine, Cortex Mori Radicis. The new compounds were identified as (9R)-moracin P 3'-O-α-l-arabinopyranoside (1), (9R)-moracin P 9-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (2), (9R)-moracin P 3'-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (3), and (9R)-moracin O 10-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (4) based on the spectroscopic interpretation and chemical analysis. Three benzofuran-type stilbenes, moracin O (5), R (7), and P (8) showed significant neuroprotective activity against glutamate-induced cell death in SK-N-SH cells. In addition, moracin O (5) and P (8) also demonstrated a remarkable inhibition of the acetic acid-induced pain. The molecular docking with metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR₁) results indicated that these neuroprotective benzofuran-type stilbenes might be the active analgesic components of the genus Morus, and acted by mediating the mGluR₁ pathway.

  5. Touch-screen visual reversal learning is mediated by value encoding and signal propagation in the orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Marquardt, Kristin; Sigdel, Rahul; Brigman, Jonathan L

    2017-03-01

    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.

  6. The Corticofugal Effects of Auditory Cortex Microstimulation on Auditory Nerve and Superior Olivary Complex Responses Are Mediated via Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit.

    PubMed

    Aedo, Cristian; Terreros, Gonzalo; León, Alex; Delano, Paul H

    2016-01-01

    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. 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). 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. 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.

  7. Contributions of pitch and bandwidth to sound-induced enhancement of visual cortex excitability in humans.

    PubMed

    Spierer, Lucas; Manuel, Aurelie L; Bueti, Domenica; Murray, Micah M

    2013-01-01

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The salience network dynamics in perceptual decision-making.

    PubMed

    Chand, Ganesh B; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2016-07-01

    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.

  9. Corticotropin-releasing factor in ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates avoidance of a traumatic stress-paired context.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Allyson L; Lu, Yi-Ling; Baynes, Brittni B; Richardson, Heather N; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2017-02-01

    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.

  10. Characterization of the influence of age on GABAA and glutamatergic mediated functions in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using paired-pulse TMS-EEG.

    PubMed

    Noda, Yoshihiro; Zomorrodi, Reza; Cash, Robin F H; Barr, Mera S; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Blumberger, Daniel M

    2017-02-16

    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.

  11. Characterization of the influence of age on GABAA and glutamatergic mediated functions in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using paired-pulse TMS-EEG

    PubMed Central

    Noda, Yoshihiro; Zomorrodi, Reza; Cash, Robin F. H.; Barr, Mera S.; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K.; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J.; Blumberger, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    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

  12. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha mediates one component of competitive, experience-dependent plasticity in developing visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Megumi; Stellwagen, David; Malenka, Robert C; Stryker, Michael P

    2008-06-12

    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.

  13. Exogenous attention facilitates location transfer of perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Donovan, Ian; Szpiro, Sarit; Carrasco, Marisa

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual skills can be improved through practice on a perceptual task, even in adulthood. Visual perceptual learning is known to be mostly specific to the trained retinal location, which is considered as evidence of neural plasticity in retinotopic early visual cortex. Recent findings demonstrate that transfer of learning to untrained locations can occur under some specific training procedures. Here, we evaluated whether exogenous attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations, both adjacent to the trained locations (Experiment 1) and distant from them (Experiment 2). The results reveal that attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations in both experiments, and that this transfer occurs both within and across visual hemifields. These findings show that training with exogenous attention is a powerful regime that is able to overcome the major limitation of location specificity. PMID:26426818

  14. The Corticofugal Effects of Auditory Cortex Microstimulation on Auditory Nerve and Superior Olivary Complex Responses Are Mediated via Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Cristian; Terreros, Gonzalo; León, Alex; Delano, Paul H.

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. Subcortical correlates of auditory perceptual organization in humans.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Shimpei; Otsuka, Sho; Furukawa, Shigeto; Kashino, Makio

    2016-09-01

    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.

  16. The Analgesic and Anxiolytic Effect of Souvenaid, a Novel Nutraceutical, Is Mediated by Alox15 Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Shalini, Suku-Maran; Herr, Deron R; Ong, Wei-Yi

    2016-10-01

    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.

  17. Temporal and spatial dynamics of nrf2-antioxidant response elements mediated gene targets in cortex and hippocampus after controlled cortical impact traumatic brain injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Miller, Darren M; Wang, Juan A; Buchanan, Ashley K; Hall, Edward D

    2014-07-01

    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.

  18. Prefrontal cortex and spinal cord mediated anti-neuropathy and analgesia induced by Sarcosine, a glycine-T1 transporter inhibitor☆

    PubMed Central

    Centeno, Maria V.; Mutso, Amelia; Millecamps, Magali; Apkarian, A.Vania

    2009-01-01

    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

  19. Event-related potential responses to perceptual reversals are modulated by working memory load.

    PubMed

    Intaitė, Monika; Koivisto, Mika; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2014-04-01

    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.

  20. Perceptual Learning at a Conceptual Level.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Wang, Jie; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Xie, Xin-Yu; Yang, Yu-Xiang; Luo, Shu-Han; Yu, Cong; Li, Wu

    2016-02-17

    Humans can learn to abstract and conceptualize the shared visual features defining an object category in object learning. Therefore, learning is generalizable to transformations of familiar objects and even to new objects that differ in other physical properties. In contrast, visual perceptual learning (VPL), improvement in discriminating fine differences of a basic visual feature through training, is commonly regarded as specific and low-level learning because the improvement often disappears when the trained stimulus is simply relocated or rotated in the visual field. Such location and orientation specificity is taken as evidence for neural plasticity in primary visual cortex (V1) or improved readout of V1 signals. However, new training methods have shown complete VPL transfer across stimulus locations and orientations, suggesting the involvement of high-level cognitive processes. Here we report that VPL bears similar properties of object learning. Specifically, we found that orientation discrimination learning is completely transferrable between luminance gratings initially encoded in V1 and bilaterally symmetric dot patterns encoded in higher visual cortex. Similarly, motion direction discrimination learning is transferable between first- and second-order motion signals. These results suggest that VPL can take place at a conceptual level and generalize to stimuli with different physical properties. Our findings thus reconcile perceptual and object learning into a unified framework. Training in object recognition can produce a learning effect that is applicable to new viewing conditions or even to new objects with different physical properties. However, perceptual learning has long been regarded as a low-level form of learning because of its specificity to the trained stimulus conditions. Here we demonstrate with new training tactics that visual perceptual learning is completely transferrable between distinct physical stimuli. This finding indicates that

  1. Role of the Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Mediating Behavioral Control-Induced Reduction of Later Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baratta, Michael V.; Lucero, Thomas R.; Amat, Jose; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  2. Role of the Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Mediating Behavioral Control-Induced Reduction of Later Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baratta, Michael V.; Lucero, Thomas R.; Amat, Jose; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  3. Fluoxetine Does Not Enhance Visual Perceptual Learning and Triazolam Specifically Impairs Learning Transfer

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Characterization of Glutamatergic and GABAA-Mediated Neurotransmission in Motor and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Using Paired-Pulse TMS-EEG.

    PubMed

    Cash, Robin F H; Noda, Yoshihiro; Zomorrodi, Reza; Radhu, Natasha; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Blumberger, Daniel M

    2017-01-01

    Short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) are noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) measures of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition and glutamatergic excitatory transmission, respectively. Conventionally these measures have been restricted to the motor cortex. We investigated whether SICI and ICF could be recorded from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) using combined TMS and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG). We first characterized the neural signature of SICI and ICF in M1 in terms of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) and spectral power modulation. Subsequently, these paradigms were applied in the DLPFC to determine whether similar neural signatures were evident. With TMS at M1, SICI and ICF led to bidirectional modulation (inhibition and facilitation, respectively) of P30 and P60 TEP amplitude, which correlated with MEP amplitude changes. With DLPFC stimulation, P60 was bidirectionally modulated by SICI and ICF in the same manner as for M1 stimulation, whereas P30 was absent. The sole modulation of early TEP components is in contradistinction to other measures such as long-interval intracortical inhibition and may reflect modulation of short latency excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs and IPSPs). Overall, the data suggest that SICI and ICF can be recorded using TMS-EEG in DLPFC providing noninvasive measures of glutamatergic and GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission. This may facilitate future research attempting to ascertain the role of these neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  5. Social play behavior in adolescent rats is mediated by functional activity in medial prefrontal cortex and striatum.

    PubMed

    van Kerkhof, Linda W M; Damsteegt, Ruth; Trezza, Viviana; Voorn, Pieter; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2013-09-01

    Social play behavior is a characteristic, vigorous form of social interaction in young mammals. It is highly rewarding and thought to be of major importance for social and cognitive development. The neural substrates of social play are incompletely understood, but there is evidence to support a role for the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum in this behavior. Using pharmacological inactivation methods, ie, infusions of GABA receptor agonists (baclofen and muscimol; B&M) or the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3(1H,4H)-dione (DNQX), we investigated the involvement of several subregions of the medial PFC and striatum in social play. Inactivation of the prelimbic cortex, infralimbic cortex, and medial/ventral orbitofrontal cortex using B&M markedly reduced frequency and duration of social play behavior. Local administration of DNQX into the dorsomedial striatum increased the frequency and duration of social play, whereas infusion of B&M tended to have the same effect. Inactivation of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) core using B&M increased duration but not frequency of social play, whereas B&M infusion into the NAcc shell did not influence social play behavior. Thus, functional integrity of the medial PFC is important for the expression of social play behavior. Glutamatergic inputs into the dorsomedial striatum exert an inhibitory influence on social play, and functional activity in the NAcc core acts to limit the length of playful interactions. These results highlight the importance of prefrontal and striatal circuits implicated in cognitive control, decision making, behavioral inhibition, and reward-associated processes in social play behavior.

  6. Social Play Behavior in Adolescent Rats is Mediated by Functional Activity in Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum

    PubMed Central

    van Kerkhof, Linda WM; Damsteegt, Ruth; Trezza, Viviana; Voorn, Pieter; Vanderschuren, Louk JMJ

    2013-01-01

    Social play behavior is a characteristic, vigorous form of social interaction in young mammals. It is highly rewarding and thought to be of major importance for social and cognitive development. The neural substrates of social play are incompletely understood, but there is evidence to support a role for the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum in this behavior. Using pharmacological inactivation methods, ie, infusions of GABA receptor agonists (baclofen and muscimol; B&M) or the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3(1H,4H)-dione (DNQX), we investigated the involvement of several subregions of the medial PFC and striatum in social play. Inactivation of the prelimbic cortex, infralimbic cortex, and medial/ventral orbitofrontal cortex using B&M markedly reduced frequency and duration of social play behavior. Local administration of DNQX into the dorsomedial striatum increased the frequency and duration of social play, whereas infusion of B&M tended to have the same effect. Inactivation of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) core using B&M increased duration but not frequency of social play, whereas B&M infusion into the NAcc shell did not influence social play behavior. Thus, functional integrity of the medial PFC is important for the expression of social play behavior. Glutamatergic inputs into the dorsomedial striatum exert an inhibitory influence on social play, and functional activity in the NAcc core acts to limit the length of playful interactions. These results highlight the importance of prefrontal and striatal circuits implicated in cognitive control, decision making, behavioral inhibition, and reward-associated processes in social play behavior. PMID:23568326

  7. Neurofeedback training of gamma band oscillations improves perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Salari, Neda; Büchel, Christian; Rose, Michael

    2014-10-01

    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.

  8. Activation of Phosphatidylinositol-Linked Dopamine Receptors Induces a Facilitation of Glutamate-Mediated Synaptic Transmission in the Lateral Entorhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Glovaci, Iulia; Chapman, C. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Perceptual Decision Making in Rodents, Monkeys, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Hanks, Timothy D; Summerfield, Christopher

    2017-01-04

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. GABA-Mediated Inactivation of Medial Prefrontal and Agranular Insular Cortex in the Rat: Contrasting Effects on Hunger- and Palatability-Driven Feeding.

    PubMed

    Baldo, Brian A; Spencer, Robert C; Sadeghian, Ken; Mena, Jesus D

    2016-03-01

    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).

  11. GABA-Mediated Inactivation of Medial Prefrontal and Agranular Insular Cortex in the Rat: Contrasting Effects on Hunger- and Palatability-Driven Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Brian A; Spencer, Robert C; Sadeghian, Ken; Mena, Jesus D

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Medial perirhinal cortex disambiguates confusable objects.

    PubMed

    Kivisaari, Sasa L; Tyler, Lorraine K; Monsch, Andreas U; Taylor, Kirsten I

    2012-12-01

    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

  13. Anterior Cingulate Cortex Gray Matter Volume Mediates an Association between 2D:4D Ratio and Trait Aggression in Women but not Men

    PubMed Central

    Gorka, Adam X.; Norman, Rachel E.; Radtke, Spenser R.; Carré, Justin M.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research demonstrates that prenatal testosterone exposure increases aggression, possibly through its effects on the structure and function of neural circuits supporting threat detection and emotion regulation. Here we examined associations between regional gray matter volume, trait aggression, and the ratio of the second and fourth digit of the hand (2D:4D ratio) as a putative index of prenatal testosterone exposure in 464 healthy young adult volunteers. Our analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between 2D:4D ratio and gray matter volume of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), a brain region supporting, emotion regulation, conflict monitoring, and behavioral inhibition. Subsequent analyses demonstrated that reduced (i.e., masculinized) gray matter volume in the dACC mediated the relationship between 2D:4D ratio and aggression in women, but not men. Expanding on this gender-specific mediation, additional analyses demonstrated that the shared variance between 2D:4D ratio, dACC gray matter volume, and aggression in women reflected the tendency to engage in cognitive reappraisal of emotionally provocative stimuli. Our results provide novel evidence that 2D:4D ratio is associated with masculinization of dACC gray matter volume, and that this neural phenotype mediates, in part, the expression of trait aggression in women. PMID:25827959

  14. Anterior cingulate cortex gray matter volume mediates an association between 2D:4D ratio and trait aggression in women but not men.

    PubMed

    Gorka, Adam X; Norman, Rachel E; Radtke, Spenser R; Carré, Justin M; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-06-01

    Previous research demonstrates that prenatal testosterone exposure increases aggression, possibly through its effects on the structure and function of neural circuits supporting threat detection and emotion regulation. Here we examined associations between regional gray matter volume, trait aggression, and the ratio of the second and fourth digit of the hand (2D:4D ratio) as a putative index of prenatal testosterone exposure in 464 healthy young adult volunteers. Our analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between 2D:4D ratio and gray matter volume of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), a brain region supporting emotion regulation, conflict monitoring, and behavioral inhibition. Subsequent analyses demonstrated that reduced (i.e., masculinized) gray matter volume in the dACC mediated the relationship between 2D:4D ratio and aggression in women, but not men. Expanding on this gender-specific mediation, additional analyses demonstrated that the shared variance between 2D:4D ratio, dACC gray matter volume, and aggression in women reflected the tendency to engage in cognitive reappraisal of emotionally provocative stimuli. Our results provide novel evidence that 2D:4D ratio is associated with masculinization of dACC gray matter volume, and that this neural phenotype mediates, in part, the expression of trait aggression in women. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The sensory insular cortex mediates the stress-buffering effects of safety signals but not behavioral control

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2009-01-01

    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

  16. Dopamine-mediated reinforcement learning signals in the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex underlie value-based choices.

