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Sample records for cortex mediates perceptual

  1. 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.

  2. Perceptual Gap Detection is Mediated by Gap Termination Responses in Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Weible, Aldis P.; Moore, Alexandra K.; Liu, Christine; deBlander, Leah; Wu, Haiyan; Kentros, Clifford; Wehr, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background Understanding speech in the presence of background noise often becomes increasingly difficult with age. These age-related speech processing deficits reflect impairments in temporal acuity. Gap detection is a model for temporal acuity in speech processing, in which a gap inserted in white noise acts as a cue that attenuates subsequent startle responses. Lesion studies have shown that auditory cortex is necessary for the detection of brief gaps, and auditory cortical neurons respond to the end of the gap with a characteristic burst of spikes called the gap termination response (GTR). However, it remains unknown whether or how the GTR plays a causal role in gap detection. We tested this by optogenetically suppressing the activity of somatostatin- or parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons, or CaMKII-expressing excitatory neurons, in auditory cortex of behaving mice during specific epochs of a gap detection protocol. Results Suppressing interneuron activity during the post-gap interval enhanced gap detection. Suppressing excitatory cells during this interval attenuated gap detection. Suppressing activity preceding the gap had the opposite behavioral effects, whereas prolonged suppression across both intervals had no effect on gap detection. Conclusions In addition to confirming cortical involvement, here we demonstrate for the first time a causal relationship between post-gap neural activity and perceptual gap detection. Furthermore, our results suggest that gap detection involves an ongoing comparison of pre- and post-gap spiking activity. Finally, we propose a simple, yet biologically plausible neural circuit that reproduces each of these neural and behavioral results. PMID:24980499

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Perceptual demand and distraction interactions mediated by task-control networks.

    PubMed

    Pillay, Siveshigan; Durgerian, Sally; Sabri, Merav

    2016-09-01

    Modulation of selective attention appears to be under the guidance of a cluster of distinct task-control networks, the frontroparietal (FPN) and cingulo-opercular (CON). Yet, their role in mediating the relationship between task perceptual load and presence/absence of distraction in the auditory modality is unclear. Here, we examined this interaction using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and an auditory signal detection task. The auditory stimulus signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was parametrically manipulated, by varying the amplitude of the Tone while holding the Noise constant, to create four perceptual load conditions presented in combination with or without acoustic distraction. Regions of the FPN (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule) and CON (e.g., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/medial superior frontal cortex, anterior prefrontal cortex, anterior insula/frontal operculum) were modulated by perceptual load and distraction, such that lower loads induced a pattern of increased activity when there was no distraction. On the other hand, a trend of augmented activity was found in higher loads during distraction. These findings suggest a role for the FPN and CON in mediating the allocation of attentional resources to competing auditory information under varying degrees of perceptual demand.

  8. Causal contribution of primate auditory cortex to auditory perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Tsunada, Joji; Liu, Andrew S.K.; Gold, Joshua I.; Cohen, Yale E.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory perceptual decisions are thought to be mediated by the ventral auditory pathway. However, the specific and causal contributions of different brain regions in this pathway, including the middle-lateral (ML) and anterolateral (AL) belt regions of the auditory cortex, to auditory decisions have not been fully identified. To identify these contributions, we recorded from and microstimulated ML and AL sites while monkeys decided whether an auditory stimulus contained more low-frequency or high-frequency tone bursts. Both ML and AL neural activity was modulated by the frequency content of the stimulus. However, only the responses of the most stimulus-sensitive AL neurons were systematically modulated by the monkeys’ choices. Consistent with this observation, microstimulation of AL—but not ML—systematically biased the monkeys’ behavior toward the choice associated with the preferred frequency of the stimulated site. Together, these findings suggest that AL directly and causally contributes sensory evidence used to form this auditory decision. PMID:26656644

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. The Role of the Primary Visual Cortex in Perceptual Suppression of Salient Visual Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Keliris, Georgios A.; Logothetis, Nikos K.; Tolias, Andreas S.

    2010-01-01

    The role of primary visual cortex (area V1) in subjective perception has intrigued students of vision for decades. Specifically, the extent to which the activity of different types of cells (monocular versus binocular) and electrophysiological signals (i.e. local field potentials versus spiking activity) reflect perception is still debated. To address these questions we recorded from area V1 of the macaque using tetrodes during the paradigm of binocular flash suppression, where incongruent images presented dichoptically compete for perceptual dominance. We found that the activity of a minority (20%) of neurons reflect the perceived visual stimulus and these cells exhibited perceptual modulations substantially weaker in comparison to their sensory modulation induced by congruent stimuli. Importantly, perceptual modulations were found equally often for monocular and binocular cells, demonstrating that perceptual competition in V1 involves mechanisms across both types of neurons. The power of the local field potential (LFP) also showed moderate perceptual modulations with similar percentages of sites showing significant effects across frequency bands (18–22%). The possibility remains that perception may be strongly reflected in more elaborate aspects of activity in V1 circuits (e.g. specific neuronal subtypes) or perceptual states might have a modulatory role on more intricate aspects of V1 firing patterns (e.g. synchronization), not necessarily altering the firing rates of single cells or the LFP power dramatically. PMID:20844131

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-15

    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

  14. 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

  15. Texture segregation by visual cortex: perceptual grouping, attention, and learning.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Rushi; Carpenter, Gail A; Grossberg, Stephen

    2007-11-01

    A neural model called dARTEX is proposed of how laminar interactions in the visual cortex may learn and recognize object texture and form boundaries. The model unifies five interacting processes: region-based texture classification, contour-based boundary grouping, surface filling-in, spatial attention, and object attention. The model shows how form boundaries can determine regions in which surface filling-in occurs; how surface filling-in interacts with spatial attention to generate a form-fitting distribution of spatial attention, or attentional shroud; how the strongest shroud can inhibit weaker shrouds; and how the winning shroud regulates learning of texture categories, and thus the allocation of object attention. The model can discriminate abutted textures with blurred boundaries and is sensitive to texture boundary attributes like discontinuities in orientation and texture flow curvature as well as to relative orientations of texture elements. The model quantitatively fits the Ben-Shahar and Zucker [Ben-Shahar, O. & Zucker, S. (2004). Sensitivity to curvatures in orientation-based texture segmentation. Vision Research, 44, 257-277] human psychophysical data on orientation-based textures. Surface-based attentional shrouds improve texture learning and classification: Brodatz texture classification rate varies from 95.1% to 98.6% with correct attention, and from 74.1% to 75.5% without attention. Object boundary output of the model in response to photographic images is compared to computer vision algorithms and human segmentations.

  16. [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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Spatiotopic perceptual learning mediated by retinotopic processing and attentional remapping.

    PubMed

    Zhang, En; Zhang, Gong-Liang; Li, Wu

    2013-12-01

    Visual processing takes place in both retinotopic and spatiotopic frames of reference. Whereas visual perceptual learning is usually specific to the trained retinotopic location, our recent study has shown spatiotopic specificity of learning in motion direction discrimination. To explore the mechanisms underlying spatiotopic processing and learning, and to examine whether similar mechanisms also exist in visual form processing, we trained human subjects to discriminate an orientation difference between two successively displayed stimuli, with a gaze shift in between to manipulate their positional relation in the spatiotopic frame of reference without changing their retinal locations. Training resulted in better orientation discriminability for the trained than for the untrained spatial relation of the two stimuli. This learning-induced spatiotopic preference was seen only at the trained retinal location and orientation, suggesting experience-dependent spatiotopic form processing directly based on a retinotopic map. Moreover, a similar but weaker learning-induced spatiotopic preference was still present even if the first stimulus was rendered irrelevant to the orientation discrimination task by having the subjects judge the orientation of the second stimulus relative to its mean orientation in a block of trials. However, if the first stimulus was absent, and thus no attention was captured before the gaze shift, the learning produced no significant spatiotopic preference, suggesting an important role of attentional remapping in spatiotopic processing and learning. Taken together, our results suggest that spatiotopic visual representation can be mediated by interactions between retinotopic processing and attentional remapping, and can be modified by perceptual training.

  20. Parietal cortex mediates conscious perception of illusory gestalt.

    PubMed

    Zaretskaya, Natalia; Anstis, Stuart; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23303932

  1. Parietal cortex mediates conscious perception of illusory gestalt.

    PubMed

    Zaretskaya, Natalia; Anstis, Stuart; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:26151605

  5. 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). PMID:27595132

  6. 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).

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Perceptual load modulates anterior cingulate cortex response to threat distractors in generalized social anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Michael G; Fitzgerald, Daniel A; Phan, K Luan; Klumpp, Heide

    2014-09-01

    Generalized social anxiety disorder (gSAD) is associated with impoverished anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) engagement during attentional control. Attentional Control Theory proposes such deficiencies may be offset when demands on resources are increased to execute goals. To test the hypothesis attentional demands affect ACC response 23 patients with gSAD and 24 matched controls performed an fMRI task involving a target letter in a string of identical targets (low load) or a target letter in a mixed letter string (high load) superimposed on fearful, angry, and neutral face distractors. Regardless of load condition, groups were similar in accuracy and reaction time. Under low load gSAD patients showed deficient rostral ACC recruitment to fearful (vs. neutral) distractors. For high load, increased activation to fearful (vs. neutral) distractors was observed in gSAD suggesting a compensatory function. Results remained after controlling for group differences in depression level. Findings indicate perceptual demand modulates ACC in gSAD. PMID:24978315

  11. 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.

  12. Neural Correlates of Auditory Perceptual Awareness and Release from Informational Masking Recorded Directly from Human Cortex: A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Dykstra, Andrew R.; Halgren, Eric; Gutschalk, Alexander; Eskandar, Emad N.; Cash, Sydney S.

    2016-01-01

    In complex acoustic environments, even salient supra-threshold sounds sometimes go unperceived, a phenomenon known as informational masking. The neural basis of informational masking (and its release) has not been well-characterized, particularly outside auditory cortex. We combined electrocorticography in a neurosurgical patient undergoing invasive epilepsy monitoring with trial-by-trial perceptual reports of isochronous target-tone streams embedded in random multi-tone maskers. Awareness of such masker-embedded target streams was associated with a focal negativity between 100 and 200 ms and high-gamma activity (HGA) between 50 and 250 ms (both in auditory cortex on the posterolateral superior temporal gyrus) as well as a broad P3b-like potential (between ~300 and 600 ms) with generators in ventrolateral frontal and lateral temporal cortex. Unperceived target tones elicited drastically reduced versions of such responses, if at all. While it remains unclear whether these responses reflect conscious perception, itself, as opposed to pre- or post-perceptual processing, the results suggest that conscious perception of target sounds in complex listening environments may engage diverse neural mechanisms in distributed brain areas. PMID:27812318

  13. The perceptual grouping criterion of colinearity is reflected by anisotropies of connections in the primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, K E; Goebel, R; Löwel, S; Singer, W

    1997-05-01

    An important step in the processing of visual patterns is the segmentation of the retinal image. Neuronal responses evoked by the contours of individual objects need to be identified and associated for further joint processing. These grouping operations are based on a number of Gestalt criteria. Here we report that connections in the visual cortex of the cat exhibit a highly significant anisotropy, preferentially linking neurons activated by contours that have similar orientation and are aligned colinearly. These anatomical data suggest a close relation between the perceptual grouping criterion of colinearity and the topology of tangential intracortical connections. We propose that tangential intracortical connections support perceptual grouping by modulating the saliency of distributed cortical responses in a context-dependent way. The present data are compatible with the hypothesis that the criteria for this grouping operation are determined by the architecture of the tangential connections.

  14. 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

  15. Frontal cortex mediates unconsciously triggered inhibitory control.

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

    To further our understanding of the function of conscious experience we need to know which cognitive processes require awareness and which do not. Here, we show that an unconscious stimulus can trigger inhibitory control processes, commonly ascribed to conscious control mechanisms. We combined the metacontrast masking paradigm and the Go/No-Go paradigm to study whether unconscious No-Go signals can actively trigger high-level inhibitory control processes, strongly associated with the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Behaviorally, unconscious No-Go signals sometimes triggered response inhibition to the level of complete response termination and yielded a slow down in the speed of responses that were not inhibited. Electroencephalographic recordings showed that unconscious No-Go signals elicit two neural events: (1) an early occipital event and (2) a frontocentral event somewhat later in time. The first neural event represents the visual encoding of the unconscious No-Go stimulus, and is also present in a control experiment where the masked stimulus has no behavioral relevance. The second event is unique to the Go/No-Go experiment, and shows the subsequent implementation of inhibitory control in the PFC. The size of the frontal activity pattern correlated highly with the impact of unconscious No-Go signals on subsequent behavior. We conclude that unconscious stimuli can influence whether a task will be performed or interrupted, and thus exert a form of cognitive control. These findings challenge traditional views concerning the proposed relationship between awareness and cognitive control and stretch the alleged limits and depth of unconscious information processing. PMID:18685030

  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. Perceptual context-dependent remodeling of the forepaw map in the SI cortex of rats trained on tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Xerri, Christian; Bourgeon, Stéphanie; Coq, Jacques-Olivier

    2005-07-30

    We combined behavioral assessment of texture discrimination and electrophysiological mapping of concomitant reorganization in the forepaw representation within the SI cortex. Rats were housed in enriched (EE) or impoverished (IE) environments which have been shown to remodel the forepaw map and possibly alter discriminative abilities. In addition, animals were trained to discriminate homogeneous floorboards of invariant roughness from heterogeneous floorboards of gradually decreasing roughness contrasts during locomotion. As reported recently, differences in perceptual abilities were not related to housing conditions, but to a predilection for a floorboard type [Bourgeon S, Xerri C, Coq JO. Abilities in tactile discrimination of textures in adult rats exposed to enriched or impoverished environments. Behav Brain Res 2004;153:217-231]. Consistently, the present study shows that cortical map remodeling resulting from short-duration daily experience can prevail over changes induced by housing conditions. The relative area of glabrous skin representation was related to the discrimination performance and learning abilities in the rats (H) with a predilection for heterogeneous floorboards, i.e. in the animals performing discrimination in the most challenging perceptual context. By contrast, this cortical area was influenced by the duration of sensory experience in rats (h) with a predilection for homogeneous floorboards. Both EE condition and training to discrimination selectively decreased the sizes of the SI neurons' receptive fields (RFs) located on glabrous skin. Smaller RFs and larger cortical areas serving glabrous skin were correlated with better perceptual performances and learning abilities in the H rats only. The present study shows that representational reorganization related to tactile discrimination performances depends upon the perceptual context. PMID:15923046

  18. Confuse your illusion: feedback to early visual cortex contributes to perceptual completion.

    PubMed

    Wokke, Martijn E; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-01-01

    A striking example of the constructive nature of visual perception is how the human visual system completes contours of occluded objects. To date, it is unclear whether perceptual completion emerges during early stages of visual processing or whether higher-level mechanisms are necessary. To answer this question, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to disrupt signaling in V1/V2 and in the lateral occipital (LO) area at different moments in time while participants performed a discrimination task involving a Kanizsa-type illusory figure. Results show that both V1/V2 and higher-level visual area LO are critically involved in perceptual completion. However, these areas seem to be involved in an inverse hierarchical fashion, in which the critical time window for V1/V2 follows that for LO. These results are in line with the growing evidence that feedback to V1/V2 contributes to perceptual completion. PMID:23228938

  19. Population response to natural images in the primary visual cortex encodes local stimulus attributes and perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Ayzenshtat, Inbal; Gilad, Ariel; Zurawel, Guy; Slovin, Hamutal

    2012-10-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is extensively studied with a large repertoire of stimuli, yet little is known about its encoding of natural images. Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging in behaving monkeys, we measured neural population response evoked in V1 by natural images presented during a face/scramble discrimination task. The population response showed two distinct phases of activity: an early phase that was spread over most of the imaged area, and a late phase that was spatially confined. To study the detailed relation between the stimulus and the population response, we used a simple encoding model to compute a continuous map of the expected neural response based on local attributes of the stimulus (luminance and contrast), followed by an analytical retinotopic transformation. Then, we computed the spatial correlation between the maps of the expected and observed response. We found that the early response was highly correlated with the local luminance of the stimulus and was sufficient to effectively discriminate between stimuli at the single trial level. The late response, on the other hand, showed a much lower correlation to the local luminance, was confined to central parts of the face images, and was highly correlated with the animal's perceptual report. Our study reveals a continuous spatial encoding of low- and high-level features of natural images in V1. The low level is directly linked to the stimulus basic local attributes and the high level is correlated with the perceptual outcome of the stimulus processing.

  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. Pairing Cholinergic Enhancement with Perceptual Training Promotes Recovery of Age-Related Changes in Rat Primary Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Patrice; Thomas, Maryse; Chou, You Chien; Cisneros-Franco, José Miguel; Ouellet, Lydia; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2016-01-01

    We used the rat primary auditory cortex (A1) as a model to probe the effects of cholinergic enhancement on perceptual learning and auditory processing mechanisms in both young and old animals. Rats learned to perform a two-tone frequency discrimination task over the course of two weeks, combined with either the administration of a cholinesterase inhibitor or saline. We found that while both age groups learned the task more quickly through cholinergic enhancement, the young did so by improving target detection, whereas the old did so by inhibiting erroneous responses to nontarget stimuli. We also found that cholinergic enhancement led to marked functional and structural changes within A1 in both young and old rats. Importantly, we found that several functional changes observed in the old rats, particularly those relating to the processing and inhibition of nontargets, produced cortical processing features that resembled those of young untrained rats more so than those of older adult rats. Overall, these findings demonstrate that combining auditory training with neuromodulation of the cholinergic system can restore many of the auditory cortical functional deficits observed as a result of normal aging and add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that many age-related perceptual and neuroplastic changes are reversible. PMID:27057359

  2. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-20

    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.

  5. Contrast-sensitive perceptual grouping and object-based attention in the laminar circuits of primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, S; Raizada, R D

    2000-01-01

    Recent neurophysiological studies have shown that primary visual cortex, or V1, does more than passively process image features using the feedforward filters suggested by Hubel and Wiesel. It also uses horizontal interactions to group features preattentively into object representations, and feedback interactions to selectively attend to these groupings. All neocortical areas, including V1, are organized into layered circuits. We present a neural model showing how the layered circuits in areas V1 and V2 enable feedforward, horizontal, and feedback interactions to complete perceptual groupings over positions that do not receive contrastive visual inputs, even while attention can only modulate or prime positions that do not receive such inputs. Recent neurophysiological data about how grouping and attention occur and interact in V1 are simulated and explained, and testable predictions are made. These simulations show how attention can selectively propagate along an object grouping and protect it from competitive masking, and how contextual stimuli can enhance or suppress groupings in a contrast-sensitive manner. PMID:10788649

  6. Contrast-sensitive perceptual grouping and object-based attention in the laminar circuits of primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, S; Raizada, R D

    2000-01-01

    Recent neurophysiological studies have shown that primary visual cortex, or V1, does more than passively process image features using the feedforward filters suggested by Hubel and Wiesel. It also uses horizontal interactions to group features preattentively into object representations, and feedback interactions to selectively attend to these groupings. All neocortical areas, including V1, are organized into layered circuits. We present a neural model showing how the layered circuits in areas V1 and V2 enable feedforward, horizontal, and feedback interactions to complete perceptual groupings over positions that do not receive contrastive visual inputs, even while attention can only modulate or prime positions that do not receive such inputs. Recent neurophysiological data about how grouping and attention occur and interact in V1 are simulated and explained, and testable predictions are made. These simulations show how attention can selectively propagate along an object grouping and protect it from competitive masking, and how contextual stimuli can enhance or suppress groupings in a contrast-sensitive manner.

  7. Prefrontal cortex mediation of cognitive enhancement in rewarding motivational contexts.

    PubMed

    Jimura, Koji; Locke, Hannah S; Braver, Todd S

    2010-05-11

    Increasing the reward value of behavioral goals can facilitate cognitive processes required for goal achievement. This facilitation may be accomplished by the dynamic and flexible engagement of cognitive control mechanisms operating in distributed brain regions. It is still not clear, however, what are the characteristics of individuals, situations, and neural activation dynamics that optimize motivation-linked cognitive enhancement. Here we show that highly reward-sensitive individuals exhibited greater improvement of working memory performance in rewarding contexts, but exclusively on trials that were not rewarded. This effect was mediated by a shift in the temporal dynamics of activation within right lateral prefrontal cortex, from a transient to predominantly tonic mode, with an additional anticipatory transient boost. In contexts with intermittent rewards, a strategy of proactive cognitive control may enable globally optimal performance to facilitate reward attainment. Reward-sensitive individuals appear preferentially motivated to adopt this resource-demanding strategy, resulting in paradoxical benefits selectively for nonrewarded events.

  8. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26529314

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Visual attention mediated by biased competition in extrastriate visual cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Desimone, R

    1998-01-01

    According to conventional neurobiological accounts of visual attention, attention serves to enhance extrastriate neuronal responses to a stimulus at one spatial location in the visual field. However, recent results from recordings in extrastriate cortex of monkeys suggest that any enhancing effect of attention is best understood in the context of competitive interactions among neurons representing all of the stimuli present in the visual field. These interactions can be biased in favour of behaviourally relevant stimuli as a result of many different processes, both spatial and non-spatial, and both bottom-up and top-down. The resolution of this competition results in the suppression of the neuronal representations of behaviourally irrelevant stimuli in extrastriate cortex. A main source of top-down influence may derive from neuronal systems underlying working memory. PMID:9770219

  13. Human posterior parietal cortex mediates hand-specific planning

    PubMed Central

    Valyear, Kenneth F.; Frey, Scott H.

    2015-01-01

    The processes underlying action planning are fundamental to adaptive behavior and can be influenced by recent motor experience. Here, we used a novel fMRI Repetition Suppression (RS) design to test the hypotheses that action planning unfolds more efficiently for successive actions made with the same hand. More efficient processing was predicted to correspond with both faster response times (RTs) to initiate actions and reduced fMRI activity levels – RS. Consistent with these predictions, we detected faster RTs for actions made with the same hand and accompanying fMRI-RS within bilateral posterior parietal cortex and right-lateralized parietal operculum. Within posterior parietal cortex, these RS effects were localized to intraparietal and superior parietal cortices. These same areas were more strongly activated for actions involving the contralateral hand. The findings provide compelling new evidence for the specification of action plans in hand-specific terms, and indicate that these processes are sensitive to recent motor history. Consistent with computational efficiency accounts of motor history effects, the findings are interpreted as evidence for comparatively more efficient processing underlying action planning when successive actions involve the same versus opposite hand. PMID:25842294

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26098124

  16. Volitional Mechanisms Mediate the Cuing Effect of Pitch on Attention Orienting: The Influences of Perceptual Difficulty and Response Pressure.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Rocco; Rich, Anina N

    2015-02-01

    Our cognitive system tends to link auditory pitch with spatial location in a specific manner (ie high-pitched sounds are usually associated with an upper location, and low sounds are associated with a lower location). Recent studies have demonstrated that this cross-modality association biases the allocation of visual attention and affects performance despite the auditory stimuli being irrelevant to the behavioural task. There is, however, a discrepancy between studies in their interpretation of the underlying mechanisms. Whereas we have previously claimed that the pitch-location mapping is mediated by volitional shifts of attention (Chiou & Rich, 2012, Perception, 41: , 339-353), other researchers suggest that this cross-modal effect reflects automatic shifts of attention (Mossbridge, Grabowecky, & Suzuki, 2011, Cognition, 121: , 133-139). Here we report a series of three experiments examining the effects of perceptual and response-related pressure on the ability of nonpredictive pitch to bias visual attention. We compare it with two control cues: a predictive pitch that triggers voluntary attention shifts and a salient peripheral flash that evokes involuntary shifts. The results show that the effect of nonpredictive pitch is abolished by pressure at either perceptual or response levels. By contrast, the effects of the two control cues remain significant, demonstrating the robustness of informative and perceptually salient stimuli in directing attention. This distinction suggests that, in contexts of high perceptual demand and response pressure, cognitive resources are primarily engaged by the task-relevant stimuli, which effectively prevents uninformative pitch from orienting attention to its cross-modally associated location. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the link between pitch and location affects attentional deployment via volitional rather than automatic mechanisms. PMID:26561970

  17. Divergent responses of inflammatory mediators within the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex to acute psychological stress.

    PubMed

    Vecchiarelli, Haley A; Gandhi, Chaitanya P; Gray, J Megan; Morena, Maria; Hassan, Kowther I; Hill, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    There is now a growing body of literature that indicates that stress can initiate inflammatory processes, both in the periphery and brain; however, the spatiotemporal nature of this response is not well characterized. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an acute psychological stress on changes in mRNA and protein levels of a wide range of inflammatory mediators across a broad temporal range, in key corticolimbic brain regions involved in the regulation of the stress response (amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, medial prefrontal cortex). mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators were analyzed immediately following 30min or 120min of acute restraint stress and protein levels were examined 0h through 24h post-termination of 120min of acute restraint stress using both multiplex and ELISA methods. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that exposure to acute psychological stress results in an increase in the protein level of several inflammatory mediators in the amygdala while concomitantly producing a decrease in the protein level of multiple inflammatory mediators within the medial prefrontal cortex. This pattern of changes seemed largely restricted to the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex, with stress producing few changes in the mRNA or protein levels of inflammatory mediators within the hippocampus or hypothalamus. Consistent with previous research, stress resulted in a general elevation in multiple inflammatory mediators within the circulation. These data indicate that neuroinflammatory responses to stress do not appear to be generalized across brain structures and exhibit a high degree of spatiotemporal specificity. Given the impact of inflammatory signaling on neural excitability and emotional behavior, these data may provide a platform with which to explore the importance of inflammatory signaling within the prefrontocortical-amygdala circuit in the regulation of the neurobehavioral responses to stress.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26961946

  3. 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

  4. The association between aerobic fitness and executive function is mediated by prefrontal cortex volume.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Andrea M; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Szabo, Amanda; White, Siobhan M; Wojcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; Erickson, Kirk I

    2012-07-01

    Aging is marked by a decline in cognitive function, which is often preceded by losses in gray matter volume. Fortunately, higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels are associated with an attenuation of age-related losses in gray matter volume and a reduced risk for cognitive impairment. Despite these links, we have only a rudimentary understanding of whether fitness-related increases in gray matter volume lead to elevated cognitive function. In this cross-sectional study, we examined whether the association between higher aerobic fitness levels and elevated executive function was mediated by greater gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). One hundred and forty-two older adults (mean age=66.6 years) completed structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, CRF assessments, and performed Stroop and spatial working memory (SPWM) tasks. Gray matter volume was assessed using an optimized voxel-based morphometry approach. Consistent with our predictions, higher fitness levels were associated with: (a) better performance on both the Stroop and SPWM tasks, and (b) greater gray matter volume in several regions, including the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC). Volume of the right inferior frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus mediated the relationship between CRF and Stroop interference while a non-overlapping set of regions bilaterally in the DLPFC mediated the association between CRF and SPWM accuracy. These results suggest that specific regions of the DLPFC differentially relate to inhibition and spatial working memory. Thus, fitness may influence cognitive function by reducing brain atrophy in targeted areas in healthy older adults.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-20

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Glutamate-Mediated Primary Somatosensory Cortex Excitability Correlated with Circulating Copper and Ceruloplasmin

    PubMed Central

    Tecchio, Franca; Assenza, Giovanni; Zappasodi, Filippo; Mariani, Stefania; Salustri, Carlo; Squitti, Rosanna

    2011-01-01

    Objective. To verify whether markers of metal homeostasis are related to a magnetoencephalographic index representative of glutamate-mediated excitability of the primary somatosensory cortex. The index is identified as the source strength of the earliest component (M20) of the somatosensory magnetic fields (SEFs) evoked by right median nerve stimulation at wrist. Method. Thirty healthy right-handed subjects (51 ± 22 years) were enrolled in the study. A source reconstruction algorithm was applied to assess the amount of synchronously activated neurons subtending the M20 and the following SEF component (M30), which is generated by two independent contributions of gabaergic and glutamatergic transmission. Serum copper, ceruloplasmin, iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation, and zinc levels were measured. Results. Total copper and ceruloplasmin negatively correlated with the M20 source strength. Conclusion. This pilot study suggests that higher level of body copper reserve, as marked by ceruloplasmin variations, parallels lower cortical glutamatergic responsiveness. PMID:22145081

  9. 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…

  10. Perceptual Inference: A Matter of Predictions and Errors.

    PubMed

    Kok, Peter

    2016-09-12

    A recent study finds that separate populations of neurons in inferotemporal cortex code for perceptual predictions and prediction errors, supporting predictive coding theories of perception. PMID:27623264

  11. SPINDLY, ERECTA, and its ligand STOMAGEN have a role in redox-mediated cortex proliferation in the Arabidopsis root.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. GABAAα1-mediated plasticity in the orbitofrontal cortex regulates context-dependent action selection.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Andrew M; Allen, Amanda G; Shapiro, Lauren P; Gourley, Shannon L

    2015-03-01

    An essential aspect of goal-directed action selection is differentiating between behaviors that are more, or less, likely to be reinforced. Habits, by contrast, are stimulus-elicited behaviors insensitive to action-outcome contingencies and are considered an etiological factor in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Thus, isolating the neuroanatomy and neurobiology of goal-directed action selection on the one hand, and habit formation on the other, is critical. Using in vivo viral-mediated gene silencing, we knocked down Gabra1 in the orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex (oPFC) in mice, decreasing oPFC GABAAα1 expression, as well as expression of the synaptic marker PSD-95. Mice expressing Green Fluorescent Protein or Gabra1 knockdown in the adjacent M2 motor cortex served as comparison groups. Using instrumental response training followed by action-outcome contingency degradation, we then found that oPFC GABAAα1 deficiency impaired animals' ability to differentiate between actions that were more or less likely to be reinforced, though sensitivity to outcome devaluation and extinction were intact. Meanwhile, M2 GABAAα1 deficiency enhanced sensitivity to action-outcome relationships. Behavioral abnormalities following oPFC GABAAα1 knockdown were rescued by testing mice in a distinct context relative to that in which they had been initially trained. Together, our findings corroborate evidence that chronic GABAAα1 deficiency remodels cortical synapses and suggest that neuroplasticity within the healthy oPFC gates the influence of reward-related contextual stimuli. These stimuli might otherwise promote maladaptive habit-based behavioral response strategies that contribute to-or exacerbate-neuropsychiatric illness. PMID:25348603

  14. Differential frontal involvement in shifts of internal and perceptual attention

    PubMed Central

    Tanoue, Ryan T.; Jones, Kevin T.; Peterson, Dwight J.; Berryhill, Marian E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Perceptual attention enhances the processing of items in the environment, whereas internal attention enhances processing of items encoded in visual working memory. In perceptual and internal attention cueing paradigms, cues indicate the to-be-probed item before (pre-cueing) or after (retro-cueing) the memory display, respectively. Pre- and retro- cues confer similar behavioral accuracy benefits (pre-: 14–19%, retro-: 11–17%) and neuroimaging data show that they activate overlapping frontoparietal networks (1). Yet reports of behavioral and neuroimaging differences suggest that pre- and retro-cueing differentially recruit frontal and parietal cortices (1). Objective/Hypothesis This study examined whether perceptual and internal attention are equally disrupted by neurostimulation to frontal and parietal cortices. We hypothesized that neurostimulation applied to frontal cortex would disrupt internal attention to a greater extent than perceptual attention. Methods Cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was applied to frontal or parietal cortices. After stimulation, participants completed a change detection task coupled with either pre- or retro- cues. Results Cathodal tDCS across site (frontal, parietal) hindered performance. However, frontal tDCS had a greater negative impact on the retro-cued trials demonstrating greater frontal involvement during shifts of internal attention. Conclusions These results complement the neuroimaging data and provide further evidence suggesting that perceptual and internal attention are not identical processes. We conclude that although internal and perceptual attention are mediated by similar frontoparietal networks, the weight of contribution of these structures differs, with internal attention relying more heavily on the frontal cortex. PMID:23266133

  15. 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

  16. Sympathoexcitatory effects of estrogen in the insular cortex are mediated by GABA.

    PubMed

    Saleh, Tarek M; Connell, Barry J; Cribb, Alastair E

    2005-03-10

    The current investigation examined the effect of estrogen in the insular cortex (IC) on autonomic tone and cardiac baroreceptor reflex function and sought to determine if modulation of neurotransmission was responsible for mediating this effect. Experiments were performed in Inactin-anaesthetized, male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals were instrumented to record blood pressure, heart rate, vagal parasympathetic and renal sympathetic nerve activities, as well as cardiac baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). Direct, bilateral injection of 17beta-estradiol (0.5 microM; 200 nl/side) into the IC resulted in a significant increase in sympathetic tone (from 10 +/- 4 to 24 +/- 3) with no significant change in blood pressure, heart rate, parasympathetic tone or BRS measured at 30 min post-injection. This estrogen-induced effect was completely blocked by the co-injection of estrogen with the estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182, 780 (20 microM; 200 nl/side). Co-injection of estrogen with a GABA(B), NMDA or non-NMDA receptor antagonists did not effect the estrogen-induced increase in sympathetic tone. Co-injection of a sub-threshold dose of estradiol (0.125 microM; 200 nl/side) with the GABA(A) receptor antagonist, (+)-bicuculline (0.025 microM; 200 nl/side), resulted in an additive response to increase sympathetic nerve activity. These results suggest that estrogen acts on estrogen receptors to modulate GABA(A)-receptor-mediated neurotransmission within the IC to modulate sympathetic tone. PMID:15777759

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:11105520

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Working Memory Deficits in Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Knockout Mice: Potential Impairments in Prefrontal Cortex Mediated Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Zoubovsky, Sandra P.; Pogorelov, Vladimir M.; Taniguchi, Yu; Kim, Sun-Hong; Yoon, Peter; Nwulia, Evaristus; Sawa, Akira; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Kamiya, Atsushi

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) forms nitric oxide (NO), which functions as a signaling molecule via S-nitrosylation of various proteins and regulation of soluble guanylate cyclase (cGC)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in the central nervous system. nNOS signaling regulates diverse cellular processes during brain development and molecular mechanisms required for higher brain function. Human genetics have identified nNOS and several downstream effectors of nNOS as risk genes for schizophrenia. Besides the disease itself, nNOS has also been associated with prefrontal cortical functioning, including cognition, of which disturbances are a core feature of schizophrenia. Although mice with genetic deletion of nNOS display various behavioral deficits, no studies have investigated prefrontal cortex-associated behaviors. Here, we report that nNOS knockout (KO) mice exhibit hyperactivity and impairments in contextual fear conditioning, results consistent with previous reports. nNOS KO mice also display mild impairments in object recognition memory. Most importantly, we report for the first time working memory deficits, potential impairments in prefrontal cortex mediated cognitive function in nNOS KO mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), another genetic risk factor for schizophrenia that plays roles for cortical development and prefrontal cortex functioning, including working memory, is a novel protein binding partner of nNOS in the developing cerebral cortex. Of note, genetic deletion of nNOS appears to increase the binding of DISC1 to NDEL1, regulating neurite outgrowth as previously reported. These results suggest that nNOS KO mice are useful tools in studying the role of nNOS signaling in cortical development and prefrontal cortical functioning. PMID:21539806

  8. Working memory deficits in neuronal nitric oxide synthase knockout mice: potential impairments in prefrontal cortex mediated cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Zoubovsky, Sandra P; Pogorelov, Vladimir M; Taniguchi, Yu; Kim, Sun-Hong; Yoon, Peter; Nwulia, Evaristus; Sawa, Akira; Pletnikov, Mikhail V; Kamiya, Atsushi

    2011-05-20

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) forms nitric oxide (NO), which functions as a signaling molecule via S-nitrosylation of various proteins and regulation of soluble guanylate cyclase (cGC)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in the central nervous system. nNOS signaling regulates diverse cellular processes during brain development and molecular mechanisms required for higher brain function. Human genetics have identified nNOS and several downstream effectors of nNOS as risk genes for schizophrenia. Besides the disease itself, nNOS has also been associated with prefrontal cortical functioning, including cognition, of which disturbances are a core feature of schizophrenia. Although mice with genetic deletion of nNOS display various behavioral deficits, no studies have investigated prefrontal cortex-associated behaviors. Here, we report that nNOS knockout (KO) mice exhibit hyperactivity and impairments in contextual fear conditioning, results consistent with previous reports. nNOS KO mice also display mild impairments in object recognition memory. Most importantly, we report for the first time working memory deficits, potential impairments in prefrontal cortex mediated cognitive function in nNOS KO mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), another genetic risk factor for schizophrenia that plays roles for cortical development and prefrontal cortex functioning, including working memory, is a novel protein binding partner of nNOS in the developing cerebral cortex. Of note, genetic deletion of nNOS appears to increase the binding of DISC1 to NDEL1, regulating neurite outgrowth as previously reported. These results suggest that nNOS KO mice are useful tools in studying the role of nNOS signaling in cortical development and prefrontal cortical functioning. PMID:21539806

  9. 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

  10. Posterior parietal cortex mediates encoding and maintenance processes in change blindness.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Philip; Hsu, Tzu-Yu; Muggleton, Neil G; Tzeng, Ovid J L; Hung, Daisy L; Juan, Chi-Hung

    2010-03-01

    It is commonly accepted that right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in updating spatial representations, directing visuospatial attention, and planning actions. However, recent studies suggest that right PPC may also be involved in processes that are more closely associated with our visual awareness as its activation level positively correlates with successful conscious change detection (Beck, D.M., Rees, G., Frith, C.D., & Lavie, N. (2001). Neural correlates of change detection and change blindness. Nature Neuroscience, 4, 645-650.). Furthermore, disruption of its activity increases the occurrences of change blindness, thus suggesting a causal role for right PPC in change detection (Beck, D.M., Muggleton, N., Walsh, V., & Lavie, N. (2006). Right parietal cortex plays a critical role in change blindness. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 712-717.). In the context of a 1-shot change detection paradigm, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during different time intervals to elucidate the temporally precise involvement of PPC in change detection. While subjects attempted to detect changes between two image sets separated by a brief time interval, TMS was applied either during the presentation of picture 1 when subjects were encoding and maintaining information into visual short-term memory, or picture 2 when subjects were retrieving information relating to picture 1 and comparing it to picture 2. Our results show that change blindness occurred more often when TMS was applied during the viewing of picture 1, which implies that right PPC plays a crucial role in the processes of encoding and maintaining information in visual short-term memory. In addition, since our stimuli did not involve changes in spatial locations, our findings also support previous studies suggesting that PPC may be involved in the processes of encoding non-spatial visual information (Todd, J.J. & Marois, R. (2004). Capacity limit of visual short-term memory in human

  11. Insula’s functional connectivity with ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates the impact of trait alexithymia on state tobacco craving

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Matthew T.; Carroll, Allison J.; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Ross, Thomas J.; Stein, Elliot A.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulty indentifying and describing subjective emotional experiences. Decreased aptitude in the perception, evaluation, and communication of affectively laden mental states has been associated with reduced emotion regulation, more severe drug craving in addicts, and structural/functional alterations in insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The insula and ACC represent sites of convergence between the putative neural substrates of alexithymia and those perpetuating cigarette smoking. Objectives We examined the interrelations between alexithymia, tobacco craving, and insula/ACC neurocircuitry using resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Methods Overnight-deprived smokers (n=24) and non-smokers (n=20) completed six neuroimaging assessments on different days both in the absence of, and following, varenicline and/or nicotine administration. In this secondary analysis of data from a larger study, we assessed trait alexithymia and state tobacco craving using self-reports and examined the rsFC of bilateral insular subregions (anterior, middle, posterior) and dorsal ACC. Results Higher alexithymia in smokers predicted reduced rsFC strength between the right anterior insula (aI) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Higher alexithymia also predicted more severe tobacco craving during nicotine withdrawal. Critically, the identified aI–vmPFC circuit fully mediated this alexithymia–craving relation. That is, elevated alexithymia predicted decreased aI–vmPFC rsFC and, in turn, decreased aI–vmPFC rsFC predicted increased craving during withdrawal. A moderated mediation analysis indicated that this aI–vmPFC mediational effect was not observed following drug administration. Conclusions These results suggest that a weakened right aI–vmPFC functional circuit confers increased liability for tobacco craving during smoking abstinence. Individual differences in alexithymia and/or a

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The basal ganglia optimize decision making over general perceptual hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Lepora, Nathan F; Gurney, Kevin N

    2012-11-01

    The basal ganglia are a subcortical group of interconnected nuclei involved in mediating action selection within cortex. A recent proposal is that this selection leads to optimal decision making over multiple alternatives because the basal ganglia anatomy maps onto a network implementation of an optimal statistical method for hypothesis testing, assuming that cortical activity encodes evidence for constrained gaussian-distributed alternatives. This letter demonstrates that this model of the basal ganglia extends naturally to encompass general Bayesian sequential analysis over arbitrary probability distributions, which raises the proposal to a practically realizable theory over generic perceptual hypotheses. We also show that the evidence in this model can represent either log likelihoods, log-likelihood ratios, or log odds, all leading proposals for the cortical processing of sensory data. For these reasons, we claim that the basal ganglia optimize decision making over general perceptual hypotheses represented in cortex. The relation of this theory to cortical encoding, cortico-basal ganglia anatomy, and reinforcement learning is discussed.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Modulation of AMPA receptor mediated current by nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in layer I neurons of rat prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Bo; Luo, Dong; Yang, Jie; Xu, Xiao-Yan; Zhu, Bing-Lin; Wang, Xue-Feng; Yan, Zhen; Chen, Guo-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Layer I neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) exhibit extensive synaptic connections with deep layer neurons, implying their important role in the neural circuit. Study demonstrates that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) increases excitatory neurotransmission in this layer. Here we found that nicotine selectively increased the amplitude of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated current and AMPA/NMDA ratio, while without effect on NMDA receptor-mediated current. The augmentation of AMPAR current by nicotine was inhibited by a selective α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) and intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA. In addition, nicotinic effect on mEPSC or paired-pulse ratio was also prevented by MLA. Moreover, an enhanced inward rectification of AMPAR current by nicotine suggested a functional role of calcium permeable and GluA1 containing AMPAR. Consistently, nicotine enhancement of AMPAR current was inhibited by a selective calcium-permeable AMPAR inhibitor IEM-1460. Finally, the intracellular inclusion of synthetic peptide designed to block GluA1 subunit of AMPAR at CAMKII, PKC or PKA phosphorylation site, as well as corresponding kinase inhibitor, blocked nicotinic augmentation of AMPA/NMDA ratio. These results have revealed that nicotine increases AMPAR current by modulating the phosphorylation state of GluA1 which is dependent on α7-nAChR and intracellular calcium. PMID:26370265

  18. Development of temperamental effortful control mediates the relationship between maturation of the prefrontal cortex and psychopathology during adolescence: a 4-year longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Vijayakumar, Nandita; Whittle, Sarah; Dennison, Meg; Yücel, Murat; Simmons, Julian; Allen, Nicholas B

    2014-07-01

    This study investigated the relationship between the development of effortful control (EC), a temperamental measure of self-regulation, and concurrent development of three regions of the prefrontal cortex (anterior cingulate cortex, ACC; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dlPFC; ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, vlPFC) between early- and mid-adolescence. It also examined whether development of EC mediated the relationship between cortical maturation and emotional and behavioral symptoms. Ninety-two adolescents underwent baseline assessments when they were approximately 12 years old and follow-up assessments approximately 4 years later. At each assessment, participants had MRI scans and completed the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised, as well as measures of depressive and anxious symptoms, and aggressive and risk taking behavior. Cortical thicknesses of the ACC, dlPFC and vlPFC, estimated using the FreeSurfer software, were found to decrease over time. EC also decreased over time in females. Greater thinning of the left ACC was associated with less reduction in EC. Furthermore, change in effortful control mediated the relationship between greater thinning of the left ACC and improvements in socioemotional functioning, including reductions in psychopathological symptoms. These findings highlight the dynamic association between EC and the maturation of the anterior cingulate cortex, and the importance of this relationship for socioemotional functioning during adolescence.