    PubMed

    Jocham, Gerhard; Klein, Tilmann A; Ullsperger, Markus

    2011-02-02

    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.

  17. Visuokinesthetic Perception of Hand Movement is Mediated by Cerebro–Cerebellar Interaction between the Left Cerebellum and Right Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hagura, Nobuhiro; Oouchida, Yutaka; Aramaki, Yu; Okada, Tomohisa; Matsumura, Michikazu; Sadato, Norihiro

    2009-01-01

    Combination of visual and kinesthetic information is essential to perceive bodily movements. We conducted behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to investigate the neuronal correlates of visuokinesthetic combination in perception of hand movement. Participants experienced illusory flexion movement of their hand elicited by tendon vibration while they viewed video-recorded flexion (congruent: CONG) or extension (incongruent: INCONG) motions of their hand. The amount of illusory experience was graded by the visual velocities only when visual information regarding hand motion was concordant with kinesthetic information (CONG). The left posterolateral cerebellum was specifically recruited under the CONG, and this left cerebellar activation was consistent for both left and right hands. The left cerebellar activity reflected the participants' intensity of illusory hand movement under the CONG, and we further showed that coupling of activity between the left cerebellum and the “right” parietal cortex emerges during this visuokinesthetic combination/perception. The “left” cerebellum, working with the anatomically connected high-order bodily region of the “right” parietal cortex, participates in online combination of exteroceptive (vision) and interoceptive (kinesthesia) information to perceive hand movement. The cerebro–cerebellar interaction may underlie updating of one's “body image,” when perceiving bodily movement from visual and kinesthetic information. PMID:18453537

  18. Where are multisensory signals combined for perceptual decision-making?

    PubMed

    Bizley, Jennifer K; Jones, Gareth P; Town, Stephen M

    2016-10-01

    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.

  19. Change in Excitability of Corticospinal Pathway and GABA-Mediated Inhibitory Circuits of Primary Motor Cortex Induced by Contraction of Adjacent Hand Muscle.

    PubMed

    Jono, Yasutomo; Iwata, Yasuyuki; Mizusawa, Hiroki; Hiraoka, Koichi

    2016-11-01

    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.

  20. Perceptual narrowing: retrospect and prospect.

    PubMed

    Flom, Ross

    2014-11-01

    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.

  1. Dendritic generation of mGluR-mediated slow afterdepolarization in layer 5 neurons of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kalmbach, Brian E; Chitwood, Raymond A; Dembrow, Nikolai C; Johnston, Daniel

    2013-08-14

    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.

  2. Perceptual dimensions differentiate emotions.

    PubMed

    Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M

    2015-08-26

    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.

  3. High perceptual load leads to both reduced gain and broader orientation tuning

    PubMed Central

    Stolte, Moritz; Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli

    2014-01-01

    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

  4. Illusory Obesity Triggers Body Dissatisfaction Responses in the Insula and Anterior Cingulate Cortex.

    PubMed

    Preston, Catherine; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2016-12-01

    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.

  5. Illusory Obesity Triggers Body Dissatisfaction Responses in the Insula and Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Catherine; Ehrsson, H. Henrik

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Brain mediators of cardiovascular responses to social threat, Part I: Reciprocal dorsal and ventral sub-regions of the medial prefrontal cortex and heart-rate reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Wager, Tor D.; Waugh, Christian E.; Lindquist, Martin; Noll, Doug C.; Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Taylor, Stephan F.

    2009-01-01

    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

  7. Gap junctions mediate large-scale Turing structures in a mean-field cortex driven by subcortical noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steyn-Ross, Moira L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Wilson, M. T.; Sleigh, J. W.

    2007-07-01

    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

  8. Dissociating the Neural Basis of Conceptual Self-Awareness from Perceptual Awareness and Unaware Self-Processing.

    PubMed

    Tacikowski, Pawel; Berger, Christopher C; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2017-01-23

    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.

  9. Sex Differences Distinguish Intracortical Glutamate Receptor-Mediated Regulation of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Prefrontal Cortex of Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Locklear, M. N.; Cohen, A. B.; Jone, A.; Kritzer, M. F.

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are sensitive to local dopamine (DA) levels. Although sex differences distinguish these functions and their dysfunction in disease, the basis for this is unknown. We asked whether sex differences might result from dimorphisms in the glutamatergic mechanisms that regulate PFC DA levels. Using antagonists selective for α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, we compared drug effects on in vivo microdialysis DA measurements in the PFC of adult male and female rats. We found that baseline DA levels were similar across sex, AMPA antagonism decreased PFC DA in both sexes, and NMDA antagonism increased DA in males but decreased DA in females. We also found that, at subseizure-producing drug levels, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A antagonism did not affect DA in either sex but that GABA-B antagonism transiently increased PFC DA in both sexes, albeit more so in females. Finally, when NMDA antagonism was coincident with GABA-B antagonism, PFC DA levels in males responded as if to GABA-B antagonism alone, whereas in females, DA effects mirrored those induced by NMDA antagonism. Taken together, these data suggest commonalities and fundamental differences in the intracortical amino acid transmitter mechanisms that regulate DA homeostasis in the male and female rat PFCs. PMID:25260707

  10. The medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens mediate the motivation for voluntary wheel running in the rat.

    PubMed

    Basso, Julia C; Morrell, Joan I

    2015-08-01

    Voluntary wheel running in rats provides a preclinical model of exercise motivation in humans. We hypothesized that rats run because this activity has positive incentive salience in both the acquisition and habitual stages of wheel running and that gender differences might be present. Additionally, we sought to determine which forebrain regions are essential for the motivational processes underlying wheel running in rats. The motivation for voluntary wheel running in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats was investigated during the acquisition (Days 1-7) and habitual phases (after Day 21) of running using conditioned place preference (CPP) and the reinstatement (rebound) response after forced abstinence, respectively. Both genders displayed a strong CPP for the acquisition phase and a strong rebound response to wheel deprivation during the habitual phase, suggesting that both phases of wheel running are rewarding for both sexes. Female rats showed a 1.5 times greater rebound response than males to wheel deprivation in the habitual phase of running, while during the acquisition phase, no gender differences in CPP were found. We transiently inactivated the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or the nucleus accumbens (NA), hypothesizing that because these regions are involved in the acquisition and reinstatement of self-administration of both natural and pharmacological stimuli, they might also serve a role in the motivation to wheel run. Inactivation of either structure decreased the rebound response in the habitual phase of running, demonstrating that these structures are involved in the motivation for this behavior. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Endocannabinoid regulation of nausea is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the rat visceral insular cortex.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Role of the thalamic nucleus reuniens in mediating interactions between the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex during spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Amy L

    2015-01-01

    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.

  13. Endocannabinoid regulation of nausea is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the rat visceral insular cortex

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Predicting perceptual learning from higher-order cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Functional mapping of human memory using PET: comparisons of conceptual and perceptual tasks.

    PubMed

    Blaxton, T A; Bookheimer, S Y; Zeffiro, T A; Figlozzi, C M; Gaillard, W D; Theodore, W H

    1996-03-01

    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.

  16. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (serotonin)2A receptors in rat anterior cingulate cortex mediate the discriminative stimulus properties of d-lysergic acid diethylamide.

    PubMed

    Gresch, Paul J; Barrett, Robert J; Sanders-Bush, Elaine; Smith, Randy L

    2007-02-01

    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.

  17. Selective expression of hyaluronan and receptor for hyaluronan mediated motility (Rhamm) in the adult mouse subventricular zone and rostral migratory stream and in ischemic cortex.

    PubMed

    Lindwall, Charlotta; Olsson, Martina; Osman, Ahmed M; Kuhn, H Georg; Curtis, Maurice A

    2013-03-29

    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.

  18. Observing how others lift light or heavy objects: which visual cues mediate the encoding of muscular force in the primary motor cortex?

    PubMed

    Alaerts, Kaat; Swinnen, Stephan P; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2010-06-01

    Observers are able to judge quite accurately the weights lifted by others. Only recently, neuroscience has focused on the role of the motor system to accomplish this task. In this respect, a previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) study showed that the muscular force requirements of an observed action are encoded by the primary motor cortex (M1). Overall, three distinct visual sources may provide information on the applied force of an observed lifting action, namely, (i) the perceived kinematics, (ii) the hand contraction state and finally (iii) intrinsic object properties. The principal aim of the present study was to disentangle these three visual sources and to explore their importance in mediating the encoding of muscular force requirements in the observer's motor system. A series of experiments are reported in which TMS was used to measure 'force-related' responses from the hand representation in left M1 while subjects observed distinct action-stimuli. Overall, results indicated that observation-induced activity in M1 reflects the level of observed force when kinematic cues of the lift (exp. 1) or cues on the hand contraction state (exp. 2) are available. Moreover, when kinematic cues and intrinsic object properties provide distinct information on the force requirements of an observed lifting action, results from experiment 3 indicated a strong preference for the use of kinematic features in mapping the force requirements of the observed action. In general, these findings support the hypothesis that the primary motor cortex contributes to action observation by mapping the muscle-related features of observed actions. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The antidepressant-like effects of biperiden may involve BDNF/TrkB signaling-mediated BICC1 expression in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of mice.

    PubMed

    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

    2017-02-17

    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.

  20. Prefrontal cortex-mediated executive function as assessed by Stroop task performance associates with weight loss among overweight and obese adolescents and young adults.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Deng, Zhang-Yan; Huang, Qin; Zhang, Wei-Xia; Qi, Chang-Zhu; Huang, Jia-Ai

    2017-03-15

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Perceptual Aspects of Motor Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallahue, David L.

    Perceptual-motor functioning is a cyclic process involving: (1) organizing incoming sensory stimuli with past or stored perceptual information; (2) making motor (internal) decisions based on the combination of sensory (present) and perceptual (past) information; (3) executing the actual movement (observable act) itself; and (4) evaluating the act…

  2. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    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…

  3. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    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…

  4. Perceptual Learning in Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norris, Dennis; McQueen, James M.; Cutler, Anne

    2003-01-01

    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.,…

  5. Adaptation and perceptual norms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole

    2007-02-01

    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.

  6. Perceptual-Motor Dysfunction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  7. Helping Perceptually Handicapped Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Helen S.

    1974-01-01

    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)

  8. Perceptual repetition blindness effects.

    PubMed

    Hochhaus, L; Johnston, J C

    1996-04-01

    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.

  9. Stress blunts serotonin- and hypocretin-evoked EPSCs in prefrontal cortex: Role of corticosterone-mediated apical dendritic atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Rong-Jian; Aghajanian, George K.

    2008-01-01

    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

  10. Semantics of the Visual Environment Encoded in Parahippocampal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bonner, Michael F; Price, Amy Rose; Peelle, Jonathan E; Grossman, Murray

    2016-03-01

    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.

  11. Semantics of the visual environment encoded in parahippocampal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bonner, Michael F.; Price, Amy Rose; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Grossman, Murray

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. LSD and DOB: interaction with 5-HT2A receptors to inhibit NMDA receptor-mediated transmission in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Arvanov, V L; Liang, X; Russo, A; Wang, R Y

    1999-09-01

    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.

  13. Early Experience & Multisensory Perceptual Narrowing

    PubMed Central

    Lewkowicz, David J.

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Perceptual learning and human expertise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick

    2009-06-01

    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

  15. RNA interference-mediated phosphodiesterase 4D splice variants knock-down in the prefrontal cortex produces antidepressant-like and cognition-enhancing effects

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. The role of 5-HT₁A receptors in fish oil-mediated increased BDNF expression in the rat hippocampus and cortex: a possible antidepressant mechanism.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-01-01

    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'.

  17. The neural basis of perceptual and conceptual word priming--a PET study.

    PubMed

    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

    2000-02-01

    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.

  18. Grit and the brain: spontaneous activity of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates the relationship between the trait grit and academic performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ming; Chen, Taolin; Yang, Xun; Chen, Guangxiang; Wang, Meiyun; Gong, Qiyong

    2017-01-01

    Abstract As a personality trait, grit involves the tendency to strive to achieve long-term goals with continual passion and perseverance and plays an extremely crucial role in personal achievement. However, the neural mechanisms of grit remain largely unknown. In this study, we aimed to explore the association between grit and the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in 217 healthy adolescent students using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). We found that an individual’s grit was negatively related to the regional fALFF in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), which is involved in self-regulation, planning, goal setting and maintenance, and counterfactual thinking for reflecting on past failures. The results persisted even after the effects of general intelligence and the ‘big five’ personality traits were adjusted for. More importantly, the fALFF of the right DMPFC played a mediating role in the association between grit and academic performance. Overall, these findings reveal regional fALFF as a neural basis of grit and highlight the right DMPFC as a neural link between grit and academic performance. PMID:27672175

  19. A novel patch assembly domain in Num1 mediates dynein anchoring at the cortex during spindle positioning

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xianying; Germain, Bryan St.

    2012-01-01

    During mitosis in budding yeast, cortically anchored dynein generates pulling forces on astral microtubules to position the mitotic spindle across the mother–bud neck. The attachment molecule Num1 is required for dynein anchoring at the cell membrane, but how Num1 assembles into stationary cortical patches and interacts with dynein is unknown. We show that an N-terminal Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR)–like domain in Num1 mediates the assembly of morphologically distinct patches and its interaction with dynein for spindle translocation into the bud. We name this domain patch assembly domain (PA; residues 1–303), as it was both necessary and sufficient for the formation of functional dynein-anchoring patches when it was attached to a pleckstrin homology domain or a CAAX motif. Distinct point mutations targeting the predicted BAR-like PA domain differentially disrupted patch assembly, dynein anchoring, and mitochondrial attachment functions of Num1. We also show that the PA domain is an elongated dimer and discuss the mechanism by which it drives patch assembly. PMID:22431751

  20. Mirror symmetrical transfer of perceptual learning by prism adaptation.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yasuto; Miyauchi, Satoru; Misaki, Masaya; Tashiro, Takara

    2007-05-01

    Recent study of [Sugita, Y. (1996) Global plasticity in adult visual cortex following reversal of visual input. Nature, 380, 523-526.] demonstrated that prism adaptation to reversed retinal input generates the transfer of neuronal activities in monkey V1 to the opposite visual cortex. This raises the question if perceptual learning on one side of the visual field can transfer to the other side. We tested this in using the Gabor lateral masking paradigm. Before adaptation, long-range interaction was induced vertically on one side (i.e., the right) of the visual field with training (perceptual learning). Prism adaptation was achieved by wearing right-left reversing goggles. During adaptation period, perceptual learning transferred to a mirror symmetrical region across the vertical meridian. Results in the post adaptation period revealed that both learning and transfer persisted for over three months. These results provide direct evidence of transferred perceptual plasticity across the visual field, the underlying mechanism of which is supported by the mirror symmetrical connection between the right and left cortices.

  1. The Relationship between Perceptual Decision Variables and Confidence in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Hebart, Martin N; Schriever, Yoren; Donner, Tobias H; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Attention enhances apparent perceptual organization.

    PubMed

    Barbot, Antoine; Liu, Sirui; Kimchi, Ruth; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-08-28

    Perceptual organization and selective attention are two crucial processes that influence how we perceive visual information. The former structures complex visual inputs into coherent units, whereas the later selects relevant information. Attention and perceptual organization can modulate each other, affecting visual processing and performance in various tasks and conditions. Here, we tested whether attention can alter the way multiple elements appear to be perceptually organized. We manipulated covert spatial attention using a rapid serial visual presentation task, and measured perceptual organization of two multielements arrays organized by luminance similarity as rows or columns, at both the attended and unattended locations. We found that the apparent perceptual organization of the multielement arrays is intensified when attended and attenuated when unattended. We ruled out response bias as an alternative explanation. These findings reveal that attention enhances the appearance of perceptual organization, a midlevel vision process, altering the way we perceive our visual environment.

  3. Physiological and Perceptual Sensory Attenuation Have Different Underlying Neurophysiological Correlates.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Clare E; Davare, Marco; Kilner, James M

    2016-10-19

    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.

  4. Basing perceptual decisions on the most informative sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Scolari, Miranda; Serences, John T

    2010-10-01

    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.

  5. Neural mechanisms underlying the induction and relief of perceptual curiosity

    PubMed Central

    Jepma, Marieke; Verdonschot, Rinus G.; van Steenbergen, Henk; Rombouts, Serge A. R. B.; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2012-01-01

    Curiosity is one of the most basic biological drives in both animals and humans, and has been identified as a key motive for learning and discovery. Despite the importance of curiosity and related behaviors, the topic has been largely neglected in human neuroscience; hence little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying curiosity. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate what happens in our brain during the induction and subsequent relief of perceptual curiosity. Our core findings were that (1) the induction of perceptual curiosity, through the presentation of ambiguous visual input, activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brain regions sensitive to conflict and arousal; (2) the relief of perceptual curiosity, through visual disambiguation, activated regions of the striatum that have been related to reward processing; and (3) the relief of perceptual curiosity was associated with hippocampal activation and enhanced incidental memory. These findings provide the first demonstration of the neural basis of human perceptual curiosity. Our results provide neurobiological support for a classic psychological theory of curiosity, which holds that curiosity is an aversive condition of increased arousal whose termination is rewarding and facilitates memory. PMID:22347853

  6. Perceptual organization and visual attention.

    PubMed

    Kimchi, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.

  7. Neuronal and perceptual differences in the temporal processing of darks and lights.

    PubMed

    Komban, Stanley Jose; Kremkow, Jens; Jin, Jianzhong; Wang, Yushi; Lashgari, Reza; Li, Xiaobing; Zaidi, Qasim; Alonso, Jose-Manuel

    2014-04-02

    Visual information is mediated by two major thalamic pathways that signal light decrements (OFF) and increments (ON) in visual scenes, the OFF pathway being faster than the ON. Here, we demonstrate that this OFF temporal advantage is transferred to visual cortex and has a correlate in human perception. OFF-dominated cortical neurons in cats responded ∼3 ms faster to visual stimuli than ON-dominated cortical neurons, and dark-mediated suppression in ON-dominated neurons peaked ∼14 ms faster than light-mediated suppression in OFF-dominated neurons. Consistent with the neuronal differences, human observers were 6-14 ms faster at detecting darks than lights and better at discriminating dark than light flickers. Neuronal and perceptual differences both vanished if backgrounds were biased toward darks. Our results suggest that the cortical OFF pathway is faster than the ON pathway at increasing and suppressing visual responses, and these differences have parallels in the human visual perception of lights and darks. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. D1 receptor-mediated inhibition of medial prefrontal cortex neurons is disrupted in adult rats exposed to amphetamine in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Kang, S; Paul, K; Hankosky, E R; Cox, C L; Gulley, J M

    2016-06-02

    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.

  9. Phosphorylated CaMKII post-synaptic binding to NR2B subunits in the anterior cingulate cortex mediates visceral pain in visceral hypersensitive rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Zhang, Xu; Liu, Haiyan; Cao, Zhijun; Chen, Shengliang; Cao, Bing; Liu, Jin

    2012-05-01

    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.

  10. Deficits in ventromedial prefrontal cortex group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor function mediate resistance to extinction during protracted withdrawal from an extensive history of cocaine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shahar, Osnat; Sacramento, Arianne D; Miller, Bailey W; Webb, Sierra M; Wroten, Melissa G; Silva, Hannah E; Caruana, Amanda L; Gordon, Evan J; Ploense, Kyle L; Ditzhazy, Jennifer; Kippin, Tod E; Szumlinski, Karen K

    2013-01-09

    Anomalies in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function are posited to underpin difficulties in learning to suppress drug-seeking behavior during abstinence. Because group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) regulate drug-related learning, we assayed the consequences of extended access to intravenous cocaine (6 h/d; 0.25 mg/infusion for 10 d) on the PFC expression of group 1 mGluRs and the relevance of observed changes for cocaine seeking. After protracted withdrawal, cocaine-experienced animals exhibited a time-dependent intensification of cue-induced cocaine-seeking behavior and an impaired extinction of this behavior. These behavioral phenomena were associated with a time-dependent reduction in mGluR1/5 expression within ventromedial PFC (vmPFC) of cocaine-experienced animals exposed to extinction testing but not in untested ones. Interestingly, pharmacological manipulations of vmPFC mGluR1/5 produced no immediate effects on cue-induced cocaine-seeking behavior but produced residual effects on a subsequent test for cocaine seeking. At 3 d withdrawal, cocaine-experienced rats infused intra-vmPFC with mGluR1/5 antagonists, either before or after an initial test for cocaine seeking, persisted in their cocaine seeking akin to cocaine-experienced rats in protracted withdrawal. Conversely, cocaine-experienced rats infused with an mGluR1/5 agonist before the initial test for cocaine-seeking at 30 d withdrawal exhibited a facilitation of extinction learning. These data indicate that cue-elicited deficits in vmPFC group 1 mGluR function mediate resistance to extinction during protracted withdrawal from a history of extensive cocaine self-administration and pose pharmacological stimulation of these receptors as a potential approach to facilitate learned suppression of drug-seeking behavior that may aid drug abstinence.

  11. Role of dopamine D1 receptors in the prefrontal dorsal agranular insular cortex in mediating cocaine self-administration in rats.

    PubMed

    Di Pietro, Nina C; Mashhoon, Yasmin; Heaney, Chelcie; Yager, Lindsay M; Kantak, Kathleen M

    2008-09-01

    Orbital/insular areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are implicated in cocaine addiction. However, the role of dopamine D1 receptors in mediating cocaine self-administration in these sub-regions remains unknown. To define the role of the dorsal agranular insular (AId) sub-region of the PFC, we investigated the effects of D1 receptor manipulation on self-administration behavior maintained by cocaine and cocaine-related stimuli. Rats were trained to lever press for cocaine (1 mg/kg) under a fixed-interval 5-min (fixed-ratio 5:S) second-order schedule of reinforcement in the presence of conditioned light cues and contextual sound cues. Intra-AId infusions of vehicle, the D1-like receptor agonist SKF 81297 (0.1, 0.2, 0.4 microg/side) or the D1-like receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (1.0, 2.0, 4.0 microg/side), were administered prior to 1-h self-administration test sessions. Food-maintained responding under a second-order schedule was examined in separate rats to determine if pretreatment with D1 ligands produced general impairments in responding. Infusion of SKF 81297 (0.2 and 0.4 microg/side) reduced active lever responses during the first 30 min of 1-h test sessions, but did not influence cocaine intake. Infusion of 4.0 microg/side SCH 23390 reduced active lever responses and cocaine intake throughout the 1-h test sessions. Additionally, this dose of SCH 23390 disrupted food-maintained responding and intake. D1 receptor agonists and antagonists in the AId have diverse consequences and time courses of action. D1 receptor stimulation in the AId may reduce the motivating influence of cocaine-related stimuli on responding whereas D1 receptor blockade in this PFC sub-region produces global disruptions in behavior.

  12. Viral-mediated Zif268 expression in the prefrontal cortex protects against gonadectomy-induced working memory, long-term memory, and social interaction deficits in male rats.

    PubMed

    Dossat, Amanda M; Jourdi, Hussam; Wright, Katherine N; Strong, Caroline E; Sarkar, Ambalika; Kabbaj, Mohamed

    2017-01-06

    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.

  13. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex mediates paradoxical amphetamine action in a mouse model of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Yen, Yi-Chun; Gassen, Nils C; Zellner, Andreas; Rein, Theo; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T; Anderzhanova, Elmira

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex mediates paradoxical amphetamine action in a mouse model of ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Yi-Chun; Gassen, Nils C.; Zellner, Andreas; Rein, Theo; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T.; Anderzhanova, Elmira

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25852508

  15. Generation and perceptual implicit memory: different generation tasks produce different effects on perceptual priming.

    PubMed

    Mulligan, Neil W; Dew, Ilana T Z

    2009-11-01

    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 completion (WFC), and word-stem completion (WSC). This result occurred regardless of the mode of study response (written or spoken) or whether the generation condition was compared with reading words in or out of context. Rhyme generation did not produce priming on the letter height task (Masson & MacLeod, 2002), implying that the effect was not mediated by covert visualization. Nor was the effect due to the mere presence of the rhyme cue. Semantic generation (from definitions) produced a different pattern, exhibiting a reverse generation effect on WFC and WSC but full (read-level) priming on perceptual identification. The present results were not consistent with accounts based on the standard transfer-appropriate processing view, covert visualization, explicit contamination, or conceptual contributions to nominally perceptual tasks.

  16. Perceptual Repetition Blindness Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    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.

  17. Perceptualization of scientific data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinstein, Georges G.; Smith, Stuart

    1990-08-01

    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.

  18. Perceptually optimized image rendering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laparra, Valero; Berardino, Alexander; Ballé, Johannes; Simoncelli, Eero P.

    2017-09-01

    We develop a framework for rendering photographic images, taking into account display limitations, so as to optimize perceptual similarity between the rendered image and the original scene. We formulate this as a constrained optimization problem, in which we minimize a measure of perceptual dissimilarity, the Normalized Laplacian Pyramid Distance (NLPD), which mimics the early stage transformations of the human visual system. When rendering images acquired with higher dynamic range than that of the display, we find that the optimized solution boosts the contrast of low-contrast features without introducing significant artifacts, yielding results of comparable visual quality to current state-of-the art methods with no manual intervention or parameter settings. We also examine a variety of other display constraints, including limitations on minimum luminance (black point), mean luminance (as a proxy for energy consumption), and quantized luminance levels (halftoning). Finally, we show that the method may be used to enhance details and contrast of images degraded by optical scattering (e.g. fog).

  19. Nicotine facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Beer, Anton L; Vartak, Devavrat; Greenlee, Mark W

    2013-01-01

    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'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Conflict-Induced Perceptual Filtering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    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…

  1. PERCEPTUAL LEARNING IN EDUCATIONAL SITUATIONS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GIBSON, ELEANOR J.

    BOTH COGNITIVELY-ORIENTED AND RESPONSE-ORIENTED THEORIES OF PERCEPTUAL LEARNING ARE DISCUSSED AND CONTRASTED WITH A STIMULUS-ORIENTED THEORY. PERCEPTUAL LEARNING IS DEFINED AS AN INCREASE IN SPECIFICITY OF DISCRIMINATION OF THE STIMULUS INPUT. THE AUTHOR DESCRIBED WHAT IS LEARNED IN PERCEPUTAL LEARNING AS () THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THINGS, (2)…

  2. Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  3. Conflict-Induced Perceptual Filtering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    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…

  4. Perceptual Processes and Cognitive Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweizer, Karl; Koch, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    Examined the contribution of perceptual processes to cognitive ability with respect to stimulus complexity, response mode, level of encoding, and attention. Findings for 124 college students show that about 70% of common variance of perceptual processes and cognitive ability was due to attentive processes, with 30% resulting from pre-attentive…

  5. Perceptual basis for reactive teleoperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young S.; Ewing, Thomas F.; Boyle, James M.; Yule, Thomas J.

    2001-10-01

    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.

  6. Integrated approaches to perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Robert A

    2010-04-01

    New technologies and new ways of thinking have recently led to rapid expansions in the study of perceptual learning. We describe three themes shared by many of the nine articles included in this topic on Integrated Approaches to Perceptual Learning. First, perceptual learning cannot be studied on its own because it is closely linked to other aspects of cognition, such as attention, working memory, decision making, and conceptual knowledge. Second, perceptual learning is sensitive to both the stimulus properties of the environment in which an observer exists and to the properties of the tasks that the observer needs to perform. Moreover, the environmental and task properties can be characterized through their statistical regularities. Finally, the study of perceptual learning has important implications for society, including implications for science education and medical rehabilitation. Contributed articles relevant to each theme are summarized.

  7. Perceptual basis for reactive teleoperation.

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Y. S.; Ewing, T. F.; Boyle, J. M.; Yule, T. J.

    2001-08-28

    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.