  19. 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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  20. Action-Specific Disruption of Perceptual Confidence

    PubMed Central

    Maniscalco, Brian; Ko, Yoshiaki; Amendi, Namema; Ro, Tony; Lau, Hakwan

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical models of perception assume that confidence is related to the quality or strength of sensory processing. Counter to this intuitive view, we showed in the present research that the motor system also contributes to judgments of perceptual confidence. In two experiments, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to manipulate response-specific representations in the premotor cortex, selectively disrupting postresponse confidence in visual discrimination judgments. Specifically, stimulation of the motor representation associated with the unchosen response reduced confidence in correct responses, thereby reducing metacognitive capacity without changing visual discrimination performance. Effects of TMS on confidence were observed when stimulation was applied both before and after the response occurred, which suggests that confidence depends on late-stage metacognitive processes. These results place constraints on models of perceptual confidence and metacognition by revealing that action-specific information in the premotor cortex contributes to perceptual confidence. PMID:25425059

  1. Objects Mediate Goal Integration in Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex during Action Observation.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Kühn, Anne B; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2015-01-01

    Actions performed by others are mostly not observed in isolation, but embedded in sequences of actions tied together by an overarching goal. Therefore, preceding actions can modulate the observer's expectations in relation to the currently perceived action. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in particular, is suggested to subserve the integration of episodic as well as semantic information and memory, including action scripts. The present fMRI study investigated if activation in IFG varies with the effort to integrate expected and observed action, even when not required by the task. During an fMRI session, participants were instructed to attend to short videos of single actions and to deliver a judgment about the actor's current goal. We manipulated the strength of goal expectation induced by the preceding action, implementing the parameter "goal-relatedness" between the preceding and the currently observed action. Moreover, since objects point to the probability of certain actions, we also manipulated whether the current and the preceding action shared at least one object or not. We found an interaction between the two factors goal-relatedness and shared object: IFG activation increased the weaker the goal-relatedness between the preceding and the current action was, but only when they shared at least one object. Here, integration of successive action steps was triggered by the re-appearing (shared) object but hampered by a weak goal-relatedness between the actually observed manipulation. These findings foster the recently emerging view that IFG is enhanced by goal-related conflicts during action observation. PMID:26218102

  2. 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.

  3. Perceptual and Neuronal Boundary Learned from Higher-Order Stimulus Probabilities

    PubMed Central

    Köver, Hania; Gill, Kirt; Tseng, Yi-Ting L.; Bao, Shaowen

    2013-01-01

    During an early epoch of development, the brain is highly adaptive to the stimulus environment. Exposing young animals to a particular tone, for example, leads to an enlarged representation of that tone in primary auditory cortex. While the neural effects of simple tonal environments are well characterized, the principles that guide plasticity in more complex acoustic environments remain unclear. In addition, very little is known about the perceptual consequences of early experience-induced plasticity. To address these questions, we reared juvenile rats in complex multitone environments that differed in terms of the higher-order conditional probabilities between sounds. We found that the development of primary cortical acoustic representations, as well as frequency discrimination ability in adult animals, were shaped by the higher-order stimulus statistics of the early acoustic environment. Our results suggest that early experience-dependent cortical reorganization may mediate perceptual changes through statistical learning of the sensory input. PMID:23426696

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Dysregulation of Prefrontal Cortex-Mediated Slow-Evolving Limbic Dynamics Drives Stress-Induced Emotional Pathology.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-20

    Circuits distributed across cortico-limbic brain regions compose the networks that mediate emotional behavior. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulates ultraslow (<1 Hz) 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

  7. Multidimensional representation of odors in the human olfactory cortex.

    PubMed

    Fournel, A; Ferdenzi, C; Sezille, C; Rouby, C; Bensafi, M

    2016-06-01

    What is known as an odor object is an integrated representation constructed from physical features, and perceptual attributes mainly mediated by the olfactory and trigeminal systems. The aim of the present study was to comprehend how this multidimensional representation is organized, by deciphering how similarities in the physical, olfactory and trigeminal perceptual spaces of odors are represented in the human brain. To achieve this aim, we combined psychophysics, functional MRI and multivariate representational similarity analysis. Participants were asked to smell odors diffused by an fMRI-compatible olfactometer and to rate each smell along olfactory dimensions (pleasantness, intensity, familiarity and edibility) and trigeminal dimensions (irritation, coolness, warmth and pain). An event-related design was implemented, presenting different odorants. Results revealed that (i) pairwise odorant similarities in anterior piriform cortex (PC) activity correlated with pairwise odorant similarities in chemical properties (P < 0.005), (ii) similarities in posterior PC activity correlated with similarities in olfactory perceptual properties (P <0.01), and (iii) similarities in amygdala activity correlated with similarities in trigeminal perceptual properties (P < 0.01). These findings provide new evidence that extraction of physical, olfactory and trigeminal features is based on specific fine processing of similarities between odorous stimuli in a distributed manner in the olfactory system. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2161-2172, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991044

  8. Multidimensional representation of odors in the human olfactory cortex.

    PubMed

    Fournel, A; Ferdenzi, C; Sezille, C; Rouby, C; Bensafi, M

    2016-06-01

    What is known as an odor object is an integrated representation constructed from physical features, and perceptual attributes mainly mediated by the olfactory and trigeminal systems. The aim of the present study was to comprehend how this multidimensional representation is organized, by deciphering how similarities in the physical, olfactory and trigeminal perceptual spaces of odors are represented in the human brain. To achieve this aim, we combined psychophysics, functional MRI and multivariate representational similarity analysis. Participants were asked to smell odors diffused by an fMRI-compatible olfactometer and to rate each smell along olfactory dimensions (pleasantness, intensity, familiarity and edibility) and trigeminal dimensions (irritation, coolness, warmth and pain). An event-related design was implemented, presenting different odorants. Results revealed that (i) pairwise odorant similarities in anterior piriform cortex (PC) activity correlated with pairwise odorant similarities in chemical properties (P < 0.005), (ii) similarities in posterior PC activity correlated with similarities in olfactory perceptual properties (P <0.01), and (iii) similarities in amygdala activity correlated with similarities in trigeminal perceptual properties (P < 0.01). These findings provide new evidence that extraction of physical, olfactory and trigeminal features is based on specific fine processing of similarities between odorous stimuli in a distributed manner in the olfactory system. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2161-2172, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Beta oscillations define discrete perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Whether seeing a movie, listening to a song, or feeling a breeze on the skin, we coherently experience these stimuli as continuous, seamless percepts. However, there are rare perceptual phenomena that argue against continuous perception but, instead, suggest discrete processing of sensory input. Empirical evidence supporting such a discrete mechanism, however, remains scarce and comes entirely from the visual domain. Here, we demonstrate compelling evidence for discrete perceptual sampling in the somatosensory domain. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a tactile temporal discrimination task in humans, we find that oscillatory alpha- and low beta-band (8–20 Hz) cycles in primary somatosensory cortex represent neurophysiological correlates of discrete perceptual cycles. Our results agree with several theoretical concepts of discrete perceptual sampling and empirical evidence of perceptual cycles in the visual domain. Critically, these results show that discrete perceptual cycles are not domain-specific, and thus restricted to the visual domain, but extend to the somatosensory domain. PMID:26324922

  10. Environmental Enrichment Alters Nicotine-Mediated Locomotor Sensitization and Phosphorylation of DARPP-32 and CREB in Rat Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Adrian M.; Midde, Narasimha M.; Mactutus, Charles F.; Booze, Rosemarie M.; Zhu, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Exposure within an environmental enrichment paradigm results in neurobiological adaptations and decreases the baseline of locomotor activity. The current study determined activation of DARPP-32 (dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein-32) and CREB (cAMP response element binding protein), and locomotor activity in rats raised in enriched (EC), impoverished (IC), and standard (SC) conditions following repeated administration of nicotine or saline. In the saline-control group, the basal phosphorylation state of DARPP-32 at Threonine-34 site (pDARPP-32 Thr34) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was lower in EC compared to IC and SC rats, which was positively correlated with their respective baseline activities. While nicotine (0.35 mg/kg, freebase) produced locomotor sensitization across all housing conditions when the nicotine-mediated locomotor activity was expressed as a percent change from their respective saline control, EC rats displayed greater sensitization to nicotine than IC and SC rats. Consistent with the behavioral findings, repeated nicotine injection increased pDARPP-32 Thr34 in PFC of EC and IC rats and in nucleus accumbens of EC rats; however, the magnitude of change from saline control in nicotine-induced enhancement of pDARPP-32 Thr34 in PFC was strikingly increased in EC rats relative to IC rats. Moreover, EC rats had lower basal phosphorylation levels of CREB at serine 133 in PFC and nucleus accumbens compared to IC and SC rats, whereas the nicotine-induced increase in phosphorylated CREB-Ser133 was more pronounced in PFC of EC rats relative to IC and SC rats. Collectively, these findings suggest innovative insights into advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of enrichment-induced changes in the motivational effects of nicotine, and aiding in the identification of new therapeutic strategies for tobacco smokers. PMID:22952905

  11. The effect of scene context on episodic object recognition: parahippocampal cortex mediates memory encoding and retrieval success.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Scott M; Nadel, Lynn; Ryan, Lee

    2007-01-01

    Previous research has investigated intentional retrieval of contextual information and contextual influences on object identification and word recognition, yet few studies have investigated context effects in episodic memory for objects. To address this issue, unique objects embedded in a visually rich scene or on a white background were presented to participants. At test, objects were presented either in the original scene or on a white background. A series of behavioral studies with young adults demonstrated a context shift decrement (CSD)-decreased recognition performance when context is changed between encoding and retrieval. The CSD was not attenuated by encoding or retrieval manipulations, suggesting that binding of object and context may be automatic. A final experiment explored the neural correlates of the CSD, using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Parahippocampal cortex (PHC) activation (right greater than left) during incidental encoding was associated with subsequent memory of objects in the context shift condition. Greater activity in right PHC was also observed during successful recognition of objects previously presented in a scene. Finally, a subset of regions activated during scene encoding, such as bilateral PHC, was reactivated when the object was presented on a white background at retrieval. Although participants were not required to intentionally retrieve contextual information, the results suggest that PHC may reinstate visual context to mediate successful episodic memory retrieval. The CSD is attributed to automatic and obligatory binding of object and context. The results suggest that PHC is important not only for processing of scene information, but also plays a role in successful episodic memory encoding and retrieval. These findings are consistent with the view that spatial information is stored in the hippocampal complex, one of the central tenets of Multiple Trace Theory.

  12. Selective reduction by isolation rearing of 5-HT1A receptor-mediated dopamine release in vivo in the frontal cortex of mice.

    PubMed

    Ago, Y; Sakaue, M; Baba, A; Matsuda, T

    2002-10-01

    Serotonin (5-HT)1A receptors modulate in vivo release of brain monoaminergic neurotransmitters which may be involved in isolation-induced aggressive behavior. The present study examined the effect of isolation rearing on the 5-HT1A receptor-mediated modulation of dopamine (DA), 5-HT and noradrenaline (NA) release in the frontal cortex of mice. The selective 5-HT1A receptor agonist (S)-5-[-[(1,4-benzodioxan-2-ylmethyl)amino]propoxy]-1,3-benzodioxole HCl (MKC-242) increased the release of DA and NA and decreased the release of 5-HT in the frontal cortex of mice. The effect of MKC-242 on DA release was significantly less in isolation-reared mice than in group-reared mice, while effects of the drug on NA and 5-HT release did not differ between both groups. The effect of the other 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin on cortical DA release was also less in isolation-reared mice than in group-reared mice, and that of the drug on cortical 5-HT release did not differ between both groups. In contrast to MKC-242-induced DA release, amphetamine-induced increase in cortical DA release in vivo was greater in isolation-reared mice. The present findings suggest that isolation rearing enhances the activity of cortical dopaminergic neurons and reduces selectively the 5-HT1A receptor-mediated release of DA in the cortex.

  13. 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

  14. NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA receptors in the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex differentially mediate trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-15

    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 regulate these two fear memories. Here we show that NR2A-containing NMDARs mediate trace, delay, and contextual fear memories, but NR2B-containing NMDARs are required only for trace conditioning, consistent with a role for PL mPFC in working memory.

  15. 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

  16. Exogenous attention facilitates location transfer of perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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. PMID:27371867

  18. 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…

  19. Activation of AMPA Receptors Mediates the Antidepressant Action of Deep Brain Stimulation of the Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Sánchez, Laura; Castañé, Anna; Pérez-Caballero, Laura; Grifoll-Escoda, Marc; López-Gil, Xavier; Campa, Leticia; Galofré, Mireia; Berrocoso, Esther; Adell, Albert

    2016-06-01

    Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used with success in treatment-resistant depression, little is known about its mechanism of action. We examined the antidepressant-like activity of short (1 h) DBS applied to the infralimbic prefrontal cortex in the forced swim test (FST) and the novelty-suppressed feeding test (NSFT). We also used in vivo microdialysis to evaluate the release of glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid, serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex and c-Fos immunohistochemistry to determine the brain regions activated by DBS. One hour of DBS of the infralimbic prefrontal cortex has antidepressant-like effects in FST and NSFT, and increases prefrontal efflux of glutamate, which would activate AMPA receptors (AMPARs). This effect is specific of the infralimbic area since it is not observed after DBS of the prelimbic subregion. The activation of prefrontal AMPARs would result in a stimulation of prefrontal output to the brainstem, thus increasing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex. Further, the activation of prefrontal AMPARs is necessary and sufficient condition for the antidepressant response of 1 h DBS.

  20. Sex differences in social interaction behaviors in rats are mediated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 expression in the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carrier, Nicole; Kabbaj, Mohamed

    2012-01-01

    Considerable sex differences occur in the incidence and prevalence of anxiety disorders where women are more anxious than men, particularly in situations where social interaction is required. In preclinical studies, the social interaction test represents a valid animal model to study sex differences in social anxiety. Indeed, female rats engage less in conspecific interactions than their male counterparts, which are behaviors indicative of higher social anxiety in female rats. In this work, we implicated extracellular signal regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in mediating social interaction. Indeed, female rats’ had lower ERK2 expression compared to male rats, and overexpression of ERK2 in the mPFC increases their social interaction to the level seen in their male counterparts. These data indicate that the sexually dimorphic expression of ERK2 mediates social anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:22521590

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mcp5, a meiotic cell cortex protein, is required for nuclear movement mediated by dynein and microtubules in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Takamune T.; Okuzaki, Daisuke; Nojima, Hiroshi

    2006-01-01

    During meiotic prophase I of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, oscillatory nuclear movement occurs. This promotes homologous chromosome pairing and recombination and involves cortical dynein, which plays a pivotal role by generating a pulling force with the help of an unknown dynein anchor. We show that Mcp5, the homologue of the budding yeast dynein anchor Num1, may be this putative dynein anchor. mcp5+ is predominantly expressed during meiotic prophase, and GFP-Mcp5 localizes at the cell cortex. Moreover, the mcp5Δ strain lacks the oscillatory nuclear movement. Accordingly, homologous pairing and recombination rates of the mcp5Δ strain are significantly reduced. Furthermore, the cortical localization of dynein heavy chain 1 appears to be reduced in mcp5Δ cells. Finally, the full function of Mcp5 requires its coiled-coil and pleckstrin homology (PH) domains. Our results suggest that Mcp5 localizes at the cell cortex through its PH domain and functions as a dynein anchor, thereby facilitating nuclear oscillation. PMID:16585273

  6. Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of RapGEF2 controls neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Ye, Tao; Ip, Jacque P K; Fu, Amy K Y; Ip, Nancy Y

    2014-01-01

    During cerebral cortex development, pyramidal neurons migrate through the intermediate zone and integrate into the cortical plate. These neurons undergo the multipolar-bipolar transition to initiate radial migration. While perturbation of this polarity acquisition leads to cortical malformations, how this process is initiated and regulated is largely unknown. Here we report that the specific upregulation of the Rap1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, RapGEF2, in migrating neurons corresponds to the timing of this polarity transition. In utero electroporation and live-imaging studies reveal that RapGEF2 acts on the multipolar-bipolar transition during neuronal migration via a Rap1/N-cadherin pathway. Importantly, activation of RapGEF2 is controlled via phosphorylation by a serine/threonine kinase Cdk5, whose activity is largely restricted to the radial migration zone. Thus, the specific expression and Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of RapGEF2 during multipolar-bipolar transition within the intermediate zone are essential for proper neuronal migration and wiring of the cerebral cortex. PMID:25189171

  7. Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of RapGEF2 controls neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Ye, Tao; Ip, Jacque P K; Fu, Amy K Y; Ip, Nancy Y

    2014-01-01

    During cerebral cortex development, pyramidal neurons migrate through the intermediate zone and integrate into the cortical plate. These neurons undergo the multipolar-bipolar transition to initiate radial migration. While perturbation of this polarity acquisition leads to cortical malformations, how this process is initiated and regulated is largely unknown. Here we report that the specific upregulation of the Rap1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, RapGEF2, in migrating neurons corresponds to the timing of this polarity transition. In utero electroporation and live-imaging studies reveal that RapGEF2 acts on the multipolar-bipolar transition during neuronal migration via a Rap1/N-cadherin pathway. Importantly, activation of RapGEF2 is controlled via phosphorylation by a serine/threonine kinase Cdk5, whose activity is largely restricted to the radial migration zone. Thus, the specific expression and Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of RapGEF2 during multipolar-bipolar transition within the intermediate zone are essential for proper neuronal migration and wiring of the cerebral cortex.

  8. 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

  9. Pseudo Perceptual Differentiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silverman, Julian; King, Catherine

    1970-01-01

    Two studies employing rod-and-frame test (RFT) and a size-estimation measure of "extensiveness of scanning reported. Results indicated perceptual differentiation interpretation of RFT performance erroneous for certain kinds of Ss. (Author)

  10. Perceptually oriented hypnosis.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Fredrick J

    2003-04-01

    This theoretical article explores postulates representative of a perceptual frame of reference for a better understanding of hypnotic experiencing. This author contends that Perceptual Psychology, a theory first conceptualized by Snygg and Combs, as revised by Combs, Richards, and Richards in 1988, and Perceptually Oriented Hypnosis provide an effective way of understanding hypnosis, the therapist-client relationship, and has some implications as well for better comprehending psychopathology. Perceptually oriented hypnotic principles are shown to enhance the characeristics of the adequate personality, expand the phenomenal field, change personal meanings, and change aspects of the phenomenal self in the context of hypnosis. Implications for understanding differing views and conflicting perceptions of reality held by scientists and researchers are discussed. Implications for Dissociative Identity Disorder are also addressed. Research utilizing Giorgi's research methodology and Wasicsko's qualitative procedure for assessing educators' dispositions is suggested.

  11. Medial perirhinal cortex disambiguates confusable objects

    PubMed Central

    Tyler, Lorraine K.; Monsch, Andreas U.; Taylor, Kirsten I.

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Lobeline attenuates neonatal ethanol-mediated changes in hyperactivity and dopamine transporter function in the prefrontal cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Smith, A M; Wellmann, K A; Lundblad, T M; Carter, M L; Barron, S; Dwoskin, L P

    2012-03-29

    Current therapies for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have varying efficacy in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), suggesting that alternative therapeutics are needed. Developmental exposure to ethanol produces changes in dopamine (DA) systems, and DA has also been implicated in ADHD pathology. In the current study, lobeline, which interacts with proteins in dopaminergic presynaptic terminals, was evaluated for its ability to attenuate neonatal ethanol-induced locomotor hyperactivity and alterations in dopamine transporter (DAT) function in striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC). From postnatal days (PND) 1-7, male and female rat pups were intubated twice daily with either 3 g/kg ethanol or milk, or were not intubated (non-intubated control) as a model for "third trimester" ethanol exposure. On PND 21 and 22, pups received acute lobeline (0, 0.3, 1, or 3 mg/kg), and locomotor activity was assessed. On PND 23-25, pups again received an acute injection of lobeline (1 or 3 mg/kg), and DAT kinetic parameters (Km and V(max)) were determined. Results demonstrated that neonatal ethanol produced locomotor hyperactivity on PND 21 that was reversed by lobeline (1 and 3 mg/kg). Although striatal DAT function was not altered by neonatal ethanol or acute lobeline, neonatal ethanol exposure increased the V(max) for DAT in the PFC, suggesting an increase in DAT function in PFC. Lobeline ameliorated this effect on PFC V(max) at the same doses that decreased hyperactivity. Methylphenidate, the gold standard therapeutic for ADHD, was also evaluated for comparison with lobeline. Methylphenidate decreased DAT V(max) and Km in PFC from ethanol-treated pups. Thus, lobeline and methylphenidate differentially altered DAT function following neonatal ethanol exposure. Collectively, these findings provide support that lobeline may be a useful pharmacotherapy for some of the deficits associated with neonatal ethanol exposure.

  17. Perceptual learning in amnesia.

    PubMed

    Fahle, Manfred; Daum, Irene

    2002-01-01

    Evidence from experiments on perceptual learning, accumulated during the last few years, increasingly indicates that the relative 'front end' parts of the visual system are more plastic even in adults than was previously expected. Hence, it might be possible that perceptual learning is similar in several respects to procedural learning and may be achieved even without (declarative) memory traces present. Results on six patients suffering from global amnesia due to damage to hippocampal-diencephalic systems demonstrate, for the first time, that at least some amnesic patients are able to significantly improve performance in a visual hyperacuity task as a result of training, showing improvement as good as the observers in the control group. This result corroborates the notion of a relatively 'front end' location of at least some forms of perceptual learning.

  18. 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

  19. Prolonged perceptual learning of positional acuity in adult amblyopia: perceptual template retuning dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-24

    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 >50 h (approximately equal to 35,000 trials) to reach plateau, yielding as much as a five-fold improvement in performance at a rate of approximately equal to 1.5%/h. 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.

  20. Perceptual presence without counterfactual richness.

    PubMed

    Madary, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In this commentary, I suggest that non-visual perceptual modalities provide counterexamples to Seth's claim that perceptual presence depends on counterfactual richness. Then I suggest a modification to Seth's view that is not vulnerable to these counterexamples. PMID:24739124

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. 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.,…

  7. Evidence for a Specific Integrative Mechanism for Episodic Memory Mediated by AMPA/kainate Receptors in a Circuit Involving Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampal CA3 Region.

    PubMed

    de Souza Silva, Maria A; Huston, Joseph P; Wang, An-Li; Petri, David; Chao, Owen Yuan-Hsin

    2016-07-01

    We asked whether episodic-like memory requires neural mechanisms independent of those that mediate its component memories for "what," "when," and "where," and if neuronal connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the hippocampus (HPC) CA3 subregion is essential for episodic-like memory. Unilateral lesion of the mPFC was combined with unilateral lesion of the CA3 in the ipsi- or contralateral hemispheres in rats. Episodic-like memory was tested using a task, which assesses the integration of memories for "what, where, and when" concomitantly. Tests for novel object recognition (what), object place (where), and temporal order memory (when) were also applied. Bilateral disconnection of the mPFC-CA3 circuit by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) lesions disrupted episodic-like memory, but left the component memories for object, place, and temporal order, per se, intact. Furthermore, unilateral NMDA lesion of the CA3 plus injection of (6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione) (CNQX) (AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist), but not AP-5 (NMDA receptor antagonist), into the contralateral mPFC also disrupted episodic-like memory, indicating the mPFC AMPA/kainate receptors as critical for this circuit. These results argue for a selective neural system that specifically subserves episodic memory, as it is not critically involved in the control of its component memories for object, place, and time.

  8. 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

  9. Perceptual frames in frequency estimation.

    PubMed

    Zyłowska, Aleksandra; Kossek, Marcin; Wawrzyniak, Małgorzata

    2014-02-01

    This study is an introductory investigation of cognitive frames, focused on perceptual frames divided into information and formal perceptual frames, which were studied based on sub-additivity of frequency estimations. It was postulated that different presentations of a response scale would result in different percentage estimates of time spent watching TV or using the Internet. The results supported the existence of perceptual frames that influence the perception process and indicated that information perceptual frames had a stronger effect than formal frames. The measures made possible the exploration of the operation of perceptual frames and also outlined the relations between heuristics and cognitive frames. PMID:24765715

  10. Oxaliplatin evokes P2X7-dependent glutamate release in the cerebral cortex: A pain mechanism mediated by Pannexin 1.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare Mannelli, Lorenzo; Marcoli, Manuela; Micheli, Laura; Zanardelli, Matteo; Maura, Guido; Ghelardini, Carla; Cervetto, Chiara

    2015-10-01

    Anticancer therapy based on the repeated administration of oxaliplatin is limited by the development of a neuropathic syndrome difficult to treat. Oxaliplatin neurotoxicity is based on complex nervous mechanisms, the comprehension of the role of single neurotransmitters and the knowledge of the signal flow among cells is matter of importance to improve therapeutic chances. In a rat model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy, we report increased P2X7-evoked glutamate release from cerebrocortical synaptosomes. The release was abolished by the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) antagonists Brilliant-Blue-G (BBG) and A-438079, and significantly reduced by Carbenoxolone and the Pannexin 1 (Panx1) selective inhibitors Erioglaucine and (10)Panx suggesting the recruitment of Panx1. Aimed to evaluate the significance of P2X7R-Panx1 system activation in pain generated by oxaliplatin, pharmacological modulators were spinally infused by intrathecal catheter in oxaliplatin-treated animals. BBG, Erioglaucine and (10)Panx reverted oxaliplatin-dependent pain. Finally, the influence of the P2X7R-Panx1 system blockade on oxaliplatin anticancer activity was evaluated on the human colon cancer cell line HT-29. Prevention of HT-29 apoptosis and mortality was dependent by kind and concentration of P2X7R antagonists. On the contrary, the inhibition of Panx1 did not alter oxaliplatin lethality in tumor cells. It is concluded that glutamate release dependent on P2X7R is increased in cerebrocortical nerve terminals from oxaliplatin-treated rats; the increase is mediated by functional recruitment of Panx1; P2X7R antagonists and Panx1 inhibitors revert oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain; Panx1 inhibitors do not alter the oxaliplatin-induced mortality of cancer cells HT-29. The inhibition of Panx1 channel is suggested as a new and safe pharmacological target.

  11. 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

  12. "Sightblind": perceptual deficits in the "intact" visual field.

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

  14. Perceptual learning and human expertise.

    PubMed

    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. Visual cortical mechanisms of perceptual grouping: interacting layers, networks, columns, and maps.

    PubMed

    Ross, W D; Grossberg, S; Mingolla, E

    2000-07-01

    The visual cortex has a laminar organization whose circuits form functional columns in cortical maps. How this laminar architecture supports visual percepts is not well understood. A neural model proposes how the laminar circuits of V1 and V2 generate perceptual groupings that maintain sensitivity to the contrasts and spatial organization of scenic cues. The model can decisively choose which groupings cohere and survive, even while balanced excitatory and inhibitory interactions preserve contrast-sensitive measures of local boundary likelihood or strength. In the model, excitatory inputs from lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) activate layers 4 and 6 of V1. Layer 6 activates an on-center off-surround network of inputs to layer 4. Together these layer 4 inputs preserve analog sensitivity to LGN input contrasts. Layer 4 cells excite pyramidal cells in layer 2/3, which activate monosynaptic long-range horizontal excitatory connections between layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, and short-range disynaptic inhibitory connections mediated by smooth stellate cells. These interactions support inward perceptual grouping between two or more boundary inducers, but not outward grouping from a single inducer. These boundary signals feed back to layer 4 via the layer 6-to-4 on-center off-surround network. This folded feedback joins cells in different layers into functional columns while selecting winning groupings. Layer 6 in V1 also sends top-down signals to LGN using an on-center off-surround network, which suppresses LGN cells that do not receive feedback, while selecting, enhancing, and synchronizing activity of those that do. The model is used to simulate psychophysical and neurophysiological data about perceptual grouping, including various Gestalt grouping laws.

  16. Varieties of perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Mackintosh, N J

    2009-05-01

    Although most studies of perceptual learning in human participants have concentrated on the changes in perception assumed to be occurring, studies of nonhuman animals necessarily measure discrimination learning and generalization and remain agnostic on the question of whether changes in behavior reflect changes in perception. On the other hand, animal studies do make it easier to draw a distinction between supervised and unsupervised learning. Differential reinforcement will surely teach animals to attend to some features of a stimulus array rather than to others. But it is an open question as to whether such changes in attention underlie the enhanced discrimination seen after unreinforced exposure to such an array. I argue that most instances of unsupervised perceptual learning observed in animals (and at least some in human animals) are better explained by appeal to well-established principles and phenomena of associative learning theory: excitatory and inhibitory associations between stimulus elements, latent inhibition, and habituation.

  17. Perceptual grouping across eccentricity.

    PubMed

    Tannazzo, Teresa; Kurylo, Daniel D; Bukhari, Farhan

    2014-10-01

    Across the visual field, progressive differences exist in neural processing as well as perceptual abilities. Expansion of stimulus scale across eccentricity compensates for some basic visual capacities, but not for high-order functions. It was hypothesized that as with many higher-order functions, perceptual grouping ability should decline across eccentricity. To test this prediction, psychophysical measurements of grouping were made across eccentricity. Participants indicated the dominant grouping of dot grids in which grouping was based upon luminance, motion, orientation, or proximity. Across trials, the organization of stimuli was systematically decreased until perceived grouping became ambiguous. For all stimulus features, grouping ability remained relatively stable until 40°, beyond which thresholds significantly elevated. The pattern of change across eccentricity varied across stimulus feature, in which stimulus scale, dot size, or stimulus size interacted with eccentricity effects. These results demonstrate that perceptual grouping of such stimuli is not reliant upon foveal viewing, and suggest that selection of dominant grouping patterns from ambiguous displays operates similarly across much of the visual field.

  18. Boosting visual cortex function and plasticity with acetylcholine to enhance visual perception

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Jun Il; Huppé-Gourgues, Frédéric; Vaucher, Elvire

    2014-01-01

    The cholinergic system is a potent neuromodulatory system that plays critical roles in cortical plasticity, attention and learning. In this review, we propose that the cellular effects of acetylcholine (ACh) in the primary visual cortex during the processing of visual inputs might induce perceptual learning; i.e., long-term changes in visual perception. Specifically, the pairing of cholinergic activation with visual stimulation increases the signal-to-noise ratio, cue detection ability and long-term facilitation in the primary visual cortex. This cholinergic enhancement would increase the strength of thalamocortical afferents to facilitate the treatment of a novel stimulus while decreasing the cortico-cortical signaling to reduce recurrent or top-down modulation. This balance would be mediated by different cholinergic receptor subtypes that are located on both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons of the different cortical layers. The mechanisms of cholinergic enhancement are closely linked to attentional processes, long-term potentiation (LTP) and modulation of the excitatory/inhibitory balance. Recently, it was found that boosting the cholinergic system during visual training robustly enhances sensory perception in a long-term manner. Our hypothesis is that repetitive pairing of cholinergic and sensory stimulation over a long period of time induces long-term changes in the processing of trained stimuli that might improve perceptual ability. Various non-invasive approaches to the activation of the cholinergic neurons have strong potential to improve visual perception. PMID:25278848

  19. 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

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:26946269

  20. 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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. Thresholds of cutaneous afferents related to perceptual threshold across the human foot sole.

    PubMed

    Strzalkowski, Nicholas D J; Mildren, Robyn L; Bent, Leah R

    2015-10-01

    Perceptual thresholds are known to vary across the foot sole, despite a reported even distribution in cutaneous afferents. Skin mechanical properties have been proposed to account for these differences; however, a direct relationship between foot sole afferent firing, perceptual threshold, and skin mechanical properties has not been previously investigated. Using the technique of microneurography, we recorded the monofilament firing thresholds of cutaneous afferents and associated perceptual thresholds across the foot sole. In addition, receptive field hardness measurements were taken to investigate the influence of skin hardness on these threshold measures. Afferents were identified as fast adapting [FAI (n = 48) or FAII (n = 13)] or slowly adapting [SAI (n = 21) or SAII (n = 20)], and were grouped based on receptive field location (heel, arch, metatarsals, toes). Overall, perceptual thresholds were found to most closely align with firing thresholds of FA afferents. In contrast, SAI and SAII afferent firing thresholds were found to be significantly higher than perceptual thresholds and are not thought to mediate monofilament perceptual threshold across the foot sole. Perceptual thresholds and FAI afferent firing thresholds were significantly lower in the arch compared with other regions, and skin hardness was found to positively correlate with both FAI and FAII afferent firing and perceptual thresholds. These data support a perceptual influence of skin hardness, which is likely the result of elevated FA afferent firing threshold at harder foot sole sites. The close coupling between FA afferent firing and perceptual threshold across foot sole indicates that small changes in FA afferent firing can influence perceptual thresholds.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Perceptual Constraints in Phonotactic Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Endress, Ansgar D.; Mehler, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    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…

  5. 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.

  6. Supramodal processing optimizes visual perceptual learning and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zilber, Nicolas; Ciuciu, Philippe; Gramfort, Alexandre; Azizi, Leila; van Wassenhove, Virginie

    2014-06-01

    Multisensory interactions are ubiquitous in cortex and it has been suggested that sensory cortices may be supramodal i.e. capable of functional selectivity irrespective of the sensory modality of inputs (Pascual-Leone and Hamilton, 2001; Renier et al., 2013; Ricciardi and Pietrini, 2011; Voss and Zatorre, 2012). Here, we asked whether learning to discriminate visual coherence could benefit from supramodal processing. To this end, three groups of participants were briefly trained to discriminate which of a red or green intermixed population of random-dot-kinematograms (RDKs) was most coherent in a visual display while being recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG). During training, participants heard no sound (V), congruent acoustic textures (AV) or auditory noise (AVn); importantly, congruent acoustic textures shared the temporal statistics - i.e. coherence - of visual RDKs. After training, the AV group significantly outperformed participants trained in V and AVn although they were not aware of their progress. In pre- and post-training blocks, all participants were tested without sound and with the same set of RDKs. When contrasting MEG data collected in these experimental blocks, selective differences were observed in the dynamic pattern and the cortical loci responsive to visual RDKs. First and common to all three groups, vlPFC showed selectivity to the learned coherence levels whereas selectivity in visual motion area hMT+ was only seen for the AV group. Second and solely for the AV group, activity in multisensory cortices (mSTS, pSTS) correlated with post-training performances; additionally, the latencies of these effects suggested feedback from vlPFC to hMT+ possibly mediated by temporal cortices in AV and AVn groups. Altogether, we interpret our results in the context of the Reverse Hierarchy Theory of learning (Ahissar and Hochstein, 2004) in which supramodal processing optimizes visual perceptual learning by capitalizing on sensory

  7. The brain's specialized systems for aesthetic and perceptual judgment.

    PubMed

    Ishizu, T; Zeki, S

    2013-05-01

    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.

  8. Perceptual learning in sensorimotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Darainy, Mohammad; Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Ostry, David J

    2013-11-01

    Motor learning often involves situations in which the somatosensory targets of movement are, at least initially, poorly defined, as for example, in learning to speak or learning the feel of a proper tennis serve. Under these conditions, motor skill acquisition presumably requires perceptual as well as motor learning. That is, it engages both the progressive shaping of sensory targets and associated changes in motor performance. In the present study, we test the idea that perceptual learning alters somatosensory function and in so doing produces changes to human motor performance and sensorimotor adaptation. Subjects in these experiments undergo perceptual training in which a robotic device passively moves the subject's arm on one of a set of fan-shaped trajectories. Subjects are required to indicate whether the robot moved the limb to the right or the left and feedback is provided. Over the course of training both the perceptual boundary and acuity are altered. The perceptual learning is observed to improve both the rate and extent of learning in a subsequent sensorimotor adaptation task and the benefits persist for at least 24 h. The improvement in the present studies varies systematically with changes in perceptual acuity and is obtained regardless of whether the perceptual boundary shift serves to systematically increase or decrease error on subsequent movements. The beneficial effects of perceptual training are found to be substantially dependent on reinforced decision-making in the sensory domain. Passive-movement training on its own is less able to alter subsequent learning in the motor system. Overall, this study suggests perceptual learning plays an integral role in motor learning.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Perceptual Learning via Modification of Cortical Top-Down Signals

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Roland; Vasilaki, Eleni; Senn, Walter

    2007-01-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is pre-wired to facilitate the extraction of behaviorally important visual features. Collinear edge detectors in V1, for instance, mutually enhance each other to improve the perception of lines against a noisy background. The same pre-wiring that facilitates line extraction, however, is detrimental when subjects have to discriminate the brightness of different line segments. How is it possible to improve in one task by unsupervised practicing, without getting worse in the other task? The classical view of perceptual learning is that practicing modulates the feedforward input stream through synaptic modifications onto or within V1. However, any rewiring of V1 would deteriorate other perceptual abilities different from the trained one. We propose a general neuronal model showing that perceptual learning can modulate top-down input to V1 in a task-specific way while feedforward and lateral pathways remain intact. Consistent with biological data, the model explains how context-dependent brightness discrimination is improved by a top-down recruitment of recurrent inhibition and a top-down induced increase of the neuronal gain within V1. Both the top-down modulation of inhibition and of neuronal gain are suggested to be universal features of cortical microcircuits which enable perceptual learning. PMID:17715996

  12. 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…

  13. Perceptual decoupling or motor decoupling?

    PubMed

    Head, James; Helton, William S

    2013-09-01

    The current investigation was conducted to elucidate whether errors of commission in the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) are indicators of perceptual or motor decoupling. Twenty-eight participants completed SARTs with motor and perceptual aspects of the task manipulated. The participants completed four different SART blocks whereby stimuli location uncertainty and stimuli acquisition were manipulated. In previous studies of more traditional sustained attention tasks stimuli location uncertainty reduces sustained attention performance. In the case of the SART the motor manipulation (stimuli acquisition), but not the perceptual manipulation (stimuli location uncertainty) significantly reduced commission errors. The results suggest that the majority of SART commission errors are likely to be indicators of motor decoupling not necessarily perceptual decoupling.

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  16. Striatal activation as a neural link between cognitive and perceptual flexibility.

    PubMed

    Sekutowicz, Maria; Schmack, Katharina; Steimke, Rosa; Paschke, Lena; Sterzer, Philipp; Walter, Henrik; Stelzel, Christine

    2016-11-01

    Our brain continuously evaluates different perceptual interpretations of the available sensory data in order to enable flexible updates of conscious experience. Individuals' perceptual flexibility can be assessed using ambiguous stimuli that cause our perception to continuously switch between two mutually exclusive interpretations. Neural processes underlying perceptual switching are thought to involve the visual cortex, but also non-sensory brain circuits that have been implicated in cognitive processes, such as frontal and parietal regions. Perceptual flexibility varies strongly between individuals and has been related to dopaminergic neurotransmission. Likewise, there is also considerable individual variability in tasks that require flexibility in cognition, and dopamine-dependent striato-frontal signals have been associated with processes promoting cognitive flexibility. Given the anatomical and neurochemical similarities with regard to perceptual and cognitive flexibility, we here probed whether individual differences in perceptual flexibility during bistable perception are related to individual cognitive flexibility associated neural correlates. 126 healthy individuals performed rule-based task switching during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and reported perceptual switching during the viewing of a modified version of the Necker cube. Mean phase duration as measure of perceptual flexibility correlated with task-switching associated activity in the right putamen as part of the basal ganglia. In addition, we found a tentative correlation between perceptual and cognitive flexibility. These results indicate that individual differences in cognitive flexibility and associated fronto-striatal processing contribute to differences in perceptual flexibility. Our findings thus provide empirical support for the general notion of shared mechanisms between perception and cognition.

  17. 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.

  18. Perceptual benefits of objecthood.

    PubMed

    Naber, Marnix; Carlson, Thomas A; Verstraten, Frans A J; Einhäuser, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Object-based attention facilitates the processing of features that form the object. Two hypotheses are conceivable for how object-based attention is deployed to an object's features: first, the object is attended by selecting its features; alternatively, a configuration of features as such is attended by selecting the object representation they form. Only for the latter alternative, the perception of a feature configuration as entity ("objecthood") is a necessary condition for object-based attention. Disentangling the two alternatives requires the comparison of identical feature configurations that induce the perception of an object in one condition ("bound") and do not do so in another condition ("unbound"). We used an ambiguous stimulus, whose percept spontaneously switches between bound and unbound, while the stimulus itself remains unchanged. We tested discrimination on the boundary of the diamond as well as detection of probes inside and outside the diamond. We found discrimination performance to be increased if features were perceptually bound into an object. Furthermore, detection performance was higher within and lower outside the bound object as compared to the unbound configuration. Consequently, the facilitation of processing by object-based attention requires objecthood, that is, a unified internal representation of an "object"-not a mere collection of features.

  19. 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.

  20. Perceptual aspects of singing.

    PubMed

    Sundberg, J

    1994-06-01

    The relations between acoustic and perceived characteristics of vowel sounds are demonstrated with respect to timbre, loudness, pitch, and expressive time patterns. The conditions for perceiving an ensemble of sine tones as one tone or several tones are reviewed. There are two aspects of timbre of voice sounds: vowel quality and voice quality. Although vowel quality depends mainly on the frequencies of the lowest two formants. In particular, the center frequency of the so-called singer's formant seems perceptually relevant. Vocal loudness, generally assumed to correspond closely to the sound pressure level, depends rather on the amplitude balance between the lower and the higher spectrum partials. The perceived pitch corresponds to the fundamental frequency, or for vibrato tones, the mean of this frequency. In rapid passages, such as coloratura singing, special patterns are used. Pitch and duration differences are categorically perceived in music. This means that small variations in tuning or duration do not affect the musical interval and the note value perceived. Categorical perception is used extensively in music performance for the purpose of musical expression because without violating the score, the singer may sharpen or flatten and lengthen or shorten the tones, thereby creating musical expression. PMID:8061767

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Long-range neuronal circuits underlying the interaction between sensory and motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Mao, Tianyi; Kusefoglu, Deniz; Hooks, Bryan M; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel

    2011-10-01

    In the rodent vibrissal system, active sensation and sensorimotor integration are mediated in part by connections between barrel cortex and vibrissal motor cortex. Little is known about how these structures interact at the level of neurons. We used Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expression, combined with anterograde and retrograde labeling, to map connections between barrel cortex and pyramidal neurons in mouse motor cortex. Barrel cortex axons preferentially targeted upper layer (L2/3, L5A) neurons in motor cortex; input to neurons projecting back to barrel cortex was particularly strong. Barrel cortex input to deeper layers (L5B, L6) of motor cortex, including neurons projecting to the brainstem, was weak, despite pronounced geometric overlap of dendrites with axons from barrel cortex. Neurons in different layers received barrel cortex input within stereotyped dendritic domains. The cortico-cortical neurons in superficial layers of motor cortex thus couple motor and sensory signals and might mediate sensorimotor integration and motor learning.

  5. 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

  6. Out of mind, out of sight: perceptual consequences of memory suppression.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyungmi; Yi, Do-Joon

    2013-04-01

    In the present study, the effect of memory suppression on subsequent perceptual processing of visual objects was examined within a modified think/no-think paradigm. Suppressing memories of visual objects significantly impaired subsequent perceptual identification of those objects when they were briefly encountered (Experiment 1) and when they were presented in noise (Experiment 2), relative to performance on baseline items for which participants did not undergo suppression training. However, in Experiment 3, when perceptual identification was performed on mirror-reversed images of to-be-suppressed objects, no impairment was observed. These findings, analogous to those showing forgetting of suppressed words in long-term memory, suggest that suppressing memories of visual objects might be mediated by direct inhibition of perceptual representations, which, in turn, impairs later perception of them. This study provides strong support for the role of inhibitory mechanisms in memory control and suggests a tight link between higher-order cognitive operations and perceptual processing.

  7. Accurate Visuomotor Control below the Perceptual Threshold of Size Discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Ganel, Tzvi; Freud, Erez; Chajut, Eran; Algom, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Background Human resolution for object size is typically determined by psychophysical methods that are based on conscious perception. In contrast, grasping of the same objects might be less conscious. It is suggested that grasping is mediated by mechanisms other than those mediating conscious perception. In this study, we compared the visual resolution for object size of the visuomotor and the perceptual system. Methodology/Principal Findings In Experiment 1, participants discriminated the size of pairs of objects once through perceptual judgments and once by grasping movements toward the objects. Notably, the actual size differences were set below the Just Noticeable Difference (JND). We found that grasping trajectories reflected the actual size differences between the objects regardless of the JND. This pattern was observed even in trials in which the perceptual judgments were erroneous. The results of an additional control experiment showed that these findings were not confounded by task demands. Participants were not aware, therefore, that their size discrimination via grasp was veridical. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that human resolution is not fully tapped by perceptually determined thresholds. Grasping likely exhibits greater resolving power than people usually realize. PMID:22558407

  8. Perceptual learning: top to bottom.

    PubMed

    Amitay, Sygal; Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Jones, Pete R; Moore, David R

    2014-06-01

    Perceptual learning has traditionally been portrayed as a bottom-up phenomenon that improves encoding or decoding of the trained stimulus. Cognitive skills such as attention and memory are thought to drive, guide and modulate learning but are, with notable exceptions, not generally considered to undergo changes themselves as a result of training with simple perceptual tasks. Moreover, shifts in threshold are interpreted as shifts in perceptual sensitivity, with no consideration for non-sensory factors (such as response bias) that may contribute to these changes. Accumulating evidence from our own research and others shows that perceptual learning is a conglomeration of effects, with training-induced changes ranging from the lowest (noise reduction in the phase locking of auditory signals) to the highest (working memory capacity) level of processing, and includes contributions from non-sensory factors that affect decision making even on a "simple" auditory task such as frequency discrimination. We discuss our emerging view of learning as a process that increases the signal-to-noise ratio associated with perceptual tasks by tackling noise sources and inefficiencies that cause performance bottlenecks, and present some implications for training populations other than young, smart, attentive and highly-motivated college students.

  9. 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

  10. “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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. PMID:17154769

  14. 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

  15. Perceptual hysteresis as a marker of perceptual inflexibility in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jean-Rémy; Dezecache, Guillaume; Pressnitzer, Daniel; Nuss, Philippe; Dokic, Jérôme; Bruno, Nicolas; Pacherie, Elisabeth; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-11-01

    People with schizophrenia are known to exhibit difficulties in the updating of their current belief states even in the light of disconfirmatory evidence. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that people with schizophrenia could also manifest perceptual inflexibility, or difficulties in the updating of their current sensory states. The presence of perceptual inflexibility might contribute both to the patients' altered perception of reality and the formation of some delusions as well as to their social cognition deficits. Here, we addressed this issue with a protocol of auditory hysteresis, a direct measure of sensory persistence, on a population of stabilized antipsychotic-treated schizophrenia patients and a sample of control subjects. Trials consisted of emotional signals (i.e., screams) and neutral signals (i.e., spectrally-rotated versions of the emotional stimuli) progressively emerging from white noise - Ascending Sequences - or progressively fading away in white noise - Descending Sequences. Results showed that patients presented significantly stronger hysteresis effects than control subjects, as evidenced by a higher rate of perceptual reports in Descending Sequences. The present study thus provides direct evidence of perceptual inflexibility in schizophrenia. PMID:25147080

  16. Activation of the mouse primary visual cortex by medial prefrontal subregion stimulation is not mediated by cholinergic basalo-cortical projections

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Hoang Nam; Huppé-Gourgues, Frédéric; Vaucher, Elvire

    2015-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts top-down control of primary visual cortex (V1) activity. As there is no direct neuronal projection from mPFC to V1, this functional connection may use an indirect route, i.e., via basalo-cortical cholinergic projections. The cholinergic projections to V1 originate from neurons in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB), which receive neuronal projections from the ventral part of the mPFC, composed of prelimbic (PrL) and infralimbic cortices (IL). Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of mice mPFC subregions activate (1) V1 neurons; and (2) HDB cholinergic neurons, suggesting that the HDB serves as a relay point in the mPFC-V1 interaction. Neuronal activation was quantified using c-Fos immunocytochemistry or thallium autometallography for each V1 layer using automated particle analysis tools and optical density measurement. Stimulation of IL and PrL induced significantly higher c-Fos expression or thallium labeling in layers II/III and V of V1 in the stimulated hemisphere only. A HDB cholinergic neuron-specific lesion by saporin administration reduced IL-induced c-Fos expression in layers II/III of V1 but not in layer V. However, there was no c-Fos expression or thallium labeling in the HDB neurons, suggesting that this area was not activated by IL stimulation. Stimulation of another mPFC subarea, the anterior cingulate cortex (AC), which is involved in attention and receives input from V1, activated neither V1 nor HDB. The present results indicate that IL and PrL, but not AC, stimulation activates V1 with the minor involvement of the HDB cholinergic projections. These results suggest a functional link between the ventral mPFC and V1, but this function is only marginally supported by HDB cholinergic neurons and may involve other brain regions. PMID:25709570

  17. Speed of perceptual grouping in acquired brain injury.

    PubMed

    Kurylo, Daniel D; Larkin, Gabriella Brick; Waxman, Richard; Bukhari, Farhan

    2014-09-01

    Evidence exists that damage to white matter connections may contribute to reduced speed of information processing in traumatic brain injury and stroke. Damage to such axonal projections suggests a particular vulnerability to functions requiring integration across cortical sites. To test this prediction, measurements were made of perceptual grouping, which requires integration of stimulus components. A group of traumatic brain injury and cerebral vascular accident patients and a group of age-matched healthy control subjects viewed arrays of dots and indicated the pattern into which stimuli were perceptually grouped. Psychophysical measurements were made of perceptual grouping as well as processing speed. The patient group showed elevated grouping thresholds as well as extended processing time. In addition, most patients showed progressive slowing of processing speed across levels of difficulty, suggesting reduced resources to accommodate increased demands on grouping. These results support the prediction that brain injury results in a particular vulnerability to functions requiring integration of information across the cortex, which may result from dysfunction of long-range axonal connection.

  18. 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…

  19. Methamphetamine blunts Ca(2+) currents and excitatory synaptic transmission through D1/5 receptor-mediated mechanisms in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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, 1 mg/kg) depressed voltage-dependent calcium currents (ICa ) and increased hyperpolarization-activated cation current (IH ) amplitude and the paired-pulse ratio of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (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 (1) voltage-gated calcium channels P/Q-type Cacna1a (Cav 2.1), N-type Cacna1b (Cav 2.2), T-type Cav 3.1 Cacna1g, Cav 3.2 Cacna1h, Cav 3.3 Cacna1i and the auxiliary subunit Cacna2d1 (α2δ1); (2) hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels Hcn1 and Hcn2; and (3) 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 PFC functional alterations that could lead to PFC impairments observed in METH-addicted individuals.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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. PMID:26240313

  4. Perceptual Aspects of Cluttered Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Louis, Kenneth O.; Myers, Florence L.; Faragasso, Kristine; Townsend, Paula S.; Gallaher, Amanda J.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this descriptive investigation was to explore perceptual judgments of speech naturalness, compared to judgments of articulation, language, disfluency, and speaking rate, in the speech of two youths who differed in cluttering severity. Two groups of listeners, 48 from New York and 48 from West Virginia, judged 93 speaking samples on…

  5. 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…

  6. Perceptual task induces saccadic adaptation by target selection.

    PubMed

    Schütz, Alexander C; Souto, David

    2015-01-01

    Adaptation of saccades can be induced by different error signals, such as retinal position errors, prediction errors, or reinforcement learning. Recently, we showed that a shift in the spatial goal of a perceptual task can induce saccadic adaptation, in the absence of a bottom-up position error. Here, we investigated whether this top-down effect is mediated by the visibility of the task-relevant object, by reinforcement due to the feedback about the perceptual judgment or by a target selection mechanism. Participants were asked to discriminate visual stimuli arranged in a vertical compound. To induce adaptation, the discrimination target was presented at eccentric locations in the compound. In the first experiment, we compared adaptation with an easy and difficult discrimination. In the second experiment, we compared adaptation when feedback about the perceptual task was valid and when feedback was provided but was unrelated to performance. In the third experiment, we compared adaptation with instructions to fixate one of the elements in the compound-target selection-to the perceptual task condition-target selection and discrimination. To control for a bottom-up stimulus effect, we ran a fourth experiment in which the only instruction was to look at the compound. The saccade amplitude data were fitted by a two-state model distinguishing between an immediate and a gradual error correction process. We replicated our finding that a perceptual task can drive adaptation of saccades. Adaptation showed no effect of feedback reliability, nor an effect of the perceptual task beyond target selection. Adaptation was induced by a top-down signal since it was absent when there was no target selection instruction and no perceptual task. The immediate error correction was larger for the difficult than for the easy condition, suggesting that task difficulty affects mainly voluntary saccade targeting. In addition, the repetition of experiments one week later increased the magnitude

  7. Top-down cortical input during NREM sleep consolidates perceptual memory.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, D; Hirai, D; Fung, C C A; Inutsuka, A; Odagawa, M; Suzuki, T; Boehringer, R; Adaikkan, C; Matsubara, C; Matsuki, N; Fukai, T; McHugh, T J; Yamanaka, A; Murayama, M

    2016-06-10

    During tactile perception, long-range intracortical top-down axonal projections are essential for processing sensory information. Whether these projections regulate sleep-dependent long-term memory consolidation is unknown. We altered top-down inputs from higher-order cortex to sensory cortex during sleep and examined the consolidation of memories acquired earlier during awake texture perception. Mice learned novel textures and consolidated them during sleep. Within the first hour of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, optogenetic inhibition of top-down projecting axons from secondary motor cortex (M2) to primary somatosensory cortex (S1) impaired sleep-dependent reactivation of S1 neurons and memory consolidation. In NREM sleep and sleep-deprivation states, closed-loop asynchronous or synchronous M2-S1 coactivation, respectively, reduced or prolonged memory retention. Top-down cortical information flow in NREM sleep is thus required for perceptual memory consolidation. PMID:27229145

  8. 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.

  9. Comparison of noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin in mediating the tachycardic and thermogenic effects of methamphetamine in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hassan, S F; Zumut, S; Burke, P G; McMullan, S; Cornish, J L; Goodchild, A K

    2015-06-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant that disrupts monoaminergic neurotransmission to evoke profound behavioral and physiological effects. Rapidly distributing to forebrain regions to increase synaptic concentrations of three monoamines (dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline (NA)), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is important in METH-altered behavioral and psychological profiles. Activation of the ventral mPFC can modify physiological variables, however, METH-evoked autonomic changes from this region are unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the respiratory, metabolic and cardiovascular effects of microinjection of METH, DA, 5-HT and NA into the ventral mPFC in urethane-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. METH and NA microinjection evoked dose-related increases in heart rate, interscapular brown adipose tissue temperature and expired CO2, a pattern of response characteristic of non-shivering thermogenesis. NA and 5-HT microinjection elicited pressor and depressor responses, respectively, with matching baroreflex adjustments in sympathetic nerve activity while METH and DA evoked no change in vasomotor outflow. Low doses of METH and DA may evoke respiratory depression. These data suggest that METH's actions in the ventral mPFC, likely via adrenergic receptors, evoke non-shivering thermogenesis which may contribute to the increased body temperature and tachycardia seen in those that abuse METH. PMID:25813709

  10. DNA methylation of the GC box in the promoter region mediates isolation rearing-induced suppression of srd5a1 transcription in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Araki, Ryota; Nishida, Shoji; Hiraki, Yosuke; Matsumoto, Kinzo; Yabe, Takeshi

    2015-10-01

    The levels of allopregnanolone (ALLO), a neurosteroid, in brain and serum are related to severity of depression and anxiety. Steroid 5α-reductase type I is the rate-limiting enzyme in ALLO biosynthesis and plays an important role in control of the ALLO level in mammalian brain. In this study, we examined an epigenetic mechanism for transcriptional regulation of srd5a1, which codes for steroid 5α-reductase type I, using isolation-reared mice. The mRNA level of srd5a1 was decreased in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in isolation-reared mice. Rearing in social isolation increased methylation of cytosines at -82 and -12 bp downstream of the transcription start site, which are located in a GC box element in the promoter region of srd5a1. Binding of Sp1, a ubiquitous transcription factor, to the GC box was decreased in the promoter region of srd5a1 in the PFC in isolation-reared mice. Site-specific methylation at cytosine -12 of a srd5a1 promoter-luciferase reporter construct, but not that of cytosine -82, downregulated the promoter activity of srd5a1. These findings suggest that transcription of srd5a1 in brain is regulated by environmental factor-induced cytosine methylation in the promoter region. This finding could contribute to development of antidepressant and anxiolytic agents.

  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.

  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. 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

  15. Perceptual and cognitive spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Bedford, F L

    1993-06-01

    Ss were taught novel mappings between visual space and motor space with either a variant on a prism adaptation paradigm (Experiments 1 and 2) or a nonperceptual cognitive task (Experiments 3 and 4). First, discrimination training specified that 1 visual location required a new pointing response but another location did not. This led to unusual generalization unlike typical generalization decrement. Second, training at 9 locations specified that 1 location required a new response but that the remaining 8 did not. This simple isolation mapping was unlearnable and instead a flat function fit through all of space. In contrast, for the cognitive paradigm, not only was isolation of one region of space easily learned, it was the preferred pattern of generalization. Implications for perceptual learning, as well as the qualitative distinctions between perceptual and cognitive learning, are discussed.

  16. 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

  17. Process and domain specificity in regions engaged for face processing: an fMRI study of perceptual differentiation.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. This 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). ROIs 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.

  18. 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,…

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Odor quality coding and categorization in human posterior piriform cortex

    PubMed Central

    Howard, James D; Plailly, Jane; Grueschow, Marcus; Haynes, John-Dylan; Gottfried, Jay A

    2010-01-01

    Efficient recognition of odorous objects universally shapes animal behavior and is crucial for survival. To distinguish kin from non-kin, mate from non-mate, food from non-food, organisms must be able to create meaningful perceptual representations of odor qualities and categories. It is currently unknown where, and in what form, the brain encodes information about odor quality. By combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with multivariate (pattern-based) techniques, we show that spatially distributed ensemble activity in human posterior piriform cortex (PPC) coincides with perceptual ratings of odor quality, such that odorants with more (or less) similar fMRI patterns were perceived as more (or less) alike. Critically, these effects were not observed in anterior piriform cortex, amygdala, or orbitofrontal cortex, demonstrating that ensemble coding of odor categorical perception is regionally specific for PPC. These findings substantiate theoretical models emphasizing the importance of distributed piriform templates for the perceptual reconstruction of odor object quality. PMID:19483688

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25385590

  7. 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. PMID:25385590

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Existence of glia mitigated ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in neuron-glia mixed cultures of neonatal rat cortex and the glia-mediated protective effect of 2-PMPA.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Daiying; Wang, Chengna; Li, Zengqiang; Lin, Li; Duan, Zhenfang; Qi, Huan; Li, Lin; Sun, Feng; Wu, Yingliang

    2014-09-01

    The present study compared ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in the neuron-glia mixed cultures and neuronal cultures and further explored the neuroprotective effect of the NAAG peptidase inhibitor 2-(phosphonomethyl) pentanedioic acid (2-PMPA). Firstly, Rosenfeld's staining and immunofluorescence staining of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were used to address the difference of morphology in the mixed cultures and neuronal cultures. Our results showed that neurons and astrocytes grew in good conditions. The ratio of neurons and astrocytes in the mixed cultures was around 1:1, and the purity of neurons in the neuronal cultures is 91.3%. Furthermore, ketamine was used to test the hypothesis that the presence of a higher proportion of glia in the mixed cultures would be protective against ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in the mixed cultures compared with neuronal cultures. The results showed that ketamine-induced morphological changes, cell viability decrease and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels increase were significantly mitigated in neuron-glia mixed cultures compared with neuronal cultures. Furthermore, 2-PMPA was included to further explore efficient protective drug for ketamine-induced neurotoxicity. Our results showed that 2-PMPA reduced ketamine-induced decrease of cell viability and increase of LDH levels in the mixed cultures but not in the neuronal cultures. Further morphological changes of neurons and astrocytes also indicated that 2-PMPA could improve ketamine damaged neurons in the mixed cultures instead of neuronal cultures. These results indicate that glia protect neurons from ketamine-induced neurotoxicity. These data further suggest that glia mediate the neuroprotective effect of 2-PMPA and 2-PMPA has the potential to treat ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in vivo. Delineating the mechanisms underlying the communication between neurons and glia and the neuroprotective effects of 2-PMPA in the mixed

  11. Unreliable evidence: 2 sources of uncertainty during perceptual choice.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Motor cortex guides selection of predictable movement targets.

    PubMed

    Woodgate, Philip J W; Strauss, Soeren; Sami, Saber A; Heinke, Dietmar

    2015-01-01

    The present paper asks whether the motor cortex contributes to prediction-based guidance of target selection. This question was inspired by recent evidence that suggests (i) recurrent connections from the motor system into the attentional system may extract movement-relevant perceptual information and (ii) that the motor cortex cannot only generate predictions of the sensory consequences of movements but may also operate as predictor of perceptual events in general. To test this idea we employed a choice reaching task requiring participants to rapidly reach and touch a predictable or unpredictable colour target. Motor cortex activity was modulated via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In Experiment 1 target colour repetitions were predictable. Under such conditions anodal tDCS facilitated selection versus sham and cathodal tDCS. This improvement was apparent for trajectory curvature but not movement initiation. Conversely, where no predictability of colour was embedded reach performance was unaffected by tDCS. Finally, the results of a key-press experiment suggested that motor cortex involvement is restricted to tasks where the predictable target colour is movement-relevant. The outcomes are interpreted as evidence that the motor system contributes to the top-down guidance of selective attention to movement targets.

  15. 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

  16. Perceptual estimation obeys Occam's razor.

    PubMed

    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

  17. Perceptually lossy compression of documents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beretta, Giordano B.; Bhaskaran, Vasudev; Konstantinides, Konstantinos; Natarajan, Balas R.

    1997-06-01

    The main cost of owning a facsimile machine consists of the telephone charges for the communications, thus short transmission times are a key feature for facsimile machines. Similarly, on a packet-routed service such as the Internet, a low number of packets is essential to avoid operator wait times. Concomitantly, the user expectations have increased considerably. In facsimile, the switch from binary to full color increases the data size by a factor of 24. On the Internet, the switch from plain text American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) encoded files to files marked up in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) with ample embedded graphics has increased the size of transactions by several orders of magnitude. A common compressing method for raster files in these applications in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) method, because efficient implementations are readily available. In this method the implementors design the discrete quantization tables (DQT) and the Huffman tables (HT) to maximize the compression factor while maintaining the introduced artifacts at the threshold of perceptual detectability. Unfortunately the achieved compression rates are unsatisfactory for applications such as color facsimile and World Wide Web (W3) browsing. We present a design methodology for image-independent DQTs that while producing perceptually lossy data, does not impair the reading performance of users. Combined with a text sharpening algorithm that compensates for scanning device limitations, the methodology presented in this paper allows us to achieve compression ratios near 1:100.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:18785819

  20. Perceptual color map in macaque visual area V4.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Liu, Fang; Juusola, Mikko; Tang, Shiming

    2014-01-01

    Colors distinguishable with trichromatic vision can be defined by a 3D color space, such as red-green-blue or hue-saturation-lightness (HSL) space, but it remains unclear how the cortex represents colors along these dimensions. Using intrinsic optical imaging and electrophysiology, and systematically choosing color stimuli from HSL coordinates, we examined how perceptual colors are mapped in visual area V4 in behaving macaques. We show that any color activates 1-4 separate cortical patches within "globs," millimeter-sized color-preferring modules. Most patches belong to different hue or lightness clusters, in which sequential representations follow the color order in HSL space. Some patches overlap greatly with those of related colors, forming stacks, possibly representing invariable features, whereas few seem positioned irregularly. However, for any color, saturation increases the activity of all its patches. These results reveal how the color map in V4 is organized along the framework of the perceptual HSL space, whereupon different multipatch activity patterns represent different colors. We propose that such distributed and combinatorial representations may expand the encodable color space of small cortical maps and facilitate binding color information to other image features. PMID:24381282

  1. 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

  2. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. Associative Hebbian Synaptic Plasticity in Primate Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shiyong; Rozas, Carlos; Treviño, Mario; Contreras, Jessica; Yang, Sunggu; Song, Lihua; Yoshioka, Takashi; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2014-01-01

    In primates, the functional connectivity of adult primary visual cortex is susceptible to be modified by sensory training during perceptual learning. It is widely held that this type of neural plasticity might involve mechanisms like long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). NMDAR-dependent forms of LTP and LTD are particularly attractive because in rodents they can be induced in a Hebbian manner by near coincidental presynaptic and postsynaptic firing, in a paradigm termed spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). These fundamental properties of LTP and LTD, Hebbian induction and NMDAR dependence, have not been examined in primate cortex. Here we demonstrate these properties in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), and also show that, like in rodents, STDP is gated by neuromodulators. These findings indicate that the cellular principles governing cortical plasticity are conserved across mammalian species, further validating the use of rodents as a model system. PMID:24872561

  7. 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

  8. Target frequency influences antisaccade endpoint bias: evidence for perceptual averaging.

    PubMed

    Gillen, Caitlin; Heath, Matthew

    2014-12-01

    Perceptual judgments related to stimulus-sets are represented computationally different than individual items. In particular, the perceptual averaging hypothesis contends that the visual system represents target properties (e.g., eccentricity) via a statistical summary of the individual targets included within a stimulus-set. Here we sought to determine whether perceptual averaging governs the visual information mediating an oculomotor task requiring top-down control (i.e., antisaccade). To that end, participants completed antisaccades (i.e., saccade mirror-symmetrical to a target) – and complementary prosaccades (i.e., saccade to veridical target location) – to different target eccentricities (10.5°, 15.5° and 20.5°) located left and right of a common fixation. Importantly, trials were completed in blocks wherein eccentricities were presented with equal frequency (i.e., control condition) and when the ‘proximal’ (10.5°: i.e., proximal-weighting condition) and ‘distal’ (20.5°: i.e., distal-weighting condition) targets were respectively presented five times as often as the other eccentricities. If antisaccades are governed by a statistical summary then amplitudes should be biased in the direction of the most frequently presented target within a block. As expected, pro- and antisaccade across each target eccentricity were associated with an undershooting bias and prosaccades were refractory to the manipulation of target frequency. Most notably, antisaccades in the proximal-weighting condition had a larger undershooting bias than the control condition, whereas the converse was true for the distal-weighing condition; that is, antisaccades were biased in the direction of the most frequently presented target. Thus, we propose that perceptual averaging extends to motor tasks requiring top-down cognitive control.

  9. Oculomotor Remapping of Visual Information to Foveal Retinotopic Cortex.

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. Auditory Cortex Is Required for Fear Potentiation of Gap Detection

    PubMed Central

    Weible, Aldis P.; Liu, Christine; Niell, Cristopher M.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory cortex is necessary for the perceptual detection of brief gaps in noise, but is not necessary for many other auditory tasks such as frequency discrimination, prepulse inhibition of startle responses, or fear conditioning with pure tones. It remains unclear why auditory cortex should be necessary for some auditory tasks but not others. One possibility is that auditory cortex is causally involved in gap detection and other forms of temporal processing in order to associate meaning with temporally structured sounds. This predicts that auditory cortex should be necessary for associating meaning with gaps. To test this prediction, we developed a fear conditioning paradigm for mice based on gap detection. We found that pairing a 10 or 100 ms gap with an aversive stimulus caused a robust enhancement of gap detection measured 6 h later, which we refer to as fear potentiation of gap detection. Optogenetic suppression of auditory cortex during pairing abolished this fear potentiation, indicating that auditory cortex is critically involved in associating temporally structured sounds with emotionally salient events. PMID:25392510

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Using fMR-Adaptation to Track Complex Object Representations in Perirhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rubin, Rachael D.; Chesney, Samantha; Cohen, Neal J.; Gonsalves, Brian D.

    2013-01-01

    Brain regions in medial temporal lobe have seen a shift in emphasis in their role in long-term declarative memory to an appreciation of their role in cognitive domains beyond declarative memory, such as implicit memory, working memory, and perception. Recent theoretical accounts emphasize the function of perirhinal cortex in terms of its role in the ventral visual stream. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance adaptation (fMRa) to show that brain structures in the visual processing stream can bind item features prior to the involvement of hippocampal binding mechanisms. Evidence for perceptual binding was assessed by comparing BOLD responses between fused objects and variants of the same object as different, non-fused forms (e.g. physically separate objects). Adaptation of the neural response to fused, but not non-fused, objects was in left fusiform cortex and left perirhinal cortex, indicating the involvement of these regions in the perceptual binding of item representations. PMID:23997832

  16. Spontaneous perceptual facial distortions correlate with ventral occipitotemporal activity.

    PubMed

    Dalrymple, Kirsten A; Davies-Thompson, Jodie; Oruc, Ipek; Handy, Todd C; Barton, Jason J S; Duchaine, Brad

    2014-07-01

    Prosopometamorphopsia is a disorder of face perception in which faces appear distorted to the perceiver. The neural basis of prosopometamorphopsia is unclear, but may involve abnormal activity in face-selective areas in the ventral occipito-temporal pathway. Here we present the case of AS, a 44-year-old woman who reports persistent perceptual distortions of faces with no known cause. AS was presented with facial images and rated the magnitude of her distortions while activity in her core face areas and other areas in the ventral visual pathway was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The magnitude of her distortions was positively correlated with signal changes in the right occipital face area (OFA) and right fusiform face area (FFA), as well as right V1-V3, and right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). There was also a trend for a significant correlation with signal in the left OFA and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), but not in the right or left superior temporal sulcus (STS). These results suggest that AS' prosopometamorphopsia reflects anomalous activity in face-processing network, particularly in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex.

  17. 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

  18. The formation of linked perceptual classes.

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Positive affect modulates activity in the visual cortex to images of high calorie foods.

    PubMed

    Killgore, William D S; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2007-05-01

    Activity within the visual cortex can be influenced by the emotional salience of a stimulus, but it is not clear whether such cortical activity is modulated by the affective status of the individual. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relationship between affect ratings on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and activity within the occipital cortex of 13 normal-weight women while viewing images of high calorie and low calorie foods. Regression analyses revealed that when participants viewed high calorie foods, Positive Affect correlated significantly with activity within the lingual gyrus and calcarine cortex, whereas Negative Affect was unrelated to visual cortex activity. In contrast, during presentations of low calorie foods, affect ratings, regardless of valence, were unrelated to occipital cortex activity. These findings suggest a mechanism whereby positive affective state may affect the early stages of sensory processing, possibly influencing subsequent perceptual experience of a stimulus. PMID:17464782

  1. 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…

  2. Location, Location, Location: Alterations in the Functional Topography of Face- but not Object- or Place-Related Cortex in Adolescents with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Scherf, K. Suzanne; Luna, Beatriz; Minshew, Nancy; Behrmann, Marlene

    2009-01-01

    In autism, impairments in face processing are a relatively recent discovery, but have quickly become a widely accepted aspect of the behavioral profile. Only a handful of studies have investigated potential atypicalities in autism in the development of the neural substrates mediating face processing. High-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) and matched typically developing (TD) controls watched dynamic movie vignettes of faces, common objects, buildings, and scenes of navigation while undergoing an fMRI scan. With these data, we mapped the functional topography of category-selective activation for faces bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus, occipital face area, and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Additionally, we mapped category-selective activation for objects in the lateral occipital area and for places in the parahippocampal place area in the two groups. Our findings do not indicate a generalized disruption in the development of the entire ventral visual pathway in autism. Instead, our results suggest that the functional topography of face-related cortex is selectively disrupted in autism and that this alteration is present in early adolescence. Furthermore, for those HFA adolescents who do exhibit face-selective activation, this activation tends to be located in traditionally object-related regions, which supports the hypothesis that perceptual processing of faces in autism may be more akin to the perceptual processing of common objects in TD individuals. PMID:20631857

  3. 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

  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. The perceptual cues that reshape expert reasoning.

    PubMed

    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

  7. Visual Neuroscience: The Puzzle of Perceptual Stability.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Eckart; Bremmer, Frank

    2016-03-01

    Our world appears stable, although our eyes constantly shift its image across the retina. What brain mechanisms allow for this perceptual stability? A recent study has brought us a step closer to answering this millennial question. PMID:26954439

  8. 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

  9. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    PubMed

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL) shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL. PMID:25942318

  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. In the eye of the beholder: internally driven uncertainty of danger recruits the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Zaretsky, Michal; Mendelsohn, Avi; Mintz, Matti; Hendler, Talma

    2010-10-01

    Interpretation of emotional context is a pivotal aspect of understanding social situations. A critical component of this process is assessment of danger levels in the surrounding, which may have a direct effect on the organism's survival. The limbic system has been implicated in mediating this assessment. In situations of uncertainty, the evaluation process may also call for greater involvement of prefrontal cortex for decision-making and planning of an appropriate behavioral response. In the following study, morphed face images depicting emotional expressions were used to examine brain correlates of subjective uncertainty and perceptual ambiguity regarding danger. Fear and neutral expressions of 20 faces were morphed, and each of the face videos was divided into three sequences of equal length representing three levels of objective certainty regarding the expressions neutral, fear, and ambiguous. Sixteen subjects were scanned in a 1.5-T scanner while viewing 60 x 6-sec video sequences and were asked to report their subjective certainty regarding the level of danger surrounding the face on a four-level scale combining definite/maybe and danger/no-danger values. The individual responses were recorded and used as the basis for a "subjective protocol" versus an "objective protocol." Significant activations of the amygdala, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were observed under the subjective protocol of internally driven uncertainty, but not under objective stimuli-based ambiguity. We suggest that this brain network is involved in generating subjective assessment of social affective cues. This study provides further support to the "relevance detector" theory of the amygdala and implicates its importance to behavior relying heavily on subjective assessment of danger, such as in the security domain context. PMID:19929759

  12. In the eye of the beholder: internally driven uncertainty of danger recruits the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Zaretsky, Michal; Mendelsohn, Avi; Mintz, Matti; Hendler, Talma

    2010-10-01

    Interpretation of emotional context is a pivotal aspect of understanding social situations. A critical component of this process is assessment of danger levels in the surrounding, which may have a direct effect on the organism's survival. The limbic system has been implicated in mediating this assessment. In situations of uncertainty, the evaluation process may also call for greater involvement of prefrontal cortex for decision-making and planning of an appropriate behavioral response. In the following study, morphed face images depicting emotional expressions were used to examine brain correlates of subjective uncertainty and perceptual ambiguity regarding danger. Fear and neutral expressions of 20 faces were morphed, and each of the face videos was divided into three sequences of equal length representing three levels of objective certainty regarding the expressions neutral, fear, and ambiguous. Sixteen subjects were scanned in a 1.5-T scanner while viewing 60 x 6-sec video sequences and were asked to report their subjective certainty regarding the level of danger surrounding the face on a four-level scale combining definite/maybe and danger/no-danger values. The individual responses were recorded and used as the basis for a "subjective protocol" versus an "objective protocol." Significant activations of the amygdala, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were observed under the subjective protocol of internally driven uncertainty, but not under objective stimuli-based ambiguity. We suggest that this brain network is involved in generating subjective assessment of social affective cues. This study provides further support to the "relevance detector" theory of the amygdala and implicates its importance to behavior relying heavily on subjective assessment of danger, such as in the security domain context.

  13. Perceptual organization and White's illusion.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Barton L

    2003-01-01

    The apparent lightness of a surface can be strongly modulated by the spatial context in which it is embedded. Early theories of such context dependence emphasized the role of low-level mechanisms that sense border contrast, whereas a number of recent authors have emphasized the role of perceptual organization in determining perceived lightness. One of the simplest and most theoretically challenging lightness illusions was described by White. This illusion has been explained with a variety of different models, ranging from low-level filter outputs to computations underlying the extraction of mid-level representations of surfaces. Here, I present a new method for determining the organizational forces that shape this illusion. I show that the spatial context of White's pattern not only transforms the apparent lightness of homogeneous target patches. but can also induce dramatic inversions of figure-ground relationships of textured target regions. These phenomena provide new evidence for the role of scission in causing the lightness illusion experienced in White's effect. PMID:12729379

  14. Abstraction in perceptual symbol systems.

    PubMed Central

    Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2003-01-01

    After reviewing six senses of abstraction, this article focuses on abstractions that take the form of summary representations. Three central properties of these abstractions are established: ( i ) type-token interpretation; (ii) structured representation; and (iii) dynamic realization. Traditional theories of representation handle interpretation and structure well but are not sufficiently dynamical. Conversely, connectionist theories are exquisitely dynamic but have problems with structure. Perceptual symbol systems offer an approach that implements all three properties naturally. Within this framework, a loose collection of property and relation simulators develops to represent abstractions. Type-token interpretation results from binding a property simulator to a region of a perceived or simulated category member. Structured representation results from binding a configuration of property and relation simulators to multiple regions in an integrated manner. Dynamic realization results from applying different subsets of property and relation simulators to category members on different occasions. From this standpoint, there are no permanent or complete abstractions of a category in memory. Instead, abstraction is the skill to construct temporary online interpretations of a category's members. Although an infinite number of abstractions are possible, attractors develop for habitual approaches to interpretation. This approach provides new ways of thinking about abstraction phenomena in categorization, inference, background knowledge and learning. PMID:12903648

  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. Temporal expectation enhances contrast sensitivity by phase entrainment of low-frequency oscillations in visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    CRAVO, André M.; ROHENKOHL, Gustavo; WYART, Valentin; NOBRE, Anna C.

    2013-01-01

    Although it is increasingly accepted that temporal expectation can modulate early perceptual processing, the underlying neural computations remain unknown. In the present study, we combined a psychophysical paradigm with electrophysiological recordings to investigate the putative contribution of low-frequency oscillatory activity in mediating the modulation of visual perception by temporal expectation. Human participants judged the orientation of brief targets (visual Gabor patterns tilted clockwise or counter-clockwise) embedded within temporally regular or irregular streams of noise-patches used as temporal cues. Psychophysical results indicated that temporal expectation enhanced the contrast sensitivity of visual targets. A diffusion model indicated that rhythmic temporal expectation modulated the signal-to-noise gain of visual processing. The concurrent electrophysiological data revealed that the phase of delta oscillations overlying human visual cortex (1 to 4 Hz) was predictive of the quality of target processing only in regular streams of events. Moreover, in the regular condition, the optimum phase of these perception-predictive oscillations occurred in anticipation of the expected events. Together, these results show a strong correspondence between psychophysical and neurophysiological data, suggesting that the phase entrainment of low-frequency oscillations to external sensory cues can serve as an important and flexible mechanism for enhancing sensory processing. PMID:23447609

  17. Rapastinel (GLYX-13) has therapeutic potential for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: Characterization of a NMDA receptor-mediated metaplasticity process in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats.