  8. Variable Exemplars May Operate by Facilitating Latent Perceptual Organization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Mary A.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  9. Physiological and Perceptual Sensory Attenuation Have Different Underlying Neurophysiological Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Davare, Marco; Kilner, James M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Enhanced Actions of Adenosine in Medial Entorhinal Cortex Layer II Stellate Neurons in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy are Mediated via A1 Receptor Activation

    PubMed Central

    Hargus, Nicholas J.; Jennings, Conor; Perez-Reyes, Edward; Bertram, Edward H.; Patel, Manoj K.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Purpose The adenosinergic system is known to exert an inhibitory affect in the brain and as such adenosine has been considered an endogenous anticonvulsant. Entorhinal cortex (EC) layer II neurons, which serve as the primary input to the hippocampus, are spared in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and become hyperexcitable. Since these neurons also express adenosine receptors, the activity of these neurons may be controlled by adenosine, specifically during seizure activity when adenosine levels are thought to rise. In light of this, we determined if the actions of adenosine on medial EC (mEC) layer II stellate neurons are augmented in TLE and by which receptor subtype. Methods Horizontal brain slices were prepared from rats exhibiting spontaneous seizures (TLE) induced by electrical stimulation and compared with age matched control rats. mEC layer II stellate neurons were visually identified and action potentials (AP) evoked by either a series of depolarizing current injection steps or via presynaptic stimulation of mEC deep layers. The effects of adenosine were compared with actions of adenosine A1 and A2A receptor-specific agonists (CPA and CGS 21680) and antagonists (DPCPX and ZM241385) respectively. Immunohistochemical and qPCR techniques were also employed to assess relative adenosine A1 receptor message and expression. Key Findings mEC layer II stellate neurons were hyper-excitable in TLE, evoking a higher frequency of AP's when depolarized and generating bursts of AP's when synaptically stimulated. Adenosine reduced AP frequency and synaptically evoked AP's in a dose dependent manner (500 nM – 100 μM); however, in TLE, the inhibitory actions of adenosine occurred at concentrations that were without affect in control neurons. In both cases, the inhibitory actions of adenosine were mediated via activation of the A1 and not the A2A receptor subtype. qPCR and immunohistochemical experiments revealed an up-regulation of the adenosine A1 mRNA and an

  11. Perceptual training for visual search.

    PubMed

    Schuster, David; Rivera, Javier; Sellers, Brittany C; Fiore, Stephen M; Jentsch, Florian

    2013-01-01

    People are better at visual search than the best fully automated methods. Despite this, visual search remains a difficult perceptual task. The goal of this investigation was to experimentally test the ways in which visual search performance could be improved through two categories of training interventions: perceptual training and conceptual training. To determine the effects of each training on a later performance task, the two types of trainings were manipulated using a between-subjects design (conceptual vs. perceptual × training present vs. training absent). Perceptual training led to speed and accuracy improvements in visual search. Issues with the design and administration of the conceptual training limited conclusions on its effectiveness but provided useful lessons for conceptual training design. The results suggest that when the visual search task involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training can improve visual search performance. Similarly, careful consideration of the performance task and training design is required to evaluate the effectiveness of conceptual training. Visual search is a difficult, yet critical, task in industries such as baggage screening and radiology. This study investigated the effectiveness of perceptual training for visual search. The results suggest that when visual search involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training may improve the speed and accuracy of visual search.

  12. The neural correlates of conceptual and perceptual false recognition

    PubMed Central

    Garoff-Eaton, Rachel J.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2007-01-01

    False recognition, broadly defined as a claim to remember something that was not encountered previously, can arise for multiple reasons. For instance, a distinction can be made between conceptual false recognition (i.e., false alarms resulting from semantic or associative similarities between studied and tested items) and perceptual false recognition (i.e., false alarms resulting from physical similarities between studied and tested items). Although false recognition has been associated with frontal cortex activity, it is unclear whether this frontal activity can be modulated by the precise relationship between studied and falsely remembered items. We used event-related fMRI to examine the neural basis of conceptual compared with perceptual false recognition. Results revealed preferential activity in multiple frontal cortex regions during conceptual false recognition, which likely reflected increased semantic processing during conceptual (but not perceptual) memory errors. These results extend recent reports that different types of false recognition can rely on dissociable neural substrates, and they indicate that the frontal activity that is often observed during false compared with true recognition can be modulated by the relationship between studied and tested items. PMID:17911372

  13. Prior perceptual processing enhances the effect of emotional arousal on the neural correlates of memory retrieval

    PubMed Central

    Dew, Ilana T. Z.; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S.; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    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 two 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. PMID:24380867

  14. Prior perceptual processing enhances the effect of emotional arousal on the neural correlates of memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Dew, Ilana T Z; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-07-01

    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.

  15. An integrated reweighting theory of perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Dosher, Barbara Anne; Jeter, Pamela; Liu, Jiajuan; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2013-01-01

    Improvements in performance on visual tasks due to practice are often specific to a retinal position or stimulus feature. Many researchers suggest that specific perceptual learning alters selective retinotopic representations in early visual analysis. However, transfer is almost always practically advantageous, and it does occur. If perceptual learning alters location-specific representations, how does it transfer to new locations? An integrated reweighting theory explains transfer over retinal locations by incorporating higher level location-independent representations into a multilevel learning system. Location transfer is mediated through location-independent representations, whereas stimulus feature transfer is determined by stimulus similarity at both location-specific and location-independent levels. Transfer to new locations/positions differs fundamentally from transfer to new stimuli. After substantial initial training on an orientation discrimination task, switches to a new location or position are compared with switches to new orientations in the same position, or switches of both. Position switches led to the highest degree of transfer, whereas orientation switches led to the highest levels of specificity. A computational model of integrated reweighting is developed and tested that incorporates the details of the stimuli and the experiment. Transfer to an identical orientation task in a new position is mediated via more broadly tuned location-invariant representations, whereas changing orientation in the same position invokes interference or independent learning of the new orientations at both levels, reflecting stimulus dissimilarity. Consistent with single-cell recording studies, perceptual learning alters the weighting of both early and midlevel representations of the visual system. PMID:23898204

  16. Perceptual issues in scientific visualization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  17. Perceptual Issues In Scientific Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.

    1989-09-01

    In order to develop effective tools for scientific visualization, 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 techniques. Within a perceptual psychological framework, the computer display screen can best be thought of as a special kind of impoverished visual environment. Guidelines can be gleaned from the psychological literature to help visualization tool designers avoid ambiguities and/or illusions in the resulting data displays.

  18. Visual Coding of Human Bodies: Perceptual Aftereffects Reveal Norm-Based, Opponent Coding of Body Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Boeing, Alexandra; Calder, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  19. Visual Coding of Human Bodies: Perceptual Aftereffects Reveal Norm-Based, Opponent Coding of Body Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Boeing, Alexandra; Calder, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. Prolonged Perceptual Learning of Positional Acuity in Adult Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Roger W; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M

    2009-01-01

    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

  1. Facilitating effect of 15-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on tactile perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Karim, Ahmed A; Schüler, Anne; Hegner, Yiwen Li; Friedel, Eva; Godde, Ben

    2006-09-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that tactile perceptual learning can lead to substantial reorganizational changes of the brain. We report here for the first time that combining high-frequency (15 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) with tactile discrimination training is capable of facilitating operant perceptual learning. Most notably, increasing the excitability of SI by 15-Hz rTMS improved perceptual learning in spatial, but not in temporal, discrimination tasks. These findings give causal support to recent correlative data obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging studies indicating a differential role of SI in spatial and temporal discrimination learning. The introduced combination of rTMS and tactile discrimination training may provide new therapeutical potentials in facilitating neuropsychological rehabilitation of functional deficits after lesions of the somatosensory cortex.

  2. Perceptual Load Modulates Object-Based Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Ming-Chou; Atchley, Paul

    2009-01-01

    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…

  3. Visual training improves perceptual grouping based on basic stimulus features.

    PubMed

    Kurylo, Daniel D; Waxman, Richard; Kidron, Rachel; Silverstein, Steven M

    2017-07-05

    Training on visual tasks improves performance on basic and higher order visual capacities. Such improvement has been linked to changes in connectivity among mediating neurons. We investigated whether training effects occur for perceptual grouping. It was hypothesized that repeated engagement of integration mechanisms would enhance grouping processes. Thirty-six participants underwent 15 sessions of training on a visual discrimination task that required perceptual grouping. Participants viewed 20 × 20 arrays of dots or Gabor patches and indicated whether the array appeared grouped as vertical or horizontal lines. Across trials stimuli became progressively disorganized, contingent upon successful discrimination. Four visual dimensions were examined, in which grouping was based on similarity in luminance, color, orientation, and motion. Psychophysical thresholds of grouping were assessed before and after training. Results indicate that performance in all four dimensions improved with training. Training on a control condition, which paralleled the discrimination task but without a grouping component, produced no improvement. In addition, training on only the luminance and orientation dimensions improved performance for those conditions as well as for grouping by color, on which training had not occurred. However, improvement from partial training did not generalize to motion. Results demonstrate that a training protocol emphasizing stimulus integration enhanced perceptual grouping. Results suggest that neural mechanisms mediating grouping by common luminance and/or orientation contribute to those mediating grouping by color but do not share resources for grouping by common motion. Results are consistent with theories of perceptual learning emphasizing plasticity in early visual processing regions.

  4. "Top-Down" Mu-Opioid System Function in Humans: Mu-Opioid Receptors in Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex Mediate the Relationship Between Hedonic Tone and Executive Function in Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Light, Sharee N; Bieliauskas, Linas A; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction and anhedonia, the reduced ability to experience pleasure, are commonly comorbid symptoms that are persistent following successful resolution of negative affect in major depressive disorder (MDD). Little is known about whether they share common etiology. In the present study, the relationship between ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activity, cognitive dysfunction (i.e., executive dysfunction), and positive emotionality was investigated in conjunction with mu-opioid neurotransmission in a sample of 39 MDD patients. Results suggest that increased endogenous mu-opioid tone in the VLPFC mediates the relationship between increased trait positive emotionality and more efficient executive functioning.

  5. The Perceptual Criticism of Drama

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Styan, J. L.

    1975-01-01

    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)

  6. A Perceptual Repetition Blindness Effect

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    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.

  7. Perceptual style and tracking performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atchley, Paul

    1991-01-01

    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.

  8. Perceptual style and tracking performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atchley, Paul

    1991-01-01

    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.

  9. Perception and Action Selection Dissociate Human Ventral and Dorsal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikkai, Akiko; Jerde, Trenton A.; Curtis, Clayton E.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  10. Adaptive shape coding for perceptual decisions in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Kourtzi, Zoe; Welchman, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Perceptual learning in speech.

    PubMed

    Norris, Dennis; McQueen, James M; Cutler, Anne

    2003-09-01

    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., [WItlo?], from witlof, chicory) and unambiguous [s]-final words (e.g., naaldbos, pine forest). Another group heard the reverse (e.g., ambiguous [na:ldbo?], unambiguous witlof). Listeners who had heard [?] in [f]-final words were subsequently more likely to categorize ambiguous sounds on an [f]-[s] continuum as [f] than those who heard [?] in [s]-final words. Control conditions ruled out alternative explanations based on selective adaptation and contrast. Lexical information can thus be used to train categorization of speech. This use of lexical information differs from the on-line lexical feedback embodied in interactive models of speech perception. In contrast to on-line feedback, lexical feedback for learning is of benefit to spoken word recognition (e.g., in adapting to a newly encountered dialect).

  12. Perceptually Lossless Wavelet Compression

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Yang, Gloria Y.; Solomon, Joshua A.; Villasenor, John

    1996-01-01

    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.

  13. Perceptually Guided Photo Retargeting.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yingjie; Zhang, Luming; Hong, Richang; Nie, Liqiang; Yan, Yan; Shao, Ling

    2016-04-22

    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.

  14. Perceptually Lossless Wavelet Compression

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Yang, Gloria Y.; Solomon, Joshua A.; Villasenor, John

    1996-01-01

    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.

  15. Reconsolidation-induced rescue of a remote fear memory blocked by an early cortical inhibition: Involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex and the mediation by the thalamic nucleus reuniens.

    PubMed

    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

    2017-02-08

    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.

  16. Importance of perceptual representation in the visual control of action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loomis, Jack M.; Beall, Andrew C.; Kelly, Jonathan W.; Macuga, Kristen L.

    2005-03-01

    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.

  17. NR2A- and NR2B-Containing NMDA Receptors in the Prelimbic Medial Prefrontal Cortex Differentially Mediate Trace, Delay, and Contextual Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilmartin, Marieke R.; Kwapis, Janine L.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  18. NR2A- and NR2B-Containing NMDA Receptors in the Prelimbic Medial Prefrontal Cortex Differentially Mediate Trace, Delay, and Contextual Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilmartin, Marieke R.; Kwapis, Janine L.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  19. Applying Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Over the Dorsal Visual Pathway Induces Schizophrenia-like Disruption of Perceptual Closure.

    PubMed

    Amiaz, Revital; Vainiger, Dana; Gershon, Ari A; Weiser, Mark; Lavidor, Michal; Javitt, Daniel C

    2016-07-01

    Perceptual closure ability is postulated to depend upon rapid transmission of magnocellular information to prefrontal cortex via the dorsal stream. In contrast, illusory contour processing requires only local interactions within primary and ventral stream visual regions, such as lateral occipital complex. Schizophrenia is associated with deficits in perceptual closure versus illusory contours processing that is hypothesized to reflect impaired magnocellular/dorsal stream. Perceptual closure and illusory contours performance was evaluated in separate groups of 12 healthy volunteers during no TMS, and during repetitive 10 Hz rTMS stimulation over dorsal stream or vertex (TMS-vertex). Perceptual closure and illusory contours were performed in 11 schizophrenia patients, no TMS was applied in these patients. TMS effects were evaluated with repeated measures ANOVA across treatments. rTMS significantly increased perceptual closure identification thresholds, with significant difference between TMS-dorsal stream and no TMS. TMS-dorsal stream also significantly reduced perceptual closure but not illusory contours accuracy. Schizophrenia patients showed increased perceptual closure identification thresholds relative to controls in the no TMS condition, but similar to controls in the TMS-dorsal stream condition. Conclusions of this study are that magnocellular/dorsal stream input is critical for perceptual closure but not illusory contours performance, supporting both trickledown theories of normal perceptual closure function, and magnocellular/dorsal stream theories of visual dysfunction in schizophrenia.

  20. Anterior insula activations in perceptual paradigms: often observed but barely understood.

    PubMed

    Sterzer, Philipp; Kleinschmidt, Andreas

    2010-06-01

    Anterior insular cortex is among the non-sensory brain regions most commonly found activated in functional brain imaging studies on visual and auditory perception. However, most of these studies do not explicitly address the functional role of this specific brain region in perception, but rather report its activation as a by-product. Here, we attempt to characterize the involvement of anterior insular cortex in various perceptual paradigms, including studies of visual awareness, perceptual decision making, cross-modal sensory processes and the role of spontaneous neural activity fluctuations in perception. We conclude that anterior insular cortex may be associated with perception in that it underpins heightened alertness of either stimulus- or task-driven origin, or both. Such a mechanism could integrate endogenous and exogenous functional demands under the joint criterion of whether they challenge an individual's homeostasis.

  1. Age-related slowing of memory retrieval: Contributions of perceptual speed and cerebral white matter integrity

    PubMed Central

    Bucur, Barbara; Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Provenzale, James M.; Cabeza, Roberto; White, Leonard E.; Huettel, Scott A.