    PubMed

    Burgdorf, Jeffrey; Kroes, Roger A; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Gross, Amanda L; Schmidt, Mary; Weiss, Craig; Disterhoft, John F; Burch, Ronald M; Stanton, Patric K; Moskal, Joseph R

    2015-11-01

    Rapastinel (GLYX-13) is a NMDA receptor modulator with glycine-site partial agonist properties. It is a robust cognitive enhancer and shows rapid and long-lasting antidepressant properties in both animal models and in humans. Contextual fear extinction (CFE) in rodents has been well characterized and used extensively as a model to study the neurobiological mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since CFE is NMDA receptor modulated and neural circuitry in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) regulates both depression and PTSD, studies were undertaken to examine the effects of rapastinel for its therapeutic potential in PTSD and to use rapastinel as a tool to study its underlying glutamatergic mechanisms. A 21-day chronic mild unpredictable stress (CUS) rat model was used to model depression and PTSD. The effects of CUS alone compared to No CUS controls, and the effects of rapastinel (3 mg/kg IV) on CUS-treated animals were examined. The effect of rapastinel was first assessed using CUS-treated rats in three depression models, Porsolt, sucrose preference, and novelty-induced hypophagia tests, and found to produce a complete reversal of the depressive-like state in each model. Rapastinel was then assessed in a MPFC-dependent positive emotional learning paradigm and in CFE and again a reversal of the impairments induced by CUS treatment was observed. Both synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, as measured by the induction of long-term potentiation in rat MPFC slice preparations, was found to be markedly impaired in CUS-treated animals. This impairment was reversed when CUS-treated rats were administered rapastinel and tested 24 h later. Transcriptomic analysis of MPFC mRNA expression in CUS-treated rats corroborated the link between rapastinel's behavioral effects and synaptic plasticity. A marked enrichment in both the LTP and LTD connectomes in rapastinel-treated CUS rats was observed compared to CUS-treated controls. The effects of rapastinel on

  18. siRNA-mediated downregulation of GluN2B in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex attenuates mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in a rat model of pain associated with bone cancer

    PubMed Central

    XU, YONGGUANG; WANG, GONGMING; ZOU, XULI; YANG, ZAIQI; WANG, QIN; FENG, HAO; ZHANG, MENGYUAN

    2016-01-01

    It has previously been suggested that the upregulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (GluN2B) within the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) may contribute to the development of chronic pain. The present study used a rat model of bone cancer pain in order to investigate whether lentiviral-mediated delivery of small interfering RNAs targeting GluN2B (LV-GluN2B) could attenuate pain associated with bone cancer, by selectively decreasing GluN2B expression within the rACC. Sprague Dawley rats were inoculated with osteosarcoma cells into the intramedullary space of the right tibia in order to induce persistent bone cancer-associated pain. Intra-rACC administration of the lentiviral siRNA was performed in the tumor bearing rats; and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were performed in order to detect the expression levels of GluN2B. Pain behavior changes were evaluated via paw withdrawal threshold and latency determinations. Marked and region-selective decreases in the mRNA and protein expression levels of GluN2B were detected in the rACC following the intra-rACC administration of LV-GluN2B. Furthermore, the rats also exhibited pain behavior changes corresponding to the decreased levels of GluN2B. By post-operative day 14, inoculation of osteosarcoma cells had significantly enhanced mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in the rats, which were subsequently attenuated by the intra-rACC administration of LV-GluN2B. Notably, the paw withdrawal threshold and latency of the tumor-bearing rats had recovered to normal levels, by day 14 post-administration. The results of the present study suggest that GluN2B within the rACC may be a potential target for RNA interference therapy for the treatment of pain associated with bone cancer. Furthermore, the lentiviral vector delivery strategy may be a promising novel approach for the treatment of bone cancer pain. PMID:26889244

  19. Activation of mGlu2/3 metabotropic glutamate receptors negatively regulates the stimulation of inositol phospholipid hydrolysis mediated by 5-hydroxytryptamine2A serotonin receptors in the frontal cortex of living mice.

    PubMed

    Molinaro, G; Traficante, A; Riozzi, B; Di Menna, L; Curto, M; Pallottino, S; Nicoletti, F; Bruno, V; Battaglia, G

    2009-08-01

    The interaction between 5-hydroxytryptamine(2A) (5-HT(2A)) serotonin receptors and metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) 2/3 receptors underlies the antipsychotic activity of mGlu2/3 receptor agonists in experimental animals and humans. The molecular nature of this interaction is only partially known. We here report for the first time that pharmacological activation of mGlu2/3 receptors attenuates the stimulation of polyphosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis mediated by 5-HT(2A) receptors in the frontal cortex of living mice. Mice were injected intracerebroventricularly with [myo-(3)H]inositol and treated with drugs 1 h after a pretreatment with lithium, which blocks the conversion of inositol monophosphate into free inositol. Systemic injection of the mGlu2/3 receptor agonist (-)-2-oxa-4-aminocyclo[3.1.0]hexane-4,6-dicarboxylic acid (LY379268) inhibited the stimulation of PI hydrolysis induced by the hallucinogenic 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist (+/-)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) without affecting the stimulation by mGlu1/5 or muscarinic receptors. The action of LY379268 was prevented by the preferential mGlu2/3 receptor antagonist (2S,1'S,2'S)-2-(9-xanthylmethyl)-2-(2'-carboxycyclopropyl)glycine (LY341495). N-(4'-cyano-biphenyl-3-yl)-N-(3-pyridinylmethyl)-ethanesulfonamide hydrochloride (LY566332), a selective mGlu2 receptor enhancer, also reduced DOI-stimulated PI hydrolysis when combined with subthreshold doses of LY379268. Systemic LY379268 inhibited DOI-stimulated PI hydrolysis in mice lacking either mGlu2 or mGlu3 receptors but was inactive in double mGlu2/mGlu3 receptor knockout mice, suggesting that both mGlu2 and mGlu3 receptors interact with 5-HT(2A) receptors. Surprisingly, contrasting results were obtained in cortical slice preparations, where LY379268 amplified both DOI- and 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine-stimulated PI hydrolysis. Amplification was abrogated by the mGlu5 receptor antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine, suggesting that

  20. Generation and Perceptual Implicit Memory: Different Generation Tasks Produce Different Effects on Perceptual Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Dew, Ilana T. Z.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  1. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Augments Perceptual Sensitivity and 24-Hour Retention in a Complex Threat Detection Task

    PubMed Central

    Falcone, Brian; Coffman, Brian A.; Clark, Vincent P.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2012-01-01

    We have previously shown that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improved performance of a complex visual perceptual learning task (Clark et al. 2012). However, it is not known whether tDCS can enhance perceptual sensitivity independently of non-specific, arousal-linked changes in response bias, nor whether any such sensitivity benefit can be retained over time. We examined the influence of stimulation of the right inferior frontal cortex using tDCS on perceptual learning and retention in 37 healthy participants, using signal detection theory to distinguish effects on perceptual sensitivity (d′) from response bias (ß). Anodal stimulation with 2 mA increased d′, compared to a 0.1 mA sham stimulation control, with no effect on ß. On completion of training, participants in the active stimulation group had more than double the perceptual sensitivity of the control group. Furthermore, the performance enhancement was maintained for 24 hours. The results show that tDCS augments both skill acquisition and retention in a complex detection task and that the benefits are rooted in an improvement in sensitivity (d′), rather than changes in response bias (ß). Stimulation-driven acceleration of learning and its retention over 24 hours may result from increased activation of prefrontal cortical regions that provide top-down attentional control signals to object recognition areas. PMID:22511978

  2. Transcranial direct current stimulation augments perceptual sensitivity and 24-hour retention in a complex threat detection task.

    PubMed

    Falcone, Brian; Coffman, Brian A; Clark, Vincent P; Parasuraman, Raja

    2012-01-01

    We have previously shown that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improved performance of a complex visual perceptual learning task (Clark et al. 2012). However, it is not known whether tDCS can enhance perceptual sensitivity independently of non-specific, arousal-linked changes in response bias, nor whether any such sensitivity benefit can be retained over time. We examined the influence of stimulation of the right inferior frontal cortex using tDCS on perceptual learning and retention in 37 healthy participants, using signal detection theory to distinguish effects on perceptual sensitivity (d') from response bias (ß). Anodal stimulation with 2 mA increased d', compared to a 0.1 mA sham stimulation control, with no effect on ß. On completion of training, participants in the active stimulation group had more than double the perceptual sensitivity of the control group. Furthermore, the performance enhancement was maintained for 24 hours. The results show that tDCS augments both skill acquisition and retention in a complex detection task and that the benefits are rooted in an improvement in sensitivity (d'), rather than changes in response bias (ß). Stimulation-driven acceleration of learning and its retention over 24 hours may result from increased activation of prefrontal cortical regions that provide top-down attentional control signals to object recognition areas.

  3. Perceptual Image Compression in Telemedicine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Eckstein, Miguel; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The next era of space exploration, especially the "Mission to Planet Earth" will generate immense quantities of image data. For example, the Earth Observing System (EOS) is expected to generate in excess of one terabyte/day. NASA confronts a major technical challenge in managing this great flow of imagery: in collection, pre-processing, transmission to earth, archiving, and distribution to scientists at remote locations. Expected requirements in most of these areas clearly exceed current technology. Part of the solution to this problem lies in efficient image compression techniques. For much of this imagery, the ultimate consumer is the human eye. In this case image compression should be designed to match the visual capacities of the human observer. We have developed three techniques for optimizing image compression for the human viewer. The first consists of a formula, developed jointly with IBM and based on psychophysical measurements, that computes a DCT quantization matrix for any specified combination of viewing distance, display resolution, and display brightness. This DCT quantization matrix is used in most recent standards for digital image compression (JPEG, MPEG, CCITT H.261). The second technique optimizes the DCT quantization matrix for each individual image, based on the contents of the image. This is accomplished by means of a model of visual sensitivity to compression artifacts. The third technique extends the first two techniques to the realm of wavelet compression. Together these two techniques will allow systematic perceptual optimization of image compression in NASA imaging systems. Many of the image management challenges faced by NASA are mirrored in the field of telemedicine. Here too there are severe demands for transmission and archiving of large image databases, and the imagery is ultimately used primarily by human observers, such as radiologists. In this presentation I will describe some of our preliminary explorations of the applications

  4. Frequent video game players resist perceptual interference.

    PubMed

    Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.

  5. Pupil size tracks perceptual content and surprise.

    PubMed

    Kloosterman, Niels A; Meindertsma, Thomas; van Loon, Anouk M; Lamme, Victor A F; Bonneh, Yoram S; Donner, Tobias H

    2015-04-01

    Changes in pupil size at constant light levels reflect the activity of neuromodulatory brainstem centers that control global brain state. These endogenously driven pupil dynamics can be synchronized with cognitive acts. For example, the pupil dilates during the spontaneous switches of perception of a constant sensory input in bistable perceptual illusions. It is unknown whether this pupil dilation only indicates the occurrence of perceptual switches, or also their content. Here, we measured pupil diameter in human subjects reporting the subjective disappearance and re-appearance of a physically constant visual target surrounded by a moving pattern ('motion-induced blindness' illusion). We show that the pupil dilates during the perceptual switches in the illusion and a stimulus-evoked 'replay' of that illusion. Critically, the switch-related pupil dilation encodes perceptual content, with larger amplitude for disappearance than re-appearance. This difference in pupil response amplitude enables prediction of the type of report (disappearance vs. re-appearance) on individual switches (receiver-operating characteristic: 61%). The amplitude difference is independent of the relative durations of target-visible and target-invisible intervals and subjects' overt behavioral report of the perceptual switches. Further, we show that pupil dilation during the replay also scales with the level of surprise about the timing of switches, but there is no evidence for an interaction between the effects of surprise and perceptual content on the pupil response. Taken together, our results suggest that pupil-linked brain systems track both the content of, and surprise about, perceptual events. PMID:25754528

  6. Long-Range Neuronal Circuits Underlying the Interaction between Sensory and Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Tianyi; Kusefoglu, Deniz; Hooks, Bryan M.; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY In the rodent vibrissal system, active sensation and sensorimotor integration are mediated in part by connections between barrel cortex and vibrissal motor cortex. Little is known about how these structures interact at the level of neurons. We used Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expression, combined with anterograde and retrograde labeling, to map connections between barrel cortex and pyramidal neurons in mouse motor cortex. Barrel cortex axons preferentially targeted upper layer (L2/3, L5A) neurons in motor cortex; input to neurons projecting back to barrel cortex was particularly strong. Barrel cortex input to deeper layers (L5B, L6) of motor cortex, including neurons projecting to the brainstem, was weak, despite pronounced geometric overlap of dendrites with axons from barrel cortex. Neurons in different layers received barrel cortex input within stereotyped dendritic domains. The cortico-cortical neurons in superficial layers of motor cortex thus couple motor and sensory signals and might mediate sensorimotor integration and motor learning. PMID:21982373

  7. Multisensory perceptual learning and sensory substitution.

    PubMed

    Proulx, Michael J; Brown, David J; Pasqualotto, Achille; Meijer, Peter

    2014-04-01

    One of the most exciting recent findings in neuroscience has been the capacity for neural plasticity in adult humans and animals. Studies of perceptual learning have provided key insights into the mechanisms of neural plasticity and the changes in functional neuroanatomy that it affords. Key questions in this field of research concern how practice of a task leads to specific or general improvement. Although much of this work has been carried out with a focus on a single sensory modality, primarily visual, there is increasing interest in multisensory perceptual learning. Here we will examine how advances in perceptual learning research both inform and can be informed by the development and advancement of sensory substitution devices for blind persons. To allow 'sight' to occur in the absence of visual input through the eyes, visual information can be transformed by a sensory substitution device into a representation that can be processed as sound or touch, and thus give one the potential to 'see' through the ears or tongue. Investigations of auditory, visual and multisensory perceptual learning can have key benefits for the advancement of sensory substitution, and the study of sensory deprivation and sensory substitution likewise will further the understanding of perceptual learning in general and the reverse hierarchy theory in particular. It also has significant importance for the developing understanding of the brain in metamodal terms, where functional brain areas might be best defined by the computations they carry out rather than by their sensory-specific processing role. PMID:23220697

  8. Multisensory perceptual learning and sensory substitution.

    PubMed

    Proulx, Michael J; Brown, David J; Pasqualotto, Achille; Meijer, Peter

    2014-04-01

    One of the most exciting recent findings in neuroscience has been the capacity for neural plasticity in adult humans and animals. Studies of perceptual learning have provided key insights into the mechanisms of neural plasticity and the changes in functional neuroanatomy that it affords. Key questions in this field of research concern how practice of a task leads to specific or general improvement. Although much of this work has been carried out with a focus on a single sensory modality, primarily visual, there is increasing interest in multisensory perceptual learning. Here we will examine how advances in perceptual learning research both inform and can be informed by the development and advancement of sensory substitution devices for blind persons. To allow 'sight' to occur in the absence of visual input through the eyes, visual information can be transformed by a sensory substitution device into a representation that can be processed as sound or touch, and thus give one the potential to 'see' through the ears or tongue. Investigations of auditory, visual and multisensory perceptual learning can have key benefits for the advancement of sensory substitution, and the study of sensory deprivation and sensory substitution likewise will further the understanding of perceptual learning in general and the reverse hierarchy theory in particular. It also has significant importance for the developing understanding of the brain in metamodal terms, where functional brain areas might be best defined by the computations they carry out rather than by their sensory-specific processing role.

  9. Retention of perceptual generalization of fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Pappens, Meike; Schroijen, Mathias; Van den Bergh, Omer; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    Fear reduction obtained during a fear extinction procedure can generalize from the extinction stimulus to other perceptually similar stimuli. Perceptual generalization of fear extinction typically follows a perceptual gradient, with increasing levels of fear reduction the more a stimulus resembles the extinction stimulus. The current study aimed to investigate whether perceptual generalization of fear extinction can be observed also after a retention interval of 24h. Fear was acquired to three geometrical figures of different sizes (CS(+), CS1(+) and CS2(+)) by consistently pairing them with a short-lasting suffocation experience (US). Three other geometrical figures that were never followed by the US served as control stimuli (CS(-), CS1(-), CS2(-)). Next, only the CS(+) was extinguished by presenting it in the absence of the US. One day later, fear responses to all stimuli were assessed without any US-presentation. Outcome measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance, US expectancy, respiratory rate and tidal volume. On day 2 spontaneous recovery of fear was observed in US expectancy and tidal volume, but not in the other outcomes. Evidence for the retention of fear extinction generalization was present in US expectancy and skin conductance, but a perceptual gradient in the retention of generalized fear extinction could not be observed.

  10. Perceptual asymmetries are preserved in short-term memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Carrasco, Marisa

    2009-11-01

    Visual performance is heterogeneous at isoeccentric locations; it is better on the horizontal than on the vertical meridian and worse at the upper than at the lower region of the vertical meridian (Carrasco, Talgar, & Cameron, 2001; Talgar & Carrasco, 2002). It is unknown whether these performance inhomogeneities are also present in spatial frequency tasks and whether asymmetries present during encoding of visual information also emerge in visual short-term memory (VSTM) tasks. Here, we investigated the similarity of the perceptual and VSTM tasks in spatial frequency discrimination (Experiments 1 and 2) and perceived spatial frequency (Experiments 3 and 4). We found that (1) performance in both simultaneous (perceptual) and delayed (VSTM) spatial frequency discrimination tasks varies as a function of location; it is better along the horizontal than along the vertical meridian; and (2) perceived spatial frequency in both tasks is higher along the horizontal than along the vertical meridian. These results suggest that perceived spatial frequency may mediate performance differences in VSTM tasks across the visual field, implying that the quality with which we encode information affects VSTM.

  11. Perceptual asymmetries are preserved in short-term memory tasks

    PubMed Central

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Carrasco, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    Visual performance is heterogeneous at isoeccentric locations; it is better on the horizontal than on the vertical meridian and worse at the upper than at the lower region of the vertical meridian (Carrasco, Talgar, & Cameron, 2001; Talgar & Carrasco, 2002). It is unknown whether these performance inhomogeneities are also present in spatial frequency tasks and whether asymmetries present during encoding of visual information also emerge in visual short-term memory (VSTM) tasks. Here, we investigated the similarity of the perceptual and VSTM tasks in spatial frequency discrimination (Experiments 1 and 2) and perceived spatial frequency (Experiments 3 and 4). We found that (1) performance in both simultaneous (perceptual) and delayed (VSTM) spatial frequency discrimination tasks varies as a function of location; it is better along the horizontal than along the vertical meridian; and (2) perceived spatial frequency in both tasks is higher along the horizontal than along the vertical meridian. These results suggest that perceived spatial frequency may mediate performance differences in VSTM tasks across the visual field, implying that the quality with which we encode information affects VSTM. PMID:19933562

  12. Neural signatures of perceptual inference

    PubMed Central

    Sedley, William; Gander, Phillip E; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Kovach, Christopher K; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2016-01-01

    Generative models, such as predictive coding, posit that perception results from a combination of sensory input and prior prediction, each weighted by its precision (inverse variance), with incongruence between these termed prediction error (deviation from prediction) or surprise (negative log probability of the sensory input). However, direct evidence for such a system, and the physiological basis of its computations, is lacking. Using an auditory stimulus whose pitch value changed according to specific rules, we controlled and separated the three key computational variables underlying perception, and discovered, using direct recordings from human auditory cortex, that surprise due to prediction violations is encoded by local field potential oscillations in the gamma band (>30 Hz), changes to predictions in the beta band (12-30 Hz), and that the precision of predictions appears to quantitatively relate to alpha band oscillations (8-12 Hz). These results confirm oscillatory codes for critical aspects of generative models of perception. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11476.001 PMID:26949254

  13. Angular relation of axes in perceptual space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bucher, Urs

    1992-01-01

    The geometry of perceptual space needs to be known to model spatial orientation constancy or to create virtual environments. To examine one main aspect of this geometry, the angular relation between the three spatial axes was measured. Experiments were performed consisting of a perceptual task in which subjects were asked to set independently their apparent vertical and horizontal plane. The visual background provided no other stimuli to serve as optical direction cues. The task was performed in a number of different body tilt positions with pitches and rolls varied in steps of 30 degs. The results clearly show the distortion of orthogonality of the perceptual space for nonupright body positions. Large interindividual differences were found. Deviations from orthogonality up to 25 deg were detected in the pitch as well as in the roll direction. Implications of this nonorthogonality on further studies of spatial perception and on the construction of virtual environments for human interaction is also discussed.

  14. Visual perceptual abnormalities: hallucinations and illusions.

    PubMed

    Norton, J W; Corbett, J J

    2000-01-01

    Visual perceptual abnormalities may be caused by diverse etiologies which span the fields of psychiatry and neurology. This article reviews the differential diagnosis of visual perceptual abnormalities from both a neurological and a psychiatric perspective. Psychiatric etiologies include mania, depression, substance dependence, and schizophrenia. Common neurological causes include migraine, epilepsy, delirium, dementia, tumor, and stroke. The phenomena of palinopsia, oscillopsia, dysmetropsia, and polyopia among others are also reviewed. A systematic approach to the many causes of illusions and hallucinations may help to achieve an accurate diagnosis, and a more focused evaluation and treatment plan for patients who develop visual perceptual abnormalities. This article provides the practicing neurologist with a practical understanding and approach to patients with these clinical symptoms.

  15. Perceptual findings on the broadway belt voice.

    PubMed

    DeLeo LeBorgne, Wendy; Lee, Linda; Stemple, Joseph C; Bush, Heather

    2010-11-01

    The present study required raters (casting directors) to evaluate the belt voice quality of 20 musical theater majors who were proficient in the singing style referred to as belting. Two specified vocalizes and six short excerpts from the belting repertoire were used for rating purposes. The raters were asked to judge the belters on a set of seven perceptual parameters (loudness, vibrato, ring, timbre, focus, nasality, and registration breaks), and then report an overall score for these student belters. The four highest and lowest average scores were used to establish the elite and average student belters. A correlation analysis and linear regression analysis provided insight regarding which perceptual judgments correlated most highly with the elite and average scores. The present study found the perceptual ratings of vibrato and ring to be most highly correlated to the elite student belter. In addition, vibrato and ring were found to highly correlate with perceived loudness. PMID:19900789

  16. The "Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis" as the basis for bilingual babies' phonetic processing advantage: new insights from fNIRS brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Petitto, L A; Berens, M S; Kovelman, I; Dubins, M H; Jasinska, K; Shalinsky, M

    2012-05-01

    In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4-6 months, older 10-12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and non-linguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies' enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies' resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the "Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis" as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural "extent and variability" that our human species' language processing brain areas could potentially achieve.

  17. Image Data Compression Having Minimum Perceptual Error

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A method is presented for performing color or grayscale image compression that eliminates redundant and invisible image components. The image compression uses a Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and each DCT coefficient yielded by the transform is quantized by an entry in a quantization matrix which determines the perceived image quality and the bit rate of the image being compressed. The quantization matrix comprises visual masking by luminance and contrast technique all resulting in a minimum perceptual error for any given bit rate, or minimum bit rate for a given perceptual error.

  18. A perceptual account of symbolic reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Landy, David; Allen, Colin; Zednik, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity—the capacity for symbolic reasoning—as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often conforms to abstract mathematical principles, it is typically implemented by perceptual and sensorimotor engagement with concrete environmental structures. PMID:24795662

  19. Security analysis of robust perceptual hashing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koval, Oleksiy; Voloshynovskiy, Sviatoslav; Beekhof, Fokko; Pun, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    In this paper we considered the problem of security analysis of robust perceptual hashing in authentication application. The main goal of our analysis was to estimate the amount of trial efforts of the attacker, who is acting within the Kerckhoffs security principle, to reveal a secret key. For this purpose, we proposed to use Shannon equivocation that provides an estimate of complexity of the key search performed based on all available prior information and presented its application to security evaluation of particular robust perceptual hashing algorithms.

  20. Perceptual transparency in neon color spreading displays.

    PubMed

    Ekroll, Vebjørn; Faul, Franz

    2002-08-01

    In neon color spreading displays, both a color illusion and perceptual transparency can be seen. In this study, we investigated the color conditions for the perception of transparency in such displays. It was found that the data are very well accounted for by a generalization of Metelli's (1970) episcotister model of balanced perceptual transparency to tristimulus values. This additive model correctly predicted which combinations of colors would lead to optimal impressions of transparency. Color combinations deviating slightly from the additive model also looked transparent, but less convincingly so.

  1. Mapping the Perceptual Grain of the Human Retina

    PubMed Central

    Tuten, William S.; Roorda, Austin; Sincich, Lawrence C.

    2014-01-01

    In humans, experimental access to single sensory receptors is difficult to achieve, yet it is crucial for learning how the signals arising from each receptor are transformed into perception. By combining adaptive optics microstimulation with high-speed eye tracking, we show that retinal function can be probed at the level of the individual cone photoreceptor in living eyes. Classical psychometric functions were obtained from cone-sized microstimuli targeted to single photoreceptors. Revealed psychophysically, the cone mosaic also manifests a variable sensitivity to light across its surface that accords with a simple model of cone light capture. Because this microscopic grain of vision could be detected on the perceptual level, it suggests that photoreceptors can act individually to shape perception, if the normally suboptimal relay of light by the eye's optics is corrected. Thus the precise arrangement of cones and the exact placement of stimuli onto those cones create the initial retinal limits on signals mediating spatial vision. PMID:24741057

  2. How Adequate is the Concept of Perceptual Deficit for Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zach, Lillian; Kaufman, Judith

    1972-01-01

    Performances on the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test and on a visual discrimination task using the same forms were found not to be related. Implication for identification of perceptual deficiencies and subsequent perceptual training are discussed. (KW)

  3. Conceptual and perceptual encoding instructions differently affect event recall.

    PubMed

    García-Bajos, Elvira; Migueles, Malen; Aizpurua, Alaitz

    2014-11-01

    When recalling an event, people usually retrieve the main facts and a reduced proportion of specific details. The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of conceptually and perceptually driven encoding in the recall of conceptual and perceptual information of an event. The materials selected for the experiment were two movie trailers. To enhance the encoding instructions, after watching the first trailer participants answered conceptual or perceptual questions about the event, while a control group answered general knowledge questions. After watching the second trailer, all of the participants completed a closed-ended recall task consisting of conceptual and perceptual items. Conceptual information was better recalled than perceptual details and participants made more perceptual than conceptual commission errors. Conceptually driven processing enhanced the recall of conceptual information, while perceptually driven processing not only did not improve the recall of descriptive details, but also damaged the standard conceptual/perceptual recall relationship.

  4. Origins of choice-related activity in mouse somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongdian; Kwon, Sung E.; Severson, Kyle S.; O’Connor, Daniel H.

    2015-01-01

    During perceptual decisions about faint or ambiguous sensory stimuli, even identical stimuli can produce different choices. Spike trains from sensory cortex neurons can predict trial-to-trial variability in choice. Choice-related spiking is widely studied to link cortical activity to perception, but its origins remain unclear. Using imaging and electrophysiology, we found that mouse primary somatosensory cortex neurons showed robust choice-related activity during a tactile detection task. Spike trains from primary mechanoreceptive neurons did not predict choices about identical stimuli. Spike trains from thalamic relay neurons showed highly transient, weak choice-related activity. Intracellular recordings in cortex revealed a prolonged choice-related depolarization in most neurons that was not accounted for by feedforward thalamic input. Top-down axons projecting from secondary to primary somatosensory cortex signaled choice. An intracellular measure of stimulus sensitivity determined which neurons converted choice-related depolarization into spiking. Our results reveal how choice-related spiking emerges across neural circuits and within single neurons. PMID:26642088

  5. Origins of choice-related activity in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongdian; Kwon, Sung E; Severson, Kyle S; O'Connor, Daniel H

    2016-01-01

    During perceptual decisions about faint or ambiguous sensory stimuli, even identical stimuli can produce different choices. Spike trains from sensory cortex neurons can predict trial-to-trial variability in choice. Choice-related spiking is widely studied as a way to link cortical activity to perception, but its origins remain unclear. Using imaging and electrophysiology, we found that mouse primary somatosensory cortex neurons showed robust choice-related activity during a tactile detection task. Spike trains from primary mechanoreceptive neurons did not predict choices about identical stimuli. Spike trains from thalamic relay neurons showed highly transient, weak choice-related activity. Intracellular recordings in cortex revealed a prolonged choice-related depolarization in most neurons that was not accounted for by feed-forward thalamic input. Top-down axons projecting from secondary to primary somatosensory cortex signaled choice. An intracellular measure of stimulus sensitivity determined which neurons converted choice-related depolarization into spiking. Our results reveal how choice-related spiking emerges across neural circuits and within single neurons. PMID:26642088

  6. Treatment of amblyopia in the adult: insights from a new rodent model of visual perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Bonaccorsi, Joyce; Berardi, Nicoletta; Sale, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Amblyopia is the most common form of impairment of visual function affecting one eye, with a prevalence of about 1–5% of the total world population. Amblyopia usually derives from conditions of early functional imbalance between the two eyes, owing to anisometropia, strabismus, or congenital cataract, and results in a pronounced reduction of visual acuity and severe deficits in contrast sensitivity and stereopsis. It is widely accepted that, due to a lack of sufficient plasticity in the adult brain, amblyopia becomes untreatable after the closure of the critical period in the primary visual cortex. However, recent results obtained both in animal models and in clinical trials have challenged this view, unmasking a previously unsuspected potential for promoting recovery even in adulthood. In this context, non invasive procedures based on visual perceptual learning, i.e., the improvement in visual performance on a variety of simple visual tasks following practice, emerge as particularly promising to rescue discrimination abilities in adult amblyopic subjects. This review will survey recent work regarding the impact of visual perceptual learning on amblyopia, with a special focus on a new experimental model of perceptual learning in the amblyopic rat. PMID:25076874

  7. Suppressive lateral interactions at parafoveal representations in primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; Herrero, Jose L.; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Thiele, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    The perceptual salience and visibility of image elements is influenced by other elements in their vicinity. The perceptual effect of image elements on an adjacent target element depends on their relative orientation. Collinear flanking elements usually improve sensitivity for the target element while orthogonal elements have a weaker effect. It is believed that the collinear flankers exert these effects through lateral interactions between neurons in the primary visual cortex (area V1), but the precise mechanisms underlying these contextual interactions remain unknown. Here we directly examined this question by recording the effects of flankers on the responses of V1 neurons at parafoveal representations while monkeys performed a fixation task or a contrast detection task. We found, unexpectedly, that collinear flankers reduce the monkeys’ perceptual sensitivity for a central target element. This behavioural effect was explained by a flanker induced increase in the activity of V1 neurons in the absence of the central target stimulus, which reduced the amplitude of the target response. Our results indicate that the dominant effect of collinear flankers in parafoveal vision is suppression and suggest that these suppressive effects are caused by a decrease in the dynamic range of neurons coding the central target. PMID:20861379

  8. Precision and neuronal dynamics in the human posterior parietal cortex during evidence accumulation

    PubMed Central

    FitzGerald, Thomas H.B.; Moran, Rosalyn J.; Friston, Karl J.; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    Primate studies show slow ramping activity in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) neurons during perceptual decision-making. These findings have inspired a rich theoretical literature to account for this activity. These accounts are largely unrelated to Bayesian theories of perception and predictive coding, a related formulation of perceptual inference in the cortical hierarchy. Here, we tested a key prediction of such hierarchical inference, namely that the estimated precision (reliability) of information ascending the cortical hierarchy plays a key role in determining both the speed of decision-making and the rate of increase of PPC activity. Using dynamic causal modelling of magnetoencephalographic (MEG) evoked responses, recorded during a simple perceptual decision-making task, we recover ramping-activity from an anatomically and functionally plausible network of regions, including early visual cortex, the middle temporal area (MT) and PPC. Precision, as reflected by the gain on pyramidal cell activity, was strongly correlated with both the speed of decision making and the slope of PPC ramping activity. Our findings indicate that the dynamics of neuronal activity in the human PPC during perceptual decision-making recapitulate those observed in the macaque, and in so doing we link observations from primate electrophysiology and human choice behaviour. Moreover, the synaptic gain control modulating these dynamics is consistent with predictive coding formulations of evidence accumulation. PMID:25512038

  9. Brain networks supporting perceptual grouping and contour selection.

    PubMed

    Volberg, Gregor; Greenlee, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    The human visual system groups local elements into global objects seemingly without effort. Using a contour integration task and EEG source level analyses, we tested the hypothesis that perceptual grouping requires a top-down selection, rather than a passive pooling, of neural information that codes local elements in the visual image. The participants were presented visual displays with or without a hidden contour. Two tasks were performed: a central luminance-change detection task and a peripheral contour detection task. Only in the contour-detection task could we find differential brain activity between contour and non-contour conditions, within a distributed brain network including parietal, lateral occipital and primary visual areas. Contour processing was associated with an inflow of information from lateral occipital into primary visual regions, as revealed from the slope of phase differences between source level oscillations within these areas. The findings suggest that contour integration results from a selection of neural information from lower visual areas, and that this selection is driven by the lateral occipital cortex.

  10. Perceptual expectation evokes category-selective cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Esterman, Michael; Yantis, Steven

    2010-05-01

    Selective visual attention directed to a location (even in the absence of a stimulus) increases activity in the corresponding regions of visual cortex and enhances the speed and accuracy of target perception. We further explored top-down influences on perceptual representations by manipulating observers' expectations about the category of an upcoming target. Observers viewed a display in which an object (either a face or a house) gradually emerged from a state of phase-scrambled noise; a cue established expectation about the object category. Observers were faster to categorize faces (gender discrimination) or houses (structural discrimination) when the category of the partially scrambled object matched their expectation. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that this expectation was associated with anticipatory increases in category-specific visual cortical activity, even in the absence of object- or category-specific visual information. Expecting a face evoked increased activity in face-selective cortical regions in the fusiform gyrus and superior temporal sulcus. Conversely, expecting a house increased activity in parahippocampal gyrus. These results suggest that visual anticipation facilitates subsequent perception by recruiting, in advance, the same cortical mechanisms as those involved in perception. PMID:19759124

  11. Uncovering Camouflage: Amygdala Activation Predicts Long-Term Memory of Induced Perceptual Insight

    PubMed Central

    Ludmer, Rachel; Dudai, Yadin; Rubin, Nava

    2012-01-01

    What brain mechanisms underlie learning of new knowledge from single events? We studied encoding in long-term memory of a unique type of one-shot experience, induced perceptual insight. While undergoing an fMRI brain scan, participants viewed degraded images of real-world pictures where the underlying objects were hard to recognize (‘camouflage’), followed by brief exposures to the original images (‘solution’), which led to induced insight (“Aha!”). A week later, participants’ memory was tested; a solution image was classified as ‘remembered’ if detailed perceptual knowledge was elicited from the camouflage image alone. During encoding, subsequently remembered images enjoyed higher activity in mid-level visual cortex and medial frontal cortex, but most pronouncedly in the amygdala, whose activity could be used to predict which solutions will remain in long-term memory. Our findings extend the known roles of amygdala in memory to include promoting of long-term memory of the sudden reorganization of internal representations. PMID:21382558

  12. Anxiety Evokes Hypofrontality and Disrupts Rule-Relevant Encoding by Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Bondi, Corina; Del Arco, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety is a debilitating symptom of most psychiatric disorders, including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. A detrimental aspect of anxiety is disruption of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated executive functions, such as flexible decision making. Here we sought to understand how anxiety modulates PFC neuronal encoding of flexible shifting between behavioral strategies. We used a clinically substantiated anxiogenic treatment to induce sustained anxiety in rats and recorded from dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) neurons while they were freely moving in a home cage and while they performed a PFC-dependent task that required flexible switches between rules in two distinct perceptual dimensions. Anxiety elicited a sustained background “hypofrontality” in dmPFC and OFC by reducing the firing rate of spontaneously active neuronal subpopulations. During task performance, the impact of anxiety was subtle, but, consistent with human data, behavior was selectively impaired when previously correct conditions were presented as conflicting choices. This impairment was associated with reduced recruitment of dmPFC neurons that selectively represented task rules at the time of action. OFC rule representation was not affected by anxiety. These data indicate that a neural substrate of the decision-making deficits in anxiety is diminished dmPFC neuronal encoding of task rules during conflict-related actions. Given the translational relevance of the model used here, the data provide a neuronal encoding mechanism for how anxiety biases decision making when the choice involves overcoming a conflict. They also demonstrate that PFC encoding of actions, as opposed to cues or outcome, is especially vulnerable to anxiety. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A debilitating aspect of anxiety is its impact on decision making and flexible control of behavior. These cognitive constructs depend on proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex

  13. Paroxysmal Perceptual Alteration: Drug-Induced Phenomenon or Schizophrenic Psychopathology?

    PubMed

    Praharaj, Samir Kumar; Kongasseri, Sreejayan; Acharya, Mahima

    2016-01-01

    Brief and repetitive episodes of perceptual changes, termed paroxysmal perceptual alteration (PPA), have been described in association with antipsychotic treatment. We report a case of paranoid schizophrenia who had such perceptual changes akin to PPA for 15 years, which was not related to antipsychotic treatment. There was a rapid resolution of PPA after treatment with low-dose clonazepam. PMID:26954463

  14. Beyond Perceptual Symbols: A Call for Representational Pluralism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dove, Guy

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence from cognitive neuroscience suggests that certain cognitive processes employ perceptual representations. Inspired by this evidence, a few researchers have proposed that cognition is inherently perceptual. They have developed an innovative theoretical approach that rests on the notion of perceptual simulation and marshaled several…

  15. Paroxysmal Perceptual Alteration: Drug-Induced Phenomenon or Schizophrenic Psychopathology?

    PubMed Central

    Praharaj, Samir Kumar; K., Sreejayan; Acharya, Mahima

    2012-01-01

    Brief and repetitive episodes of perceptual changes, termed paroxysmal perceptual alteration (PPA), have been described in association with antipsychotic treatment. We report a case of paranoid schizophrenia who had such perceptual changes akin to PPA for 15 years, that was not related to antipsychotic treatment. There was a rapid resolution of PPA following treatment with low dose clonazepam.

  16. Patterns of Perceptual Deficits in Academically Deficient Juvenile Delinquents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zinkus, Peter W.; Gottlieb, Marvin I.

    1979-01-01

    Patterns of perceptual deficits were investigated in a population of academically deficient juvenile delinquents. Comparisons were made with youthful offenders with adequate academic skills. Multiple perceptual deficits involving both auditory and visual perceptual skills formed the basis of the majority of academic deficiencies and social…

  17. Perceptual Learning for Speech: Is There a Return to Normal?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kraljic, Tanya; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2005-01-01

    Recent work on perceptual learning shows that listeners' phonemic representations dynamically adjust to reflect the speech they hear (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003). We investigate how the perceptual system makes such adjustments, and what (if anything) causes the representations to return to their pre-perceptual learning settings. Listeners are…

  18. Sensory and Perceptual Functions in the Cerebral Palsied. III. Some Visual Perceptual Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breakey, Arnold Stewart; And Others

    1974-01-01

    The relationships between specific aspects of peripheral ocular defects and perceptual deficits were investigated in a cerebral palsied population of 60 spastics, 60 athetoids, and 60 non-neurologically impaired Ss, 7 to 21 years of age. (Author/MC)

  19. Rationale for the Perceptual Analysis Kindergarten Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pender, Robert M.

    The Perceptual Analysis Kindergarten Test is based on the rationale or thesis that learning is hierarchical. The test is used to help determine the level of the child in the hierarchy so that a remedial program can be devised to bring the child up to the level where he can develop the associative conceptualization required to be able to learn in…

  20. Perceptual crossing: the simplest online paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Auvray, Malika; Rohde, Marieke

    2012-01-01

    Researchers in social cognition increasingly realize that many phenomena cannot be understood by investigating offline situations only, focusing on individual mechanisms and an observer perspective. There are processes of dynamic emergence specific to online situations, when two or more persons are engaged in a real-time interaction that are more than just the sum of the individual capacities or behaviors, and these require the study of online social interaction. Auvray et al.'s (2009) perceptual crossing paradigm offers possibly the simplest paradigm for studying such online interactions: two persons, a one-dimensional space, one bit of information, and a yes/no answer. This study has provoked a lot of resonance in different areas of research, including experimental psychology, computer/robot modeling, philosophy, psychopathology, and even in the field of design. In this article, we review and critically assess this body of literature. We give an overview of both behavioral experimental research and simulated agent modeling done using the perceptual crossing paradigm. We discuss different contexts in which work on perceptual crossing has been cited. This includes the controversy about the possible constitutive role of perceptual crossing for social cognition. We conclude with an outlook on future research possibilities, in particular those that could elucidate the link between online interaction dynamics and individual social cognition. PMID:22723776

  1. Infant Memory for Primitive Perceptual Features.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adler, Scott A.

    Textons are elongated blobs of specific color, angular orientation, ends of lines, and crossings of line segments that are proposed to be the perceptual building blocks of the visual system. A study was conducted to explore the relative memorability of different types and arrangements of textons, exploring the time course for the discrimination…

  2. Perceptual Completion in Newborn Human Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valenza, Eloisa; Leo, Irene; Gava, Lucia; Simion, Francesca

    2006-01-01

    Despite decades of studies of human infants, a still open question concerns the role of visual experience in the development of the ability to perceive complete shapes over partial occlusion. Previous studies show that newborns fail to manifest this ability, either because they lack the visual experience required for perceptual completion or…

  3. Perceptual Component Evaluation and Data Collection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreau, Nicolas; Mostefa, Djamel; Choukri, Khalid; Stiefelhagen, Rainer; Burger, Susanne

    Systematic evaluation is essential to drive the rapid progress of a broad range of audiovisual perceptual technologies. Within the CHIL project, such evaluations were undertaken on an annual basis, so that improvements could be measured objectively, and different approaches compared and assessed.

  4. Contemporary Theories of Perceptual-Motor Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Monte; Pyfer, Jean L.

    Contemporary theories of perceptual-motor development and dysfunction are analyzed in detail in this review of the literature. Studies focused on observation of delays, deviations, cause, theories of development, and programs of remediation. It is suggested that it may be presumptuous for theorists to delineate three, four, or ten characteristics…

  5. Perceptual Load Influences Selective Attention across Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Couperus, Jane W.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  6. Multielement Visual Tracking: Attention and Perceptual Organization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yantis, Steven

    1992-01-01

    Presents 7 experiments with 118 undergraduates tracking multiple randomly moving visual elements under various conditions. Observers spontaneously grouped the target elements and directed attention toward this coherent nonrigid virtual object. Results support object-based theories of attention and show that perceptual grouping, a purely…

  7. How visual perceptual grouping influences foot placement

    PubMed Central

    Fennell, John; Goodwin, Charlotte; Burn, Jeremy F.; Leonards, Ute

    2015-01-01

    Everybody would agree that vision guides locomotion; but how does vision influence choice when there are different solutions for possible foot placement? We addressed this question by investigating the impact of perceptual grouping on foot placement in humans. Participants performed a stepping stone task in which pathways consisted of target stones in a spatially regular path of foot falls and visual distractor stones in their proximity. Target and distractor stones differed in shape and colour so that each subset of stones could be easily grouped perceptually. In half of the trials, one target stone swapped shape and colour with a distractor in its close proximity. We show that in these ‘swapped’ conditions, participants chose the perceptually groupable, instead of the spatially regular, stepping location in over 40% of trials, even if the distance between perceptually groupable steps was substantially larger than normal step width/length. This reveals that the existence of a pathway that could be traversed without spatial disruption to periodic stepping is not sufficient to guarantee participants will select it and suggests competition between different types of visual input when choosing foot placement. We propose that a bias in foot placement choice in favour of visual grouping exists as, in nature, sudden changes in visual characteristics of the ground increase the uncertainty for stability. PMID:26587273

  8. Generalization of Perceptual Learning of Vocoded Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis G.; Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Taylor, Karen J.; Carlyon, Robert P.

    2011-01-01

    Recent work demonstrates that learning to understand noise-vocoded (NV) speech alters sublexical perceptual processes but is enhanced by the simultaneous provision of higher-level, phonological, but not lexical content (Hervais-Adelman, Davis, Johnsrude, & Carlyon, 2008), consistent with top-down learning (Davis, Johnsrude, Hervais-Adelman,…

  9. The Mirage of the Perceptually Handicapped Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Malcolm

    1970-01-01

    Emphasize the importance of a positive diagnosis of perceptual handicap, rather than a wastebasket" diagnosis. The tendency to separate the child's handicap from his feelings about it is reflected in the treatment process. There exists little concern with the totality of the child's development in his total environment. (Author)

  10. Comparison and Contrast in Perceptual Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hampton, James A.; Estes, Zachary; Simmons, Claire L.

    2005-01-01

    People categorized pairs of perceptual stimuli that varied in both category membership and pairwise similarity. Experiments 1 and 2 showed categorization of 1 color of a pair to be reliably contrasted from that of the other. This similarity-based contrast effect occurred only when the context stimulus was relevant for the categorization of the…

  11. Resistance to Interference of Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, Richard J.; Case, Trevor I.; Tomiczek, Caroline

    2007-01-01

    Olfactory memory is especially persistent. The current study explored whether this applies to a form of perceptual learning, in which experience of an odor mixture results in greater judged similarity between its elements. Experiment 1A contrasted 2 forms of interference procedure, "compound" (mixture AW, followed by presentation of new mixtures…

  12. Improving Perceptual Skills with 3-Dimensional Animations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johns, Janet Faye; Brander, Julianne Marie

    1998-01-01

    Describes three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) models for every component in a representative mechanical system; the CAD models made it easy to generate 3-D animations that are ideal for teaching perceptual skills in multimedia computer-based technical training. Fifteen illustrations are provided. (AEF)

  13. Late Maturation of Auditory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huyck, Julia Jones; Wright, Beverly A.

    2011-01-01

    Adults can improve their performance on many perceptual tasks with training, but when does the response to training become mature? To investigate this question, we trained 11-year-olds, 14-year-olds and adults on a basic auditory task (temporal-interval discrimination) using a multiple-session training regimen known to be effective for adults. The…

  14. Infants Experience Perceptual Narrowing for Nonprimate Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Varga, Krisztina; Frick, Janet E.; Fragaszy, Dorothy

    2011-01-01

    Perceptual narrowing--a phenomenon in which perception is broad from birth, but narrows as a function of experience--has previously been tested with primate faces. In the first 6 months of life, infants can discriminate among individual human and monkey faces. Though the ability to discriminate monkey faces is lost after about 9 months, infants…

  15. Self-Stimulatory Behavior and Perceptual Reinforcement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovaas, Ivar; And Others

    1987-01-01

    A detailed hypothesis of the acquisition and maintenance of self-stimulatory behavior is offered, proposing that such behaviors are operant responses whose reinforcers are automatically produced perceptual consequences. Related concepts are discussed, and support for the hypothesis from the areas of sensory reinforcement and sensory deprivation is…

  16. Understanding perceptual boundaries in laparoscopic surgery.

    PubMed

    Lamata, Pablo; Gomez, Enrique J; Hernández, Félix Lamata; Oltra Pastor, Alfonso; Sanchez-Margallo, Francisco Miquel; Del Pozo Guerrero, Francisco

    2008-03-01

    Human perceptual capabilities related to the laparoscopic interaction paradigm are not well known. Its study is important for the design of virtual reality simulators, and for the specification of augmented reality applications that overcome current limitations and provide a supersensing to the surgeon. As part of this work, this article addresses the study of laparoscopic pulling forces. Two definitions are proposed to focalize the problem: the perceptual fidelity boundary, limit of human perceptual capabilities, and the Utile fidelity boundary, that encapsulates the perceived aspects actually used by surgeons to guide an operation. The study is then aimed to define the perceptual fidelity boundary of laparoscopic pulling forces. This is approached with an experimental design in which surgeons assess the resistance against pulling of four different tissues, which are characterized with both in vivo interaction forces and ex vivo tissue biomechanical properties. A logarithmic law of tissue consistency perception is found comparing subjective valorizations with objective parameters. A model of this perception is developed identifying what the main parameters are: the grade of fixation of the organ, the tissue stiffness, the amount of tissue bitten, and the organ mass being pulled. These results are a clear requirement analysis for the force feedback algorithm of a virtual reality laparoscopic simulator. Finally, some discussion is raised about the suitability of augmented reality applications around this surgical gesture.

  17. Improved perceptual-motor performance measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, J. F., Jr.; Reilly, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Battery of tests determines the primary dimensions of perceptual-motor performance. Eighteen basic measures range from simple tests to sophisticated electronic devices. Improved system has one unit for the subject containing test display and response elements, and one for the experimenter where test setups, programming, and scoring are accomplished.

  18. Adaptive Criterion Setting in Perceptual Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgen, Maik C.; Yildiz, Ali; Gunturkun, Onur

    2011-01-01

    Pigeons responded in a perceptual categorization task with six different stimuli (shades of gray), three of which were to be classified as "light" or "dark", respectively. Reinforcement probability for correct responses was varied from 0.2 to 0.6 across blocks of sessions and was unequal for correct light and dark responses. Introduction of a new…

  19. Adaptation and perceptual norms in color vision.

    PubMed

    Webster, Michael A; Leonard, Deanne

    2008-11-01

    Many perceptual dimensions are thought to be represented relative to an average value or norm. Models of norm-based coding assume that the norm appears psychologically neutral because it reflects a neutral response in the underlying neural code. We tested this assumption in human color vision by asking how judgments of "white" are affected as neural responses are altered by adaptation. The adapting color was varied to determine the stimulus level that did not bias the observer's subjective white point. This level represents a response norm at the stages at which sensitivity is regulated by the adaptation, and we show that these response norms correspond to the perceptually neutral stimulus and that they can account for how the perception of white varies both across different observers and within the same observer at different locations in the visual field. We also show that individual differences in perceived white are reduced when observers are exposed to a common white adapting stimulus, suggesting that the perceptual differences are due in part to differences in how neural responses are normalized. These results suggest a close link between the norms for appearance and coding in color vision and illustrate a general paradigm for exploring this link in other perceptual domains.

  20. Perceptual Simulation in Developing Language Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engelen, Jan A. A.; Bouwmeester, Samantha; de Bruin, Anique B. H.; Zwaan, Rolf A.

    2011-01-01

    We tested an embodied account of language proposing that comprehenders create perceptual simulations of the events they hear and read about. In Experiment 1, children (ages 7-13 years) performed a picture verification task. Each picture was preceded by a prerecorded spoken sentence describing an entity whose shape or orientation matched or…

  1. Sustained Perceptual Deficits from Transient Sensory Deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Sanes, Dan H.

    2015-01-01

    Sensory pathways display heightened plasticity during development, yet the perceptual consequences of early experience are generally assessed in adulthood. This approach does not allow one to identify transient perceptual changes that may be linked to the central plasticity observed in juvenile animals. Here, we determined whether a brief period of bilateral auditory deprivation affects sound perception in developing and adult gerbils. Animals were reared with bilateral earplugs, either from postnatal day 11 (P11) to postnatal day 23 (P23) (a manipulation previously found to disrupt gerbil cortical properties), or from P23-P35. Fifteen days after earplug removal and restoration of normal thresholds, animals were tested on their ability to detect the presence of amplitude modulation (AM), a temporal cue that supports vocal communication. Animals reared with earplugs from P11-P23 displayed elevated AM detection thresholds, compared with age-matched controls. In contrast, an identical period of earplug rearing at a later age (P23-P35) did not impair auditory perception. Although the AM thresholds of earplug-reared juveniles improved during a week of repeated testing, a subset of juveniles continued to display a perceptual deficit. Furthermore, although the perceptual deficits induced by transient earplug rearing had resolved for most animals by adulthood, a subset of adults displayed impaired performance. Control experiments indicated that earplugging did not disrupt the integrity of the auditory periphery. Together, our results suggest that P11-P23 encompasses a critical period during which sensory deprivation disrupts central mechanisms that support auditory perceptual skills. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sensory systems are particularly malleable during development. This heightened degree of plasticity is beneficial because it enables the acquisition of complex skills, such as music or language. However, this plasticity comes with a cost: nervous system development

  2. A temporo-spatial analysis of the neural correlates of extrinsic perceptual grouping in vision.

    PubMed

    Montoro, Pedro R; Luna, Dolores; Albert, Jacobo; Santaniello, Gerardo; López-Martín, Sara; Pozo, Miguel A; Hinojosa, José A

    2015-03-01

    Principles of perceptual grouping can be divided into intrinsic grouping cues, which are based on built-in properties of the grouped elements (e.g., their shape, position, colour, etc.) like most of the classical Gestalt laws, and extrinsic grouping principles, based on relations between the discrete elements and other external stimuli that induce them to group (e.g., common region, connectedness). Several studies have explored the neural correlates of intrinsic grouping factors but, to our knowledge, no previous study has studied the neural correlates of extrinsic principles. The present study aimed to shed light on this issue by exploiting the high temporal resolution of event-related potentials (ERPs) and recent advances in source localization. Specifically, grouping by common region was compared with two comparison conditions, an intrinsic grouping (luminance similarity) and a uniform stimulus condition, in a perceptual discrimination task. We reported three main neural effects associated with grouping by common region. First, a posterior N210 component with a neural origin in the left extrastriate cortex was related to perceptual analysis of extrinsic elements inducing grouping and the formation of a visual group. Second, an enhanced posterior P280, which presumably reflects higher confidence decisions during response selection. Finally, a P550 originated in the right superior parietal cortex that seems to be associated with top-down suppression activity connected with the termination of the processing of the current trial. Overall, our results suggest that common region cues belong to the category of long latency grouping principles that mainly involve activity in extrastriate cortices.

  3. Neurons in the pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale signal the selection and execution of perceptual decisions.

    PubMed

    Lengersdorf, Daniel; Pusch, Roland; Güntürkün, Onur; Stüttgen, Maik C

    2014-11-01

    Sensory systems provide organisms with information on the current status of the environment, thus enabling adaptive behavior. The neural mechanisms by which sensory information is exploited for action selection are typically studied with mammalian subjects performing perceptual decision-making tasks, and most of what is known about these mechanisms at the single-neuron level is derived from cortical recordings in behaving monkeys. To explore the generality of neural mechanisms underlying perceptual decision making across species, we recorded single-neuron activity in the pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), a non-laminated associative forebrain structure thought to be functionally equivalent to mammalian prefrontal cortex, while subjects performed a visual categorisation task. We found that, whereas the majority of NCL neurons unspecifically upregulated or downregulated activity during stimulus presentation, ~20% of neurons exhibited differential activity for the sample stimuli and predicted upcoming choices. Moreover, neural activity in these neurons was ramping up during stimulus presentation and remained elevated until a choice was initiated, a response pattern similar to that found in monkey prefrontal and parietal cortices in saccadic choice tasks. In addition, many NCL neurons coded for movement direction during choice execution and differentiated between choice outcomes (reward and punishment). Taken together, our results implicate the NCL in the selection and execution of operant responses, an interpretation resonating well with the results of previous lesion studies. The resemblance of the response patterns of NCL neurons to those observed in mammalian cortex suggests that, despite differing neural architectures, mechanisms for perceptual decision making are similar across classes of vertebrates.

  4. Brain dynamics of upstream perceptual processes leading to visual object recognition: a high density ERP topographic mapping study.

    PubMed

    Schettino, Antonio; Loeys, Tom; Delplanque, Sylvain; Pourtois, Gilles

    2011-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that visual object recognition is a proactive process through which perceptual evidence accumulates over time before a decision can be made about the object. However, the exact electrophysiological correlates and time-course of this complex process remain unclear. In addition, the potential influence of emotion on this process has not been investigated yet. We recorded high density EEG in healthy adult participants performing a novel perceptual recognition task. For each trial, an initial blurred visual scene was first shown, before the actual content of the stimulus was gradually revealed by progressively adding diagnostic high spatial frequency information. Participants were asked to stop this stimulus sequence as soon as they could correctly perform an animacy judgment task. Behavioral results showed that participants reliably gathered perceptual evidence before recognition. Furthermore, prolonged exploration times were observed for pleasant, relative to either neutral or unpleasant scenes. ERP results showed distinct effects starting at 280 ms post-stimulus onset in distant brain regions during stimulus processing, mainly characterized by: (i) a monotonic accumulation of evidence, involving regions of the posterior cingulate cortex/parahippocampal gyrus, and (ii) true categorical recognition effects in medial frontal regions, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. These findings provide evidence for the early involvement, following stimulus onset, of non-overlapping brain networks during proactive processes eventually leading to visual object recognition.

  5. Brain dynamics of upstream perceptual processes leading to visual object recognition: a high density ERP topographic mapping study.

    PubMed

    Schettino, Antonio; Loeys, Tom; Delplanque, Sylvain; Pourtois, Gilles

    2011-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that visual object recognition is a proactive process through which perceptual evidence accumulates over time before a decision can be made about the object. However, the exact electrophysiological correlates and time-course of this complex process remain unclear. In addition, the potential influence of emotion on this process has not been investigated yet. We recorded high density EEG in healthy adult participants performing a novel perceptual recognition task. For each trial, an initial blurred visual scene was first shown, before the actual content of the stimulus was gradually revealed by progressively adding diagnostic high spatial frequency information. Participants were asked to stop this stimulus sequence as soon as they could correctly perform an animacy judgment task. Behavioral results showed that participants reliably gathered perceptual evidence before recognition. Furthermore, prolonged exploration times were observed for pleasant, relative to either neutral or unpleasant scenes. ERP results showed distinct effects starting at 280 ms post-stimulus onset in distant brain regions during stimulus processing, mainly characterized by: (i) a monotonic accumulation of evidence, involving regions of the posterior cingulate cortex/parahippocampal gyrus, and (ii) true categorical recognition effects in medial frontal regions, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. These findings provide evidence for the early involvement, following stimulus onset, of non-overlapping brain networks during proactive processes eventually leading to visual object recognition. PMID:21237274

  6. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Neural correlates of perceptual grouping effects in the processing of sound omission by musicians and nonmusicians.

    PubMed

    Ono, Kentaro; Altmann, Christian F; Matsuhashi, Masao; Mima, Tatsuya; Fukuyama, Hidenao

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual grouping is the process of organizing sounds into perceptually meaningful elements. Psychological studies have found that tones presented as a regular frequency or temporal pattern are grouped according to gestalt principles, such as similarity, proximity, and good continuity. Predictive coding theory suggests that this process helps create an internal model for the prediction of sounds in a tone sequence and that an omission-related brain response reflects the violation of this prediction. However, it remains unclear which brain areas are related to this process, especially in paying attention to the stimuli. To clarify this uncertainty, the present study investigated the neural correlates of perceptual grouping effects. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we recorded the evoked response fields (ERFs) of amateur musicians and nonmusicians to sound omissions in tone sequences with a regular or random pattern of three different frequencies during an omission detection task. Omissions in the regular sequences were detected faster and evoked greater activity in the left Heschl's gyrus (HG), right postcentral gyrus, and bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) than did omissions in the irregular sequences. Additionally, an interaction between musical experience and regularity was found in the left HG/STG. Tone-evoked responses did not show this difference, indicating that the expertise effect did not reflect the superior tone processing acquired by amateur musicians due to musical training. These results suggest that perceptual grouping based on repetition of a pattern of frequencies affects the processing of omissions in tone sequences and induces more activation of the bilateral auditory cortex by violating internal models. The interaction in the left HG/STG may suggest different styles of processing for musicians and nonmusicians, although this difference was not reflected at the behavioral level. PMID:25446245

  8. Functional organization for musical consonance and tonal pitch hierarchy in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Grall, Jeremy

    2014-11-01

    Pitch relationships in music are characterized by their degree of consonance, a hierarchical perceptual quality that distinguishes how pleasant musical chords/intervals sound to the ear. The origins of consonance have been debated since the ancient Greeks. To elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these musical fundamentals, we recorded neuroelectric brain activity while participants listened passively to various chromatic musical intervals (simultaneously sounding pitches) varying in their perceptual pleasantness (i.e., consonance/dissonance). Dichotic presentation eliminated acoustic and peripheral contributions that often confound explanations of consonance. We found that neural representations for pitch in early human auditory cortex code perceptual features of musical consonance and follow a hierarchical organization according to music-theoretic principles. These neural correlates emerge pre-attentively within ~ 150 ms after the onset of pitch, are segregated topographically in superior temporal gyrus with a rightward hemispheric bias, and closely mirror listeners' behavioral valence preferences for the chromatic tone combinations inherent to music. A perceptual-based organization implies that parallel to the phonetic code for speech, elements of music are mapped within early cerebral structures according to higher-order, perceptual principles and the rules of Western harmony rather than simple acoustic attributes. PMID:25019679

  9. Cognition without Cortex.

    PubMed

    Güntürkün, Onur; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Assumptions on the neural basis of cognition usually focus on cortical mechanisms. Birds have no cortex, but recent studies in parrots and corvids show that their cognitive skills are on par with primates. These cognitive findings are accompanied by neurobiological discoveries that reveal avian and mammalian forebrains are homologous, and show similarities in connectivity and function down to the cellular level. But because birds have a large pallium, but no cortex, a specific cortical architecture cannot be a requirement for advanced cognitive skills. During the long parallel evolution of mammals and birds, several neural mechanisms for cognition and complex behaviors may have converged despite an overall forebrain organization that is otherwise vastly different. PMID:26944218

  10. Confidence-based integrated reweighting model of task-difficulty explains location-based specificity in perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Talluri, Bharath Chandra; Hung, Shao-Chin; Seitz, Aaron R; Seriès, Peggy

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual learning is classically thought to be highly specific to the trained stimuli's retinal locations. However, recent research using a novel double-training paradigm has found dramatic transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations. These results challenged existing models of perceptual learning and provoked intense debate in the field. Recently, Hung and Seitz (2014) showed that previously reported results could be reconciled by considering the details of the training procedure, in particular, whether it involves prolonged training at threshold using a single staircase procedure or multiple staircases. Here, we examine a hierarchical neural network model of the visual pathway, built upon previously proposed integrated reweighting models of perceptual learning, to understand how retinotopic transfer depends on the training procedure adopted. We propose that the transfer and specificity of learning between retinal locations can be explained by considering the task-difficulty and confidence during training. In our model, difficult tasks lead to higher learning of weights from early visual cortex to the decision unit, and thus to specificity, while easy tasks lead to higher learning of weights from later stages of the visual hierarchy and thus to more transfer. To model interindividual difference in task-difficulty, we relate task-difficulty to the confidence of subjects. We show that our confidence-based reweighting model can account for the results of Hung and Seitz (2014) and makes testable predictions.

  11. The onset of visual experience gates auditory cortex critical periods

    PubMed Central

    Mowery, Todd M.; Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.

    2016-01-01

    Sensory systems influence one another during development and deprivation can lead to cross-modal plasticity. As auditory function begins before vision, we investigate the effect of manipulating visual experience during auditory cortex critical periods (CPs) by assessing the influence of early, normal and delayed eyelid opening on hearing loss-induced changes to membrane and inhibitory synaptic properties. Early eyelid opening closes the auditory cortex CPs precociously and dark rearing prevents this effect. In contrast, delayed eyelid opening extends the auditory cortex CPs by several additional days. The CP for recovery from hearing loss is also closed prematurely by early eyelid opening and extended by delayed eyelid opening. Furthermore, when coupled with transient hearing loss that animals normally fully recover from, very early visual experience leads to inhibitory deficits that persist into adulthood. Finally, we demonstrate a functional projection from the visual to auditory cortex that could mediate these effects. PMID:26786281

  12. Cholinergic signals in mouse barrel cortex during active whisker sensing.

    PubMed

    Eggermann, Emmanuel; Kremer, Yves; Crochet, Sylvain; Petersen, Carl C H

    2014-12-11

    Internal brain states affect sensory perception, cognition, and learning. Many neocortical areas exhibit changes in the pattern and synchrony of neuronal activity during quiet versus active behaviors. Active behaviors are typically associated with desynchronized cortical dynamics. Increased thalamic firing contributes importantly to desynchronize mouse barrel cortex during active whisker sensing. However, a whisking-related cortical state change persists after thalamic inactivation, which is mediated at least in part by acetylcholine, as we show here by using whole-cell recordings, local pharmacology, axonal calcium imaging, and optogenetic stimulation. During whisking, we find prominent cholinergic signals in the barrel cortex, which suppress spontaneous cortical activity. The desynchronized state of barrel cortex during whisking is therefore driven by at least two distinct signals with opposing functions: increased thalamic activity driving glutamatergic excitation of the cortex and increased cholinergic input suppressing spontaneous cortical activity.

  13. CX-516 Cortex pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Danysz, Wojciech

    2002-07-01

    CX-516 is one of a series of AMPA modulators under development by Cortex, in collaboration with Shire and Servier, for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), schizophrenia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) [234221]. By June 2001, CX-516 was in phase II trials for both schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [412513]. A phase II trial in fragile X syndrome and autism was expected to start in May 2002 [449861]. In October 2001, Cortex was awarded a Phase II SBIR grant of $769,818 from the National Institutes of Mental Health to investigate the therapeutic potential of AMPAkines in schizophrenia. This award was to support a phase IIb study of CX-516 as a combination therapy in schizophrenia patients concomitantly treated with olanzapine. The trial was to enroll 80 patients and employ a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in which the placebo group was to receive olanzapine plus placebo and the active group was to receive olanzapine plus CX-516 [425982]. In April 2000, Shire and Cortex signed an option agreement in which Shire was to evaluate CX-516for the treatment of ADHD. Under the terms of the agreement, Shire would undertake a double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of CX-516 involving ADHD patients. If the study proved effective, Shire would have the right to convert its option into an exclusive worldwide license for the AMPAkines for ADHD under a development and licensing agreement. Should Shire elect to execute this agreement, Shire would bear all future developmental costs [363618]. By February 2002, Cortex and Servier had revealed their intention to begin enrolment for an international study of an AMPAkine compound as a potential treatment for MCI in the near future. Assuming enrollment proceeded as anticipated, results were expected during the second quarter of 2003 [439301]. By May 2002, phase II trials were underway [450134]. In March 2002, Cortex was awarded extended funding under the

  14. A perceptual metric for photo retouching.

    PubMed

    Kee, Eric; Farid, Hany

    2011-12-13

    In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality. PMID:22123980

  15. A perceptual metric for photo retouching

    PubMed Central

    Kee, Eric; Farid, Hany

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality. PMID:22123980

  16. A perceptual metric for photo retouching.

    PubMed

    Kee, Eric; Farid, Hany

    2011-12-13

    In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality.

  17. Lack of power enhances visual perceptual discrimination.

    PubMed

    Weick, Mario; Guinote, Ana; Wilkinson, David

    2011-09-01

    Powerless individuals face much challenge and uncertainty. As a consequence, they are highly vigilant and closely scrutinize their social environments. The aim of the present research was to determine whether these qualities enhance performance in more basic cognitive tasks involving simple visual feature discrimination. To test this hypothesis, participants performed a series of perceptual matching and search tasks involving colour, texture, and size discrimination. As predicted, those primed with powerlessness generated shorter reaction times and made fewer eye movements than either powerful or control participants. The results indicate that the heightened vigilance shown by powerless individuals is associated with an advantage in performing simple types of psychophysical discrimination. These findings highlight, for the first time, an underlying competency in perceptual cognition that sets powerless individuals above their powerful counterparts, an advantage that may reflect functional adaptation to the environmental challenge and uncertainty that they face.

  18. Perceptual conflict between vision and touch.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, T

    1976-06-01

    Although most of the studies support the conclusion that a perceptual conflict may be resolved in the visual dominance, a few suggest its prematurity and methodological problems. In the present study, the conflict was made by the instruction and the trick in order to keep the S's naivety, and the degree of conflict was varied. wthe visual comparison (vision), the haptic comparison (touch), the visual-haptic comparison (drawing by a pencil), and the haptic-visual comparison (production by the plasticine) were used as the comparison procedures. The result was that the perceptual conflict was resolved in a compromise between vision and touch. However, as the degree of conflict became greater, the judgements in the conflict tended to depend upon the comparison procedures. And in such a conflict taht the visual size was smaller than the tactual, the vision dominance tended to occur, and vice versa. PMID:988361

  19. Masked priming of complex movements: perceptual and motor processes in unconscious action perception.

    PubMed

    Güldenpenning, Iris; Braun, Jelena F; Machlitt, Daniel; Schack, Thomas

    2015-09-01

    Fast motor actions in sports often require the ability to discriminate between similar movement patterns (e.g. feint vs. non-feint) at an early stage. Moreover, an athlete might even initiate a motor response without a conscious processing of the relevant movement information. Therefore, the question was raised of whether or not athletes and novices of a particular movement can unconsciously distinguish between similar movement patterns. Using a masked priming experiment (Experiment 1), it is demonstrated that both groups were similarly able to unconsciously distinguish a feint and a non-feint action. To further investigate whether this result is based on perceptual priming effects or on unconscious motor activations, a second masked priming experiment was conducted (Experiment 2). Experiment 2 revealed perceptual priming effects which are not mediated by motor expertise. Moreover, unconscious pictures of feint and non-feint actions from different movement stages are sufficient to activate a motor response in athletes. In novices, a negative congruency effect occurred. For both groups, largest response congruency effects were found for prime pictures participants could consciously perceive as target pictures during the experimental session. The results found here point out that perceptual priming effects are not mediated by motor expertise whereas response priming effects might be. PMID:25187216

  20. Masked priming of complex movements: perceptual and motor processes in unconscious action perception.

    PubMed

    Güldenpenning, Iris; Braun, Jelena F; Machlitt, Daniel; Schack, Thomas

    2015-09-01

    Fast motor actions in sports often require the ability to discriminate between similar movement patterns (e.g. feint vs. non-feint) at an early stage. Moreover, an athlete might even initiate a motor response without a conscious processing of the relevant movement information. Therefore, the question was raised of whether or not athletes and novices of a particular movement can unconsciously distinguish between similar movement patterns. Using a masked priming experiment (Experiment 1), it is demonstrated that both groups were similarly able to unconsciously distinguish a feint and a non-feint action. To further investigate whether this result is based on perceptual priming effects or on unconscious motor activations, a second masked priming experiment was conducted (Experiment 2). Experiment 2 revealed perceptual priming effects which are not mediated by motor expertise. Moreover, unconscious pictures of feint and non-feint actions from different movement stages are sufficient to activate a motor response in athletes. In novices, a negative congruency effect occurred. For both groups, largest response congruency effects were found for prime pictures participants could consciously perceive as target pictures during the experimental session. The results found here point out that perceptual priming effects are not mediated by motor expertise whereas response priming effects might be.

  1. Perceptual learning through optimization of attentional weighting: human versus optimal Bayesian learner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eckstein, Miguel P.; Abbey, Craig K.; Pham, Binh T.; Shimozaki, Steven S.

    2004-01-01

    Human performance in visual detection, discrimination, identification, and search tasks typically improves with practice. Psychophysical studies suggest that perceptual learning is mediated by an enhancement in the coding of the signal, and physiological studies suggest that it might be related to the plasticity in the weighting or selection of sensory units coding task relevant information (learning through attention optimization). We propose an experimental paradigm (optimal perceptual learning paradigm) to systematically study the dynamics of perceptual learning in humans by allowing comparisons to that of an optimal Bayesian algorithm and a number of suboptimal learning models. We measured improvement in human localization (eight-alternative forced-choice with feedback) performance of a target randomly sampled from four elongated Gaussian targets with different orientations and polarities and kept as a target for a block of four trials. The results suggest that the human perceptual learning can occur within a lapse of four trials (<1 min) but that human learning is slower and incomplete with respect to the optimal algorithm (23.3% reduction in human efficiency from the 1st-to-4th learning trials). The greatest improvement in human performance, occurring from the 1st-to-2nd learning trial, was also present in the optimal observer, and, thus reflects a property inherent to the visual task and not a property particular to the human perceptual learning mechanism. One notable source of human inefficiency is that, unlike the ideal observer, human learning relies more heavily on previous decisions than on the provided feedback, resulting in no human learning on trials following a previous incorrect localization decision. Finally, the proposed theory and paradigm provide a flexible framework for future studies to evaluate the optimality of human learning of other visual cues and/or sensory modalities.

  2. Explaining seeing? Disentangling qualia from perceptual organization.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.

  3. Neural repetition suppression reflects fulfilled perceptual expectations

    PubMed Central

    Summerfield, Christopher; Monti, Jim M.P.; Trittschuh, Emily H.; Mesulam, M.-Marsel; Egner, Tobias

    2009-01-01

    Stimulus-evoked neural activity is attenuated upon stimulus repetition (‘repetition suppression’), a phenomenon attributed to largely automatic processes in sensory neurons. By manipulating the likelihood of stimulus repetition, we show that repetition suppression in the human brain is reduced when stimulus repetitions are improbable (and thus, unexpected). These data suggest that repetition suppression reflects a relative reduction in top-down perceptual ‘prediction error’ when processing an expected compared to an unexpected stimulus. PMID:19160497

  4. Perceptual uniformity of commonly used color spaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avanaki, Ali; Espig, Kathryn; Kimpe, Tom; Xthona, Albert; Marchessoux, Cedric; Rostang, Johan; Piepers, Bastian

    2014-03-01

    Use of color images in medical imaging has increased significantly the last few years. Color information is essential for applications such as ophthalmology, dermatology and clinical photography. Use of color at least brings benefits for other applications such as endoscopy, laparoscopy and digital pathology. Remarkably, as of today, there is no agreed standard on how color information needs to be visualized for medical applications. This lack of standardization results in large variability of how color images are visualized and it makes quality assurance a challenge. For this reason FDA and ICC recently organized a joint summit on color in medical imaging (CMI). At this summit, one of the suggestions was that modalities such as digital pathology could benefit from using a perceptually uniform color space (T. Kimpe, "Color Behavior of Medical Displays," CMI presentation, May 2013). Perceptually uniform spaces have already been used for many years in the radiology community where the DICOM GSDF standard provides linearity in luminance but not in color behavior. In this paper we quantify perceptual uniformity, using CIE's ΔE2000 as a color distance metric, of several color spaces that are typically used for medical applications. We applied our method to theoretical color spaces Gamma 1.8, 2.0, & 2.2, standard sRGB, and DICOM (correction LUT for gray applied to all primaries). In addition, we also measured color spaces (i.e., native behavior) of a high-end medical display (Barco Coronis Fusion 6MP DL, MDCC-6130), and a consumer display (Dell 1907FP). Our results indicate that sRGB & the native color space on the Barco Coronis Fusion exhibit the least non-uniformity within their group. However, the remaining degree of perceptual non-uniformity is still significant and there is room for improvement.

  5. Atypicalities in perceptual adaptation in autism do not extend to perceptual causality.

    PubMed

    Karaminis, Themelis; Turi, Marco; Neil, Louise; Badcock, Nicholas A; Burr, David; Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    A recent study showed that adaptation to causal events (collisions) in adults caused subsequent events to be less likely perceived as causal. In this study, we examined if a similar negative adaptation effect for perceptual causality occurs in children, both typically developing and with autism. Previous studies have reported diminished adaptation for face identity, facial configuration and gaze direction in children with autism. To test whether diminished adaptive coding extends beyond high-level social stimuli (such as faces) and could be a general property of autistic perception, we developed a child-friendly paradigm for adaptation of perceptual causality. We compared the performance of 22 children with autism with 22 typically developing children, individually matched on age and ability (IQ scores). We found significant and equally robust adaptation aftereffects for perceptual causality in both groups. There were also no differences between the two groups in their attention, as revealed by reaction times and accuracy in a change-detection task. These findings suggest that adaptation to perceptual causality in autism is largely similar to typical development and, further, that diminished adaptive coding might not be a general characteristic of autism at low levels of the perceptual hierarchy, constraining existing theories of adaptation in autism.

  6. Perceptual and Neural Olfactory Similarity in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The question of whether or not neural activity patterns recorded in the olfactory centres of the brain correspond to olfactory perceptual measures remains unanswered. To address this question, we studied olfaction in honeybees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response. We conditioned bees to odours and tested generalisation responses to different odours. Sixteen odours were used, which varied both in their functional group (primary and secondary alcohols, aldehydes and ketones) and in their carbon-chain length (from six to nine carbons).The results obtained by presentation of a total of 16 × 16 odour pairs show that (i) all odorants presented could be learned, although acquisition was lower for short-chain ketones; (ii) generalisation varied depending both on the functional group and the carbon-chain length of odours trained; higher generalisation was found between long-chain than between short-chain molecules and between groups such as primary and secondary alcohols; (iii) for some odour pairs, cross-generalisation between odorants was asymmetric; (iv) a putative olfactory space could be defined for the honeybee with functional group and carbon-chain length as inner dimensions; (v) perceptual distances in such a space correlate well with physiological distances determined from optophysiological recordings of antennal lobe activity. We conclude that functional group and carbon-chain length are inner dimensions of the honeybee olfactory space and that neural activity in the antennal lobe reflects the perceptual quality of odours. PMID:15736975

  7. Self-stimulatory behavior and perceptual reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Lovaas, I; Newsom, C; Hickman, C

    1987-01-01

    Self-stimulatory behavior is repetitive, stereotyped, functionally autonomous behavior seen in both normal and developmentally disabled populations, yet no satisfactory theory of its development and major characteristics has previously been offered. We present here a detailed hypothesis of the acquisition and maintenance of self-stimulatory behavior, proposing that the behaviors are operant responses whose reinforcers are automatically produced interoceptive and exteroceptive perceptual consequences. The concept of perceptual stimuli and reinforcers, the durability of self-stimulatory behaviors, the sensory extinction effect, the inverse relationship between self-stimulatory and other behaviors, the blocking effect of self-stimulatory behavior on new learning, and response substitution effects are discussed in terms of the hypothesis. Support for the hypothesis from the areas of sensory reinforcement and sensory deprivation is also reviewed. Limitations of major alternative theories are discussed, along with implications of the perceptual reinforcement hypothesis for the treatment of excessive self-stimulatory behavior and for theoretical conceptualizations of functionally related normal and pathological behaviors.

  8. Learning problems, delayed perceptual development, and puberty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Beverly A.; Zecker, Steven G.; Reid, Miriam D.

    2003-04-01

    Language-based learning problems affect approximately one person in twelve with no other obvious signs of disorder. Many of these individuals have accompanying deficits in nonlinguistic perception. To determine whether age influences the magnitude of these deficits, thresholds on a set of auditory masking tasks were measured in individuals with learning problems and controls ranging in age from 6 years to adult. Performance improved with increasing age in both groups. However, the thresholds of the individuals with learning problems were most similar to those of controls approximately 2-4 years younger on every task, suggesting that the perceptual development of the affected individuals was delayed by a constant amount. Further, on the subset of conditions on which controls reached adult levels of performance after 10 years of age, the improvement of affected individuals halted at 10 years of age, suggesting that puberty may play a critical role in human perceptual development. Taken together, these data support the idea that some learning problems result from a neuromaturational delay, of unknown breadth, and indicate that neurological changes associated with puberty prevent the complete resolution of delayed perceptual development. [Work supported by NIH/NIDCD.

  9. The perceptual reality of synesthetic colors

    PubMed Central

    Palmeri, Thomas J.; Blake, Randolph; Marois, René; Flanery, Marci A.; Whetsell, William

    2002-01-01

    Synesthesia is a remarkable, rare condition where an individual has multimodal perceptual experiences from a unimodal sensory event. We have studied such an individual, an adult male for whom achromatic words and alphanumeric characters are seen in vivid, reliable colors. We used a variety of perceptual tasks to document the perceptual reality of synesthetic colors and to begin to localize the stage of visual processing where this anomalous binding of externally specified form and internally generated color may take place. Synesthetic colors were elicited by forms defined solely by binocular cues or solely by motion cues, which implies a central locus of visual processing for synesthetic binding of form and color. Also included among our measurements was a difficult visual search task on which non-synesthetic subjects required an effortful search through the visual display. Our subject, in contrast to non-synesthetic subjects, accomplished the task with relative ease because the target of the search had a different synesthetic color from the distractors. Thus, synesthetic experiences appear to originate from a binding of color and form that takes place within central stages of visual processing. PMID:11904456

  10. Analysis of Clinicians' Perceptual Cough Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Laciuga, Helena; Brandimore, Alexandra E; Troche, Michelle S; Hegland, Karen W

    2016-08-01

    This study examined the relationships between subjective descriptors and objective airflow measures of cough. We hypothesized that coughs with specific airflow characteristics would share common subjective perceptual descriptions. Thirty clinicians (speech-language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and neurologists) perceptually evaluated ten cough audio samples with specific airflow characteristics determined by peak expiratory flow rate, cough expired volume, cough duration, and number of coughs in the cough epoch. Participants rated coughs by strength, duration, quality, quantity, and overall potential effectiveness for airway protection. Perception of cough strength and effectiveness was determined by the combination of presence of pre-expulsive compression phase, short peak expiratory airflow rate rise time, high peak expiratory flow rates, and high cough volume acceleration. Perception of cough abnormality was defined predominantly by descriptors of breathiness and strain. Breathiness was characteristic for coughs with either absent compression phases and relatively high expiratory airflow rates or coughs with significantly low expired volumes and reduced peak flow rates. In contrast, excessive strain was associated with prolonged compression phases and low expiratory airflow rates or the absence of compression phase with high peak expiratory rates. The study participants reached greatest agreement in distinguishing between single and multiple coughs. Their assessment of cough strength and effectiveness was less consistent. Finally, the least agreement was shown in determining the quality categories. Modifications of cough airflow can influence perceptual cough evaluation outcomes. However, the inconsistency of cough ratings among our participants suggests that a uniform cough rating system is required. PMID:27115759

  11. Space and time in perceptual causality.

    PubMed

    Straube, Benjamin; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2010-01-01

    Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte's view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event) while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks. PMID:20463866

  12. Interocular transfer of perceptual skills after sleep.

    PubMed

    Deliens, Gaétane; Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe

    2014-01-24

    Several studies suggest that sleep improves perceptual skills in the visual texture discrimination task (TDT). Here we report that besides consolidation, sleep also generalizes the learned perceptual abilities to the untrained eye. Healthy volunteers (n = 32) were trained on the TDT, in which they had to discriminate between horizontal and vertical target textures briefly presented in the periphery of the visual field (left upper quadrant). After a 10-hr interval filled with either sleep or wakefulness, they were retested first on the trained eye in the trained quadrant and then on the untrained eye and quadrant. In line with prior findings, visual discrimination was globally higher after sleep than after wakefulness, as compared to performance levels at the end of training. Furthermore, discrimination performance was significantly improved only in the sleep condition for the untrained eye in the same quadrant, but also showed a trend to generalize to the untrained eye and untrained quadrant. Our results suggest that sleep-dependent perceptual skills continue developing at a later visual-process stage than the V1 area, where learning is not monocular anymore.