    2007-01-01

    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

  2. Evidence for Pitch Chroma Mapping in Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Briley, Paul M.; Breakey, Charlotte; Krumbholz, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Some areas in auditory cortex respond preferentially to sounds that elicit pitch, such as musical sounds or voiced speech. This study used human electroencephalography (EEG) with an adaptation paradigm to investigate how pitch is represented within these areas and, in particular, whether the representation reflects the physical or perceptual dimensions of pitch. Physically, pitch corresponds to a single monotonic dimension: the repetition rate of the stimulus waveform. Perceptually, however, pitch has to be described with 2 dimensions, a monotonic, “pitch height,” and a cyclical, “pitch chroma,” dimension, to account for the similarity of the cycle of notes (c, d, e, etc.) across different octaves. The EEG adaptation effect mirrored the cyclicality of the pitch chroma dimension, suggesting that auditory cortex contains a representation of pitch chroma. Source analysis indicated that the centroid of this pitch chroma representation lies somewhat anterior and lateral to primary auditory cortex. PMID:22918980

  3. All-optical mapping of barrel cortex circuits based on simultaneous voltage-sensitive dye imaging and channelrhodopsin-mediated photostimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Shun Qiang; Koh, Dawn X. P.; Sng, Judy C. G.; Augustine, George J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. We describe an experimental approach that uses light to both control and detect neuronal activity in mouse barrel cortex slices: blue light patterned by a digital micromirror array system allowed us to photostimulate specific layers and columns, while a red-shifted voltage-sensitive dye was used to map out large-scale circuit activity. We demonstrate that such all-optical mapping can interrogate various circuits in somatosensory cortex by sequentially activating different layers and columns. Further, mapping in slices from whisker-deprived mice demonstrated that chronic sensory deprivation did not significantly alter feedforward inhibition driven by layer 5 pyramidal neurons. Further development of voltage-sensitive optical probes should allow this all-optical mapping approach to become an important and high-throughput tool for mapping circuit interactions in the brain. PMID:26158003

  4. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R.; Sumner, Christian J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R; Sumner, Christian J

    2015-10-01

    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

  6. Is desire for social relationships mediated by the serotonergic system in the prefrontal cortex? An [(18)F]setoperone PET study.

    PubMed

    Gerretsen, Philip; Graff-Guerrero, Ariel; Menon, Mahesh; Pollock, Bruce G; Kapur, Shitij; Vasdev, Neil; Houle, Sylvain; Mamo, David

    2010-01-01

    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.

  7. Perceptual detection as a dynamical bistability phenomenon: A neurocomputational correlate of sensation

    PubMed Central

    Deco, Gustavo; Pérez-Sanagustín, Mar; de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo

    2007-01-01

    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

  8. “Referred Visual Sensations”: Rapid perceptual elongation after visual cortical deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Dilks, Daniel D.; Baker, Chris I.; Liu, Yicong; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2009-01-01

    Visual perceptual distortion (i.e., elongation) has been demonstrated in a single case study after several months of cortical deprivation following a stroke. Here we asked whether similar perceptual elongation can be observed in healthy participants following deprivation, and—crucially—how soon after deprivation this elongation occurs. To answer this question, we patched one eye, thus non-invasively and reversibly depriving bottom-up input to the region of primary visual cortex (V1) corresponding to the blind spot (BS) in the unpatched eye, and tested whether and how quickly elongation occurs after the onset of deprivation. Within seconds of eye patching, participants perceived rectangles adjacent to the BS to be elongated toward the BS. We attribute this perceptual elongation to rapid receptive field expansion within the deprived V1 cortex as reported in electrophysiological studies following retinal lesions, and refer to it as “referred visual sensations” (RVS). This RVS is too fast to be the result of structural changes in the cortex (e.g., the growth of new connections), instead implicating unmasking of pre-existing connections as the underlying neural mechanism. These findings may shed light on other reported perceptual distortions, as well as the phenomena of “filling-in”. PMID:19605633

  9. PERCEPTUAL ORGANIZATION AND LAWFUL SPECIFICATION

    PubMed Central

    Remez, Robert E.; Rubin, Philip E.

    2016-01-01

    When a listener can also see a talker, audible and visible properties are ineluctably combined, perceptually. This perceptual disposition to audiovisual integration has received widely ranging explanations. At one extreme, accounts have likened perception to a blind listener and a deaf viewer combined within a single skin, resolving discrepancies in identification by each modality. At the other extreme, perception has been described as necessarily and automatically synesthetic. Useful descriptive and explanatory evidence was provided in a study of auditory-haptic presentation by Fowler and Dekle (1991), showing that neither familiarity nor congruence is required for perceptual integration to occur across modalities. Instead, the notion of conjoint lawful specification was proposed as a governing constraint. This principle treats sensory activity as proximal sampling of the properties of distal objects and events, and this essay notes that its corollaries offer a broadly applicable guide in contemporary investigations of perception. PMID:27642242

  10. Auditory perceptual load: A review.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Sandra; Spence, Charles; Dalton, Polly

    2017-02-08

    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.

  11. Limited Cognitive Resources Explain a Trade-Off between Perceptual and Metacognitive Vigilance.

    PubMed

    Maniscalco, Brian; McCurdy, Li Yan; Odegaard, Brian; Lau, Hakwan

    2017-02-01

    not yet been explored in depth. Here, we show that patterns in perceptual and metacognitive vigilance do not follow the pattern predicted by a previously suggested single-process model of perceptual and metacognitive decision making. We account for these findings by showing that regions of anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) previously associated with visual metacognition are also associated with perceptual vigilance. We also show that relieving metacognitive task demand improves perceptual vigilance, suggesting that aPFC may house a limited cognitive resource that contributes to both metacognition and perceptual vigilance. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms and dynamics of perceptual metacognition. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/371213-12$15.00/0.

  12. Role of the prefrontal cortex in attentional control over bistable vision.

    PubMed

    Windmann, Sabine; Wehrmann, Michaela; Calabrese, Pasquale; Güntürkün, Onur

    2006-03-01

    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.

  13. Camera perspective bias in videotaped confessions: experimental evidence of its perceptual basis.

    PubMed

    Ratcliff, Jennifer J; Lassiter, G Daniel; Schmidt, Heather C; Snyder, Celeste J

    2006-12-01

    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.

  14. Handwriting Practice: The Effects of Perceptual Prompts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, David

    1982-01-01

    In a study, kindergarten and third grade students were given handwriting copying practice using different perceptual prompts to reproduce model letter forms. Results indicate that groups trained with perceptual prompts produced more accurate reproductions. (Author/JN)

  15. The basal ganglia’s contributions to perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Long; Gold, Joshua I.

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. Hearing the light: neural and perceptual encoding of optogenetic stimulation in the central auditory pathway

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Gray colored glasses: is major depression partially a sensory perceptual disorder?

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Paul J

    2013-11-01

    Major depression is a neuropsychiatric disorder that can involve profound dysregulation of mood. While depression is associated with additional abnormalities besides reduced mood, such as cognitive dysfunction, it is not well established that sensory perception is also altered in this disorder (aside from in psychotic depression). Recent studies have shown that visual processing, in as early a stage as the retina, is impaired in depression. This paper examines the hypothesis that major depression can involve alterations in sensory perception. A Pubmed literature search investigated several lines of evidence: innervation of sensory cortex by serotonin and norepinephrine; antidepressant drugs and depression itself affecting processing of facial expressions of emotion; electroencephalography (EEG) studies of depressed persons and antidepressant drugs; involvement of the serotonergic 5HT2A receptor in both depression and hallucinogenic drug action; psychotic depression involving sensory distortions; dopamine possibly playing a role in depression; and the antidepressant effect of blocking the NMDA receptor with ketamine. Data from each of these lines of evidence support the hypothesis that major depression can involve sensory perceptual alterations. Loss of interest in one's daily activities and inability to experience pleasure, also known as anhedonia, in major depression may in part be mediated by sensory abnormalities, whereby normal sensory perceptions are no longer present to activate reward circuitry. The data supporting the hypothesis tend to be associative, so further confirmation of the hypothesis awaits additional controlled experiments. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Cross-modal effects of value on perceptual acuity and stimulus encoding

    PubMed Central

    Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; FitzGerald, Thomas H. B.; Bach, Dominik R.; Toelch, Ulf; Ostendorf, Florian; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2014-01-01

    Cross-modal interactions are very common in perception. An important feature of many perceptual stimuli is their reward-predicting properties, the utilization of which is essential for adaptive behavior. What is unknown is whether reward associations in one sensory modality influence perception of stimuli in another modality. Here we show that auditory stimuli with high-reward associations increase the sensitivity of visual perception, even when sounds and reward associations are both irrelevant for the visual task. This increased sensitivity correlates with a change in stimulus representation in the visual cortex, indexed by increased multivariate decoding accuracy in simultaneously acquired functional MRI data. Univariate analysis showed that reward associations modulated responses in regions associated with multisensory processing in which the strength of modulation was a better predictor of the magnitude of the behavioral effect than the modulation in classical reward regions. Our findings demonstrate a value-driven cross-modal interaction that affects perception and stimulus encoding, with a resemblance to well-described modulatory effects of attention. We suggest that multisensory processing areas may mediate the transfer of value signals across senses. PMID:25288729

  19. Cortico-striatal connections predict control over speed and accuracy in perceptual decision making.

    PubMed

    Forstmann, Birte U; Anwander, Alfred; Schäfer, Andreas; Neumann, Jane; Brown, Scott; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Bogacz, Rafal; Turner, Robert

    2010-09-07

    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.

  20. Prediction of Later Cognitive Behavior from Early School Perceptual-Motor, Perceptual, and Cognitive Performances.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belka, David E.; Williams, Harriet G.

    1979-01-01

    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…

  1. Methamphetamine blunts Ca2+ currents and excitatory synaptic transmission through D1/5 receptor-mediated mechanisms in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    González, Betina; Rivero-Echeto, Celeste; Muñiz, Javier A.; Cadet, Jean Lud; García-Rill, Edgar; Urbano, Francisco J.; Bisagno, Veronica

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. The evolution of whisker-mediated somatosensation in mammals: Sensory processing in barrelless S1 cortex of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-12-01

    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.

  3. Salient sounds activate human visual cortex automatically

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, John J.; Störmer, Viola S.; Martinez, Antigona; Feng, Wenfeng; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Neurally Constrained Modeling of Perceptual Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  5. Proceedings Region East Perceptual Motor Conference.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  6. Characterizing Perceptual Learning with External Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Jason M.; Sekuler, Allison B.; Bennett, Partrick J.

    2004-01-01

    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,…

  7. Neurally Constrained Modeling of Perceptual Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Characterizing Perceptual Learning with External Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Jason M.; Sekuler, Allison B.; Bennett, Partrick J.

    2004-01-01

    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,…

  9. Continuous Spatial Representations in the Olfactory Bulb may Reflect Perceptual Categories

    PubMed Central

    Auffarth, Benjamin; Gutierrez-Galvez, Agustín; Marco, Santiago

    2011-01-01

    In sensory processing of odors, the olfactory bulb is an important relay station, where odor representations are noise-filtered, sharpened, and possibly re-organized. An organization by perceptual qualities has been found previously in the piriform cortex, however several recent studies indicate that the olfactory bulb code reflects behaviorally relevant dimensions spatially as well as at the population level. We apply a statistical analysis on 2-deoxyglucose images, taken over the entire bulb of glomerular layer of the rat, in order to see how the recognition of odors in the nose is translated into a map of odor quality in the brain. We first confirm previous studies that the first principal component could be related to pleasantness, however the next higher principal components are not directly clear. We then find mostly continuous spatial representations for perceptual categories. We compare the space spanned by spatial and population codes to human reports of perceptual similarity between odors and our results suggest that perceptual categories could be already embedded in glomerular activations and that spatial representations give a better match than population codes. This suggests that human and rat perceptual dimensions of odorant coding are related and indicates that perceptual qualities could be represented as continuous spatial codes of the olfactory bulb glomerulus population. PMID:22013415

  10. Perceptual Adjustments to Multiple Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kraljic, Tanya; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2007-01-01

    Different speakers may pronounce the same sounds very differently, yet listeners have little difficulty perceiving speech accurately. Recent research suggests that listeners adjust their preexisting phonemic categories to accommodate speakers' pronunciations ("perceptual learning"). In some cases, these adjustments appear to reflect general…

  11. Perceptual Exploration in Israeli Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kugelmass, Sol; Lieblich, Amia

    1970-01-01

    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)

  12. Perceptual Fading without Retinal Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsieh, Po-Jang; Colas, Jaron T.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  13. Perceptual Learning, Cognition, and Expertise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellman, Philip J.; Massey, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  14. Perceptual transparency from image deformation

    PubMed Central

    Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin’ya

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Is Perceptual Narrowing Too Narrow?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cashon, Cara H.; Denicola, Christopher A.

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing list of examples illustrating that infants are transitioning from having earlier abilities that appear more "universal," "broadly tuned," or "unconstrained" to having later abilities that appear more "specialized," "narrowly tuned," or "constrained." Perceptual narrowing, a well-known phenomenon related to face, speech, and…

  16. Some Perceptual Prerequisites for Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frith, Uta; Vogel, Juliet M.

    The two chapters of this monograph deal with the issue of the existence of a perceptual grammar that influences reading proficiency, particularly initial reading proficiency. The first chapter indicates the importance of studying reading and writing in terms of readers' and writers' knowledge of visuo-spatial processing rules. It discusses…

  17. Perceptual Training: Educational Development Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tansley, A. E.

    This booklet presents educational programs and activities for perceptual training of 4- to 9-year-olds and older children with learning and reading problems. The development of visual and auditory perception needs to be understood as closely related to and dependent upon other developmental areas, including motor, language, thinking, emotional,…

  18. Perceptual transparency from image deformation.

    PubMed

    Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin'ya

    2015-08-18

    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.

  19. Perceptual Fading without Retinal Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsieh, Po-Jang; Colas, Jaron T.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  20. The neural subjective frame: from bodily signals to perceptual consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24639580

  1. The neural subjective frame: from bodily signals to perceptual consciousness.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2014-05-05

    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.

  2. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates the interaction between moral and aesthetic valuation: a TMS study on the beauty-is-good stereotype

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Chiara; Nadal, Marcos; Schiavi, Susanna; Vecchi, Tomaso; Cela-Conde, Camilo J.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Attractive individuals are perceived as possessing more positive personal traits than unattractive individuals. This reliance on aesthetic features to infer moral character suggests a close link between aesthetic and moral valuation. Here we aimed to investigate the neural underpinnings of the interaction between aesthetic and moral valuation by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with a priming paradigm designed to assess the Beauty-is-Good stereotype. Participants evaluated the trustworthiness of a series of faces (targets), each of which was preceded by an adjective describing desirable, undesirable, or neutral aesthetic qualities (primes). TMS was applied between prime and target to interfere with activity in two regions known to be involved in aesthetic and moral valuation: the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC, a core region in social cognition) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, critical in decision making). Our results showed that when TMS was applied over vertex (control) and over the dlPFC, participants judged faces as more trustworthy when preceded by positive than by negative aesthetic primes (as also shown in two behavioral experiments). However, when TMS was applied over the dmPFC, primes had no effect on trustworthiness judgments. A second Experiment corroborated this finding. Our results suggest that mPFC plays a causal role linking moral and aesthetic valuation. PMID:28158864

  3. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates the interaction between moral and aesthetic valuation: a TMS study on the beauty-is-good stereotype.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Chiara; Nadal, Marcos; Schiavi, Susanna; Vecchi, Tomaso; Cela-Conde, Camilo J; Cattaneo, Zaira

    2017-05-01

    Attractive individuals are perceived as possessing more positive personal traits than unattractive individuals. This reliance on aesthetic features to infer moral character suggests a close link between aesthetic and moral valuation. Here we aimed to investigate the neural underpinnings of the interaction between aesthetic and moral valuation by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with a priming paradigm designed to assess the Beauty-is-Good stereotype. Participants evaluated the trustworthiness of a series of faces (targets), each of which was preceded by an adjective describing desirable, undesirable, or neutral aesthetic qualities (primes). TMS was applied between prime and target to interfere with activity in two regions known to be involved in aesthetic and moral valuation: the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC, a core region in social cognition) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, critical in decision making). Our results showed that when TMS was applied over vertex (control) and over the dlPFC, participants judged faces as more trustworthy when preceded by positive than by negative aesthetic primes (as also shown in two behavioral experiments). However, when TMS was applied over the dmPFC, primes had no effect on trustworthiness judgments. A second Experiment corroborated this finding. Our results suggest that mPFC plays a causal role linking moral and aesthetic valuation. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  4. Referenceless Prediction of Perceptual Fog Density and Perceptual Image Defogging.