  13. Self-stimulatory behavior and perceptual reinforcement.

    PubMed Central

    Lovaas, I; Newsom, C; Hickman, C

    1987-01-01

    Self-stimulatory behavior is repetitive, stereotyped, functionally autonomous behavior seen in both normal and developmentally disabled populations, yet no satisfactory theory of its development and major characteristics has previously been offered. We present here a detailed hypothesis of the acquisition and maintenance of self-stimulatory behavior, proposing that the behaviors are operant responses whose reinforcers are automatically produced interoceptive and exteroceptive perceptual consequences. The concept of perceptual stimuli and reinforcers, the durability of self-stimulatory behaviors, the sensory extinction effect, the inverse relationship between self-stimulatory and other behaviors, the blocking effect of self-stimulatory behavior on new learning, and response substitution effects are discussed in terms of the hypothesis. Support for the hypothesis from the areas of sensory reinforcement and sensory deprivation is also reviewed. Limitations of major alternative theories are discussed, along with implications of the perceptual reinforcement hypothesis for the treatment of excessive self-stimulatory behavior and for theoretical conceptualizations of functionally related normal and pathological behaviors. PMID:3583964

  14. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-04-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children. PMID:27106318

  15. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-04-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.

  16. Real-Time Strategy Video Game Experience and Visual Perceptual Learning.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Hwan; Kang, Dong-Wha; Kim, Dongho; Kim, Hye-Jin; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-07-22

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as long-term improvement in performance on a visual-perception task after visual experiences or training. Early studies have found that VPL is highly specific for the trained feature and location, suggesting that VPL is associated with changes in the early visual cortex. However, the generality of visual skills enhancement attributable to action video-game experience suggests that VPL can result from improvement in higher cognitive skills. If so, experience in real-time strategy (RTS) video-game play, which may heavily involve cognitive skills, may also facilitate VPL. To test this hypothesis, we compared VPL between RTS video-game players (VGPs) and non-VGPs (NVGPs) and elucidated underlying structural and functional neural mechanisms. Healthy young human subjects underwent six training sessions on a texture discrimination task. Diffusion-tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging were performed before and after training. VGPs performed better than NVGPs in the early phase of training. White-matter connectivity between the right external capsule and visual cortex and neuronal activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were greater in VGPs than NVGPs and were significantly correlated with RTS video-game experience. In both VGPs and NVGPs, there was task-related neuronal activity in the right IFG, ACC, and striatum, which was strengthened after training. These results indicate that RTS video-game experience, associated with changes in higher-order cognitive functions and connectivity between visual and cognitive areas, facilitates VPL in early phases of training. The results support the hypothesis that VPL can occur without involvement of only visual areas. Significance statement: Although early studies found that visual perceptual learning (VPL) is associated with involvement of the visual cortex, generality of visual skills enhancement by action video-game experience

  17. Real-Time Strategy Video Game Experience and Visual Perceptual Learning.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Hwan; Kang, Dong-Wha; Kim, Dongho; Kim, Hye-Jin; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-07-22

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as long-term improvement in performance on a visual-perception task after visual experiences or training. Early studies have found that VPL is highly specific for the trained feature and location, suggesting that VPL is associated with changes in the early visual cortex. However, the generality of visual skills enhancement attributable to action video-game experience suggests that VPL can result from improvement in higher cognitive skills. If so, experience in real-time strategy (RTS) video-game play, which may heavily involve cognitive skills, may also facilitate VPL. To test this hypothesis, we compared VPL between RTS video-game players (VGPs) and non-VGPs (NVGPs) and elucidated underlying structural and functional neural mechanisms. Healthy young human subjects underwent six training sessions on a texture discrimination task. Diffusion-tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging were performed before and after training. VGPs performed better than NVGPs in the early phase of training. White-matter connectivity between the right external capsule and visual cortex and neuronal activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were greater in VGPs than NVGPs and were significantly correlated with RTS video-game experience. In both VGPs and NVGPs, there was task-related neuronal activity in the right IFG, ACC, and striatum, which was strengthened after training. These results indicate that RTS video-game experience, associated with changes in higher-order cognitive functions and connectivity between visual and cognitive areas, facilitates VPL in early phases of training. The results support the hypothesis that VPL can occur without involvement of only visual areas. Significance statement: Although early studies found that visual perceptual learning (VPL) is associated with involvement of the visual cortex, generality of visual skills enhancement by action video-game experience

  18. Associative fear learning and perceptual discrimination: a perceptual pathway in the development of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Jonas; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Wiech, Katja; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-04-01

    Recent neuropsychological theories emphasize the influence of maladaptive learning and memory processes on pain perception. However, the precise relationship between these processes as well as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood; especially the role of perceptual discrimination and its modulation by associative fear learning has received little attention so far. Experimental work with exteroceptive stimuli consistently points to effects of fear learning on perceptual discrimination acuity. In addition, clinical observations have revealed that in individuals with chronic pain perceptual discrimination is impaired, and that tactile discrimination training reduces pain. Based on these findings, we present a theoretical model of which the central tenet is that associative fear learning contributes to the development of chronic pain through impaired interoceptive and proprioceptive discrimination acuity.

  19. Associative fear learning and perceptual discrimination: a perceptual pathway in the development of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Jonas; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Wiech, Katja; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-04-01

    Recent neuropsychological theories emphasize the influence of maladaptive learning and memory processes on pain perception. However, the precise relationship between these processes as well as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood; especially the role of perceptual discrimination and its modulation by associative fear learning has received little attention so far. Experimental work with exteroceptive stimuli consistently points to effects of fear learning on perceptual discrimination acuity. In addition, clinical observations have revealed that in individuals with chronic pain perceptual discrimination is impaired, and that tactile discrimination training reduces pain. Based on these findings, we present a theoretical model of which the central tenet is that associative fear learning contributes to the development of chronic pain through impaired interoceptive and proprioceptive discrimination acuity. PMID:25603316

  20. Neurocontrol in sensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritt, Jason; Nandi, Anirban; Schroeder, Joseph; Ching, Shinung

    Technology to control neural ensembles is rapidly advancing, but many important challenges remain in applications, such as design of controls (e.g. stimulation patterns) with specificity comparable to natural sensory encoding. We use the rodent whisker tactile system as a model for active touch, in which sensory information is acquired in a closed loop between feedforward encoding of sensory information and feedback guidance of sensing motions. Motivated by this system, we present optimal control strategies that are tailored for underactuation (a large ratio of neurons or degrees of freedom to stimulation channels) and limited observability (absence of direct measurement of the system state), common in available stimulation technologies for freely behaving animals. Using a control framework, we have begun to elucidate the feedback effect of sensory cortex activity on sensing in behaving animals. For example, by optogenetically perturbing primary sensory cortex (SI) activity at varied timing relative to individual whisker motions, we find that SI modulates future sensing behavior within 15 msec, on a whisk by whisk basis, changing the flow of incoming sensory information based on past experience. J.T.R. and S.C. hold Career Awards at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

  1. The Distributed Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Winer, Jeffery A.; Lee, Charles C.

    2009-01-01

    A synthesis of cat auditory cortex (AC) organization is presented in which the extrinsic and intrinsic connections interact to derive a unified profile of the auditory stream and use it to direct and modify cortical and subcortical information flow. Thus, the thalamocortical input provides essential sensory information about peripheral stimulus events, which AC redirects locally for feature extraction, and then conveys to parallel auditory, multisensory, premotor, limbic, and cognitive centers for further analysis. The corticofugal output influences areas as remote as the pons and the cochlear nucleus, structures whose effects upon AC are entirely indirect, and has diverse roles in the transmission of information through the medial geniculate body and inferior colliculus. The distributed AC is thus construed as a functional network in which the auditory percept is assembled for subsequent redistribution in sensory, premotor, and cognitive streams contingent on the derived interpretation of the acoustic events. The confluence of auditory and multisensory streams likely precedes cognitive processing of sound. The distributed AC constitutes the largest and arguably the most complete representation of the auditory world. Many facets of this scheme may apply in rodent and primate AC as well. We propose that the distributed auditory cortex contributes to local processing regimes in regions as disparate as the frontal pole and the cochlear nucleus to construct the acoustic percept. PMID:17329049

  2. Human perceptual decision making: disentangling task onset and stimulus onset.

    PubMed

    Cardoso-Leite, Pedro; Waszak, Florian; Lepsien, Jöran

    2014-07-01

    The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (ldlPFC) has been highlighted as a key actor in human perceptual decision-making (PDM): It is theorized to support decision-formation independently of stimulus type or motor response. PDM studies however generally confound stimulus onset and task onset: when the to-be-recognized stimulus is presented, subjects know that a stimulus is shown and can set up processing resources-even when they do not know which stimulus is shown. We hypothesized that the ldlPFC might be involved in task preparation rather than decision-formation. To test this, we asked participants to report whether sequences of noisy images contained a face or a house within an experimental design that decorrelates stimulus and task onset. Decision-related processes should yield a sustained response during the task, whereas preparation-related areas should yield transient responses at its beginning. The results show that the brain activation pattern at task onset is strikingly similar to that observed in previous PDM studies. In particular, they contradict the idea that ldlPFC forms an abstract decision and suggest instead that its activation reflects preparation for the upcoming task. We further investigated the role of the fusiform face areas and parahippocampal place areas which are thought to be face and house detectors, respectively, that feed their signals to higher level decision areas. The response patterns within these areas suggest that this interpretation is unlikely and that the decisions about the presence of a face or a house in a noisy image might instead already be computed within these areas without requiring higher-order areas.

  3. Sequential involvement of NMDA receptor-dependent processes in hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parietal cortex in memory processing.

    PubMed

    Zanatta, M.S.; Schaeffer, E.; Schmitz, P.K.; Medina, J.H.; Quevedo, J.; Quillfeldt, J.A.; Izquierdo, I.

    1996-08-01

    Rats bilaterally implanted with cannulae in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus and/or in the amygdaloid nucleus, in the entorhinal cortex, and in the posterior parietal cortex, were trained in a step-down inhibitory avoidance task. At various times after training (immediately, 30, 60 or 90min) they received, through the cannulae, 0.5µl microinfusions of saline or of 5.0µg of AP5 dissolved in saline. A retention test was carried out 24h after training. Retention test performance was hindered by AP5 given into hippocampus, amygdala, or both hippocampus and amygdala immediately but not 30min post-training. The drug was amnestic when given into the entorhinal cortex 30, 60 or 90min after training, or into the parietal cortex 60 or 90min after training, but not at earlier times. The findings suggest a sequential entry in operation, in the post-training period, of NMDA-receptor mediated mechanisms involved in memory processing; first in hippocampus and amygdala, 30min later in entorhinal cortex, and 30min later in posterior parietal cortex.

  4. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  5. Exploring Perceptual Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Target Detection to Dynamic Perceptual Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Louisa; McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual processing in autism is associated with both "strengths" and "weaknesses" but within a literature that varies widely in terms of the assessments used. We report data from 12 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 12 age and IQ matched neurotypical controls tested on a set of tasks using the same stimuli…

  6. Perceptual Discrimination in Static and Dynamic Noise: The Temporal Relation between Perceptual Encoding and Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratcliff, Roger; Smith, Philip L.

    2010-01-01

    The authors report 9 new experiments and reanalyze 3 published experiments that investigate factors affecting the time course of perceptual processing and its effects on subsequent decision making. Stimuli in letter-discrimination and brightness-discrimination tasks were degraded with static and dynamic noise. The onset and the time course of…

  7. Perceptual Fluency, Auditory Generation, and Metamemory: Analyzing the Perceptual Fluency Hypothesis in the Auditory Modality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besken, Miri; Mulligan, Neil W.

    2014-01-01

    Judgments of learning (JOLs) are sometimes influenced by factors that do not impact actual memory performance. One recent proposal is that perceptual fluency during encoding affects metamemory and is a basis of metacognitive illusions. In the present experiments, participants identified aurally presented words that contained inter-spliced silences…

  8. Perceptual-components architecture for digital video

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B.

    1990-01-01

    A perceptual-components architecture for digital video partitions the image stream into signal components in a manner analogous to that used in the human visual system. These components consist of achromatic and opponent color channels, divided into static and motion channels, further divided into bands of particular spatial frequency and orientation. Bits are allocated to an individual band in accord with visual sensitivity to that band and in accord with the properties of visual masking. This architecture is argued to have desirable features such as efficiency, error tolerance, scalability, device independence, and extensibility.

  9. JPEG 2000 Encoding with Perceptual Distortion Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Liu, Zhen; Karam, Lina J.

    2008-01-01

    An alternative approach has been devised for encoding image data in compliance with JPEG 2000, the most recent still-image data-compression standard of the Joint Photographic Experts Group. Heretofore, JPEG 2000 encoding has been implemented by several related schemes classified as rate-based distortion-minimization encoding. In each of these schemes, the end user specifies a desired bit rate and the encoding algorithm strives to attain that rate while minimizing a mean squared error (MSE). While rate-based distortion minimization is appropriate for transmitting data over a limited-bandwidth channel, it is not the best approach for applications in which the perceptual quality of reconstructed images is a major consideration. A better approach for such applications is the present alternative one, denoted perceptual distortion control, in which the encoding algorithm strives to compress data to the lowest bit rate that yields at least a specified level of perceptual image quality. Some additional background information on JPEG 2000 is prerequisite to a meaningful summary of JPEG encoding with perceptual distortion control. The JPEG 2000 encoding process includes two subprocesses known as tier-1 and tier-2 coding. In order to minimize the MSE for the desired bit rate, a rate-distortion- optimization subprocess is introduced between the tier-1 and tier-2 subprocesses. In tier-1 coding, each coding block is independently bit-plane coded from the most-significant-bit (MSB) plane to the least-significant-bit (LSB) plane, using three coding passes (except for the MSB plane, which is coded using only one "clean up" coding pass). For M bit planes, this subprocess involves a total number of (3M - 2) coding passes. An embedded bit stream is then generated for each coding block. Information on the reduction in distortion and the increase in the bit rate associated with each coding pass is collected. This information is then used in a rate-control procedure to determine the

  10. Comparison of abstract decision encoding in the monkey prefrontal cortex, the presupplementary, and cingulate motor areas.

    PubMed

    Merten, Katharina; Nieder, Andreas

    2013-07-01

    Deciding between alternatives is a critical element of flexible behavior. Perceptual decisions have been studied extensively in an action-based framework. Recently, we have shown that abstract perceptual decisions are encoded in prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons (Merten and Nieder 2012). However, the role of other frontal cortex areas remained elusive. Here, we trained monkeys to perform a rule-based visual detection task that disentangled abstract perceptual decisions from motor preparation. We recorded the single-neuron activity in the presupplementary (preSMA) and the rostral part of the cingulate motor area (CMAr) and compared it to the results previously found in the PFC. Neurons in both areas traditionally identified with motor planning process the abstract decision independently of any motor preparatory activity by similar mechanisms as the PFC. A larger proportion of decision neurons and a higher strength of decision encoding was found in the preSMA than in the PFC. Neurons in both areas reliably predicted the monkeys' decisions. The fraction of CMAr decision neurons and their strength of the decision encoding were comparable to the PFC. Our findings highlight the role of both preSMA and CMAr in abstract cognitive processing and emphasize that both frontal areas encode decisions prior to the preparation of a motor output.

  11. Evidence Accumulation and Choice Maintenance Are Dissociated in Human Perceptual Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mads Lund; Endestad, Tor; Biele, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual decision making in monkeys relies on decision neurons, which accumulate evidence and maintain choices until a response is given. In humans, several brain regions have been proposed to accumulate evidence, but it is unknown if these regions also maintain choices. To test if accumulator regions in humans also maintain decisions we compared delayed and self-paced responses during a face/house discrimination decision making task. Computational modeling and fMRI results revealed dissociated processes of evidence accumulation and decision maintenance, with potential accumulator activations found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral insula. Potential maintenance activation spanned the frontal pole, temporal gyri, precuneus and the lateral occipital and frontal orbital cortices. Results of a quantitative reverse inference meta-analysis performed to differentiate the functions associated with the identified regions did not narrow down potential accumulation regions, but suggested that response-maintenance might rely on a verbalization of the response. PMID:26510176

  12. Evidence Accumulation and Choice Maintenance Are Dissociated in Human Perceptual Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mads Lund; Endestad, Tor; Biele, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual decision making in monkeys relies on decision neurons, which accumulate evidence and maintain choices until a response is given. In humans, several brain regions have been proposed to accumulate evidence, but it is unknown if these regions also maintain choices. To test if accumulator regions in humans also maintain decisions we compared delayed and self-paced responses during a face/house discrimination decision making task. Computational modeling and fMRI results revealed dissociated processes of evidence accumulation and decision maintenance, with potential accumulator activations found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral insula. Potential maintenance activation spanned the frontal pole, temporal gyri, precuneus and the lateral occipital and frontal orbital cortices. Results of a quantitative reverse inference meta-analysis performed to differentiate the functions associated with the identified regions did not narrow down potential accumulation regions, but suggested that response-maintenance might rely on a verbalization of the response.

  13. Incremental learning of perceptual and conceptual representations and the puzzle of neural repetition suppression.

    PubMed

    Gotts, Stephen J

    2016-08-01

    Incremental learning models of long-term perceptual and conceptual knowledge hold that neural representations are gradually acquired over many individual experiences via Hebbian-like activity-dependent synaptic plasticity across cortical connections of the brain. In such models, variation in task relevance of information, anatomic constraints, and the statistics of sensory inputs and motor outputs lead to qualitative alterations in the nature of representations that are acquired. Here, the proposal that behavioral repetition priming and neural repetition suppression effects are empirical markers of incremental learning in the cortex is discussed, and research results that both support and challenge this position are reviewed. Discussion is focused on a recent fMRI-adaptation study from our laboratory that shows decoupling of experience-dependent changes in neural tuning, priming, and repetition suppression, with representational changes that appear to work counter to the explicit task demands. Finally, critical experiments that may help to clarify and resolve current challenges are outlined. PMID:27294423

  14. Associative hallucinations result from stimulating left ventromedial temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Aminoff, Elissa M; Li, Yuanning; Pyles, John A; Ward, Michael J; Richardson, R Mark; Ghuman, Avniel S

    2016-10-01

    Visual recognition requires connecting perceptual information with contextual information and existing knowledge. The ventromedial temporal cortex (VTC), including the medial fusiform, has been linked with object recognition, paired associate learning, contextual processing, and episodic memory, suggesting that this area may be critical in connecting visual processing, context, knowledge and experience. However, evidence for the link between associative processing, episodic memory, and visual recognition in VTC is currently lacking. Using electrocorticography (ECoG) in a single human patient, medial regions of the left VTC were found to be sensitive to the contextual associations of objects. Electrical brain stimulation (EBS) of this part of the left VTC of the patient, functionally defined as sensitive to associative processing, caused memory related, associative experiential visual phenomena. This provides evidence of a relationship between visual recognition, associative processing, and episodic memory. These results suggest a potential role for abnormalities of these processes as part of a mechanism that gives rise to some visual hallucinations.

  15. Orientation anisotropies in human primary visual cortex depend on contrast.

    PubMed

    Maloney, Ryan T; Clifford, Colin W G

    2015-10-01

    Orientation processing in visual cortex appears matched to the environment, such that larger neural populations are tuned to cardinal (horizontal/vertical) than oblique orientations. This may be manifested perceptually as a cardinal bias: poorer sensitivity to oblique compared to cardinal orientations (the "oblique effect"). However, a growing body of psychophysical data reveals the opposite pattern of anisotropy: a bias towards the oblique over the cardinal orientations (the "horizontal effect"), something matched by recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that have found an increased response to the oblique over the cardinal orientations in early visual cortex. This may reveal the operation of an efficient coding strategy optimised to the diet of orientations encountered during natural viewing. From consideration of coding efficiency, it might be expected that the anisotropies would change as the quality/strength of the oriented stimulus changes. In two experiments, fMRI response modulations were measured in retinotopically-defined human early visual cortex as a function of the contrast and orientation of sinusoidal gratings. Both experiments revealed a marked change in the V1 response from a cardinal (vertical) bias at low contrast to an oblique bias at high contrast. In Experiment 2, this was also apparent in areas V2 and V3. On average, there was no systematic "radial bias" (a preference for orientations aligned with the visual field meridian) in V1, although it was present in some individual subjects. The change in orientation anisotropies with contrast is consistent with an adaptive stimulus coding strategy in cortex that shifts according to the strength of the sensory inputs. PMID:26093331

  16. Lesions to right posterior parietal cortex impair visual depth perception from disparity but not motion cues

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, David A.; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Welchman, Andrew E.

    2016-01-01

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is understood to be active when observers perceive three-dimensional (3D) structure. However, it is not clear how central this activity is in the construction of 3D spatial representations. Here, we examine whether PPC is essential for two aspects of visual depth perception by testing patients with lesions affecting this region. First, we measured subjects' ability to discriminate depth structure in various 3D surfaces and objects using binocular disparity. Patients with lesions to right PPC (N = 3) exhibited marked perceptual deficits on these tasks, whereas those with left hemisphere lesions (N = 2) were able to reliably discriminate depth as accurately as control subjects. Second, we presented an ambiguous 3D stimulus defined by structure from motion to determine whether PPC lesions influence the rate of bistable perceptual alternations. Patients' percept durations for the 3D stimulus were generally within a normal range, although the two patients with bilateral PPC lesions showed the fastest perceptual alternation rates in our sample. Intermittent stimulus presentation reduced the reversal rate similarly across subjects. Together, the results suggest that PPC plays a causal role in both inferring and maintaining the perception of 3D structure with stereopsis supported primarily by the right hemisphere, but do not lend support to the view that PPC is a critical contributor to bistable perceptual alternations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Vision in our three-dimensional world’. PMID:27269606

  17. Lesions to right posterior parietal cortex impair visual depth perception from disparity but not motion cues.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Aidan P; Leopold, David A; Humphreys, Glyn W; Welchman, Andrew E

    2016-06-19

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is understood to be active when observers perceive three-dimensional (3D) structure. However, it is not clear how central this activity is in the construction of 3D spatial representations. Here, we examine whether PPC is essential for two aspects of visual depth perception by testing patients with lesions affecting this region. First, we measured subjects' ability to discriminate depth structure in various 3D surfaces and objects using binocular disparity. Patients with lesions to right PPC (N = 3) exhibited marked perceptual deficits on these tasks, whereas those with left hemisphere lesions (N = 2) were able to reliably discriminate depth as accurately as control subjects. Second, we presented an ambiguous 3D stimulus defined by structure from motion to determine whether PPC lesions influence the rate of bistable perceptual alternations. Patients' percept durations for the 3D stimulus were generally within a normal range, although the two patients with bilateral PPC lesions showed the fastest perceptual alternation rates in our sample. Intermittent stimulus presentation reduced the reversal rate similarly across subjects. Together, the results suggest that PPC plays a causal role in both inferring and maintaining the perception of 3D structure with stereopsis supported primarily by the right hemisphere, but do not lend support to the view that PPC is a critical contributor to bistable perceptual alternations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in our three-dimensional world'. PMID:27269606

  18. Lesions to right posterior parietal cortex impair visual depth perception from disparity but not motion cues.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Aidan P; Leopold, David A; Humphreys, Glyn W; Welchman, Andrew E

    2016-06-19

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is understood to be active when observers perceive three-dimensional (3D) structure. However, it is not clear how central this activity is in the construction of 3D spatial representations. Here, we examine whether PPC is essential for two aspects of visual depth perception by testing patients with lesions affecting this region. First, we measured subjects' ability to discriminate depth structure in various 3D surfaces and objects using binocular disparity. Patients with lesions to right PPC (N = 3) exhibited marked perceptual deficits on these tasks, whereas those with left hemisphere lesions (N = 2) were able to reliably discriminate depth as accurately as control subjects. Second, we presented an ambiguous 3D stimulus defined by structure from motion to determine whether PPC lesions influence the rate of bistable perceptual alternations. Patients' percept durations for the 3D stimulus were generally within a normal range, although the two patients with bilateral PPC lesions showed the fastest perceptual alternation rates in our sample. Intermittent stimulus presentation reduced the reversal rate similarly across subjects. Together, the results suggest that PPC plays a causal role in both inferring and maintaining the perception of 3D structure with stereopsis supported primarily by the right hemisphere, but do not lend support to the view that PPC is a critical contributor to bistable perceptual alternations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in our three-dimensional world'.

  19. The development of perceptual motor sequencing ability.

    PubMed

    Zaichkowsky, L D

    1974-12-01

    The purposes of this study were (a) to investigate the possibility that short-term memory may be a limiting factor in the development of perceptual-motor sequencing ability, (b) to determine whether sex differences exist in sequencing ability, (c) to determine whether organized information facilitates serial recall, and (d) to ascertain whether the recall of serial perceptual-motor responses results in a bow-shaped serial-position curve. A 2 × 2 × 3 factorial design was used to analyze the independent variables of age, sex, and pattern organization. Further, an age × serial position ANOVA was performed to investigate the serial-position curve. Serial recall improved with age; however young children experienced difficulty in recalling a complex task. The poor recall performance of 5-yr.-old children was discussed in terms of the possibility that young children fail to use labeling strategies to facilitate recall. No sex differences were found. A primacy effect was obtained on the complex task.

  20. Revisiting the empirical case against perceptual modularity

    PubMed Central

    Masrour, Farid; Nirshberg, Gregory; Schon, Michael; Leardi, Jason; Barrett, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Some theorists hold that the human perceptual system has a component that receives input only from units lower in the perceptual hierarchy. This thesis, that we shall here refer to as the encapsulation thesis, has been at the center of a continuing debate for the past few decades. Those who deny the encapsulation thesis often rely on the large body of psychological findings that allegedly suggest that perception is influenced by factors such as the beliefs, desires, goals, and the expectations of the perceiver. Proponents of the encapsulation thesis, however, often argue that, when correctly interpreted, these psychological findings are compatible with the thesis. In our view, the debate over the significance and the correct interpretation of these psychological findings has reached an impasse. We hold that this impasse is due to the methodological limitations over psychophysical experiments, and it is very unlikely that such experiments, on their own, could yield results that would settle the debate. After defending this claim, we argue that integrating data from cognitive neuroscience resolves the debate in favor of those who deny the encapsulation thesis. PMID:26583001

  1. Chronic and acute biases in perceptual stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Al-Dossari, Munira; Blake, Randolph; Brascamp, Jan W.; Freeman, Alan W.

    2015-01-01

    When perceptually ambiguous stimuli are presented intermittently, the percept on one presentation tends to be the same as that on the previous presentation. The role of short-term, acute biases in the production of this perceptual stability is relatively well understood. In addition, however, long-lasting, chronic bias may also contribute to stability. In this paper we develop indices for both biases and for stability, and show that stability can be expressed as a sum of contributions from the two types of bias. We then apply this analytical procedure to binocular rivalry, showing that adjustment of the monocular contrasts can alter the relative contributions of the two biases. Stability is mainly determined by chronic bias when the contrasts are equal, but acute bias dominates stability when right-eye contrast is set lower than left-eye contrast. Finally, we show that the right-eye bias persists in continuous binocular rivalry. Our findings reveal a previously unappreciated contribution of chronic bias to stable perception. PMID:26641947

  2. General perceptual contributions to lexical tone normalization.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jingyuan; Holt, Lori L

    2009-06-01

    Within tone languages that use pitch variations to contrast meaning, large variability exists in the pitches produced by different speakers. Context-dependent perception may help to resolve this perceptual challenge. However, whether speakers rely on context in contour tone perception is unclear; previous studies have produced inconsistent results. The present study aimed to provide an unambiguous test of the effect of context on contour lexical tone perception and to explore its underlying mechanisms. In three experiments, Mandarin listeners' perception of Mandarin first and second (high-level and mid-rising) tones was investigated with preceding speech and non-speech contexts. Results indicate that the mean fundamental frequency (f0) of a preceding sentence affects perception of contour lexical tones and the effect is contrastive. Following a sentence with a higher-frequency mean f0, the following syllable is more likely to be perceived as a lower frequency lexical tone and vice versa. Moreover, non-speech precursors modeling the mean spectrum of f0 also elicit this effect, suggesting general perceptual processing rather than articulatory-based or speaker-identity-driven mechanisms. PMID:19507980

  3. Stimulus Coding Rules for Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M; Yu, Cong

    2008-01-01

    Perceptual learning of visual features occurs when multiple stimuli are presented in a fixed sequence (temporal patterning), but not when they are presented in random order (roving). This points to the need for proper stimulus coding in order for learning of multiple stimuli to occur. We examined the stimulus coding rules for learning with multiple stimuli. Our results demonstrate that: (1) stimulus rhythm is necessary for temporal patterning to take effect during practice; (2) learning consolidation is subject to disruption by roving up to 4 h after each practice session; (3) importantly, after completion of temporal-patterned learning, performance is undisrupted by extended roving training; (4) roving is ineffective if each stimulus is presented for five or more consecutive trials; and (5) roving is also ineffective if each stimulus has a distinct identity. We propose that for multi-stimulus learning to occur, the brain needs to conceptually “tag” each stimulus, in order to switch attention to the appropriate perceptual template. Stimulus temporal patterning assists in tagging stimuli and switching attention through its rhythmic stimulus sequence. PMID:18707195

  4. Perceptual learning: toward a comprehensive theory.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model in which feature-based plasticity is a change in a representation of the learned feature, and task-based plasticity is a change in processing of the trained task. Although the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity underlies task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained.

  5. Memantine treatment reduces the expression of the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2 in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, and attenuates behavioural responses mediated by GABA(A) receptor activation in mice.

    PubMed

    Molinaro, Gemma; Battaglia, Giuseppe; Riozzi, Barbara; Di Menna, Luisa; Rampello, Liborio; Bruno, Valeria; Nicoletti, Ferdinando

    2009-04-10

    A 7-day treatment with memantine (25 mg/kg, i.p.), a drug that is currently prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, increased the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and reduced the expression of the neuron-specific K(+)/Cl(-) co-transporter, KCC2, in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex of mice. Knowing that KCC2 maintains low intracellular Cl(-) concentrations, which drive Cl(-) influx in response to GABA(A) receptor activation, we monitored the behavioural response to the GABA(A) receptor enhancer, diazepam, in mice pre-treated for 7 days with saline or 25 mg/kg of memantine. Memantine treatment substantially attenuated motor impairment induced by an acute challenge with diazepam (6 mg/kg, i.p.), as assessed by the rotarod test and the horizontal wire test. We suggest that a prolonged treatment with memantine induces changes in the activity of GABA(A) receptors that might contribute to the therapeutic and/or toxic effects of the drug.

  6. Immersive audiomotor game play enhances neural and perceptual salience of weak signals in noise

    PubMed Central

    Whitton, Jonathon P.; Hancock, Kenneth E.; Polley, Daniel B.

    2014-01-01

    All sensory systems face the fundamental challenge of encoding weak signals in noisy backgrounds. Although discrimination abilities can improve with practice, these benefits rarely generalize to untrained stimulus dimensions. Inspired by recent findings that action video game training can impart a broader spectrum of benefits than traditional perceptual learning paradigms, we trained adult humans and mice in an immersive audio game that challenged them to forage for hidden auditory targets in a 2D soundscape. Both species learned to modulate their angular search vectors and target approach velocities based on real-time changes in the level of a weak tone embedded in broadband noise. In humans, mastery of this tone in noise task generalized to an improved ability to comprehend spoken sentences in speech babble noise. Neural plasticity in the auditory cortex of trained mice supported improved decoding of low-intensity sounds at the training frequency and an enhanced resistance to interference from background masking noise. These findings highlight the potential to improve the neural and perceptual salience of degraded sensory stimuli through immersive computerized games. PMID:24927596

  7. The benefits of cholinergic enhancement during perceptual learning are long-lasting.

    PubMed

    Rokem, Ariel; Silver, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) regulates many aspects of cognition, including attention and memory. Previous research in animal models has shown that plasticity in sensory systems often depends on the behavioral relevance of a stimulus and/or task. However, experimentally increasing ACh release in the cortex can result in experience-dependent plasticity, even in the absence of behavioral relevance. In humans, the pharmacological enhancement of ACh transmission by administration of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil during performance of a perceptual task increases the magnitude of perceptual learning (PL) and its specificity to physical parameters of the stimuli used for training. Behavioral effects of PL have previously been shown to persist for many months. In the present study, we tested whether enhancement of PL by donepezil is also long-lasting. Healthy human subjects were trained on a motion direction discrimination task during cholinergic enhancement, and follow-up testing was performed 5-15 months after the end of training and without additional drug administration. Increases in performance associated with training under donepezil were evident in follow-up retesting, indicating that cholinergic enhancement has beneficial long-term effects on PL. These findings suggest that cholinergic enhancement of training procedures used to treat clinical disorders should improve long-term outcomes of these procedures.

  8. Immersive audiomotor game play enhances neural and perceptual salience of weak signals in noise.

    PubMed

    Whitton, Jonathon P; Hancock, Kenneth E; Polley, Daniel B

    2014-06-24

    All sensory systems face the fundamental challenge of encoding weak signals in noisy backgrounds. Although discrimination abilities can improve with practice, these benefits rarely generalize to untrained stimulus dimensions. Inspired by recent findings that action video game training can impart a broader spectrum of benefits than traditional perceptual learning paradigms, we trained adult humans and mice in an immersive audio game that challenged them to forage for hidden auditory targets in a 2D soundscape. Both species learned to modulate their angular search vectors and target approach velocities based on real-time changes in the level of a weak tone embedded in broadband noise. In humans, mastery of this tone in noise task generalized to an improved ability to comprehend spoken sentences in speech babble noise. Neural plasticity in the auditory cortex of trained mice supported improved decoding of low-intensity sounds at the training frequency and an enhanced resistance to interference from background masking noise. These findings highlight the potential to improve the neural and perceptual salience of degraded sensory stimuli through immersive computerized games. PMID:24927596

  9. Effect of tDCS on task relevant and irrelevant perceptual learning of complex objects.

    PubMed

    Van Meel, Chayenne; Daniels, Nicky; de Beeck, Hans Op; Baeck, Annelies

    2016-01-01

    During perceptual learning the visual representations in the brain are altered, but these changes' causal role has not yet been fully characterized. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to investigate the role of higher visual regions in lateral occipital cortex (LO) in perceptual learning with complex objects. We also investigated whether object learning is dependent on the relevance of the objects for the learning task. Participants were trained in two tasks: object recognition using a backward masking paradigm and an orientation judgment task. During both tasks, an object with a red line on top of it were presented in each trial. The crucial difference between both tasks was the relevance of the object: the object was relevant for the object recognition task, but not for the orientation judgment task. During training, half of the participants received anodal tDCS stimulation targeted at the lateral occipital cortex (LO). Afterwards, participants were tested on how well they recognized the trained objects, the irrelevant objects presented during the orientation judgment task and a set of completely new objects. Participants stimulated with tDCS during training showed larger improvements of performance compared to participants in the sham condition. No learning effect was found for the objects presented during the orientation judgment task. To conclude, this study suggests a causal role of LO in relevant object learning, but given the rather low spatial resolution of tDCS, more research on the specificity of this effect is needed. Further, mere exposure is not sufficient to train object recognition in our paradigm. PMID:27096945

  10. Human cortical areas involved in sustaining perceptual stability during smooth pursuit eye movements.

    PubMed

    Trenner, Maja U; Fahle, Manfred; Fasold, Oliver; Heekeren, Hauke R; Villringer, Arno; Wenzel, Rüdiger

    2008-03-01

    Because both, eye movements and object movements induce an image motion on the retina, eye movements must be compensated to allow a coherent and stable perception of our surroundings. The inferential theory of perception postulates that retinal image motion is compared with an internal reference signal related to eye movements. This mechanism allows to distinguish between the potential sources producing retinal image motion. Referring to this theory, we investigated referential calculation during smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) in humans using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response related to SPEM in front of a stable background was measured for different parametric steps of preceding motion stimuli and therefore assumed for different states of the referential system. To achieve optimally accurate anatomy and more detectable fMRI signal changes in group analysis, we applied cortex-based statistics both to all brain volumes and to defined regions of interest. Our analysis revealed that the activity in a temporal region as well as the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) depended on the velocity of the preceding stimuli. Previous single-cell recordings in monkeys demonstrated that the visual posterior sylvian area (VPS) is relevant for perceptual stability. The activation apparent in our study thus may represent a human analogue of this area. The PPC is known as being strongly related to goal-directed eye movements. In conclusion, temporal and parietal cortical areas may be involved in referential calculation and thereby in sustaining visual perceptual stability during eye movements. PMID:17415782

  11. Effect of tDCS on task relevant and irrelevant perceptual learning of complex objects.

    PubMed

    Van Meel, Chayenne; Daniels, Nicky; de Beeck, Hans Op; Baeck, Annelies

    2016-01-01

    During perceptual learning the visual representations in the brain are altered, but these changes' causal role has not yet been fully characterized. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to investigate the role of higher visual regions in lateral occipital cortex (LO) in perceptual learning with complex objects. We also investigated whether object learning is dependent on the relevance of the objects for the learning task. Participants were trained in two tasks: object recognition using a backward masking paradigm and an orientation judgment task. During both tasks, an object with a red line on top of it were presented in each trial. The crucial difference between both tasks was the relevance of the object: the object was relevant for the object recognition task, but not for the orientation judgment task. During training, half of the participants received anodal tDCS stimulation targeted at the lateral occipital cortex (LO). Afterwards, participants were tested on how well they recognized the trained objects, the irrelevant objects presented during the orientation judgment task and a set of completely new objects. Participants stimulated with tDCS during training showed larger improvements of performance compared to participants in the sham condition. No learning effect was found for the objects presented during the orientation judgment task. To conclude, this study suggests a causal role of LO in relevant object learning, but given the rather low spatial resolution of tDCS, more research on the specificity of this effect is needed. Further, mere exposure is not sufficient to train object recognition in our paradigm.

  12. Aversive learning shapes neuronal orientation tuning in human visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    McTeague, Lisa M.; Gruss, L. Forest; Keil, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top–down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions. PMID:26215466

  13. Neuropsychological evidence for a topographical learning mechanism in parahippocampal cortex.

    PubMed

    Epstein, R; Deyoe, E A; Press, D Z; Rosen, A C; Kanwisher, N

    2001-09-01

    The Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA; Epstein & Kanwisher, 1998) is a region within posterior parahippocampal cortex that responds selectively to visual stimuli that convey information about the layout of local space. Here we describe two patients who suffered damage to the PPA after vascular incidents. Both subsequently exhibited memory problems for topographical materials and were unable to navigate unassisted in unfamiliar environments. Performance on a continuous n-back visual memory test was significantly lower for novel scene-like stimuli than for novel object-like stimuli. In contrast, performance was normal on a famous landmark recognition task and on two perceptual tasks that required on-line analysis of scene geometry. Both patients were able to produce accurate maps of premorbidly learned places but were unable to produce accurate maps of new places. These results converge with previous neuroimaging work to demonstrate that the PPA (1) is selectively involved in processing information about the geometry of surrounding space, and (2) may play a more critical role in the encoding of this information into memory than in the initial perceptual processing, recognition, or recall of this information.

  14. Cognitive predictors of perceptual adaptation to accented speech.

    PubMed

    Banks, Briony; Gowen, Emma; Munro, Kevin J; Adank, Patti

    2015-04-01

    The present study investigated the effects of inhibition, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory on perceptual adaptation to accented speech. One hundred young, normal-hearing adults listened to sentences spoken in a constructed, unfamiliar accent presented in speech-shaped background noise. Speech Reception Thresholds (SRTs) corresponding to 50% speech recognition accuracy provided a measurement of adaptation to the accented speech. Stroop, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory tests were performed to measure cognitive ability. Participants adapted to the unfamiliar accent as revealed by a decrease in SRTs over time. Better inhibition (lower Stroop scores) predicted greater and faster adaptation to the unfamiliar accent. Vocabulary knowledge predicted better recognition of the unfamiliar accent, while working memory had a smaller, indirect effect on speech recognition mediated by vocabulary score. Results support a top-down model for successful adaptation to, and recognition of, accented speech; they add to recent theories that allocate a prominent role for executive function to effective speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions.

  15. Cognitive predictors of perceptual adaptation to accented speech.

    PubMed

    Banks, Briony; Gowen, Emma; Munro, Kevin J; Adank, Patti

    2015-04-01

    The present study investigated the effects of inhibition, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory on perceptual adaptation to accented speech. One hundred young, normal-hearing adults listened to sentences spoken in a constructed, unfamiliar accent presented in speech-shaped background noise. Speech Reception Thresholds (SRTs) corresponding to 50% speech recognition accuracy provided a measurement of adaptation to the accented speech. Stroop, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory tests were performed to measure cognitive ability. Participants adapted to the unfamiliar accent as revealed by a decrease in SRTs over time. Better inhibition (lower Stroop scores) predicted greater and faster adaptation to the unfamiliar accent. Vocabulary knowledge predicted better recognition of the unfamiliar accent, while working memory had a smaller, indirect effect on speech recognition mediated by vocabulary score. Results support a top-down model for successful adaptation to, and recognition of, accented speech; they add to recent theories that allocate a prominent role for executive function to effective speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions. PMID:25920852

  16. Extraneous Perceptual Information Interferes with Children's Acquisition of Mathematical Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaminski, Jennifer A.; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2013-01-01

    Educational material often includes engaging perceptual information. However, this perceptual information is often extraneous and may compete with the deeper to-be-learned structure, consequently hindering either the learning of relevant structure or its transfer to new situations. This hypothesis was tested in 4 experiments in which 6- to…

  17. Multisensory Cues Capture Spatial Attention Regardless of Perceptual Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles

    2007-01-01

    We compared the ability of auditory, visual, and audiovisual (bimodal) exogenous cues to capture visuo-spatial attention under conditions of no load versus high perceptual load. Participants had to discriminate the elevation (up vs. down) of visual targets preceded by either unimodal or bimodal cues under conditions of high perceptual load (in…

  18. Estimating the Growth of Internal Evidence Guiding Perceptual Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ludwig, Casimir J. H.; Davies, J. Rhys

    2011-01-01

    Perceptual decision-making is thought to involve a gradual accrual of noisy evidence. Temporal integration of the evidence reduces the relative contribution of dynamic internal noise to the decision variable, thereby boosting its signal-to-noise ratio. We aimed to estimate the internal evidence guiding perceptual decisions over time, using a novel…

  19. Auditory perceptual simulation: Simulating speech rates or accents?

    PubMed

    Zhou, Peiyun; Christianson, Kiel

    2016-07-01

    When readers engage in Auditory Perceptual Simulation (APS) during silent reading, they mentally simulate characteristics of voices attributed to a particular speaker or a character depicted in the text. Previous research found that auditory perceptual simulation of a faster native English speaker during silent reading led to shorter reading times that auditory perceptual simulation of a slower non-native English speaker. Yet, it was uncertain whether this difference was triggered by the different speech rates of the speakers, or by the difficulty of simulating an unfamiliar accent. The current study investigates this question by comparing faster Indian-English speech and slower American-English speech in the auditory perceptual simulation paradigm. Analyses of reading times of individual words and the full sentence reveal that the auditory perceptual simulation effect again modulated reading rate, and auditory perceptual simulation of the faster Indian-English speech led to faster reading rates compared to auditory perceptual simulation of the slower American-English speech. The comparison between this experiment and the data from Zhou and Christianson (2016) demonstrate further that the "speakers'" speech rates, rather than the difficulty of simulating a non-native accent, is the primary mechanism underlying auditory perceptual simulation effects. PMID:27177077

  20. Bayesian Face Recognition and Perceptual Narrowing in Face-Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balas, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    During the first year of life, infants' face recognition abilities are subject to "perceptual narrowing", the end result of which is that observers lose the ability to distinguish previously discriminable faces (e.g. other-race faces) from one another. Perceptual narrowing has been reported for faces of different species and different races, in…

  1. A Guide for Perceptual-Motor Training Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    South Euclid - Lyndhurst City Schools, Lyndhurst, OH.

    This document has been prepared as part of a kindergarten perceptual-training program of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District near Cleveland, Ohio. The guide contains information on training and procedures related to perceptual-motor learning. This information is structured primarily into 150 lesson plans, devised as 30-minute sessions…

  2. Active and Passive Perceptual Learning in the Visually Impaired.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conrod, Beverley E.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Active and passive perceptual training methods were tested with 30 macular degeneration patients to improve their residual vision. The main conclusion was that perceptual training may contribute to successful visual adjustment and that the effect of training is not limited to a particular level of visual impairment. (Author/CL)

  3. Perceptual Training--Does it Result in Reading Improvement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duncan, Patricia H.

    An evaluation of research in the area of perceptual training suggests procedures for teachers to follow until more definitive information is obtained. First, educators should build their programs on broadly-based but accurate classifications of perceptual skills. They should also be aware of the theoretical assumptions which influence perceptual…

  4. Perceptual Organization of Visual Structure Requires a Flexible Learning Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aslin, Richard N.

    2011-01-01

    Bhatt and Quinn (2011) provide a compelling and comprehensive review of empirical evidence that supports the operation of principles of perceptual organization in young infants. They also have provided a comprehensive list of experiences that could serve to trigger the learning of at least some of these principles of perceptual organization, and…

  5. Harnessing the Wandering Mind: The Role of Perceptual Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forster, Sophie; Lavie, Nilli

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual load is a key determinant of distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., Lavie, N. (2005). "Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load." "Trends in Cognitive Sciences," 9, 75-82). Here we establish the role of perceptual load in determining an internal form of distraction by task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs or…

  6. Perceptual Learning: 12-Month-Olds' Discrimination of Monkey Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fair, Joseph; Flom, Ross; Jones, Jacob; Martin, Justin

    2012-01-01

    Six-month-olds reliably discriminate different monkey and human faces whereas 9-month-olds only discriminate different human faces. It is often falsely assumed that perceptual narrowing reflects a permanent change in perceptual abilities. In 3 experiments, ninety-six 12-month-olds' discrimination of unfamiliar monkey faces was examined. Following…

  7. The Role of Response Bias in Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Pete R.; Moore, David R.; Shub, Daniel E.; Amitay, Sygal

    2015-01-01

    Sensory judgments improve with practice. Such perceptual learning is often thought to reflect an increase in perceptual sensitivity. However, it may also represent a decrease in response bias, with unpracticed observers acting in part on a priori hunches rather than sensory evidence. To examine whether this is the case, 55 observers practiced…

  8. Selective Attention to Perceptual Dimensions and Switching between Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi

    2013-01-01

    In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…

  9. The Concept, "Perceptually Handicapped," Its Assets and Limitations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blom, Gaston E.

    Perception is a process by which simple and complex information (stimuli) is experienced. We gain information about how such stimulus inputs are experienced by a child, for example, by his responses or outputs. Outputs are in the form of vocalizations and motor acts. Thus, the perceptual process is frequently called perceptual-motor. But the…

  10. Verbal Counting Moderates Perceptual Biases Found in Children's Cardinality Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posid, Tasha; Cordes, Sara

    2015-01-01

    A crucial component of numerical understanding is one's ability to abstract numerical properties regardless of varying perceptual attributes. Evidence from numerical match-to-sample tasks suggests that children find it difficult to match sets based on number in the face of varying perceptual attributes, yet it is unclear whether these findings are…

  11. Ambiguity Tolerance and Perceptual Learning Styles of Chinese EFL Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Haishan; He, Qingshun

    2016-01-01

    Ambiguity tolerance and perceptual learning styles are the two influential elements showing individual differences in EFL learning. This research is intended to explore the relationship between Chinese EFL learners' ambiguity tolerance and their preferred perceptual learning styles. The findings include (1) the learners are sensitive to English…

  12. Auditory perceptual simulation: Simulating speech rates or accents?

    PubMed

    Zhou, Peiyun; Christianson, Kiel

    2016-07-01

    When readers engage in Auditory Perceptual Simulation (APS) during silent reading, they mentally simulate characteristics of voices attributed to a particular speaker or a character depicted in the text. Previous research found that auditory perceptual simulation of a faster native English speaker during silent reading led to shorter reading times that auditory perceptual simulation of a slower non-native English speaker. Yet, it was uncertain whether this difference was triggered by the different speech rates of the speakers, or by the difficulty of simulating an unfamiliar accent. The current study investigates this question by comparing faster Indian-English speech and slower American-English speech in the auditory perceptual simulation paradigm. Analyses of reading times of individual words and the full sentence reveal that the auditory perceptual simulation effect again modulated reading rate, and auditory perceptual simulation of the faster Indian-English speech led to faster reading rates compared to auditory perceptual simulation of the slower American-English speech. The comparison between this experiment and the data from Zhou and Christianson (2016) demonstrate further that the "speakers'" speech rates, rather than the difficulty of simulating a non-native accent, is the primary mechanism underlying auditory perceptual simulation effects.

  13. Neurological Evidence Linguistic Processes Precede Perceptual Simulation in Conceptual Processing

    PubMed Central

    Louwerse, Max; Hutchinson, Sterling

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing evidence from response time experiments that language statistics and perceptual simulations both play a role in conceptual processing. In an EEG experiment we compared neural activity in cortical regions commonly associated with linguistic processing and visual perceptual processing to determine to what extent symbolic and embodied accounts of cognition applied. Participants were asked to determine the semantic relationship of word pairs (e.g., sky – ground) or to determine their iconic relationship (i.e., if the presentation of the pair matched their expected physical relationship). A linguistic bias was found toward the semantic judgment task and a perceptual bias was found toward the iconicity judgment task. More importantly, conceptual processing involved activation in brain regions associated with both linguistic and perceptual processes. When comparing the relative activation of linguistic cortical regions with perceptual cortical regions, the effect sizes for linguistic cortical regions were larger than those for the perceptual cortical regions early in a trial with the reverse being true later in a trial. These results map upon findings from other experimental literature and provide further evidence that processing of concept words relies both on language statistics and on perceptual simulations, whereby linguistic processes precede perceptual simulation processes. PMID:23133427

  14. Entorhinal cortex and consolidated memory.

    PubMed

    Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori

    2014-07-01

    The entorhinal cortex is thought to support rapid encoding of new associations by serving as an interface between the hippocampus and neocortical regions. Although the entorhinal-hippocampal interaction is undoubtedly essential for initial memory acquisition, the entorhinal cortex contributes to memory retrieval even after the hippocampus is no longer necessary. This suggests that during memory consolidation additional synaptic reinforcement may take place within the cortical network, which may change the connectivity of entorhinal cortex with cortical regions other than the hippocampus. Here, I outline behavioral and physiological findings which collectively suggest that memory consolidation involves the gradual strengthening of connection between the entorhinal cortex and the medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate cortex (mPFC/ACC), a region that may permanently store the learned association. This newly formed connection allows for close interaction between the entorhinal cortex and the mPFC/ACC, through which the mPFC/ACC gains access to neocortical regions that store the content of memory. Thus, the entorhinal cortex may serve as a gatekeeper of cortical memory network by selectively interacting either with the hippocampus or mPFC/ACC depending on the age of memory. This model provides a new framework for a modification of cortical memory network during systems consolidation, thereby adding a fresh dimension to future studies on its biological mechanism.

  15. False memory for context activates the parahippocampal cortex.

    PubMed

    Karanian, Jessica M; Slotnick, Scott D

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have reported greater activity in the parahippocampal cortex during true memory than false memory, which has been interpreted as reflecting greater sensory processing during true memory. However, in these studies, sensory detail and contextual information were confounded. In the present fMRI study, we employed a novel paradigm to dissociate these factors. During encoding, abstract shapes were presented in one of two contexts (i.e., moving or stationary). During retrieval, participants classified shapes as previously "moving" or "stationary." Critically, contextual processing was relatively greater during false memory ("moving" responses to stationary items), while sensory processing was relatively greater during true memory ("moving" responses to moving items). Within the medial temporal lobe, false memory versus true memory produced greater activity in the parahippocampal cortex, whereas true memory versus false memory produced greater activity in the hippocampus. The present results indicate that the parahippocampal cortex mediates contextual processing rather than sensory processing.

  16. Differences in early sensory-perceptual processing in synesthesia: a visual evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Kylie J; Foxe, John J; Molholm, Sophie; Kelly, Simon P; Shalgi, Shani; Mitchell, Kevin J; Newell, Fiona N

    2008-11-15

    Synesthesia is a condition where stimulation of a single sensory modality or processing stream elicits an idiosyncratic, yet reliable perception in one or more other modalities or streams. Various models have been proposed to explain synesthesia, which have in common aberrant cross-activation of one cortical area by another. This has been observed directly in cases of linguistic-color synesthesia as cross-activation of the 'color area', V4, by stimulation of the grapheme area. The underlying neural substrates that mediate cross-activations in synesthesia are not well understood, however. In addition, the overall integrity of the visual system has never been assessed and it is not known whether wider differences in sensory-perceptual processing are associated with the condition. To assess whether fundamental differences in perceptual processing exist in synesthesia, we utilised high-density 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) to measure sensory-perceptual processing using stimuli that differentially bias activation of the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the visual system. High and low spatial frequency gratings and luminance-contrast squares were presented to 15 synesthetes and 15 controls. We report, for the first time, early sensory-perceptual differences in synesthetes relative to non-synesthete controls in response to simple stimuli that do not elicit synesthetic color experiences. The differences are manifested in the early sensory components of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to stimuli that bias both magnocellular and parvocellular responses, but are opposite in direction, suggesting a differential effect on these two pathways. We discuss our results with reference to widespread connectivity differences as a broader phenotype of synesthesia.

  17. Interactions Among the Brain Default-Mode, Salience, and Central-Executive Networks During Perceptual Decision-Making of Moving Dots.

    PubMed

    Chand, Ganesh B; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2016-04-01

    Cognitively demanding goal-directed tasks in the human brain are thought to involve the dynamic interplay of several large-scale neural networks, including the default-mode network (DMN), salience network (SN), and central-executive network (CEN). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) studies have consistently shown that the CEN and SN negatively regulate activity in the DMN, and this switching is argued to be controlled by the right anterior insula (rAI) of the SN. However, what remains to be investigated is the pattern of directed network interactions during difficult perceptual decision-making tasks. We recorded fMRI data while participants categorized the left-right motion of moving dots. We defined regions of interest, extracted fMRI time series, and performed directed connectivity analysis using Granger causality techniques. Our analyses demonstrated that the slow oscillation (0.07-0.19 Hz) mediated the interactions within and between the DMN, SN, and CEN nodes both for easier and harder decision-making tasks. We found that the rAI, a key node of the SN, played a causal control over the DMN and CEN for easier decision-making tasks. The combined effort of the rAI and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex of the SN had the causal control over the DMN and CEN for a harder task. These findings provide important insights into how a sensory signal organizes among the DMN, SN, and CEN during sensory information-guided, goal-directed tasks. PMID:26694702

  18. Neural adaptation in pSTS correlates with perceptual aftereffects to biological motion and with autistic traits.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Steven M; van Boxtel, Jeroen J A; Monti, Martin M; Chiang, Jeffrey N; Lu, Hongjing

    2016-08-01

    The adaptive nature of biological motion perception has been documented in behavioral studies, with research showing that prolonged viewing of an action can bias judgments of subsequent actions towards the opposite of its attributes. However, the neural mechanisms underlying action adaptation aftereffects remain unknown. We examined adaptation-induced changes in brain responses to an ambiguous action after adapting to walking or running actions within two bilateral regions of interest: 1) human middle temporal area (hMT+), a lower-level motion-sensitive region of cortex, and 2) posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), a higher-level action-selective area. We found a significant correlation between neural adaptation strength in right pSTS and perceptual aftereffects to biological motion measured behaviorally, but not in hMT+. The magnitude of neural adaptation in right pSTS was also strongly correlated with individual differences in the degree of autistic traits. Participants with more autistic traits exhibited less adaptation-induced modulations of brain responses in right pSTS and correspondingly weaker perceptual aftereffects. These results suggest a direct link between perceptual aftereffects and adaptation of neural populations in right pSTS after prolonged viewing of a biological motion stimulus, and highlight the potential importance of this brain region for understanding differences in social-cognitive processing along the autistic spectrum.

  19. Defining the V5/MT neuronal pool for perceptual decisions in a visual stereo-motion task

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In the primate visual cortex, neurons signal differences in the appearance of objects with high precision. However, not all activated neurons contribute directly to perception. We defined the perceptual pool in extrastriate visual area V5/MT for a stereo-motion task, based on trial-by-trial co-variation between perceptual decisions and neuronal firing (choice probability (CP)). Macaque monkeys were trained to discriminate the direction of rotation of a cylinder, using the binocular depth between the moving dots that form its front and rear surfaces. We manipulated the activity of single neurons trial-to-trial by introducing task-irrelevant stimulus changes: dot motion in cylinders was aligned with neuronal preference on only half the trials, so that neurons were strongly activated with high firing rates on some trials and considerably less activated on others. We show that single neurons maintain high neurometric sensitivity for binocular depth in the face of substantial changes in firing rate. CP was correlated with neurometric sensitivity, not level of activation. In contrast, for individual neurons, the correlation between perceptual choice and neuronal activity may be fundamentally different when responding to different stimulus versions. Therefore, neuronal pools supporting sensory discrimination must be structured flexibly and independently for each stimulus configuration to be discriminated. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Vision in our three-dimensional world'. PMID:27269603

  20. Defining the V5/MT neuronal pool for perceptual decisions in a visual stereo-motion task.

    PubMed

    Krug, Kristine; Curnow, Tamara L; Parker, Andrew J

    2016-06-19

    In the primate visual cortex, neurons signal differences in the appearance of objects with high precision. However, not all activated neurons contribute directly to perception. We defined the perceptual pool in extrastriate visual area V5/MT for a stereo-motion task, based on trial-by-trial co-variation between perceptual decisions and neuronal firing (choice probability (CP)). Macaque monkeys were trained to discriminate the direction of rotation of a cylinder, using the binocular depth between the moving dots that form its front and rear surfaces. We manipulated the activity of single neurons trial-to-trial by introducing task-irrelevant stimulus changes: dot motion in cylinders was aligned with neuronal preference on only half the trials, so that neurons were strongly activated with high firing rates on some trials and considerably less activated on others. We show that single neurons maintain high neurometric sensitivity for binocular depth in the face of substantial changes in firing rate. CP was correlated with neurometric sensitivity, not level of activation. In contrast, for individual neurons, the correlation between perceptual choice and neuronal activity may be fundamentally different when responding to different stimulus versions. Therefore, neuronal pools supporting sensory discrimination must be structured flexibly and independently for each stimulus configuration to be discriminated.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in our three-dimensional world'. PMID:27269603

  1. Dissociation between neural signatures of stimulus and choice in population activity of human V1 during perceptual decision-making.

    PubMed

    Choe, Kyoung Whan; Blake, Randolph; Lee, Sang-Hun

    2014-02-12

    Primary visual cortex (V1) forms the initial cortical representation of objects and events in our visual environment, and it distributes information about that representation to higher cortical areas within the visual hierarchy. Decades of work have established tight linkages between neural activity occurring in V1 and features comprising the retinal image, but it remains debatable how that activity relates to perceptual decisions. An actively debated question is the extent to which V1 responses determine, on a trial-by-trial basis, perceptual choices made by observers. By inspecting the population activity of V1 from human observers engaged in a difficult visual discrimination task, we tested one essential prediction of the deterministic view: choice-related activity, if it exists in V1, and stimulus-related activity should occur in the same neural ensemble of neurons at the same time. Our findings do not support this prediction: while cortical activity signifying the variability in choice behavior was indeed found in V1, that activity was dissociated from activity representing stimulus differences relevant to the task, being advanced in time and carried by a different neural ensemble. The spatiotemporal dynamics of population responses suggest that short-term priors, perhaps formed in higher cortical areas involved in perceptual inference, act to modulate V1 activity prior to stimulus onset without modifying subsequent activity that actually represents stimulus features within V1.

  2. Vernier perceptual learning transfers to completely untrained retinal locations after double training: A “piggybacking” effect

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.; Yu, Cong

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual learning, a process in which training improves visual discrimination, is often specific to the trained retinal location, and this location specificity is frequently regarded as an indication of neural plasticity in the retinotopic visual cortex. However, our previous studies have shown that “double training” enables location-specific perceptual learning, such as Vernier learning, to completely transfer to a new location where an irrelevant task is practiced. Here we show that Vernier learning can be actuated by less location-specific orientation or motion-direction learning to transfer to completely untrained retinal locations. This “piggybacking” effect occurs even if both tasks are trained at the same retinal location. However, piggybacking does not occur when the Vernier task is paired with a more location-specific contrast-discrimination task. This previously unknown complexity challenges the current understanding of perceptual learning and its specificity/transfer. Orientation and motion-direction learning, but not contrast and Vernier learning, appears to activate a global process that allows learning transfer to untrained locations. Moreover, when paired with orientation or motion-direction learning, Vernier learning may be “piggybacked” by the activated global process to transfer to other untrained retinal locations. How this task-specific global activation process is achieved is as yet unknown. PMID:25398974

  3. Phospholipase C mediates (±)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI)-, but not lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-elicited head bobs in rabbit medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Emmanuelle A D; Harvey, John A; Aloyo, Vincent J

    2013-01-23

    The phenethylamine and indoleamine classes of hallucinogens demonstrate distinct pharmacological properties, although they share a serotonin(2A) (5-HT(2A)) receptor mechanism of action (MOA). The 5-HT(2A) receptor signals through phosphatidylinositol (PI) hydrolysis, which is initiated upon activation of phospholipase C (PLC). The role of PI hydrolysis in the effects of hallucinogens remains unclear. In order to better understand the role of PI hydrolysis in the MOA of hallucinogens, the PLC inhibitor, 1-[6-((17β-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl)amino)hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione (U73122), was used to study the effects of two hallucinogens, the phenethylamine, (±)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI), and the indoleamine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). PI hydrolysis was quantified through release of [3H]inositol-4-phosphate from living rabbit frontocortical tissue prisms. Head bobs were counted after hallucinogens were infused into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of rabbits. Both DOI and LSD stimulated PI hydrolysis in frontocortical tissue through activation of PLC. DOI-stimulated PI hydrolysis was blocked by 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist, ketanserin, whereas the LSD signal was blocked by 5-HT(2B/2C) receptor antagonist, SB206553. When infused into the mPFC, both DOI- and LSD-elicited head bobs. Pretreatment with U73122 blocked DOI-, but not LSD-elicited head bobs. The two hallucinogens investigated were distinct in their activation of the PI hydrolysis signaling pathway. The serotonergic receptors involved with DOI and LSD signals in frontocortical tissue were different. Furthermore, PLC activation in mPFC was necessary for DOI-elicited head bobs, whereas LSD-elicited head bobs were independent of this pathway. These novel findings urge closer investigation into the intracellular mechanism of action of these unique compounds.

  4. Chromatic Perceptual Learning but No Category Effects without Linguistic Input.

    PubMed

    Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T; Drivonikou, Vicky G; Notman, Leslie A; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R L

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest. PMID:27252669

  5. Chromatic Perceptual Learning but No Category Effects without Linguistic Input

    PubMed Central

    Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T.; Drivonikou, Vicky G.; Notman, Leslie A.; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R. L.

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest. PMID:27252669

  6. Dynamic gamma frequency feedback coupling between higher and lower order visual cortices underlies perceptual completion in humans.

    PubMed

    Moratti, S; Méndez-Bértolo, C; Del-Pozo, F; Strange, B A

    2014-02-01

    To perceive a coherent environment, incomplete or overlapping visual forms must be integrated into meaningful coherent percepts, a process referred to as "Gestalt" formation or perceptual completion. Increasing evidence suggests that this process engages oscillatory neuronal activity in a distributed neuronal assembly. A separate line of evidence suggests that Gestalt formation requires top-down feedback from higher order brain regions to early visual cortex. Here we combine magnetoencephalography (MEG) and effective connectivity analysis in the frequency domain to specifically address the effective coupling between sources of oscillatory brain activity during Gestalt formation. We demonstrate that perceptual completion of two-tone "Mooney" faces induces increased gamma frequency band power (55-71Hz) in human early visual, fusiform and parietal cortices. Within this distributed neuronal assembly fusiform and parietal gamma oscillators are coupled by forward and backward connectivity during Mooney face perception, indicating reciprocal influences of gamma activity between these higher order visual brain regions. Critically, gamma band oscillations in early visual cortex are modulated by top-down feedback connectivity from both fusiform and parietal cortices. Thus, we provide a mechanistic account of Gestalt perception in which gamma oscillations in feature sensitive and spatial attention-relevant brain regions reciprocally drive one another and convey global stimulus aspects to local processing units at low levels of the sensory hierarchy by top-down feedback. Our data therefore support the notion of inverse hierarchical processing within the visual system underlying awareness of coherent percepts.

  7. Perceptual centres in speech - an acoustic analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Sophie Kerttu

    Perceptual centres, or P-centres, represent the perceptual moments of occurrence of acoustic signals - the 'beat' of a sound. P-centres underlie the perception and production of rhythm in perceptually regular speech sequences. P-centres have been modelled both in speech and non speech (music) domains. The three aims of this thesis were toatest out current P-centre models to determine which best accounted for the experimental data bto identify a candidate parameter to map P-centres onto (a local approach) as opposed to the previous global models which rely upon the whole signal to determine the P-centre the final aim was to develop a model of P-centre location which could be applied to speech and non speech signals. The first aim was investigated by a series of experiments in which a) speech from different speakers was investigated to determine whether different models could account for variation between speakers b) whether rendering the amplitude time plot of a speech signal affects the P-centre of the signal c) whether increasing the amplitude at the offset of a speech signal alters P-centres in the production and perception of speech. The second aim was carried out by a) manipulating the rise time of different speech signals to determine whether the P-centre was affected, and whether the type of speech sound ramped affected the P-centre shift b) manipulating the rise time and decay time of a synthetic vowel to determine whether the onset alteration was had more affect on P-centre than the offset manipulation c) and whether the duration of a vowel affected the P-centre, if other attributes (amplitude, spectral contents) were held constant. The third aim - modelling P-centres - was based on these results. The Frequency dependent Amplitude Increase Model of P-centre location (FAIM) was developed using a modelling protocol, the APU GammaTone Filterbank and the speech from different speakers. The P-centres of the stimuli corpus were highly predicted by attributes of

  8. Tracking the changing features of multiple objects: progressively poorer perceptual precision and progressively greater perceptual lag.

    PubMed

    Howard, Christina J; Holcombe, Alex O

    2008-04-01

    To measure the limits on attentive tracking of continuously changing features, in our task objects constantly changed smoothly and unpredictably in orientation, spatial period or position. Observers reported the last state of one of the objects. We observed a gradual decline in performance as the number of tracked objects increased, implicating a graded processing resource. Additionally, responses were more similar to previous states of the tracked object than its final state, especially in the case of spatial frequency. Indeed for spatial frequency, this perceptual lag reached 250ms when tracking four objects. The pattern of the perceptual lags, the graded effect of set size, and the double-report performance suggest the presence of both serial and parallel processing elements.

  9. Neuroanatomical and neurophysiological consequences of strabismus: changes in the structural and functional organization of the primary visual cortex in cats with alternating fixation and strabismic amblyopia.

    PubMed

    Löwel, Siegrid; Engelmann, Ralf

    2002-06-01

    In recent years, evidence has accumulated indicating that long-ranging neuronal connections within the primary visual cortex (area 17) mediate the influences of context and experience, possibly also those of expectation. After early onset strabismus, the layout of these connections is massively modified: in strabismic but not in normally raised cats, horizontal connections extend primarily between neurons activated by the same eye. As a possible consequence of the modified circuitry, neuronal synchronization between different ocular dominance domains is also massively reduced. Thus, the inability of strabismics to combine the signals arriving from the two eyes into a single percept may be caused by these structural and functional changes. Strabismic amblyopia is also accompanied by significant modifications of intracortical associational interactions: corresponding to the psychophysical deficits, neurons driven by the normal eye displayed stronger synchronization of their responses than neurons dominated by the amblyopic eye.(1) These data demonstrated for the first time a clear neurophysiological correlate of strabismic amblyopia in area 17. They suggest that - similar to our observations in divergent squinters - at least some of the perceptual deficits of amblyopic patients are due to experience-dependent changes in intracortical circuitry. We analyze this question by combining optical imaging of intrinsic signals with 3-D reconstructions of neuronal circuitry. PMID:12221487

  10. Maps of the Auditory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian

    2016-07-01

    One of the fundamental properties of the mammalian brain is that sensory regions of cortex are formed of multiple, functionally specialized cortical field maps (CFMs). Each CFM comprises two orthogonal topographical representations, reflecting two essential aspects of sensory space. In auditory cortex, auditory field maps (AFMs) are defined by the combination of tonotopic gradients, representing the spectral aspects of sound (i.e., tones), with orthogonal periodotopic gradients, representing the temporal aspects of sound (i.e., period or temporal envelope). Converging evidence from cytoarchitectural and neuroimaging measurements underlies the definition of 11 AFMs across core and belt regions of human auditory cortex, with likely homology to those of macaque. On a macrostructural level, AFMs are grouped into cloverleaf clusters, an organizational structure also seen in visual cortex. Future research can now use these AFMs to investigate specific stages of auditory processing, key for understanding behaviors such as speech perception and multimodal sensory integration. PMID:27145914

  11. Stimulus familiarity modulates functional connectivity of the perirhinal cortex and anterior hippocampus during visual discrimination of faces and objects

    PubMed Central

    McLelland, Victoria C.; Chan, David; Ferber, Susanne; Barense, Morgan D.

    2014-01-01

    Recent research suggests that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is involved in perception as well as in declarative memory. Amnesic patients with focal MTL lesions and semantic dementia patients showed perceptual deficits when discriminating faces and objects. Interestingly, these two patient groups showed different profiles of impairment for familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. For MTL amnesics, the use of familiar relative to unfamiliar stimuli improved discrimination performance. By contrast, patients with semantic dementia—a neurodegenerative condition associated with anterolateral temporal lobe damage—showed no such facilitation from familiar stimuli. Given that the two patient groups had highly overlapping patterns of damage to the perirhinal cortex, hippocampus, and temporal pole, the neuroanatomical substrates underlying their performance discrepancy were unclear. Here, we addressed this question with a multivariate reanalysis of the data presented by Barense et al. (2011), using functional connectivity to examine how stimulus familiarity affected the broader networks with which the perirhinal cortex, hippocampus, and temporal poles interact. In this study, healthy participants were scanned while they performed an odd-one-out perceptual task involving familiar and novel faces or objects. Seed-based analyses revealed that functional connectivity of the right perirhinal cortex and right anterior hippocampus was modulated by the degree of stimulus familiarity. For familiar relative to unfamiliar faces and objects, both right perirhinal cortex and right anterior hippocampus showed enhanced functional correlations with anterior/lateral temporal cortex, temporal pole, and medial/lateral parietal cortex. These findings suggest that in order to benefit from stimulus familiarity, it is necessary to engage not only the perirhinal cortex and hippocampus, but also a network of regions known to represent semantic information. PMID:24624075

  12. Sublexical properties of spoken words modulate activity in Broca's area but not superior temporal cortex: implications for models of speech recognition.

    PubMed

    Vaden, Kenneth I; Piquado, Tepring; Hickok, Gregory

    2011-10-01

    Many models of spoken word recognition posit that the acoustic stream is parsed into phoneme level units, which in turn activate larger representations [McClelland, J. L., & Elman, J. L. The TRACE model of speech perception. Cognitive Psychology, 18, 1-86, 1986], whereas others suggest that larger units of analysis are activated without the need for segmental mediation [Greenberg, S. A multitier theoretical framework for understanding spoken language. In S. Greenberg & W. A. Ainsworth (Eds.), Listening to speech: An auditory perspective (pp. 411-433). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2005; Klatt, D. H. Speech perception: A model of acoustic-phonetic analysis and lexical access. Journal of Phonetics, 7, 279-312, 1979; Massaro, D. W. Preperceptual images, processing time, and perceptual units in auditory perception. Psychological Review, 79, 124-145, 1972]. Identifying segmental effects in the brain's response to speech may speak to this question. For example, if such effects were localized to relatively early processing stages in auditory cortex, this would support a model of speech recognition in which segmental units are explicitly parsed out. In contrast, segmental processes that occur outside auditory cortex may indicate that alternative models should be considered. The current fMRI experiment manipulated the phonotactic frequency (PF) of words that were auditorily presented in short lists while participants performed a pseudoword detection task. PF is thought to modulate networks in which phoneme level units are represented. The present experiment identified activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus that was positively correlated with PF. No effects of PF were found in temporal lobe regions. We propose that the observed phonotactic effects during speech listening reflect the strength of the association between acoustic speech patterns and articulatory speech codes involving phoneme level units. On the basis of existing lesion evidence, we interpret the function of this

  13. Sequential role of hippocampus and amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parietal cortex in formation and retrieval of memory for inhibitory avoidance in rats.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, I; Quillfeldt, J A; Zanatta, M S; Quevedo, J; Schaeffer, E; Schmitz, P K; Medina, J H

    1997-04-01

    The hippocampus and amygdala, the entorhinal cortex and the parietal cortex participate, in that sequence, both in the formation and in the expression of memory for a step-down inhibitory avoidance task in rats. Bilateral infusion of AP5 or muscimol caused retrograde amnesia when given 0 min after training into both hippocampus and amygdala, when given or 180 min after training into the entorhinal cortex, or when given 180 min after training into the parietal cortex. Therefore, memory formation requires the sequential and integrated activity of all these areas mediated by glutamate NMDA receptors in each case. Pre-test administration of CNQX 1 day after training into hippocampus and amygdala, 1 or 31 days after training in entorhinal cortex, or 1, 31 or 60 days after training in the parietal cortex temporarily blocked retention test performance. Therefore, 1 day after training, all these brain structures are necessary for retrieval; 1 month later, the hippocampus and amygdala are no longer necessary for retrieval but the entorhinal and parietal cortex still are; and 60 days after training only the parietal cortex is needed. In all cases the mechanisms of retrieval require intact glutamate AMPA receptors.

  14. Dynamics of Active Sensing and perceptual selection.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Charles E; Wilson, Donald A; Radman, Thomas; Scharfman, Helen; Lakatos, Peter

    2010-04-01

    Sensory processing is often regarded as a passive process in which biological receptors like photoreceptors and mechanoreceptors transduce physical energy into a neural code. Recent findings, however, suggest that: first, most sensory processing is active, and largely determined by motor/attentional sampling routines; second, owing to rhythmicity in the motor routine, as well as to its entrainment of ambient rhythms in sensory regions, sensory inflow tends to be rhythmic; third, attentional manipulation of rhythms in sensory pathways is instrumental to perceptual selection. These observations outline the essentials of an Active Sensing paradigm, and argue for increased emphasis on the study of sensory processes as specific to the dynamic motor/attentional context in which inputs are acquired. PMID:20307966

  15. Continuous assessment of perceptual image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamberg, Roelof; de Ridder, Huib

    1995-12-01

    The study addresses whether subjects are able to assess the perceived quality of an image sequence continuously. To this end, a new method for assessing time-varying perceptual image quality is presented by which subjects continuously indicate the perceived strength of image quality by moving a slider along a graphical scale. The slider's position on this scale is sampled every second. In this way, temporal variations in quality can be monitored quantitatively, and a means is provided by which differences between, for example, alternative transmission systems can be analyzed in an informative way. The usability of this method is illustrated by an experiment in which, for a period of 815 s, subjects assessed the quality of still pictures comprising time-varying degrees of sharpness. Copyright (c) 1995 Optical Society of America

  16. Perceptual effects in auralization of virtual rooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleiner, Mendel; Larsson, Pontus; Vastfjall, Daniel; Torres, Rendell R.

    2002-05-01

    By using various types of binaural simulation (or ``auralization'') of physical environments, it is now possible to study basic perceptual issues relevant to room acoustics, as well to simulate the acoustic conditions found in concert halls and other auditoria. Binaural simulation of physical spaces in general is also important to virtual reality systems. This presentation will begin with an overview of the issues encountered in the auralization of room and other environments. We will then discuss the influence of various approximations in room modeling, in particular, edge- and surface scattering, on the perceived room response. Finally, we will discuss cross-modal effects, such as the influence of visual cues on the perception of auditory cues, and the influence of cross-modal effects on the judgement of ``perceived presence'' and the rating of room acoustic quality.

  17. Dynamics of Active Sensing and Perceptual Selection

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Charles E; Wilson, Donald A.; Radman, Thomas; Scharfman, Helen; Lakatos, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Sensory processing is often regarded as a passive process in which a biological sensors like photo- and mechanoreceptors transducer physical energy into a neural code. Recent findings, however, suggest that: 1) most sensory processing is active, and largely determined by motor/attentional sampling routines, 2) due to rhythmicity in the motor routine, as well as to its entrainment of ambient rhythms in sensory regions, sensory inflow tends to be rhythmic, and 3) attentional manipulation of rhythms in sensory pathways is instrumental to perceptual selection. These observations outline the essentials of an Active Sensing paradigm, and argue for increased emphasis on the study of sensory processes as specific to the dynamic motor/attentional context in which inputs are acquired. PMID:20307966

  18. Inhibition by Somatostatin Interneurons in Olfactory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Large, Adam M.; Kunz, Nicholas A.; Mielo, Samantha L.; Oswald, Anne-Marie M.

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory circuitry plays an integral role in cortical network activity. The development of transgenic mouse lines targeting unique interneuron classes has significantly advanced our understanding of the functional roles of specific inhibitory circuits in neocortical sensory processing. In contrast, considerably less is known about the circuitry and function of interneuron classes in piriform cortex, a paleocortex responsible for olfactory processing. In this study, we sought to utilize transgenic technology to investigate inhibition mediated by somatostatin (SST) interneurons onto pyramidal cells (PCs), parvalbumin (PV) interneurons, and other interneuron classes. As a first step, we characterized the anatomical distributions and intrinsic properties of SST and PV interneurons in four transgenic lines (SST-cre, GIN, PV-cre, and G42) that are commonly interbred to investigate inhibitory connectivity. Surprisingly, the distributions SST and PV cell subtypes targeted in the GIN and G42 lines were sparse in piriform cortex compared to neocortex. Moreover, two-thirds of interneurons recorded in the SST-cre line had electrophysiological properties similar to fast spiking (FS) interneurons rather than regular (RS) or low threshold spiking (LTS) phenotypes. Nonetheless, like neocortex, we find that SST-cells broadly inhibit a number of unidentified interneuron classes including putatively identified PV cells and surprisingly, other SST cells. We also confirm that SST-cells inhibit pyramidal cell dendrites and thus, influence dendritic integration of afferent and recurrent inputs to the piriform cortex. Altogether, our findings suggest that SST interneurons play an important role in regulating both excitation and the global inhibitory network during olfactory processing. PMID:27582691

  19. Inhibition by Somatostatin Interneurons in Olfactory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Large, Adam M; Kunz, Nicholas A; Mielo, Samantha L; Oswald, Anne-Marie M

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory circuitry plays an integral role in cortical network activity. The development of transgenic mouse lines targeting unique interneuron classes has significantly advanced our understanding of the functional roles of specific inhibitory circuits in neocortical sensory processing. In contrast, considerably less is known about the circuitry and function of interneuron classes in piriform cortex, a paleocortex responsible for olfactory processing. In this study, we sought to utilize transgenic technology to investigate inhibition mediated by somatostatin (SST) interneurons onto pyramidal cells (PCs), parvalbumin (PV) interneurons, and other interneuron classes. As a first step, we characterized the anatomical distributions and intrinsic properties of SST and PV interneurons in four transgenic lines (SST-cre, GIN, PV-cre, and G42) that are commonly interbred to investigate inhibitory connectivity. Surprisingly, the distributions SST and PV cell subtypes targeted in the GIN and G42 lines were sparse in piriform cortex compared to neocortex. Moreover, two-thirds of interneurons recorded in the SST-cre line had electrophysiological properties similar to fast spiking (FS) interneurons rather than regular (RS) or low threshold spiking (LTS) phenotypes. Nonetheless, like neocortex, we find that SST-cells broadly inhibit a number of unidentified interneuron classes including putatively identified PV cells and surprisingly, other SST cells. We also confirm that SST-cells inhibit pyramidal cell dendrites and thus, influence dendritic integration of afferent and recurrent inputs to the piriform cortex. Altogether, our findings suggest that SST interneurons play an important role in regulating both excitation and the global inhibitory network during olfactory processing. PMID:27582691

  20. Perceptual grouping determines haptic contextual modulation.

    PubMed

    Overvliet, K E; Sayim, B

    2016-09-01

    Since the early phenomenological demonstrations of Gestalt principles, one of the major challenges of Gestalt psychology has been to quantify these principles. Here, we show that contextual modulation, i.e. the influence of context on target perception, can be used as a tool to quantify perceptual grouping in the haptic domain, similar to the visual domain. We investigated the influence of target-flanker grouping on performance in haptic vernier offset discrimination. We hypothesized that when, despite the apparent differences between vision and haptics, similar grouping principles are operational, a similar pattern of flanker interference would be observed in the haptic as in the visual domain. Participants discriminated the offset of a haptic vernier. The vernier was flanked by different flanker configurations: no flankers, single flanking lines, 10 flanking lines, rectangles and single perpendicular lines, varying the degree to which the vernier grouped with the flankers. Additionally, we used two different flanker widths (same width as and narrower than the target), again to vary target-flanker grouping. Our results show a clear effect of flankers: performance was much better when the vernier was presented alone compared to when it was presented with flankers. In the majority of flanker configurations, grouping between the target and the flankers determined the strength of interference, similar to the visual domain. However, in the same width rectangular flanker condition we found aberrant results. We discuss the results of our study in light of similarities and differences between vision and haptics and the interaction between different grouping principles. We conclude that in haptics, similar organization principles apply as in visual perception and argue that grouping and Gestalt are key organization principles not only of vision, but of the perceptual system in general.