    PubMed

    Choi, Lark Kwon; You, Jaehee; Bovik, Alan Conrad

    2015-11-01

    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.

  5. Binding crossmodal object features in perirhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Kirsten I; Moss, Helen E; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A; Tyler, Lorraine K

    2006-05-23

    Knowledge of objects in the world is stored in our brains as rich, multimodal representations. Because the neural pathways that process this diverse sensory information are largely anatomically distinct, a fundamental challenge to cognitive neuroscience is to explain how the brain binds the different sensory features that comprise an object to form meaningful, multimodal object representations. Studies with nonhuman primates suggest that a structure at the culmination of the object recognition system (the perirhinal cortex) performs this critical function. In contrast, human neuroimaging studies implicate the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). The results of the functional MRI study reported here resolve this apparent discrepancy by demonstrating that both pSTS and the perirhinal cortex contribute to crossmodal binding in humans, but in different ways. Significantly, only perirhinal cortex activity is modulated by meaning variables (e.g., semantic congruency and semantic category), suggesting that these two regions play complementary functional roles, with pSTS acting as a presemantic, heteromodal region for crossmodal perceptual features, and perirhinal cortex integrating these features into higher-level conceptual representations. This interpretation is supported by the results of our behavioral study: Patients with lesions, including the perirhinal cortex, but not patients with damage restricted to frontal cortex, were impaired on the same crossmodal integration task, and their performance was significantly influenced by the same semantic factors, mirroring the functional MRI findings. These results integrate nonhuman and human primate research by providing converging evidence that human perirhinal cortex is also critically involved in processing meaningful aspects of multimodal object representations.

  6. Reinforcement learning can account for associative and perceptual learning on a visual-decision task.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I

    2009-05-01

    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.

  7. “Sightblind”: Perceptual Deficits in the “Intact” Visual Field

    PubMed Central

    Bola, Michał; Gall, Carolin; Sabel, Bernhard A.

    2013-01-01

    Unilateral visual cortex lesions caused by stroke or trauma lead to blindness in contralateral visual field – a condition called homonymous hemianopia. Although the visual field area processed by the uninjured hemisphere is thought to be “intact,” it also exhibits marked perceptual deficits in contrast sensitivity, processing speed, and contour integration. Such patients are “sightblind” – their blindness reaches far beyond the primary scotoma. Studies showing perceptual deficits in patients’ intact fields are reviewed and implications of these findings are discussed. It is concluded that consequences of partial blindness are greater than previously thought, since perceptual deficits in the “intact” field likely contribute to subjective vision loss in patients with visual field defect. This has important implications for vision diagnosis and rehabilitation. PMID:23805126

  8. Beyond the Peak - Tactile Temporal Discrimination Does Not Correlate with Individual Peak Frequencies in Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    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.

  9. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in a rewarded perceptual decision-making task.

    PubMed

    Reckless, Greg E; Andreassen, Ole A; Server, Andres; Østefjells, Tiril; Jensen, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been associated with structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex. They often persist after treatment with antipsychotic medication which targets, in particular, the ventral striatum (VS). As schizophrenia has been suggested to arise from dysfunctional connectivity between neural networks, it is possible that residual aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in medicated patients plays a role in enduring negative symptomology. The present study examined the relationship between striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptoms in medicated schizophrenia patients. We manipulated motivation in a perceptual decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparing healthy controls (n = 21) and medicated patients with schizophrenia (n = 18) we investigated how motivation-mediated changes in VS activation affected functional connectivity with the frontal cortex, and how changes in connectivity strength from the neutral to motivated condition related to negative symptom severity. A pattern of aberrant striato-cortical connectivity was observed in the presence of intact VS, but altered left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) motivation-mediated activation in patients. The more severe the patient's negative symptoms, the less the connectivity strength between the right VS and left IFG changed from the neutral to the motivated condition. Despite aberrant striato-cortical connectivity and altered recruitment of the left IFG among patients, both patients and healthy controls adopted a more liberal response strategy in the motivated compared to the neutral condition. The present findings suggest that there is a link between dysfunctional striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptom severity, and offer a possible explanation as to why negative symptoms persist after treatment with antipsychotics.

  10. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in a rewarded perceptual decision-making task

    PubMed Central

    Reckless, Greg E.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Server, Andres; Østefjells, Tiril; Jensen, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    Background Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been associated with structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex. They often persist after treatment with antipsychotic medication which targets, in particular, the ventral striatum (VS). As schizophrenia has been suggested to arise from dysfunctional connectivity between neural networks, it is possible that residual aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in medicated patients plays a role in enduring negative symptomology. The present study examined the relationship between striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptoms in medicated schizophrenia patients. Methods We manipulated motivation in a perceptual decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparing healthy controls (n = 21) and medicated patients with schizophrenia (n = 18) we investigated how motivation-mediated changes in VS activation affected functional connectivity with the frontal cortex, and how changes in connectivity strength from the neutral to motivated condition related to negative symptom severity. Results A pattern of aberrant striato-cortical connectivity was observed in the presence of intact VS, but altered left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) motivation-mediated activation in patients. The more severe the patient's negative symptoms, the less the connectivity strength between the right VS and left IFG changed from the neutral to the motivated condition. Despite aberrant striato-cortical connectivity and altered recruitment of the left IFG among patients, both patients and healthy controls adopted a more liberal response strategy in the motivated compared to the neutral condition. Conclusions The present findings suggest that there is a link between dysfunctional striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptom severity, and offer a possible explanation as to why negative symptoms persist after treatment with antipsychotics. PMID:26106553

  11. From perceptual to lexico-semantic analysis--cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing.

    PubMed

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    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. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. From perceptual to lexico‐semantic analysis—cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing

    PubMed Central

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Perceptual conflict during sensorimotor integration processes - a neurophysiological study in response inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Chmielewski, Witold X.; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Perceptual conflict during sensorimotor integration processes - a neurophysiological study in response inhibition.

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, Witold X; Beste, Christian

    2016-05-25

    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.

  15. Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pasley, Brian N.; David, Stephen V.; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A.; Crone, Nathan E.; Knight, Robert T.; Chang, Edward F.

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex. PMID:22303281

  16. Reconstructing speech from human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Pasley, Brian N; David, Stephen V; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A; Crone, Nathan E; Knight, Robert T; Chang, Edward F

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex.

  17. Visual prediction and perceptual expertise

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Olivia S.; Bar, Moshe

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Perceptual Color Characterization of Cameras

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez-Corral, Javier; Connah, David; Bertalmío, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Color camera characterization, mapping outputs from the camera sensors to an independent color space, such as XY Z, is an important step in the camera processing pipeline. Until now, this procedure has been primarily solved by using a 3 × 3 matrix obtained via a least-squares optimization. In this paper, we propose to use the spherical sampling method, recently published by Finlayson et al., to perform a perceptual color characterization. In particular, we search for the 3 × 3 matrix that minimizes three different perceptual errors, one pixel based and two spatially based. For the pixel-based case, we minimize the CIE ΔE error, while for the spatial-based case, we minimize both the S-CIELAB error and the CID error measure. Our results demonstrate an improvement of approximately 3% for the ΔE error, 7% for the S-CIELAB error and 13% for the CID error measures. PMID:25490586

  19. Minimalist Approach to Perceptual Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John

    2012-01-01

    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

  20. Perceptual Organization and Visual Recognition

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-09-01

    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

  1. You'd better think twice: post-decision perceptual confidence.

    PubMed

    Hilgenstock, Raphael; Weiss, Thomas; Witte, Otto W

    2014-10-01

    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.

  2. Process- and Domain-Specificity in Regions Engaged for Face Processing: An fMRI Study of Perceptual Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Heather R.; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Clark, Jonathan D.; Joseph, Jane E.

    2015-01-01

    The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. The present study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing) or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e. differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). Regions of interest were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process-specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex, and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain-specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories. PMID:22849402

  3. Posterior cingulate cortex integrates the senses of self-location and body ownership.

    PubMed

    Guterstam, Arvid; Björnsdotter, Malin; Gentile, Giovanni; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2015-06-01

    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.

  4. Generalization of multisensory perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Powers Iii, Albert R; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T

    2016-03-22

    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.

  5. Conceptual Representations of Perceptual Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Edward E.; Myers, Nicholas; Sethi, Umrao; Pantazatos, Spiro; Yanagihara, Ted; Hirsch, Joy

    2012-01-01

    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

  6. Generalization of multisensory perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Powers III, Albert R.; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  8. Motivation alters response bias and neural activation patterns in a perceptual decision-making task.

    PubMed

    Reckless, G E; Bolstad, I; Nakstad, P H; Andreassen, O A; Jensen, J

    2013-05-15

    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.

  9. Perceptual elements in brain mechanisms of acoustic communication in humans and nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Reser, David H; Rosa, Marcello

    2014-12-01

    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.

  10. Perceptual degradation due to signal alteration: implications for auditory pattern processing.

    PubMed

    Samuel, A G

    1991-05-01

    When a passage is alternately presented to the right and left ears over headphones, perceptual processing is disrupted under certain conditions: When the signal alternation rate is approximately 3-4 cps, intelligibility is greatly reduced. Experiment 1 demonstrated that contrary to previous theorizing, the effect is not mediated by the disruption of syllabic units. Experiment 2 explored the generality of the perceptual degradation by testing perception of simple piano melodies. The basic effect holds for these complex auditory patterns. The final experiment tested a source-effect explanation of the phenomenon by using 3 signal locations (right, middle, and left) rather than 2. The degree of disruption depends on the likelihood that sounds are assigned to different sources. Together, the experiments help to account for the strikingly selective breakdown in perceptual processing and speak to the issues of perceptual units, domain specificity, and auditory source assignment.

  11. Thalamic T-type Ca²+ channels mediate frontal lobe dysfunctions caused by a hypoxia-like damage in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-03-16

    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.

  12. siRNA-mediated silence of protease-activated receptor-1 minimizes ischemic injury of cerebral cortex through HSP70 and MAP2.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jun; Wang, Ying; Zhu, Ping; Wang, Xudong; Lv, Manhua; Feng, Honglin

    2012-09-15

    Cerebral ischemic stroke is a prevalent disease in senior individuals. The anticoagulation and thrombolysis to recover blood supply as well as the diminution of neural excitotoxicity to protect brain cells have not shown to fully improve stroke patients. The comprehensive mechanisms and medication specificity remain to be addressed. The silence of specific mRNAs by RNA interference provides revenues for such goals. We examined whether the silence of protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) by siRNA protects brain tissues from ischemic injury. In three groups of Wistar rats, their lateral ventricles received the injections of lentiviral vectors carrying siRNA for PAR1, small RNA in mismatching PAR1 or saline. A week after the injections, these rats were treated by one side of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). The scores of neurological deficits, the volume of ischemic infarction and the expressions of PAR-1, HSP-70 and MAP-2 were measured in 24h of MCAO. Our results show that the silence of PAR-1 significantly reduces neurological deficits and infarction volume, as well as elevates HSP-70 and MAP-2 expressions. Thus, the knock-down of PAR1 minimizes the ischemic impairments of cerebral cortex via HSP70 and MAP-2 pathways. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Time Within:. the Perceptual Rivalry Switch as a Neural Clock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettigrew, John D.; Tilden, Jan D.

    2005-10-01

    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.

  14. A Neurobiological Theory of Automaticity in Perceptual Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashby, F. Gregory; Ennis, John M.; Spiering, Brian J.

    2007-01-01

    A biologically detailed computational model is described of how categorization judgments become automatic in tasks that depend on procedural learning. The model assumes 2 neural pathways from sensory association cortex to the premotor area that mediates response selection. A longer and slower path projects to the premotor area via the striatum,…

  15. A Neurobiological Theory of Automaticity in Perceptual Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashby, F. Gregory; Ennis, John M.; Spiering, Brian J.

    2007-01-01

    A biologically detailed computational model is described of how categorization judgments become automatic in tasks that depend on procedural learning. The model assumes 2 neural pathways from sensory association cortex to the premotor area that mediates response selection. A longer and slower path projects to the premotor area via the striatum,…

  16. Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates.

    PubMed

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-11-25

    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.

  17. EEG-microstate dependent emergence of perceptual awareness

    PubMed Central

    Britz, Juliane; Díaz Hernàndez, Laura; Ro, Tony; Michel, Christoph M.

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Role of GABAA-Mediated Inhibition and Functional Assortment of Synapses onto Individual Layer 4 Neurons in Regulating Plasticity Expression in Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Ignacio; Friedlander, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Prolonged Training at Threshold Promotes Robust Retinotopic Specificity in Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Shao-Chin

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Multiple brain networks contribute to the acquisition of bias in perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei-Yen; Jimura, Koji; White, Corey N.; Maddox, W. Todd; Poldrack, Russell A.

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. Rule-Based Learning Explains Visual Perceptual Learning and Its Specificity and Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jun-Yun; Zhang, Gong-Liang; Xiao, Lu-Qi; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.

    2010-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning models, as constrained by orientation and location specificities, propose that learning either reflects changes in V1 neuronal tuning or reweighting specific V1 inputs in either the visual cortex or higher areas. Here we demonstrate that, with a training-plus-exposure procedure, in which observers are trained at one orientation and either simultaneously or subsequently passively exposed to a second transfer orientation, perceptual learning can completely transfer to the second orientation in tasks known to be orientation-specific. However, transfer fails if exposure precedes the training. These results challenge the existing specific perceptual learning models by suggesting a more general perceptual learning process. We propose a rule-based learning model to explain perceptual learning and its specificity and transfer. In this model, a decision unit in high-level brain areas learns the rules of reweighting the V1 inputs through training. However, these rules cannot be applied to a new orientation/location because the decision unit cannot functionally connect to the new V1 inputs that are unattended or even suppressed after training at a different orientation/location, which leads to specificity. Repeated orientation exposure or location training reactivates these inputs to establish the functional connections and enable the transfer of learning. PMID:20844128

  2. Elucidating the neural correlates of related false memories using a systematic measure of perceptual relatedness.

    PubMed

    Turney, Indira C; Dennis, Nancy A

    2017-02-01

    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.

  3. 5-HT1A receptors of the prelimbic cortex mediate the hormonal impact on learned fear expression in high-anxious female rats.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Renata; Brandão, Marcus Lira; Nobre, Manoel Jorge

    2016-08-01

    Hormones highly influence female behaviors. However, research on this topic has not usually considered the variable hormonal status. The prelimbic cortex (PrL) is commonly engaged in fear learning. Connections from and to this region are known to be critical in regulating anxiety, in which serotonin (5-HT) plays a fundamental role, particularly through changes in 5-HT1A receptors functioning. Also, hormone fluctuations can greatly influence anxiety in humans and anxiety-related behavior in rodents, and this influence involves the functioning of 5-HT brain systems. The present investigation sought to determine whether fluctuations in ovarian hormones relative to the estrous cycle would influence the expression of learned fear in female rats previously selected as low- (LA) or high-anxious (HA). Furthermore, we investigate the role of the 5-HT system of the PrL, particularly the 5-HT1A receptors, as a possible modulator of estrous cycle influence on the expression of learned fear through intra-PrL microinjections of 5-HT itself or the full 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT (8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamine)tetralin). Behavioral changes were assessed using the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) procedure. The results showed that fear intensity is associated with hormonal decay, being more accentuated during the estrus phase. This increase in fear levels was found to be negatively correlated with the expression of potentiated startle. In rats prone to anxiety and tested during the proestrus and estrus phases, 5-HT mechanisms of the PrL seem to play a regulatory role in the expression of learned fear. These results were not replicated in the LA rats. Similar but less intense results were found regarding the early and late diestrus. Our data indicate that future studies on this subject need to take into account the dissociation between low- and high-responsive females to understand how hormones affect emotional behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Optimizing Linked Perceptual Class Formation and Transfer of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Lanny; Garruto, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    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…

  5. Comparison of related perceptual tests.

    PubMed

    Davis, D; Eliot, J

    1994-08-01

    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.

  6. Increased nitric oxide-mediated neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex is associated with the long lasting anxiogenic-like effect of predator exposure.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline Cristina; Piorino, Erick Moraes; Ferreira, Frederico Rogério; Guimarães, Francisco Silveira

    2013-11-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by the experience of a severe traumatic event. In rats this disorder has been modeled by exposure to a predator threat. PTSD has been associated to structural and functional changes in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Direct injections into this brain region of glutamate antagonists or inhibitors of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzyme cause anxiolytic-like effects in rodents. In the present work we investigated if the behavioral changes induced by predator exposure are associated with changes in the mPFC nitrergic system. Since the hippocampus, amygdala and dorsal periaqueductal grey have also been associated to anxiety disorders, including PTSD, we also verified if this procedure would modify the nitrergic system in these regions. Male Wistar rats were exposed to a dummy or live cat for ten minutes and tested in the elevated plus maze test (EPM) seven days later. Immediately after the test their brains were removed for neuronal NOS (nNOS) immunohistochemistry detection and measurements of nitrite/nitrate (NOx) levels. Exposure to the live cat increased freezing responses. One week later the animals that froze when confronted with the cat presented a decreased percentage of entries in the open arms of the EPM and an increased number of nNOS positive neurons in the mPFC and basolateral nucleus of amygdala, but not in the hippocampus, central and medial nuclei of amygdaloid complex or dorsal-lateral periaqueductal grey. Moreover, cat exposed animals showed increased NOx levels in the mPFC but not in the hippocampus one week later. The number of nNOS neurons and NOx levels in the mPFC showed a significant correlation with freezing time during cat exposure. Our results suggest that plastic modifications of the nitrergic system in the mPFC could be related to long lasting behavioral changes induced by severe traumatic events such as predator exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  7. Why is there a special issue on perirhinal cortex in a journal called Hippocampus?: The perirhinal cortex in historical perspective

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Elisabeth A.; Wise, Steven P.

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Roles of taurine-mediated tonic GABAA receptor activation in the radial migration of neurons in the fetal mouse cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Tomonori; Yamada, Junko; Akita, Tenpei; Matsushima, Yoshitaka; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Fukuda, Atsuo

    2014-01-01

    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.

  9. Roles of taurine-mediated tonic GABAA receptor activation in the radial migration of neurons in the fetal mouse cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Furukawa, Tomonori; Yamada, Junko; Akita, Tenpei; Matsushima, Yoshitaka; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Fukuda, Atsuo

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Effects of Cortical Microstimulation on Confidence in a Perceptual Decision

    PubMed Central

    Fetsch, Christopher R.; Kiani, Roozbeh; Newsome, William T.; Shadlen, Michael N.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Decisions are often associated with a degree of certainty, or confidence — an estimate of the probability that the chosen option will be correct. Recent neurophysiological results suggest that the central processing of evidence leading to a perceptual decision also establishes a level of confidence. Here we provide a causal test of this hypothesis by electrically stimulating areas of the visual cortex involved in motion perception. Monkeys discriminated the direction of motion in a noisy display, and were sometimes allowed to opt out of the direction choice if their confidence was low. Microstimulation did not reduce overall confidence in the decision but instead altered confidence in a manner that mimicked a change in visual motion, plus a small increase in sensory noise. The results suggest that the same sensory neural signals support choice, reaction time and confidence in a decision, and that artificial manipulation of these signals preserves the quantitative relationship between accumulated evidence and confidence. PMID:25123306

  11. Unreliable Evidence: 2 Sources of Uncertainty During Perceptual Choice

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Elizabeth; de Gardelle, Vincent; Nevado-Holgado, Alejo; Summerfield, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Perceptual constraints in phonotactic learning.

    PubMed

    Endress, Ansgar D; Mehler, Jacques

    2010-02-01

    Structural regularities in language have often been attributed to symbolic or statistical general purpose computations, whereas perceptual factors influencing such generalizations have received less interest. Here, we use phonotactic-like constraints as a case study to ask whether the structural properties of specific perceptual and memory mechanisms may facilitate the acquisition of grammatical-like regularities. Participants learned that the consonants C and C had to come from distinct sets in words of the form CVccVC (where the critical consonants were in word edges) but not in words of the form cVCCVc (where the critical consonants were in word middles). Control conditions ruled out attentional or psychophysical difficulties in word middles. Participants did, however, learn such regularities in word middles when natural consonant classes were used instead of arbitrary consonant sets. We conclude that positional generalizations may be learned preferentially using edge-based positional codes, but that participants can also use other mechanisms when other linguistic cues are given.

  13. Perceptual estimation obeys Occam's razor

    PubMed Central

    Gershman, Samuel J.; Niv, Yael

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical models of unsupervised category learning postulate that humans “invent” categories to accommodate new patterns, but tend to group stimuli into a small number of categories. This “Occam's razor” principle is motivated by normative rules of statistical inference. If categories influence perception, then one should find effects of category invention on simple perceptual estimation. In a series of experiments, we tested this prediction by asking participants to estimate the number of colored circles on a computer screen, with the number of circles drawn from a color-specific distribution. When the distributions associated with each color overlapped substantially, participants' estimates were biased toward values intermediate between the two means, indicating that subjects ignored the color of the circles and grouped different-colored stimuli into one perceptual category. These data suggest that humans favor simpler explanations of sensory inputs. In contrast, when the distributions associated with each color overlapped minimally, the bias was reduced (i.e., the estimates for each color were closer to the true means), indicating that sensory evidence for more complex explanations can override the simplicity bias. We present a rational analysis of our task, showing how these qualitative patterns can arise from Bayesian computations. PMID:24137136

  14. Building online brand perceptual map.

    PubMed

    Chiang, I-Ping; Lin, Chih-Ying; Wang, Kaisheng M

    2008-10-01

    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.

  15. Collapse models and perceptual processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlo Ghirardi, Gian; Romano, Raffaele

    2014-04-01

    Theories including a collapse mechanism have been presented various years ago. They are based on a modification of standard quantum mechanics in which nonlinear and stochastic terms are added to the evolution equation. Their principal merits derive from the fact that they are mathematically precise schemes accounting, on the basis of a unique universal dynamical principle, both for the quantum behavior of microscopic systems as well as for the reduction associated to measurement processes and for the classical behavior of macroscopic objects. Since such theories qualify themselves not as new interpretations but as modifications of the standard theory they can be, in principle, tested against quantum mechanics. Recently, various investigations identifying possible crucial test have been discussed. In spite of the extreme difficulty to perform such tests it seems that recent technological developments allow at least to put precise limits on the parameters characterizing the modifications of the evolution equation. Here we will simply mention some of the recent investigations in this direction, while we will mainly concentrate our attention to the way in which collapse theories account for definite perceptual process. The differences between the case of reductions induced by perceptions and those related to measurement procedures by means of standard macroscopic devices will be discussed. On this basis, we suggest a precise experimental test of collapse theories involving conscious observers. We make plausible, by discussing in detail a toy model, that the modified dynamics can give rise to quite small but systematic errors in the visual perceptual process.

  16. The perceptual balance of color

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Kyle C.; Webster, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    The cone contrasts carrying different dimensions of color vision vary greatly in magnitude, yet the perceived contrast of color and luminance in the world appears similar. We examined how this perceptual balance is adjusted by adaptation to the contrast in images. Observers set the level of L vs. M and S vs. LM contrast in 1/f noise images to match the perceived strength of a fixed level of luminance contrast. The perceptual balance of color in the images was roughly consistent with the range of contrasts characteristic of natural images. Relative perceived contrast could be strongly biased by brief prior exposure to images with lower or higher levels of chromatic contrast. Similar adaptation effects were found for luminance contrast in images of natural scenes. For both, observers reliably chose the contrast balance that appeared correct, and these choices were rapidly recalibrated by adaptation. This recalibration of the norm for contrast could reflect both changes in sensitivity and shifts in criterion. Our results are consistent with the possibility that color mechanisms adjust the range of their responses to match the range of signals in the environment, and that contrast adaptation plays an important role in these adjustments. PMID:22330367

  17. Dynamics of individual perceptual decisions

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Torin K.; Lu, Yue M.; Karmali, Faisal

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Neural substrates of perceptual integration during bistable object perception

    PubMed Central

    Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Martínez, Antigona; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  19. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reveals Intrinsic Perceptual and Attentional Rhythms

    PubMed Central

    Dugué, Laura; VanRullen, Rufin

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28396622

  20. Development of Auditory-Vocal Perceptual Skills in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C.; Bottjer, Sarah W.

    2012-01-01

    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

  1. Enhanced Perceptual Processing of Speech in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    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…

  2. Perceptual Differences between Hippies and College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brothers, Robert; Gaines, Rosslyn

    1973-01-01

    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)

  3. Field Dependence, Perceptual Instability, and Sex Differences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergum, Judith E.; Bergum, Bruce O.

    Recent studies have shown perceptual instability to be related to visual creativity as reflected in career choice. In general, those who display greater perceptual instability perceive themselves to be more creative and tend to choose careers related to visual creativity, regardless of their gender. To test the hypothesis that field independents…

  4. Perceptual Differences between Hippies and College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brothers, Robert; Gaines, Rosslyn

    1973-01-01

    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)

  5. Perceptual Differences in Attitudes on Quality Circles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holcomb, Lynn; Berger, Leonard

    1986-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine any perceptual differences toward quality circles in a chemical plant. It also tried to determine if any perceptual differences that might be found could be related to attitudes toward the circles themselves or the attitudes toward circle members. Length of service was also a factor. (CT)

  6. Enhanced Perceptual Processing of Speech in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    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…

  7. Perceptual Factors and Learning in Digital Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paek, Seungoh; Hoffman, Daniel L.; Black, John B.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine if student understanding of new material could be promoted by manipulating the perceptual factors experienced at the time of learning. It was hypothesized that the thematic relevance of perceptual factors would be a significant contributor to learner understanding. To test this hypothesis, one hundred…

  8. The Perceptual Basis of Vast Space.

    PubMed

    Klatzky, Roberta L; Thompson, William B; Stefanucci, Jeanine K; Gill, Devin; McGee, D Kevin

    2017-03-20

    "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.

  9. Schizotypal perceptual aberrations of time: correlation between score, behavior and brain activity.

    PubMed

    Arzy, Shahar; Mohr, Christine; Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Blanke, Olaf

    2011-01-18

    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.

  10. Schizotypal Perceptual Aberrations of Time: Correlation between Score, Behavior and Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Arzy, Shahar; Mohr, Christine; Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Blanke, Olaf

    2011-01-01

    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

  11. Perceptual Calibration for Immersive Display Environments

    PubMed Central

    Ponto, Kevin; Gleicher, Michael; Radwin, Robert G.; Shin, Hyun Joon

    2013-01-01

    The perception of objects, depth, and distance has been repeatedly shown to be divergent between virtual and physical environments. We hypothesize that many of these discrepancies stem from incorrect geometric viewing parameters, specifically that physical measurements of eye position are insufficiently precise to provide proper viewing parameters. In this paper, we introduce a perceptual calibration procedure derived from geometric models. While most research has used geometric models to predict perceptual errors, we instead use these models inversely to determine perceptually correct viewing parameters. We study the advantages of these new psychophysically determined viewing parameters compared to the commonly used measured viewing parameters in an experiment with 20 subjects. The perceptually calibrated viewing parameters for the subjects generally produced new virtual eye positions that were wider and deeper than standard practices would estimate. Our study shows that perceptually calibrated viewing parameters can significantly improve depth acuity, distance estimation, and the perception of shape. PMID:23428454

  12. Neuronal mechanisms of visual perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Kumano, Hironori; Uka, Takanori

    2013-07-15

    Numerous psychophysical studies have described perceptual learning as long-lasting improvements in perceptual discrimination and detection capabilities following practice. Where and how long-term plastic changes occur in the brain is central to understanding the neural basis of perceptual learning. Here, neurophysiological research using non-human primates is reviewed to address the neural mechanisms underlying visual perceptual learning. Previous studies have shown that training either has no effect on or only weakly alters the sensitivity of neurons in early visual areas, but more recent evidence indicates that training can cause long-term changes in how sensory signals are read out in the later stages of decision making. These results are discussed in the context of learning specificity, which has been crucial in interpreting the mechanisms underlying perceptual learning. The possible mechanisms that support learning-related plasticity are also discussed. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Enhanced perceptual processing of speech in autism.

    PubMed

    Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L; Ramus, Franck; Happé, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    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.

  14. Perceptual overshoot with speech and nonspeech sounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aravamudhan, Radhika; Hawks, John. W.

    2003-04-01

    One of the basic quests in speech perception research has been to find the differences or similarities in the mechanisms involved in the perception of speech and nonspeech sounds. The current study will address the differences in perception of speech and nonspeech signals by comparing the perceptual overshoot in synthetic vowels and sinewave acoustic replicas of the synthetic vowels. Lindblom and Studdert-Kennedy (1967) demonstrated that the perceptual boundary for steady state vowels and that for vowels in a CV context with F2 transition are different. They called this phenomenon a perceptual compensation or perceptual overshoot. In the current study the perceptual boundaries for synthetic steady state vowels, steady state sinewave acoustic replicas of vowels, a vowel in the CV context with F2 transition and sinewave acoustic replicas of vowels in the CV context are compared. The results will be discussed in the poster. For Speech Communication Best Student Paper Award.