  1. The perceptual effects of learning object categories that predict perceptual goals

    PubMed Central

    Van Gulick, Ana E.; Gauthier, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    In classic category learning studies, subjects typically learn to assign items to one of two categories, with no further distinction between how items on each side of the category boundary should be treated. In real life, however, we often learn categories that dictate further processing goals, for instance with objects in only one category requiring further individuation. Using methods from category learning and perceptual expertise, we studied the perceptual consequences of experience with objects in tasks that rely on attention to different dimensions in different parts of the space. In two experiments, subjects first learned to categorize complex objects from a single morphspace into two categories based on one morph dimension, and then learned to perform a different task, either naming or a local feature judgment, for each of the two categories. A same-different discrimination test before and after each training measured sensitivity to feature dimensions of the space. After initial categorization, sensitivity increased along the category-diagnostic dimension. After task association, sensitivity increased more for the category that was named, especially along the non-diagnostic dimension. The results demonstrate that local attentional weights, associated with individual exemplars as a function of task requirements, can have lasting effects on perceptual representations. PMID:24820671

  2. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-05-01

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

  3. Neurochemical changes in the pericalcarine cortex in congenital blindness attributable to bilateral anophthalmia.

    PubMed

    Coullon, Gaelle S L; Emir, Uzay E; Fine, Ione; Watkins, Kate E; Bridge, Holly

    2015-09-01

    Congenital blindness leads to large-scale functional and structural reorganization in the occipital cortex, but relatively little is known about the neurochemical changes underlying this cross-modal plasticity. To investigate the effect of complete and early visual deafferentation on the concentration of metabolites in the pericalcarine cortex, (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy was performed in 14 sighted subjects and 5 subjects with bilateral anophthalmia, a condition in which both eyes fail to develop. In the pericalcarine cortex, where primary visual cortex is normally located, the proportion of gray matter was significantly greater, and levels of choline, glutamate, glutamine, myo-inositol, and total creatine were elevated in anophthalmic relative to sighted subjects. Anophthalmia had no effect on the structure or neurochemistry of a sensorimotor cortex control region. More gray matter, combined with high levels of choline and myo-inositol, resembles the profile of the cortex at birth and suggests that the lack of visual input from the eyes might have delayed or arrested the maturation of this cortical region. High levels of choline and glutamate/glutamine are consistent with enhanced excitatory circuits in the anophthalmic occipital cortex, which could reflect a shift toward enhanced plasticity or sensitivity that could in turn mediate or unmask cross-modal responses. Finally, it is possible that the change in function of the occipital cortex results in biochemical profiles that resemble those of auditory, language, or somatosensory cortex.

  4. Neurochemical changes in the pericalcarine cortex in congenital blindness attributable to bilateral anophthalmia

    PubMed Central

    Coullon, Gaelle S. L.; Emir, Uzay E.; Fine, Ione; Watkins, Kate E.

    2015-01-01

    Congenital blindness leads to large-scale functional and structural reorganization in the occipital cortex, but relatively little is known about the neurochemical changes underlying this cross-modal plasticity. To investigate the effect of complete and early visual deafferentation on the concentration of metabolites in the pericalcarine cortex, 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy was performed in 14 sighted subjects and 5 subjects with bilateral anophthalmia, a condition in which both eyes fail to develop. In the pericalcarine cortex, where primary visual cortex is normally located, the proportion of gray matter was significantly greater, and levels of choline, glutamate, glutamine, myo-inositol, and total creatine were elevated in anophthalmic relative to sighted subjects. Anophthalmia had no effect on the structure or neurochemistry of a sensorimotor cortex control region. More gray matter, combined with high levels of choline and myo-inositol, resembles the profile of the cortex at birth and suggests that the lack of visual input from the eyes might have delayed or arrested the maturation of this cortical region. High levels of choline and glutamate/glutamine are consistent with enhanced excitatory circuits in the anophthalmic occipital cortex, which could reflect a shift toward enhanced plasticity or sensitivity that could in turn mediate or unmask cross-modal responses. Finally, it is possible that the change in function of the occipital cortex results in biochemical profiles that resemble those of auditory, language, or somatosensory cortex. PMID:26180125

  5. NMDA receptor blockade in the developing cortex induces autophagy-mediated death of immature cortical GABAergic interneurons: An ex vivo and in vivo study in Gad67-GFP mice.

    PubMed

    Roux, Christian; Aligny, Caroline; Lesueur, Céline; Girault, Virginie; Brunel, Valery; Ramdani, Yasmina; Genty, Damien; Driouich, Azeddine; Laquerrière, Annie; Marret, Stéphane; Brasse-Lagnel, Carole; Gonzalez, Bruno J; Bekri, Soumeya

    2015-05-01

    In neonates, excitotoxicity is a major process involved in hypoxic-ischemic brain lesions, and several research groups have suggested the use of NMDA antagonists for neuroprotection. However, despite their clinical interest, there is more and more evidence suggesting that, in the immature brain, these molecules exert deleterious actions on migrating GABAergic interneurons by suppressing glutamatergic trophic inputs. Consequently, preventing the side effects of NMDA antagonists would be therapeutically useful. Because macroautophagy is involved in the adaptive response to trophic deprivation, the aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of autophagy modulators on the MK801-induced death of immature GABAergic interneurons and to characterize the crosstalk between autophagic and apoptotic mechanisms in this cell type. Ex vivo, using cortical slices from NMRI and Gad67-GFP mice, we show that blockade of the NMDA receptor results in an accumulation of autophagosomes due to the disruption of the autophagic flux. This effect precedes the activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, and the degeneration of immature GABAergic neurons present in developing cortical layers II-IV and is prevented by 3-MA, an autophagy inhibitor. In contrast, modulators of autophagy (3-MA, rapamycin) do not interfere with the anti-excitotoxic and neuroprotective effect of MK801 observed in deep layers V and VI. In vivo, 3-MA blocks the rapid increase in caspase-3 cleavage induced by the blockade of NMDA receptors and prevents the resulting long-term decrease in Gad67-GFP neurons in layers II-IV. Together, these data suggest that, in the developing cortex, the suppression of glutamatergic inputs through NMDA receptor inhibition results in the impairment of the autophagic flux and the subsequent switch to apoptotic death of immature GABAergic interneurons. The concomitant inhibition of autophagy prevents this pro-apoptotic action of the NMDA blocker and favors the long

  6. Quantitative prediction of perceptual decisions during near-threshold fear detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pessoa, Luiz; Padmala, Srikanth

    2005-04-01

    A fundamental goal of cognitive neuroscience is to explain how mental decisions originate from basic neural mechanisms. The goal of the present study was to investigate the neural correlates of perceptual decisions in the context of emotional perception. To probe this question, we investigated how fluctuations in functional MRI (fMRI) signals were correlated with behavioral choice during a near-threshold fear detection task. fMRI signals predicted behavioral choice independently of stimulus properties and task accuracy in a network of brain regions linked to emotional processing: posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus, and left insula. We quantified the link between fMRI signals and behavioral choice in a whole-brain analysis by determining choice probabilities by means of signal-detection theory methods. Our results demonstrate that voxel-wise fMRI signals can reliably predict behavioral choice in a quantitative fashion (choice probabilities ranged from 0.63 to 0.78) at levels comparable to neuronal data. We suggest that the conscious decision that a fearful face has been seen is represented across a network of interconnected brain regions that prepare the organism to appropriately handle emotionally challenging stimuli and that regulate the associated emotional response. decision making | emotion | functional MRI

  7. Auditory-Perceptual Learning Improves Speech Motor Adaptation in Children

    PubMed Central

    Shiller, Douglas M.; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2015-01-01

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in children’s speech development by providing the child with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and fine-tune speech motor plans. The use of auditory feedback in speech motor learning has been extensively studied in adults by examining oral motor responses to manipulations of auditory feedback during speech production. Children are also capable of adapting speech motor patterns to perceived changes in auditory feedback, however it is not known whether their capacity for motor learning is limited by immature auditory-perceptual abilities. Here, the link between speech perceptual ability and the capacity for motor learning was explored in two groups of 5–7-year-old children who underwent a period of auditory perceptual training followed by tests of speech motor adaptation to altered auditory feedback. One group received perceptual training on a speech acoustic property relevant to the motor task while a control group received perceptual training on an irrelevant speech contrast. Learned perceptual improvements led to an enhancement in speech motor adaptation (proportional to the perceptual change) only for the experimental group. The results indicate that children’s ability to perceive relevant speech acoustic properties has a direct influence on their capacity for sensory-based speech motor adaptation. PMID:24842067

  8. Auditory-perceptual learning improves speech motor adaptation in children.

    PubMed

    Shiller, Douglas M; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2014-08-01

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in children's speech development by providing the child with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and fine-tune speech motor plans. The use of auditory feedback in speech motor learning has been extensively studied in adults by examining oral motor responses to manipulations of auditory feedback during speech production. Children are also capable of adapting speech motor patterns to perceived changes in auditory feedback; however, it is not known whether their capacity for motor learning is limited by immature auditory-perceptual abilities. Here, the link between speech perceptual ability and the capacity for motor learning was explored in two groups of 5- to 7-year-old children who underwent a period of auditory perceptual training followed by tests of speech motor adaptation to altered auditory feedback. One group received perceptual training on a speech acoustic property relevant to the motor task while a control group received perceptual training on an irrelevant speech contrast. Learned perceptual improvements led to an enhancement in speech motor adaptation (proportional to the perceptual change) only for the experimental group. The results indicate that children's ability to perceive relevant speech acoustic properties has a direct influence on their capacity for sensory-based speech motor adaptation.

  9. Dual mechanisms governing reward-driven perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dongho; Ling, Sam; Watanabe, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we explore how reward signals shape perceptual learning in animals and humans. Perceptual learning is the well-established phenomenon by which extensive practice elicits selective improvement in one’s perceptual discrimination of basic visual features, such as oriented lines or moving stimuli. While perceptual learning has long been thought to rely on ‘top-down’ processes, such as attention and decision-making, a wave of recent findings suggests that these higher-level processes are, in fact, not necessary.  Rather, these recent findings indicate that reward signals alone, in the absence of the contribution of higher-level cognitive processes, are sufficient to drive the benefits of perceptual learning. Here, we will review the literature tying reward signals to perceptual learning. Based on these findings, we propose dual underlying mechanisms that give rise to perceptual learning: one mechanism that operates ‘automatically’ and is tied directly to reward signals, and another mechanism that involves more ‘top-down’, goal-directed computations. PMID:26539293

  10. A hierarchy for relational reasoning in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, Daniel C; Michelle McClelland, M; Donovan, Colin M

    2011-05-01

    The human brain possesses a unique capacity to reason about abstract relationships among items in our environment. The neural organization of reasoning abilities has remained elusive. Two approaches toward investigating human reasoning have involved studying visuo-spatial reasoning abilities and studying analogical reasoning. These approaches have both revealed anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) involvement, but no prior studies have jointly investigated these two forms of reasoning to understand any potential convergence of activation within the PFC. Using fMRI, we tested the extent to which these two forms of reasoning (visuo-spatial and analogical) overlap in PFC activation. We conducted a visuo-spatial reasoning task that required processing multiple changes across three abstract pictures. This task activated a progressively anterior series of PFC regions when multiple relations had to be integrated. We also conducted a four-term analogy task in a stage-wise manner and compared results from this task to semantic and perceptual control conditions that did not require integrating relations across the problems. We found greater activation for analogical reasoning in the series of PFC regions that were sequentially involved in the visuo-spatial reasoning task. These findings indicate that stages of neural processing overlap for different domains within human reasoning. The pattern of differences across the analogy task suggests a hierarchical organization for relational reasoning across domains in which posterior frontal cortex is active across concrete reasoning tasks, while progressively more anterior regions are recruited to process increasingly abstract representations in reasoning.

  11. Encoding of Stimulus Probability in Macaque Inferior Temporal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bell, Andrew H; Summerfield, Christopher; Morin, Elyse L; Malecek, Nicholas J; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2016-09-12

    Optimal perceptual decisions require sensory signals to be combined with prior information about stimulus probability. Although several theories propose that probabilistic information about stimulus occurrence is encoded in sensory cortex, evidence from neuronal recordings has not yet fully supported this view. We recorded activity from single neurons in inferior temporal cortex (IT) while monkeys performed a task that involved discriminating degraded images of faces and fruit. The relative probability of the cue being a face versus a fruit was manipulated by a latent variable that was not revealed to the monkeys and that changed unpredictably over the course of each recording session. In addition to responding to stimulus identity (face or fruit), population responses in IT encoded the long-term stimulus probability of whether a face or a fruit stimulus was more likely to occur. Face-responsive neurons showed reduced firing rates to expected faces, an effect consistent with "expectation suppression," but expected stimuli were decoded from multivariate population signals with greater accuracy. These findings support "predictive coding" theories, whereby neural signals in the mammalian visual system actively encode and update predictions about the local sensory environment.

  12. Orientation and color columns in monkey visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Dow, Bruce M

    2002-10-01

    The literature on orientation and color columns in monkey visual cortex is reviewed. The orientation column model most consistent with existing data is one containing 'stripes' of alternating positive and negative orientation 'singularities' (cytochrome oxidase blobs) which run along the centers of ocular dominance (OD) columns, with horizontal and vertical orientations alternating at interblob centers. Evidence is summarized suggesting that color is mapped continuously across the monkey's primary visual cortex, with the ends of the spectrum located at 'red' and 'blue' cytochrome oxidase blobs and extra-spectral purple located between adjacent red and blue blobs in the same OD column. In the orientation column model, the 'linear zones' of Obermayer and Blasdel have the appearance of the lines on a pumpkin. A pinwheel model of color columns, consistent with existing data, includes spectral and extra-spectral colors as spokes. Spectral iso-color lines run across iso-orientation lines in linear zones, while extra-spectral iso-color lines occupy the 'saddle points' of Obermayer and Blasdel. The color column model accounts for closure of the perceptual color circle, as proposed by Isaac Newton in 1704, but does not account for color opponency.

  13. Characterization of Face-Selective Patches in Orbitofrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Troiani, Vanessa; Dougherty, Chase C.; Michael, Andrew M.; Olson, Ingrid R.

    2016-01-01

    Face processing involves a complex, multimodal brain network. While visual-perceptual face patches in posterior parts of the brain have been studied for over a decade, the existence and properties of face-selective regions in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a relatively new area of research. While regions of OFC are implicated in the emotional processing of faces, this is typically interpreted as a domain-general response to affective value rather than a face- or socially-specific response. However, electrophysiology studies in monkeys have identified neurons in OFC that respond more to faces than any other stimuli. Here, we characterize the prevalence and location of OFC face-selective regions in 20 healthy college students. We did this by including another biologically motivating category (appetizing foods) in a variant of the standard face localizer. Results show that face-selective patches can be identified at the individual level. Furthermore, in both a region of interest (ROI) and a whole brain analysis, medial regions of the OFC were face-selective, while lateral regions were responsive to faces and foods, indicating a domain-general response in lateral OFC. Medial OFC (mOFC) response to faces scales in relationship to a measure of social motivation that is distinct from face processing abilities associated with fusiform cortex. PMID:27378880

  14. Characterization of Face-Selective Patches in Orbitofrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Troiani, Vanessa; Dougherty, Chase C; Michael, Andrew M; Olson, Ingrid R

    2016-01-01

    Face processing involves a complex, multimodal brain network. While visual-perceptual face patches in posterior parts of the brain have been studied for over a decade, the existence and properties of face-selective regions in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a relatively new area of research. While regions of OFC are implicated in the emotional processing of faces, this is typically interpreted as a domain-general response to affective value rather than a face- or socially-specific response. However, electrophysiology studies in monkeys have identified neurons in OFC that respond more to faces than any other stimuli. Here, we characterize the prevalence and location of OFC face-selective regions in 20 healthy college students. We did this by including another biologically motivating category (appetizing foods) in a variant of the standard face localizer. Results show that face-selective patches can be identified at the individual level. Furthermore, in both a region of interest (ROI) and a whole brain analysis, medial regions of the OFC were face-selective, while lateral regions were responsive to faces and foods, indicating a domain-general response in lateral OFC. Medial OFC (mOFC) response to faces scales in relationship to a measure of social motivation that is distinct from face processing abilities associated with fusiform cortex.

  15. Sharing social touch in the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bolognini, Nadia; Rossetti, Angela; Fusaro, Martina; Vallar, Giuseppe; Miniussi, Carlo

    2014-07-01

    Touch has an emotional and communicative meaning, and it plays a crucial role in social perception and empathy. The intuitive link between others' somatosensations and our sense of touch becomes ostensible in mirror-touch synesthesia, a condition in which the view of a touch on another person's body elicits conscious tactile sensations on the observer's own body [1]. This peculiar phenomenon may implicate normal social mirror mechanisms [2]. Here, we show that mirror-touch interference effects, synesthesia-like sensations, and even phantom touches can be induced in nonsynesthetes by priming the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) directly or indirectly via the posterior parietal cortex. These results were obtained by means of facilitatory paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) contingent upon the observation of touch. For these vicarious effects, the SI is engaged at 150 ms from the onset of the visual touch. Intriguingly, individual differences in empathic abilities, assessed with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index [3], drive the activity of the SI when nonsynesthetes witness others' tactile sensations. This evidence implies that, under normal conditions, touch observation activates the SI below the threshold for perceptual awareness [4]; through the visual-dependent tuning of SI activity by ppTMS, what is seen becomes felt, namely, mirror-touch synesthesia. On a broader perspective, the visual responsivity of the SI may allow an automatic and unconscious transference of the sensation that another person is experiencing onto oneself, and, in turn, the empathic sharing of somatosensations [2]. PMID:24954046

  16. Experience-dependent gene expression in adult visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiabin; Yamahachi, Homare; Gilbert, Charles D

    2010-03-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity of the adult visual cortex underlies perceptual learning and recovery of function following central nervous system lesions. To reveal the signal transduction cascades involved in adult cortical plasticity, we utilized a model of remapping of cortical topography following binocular retinal lesions. In this model, the lesion projection zone (LPZ) of primary visual cortex (V1) recovers visually driven activity by the sprouting of horizontal axonal connections originating from the cells in the surrounding region. To explore the molecular mechanism underlying this process, we used gene microarrays from an expression library prepared from Macaque V1. By microarray analysis of gene expression levels in the LPZ and the surrounding region, and subsequent confirmation with Quantitative Real-Time polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization, the participation of a number of genes was observed, including the Rho GTPase family. Its role in regulation of cytoskeleton assembly provides a possible link between the alteration of neural activity and cortical functional reorganization. PMID:19571270

  17. Characterization of Face-Selective Patches in Orbitofrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Troiani, Vanessa; Dougherty, Chase C; Michael, Andrew M; Olson, Ingrid R

    2016-01-01

    Face processing involves a complex, multimodal brain network. While visual-perceptual face patches in posterior parts of the brain have been studied for over a decade, the existence and properties of face-selective regions in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a relatively new area of research. While regions of OFC are implicated in the emotional processing of faces, this is typically interpreted as a domain-general response to affective value rather than a face- or socially-specific response. However, electrophysiology studies in monkeys have identified neurons in OFC that respond more to faces than any other stimuli. Here, we characterize the prevalence and location of OFC face-selective regions in 20 healthy college students. We did this by including another biologically motivating category (appetizing foods) in a variant of the standard face localizer. Results show that face-selective patches can be identified at the individual level. Furthermore, in both a region of interest (ROI) and a whole brain analysis, medial regions of the OFC were face-selective, while lateral regions were responsive to faces and foods, indicating a domain-general response in lateral OFC. Medial OFC (mOFC) response to faces scales in relationship to a measure of social motivation that is distinct from face processing abilities associated with fusiform cortex. PMID:27378880

  18. Sex, beauty and the orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Ishai, Alumit

    2007-02-01

    Face perception is mediated by a distributed neural system in the human brain. Attention, memory and emotion modulate the neural activation evoked by faces, however the effects of gender and sexual orientation are currently unknown. To test whether subjects would respond more to their sexually-preferred faces, we scanned 40 hetero- and homosexual men and women whilst they assessed facial attractiveness. Behaviorally, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation, all subjects similarly rated the attractiveness of both male and female faces. Consistent with our hypothesis, a three-way interaction between stimulus gender, beauty and the sexual preference of the subject was found in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In heterosexual women and homosexual men, attractive male faces elicited stronger activation than attractive female faces, whereas in heterosexual men and homosexual women, attractive female faces evoked stronger activation than attractive male faces. These findings suggest that the OFC represents the value of salient sexually-relevant faces, irrespective of their reproductive fitness.

  19. Detecting perceptual groupings in textures by continuity considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greene, Richard J.

    1990-01-01

    A generalization is presented for the second derivative of a Gaussian D(sup 2)G operator to apply to problems of perceptual organization involving textures. Extensions to other problems of perceptual organization are evident and a new research direction can be established. The technique presented is theoretically pleasing since it has the potential of unifying the entire area of image segmentation under the mathematical notion of continuity and presents a single algorithm to form perceptual groupings where many algorithms existed previously. The eventual impact on both the approach and technique of image processing segmentation operations could be significant.

  20. The Role of the Entorhinal Cortex in Extinction: Influences of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Bevilaqua, Lia R. M.; Rossato, Janine I.; Bonini, Juliana S.; Myskiw, Jociane C.; Clarke, Julia R.; Monteiro, Siomara; Lima, Ramón H.; Medina, Jorge H.; Cammarota, Martín; Izquierdo, Iván

    2008-01-01

    The entorhinal cortex is perhaps the area of the brain in which neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are first detectable in old age with or without mild cognitive impairment, and very particularly in Alzheimer's disease. It plays a key role in memory formation, retrieval, and extinction, as part of circuits that include the hippocampus, the amygdaloid nucleus, and several regions of the neocortex, in particular of the prefrontal cortex. Lesions or biochemical impairments of the entorhinal cortex hinder extinction. Microinfusion experiments have shown that glutamate NMDA receptors, calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and protein synthesis in the entorhinal cortex are involved in and required for extinction. Aging also hinders extinction; it is possible that its effect may be in part mediated by the entorhinal cortex. PMID:18584042

  1. The role of the entorhinal cortex in extinction: influences of aging.

    PubMed

    Bevilaqua, Lia R M; Rossato, Janine I; Bonini, Juliana S; Myskiw, Jociane C; Clarke, Julia R; Monteiro, Siomara; Lima, Ramón H; Medina, Jorge H; Cammarota, Martín; Izquierdo, Iván

    2008-01-01

    The entorhinal cortex is perhaps the area of the brain in which neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are first detectable in old age with or without mild cognitive impairment, and very particularly in Alzheimer's disease. It plays a key role in memory formation, retrieval, and extinction, as part of circuits that include the hippocampus, the amygdaloid nucleus, and several regions of the neocortex, in particular of the prefrontal cortex. Lesions or biochemical impairments of the entorhinal cortex hinder extinction. Microinfusion experiments have shown that glutamate NMDA receptors, calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and protein synthesis in the entorhinal cortex are involved in and required for extinction. Aging also hinders extinction; it is possible that its effect may be in part mediated by the entorhinal cortex.

  2. Orientation-specific surround suppression in the primary visual cortex varies as a function of autistic tendency

    PubMed Central

    Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Murray, Scott O.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit superior performance on tasks that rely on local details in an image, and they exhibit deficits in tasks that require integration of local elements into a unified whole. These perceptual abnormalities have been proposed to underlie many of the characteristic features of ASD, but the underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the degree to which orientation-specific surround suppression, a well-known form of contextual modulation in visual cortex, is associated with autistic tendency in neurotypical (NT) individuals. Surround suppression refers to the phenomenon that the response to a stimulus in the receptive field of a neuron is suppressed when it is surrounded by stimuli just outside the receptive field. The suppression is greatest when the center and surrounding stimuli share perceptual features such as orientation. Surround suppression underlies a number of fundamental perceptual processes that are known to be atypical in individuals with ASD, including perceptual grouping and perceptual pop-out. However, whether surround suppression in the primary visual cortex (V1) is related to autistic traits has not been directly tested before. We used fMRI to measure the neural response to a center Gabor when it was surrounded by Gabors having the same or orthogonal orientation, and calculated a suppression index (SI) for each participant that denoted the magnitude of suppression in the same vs. orthogonal conditions. SI was positively correlated with degree of autistic tendency in each individual, as measured by the Autism Quotient (AQ) scale, a questionnaire designed to assess autistic traits in the general population. Age also correlated with SI and with autistic tendency in our sample, but did not account for the correlation between SI and autistic tendency. These results suggest a reduction in orientation-specific surround suppression in V1 with increasing autistic tendency. PMID

  3. Orientation-specific surround suppression in the primary visual cortex varies as a function of autistic tendency.

    PubMed

    Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit superior performance on tasks that rely on local details in an image, and they exhibit deficits in tasks that require integration of local elements into a unified whole. These perceptual abnormalities have been proposed to underlie many of the characteristic features of ASD, but the underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the degree to which orientation-specific surround suppression, a well-known form of contextual modulation in visual cortex, is associated with autistic tendency in neurotypical (NT) individuals. Surround suppression refers to the phenomenon that the response to a stimulus in the receptive field of a neuron is suppressed when it is surrounded by stimuli just outside the receptive field. The suppression is greatest when the center and surrounding stimuli share perceptual features such as orientation. Surround suppression underlies a number of fundamental perceptual processes that are known to be atypical in individuals with ASD, including perceptual grouping and perceptual pop-out. However, whether surround suppression in the primary visual cortex (V1) is related to autistic traits has not been directly tested before. We used fMRI to measure the neural response to a center Gabor when it was surrounded by Gabors having the same or orthogonal orientation, and calculated a suppression index (SI) for each participant that denoted the magnitude of suppression in the same vs. orthogonal conditions. SI was positively correlated with degree of autistic tendency in each individual, as measured by the Autism Quotient (AQ) scale, a questionnaire designed to assess autistic traits in the general population. Age also correlated with SI and with autistic tendency in our sample, but did not account for the correlation between SI and autistic tendency. These results suggest a reduction in orientation-specific surround suppression in V1 with increasing autistic tendency.

  4. Repetitive Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Induced Excitability Changes of Primary Visual Cortex and Visual Learning Effects—A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Beckhaus, Katharina; Dinse, Hubert R.; Schwenkreis, Peter; Tegenthoff, Martin; Höffken, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Studies on noninvasive motor cortex stimulation and motor learning demonstrated cortical excitability as a marker for a learning effect. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive tool to modulate cortical excitability. It is as yet unknown how tDCS-induced excitability changes and perceptual learning in visual cortex correlate. Our study aimed to examine the influence of tDCS on visual perceptual learning in healthy humans. Additionally, we measured excitability in primary visual cortex (V1). We hypothesized that anodal tDCS would improve and cathodal tDCS would have minor or no effects on visual learning. Anodal, cathodal or sham tDCS were applied over V1 in a randomized, double-blinded design over four consecutive days (n = 30). During 20 min of tDCS, subjects had to learn a visual orientation-discrimination task (ODT). Excitability parameters were measured by analyzing paired-stimulation behavior of visual-evoked potentials (ps-VEP) and by measuring phosphene thresholds (PTs) before and after the stimulation period of 4 days. Compared with sham-tDCS, anodal tDCS led to an improvement of visual discrimination learning (p < 0.003). We found reduced PTs and increased ps-VEP ratios indicating increased cortical excitability after anodal tDCS (PT: p = 0.002, ps-VEP: p = 0.003). Correlation analysis within the anodal tDCS group revealed no significant correlation between PTs and learning effect. For cathodal tDCS, no significant effects on learning or on excitability could be seen. Our results showed that anodal tDCS over V1 resulted in improved visual perceptual learning and increased cortical excitability. tDCS is a promising tool to alter V1 excitability and, hence, perceptual visual learning. PMID:27375452

  5. The Effects of Differential Training Procedures on Linked Perceptual Class Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Lanny; Tittelbach, Danielle; Shamoun, Kimberly; Watanabe, Mari; Fitzer, Adrienne; Matneja, Priya

    2007-01-01

    When the stimuli in one perceptual class (A') become related to the stimuli in another perceptual class (B'), the two are functioning as a single "linked perceptual class". A common linked perceptual class would be the sounds of a person's voice (class A') and the pictures of that person (class B'). Such classes are ubiquitous in real world…

  6. Odor identification: perceptual and semantic dimensions.

    PubMed

    Cain, W S; de Wijk, R; Lulejian, C; Schiet, F; See, L C

    1998-06-01

    Five studies explored identification of odors as an aspect of semantic memory. All dealt in one way or another with the accessibility of acquired olfactory information. The first study examined stability and showed that, consistent with personal reports, people can fail to identify an odor one day yet succeed another. Failure turned more commonly to success than vice versa, and once success occurred it tended to recur. Confidence ratings implied that subjects generally knew the quality of their answers. Even incorrect names, though, often carried considerable information which sometimes reflected a semantic and sometimes a perceptual source of errors. The second study showed that profiling odors via the American Society of Testing and Materials list of attributes, an exercise in depth of processing, effected no increment in the identifiability/accessibility beyond an unelaborated second attempt at retrieval. The third study showed that subjects had only a weak ability to predict the relative recognizability of odors they had failed to identify. Whereas the strength of the feeling that they would 'know' an answer if offered choices did not associate significantly with performance for odors, it did for trivia questions. The fourth study demonstrated an association between ability to discriminate among one set of odors and to identify another, but this emerged only after subjects had received feedback about identity, which essentially changed the task to one of recognition and effectively stabilized access. The fifth study illustrated that feedback improves performance dramatically only for odors involved with it, but that mere retrieval leads to some improvement. The studies suggest a research agenda that could include supplemental use of confidence judgments both retrospectively and prospectively in the same subjects to indicate the amount of accessible semantic information; use of second and third guesses to examine subjects' simultaneously held hypotheses about

  7. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    PubMed

    Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning

  8. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    PubMed

    Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning

  9. The disorganized visual cortex in reelin-deficient mice is functional and allows for enhanced plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Wagener, Robin Jan; Martens, Ann-Kristin; Goetze, Bianka; Schmidt, Karl-Friedrich; Staiger, Jochen F; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-11-01

    A hallmark of neocortical circuits is the segregation of processing streams into six distinct layers. The importance of this layered organization for cortical processing and plasticity is little understood. We investigated the structure, function and plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) of adult mice deficient for the glycoprotein reelin and their wild-type littermates. In V1 of rl-/- mice, cells with different laminar fates are present at all cortical depths. Surprisingly, the (vertically) disorganized cortex maintains a precise retinotopic (horizontal) organization. Rl-/- mice have normal basic visual capabilities, but are compromised in more challenging perceptual tasks, such as orientation discrimination. Additionally, rl-/- animals learn and memorize a visual task as well as their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, reelin deficiency enhances visual cortical plasticity: juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity is preserved into late adulthood. The present data offer an important insight into the capabilities of a disorganized cortical system to maintain basic functional properties.

  10. An Application of the Piagetian Model to Perceptual Handicaps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedland, Seymour J.; Meisels, Samuel J.

    1975-01-01

    Discussed is the spatial concept model of J. Piaget in terms of the child's development from topological spatial relationships to Euclidean and projective relationships with implications for assessment and remediation of perceptual dysfunction. (DB)

  11. Perceptual representations in false recognition and priming of pictures.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Yana; Shanks, David R

    2008-12-01

    Using a new procedure, we investigate whether imagination can induce false memory by creating a perceptual representation. Participants studied pictures and words with and without an imagery task and at test performed both a direct recognition test and an indirect perceptual identification test on pictorial stimuli. Corrected false recognition rates were 7% for pictures studied in word form (Experiment 1), 26% for pictures imagined once (Experiment 2), and 48% for pictures imagined multiple times (Experiment 3), although on the indirect test, no priming was found for these items. Furthermore, a perceptual/conceptual imagery manipulation did not affect the tendency to claim that imagined items had been studied as pictures (Experiment 4). These results suggest that the false memories reported on direct tests are not driven by perceptual representations.

  12. Great expectations: temporal expectation modulates perceptual processing speed.

    PubMed

    Vangkilde, Signe; Coull, Jennifer T; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-10-01

    In a crowded dynamic world, temporal expectations guide our attention in time. Prior investigations have consistently demonstrated that temporal expectations speed motor behavior. We explore effects of temporal expectation on perceptual speed in three nonspeeded, cued recognition paradigms. Different hazard rate functions for the cue-stimulus foreperiod were used to manipulate temporal expectations. By computational modeling we estimated two distinct components of visual attention: the temporal threshold of conscious perception (t₀ ms) and the speed of subsequent encoding into visual short-term memory (v items/s). Notably, these components were measured independently of any motor involvement. The threshold t₀ was unaffected by temporal expectation, but perceptual processing speed v increased with increasing expectation. By employing constant hazard rates to keep expectation constant over time, we further confirmed that the increase in perceptual speed was independent of the cue-stimulus duration. Thus, our results strongly suggest temporal expectations optimize perceptual performance by speeding information processing.

  13. The Complex Interplay Between Multisensory Integration and Perceptual Awareness

    PubMed Central

    Aller, M.; Noppeney, U.

    2016-01-01

    The integration of information has been considered a hallmark of human consciousness, as it requires information being globally available via widespread neural interactions. Yet the complex interdependencies between multisensory integration and perceptual awareness, or consciousness, remain to be defined. While perceptual awareness has traditionally been studied in a single sense, in recent years we have witnessed a surge of interest in the role of multisensory integration in perceptual awareness. Based on a recent IMRF symposium on multisensory awareness, this review discusses three key questions from conceptual, methodological and experimental perspectives: (1) What do we study when we study multisensory awareness? (2) What is the relationship between multisensory integration and perceptual awareness? (3) Which experimental approaches are most promising to characterize multisensory awareness? We hope that this review paper will provoke lively discussions, novel experiments, and conceptual considerations to advance our understanding of the multifaceted interplay between multisensory integration and consciousness.

  14. Spontaneous local variations in ongoing neural activity bias perceptual decisions

    PubMed Central

    Hesselmann, Guido; Kell, Christian A.; Eger, Evelyn; Kleinschmidt, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    Neural variability in responding to identical repeated stimuli has been related to trial-by-trial fluctuations in ongoing activity, yet the neural and perceptual consequences of these fluctuations remain poorly understood. Using functional neuroimaging, we recorded brain activity in subjects who reported perceptual decisions on an ambiguous figure, Rubin's vase-faces picture, which was briefly presented at variable intervals of ≥20 s. Prestimulus activity in the fusiform face area, a cortical region preferentially responding to faces, was higher when subjects subsequently perceived faces instead of the vase. This finding suggests that endogenous variations in prestimulus neuronal activity biased subsequent perceptual inference. Furnishing evidence that evoked sensory responses, we then went on to show that the pre- and poststimulus activity interact in a nonlinear way and the ensuing perceptual decisions depend upon the prestimulus context in which they occur. PMID:18664576

  15. Perceptual discrimination in fear generalization: Mechanistic and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Struyf, Dieter; Zaman, Jonas; Vervliet, Bram; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    For almost a century, Pavlovian conditioning is the imperative experimental paradigm to investigate the development and generalization of fear. However, despite the rich research tradition, the conceptualization of fear generalization has remained somewhat ambiguous. In this selective review, we focus explicitly on some challenges with the current operationalization of fear generalization and their impact on the ability to make inferences on its clinical potential and underlying processes. The main conclusion is that, despite the strong evidence that learning influences perception, current research has largely neglected the role of perceptual discriminability and its plasticity in fear generalization. We propose an alternative operationalization of generalization, where the essence is that Pavlovian conditioning itself influences the breadth of fear generalization via learning-related changes in perceptual discriminability. Hence a conceptualization of fear generalization is incomplete without an in-depth analysis of processes of perceptual discriminability. Furthermore, this highlights perceptual learning and discriminability as important future targets for pre-clinical and clinical research.

  16. Injection of a dopamine type 2 receptor antagonist into the dorsal striatum disrupts choices driven by previous outcomes, but not perceptual inference.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunjeong; Seo, Moonsang; Dal Monte, Olga; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2015-04-22

    Decisions are often driven by a combination of immediate perception and previous experience. In this study, we investigated how these two sources of information are integrated and the neural systems that mediate this process. Specifically, we injected a dopamine type 1 antagonist (D1A; SCH23390) or a dopamine type 2 antagonist (D2A; eticlopride) into the dorsal striatum while macaques performed a task in which their choices were driven by perceptual inference and/or reinforcement of past choices. We found that the D2A affected choices based on previous outcomes. However, there were no effects of the D2A on choices driven by perceptual inference. We found that the D1A did not affect perceptual inference or reinforcement learning. Finally, a Bayesian model applied to the results suggested that the D2A may be increasing noise in the striatal representation of value, perhaps by disrupting the striatal population that normally represents value.

  17. Injection of a dopamine type 2 receptor antagonist into the dorsal striatum disrupts choices driven by previous outcomes, but not perceptual inference.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunjeong; Seo, Moonsang; Dal Monte, Olga; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2015-04-22

    Decisions are often driven by a combination of immediate perception and previous experience. In this study, we investigated how these two sources of information are integrated and the neural systems that mediate this process. Specifically, we injected a dopamine type 1 antagonist (D1A; SCH23390) or a dopamine type 2 antagonist (D2A; eticlopride) into the dorsal striatum while macaques performed a task in which their choices were driven by perceptual inference and/or reinforcement of past choices. We found that the D2A affected choices based on previous outcomes. However, there were no effects of the D2A on choices driven by perceptual inference. We found that the D1A did not affect perceptual inference or reinforcement learning. Finally, a Bayesian model applied to the results suggested that the D2A may be increasing noise in the striatal representation of value, perhaps by disrupting the striatal population that normally represents value. PMID:25904783

  18. A Comparison between Mechanisms of Multi-Alternative Perceptual Decision Making: Ability to Explain Human Behavior, Predictions for Neurophysiology, and Relationship with Decision Theory.

    PubMed

    Ditterich, Jochen

    2010-01-01

    While there seems to be relatively wide agreement about perceptual decision making relying on integration-to-threshold mechanisms, proposed models differ in a variety of details. This study compares a range of mechanisms for multi-alternative perceptual decision making, including integration with and without leakage, feedforward and feedback inhibition for mediating the competition between integrators, as well as linear and non-linear mechanisms for combining signals across alternatives. It is shown that a number of mechanisms make very similar predictions for the decision behavior and are therefore able to explain previously published data from a multi-alternative perceptual decision task. However, it is also demonstrated that the mechanisms differ in their internal dynamics and therefore make different predictions for neuorphysiological experiments. The study further addresses the relationship of these mechanisms with decision theory and statistical testing and analyzes their optimality.

  19. Visual short-term memory load reduces retinotopic cortex response to contrast.

    PubMed

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2012-11-01

    Load Theory of attention suggests that high perceptual load in a task leads to reduced sensory visual cortex response to task-unrelated stimuli resulting in "load-induced blindness" [e.g., Lavie, N. Attention, distraction and cognitive control under load. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 143-148, 2010; Lavie, N. Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82, 2005]. Consideration of the findings that visual STM (VSTM) involves sensory recruitment [e.g., Pasternak, T., & Greenlee, M. Working memory in primate sensory systems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 97-107, 2005] within Load Theory led us to a new hypothesis regarding the effects of VSTM load on visual processing. If VSTM load draws on sensory visual capacity, then similar to perceptual load, high VSTM load should also reduce visual cortex response to incoming stimuli leading to a failure to detect them. We tested this hypothesis with fMRI and behavioral measures of visual detection sensitivity. Participants detected the presence of a contrast increment during the maintenance delay in a VSTM task requiring maintenance of color and position. Increased VSTM load (manipulated by increased set size) led to reduced retinotopic visual cortex (V1-V3) responses to contrast as well as reduced detection sensitivity, as we predicted. Additional visual detection experiments established a clear tradeoff between the amount of information maintained in VSTM and detection sensitivity, while ruling out alternative accounts for the effects of VSTM load in terms of differential spatial allocation strategies or task difficulty. These findings extend Load Theory to demonstrate a new form of competitive interactions between early visual cortex processing and visual representations held in memory under load and provide a novel line of support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis of VSTM.

  20. Perceptual Load Affects Eyewitness Accuracy and Susceptibility to Leading Questions.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M

    2016-01-01

    Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory. Across three experiments (two video-based and one in a driving simulator), the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory was assessed. The results showed that eyewitnesses were less accurate under high load, in particular for peripheral details. For example, memory for the central character in the video was not affected by load but memory for a witness who passed by the window at the edge of the scene was significantly worse under high load. High load memories were also more open to suggestion, showing increased susceptibility to leading questions. High visual perceptual load also affected recall for auditory information, illustrating a possible cross-modal perceptual load effect on memory accuracy. These results have implications for eyewitness memory researchers and forensic professionals. PMID:27625628