  15. Intact Visual Discrimination of Complex and Feature-Ambiguous Stimuli in the Absence of Perirhinal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Squire, Larry R.; Levy, Daniel A.; Shrager, Yael

    2005-01-01

    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…

  16. Intact Visual Discrimination of Complex and Feature-Ambiguous Stimuli in the Absence of Perirhinal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Squire, Larry R.; Levy, Daniel A.; Shrager, Yael

    2005-01-01

    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…

  17. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Is Selectively Involved in Response Selection Using Visual Context in the Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Inah; Shin, Ji Yun

    2012-01-01

    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…

  18. The cerebellum and visual perceptual learning: evidence from a motion extrapolation task.

    PubMed

    Deluca, Cristina; Golzar, Ashkan; Santandrea, Elisa; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Eštočinová, Jana; Moretto, Giuseppe; Fiaschi, Antonio; Panzeri, Marta; Mariotti, Caterina; Tinazzi, Michele; Chelazzi, Leonardo

    2014-09-01

    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

  19. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of binocular interactions in visual cortex in strabismus.

    PubMed

    Chen, Vincent J; Tarczy-Hornoch, Kristina

    2011-01-01

    To observe changes in primary visual cortical activation associated with perceptual suppression in individuals with strabismus, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In Phase 1, pilot data were collected from 1 control and 8 strabismic participants, including 5 with amblyopia. In Phase 2, results were collected from 7 participants with strabismus (2 recalled and 5 new), including 2 with amblyopia. fMRI compared primary visual cortex activation in two conditions: visual stimuli presented to both eyes, to evoke perceptual suppression of one eye in individuals with strabismus, and visual stimulation presented only to one eye. Visual cortical activity modulations positively correlated with perceptual suppression were seen in 3 of 5 non-amblyopic Phase 2 study participants, but not in amblyopic subjects. Cortical activity modulations correlated with modulation of strabismic suppression are detectable in non-amblyopic individuals using fMRI, suggesting a neural basis for strabismic suppression in primary visual cortex. Copyright 2011, SLACK Incorporated.

  20. On the functional role of human parietal cortex in number processing: How gender mediates the impact of a 'virtual lesion' induced by rTMS.

    PubMed

    Knops, Andre; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Sparing, Roland; Foltys, Henrik; Willmes, Klaus

    2006-01-01

    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.

  1. Perceptual learning in maze discriminations.

    PubMed

    Trobalon, J B; Sansa, J; Chamizo, V D; Mackintosh, N J

    1991-11-01

    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-.

  2. Exogenous Attention Enables Perceptual Learning.

    PubMed

    Szpiro, Sarit F A; Carrasco, Marisa

    2015-12-01

    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.

  3. The perceptual logic of smell.

    PubMed

    Secundo, Lavi; Snitz, Kobi; Sobel, Noam

    2014-04-01

    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.

  4. Beyond the Peak – Tactile Temporal Discrimination Does Not Correlate with Individual Peak Frequencies in Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Baumgarten, Thomas J.; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    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

  5. Interdisciplinary Adventures in Perceptual Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Beyond perceptual expertise: revisiting the neural substrates of expert object recognition

    PubMed Central

    Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight; Baker, Chris I.

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Beyond perceptual expertise: revisiting the neural substrates of expert object recognition.

    PubMed

    Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight; Baker, Chris I

    2013-12-27

    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.

  8. The formation of linked perceptual classes.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Lanny; Matneja, Priya; Varelas, Antonios; Belanich, James; Fitzer, Adrienne; Shamoun, Kim

    2002-01-01

    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

  9. The brain’s specialized systems for aesthetic and perceptual judgment

    PubMed Central

    Ishizu, T.; Zeki, S.

    2013-01-01

    We recorded brain activity when 21 subjects judged the beauty (aesthetic or affective judgment) and brightness (perceptual or cognitive judgment) of simultaneously presented paintings. Aesthetic judgments engaged medial and lateral subdivisions of the orbitofrontal cortex as well as subcortical stations associated with affective motor planning (globus pallidus, putamen–claustrum, amygdala, and cerebellar vermis), whereas the motor, premotor and supplementary motor areas, as well as the anterior insula and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, were engaged by both kinds of judgment. The results lead us to conclude: (i) that there is a functional specialization for judgment, with aesthetic judgments engaging distinct systems, in addition to those that they share with perceptual judgments; (ii) that the systems engaged by affective judgments are those in which activity correlates with polar experiences (e.g. love–hate, beauty–ugliness, and attraction–repulsion); and (iii) that there is also a functional specialization in the motor pathways, with aesthetic judgments engaging motor systems not engaged by perceptual judgments, in addition to those engaged by both kinds of judgment. PMID:23373763

  10. Locally Adaptive Perceptual Compression for Color Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Kuo-Cheng; Chou, Chun-Hsien

    The main idea in perceptual image compression is to remove the perceptual redundancy for representing images at the lowest possible bit rate without introducing perceivable distortion. A certain amount of perceptual redundancy is inherent in the color image since human eyes are not perfect sensors for discriminating small differences in color signals. Effectively exploiting the perceptual redundancy will help to improve the coding efficiency of compressing color images. In this paper, a locally adaptive perceptual compression scheme for color images is proposed. The scheme is based on the design of an adaptive quantizer for compressing color images with the nearly lossless visual quality at a low bit rate. An effective way to achieve the nearly lossless visual quality is to shape the quantization error as a part of perceptual redundancy while compressing color images. This method is to control the adaptive quantization stage by the perceptual redundancy of the color image. In this paper, the perceptual redundancy in the form of the noise detection threshold associated with each coefficient in each subband of three color components of the color image is derived based on the finding of perceptually indistinguishable regions of color stimuli in the uniform color space and various masking effects of human visual perception. The quantizer step size for the target coefficient in each color component is adaptively adjusted by the associated noise detection threshold to make sure that the resulting quantization error is not perceivable. Simulation results show that the compression performance of the proposed scheme using the adaptively coefficient-wise quantization is better than that using the band-wise quantization. The nearly lossless visual quality of the reconstructed image can be achieved by the proposed scheme at lower entropy.

  11. Oculomotor Remapping of Visual Information to Foveal Retinotopic Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Knapen, Tomas; Swisher, Jascha D.; Tong, Frank; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Fine-grained temporal coding of visually-similar categories in the ventral visual pathway and prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yang; D'Lauro, Christopher; Pyles, John A.; Kass, Robert E.; Tarr, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Humans are remarkably proficient at categorizing visually-similar objects. To better understand the cortical basis of this categorization process, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to record neural activity while participants learned–with feedback–to discriminate two highly-similar, novel visual categories. We hypothesized that although prefrontal regions would mediate early category learning, this role would diminish with increasing category familiarity and that regions within the ventral visual pathway would come to play a more prominent role in encoding category-relevant information as learning progressed. Early in learning we observed some degree of categorical discriminability and predictability in both prefrontal cortex and the ventral visual pathway. Predictability improved significantly above chance in the ventral visual pathway over the course of learning with the left inferior temporal and fusiform gyri showing the greatest improvement in predictability between 150 and 250 ms (M200) during category learning. In contrast, there was no comparable increase in discriminability in prefrontal cortex with the only significant post-learning effect being a decrease in predictability in the inferior frontal gyrus between 250 and 350 ms (M300). Thus, the ventral visual pathway appears to encode learned visual categories over the long term. At the same time these results add to our understanding of the cortical origins of previously reported signature temporal components associated with perceptual learning. PMID:24146656

  13. Sparse feature fidelity for perceptual image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hua-Wen; Yang, Hua; Gan, Yong; Wang, Ming-Hui

    2013-10-01

    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.

  14. Common structural correlates of trait impulsiveness and perceptual reasoning in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Schilling, Christina; Kühn, Simone; Romanowski, Alexander; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barbot, Alexis; Barker, Gareth J; Brühl, Rüdiger; Büchel, Christian; Charlet, Katrin; Conrod, Patricia J; Czech, Katharina; Dalley, Jeff W; Flor, Herta; Häke, Ines; Ittermann, Bernd; Ivanov, Nikolay; Mann, Karl; Lüdemann, Katharina; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Palafox, Carla; Paus, Tomas; Poline, Jean-Baptiste; Reuter, Jan; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W; Smolka, Michael N; Ströhle, Andreas; Walaszek, Bernadeta; Kathmann, Norbert; Schumann, Gunter; Heinz, Andreas; Garavan, Hugh; Gallinat, Jürgen

    2013-02-01

    Trait impulsiveness is a potential factor that predicts both substance use and certain psychiatric disorders. This study investigates whether there are common structural cerebral correlates of trait impulsiveness and cognitive functioning in a large sample of healthy adolescents from the IMAGEN project. Clusters of gray matter (GM) volume associated with trait impulsiveness, Cloningers' revised temperament, and character inventory impulsiveness (TCI-R-I) were identified in a whole brain analysis using optimized voxel-based morphometry in 115 healthy 14-year-olds. The clusters were tested for correlations with performance on the nonverbal tests (Block Design, BD; Matrix Reasoning, MT) of the Wechsler Scale of Intelligence for Children IV reflecting perceptual reasoning. Cloningers' impulsiveness (TCI-R-I) score was significantly inversely associated with GM volume in left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Frontal clusters found were positively correlated with performance in perceptual reasoning tasks (Bonferroni corrected). No significant correlations between TCI-R-I and perceptual reasoning were observed. The neural correlate of trait impulsiveness in the OFC matches an area where brain function has previously been related to inhibitory control. Additionally, orbitofrontal GM volume was associated with scores for perceptual reasoning. The data show for the first time structural correlates of both cognitive functioning and impulsiveness in healthy adolescent subjects. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2016-01-01

    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 nine 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. PMID:27422224

  16. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S

    2016-09-01

    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.

  17. Lateral posterior parietal activity during reality monitoring discriminations of memories of high and low perceptual vividness.

    PubMed

    King, Danielle R; Schubert, Misty L; Miller, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Allegri, R F; Harris, P

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

  19. Perceptual Training Strongly Improves Visual Motion Perception in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue

    2011-01-01

    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…

  20. Perceptual Training Strongly Improves Visual Motion Perception in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue

    2011-01-01

    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…

  1. The Perceptual Cues that Reshape Expert Reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Harré, Michael; Bossomaier, Terry; Snyder, Allan

    2012-01-01

    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

  2. Studying real-world perceptual expertise

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Jianhong; Mack, Michael L.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Neurally Constrained Modeling of Perceptual Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    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

  4. Activities for a Perceptual Motor Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  5. Prior expectations facilitate metacognition for perceptual decision.

    PubMed

    Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R

    2015-09-01

    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.

  6. Studying real-world perceptual expertise.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jianhong; Mack, Michael L; Palmeri, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Perceptual Incongruence Influences Bistability and Cortical Activation

    PubMed Central

    Brouwer, Gijs Joost; Tong, Frank; Hagoort, Peter; van Ee, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    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

  8. Does Perceptual Learning Suffer from Retrograde Interference?

    PubMed Central

    Aberg, Kristoffer C.; Herzog, Michael H.

    2010-01-01

    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 [1]. 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

  9. Can Attention be Divided Between Perceptual Groups?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    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.

  10. Can Attention be Divided Between Perceptual Groups?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    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.

  11. Exogenous and endogenous attention during perceptual learning differentially affect post-training target thresholds

    PubMed Central

    Mukai, Ikuko; Bahadur, Kandy; Kesavabhotla, Kartik; Ungerleider, Leslie G.

    2012-01-01

    There is conflicting evidence in the literature regarding the role played by attention in perceptual learning. To further examine this issue, we independently manipulated exogenous and endogenous attention and measured the rate of perceptual learning of oriented Gabor patches presented in different quadrants of the visual field. In this way, we could track learning at attended, divided-attended, and unattended locations. We also measured contrast thresholds of the Gabor patches before and after training. Our results showed that, for both exogenous and endogenous attention, accuracy in performing the orientation discrimination improved to a greater extent at attended than at unattended locations. Importantly, however, only exogenous attention resulted in improved contrast thresholds. These findings suggest that both exogenous and endogenous attention facilitate perceptual learning, but that these two types of attention may be mediated by different neural mechanisms. PMID:21282340

  12. Viewing artworks: contributions of cognitive control and perceptual facilitation to aesthetic experience.

    PubMed

    Cupchik, Gerald C; Vartanian, Oshin; Crawley, Adrian; Mikulis, David J

    2009-06-01

    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.

  13. Perceptual load influences selective attention across development.

    PubMed

    Couperus, Jane W

    2011-09-01

    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.

  14. Information Foraging for Perceptual Decisions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. Stereotype threat prevents perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Rydell, Robert J; Shiffrin, Richard M; Boucher, Kathryn L; Van Loo, Katie; Rydell, Michael T

    2010-08-10

    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.

  16. Multiple Transient Signals in Human Visual Cortex Associated with an Elementary Decision

    PubMed Central

    Nolte, Guido

    2017-01-01

    The cerebral cortex continuously undergoes changes in its state, which are manifested in transient modulations of the cortical power spectrum. Cortical state changes also occur at full wakefulness and during rapid cognitive acts, such as perceptual decisions. Previous studies found a global modulation of beta-band (12–30 Hz) activity in human and monkey visual cortex during an elementary visual decision: reporting the appearance or disappearance of salient visual targets surrounded by a distractor. The previous studies disentangled neither the motor action associated with behavioral report nor other secondary processes, such as arousal, from perceptual decision processing per se. Here, we used magnetoencephalography in humans to pinpoint the factors underlying the beta-band modulation. We found that disappearances of a salient target were associated with beta-band suppression, and target reappearances with beta-band enhancement. This was true for both overt behavioral reports (immediate button presses) and silent counting of the perceptual events. This finding indicates that the beta-band modulation was unrelated to the execution of the motor act associated with a behavioral report of the perceptual decision. Further, changes in pupil-linked arousal, fixational eye movements, or gamma-band responses were not necessary for the beta-band modulation. Together, our results suggest that the beta-band modulation was a top-down signal associated with the process of converting graded perceptual signals into a categorical format underlying flexible behavior. This signal may have been fed back from brain regions involved in decision processing to visual cortex, thus enforcing a “decision-consistent” cortical state. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Elementary visual decisions are associated with a rapid state change in visual cortex, indexed by a modulation of neural activity in the beta-frequency range. Such decisions are also followed by other events that might affect the state

  17. NEURAL CHANGES WITH TACTILE LEARNING REFLECT DECISION-LEVEL REWEIGHTING OF PERCEPTUAL READOUT

    PubMed Central

    Sathian, K.; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. Neural changes with tactile learning reflect decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout.